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Tag Archives: Fantasy

Day 10- Full Time Author

Today has been an eventful day.

flightofgriffinskoboI finished “The Immortal Knot” and will send it out to my newsletter tomorrow.
I wrote an article on medium about the changing nature of the English language.
I redid a cover.
And I sorted out some things in the first book of the “Half Blood Sorceress” novels.

WORKING COVER DRAGONSpeaking of “The Half Blood Sorceress”, I am now incredibly confident in the story. I’m 17k into it, and I can see the end. All of the little pieces are fitting together, and I’ve also got some scenes written in the next book in the series.

I do need a tag line, a cover, and a blurb though. Ug. The cover I have is…okay. It just isn’t what I’m going for, and not the final name of the book either.

It does feel like the books will be short novels though, about 50k or so, which is perfect for the serial I have sketched out.

In this first installment Sybel has everything ripped away from her, and then she must make her way, alone, across a mountain pass and into the wide world beyond. She has to find answers to the mystical things happening to her, and she doesn’t have much time to do it.

All right, it’s almost 3am, and I need to get some sleep. Have a wonderful day everyone.

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Posted by on June 17, 2016 in On Writing

 

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Influences of the past

witch triloI finished The Witch’s Trilogy not so long ago, and I’m rather happy with how it came out. (Yes, there are four books because there is a prequel.)

Now I’m on to the next series, but I thought I’d share a little bit about the influence on the last series.

When I was a child my parents use to take us to the coast every summer. We’d camp out next to the ocean in an old tent, and I’d play on the sandy dunes, and hunt for sea shells in the rocks. I woke up each morning listening to the waves pounding against the shore, and went to sleep with the ocean breeze rocking the tent back and forth.

As a little girl trapped in long car rides with my sisters, and then stuck in the middle of no where with no TV or game console (I was a gamer even then) I didn’t appreciate those opportunities as much as I do now. Today I look forward to these long trips, and just take a kindle to keep me occupied.

While writing the Witch’s Trilogy I was able to draw on those memories. The smell of the ocean, the wind in my hair, the taste of the salt water and kelp. Since the Witch’s Trilogy is set in a group of islands that look a lot like the beaches I went to as a child.

I hope that the same experiences and influences can seep into my new series. She’s a fire sorceress, and there are fire breathing dragons, so I’ll be dreaming of camp fires, and burning logs. I’ll be remembering living in California during the major forest fires, and the inability to breath when the smoke got so thick. Not all memories we pull from need to be happy ones, after all.

Speaking of the past, I’m going to California to see my mom this weekend. I haven’t seen her since I left Cali. I miss her, and it’s going to be good to see her again.

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Posted by on June 3, 2016 in On Writing

 

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Dragon’s Flame

WORKING COVER DRAGONThe working title and cover for my new book… at least the first book in the series.

This isn’t the final cover. While it wouldn’t be too terrible, the font isn’t great and it doesn’t say “fantasy” enough for me. I will be playing around with it a lot before the first book comes out. I still like the idea of a girl surrounded by flames, since she is a fire sorceress after all.

A few updates:

I am reworking a few chapters in “Witch’s Sacrifice”. There were a few people who read it who said one scene in the book made no sense, and made one of the characters just appear to be an idiot. I couldn’t disagree with them so I’ve been trying to figure out how to fix it since then. I finally did a few weeks ago (that’s right, it took me a year to figure out how to fix one plot point.) I’ve been rewriting it and will probably republish that book before the end of the month.

Dragon’s Flame… which I’m still not convinced on that name because it’s kind of generic… is coming along nicely. I’m 17 k into it, and I have a feeling it’s going to be about 50 when I’m done. Still not sure about that since I keep adding things to make it more interesting. (Why am I writing this? It seems so boring? I know, set something on fire!)

The original title was “Awaken the Dragon”. I might go back to it, but I’m not sure. It depends on some things. I have a feeling that there will be lots of tweaks and changes before I ever get to the publishing. I just needed a working cover to have something to visualize the book…for now.

What else?

I got a new job, and quit my old job. I have another week before moving on to the new job, and a four day vacation between the two. Lots of writing to be done there. The awesome part was that during the interview they asked me what I had done in the past that required a lot of dedication, without supervision, and no reward till the end of the project. WRITING! We chatted about my books for a few minutes in the interview. It was awesome!

