Monthly Archives: June 2008

The Gypsy Morph by Terry Brooks

The Gypsy Morph

AuthorTerry Brooks

Pages: 416 pages
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: August 26, 2008
ISBN-10: 0345484142
ISBN-13: 978-0345484147

For the sake of full transparency, I would just like my readers to know that I am a moderator at the Official Terry Brooks forum, but that this fact had no impact on the opinions found in the review below.

Terry Brooks is one of my favourite authors. For this reason, I feel it’s important to hold him to a high standard, a higher standard, perhaps, than other writers. I was disappointed in his previous trilogy, The High Druid of Shannara, and wasn’t afraid to express this disappointment – the writing was too lean, too manufactured. Brooks had the formula for writing that type of story down pat and it felt so.

All of my concerns, however, were washed away by the next two novels Brooks produced, Armageddon’s Children and The Elves of Cintra. These novels, the first and second novels in The Genesis of Shannara trilogy, acted as a bridge between Brooks’ ultra-successful Shannara series and his under-the-radar-but-totally-amazing Word and Void trilogy, an Urban Fantasy. The staid and by-the-numbers approach found in The High Druid of Shannara was suddenly replaced by a visceral, imaginative take on a post-apocalytpic Earth with humans struggling for survival amongst a world of mutants and demons. Reading the first volumes in The Genesis of Shannara trilogy brought back memories of what drew me to Brooks in the first place.

Then along came The Gypsy Morph, the final volume in the trilogy, and something was lost. That’s not to say The Gypsy Morph isn’t a decent book, it’s still one of the best efforts Brooks has put out in the last several years, but it just isn’t on the level of its two predecessors. So what’s the problem?
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David B. Coe, author of The LonTobyn Chronicle and the Winds of the Forelands series, has an interesting post on writing and finding your own pace.

I go about my work differently. I hunker down. I plod along. I use any other metaphor I can think of for writing slowly and steadily. Last week I wrote a total of 9,000 words — thirty-six pages. The week before that I wrote about 8,500 words. The week before that about the same. This week I’ll lose a day to the holiday weekend, but I should wind up with 7,000 words or so. It’s not a lot. But it’s enough to get me a hundred and twenty to a hundred and thirty manuscript pages a month. And that means that I can write my 140,000 word novel in less than half a year.

Writing a book is a huge undertaking. It’s hard enough to get to the finish line while meeting your goals and sticking to a schedule. But if you begin and end every day of writing feeling that you’re hopelessly behind, that you’re failing to do what you set out to do, that daunting task can become impossible. Be good to yourself. Enjoy the work. Find your pace, accept it as your own, embrace it. And then stick to it. You might not get the book done as quickly as you’d like, or as quickly as some pros do, but you’ll get it done. And really, that’s the most important thing.

It’s short and to the point, but certainly worth taking a look at for everyone out there who, like me, are aspiring writers. The whole thing can be found HERE.

Though mostly a literature blog, I’m always willing to bend the rules a little bit around A Dribble of Ink and this is one of those instances. I’m just so damn excited not to mention anything!

From Blizzard Entertainment, the same guys who crafted Starcraft, and a little game you might have heard of called World of Warcraft, comes the official announcement of the long rumoured Diablo III.

From the official web site:

Two decades have passed since the demonic denizens, Diablo, Mephisto, and Baal, wandered the world of Sanctuary in a vicious rampage to shackle humanity into unholy slavery. Yet for those who battled the Prime Evils directly, the memory fades slowly and the wounds of the soul still burn.

When Deckard Cain returns to the ruins of Tristram’s Cathedral seeking clues to new stirrings of evil, a comet from the heavens strikes the very ground where Diablo once entered the world. The comet carries a dark omen in its fiery being and it calls the heroes of Sanctuary to defend the mortal world against the rising powers of the Burning Hells – and even the failing luminaries of the High Heavens itself.

And two videos via Gamevideos:

All I can say is… there goes another 100 hours of my life.

There is no current release date set.

My first edition of I Ask You went over better than I had anticipated, with a lot of great input from my readers. That one was focused around interviews and it’s had a direct impact on how I approach my interviews.

To that end, I thought it was about time for another edition. This time I wanted to tackle a subject that has seen a fair bit of discussion over the past several weeks around the ‘net: Reviews.

What makes for a good, interesting review?

Some things to think about: How much plot synopsis do you like? Do you like in depth literary reviews full of quotations, passages from the novel, solid examples? Or more off the cuff reviews? Who are some of your favourite reviewers? Whose reviews do you not enjoy a whole lot?

Brian Ruckley When I approach Brian Ruckley, author of the acclaimed Winterbirth (REVIEW) and the newly released Bloodheir, a couple of weeks ago about an interview, he suggested we buck the system a bit and go
for a more conversational tone. We wanted to tackle some things that you haven’t read in all the other interviews you’ve seen with Ruckley and hopefully have some fun in the meantime.

In the end, Brian and I managed to put together what is probably one of my favourite interviews to appear on A Dribble of Ink. If you’re interested in learning more about Brian and his novels, you can check out his web site HERE. You can also read my first interview with Brian HERE.

Break out the popcorn, this is a long one! Let me know what you think of the new format.

The Interview

Alright Brian, let’s get the easy question out of the way. Why should readers give a damn about your upcoming release Bloodheir?

    Well I imagine those predisposed to give a damn (to whom I am, of course, inordinately grateful) already do so, and don’t need me to tell them why they should. As far as everyone else is concerned … what can I say? Although perfection remains, unsurprisingly, out of reach, I think I’m improving as a writer, bit by little bit. It’s got one or two plot developments that I really don’t believe many reasonable readers will have seen coming (plus, of course, one or two that they probably will…). And it’s got another lovely cover, just like Winterbirth did, so it’ll look grand on your bookshelf. Come to that, it’ll look great anywhere, so even if you’re only in the market for a cool-looking doorstop, it should fit the bill nicely.
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