Book Review – The Traitor God by Cameron Johnston

Traitor God

The Traitor God sucks you in from the beginning and holds you to the end.  A broken protagonist brings you into a world where magi have all the power, and the rest are left to make their way as best as they are able.  While most magi hold themselves aloof from the world, the protagonist has managed to keep himself in touch with them all, despite having more than a few problems of his own.

In a classic story of revenge, the protagonist is just trying to figure out what happened to his closest friend.  Be ready in this book for our poor protagonist to go through hell and back to try to find out what he wants to know.

The world is beautifully crafted, with great depth that leads the reader to realize how deeply Cameron has delved into his own imagination.  The magic system is wonderfully realized, being both powerful but having deep consequences.  The book itself is dark, feeding into the realities and consequences of a world where magic exists.

In all, I highly recommend reading this.  For a first book from an author, I found it to be incredibly well written.  If you need a new book, this is the one.

My #NaNoWriMo 2017

National Novel Writing Month.  A 50,000 word manuscript written in 30 days.  Sounds like a dream, right?  Get that novel down on paper (well, typed on the computer for most of us) and in a month you’re suddenly an author.  Sounds great.  Here’s my experience.

For NaNoWriMo this year, I had just finished a first draft of my second novel in the series I am writing three days before November started.  As I had to put that draft aside and wait six weeks to get some space from it before revising, I decided to try for the third novel.  I succeeded.  I won.  Yay!

Here are my thoughts on NaNoWriMo.  It’s a great idea, in theory.  In practice, I found it very different from how I would normally write.  Normally, I write when I’m motivated and I have some time to put towards it.  This month, I forced myself to sit down every day and write.  And write.  And write.  I managed to finish my novel with a week to spare to spare in the month.  Great, right?

I’m not sure.  Normally, since I write when I’m really motivated, the words I put down on the page are words I trust and often really like.  With this, I found myself writing just because I knew I had to.  This means that sometimes I was just throwing words down on the page to get to the word counts I was supposed to have.  I managed to write my novel of 80,517 words in about three weeks, and this scares me.

In general, when I find I’m not motivated to add more words to a manuscript, the reason for it tends to be good.  Maybe things aren’t going exactly as they should be, maybe I need a plot twist or one of the characters is feeling emotionally insecure about things but I haven’t noticed yet.  Maybe I need a change of direction, where I had thought I was going was just not going to work.

I think in part it is because I am completely a pantser when it comes to writing.  For those planners out there, who have a detailed plot with characters already developed, it might be easier to just get those words on the page and you know the story will work.  For me, each scene, each action of a character has consequences.  Sometimes I need time to process them before I continue writing, before I see how the characters will respond to it.

This time, I just plowed through it all and kept writing.  Ordinarily, problems would eat at me until I realized exactly what the next move is.  So what does that mean for this manuscript?  Is it complete crap?  Probably not.  Is it going to need a lot more revising than my previous manuscripts?  Yeah, probably.  Okay, definitely.

I enjoy writing.  Not as much as I enjoy reading, but I find when I’m writing, I feel more of a sense of satisfaction than when reading, a sense that I’ve accomplished something.  Revision on the other hand is tedious for me.  I’m working on the seventh draft of my first manuscript now and I continuously find things I need to change.  No such thing as perfect, right?  Does this mean I might need to do an extra few drafts for this manuscript?  Maybe.

The interesting part is that I just don’t know right now.  Until I go through the manuscript again, I won’t have an idea how badly I messed anything up or what I got right.  To do that though, I need emotional and intellectual distance from the manuscript.  So guess what?  It’ll be six weeks before I even look at it again.  During that time, I have two other manuscripts that need revising.

So to conclude.  It’s pretty cool that I wrote a novel in three weeks.  Depending on my reading of that draft though, it might have been better to have taken the two months to do it right the first time.  Just my thoughts as I sit here now, an official NaNoWriMo winner.

 

NaNoWriMo

So, it’s that time of year, it seems.  National Novel Writers Month (#NaNoWriMo) is in full swing.  I decided to participate this year, a first for me.  As we are approaching the halfway point of the month, I approach the halfway point of my novel.

For those of you who are unaware, NaNoWriMo is when thousands of writers across the world attempt to write a draft of 50,000 words in one month.  As my novels tend to run around 80k words, that is actually my goal.  To do it I need to write an average of 2,600 words a day.

I’m on day 14 and just hit 36,000 words.  My word average is hovering around 2,800 words, so doing just fine.  It’s an interesting experience.  I’m in competition with myself to write write write.

Sundays I’ve given myself a pass.  If I write 3k words every day during the week, I can rest on Sunday.  It’s worked out well for me so far.  I find that 3k words tends to be about 2-3 hours of writing, which is certainly possible, though my reading has fallen to the side as I have less time for it.

