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Messages - CaitSpivey

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1
I've not personally read this novel, but I'm familiar with the author's short fiction, and this might be what you're looking for: Virtual Immortality by Matthew Cox http://www.matthewcoxbooks.com/wordpress/virtual-immortality/

2
Maybe just be a bit careful to not pile up a crapload of unfinished series.

That's a good way to look at it. I'm usually not bothered by waiting for sequels because I keep reading stand-alones and other series in between. It ends up pretty well-paced.

3
Small Press & Self-Published / Re: Want to Have Your Novel Reviewed?
« on: January 07, 2016, 07:22:22 PM »
What a wonderful thread, thank you!

Name: Cait Spivey
Email: caitspiveyauthor@gmail.com
Website URL: caitspivey.com
Novel Title: From Under the Mountain (Goodreads link)
Genre: Fantasy (New Adult/Adult)
Length: 706 pages
Format: Ebook ARCs (pdf or epub). I'll have paperbacks at the end of this month (the book releases on January 26th).
Back Cover Blurb: As the second child of the Aridan imperial family, nineteen-year-old Guerline knows exactly what is expected of her: be unobtrusive, be compliant, and do not fall in love with her low-born companion, Eva. She has succeeded at only two of those.

But before her feelings for Eva can become a point of contention for the royal house, Guerline's calm and narrow life is ripped away from her—in the course of a single night—and she is abruptly cast in the role of empress.

Faced with a council that aggressively fears the four witch clans charged with protecting Arido and believes they are, in fact, waging war against the humans, Guerline struggles to maintain order. As her control over the land crumbles, she learns that the war is rooted in a conflict much older than she realized—one centuries in the making, which is now crawling from under the mountain and into the light. With the fate of Arido hanging in the balance, Guerline must decide who to trust when even her closest councilors seem to have an agenda.

Darkly cinematic, From Under the Mountain pairs the sweeping landscape of epic fantasy with the personal journey of finding one’s voice in the world, posing the question: how do you define evil, when everything society tells you is a lie?
How Many Copies Available for Reviewers: Unlimited e-copies. For paperbacks, I'll probably allocate 5 to reviewers. I'm US-based.
Stipulations: None! Love it or hate it, post it everywhere. Even nowhere, if that's how it goes. It's out of my hands.

4
I read this ages ago so my memory might be inaccurate, but I think Alison Croggon's The Naming had long stretches of wilderness slog. I never read the other books in the series, but this is one I've been pondering going back to.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: The Night's Watch ASoIaF
« on: January 07, 2016, 07:10:41 PM »
Maybe once all the books are out, they'll put out special editions with each storyline on its own, in order, haha.

I love the Night's Watch stuff for sure, but there are a lot of other plot lines I wouldn't want to miss. That said, I do remember reading a lot of chapters and just wondering, "Why? Why am I here with this dude right now?" Sometimes those chapters/POVs became more important (I'm thinking of the Onion Knight specifically) but sometimes they didn't.

ASOIAF actually messed me up a little with its hugeness when I started seriously drafting my fantasy novel. I tried to do a million side plots from the get-go, and let me tell you, that is a good way to lose your mind.

6
Seconding Tamora Pierce and Garth Nix's Sabriel! The latter might be my all-time favorite YA fantasy.

I'd also recommend the Young Wizards series by Diane Duane. It's a contemporary fantasy, and the magic system in particular is really interesting--it takes almost a mathematical approach and I haven't read anything like it since I picked up the first book (So You Want to be a Wizard).

7
For me, there's a point where the waiting becomes too much. As a kid with the Harry Potter books, I was frantic with every new one, but as an adult I lose some of that excitement. I started ASOIAF right before the fifth book came out, so I got to preorder it and get those tingles. But knowing that it'll be at least another year, probably more, makes me pretty "meh" about book six. Of course, that might have been because of book five, which was really down and more depressing than usual--if I remember from what, three, four years ago?

This happens to me with shows, too. I'm a huge Doctor Who fan, and yet I haven't watched any of the new season because it was such a long wait that I couldn't sustain the excitement.

With all these things, I do plan to read/watch them. It's just sort of like, if the creators can take their time creating, then I will enjoy them at my leisure too.

8
I'm planning to switch from a Wordpress site to an independently hosted site, so this thread is great to read.

For me personally, I think of my author website as a home base. It's one link that pulls together all the necessary info about me and my books from Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, etc. I've had this Wordpress site for over three years, so it's changed a lot--it used to be a proper blog, but I don't use the blog much anymore, which is part of why I'm making the switch.

As for using websites as sales points, there have been times when I get to like an author on Twitter or something and I go to their site to read up on their books, but then if I decide to buy, I'm redirected Amazon or what have you.

I do happen to know that there are a few companies working on integratabtle selling platforms specifically designed for authors and publishers to sell from their websites, instead of through a third-party retailer. I personally tried using Selz for this for awhile, but didn't have much success; I think partially because I've never heard of Selz outside this experiment of mine, so it doesn't have the secure reputation of say, Paypal.

BUT it might be in the future that author websites could be a more direct sale venue. I'm not 100% sure how I feel about that yet, though I think I'm leaning in favor.

9
I'll read whatever catches my interest or whatever I happen to find in the bookstore, haha. By pure chance, a lot of the book ones I picked up in the last year were to finished or older series--specifically Dragon Keeper of Robin Hobb's Rain Wilds Chronicles and NK Jemisin's The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. I did just get the sequel to Django Wexler's The Thousand Names, and I'm excited to read book two of that!

