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Thursday, 25 February 2016

Cheating Death Inspiration

Just so we're clear, I don't own ANY of these images - well, except for the cover model photos, which I have a license to use. But I finally finished my notebook cover for book five - Cheating Death - and it's my visual inspiration pin board for the story. 

If anyone's interested, you can follow me on Pinterest for more book-inspired images, or on Instagram (I'm AprilWhiteBooks) for life-inspired ones.

The enterprising among you might begin to glean a little of the adventures I'm planning for Saira, or you could just wait and be surprised, as I'm sure I will be along the way. The Cheating Death notebook is full of notes, mind you, and I'm already writing, but until now, it was a sad, plain black Moleskine. 

Now it's fancy, and I can get back to work.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Books to Read After Harry Potter

Image Credit to Duet Designs
The Harry Potter series was a phenomenon that every author covets, and ever reader seeks - pure, magical storytelling. We feel like we know those characters, like we care what happened to Harry, Ron, and Hermione after the books ended (witness the pure excitement over the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play and book). The stories that JK Rowling created are accessible and captivating to audiences young and old, male and female, of all education levels, and from all walks of life. They are the books people can recommend over and over, to anyone who likes a little magic with their storytelling, and they are utterly timeless.

There are other books, some well-known, some obscure, that can capture imaginations and offer readers a world of escapism, magic, adventure, laughter, tears, and joy. Everyone has a list of books like that - the ones that create common ground among readers, the ones that make you say, "You read that book, too? Wasn't it amazing?" and with those words you feel like you know that person a little better. My neighbor became one of my best friends when she walked into my house, looked at my bookshelves, and declared, "I know you."

And in the interest of getting to know people just a little bit better, here are a few of those books I consider worthy to follow in the footsteps of Harry Potter. Read what sounds interesting (I'll provide as many links as I can find, but the library is always a great source), and then if you're inspired, let me know what you think.
“Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope makes its own magic.” 
― Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone

“... I wanted Ambiades to understand that I considered myself a hierarchy of one.” 
― Megan Whalen Turner, The Thief

“Because never in my entire childhood did I feel like a child. I felt like a person all along―the same person that I am today.” 

― Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game

“He had noticed that events were cowards: they didn't occur singly, but instead they would run in packs and leap out at him all at once.” 
― Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere

“You put a spell on the dog," I said as we left the house.
"Just a small one," said Nightingale.
"So magic is real," I said. "Which makes you a...what?"
"A wizard."
"Like Harry Potter?"
Nightingale sighed. "No," he said. "Not like Harry Potter."
"In what way?"
"I'm not a fictional character," said Nightingale.” 
― Ben Aaronovitch, Midnight Riot

“Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped.” 
― Andy Weir, The Martian

“The saddest thing is there won’t be anyone to miss us when we’re gone. No family, no friends, no one waiting at home.”
“It’s better that way,” I said. “It’ll be easier for me, knowing my death doesn’t add to anyone’s pain.”
“If you can’t give anyone pain, then you can’t give them joy either.” 
― Jennifer A. Nielsen, The False Prince

“Without a filter, a man is just chaos walking.” 
― Patrick Ness, The Knife of Never Letting Go

“It's like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.” 
Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.” 
― Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

“Imagine smiling after a slap in the face. Then think of doing it twenty-four hours a day.” 
― Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

“Man is the one creature on Earth who knows he will die, and that is an appalling intellectual burden.” 
― Piers Anthony, On A Pale Horse

“He felt around desperately for a weapon. What did he have? Diapers? Cookies? Oh, why hadn't they given him a sword? He was the stupid warrior, wasn't he? His fingers dug in the leather bag and closed around the root beer can. Root beer! He yanked out the can shaking it with all his might. "Attack! Attack!" he yelled.” 
― Suzanne Collins, Gregor the Overlander

“I became, in other words, more like Holmes than the man himself: brilliant, driven to a point of obsession, careless of myself, mindless of others, but without the passion and the deep-down, inbred love for the good in humanity that was the basis of his entire career. He loved the humanity that could not understand or fully accept him; I, in the midst of the same human race, became a thinking machine.” 
― Laurie R. King, The Beekeeper's Apprentice

“Somehow," she said coldly, "you have confused profitable and not profitable for right and wrong. I, however, have not.” 
― Robin Hobb, Ship of Magic

 If you have suggestions for other books to read after Harry Potter, leave those in the comments, too. Because I ALWAYS love a little magic with my storytelling.