I'm a novelist, poet, critic and sometimes writer for and about the theatre. Each of these things keeps interrupting the others. My poetry and criticism have won prizes. I'm the author of the popular and critically acclaimed fantasy quartet The Books of Pellinor, the Gothic fantasy Black Spring and The River and the Book, a forthcoming speculative fiction novel. In English, my novels are published with Walker Books (UK and Australia), Candlewick (US) and Penguin Books Australia. I have self-published two novels as Kindle ebooks: the literary memoir Navigatio and Jimmy Wonderspoon, a story that I wrote for my 10-year-old daughter. Presently I'm writing The Bone Queen, a prequel to the Books of Pellinor. You can find out more at alisoncroggon.com. And you can follow me on twitter at @alisoncroggon.

Why "Reimkennar"? It's an old word for sorceress that stems from old Germanic: literally "rhyme knower". Seems like a good title for a fantasy novelist slash poet slash whatever.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

World building, rewriting classics and more etc

It's been a full-on January for me. When I gave up writing my blog Theatre Notes, I had a vision of unbounded vistas of time. Each morning I'd gracefully arise in my boudoir, don my silk dressing gown, pick up my quill and leisurely continue the next chapter of my novel before, you know, going out to cut roses or something. The good news is that I have been writing the novel - this is the story about Cadvan in his youth, a prequel to the Pellinor stories, which now is reaching what I think is the halfway mark. But in between, I seem to have been as busy as I was before. I'm not complaining much: of course it's all my own fault. I needn't have said "yes" to all those interesting things. But I did, because I'm like that.

Anyway, some of those things have been writing posts on various fantasy-related topics for the Black Spring UK blog tour, and I find that I have fallen behind in logging them here. I've been doing this through January, and have just finished the final one, discussing YA and story telling, which will appear on February 1 at Narratively Speaking. Meanwhile, here are the others:

* On worldbuilding, with some handy hints from WG Sebald, at Sister Spooky

* On rewriting classics, at Book Angel Booktopia

* On adding fantasy to a classic book, at The Overflowing Library

* And, in case you missed it, On sexism in fantasy at Serendipity Reviews

Thanks so much to the bloggers who have been hosting me on my virtual tour. It's been deeply appreciated, and also, which is not unimportant, it's been fun.

Meanwhile, more Black Spring reviews have been rolling in, so here's some linkety goodness:

Buzz Words, the Australia/New Zealand emag for children's writers and illustrators, has given it a rave: "Alison Croggon has created a verbal and visual masterpiece. The sheer beauty of the magnetic prose and the outstanding descriptions of the rugged natural world won’t allow you to stop reading before the end." Woohoo!

From the UK, Michelle Moloney King also talked about the writing, finishing with: "I would heartily recommend a read, the beautiful prose alone is worth it."

On I Read Therefore I Blog, the book also gets a thumbs up. "All in all, this was a vivid, well-told book that takes elements from WUTHERING HEIGHTS but (for me) riffed on them to more entertaining effect. I look forward to reading Croggon’s other books."

And over at My Favourite Books, Essjay says: "If you've never read it and you enjoy Black Spring then possibly you'll read Wuthering Heights. If you hate the original then this may well remind you why. I find it an impressive modern retelling which captures something of the language, drama, madness, tortured love and agony of the original. Well worth reading."

Thanks again to all you hardworking bloggers, both hosts and reviewers.  Now, hugely encouraged, back to the novel...

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