Interview with Peter V. Brett, Author of The Warded Man (The Demon Cycle)

Talking with a favorite author is always a thrill. I got to do it today, on the Guild of Dreams.

Guild Of Dreams

by A.M. Justice

51hu1K5f9LLAbout eight years ago, my husband came home from work and announced that his coworker Peter had given notice so he could become a full-time fantasy author. Curious and skeptical, I bought the coworker’s book, thinking, “Let’s see what this guy’s got.” I quickly learned he had the right stuff. From the opening lines about a community gathering together in the wake of a strange fire, New York Times Bestseller The Warded Man hooked me, and I’ve been a loyal follower of Arlen, Lessa, Roger, Renna, Ahmann, and Inevera since. My copy of The Skull Throne, Book Four of The Demon Cycle, published by Del Rey, will be delivered to my Kindle today, and I look forward to reading it on an upcoming family vacation.

I admire Peter’s tight prose, inventive storytelling, and nuanced characterizations. Arlen is one of my all-time favorite fantasy heroes, and…

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The Buzz of Rejection – Guest Post – Amanda – 10/25/2014

I wrote this last October for One Year of Letters​. It’s still true today. Dang wasp.

One Year of Letters

For our inaugural guest, we would like to introduce A.M. Justice. Amanda is the author of The Woern Chronicles, a series that blends high fantasy, fairy tales, and science fiction to forge a story about a smart woman and a charming prince who become ensnared in a decades-long conflict between nations.

To read more about Amanda as well as her series you can visit her webpages here and here.  Without further ado, Amanda’s letter.

10966901_10152839064756144_529366013_n“The Buzz of Rejection”

10/25/2014

Dear Amanda,

Remember that time in high school when a wasp got into your hair, and you screamed until a boy came over and pulled it out and killed it for you? You could tell by the look on the wasp-killer’s face that your rescue was motivated less by gallantry than by annoyance at your high-pitched squeals. And remember how mortified you were, when you overheard a couple of the…

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Leaf by Justice

J.R.R. Tolkien wrote a short story about an artist who spends a lifetime working on the same piece of art. I write about how this resonates with me on the Guild of Dreams.

Guild Of Dreams

Leafpainting Lizzie Harper. Botanical Illustration – Tips on painting sketchbook-style studies of leaves – May 4th 2013

J.R.R. Tolkien, the father of the fantasy genre, wrote a short story called “Leaf by Niggle” (look for it in The Tolkien Reader). When I was a teen, just beginning to write my own stories, this story struck me as “true,” and it resonates even more strongly now. The first half of the story is about an artist named Niggle whose only work is a massive painting of a tree. The painting is never finished, and he continues to scrape away parts of it and paint them anew, because they never quite reflect his vision. Niggle’s neighbor sneers at Niggle’s lack of industry (as he spends his time painting a plant and neglects the real ones in his garden) and plagues him with requests for help running errands and doing home-maintenance projects. Niggle…

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Amanda 3/18/15 Convictions

This week on One Year in Letters, I ponder Internet behavior.

One Year of Letters

amanda'scatpic3/18/15

Convictions, Courage, and the Internet

While browsing through my Facebook newsfeed this weekend, I came across a post that made my blood boil. We’ve all experienced this: a Facebook friend posts an inflammatory message that demands a response. Heart pounding, we pounce at the keyboard and hammer out an appropriately scathing—or archly informative—reply. Perhaps we hunt for an online article to prove our point, or perhaps we merely offer a withering scold. And then we hit return.

Or, we don’t.

I stopped hitting that key a few years back after realizing the blood pressure elevations prompted by arguments with strangers weren’t worth it. But I also doused my collection of firebrands because I’d started promoting my fiction through social media, and to be frank, I feared offending potential fans. While I occasionally post a link or “like” a page some might find controversial, I do so far less often…

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Amanda 3/4/2015 – Fear and Ambition in Brooklyn

Today on One Year of Letters, I own up to the truth.

One Year of Letters

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Dear A:

How often have you passed a shop window, caught a reflection of an old, jowly broad out the corner of your eye, mutely snickered at her, then realized it’s your own reflection? How many times have you stood up, turned your head, crossed your leg, or picked up your purse and felt pain streaking through your nerves as a no-longer supple muscle seizes up? How often have you not written down that task or that message, confident your steel-trap memory will retain it, and found yourself in trouble later, because the trap has morphed into a sieve?

Acceptance is the first step toward recovery, right? So maybe you need to accept that you’re getting old. Ignoring the decline in your physique and faculties isn’t helping you prevent it. In your mind’s eye, you see yourself as a fit and fine fifty-year-old, like your neighbor who runs marathons…

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