I’ll give you guys another update in a few days.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2016 in On Writing

 

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Strong Female Characters

I saw another post asking which stories could use strong female characters, and my answer probably wasn’t what they were looking for: None of them.

Now, before you get up in arms please hear me out, because I do have a reason behind it.

There are already a lot of wonderful books out there with strong female characters as the lead character. A short list:
Aurian by Maggie Furey
Rhapsody: Child of Blood by Elizabeth Haydon
The Hallows Series by Kim Harrison
Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
The Twenty Sided Sorceress by Annie Bellet
The Little Flame Series by Melissa Lummis
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
Magnificent Devices by Shelley Adina
White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland
Several books in the Xanth Series by Piers Anthony
Anything by Anne McCaffery
Elvenbane by Andre Norton
Several books in the Wool Series by Hugh Howey
The Shambling Guides by Mur Lafferty
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Hit Girls by Garrett Robinson
Anything from the Buffy the Vampire universe.
Harper Collelly series by Charaine Harris.

And these are just the books that I know of because I’ve personally read them (or watched the movie in the case of Hunger Games). There are over 6,000 books in this list with strong female lead characters, many of which have been on best seller lists, or made into movies. And this isn’t even counting all the strong, wonderful women that play secondary roles in books like Kitiara from Dragonlance Chronicles, Catti-brie from the Dritzzt series, or Hermione from Harry Potter. That’s not even getting into comic books. And I’m sure there are thousands more that aren’t even in that list.

All of the stories in my list are sci-fi and fantasy. That’s because I read a lot of sci-fi and fantasy. But I also know a lot of strong female characters from paranormal romance. I also know of characters from other books, games, and films in many other genres that are strong female characters.

Am I saying we don’t need any more? Of course not, that would be like saying we don’t need more books. I really enjoy reading about strong women doing extraordinary things, and even wrote my own series of books with that in mind so I hope my favorite authors continue writing theirs. I also enjoy reading about mages that slowly go mad, or women who are hell cats and need to be tamed. There are all kinds of books out there, with all kinds of characters, because people come with different attitudes, desires, ideas, and personalities. But I would also encourage more authors to include strong female characters…IF they are a benefit to the story.

Not every story has a woman in it. What if you wrote a story about a man in a men’s shower room? Or a group of men going on a camping trip together? Or a father and son sharing a moment? Or a group of dwarves out to save their mountain? Not every story is going to have a strong female character in it. Not every story is going to have a woman in it. In fact when they added a strong female into The Hobbit some of the fans were less than thrilled with the addition.

A story isn’t always about sex, gender, political correctness, or whatever. Sometimes it’s just a story about a leaf blowing in the wind, or the history of salt, or vampire bunnies. And if a story doesn’t have a female character that doesn’t automatically make it anti-women. Hell, there could be a character in the story that is utterly sexist and the story still might not be about women.

My thought for those looking for strong female characters: Expand your reading list, because there are THOUSANDS of books out there with strong female characters, you just have to be open to finding them. And just so you know, MEN need strong male character role models, too. And both sexes need the ridiculously heroic characters, or the weak ones, or the the psychopathic murderous kings/queens to show them what not to be. It does not take away from your enjoyment of books/films/games/etc because the other sex also has what you are looking for.

And if you think any gender, or genderless, or gender fluid individual needs more characters like them out there: GO WRITE IT! That’s the beauty of the indy world. Anyone can make anything that they think should exist.

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2016 in Commentary

 

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Dragons? Where?

I’ve been really busy the last few weeks plotting and writing the first few chapters of my new series: “The Half-Blood Sorceress.”

I am so excited about this series! I first got the idea back at NorWesCon in the art gallery. I found an artist that had absolutely magnificent work. I mean he does paintings for several of the big publishers, he was that good. And at the bottom of his display was one loan painting. I overheard him talking to someone else about how he just had to paint that one night, even if it hadn’t found a home yet, be he was sure that the right author would come along to give it a story.

“You could write that, you know,” Gregg said.

“No, that covers too awesome for me,” I said, and kept walking.

Three feet down the hall and I looked up at him and said “You suck!”

“See,” he said, “told you that you had a story for that picture.”

