Tag Archive | Fantasy

Guest Post- Rie Sheridan Rose

I asked a good friend (a sister from another mother) and writing mentor to do a guest post on writing in multiple genres. It’s something that a whole lot of people don’t talk about. We all read in different genres and forms (poetry, high fantasy, magazines, news papers, chick-lit, romance, contemporary, literary fiction, classics, gossip columns…. and those are just from my reading list LOL), but do we write in different genres? Why did Nora Roberts have to write under a different name in order to be taken seriously as a mystery writer (ok, that had something to do with gender at the time, too…)… but the question remains. Will you follow an author across genres? Have you ever thought about it?

Without further ado, here’s one of the bendiest writers I ever did know. She crosses genre and form with a single bound… and does it extremely well.

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So, when I was asked to do a guest blog post, I said sure. About what?

Maybe I should have asked that FIRST.

I have been asked to talk about writing in different genres. I suppose this might be because I have written/published:

1)      Science Fiction

2)      Fantasy

3)      Horror

4)      Steampunk

5)      Romance

6)      Erotica

7)      Poetry

8)      Young Adult

9)      Picture books

10)   Lyrics

11)   Non-fiction

12)   Blogs

In other words, pretty much a little bit of everything.

Some people think that one needs to specialize in a specific genre to be good at it. I personally think that limits your potential. For one thing, what if you become blocked in your genre of choice? If you are having trouble writing on a fantasy, say, why would starting a new fantasy be any easier? If, however, you write in a range of genres, and you become blocked on the fantasy, you can work on your horror novel for a bit.

Also, no genre is perfectly contained within itself. A good fantasy may include romance or horror. A good romance may be science fiction in setting. The more genres—and their conventions—that you are familiar with and comfortable working in, the more layered and rich your work becomes.

Personally, when I am blocked, or wishing to write, but don’t have a lot of time, my go-to genre is poetry. For one thing, poetry is dictated by form, not subject, so you have the best of both worlds. You can write poetry in any genre. I have an entire collection of fairy tale poetry, for example.

In short, my best advice is never limit yourself. Keep trying new things. It will help you grow as a writer. Every genre that you try is another that may become your new favorite. You will never know if you can write in a genre until you try. But if you find you don’t like one, let go of it. Don’t feel trapped into a rut.

I know I have tried time and time again to write a mystery novel. For some reason, it still eludes me. But I haven’t given up wanting to write in one of my favorite genres to read. I keep trying.

Writing is supposed to be fun. Always remember that. And keep experimenting—it will keep your writing fresh for the readers.

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To find Rie’s work on Barnes & Noble, go here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/rie-sheridan?store=allproducts&keyword=rie+sheridan

To find Rie’s work on Amazon, go here: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=rie+sheridan  (but be careful, cuz I think there were a couple of red herrings on this one.

To view her blog and keep up on what she’s up to: http://herestheclean.com

 

Thank you for Visiting, Rie!

 

Big Day

The funny thing is, as someone who writes and dreams and strives… You’d think that I would be having a grand old champagne cork popping kind of day tomorrow. It’s the first time that people will have to pay to read something I wrote. And that is very very awesome.

It also happens to be myin-law’s fiftieth wedding anniversary. Which is completely and totally awesome. So we’ll be toasting them tomorrow and with good reason.

My champagne days are kind of over, anyways. Sometimes, well, most of the time? It just takes like sour grapes to me. Since I want to savor the day, well…. Maybe it will be a sweet tea salute kind of day. No matter where you are, raise your glass of sweet tea in salute to all those writers out there: struggling, successful, famous, famous in their own mind… Let’s celebrate ALL of us. Cuz look at that! Look what we can do!

Dragon’s Champion at Mocha Memoirs Press

Dragon’s Champion at Barnes & Noble

Dragon’s Champion at Amazon

Hopefully I did all the linkage right.

Because I got to tell you, I squealed a little bit when I saw MY NAME ON BARNES AND NOBLE DOT COM! WOOHOO!

 

The story itself is funny, fast paced and priced JUST RIGHT for you!

Cover Art

So… my short story comes out on Sunday, December 9th. I thought I’d share the cover with you ~

 

Cover Art for Dragon's Champion

Cover Art for Dragon’s Champion

 

If you peer closely, you can see how well the artist did with depicting this as one ticked off… FEMALE dragon. At least, I got it right away. And I have to tell you, I kind of got tears in my eyes, seeing it for the first time. It’s been a long time coming.

