Thank Goodness for Trilogies (19/7/2010)

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The writing is still sharp, right to the point, without being excessively extravagant and just harsh and biting enough to give it some edge. … Bring on The Order of the Scales, I’m hungry for dragons eating useful food!

Yes, another review for King of the Crags, this time at A Fantasy Reader. A nice one, too. However, it was eclipsed by a piece of fanmail that showed up about the same time (sorry Fantasy Reader):

I read TAP a few months back and instantly fell in love with it, especially Princess Jaslyn and Snow. My only regret was that it was a first novel and that I thought I’d have to wait ages for the second to come out. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago where I suddenly found King of the Crags, devoured it as soon as I finished my exams … and then instantlyhopped online to see if there was going to be another part.

It’s 4AM over here as I write this and when I saw that it’s a trilogy, I squeed so loudly that my puppy woke up and started barking out of fright. YES! There is going to be another part and it’s going to be the end part so that I will finally know how it all turns out — and yet, despite my glee, I’m sad at the thought of everything ending.

I loved the implication that Jehal’s brother and uncle might’ve been lovers; one of the things that did make me sad about your book was that all the romances seemed to be heterosexual ones so I was thrilled to see at least a hint of something else. Lystra was amazing in King of the Crags, you really get to see her come into her own and most of all, I loved seeing so much more of how the dragons think and interact with each other. I love sentient dragons and there are so many dragons-peacefully-allow-humans-to-dominate worlds out there, it was fantastic to come across one where they are breaking free of their bondage and fighting back.

You built an amazing world, populated it with a rich range of believable characters and peppered everything with minor NPCs and backstory galore — speaking as a roleplayer, I would love to be in any game you GMed. XD

Can’t wait for Order of the Scales to come out!

As fanmail goes, there are so many things right with this. Articulate, heartfelt, and full of delight for some relatively little things that not one single review has mentioned (as well as a few bigger things that they have). It’s really nice to know that’s someone’s actually noticed things like Meteroa’s sexuality isn’t entirely straightforward, or appreciates a character like Lystra, who doesn’t get very much of the limelight, but who still has a crucial part to play. Mails like this popping up in my inbox make the whole day glow, they really do. Bad reviews suck, good reviews are great, but speaking for myself nothing beats a good piece of fanmail.

However, the most poignant thing, the reason I’m posting this, was the title of the mail: Thank Goodness for Trilogies. Usually I hear nothing but complaints about that. Sometimes from readers, more often from reviewers. Why oh why oh why does it always have to be trilogies. I’m not even that enamoured of them myself.

Well now I know the answer. It’s so we can make people wake up their puppies at four o’clock in the morning. THAT’s why we write trilogies.

Thank-you, anonymous happy reader.

How to Make an Author Happy (17/7/09)

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I get a bit of fanmail these days. Not a lot, but a bit. Latest example:

“Just a short note to let you know this was one of the best bits of fantasy i’ve read in a long time. A book with a proper villian and more plotting than Guy Fawkes. Hope there’s plenty more to come.”

Short and sweet, and you know what, it’s made my evening. Thanks Chris, wherever you are. The rest of you, next time you read a book you really like, why not tell whoever wrote it. You could make their day too.