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Fellow Blogger Starts Fiction Magazine!

Over the past year and a half or so, I have been watching the efforts of fellow blogger Shaun Duke (of World in a Satin Bag) as he took on an ambitious project: to start a new magazine. Well, his efforts–and those of his fellow editor, Niyousha Bastani–have finally paid off as they have released their first issue.

Here is their description of the magazine:

Survival By Storytelling Magazine is dedicated to publishing fiction, poetry, and non-fiction by young authors. Included in this volume are twelve short stories, seven poems, and one article, all by authors under the age of twenty-five. In addition, authors Paul Genesse (The Golden Cord and The Dragon Hunters) and T. M. Hunter (Heroes Die Young) have contributed two articles on the publishing industry and writing.

From vampires struggling with identity to guilty lovers trying to raise the dead to humorous and dark tales of life, the first issue of Survival By Storytelling is sure to tingle the senses and remind us all that age has nothing to do with a good story!

The magazine is available in both hardcopy and electronic format. The hardcopy is $9 and theĀ  electronic copy is $5. For more information about the magazine, here is the website.

Here also is the announcement at World in a Satin Bag and the announcement at Survivial By Storytelling.

In the interests of doing new things and supporting a fellow blogger, I have requested an electronic copy of the magazine. Expect a review in the upcoming weeks.

Now Mobile Phone Enabled! Plus, a question.

This site is now mobile-phone enabled!

I don’t expect anyone to use this feature but me, but you can now get a mobile-friendly display of this site through your mobile phone. I need it because I don’t like the idea of my website appearing in my Internet browsing report at work. Therefore, I will be able to respond to comments now and then (but not too often!) during the work day.

And now, my question: which would you prefer, Writer Wednesday or Weekend Writer? I’m leaning toward Weekend Writer because we sometimes have lots of fun conversations going on for Writer Wednesday, and I don’t always have time at work to do justice to the conversation. However, as a weekend feature, it will probably be interrupted more often when I have a busy weekend. If we go with Weekend Writer (or Writer Weekend), I would put up the discussion post on Friday night and let it stay on top until Sunday afternoon or so.

With your poll (Writer Wednesday or Weekend Writer), please also throw out your ideas for our next discussion topic.

WordPress Advice Needed

Ok, you know how the title of this page is “Tia Nevitt” up there in the heading? I’d really rather it say “Debuts & Reviews” while on this blog page, and say “Tia Nevitt” on every other page. I would also like it to be a clickable link back to Debuts & Reviews, not back to But this appears to be surprisingly difficult.

Some facts: I am using WordPress to power my entire site. The server is set up on a Linux platform. I am comfortable with Linux. I am comfortable wading through just about any type of code. I am comfortable with writing the javascript to handle my alternating names.

What I don’t have is a lot of time to figure out where this code needs to go. I just need someone to point me in the right direction. I would appreciate any advice.


Some Public Thank-Yous

Thank you to everyone who added Debuts & Reviews to your blogrolls and feed readers this week. As of today,, my Feedburner subscription was up to 154, over double was at Fantasy Debut, but still not quite half of what my Google Reader subscription count was, which was pushing 400. My Google Friend Connect subscriptions are going up much slower, but I partially blame the system, because there is no easy way to link to your Friend Connect address from outside of your website.

The following blogs posted a special shout-out concerning my blog move, and I’d like to thank them by name:

Daya of The Road not Taken

Kimber An of Enduring Romance

Mihai of Dark Wolf’s Fantasy Reviews

Katie AKA Superwench83 (twice!)

Maria Zannini

And that’s everyone that Google’s BlogSearch caught. Hopefully, I haven’t missed anyone!

Introducting My Cohorts. Plus Some Requests.

You might have noticed that the first two reviews here at Debuts & Reviews were not written by me. I have cohorts!

I have been following Superwench’s blog since 2006, when I “met” her during one of Rachel Vater’s query contests. She is my beta reader, and has read both of my novels (I’m still waiting to read hers). I noticed that she was reading a lot of things that I was announcing. Since almost exactly the same thing happened with Raven, I invited her to review here.

Superwench–aka Katie–has tastes that are very similar to mine, so expect her to read things that I can’t get to, and then for me to leave comments saying things like, “Oooh, I wish I read this!”

