The Devil’s (Over)Due

English in Asian AirportsMy design guy and I have both had a pretty hellacious couple of weeks related to various and sundry real-life issues. Unfortunately, that means The Devil’s Due is not likely to be ready to debut early next week as planned.

I’m sorry to disappoint those who may have been itching to find out what happens next to Taylor Smart. I promise, you won’t have to wait too much longer.

In the meantime, however, I thought I’d give you a free sneak preview of The Devil’s Due. Here, then, are just a few of the 86,000 or so words you’ll soon be reading:

  • hiking
  • zombies
  • reality
  • bragging
  • froze
  • kittens
  • weekend
  • animatronic
  • Hebrew
  • naked
  • chocolate
  • bounded
  • flailing
  • maelstrom
  • exasperated
  • toothy
  • farted
  • crypt
  • trouble

And there’s plenty more where those came from! Stay tuned!

Resolutions to Help Out Indie Authors

Via Coffintree Hill:

I’m sure that many of you made resolutions and goals for the year; to finish that novel, to make more time to read, to update your blog more regularly. But how about setting some time aside to help out some fellow indie authors? There are heaps of different ways that you can support your peers, to pay it forward.

  • Follow their blog. Read, comment and share their posts.
  • Follow their social networking profiles. Again, read, comment, share, retweet, reblog.
  • Run word sprints/word wars. Find other writers online and write together. Set a time limit, and see who gets the most words out. They’re great fun and great motivation.
  • Join the Insecure Writers Support Group. Once a month, writers all over the world write blog posts about their own insecurities, and offer advice and support to other writers. You’ll find new friends, new followers, and they’re all there to cheer each other on. Sign up here:
  • Host them on your own blog. If they have some news or a book coming out, you could let them have a space on your blog. You could run interviews with other writers, or let them guest blog. It’s win-win: they get exposure and your followers, you get great blog content and their followers.
  • Offer to beta read. Writers always need beta readers to give their opinions on their work. You get to read upcoming books before anyone else, and they are likely to return to favour when you need beta readers for your work.
  • Buy their books. Kind of obvious, right? But why not set a goal for the number of indie writers you’ll read this year? You might discover your next favourite writer.
  • Review their books. Whether on Amazon, Goodreads or your own blog, reviews mean so much to indie writers.
  • Recommend their books. If you enjoyed it, let other people know. Recommend their books on social media, to your friends, to your family. Recommendations really do sell books.
  • Give their books as gifts. Enjoyed it? Why not buy a copy for a friend or family member?

And there are loads of other ways you can help. Writers are often looking for cover critiques, or advice on marketing, formatting, character names etc etc. Just network, keep an eye out, and use your strengths to help someone out.

New Harry Potter Illustrations

harry_potterVia mental_floss:

Harry, Ron, and Hermione are getting a makeover. British artist Jim Kay, who won a Carnegie Medal in 2012 for illustrating Patrick Ness’s fantasy children’s book A Monster Calls, is reimagining the look of Harry’s world for a new edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. According to The Guardian, Kay is slated to create full-color illustrated editions of all seven of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, with the first expected to hit shelves October 6. The subsequent novels will be released one per year.

A Harry Potter fan himself, Kay tells The Guardian that “hearing the news that I’d got the commission was an explosion of delight, followed instantly by an implosion of brain-freezing terror.” Kay continues, “From my point of view it is, without doubt, the best commission you can be given—I’m a bit of a control freak, so to be given the opportunity to design the characters, the clothing, the architecture, and landscapes to possibly the most expansive fantasy world in children’s literature, well, let’s just say I’m extremely excited about it.”

And after a sneak peek at Kay’s work—well, let’s just say we’re extremely excited about the new editions.

Is the Star Wars Universe Mostly Illiterate?

I don’t know, but this article by Ryan Britt made me think.

Not once in any Star Wars movie does someone pick up a book or newspaper, magazine, literary journal, or chapbook handmade by an aspiring Jawa poet. If something is read by someone in Star Wars, it’s almost certainly off of a screen (and even then, maybe being translated by a droid), and it’s definitely not for entertainment purposes. As early as the 1990s-era expanded Star Wars books and comic books, we’re introduced to ancient Jedi “texts” called holocrons, which are basically talking holographic video recordings. Just how long has the Star Wars universe been reliant on fancy technology to transfer information as opposed to the written word? Is it possible that a good number of people in Star Wars are completely illiterate?

He concludes,

Obi-Wan may have put a lightsaber in Luke’s hand, but really he and Qui-Gon should have been going around teaching people on poor planets to read years and years prior. After all, hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good book in your hands.