20 Questions Book Tag

Another one from the indomitable Writer Michelle Payne.  I think I can answer 20 book questions 🙂

1. How many books is too many books in a series?

Hm, that’s one of those “it depends” questions.  If the series remains fresh and relevant, keep going, but if the plot lines are going stale and the characters are stalling, I think it’s time to retire it.  I’d say 20+ books is too much with the same characters and setting.

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?

They’re evil and I love them. Re: Strange the Dreamer.

Strange the Dreamer cover

3. Hard copy or paperback?

I prefer paperback.  They’re easier to carry around and to read.  Hardback usually has an annoying cover that, while aesthetically pleasing, tends to flap around and get in the way.

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The Goodreads Book Tag 2

I still have a ton of blogger tags/awards to get through, and I can’t even claim to be doing them in order.  Today this is the one I’m awake/aware enough to go through, so…

First, I found this on The Writing Hufflepuff’s blog so you should check her out.  She does book reviews mostly and her blog is just set up really neatly.  I use Goodreads a ton, so this is the perfect tag for me.  Please feel free to friend me there if you use it, too!

What was the last book you marked as read?

The Quantum Ghost by Jonathan Ballagh.  I just finished reading it this morning.  Such an excellent mid-grade novel.  I’ve also read and reviewedThe Quantum Door, which was good, too, but Ghost was even better.

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading six books, but that number will probably jump back up to seven before I post my State of the Reader update this Wednesday:

  1. Saga Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples
  2. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
  3. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  4. The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia by Patrick Thorpe
  5. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
  6. The Poetic Edda by Anonymous

What was the last book you marked as ‘to read’?

Primitive Mythology by Joseph Cambell, the fist book in his Masks of God series.  I initially had The Power of Myth on there in its stead, but a friend told me that I could just watch the interviews with Bill Moyers, so I threw that on my Amazon wish list.

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The Editing of Northern Lights – Chapter 8 and an Ocean Full of Sads

These are the Editing Notes for my FFVII fanfiction Northern Lights (which you can find at the end of that link).  I will be discussing a myriad of topics along with my frequently tangential and harried editing process.  You should be able to garner some enjoyment and insight from this without having read the story and/or without prior knowledge of the original game, but if you’re a fan of paranormal romance and/or dark fantasy, you may find it to your liking.  The story will be spoiled in this editing examination, though I will do my best to mark spoilers for any other narratives I mention.  Thanks for your interest and enjoy!

<–The Box Contains More Chapter 8                            Between the Seams of Chapter 8–>

Holy shit it’s been a while since I’ve updated this.  I have it on my schedule for every fourth Saturday or something like that.  I switch up what I work on on Saturday just because I have so much.  I’d like to say I’ll increase when I publish these, but I’m lucky to get to it when I do.  Just a reminder, I wrote these notes three years ago now while I was editing the fanfiction.  My writing has improved since then (at least I think so), and it’s a mix of then writing and now, though I don’t always indicate where that happens.  I try to remember to use italics when I’m inserting future me into a conversation, but I did some editing on this before like a few months back, so even though it’s future me, it’s not necessary now me lol.  Anyway, if you have any questions, you know where to find me!

10/22/14
Mmmm chocolate…oh wait, oh what?

Welcome back.  Chocolate is like God’s gift to your mouth.  One of the side effects of mostly eating healthy (or at least for me) is going through phases where you just want to eat ALL the food.  That’s happening to me right now.  I eat all the food; weigh myself; flip shit, and then go back on track the next week and hopefully undo the damage.  Tis a long journey, but it’s all about the climb, isn’t it?  No, fuck that…I want the goddamn results.

Ah yes, this is when I was overly concerned with reducing myself down to an impossible size hehe.  I was seriously and sadly obsessed with that…like so many other people.  I have a far different viewpoint on it now, especially since I can’t physically stand for more than ten minutes due to still unknown reasons.

So I asked what your favorite season one.  I’ll answer mine is a brief dialogue.

