Tag Archives: writing inspiration

Book Excerpt: In Articulo Mortis [Draft]

Normally, I reserve excerpts from published works and rough drafts for my Patrons on my Patreon account. Being a patron grants readers access to behind the scenes interviews with my characters and notes about my process when writing fiction. However, today, in honor of me not feeling much like writing a blog post, I will share an excerpt from one of my drafts.

This excerpt is not from the final draft of the story nor is it a complete rough draft. I believe this is about the 3rd draft of this particular scene. The only two characters here are Theresa, the town mortician, and Overbey, a man who may or may not be who he says he is… The complete novel will be available for purchase on August 31st, 2018. Even though the excerpt is brief, I would love to hear any thoughts from all of you in the comments section below.

One of the things I’ve always struggled with as a writer is prose. The con of being a theater major is that we focus so much on dialogue and not at all on prose- because there is no prose in a play besides stage direction. If you’re reading Shakespeare, the only stage directions are [They enter.] [They exit.] and [They fight.]

I find that my prose is normally bland or entirely too wordy. I’ve been known to include too much detail in my rough drafts or ramble on about something unimportant. Again, this is not the final draft below. Instead, this is a look at the in between stage. If you’d like to see more things like this, please consider becoming a member on Patreon. I post some things for public viewing and some for patron eyes only about once a week.

Happy Reading!

-RB

Excerpt from In Articulo Mortis. Book 1.

“I see you’re a fan of Jack,” she pointed to the glass of whiskey he had poured in her absence.

He raised the glass towards her. “Didn’t think you’d mind.”

“I can see that. You’re aware it’s before noon?”

“Would you like some?”

Theresa shook her head. “The dry bar was left here by the previous owner. It collects dust.”

“Shame.” He circled around and took a seat in front of her desk.

“Aren’t you on duty?”

“I like to mix business with pleasure.”

“Well, to what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?” She paused. “I suppose I should ask why you were following me this morning?”

“Following you?”

“I saw your car.”

“A lot of people drive cars like mine.”

“This is a small town, Agent Overbey. I know what everyone drives.”

He flashed a fake smile. “Why would anyone have reason to follow you, Ms. Fairholm?”

“You tell me.”

Sitting back in his chair, he took another swig of alcohol. The ice clinked against the glass. “This is a very nice office you have,” he said, opting for a change of course. “How long have you been a funeral director?”

“Several years now. The position used to belong to an older man named Michael Hallowell. When he passed, I applied for the job. But I’m sure you already knew that.”

“Sounds like a lucky break then,” he said, ignoring her last statement.

“Timing is everything.”

“Did you have anything to do with it?”

“What?”

“Mr. Hallowell’s death.”

“That’s absurd. How would I-”

“Answer the question, Ms. Fairholm. I can’t help but notice that you’re first instinct wasn’t to say ‘no.’”

“No,” she said firmly. “I had nothing to do with Michael Hallowell’s death. Are you trying to accuse me of killing someone to gain employment and then killing others to keep said employment? If I didn’t know any better, that’s sure what it sounds like.” Theresa stared him down, refusing to break eye contact or blink.

Overbey broke the silence as he broke into another fake smile. “Of course not. Why would someone go through that much trouble to get a job? Especially as a funeral director. Who would fight for such a grim job? It was simply mindless chatter,” he unsuccessfully reassured.

“Agent Overbey, I really hate mindless chatter. Could we cut to the chase?”

As he began to speak, her attention jerked towards the window. A shadow passed. Overbey sensed it and followed her gaze. “Are the shadows distracting you?”

Her worry faded. He could see it too. “No. The boys must be outside cutting the grass.”

“I don’t hear a lawn mower.”

“Maybe they’re picking up trash.” She threw her hands up in exasperation. “There are things to do outside besides tending to the lawn. I asked them to clean this morning.”

“They seem like nice boys.” Continuing to take a swig of his drink, he refused to break eye contact. “Where did you find them?”

“Locally. They both started as interns. They help with preparation for the services, arrangements with the church, taking care of medical documents at the hospital, and keeping the place clean. After all, a funeral home is, first and foremost, a business. But here we are off on a tangent again. I don’t think this is what you came here to talk to me about. Am I right?”

