A Requiem for Newspapers

I hope the title I’ve put on this blog is premature at worst and nonsense at best. I very much fear it is not.

I am a lifelong newspaper reader. Reading the daily paper while I eat my breakfast is a vital part of my daily routine. I admit to being a Luddite in that respect. My news intake comes from my excellent daily paper, not from television, radio, or the internet. By personal preference I don’t have television reception. I do listen to the radio, primarily when I’m in my car. I love listening to NPR and getting their take on the news. However, I don’t listen much at home because during the day I’m busy at my computer, and radio is a distraction. I read while I’m eating a meal, and when I’m through working for the day, I relax with a good book. As for getting news on the internet, while I do occasionally, it is not my preferred method of catching up on the day’s events. It seems too scattershot, rather like a Jackson Pollack painting, spatters here and there. No, for me my newspaper is my window to the world. I’m sharing this bit of my lifestyle not particularly to recommend it. What works well for me won’t necessarily work for everyone. I’m sharing it to explain my deep concern for the health of newspapers locally and across the nation.

Tampa Bay Times

My own local newspaper, The Tampa Bay Times, is an excellent paper, winner of many awards for the quality of its reporting, and noted for the way its reportage casts light on problems such as the dumping of sewage into our bay, the poor job that schools serving our African-American neighborhoods are doing, the abuses suffered by prisoners in our privately operated prison system, the failure to protect children in our foster care system. These and other well documented and meticulously researched in-depth exposés have proven efficacious in pressuring out governing officials to take corrective measures. The newspaper provides us with a reliable measure of our community health.

Now, however, it is the newspaper that is ailing. The tariff President Trump imposed on newsprint from Canada has put newspapers across the nation on forced diets, raising the expense of producing the paper to the point of having to lay off reporters and other staff and reducing the number of pages they can afford to publish. With great alarm I see my wonderful Tampa Bay Times thinning as features are dropped and articles shortened, and I know this is happening not just locally but across the country.

Can it be accidental that a president who rails against “fake news” and calls the media “the enemy of the people” has instituted a measure that causes harm and in some cases sounds a death knell to newspapers that so often are the first to reveal behind-the-scenes machinations? Newspapers that courageously place their reporters in harm’s way to reveal facts some would prefer to remain hidden?

If newspapers fail, will their final act be to write the obituary of truth?

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About My Book Launch and the Weirdness of Facebook

ebook cover

I will be launching my new book, The Twisted Towers, tomorrow–Thursday, June 28, from 7 pm to 8:30 pm. It will be an online book launch, held on a special Event page on Facebook. You can find it by going to Facebook and putting into Facebook’s Search bar The Twisted Towers Book Launch Party!

Or, if you don’t generally use Facebook and don’t have a Facebook account you can go to Google and put into the Google search bar: Facebook twisted towers book launch and that will take you to it even if you aren’t  signed in to Facebook.

Now, here’s where Facebook weirdness comes in. When I go to Facebook and put into its search bar what I just put in my instructions in the first paragraph above, I don’t get sent to my launch party event page. I get sent to someone else’s. For the longest time I could only get to my launch party page in a very round-about way–by going to my author page, clicking on events and then seeing it listed under that topic and clicking on it there. Or even by clicking on the title The Twisted Towers Book Launch Party! in some one else’s post. So very naturally, I thought anyone would have that same problem with finding the page for the party.

No. It turns out that I alone have that difficulty. Why? Because when I put The Twisted Towers Book Launch Party! (Yes, the exclamation mark is part of the title), Facebook thinks that because that is my own page and I should know where it is, I must mean someone else’s launch party, so that is where it sends me–to a book launch party being put on by people I’ve never heard of.

But if you, dear reader, put the party title into Facebook’s search bar, you will be sent directly to the correct page. Now I ask you–How was I supposed to know this, and does this make any sense? And FB isn’t consistent. I can put my author page, E. Rose Sabin’s Books, into Facebook’s search bar and it takes me directly to my author page. It doesn’t send me to someone else’s. So why does it do that with an Event page?

