2017 Year in Reading

Every year in January I revisit the past year in reading and share my books with you. What follows is the list of books and magazines I read in 2017. At a quick glance, I noticed my year was dominated by indie authors (a topic I’d like to revisit in a future post).

I continued to read Daily Science Fiction and Every Day Fiction in 2017, though in all honesty, I don’t read them much anymore. With all the longer work commitments I made, I don’t write short stories. I may on occasion turn back to the short form but I haven’t written any in a while. What that means is my reading tastes have changed. I now read more novels and I think that’s due in part to what I’m writing.

I did get a subscription to Nightmare Magazine, but I’d always lose my place because as new issues were released and I’d download them to my iPad, I couldn’t tell what month they were. So..I ended up not reading as much as I wanted. I still have some catching up to do and most likely won’t renew my subscription because of how far behind I am. It’s well worth the money if you have the time to stay in top of the current issues.

Here is my 2017 reading list.

Magazines

SciFan Magazine, Issue 1

SciFan Magazine, Issue 2

SciFan Magazine, Issue 3

Nightmare Magazine, May 2017 

 

Novels/Short Stories

John Scalzi, The Human Division

Callum Wallace, The Walker

Christa Yelich-Koth, Illusion

Nicole Lutrell, Station 86

Nate Southard, Scavengers

Crystal Lake Publishing, Writers on Writing Omnibus

Joe Chianakas, Nightmares Under the Moonlight

Kevin T. Johns, The Page Turners: Blood

Harriet Darling, The Haunting of Wicker House

Stan Faryna, Francesco Augustine Bernadone

Ryan Holiday, Perennial Seller

Iain Robb Wright, Animal Kingdom

R.J. Batla, Fire Eyes Awakened

Schreyer Ink Publishing, Twilight Madhouse, Vol. 1

Bryan Caron, Year of the Songbird

D.L. Richardson, Poison In the Pond

Greg Alldredge, Lights In the Night

Hellbound Books, The Big Book of Bootleg Horror, Vol.2

Miranda Nading, Eldorado Gold

Michael Bray, Meat

Schreyer Ink Publishing, Twilight Madhouse, Vol.2

Philip K. Dick, Second Variety

Crystal Lake Publishing, Where Nightmares Come From

Derek Murphy, Guerrilla Publishing

Leland Lydecker, Necrotic City

MD Parker, The Ghosts Between

Joanne Van Leerdam, The Silver Feather

Jim Driver, How to Write a Novel the Easy Way Using the Pulp Fiction Method

A.K. Taylor, The Newbie Author’s Survival Guide

Philip K. Dick, The Crystal Crypt

 

Beta Reading

R.J. Batla, Tempus (Beta Reading)

Aaron Hamilton, To Die One Death (Beta Reading)


Have you read any of these? What did you think? What are some titles I need to add to my 2018 reading list?

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(Almost) Average Spotlight: Christa Yelich-Koth

I met Christa earlier this year and was fortunate enough to read her book Eomix Galaxy Books: Illusion (Awesome book by the way and it is FREE on Amazon the week of December 11th! Go get it!). So for the last (Almost) Average Spotlight of 2017, I present scifi author Christa Yelich-Koth.


Hi Christa, thanks for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

How long have you been writing?

Christa Yelich-KothI’ve been writing since the early 2000’s, but didn’t get my first publication until 2012. Since then I’ve had 2 novels, 1 graphic novel, and a 6-issue comic book series published.

 

What inspired you to start writing?

I suppose I’ve always liked to read stories and so began telling them/ writing them. I’d love for readers to enjoy my books as much as I love reading other people’s books.

 

Tell us a little bit about your current project. Is it a novel, short story, or something else? Is it part of a series?

cv banner2My current project, COILED VENGEANCE, is in the final stages of editing, yay! It will be released through Buzz & Roar Publishing in spring of 2018. It’s another novel in the Eomix Galaxy Books collection, though it’s a standalone story, so you don’t need to have read the other books first.

The book itself is a science fiction thriller, with dream messages, ice-melting slugs, bounty hunters, and genetically-enhanced murderous children. It follows Ness Opute, who will stop at nothing to find the woman who murdered his wife. But Opute is not the only one on the hunt.

 

What genre do you prefer to write in, if any?