“Yes, Ms. Fairholm.” He pulled out the notepad from before and began scribbling notes before he asked her anything further. The shadow at the window passed again but Theresa heard the vacuum cleaner running in the lobby and footfalls from the attic storage. It couldn’t have been the boys. She glanced back at Overbey to see if he had noticed anything strange but his eyes were on her. “You had any strange occurrences lately in your home or around the workplace?”

“Define strange.”

He refused to comment as he wrote something else down.

“Am I under some sort of interrogation?” Her eyes darted to the window again as another shadow passed.

“You seem tense.” He followed her gaze again. “Is there something distracting you?”

“I’m sure you’ll write and say whatever you want about me. I don’t know who pissed in your cornflakes or why you came all the way from… Where did you come from, Agent Overbey?”

“Kansas. Wichita, Kansas.”

Theresa paled. “Right.”

“Do you miss home?”

“This is home.”

“Are you not from Wichita, Ms. Fairholm?”

She inhaled deeply, losing her patience. “You know the answer to that. Get to the point.”

“Starting on the day your brother died, there was a three day period of strange events in Wichita, ending with the disappearance of a young man named Abram Wallace. Does that name mean anything to you?” He set the empty whiskey glass on the corner of her desk.

“No. That was over twenty years ago. I was a kid. I don’t remember much.”

“You don’t remember hearing his name on the news?”

Her hands instinctively balled into fists. “Forgive me for being preoccupied with Sebastian’s death.” She shook her head. “This is ridiculous. You expect me to remember one missing person that disappeared in Kansas over twenty years ago and may or may not have been near me? People go missing all the time.”

“Not from death row!”

Regina Bethory is a fiction author. She graduated from Christopher Newport University with a Bachelor’s in Directing and Play Writing and from Newport News Shipbuilding’s Apprentice School as a Test Electrician. She also has a degree in Funeral Services. As an avid minimalist and traveler, she enjoys spending her time learning new things, seeking new experiences and de-cluttering. When she is not writing, she can often be found in comic book stores and early morning matinees.

Inspirational Quotes for Writers and Other Creatives

Even the most creative people need a little pick me up now and then. If you’re like me, you rely on reading what others have to say about your craft of choice. It’s very easy to let toxic, in-supportive people bring you down from your creative genius high. Today marks the third day of the July 2018 Camp NaNoWriMo challenge. Whether you’re in full launch mode or you already feel the numbness of week two seeping in prematurely, inspirational quotes can help fuel you further into your writing project.

In order to help set you up for success, here are some of my favorite pearls of wisdom. I tried to keep the list short but there are so many great inspirational quotes that it’s overwhelming. I could spend hours on the internet trying to read them all. Perhaps in reading these inspirational quotes you will realize that though writing is a solitary craft, you are not alone in your endeavors. I hope they inspire you to journey onward, and may the odds be even in your favor!

Inspirational Quotes About Writing

“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”
–George Orwell

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
–Toni Morrison

“One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing—writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.”
–Lawrence Block

“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” (This is so me.)
–Thomas Mann, Essays of Three Decades

“There are no laws for the novel. There never have been, nor can there ever be.”
–Doris Lessing

“You can make anything by writing.”
–C.S. Lewis

“A word after a word after a word is power.”
–Margaret Atwood

“A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called “leaves”) imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time–proof that humans can work magic.” (If this isn’t inspiring, I’m not sure what is.)
Carl Sagan

“People say, ‘What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?’ I say, they don’t really need advice, they know they want to be writers, and they’re gonna do it. Those people who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.”
–R.L. Stine

“I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.” (Always good to know I’m not alone in this.)
Gustave Flaubert

“I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged.” (*Raises hand* Me too.)
Erica Jong

“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.”
William Faulkner

“Write while the heat is in you. … The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with.”
–Henry David Thoreau

“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.”
–Samuel Johnson

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
–Ernest Hemingway

Inspirational Quotes About Art

“When you make music or write or create, it’s really your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is you’re writing about at the time. ”
–Lady Gaga

“Every artist was first an amateur.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.”
Twyla Tharp

“Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.”
Salvador Dali

“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts – such is the duty of the artist.”
Schumann

“Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.”
Stella Adler

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done.  Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it.  While they are deciding, make even more art.”
Andy Warhol

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
Pablo Picasso

“Art is a lie that makes us realize truth.”
–Pablo Picasso

“Inspiration does exist but it must find you working.”
Pablo Picasso

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”
Scott Adams

“The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” –Michelangelo

Humorous Quotes About Writing

“Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money.”
–Virginia Woolf

“Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.”
–Robert A. Heinlein

“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.”
–Isaac Asimov

“I always start writing with a clean piece of paper and a dirty mind.”
–Patrick Dennis

“A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it is to be God.”
Sidney Sheldon

“Writing books is the closest men ever come to childbearing.”
Norman Mailer

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”
Douglas Adams

“Half my life is an act of revision.”
John Irving

 

Happy Writing!