Random Person: Hey Adrienne, what’s your favorite season?
Me: Advent.

It counts!  It’s a “season;” it’s Christmas, and I love Christmas cause I’m a Christmas goth.  At least I finally found an Advent Calendar that I could get on board with.

♫Tis the season to be drunken♫

♫Tis the season to be drunken♫

I’d drink my Advent Wine on Advent Sunday while watching Advent Children.

I’m not even going to try to ease my way into this conversation to what my editing notes are.  There is no graceful segue.  You’ll have to be content with non sequitur.  At the time of this writing I was helping a friend by beta reading a sexy time part she had to add to a story, and this got me thinking about the line between romance sex and erotic sex.  Romance sex tends to focus on feelings whereas erotic sex focuses on the physical.  Now obviously you can weave physicality into romance sex and emotions into erotic sex, and frankly you have to.  You can’t just have all emotions and feels or fluids and flesh, but there’s a delicate balance between what’s expected in each genre.  She is more of an erotic sex writer where I tend to take the romantic path.  I can and have written erotica (nothing published) and I often push the envelope in the ideas process and then dial it back when it comes to the writing portion and pare it down even further when I edit.

No sexy time for a while yet with this story, though.  What did I say before?  You can’t marry (or fuck) the princess before you slay the dragon, and dear god is there a “dragon” to slay.  Hehe in trope land this is not really quite accurate, as the Dragon is more the Big Bad’s top enforcer.  TV Tropes doesn’t agree with my point of view on this having Jenova as the Dragon to Sephiroth on its page where I really see that as quite the opposite.  Jenova was the catalyst to his insanity, the start of his darkness.  It wormed its way into his head and gutted everything he ever was.  But for that incident (much like Isildur’s refusal to destroy Sauron’s ring), there would be no story.  I know I keep bringing this point up and driving it in (ughhhhhh), but it seems to be a bone of contention with so many people insisting that Sephiroth is just plain evil, but I think my interpretation is far more accurate and in a way darker.  Sephiroth is the Lucifer/Satan of the FFVII world, the fallen angel, the most beautiful and the best…but there’s something worse than he is.  Jenova is the dark source, the antitheses of the source, the distorted absolute.  I don’t know what the Unholy Sephiroth to Kether is (nor would I call or write its name), but that would be represented in Jenova.  I looked it up in my Dictionary of Angels, but I’m till not going to write it, and I talk more about the horrifying implications of Jenova further below in my discussion about war.

But for now we should move on to brighter and happier things, and as such is lacking we shall go to the editing of Northern Lights.

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The State of the Reader: 2/15/17

<–The State of the Reader: 2/8/17          The State of the Reader: 2/22/17–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

DNF This Week: 1

Title: Vassa in the Night
Author: Sarah Porter
Date Added: October 15, 2016
Date Started: January 25, 2017
DNF Date: February 8, 2017

Media: Hardback
DNF Progress: 20%

I think the moment I say I’m probably going to declare something DNF is the moment I’ve decided it’s going to happen.  It wasn’t what I expected, which isn’t always a bad thing…but it was in this case because this novel was not only urban fantasy, but young adult, the two (sub) genres I have the most trouble with.

I actually wrote the review for it last weekend, but I need to proofread it before I post.  I manage to go off on a tangent that includes both Shakespeare and FFVII, which considering that I’m a writer and an FFVII fanatic, is not that farfetched.


Books Purchased This Week: 5

Title: Dolor and Shadow
Series Title: Tales of the Drui
Author: Angela B. Chrysler
Date Added: June 16, 2016
Date Purchased: February 11, 2017

Dolor and Shadow

Media: Kindle
Price: $2.99

Every time I look at the title of this book, the words “Saevam iram, iram et dolorum…” run through my head like the merciless earworm they are.  Bonus points if you know where those words are from.