Not a story, as it turns out. A whole SERIES! All based on this one painting, or rather the girl depicted there.

Of course, I asked the artist how much it would cost for me to use that as the cover… As it turns out, WAY more than I can afford at the moment. However, this painting is the one I need for book six, so there is still a chance I could do it. I just have to get writing, and see how things work out.

So what is this story about? A half-blood sorceress? What does that even mean?

Well that’s coming, but today I’m going to tell you a little bit about the world. First: a map. I’ve been working on it on and off for a while, but the world has no name yet. I would absolutely love my readers to name this world for me. And no, I won’t be naming it Mappy McMapface, sorry.

Dragon MapWhat should you know about this world? Here there be dragons! Four of them, in fact.

Nyasama – Earth dragon
Anulaer – Air dragon
Ningirsu – Water dragon
Alshadu – Fire dragon

Together, the four dragons created the world, then slept in various places around the new planet. Every now and then the dragons wake and travel about the planet they created in human form, interacting, causing mischief, or doing something extraordinary.

This book isn’t about the dragons, though they do have an influence on the world at large. No, the first book is about Sybel. She finds herself in an awful place in time, watching the mother she loved waste away, and then learning a horrible secret that thrusts her out into a world filled with magic and darkness that she did not know existed.

I am currently seeing how the first book goes. I’m already 14k into the initial writing, and loving the way it’s going. I want to write one book a month, with a month for editing, formatting, etc. I just have to see how I can handle it since I’ve never pushed myself to do something this massive before. I’m only looking at 50k words per book, but I haven’t even gotten a third of the way into this one so I have no idea if that estimate will fly right out the window.

All I know is, I love this world. I love the characters. And I love the story. I’m more passionate about this story than I have been about anything in a couple of years. I want to see it live, and I want others to love it too.

So look for more snippets about the world, and maybe some snippets from the actual novel soon.

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2016 in Personal Notes, Stories

 

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The Half Blood Sorceress

The Witch’s Trilogy is finished, and I’m off to the next project. It took me a little while to decide which project to work on, but I finally nailed it down.

I thought it best to stick with the fantasy genre for now  but I wasn’t ready to go back to the world of Peyllen just yet. Instead I found a plot I’d written at NorWesCon last year and realized this was a perfect time to write it. At first I was concerned that it was a single book instead of a trilogy… Then I started plotting it. What started as a “simple” story, a one off plot, grew into a five book arc.

The more I work on the plot for this series the more I fall in love with the setting and characters. This world is completely different from Peyllen, with only two races: humans and dragons. Cities and small towns are spread out around a vast continent, and there are places walled off from the rest of the world by dragon-kin. Vast oceans to cross. And forgotten cities sinking into swamp lands inhabited by ancient forgotten creatures.

It’s a vast, beautiful world that I can’t wait to introduce you to.

And the amazing part? Just how quickly the plot has flowed out. 4k a day. The only time I’ve written that much before was back during the toughest parts of NaNoWriMo. The five books plotted out show the amazing journey of Sybel, the half blood sorceress, as she gets closer and closer to the raging ice dragon at the far ends of the world. There will also be a companion book about her friend Lucia, the servetor, and possibly a second companion book about the ice dragon, himself.

What’s a half blood sorceress? And what’s a servetor? I’ll be sharing those juicy bits as the story unfolds because… I think I’m ready to start writing! I’ve got plots, and foreshadowing, and different characters sketched out… Now it’s time to breathe some life into them.

I’m so excited!

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2016 in On Writing

 

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The Trilogy is Complete!

The trilogy is now complete!

Witch’s Sacrifice 

Her forbidden secret will make her powerful… and hunted.

Witch’s Curse

Hunted since birth, now Okira must use the power she’s been hiding…or die trying.

Witch’s Stand 

The battle has been won, but the war is far from over.

WSsmlWitch's Curse smWitch's Standsml

One last short story, “Witch’s Sight,” to come out next weekend. It’s going to the editor today. Or you can get the entire trilogy in one convenient pack, with the bonus short story. That will also be out next weekend also.

Witch's StandkoboThe final short story is how Salvia became the little mother.

I am so thrilled to have them all completed. The story tells a wonderful transformation from meek girl to powerful witch, and leader of her time.

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2016 in On Writing

 

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