Empathising with Characters, Claire Legrand's Cover Reveal, and New Susan Mitchell Books!

ROW80 has not been going so well this week. I slacked off on both editing days (I was trying to catch up on a knit gift) and then finally managed a couple of hours on my 'off' day, Thursday (love my schedule!).

Except that, instead of typing up the missing scenes, or moving ahead with the on-screen editing, I printed the MS and tried to start reading it from the beginning. Oops.

Ended up with a Slash 'n' Burn of the first two chapters. Just when you think a scene is done and dusted, your realise your major flaw has come out to shine again: how to make the reader care about the main characters?

Anyone have any tips about how to achieve reader empathy from the start?

Claire Legrand is having a cover reveal week! I debated sharing a screenshot here, but that won't do it justice. You've got to go over and see the cover of The Year of Shadows for yourselves. Plus, there are prizes!

[Public service announcement: I've gotten an update on the Perrott's Folly charity drive: while it certainly is an older landmark and possibly worth restoring, its links to Tolkien seem to be dubious at best.]

Meanwhile, this is getting me very excited:

50th Anniversary Doctor Who with ALL THE DOCTORS

Who else is going to be doing the A-Z Challenge in April?

I am! Haven't yet decided on my theme though. Last year it was all books. So far I'm debating between Tolkien, art, more travel photographs, or... Not sure.

I might explore my Twitter favourites - no, seriously. The tweets I've favourited so far have all been items I've wanted to look deeper into, whether songs, new bands, medieval research, photos from space, images from Antarctica, or books I'd like to get. A sort of writing and musical hodgepodge, but one that fits the blog format more than the tumblr format (which seems to be mainly about images and oneliners, but looks so pretty, even down to the giant octopus that reminds me of my Kraken in Druid's Moon. And the .gifs! so many .gifs!)

There are already 460 bloggers signed up for the A-Z! It's going to be a busy month...


I've raved about Susan Mitchell's charming illustrations before - I got this adorable calendar of hers ages ago for my nephew - and now I find she's coming out with two new books:


What other books for wee ones have you enjoyed?
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