Category Archives: fiction

Supernatural Freak by Louisa Klein – Cover Reveal

The Lost in Fiction* team proudly announces its first fiction project: Supernatural Freak, to be released on the 8th August 2012 in Ebook format.

The first of a four-book series, Supernatural Freak is written by 25 years old Louisa Klein who is Lost in Fiction’s Editorial Manager and a freelance book publicist and editor. The book is set in London and it’s an urban fantasy for readers of all ages, but especially aimed at a young audience. It tells the adventures of Robyn Wise, a girl in her twenties who has a number of inborn supernatural abilities no one can explain, not even the most powerful wizards living in England. Below, the amazing cover and the blurb:

“When paranormal expert Robyn Wise is offered an outrageous sum  of money to cure a boy who is turning into a dead tree, she’s very sceptical. A politician ready to pay that much to make his son stop growing branches instead of hair? Come on! She’s more likely to be  abducted by aliens. This is a trap. Or much worse. And, of course, it’s much worse.

The child is turning into a dark portal, created by a powerful entity determined to absorb Fairyland’s power. This means that not only queen Titania and her court are in danger, but the very balance of the magic fluxes.


Robyn’d rather stick a pencil in her own eye but, to learn how to  destroy the portal, she has to sneak into the Wizardry Council, a place full of wizards who are hiding something—though it’s certainly not their
dislike of her.


There, she discovers a terrible secret that could help to overthrow Fairyland’s enemies for good, but puts her in the midst of an ancient and deadly war, and not as a bystander, but as the main target.”


Supernatural Freak stars a cover created by Harper and Collins digital artist Regina Wamba, who recently  joined the Lost in Fiction team, bringing to the table her amazing talent and over ten years of experience.

“I came up with the story, but the rest was a lot of team work,” Louisa Klein explains. “My colleague, national journalist and development editor Paul Antony Harvison, gave me priceless advices on how to improve the plot, while our proofreader Ceiron Hughes made sure there were no typos (he has laser eyes, I swear!). I have planned the book campaign with Bruce Clark, who currently works as a freelance marketing consultant for BMW in Germany. We all know what we are doing: for example, I’m only 25, but got my first internship in a publishing house when I was only 15, so I can well say I have a bit of experience! It was a lot of work but we all had a great time, since we are a bunch of professional geeks enthusiastic about fiction and fantasy!”

“When Louisa came up with the idea for her first novel, we were all thrilled and excited,” adds Lost in Fiction Marketing Manager Bruce Clark . “Brainstorming with her about her campaign was hard work but also good fun! I pointed out from the start that a good, even an excellent marketing plan is useless if the product doesn’t meet the market’s expectations, so the editorial guys worked like crazy to deliver the best possible product and I think they’ve succeeded, our output being comparable to the one of a small, yet serious and solid, indie publisher.”

To get copies for review, interview the author or simply to know more, please contact Bruce Clarke at:  info@lostinfiction.co.uk putting “Supernatural Freak” as the subject of the email. 


* Lost in Fiction is a British online magazine run by a team of young, enthusiastic freelancers. It counts over 20000 unique visitors per month, reaching peaks of 100000 during particular online events such as “Lost in Romance” or “Lost in Young Adults”

Discovery Writers and A Memory of Light


So often a writer is asked if they are a plotter or a pantser. But what about someone in-between?

Apparently there is a name for this in the industry and it is ‘discovery writer’. This is a writer who plots a basic outline, but then isn’t afraid to follow the characters and the story wherever it might lead.

I came across the concept when I attended a Brandon Sanderson book-signing. As those of us who are Wheel of Time fans know, Brandon is responsible for finishing the saga following Robert Jordan’s untimely demise, and Brandon spoke to us a little bit about Robert Jordan, and used the term ‘discovery writer’ to describe him.

The story goes that when Robert Jordan first pitched The Wheel of Time to his publisher, he had a planned trilogy. His publisher said he loved the idea, but knew Robert Jordan tended to let his stories get away from him, and suggested a six-book deal, thinking that would be enough to get him the whole series even if it blew out. 

