Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Dragon Charmer

The Dragon Charmer
by Jan Siegel
Why I picked it up: It was the sequel to Prospero's Children
My rating: 6/10

This book takes place twelve years after the events of Prospero's Children and Fern is preparing to marry a man a lot older than her and everyone knows she doesn't love her, even Fern. Fern has refused to use her magic for the last twelve years, causing her powers to build up. She is noticed by ancient and sinister forces who want to use her for their own gain and she has to use all her charm to out manipulate them and return to her own world before it's too late. Oh, and there's this dragon who needs to be charmed.

I was tempted to give this book a higher rating. Mainly I'd say the first half of the book was a 5 and the second half was a 7 at least. In this book, Siegel decided to introduce the character of Fern's best friend (from university, I believe) named Gaynor. For the first half of the book, Gaynor was the main character before it switched back to Fern. Unfortunetly, I didn't like Gaynor from the start probably because I felt she was stealing Fern's fire. I found her boring and unnecessary and thought she would have been fine as a character with the same level of focus as Caracandal or her brother.

The title The Dragon Charmer refers to a man who can do just that and is a very minor character in the book. I really liked him and wished he was in it more. And seriously, Fern only falls in love with characters who are doomed to die! It's really annoying! I just want her to be happy. Maybe with the next book...
ps - Azmordis is getting old. I can only take it for so long having an ancient god saying how much he wants Fern's powers and never succeeding but never being destroyed. The Witch Queen is the final book in the sequel and I'm not entirely sure if I would have picked it up if I hadn't already bought it but I'm going to read it. Maybe some redemption? I've read the first chapter (I finished The Dragon Charmer about a month ago but took a reading break for essay focus) and Gaynor is still there. Looks like there's no getting rid of her!

Next book - The Witch Queen (sequel to The Dragon Charmer)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

How NOT To Write a Novel

I just finished reading this really great book called How Not to Write a Novel. It's written by two authors (Sandra Newman and Howard Mittelmark) who have the experience to tell you exactly what you're doing wrong. This book is a must for anyone who dabbles in writing, no matter the genre. As I went through the book, I was happy to note that most of the stuff didn't apply to me (at least I hope not...maybe I'm just too blind to realize it and that is my fault) but there were a lot of things I took away from it. The only thing I wished there was more of was the section on writing query letters. I feel that is my downfall. They should write a follow-up book on How Not to Write a Query Letter. I'm sure there's something like that out there though.

Here are some things I found useful.
  • Lose the background stories showing your character at 5, 10, 15 and then at the age they'll be for the rest of the novel. Start off in the present in the midst of the action. - This is one of my biggest problems in writing and probably the thing that struck me as the most important/relevant to me in the book. I always start off with the main character being born or showing events in their childhood but I can never get everything to flow together right so I end up working and reworking those scenes and I am never happy. I think I'll take this advice to heart and give it a shot.
  • Don't let a character observe themselves in a mirror or photograph to describe what they look like. Also avoid terms like 'pretty' and 'averaged size' and 'nice body'. It's all too vague and everyone has a different idea of what that means.
  • Avoid fight scenes at any point in the book in which the bad guy falls in a heap at the first blow from the protagonist. - I don't think I do this in any of my books but I'll double check just to be safe!
  • Very rarely use exclamation marks and if you do, only use it in dialogue that shows someone is shouting. - I tend to not put exclamation in my narrative voice but I might use them a little bit too much in speech. I'll make sure they're reserved for shouting. 
  • When describing a room or place, don't just give a bland inventory. Make sure you point out a few things that make that particular room belong to a specific person.
  • Don't be afraid of using "said." - I do use said a lot but I do have a phobia of the same word being used too many times in a row. I don't use ridiculous phrasings to replace it, just an occasional "cried", "shouted", etc.
  • Read your dialogue out loud to make sure it sounds like something someone would say.