Title: Urchin of the Riding Stars
Series Title: The Mistmantle Chronicles
Author: Margaret McAllister
Date Added: May 17, 2016
Date Purchased: February 11, 2017

Urchin of the Riding Stars

Media: Hardcover
Price: $0.01

When I find books on my TBR list for less than $1.00, I’m quick to scoop them up.  This looks like a re-purposed library book; I don’t know yet, since I just ordered it from Amazon this weekend, and it’s going to take a few weeks to get to me.  This one and the one below were recommended due to my love of Redwall (and looking at the covers, it’s plain to see why).  Even if I don’t like either of them, I paid more for the shipping than for the books, and I’ve wasted $5.00 on worse things.

Title: The Dark Portal
Series Title:The Deptford Mice
Author:Robin Jarvis
Date Added:May 13, 2016
Date Purchased: February 11, 2017

Dark Portal, The

Media: Hardcover
Price: $0.01

Title: Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis
Series Title: The Vampire Chronicles
Author: Anne Rice
Date Added: February 13, 2017
Date Purchased: February 12, 2017

Media: Kindle
Price: $0.99

This is one of those rare books that I bought before I added, and I had to put all the information into this post while trying not to read the blurb, because I haven’t finished the prior book Prince Lestat.  I started it over a year ago, but I think my designated reading time for it was before jazzercise.  Since I haven’t been there in more than a year, and since I didn’t start scheduling my reading time until after I put it aside, I never got through the novel.  It’s not a DNF though.  I full intend to finish it.

The reason I purchased the sequel was due to a tweet by Anne Rice herself, informing her followers that the book was only $0.99 on Amazon.  Like I said above in regards to Mistmantle and The Deptford Mice, I won’t pass up a buy on any book on my list if it’s under $1.00.  That would just be silly.

Title: Riddled With Senses
Author: Petra Jacob
Date Purchased: February 15, 2017

I made a promise to fellow blogger Inkbiotic that I would purchase her book after receiving my next paycheck, and I’ve gladly kept that vow.  If the samplings she’s so graciously posted on her blog are any indication, I’m going to enjoy this greatly.  It’s magical realism with a same sex relationship.  Yes and yes.


Books Currently Reading: 6

Title: Prospero Lost
Series Title: Prospero’s Daughter
Author: L. Jagi Lamplighter
Date Added: June 19, 2016
Date Started: February 11, 2017

Media: Hardback
Progress: 10%

Since I declared Vassa in the Night DNF, it was necessary for me to pick another physical book to read the next time Vassa came up in my reading rotation (I’ll have to tell you all about that some time…).  I actually wasn’t entirely set on what to choose next, so I decided to read the first page in a few of the books in my pile and see what caught my fancy.

Prospero Lost was one of those books I judged by its title and cover first (so you see I wasn’t lying in my Rapid Fire Book Tag post), and I judged it well.  I don’t just buy books based on that though (I’ve been burned quite a few times before), but the blurb sparked by interest even more.  An ancient and immortal, magical family in the modern era who own a company that strives to do good in the world.  It was a tidy bit different from most mega-corporations in sci-fi and fantasy (and science fantasy), and since I have writing ideas for something similar, reading this book would also be a good learning experience.  The writing is good, and the plot coupons thus far presented are intriguing.

Then I came to this paragraph:

“I sat at a wrought-iron table next to the fountain, stirring my tea.  My hair, so pale as to appear silver, was piled atop my head in a Grecian style that had gone out of vogue more than a century ago.  My garment, a tea gown with a high lacy collar — the enchanted satin of which matched the emerald of my eyes…”

All I needed.

Title: The Missing Orchid
Series Title: Submissive Beth Mysteries
Author: Fia Black
Date Added: February 2, 2017
Date Started: February 8, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 36%

I’m really hoping this case turns out differently from Beth’s others.  She’s investigated missing persons before, but they usually end up dead.  It’s not that every story needs a happy ending, but I really hope this one ends in a happy reunion :\

Title: The Illustrated A Brief History of Time/The Universe in a Nutshell
Author: Stephen Hawking
Date Added: June 25, 2016
Date Started: January 2, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 27%

I just finished the chapter about black holes, and the next chapter proclaims that black holes aren’t actually black.  Astrophysics is amazing.