In the meantime, I continue to count on Raven to read the darker, grittier stuff that I don’t go for. She’s no huge fan of urban fantasy either, but she reads them occasionally enough for the purposes of this blog. She also reads horror. She has an aversion to romance, which is okay because a little romance is just fine by me. One of the things I appreciate about Raven is I almost have to give her no instructions. She models her posts very similar to mine, even using the same tagging scheme without my asking her to. Therefore, all I have to do is slap a cover image on it and post it. She is so very easy to work with! Raven occasionally blogs as well.

Please welcome them aboard!

A while back, on Fantasy Debut, I put up a post asking for an urban fantasy reviewer. And although I had many kind responses, my heart wasn’t in it. Urban Fantasy just isn’t my thing, and I really had little desire to cover it, especially since so many of them run right smack into my red flags. (Demonic/angelic/vampiric lovers–ugh! I prefer my male heroes to be actual men.) I will continue to showcase any debuts that I hear about, of course.

Blogroll Stuff

I have added a few blogs to my “Longtime Readers” category. I am still adding people; it’s going to be a work in progress.

I am also looking for some recommendations for blogs that cover the Mystery, Christian and Historical Fiction genres. Some of the things I look for when I consider adding a blog to my blogroll:

  • Lack of long rants. I don’t mind rants, as long as they’re short and succinct. If I see a lot of long rants, I won’t be interested in adding it.
  • Not cluttered by ads. I don’t mind some ads. But if theĀ  sidebars consist of nothing but ads, I probably won’t link it.
  • Has a blogroll. I’m interested in linking to blogs that might reciprocate.

And that’s about it. Know of any good ones?

About Debuts & Reviews

For over two years, I have run a successful review blog called Fantasy Debut. The tag line was “all debut fantasy, all the time.” After a while, I was compelled to stick an “almost” in there, because I kept straying from my own niche. Why? Several reasons:

  • It proved to be very difficult to read all debut fantasy. Often, I wanted to read the author’s next book, too. Therefore, I capriciously coined a phrase: debut graduate. And so I reviewed second books. And thirds. No fourths yet, but I already have one in my possession. Flatteringly, authors think of me and want to send me their books, and I, quite frankly want to keep reading them.
  • From day one, I included the definition of fantasy to include science fiction. So the title of my blog was never entirely accurate.
  • It proved to be unreasonable of me to expect publicists to remember that I focus on debuts. Therefore, I have received a lot of non-debut novels, usually as surprises in the mail.

I have several other reasons for starting a new blog.

  • I am frustrated with Google’s inability to deal with comment spam. I like opening up my comments to all and sundry, whether they wish to leave a name or not. But when I do, I get comment spam that takes precious time to go in and delete. I have been told that WordPress deals with comment spam much better than Blogger, so here I am.
  • I have my own domain, and it is all based on this WordPress blog. That made this domain easy to set up. I like easy, because easy = fast.
  • I read historical and mystery as well, and I wanted to cover those without going off-topic. Therefore, I decided that this blog would not be focused on a specific genre.

I’ll be honest. I almost stopped blogging altogether. But stopping the flow of review copies is much like rebottling a genie without making a wish. Therefore, I took a step back and figured out what I found frustrating about Fantasy Debut, and what I enjoyed. If this isn’t an enjoyable hobby, then it’s not worth doing.

What I’m Keeping

  • Writer Wednesday. This proved to be a popular feature, so I will continue it here.
  • Discovery Showcases. Now open to any genre, and posted sometime on Sunday.

What I’m Changing

  • Debut Showcases. These will be posted weekly, and will be more round-ups than full-fledged showcases. I hope to cover a wide variety of genres, not only speculative fiction.
  • Debut-focused reviews. I will now review any novel that fits in my areas of interest. I still expect to read a lot of debuts, since I will learn of them through the debut round-ups. As ever, I prefer to be queried, rather than sent unsolicited copies.

What I’m Eliminating

  • Can’t think of anything.

What I’m Adding

  • More genres. I have my favorites, but I’m not going to limit myself.
  • More personality. Expect me to go off-topic more frequently. I enjoy lots of things, not just reading.

If you came over from Fantasy Debut, thanks so much for following me. If you just found me, welcome! I hope to see you’ll around the comment threads. Thanks for visiting and please let me know what you think!