Check out How Not to Write a Novel for lots of great other tips and some fantastic (aka horrible) examples to go along with it!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Book Review - Prospero's Children

Prospero's Children
by Jan Siegel
Why I picked it up: I don't remember why...I read it ages ago back when I was in high school. This year I realized there were two sequels out so I brought all the books back with me to Scotland and have begun rereading them!
My rating: 7.5/10

This book is about a sixteen year old girl named Fern Capel. When a distant relative of the family dies, he leaves his old country house to Fern and her family (Dad and younger brother Will). The family goes to the house to see what they need to do to sell it when the dad decides they should stay there over the summer and fix it up and eventually sell it. As soon as they move in for the summer, things start getting weird. Fern and Will meet old, powerful beings (both good (?) and evil) who urge them to find an old magical key that is thought to open a door somewhere. While Fern discovers her Gift, she and her brother struggle through their search racing to find it before their father's new girlfriend, Alison, does. Little do Fern and the others know that opening the door will bring them an ocean full of trouble.

When I look at this book for the second time when I was home for winter break, I couldn't remember whether I liked it or not. I was pretty sure I did but I did remember that it freaked me out a bit. I certainly remembered that correctly! There are a couple scenes in the beginning of the book that left me being like ooohhh I'm glad I'm not home alone tonight! As I read, I remembered quite a few things from the first part of the book but I forgot a lot of the major details which allowed me to enjoy it again. This book is thrilling and suspenseful. It is minutely darker than what I usually read but not that much. I should also mention that this book has to do with Atlantis. I didn't know where to fit that into the description. :) I definitely recommend it and can't wait to see what happens next...

Next book - The Dragon Charmer (sequel to Prospero's Children)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Book Review - The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
by Katherine Howe
Why I picked it up: It was on one of those recommended books tables at Borders. I was attracted to the cover so I picked it up (I completely judge books by their covers!).
My rating: 8/10

This book is about a Harvard graduate student named Connie who has just been nominated for PhD candidancy in Colonial American History and is advised by her professor to find an original source. But right after, her mother, Grace, contacts her and asks her to straighten out her grandmother's house over in Marblehead, Massachusetts to ready it for sale. The house has been sitting untouched for over twenty years since her grandmother died and to Connie's dismay, it's falling apart. While juggling the nagging of her mother to finish the house and the nagging of her professor to find a topic/source, Connie finds a mysterious key inside an old Bible in the house and inside that key is a slip of paper with the words 'Deliverance Dane' written on it. Connie begins research to find out who Deliverance Dane was and eventually to find the mysterious book attached to her name.

I really enjoyed this book. I read it quite quickly (about a week or so which is quick considering the reading I'm also doing for my classes) and I only picked it up at night. It caused me to stay up until 2-3 in the morning because I didn't want to put it down! At first I wasn't sure I was going to like it but once Connie headed to Marblehead I found myself liking it more and more. The book also had flashbacks to the 1690s and 1700s following Deliverance Dane and a few generations of her family. It was extremely well written - Howe had obviously done her research on colonial America and all the traditions associated with it. There was one thing that bothered me. Whenever I read historical novels (they're becoming an increasing favorite of mine and I hope to write one myself one day - including one associated with the Salem Witch Trials just like this) I always am tempted to look up the person in Wikipedia just to see whether they are being accurately portrayed. I looked up Deliverance Dane and as I read the book, I already knew her fate. But Howe completely changed the ending of Deliverance's life (I won't say how if you want to be surprised). She could have chosen any of the Salem Witch Trials women but she chose Dane and changed her. When I write historical novels, I try to keep the big parts as accurate as possible (you know - birth, death, marriage, children, well known facts, etc). But it only miffed me a little bit and I would read another of her books for sure!

Next book to read - Prospero's Children (already read once years ago - rereading for the sequels).

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Book Reviews

Normally I would post a book review one at a time but I wanted to play catch up. You can see my usual updates over at Dianna the Explorer but I like to keep anything bookish over here.

The Help
by Kathryn Stockett
Why I picked it up: My mom read it for her book club and highly recommended it to me.
My rating: 9/10

In summary, the book is about a young white woman named Skeeter who wants to write a book about black help in the south. It shows how much effort she goes through to get interviews and to get women to open up and trust her. The novel is written in her point of view as well as two black women named Aibileen and Minny.

