Monday, November 7, 2016

New Release Nugget: WAKING ANASTASIA by Tim Reynolds

 A New Release Nugget is a short piece about one new thing an author learned during the process of writing their new book, something they hope will encourage and inspire other writers as they navigate the swirling currents of creation and publication.

Today I welcome Calgary fantasy author Tim Reynolds. He's been called Canada's modern-day Aesop by Barbara Budd on CBC's 'As It Happens'. He's a finalist for the 2016 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award. He has a twisted way with a keyboard and a knack for yarn-spinning. WAKING ANASTASIA is his third book, following on the urban fantasy BROKEN SHIELD and the collection THE DEATH OF GOD AND OTHER STORIES.

Here's his nugget of wisdom:

My latest novel, WAKING ANASTASIA, had a unique inception. First it was a dream, then a screenplay, and finally, the novel.

Trust me when I say that this isn’t the usual route to publication. 99% of writers skip at least the screenplay part of the process, and here’s why…

Think of a finished novel like Michelangelo’s David. Your first draft is akin to Mike going to the Carrara marble quarries and selecting the perfect block of marble, looking for density, purity, and colour. You, the writer, select your words with the same care, and when the first draft is done it’s a weighty, unwieldy thing, hardly art, more like a block of words full of potential.

But as you edit, tweak, and refine your story, it’s like chipping away at the block of marble, taking what’s not necessary to leave behind the perfectly paced, brilliantly envisioned story, polished to a sheen and ready for the world to see.
Now, imagine if you will, starting with a skeleton instead of a block. Compared to a novel, that’s what a screenplay is. The skeleton contains the dialogue, and the locations, but none of the details. What a screenplay describes as “EXT. DAY. SUNNY. URBAN PARK” could take two pages of a novel to describe the sounds and scents, and maybe the colour of the Frisbee that lands at the heroine’s feet. I found that to flesh out “EXT. DAY…” to become “scuffed neon orange disc” throughout the entire manuscript is as tedious as adding marble to the skeleton would be to create David by gluing on instead of chipping away. I’d love to say I’ll never do it again, but I still have five more terrific screenplays begging to become novels. Kill me now.


Why should being murdered keep a girl from living it up a little?

When Jerry Powell inherits a torn, bloodstained book of poetry he has no idea that it contains the soul of Anastasia Romanova; but when he accidentally awakens her ghost, he discovers that death hasn’t dulled her sense of mischief and joy for life.

Between driving across the continent to start a new job in a new city, fending off a shady Russian antiquities collector, and ignoring his worsening migraines, Jerry doesn’t have time to cope with his undead royal houseguest.

Unfortunately for him, time isn’t on Jerry’s side.

 WAKING ANASTASIA officially launches November 8th at Owls Nest Books (815A 49th Avenue SW)

Edited to add this message I just saw from Tim:  Just got word that my story "Tamarack & the Stone", which was a finalist for the Baen Fantasy Adventure Award, got an Honourable Mention in the 4th Quarter of 2016!  Congratulations, Tim!

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