Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #7: How to Make Your Debut a Success

Okay, the title was a bit tongue in cheek, but the content is not.  Tim Maleeny's Stealing the Dragon is a fresh and original debut.  Gosh, and this year is a great year for debuts!  It's well-crafted storytelling, through and through.

I mean, who isn't crazy about a female ninja assassin?

It's the sort of book that makes you say, "Oh cool!  Now that's the kind of book I've been looking for!" 

Okay, it makes me say that.  But I bet you'll like it, too.

Thirteen Lessons in Making Your Debut a Success
  • 1.) How to be Fresh #1: Give a hard-nosed detective a sidekick who is a female ninja assassin.  He lives for honesty; she lives for justice.
  • 1.) How to be Fresh #2: Make said ninja assassin a lesbian
  • 3.) How to be Fresh #3: Keep said sidekick offstage--except for intriguing backstory--for three quarters of the book.
  • 4.) How to Break the Rules #1: Open with a dream that is backstory, too.  Talk about a double whammy.  Then use the scene to hint at a character so intriguing and mysterious, that you can't help but keep reading.
  • 5.) How to Break the Rules #2: Make a good half of the book in italicized backstory, but make it so interesting that you couldn't put it down if you tried.
  • 6.) How to Break the Rules #3: Write a hard-boiled mystery/thriller (whatever) that is half-told through the eyes of a child training to be a ninja assassin.
  • 7.) How to be Quirky #1: Describe fascinating sidekick as, "part demon, part heavenly spirit," (87) or "Dirty Harry in a leotard." (97)
  • 8.) How to be Quirky #2: Throw in an earthy reporter who will spend no more than three hours a day indoors and refuses to eat sugar.  
  • 9.) How to be Quirky #3: Add a computer genius called "Sloth," who is so good he's almost part computer himself.
  • 10.) How to be Original #1: Instead of Jack Bauer, try more exotic torture scenes: snake pits, locked rooms full of scorpions, ...
  • 11.) How to be Original #2: Cool martial arts tricks with somersaults and wooden swords.  They can be really cool in books, if described well.  (And they are in this book.)
  • 12.) How to be Gripping: Mix quirk and gore, love and death, loyalty and betrayal.
  • 13.) How to Prove Your Skill: Make me cry in public.  What a story!
And of course, I have to thank Mark Terry for reviewing this book.  His interview, Take 7 with Tim Maleeny, is equally fascinating.

28 bonus scribbles:

Unknown 3/07/2007 11:08:00 PM  

Sounds like a very interesting book. I'll have to look for it.

Wylie Kinson 3/07/2007 11:43:00 PM  

Thanks for visiting my TT! In answer to your question about the 50 book challenge, -- a few of us are trying to read 50 books in 2007 (I got the idea from Jana Hanso, editor at Chippewa Pub and Freya's Bower, who did it last year).
There are no hard and fast rules - just read - novels, novellas, whatever genre you enjoy, and keep track of them on your blog.
Me, Amy Ruttan and Victoria Krain (links on my blog) are all doing it, and it's caught on with quite a few other bloggers. Wanna join?

Rashenbo 3/07/2007 11:44:00 PM  

Ooooo you've definitely got my interest! I am going to have to browse the bookstore for this little nugget. It sounds interesting on so many levels!

Great list!

Anonymous,  3/08/2007 12:09:00 AM  

Wow, what a neat-sounding book! How could I possibly resist Dirty Harry (Harriette) in a leotard? :)

Thanks for the heads up for what sounds like a fun read, and Happy TT! Thanks for visiting my blog. :)

Raggedy 3/08/2007 01:31:00 AM  

That sounds like a fabulous read!
Terrific Thursday Thirteen!
Thank you for your visit.
Have a wonderful day!
Happy TT'ing!
(")_ (")Š

Anonymous,  3/08/2007 05:52:00 AM  

Sounds like a good book and love the inside information about it.

Thanks for visiting me, especially for the first time. My template was done for me as a christmas present. I love it!

Anonymous,  3/08/2007 07:19:00 AM  

Made you cry in public; great book for me.

