History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Review of Thornwood by Leah Cypess

| June 2, 2021

Thornwood by Leah Cypess (Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2021) is a delightful retelling of the Sleeping Beauty from the perspective of her sister. Written for a middle grade audience, the book is a wonderful read for kids and adults alike. The book begins with the premise that Sleeping Beauty’s story went mostly as the […]

Book Recommendation: Story Genius by Lisa Cron

| May 19, 2021

I recently read and recommended Wired for Story by Lisa Cron, and now I’m back to talk about another of her books, Story Genius. Whereas I found Wired for Story to be something that I could apply to both novel and shorter writing, Story Genius is 100 percent a book for people who want to write a novel. […]

Book Recommendation: Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody

| April 28, 2021

Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody insists frequently that this book is not a formula for writing a novel, but it provides a ton of information on novel structure and pacing that could be used as something like a formula, or at least a strong set of guideposts. This approach is marvelous […]

Book Recommendation: Wired for Story by Lisa Cron

| April 14, 2021

Wired for Story by Lisa Cron is a fantastic book for writers who want to work more on their writing craft. Using facts about how readers’ brains work, Cron explains how you can use and defy expectations in ways that will satisfy your readers. At the same time, she gives excellent insight into why some […]

Review of Corpses and Cognac by Dorian Graves

| March 31, 2021

Corpses and Cognac (2021) is Dorian Graves’ second book in the Deadly Drinks series, an urban fantasy series in a similar vein to Supernatural but so much better! I read and reviewed the first book in the series, Bones and Bourbon, when that book came out, and so I was excited to take a look at the […]

Review of The Hand of the Sun King by J. T. Greathouse

| March 10, 2021

J.T. Greathouse’s debut, The Hand of the Sun King (Gollancz, 2021), is an epic fantasy novel, the first in a planned trilogy. Set in a fantastical world of magic with a rich history, this novel fits beautifully into its genre while also addressing some failings of the genre by turning them on their head. The […]

World-Building Recommendation: World Roulette

| February 24, 2021

One of my recent Kickstarter rewards was the World Roulette Deck from Light Grey Art Lab. It’s a deck meant to assist in world building for creative projects, with a really interesting setup on the individual cards, which are meant to be stacked and layered in interesting combinations as you’re creating a world. As the […]

Review of Planet Fleep by Sherry D. Ramsey

| February 17, 2021

Sherry D. Ramsey’s Planet Fleep (2018) is written for kids between the ages of 9 and 12, but it’s an enjoyable book for older readers as well! With action, adventure, and science, it’s a brief but fun book about family and exploring a potentially dangerous planet with only wits and a teacher robot to protect the […]

TV Show Recommendation: WandaVision

| February 3, 2021

We normally don’t watch new shows as they air, because it’s hard for us to commit to sitting down to watching something weekly. But we’re making an exception for WandaVision, because it’s wonderful and weird, and we love it! It’s equal parts homage to classic television sitcoms and creepy weirdness. In some ways, it reminds me […]

Review of Unnatural Order

| January 27, 2021

Unnatural Order, edited by Lyss Wickramasinghe and Alis Franklin (CSFG Publishing, 2021), is an anthology of stories of monstrous beings produced by the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild. The stories range widely under the speculative umbrella, with fantasy, science fiction, and horror all represented in the anthology’s pages. In a themed anthology, each author’s ideas on a […]