Read Around the Rainbow | Writing Advice I Take With a Grain of Salt

ReadAroundTheRainbow

It’s Read Around the Rainbow time! Every month, we’re a group of authors who blog on the same topic, and this month, we’ll be talking writing advice. More specifically, writing advice we take with a grain of salt.

I’m gonna go with plotting here.

The surest way for me to get a story to forever remain a WIP is to have an outline. I see all these gurus out there saying that ‘Yeah, I was once a pantser too, but…’

Traitors, the lot of them! 😆

I often have a scene floating around in my head, something that gets my mind creating a world or a character. It’s happened that I’ve written stories where I had a scene that sparked my inspiration, but I never wrote the scene, because when I started putting words on the screen, they took me somewhere else.

I don’t do character sketches. I don’t know what they were like as children, and if it isn’t important to the story, I don’t know where they went to school, what their mother’s name is, or what their favourite foods are.

I know their hopes and dreams and their deepest fears, but I don’t need to outline to know that. It’s all in the way the character is built, the push and pull, and the reason why they do or say what they do.

And let’s be honest, there is no greater high than when it all falls together. When that little detail you don’t really know why you added in scene two all of sudden is important toward the end. Why would I ever want to kill that joy by planning it beforehand?

mapI’m not saying don’t plot if that works for you, to each their own, but don’t buy the guru’s gospel if it isn’t for you. Being unable to plot does not make you a bad writer.

And please, not all stories need to have a break-up scene in the third act.

I could rant about the break-up scene if you want because it’s so stupid. So stupid. And more often than not, it doesn’t fit with how the character is acting up to that point. The story doesn’t get better because the characters break up, BUT if you outline according to romance novel praxis, *they* will tell you to have a break-up scene at the end of the third act.

Oops, I feel myself turning ranty 😆

What I take with a grain of salt, is everything that has something to do with plotting. What do you take with a grain of salt?

Check out what the others have to say about ignored writing advice!

Addison Albright

Nell Iris

Holly Day

Ally Lester

Amy Spector

Ellie Thomas

K.L. Noone

Read Around the Rainbow | Favourite MM Romance Reads with Yellow/Orange/Red covers

ReadAroundTheRainbow

It’s Read Around the Rainbow time!!! 🥳 Every month, we’re a group of authors who blog on the same topic. Since it’s September, and we’re all in the northern hemisphere (I feel we’ve failed a little there), it’s autumn. To celebrate this best of all seasons, yes, it is! Without a doubt, the best season 😁. We’ll recommend some books with yellow, orange, and red covers 🍂

Over at Pinterest, I have boards where I’ve pinned books with a specific colour on the cover. I’ve mostly stopped doing it now, but if you’re ever on the lookout for a book with a specific colour on the cover, have a look.

I thought I’d do one yellow, one orange, and one red cover. I might have to argue the colour, we’ll see LOL

A Case of Possession

A Case of Possession is the second book in the A Charm of the Magpies series by K.J. Charles, and it’s obviously a yellow cover – yes, it is! Right there in the middle, it’s clearly yellow 😆

I’m assuming most of you have read it, but if you haven’t, do! This is one of my favourite series but start with the first book, The Magpie Lord.

A Case of PossessionMagic in the blood. Danger in the streets.

Lord Crane has never had a lover quite as elusive as Stephen Day. He knows Stephen’s job as justiciar requires secrecy, but the magician is doing his disappearing act more than seems reasonable—especially since Crane will soon return to his home in China. When a blackmailer threatens to expose their illicit relationship, there’s only one thing stopping Crane from leaving the country he loathes: Stephen.

Stephen has problems of his own. As he investigates a plague of giant rats sweeping London, his sudden increase in power, boosted by his blood-and-sex bond with Crane, is rousing suspicion that he’s turned warlock. With all eyes on him, the threat of exposure grows. Stephen could lose his friends, his job and his liberty over his relationship with Crane. He’s not sure if he can take that risk much longer. Crane isn’t sure if he can ask him to.

The rats are closing in, and something has to give…

https://books2read.com/ACaseOfPossession

Camp Hell

Camp Hell is the fifth book in the PsyCop series by Jordan Castillo Price, and again, I don’t think anyone has missed this series, but if you have, they’re now in KU. I think. I’m in Sweden, so KU isn’t available for me, and therefore I don’t pay attention, but I saw JCP post about it on social. So if you’ve been holding off because you read your books through KU, now’s your chance! And orange, clearly orange 😄

Camp HellVictor Bayne honed his dubious psychic skills at one of the first psych training facilities in the country, Heliotrope Station, otherwise known as Camp Hell to the psychics who’ve been guests behind its razorwire fence.

Vic discovered that none of the people he remembers from Camp Hell can be found online, and there’s no mention of Heliotrope Station itself, either. Someone’s gone through a lot of trouble to bury the past. But who?

