Guest post at Bookworm Blues, etc.

I have a guest post at Bookworm Blues today that’s on three fantasy novels from 2014 that reward patient readers. I’m delighted that Sarah was willing to give me a slot on her blog and hope you all enjoy it .

This blog has been quiet of late. That’s because:

  1. I’ve been writing fiction more steadily.
  2. The day job got really crazy during the month of September.
  3. I keep reading interesting novels but then don’t get around to writing about them before I have to return them to the library.
  4. I’ve been feeling the need to write longer pieces (similar to the post at Bookworm Blues) that either engage with several works at once or go in-depth with a particular work, series or author.

I’m not ready to commit to longer (even more infrequent) blog posts, but it is an option I want to explore. So I may still pop up with a quick thought or quote every so often, but I’m going to give long-form a go and see if I can make that happen while continuing the momentum of my fiction writing.

What’s all this then?

Chances are good that if you’ve made your way here, you already know at least some of my other online presences, including my Mormon arts and culture blog and associated Twitter account and my professional blog (focused on higher education marketing as well as technology) and Twitter account. Those two keep me busy enough. Why add a third platform/blog/Twitter handle/online identity?

There are a few reasons:

  • I feel the need to define myself, or at least establish myself, as a fiction writer and critic under my own name.
  • Most of the reading I do is not related to Mormon arts and culture or higher ed marketing and public relations. It seems a waste for me to be doing all this reading of literary and speculative fiction and not use it in some way to be helpful to the key fields I enjoy and love and want to support.
  • Creating a platform means pressure to produce, and I want to be a productive and a writer, critic and editor and, in particular, in the field that’s of most interest to me right now, which I describe as “the intersection of the literary and the fantastic” but what I really mean by that is literary fiction that has elements of genre fiction (and, no, I’m not real keen on these terms, but I have no ready alternatives at the moment) and genre fiction that has literary elements (in terms of prose style, characterization, point of view, etc.). The truth is, though, that a lot of what I write about will be straight up science fiction and fantasy (with occasional forays into mystery and horror).

What to expect:

  • For now, this blog will be on a fairly modest posting schedule — hopefully at least one post a week, but not likely more. Posts will usually be short.
  • In the world of lit-blogging (genre or literary [damn, I hate that term. But neither mainstream nor contemporary works either, imo]), we tend to get reviews, interviews, musings about the industry, writing advice, and the occasional take down of a book or author, but not a lot of close reading. With my Appreciations series, I will provide a close reading or simple observation about particular texts or authors that hopefully illustrates something they do well; something that they do that makes me appreciate them.
  • The Twitter identity (WmHenryMorris) associated with this blog will be a bit more voluble than the blog, but I intend the keep the number of people I follow fairly low.  I’m currently more interested in Twitter as conversation than Twitter as broadcasting. Part of why I created a third account instead of broadening one of the other two is that I think I provide most value to others when they can choose to specifically interact with whichever of the three identities they’re most interested in (or all three).
  • Until Monsters & Mormons comes out later this year my output of fiction will be limited, but I’m going to scale some things back in 2012 and focus on producing some short fiction that I can submit outside of the Mormon market. Actually, it’s not even just about submitting — what I really need to do is figure out exactly what I’m most interested in writing and go a little deeper with developing my voice and style. And I may sometimes write about that process.
  • I occasionally get the urge to write humor pieces. When that happens, I will post them here. I will also write about humor in fiction.
  • I’m also a fan of food writing and am fascinated with the use of food in fiction so some of that may happen here. No, I won’t be writing restaurant reviews, but I may write about how food is depicted in fiction.

That’s the plan. Stick around if it sounds interesting. Or better yet follow me on Twitter or become a fan of my Facebook page in order to be updated when I’ve posted to this blog.