Sam Burns

Seeing the Bright Side of Romance & Fantasy

Tag: t.j. klune

How knitting came to Rowan Harbor

So a funny thing happened a few months ago. Those of you who know me personally have heard the story of how I came to writing m/m romance: someone mentioned their favorite book, The Lightning-Struck Heart by TJ Klune, and I asked them for more information. After listening to it, and then reading and listening to a few hundred other books in the genre, I was inspired to actually finish writing a book and publish my own work. It came full circle in November, when on the same podcast where I first heard The Lightning-Struck Heart mentioned, I heard my own pen name. (~32 minutes in)

Many thanks to Laura and Leslie for making my day!

My Destiny… of Dragons

I can honestly say I’ve never done this before. Not when the long-awaited finale to Robert Jordan’s ponderous Wheel of Time series finally released. Not when the last Harry Potter book came out. Not even when they released Serenity to give us Firefly fans some closure.

But here I am right now, re-listening to Michael Lesley‘s utterly perfect narration of The Lightning-Struck Heart by T.J. Klune, in preparation for the release of the sequel, A Destiny of Dragons, on the 30th.

Three days. Yay!

Olive Juice by T.J. Klune

I think T.J. Klune dislikes me for some reason. I decided this after reading his recent novella, Olive Juice, because there is no other reason a person would want to make me cry as much as he seems to. I’m not talking like one perfect angsty man-tear here either, I’m talking the full waterworks, nose blowing and all.

I won’t rehash the blurb or premise, I’ll just say that if you like anything else by him, you should read it. I was underwhelmed by the premise, but that’s because in order to avoid giving too much away, it’s not well explained. Since I’ve read enough Klune to trust him I picked it up anyway, and I was not at all disappointed.

This is one of those conundrums we’re taught to avoid by college creative writing professors. Never surprise us, they say. You’ll alienate readers, and no one likes to be lied to. And they’re right. Except that they’re also wrong.

Because unlike the writers of Dallas trying to fix enormous mistakes in their previous season, T.J. is up front about the fact that he’s lying to us. He feeds us tidbits of the truth one at a time, like handing us single pieces of the puzzle until we can put together enough to see what he’s made. Different readers will take different amounts of time to figure out what the picture is, but the reveal is satisfying whether you figured out what the picture was beforehand or not.

As I read fiction for escape from dreary reality, I tend to avoid anything that looks like it’s going to make me cry. T.J. is one of those rare authors who can write that tear-jerker, and make me want to pick up the book anyway.

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