#NaNoWriMoBlogChallange #NaNoBloCha
NaNo Challenge for the day:

Use the word LITHE in today’s writing session. [It means “slender”]

Blog Art from Dreamstime.

 

 

Regina Bethory is a fiction author. She graduated from Christopher Newport University with a Bachelor’s in Directing and Play Writing and from Newport News Shipbuilding’s Apprentice School as a Test Electrician. She also has a degree in Funeral Services. As an avid minimalist and traveler, she enjoys spending her time learning new things, seeking new experiences and de-cluttering. When she is not writing, she can often be found in comic book stores and early morning matinees.

July Camp NaNoWriMo 2018 – NaNo Blog Challenge

Hi friends! It’s that time of year again for another monthly writing challenge. Originally happening only in November, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has become so popular that there are now “camps” held in April and July. Let’s be honest, November isn’t always the greatest month to try and tackle the challenge for some with the start of the holiday season. Camp NaNoWriMo is something I don’t think I’ve ever completed successfully. I frequently sign up only to flag and flail within the first week of the competition.

In fact, calling it a competition is a misnomer. If anything, it’s a competition with yourself. If you want to know the full details of what NaNoWriMo really is, I suggest you check out my previous post What is NaNoWriMo? Today, I’m here to talk about a new challenge I am posing to myself for the month of July. I’m going to kick off the #NaNoWriMoBlogChallenge.

What is a NaNoWriMo Blog Challenge?

In order to help generate more traffic to my blog and successfully fulfill the 50,000 word goal for the month (Note: during Camp NaNoWriMo you can actually make the word count goal smaller are larger) I plan to post a new blog post every single day. Yes, you read that correctly.

It will definitely be a challenge because even though I’ve developed the habit of writing every day, I have not developed the habit of writing something and publishing it every day. No rough drafts here. I promise that each post will consist of edited, readable content – no NaNoWriMo jibberish.

I’m hoping other bloggers will join me in this endeavor (please use #NaNoWriMoBlogChallenge or #NaNoBloCha in social media posts so we can start a movement!) My blog posts will consist of anything from stories about my personal life, poetry, book reviews, notes on previous trips, NaNoWriMo progress, and regular minimalist and writing posts… and possibly more. My goal is to keep the posts-a-postin’!

Camp NaNoWriMo: Not My First Rodeo

As I mentioned earlier, this isn’t my first time participating. As mentioned in my April 2017 Camp post (my only post for that month), I started out strong then vanished. Luckily, the challenge starts on a weekend again this year, giving me a day to get ahead before the work week takes hold. Also, being near an American holiday, I’ll have some extra time off of work which I’ll be taking advantage of.

Yes, I also plan to continue writing fiction during this period. Can we say literary suicide? I predict burn-out and mass hysteria in the Bethory household… or at least in the office. Please subscribe to this blog to join me on this crazy journey. While I’m currently hopeful, I may not have any sanity left by the first of August. So please, take a first row seat to the madness.

Further Reading

For other tips, tricks or words of encouragement regarding NaNoWriMo, please check out some of my other posts regarding Having a Plan and Eating Right for NaNoWriMo. If you still don’t feel inspired, I suggest reading the book that started it all by NaNoWriMo founder, Chris Baty, No Plot? No Problem! Revised and Expanded Edition: A Low-stress, High-velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days.

Happy Writing!

-RB

Regina Bethory is a fiction author. She graduated from Christopher Newport University with a Bachelor’s in Directing and Play Writing and from Newport News Shipbuilding’s Apprentice School as a Test Electrician. She also has a degree in Funeral Services. As an avid minimalist and traveler, she enjoys spending her time learning new things, seeking new experiences and de-cluttering. When she is not writing, she can often be found in comic book stores and early morning matinees.