Since it is impossible to find a Facebook technician to ask (does Facebook even have technicians?), I’ll never know the answer to these questions. Ah, well. Life does have its little mysteries. This, I guess, will forever remain one of them.

Anyway, do attend the party if you possibly can. And if you can’t make it at the appointed time of 7 pm-8:30 pm EDT, the postings will all remain on the page after the event, and you can visit at your leisure and see what I, my guest authors, and the attendees have posted.

The book is now available on Amazon in paperback and e-book formats.

 

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Book Launch Soon to Come

My newest novel, The Twisted Towers, an epic fantasy, will be launching soon. ebook cover

I’m planning an online launch party, and all my blog followers are invited. I want to welcome those of you who have signed up recently to follow this blog. I’ll be writing about a lot of things–raising monarch butterflies, the dogs in my life, the writing process, the revision process, novels I’ve read recently, grammar and how to get it right, and many other things.

This blog has the specific purpose of telling you about the upcoming online launch party. The date is June 28, and the party is scheduled for 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.  I’ll hold it on my Facebook author page, E. Rose Sabin’s Books. If you can’t spare the entire hour and a half, drop by for a few minutes at least during that time period and help me celebrate the debut of my newest book. (It will be number 17, but who’s counting?)

During that time period I’ll be answering questions about the book and anything else you want to know. You don’t have to send me questions in advance, but I hope at least some of you will. I very much want to have at least some questions to start off with, and then take others as the time moves on.

But I won’t just be answering questions and talking about my book. There will be videos, opportunities to win prizes, and general merriment. Sorry, no actual refreshments, but possibly virtual ones. I’ve invited five author friends to share a bit about their books and answer your questions to them. A couple of those authors always have marvelous recipes to share. Those are Carol J. Perry, author of the very successful paranormal Witch City Mystery Series, and Diane Sawyer, author of mysteries and her most recent a prize-winning thriller, The Tell-Tale Treasure. Diane may also have something to say about her next book, Trouble in Tikal, and her travels in Guatemala, where she gathered the material for that book. Incidentally, Diane and I are critiquing partners, so she gets to read my books before most anyone else, and I get to read hers, and the help we give each other makes us both better writers, though I should clarify that Diane was a successful author before I met her and well before we became critiquing partners.

Another attendee will be Nathan Van Coops, author of the excellent In Times Like These time travel series. He’s a real whiz when it comes to promotion, and I can’t emphasize enough how much help he’s been to me along that line. Everything I’ve learned about promotion I’ve learned from Nathan. He’ll be launching the latest book in his time travel series in his online launch party on July 3. I’m sure he’ll have something to say about that.

Another guest is the multi-talented Tenea Johnson, a poet, novelist, and musician, who does marvelous performances that combine dramatic readings from her novels,  short stories, and poems, often set to music she composes, plays and sings. If we’re lucky maybe we can get a short audio or video clip from one of those performances, though I can’t promise that at this point.

The remaining guest is Monique Desir, daughter of West Indian parents but born and reared here in Florida, who may share her unfortunate publication experience of her very fine vampire novel, Forbidden, which she intends to be the first volume of a series, and what she’s doing to overcome a temporary setback in her career. She’s working on a Young Adult novel that weaves together Haitian lore and the very real tale of a young teenager coping with a dying parent to produce an intriguing fantasy tale.

I’m just as excited about hosting these wonderful guest authors as I am about the advent of my own novel. I’ll be posting some brief excerpts from the novel just to give you a taste of what it’s about in a future blog.  For now, I want to urge you again to visit my web site, erosesabin.com, and sign up for my newsletter.

And above all, please put the launch date of Thursday, June 28. And send questions for me and/or for my guests to rose@erosesabin.com. I’ll try to answer every one of those for me–if not during the launch party, then in a later blog. I’m sure my guests will do the same.

