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I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia.

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The first novel of my trilogy, The Talismans, is available as e-books from Smashwords, Amazon and other online sellers. I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $AU25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. Book two of the trilogy, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available again shortly. The best way to contact me is via Facebook!

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The first two books of The Talismans trilogy were published by Satalyte Publications, which, sadly, has gone out of business. I hope to see my books back on Amazon under a new publisher in the near future.

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The Dagger of Dresnia
Want a copy? Contact me at satimafn(at)gmail.com

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The Cloak of Challiver
Available again as an ebook soon!

Mythic Resonance

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Mythic Resonance is an excellent anthology that includes my short story 'La Belle Dame', together with great stories from Alan Baxter, Donna Maree Hanson, Sue Burstynski, Nike Sulway and nine more fantastic authors! Just $US3.99 from Amazon. Got a Kindle? Check out Mythic Resonance.

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Sunday, 2 December 2007

Displacement Activities

I've just had the pleasure of reviewing one of the best books I've read all year: Karen Miller's The Riven Kingdom. It is the second book in a trilogy but never fear – it's a discrete story and you don't need to have read the first one, although if you're new to Karen's work you'll probably want to go out and buy all her others once you've read this one! With wonderful characters, all very different from each other, and an exciting plot about an orphaned princess's determination to claim her heritage, it has something for everyone. If you like lovable characters opposing a Machiavellian baddie, adventure, romance, mystery and magic, go check it out! But first, follow the link in the left hand column to read my review on The Specusphere.

And my own writing? Still in the doldrums, I fear. I continue to get critiques that demand more depth of character; more detail, and what's more, I seem to keep falling into plot holes. Oh, to write like Karen Miller. Or Glenda Larke. Or Juliet Marillier. Or, right now, anyone but me:-( Perhaps I should read more while I’m not writing and make noticing details in other people's work the focus of my reading. I'm afraid I'm usually a great one for skimming detail.

In the meantime, there are plenty of displacement activities for blocked writers. Following blogs is one, and I've just found a new one to add to the list. It is called Writers Read, and in recent weeks two of my favourite writers, Juliet Marillier and Simon Haynes, have shared their current reading matter. It is fascinating to see the variety of tastes, even among genre writers.

10 comments:

Jo said...

I will be sure to read the Riven Kingdom Satima, it sounds right up my street. Sorry you are in the writing doldrums at the moment, must be most frustrating.

Bastet said...

Hi, Satima. I just finished William Gibson's "Spook Country" (spooks being government agents), and I was really disappointed. So, I'm glad you read a good one.

My own writing has come to a standstill as I get ready for my Egyptian adventure.
Hope your doldrums end soon.

Lynn

Marilyn Z. Tomlins said...

I've read your review of the book and I plan to add it to my "wish list".

As for being in the writing doldrums, don't ever read books in the same genre as the one of your book-in-progress, because unless you are very thick-skinned you are going to think that you can't possibly write even *half* as well.
Marilyn

Silly Yak Tales said...

Hi Satima,

For a bit of levity to break you writingr doldrums you should teach pigs the ballet then write about it.

i just finished Phillipa Gregory's book "The Other
Bolyen Girl", a good book.

Satima Flavell said...

Hey, you guys have been busy while I was asleep:-) Yes, Karen's books are good fantasy, Jo - her first pair, called the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker series are already available Stateside and selling well. Lynn, you have given me two new bits of info - that spooks are government agents and that you're off to Egypt. (What, jealous, me?) Marilyn, that's really good thinking - read something different. I keep meaning to read more widely but as I only read for an hour at bedtime it takes me over a week to read even a normal book and a long one takes - well, longer. Dancing pigs, Randi - hmm. If I still had pigs I might try it. They'd be as responsive, I'm sure, as some of the unwilling kids I taught from time to time:-)

Be sure to let me know when you update your blogs. Blogspot doesn't have a notification service that covers blog entries.

Satima Flavell said...

PS Randi, I forgot to say that I like Philippa Gregory, too. Historical novels are my next fave after fantasy.

Jo said...

Your comment about historical novels reminded me of books I read as a youngster by, I think, Marjory Comyn, the only title I remember is A Swarm of Bees and I cannot find any reference on Google. She wrote books about both Elizabeth I and Napoleon and Josephine. A Swarm of Bees was about Napoleon's childhood in Corsica. They were great books.

Satima, at the moment, I post every day.

Glenda Larke said...

Now, now, Satima - you shouldn't be wanting to write like someone else!

Sometimes we get too close to our own stories, and it is time to step back, take time off and then come back in a month or two. Esp good for plothole finding. If you have already tried that, then here's another tip to help with what other people are saying some of your problems are.


Forget your story. I mean that. Forget the plot, the story arc. Look only at a scene, a single scene at a time. In fact, maybe don't even look at scenes in their proper order.

Go through it paragraph by paragraph. Are you, the reader, at one with the PoV? What is the tension? (If there is no tension there ought to be.) What senses come into play? Read it aloud. Does it flow? Are the images sharp, evocative? Do you the reader know something more by the end of it? (They should.) Does every character sound/act as he/she should? If they don't, why not? Can you see, smell, hear, feel what is happening?

Remember, you are looking only at this scene. Forget the rest of the book. Get each scene right, instead of trying to get the whole right. It might work.

Satima Flavell said...

Thanks for those great tips, Glenda. Reading them gave me an idea that should cover all bases. I will put the wretched thing away for a couple of weeks (again!) and them I'll start printing it out, chapter by chapter, at the rate of one a day. I'll also print out your notes, turning them into a check list. The one of my jobs each day will be to read the chapter in isolation, making notes on the hard copy. Gotta be worth a try...

Wow, guys, isn't Jo amazing, blogging every day? And all those yummy recipes! Makes me wish I liked cooking:-)

Glenda Larke blogs almost every day too and has some fascinating stuff to say about conservation and life in Malaysia as well as tips on writing and publishing. Look out for her two trilogies if you haven't read them: the first is called "The Isles of Glory" and the second, "The Mirage Makers". I'm really looking forward to the third!

Jo said...

I would love to get Glenda's blog address Satima if you could send it to me please. Also I will see if I can find her books here.

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