Edward Willett

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I’ve been a bad blogger…

...by not posting regularly this week as I did last, but although I was a bad little blogger, I was a good little writer. See, Twist of the Blade, the sequel to Song of the Sword, and the second book in my brand-new YA fantasy series Shards of Excalibur, is in the revision stage. And there were lots of revisions. Which I did not allow enough time to do before they were due, which was Friday (actually a week earlier, but I'd already begged for an extensions.) These weren't just a-word-here-and-a-word-there revisions, either, but take-out-that-scene-right-a-new-scene-move-that-scene-over-there-and-then-rewrite-it-so-it-makes-sense-and-oh-darn-I-just-contradicted-something-in-Chapter-One-I'll-have-to-go-back-and-fix-that-too revisions. Also, embarrassing revisions. Like rewriting scenes so I was showing and not telling. Adding sensory ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 15:00, January 27th, 2011 under Blog | Comment now »

Blue Fire or bust

Those who have followed my occasional series "The First Sentence I Wrote Today," a.k.a. on Twitter as TFSIWT, will know that I have been working, interminably, on a young adult fantasy novel called Blue Fire. I've written it. I've re-written it. I've re-re-written it. It first came in at a ridiculous length, so I chopped 30 or 40,000 words out of it. Now I'm on the final pass through it before submitting it (there's an editor interested in taking a look, but only when it's complete). And I'm desperately trying to get it out of my hair so I can focus on other projects with looming deadlines (hi, Magebane!). So, this ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 9:56, February 9th, 2011 under Blog | Comment now »

Once more into the breach

A while back I discussed a variety of ideas for new projects with my agent, Ethan Ellenberg. There was one in particular he liked, which is tentatively titled Masks. It's a YA fantasy, and since he's anxious to see some sample chapters, I've plunged into it. Here's how it begins: A week before her thirteenth birthday and her Masking, Mara sat on the city wall, bare legs dangling into space, and looked down past her dirty toes at the crowds milling around in the Outside Market. I've finished the first scene (about 1,200 words so far) and looking forward to carrying on with it as I can, although time is in ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 12:41, February 23rd, 2011 under Blog | 1 Comment »

McNally Robinson likes Song of the Sword

A great review of Song of the Sword has appeared on McNally Robinson Booksellers' website. Chadwick Ginther begins: If you think you know Arthur, Merlin and the Lady of the Lake guess again. Ariane is a troubled teen, starting a new life with her aunt in Regina. A new school would be hard enough, but learning you're a descendant of the Lady of the Lake too? And ends: You can't always judge a book by its cover--but in the case of Song of the Sword, you can. Its stunning cover is the door to a unique, clever, and beautifully modern retelling of an old legend. Read the ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 8:41, February 25th, 2011 under Blog, Books | Comment now »

Another review of Song of the Sword…

...this one coming from Vilate at the Young Adult Literature Review blog, who was  not particularly disposed to liking it, since she's "not particularly fond of Arthurian tales, as a rule. Arthur is done too often and there aren’t that many new ways to look at him," as she puts it. And she found it slow going to begin with, but in the end I won her over: I did like the main character, Ariane, and her “sidekick” Wally. They were both developed well, and they felt well-rounded. Wally is particularly interesting as the nerdy kid who attaches himself to Ariane. There’s a nice dark side ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 13:46, March 25th, 2011 under Blog | Comment now »

Another nice review of Song of the Sword

This one popped up at Just Deb, and is part of a regular feature she calls Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays: This is the first book in the Shards of Excalibur series. And it's going to be a good one-series I mean. Loved the first and how Arthurian legend was woven into a troubled teens life. A character who drove the story, which is always a favorite for me. I liked her a lot--especially in once scene where the bad guy (er, girl) gets a taste of--well, I shall say no more. This is also a favourite of one of my book club kids. He's twelve ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 10:45, August 2nd, 2011 under Blog, Books | Comment now »

Ebooks! Get your red-hot ebooks! Spirit Singer! Andy Nebula! and The Chosen!

                                      I was an early adopter when it came to ebooks in more ways than one. I owned a very early dedicated ebook reader, the HieBook, and read a ton of stuff on it. But I was also an early adopter as a writer, publishing my YA fantasy novel Spirit Singer with Awe-Struck Publishing (now owned by Mundania Press LLC) 10 years ago...you know, clever me, before ebooks really took off. As an experiment, it ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 12:51, March 23rd, 2012 under Blog, Books | Comment now »

The tangled tale of how my YA fantasy Spirit Singer was born, died, and is being resurrected

Let’s step into the wayback machine, and set it for the turn of the century... In that long-ago time, ebooks were in their infancy. There were dedicated ebook-reading devices, but practically nobody had them. (Although I did: a Hiebook. Read a lot of David Weber on it through Baen’s free ebook library.) There were ebook publishers, but practically nobody had heard of them. Print-on-demand technology existed, but was not in widespread use. It was in that environment that I, with my usual impeccable ability to time things badly, decided to experiment with ebook publishing. I had a finished novel, a good one, I thought, a young adult fantasy called Spirit Singer. I ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 12:14, January 2nd, 2013 under Blog, Books, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

On narrating the audiobook of my own novel

The audiobook version of my young adult fantasy novel Spirit Singer (the book which is also soon to have a new print and ebook edition from Tyche Books), is now for sale at Audible.com, which is exciting because a) you never know, someone might buy it, and b) I narrated it myself. Spirit Singer is the third book I’ve narrated for Iambik Audiobooks: the first was The Other by Matthew Hughes, and the second was a non-fiction book on child development (well, a few chapters of it) for Pearson. And what have I learned? Different things for each book. Narrating The Other, I discovered there’s no pleasing everyone: although the proof ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 9:08, January 16th, 2013 under Blog, Books | Comment now »

The Space-Time Continuum: “Dammit, Jim, I’m a storyteller, not a social worker!”

My latest "Space-Time Continuum" column from the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild's newsletter Freelance... *** This column I want to return to the World Fantasy Convention held in Toronto last November...and a panel that rubbed me the wrong way. Entitled “The Changing Face of YA Fantasy,” the panel was described this way: “Fantasy works for young adult readers have changed over the years, perhaps even more than their counterparts for adults. The themes tackled are more cutting-edge; a wider variety of cultures is explored; locations are often more realistic, more gritty and urban, than in the past; a more diverse cast of characters is brought into play; and the heroines and heroes are perhaps more ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 15:35, February 15th, 2013 under Blog, Columns, Science Fiction Columns, Writing and Editing | Comment now »