 

Posted in Books, fantasy novels, Learning, Promotion, Publication, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What I Do All Day

I retired from teaching many years ago. Shortly before I retired I was getting my hair done in the beauty parlor and commenting to the beautician about how wonderful it would feel to retire. A woman who happened to be standing near us spoke up. “Oh, honey,” she said, “you don’t want to retire. You’ll be so bored with nothing to so all day.”

I don’t recall how I answered her. It was probably something to the effect that I didn’t plan on being bored. I’m sure I wasn’t as polite as I could have been. I hate being called “honey” by someone I don’t even know. But whenever I’ve since thought of that woman I’ve felt pity. How sad, to have nothing to do all day. Bored I have never been.

So what do I do all day?

Well, of course, as soon as I retired I began writing in earnest, spending most of my days sitting at the computer. I also spent a good bit of time researching markets for my writing. I was just getting started then, and I knew I had a lot to learn, so I also spent time reading books on writing. I took a noncredit creative writing course at what was then St. Petersburg Junior College. (It’s now St. Petersburg College, a 4-year institution.) I attended writing workshops and started going to science fiction conventions. The cons are great fun, but the best part was, and still is, the opportunity to meet and talk to published writers. (Now I can say, other published writers.)

As I wasn’t at that time making much money (okay, any money) from my writing, I applied to teach Spanish at SPJC as an adjunct. I taught evening classes, usually just one a semester, on a few occasions two, just enough to supplement my teacher’s pension. Of course that took more time than just the two or three hours per week spent teaching the class. I had lessons to plan and papers to grade. Although I enjoyed the teaching, I found myself resenting the time it took from my writing.

Writing is a talent, yes, to some degree, but it is mostly a skill that must be learned. Like any skill, it involves practice. It means writing stories, sending them out, accumulating rejections but refusing to give up, recognizing that the rejections mean you haven’t yet acquired sufficient skill. It takes years of hard work to become an overnight success. It may also take a few lucky breaks.

I’ve written previously about how I got my first novel published by Tor, a major publisher. I won’t repeat that story here. I will say that, flush with that success, I thought I had it made! The novel did well. I no longer had to teach classes. I went on to sell my second and third novel. I finished my fourth, was proud of it, sent it to my editor at Tor, and he loved it.

But …

I learned the hard way that the sales department, not the editor, has the final say on whether to publish or to reject a manuscript. I discovered that the second book had not done as well as my first, and sales of the third were also disappointing. So the sales staff said no to the fourth book. Then my wonderful editor left Tor.

Of course I was discouraged and disheartened by this turn of events, but I didn’t—couldn’t—quit writing. I had already written a prequel to the trilogy published by Tor, and I found a small press willing to publish it. I also wrote a sequel to that, which was published by the same small press. These books were all part of what I call my Arucadi Series, for the name of the country where these fantasy novels take place. But I felt the need to branch out. I wrote a science fiction trilogy, and sent it to the same small press (Double Dragon), which published it. I wrote the novel that became Seduction of the Scepter and got it accepted and published by a different small press. It did quite well. But I still had that fourth book, the book that followed the fantasy trilogy published by Tor. Knowing that no one was going to pick up the fourth book of a series, I decided to self-publish.

I’ve discovered that I like self-publishing. It no longer has the bad name it once had. It’s easy to do through Amazon’s CreateSpace. And it gives me far more control over cover art, interior styling, presentation, and pricing. So I don’t view it as a step down, but rather as a step up. The one drawback is that the author must do a great deal of promotion—no relying on a publisher to do it for you. I’ve had to learn how to promote my work, how to market. It’s been a big learning curve for me, and I’m still struggling with all the nuances and ins and outs of it.