Title: The Dream Thieves
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: January 23, 2017
Date Started: January 26, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 48%

I’m tearing through this just as quickly as I ripped through the first.  Somehow Ms. Stiefvater managed to make a drug laden, dangerous teenage party with Molotov cocktails in a field seem poetic #talent

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 63%

One of the many things I find interesting about this compendium is how it will return to prior characters that were main ones in another branch and have them be side characters or even antagonists.  Since the fourth branch focuses on Gwydion and his brother Gilvaethwy, it’s from their point of view, and prior characters could be in positions set against them.

It’s also fascinating to note that the Old Tribes don’t really have a sense of fatherhood, but the New Tribes do.  The New have also introduced the idea of marriage, which many of the Old are quite against for good reason.  This fatherhood conundrum is a concept that I’ve read in both fiction/fantasy and historic or rather prehistoric fiction before.  You have to leave your presentism behind and remember that science and technology have not always been on the same level.  Women’s bodies were (and still remain in many cases much to my annoyance) a complete mystery.  No one really understood how conception occurred and sex was seen as merely pleasure or relief.  The connection between it and babies wasn’t a necessary fact, which meant that the idea of fatherhood was tenuous at best.  Even when it was mentioned, many scoffed at it since women aren’t impregnated by each sexual encounter, though Gwydion does note that if a cow is put into a field alone or only with other cows, she remains barren; however, if you add a bull, she’ll become pregnant.  Unfortunately, human pride stymies this comparison due to the idea of special creation (which I think is bunk) and not wanting to be compared to the beasts of the field.  Even in the present, this idea persists, which puts a damper on a great deal of progress and progressive thought.

Title: “Beta Reading”
Author: High School Friend/Fellow Author
Date Added: N/A
Date Started: February 14, 2017
Media: PDF/Kindle
Progress: 10%

What the hell is this? you ask.  Well an author friend of mine from high school whom I keep in touch with through the book of faces honored me the other day by asking me to beta read one of his novels.  I gladly accepted and figured out how to work it into the rotation.  He sent it as a PDF so I’m reading it on my Kindle during my lunch break along with the other two Kindle books.  He asked if I could have it finished by late February/early March, and I don’t think that will be a problem.

Obviously due to it being an unpublished novel, I can’t tell you anything about it or rather I’m erring on the side of discretion.  I’ll post my progress on it, just because it’s better for me to do so, since I’m more likely to make progress on reading, but alas, I shall have to keep details about the book hush hush until it’s published.


Fanfictions Finished: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 1

Title: I’m the Darkness, You’re the Starlight
Author: runicmagitek
Fandom: FFVI
Pairing: Celes Chere/Setzer Gabbiani

She updated this week! I haven’t had a chance to read the next chapter yet.  I’m hoping this weekend will allow it.

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 4

Title: Komarr
Series Title: Vorkosigan Saga
Author: Lois Bujold McMaster
Date Added: February 13, 2017

I replied to a comment on a body positivity site about bullying, and another commenter replied to me recommending this book.  Though the blurb appears to be in Swedish, Goodreads insists the book is in English, and though it’s the 11th book of the series, I was informed this would be one I’d want to read.  The main character deals with bullying from all sources (family and schoolmates), which is something I grew up with, and like the MC, I was told to “ignore it and it’ll go away,” which is absolute bullshit.  I thanked the purveyor of the comment and added this to my TBR list.

Title: Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis
Series Title: The Vampire Chronicles
Author: Anne Rice
Date Added: February 13, 2017

I talked about this above in the Purchased This Week section.

