Review: August Prather Is Not Dead Yet

Finished: 9/13/2019

Danielle K. Roux is one of my fellow Parliament authors, and when I read the blurb for this book including LGBT characters and a road trip, I knew I had to pick up a copy!

Garnet is a trans woman who is a diehard fan of August Prather’s books – so much so that she breaks into her car to read her unfinished manuscript of her next book before it’s even been published. Being the quirky and unpredictable person that she is, August isn’t even mad when she finds out either. Before Garnet knows it, she’s dragged into a road trip and an adventure that helps her put her life and goals into perspective.

First of all, this book is experimental. You can tell from the structure and from the plot that this story is different from most other books on the shelf. If you’re looking for a book that has a single, easily understood storyline, you probably won’t like this book. There are three different timelines going on concurrently throughout this book, and one of them you don’t understand who the narrator is until the end.

That said, this book explores some big topics. From gender identity, to mental illness, to trying to figure out your place in this big hamster wheel of life, this book will change your perspective. I can feel the characters reaching for purpose, I can feel the juxtaposed glossy sheen that is so opposite from the rawness of our characters.

Garnet’s apathy and floating through life makes little sense until you understand what all she’s been through. Each stop they take on their road trip lets you see a little bit behind the curtain. Each incident helps you understand your ragtag group a little bit more.

Also there is a lot of explicit sex, assault, and dark moments of mental illness in this book. Just a heads up if any of that makes you uncomfortable.

Also that ending! I never saw it coming but it just so fits!

Even three months later, I can still confirm that this book is still just as good at getting under my skin as it was when I first read it. When I’m asked what’s a recent book I’ve read that has made me think, this one immediately comes to mind. I’m so looking forward to reading more of Roux’s work!

My overall rating: 5/5

A Fitting Finale

It sure does feel good to get a story completed. Sure, it’s a short story, not a novel-length piece or anything, but it’s a nice feeling. Especially when you get it completed on your self-imposed deadline.

Despite becoming an aunt this month and spending far too much time at the hospital. Despite getting sick this last week unexpectedly. Despite a thousand other roadblocks that tried to get in my way, I still finished it. *Throws confetti!*

Of course, I did write a wee bit over the limit. Um… something like 1,000+ words over the limit. This is going to require some serious editing skills when I go through, but that’s okay! That’s something to worry about tomorrow, am I right?

This is a time for celebratory brownies. 🙂

Oh and the title of this piece is still kind of up in the air. I’ll probably figure it out for certain as I go through the edits.

Title: The Scorn of a Sorceress
Deadline: June 1st – DEADLINE MET!
Deadline for Contest: June 30th
Contest Link: 2014 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award
New words written:
5/31 – 1,107
Present total word count: 9,139 (Oops! For the record, the limit is 8,000 words.)

Thing accomplished in fiction: A finale fitting the love of a fierce mercenary and an evil sorceress.

Next up: Edits, edits, edits. Though this story will need to cool for a bit so I can look at it fresh. I didn’t know precisely what direction it was going when I first started writing, so the cutting room will likely be a bloody mess by the time I’m done. It’s a good think I don’t have a weak heart.

Commentary: Now if you’ll excuse me, there are some brownies demanding my attention.

Subplots Galore

More progress! Hmm I seem to have written over the word count limit. At least I’m in the final scene though!

Guess I’ll have to cut out some of the subplots that sprang up throughout the story. From what I hear, that’s a normal problem when you go from writing on novels -> short stories. You just get so used to dropping in subplots and whatnot to give more character depth. In short stories though you have to have limited space. You have to balance a detailed environment, character depth, and plot development. I’ll have to comb back through it with a chainsaw once I’m finally done.

Title: The Scorn of a Sorceress
Deadline: June 1st – gives a month for edits/review
Deadline for Contest: June 30th
Contest Link: 2014 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award
New words written:
5/24 – 1,183
5/25 – 1,100
Present total word count: 8,032 (Oops! For the record, the limit is 8,000 words.)

Thing accomplished in fiction: Gruesome battles, lots of blood, and a disturbing revelation. It is fantasy adventure after all, right? 🙂

Next up: Salma has to make a difficult decision. She’ll have to listen to her head and her heart more than her fighting instincts to win.

Commentary: Really glad to see this story is wrapping up nicely, and I don’t think it’ll be too difficult to cut out what I need to in order to get it down to size.

Black-Feathered Wings

It’s been a little while, so time for an update!

Title: The Scorn of a Sorceress
Deadline: June 1st – gives a month for edits/review
Deadline for Contest: June 30th
New words written:
5/11 – 1,256 (Good!)
5/15 – 560 (Meh…)
5/17 – 973 (Better!)
5/18 – 1,244 (Good!)
Present total word count: 5,749



Thing accomplished in fiction: Attacks from the land and from the air, difficult confessions, and a bit of strategy.

Next up: To sneak or not to sneak? That is the question. Also moats, gators, and of course more birds.

Commentary: This piece is coming along quite well, and it should be under the word count requirement as well which makes me happy. I should have it finished by the deadline and then I’ll start with edits.

The Reluctant Negotiator

I’m working on a new short story, one that I hope to submit to 2014 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award which gives me a workable deadline to have it finished. It’s a nice break from my current WIP and gives me a bit of breathing time after stressing out over The Writer’s Voice competition last week. Check out the results! Some really incredible stories got picked up.

Here’s today’s progress on my sword and sorcery short story about Salma, a fierce mercenary, who gets dragged into being a negotiator all because she sorta-kinda might have had a relationship with the evil sorceress years ago. Together with a sly thief and a warrior who’s painted up for battle, she’ll try her best to save the Queen’s grandson. She’s also hoping the evil sorceress isn’t still bitter about their breakup.

Title: The Scorn of a Sorceress
Deadline: June 1st – gives a month for edits/review
Deadline for Contest: June 30th
New words written: 1,138
Present total word count: 1,716

Thing accomplished in fiction: Rewrote Salma’s meeting with Nadim, the thief. Had a one-sided meeting with the Queen. Got assigned the job of negotiator despite Salma’s lack of experience.

Next up: Ominous swampland and an old monastery. What better place to make friends with your new travel partners?

Commentary: I’m going super-slow with this piece to make every word count. I’ll probably need to beef up the details down the road, but for now I’m keeping elaborate descriptions to a minimum. Started this piece last week when I first heard about the contest. Fantasy Adventure – how could I pass that up?