So what do I do all day? I write blogs like this one. I write a newsletter. I post to my Facebook Author page (not as often as I should), I work on the novel in progress. I wrote letters to get my rights back to the three books Tor published, got them, and will be reissuing the books starting early next year. They’ll have new covers, and I spend time working with the cover artist to get just the right art work for them. I’m reformatting them—editing as I do so to tighten and clarify. Right now I’m editing and reformatting Mistress of the Wind, the first book of the Arucadi series. I’ll do Bringers of Magic next. Those were published by Double Dragon, and I don’t yet have the rights back to them, but I will have in November and December of this year. As soon as the rights revert, I’ll be ready to reissue the updated versions. Those will be followed by two self-published books, A Mix of Magics, published previously, and another I’m currently working on, and then the three books originally published by Tor, followed by that 4th book, redone. I’m also working on a novel to follow that one.

Does all this work pay off? Well, it’s starting to. I’m reaching more people with my newsletter and this blog, so more people are learning about my work. And …

Ta-da! I will celebrate the publication of my newest novel with an on-line launch party on June 28 at 7:00 p.m.! And you’re invited!

The novel is (as I’ve previously announced) The Twisted Towers. It’s an epic fantasy, currently a stand-alone, not related to the Arucadi books. (I may decide to do a sequel at a later time.)

Here’s the cover: ebook cover

Here’s what some Beta readers are saying about it:

The Twisted Towers is an exciting, delightfully engrossing read, with fully realized and fascinating characters, a plot that grabs hold and won’t let go, and a satisfyingly “Oh WOW!” conclusion!  You will plunge into this world of unexpected heroes and boo-hiss villains, high adventure and edge-of-your-seat wide-eyed action, and not want to leave – take a deep breath and JUMP! —Jean Brown, Beta reader and reviewer

Sabin delivers a breath of fresh air to the fantasy genre with a twisted plot that mirrors the winding setting her compelling characters trek through. A heart-pounding ride from beginning to end. –M. L.Desir, author of Forbidden

The Twisted Towersmany characters lead readers on a fascinating journey through the pages to the very end. Sabin’s mesmerizing vocabulary, details of daring escapades, and thoughtful differences between the old ways of a conquered kingdom and the new ways of the conquering Empire will give readers something to think about. –Diane Sawyer, author of The Telltale Treasure

 

Do you subscribe to my newsletter? If you don’t, please consider doing so. Visit my web site: www.erosesabin.com and right there on the landing page will be a place to subscribe by submitting your email address. Doing so will get you a free e-book right away, and other freebies will be offered later. And, of course, it will keep you up-to-date on What I Do All Day!

Posted in Books, Creativity, editing, fantasy novels, Learning, Promotion, Publication, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Promotional Ponderings

Like many authors I know, I love writing but hate the job of promoting what I’ve written. It takes time away from writing, and to be frank, I’m terrible at it. But when you’ve an indie author, you have to do it. No one is going to read your book if they don’t know about it.

So I’ve resolved to learn how better to promote my novels. I’ve taken a couple of courses, I’ve gotten advice from other authors, and I’ve read books on the subject. I certainly haven’t mastered it. I still have a lot to learn, but I am learning.

One of the things I’m doing is setting up a pre-publication promotional campaign, using a newsletter, a free e-book as a reward to those who sign up to receive my newsletter, beta readers who read the book in advance of publication and tell me what they think works in it and what doesn’t. And also to catch any typos or missed punctuation marks I overlooked in all my read-throughs. (Some always slip through. Gremlins at work!)

If you are reading this blog and would like to receive my newsletter and take advantage of the free e-book offer, here’s the link to my web site, where you’ll see on the opening page a place to sign up for the newsletter and be sent the link for the book:

erosesabin.com

Another thing I’m learning is the importance of categories and keywords to help people find my book. Categories are the broad, general slots into which your book fits. My next novel is an epic fantasy. I place it in that category, which is a large one, because general fantasy is even larger. And according to definition, epic fantasy is fantasy that deals with problems not just affecting individuals but a world or an empire. Many such novels involve wars or world-changing cataclysms. No wars are currently being waged in my novel, but it does concern a kingdom that, a couple of centuries earlier, was conquered and brought into an empire by force. Its people are suffering under cruel edicts and are rebelling against imperial rule. It’s protagonist is not part of that rebellion until she is dragged into it by her need to rescue her sister.

