It’s Monday! Enders, The Man In The High Castle, Eve: The Awakening, You Are A Writer

Enders, by Lissa Price

51J+favcB4L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_I loved both of the books in this series. They were very creative and entertaining. I must admit, through both of them I had a fear that the masked villain would turn out to be a certain character. It would have not only ruined the entire series, but it would have been incredibly cliche. Thankfully, the author chose not to go that direction. I really liked the way she wrapped up everything neatly by the end of the book but still left it open for a sequel. When I met her, she hinted that there might be at least one more on the way and I’m really hoping it’s true.

 

 

The Man In The High Castle, by Philip K. Dick2016-12-19-1482180717-9274817-themaninthehighcastlepaperback

I know I said I wouldn’t talk about this one until I’d finished it. Well, I finally forced myself to sit down and do just that and I have to say, the ending was just as underwhelming as the rest of the book.

Spoilers Below.

If you don’t already know, The Man in the High Castle takes place in a world where the axis powers won world war two. It basically chronicles the lives of several people living in this world. It deals with a lot of the politics of a German/Japanese occupied America. In this world, there is a book written by a reclusive author that describes a world in which America had won the war (How meta). One of the characters is on a quest to find this author so she can ask him questions about it. When she finally reaches him, he reveals that GASP America actually did win the war, Unfortunately, it’s just left at that. No explanation of how Germany convinced everyone that they had actually won or whether it’s actually a parallel dimension or what.

End of spoilers.

Again, I hate to disparage such a legendary sci-fi writer, but this one just didn’t do it for me. At least I can say I’ve read it.

Eve: The Awakening by Jenna Moreci

415Vh64vDoL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_I’ve been wanting to read this one for a while. I follow Jenna on YouTube. She’s full of great advice on the writing craft and just living life as a writer. She’s one of the people who inspired me to start my own channel.

I’ve just started reading this one so I wish I could tell you more about it, bu I know this much. Eve lives in a futuristic California and is what’s known as a Chimera. Not like the greek myth, but a new stage in human evolution. From what I can see so far, she has the power of telekinesis. I can’t wait to get further into it. So far, it’s as amazing as its author,

 

 

 

You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins41Qa4s+C1LL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_

What can I say? The title of this book speaks for itself. Full disclosure, I’ve read this one before, but I had to re-read it after a brief bout of self-doubt. Jeff’s book always makes me feel more confident in myself as a writer. I highly recommend it. Especially if you find yourself getting sidetracked with all the other little things that come with being a writer.

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll see you all again on Wednesday.

As always, don’t forget to stalk me online.

www.justinmkelly.com

Check me out on Facebook

On Twitter @JustinMKelly1

My Amazon page, in case you want to read more

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I also post a copy of this blog on Tumblr

It’s Monday! Starters, Enders, The Man In The High Castle, 5000 Words Per Hour

Starters, By Lissa Price

13512021I finished this one just after my post last week and I have to say, this book was great. I’m a big fan of dystopian YA in the first place, but this put a very interesting spin on the genre. One of the big questions in any YA book is, “Why does the main character have to deal with this? Why doesn’t she go to a parent/police, etc.?” In this series, the world is divided into starters (the young) and Enders (the elderly). All the middles are dead. If you’re an unclaimed starter, you have basically no rights. Most enders see you as street trash. Starters aren’t allowed to have jobs to ensure Enders don’t get forced out of theirs. Basically, enders are seen as the enemy. I’ll stop there, but I highly recommend this book. Also, I know I’ve said this before, but Mrs. Price is an absolute sweetheart. I got to meet her last summer at Pitchfest/Thrillerfest and she was very helpful and supportive.

Enders, by Lissa Price

51J+favcB4L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_ If you haven’t guessed already, this is the sequel to Starters. It continues the story of Callie and Michael, and adds a few new characters. Her, and a group of other metals, (starters with chips in their heads) are being rounded up by various factions looking to use them for their own nefarious purposes. I don’t want to give too much away, because I want you to read it for yourself. Also, because I’m only about three-quarters of the way through, and although I have some ideas, I don’t know for sure how it ends yet.

