Summer is upon us! I hope you're enjoying yourself. If not, I have the solution to your problem: Books. Read one, plan one, write one. Okay, so that may not necessarily make you enjoy your summer. You may end up wanting to pull your hair out, but it's worth a shot....
Maybe. You be sure to let me know.
Recommended books of the month:
Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry - a sequel to The Giver, I think this dystopian novel deserves to be read as a standalone. It's a really beautiful story of perseverance, learning to see your own worth, and fighting to make others see it, too.
Vader Down #1 by Jason Aaron - great single issue comic that displays the awesome scariness of Darth Vader. It tells the story of how Vader ends up alone and stranded on a Rebel-controlled planet. Great artwork and awesome portrayal of one of the best villains known to mankind.
The Thirteenth Child by Patricia Wrede - a fun story about a thirteenth child who believes her order of birth makes her evil and constantly fights against this fate. It's a mix of Little House on the Prairie and Harry Potter. Great for all ages!
St. Elmo by Augusta J. Evans - classic Victorian era novel with strong characters, very advanced vocabulary, and a thought-provoking storyline. You will walk away having learned some new words, a lot of history, and some great morals.
Superman: Red Son by Mark Miller - what would happen if Superman had been raised in Communist Russia? This comic book explores the possibilities! Extremely clever storyline and a great take on this beloved superhero.
If you have questions about the age appropriateness of any of these books, feel free to get in touch with me. I'd be more than happy to give a brief overview.
Writing Tip of the Month: Stop Comparing Yourself to Other Writers!
Have you ever looked at another writer's work and thought, "Wow, that person is amazing"? Of course you have. If you're anything like me (in which case, you have my sincerest sympathy), you've probably ended up chasing that thought with this one: "Crap. Why can't I write like that?"
It's inevitable. At some point, you'll end up comparing yourself to another writer and find yourself lacking. And that's completely idiotic. Here's why:
That story you just read? It was a finished product. It was something that another writer had polished enough to deem fit for others to see. You didn't see the hard work that was put into it. You didn't see what a mess it was at the start. You don't know how many times the writer trashed the idea or sat on the floor wearing a coffee stained t-shirt and glumly wondered why they couldn't be like their favorite author.
You saw this process for your own story, but not theirs, so of course theirs looks better. Just because your book isn't worth reading right now doesn't mean it won't ever be.
Besides, that author you envy? He (or she) isn't you. He doesn't have your experiences or your creative process or your writing style. No wonder your story looks nothing like his. Its yours. Uniquely and wonderfully and annoyingly yours. Nobody else on earth is capable of writing your story. So this book of yours has to exist in your words on your terms or not at all. That's pretty cool.
You can learn from other authors, but you can never be them. And, honestly, you shouldn't want to be like anyone else. I'd rather be known as the author Hannah Heath than that author whats-her-face who was try to emulate the writing of J.K. Rowling.
You're allowed to look forward at where you want to go and behind you to measure how far you've come. That's it. Don't look left. Don't look right. It doesn't matter what anybody else is doing. All that matters it what you are doing with your ideas and your abilities. You may not be exactly where you want to be, but just wait. Keep working. It will come.
In May I survived my Spring 2016 semester of college. I didn't go crazy or cause any of my professors to go crazy, so I think I did pretty well.
Because I have no school, I've been able to devote more time to rewriting my novel. It's been going surprisingly well. I took several months off from working on it and am glad to be back. I imagine it's kind of like how Moms feel when they come back from a women's retreat to their kid: They're just happy to hold it and be near it again because it's their baby and they love it. They kind of forget that is screams and keeps them up at night and is generally a pain in the butt that doesn't payoff for a long time...if at all. Okay, maybe that's a bit cynical, but you get the point.
Also, remember how in last month's newsletter I mentioned that I was going to write a post about disable characters? Well, I did. Kind of. I wrote one on how to write characters with chronic pain. I'll do another one on physically disabled characters sometime this month.
I went to Hogwarts. Yep. Finally got my letter. I'll be writing a post about it, but I thought I'd give you guys a sneak peek since you're so awesome:
Keep an eye out for the full post over at Constant Collectible. There will be more pictures and a lot of gushing and general excitement over the magical-ness of Hollywood's Harry Potter World.
Also coming this June: I'm looking to move into Phase Two of marketing Skies of Dripping Gold. How? I'm going to hunt down book reviewers. Okay, that sounded bad. Let's put it this way: I'm going to provide a free Kindle copy of my short story to interested reviewers in exchange for an honest blog and Amazon review. If you know of anybody who would be a good fit (even if it's you), then please feel free to get in touch with me via email, Facebook, Twitter, or owl. I'd love any suggestions you have!
I'm planning on reading a lot of indie books this summer. If you are a self-published author (or know somebody who is), please reach out! I'll see if it's a book I can add to my summer reading list.
"By Grabthar's hammer, by the suns of Worvan, you shall be avenged."
Think you know where this quote is from? Email me, send me a tweet (@_HannahHeath), or leave a comment on my Facebook page with the book/movie title. I'll release the answer on Facebook and Twitter at the end of the month, along with the number of people who got it right (The Nerds) and the number who got it wrong (The Newbs). Which group will you be in? Test your nerd powers! Use the Force, not Google.
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