I apologize that my summary is so short. It's been a very long time since I read it and I can't remember all of the details but I know I thought it was amazing. It was beautifully written and perfectly displayed the balances between black and white perspectives.

The Heretic's Daughter
by Kathleen Kent
Why I picked it up: Recommended by a friend.
My rating: 7/10

In summary, the book is about the prosecution of Martha Carrier in the Salem Witch trials, as told by her young daughter Sarah. It starts out with Sarah and Martha, both strong willed females, clashing constantly but it then follows their relationship as Martha is accused of being a witch, tried, and hung although completely innocent. While this story has the Salem Witch trials as a background, it's really about the bond between mother and daughter.

Again, this is a book I read quite a while ago. My old colleague, Amy, had recommended it to me. I read it and recommended it to my mom, who then used it for her turn during her book club she enjoyed it so much. This is a great, fast read about a horrible time in our nation's history were dozens were wrongly accused during a time where people were really just scared of the world they lived in and blamed anything bad on the people around them.

Book 1/8 of the Outlander series
by Diana Gabaldon
Why I picked it up: Recommended to me by a family friend since I was about to move to Scotland.
My rating: 6.5/10

In summary, the book is about Claire Randall, a nurse in the 1940's who is transported back in time to the 1740's in the Highlands of Scotland. It follows her as she becomes tangled up in adventure and love, all the while trying to return back to her time where her husband, Frank, is waiting. Claire is tormented constantly by her growing feelings for Jaime Fraser, a young Highland warrior.

I thorougly enjoyed 99.6% of this book. I won't say the reason why I didn't like it but something happens at the end of the book that just soured my taste buds. I just felt like it really didn't fit in the book and almost made me not continue on with the series had the last few pages not restored itself and the first 600 pages been amazing. Yes, that's right. First 600 pages. Each book in the Outlander series is about 600-700 pages and there are 8 of them (the last one has yet to be published) so make sure you're up for the long haul if you're interested in reading them!

Dragonfly in Amber
Book 2/8 of the Outlander series
by Diana Gabaldon
Why I picked it up: I wanted to see what happens next after reading Outlander.
My rating: 7/10

This book starts off about 21 years after Outlander. You find Claire back in her own time (now the 1960's) and she has become a doctor with no Jamie in sight and you don't know why. Claire's husband Frank has died and she can finally tell her daughter, Brianna, the truth about her father. The story then flashes back to where we left Claire and Jamie back in the mid-1700s to find out what happened.

When I first read Outlander, I had just landed in Scotland so I didn't know where anything was. I started this book after I'd taken a trip to the Highlands and as I read this book, I realized I'd been to a lot of the places they talked about which made me enjoy it even more as I was able to envision everything. While I didn't enjoy the storyline of Claire and Jamie together in the second book as much as I did in the first book, overall I enjoyed it and liked the introduction of Brianna who will continue, I believe, to have a role in the upcoming novels. I liked it enough to get the third book, Voyager, which I'm holding off for a while as I read some other books I've had sitting around longer. I think that book will make me ultimately decide whether I continue with the series.

Book 3/3 of the Hunger Games series
by Suzanne Collins
Why I picked it up: I've read the first two and enjoyed them and they were originally introduced to me by my friend, Megan.
My rating: 8/10

I haven't posted reviews of the first two books, The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. Both are wonderful spins on the idea of a post-apocalyptic world in the future that has been divided up into 13 districts. Each has its own role to play in society. When the 13th district rebelled against the Capitol, war broke out and was crushed. As a reminder to society, every year each district has to send one boy and one girl to the Capitol to compete in the Hunger Games where they all must fight to the death with one victor. This book follows Katniss Everdeen as she volunteers to go to the Games when her little sister, Prim, is drawn from the lottery. I don't want to spoil anything or go into too much detail but in the second book, Katniss is again selected to go to the Hunger Games and in the third book, the districts break out in war against the Capitol. Amazing, original series. A bit dark for younger children but a must read.

