Contact ALICIA

 

P.O Box 2171
Santa Clara, CA 95055
USA

Alicia Rayn, paranormal romance and urban fantasy author

BLOG

Why Writers Should Read... A Case Study

Alicia Ryan

Writers Should Read. And Read. And Read Some More. Everyone knows this. Everyone says this. Not everyone does it. And even those of us with the best of intentions can get bogged down with the 'important' things, like writing our own books.

I've signed up to take a writing class taught by Jonathan Maberry, a prolific (and hugely successful) writer across numerous genres, but probably most known for horror/thrillers - and the course I'm taking is on thriller writing, so I decided to pick up the first book in his Joe Ledger series - Patient Zero (described by one reviewer as "24 with zombies"). 

Now this isn't the kind of thing I would normally read. And that's the point of this post. READ GOOD BOOKS - no matter the genre. YOU WILL LEARN FROM THEM.

I'm only a few chapters in and already he's given me a wonderful metaphor - "He had a head like a bucket." It's not wildly literary, but as I was listening to it in my car, I could see the guy immediately. Imagery + economy of words = mad skills.

Just a chapter later, the interrogation is a perfect example of how much more interesting a dialogue-heavy scene is when the characters are also doing something - in this case, eating cookies. Yep, cookies. 

I think (and have been told) that I write good, snappy, interesting dialogue, but I just learned a way to make many of my scenes more engaging. Cookies.

I will caveat this by saying that you should also never stop reading craft books. Or you might not notice how well the cookies work as a device to increase interest in a scene where its just two people talking, and a lot of it is exposition.

I've already learned enough to consider the purchase of Patient Zero worth the money, but I will definitely continue reading. And perhaps the rest of the book will be the subject of another post.

Thank you, Mr. Maberry. I'm looking forward to your class.

-Alicia Rayn


Publishers Weekly Runs a Glowing Review of Blood Bond

Alicia Ryan

I'm feeling very Sally Field today...

Publishers Weekly is pretty selective about which indie books they review, so getting chosen was a thrill, and the review (published yesterday) had such nice things to say, I was almost in tears. 

Here's some of what they had to say:

"Rayn (Black-Winged Tuesday) layers a sexy surface over some deep emotional questions in this time-travel vampire romance... The story is funny where appropriate, intense where necessary, and full of heart throughout." (BookLife)  Read More

*author sighs dreamily* :)

Radish Coming to Android on 6/15!! Get Ready!!

Alicia Ryan

Get it at RadishFiction.com or the Apple or Google Play Stores

Get it at RadishFiction.com or the Apple or Google Play Stores

It's Finally Happening!!

Radish Fiction - the serial fiction app where I'm posting a lot of my new work - is coming to Android. The Launch Date: June 15th!!

Stay tuned for more on new features, Radish coin giveaways and more!

Korean Dramas....Gift or Curse?

Alicia Ryan

K-Dramas, where have you been all my life?

How did I not know such cute, romantic shows existed? If you haven't watched any, go do it right now.  You won't even mind the subtitles. My current favorite is 'The Master's Sun'.

So I've been watching more TV than usual, but I've also started a romance novel that's a bit K-drama inspired - Asian hero (Chinese, actually), lots of plot, lots of action, with just a pinch of the paranormal.


#writetip - Forget Structure...Think Design

Alicia Ryan

If you're like me, thinking about the structure of a novel gives you a headache.  All those bits and pieces - plot points, pinch points, mid points, act breaks...OMG.

I've given that up (until MUCH later in the process) in favor of selecting one or two design principles - e.g., the MC will be the villain up until the midpoint, then undergo a dramatic change to become a 'hero' OR a psychological thriller where the 'innocent' victim is much more worldly than her tortured captor and turns the tables on him resulting in a curiously ambiguous ending..

I find that a sentence or two like this will put me far enough down the road to start crafting a scene list.  Then, I have the ingredients to start labeling the finer points and moving them around for plot, pacing.

Alicia's Review: The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

Alicia Ryan

The Three-Body Problem (Three-Body, #1)The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It's been a while since I dipped my toes into Sci-Fi, but I'm so glad I did. The Three-Body Problem is a refreshingly unique vision of the near future that marries deep characterization with some truly fantastic plotting. Don't be scared off by the Chinese names - you get used to them. (Better yet, get the audio book.) And if you start reading this (and you should) be sure to read through the middle for that one really incredible scene...you'll know it when you read it.

View all my reviews

What I'm doing now...

Alicia Ryan

Re-editing "The First Vampire" - new title: "DELILAH'S VAMPIRE".  I'm going to be re-working the sequel quite a bit; was never super happy with it. I'm posting a few chapters at a time over at wattpad.com (where I'm WriterGirlAR).


Great Series: Immortals After Dark by Kresley Cole

Alicia Ryan

A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark, #2) -- 4 of 5 stars

So deliciously angsty! I'm a sucker for a tortured (in this case, literally) hero, and Lachlan is well-complimented by the gentle, quick-witted Emma. And I loved how Emma came into her own at the end - not just by falling in love with the Hero, but by actually being badass herself.<br><br>I read one of this series years ago, but never came back for more. I will now go remedy that mistake. 
Read more of my Goodreads reviews here.