November, 13, 2009

13 Nov

The last book I read was several weeks ago, Jed Rubenfeld’s The Interpretation of Murder. So I’m happy to say, I’m reading again.

Currently Reading

Hendricks, Elyssa - The Sword and the Pen

The Sword and the Pen by Elysa Hendricks

It was time. After penning ten popular sword-and-sorcery novels, Brandon Alexander Davis was ready to move on. Ready to stop hiding in his fictional world. Ready to start living a real life. There was just one problem: as he plotted the noble death of Serilda D’Lar, his fictional creation appeared in his study, complete with sword, skimpy leather outfit, indomitable will–and a quest. Was she nothing more than a crazy fan, or had Brandon finally cracked? This warrior woman whom he knew so well, so strong yet vulnerable, was both fantasy and reality. She was an invitation to rediscover all he once knew–that life is an incredible, magical journey and, for love, any man can be a hero.

I’m drawn to stories with characters who are writers because quite often, there’s a metafictional layer to the story I find interesting. When I read the blurb of The Sword and the Pen I thought this novel might fit although I think it’s not easy to pull of without it getting “cheesy.”

I’m only a few pages in and so far, I’m happy to say that there is no need to worry. I like it. Here’s the first time the different layers collide:

[Serilda’s POV is first person, Brandon third person; words underlined are in italic in the book]

[…] If I was dead, surely my few slips wouldn’t condemn my soul to…
Damn it, woman. The voice in my head spoke without real heat, just resigned frustration. I liked his strange accent. Deep and even, this voice hinted at long nights spent between the sheets.
Why won’t you ever do what I tell you to?
“To whom do you speak?” I tried to shout, but no sound came from my throat.
I had Hausic counsel you to stage a sneak attack from the rear, not make a frontal assault on Roark’s fortress. But no, you had to do it your way. Three weeks’ work and outlining wasted. (4/5)

Fun fact: the name of my priest/knight character in Runes of Magic

RoM - Priest_Knight

is very similar to the heroine’s name in this story.


12 Responses to “November, 13, 2009”

  1. Elysa Hendricks Friday, November 13, 2009 at 6:47 pm #

    Hi Taja, I’m pleased that you’re enjoying The Sword and The Pen. I had an absolute blast writing it. Brandon and Seri are two of my favorite characters. I’m eager to hear your thoughts once you finish the story.
    Elysa Hendricks

  2. Taja Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 2:14 pm #

    Elysa Hendricks – I think it shows that you had a blast writing it. I really enjoy reading your novel. 🙂

  3. Christine Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 6:20 pm #

    Hi Taja,
    I love stories like this as well when the narrator is a writer and in which the worlds between real and fiction get crossed. I’m glad your enjoying this one and look forward to your thoughts. And how cool is that to have a visit from the author, too! 😀

  4. Elysa Hendricks Sunday, November 15, 2009 at 12:03 am #

    Hi Christine, in this story the fictional character gets to narrate part of the story along with the author. Seri/Serilda demanded to tell her story in her voice. She’s one fictional character that knew exactly what she wanted and she wasn’t going to let any old “author” get in her way. I was really glad she was Brandon’s problem, not mine. 🙂

  5. Taja Sunday, November 15, 2009 at 9:20 am #

    Christine – yes, that’s what I like about it, too. 🙂

    Elysa Hendricks – I don’t know why your last comment was caught in the spam filter. It shouldn’t.

    Thank you for your additional information. I think the use of first person and third person POV fits your story very well.

  6. Elysa Hendricks Sunday, November 15, 2009 at 10:34 pm #

    Taja, I don’t know why, but my emails often seem to end up in people’s spam folders.

    This was my first story using 1st person. Usually, 1st person doesn’t appeal to me, but Seri just had to have her way. I tried telling her story from 3rd person and it didn’t work – just made her angry and you don’t want to get a woman with a sword angry, Brandon learns that the hard way. 🙂

    Now that I’ve tried using 1st person I sort of like it. My current WIP has a 1st person narrator that’s not the hero or heroine of the story. I’m having fun with it.


  7. Christine Monday, November 16, 2009 at 5:22 am #

    Hi Elysa,
    What a great concept having the fictional character narrate along with the writer. Kind of parallels your role as a writer, too, doesn’t it?

    Is your WIP another fantasy romance?

  8. Elysa Hendricks Monday, November 16, 2009 at 3:19 pm #

    Hi Christine,

    Thanks for the kind words. The Sword and The Pen was inspired by an old Twilight Zone episode called A World of His Own, about a playwright who could make his characters come to life just by writing them or in his case speaking their descriptions into his dictaphone.

    Yes, my current WIP is a fantasy, but nothing like The Sword and the Pen, no fictional characters come to life, no swords, or authors. The one thing it does have that is a cat. A very special cat – of course, as we all know – all cats are special. 🙂 I have two very special lap-rats – as we refer to them in our house – Kyle and Speed Bump.


  9. Taja Monday, November 16, 2009 at 11:05 pm #

    Elysa – I can see that Seri wanted to tell her story in her own words. As I said, I think it really fits. And your current WIP sounds interesting, especially in terms of narration. I’m looking forward to it.

    Oh, and I love the name Speed Bump – a great name. 🙂

  10. nath Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 2:41 am #

    I’m glad you’re reading and enjoying it, Taja 😀

  11. Elysa Hendricks Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 8:49 pm #


    The name Speed Bump for our cat came about because my son found her as a tiny kitten in the middle of the road. He thought she was a dead squirrel – hey, it was dark out – but when she moved he went back to check. Brought her home wrapped in his t-shirt. $300 later we had a free cat. To this day she lives up to her name, always plopping herself down on the floor in front of you to be petted. 🙂


  12. Taja Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 11:26 am #

    nath – I’m glad, too! 😀

    Elysa – awwh!

    “To this day she lives up to her name, always plopping herself down on the floor in front of you to be petted.”

    – I thought it was something like that. 😀

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