Illusion coverI definitely prefer scifi and fantasy, though I’ve delved into detective fiction as well. I enjoy those genres because they let me do anything as a writer, so I’m completely free to follow the characters and not worry about constraints.

 

What authors influenced you?

My biggest influences have been Anne McCaffrey (for her worldbuilding), Stephen King (for his incredible character depth), Edgar Allan Poe (for his gorgeous descriptions and mounting tensions), and Anne Rice (for her layered backstories).

 

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading fantasy novel NOCTURNE by author Kat Ross. She is a newer author I’ve discovered and I absolutely LOVE her books.

 

Do you write every day? A few days per week?

Identity coverI write a few days a week. I’m a pretty fast writer so I get a lot done in less time. I also get bored easily if I work on my books every day, so this way I get breaks in between.

 

Where can we purchase your current book? What about previous books?

My books and comics are all available on my website (www.christayelichkoth.com) or can be found on Amazon (keyword: EOMIX) or through www.BuzzAndRoarPublishing.com . The audiobook for ILLUSION will also be available on ACX starting December 2017.

Titles are:

Eomix Galaxy Books: ILLUSION and IDENTITY

HOLLOW (graphic novel)

Hollow’s Prism 6-issue comic book series

 

Where can we find you online?

Twitter: @cyelkoth

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christa.yelichkoth

Webiste/Blog: www.christayelichkoth.com

 

Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

Here is an excerpt from COILED VENGEANCE:

“Opute charged the payment on his card, stripped down, and climbed onto the table. As he lay there, he wondered for a brief moment at the recklessness of his decision, when he started to feel lightheaded. His hands and feet tingled. Then his whole body felt compressed under a great weight. Opute’s eyelids started to close against his will and he could feel the panic rising inside him. However, much to his dismay, his arms and legs wouldn’t listen to his orders and he simply lay there, paralyzed. Unable to move or call out, Opute’s eyes closed. Though he tried to fight it, he felt himself being pulled into darkness.”

 

Any parting words for writers?

3 pieces of advice:

1) Show people your work BEFORE you publish/submit to agencies. When you are the writer, you know everything. The reader may not get all of that from your story so you need to know if that’s the case.

2) Network with other writers. This can help with edits, ideas, storyboarding, marketing thoughts, and help along the way. Plus other writers will understand what you face and be able to sympathize and support better.

3) Get your work edited by a professional. It’s easy to have an English major help you or someone else who loves to read, but they may not catch what’s necessary in writing a BOOK, which is a completely different beast. As an Amazon Bestseller and award-winning novelist, I cannot recommend this enough.

Giving Back

Advice from other writers is always something to take carefully. We all have our way of doing things and we all come to success in our own way (I’m still trying to find mine!)

I enjoy encouraging other writers or would-be writers. I know what it’s like to dream of being a writer. I know how it felt when I started and I was clueless to much of the process. I know what it’s like to fret because no one knows who I am or has read my work. It sucks.

I’ve had several writers extend a hand or helpful words of wisdom and that’s been awesome.

Whenever I get the chance to help someone else out I jump on it. Who knows where the next major talent is? In this world of indie publishing where the market is oversaturated with works from misguided “writers” to super-talented authors, I want to encourage and lift up those that need a voice, that need an audience because they’re so talented and others need to know.

Have you heard of Aaron Hamilton, Thomas Gunther, Pamela Morris, Ray Wenck, Brent Harris, or Christa Yelich-Koth? Maybe, but it’s more likely you haven’t. They’re all super talented authors of scifi and/or horror (Or in Ray’s case, thrillers). I love sharing these types of writers with others because we can all use a hand once in a while. We may write by ourselves, but we need a team to share the word about our work.

One of the things I enjoy most about selling at Cons is meeting new authors/writers that are unsure what to do with their work or how to get started. I am as transparent as possible. Indie publishing is not a guarded secret, though many who haven’t tried it are as lost as I was when I started. I share my experience with anyone that asks, encouraging them to work hard at their craft and what pitfalls to watch out for. Not that I have “best-selling author” advice, but I’m more than willing to share my experience in hopes that it will inspire them to take their own journey.

Their voice, like those of the authors listed above, might be what we need next.

I hope when I meet new writers seeking advice they seek additional voices. The more information they can gather, the better informed they’ll be and maybe, just maybe, they’ll break through and be the next major indie sensation. Or maybe not. They may simply be fulfilling a lifelong goal, and there’s nothing wrong with that.