Aint life grand?

As for the blurb:

Bright, funny Constance sets off to rescue herself when she first sets foot on the Dragon’s Path. Along the way, she’ll encounter a merry band of brigands, a shop full of dresses (and temptation) and a Golden Dragon. Constance will find out that by taking that first step… she just might find her destiny.

 

Constance has a very special place in my heart. She isn’t the first story I wrote to completion, but I believe I have mentioned that she was the one that brought me back from the drought. Once I started her story, I had to keep finding out what happened because that girl is a handfull. (Remember it’s Chick Lit Fantasy LOL.) I threw all sorts of stuff at her and she handled it all. Not always well… but she did handle it in her own way.

So. Busy, busy weekend this weekend both with the family and with this. I’m finally feeling like myself again– a month and a half of an upper resp infection can get a girl down. But now? Well…

I got the fire, baby!

 

Editing, Endings and Evolution

Well, I “met” my editor for my short story and… It wasn’t as bad as I feared. Me, being me (as it’s inconvient to be anyone else right now), had figured something along the lines of “OMG, they realized they hated the story and don’t know how to tell me… or maybe it’s SO horrible it’s taking so long and they hate me and and and…” Yah, I have the tendency to go waaaay past normal and into worst possible case scenario LOL. (In my defense— I do try not to involve too many people in my drama, and I always ASK someone I trust before I go flying off the handle with all the “nobody loves me” stuff.)

ANYHOO— was very nice. Not very painful, at all. Mostly grammar and such, which I get. Well, I understand that the changes need to be made, and made them and sent it back all neat and tidy. SO… that hurdle was cleared and we’re marching onwards toward PUBLICATION! YAY!

 

Ok. So enough tooting my own horn. Lets get down to business.

Specifically, endings.

I don’t claim to have the secret to great endings. I *know* I’m relatively untried as a writer, however… As a reader, you’ll be hard pressed to name 10 people you personally know who reads more than I do unless it’s for their job. And that’s not even counting the books I put down because I can’t get it to them.

There were two great books, one of them A Vintage Affair by Isabell Wolff and the other was Redoubt by Mercedes Lackey. Books held my interest all the way through… And then the endings.

With Wolff’s book, I hadn’t read one of her’s before. Maybe it’s her style. But I honestly thought I skipped a chapter. On my Nook, no less. I went back and forth, through the chapter thing that you can jump around in,… and nope. No missing pages. But to take a book, a really good book, and blow it like that?

Heartbreaking.

You can’t have the heroine telling someone that she’d found someone, but someone who’s currently only a friend, and then in the blooming next chapter holding hands and planning to meet his parents. If you’re going to end it ambiguous, do that. Don’t put the holding hands and plans for future in there. That would have been fine. F I N E. I personally LOVE a happy ending, but not all great books have them.

They do, however, feel COMPLETE. Not as if the publisher had left a chapter out.

Now, I’m going to throw this one out there. First of all, I’ve got nothing but love for Mercedes Lackey. She is one of my all time favorites. The Foundation series that she’s writing right now? I’ve bought all except the current one. In hard back.

I really like this author.

And it sucks that there’s a niggle of doubt over the e-book version of Redoubt, because it is a great read. Oh.. my… gawd… it gets GREAT. And when he realizes what love is, what it truly truly is deep down inside, you feel like crying.

And then you feel like throwing the Nook against the wall when you get to the end and realize… there’s not going to be a reunion between the friends where they can hash things out. For the first time in the series, it doesn’t end with Bear, Lena and Mags huddled up in the Hearler’s college, trying to figure out what’s next.

Now, that could be cuz these kids are growing up. Bear and Lena have gotten married. The second half of the book really picks up and goes and has you by the throat…. and then Dallen is there and you’re cheering, and then… IT’S FREAKING OVER.

And it’s really only a problem for 2 reasons. #1– it didn’t end as the others had, with the friends together and #2…. Someone posted on B&N in their review posted that the publisher had not put everything that is in the hard cover into the Nook version. That it had been EDITED DOWN.

What the heck?!???!!!!

