Thursday, July 12, 2018

Geralt of Rivia

Hey guys! As promised, I have news! This Saturday, July 14, I’ll be at the ArtsCrawl in Gallup, NM! I’ll be downtown in the evening, somewhere near Gallery 123, and I’ll have copies of anything and everything currently available from RAD Writing. Woo! Come and see me, and get your copies of the best clean fiction the market has to offer. :)

But for today, I want to talk about a book series which has both inspired me and utterly annoyed me, to the point that I still haven’t finished reading it.

The Witcher

Andrzej Sapkowski

I’m hoping I spelled that right. I keep checking and double checking, but it never looks right even when it is.

Anyway, again, if you’ve been following me on Goodreads, you know I’ve been making my way through this series. Of the books that are currently available in English, in fact, I only have one left. And I’m sitting on it. I want to read it and I don’t want to read it, at the same time.


Because it inspired me, in a way that I hate.

Sapkowski isn’t afraid to do things to his characters. He’s not afraid to get a little down and dirty, to make people suffer and hurt and feel things they shouldn’t have to feel. He’s not even afraid to make them try to commit suicide on the page. It’s gutting. And it’s incredibly inspiring.

But again… why?

Well, the thing is, I hate reading that sort of thing. It brings out this feeling of dread inside me, which I absolutely hate. But at the same time, it makes me want to write something like it. Because things like that, actions like that, they’re real. Characters, people, actually go through things like that. And more than likely, some of my readers would like to see that in my characters as well (you might notice the inspiration within the Earth-Space saga, in fact).

The Witcher novels aren’t originally written in English, so they’re also a good study in what other countries like to read. Not everyone reads like an American. I’d say I don’t really read like a normal American, either. And that’s also an inspiration to me. It’s a reminder that I can write with whatever pace is most suitable to the story, and though there will be some readers out there who hate it, there will also be many who love it.

Because there’s no perfect book for everyone. And people (like me) will read a series even if there are one or two points in it that they don’t like. Enter Sapkowski and the Witcher. I love this series. I hate this series. I’ll finish it before the year is through. Promise.


{Rani Divine}

Tuesday, July 10, 2018


Hey guys! First off, thank you to everyone who came out to the Gallup library last Saturday and hung out for the author panel—it was great fun, and I really enjoyed meeting all of you. I’m planning on being in town for the next ArtsCrawl, so don’t worry if you missed me! I’ll be back soon! (more info on Thursday, I promise)

All July long, we’re talking about things that have inspired me in my writing career. For the most part, that’s going to be books, television, and the occasional movie by extension, because these are the main things I’ve found that have inspired me over the years of writing. I hope that you’ll all glean something from this series, and that maybe you’ll find something that inspires you, too.

The Circle

Ted Dekker

I’m fairly certain I’ve talked about The Circle before. If you’ve been watching me on Goodreads, then you know I recently had the opportunity and honor to advance read the latest in Ted Dekker’s Circle saga—and I do highly recommend it, even if you haven’t read any of the Circle before.

But that’s not what I’m here to talk to you about.

I started reading the Circle back in high school, on recommendation from my mother. She’d borrowed it from my uncle, who loved Ted Dekker’s books. And I loved every minute of reading these books, even when I thought they couldn't be more annoying.

Let me first say that from the very start, I couldn’t put them down. It’s a series set in two worlds, with the same set of characters between them. And at first glance, it makes no sense whatsoever.

Honestly, I think that’s what’s most inspiring about it.

The Circle takes things like dreams and turns them on their head. It takes concepts like reality and makes them into something you never even dreamt about—and might be afraid to so much as consider. Oh, yeah, and it did the whole thing by making a literal circle between the four main books of the saga.

Yeah. Black, Red, White, and Green make a circle. Green is both the ending and the beginning of the story.

How in the world did Dekker even do that?!

I still don’t know, and I still haven’t stopped being inspired by this series. Dekker has a way of melding his faith into his writing without anyone noticing, and it makes for an extremely beautiful piece of fiction with morals that cannot be questioned. I aspire to write as well as Dekker, and I hope someday that he’ll pick up one of my books and enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed his.

After all, he’s one of the biggest reasons why I started writing in the first place.


{Rani D.}

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Deep in Space

Hey-O! Welcome back to Too Many Books to Count!

It’s July, a new month, a new series, and we’re talking all about the things that have inspired me over the years. Television and books have both played a huge role in my inspirations to write, and so those will be the main things we’ll talk about. Who knows, you might even find yourself with some new shows you need to watch, or some new books to add to your to-read list. ;-)

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

I’ll admit, I never watched any Star Trek until about halfway through college, and I still haven't watched more than two episodes of the original series. I hadn’t honestly had any interest in it, and until one of my friends convinced me (by having me watch one of the Next Generation movies), I was certain I would never have any interest in it.

I started with The Next Generation (the series, this time), at a friend’s request, and finished it relatively quickly. Never liked Voyager, no matter how many times I tried watching it. I blame Janeway's hair. And then one of my good friends, one of my best friends, told me how much he loved Deep Space Nine. Well, I’ll pretty much watch anything this friend recommends, so, I started watching it.

And I fell in love almost immediately.

See, Deep Space Nine is probably the best of the Star Trek series’ primarily because its nature is so completely different from the rest. Not everything is hunky-dory, not everything is happy-happy we’re in the Federation. It’s real. There’s real life going on. And that makes it seriously interesting, and seriously good—and also an extremely good inspiration for writing a series set entirely in space. 

Deep Space Nine found a way to have a lot of characters with very unique stories of their own, stories that would carry on from episode to episode, while the show still maintained its episodic nature. The primary stories didn’t generally have any interconnectivity except in that it all took place during the day-to-day of the station, and yet there was always something going on in the background, something that kept viewers interested in the characters, and some small running plotlines keeping everything interconnected and moving forward (especially in relation to Bajor and the Cardassians).

I learned a lot from that.

I learned how to make good characters, unique characters, compelling characters, characters my readers will want more of, even after the book is done. Because that’s how it was with Deep Space Nine. The show has one of the best television endings I’ve ever seen in my life, and although it tied things up in the best possible way, it left me still wanting more from these characters I’d loved for so many seasons.

That right there, is excellent writing—and an amazing piece of inspiration, which helped me spawn a five-books-and-counting space opera series. 


{Rani Divine}