Title: One
Author: Sarah Crossan
Date Added: February 13, 2017

Thank you to The Writing Hufflepuff for throwing this into my sphere!  Apparently, it will rip my heart out.  I am so not ready D:

It’s about conjoined twin sisters Tippi and Grace who are perfectly happy being two in one, but then something happens that forces them to make the choice they’ve always been avoiding, and I already have a feeling I know what’s going to happen…

Title: Dweller
Author: Jeff Strand
Date Added: February 13, 2017

My Rapid Fire Book Tag (which I’ve already linked above) incited others to join in the fun, which is what such tags are about!  But there is a selfish side to the book tag phenomenon mwa ha ha, and that’s the fact that I find out about more new books to add to my ever growing TBR list.  Wait…this may not be so advantageous after all noooooo.  Hehe, truly, while I’ll never have time to finish them all, I’d hate to miss something I may very well love, and Ignited Moth almost casually mentioned this interesting horror gem (horror gem?  Horror gem?) in the Underrated Book section of the tag.

We’ve all heard stories about monsters in the forest and bogeymen in the woods.  They’re usually the Big Bad of any tale, and initially the main character Toby is terrified when he sees the creature in question, but the next time he encounters it, he’s lonely, unhappy teenager bereft of friends and overburdened with bullies.  The hungry creature provided a solution to both.  I just put this on my “Really Want To Read” list.


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 554
Change from Last Week: +3


Books Added to Goodreads To Be Reread List This Week: 0


What are you currently reading and/or what’s on your radar to read next?  What would you recommend based on my current and recently added?  As always I look forward to your comments and suggestions!

<–The State of the Reader: 2/8/17          The State of the Reader: 2/22/17–>

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Rapid Fire Book Tag

I saw this tag on Getting Through Anxiety’s blog and thought I’d participate in the fun (I’m also trying to catch up on the list of tags I still have unfinished, and this looks like a quick one hehe).  Feel free to participate if you wish!


EBOOKS OR PHYSICAL BOOKS?

Hm.  I adore the feel and smell of the pages, but I can read books on my Kindle on my lunch break at work or anywhere, and I love that convenience.  I know theoretically, I can read a physical book anywhere, too, but the e-reader makes it so much easier.

PAPERBACK OR HARDBACK?

Paperback.  Less expensive.

ONLINE OR IN-STORE BOOK SHOPPING?

In store book shopping.  I love bookstores, and I try to patronize the local Barnes and Noble at least once a month.  If there was an independently owned bookstore in my vicinity, I’d shop there.  I don’t want to see brick and mortar bookstores go away.  Sometimes I just go there to bask in their “bookiness.”

TRILOGIES OR SERIES?

Trilogies.  I don’t hate series.  Hell my favorite (book) story is a series (ASOIAF), but overall, I like it when narratives have a finite and defined ending.

HEROES OR VILLAINS?

Villains of course.

A BOOK YOU WANT EVERYONE TO READ?

This book was paramount to my understanding of symbolism, narrative, and mythology.  It shows the ways all narratives are tied together and is the origin of The Hero’s Journey/Monomyth,

RECOMMEND AN UNDERRATED BOOK.

I’m going by my favorites list on Goodreads and their average rating.

I really can’t believe this book is rated so low (3.73), but I guess YMMV when it comes to angelic lore.  Even though I haven’t read it in years (and reread could potentially change my point of view), it has a Paradise Lost vibe to it insofar as the devil is painted as a sympathetic character, but Ms. Rice does it not only on purpose, but for that purpose (unlike Milton who would’ve never purposely done such a thing).  This book was probably integral in my obsessive sympathy for my favorite Luciferian character.

THE LAST BOOK YOU FINISHED?

Oddly enough, the last book I finished is by the person from whom I got this tag, and I wrote a review for it here!

WEIRDEST THING YOU USED AS A BOOKMARK?

A black feather

USED BOOKS, YES OR NO?

I just bought two used books on Amazon yesterday.  They were $0.01 each.   I paid more for the shipping than for the books themselves.  I have no problem with used books.

TOP THREE FAVORITE GENRES?

Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Magical Realism

BORROW OR BUY?

Buy.  I want my own things.

CHARACTERS OR PLOT?

I tend to like plot driven stories, but you have to have good characters who are going to know what to do when they’re thrown into precarious situations.

