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The Fantastic and Mundane Chronicles of an Aspiring Writer

My Musings: Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

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The latest addition to the Kate Daniels’ series has everything that’s great about the series: suspense, humor, great fight scenes, and, of course, quality Kate and Curran time. Yet despite all of this, for some reason, this installment didn’t hold my attention as much as the previous ones. In short, I was able to put it down. For a while. Honestly, when I try to remember the basic plot I can recall a blur. To me, I guess, this book felt like a fill-in volume. Yes, Kate, seemingly out of nowhere can now hold her own against her father’s invincible power, but *spoiler* he still hasn’t been defeated by the end. Towards the middle, the pace was beginning to pick up and pieces were falling into place for an awesome battle scene at the end—which turned out to be way shorter than I expected, not mention drastically anticlimactic. Don’t get me wrong. Like I stated before, this book is still very much a part of the Kate Daniels’ series with the same charm as all the previous novels, and when I finally got into it, I couldn’t put it down. Still, something about it just seemed off to me. Maybe it was the short length or lack of substantial plot, I don’t know. With that being said, I’m still a fan of this series, and I will definitely be reading the next volume.

📚✔︎ Would recommend for fans of urban fantasy with action and romance

If I could summarize the book in three words: entertaining, but forgettable 

Check out the official summary of Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews on goodreads.

My rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★

 

Given the all the raw emotions remaining from the election last night, I thought today would be a good day to share this quote with everyone.

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Even darkness must pass. 

A new day will come. 

And when the sun shines 

it will shine out the clearer. 

-J.R.R. Tolkien 

Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions. -Albert Einstein

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Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions. 

-Albert Einstein 

“The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words all being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.” -Vladimir Nabokov

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“The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words all being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.”

-Vladimir Nabokov

Music Playlist Part III: Battle/Action Scenes

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In this part, I will be posting some of my favorite instrumental tracks to listen to while I’m writing action or battle scenes. The majority of these following songs consists of film scores and trailer music. I hope you enjoy!

  1. Phoenix Rising-Audiomachine
  2. Red Warrior-Audiomachine
  3. Archangel-Two Steps From Hell
  4. Praetorian Guards-Jo Blankenburg
  5. Guardians at the Gate-Audiomachine
  6. Legions of Doom-Audiomachine
  7. The Battle-Harry Gregson-Williams
  8. Firebending Training-Jeremy Zuckerman
  9. Black Blade-Two Steps From Hell
  10. Blood and Stone-Audiomachine
  11. Legacy-Fringe Element
  12. Drink Up Me Hearties Yo Ho-Hans Zimmer
  13. Dracarys-Ramin Djawadi
  14. Taking a Stand-Henry Jackman
  15. Finale and Curtain Call-Joe Kraemer
  16. The Majestic Tale (Of a Madman in a Box)-Murray Gold 

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The Query Letter and Purpose of a Literary Agent

Hello, everyone! I just sent out my first batch of query letters to several literary agents (*crosses fingers excitedly*), so for this post I thought I would focus on the subject of literary agents in general. I hope all you aspiring authors looking to get published out there find this helpful!

Anyone trying to get his or her manuscript published should strongly consider looking into obtaining agent. Their job is to submit the author’s work to publishing houses, or more specifically, the editors he or she believes would be the best match for the manuscript. In essence, literary agents act as mediators between the author and any entity wishing to sell, advertise, or promote his or her work, such as publishers or film studios. Simply stated, a literary agent’s function is to act as the author’s representative in the literary market. An agent will drastically increase your chances of getting your manuscript accepted by editors, negotiate the terms of your publishing contacts to give you the best deal possible, and also manage the subrights of your work.

Author Nathan Bransford has written a wonderful article that depicts the author-literary agent partnership in great detail here.

Here’s a basic list of the things you should include in your query letter:

  • 1-2 paragraph summary of your manuscript (like the blurbs on the back of book covers you see at the store) 
  • Brief biography (only things writing-related) 
  • Word count of your manuscript 
  • Why you are contacting this particular agent (note: This is IMPORTANT in making your query letter more personalized. If you’re choosing to query a specific agent because you read an interview that he or she was looking for YA fantasy works, and your manuscript fits this description then MENTION this!) 

Before starting your letter, you should research various resources online for more detailed guidelines on how to do this (the link for AgentQuery below will lead you to a page with this kind of information).

Okay, so now you maybe wondering exactly how to find the right literary agent for you?

One of the easiest ways to do this is to search online. There are many writing websites that regularly post agent spotlights that explain the types of manuscripts each one is looking for. These are some of my favorites:

AgentQuery

Literary Rambles

Manuscript Wishlist

You can also buy this year’s Guide to Literary Agents book, which contains a comprehensive list of every literary agency in the U.S. and what genres they are currently accepting.

Tip: While it is tempting to immediately send a query letter to the top literary agents of famous bestsellers, you should keep in mind that newer agents who are still building their client lists are more open to submissions and more likely to take on inexperienced authors. Writer’s Digest has a specific segment focusing on new and upcoming agents that you can check out here.

Good luck and write on!

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” -Henry David Thoreau

 

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“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

-Henry David Thoreau

My Musings: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

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This book was everything I hoped for and more. Maas’ worldbuilding and character development was amazing, and in my opinion the best it has ever been in this novel. Aelin’s growth over the entire series has been amazing to watch, and the difference between her character now and in the first book is unbelievable. I also loved how after getting to know each of the main players in the series, we finally see all of them interact in this latest installment. Maas has created such strong characters that each of their voices and personalities come alive on the page without the danger of any one of them being lost or fading into the background. The romantic relationships in this book—both new and old—were interesting if somewhat predictable, though that didn’t stop me from becoming fully invested in them anyway. The plot-twists in this book were entirely unexpected, and as usual, the heart-wrenching ending left me yearning for more.

📚✔︎ Would recommend for readers of epic fantasy with a band of loveable heroes and villains you can’t help but love to hate.

If I could summarize the book in two words: utterly consuming

Check out the official summary of Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas on goodreads.

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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