The Writing Life: SPFBO 2020 and an update or three.

Good evening, whatever timezone you may be in.

Quick updates: Proofing run one is done. I have made some minor corrections based on feedback, and then, jaunting down a word-search rabbit hole, I noticed a thing. I’m fixing the thing, (and it is a small thing) before proofing run two begins. I have finalised the book’s blurb. The appendices are go, and I have written (many many versions later) a small connecting letter that introduces the apprentice’s reports and provides a necessary space between them and the main text. My recommendation would be to finish the book, take a beat, or a day, even a week, and then go back to read the reports. That way the story and its ending has a chance to settle before you read any fictional analysis of it. My two cents there. Or: binge away and blast on through – the choice is yours!

So that’s good.

In the spirit of burying the lede I get to paragraph four before exhorting any among you who are avid readers of fantasy literature to check out the ten worthy finalists in this year’s Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off (SPFBO) competition. You can find them here. On Facebook you can see the discussion around these books and the other two hundred and ninety entrants here. SPFBO represents a treasured opportunity for often unknown writers to put themselves in front of an audience, at the low low cost of being judged, publicly. But hey, if you’re writing for the public you can’t sweat a little public discussion, right? The quality is excellent, and the judges well read and experienced. By the time you get to the final ten, you have a good crop of stories, authors, viewpoints to choose from.

So, if you are a reader, want to try something new, to give the unexpected a chance, then go and have a look at the novels on offer, and if one sounds intriguing, give it a go. You might find your new favourite in there. All are available on amazon, so you can peek inside for free and get a feel for each and every one if you wish, see what tickles your fancy. On social media the call frequently goes out to support independent creators of content. New or undiscovered writers, especially the self-published, are, in my highly biased opinion, the ultimate independent content creators. I ask you to go and give them some love, and maybe some small amounts of cash, and you’ll get a whole lot back in return – new worlds, people, and adventures to share. What a grand bargain that is.

I’ll see you all in SPFBO 2021.

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