Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Darkness Falling: The Forever Twilight Series by Peter Crowther

This book can be found at: http://www.amazon.com/Darkness-Falling-Forever-Twilight-Series/dp/0857661698

Why I bought this book:
Initially, I was attracted to the interesting premise. I am an avid reader of post apocalyptic novels. I was hoping, and expecting a story that would follow the usual norms: aka. Have a plot line (beginning, middle, climax, and then conclusion that would leave me wanting more) I was also hoping for unique characters that stood out and were different from each other.

What I found out about this book:
Essentially, instead of all the things I expected (of a paid for, professionally published work of art), I found the exact opposite.

Let's begin with the plot:
I enjoyed the beginning introduction to the characters. It was fast paced enough that I could really get into it. However, after the ninety millionth character was introduced, I began to question if there was going to be a story at all. Then the author moved into some of the meat of the plot. The characters began to experience things in the story, like being hunted by the ones that returned from the flash. That was interesting. However, just when the author has re-captured my interest, he begins introducing more characters again. By the time the book reaches its end, (and I'm not sure where the climax of the book was supposed to be) I, the reader, have learned the answers to none of the questions that the plot was supposed to answer, and am utterly angry that I wasted both my time and money.

The Characters:
It was frustrating enough that there were more characters introduced than I can really can remember, but it was infuriating that none of them were well rounded, INDIVIDUAL characters by themselves. Half way through the book, I began to see similarities between male leading characters, so much so that I had a hard time telling the difference between them. An example of this is that both of the smallest children in the story pee themselves, and possess the same linguistic styling. The author changes their names from short versions to long, such as Ron to Ronny, without taking into consideration how much this would confuse the reader (especially after so many new characters were being introduced). Lastly, the author makes all, and I do mean ALL, of his female leads weak, helpless mental cases that must be protected at the cost of the male lead's health or welfare. Also, there were all of I think four females in the story, and about twelve males. The females were the least developed characters in the whole novel. If you are a feminist, or a woman reader, this part of the book will annoy the piss out of you.

In the literary world of publication, I understand that certain word counts are necessary in certain markets. However, when the author LITERALLY copies and pastes the exact same phraseology from the beginning of the book into, not just one, but MANY different areas of the book, it creates an annoying repetitious pattern for the reader. This screams to the reader that either A: The author doesn't know what the heck he's doing, B: The author's agent and publisher told him that the word count wasn't high enough to publish, so he added unnecessary repetitive language to appease them in the hopes that it wouldn't affect his plot line, or C: ALL OF THE ABOVE. On top of all of this; the language through out is profane, and crass. Each of the characters, yes even the children in the story, curse viciously. 

Words to the author, Peter Crowther:
You had a good premise, and most of the time, good grammar. However, when a reader buys or thinks of buying a book, they want a plot that culminates and characters that have real gumption. I did not get any of that from your book. To me, it came off as a really hard to produce first or second draft. I don't understand why you would devalue your writing so much as to copy and paste all the way throughout the book. I also do not understand how your editors (if you had any) and publishers let this book be released to the public with their name attached to it. If you think I'm being harsh, you would be right, I am being harsh... because you had a good story, one that I was so excited about reading in the beginning, and you let me down. I know you can do better. Next time, lose the negative attitude toward women, develop a plot that actually tells the reader something, and I will read it happily.

Until then... Best of luck,
Joy Johnson


Friday, June 15, 2012

     The other day I was reading through some interesting blogs, and came across a Mr. Bret Carter. He is an established author who has published a number of books. I asked him for some advice about getting published and here is what he said:

Bret Carter
  • Hey Joy,

    Thanks for checking out my blog.
    You asked for advice about trying to get published.
    I’ll give you my two cents.
    I apologize for bringing up stuff you’ve already heard.

    • If possible, write every day whether you feel like it or not. This is the primary way of becoming a better writer. Many people who want to be writers wait until they feel inspired—when it’s the perfect rainy day and they’re sitting in a cafĂ© in Paris. Don’t wait for when you feel like it. Treat it like a job and write all the time.
    • If possible, read every day. This is not so you can try to imitate the styles of others. It’s so your brain can get the feel of pace and dialogue and all the little things that make good writing. Read everything. The variety will influence your writing in surprising ways.
    • As far as getting published, the main advice I have will sound simple: Send stuff in. Don’t wait until it’s perfect, because it never will be. Get a good draft and rework it into something fairly presentable, but send it in!
    • Check out the site Duotrope. Major help forfinding publishers.
    • Learn the boring aspects of the business. It matters if you use the correct format for a submission. You are always in danger of being tossed into the slush pile, so anything you can do to appease the whims of the system, do it.

    I noticed from your site that you write scifi and horror. I submitted something to the Orson Scott Card Bootcamp and got in. I would recommend it. The workshop is worth your time and it gets you connected in some respects to those in the business.

    Submit your novel to the annual novel-writing contest with Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. I don’t think there’s a restriction depending on what state you live in. I was just a finalist and I got to meet with publishers and agents.

    Submit something to Writers of the Future. I have a friend who won that contest and there were people coming to him to get more of his stuff.

    There are other bits of advice I have, but I’ll keep this short and simple. I hope this helps. Good luck.

    Bret Carter

    Thank you, Mr. Carter! I will keep these words of wisdom close for my future writing endeavors and good luck to you as well!
    Joy Johnson 


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

http://hartlineliteraryagency.blogspot.com Posted an interesting snippet from a story that I found would be excellent for children. Have a look and see if you would keep reading the story!
Joy Johnson

Friday, June 1, 2012

"After Life: Love" by: Patrick Lee

This story can be found at:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/15784

This is a wonderful story about a young man coming of age. The dialogue is clear. The characters seem well rounded and realistic. I also enjoyed the idea of the main character's realization that life is better lived with someone that you love.

Joy Johnson

"Survive The Dead: Safe Zone" by: George Cook

This story can be found at: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/165856

On the positive side: I love the action and suspense of this story. It is believable, which is a warm welcome to my eyes. The story has a good premise and presents great promise for a full length book.
On the negative side: There are words in the story that are repeated nearly back to back. One such example of this is, "Slowly." This can take away from the effect that the author intends for his readers.
Words to the author: You have a great story. Please read it aloud to yourself, edit it just a bit more, and then re-submit it. Other than that, you have a great work of art! Keep up the good work.
Joy Johnson

About Me

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I have traveled all over the United States as both an active duty United States Marine and now as a Veteran. It is my supreme hope that my characters find their way into the world and provide others with the same kind of wonder that they have provided me with these past years. I am currently working on my first novella called, "The Death Dealer Diaries: Ashes To Ashes." It will be available in ebook format in October 2012 on my website: https://www.amazon.com/author/joyjohnsonwrit3r