A Matter of Magic
Two books in one - Mairelon the Magician and The Magician's Ward
by Patricia C. Wrede
Why I picked it up: Liked the cover in the book store so I picked it up.
My rating: 5/10

These two books take place in the late 1800s, early 1900s (can't remember exactly) in London. Kim is a 'waif' or a street-urchin and makes a living picking pockets. She becomes entangled with a street magician named Mairelon who she finds out is an actual wizard (apparently people know about wizards in this London which wasn't very clear at first). He asks Kim to become his apprentice and they go on a journey to clear Mairelon's name of a crime he has been framed for. In the second book, Kim is made Mairelon's ward and it follows her as she joins high society and trains to become a wizard.

I enjoyed the second book much more than the first. I wasn't too crazy about the first book - I found it rushed. The books are only about 200 pages each and the first book is really covering only a few days where all these events unfold in a matter of hours (and really it's not a bunch of events, it's a whole bunch of people getting together saying 'you did this and then I did this' 'and then I did this' 'oh I can't believe that happened, so this means that'. Not a lot of action - just talking. I wasn't crazy about it and to be honest, I wouldn't have continued with The Magician's Ward if it hadn't already been part of the book. I enjoyed it much more because the pace was structured better and everything didn't happen all at once. There was the nice 'roller-coaster' climax with the rises and falls in the plot and the big bang at the end where a lot of questions come about. However, if there were to be sequels, I'm not sure if I'd go get them.

The Constant Princess
by Philippa Gregory
Why I picked it up: Have read and enjoyed Gregory's books in the past
My rating: 6.5/10

I've read a few of Philippa Gregory's novels including The Other Boleyn Girl, Wideacre (the only one I didn't like), and The Queen's Fool. I plan on eventually continuing with The Boleyn Inheritance. She's a great author, giving an interesting spin on Tudor history. In this novel she follows Katherine of Aragon from a young age as she married Prince Arthur of England. In her history, Katherine (or Catalina as she is first known as) is in love with Arthur and when he dies early in their marriage, he makes her promise on his death bed that she will marry his brother Henry and carry out their plans for England as queen. Therefore, Katherine tells the greatest lie in history - that her marriage to Arthur was never consummated and she is still a virgin.

The book is primarily in third person with intervals in italics in first person from Katherine's point of view. I, at first, found these sections annoying because a scene would happen in third person and then it would happen again in first person but later on the scenes are usually not overlapping so I didn't mind it much. It's certainly not as...uh, raunchy as Gregory's (when compared to The Other Boleyn Girl and Wideacre) other books but I enjoyed it. It even coincided for a moment with a topic we were discussing in my European Studies core class about post-colonial Spain and how Spain had become an empirical power. The book only goes, pretty much, to when Katherine becomes pregnant with Mary.

I hope you find these book reviews helpful. Let me know if you read any of them! I'm going to try to post as I read them now. My next book will be The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane which I'm halfway through.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Book Review - Percy Jackson and the Olympians

I've been snowed in since Friday the 5th as the east coast around DC is pummeled with wind and snow. Friday - Saturday we got about 30 inches of snow and today we got another foot. Work is closed tomorrow as well so I'm starting to go crazy after a week inside the house! I've decided to do some minor book reviews on some of the novels I've read lately since I have nothing to write about my own writing other than the fact the I'm occasionally writing. I'm going to be a bit strict with my ratings because otherwise I would probably give almost everything I read a 9/10.

After seeing the new movie trailer for Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief over Christmas, I decided to read the series. Now I know I will automatically be disappointed with the movie but here it goes.

Please note, there may be minor spoilers but I will try to restrain myself!

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
Book 1/5 of Percy Jackson and the Olympians series
by Rick Riordan
Why I picked it up: Saw commercial for the movie trailer.
My rating: 7/10

In summary, the book is about Percy Jackson, a 12 year old boy who is a demi-god (half human, half god). The Olympians are real and they're located on top of the Empire State Building. His own father is Poseidon and he gets some pretty awesome powers to go along with it. Percy is found by Grover, a satyr who searches for half-bloods and brings them to Camp Half-Blood where they train to defend themselves because monsters LOVE to eat demi-gods. The main plot is that Zeus' master lightning bolt has been stolen and he thinks Percy's to blame. Percy has to travel, literally, to Hades and back to find the bolt and prove his innocence all the while uncovering something much more horrible.