If after my book is published, you go to Amazon and put “epic fantasies” into the search bar, you’ll see a page with the most popular books in that broad category. My book won’t be on that list unless I get very, very lucky. It will be so far down in the pages of novels in that category, you’ll probably lose patience long before finding it. I could also use “fantasy adventure,” which might not be quite as broad but still too large for my book to be anywhere near the top.

That’s where keywords come in. Keywords are words people who read books like mine are likely to enter into either a search on Amazon or on Google. They can take readers to more restricted lists where my book has a better chance of showing up. When you publish on CreateSpace and/or Kindle Direct Publishing, you are asked to list keywords. For my upcoming novel, some of the key words and phrases I might use are “evil empire,”  “gods and goddesses,” “princess in peril,” “clever thief,” “street gangs,” “rebellion,” “impostor,” “towers,” “dungeons,” “unlikely heroine,” “secret passages,” commoner princess,” “evil ruler,” and–well, you get the idea. I must choose carefully, as CreateSpace, through which I will publish the print version of my novel, only allows five keywords, while Kindle Direct Publishing, which I will use for the electronic edition, allows seven. That’s still not many But there are other ways of getting keywords that Google will recognize. One is by using a subtitle. The title of my forthcoming novel is The Twisted Towers, and I’ve given it a subtitle: Where Gods and Mortals Meet. So a search for “towers,” “gods” and “gods and mortals” could lead readers to my book.

Book descriptions on the back of the book, on its Amazon page, and in other locations (such as this blog) can also provide search terms. I’ve learned the importance of having a catchy tag line to introduce a description. How’s this one? “A Princess in peril! A Kingdom in revolt! An Empire at risk!”

Or this? “She’s told that only the gods can help her save her sister. But Sefis doesn’t trust the gods.”

Or this? “Would you risk your life and the life of four strangers to save someone you love?”

Which of the above would be more likely to draw you in? Let me know.

I’ve also learned the importance of an eye-catching cover. Here’s the cover of the new novel:

ebook cover

Again, if you’d like to learn more about The Twisted Towers and my other work, both published and to come, do visit my web site, erosesabin.com and, to learn about those novels to come and get in on other offers, please sign up to receive my newsletter.

 

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Our Changing Grammar

As a fan of the original Star Trek series, I well recall Scotty saying on occasion, “Ya canna break the laws of physics, Captain.” Well, the laws of physics may be immutable, but the laws of grammar definitely are not. Rules of grammar I learned way back when I was in elementary school have changed. Having been thoroughly indoctrinated as a child in the importance of correct grammar, I refuse to change with them. But try as I might to stem the tide of grammatical change, I know I cannot.

Changes in language usage do not come suddenly. They are gradual, sneaking up on us like a thief in the night. And so it is that I find myself asking the following questions:

When did “than” become a preposition?

I learned that than is a subordinate conjunction. To the grammatically challenged, for whom that sounds like gobbledygook, a subordinate conjunction is a conjunction that connects a main or independent clause to a subordinate or dependent clause. Examples of subordinate conjunctions are although, as (more about as later), as if, as though, because, if, since, than, that, though, unless, whereas, and whether. Generally speaking, most people use most of these conjunctions correctly without knowing or caring what they are called. However, than presents a problem. As a conjunction it is followed by a clause that has a subject and a verb. But often after than, the verb is omitted. It is merely understood. In this sentence, for example, “My brother is much taller than I am” the word “am” is often omitted, so that the sentence is shortened to “My brother is much taller than I.” Now ’fess up. How many of you would say it that way rather than saying “My brother is much taller than me”? But me is in the objective case, being used as the object of a (gasp!) preposition. But “than” is not a preposition. Or at least it never used to be. However, through frequent misuse, following “than” with an objective case pronoun has become so common, that poor, innocent “than” has been transformed (dare I say transmogrified?) into a preposition.

