Sunday, February 6, 2011

Chapter 9 of "Wheel of Katarum"

If you've been wondering when you're finally going to learn something about this Katarnum place, then your wait is over. In chapter 9, "Tales from Another Realm" Rob, Sam and Hope get an earful of the magical land, and at least for Rob, it's more than he really wanted to know.

If you want to know, however, just click here.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Much Ado About Bobbel

Chapter 8 of Wheel of Katarnum is finally here! Sorry for the wait. I have no excuse except for Christmas craziness, lunacy at work and madness at home -- and the other people in my life haven't been much saner. I hope all of you had a good Christmas season and can now get back to your usual craziness.

The star of this chapter is definitely Bobbel. Everyone seems to want a piece of the little donkey, but he is determined to have some say in the matter himself. Click here and see what I mean.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Basketball for the Stout-Hearted

Just a quick posting today to let everyone know that chapter 7 of Wheel of Katarnum is now online. In "A Dangerous Game" Rob and Sam go head to head against the hateful Cradder brothers, and the basketball quickly gets ugly. Check it out here.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trouble in Katarnum

As those of you who've been paying attention know, up to now I've posted chapters 1 - 5 of Wheel of Katarnum on my website. Unfortunately, if you've read chapter 4 you may have gotten a little confused, as I discovered that the version I posted suffered from the over-editing syndrome. I apologize and have cured the patient, I think.
To make up for it I'm putting the next chapter, "Granny's Intuition," on the web as of this writing. I hope you'll let me know how you like it.

"Tall Story" is Big Stuff

With a working vacation in the US out of the way, I'm finally back on the blog again. For weeks I've been wanting to put up something about Candy Gourlay's great little book, "Tall Story." I got to know Candy at the Bologna Children's Book Fair a couple of years ago and was sure then it was only a matter of time (very little time) before she would get her first book published.

"Tall Story" is a poignant, funny tale about the love that develops between a sister and brother who couldn't be more different -- on the outside. Andi is 12 years old, short, and lives in London. Bernard is 16, eight feet tall, and lives in the Philipines. What they have in common is their mother and a love of basketball. Amazingly, Andi is the one who can really play the game, not Bernard! When Bernard finally gets to move to London to join his family, he brings a whole load of Philipino superstition (or is it magic) with him. Candy deftly mixes real life drama, culture clash and something approaching magical realism, keeping the reader right there with her the whole time.

With "Tall Story" Candy has hit a game-winning three-pointer (for you non-basketballers, that's real good). The biggest thing about "Tall Story" is not eight-foot Bernard, but the magical way Candy Gourlay brings two very different people and cultures together, and makes us believe it was meant to be.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chapter 5 - A Strange Invitation

Chapter 5 of Wheel of Katarnum just hit cyperspace. In this chapter, Rob and Sam get a mysterious letter delivered personally by teeth. Read it and see what I mean. Just click here.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ramblings, Rewrites and "Sacred Scars"

It's already September. Anybody know what happened to August? In Bavaria (Germany) August is vacation time for anybody with school-aged kids or spouses who are teachers, and that's me on both counts. So that's what happened to August, I guess -- vacation -- that and home-improvement projects. It's amazing how much work it is to build a relatively small garden house (or pavillion as we prefer to call it).
But now all that's behind me, and I only have the usually fifteen excuses for not blogging, not writing, not critiquing, etc.

But hey, I did manage to reach a milestone in my tween fantasy novel, Wheel of Katarnum: I finished the latest (last?) rewrite - all the way to the end! After a read-through I'll be bombarding some unsuspecting agents and editors with irresistible queries.
In honor of this momentous occasion, I've put chapter 4 up on my website. You can read all about the "Haunted Hawkins" here.

And to all you fantasy lovers (and even to normal folks) I would like to recommend the book I'm currently reading, "Sacred Scars" by Kathleen Duey. This is the second book in Kathleen's dark fantasy trilogy, and it has really grabbed me. The author has a way of getting you into the head of the magician's apprentice Hahp, who is trapped in the draconian Limòri Academy of Magic along with a few other unfortunate boys. This story would almost be too heavy, however, if it weren't balanced by a second story-line with the protagonist Sadima, who was involved with the founding of the academy hundreds of years earlier. She, like the founders, however, has used magic to extend her life almost indefinitely, and it's only a matter of time before she and Hahp cross paths (but not in this book, I don't think). It's an ingenius and fascinating way of interweaving two story-lines into one.
So read it.