Overall, I think the experience has taught me two things so far.  First, I can really get words down on paper when I dedicate myself to it.  Second, this is something I wouldn’t want to do every month.  Writing twelve drafts in a year is doable, yes.  But I’d have to toss aside social commitments, reading, me time.  Also, a first draft is pretty much garbage anyways.  Redrafting is as much a commitment as writing, more so in many ways as it takes longer and you have to constantly put aside a draft to wait for your brain to reset to see it with fresh eyes.

In the end, NaNoWriMo — cool.  I’m happy I’m writing.  I’m happy I have a goal.  But next month, it’s time to hit that draft of book 2 and make it better.  Beta readers are waiting, but they’ll have to wait a bit longer.  I went through five drafts of book one before I decided that it was good enough for another person to look at it.  I don’t see book two as being any different.

PITCH WARS 2017: #PIMPMYBIO CONTESTANT BLOG HOP

From Lana Pattinsin:

Time for the annual #PimpMyBio blog hop for Pitch Wars Contestants!!!

This is just for fun, for mentees and mentors to get to know each other better. I repeat, this is NOT mandatory…but I know some mentors use it to  get to know contestants better.

The Blog Hop closes when the Pitch Wars sub window does…August 6th

Enter here: http://www.lanapattinson.com/pitch-wars-2017-pimpmybio-contestant-blog-hop/

My Bio:

John is an avid reader, often blowing through a novel or more a week.  A lover of both scifi and fantasy, he has always had aspirations as a writer but often found motivation lacking.

John was born in Western New York.  When he was five, his father read the red leatherbound version of Lord of the Rings to him.  He fell in love with the idea of other universes, other realities.  Star Wars and Star Trek gave him new insights into these and he was forever changed by both.

He attended schools and universities in Western New York. He moved to Europe in 2012 to teach in a secondary school in Germany (English, History, Geography, Politics and Computer Science).  He is totally addicted to travel and has visited over a hundred cities across thirty-four countries since the move.

His first novel is adult fantasy written in his own world.  He is currently searching for an agent with the hopes of publishing it.

Book Blurb:


There were once eleven artifacts made by an ancient race.  Together, they have the power to alter the very nature of reality.  Scattered to the winds, they have only been brought together twice, both times to a tragic end.  Now, the search to bring them together begins anew.

One man struggles to find his way through this search, while being hunted by those who would find and use them for themselves.  His search is complicated by the fact that his past is a mystery, even to himself.

With no memories, who can he trust to help him?  Who is chasing him, and why?  And most importantly, how can he get those memories back?


My Favorite Books/Authors of All Time (Often I really like many books from each of these authors, but I picked my favorites for each)

(In no particular order):

















If you’re here from the Pitchwars blog hop:

Previous blog (#79):  Ralph Walker

Next blog (#81):  Rosina

 

Finished Beta Reader Revisions, So Why Not a Giveaway?

So, as I’ve finally finished making all the changes my beta readers and I decided upon, and doing one last revision, I am to the point where I shall start sending out those cover letters to agents.  In celebration of this, I’ve decided to run a contest by giving away one of my favorite books of the past couple years:

Click here to join the giveaway!

 

The Name of the Wind Giveaway- OFFICIAL RULES

 

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. MAKING A PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW.

 

 

    1. PROMOTION DESCRIPTION: The Name of the Wind Giveaway(\”Sweepstakes\”) begins on May 11, 2017 and runs until June 30, 2017 (the \”Promotion Period\”).
      The sponsor of this Sweepstakes is John W. Siskar (“Sponsor”). By participating in the Sweepstakes, each Entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor, which shall be final and binding in all respects. Sponsor is responsible for the collection, submission or processing of Entries and the overall administration of the Sweepstakes. Entrants should look solely to Sponsor with any questions, comments or problems related to the Sweepstakes. Sponsor may be reached by email at johnwsiskar@gmail.com during the Promotion Period.

 

    1. ELIGIBILITY: Open to legal residents of any location where Amazon ships who are at least 13 years of age (the \”Entrant\”). Sponsor, and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, distributors, retailers, sales representatives, advertising and promotion agencies and each of their respective officers, directors and employees (the \”Promotion Entities\”), are ineligible to enter the Sweepstakes or win a prize. Household Members and Immediate Family Members of such individuals are also not eligible to enter or win. “Household Members” shall mean those people who share the same residence at least three months a year. “Immediate Family Members” shall mean parents, step-parents, legal guardians, children, step-children, siblings, step-siblings, or spouses. This Sweepstakes is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited or restricted by law.

 

    1. PRIZES:

 

 

One copy of The Name of the Wind, as e-book or paperback, as requested by winner.