Now, in the first book, I will say in no uncertain terms that I felt as if Wolff had forgotten a chapter. But for Mercedes Lackey? It might just be that it felt too quick because I was gripped into it and wanted more… I wanted the resolution and the kicking of butts to commence. I wanted to find out what it *meant* to Mags… but this could just be a great cliff hanger for the next book.

However…

I can’t tell. Because the pagination in e-books is wonky.

So….

For A Vintage Affair by Isabelle Wolf: Grade B. Solid book, even if it read weird for me. The romance part of it wasn’t really the main part of the story, and the REAL story was taken to it’s full conclusion.

 

Redoubt, by Mercedes Lackey…. I’m going to grudingly give an A to. It would be an A plus, except I STILL (weeks later) feel cheated. Dang it, Ms. Lackey— WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

 

Sorry I’ve been a little wonky myself on posting. I went to doctor’s yesterday— it’s my annual upper respitory / sinus infection time. yay me. But as I am taking my medication, hopefully will be gone by weekend.

 

Ta for now, my lovelies.

 

Dragons Dragons Dragons

So.  A long time ago, when I was a junior in college, I started what was to become my first ever completed novella: If There Be Dragons. It’s at about 55,ooo words, it was never published… And it has one of my very favoritest characters in it.

Alex is a kick sass kind of girl. As Mistress of the Dragons, her first and formost duty is to the dragons. She *likes* that she isn’t responsible for people, as she sees it as a conflict of interest. She learned to fight in a skirt, avenged her bestest friend (and some thought future husband), fell for and married an assassin, kicked a god’s butt and demanded blood price of the rest of them.

I loved her. I adored her. She was everything I wished I could be. Take charge, confident. Not afraid to be exactly who she was. When she learned to deal with the trappings of being a female in her world it was on her terms. She’s a force of nature, and it was an incredible ride when I first started living in her world with her. She is the first character’s whose story I finished, and the last character that my mother was acquanited with. I started it in my Junior year, and mom read EVERYTHING I wrote. Even though she was a strictly romance kind of woman, she read each and every sentence that I wrote during that time. Mom died my Senior year of college. Alex helped me through it (sometimes, I think being able to go into her world is all that saved my sanity).

I kind of cringe when I read it now. I have some really really short scenes. Instead of head jumping, I just switched scenes. But one thing that has never let me down is Alexandria Draconia, Mistress of the Dragons.

And she’s talking to me again.

I can’t wait for the ride that she’s going to take me on this time. Her world is about to explode in a big way, making her do things that she really really doesn’t want to. Making choices no woman should have to.

And with the advent of e-publishing, there seems to be more room for different things, like a chick-lit high fantasy novella. Doesn’t really matter if there’s an audience for it or not however…

Cuz I’m all in.

 

Next week, I fully plan to geek out on Christmas Romance titles. Fair warning to those of you who don’t read it. Probably have dragon updates, too.

Sparky

What do you see in the picture?

 

 

 

Strange and Awesome things

 

Rock formation, or a dragon egg that got sat on too hard?

And my favorite….

Staircase to hell, anyone?

 

As you can see, someone FINALLY told me the trick of getting the pictures into WordPress. Thank you SOO much, Rie!

These photos capture my imagination, sparking all kind of ideas. While I’m no photographer, I like the way these came out. And I have noticed that several other of the writerly types also take amazing photos, telling stories with pictures as well as words. It seems that creativity does not live in words alone, but sashay’s throughout a persons life.

I’ll write more later, but wanted to share some of the images that sparked so many ideas. Now I’m off to write that essay that came out of the journal entry from the trip to Moaning Caverns.

Happy writing!

 

 

 

The Big Five Oh, and other news

I did it! I hit the big Five Oh! No! I’m not fifty years old (SHEESH)~ I now have fifty blog followers. So, a big THANK YOU to all fifty of you guys who follow me.

WOHOO! You guys ROCK!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch….

Talked with my publisher, and it looks like Dragon’s Path will go into edits next month and is currently scheduled to be unwrapped in December. Yay! I’m also up on their blog right now (see, i did write a blog post on Sunday, it was just for a different one! LOL!). It’s all about the first and only time I tried my hand at a scary story.  I’m having a hard time on WordPress with links and pictures and things, so I’ll just copy and paste right here: http://mochamemoirspress.blogspot.com/2012/10/telling-stories-by-wynelda-deaver.html

Hah!

I think I also added their link to my page, or at least the link to their blog. I think. I’m not as techno savvy as I thought I was hehehe.