When did “like” become a conjunction?

Did you notice that in the list of subordinate conjunctions above I did not include “like”? I left it out because it is not a conjunction. Not in my grammar, anyway. It is a preposition. It is followed by a noun or pronoun object of a preposition. (I refuse even to discuss the horrendous and totally meaningless insertion of the word “like” into any sentence anywhere and the utterly inane use of it with a form of the verb “to be” as a substitute for “said” as in “I was like ‘Get out of here!’”) Here’s an illustration of the use (or misuse) that I am referring to: “Watch carefully and do the work exactly like I’m showing you.” In that sentence “like” serves as a subordinate conjunction. But it isn’t a subordinate conjunction. This would be the correct use: “Watch carefully and do the work exactly as I’m showing you.” This distinction has, however, apparently fallen by the wayside. “Like” should be used before a noun or pronoun not part of a clause, as it is above. For example, “Watch carefully what I’m doing and do it like that.”

When did it become a symbol of politeness (or possibly faux humility) to substitute “myself” for the grammatically correct “me” or “I”?

I see sentences like this more and more often: “The Senate committee consists of Senator Jones, Senator Smith, Senator Black, and myself.” Or this: “My friends Rhonda, Joanne, Kate and myself attended the tea.” In place of “myself” in the first example, “me” would be correct, and in the second sentence “I” would be correct. Myself is a reflexive pronoun. Reflexive pronouns reflect back on the subject and must be in the same person as the subject. For example, “I excused myself from attending the tea.” In this case, the subject is “I” and the first person reflexive pronoun “myself” reflects back to “I.” It is something I do to or for myself. I don’t see why people think it’s more polite to use “myself” in the way it is used in the first two examples above. Perhaps they believe it is a demonstration of humility. Or possibly they believe it is more emphatic. There is a correct way in which “myself” or any other reflexive pronoun can be used emphatically, and that is as an appositive. So what’s an appositive? A noun or, as in the case of “myself,” a pronoun that follows and explains or limits the preceding noun. In this example, “Mr. Jones, my former employee, entered and cursed me,” “my former employee” is an appositive explaining who Mr. Jones is.  An example of a reflexive pronoun used in this way would be “I myself gave the order to fire the employee.”

Do people who talk about feeling “badly” about something not feel bad about using “badly” incorrectly?

No, I suspect they believe they are being conscientiously correct. However, unless they are complaining about an impaired sense of touch, which prevents their feeling some surface correctly, they are using an adverb in a situation that calls for an adjective. In a sentence like this—“I feel so bad about having to miss the party”—“feel” is a linking verb (also known as a copulative verb). (I heard that snicker.) A linking verb is a verb that links the subject of a sentence with either a predicate noun or a predicate adjective. A predicate noun is a noun that refers to the same person as the subject, as in “Mr. Jones is the principal of the school.” Mr. Jones and the principal are the same person. The verb “is” links the two. A predicate adjective is an adjective that follows a linking verb and modifies the subject, as in “That handsome young man seems vain.” The adjective “vain” modifies, or describes, the subject “man” just as “handsome” and “young” do, but unlike them, it follows the verb “seems,” which is another linking verb. Still another linking verb is “feel” when it refers not to the sense of touch but rather to a state of mind or an inward impression. Used in this way it must be followed by an adjective, not an adverb. Therefore, you should say, “I feel bad about not always using correct grammar,” or “I feel bad that you are angry with me.”

