Tag Archives: novel

[Night Bazaar] Point of View

This week we’re talking about narrative point of view, a topic close to my rotten, diseased heart. My nearest and dearest will tell you that there is nothing I love more than annoying the living bejeezus out of readers by using an atypical POV.

Mind you, this only really works (for me) in short fiction. With novels, I always gravitate toward first-person. But more on that later. First, let me brag about my bad-ass POV-fu, and how annoying it is. I swear, sometimes I think I’m going to get myself knifed! Like the time I opened a story with a long passage in second-person future subjunctive. (“If you were to go downtown on a Saturday, maybe you’d be looking for this particular corner…then if you were to knock on the door and say, ‘I’m here to annoy readers’…”)

You woulda thought I’d just been caught in public badmouthing Joss Whedon!

Of course, far more common is my fondness for second-person. I love this shit, because it calls into question who exactly the viewpoint character is. My love of second-person narration is well known among my small circle of beta readers. (I even co-wrote two romantic books all in second-person.) Lots of people hate that.

Then, of course, there’s the fact that I love present tense. That’s not POV, but it certainly relates directly to it; tense and POV are the two most central (and easily variable) things about any piece of fiction writing.

Read the rest at The Night Bazaar.


The Panama Laugh is…a Best-Seller!

Borderlands Books at 866 Valencia Street in San Francisco was my neighborhood bookstore for bazillions of years. It’s one of the largest science fiction-fantasy bookstores in the world (possibly the largest at this point, I’m not 100% sure).

The location is gorgeous, gorgeously-appointed, luxurious, low-key, and most importantly packed with great books. The staff is gracious, chill and knowledgeable about the fields of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, and often about associated genres like noir.

And my novel The Panama Laugh is on the Borderlands Books trade paper best-sellers list for September, according to the Borderlands Books newsletter and Hellnotes.com.

It’s wedged between William Gibson’s Zero History and Max Brooks’s World War Z…two of my favorite writers.

In fact, when I was writing the scene in the middle of Part II of The Panama Laugh with the busted shipping containers, I had some of World War Z‘s amazing subtexts about of globalization in mind.

I’m reading at Borderlands on October 15 as part of Litquake’s Litcrawl, with Ray Garton, Richard Kadrey and Naamen Tilahuh, by the way. Litcrawl readings are some of the funnest I’ve ever been to. So come see us, hear some zombie fiction and argue with me over whether “funnest” is a word.

'Grabs You By the Throat and Punches You in the Face From Beginning to End'

W00t! YA author and clinical laboratory scientist Kelly Swails gave my novel The Panama Laugh a very positive review over at her Live Journal.

In it, she says, in part, “The Panama Laugh by Thomas S. Roche grabs you by the throat and punches you in the face from beginning to end, and I mean that in a good way.”

And did I mention she said this? “There is a lot to like here. The voice is perfect, as are the characters. The pacing doesn’t give you much breathing room, which I liked.” Read more here, and THANKS!

I like getting praised — who doesn’t? But if someone hates a piece of fiction I wrote, I feel like I should thank them for that, too…at least they took the time to read it, which is more than I can say for some people who hate on my nonfiction articles.

Regardless, thanks to everyone who’s taken the time to read The Panama Laugh, and thanks to Ms. Swails for the great review. I’m sort of extra-stoked because Swails’ bio says she is a clinical laboratory scientist by profession, which must mean that however egregiously wrong the science is in The Panama Laugh, there’s at least one scientist my fake-science wasn’t boneheaded enough to piss off!

I put a fair amount of work into figuring the logistics, but science speculation is not one of my strong points. Though I’ve read and loved science fiction my whole life, including quite a bit of hard science fiction, I’ve always felt like more of a crime and horror writer. I take forays into being a fantasist, but bona-fide SF has always been a stretch for me

I was awful proud of myself that The Panama Laugh technically crossed that line.

And I’m awful proud that people seem to be enjoying it.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read and review the book!