Karen Azinger's Power Writing: Make Your Genre Fiction Soar was published by Kiralynn Epics in November 2016.
Information about Karen Azinger:
Karen L. Azinger has always loved fantasy fiction, and always hoped that someday she could give back to the genre a little of the joy that reading has always given her. Twelve years ago on a hike in the Columbia River Gorge she realized she had enough original ideas to finally write an epic fantasy. She started writing and never stopped. The Steel Queen, her first book, born from that hike in the gorge, became the start of The Silk & Steel Saga (SASS). Silk & Steel was originally intended to be a trilogy but the story was so epic, she ended up writing a sweeping seven book saga. The saga is now finished! The Steel Queen, The Flame Priest, The Skeleton King, The Poison Priestess, The Knight Marshal, The Prince Deceiver, and The Battle Immortal are all published as e-books and print books and getting great reviews.
Reviewers compare her books to Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time and to George Martin's Game of Thrones. Along the way, she also published a collection of short stories, The Assassin's Tear, including two stories set in the Silk & Steel world. Before writing, Karen spent over twenty years as an international business strategist, eventually becoming a vice-president for one of the world's largest natural resource companies. She worked on developing the first gem-quality diamond mine in Canada's arctic, on coal seam gas power projects in Australia, and on petroleum projects around the world. Having lived in Australia for eight years she considers the Land Down Under to be her second home. She also lived in Canada and spent a lot of time in the Canadian arctic. These days she lives with her husband in Portland Oregon, in a house perched on the edge of the forest.
Click here to visit her official website.
Information about Power Writing: Make Your Genre Fiction Soar:
Learn how to color outside the lines and write bold genre fiction that will enthrall your readers and make your stories soar.
Novice writers learn about 'tells' that warn editors and agents of amateur writing. Veteran writers discover the flavors of world building, description from the eye of the beholder, and the power of theme.
Power Writing provides insights into many unique topics rarely discussed by other writing books. You'll find tips on writing magic, fortune telling, making maps and writing great battle scenes. Learn how to spice it up with romantic subplots and how to write with iconic images and tropes.
Examples are drawn from genre masterworks like Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, Martin's Game of Thrones, Herbert's Dune, Rowling's Harry Potter, and the author's own Silk & Steel Saga, as well as examples from silver screen blockbusters like Star Wars, Star Trek, Braveheart and Gladiator.
Fans of The Silk & Steel Saga will peek behind the curtain, gaining insights into the author's imaginings. Revisit the wonders of Erdhe with the author as your tour guide.
A REVIEW OF KAREN AZINGER'S POWER WRITING
Karen Azinger's Power Writing: Make Your Genre Fiction Soar is a useful guide to writing genre fiction. It is an interesting reading experience, because it has a wide target audience: fantasy readers, novice writers and experienced writers. It contains good and useful information to many people who are fascinated by genre fiction and who may want to write something themselves.
If there are readers out there who haven't heard of Karen Azinger yet and haven't had the pleasure of reading her fantasy novels, here are a few words about her. Karen Azinger is the author of The Silk & Steel Saga, which consists of seven novels: The Steel Queen, The Flame Priest, The Skeleton King, The Poison Priestess, The Knight Marshal, The Prince Deceiver, and The Battle Immortal. She has also written short stories. Her fantasy and science fiction short stories have been published in The Assassin's Tear.
Because I'm a fan of Karen Azinger's epic, complex and shamelessly entertaining The Silk & Steel Saga, it was thrilling for me to read this book, because it contained plenty of information about how the series was created. I consider this book to be a treasure trove of knowledge to those who have read the series, because it offers readers a behind-the-scenes peek into The Silk & Steel Saga.
Before I write more about this book, I'll mention that when I read The Silk & Steel Saga, I was captivated by the author's range of imagination and the epic scope of the series. The world of Erdhe felt wonderfully real, because the author had paid attention to tiny details and wrote fluently about various places and wondrous sights around the world. I was especially pleased with the characterisation, because all of the main characters were interesting and the female characters were fascinatingly feisty and powerful yet vulnerable like real people. I also enjoyed reading about magic and magical artifacts, because the author wrote well about everything related to magic. Everything about this series impressed me and I was positively surprised by how well the author managed to maintain tension and suspense all the way from start to finish.