If I do have one criticism for the series, it’s this. I know Callie’s a teenage girl, but she seems to have a bad habit of developing feelings for every guy her age she spends any amount of time with. A bad idea in a world where it seems everyone is out to use her. Still, that’s a minor criticism and I have to admit that, though thankfully not every teenage girl is like that, it is a character trait I’ve seen in some. Just my two cents.

Still, I’ve loved both books so far, even though at times, you just want something to go right for her.

One last thing. The tagline for this book is “The end is about to begin”. However, Mrs. Price signed my book and gave me a possible secret message. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

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The Man In The High Castle, by Philip K. Dick

2016-12-19-1482180717-9274817-themaninthehighcastlepaperback I have made absolutely no progress on this one. It’s been relegated to a “bathroom book”. It’s there in the bathroom for me to read if I should forget my phone or the book I’m reading. I really need to just buckle down and finish it, but quite frankly, I’m bored with it at this point. Still, I’ve never been beaten by a book, so I will finish it. Maybe something extremely exciting will happen in the last few pages, but I’m not going to hold my breath. This is one of the rare cases where the movie (okay, t.v. series) is better than the book. I won’t post about this one again until I finish it.

5,000 Words Per Hour: Write Faster, Write Smarter by Chris Fox

51gqAWVUU4L I finished this one fairly quickly. While it was a short read, it was very informational. As I expected, a lot of the speed in writing comes from extensive preparation. As I’ve stated before, I’m a pantser. I’ve tried outlining in the past and have had no luck with it. I find if I know too much about my story, I get bored and eventually lose interest. Still, this book makes me wonder if I should try it once more. I still don’t ever expect to get to five thousand words an hour (I’m just not that fast a typer.) Even if I can get to three thousand a day, I’d actually finish projects. I’m starting to think if I had a basic roadmap, I might not get lost so much. I’m going to try outlining in “Daughters of the Flame”, the sequel to my short-story Bloodmoon, and second in the Children of Pyrelia series.

So that’s it for today. I’ve included Amazon links to all of the books above just in case you want to check them out. Just click on the title, or the cover and it’ll take you there.

www.justinmkelly.com

Check me out on Facebook

On Twitter @JustinMKelly1

My Amazon page, in case you want to read more

And on Goodreads

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I also post a copy of this blog on Tumblr

It’s Monday: Starters, The Man In The High Castle, part 2

Okay. I’ve been slacking on my reading. The truth is, between regular blogging, relaunching my vlog, and all the other social media duties involved with getting my name out there, not to mention finding time to actually get words on the page, I have been really neglecting my reading. Funny how I’ve had time to watch several movies and binge-watch Hawaii Five o. I really need to get my priorities straight.

Anyway.

Starters, By Lissa Price

13512021 So far, I’m loving this book Every time I pick it up, I don’t want to put it down. Unfortunately, it seems something always forces me to. Without giving too much away, I just got to a pivotal scene and things are about to get real. I almost can’t wait to finish this one so I can devour the next one. Also, a little birdie hinted to me that there might be a third on the way.

The Man In The High Castle, by Philip K. Dick

2016-12-19-1482180717-9274817-themaninthehighcastlepaperback I have to admit, I’m still struggling with this one. As much as I want to like it because it was written by one of the masters of sci-fi, I’m just not getting into it. To its credit, it does seem that something is finally going to happen. Unfortunately, I’m over 80% through the book, so it had better happen fast. At this point, I refuse to give up, but I almost feel like I’m back in high-school and being forced to read a fairly dry textbook.

5,000 Words Per Hour: Write Faster, Write Smarter by Chris Fox

51gqAWVUU4L After reading the first book in the series in the course of a night at work, I quickly moved on to this one. I’ve only begun reading it, but so far it’s filled with valuable information. For me personally, I don’t know if I’ll ever get to 5,000 words per hour because his method is rooted in diligent plotting and I get bored if I know too much about my story. Even if I can reach one or two thousand words an hour, I’d be a happy man. If you like to plot, I highly recommend this series. He also has a ton of informational videos on YouTube.

