Author Highlight: Graham Milne

Oh shoot I went out for a walk around the lake today and almost forgot about this, okay, okay, who’s next? This guy! Graham Milne, a guy who took his given name and made it into a pun for his weblogsite. Good for him! He is opinions and apparently Canadian. I don’t think I noticed that before, or more likely just glossed over it.

What has he done? According to his about me page, he’s written a novel, is working on a sequel, and has ideas for more, and is currently working on getting the first one published. But what actually puts him in a situation where I’m talking about and highlighting and throwing cabbages at him is that there is a full serial story that he wrote: Vintage: A Fantasy Serial. It’s also a pretty fancy serial. It is free to read, which means I read it, liked it, finished reading it, and am now going to talk about it a bit. Because it turns out free stuff captures my attention. It’s what I’m doing, after all. Although I think “free stuff captures my attention” can be applied to 90% of the human race.

Aside from his website, it’s also available on Wattpad. Though Graham I came across simply by wondering around the internet. There happens to be one chapter only on Wattpad though because it is rated euphemism! Taking place in the same world as the novels he’s working n, it follows a French-inspired country trying to cut off magic, and particularly the power of witches, which a government organization sees as a threat to their power. A high-ranked officer whose job is to root out these witches gets to know one and questions his choices, though, and, hey, wait, I didn’t summarize or describe the story in the last highlight.

It’s actually been like half a year since I read Vintage, so let me try to recall my thoughts on it. The story felt like it evolved naturally and nothing felt out of place. This is the case even when some characters returned without that originally planned. (Later on Graham had some reflections and mentioned how the story originally was meant to be only 4 or 5 parts long, and thus he hadn’t made an outline–instead he developed each part as he wrote and, because he posted them as he wrote, he couldn’t go back to tweak things and had to move forward.)

The characters work well together, even–or perhaps especially–the fellow with never more than two words to say. Perhaps the setting could be expanded some more, but with this being in a world that other stories are being written in, I can see that being easy enough.

There’s also French words. Last time I talked about a book with fabricated words and a glossary, now I’m discussing one with real words that nevertheless are French and therefore I have even less of a clue about them. So, um… snails? Yeah, I didn’t really research this part.

I’m looking forward to when he gets his books published, whenever that is, but for now he has Vintage up for free, and, in the end, that might actually be the most important criteria for me having a highlight post about someone! No, wait, awesome story is most important. Free helps, though. It means I have something immediate to point readers to. Anyway, next time I run out of people. Wait, maybe not quite yet…

Author Highlight: Winston Malone

Oh, hello! In less than a week the next Darmenzi chapter is up, but I’m not here to talk about me for once. I’ve recently been reading a lot (or at least several) authors and comics and such things I’ve come across on the internet. I’m still looking, too. I’ve decided that hey, just because I’m not known at all doesn’t mean I can’t bring up awareness of other great creators. Every Friday I’m going to have a post about author I’ve found on the internet. At least until I run out of authors, which will probably happen in a month. Then I’ll just have to expand to other creativors.

So who will I begin with? I thought about it and figured I’d go with the most recent novel I read, over on Wattpad. Honestly I’m not too fond of the website because I don’t consider the text editor very good (but then what website’s IS?) and it kind of slows my laptop, but it seems decent enough to find new stuff to read. (Okay so out of three things I’ve read only one kept my interest but still.)

That would be Winston Malone from Georgia, definitely the hub for sci-fi-fantasy?? Okay look sorry Southern US but you’re not what people think when– What? Yes, I’m in Indiana, why do you– Okay but that’s– Fine, I’ll move on.

So Mr. Malone here has created a novel for a series called Stormfallen. The first book, The Decrepit Forest, has a first draft up on Wattpad, and quite frankly I find it hard to believe that it’s the first draft. It’s pretty good! I mean, you know, not perfect, but certainly at least second-draft level. Then again when I write a first draft I hardly even try to make it good, that business is for draft 2-15. But still, it’s pretty good.

The Decrepit Forest is a pretty character-driven saga, with, if I recall, at least 6 characters given focus at one time or another, maybe 7, plus at least one more with a scene focus. It’s a world without humans (hey, kinda like mine), though there are the Lorrellan. Each character feels full and interesting. They all have a history, and it’s interesting to see them interact. But as there are many characters, there are also many monsters.

Along with the character-driven side, there’s a significant amount of action, too. The world is under attack by a variety of demons, and there’s also political strife and, well, just regular ol’ anger that leads to fisticuffs and there’s also a really big axe. It never overstays its welcome though and remains gripping.

There’s a lot of fabricated words, though, I’ll say that. It has its own glossary, even. Of course, it’s to be expected for an alien world, but just keep in mind you’ll probably want to check the glossary every so often.

Wattpad doesn’t say exactly when the story was completed but it looks like it was just several months ago judging by the timing of some comments? It looks like more is to come, and I can definitely see this going places. I recommend it (that’s the whole point of this post series, after all), and I’ll be watching. Now can someone tell me how to end a blog post? That will suffice? Okay!

Smashwords Interview

Some three years after the feature was introduced, I made an interview for myself on Smashwords. Because I like talking about myself, but I really like responding about myself, which for the most part is what I did. Only a few questions I typed in myself since they were specifically related to the Duth Olec persona or I thought it would be useful. Eleven questions right now, I dunno what the limit is but I’ll probably just add another each month or a few when an event takes place.

https://www.smashwords.com/interview/DuthOlec

See the interview copy and pasted on the blog here!