1. Author Libba Bray writes a funny piece on writing a novel, as love story.
2. A publishing-house intern made awesome chart of elements appearing on the covers of popular 2008 fantasy books. The winner: "swords," followed by "glowy magic."
3. Here's an interesting article on vampires by Guillermo del Toro, who just co-wrote a vampire thriller called The Strain. My favorite part of this piece? I never knew this, but del Toro says the popularity of Dracula came in part from the book's being excitingly high-tech at the time. Telegraphs, typing machines, blood transfusions - all pretty cutting edge in 1897, apparently.
4. Neato book trailer. Put the sound on - the music is maybe my favorite part.
5. At the Public Query Slushpile, we have a fun joke query.
6. In conjunction with the book Rampant, on which I commented enthusiastically last week, we have the official website of the National Unicorn Control Agency. Awesomeness.
7. Literary agent Rachel Gardner's blog was discussing overused words, and posted a list of words writers might want to use sparingly, with the suggestion of using the Search function on words that you personally tend to abuse. Right there with you, Rachel - I'm thinking of searching my novels for "rather," "almost," and "just," two of which make her list:
about, actually, almost, almost, like, appears, approximately, basically, close to, even, eventually, exactly, finally, just, just then, kind of, nearly, practically, really, seems, simply, somehow, somewhat, sort of, suddenly, truly, utterly, were.