Riordan started this series off with a bang. I loved the characters and voice (in first person) he created for Percy. It's cute, fun, and even made me giggle out loud at times. I think it's a great original storyline. The main problem I had with the story is how Percy could do so much when he was only 12. I, personally, like my main characters a little older but I'm sure Riordan just wanted to identify with his primary audience. It's just my personal peeve when children save the world (i.e. The Golden Compass). At least make them teenagers. The only series this hasn't bothered me in was Harry Potter (and I think if you liked Harry Potter and The Golden Compass books, you'll like this series as well).

Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters
Book 2/5 of Percy Jackson and the Olympians
by Rick Riordan
Why I picked it up: Liked book 1
My rating: 6.5/10

In summary, this book returns to Percy Jackson as he's entering the seventh grade. At his new school, he makes a new friend named Tyson who ends up being a Cyclops (and therefore his half-brother since Poseidon is the father of many Cyclops) and nearly blows it up during a monster attack. Percy is taken back to Camp Half-Blood where the campers are constantly under attack from monsters because someone has poisoned the mystical borders that protect the camp. Also, Grover's gone missing in his search for the lost god Pan and Percy has to find him. Percy and his friends go on a quest to travel through the Sea of Monsters (aka the Bermuda Triangle) to find Grover, save him from marrying a Cyclops, and bring the Golden Fleece back to Camp Half-Blood.

Of the five books, I would say this is my least favorite (not saying I didn't like it though!). I didn't think the plot was as good as the others but it does have a very nice twist at the end that I totally didn't expect. Percy, however, begins to get a bit on my nerves in this book. Really, the boy can be quite dense when it comes to mythological creatures. You'd think if you were a demi-god and monsters (who never quite die) were constantly after you, you'd read up on them a bit. I do have to admit, this book did continue to make me laugh, though. Grover was pretty funny!

Percy Jackson and the Titan's Curse
Book 3/5 of Percy Jackson and the Olympians series
by Rick Riordan
Why I picked it up: Book 2
My rating: 7/10

Percy is 13 when the goddess Artemis goes missing during her hunt for a legendary old monster. With Tyson working in the Cyclops forges at the bottom of the ocean in Poseidon's palace preparing for war, it's up to Percy, Annabeth, Thalia, Grover, and two of the Hunters of Artemis to find her before the Winter Solstice where she has to make an appearance to convince the other gods to take the threat of the Titans returning seriously. Otherwise, they'll all be doomed.

I liked this book because I thought it had an interesting plot and you began to see more into what the gods are like, which I enjoyed (although it kind of creeped me out that they had Artemis as a little girl). However, at this point I am beginning to get a bit tired of how Riordan portrays Percy's voice. Many times he goes "And little did I know I wouldn't be back there for a long time..." That just bugged me some because I'd rather the author SHOW it rather than TELL me ahead of time.

Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth
Book 4/5 of Percy Jackson and the Olympians series
by Rick Riordan
Why I picked it up: Book 3
My rating: 6.5/10

In this book, Percy (now entering his freshman year), Annabeth, Tyson, and Grover explore the underground Labyrinth created by the inventor, Daedalus. The time is ticking down on Percy's birthday clock as the gods wait for him to turn 16 and decide their fate. Kronos is going stronger by the minute and even Camp Half-Blood, under the protection of the Golden Fleece, isn't very safe anymore.

Again, I enjoyed this book like the others. I don't have anything particular to say about it that I didn't say about the others. It had a good voice, great humor, and nice originality but the minor things that bothered me before have not changed.

Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian
Book 5/5 of Percy Jackson and the Olympians series
by Rick Riordan
Why I picked it up: Book 4
My rating: 7/10

In the last book of the series, Percy and his friends must defend Olympus, and all of New York City, from Kronos and his army while the gods are distracted fighting Typhon, an extremely powerful Titan. All the main characters are reunited and, sadly, many perish in the battle (although in very PG ways suitable for children). The Great Prophecy comes to a close as Percy turns 16 and decides the fate of the Olympian gods.