You should, but many of you will pay no attention whatever to all this. Why? Because you now see these particular items used incorrectly so often that you may believe them to be the norm. And that is indeed what they are becoming. So I shall continue to use the forms that I still regard as correct, but you may adopt the now common usage and simply say, “The laws of grammar have changed.” I won’t hold it against you, though I’ll cringe when I see it on your written page. If I were editing your work, I’d probably give these errors a pass.

Just don’t let me catch you saying, “I was like, ‘she hates me; I know she does.’”

Incidentally, I do edit manuscripts for authors. If you are interested, visit my editing website, www. arucadienterprises.com

Posted in editing, Spelling and Grammar, Writing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Mythic Fantasy? What’s That?

I posted on my Facebook author’s page a notice that I was temporarily removing the paperback version of Deathright from circulation in order to make some minor changes. The changes mostly have to do with formatting and do not represent any alteration of text beyond a few insignificant corrections. So what have I changed?

For one thing, I’ve rewritten the blurb on the back of the cover. I hope the new description will be more attention getting. Time will tell. That is the only change to the book’s cover.

For the book’s interior I rewrote the “About the Author” page at the end of the book. And I added a subtitle to the book’s title page. The subtitle is “A Mythic Fantasy.”

I did that for several reasons. One is that it provides another term for search engines to pick up on and might therefore generate a bit more traffic for my book. Another reason is that it tells the reader not only that the book is a fantasy but also what type of fantasy it is. A third is that although there are many sub-genres of fantasy, “mythic fantasy” is seldom named by those listing the sub-genres, and I feel that it should be. It’s certainly not that myth doesn’t play a prominent part in many fantasies. I think the term may be little used because even novels heavily based on myths can be placed in other sub-genres. Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, for example, can be classified as an urban fantasy, but it features Norse gods, placing them in a modern setting. Gaiman’s novel Anansi Boys is a wonderfully humorous novel that places gods from Caribbean mythology into a modern setting. Then there’s the YA series of Percy Jackson books, featuring Greek gods but also in a modern setting. These books are immensely popular, and they are unquestionably mythic, yet they are rarely referred to as “mythic fantasies.” In fact, if you visit Amazon.com through Google’s incognito mode and put “mythic fantasies” into the search bar, the first page of results will be almost entirely role playing games. Following that will be a large number of titles of books and magazines, both fiction and nonfiction, but not many true mythic fantasies. There are, of course, some that are most definitely mythic fantasies, one example being works of Charles de Lint based on Native American myths. And that’s another thing. Many writers find story material in the myths of other cultures less familiar to most of us than are the Greek and Roman myths and the Norse myths. Mythic fantasies may use Hindu, Chinese, Japanese, African, Jewish, and Christian mythology, to name just a few sources of the vast number available from around the globe.

Finally, I call Deathright a mythic fantasy because it is based on a myth of my invention but inspired by and patterned after the Egyptian myth of Isis and Osiris. The book’s prologue recounts the myth as a tale told by a village tale weaver. The novel brings that myth to life through the experiences of its protagonist, who is unwittingly made to play a part in the myth.

I hope readers of this blog who are not familiar with my books will take a look at Deathright. It should be back in print within a week of this writing. The Kindle edition will be revised about the same time. If you are familiar with the myth on which my novel is based, the influence of the myth of Isis and Osiris will probably be obvious. If you are not familiar with the myth, in it Osiris is slain by his brother Seth (or Set), who chops the corpse into pieces and strews them along the Nile, where Isis sends her sacred bird the ibis to gather them so that she can reassemble and reanimate her unfortunate spouse. As with most myths, there are many variations of the story, but in all of them what stands out is the love Isis bears for Osiris. It is that love that allows her to restore her husband. I borrowed only the basic elements of the myth in adapting it for my novel, those elements being the enmity between two brother gods, the slaying of one by the other, and the bereaved goddess determined to restore her slain spouse.

I should add that even those who are not enamored of myth as I am can read Deathright and find it a good time travel adventure or general fantasy tale. Knowledge of or interest in myths is not necessary. And please, if you read it, leave a review.front-cover

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