Does pre-ordering books make them arrive faster? Probably not. I doubt my desperation to read the next book in a series affects publishers’ schedules. On the other hand, there is satisfaction in knowing I’ve done all I can do to get hold of the book asap.

So there’s my excuse for a buying binge on 2010 urban fantasy.

Diana Wynne Jones, Enchanted Glass
Patricia Briggs, Steel Borne
Patricia Briggs, Alpha and Omega
Tanya Huff, Enchantment Emporium
Ilona Andrews, Magic Bleeds
Lisa Shearin, Bewitched and Betrayed
Gail Carriger, Changeless

And I’m going to label this post reviews because handing over my money is a huge endorsement.

Cooling off

Summer has officially started here in Perth. It’ll be 37 degrees celsius, today. Air-conditioning is the obvious answer, but I always feel vaguely guilty about using energy that heats the planet to cool my living space (if that makes sense). Well, maybe soon I won’t have to feel guilty.

People are looking into the possibility of geothermal energy. I really hope this works out.

My Weekly short stories

Womagwriter is one of my favourite sites when I’m in the mood to write and submit women’s fiction short stories. Today I just read an unhappy bit of news for those of us trying to scrabble a place on the rocky writing cliff. My Weekly is now only accepting short stories from writers who have already been published with them.

I’m truly grateful for the two stories I’ve sold them. At least I can still submit. And it’s such a lovely market. The people are friendly, the illustrations of your stories fun, and when you’ve finished the magazine the world seems a warmer place. It’s a real shame that for whatever reasons they’ve narrowed the submission window.

Character Professions

In my previous post I talked about the heroine of my novel having a career change from lawyer to finance trader, and how this will support the story and fit the character. But have you noticed how many times writers make their protagonist a writer? Is this a case of writing about what you know, or do readers really want to know about a writer’s life? Sometimes I suspect authorial laziness.

The best book I’ve read where the protagonist is a writer is Trisha Ashley’s “The Urge to Jump”. Written in first person, the voice is strong, opinionated, and unique. It matters that Sappho (the heroine) is a writer; her profession isn’t just a comfortable way of letting her meander through the story. No, the fact she’s a writer drives the story. Sappho’s used a real man as the basis for her hero (or used his photograph) and there will be consequences. And her villain is gorgeous, or should I say villains? There are plenty of people, warts and all, spilling across the page.

“The Urge to Jump” is my favourite book by Trisha Ashley. Good enough that I’ve bought others and been disappointed that they haven’t met this gold standard, although they remain a pleasant way to spend the afternoon. Somewhere between women’s fiction and chicklit. Think Katie Fforde.

Having put my vote in for “The Urge to Jump”, I just remembered Elizabeth Peters’ Jacqueline Kirby. Now, there’s a character who’s a writer and who I thoroughly enjoy. There are probably more. Hmm. Must stop thinking of this and start typing novel.