This week I finished reading Holly Lisle's book, Talyn. It was one of the most incredible books I have read in my life.
Now, I know that sounds over the top, but let me tell you my story of Talyn.
First of all, I've never fully read a fantasy novel (yes, that includes the Harry Potter series). It is not (or so I thought) my cup of tea. However, Holly Lisle is one of my favorite writers who write about writing, so I thought it only proper I should read one of her novels. After all, since her writing advice is so good, so should her books be, right?
(And believe me, this is not always the case...)
I came across one great review after another about Talyn so I went to my local Chapters and purchased my own copy of the 524-page book.
The book is truly 'unputdownable.' The story sucked me in and I had to know what happened next at every turn. The characters were deep, the world complete, and the story just kept moving from page one to 524.
Now, I must say here that I am tainted as a reader. After all these many years of studying writing (and as a full-time editor), I cannot read a book without being painfully aware of the writing. It really takes away from the pleasure of reading when you notice the writing technique in the story you are reading. At the very least, I am aware of the writing as a method of research for my own craft. With Talyn, I completely forgot that I was reading. I was 100 per cent absorbed in the story--and boy did it feel great. What scares me is that Lisle seems to be able to write so well in her first drafts. I know she revisits her drafts, but still, I've read her posts of snippets during the writing of the book that shows me it all comes out right the first time. I suppose this is the result of many years and many hours of practice and awareness. Lisle is one of those writers that work and produce mostly every day.
Well, that's my Talyn story. I now have a bag full of other Lisle books to help keep me from doing my own writing. Looks like fantasy is my new thing. I highly recommend all writers and aspiring writers as well as readers pick up a copy of Talyn. Even if you don't normally read fantasy, you will like this book.
BTW, I also read Lisle's blog regularly at http://hollylisle.com/writingdiary2/. It's also a great read. In addition, her website has a library of articles on writing that no aspiring author should skip.
Happy writing and happy reading!