Jane 3/08/2007 07:24:00 AM  

Sounds right up your alley.
Thanks for stopping by my T13.

Darla 3/08/2007 07:25:00 AM  

#14: impress SpyScribbler, who'll blog about it, prompting a whole bunch of us to go look for it. :)

I'm intrigued. I'm putting it on my list.

Unknown 3/08/2007 07:29:00 AM  

Why have I not heard of this book before now? Wow!! I need to pick this up, it sounds awesome. :)

Susan Helene Gottfried 3/08/2007 07:42:00 AM  

Sounds pretty fresh and kick-ass. But... think the follow-up will be as good? That seems like a hard act to follow!

Rhian 3/08/2007 07:48:00 AM  

Clutcing my hands to my chest and gasping - breaking rules?!?! Being Quirky? Being Original?? I LOVE YOU!!! really. This was awesome and I can't wait to read the book.

Anonymous,  3/08/2007 07:53:00 AM  

Wow! What a fabulous list. You've got me intrigued already. Not sure about all the italics but the lesbian ninja assassin sounds too cool for words.

Happy TT Day.

Stewart Sternberg 3/08/2007 11:10:00 AM  

Okay, I am going to go buy this. Can I get it through Amazon? I will go and check now. When I am done reading it...which probably won't be until some time after spring break...I will your praises.

writtenwyrdd 3/08/2007 11:26:00 AM  

Hmmm...Not sure about #10, although the rest of that sounds interesting. I mean, Indiana Jones did snakes and bugs and other tortures. Well, perhaps not tortures, but that's what I think of, anyhow.

I might have to read this. Have you read Eric Lustbader's ninja books? Those are really good.

Annie 3/08/2007 12:01:00 PM  

Sounds like a kick-ass book! Going to have to keep my eye out for it!

Cafe Cats 3/08/2007 01:46:00 PM  

Sounds great! I'll keep an eye out for it.

Spy Scribbler 3/08/2007 02:21:00 PM  

Thanks for stopping by, all!

Hey, anyone know why there's red X's in my Mister Linky?

Oh, Wylie, that's cool! Sure I'd love to join! Thanks!

Christine, it surprised me, too. You'd think it'd be on all the front tables, debuting with a bunch of fanfare. Nope. And it's a shame, because it's that good.

Susan, I had exactly the same thought. My inner writer piped up and said, "how in the world can one ever follow this up?!" His next comes out in October or November. I'll be interested to see how!

LOL, Gabriella. You mean all my italics are disconcerting, or just that I italicized lesbian? Sorry, inner writer freak coming out to play. :-)

Yes, Stewart. You can even click on the link above and it'll take you directly to Amazon!

Thanks, writtenwyrdd. I'm definitely in the mood for more ninja. I haven't read them, but I'm digging them up tomorrow, for sure!

Janet 3/08/2007 06:29:00 PM  

I HATE crying in public! Soooo embarrassing!

Anonymous,  3/08/2007 08:25:00 PM  

spyscribbler, sorry I made you cry

I'm thrilled you enjoyed Stealing The Dragon so was a fun (but challenging) book to write

in answer to your question, the second book in the series, Beating The Babushka, is a very different novel in terms of narrative structure...I wanted to write a worthy sequel but not write the same book over deals with the Russian mob and their involvement in the movie business – you'll have to tell me if it lives up to your expectations

thanks again for taking the time to read my of luck with your writing

Jill 3/08/2007 10:07:00 PM  

this book sounds great... The crying part is a reason why I read almost only at home!! The first book that made me cry was Eric, the story of a leukimia boy..

Tink 3/09/2007 05:07:00 AM  

Sounds like a debut I want to check out, thank you for the tip!
Thanks for visiting my cat quotes TT.

Carmen 3/09/2007 08:38:00 AM  

isn't it great when you find an awesome book? For me, it's currently the Dresden Files. :)

Kunoichi Terminator 5/25/2007 02:56:00 AM  

Yes, many people love a Kunoichi. That's why Kunoichi can assassinate people by attracting them.

Don't be the next victim...

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