And as we sit here awaiting the fourteenth and final book in the series, we all laugh.

Evidently Robert Jordan was a discovery writer to the extreme, taking what was originally only a planned three book series and turning it into the epic saga we all know and love. The ideas must have flowed thick and fast as he wrote, and kept flowing for a good long time.

I don’t think a writer needs to turn a three book series into a fourteen book series to be a discovery writer, though. All it requires is a balance between plotting and pantsing, a need to outline the basic bones of the story, and then the desire and the willingness to follow where the characters lead.

I admit to being rather enamoured of the concept, because it seemed a fairly accurate description of my own writing process. I always outline my books these days, but the finished product may only bear a passing resemblance to that original outline at the most basic level.

So with Robert Jordan’s ‘discovery writer’ tendencies in mind, do you think Rand will die in A Memory of Light

Here’s what I think:
  • Maybe Rand was originally intended to die, but somewhere along the way that plan (if it ever existed) changed;
  • Sure, we know Rand has to bleed all over the rocks of Shayol Ghul, but that doesn’t mean death. Hey, a paper cut bleeds like hell;
  • Rand thinks he’s going to die – therefore it’s too obvious for him to do so;
  • You’d have to be one son of a b*tch to keep your readers waiting twenty years only to kill off the hero.
OK, you might say some of that is more wishful thinking than hard evidence, but that’s my line, and I’m sticking to it. Earlier in the series I was far more convinced Rand would die, but after The Towers of Midnight, I started to think he had a real chance. 

So what do you think? Is Rand going to live happily ever after, or do you think he’s going to get the sword?


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What Game of Thrones Got Right But Legend of the Seeker Got Horribly Wrong


In the last few years, two epic fantasy series have been adapted for TV – The Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, screening under the name of the first book, Game of Thrones, and Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth, screening under the name Legend of the Seeker.

Of the two sets of books, I love The Sword of Truth more. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, don’t hate me, I do like A Song of Ice and Fire, but consider checking out The Sword of Truth if you haven’t already (except book 5 and 7, in my humble opinion…). Same goes if you like Legend of the Seeker – I really cannot emphasise how much better the books are than the TV series. 

Why are the books better than the TV series? Although the books are good I wouldn’t describe them as brilliant, but in my opinion Legend of the Seeker was as much an unmitigated disaster as Game of Thrones is a success. 

One has to wonder why? I have two theories, the second of which feeds out of the first:
  1. Legend of the Seeker was significantly adapted from the books, until it only bore a passing resemblance to the original story. Now I know changes may be necessary to adapt a book for screen, but these changes were so extreme they almost wrote a whole new story – in fact, for season two, it’s arguable they did, because Darken Rahl bit the dust in Wizard’s First Rule (the first book in The Sword of Truth) and that was pretty much endgame for him.

    By contrast,
    Game of Thrones has been very true to the books. In fact, you could almost go so far as to say they’ve essentially made a movie out of the book, and then chopped it into TV show length bites and screened it in succession. Legend of the Seeker instead made an effort to have individualised episodes with a connecting theme or story arc.

    Legend of the Seeker
    failed, but Game of Thrones has been a raging success – at least, Legend of the Seeker was axed after two seasons, and I’ll be very surprised if the same happens to Game of Thrones – and I think deviations from the main plot is a large part of the reason.  There is nothing wrong with the story in Wizard’s First Rule or Stone of Tears (the second book in The Sword of Truth) and either could have been done in the same way as Game of Thrones, instead of mangling the story beyond recognition to try and turn it into 22 connected short stories.
  2. As a result of the significant rewriting that occurred in order to film Legend of the Seeker, the violence and dark themes of The Sword of Truth series were significantly dialled back, and it screened as suitable for children with parental guidance (PG rating in Australia). If it had been filmed true to the books, it would have been suitable only for a mature audience – virtually the same audience currently watching Game of Thrones.

    On the other hand, Game of Thrones
    has been more or less true to the violence and sexual themes of the books. OK, maybe toned down a fraction, but it’s still clearly an adult themed show. I’m not suggesting so much that viewers want graphic violence and sex (I don’t know – maybe they do!) but changing this can very much change the nature of the setting. Would Game of Thrones be the same ugly, real world it is without the violence and sex? Probably not. To some degree you can control the way in which you portray it, but it must still be present.