LONG OR SHORT BOOK?

There’s nothing more wonderful than a long, fascinating novel, but I’ve been breezing through a lot of shorter works lately, which is helping me reach my 2017 reading goal.  So I prefer long books, but short books are good for practical purposes.  It also depends on how much I’m enjoying the story in question.

LONG OR SHORT CHAPTERS?

Short to medium.  Granted I’m a hypocrite when it comes to chapter length in my own work.

NAME THE FIRST THREE BOOKS YOU THINK OF.

The Last Unicorn, Prospero Lost (it’s sitting right in front of me), and The Raven Boys

BOOKS THAT MAKE YOU LAUGH OR CRY?

Anything by Douglas Adams is hilarious, and I cry during Iza’s death scene in Clan of the Cave Bear every single time I read it.  I’m tearing up right now thinking about it.

OUR WORLD OR FICTIONAL WORLDS?

Fictional.  This world sucks.

AUDIOBOOKS: YES OR NO?

Only if I’ve already read the book.

DO YOU EVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER?

I think we all do every now and then.  I have definitely been drawn to a book based on its cover, which has led me to read the blurb and potentially make a purchase.  Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin is a perfect example of this.  I found it in a used bookstore, had never heard of it or the author, didn’t realize at the time the title is based on a play by Shakespeare, but the cover caught my attention.

BOOK TO MOVIE OR BOOK TO TV ADAPTATION?

Book to TV can generally fit more of the book in (if done properly.  I’m looking at you Game of Thrones).

SERIES OR STANDALONE?

Series if the writing is compelling.  For example, I absolutely love The Raven Cycle series.

 

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The Goodreads Book Tag

This is one of the many “tag” posts I found months ago that I saved for when I had more time.

I found this on Callum McLaughlin’s blog a while ago and put it aside to do later.  It’s currently later, and I’m excited to finally do this tag.  Like Callum, I encourage anyone to add me as a friend on Goodreads!

Let’s get to it.

  • What was the last book you marked as “read?”

The Red Rose by Fia Black from the Submissive Beth Mysteries.

This book and the one before it got me into the mystery genre, something I need to do since I want to write in it at some point.  It also has the extra bonus of portraying the BDSM scene a lot better than some more well known series out there.

  • What are you currently reading?

Four books right now:

Since I discovered that I could easily fit some Kindle pages in during lunchtime at my job, I’ve added an additional book to my reading trio.  Oddly enough, now that I’m on my vacation I’m reading less of Sigil than I was during work.

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The State of the Reader: 5/25/16

<–The State of the Reader: 5/18/16          The State of the Reader: 6/1/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Currently Reading: 4

Change from Last Week: 0


Title: Windhaven
Authors: George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle

WindhavenMedium: Paperback
Progress: 28%

Title: Paradise Lost
Author
: John Milton

Paradise LostMedium: Paperback
Progress:
67%

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Ultimate Book Tag

This was originally posted here by blogger inspiredbyabook, and she encouraged everyone to partake so I shall in addition to paying the encouragement forward.  Please feel free to use and/or reblog 🙂

1. Do you get sick while reading in the car?
Thankfully, no, but it’s been a long time since I’ve had the opportunity to read in the car. I’m either usually driving or not going far enough to immerse myself into words. I read more in cars before I could drive and used to read profusely when I regularly took public transportation many, many years ago.

2. Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why?
My favorite author right now is the amazing George R R Martin. I love the incongruence between his lush, gorgeous style and the often horrors and gore he pens. I’m a lover of irony and try to mimic such a paradigm in my own writing. There’s also of course the indomitable Anne Rice who manages to perfectly display the nature of humanity using non-human characters. I’ve heard critiques about her being an elitist, and not only do I not care if she is, I revel in it. I love how seemingly over dramatic her characters can be, how they feel everything so intensely. She’s been a favorite of mine since the long gone days of high school. The accusations of her over descriptiveness is also something I can relate to.

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