That’s it for today. Sorry for the short post, but with the exception of the nonfiction title, I said pretty much all I had to say last week. Hopefully next week I’ll be back on track and I’ll have new books to tell you about.

As always, don’t forget to stalk me online.

www.justinmkelly.com

Check me out on Facebook

On Twitter @JustinMKelly1

My Amazon page, in case you want to read more

And on Goodreads

And on YouTube

I also post a copy of this blog on Tumblr

It’s Monday! The Man In The High Castle, Starters

Hey guys.

This is the first post of this type for me. On Mondays, I’ll fill you in on what I’ve been reading. My girlfriend turned me on to this and I’m hoping it’ll help keep my reading on track.

I’ll start with, The Man In The High Castle, by Philip K. Dick2016-12-19-1482180717-9274817-themaninthehighcastlepaperback

I know it’s blasphemy, but I’m having a really hard time getting through this one. I started reading it after watching the Amazon series of the same name. (I highly recommend watching it if you have an Amazon Prime account.) Unfortunately, the book isn’t nearly as exciting as the show that was adapted from it.

Like the show, the book is about what the world would have been like had the Nazi’s and Japan won the war. Unfortunately, save for a few characters, that’s about where the similarities end.  I’m over two thirds through it and to be perfectly honest, with the exception of one brief scene, I’m still waiting for something to happen. Maybe I got my hopes up too high after watching the show, but the book so far is just what it appears to be on the face. An alternate history of the United States. Other than that, there’s no real sci-fi element so far. I’m afraid if something big doesn’t happen soon, it’s not going to.

I’m also reading Starters, By Lissa Price.

13512021

I’m not very far into this one yet, but so far it’s fascinating. A year after the war wiped out all adults, all that are left ate the young (starters) and the elderly (enders). The enders have taken all the wealth and left the starters with nothing. Callie is a starter looking out for her little brother. Since the laws don’t allow anyone under eighteen to take a job, she resorts to the only way people her age are able to make money. She rents out her body to enders looking to relive their youth. Now, I’m not talking about prostitution. She signs with a company that’s developed a way to let enders take control of her body and live as a young girl for a time. I don’t want to give too much away, but an elderly person borrowing her body is just the beginning of her problems.

As a side note, I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Price in person at Pitchfest where she coached me before I pitched to actual agents and she was incredibly sweet and helpful. I ended up buying two copies of both Starters and Enders, the sequel for her to sign. One set for Shannon and I, and another for a friend of ours who had loved Starters.

Finally, for my nonfiction selection, I read Lifelong Writing Habit: The Secret To Writing Every Day by Chris Fox

51c7IluauNL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

It’s been an invaluable resource for helping me get organized and write every day (okay, okay, not every day, but I’m getting there). I’m slowly becoming more productive too, although I don’t think I’ll ever get to the five thousand words a day he says I can. I have a feeling those kinds of numbers only come with meticulous outlining and I’m a dyed in the wool pantser. To be honest, the main reason I write is for my own entertainment and I lose that if I have more than a basic idea of what might happen in the story.

Still, a lot of his advice still has value for a stubborn old pantser like me. Thanks to Mr. Fox, hopefully you’ll soon start seeing lots of new work from me. I’m reading his 5,000 Words Per Hour: Write Faster, Write Smarter, next. Hopefully he can get me to at least three thousand words a day.

Well, that’s about it for today. Come back on Wednesday for the rest of my adventures at Thrillerfest and, if there’s time, loose in the city.

As always, check me out at…

www.justinmkelly.com

Check me out on Facebook

On Twitter @JustinMKelly1

My Amazon page, in case you want to read more

And on Goodreads

And on YouTube

I also post a copy of this blog on Tumblr