Lynne Sears Williams' The Comrades and Insecure Writers

NaNo Day Two.

Insecure enough yet?

Actually, there's no reason to be insecure when writing during NaNo - turn off that inner editor and get scribbling!

I think fears never leave us - c.f. Joanna Bourne's first comment in her latest blog post - but we can learn and relearn ways to quiet those fears and work past them. On of the best ways is to arm yourself. You've got your pen, paper, computer, research books, library card, and so on. But what about the words? What about the grammar? In a recent interview, Grammar Girl talked about new approaches to teaching grammar, and how important it is to know the basics for clear thinking and writing.

So, fellow insecure writers, stockpile your arsenal and you'll feel braver. If it's the writing itself that's got you blocked, take a look at the 30 Questions Writers' Exercise that Ron Wodaski set up last September on the Forum. It's the quickest springboard to getting to know your story and your characters.

Speaking of characters you'd like to know, Lynne Sears Williams has a new release, The Comrades, available now on Amazon.

[That quote on the cover is from Diana Gabaldon: "Three more engaging Welshmen have never been written! By turns hilarious, poignant, bloody - and bloody accurate - historical fiction seldom gets as good as this."]

"9th century Wales...

Evan, king of Powys, returns from a wedding to find a village ransacked, with women and children dead. Neighboring Gwynedd has broken the peace, crossing the mountain to pillage and murder. The dead babes tear his heart, and Evan vows to break the heart of Gwynedd.

Gwynedd's most guarded treasure is a pampered princess. In a bloody raid, Evan's comrades return to Powys with Gwynedd's heart. Evan knows holding the princess will be dangerous and her safe-keeping may mean the difference between the lasting peace he desires and a bloody war. He's prepared for her to be kept safe but unprepared for the girl's intelligence, compassion and damnably kissable mouth.

Morleyna's secret gift of Sight reveals a cruel betrayal that sends Evan on a mystical journey where he discovers his only chance for redemption rests in the hands of his captive. Her brothers will arrive to claim their sapphire-eyed sister. Will her kinsmen, bent on revenge, destroy Evan and his comrades? Or will destruction come from Morleyna, who may be the reincarnation of someone whose beauty captivated a nation?"

That just gives you a taste... There's a lot in this book you'll want to read and savour slowly: from manly men to wise cats, scenes that make you weep to dialogue that has you bubbling with laughter. Of course, I'm also a sucker for stories set in Wales. The names roll off one's tongue, and the world - the Keep, the crofts, the food and feuds, the hills and heights - are vividly realised.

I'm trying to find a wonderful line to quote, but don't want to throw out phrases out of context. Here's a lovely bit:

"'I admit I made a mess of this, dragging you here the way I did. I have no regrets; I never in a hundred lifetimes would have visited Gwynedd and met you. Yet, here you are.'
'All right, then, I will do it.'
'Which?' he said, in a half-strangled voice. 'Be impertinent or marry me?'"

If you would know the answer to that question, read The Comrades! But meanwhile, you may watch the trailer:


Anne Gallagher said…
That books sounds fantastic! I love keeps and crofts. And three fine Welsh men.
Linda G. said…
LOL! Great minds think alike. I love THE COMRADES. :)
S.P. Bowers said…
I need to stop reading your blog. I spend way too much money from here. Just bought The Comrades. I LOVE KINDLE.
KH LeMoyne said…
I agree with SP, I'm just a sucker for a good book for my kindle!
Deniz Bevan said…
Very fine Welshmen, Anne! :-)

Must be so Linda - how often does this happen in the blogosphere, I wonder?

I won't be held accountable Sara! I've been buying books non stop all year even though I promise myself No More. But I'm not sorry you like coming by my blog :-)

I'd be doubly dangerous with boo buying if I had a Kindle, Kate...
J.L. Campbell said…
Have fun with NaNo! And yes, our fears never leave us.
N. R. Williams said…
I'd say your review of this book is a gem. Thanks for your kind words on my blog today.
N. R. Williams, Fantasy Author
Thank you for adding my book to your blog, Deniz! I guess you've finishing reading it. As to *why* you and Linda posted on the same day? The Comrades made you do it! That's my excuse. Thanks to all who put me on a TBR list and to S.P. Bowers? Enjoy the ride!
Fun day in 9th Century Wales. Hope you all have fun. I did!
It sounds like a good book! :) Thanks for the review.
Sorry, Deniz, I forgot to say I'm working on Gareth's book now. For everyone who loves a bad-boy, he'll be here soon.
Reka Sang said…
Sounds like an interesting book, your comment on my post was very good advice...I think it will dome a world of good. Good luck with Nano and have added you as Buddy, hope you don't mind.
And does the editor truly go away? :)
Liz Fichera said…
I love that quote too! And I might be in the mood to read Lynne's book this weekend. :)
To Reka: the editor never leaves. I know this with certainty. How, you may ask? Let me tell you; my comment amounts to heresy. The book REBECCA is a classic. "Last night I dreamt of Manderly again." When I read the book I see places to edit. Lots of places, pots of places! So, there may be a Santa Claus, Reka but I'd edit anything he wrote, too. Happy to be a buddy!
I had a message from Anonymous, which I don't see posted. You're welcome and I love your website!
Lena Corazon said…
Ohhhhh, that book sounds wonderful. Now I know what I'm buying the next time I get paid!

For NaNo, I am doing my hardest to lock my inner editor in the basement and put away the key for the month. It's difficult, but it's getting easier. In spots where I would stick placeholders like 'insert snarky comeback here,' I'm forcing myself to actually write real words, even if they're lame and cliche and terrible. I'm flagging those spots mentally, and I might add a comment or two in for reference later on, but I am doing my best to forge ahead.

Good luck with your writing this week!
Chris Phillips said…
It's hard to turn off that editor, especially when you know the stuff you are putting down kinda blows, and will continue to blow until your good friend, inner editor, has a look. He's just trying to help!
Lena you had me at 'insert snarky comment here.' A flat-out LOL because it's true. Some times I look at a character straight in the face and say, 'that's it, is it? You know I can off you. All by myself. With Mis Lynne in the kitchen and a steak knife.' You can always edit 'snark' out. What we need are enough words to slice and dice. Snark as needed.
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks Joy and Golden Eagle!

And thank you Nancy.

Thanks for adding me Reka!

Good luck to you too Lena! Great idea to lock away that editor.

That's what underlining and square brackets are for, Chris! I mark up everything that sucks and leave the editing worries for later...

Soo looking forward to Gareth, Lynne. I'm still stuck with him down in that room, with the nameless maiden... Now to go add some snarkiness to my own NaNo drafting...
Deniz Bevan said…
Let me know what you think, Liz!
Tia Bach said…
Comrades sounds good, I'l have to add it to my TBR list.

Editing... the very reason I write slower some times. I have to turn off that little voice and just write. Then edit when it's time to edit. But it's hard, especially since I co-author and go back and forth.

Cheering for you!
To Tia, some people need to write slowly. I know people who write longhand, on paper, then transpose. It works for them because they can get their thoughts in order. Everybody is different. Do what works for *you.*
Anonymous said…
Great! Thanks for the share!

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