While reading this book, I fully realised how much effort the author had put into her fantasy series. I already knew that she had invested a lot of time into writing the books, but I had no idea how thoroughly she had thought of everything and how well she took tiny details into consideration during the writing process.
Power Writing contains lots of information ranging from characterisation and magic to worldbuilding and subplots. It also contains information about how to write sentences and how to end your series. The author uses famous works by other authors as examples of how to realise certain things, eg. characterisation.
I enjoyed reading about what Karen Azinger had to say about characterisation, because she wrote about how to write characters that come alive and how to delve deep into the characters. In my opinion, good characterisation is an essential ingredient in fantasy series, because readers get to know the characters and come to love them. It's great that the author also wrote about minor characters, because they're important in fantasy fiction, for some of them may occasionally rise above others and take on rich and surprising roles.
It's good that the author says a few important words about killing POV characters, because killing characters has become an increasingly popular plot device during the recent years. I agree with what the author wrote about this issue, because killing POV characters multiplies tension when it is done right. Authors take a conscious risk when they kill beloved characters, because readers may or may not like it. When characters' deaths are handled right, they matter to the reader and cause an emotional impact.
It's great the author writes about the Mordant and the Priestess in this book, because I was intrigued by both of them when I read the series. I thought it was good that at first the Mordant was a distant menace in the series, but when he revealed his true darkness, he became a more powerful and extremely malevolent character with dark intentions. The author explores well how the Mordant rules his Dark Citadel and how the mechanisms of true evil work, because she pays attention to showing what happens and how the characters react to it. The Priestess is a different kind of character, because she uses eroticism, seduction, sex and various poisons as her weapons. She uses them to her advantage and she does it in a stunning way. I agree with the author when she writes that the Priestess is one of the most potent female characters in the fantasy genre, because it's difficult to find similar kind of female characters. She's a complex character with goals and ambitions of her own. By using the Mordant and the Priestess as examples, the author addresses many issues involving characterisation.
It's nice that the author points out that magic must have rules and it must have limits. To be part of the natural world, magic must obey rules or it won't be believable. I think this is something that not many authors - especially inexperienced authors - think of when they write their own stories, because they try too hard to make the story work and forget all about the rules of magic.
Because I personally like maps in fantasy series, it's nice that the author has something to say about them and how important they are to fantasy fiction. It's good that she mentions that it's best not to include a measure of scale on your maps, because it may create a few problems when telling the story and making the characters move from one place to another.
The chapter about being an indie author is especially interesting, because the author writes about the positive and negative sides of being an indie author. An indie author has to face certain hardships, because marketing etc has to be handled alone, but you'll have total artistic freedom over your work.
As many readers are aware of, there are a few writing guides out there on the market. That why it's possible that readers may wonder what makes this book different from other books. To be short, what separates this book from other similar kind of writing guides is Karen Azinger's personal approach to several themes and issues, because she's an experienced indie author. She also pays attention to such things as fortune telling, romantic subplots, sex scenes and writing battle scenes, which are seldom mentioned in writing guides.
Karen Azinger's Power Writing: Make Your Genre Fiction Soar is an interesting and useful book to fantasy readers, because it contains information about how to write genre fiction and how to pay attention to different things during the story creation phase and writing process.
By the way, if this book makes you want to explore Karen Azinger's The Silk & Steel Saga, I say go for it. Don't be afraid of trying something new, because this series is shamelessly entertaining and features - amongst other things - interesting characters, magic, ancient secrets, intrigue, romance, seduction, sex, violence, difficult situations, battles, POV character deaths, surprises and wondrous sights and vistas. The author has created a vast story arc that will thrill readers.
My final words are:
Karen Azinger's Power Writing: Make Your Genre Fiction Soar is a fun and engaging read. I enjoyed reading the writing tips, because there was nothing boring about the author's way of writing about them (the author's love for storytelling shines through the text). Power Writing is an accessible and easy to read book, which can be recommended to many readers.