Tag Archives: Leigh Bardugo

Fierce Reads

10 Oct


Before watching the presidential town hall last night, I went to the Fierce Reads tour at Powells.

Although I arrived early, I had to take a seat in the fifth row because so many fans were excited to see the four authors who would be talking. Although my view was obstructed, I could hear everything clearly.

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The author that I and most audience members were most excited to see was Leigh Bardugo who was promoting her newest book, Crooked Kingdom,  the sequel to Six of Crows.


Kami Garcia, author of the Beautiful Creatures series, was promoting The Lovely Reckless.


There were two new authors to me, Emma Mills and Caleb Roehrig, who were promoting their mysteries This Adventure Ends  and Last Seen Leaving  respectively.

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Although I enjoyed listening to each of the authors talk, I only took notes on the parts where they offered writing advice for aspiring writers that I can take back to school. They were specifically asked for advice for young writers who might be considering NaNoWriMo, but I think most of it is relevant to writing at any time. Here is what I gleaned:

  • don’t be afraid to write badly
  • write 2000 words a day
  • have a plan, but banish the idea of perfection in a draft
  • if you get stuck, write what you are thinking at the time to break the paralysis between your head and your hands
  • when you get stuck
    • talk to your characters
    • verbalize the problem
    • with the point of view you are writing
    • step away from the problem (run, drive, get out of the house)
    • work/focus on something else
    • don’t go online
  • the more obsessed you become with solving a problem, the less likely you are to  solve it
  • talk to friends/critique partners – they may help spark a new idea

They all agreed that the first draft is just a baby step. My favorite line of the afternoon came from Kami Garcia who said, “Revising is the real thing”.



2016 Hub Challenge Check-In #5

28 Feb


It was a good/bad week for the HUB Reading Challenge. I read a good book and listened to a not that great audiobook, both of which are parts of series.

This week, I listened to Half Wild by Sally Green.


I read the first book in the trilogy, Half Bad, when it came out in 2014 and really liked it. Maybe it’s been too long since I read it, but I didn’t enjoy Half Wild  nearly as much. The narration by Carl Prekopp, was excellent. I just couldn’t get into the story and really only managed to finish it  because I was knitting while I listened. Nathan’s obsession with Annalise was not realign interesting to me, especially since I can’t really remember her from Half Bad.  There seems to be a lot of gallivanting all over Europe and shapeshifting in a stream of consciousness sort of narration, but overall I just didn’t love it. At this point, I don’t care about any of the characters enough to read the third book, Half Lost,  which comes out later this year.

On a happier note, I really enjoyed Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.


For the last few years, I’ve seen the books of  Bardugo’s first series, the Grisha trilogy, on the shelves of my local library. They’ve intrigued me, but I’d never read any of them, despite a strong fan base.


I got an ARC of Six of Crows when I was in San Francisco this summer and finally got around to reading it.

I had a little trouble getting into it at first. I have this name issue and have abandoned books because I hate the pretentious names an author has given his/her characters. This happened most recently with Marie Lu’s Rose Society series. The names felt too forced to be believed. I abandoned the first book of the series and will probably never pick it up again.

I worried a little as I started Six of Crows that I would have the same reaction. I DO believe that reading it might have been made easier if I’d read the Grisha Trilogy, even though this is a separate first book in a series. However, as I got going, I got the rhythm of the world Bardugo had created and really connected with the characters.

Set in the same world as the Grisha trilogy, Six of Crows follows a group of six outcasts as they embark on deadly heist to break someone out of an impregnable prison. Bardugo is a compelling writer. What I really like is how she unfolds the story. The plot is set in motion and then, as events unfold, each character’s backstory is slowly revealed to deepen our understanding and connection to them. Bardugo suspends the plot in strategic places to reveal the backstory. Then, she suspends the backstory to move the plot forward. It is very effective and it certainly made me want to keep reading. I am looking forward to the release of the next book in the series, Crooked Kingdom, later this year.

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