Sunday, May 10, 2009

Super Site and Book Review

As a result of yesterday's laziness, today I'm giving you a twofer.

If you're a bloghound and a writer, you may have already visited the blog of Paperback Writer. I first visited when I was new to the blogosphere and searching for some good blogs to gather info on the writing business. I couldn't have been luckier to stumble across PBW.

First off, PBW is none other than the author Lynn Viehl (aka S.L. Viehl - and maybe a couple other pseudonyms). As it states in her blog header, she's been writing professionally since 1998 and from her sidebar, she's published 42 novels in 5 genres. That alone gives me a little bit of a writer crush on the woman. When you're looking for knowledge, the proof is in the putting, and 42 novels is a lot of putting.

Beyond that, though, are the words in blog. After reading just a couple of her posts, I knew I liked this gal. She's got guts. She's not afraid to speak her mind - about the industry, other writers... and don't get her started on writing organizations. She also puts a lot of effort into helping her fellow writers. And she's got a wicked sense of humor.

Add in that Lynn cranks out novels and free shorts and novellas and cute blog stories (not to mention making quilts and bookmarks and other crafty things) while battling rheumatoid arthritis, and she just might qualify for god status. Except I have a feeling Lynn would turn down the job. I think if you asked, she'd tell you she's just a woman working at her job to the best of her abilities.)

And if all that wasn't enough to convince me, I read her books. Talk about proof. This gal knows what she's talking about. Wow. The characters sneak into your heart and your head, making you wish they were real so you could buy them a drink. Her ability to describe the scene - whether it be distant planets and starships like in her StarDoc series or a brand new version of bloodsuckers in her Darkyn novels - makes me feel like I'm right there with those characters. I'm in the process of working through her backlist because I inhaled all her new books and I want more.

I bet you were wondering when I was going to get to today's Book Review. Well, since it's hard to segue into a different author after that build up, I'm not going to bother. So far I've only read a few of two of the series Lynn's written. She's got a ton of other books I haven't touched yet. Still, after reading a few of the StarDoc and all of the Darkyn series, I can offer both series for recommendation.

The StarDoc series is totally SF while the Darkyn series is paranormal romance. Whether you're a fan of either genre, you should probably take a peek*. As I said earlier, both series are filled with incredible characterization and well-written description. More than that, though, these books also have gripping plots that'll keep you reading into the wee hours of the morning if you aren't careful.

Unfortunately, most of the StarDoc novels are hard to find. (I think they just re-released the first one because I bought it new at Barnes and Noble, but I couldn't find any of the backlist at Borders.) If nothing else, order them online. Or if you're strapped for cash, check out the free downloads at PBW.

Whatever you do, Lynn Viehl is seriously worth reading.

(*A word of caution about the Darkyn books - they're pretty racy and a little raw in places, so read at your own risk. I flip past the parts that are too much for me. YMMV.)

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