    It wasn’t present in
    Legend of the Seeker, depriving that world of much of the true atmosphere of fear, horror and danger permeating the books, and without that backdrop the effect of the story on the viewer is significantly diluted.
I am enjoying Game of Thrones immensely, but almost the only thing I can think of that was right about Legend of the Seeker is the casting! Definitely no arguments about Craig Horner as Richard…

Have you seen both Game of Thrones and Legend of the Seeker? Which do you prefer, and why? Have you read the books? And if so, which do you prefer and why? Did you find Legend of the Seeker disappointing as compared to Game of Thrones or The Sword of Truth?

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Sabriel – Ciara Ballintyne Talks Young Adult Fantasy Fiction

I’m not a huge fan of Young Adult fiction – but I don’t mean in a way that looks down on it as somehow inadequate. The whole Young Adult genre almost completely passed me by. It wasn’t all the rage when I was a young adult, and I jumped feet-first into adult fantasy fiction at a very early age. I dabbled in a few books that are now classified as Young Adult, but I don’t think they were called that at the time. Even now I struggle to know if something I’ve read is Young Adult or just adult. 

So when I was invited to do a guest post on Young  Adult books on Lost In Fiction UK, I was lost for words. But, in the end, I concluded that one of my favourite books, Sabriel by Garth Nix, is indeed a part of the Young Adult genres and so I sallied forth to talk about it. 

You can find the full post here.

As an interesting side note, I noticed a picture of Captain Jack Sparrow appeared when Googling ‘Sabriel’. Weird. 

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Top Five Major Discworld Characters


I love the Discworld books. Always a good rollicking romp, and sometimes a welcome relief from the intensity of ‘the world is ending’ in other fantasy. I like to read Discworld between The Wheel of Time and The Sword of Truth and all the other books filled with intense heroics and life-changing events.

Which is not to say the Discworld books don’t tackle serious issues, because they do, but in a comedic way that allows them to get away with it, and in a way that is nevertheless entertaining. So here are my top five major Discworld characters.

5. Vetinari

Is this an odd choice? And if it is, do I like Vetinari because I’m like Vetinari? Or at least, so say the Discworld quizzes which tell you the characters you are most like, and if there is any truth to it, perhaps I should be afraid… On the other hand, Vetinari is, as dictators go, a most benevolent dictator, and I should like to think I would be, too. Benevolent, I mean. I can do the dictator part standing on my head.

Vetinari is a fascinating character. He is always one step ahead of everyone else – even when you (and everyone else) thinks he isn’t. You can’t fool him, no matter how hard you try. I would hate to play chess against him! Or poker, either, I expect. He rules the city by playing faction against faction and knowing how each will respond – even before they do! He is held in contempt by several Ankh-Morpork factions, but mostly because they fear him, hate him, envy him or are just too plain stupid to realise how cleverly dangerous he is!

It is said Vetinari failed his stealth class at the Assassins’ College, even though he attended every class, because the master never saw him there.
Don’t let me detain you. What a wonderful phrase Vetinari had devised. The jangling double meaning set up undercurrents of uneasiness in the most innocent of minds. The man had found ways of bloodless tyranny that put the rack to shame.”
4. Death

Opposite to Vetinari, he totally doesn’t understand people. But his quest to try and understand us is hilarious, and he has some of the best cameos in the entire series. And I just love the way he talks LIKE THIS.

Death has a daughter (adopted, of course), a white horse called Binky, and a scythe that can slice anything in half. I don’t recommend cutting yourself by accident on that scythe.  
“The Rite of AshkEnte is the most serious ritual eight wizards can undertake. It summons Death…

The wizards stared into the magic octogram, which remained empty. After a while the circle of robed figures began to mutter amongst themselves.

‘We must have done something wrong.’

‘Oook.’

‘Maybe He is out.’

‘Or busy…’

‘Do you think we could give up and go back to bed?’

