Gates of Fire & Earth – a nominee for Book of the Year?!
I was so excited this week when Fantasia Reviews released a new review of Gates of Fire & Earth!
That was way, way back on Monday. I meant to jump right on here with a post about the praise Gates received, but I’d just gotten the manuscript from A New Goddess back from my editor with comments, and I’d taken down my writing tips website AmWritingFantasy for an overhaul with some great new content, and, well somehow, I just didn’t find the time.
And wow, they did lavish some amazing praise!
I highly recommend going over to the full review and reading it. Don’t forget to like the post and let Fantasia Reviews know if you agree or why you like Gates! Because they said stuff like:
“Perhaps what makes Miss Birt’s character so great is that she never leaves one hanging. Each has their purpose in the narrative. She manages to juggle a veritable menagerie of characters, giving them all plotlines of their own and personalities, in a way that is not only refreshing but impressive. We can’t think of anyone who does it as well as her and in the same way that she does.” — Fantasia Reviews
I can’t tell you how awesome it feels to read that sentence. I know I have a multitude of characters. All of them have their own agenda, needs, and hopes. Writing Gates was one of the biggest writing challenges I’ve faced – and it was my twelfth book! I hinted about the problems I faced writing Gates in this blog post, but really it was my mailing list members who heard the full story.
The plot was so complicated that I got stuck. I can’t say that ever happened to me before! So many characters and subplots emerge that I couldn’t keep track of everyone. I had to change the way I wrote. I actually bought the writing software Scrivener just to organize everything and that was what finally got me writing again.
Still, I got to the end and realized I was not only missing a whole perspective and had to write in chapters from Kita’sah’s perspective but that the issue Darag faced was wrong. I went back and rewrote his chapters to strengthen his attitude to the challenges he faced. All that work took extra time and I passed first one deadline and then another.
But hearing praise like:
“We’re still in love with the world that she has so painstakingly built. We still love each of her characters. Gates of Fire & Earth … is a stunning example of what epic fantasy should be. Brilliantly contrived and beautifully executed, it reminds us why we love the genre. Lovers of speculative fiction will find a lot to like in the pages of this tome.” — Fantasia Reviews
That makes all the pain and challenge worthwhile! And I would have been happy just with that.
But then on Thursday, I learned Gates of Fire & Earth is a nominee for Fantasia Reviews Book of the Year 2017!
I don’t do this very often but OMG I’M SO EXCITED!!!! *squeeeeeeeeee!!!*
Ok, deep breath. Nah, how is kidding? I’ll be excited about this for ages. I’ve always meant to seek out a few writerly contests to enter… but never make it a priority. I think all authors secretly think we just aren’t as good as we want to be. At least I know I always feel like I’m still learning, still improving, so maybe, you know, my next book will be the one I submit for an award. Hah. Dreams somehow caught up with me.
Check out the four other books nominated for Book of the Year. They look amazing and I know I’ll be adding those authors to my TBR list! Don’t forget to like the post too. Fantasia Reviews does an awesome job reading and reviewing fantasy books. It is a great way to sort through the clutter of all the books available on Amazon.