SPFBO Creator Interview: Mark Lawrence

There’s a lot of great advice for authors in Michael Baker’s interview with best-selling SFF author Mark Lawrence.

The Thousand Scar's Muse

So this is a short intermission in interviewing you lot to bring you a very special interview, and certainly the most prolific so far that’s been on my blog. I present to you a chat with who is possibly the Prince of Grimdark. It is none other then the founder of SPFBO, critically acclaimed author and the mastermind behind writing awesome little shits, Mark Lawrence himself! Turns out he’s a lot more then just his books. Speaking of his books, pick them up! And yeah….this is only a few of what he has published!

Speaking of, I really need to read more of his books.

First of all, tell me about yourself! What do you write?

I’m a fulltime author, as of 2015 when the entire Advanced Research Centre, where I worked as a research scientist, was closed. I write fantasy and science fiction.

How do you develop your plots…

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Intro to Female-Authored Speculative Fiction

Love this list of speculative fiction by female authors!

The Fantasy Inn

We at the Fantasy Inn are always a fan of anything that helps people to discover new books they might enjoy. It’s one of the reasons we became reviewers in the first place.

This time, we explored female-authored speculative fiction! It’s mostly fantasy with a little science fiction thrown in for good measure.

We had a few goals when developing this flowchart:

  1. Include books from a variety of decades, not just recent releases.
  2. Provide enough variety that seasoned and novice fantasy readers alike can discover new books to love.
  3. Feature a variety of storytelling mediums, such as graphic novels, short fiction, and audio dramas.
  4. Only first books in a series are included, and each author is only listed once.

The final flowchart has 127 entries, and we could’ve included many more if we had room. Feel strongly about a book we left out? Let us know in a comment!

Here’s…

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SPFBO Author Interview: Amanda M. Justice “A Wizard’s Forge”

Michael R. Baker, author of The Thousand Scars, a grimdark fantasy novel that was long-listed in the 2018 Booknest Awards, invited me over for a chat. We get to talk about how the Woern are like midchlorians, among other things.

The Thousand Scar's Muse

Welcome back to a wonderful Sunday of happy adventures, grimdark treks through villages seeped in blood and. . .other things. I really need some coffee.

So it’s one week until Booknest’s Award voting ends, so get voting!

The Thousand Scars is longlisted as Best Debut. The categories are chock full of amazing authors and great books, so visit the website by clicking on the fancy image below. Voting ends on the 14th October. Pick the best.

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So today I bring you an awesome interview I held with Amanda M. Justice, author of The Wizards Forge and her SPFBO entry! Click on the Amazon link down below and check her out. These people are pretty awesome!

First of all, tell me about yourself! What do you write?  

The Woern Saga is a blend of science fiction and fantasy (aka science fantasy), with a setting similar to Anne McCaffrey’s Pern novels…

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#SPFBO Guest Post: Finding Fairy Tales by A M Justice

I’m super excited to share this guest post I wrote for Lynn’s Books. Lynn is the SPFBO judge who will be reviewing A Wizard’s Forge, and she gave me some space on her blog to talk about how “Rapunzel” made its way into the narrative. Thanks, Lynn!

Books and travelling with Lynn

Today, I’m really pleased to welcome to my blog the author of A Wizard’s Forge: Amanda Justice.  Amanda has written a post about the inspiration for her book A Wizard’s Forge which will be one of my upcoming reads for the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off.  A Wizard’s Forge is a deconstructed version of Rapunzel.  If you know anything about my blog you’ll know I love fairytale retellings so excitement am I to read this post: 

Rapunzel4‘Sometimes inspiration is like a beacon, drawing the author toward her goal. Other times, the influence is a sleeper agent that infiltrates the subconscious and adds unexpected layers to the narrative. My SPFBO 2018 entry, A Wizard’s Forge, is a retelling of “Rapunzel,” but not necessarily one I set out to write.

Because we’re usually introduced to fairy tales as children, and we hear or read them over and over, they tend to…

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Guest Post: Gender-Equal Fantasy – On Writing Fantasy Without Patriarchy by E.J. Beaton

E..J. Beaton beautifully articulates the rationale for and approach to writing epic fantasy where genders share power equally. I share the same philosophy about gender-neutral fantasy worlds and the possibilities they create for readers and writers alike.

The Fantasy Inn

I began writing epic fantasy (also known as high fantasy), the kind of fantasy fiction set in an entirely imagined world, partly because I am a woman. That might seem strange, in a genre historically known for stories about male heroes and patriarchal dynasties. Women were often constrained by their roles as love interests or victims in the fantasy novels I had read. Yet epic poetry and literature called strongly to me, and the prospect of making it my own glinted like a spear-tip on the horizon.

I wanted to see a person like me as the lead character in a story. I wanted to see a woman driving and shaping the narrative, not merely fitting into it as a complement to the hero’s journey. I had read and loved The Lord of the Rings, but I longed for a story where someone like Arwen could be the ultimate queen…

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Sound Check Part 2: How My Audiobook Came Together

This past June, I described how I waded into the audiobook pool and went about auditioning and selecting a narrator for A Wizard's Forge. This past week I returned notes and corrections on the last six chapters, and I gotta say, I'm thrilled. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to her. Leah Casey … Continue reading Sound Check Part 2: How My Audiobook Came Together

SPFBO Book Reviews: Darkmage by M.L. Spencer, and Finder of the Lucky Devil, by Megan Mackie

A Wizard's Forge is entered in the 2018 Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off (SPFBO), and while I await news of its fate on Lynn's Books, I've started reading books by my fellow travelers on this journey. Here are my reviews of the first two I've read since the start of this year's SPFBO. I reviewed The Ill-Kept … Continue reading SPFBO Book Reviews: Darkmage by M.L. Spencer, and Finder of the Lucky Devil, by Megan Mackie

Let the #SPFBO 2018 begin : my process

The SPFBO starts today (Aug 1, 2018). A Wizard’s Forge is being judged over at Lynn’s Book Blog, and in today’s post she explained how it’s all going to go down.

Books and travelling with Lynn

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Today sees the start of the fourth Self Published Fantasy Blog Off (#SPFBO).  The competition involves 300 self published books, distributed between 10 blogs.  Each blog will eventually choose 1 finalist leaving 10 finalists for the second phase.  Each blog will then read and score the finalists which will hopefully result in one book with the highest score winning the competition.  More details can be found here and if you scroll down you can see the list of books and how they’ve been distributed.

I’ve taken part as a judge in the past 3 competitions but this year I might shake my format up a little.  Previously I’ve divided my books into six batches of 5 books and then chosen 1 book from each batch – this has then given me six semi finalists to choose between.  In the past I’ve usually aimed to read at least 20% of the…

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