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Showing posts from February, 2010

February Reading

I don’t know how Katherine finds time to read books when she’s meant to be working with me on her new series, but it seems you can’t separate an author from her reading! Here's a selection from her bedside table this month... THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF AWESOME COMIC FANTASY edited by Mike Ashley. This brilliantly funny collection of fantasy stories from different authors makes perfect bedtime reading. Katherine’s favourite stories so far: “The Caliber of the Sword” by Larry Lawrence. You’ve heard of King Arthur’s famous magic sword Excalibur. But what happened to the lesser-known sword Calibre, made with the same magical powers but a couple of inches too short? “The Byrds” by Michael Coney. In a not-so-distant future where people have to fill in annual questionnaires to see if their lives are still useful to escape termination, Gran and Gramps use their anti-gravity wings to start a new cult where people act like birds. And my favourite story: “Dragonet” by Esther Friesner. A unicorn cal

Why does it take so long to write a book?

You’re probably all wondering when Katherine’s next book will appear. As I said, I’m not a lazy unicorn so I haven’t been slacking… muses are never idle! But my work is just a small part of bringing out my author's next book. It goes a bit like this: Year 1 – I find a new idea and bring it out of the enchanted mists. I love this part! Year 2 – My author writes her new book with my help. This is usually fun, too. Year 3 – My author works on the book with her editor. I don’t have much to do at this stage so can have a bit of a rest. Year 4 – The publisher makes the manuscript into a real book. Nothing to do with me. Year 5 – My author promotes the book with the publisher’s help. I stay well clear, because by then I’m back in the enchanted mists digging around for a new idea... You don't get to see the book until stage 5, when it (hopefully) reaches the shelves of your local bookshop or library. The reason my author has forgotten the characters’ names by the time she visits your

Riddles with a sphinx in the snow

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My author’s so deep into website building at the moment instead of creating new stories, I’ve got nothing to do. But I’m not a lazy unicorn. Rather than sit around twiddling my golden hooves, I went for a trot in the park at the weekend and saw a sphinx – yes, that sort of thing happens to unicorns all the time! You might think you see just a boring old park with dogs chasing balls and squirrels running up trees, but then you trot around a corner and see a creature you’re not expecting. Magic is always just around corner. You only have to look for it. Actually there are four sphinxes in this park. Most people think they’re just statues, but I know better. In fact my author’s already put a sphinx into one of her books (“The Great Pyramid Robbery”, if you’re interested), though that one’s ghostly and male. This is a lady sphinx, as you can see. She reclines on a plinth with her great paws folded, contemplating the distant sea over the roofs of the town. She’s a bit dirty and covered in

Katherine's new website

My author has got web-envy! After seeing my blog, she has started building a fancy new website of her own. She’s already got a website, of course… the link is over there on the right… but now she wants a “more creative” one, whatever that means in human terms. Anyway, she’s building it in a secret place so you can’t see it yet. And I reckon she’s finding it harder than she thought, which isn’t surprising because she’s using some little pixie called Mr Site instead of me, her muse. I suppose I’d better get over there soon and have a snoop around, make sure she includes me somewhere. We muses can’t have our authors going off alone and building their own sites, can we? Next thing you know, they’ll be selling their own books in e-format… ooops, me and my big mouth!

Castle of Shadows launch party

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Last Saturday, my author tried to go to a party without me! I had to gallop very fast to keep up with the train, and my golden hooves got wet since the track runs right beside the sea. Fortunately, their magic is not affected by salt water, so I eventually caught up with her in Exeter at the brilliant central library, where I found her gossiping with a group of author friends. Everyone had wine or apple juice and crisps and biscuits, then got to hear author Ellen Renner read from her first novel “Castle of Shadows”, which has already won a prize in the WOW Cornerstones competition so it must be pretty good. (It’s just joined the pile of books on Katherine's bedside table, so at the end of the month you’ll get to hear a bit more about it.) That's Ellen in the photo, looking very glamorous. The Muse approves of her jacket. And here's my author (looking guilty on the left) with Lynne Benton and Luisa Plaja. Sue Purkiss had to help me take the photo, since hooves are not goo