 

Only one prize per person and per household will be awarded. Gift cards and gift certificates are subject to the terms and conditions of the issuer. Prizes cannot be transferred, redeemed for cash or substituted by winner. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole and absolute discretion to award a substitute prize of equal or greater value if a prize described in these Official Rules is unavailable or cannot be awarded, in whole or in part, for any reason. The ARV of the prize represents Sponsor's good faith determination. That determination is final and binding and cannot be appealed. If the actual value of the prize turns out to be less than the stated ARV, the difference will not be awarded in cash. Sponsor makes no representation or warranty concerning the appearance, safety or performance of any prize awarded. Restrictions, conditions, and limitations may apply. Sponsor will not replace any lost or stolen prize items.
This Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of ELIGIBLE LOCATIONS and Prize will only be awarded and/or delivered to addresses within said locations. All federal, state and/or local taxes, fees, and surcharges are the sole responsibility of the prize winner. Failure to comply with the Official Rules will result in forfeiture of the prize.

 

 

    1. HOW TO ENTER: Enter the Sweepstakes during the Promotion Period online by visiting the entry form, which can be found on the following website at https://johnwsiskar.com/2017/05/11/finished-beta-reader-revisions-so-why-not-a-giveaway/.
      Automated or robotic Entries submitted by individuals or organizations will be disqualified. Internet entry must be made by the Entrant. Any attempt by Entrant to obtain more than the stated number of Entries by using multiple/different email addresses, identities, registrations, logins or any other methods, including, but not limited to, commercial contest/sweepstakes subscription notification and/or entering services, will void Entrant’s Entries and that Entrant may be disqualified. Final eligibility for the award of any prize is subject to eligibility verification as set forth below. All Entries must be posted by the end of the Promotion Period in order to participate. Sponsor’s database clock will be the official timekeeper for this Sweepstakes.

 

    1. WINNER SELECTION: The Winner(s) of the Sweepstakes will be selected in a random drawing from among all eligible Entries received throughout the Promotion Period. The random drawing will be conducted about 1 day after the Promotion Period by Sponsor or its designated representatives, whose decisions are final. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible Entries received.

 

    1. WINNER NOTIFICATION: Winner will be notified by email at the email address provided in the Entry Information approximately 1 day after the random drawing. Potential Winner must accept a prize by email as directed by Sponsor within 3 days of notification. Sponsor is not responsible for any delay or failure to receive notification for any reason, including inactive email account(s), technical difficulties associated therewith, or Winner’s failure to adequately monitor any email account.
      Any winner notification not responded to or returned as undeliverable may result in prize forfeiture. The potential prize winner may be required to sign and return an affidavit of eligibility and release of liability, and a Publicity Release (collectively \”the Prize Claim Documents\”). No substitution or transfer of a prize is permitted except by Sponsor.

 

    1. PRIVACY: Any personal information supplied by you will be subject to the privacy policy of the Sponsor. By entering the Sweepstakes, you grant Sponsor permission to share your email address and any other personally identifiable information with the other Sweepstakes Entities for the purpose of administration and prize fulfillment, including use in a publicly available Winners list.

 

    1. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY: Sponsor assumes no responsibility or liability for (a) any incorrect or inaccurate entry information, or for any faulty or failed electronic data transmissions; (b) any unauthorized access to, or theft, destruction or alteration of entries at any point in the operation of this Sweepstakes; (c) any technical malfunction, failure, error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or communications line failure, regardless of cause, with regard to any equipment, systems, networks, lines, satellites, servers, camera, computers or providers utilized in any aspect of the operation of the Sweepstakes; (d) inaccessibility or unavailability of any network or wireless service, the Internet or website or any combination thereof; (e) suspended or discontinued Internet, wireless or landline phone service; or (f) any injury or damage to participant’s or to any other person’s computer or mobile device which may be related to or resulting from any attempt to participate in the Sweepstakes or download of any materials in the Sweepstakes.
      If, for any reason, the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned for reasons which may include without limitation, infection by computer virus, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes which may corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this Sweepstakes, the Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes in whole or in part. In such event, Sponsor shall immediately suspend all drawings and prize awards, and Sponsor reserves the right to award any remaining prizes (up to the total ARV as set forth in these Official Rules) in a manner deemed fair and equitable by Sponsor. Sponsor and Released Parties shall not have any further liability to any participant in connection with the Sweepstakes.

 

    1. SOCIAL NETWORK DISCLAIMER

 

 

A Facebook account may be required to enter. If you don’t already have a Facebook account, visit http://www.facebook.com to create one. It is free to create an account. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to the Sponsor and not to Facebook. By participating via the Facebook platform, participants are also subject to Facebook’s data policy and terms of use, which can be found at https://www.facebook.com/about/privacy and https://www.facebook.com/legal/terms/update.

 

 

    1. WINNER LIST/OFFICIAL RULES: To obtain a copy of the Winner List or a copy of these Official Rules, send your request to johnwsiskar@gmail.com. Requests for the names of the winners must be received no later than 2 days after the Promotion Period has ended. For accessing a Winner List online, visit johnwsiskar.com. The winner list will be posted after winner confirmation is complete.

 

  1. SPONSOR: John W Siskar, johnwsiskar@gmail.com