WHO ARE WE WAITING FOR, EXACTLY?”
3. Mistress Esmerelda (Granny) Weatherwax

Head of her coven of witches in the Ramtop Mountains in the miniscule kingdom of Lancre. Like Vetinari, Granny has a very good grasp of people (although she calls it ‘headology’, or akin to psychology I expect). I’m not sure if they have ever met, but if they did, I expect there would be a certain amount of mutual respect and wariness. 

Like Vetinari, you can never get one over on Granny, even when you think someone has. Unlike Vetinari, though, Granny can’t fall back on being a tyrant – although she can and does fall back upon being a witch – in some parts just as bad or worse than tyranny – and is more or less a law unto herself. What Granny wants, Granny gets. She is, though, always conscious of the risk of ‘turning bad’ and cackling (a sure sign a witch has gone bad). 

Granny likes to always be right (forget admitting she is wrong) and she doesn’t much like losing. Perhaps that’s what I like about her… According to the quiz, there’s a dose of Granny in me as well!
“‘Blessings be upon this house,’ Granny said. It was always a good opening remark for a witch. It concentrated people’s minds on what other things might be upon this house.”
2. Sam Vimes

Once head of the night watch, and more recently risen to Commander of the Watch and Duke of Ankh, Vimes is very different to the three preceding characters. He’s cynical and very much against privilege and wealth and all about the common man, even if the definition of ‘man’ does keep getting shifted to include other species, which he’s not too keen about, and even if he has now been lifted to rank and privilege, which he’s also not too keen about.

Justice is important to Vimes, and legality, as he tries to shake off the spectre of his ancestor who was a regicide. It annoys him quite a bit when ‘Old Stoneface’ is declared a hero, because he believes you can’t just rewrite history and change the facts. The means does not justify the end where Vimes is concerned, but sometimes he is caught between what is right and what is legal.

Vimes is the Sherlock Holmes of the Discworld and he always gets his man. As you progress towards the end of the series, there are whole countries that shake in their boots when they hear Vimes is on the case.

Vimes is most concerned with ‘Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?– who watches the watchers?
“’I’ve been running around looking for damn Clues instead of just thinking for five minutes!’ said Vimes. ‘What is it I’m always telling you?’

‘Never trust anybody, sir?’

‘No, not that.’

‘Everyone’s guilty of something, sir?’

‘Not that, either.’

‘Just because someone’s a member of an ethnic minority doesn’t mean they’re not a nasty, small-minded little jerk, sir?’

‘N- When did I say that?’

‘Last week, sir. After we’d had that visit from the Campaign for Equal Heights, sir.’”

1.  Rincewind

Of all the characters here, Rincewind is the only one completely unlike me, and yet also my absolute favourite. He is either impossibly cowardly or incredibly pragmatic, and yet somehow he still manages to save the world. Over time, this develops into a certain sense of fatalism about how events will unfold.

Technically a graduate of Unseen University, Rincewind is still undeniably a failed wizard and we never see him of his own free will cast a spell. He even has ‘Wizzard’ written on his hat, just so people don’t mistake him for something else. Like magic, spelling clearly is not his forte.

Rincewind provides, in my opinion, some of the funniest moments, along with his luggage… er, Luggage, which carries itself around on hundreds of little legs and has homicidal tendencies. As he staggers from disaster to disaster, accidentally staving off certain death for the world along the way, we just can’t help but laugh… and laugh… and laugh. 
“’But there are causes worth dying for,’ said Butterfly.

‘No, there aren’t! Because you’ve only got one life but you can pick up another five causes on any street corner!’

‘Good grief, how can you live with a philosophy like that?’

Rincewind took a deep breath. ‘Continuously!’

Who are your favourite Discworld characters? Would you list any here, or others? There were plenty of more minor characters I would love to have listed, but then the list would have grown rather unwieldy.

I’m considering doing a series of these posts. What other Top 5 Discworld posts would you like to see? Or are there other fantasy Top 5 posts you are interested in? I’d love to hear your suggestions. 

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All quotes from ‘The Wit and Wisdom of Discworld’ by Terry Pratchett.