6 Ways to Find Creative Motivation

In a world full of distractions, it can be difficult to find motivation to write. If you’re like me, you have millions of creative ideas and you spend a great deal of your free time thinking about them but not actually putting the fingers to the keyboard or the pen to the paper. Maybe it’s the entitled millennial in me but sometimes I think that modern day creatives should receive awards for not allowing themselves to be distracted by their smart phones for long enough to record an album or write a book. The late, great writers of old had their own problems but they didn’t have Netflix, YouTube, smartphones, and in some cases, electricity!

Most times in order to get myself to write, I have to be bored. This is why when my friends suggest I get into this new show on Netflix, I frequently deny the invite. “But it’s so good. You’ll love it. The writers do a really good job…” I’m sure they do which is exactly why I don’t want to get sucked into it because it will distract me from my own endeavors!

I’ve written a few posts regarding productivity and finding motivation as a writer but somehow I feel that those posts still don’t cover everything. There is so much to say about the subjects of motivation and distractions. So I sat down and composed a list of my top 6 motivators for you. I hope they help you, fearless creative, to go after your own dreams!

1. Grant Faulker’s 52 Pep Talks for Writers

I love this book. In the author’s introduction he writes, “Stories remind us that we’re alive, and what being alive means.” An invaluable resource if you’re looking for motivation, Faulkner’s Pep Talks include, “Finding Your Muse,” “The Art of Boredom,” “Overcoming Creativity Wounds,” and “Pull Yourself Out of the Comparison Trap.” Seriously, picking out just four titles right now to share with you was a challenge because they are all so inspiring.

As the Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), Faulkner has the right frame of mind to help encourage us to push forward as adventure seekers and write. I constantly read and re-read this book, picking specific articles to read depending on what I’m struggling with most. In doing so, you feel a bond to the author. Sometimes hearing or seeing what other authors have to say about this solitary craft, makes you feel like it’s not so solitary after all. Though many of us prefer the isolation, it’s nice to know we aren’t alone.

2. Be Held Accountable, Set Up a Patreon Account

It’s immensely difficult to hold yourself accountable to your own deadlines. It’s even easier to become discouraged when you don’t meet them. And again, if you’re anything like me you create impossible deadlines for yourself. I’m a huge culprit of this. However, things become so much easier when you break the work into smaller, more manageable chunks AND get other people to hold you accountable.

Not only has my partner promised me a trip to England when I publish my next novel (because he knows that I’ve ALWAYS wanted to go there), but having followers who are interested in your work will prompt and encourage you to write more.

I set up a Patreon account with this in mind. Even though at the moment of writing this post I only have two people as patrons, those are two more people who I didn’t have before. Two more people who are eager and interested to see my writing which is all I can really ask for. This relates a lot to the last item on this list. For now, let’s continue.


Recommended Reading: The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer. Also, check out her TedTalk here.


3. Struggle More

Sound strange? I’m a firm believer that struggle is helpful. It’s amazing what people can accomplish when they are fighting to survive. Unfortunately (and it makes me sound ungrateful to say this), I had a very normal childhood…overwhelmingly normal. I grew up in a middle-class working family and was spoiled. I never learned what true struggle is and so when I went out into the real world, I expected things to be handed to me. Lack of struggle taught me nothing.

After being out on my own for a while, I had racked up a substantial amount of debt. By now I’ve paid some of it off but not all and I’m using what is left to help me struggle more. How? I’m throwing every penny I can spare at that figure. We’ve cut back on vacations, fancy dinners and all of the other things I was allowing myself to be spoiled with. Even something as simple as cooking in 6 nights a week and only getting delivery once has been an adjustment. To some, this is their normal life but I had some learning to do.

It’s been a wake-up call. Telling myself no grocery shopping until everything in the freezer and pantry is gone has shown me just how much food is in the house! I’ve realized that we’re not starving here and that what I consider “struggle” is actually nothing close to. While struggle can mean different things to different people, consider where you are and where you want to be. Cutting back a little to gain big later on makes the “struggle” worth it. It’s very motivating that I know I won’t eat sushi if I don’t meet my goals for the week…

4. Weekly To-Do Lists

This is a big one. I’m a huge fan of to-do lists but for the longest time I was doing it all wrong. As stated in my previous post regarding productivity and the Right Way to Create Routine,  having too rigid of a schedule can hinder you. I used to make my to-do lists by the day. Now, I make them for the week. This way if I slip up one day or don’t feel well, I’m not automatically behind.

