A blog for people who take books seriously, but little else.

Archive for August, 2012

Introducing Rosemary O’Malley!

“I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12 – Jesus, did you?” – The Body, Stephen King.

This is completely true for me. Almost every good thing that has ever happened to me has been a result of knowing these wonderful women. You already know one of my childhood friends, currently writing as Emma Jameson. I’ve only had one other friend longer. Rosemary O’Malley is my oldest friend’s pen name. She and I were not the prodigies Emma was. Our work from that era would not be fit to print. As we’ve all learned and grown as writers, Rosemary has come into her own with The Red King. It’s an amazing epic romance, and it certainly belongs here, on the Irreverent Book Blog, as the lovers happen to both be men. It is not my job to review this work today, and I’m glad. There have been many wonderful reviews, by people you’ll know if you read M/M Romance. What I am going to do is introduce you to my friend.

Ah, the 80’s. Fabled in song and story.

I: Welcome to Imaqulotta’s Irreverent Book Blog!

I: “Genre” is the talk of the blogosphere.  How do you describe your particular genre and why did you choose to write in this arena?

R: I’d like to not have to use a genre, but realistically I know better. When asked, I say male/male romance.  If I’m asked to get technical, it’s male/male erotic romance. If I have to get really specific, it’s male/male historical erotic romance.  Mostly, I just say romance novel and throw the m/m in after.

I think I’ve always written romance novels in one form or another. My horror stories turn into romances. My sci-fi. My BDSM erotica. Everything winds up with a romance. The m/m part has always been there, too, but I didn’t realize that I had the opportunity to do something professionally until the past few years.

I: In that vein, which other writers in your genre do you admire and why?

I’ve been catching up on a trend that I didn’t even know about until last year! There are some tremendous writers in m/m romance, not just the contemporary, heavily emotive style but fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery….you name it, there’s a brilliant writer blazing a trail. I’ve been especially enjoying the dark fantasy approach. Lisa Henry, Kirby Crow, and Rachel Haimowitz are three of my favorites right now.

Speaking of Rachel Haimowitz, she collaborated with Cat Grant and produced Power Play: Resistance and Awakening. These are two of the best BDSM erotica novels I have ever read.  There’s soul searching and romance and even a bit of humor wrapped up in leather and sealed with clothespins.

I: Our favorite authors influence us greatly. Which writers do you admire in general?  If you had to pick a favorite, who would it be?

R: Oh, I always have to say Anne Rice. Even though I’ve moved past a lot of what she wrote, her style, her voice…everything she wrote influences me to this day.  I read a lot of Richard Matheson when I was a child (probably too young), a lot of Bradbury and Asimov, Heinlein and Tanith Lee.  My mother is a sci-fi junkie so that sort of stuff was always in the house. And I loved Frankenstein. Mary Shelley was and will always be a genius.

I: As your friend, I have an inkling of how hard you’ve been working on this novel. What was the most difficult thing about it for you?

R: FINISHING.  Just finishing the damned thing! I loved writing the characters, loved telling their story, but getting it to that point where I could say “The End” was exhausting. I wanted to sleep for a week when the first draft was done.

I: Self-publishing seems to be the future of literature. As a self-published author, is there any advice you would give writers who are considering self-publishing?

R: Find a friend, make a friend, get a mentor who’s done it. There are a million websites, magazines, self-help-how-to books but nothing can replace the help and knowledge of someone who has already done it. I owe Stephanie Abbott so much, there aren’t enough thanks in the world.

I: I believe one’s favorite movie is an intimate look into one’s mind. So, what is yours, and why?

R: I can’t choose one! There’s no way.  It would be a mash-up of The Three Musketeers (the 1973 version, thank you), Blazing Saddles, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Master and Commander, Hackers, The 13th Warrior, any of the X-Men movies, Resident Evil…and gay porn. Figure that one out!!!

I: Is there anything else you’d like your fans and future fans to know?

R: I hope I never bore you!

I: Thanks so much for visiting the Blog here! I’m looking forward to following your meteoric rise to stardom!

R: I’d be just as happy with a mediocre rise to fame, so long as I get there.

Thank you for having me!  You were my first time….it was wonderful….

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A Slashing Disappointment

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve been here. I would love to say that I was off having scads of fun and doing terribly interesting, irreverent things, like protesting injustice, and making mad love with hunky Marines. However, I’m honest about things that count, so I must sadly admit there is no such amazing reason. I planned to review a book for you and had some trouble getting through it. Part of that is due to the book, and you’ll hear all about that in good time. I would not be fair if I didn’t state that I was ill for part of this time, and was unable to read. If I had been able to go straight through, I might have had a better opinion of it. I doubt it, but I want to be fair.  When I’d rather watch commercials than read my book, I am about to be disappointed.

The book is The Vivisectionist, by Ike Hamill. Mr. Hamill summarizes his book thus.  “The boys have the perfect summer planned. They’ll camp out in the backyard for their last vacation before high school. There’s only one problem — even though they’re just a hundred feet from the safety of the house, they’re being hunted by a serial killer.

Join Jack, Ben, and Stephen as they strap on their backpacks and go out looking for adventure. The woods behind Jack’s house contain endless trails to explore, and the boys have weeks to investigate them all. Their neighborhood finally seems at peace again, now that the man who snatched the kid from down the street has been caught. But there’s still danger in those woods, and the boys are about to stumble into it…”

Combined with the title, this description hooked me. On the face of it, it’s true. As we’ve said previously, horror is inherently irreverent, and the use of children as protagonists is risky in horror. Many people seem to feel that only children are interested in reading about children. I’ve disputed that assertion. I did not dislike this book because the main characters are kids. That’s one of the things that drew me.

My issues with the book are two-fold. The first one is pretty simple.  Mr. Hamill should have employed a better copy editor. As I have yet to delve into the formatting arena, I am prepared to accept a few errors in an e-book. Formatting is reported to be difficult, and I am not looking forward to it! However, there are errors which have no possible connection to formatting, or even typographical errors. They are misused words, and they are a pet peeve of mine. I’ll give you the example that almost made me put the book down in irritation. If an author does not know the difference between a taut rope and a lesson taught in school, then he should certainly employ someone who does know, or at the very least have a beta reader who does know. A Gen X school teacher would be favorite. I know I’m not perfect, but if you are going to be a writer, words are your tools and you need to keep them sharp and in order.

Even if your tools are sharp and in order, if you use them to build a crooked house, no one is going to live there. No one lives in this book, either. All characters are two dimensional, as if they’d been ordered from Central Casting as Teenaged Boy 1, 2, and 3, or Mom and Dad. The story in itself was somewhat interesting, but poorly realized. The boys’ humorous banter occasionally rings true, but is mostly contrived and not amusing. Additionally, it’s as if Mr. Hamill had never heard the lesson “Show, don’t tell.” When you are describing a house with mazes and booby traps, you should be painting word pictures. With few exceptions, this does not happen. The ending “twist” is indeed twisted, but is foreshadowed clumsily, and everything after the twist is rushed, and feels slapped on to the whole like a crooked bumper sticker.

On the Imaqulotta Scale, I rate this book as Purgatorial.

 


It’s here! THE RED KING by Rosemary O’Malley

It’s here! THE RED KING by Rosemary O’Malley.

via It’s here! THE RED KING by Rosemary O’Malley.

 

Next week, an interview with the author! Watch this space!