Thursday, September 22, 2016

What I'm Reading: A Writer's Guide to Harry Potter


Hello Witches, Wizards and mostly Muggles,

It's not often that I GUSH about a book. That I love a book so much I read it over and over.  (The only unfortunate part of becoming a writer is that I read like a writer now and it changes how you experience a book...) but THIS book is worth gushing about!

Are you a writer?  Are you a reader? If you are one or the other or both - you will also LOVE this book because it is fascinating. And incredibly insightful. And analytical and simply brilliant. The author, S.P. Sipal, shows you Harry's world in ways I guarantee you were completely oblivious to when you read the books.

A WRITER'S GUIDE TO HARRY POTTER (AWGHP) appeals to me on two levels: 

As a Reader:
I am a HUGE HP fan and absolutely loved the books and loved sharing the adventure with my daughter.  As with any Potterhead, we spent hours discussing the clues and who was good and who was bad and what was going to happen next.  It was so much fun.  AWGHP takes you, the reader, by the hand and walks you through the books, pointing out clues, diversions, red herrings - things we all saw and read but didn't put together until JK Rowling allowed the story to unfold - sometimes three and four (or six) books later!   AWGHP allows you to relive the HP story with new appreciation.

As a Writer:
The HP books are what inspired me to start writing. Until I read HP AND THE SORCERER'S STONE I had forgotten what it was like to be so completely immersed in a book that you were in another world, and believed in magic and could fly! What AWGHP does for me as a writer is to show me the incredible techniques and forethought that Jo Rowling put into her series in SO. MANY. WAYS. Ohmigosh - how can one person be so clever? Character development. Worldbuilding. and the Mysteries. So many mysteries that no one could figure out. Honestly, I've wondered many times how JKR learned to be such a master storyteller. BUT the amazing thing is that S.P. Sipal has identified these techniques; provided example after example to show us the brilliance of JK Rowling's writing with a brilliance of her own.  The analysis is truly amazing - and so much fun to read.

AWGHP is one of those books you can pick up, fan the pages, and start reading anywhere in the book - and it's fascinating. And incredible. And inspiring.


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Friday, September 2, 2016

Truly a Wonder of the World...

     * The Grand Canyon, Arizona, June 2016. Photo by Kiki Hamilton.

There's a reason we call them Wonders of the World  -  because they are amazing and wondrous! A summer-time visit to the Grand Canyon confirmed what I remembered - the Grand Canyon is just that - Grand!  I highly recommend a visit to anyone, whether you live in this country or another, because pictures cannot begin to do justice to this magnificent natural wonder. Honestly - it's breathtaking!

In other news, I just put the finishing touches on a new YA fantasy, which I shipped off to my agent to get her thoughts. With each book I always wonder if it will be my last - if maybe I've run out of ideas - so it's always fun (and a relief) to design and develop a new world and the characters who live in it. 

So now I'm back in that spot again - what's the next story I'm going to tell?  

Stay tuned! :-)

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