What’s on my to-do list this week? Here’s what it looks like.

-Write Monday and Thursday’s blog posts

-Finalize Mortis Book 1 Chapters 1-6 Final Drafts

-Create two public Patreon Posts

-Create two Patron-only Patreon Posts

It’s important not to overload yourself. Once I finish this post, everything on that list will be 50% complete and it’s only Sunday! But I have no idea how the rest of my week is going to pan out. Life happens. Leave room for it. You might have to work late one evening, or have a sick family member, or have to pick your kid up from his overnight stay in jail for an underage DUI…there’s no telling! You can always add more if you finish everything early. Keep it simple. Don’t hold yourself to doing a certain thing on Tuesday because let’s be honest, Tuesday might be shit.

5. Read In-Progress FanFiction.

This one might sound a little strange but I swear it works! I am not ashamed to admit that I’m a huge fan of FanFiction. And there is nothing more exciting than reading a work in-progress and seeing that “new chapter” notification show up in your email inbox. Recently, I’ve been reading a dark and graphic Harry Potter FanFiction called “Not the Same Girl” by Emmaficready.

The author does a good job of making things worse and worse for the main character in every chapter. So why is it motivating? The author also posts a new chapter about twice a week. Though the chapters are never long, they always progress the story. It’s a great way of seeing that sticking with a story, chapter by chapter, turns it into a novel-length tale. It helps remind me that I don’t have to create Rome in a day. I can work with smaller scenes to construct a larger story. So thank you to Emmaficready and other Fanfiction authors who update regularly!

6. Remember Your “Why”

Which brings me to my last point. As I mentioned earlier in the “Patreon” section above, at the moment of writing this post I have 518 blog subscribers and two patrons on my Patreon account. If you’re writing for the sole purpose of becoming rich and famous, you’re in the wrong business. Writers are in this for the story telling. Think about why you want to create. How are you adding value? Today’s society is saturated with advertisements that constantly tell people where and how they should spend their hard-earned money. What makes your work so special?

The truth is that no matter how bad the world gets, people need creatives. Whether you’re making music, painting, taking photos, writing books, you’re adding value to someone’s life. Artists provide a way for the world to escape its harsh realities. I believe it was Anne Lamott who once said, “A writer paradoxically seeks the truth and tells lies every step of the way. It’s a lie if you make something up. But you make it up in the name of the truth, and then you give your heart to expressing it clearly.”

As writers tell lies to speak truths, we also record history and capture moments with words instead of pictures. We evoke emotions, we create kingdoms and tear them to the ground. In a lot of ways, it’s playing the role of a god. We torture characters then we save them only to kill them in the end. Artists add value by providing a special place for people to get away from their lives… their soul-sucking jobs, their abusive and toxic relationships, their war-torn countries, etc. Writers create safe-havens. We send people on missions and adventures.

We are the silent leaders.

Lead away!

Happy Writing!

-RB

Blog Art created with Canva.

Regina Bethory is a fiction author. She graduated from Christopher Newport University with a Bachelor’s in Directing and Play Writing and from Newport News Shipbuilding’s Apprentice School as a Test Electrician. She also has a degree in Funeral Services. As an avid minimalist and traveler, she enjoys spending her time learning new things, seeking new experiences and de-cluttering. When she is not writing, she can often be found in comic book stores and early morning matinees.

7 Reasons You Should Be Reading Comics

In my previous post about where to find motivation as a fiction author, I mentioned the beauty and inspiration that can be found in comic books. I didn’t start reading comics until I was 30 years old. Like many people who don’t read them, I figured comics were all about Batman, Superman and other heroes that had become very mainstream and commercialized. I was so glad to be proven wrong.

It was my partner who got me into comics. He has been a fan for years. The first time he took me into a comic book store, I was overwhelmed by the variety of characters and genres. In many cases, I couldn’t see the works being made into novels because the artwork was so vivid and grand.

As a minimalist, comics were a struggle for me at first because I needed the physical copies. Each volume was like a story and an art book in one. Sorry avid e-reader fans but it’s very difficult to read them on Kindles and Nooks. I do suggest purchasing the physical copies. These gems are so worth it!

