In case you missed it, the Science Fiction Book Club chose A Kiss Before Doomsday as a featured pick. Which, as an author, is incredibly exciting.
To celebrate, I put together a behind-the-scenes special that the book club shared with their members this summer.
If you’ve ever wondered where writers get their ideas, read on.
Science Fiction Book Club: Spotlight on A KISS BEFORE DOOMSDAY
One of the toughest jobs a fantasy writer has is coming up with new and interesting monsters. When I sat down to write the second Dru Jasper book, I knew that the bad guys would be undead creatures. But today’s readers have seen countless undead foes. How do you put a brand-new spin on the idea? Continue reading
If you’re an author, what’s the easiest way to make a decent book cover?
Unless a publisher is creating the book cover for you, you can expect to spend anywhere from $100 to $1,000 hiring a designer.
So when Canva comes along and offers ready-to-use book cover templates — for free — it makes you wonder.
Can ordinary people like you and me create a free book cover?
How difficult will it be?
How good will it look?
I decided to put Canva’s new book cover templates to the test. Here’s what I found out. Continue reading
Dru Jasper now officially has her own book series. (Yay!) So if you haven’t tried it yet, now is the perfect time to start.
Plus, you can get a free bonus ebook.
1. Get the first Dru Jasper ebook for $1.99 (hey, that’s 89% off).
2. Tell me when you leave a review (on any website), and I’ll send you the latest Dru Jasper novelette, Put A Spell On You, for free. It’s my gift to you.
That’s it! So easy.
But! The deal only lasts until October 2. So get it while it’s hot!
When I was a kid, DragonLance was the first series of fantasy novels that totally hooked me. I still get chills thinking about Raistlin changing his robes from red to black.
Now, my friend and fellow author Richard A. Knaak (longtime DragonLance author and New York Times bestselling author of Black City Saint and Black City Demon) has started up a Facebook page focused on spotlighting the undiscovered gems of fantasy and science fiction.
Check it out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KnaaksKnoll/
Way back in the 1980s, there were gamebooks, those choose-your-own-adventure type of books where you made a decision and then turned to a specially-numbered paragraph to find out what happened next.
Now, they’re back.
Ian Livingstone, who (along with fellow Games Workshop founder Steve Jackson) sold millions of Fighting Fantasy books worldwide in the 80s, has just penned Port of Peril. It’s the first brand-new Fighting Fantasy adventure in many years. I’m completely psyched.
Every writer knows that creating interesting characters is one of the toughest parts of the job.
I don’t feel like an expert on characters by any means, but RT Book Reviews said this about my latest book: “MacNaughton has a real gift for developing quirky and crazy characters.”
Nice to hear, but I’ll tell you: it’s not really a gift. Nobody is born knowing how to write great characters. It’s a skill, and like any skill, it can be learned.
Want to know how I do it? I’ve laid out how to create your own characters, step-by-step.
What elements of writing do you struggle with? Leave me a comment below.
As I kid, I was a voracious reader. My sister was too, so between the two of us, we went through books at an astonishing rate. One summer, when I was probably nine or 10 years old, I realized I had run out of good things to read. Uh oh!
There I was, out in the middle of the country, at the height of summer vacation, and we were out of books. Can you imagine the horror?
So I hatched a mad genius plan. We would ride our bikes to the bookstore!
The nearest bookstore was a place called the Paperback Trader, and they were pretty much the only affordable option for a kid on my particular budget. Besides, I was absolutely certain we could get there and back before anyone noticed we were gone.
Somehow, I convinced my sister to go along with me in this scheme, even though it hadn’t occurred to me just how far away the bookstore really was.
In fact, round-trip, it was a full 25 miles.
Still, we knew the way by heart, since our parents had driven us there and back so many times to buy books.
We were ready for the journey. My sister’s bike had a banana seat and a white plastic basket decorated with flowers. I had a black fixed-gear Huffy bike with checkerboard padding. I also had my backpack, two Whatchamacallit candy bars, and a whole pocketful of quarters for buying books.
What could possibly go wrong?
Life is so weird. Steven Tyler from Aerosmith was at the Tattered Cover on Friday, when I had my book signing. I did not, in fact, get a chance to ask him if “Dude Looks Like a Lady” was actually about Vince Neil from Motley Crue. (But I have my suspicions.)
As always, the Tattered Cover was a fantastic place to do a book signing, and I’m eternally grateful to all of the wonderful people there for having me. Sorry about the mess.
I did get the chance to make new friends and talk about the inspirations behind A Kiss Before Doomsday, including secret underground bunkers, magic crystals, go-go boots, demon-possessed muscle cars, and the fact that zombies don’t drive. At least as far as I know.
Then I read one of my favorite scenes, answered a bunch of questions from my endlessly smart readers, and gave away handfuls of brightly colored crystals – in this case, sucrose crystals. (Rock candy!) Afterward, we celebrated at the scrumptious restaurant next door, modestly called The Goods.
None of it would’ve been possible without my unstoppable agent Kristin Nelson, my tireless editor Rene Sears, all of the good folks at Pyr, and most of all, the support of readers like you. Thank you so much for making this book a success!