Amazon

The Duality Paradigm

The Duality Paradigm is the first book in the Blood and Bone Trilogy by Lia Cooper. I’ve been meaning to reread this. I read it when it was fairly new and loved it, and I meant to read the rest in the trilogy, but… Series is a hassle. And now I’m in a the-did-I-love-it-because-I-was-in-the-mood-for-that-kind-of-story state, or is it worth a reread? Last I checked it was free, and the cover is obviously red 😊

The Duality ParadigmEveryone knows magic users and werewolves are intrinsically diametrically opposed…

Seattle Police Detective Ethan Ellison, born into a long line of Quebecois magicians, leads a fairly unassuming life working Theft and consulting on magical misdemeanors. He’s spent eight years building a life for himself in Seattle, far from his father’s shadow. He works hard, lives under the radar, and fucks whoever catches his eye.
Detective Patrick Clanahan, beta-heir to Pack McClanahan, is a tightly wired bundle of rage and guilt, still trying to come to terms with the murder of his last partner.
When a human woman is murdered in werewolf territory under suspicious circumstances, Ethan is reassigned to worked the case with Clanahan in the hopes that he’ll be able to balance out the wolf’s rougher edges.
Too bad they mostly just rub each other the wrong way.

This is the first of three books in the Blood & Bone Trilogy.

https://books2read.com/Duality

So that’s my autumn palette for you. No huge surprises perhaps, but…

Check out what the others are recommending!

Nell Iris

Ellie Thomas

A.L. Lester

Amy Spector

Addison Albright

Holly Day

Lillian Francis

Read Around the Rainbow | What are your top three non-romance reads?

It’s time for the monthly Read Around the Rainbow post! If you haven’t read one before, we’re a group of authors who blog on the same topic once a month. You’ll find links to everyone’s post at the bottom.

ReadAroundTheRainbow

What are your top three non-romance reads?

This month, we’re doing a list post with our top three non-romance reads. I have a problem. When I sat down to think about what to write for this post, I realised I only read romance – not only. I might read a few mysteries without any romance in them or urban fantasy without any romantic subplot. But 99% of everything I read is romance.

I read some non-fiction too. Mostly relating to writing craft or book marketing, but also about chickens and gardening.
And being a teacher, even though I haven’t taught a class in almost thirteen years, has the importance of reading ingrained in me, so we read to our kids every weekday. At weekends they don’t have a set bedtime, so we don’t read then, but every weekday hubby or I read a chapter or two aloud. And kids’ books aren’t romance, so maybe 99% is an exaggeration, but not by much.

I don’t have a top three, but I’ll mention three books/stories that I come back to.

En hjältes död by Pär Lagerkvist

FallingI googled and I can’t find a translation for this story, but it’s one of those I read when in school, then again when I studied to become a teacher, and then I had my students read it. En hjätes död is directly translated as A Hero’s Death. It was released in 1924, and it’s 638 words long.

638 words, five paragraphs, about a town where to entertain the inhabitants, they pay a young man to balance on the church spire and fall to his death. The whole town is excited and even a little proud of the event. Then the day arrives, people gather around the church, and the young, healthy man falls to his death. He gets paid, of course, since it was the deal, but the inhabitants’ mood changes quickly. The excitement dies as soon as the man does, and they’re all a little disappointed, and some question if it wasn’t just a waste of a life.

It’s so brilliantly written, and I often refer to it in my everyday life.

Pär Lagerkvist got The Nobel Prize in 1951.

My Mother Never Dies by Claire Castillon

I’ve read this in Swedish several times, but the original is in French. It’s a short story collection of 19 stories. One is more disturbing than the other. These stories turn me inside out. They’re grotesque, anxiety-inducing, and thought-provoking. They’re all about a mother-daughter relationship, and the title lies (though the Swedish and French title is Insect). Some of the mothers die.

I have a physical reaction to some of these stories, mostly revulsion, and yet the book is dedicated to Castillon’s mother. And she might have a completely sane and loving relationship with her mother but seeing it there makes me laugh.

4520788Nineteen stunning, disturbing short stories delve into the complex relationship between mothers and daughters.
In My Mother Never Dies, the literary provocateur Claire Castillon dissects the darkest aspects of the relationship between mothers and daughters. A woman tries so hard to be friends with her daughter that she begins to revert to her own adolescence; another woman finds her mother engaged in an illicit affair with a man they both know too well; a daughter rattles off all the reasons why she’s disgusted with her invalid mother but realizes through her haze of teenage hatred that she is losing the only person who tells her the truth.
Stunning, shocking, unflinching, and ultimately tender, My Mother Never Dies forces us to look at the worst and best of mothers and daughters. Like the work of Miranda July and A.M.Homes, Castillon won’t let us avert our gaze from the terrible and true any more than from the beautiful and true— because it all reveals the depth of our need for each other.

Handbok för köksträdgården by Lena Israelsson

Handbok for KöksträdgårdenSo, this is a gardening book that has just about everything, and I’ve read it from cover to cover, and I look up things in it all the time. Directly translated the title is Handbook for the Kitchen Garden, so pretty straightforward. I don’t expect anyone of you to have much use for it. It’s in Swedish, and all planting dates etc are with a Nordic climate in mind, but it’s one of the books I’ve read the most times, so…

Don’t forget to check out which non-romance stories the others like to read!

Nell Iris

Fiona Glass

Amy Spector

Ellie Thomas

Addison Albright

K.L. Noone

Lillian Francis