Clicking on any of the pictures below will lead you to the Amazon page for that volume, providing you with detailed descriptions of plot as well as reviews. These are currently my top seven reading recommendations and also the seven reasons you should be reading comics. Enjoy!

1. Low

This was the first comic series that I picked out for myself. I was looking for something based underwater to help inspire me on a piece I was working on titled The World Beneath (still a WIP). I did a little research and Low by Rick Remender was the only thing I could find and behold- it had outstanding reviews so I purchased volume 1.

Remender has been quoted as saying that he normally writes such dark characters and how odd it was for him to write one of the main characters in Low because she is so optimistic it’s almost annoying at times. But it pays off. Low takes you into a violent and imaginative world filled with the light of hope and the darkness of despair. Not recommended for children. Expect sex, nudity and violence. The links to each volume are in the pictures below.

2. Descender

I cannot tell you what first inspired me to pick up this story but it quickly became one of my favorites! Written by Jeff Lemire, Descender is the tale of a boy robot looking for his long-lost childhood companion and that childhood companion, now grown into a man, looking for his childhood robot – amidst a war where humans and robots don’t exactly see eye to eye… A strange twist of Romeo and Juliet? Perhaps.

While there is some violence and adult themes, this series is far more child friendly than the one previously mentioned. As with Low, I believe there is only one or two more volumes left in the series so join in on the fun! As before, the pictures below will send you to their Amazon page where you can view plot details and reviews.

3. Animosity

Animosity took me a while to find. It wasn’t readily available in our local comic shops at the time and shipped from overseas when I ordered from Amazon. Now that it’s more popular, it’s easier to to get your hands on. Personally, I’ve only gotten through the first volume but I absolutely loved it. I mean there is a talking hound named Sandor after the Game of Thrones character! Who doesn’t love that?

As with many of these more “adult” comics, there is violence to be expected but no nudity.

4. Heathen

I hope that this one volume isn’t the end of the series. I want this one to continue but haven’t laid eyes on a volume two. Dealing with Vikings and gods, this all female cast portrays some very strong female characters and talks about some of society’s more pressing issues today. If the authors or reading this – I beg of you – CONTINUE!

5. Saga

It took me a while to get into this one which was shocking because it’s extremely popular in comic circles and is considered one of the top best sellers. My partner is a big fan of the series so I borrowed his volumes and started reading.

As with many modern comics, there are strong female characters but Brian K. Vaughn has created a vast ensemble of diverse male and female characters (and robots and ghosts and a cat that can tell when you’re lying…) Part of the reason it took me so long to become attached to this story was because I hate the two main characters. I don’t care for them or their love story. But like with many other popular pieces of fiction (Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings) it’s not the main characters that everyone falls in love with. Instead, it’s the vast number of supporting characters who end up with just as big of a role as the series marches on.

Contains sex and violence but not as gory as Harrow County (mentioned below). Saga is extremely creative and like Heathen, touches on a lot of society’s hot button topics on a grander scale.

6. Reborn

I picked this one up on a whim because the back cover got me hook, line and sinker! As far as I can tell this is a stand-alone and won’t have future volumes – which is fine. The story is perfect the way it is and doesn’t leave room for much elaboration.

There were a lot of things in this single volume that I did not see coming. I love it for being so unpredictable as I can usually predict endings beforehand. Any author who can fool me deserves my thanks. The picture below will take you to the Amazon page with full plot descriptions and reviews.

7. Harrow County

I don’t know why I didn’t expect to like this story. After all, I love a good horror. Horror comics usually have their own section in the store but they are still not as great in number as Fantasy and Science Fiction. That doesn’t mean they aren’t as enjoyable!

Sometimes violent yet always imaginative, there is a sense of urgency throughout the series that I love. I find each volume hard to put down once I pick it up. Props to Cullen for writing such an engaging plot and lovable main character. Check out the links below for story details!

Keep an eye out for more recommended reading posts.

Happy Reading!
-R

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Regina Bethory is a fiction author. She graduated from Christopher Newport University with a Bachelor’s in Directing and Play Writing and from Newport News Shipbuilding’s Apprentice School as a Test Electrician. She also has a degree in Funeral Services. As an avid minimalist and traveler, she enjoys spending her time learning new things, seeking new experiences and de-cluttering. When she is not writing, she can often be found in comic book stores and early morning matinees.