I liked this book as a nice ending to the series. I thought it had the charm of the others and primarily good battle scenes. The only thing that disappointed me was how easily they defeated Kronos in the end (really, did you think they wouldn't?). It was very anticlimactic and quick. I would rather have that scene be dragged out than the numerous battle scenes around NYC.

Overall, I really enjoyed Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. It was a fun and easy read. To make a point, I read all five books in about a week! Most were accomplished in about a day or two. I think this is a great series for children and those young at heart looking for a good book to curl up and immerse yourself with. According to a note at the end of book five, it definitely appears Riordan will be writing more Percy Jackson books and I plan on reading them.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust

Aw, #2 came back this week (snail mail query with synopsis and the first 50 pages sent today, 1/17). It is not anything they wish to work with at this time.

There's still one out there (#3)! I know I shouldn't give up for now, but it's kind of hard not to.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Apparently the BBC reckons most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here. Instructions in case you are bored (and/or procrastinating) and want your own tally:

1) Look at the list and put an 'x' after those you have read.
2) Add a '+ ' to the ones you LOVE.
3) Star (*) those you plan on reading.
4) Tally your total at the bottom.
5) Put in a note with your total in the subject

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (X +)
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien ( )
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (*)
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (X +)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (X)
6 The Bible (X)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (X)
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell (*)
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman (X)
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (*)
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott (X +)
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy ( )
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller (*)
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (X)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier ( )
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien (X)
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk ( )
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (*)
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger(X +)
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot ()
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell (*)
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald (X)
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens ( )
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy (*)
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (X)
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh ( )
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (*)
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck (*)
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll (*)
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame (*)
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy (*)
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens (*)
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (*)
34 Emma - Jane Austen (*)
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen (*)
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (*) - HOW CAN THIS BE ON HERE WHEN # 33 IS CHRONICLES OF NARNIA??
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (*)
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres ( )
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden (*)
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne ( )
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell (X)
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (X)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez ()
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving ()
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins ( )
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery (*)
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy ( )
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood (X)
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding (X)
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan ( )
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel (*)
52 Dune - Frank Herbert (*)
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons ( )
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen (X +)
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth ( )
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon ()
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (*)
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley ( )
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon ()
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez ( )
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck (X)
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov ()
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt ( )
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold (X +)
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas ( )
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac ( )
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy ( )
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding ( )
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie ( )
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville (*)
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens (*)
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker (*)
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (X)
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson ( )
75 Ulysses - James Joyce (*)
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath ( )
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome ( )
78 Germinal - Emile Zola ( )
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray ( )
80 Possession - AS Byatt ( )
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (*)
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell ( )
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker (*)
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro ( )
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert ()
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry ( )
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White (X)
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom (*)
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (X)
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton ( )
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad (X)
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery ( )
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks ( )
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams ( )
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole ( )
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute ( )
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas ( )
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl ( )
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo ( )

Monday, March 2, 2009

# 6 is back

Query letter #6 came back to me in an e-mail a few days ago, letting me know they didn't feel the manuscript was right for them but it keep looking to find someone who will feel it's right.

I've still got three others out there and I'm working on other stories when I have the chance.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Rejection Updates

More rejections came in the last week! Well, technically only one...

#4 (snail mail query with synopsis sent 1/16) sent me back my query letter with a note that said they are not considering new writers at this time due to the economy. They were one of the agencies that didn't really have a Maybe they should invest in one so writers don't waste their money sending queries that won't be read.

#5 (snail mail query with synopsis sent 1/16) also came back saying they could not offer me representation at this time on a nice little card.

I still have three queries out there (one snail mail, two e-mail) but as of now, I don't have a plan on sending any more out anytime soon. I keep hearing that lots of agencies aren't accepting new writers right now and some publishing houses are closing down. Maybe I should just keep writing...But that would mean my blog would have to go on hiatus :( not that anyone reads it...