New DIY MFA Post – and Happy (Belated) New Year!

Happy (belated) New Year, everyone! Things have been super-busy on the editing and writing fronts since 2020 began, so I haven’t had an opportunity to post anything sooner. But I do hope your year has gotten off to a fantastic start, and I wish you the best in your creative pursuits, health, and happiness.

Now, guess what else I have for you today? My latest DIY MFA post! This time, I share five recommendations for books that are great examples of the theme of man and the natural world. And some of my picks might surprise you. I wanted to include a variety of genres and different kinds of stories. As a result, this list includes a classic tale involving a garden, an out-of-this-world example from science fiction, and a memoir featuring the most lovable owl you’ll ever read about. 😉

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My Favorite Fiction Reads of Winter 2019

Did anyone else have a weird season of reading? For my first few books of 2019, I’d love or enjoy one book, then be disappointed by the next one. I was even worried that I’d fall into a reading slump – and I think we can agree that those are never pleasant.

Luckily that back-and-forth didn’t last long. (Hooray!) So out of the 10 fiction books I read over the winter, I’m highlighting seven of them in today’s post. And I have to admit, I like this season’s round-up a LOT. It features a great mix of genres, a couple “hidden gems” that deserve more attention, and a couple early contenders for Favorite New Book of 2019. 😉

Ready for some new book recommendations? Let’s start with…

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New at DIY MFA: Additional Reading on the Theme of Family

In my previous DIY MFA post, we returned to the theme of family (which we first covered in this case study) and offered five reasons why this theme matters to readers. Today, we continue our deep dive with a wonderfully bookish post. Yes, it’s time for reading recommendations! I share five books that explore the theme of family and briefly explain how they do so (without giving away too many spoilers, of course!). As you read about each one, you might be surprised by not just the variety of genres and kinds of stories represented, but also the different paths each one takes to examine the same theme.

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The Creativity Corner: Spring 2017

Can you believe that summer is here? 😮 It still feels like I was in Iceland last week. How on Earth has time zipped by so quickly??

Since a new season has begun, it’s time for an update on the past season’s creative happenings. And after a winter where I struggled with anxiety for a few weeks and my confidence in my writing hit rock-bottom, I’m happy to say that spring was a more productive, inspiring, and emotionally healthy season. It wasn’t free of bumps, but I’m moving forward and focused on new projects.

New projects?? What about The Keeper’s Curse? Or the novella? Yeah… I’ll explain what’s happening with them, too. But first…
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Looking for Recommendations for Fantasy Novels

Recently I posted two book recommendation requests at Goodreads. (Consider them part of my “market research” as a fantasy novelist. *wink*) I’ve gotten a few responses so far, but I thought I’d expand those requests to the blog. Feel free to post your suggestions in the Comments below or respond directly to the requests at Goodreads.

  1. Fairies in Fantasy Novels: I’m looking for fantasy novels (YA through adult) that feature fairy characters. The protagonist for my current WIP (YA fantasy) and some of her companions are Faeries, and I want to make sure my story offers something different compared to others that have been published. The only fairy book I remember reading is Jennifer Armintrout’s Queene of Light (which is part of a trilogy I’m not interested in continuing, since I didn’t care for Queene of Light).

Recommendations So Far: Holly Black’s Tithe, Laini Taylor’s Blackbringer, Herbie Brennan’s Faerie Wars, and Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely

  1. Mermaids in YA Fantasy Novels: I’m also looking for YA fantasy novels featuring mermaids, specifically a female mermaid as the protagonist. I have ideas for a future novel like this, but I want to check out the market so I know how I can set mine apart from what’s already out there.

Recommendations So Far: Kathryn Lasky’s Hannah

Thanks very much in advance! 🙂