I'm also a fantasy author, and it warms my heart to see readers who are aware of how important first-book sales are to the continuation of a series. <3 I'm lucky to be with a small publisher that won't drop me if my book doesn't do well immediately, though of course we all hope it will. But this isn't true of everyone, and not everyone can turn to self-publishing if their sequels don't get optioned by publishers.

On my novella ebook series, which has three out right now, I have seen a small bump in sales for book one when the second and third came out...but that might have been because I made it free, haha.

10
Ack, sorry for the delayed reply. The full MS critique isn't mentioned on the funding page, but it's still available to donors of $20-50! It goes right through to the end. And the campaign is going for 62 more hours, so there's still time to claim that critique. :D

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Thank you, Jmack! :D

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Hey everyone!

I'm very pleased to announce that my high fantasy novel, FROM UNDER THE MOUNTAIN, will be published by REUTS Publications in January 2016!

About the novel:

Nineteen-year-old Guerline ascends to the throne of the empire after her entire family dies in one fell swoop. Now Empress, Guerline must address the suspicion growing in her court toward the four witch clans that protect the empire’s borders. Among the seditionists is Guerline’s best friend and lover, Evadine.

Guerline’s political balancing act is upset when the palace is attacked by powerful magic, bringing all Evadine’s fears to bear—but magic saves them too. In the wake of the attack, with an even greater threat looming, Guerline must decide who to trust, and summon all her strength to meet the challenge.

From Under the Mountain is my first novel and my first love. It’s a high fantasy for the modern world, drawing on the foundations laid by great female fantasy writers of the past twenty years to tell the story of one young woman. Guerline’s journey to establish her place, protect what she loves, and do right by her people will resonate with readers across the board.

You can add it to your Goodreads TBR here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25456839-from-under-the-mountain

I'm also currently raising funds to host a high fantasy fashion show as my book launch event. I'm working with a costumer to design and produce nine outfits representing the major characters in the novel, which will be premiered at a combination runway show and book signing. Production costs are high for this sort of thing, so I'm seeking help from the fantasy community and offering some great rewards in return.

There are currently two bonus rewards being offered for donors of between $20-50: custom character art by me, and a full manuscript critique by my editor at REUTS.

Watch the campaign video below, and check out the campaign on IndieGoGo here: http://igg.me/at/fromunderthemountain/x/7428933

[youtube]mmFCAbY0v9E[/youtube]

13
I haven't read Mirror Empire, which is the original book up for discussion here, but I wanted to chime in that I found The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller book one--I haven't read The Slow Regard) problematic in a lot of ways too. My particular issue was with male main character Kvothe positioning his love interest, Denna, as this distant and unfathomable perfect creature, even in the "present" when he's been through his whole story and is relating it all to Chronicler. This concept that men can never hope to understand women seems harmless, but creates a lot of problems, such as contributing to the dehumanizing and objectifying of female characters.

This is not to say, of course, that male characters who view women this way shouldn't exist, but I think this is where the point of view of the novel is crucial. The bulk of Kingkiller is Kvothe telling his own story, obviously, so he's not going to critique his own misconceptions--but Chronicler and Bast are both given POV time, which could have been utilized to at least question Kvothe's "oh I could never begin to understand this woman" posturing.

This is also why, coming at it from an author's perspective, choosing an unusual POV to write from can do a lot to distinguish one's story from others in the genre; and why branching out to those authors who are from or write characters who are from marginalized or uncommon POVs can be really rewarding to readers.

Good to know I am not the only one whose eyebrows raise a bit everytime when characters (let alone people in RL) mention they don't understand women or men because they are of the opposite sex. It is often brought as an innocent joke, but I also agree the thought creates issues. It is difficult to understand others regardless of the gender of a person. Gender is no more or less important than a million other factors in determining somebodies personality.

Right! And suggesting that understanding another person is impossible or "too hard", whatever the reason, means not putting in the effort, which means character relationships (and real-world ones) end up being selfish and/or superficial, and they suffer for it.

14
Wow, this topic kind of exploded! Thanks for all the recs, everyone. Some I have read and adore (like His Dark Materials and Flowers for Algernon), others are on my TBR (NK Jemisin), and the others I will look into. One thing I'm sure of, I'll never run out of worthwhile fiction to analyze.

It'll probably be a few weeks until my first post (on beauty, monstrosity, and disability) goes up because I have some supplemental research to do, but for those who are interested, I'll be posting it for sure on my tumblr. I'm currently building a new official website (the one listed in my sig is a Wordpress.com site, which only allows so much flexibility), so I'm not sure what the blog situation there will be yet.

15

I love Animal Farm and 1984! It's funny, though, I've never thought of Animal Farm as being speculative fiction, because it's always come up in conversations about classics--but I wonder if it might fall under magical realism's definition.
It is speculative, though, or at least I see it that way and probably will until I meet a talking pig. The Master and Margarita is a classic of the genre. It inspired Mick Jagger to write Sympathy for the Devil. I'm a doing a series on my blog (http://purpledovehouse.blogspot.com) on my favourite fantasy books and authors from A - Z. Bulgakov and The Master and Margarita are there under the B's.
A lot of Pratchett's work contained social commentary in amongst all the hilarity.

Love Pratchett, RIP. I finally got my husband to start reading Good Omens the other night.

We've discussed Ancillary Justice on this site off and in, and I seem to be in the minority who really liked it a lot. It doesn't address social issues directly but sideways and uses feminine pronouns for everything in order to indicate a society without gender distinctions.

Ancillary Justice has definitely been on my radar for awhile! I'm hoping to get to it soon. My father-in-law really liked it, and he's a huge sci-fi fan.

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