In actual writing news, I am almost done with the retelling of Cinderella. I’m within shouting distance of the ending, and I found out what Fairy Tales mean to me. They aren’t about the magic, or about the prince… They are about hope, about dreaming of a different future for yourself.

I like that.

And it just sort of popped out, slapped me upside the head as a character popped off with that line in the story. It feels right, it fits the character and it fits me. Hope is always a good thing.

Till later, my lovelies!

 

Idea Factory

As a writer, sometimes I get asked where my ideas come from. As I write fantasy, especially about dragons, I can understand the question comes from. How on earth can you relate what happens in today’s world to a high fantasy setting?

We went to Moaning Caverns in Northern California last weekend. A princeling (3 years old), the Duke of Dyspraxia (at 6 years old), Linda and myself. She’d commented before that she always had wanted to go—and I had as well.

In the parking lot, the Duke of Dyspraxia fell down and skinned his knees. We hadn’t even gone ten steps yet. Whew! That’s out of the way!

So we wait around, waiting to go down into the cave. Down should be easy. Down is ALWAYS easier than up.

234

Two hundred
and
Thirty four
steps

In areas I didn’t think I’d fit (I’m a big girl, both tall and extra fluffy). The first stair case is close, rock walls closing in on you both from the sides and from above. The wooden steps have a little give in them and were, well… only the first part.

Then the unthinkable happened. We were at the head of the line of people trooping down the stairs. Princeling first, then Linda, then Duke of Dyspraxia, then myself. And the princeling, the one we were not concerned about falling— fell. Linda saw her baby falling, and lets be honest here. There’s no room for error when the cavern floor is 165 feet below the surface of the earth.

I hope I never witness that sort of stark terror again.

He slid ten feet before she snatched him up.

He was carried most of the rest of the way.

Finally we got off the wooden stairs and onto a platform. And you learn it’s only the first portion of the trip. Legs are noodling, breathings getting a little different, and it’s warm. And humid.

The next portion of our journey was to be taken on a spiral staircase. Just in case you’re wondering, there are no nuts and bolts in it. It is all welded together and fitted into place and has been there since the 1920’s or something. It was built using scrap metal from one of the World War I battleships. You can see air through the slices of steps going down.

The boys were sandwiched between us this time.

If you look out into the cave as you’re descending, it’s extremely easy to get disoriented. The points of reference make no sense if you’ve never been down there before. If you’re afraid of heights, just look at the center pole.

Just saying.

Then you get to the bottom (finally!), huffing and puffing, legs noodling, knees giving out….

To recap: To get down into the cavern, we have been claustrophobically close to rock walls creeping in, watched as someone damn near slid off the face of the earth (a child. A child you love and who calls you auntie and you love to pieces). Then you’ve decended the spiral staircase into the underbelly of the world.

And then you arrive.

And think “Hey, it’s really nice down here. Maybe we don’t need to climb back up. Because, you know, my legs don’t work anymore.”

The cave itself is gorgeous. A small pool with baby blue water was on one side. The ceiling was higher and grander than any cathedral (although now I know where the impulse comes from—God’s artistry will top them all). The features in the walls themselves—I’m not sure if they are from the dynamite blasting, nature, or someone wanting to make a little extra cash. The rocks had faces== dragons, a hippo butt, a shark, Winnie the Pooh… As if they were trying to escape the primordeal ooze of the earth’s core. Or perhaps an evil magician had trapped them? Or were they the guardians of the cave? And the angel’s wings, high above.

The tour does what they call “total darkness”. Turn off all the lights. It was interesting. You never think about it— but how often are we left in complete and total darkness?

The ascent was uneventful. Unless you count having to pull myself up. We took a break at the midway point. Big girl huffing and a puffing over here and burning. Oh my gawd my muscles were burning. (Note: it took five days for my legs to return to normal.)

But I did it! And I have first-hand knowledge of what it feels like to succeed at something and still feel like a total failure.

Originally, I had a much longer post planned. It is morphing into an essay about mothers and daughters. I have several short story ideas as well, just from the information above. But it’s not the going places and doing things that gives writers their ideas. It’s a way of looking at the world and seeing the possibilities. In our minds, Chocolate Factories are scrumdeliumptious and romance always wins. We see, we feel, we process and we save. It’s another form of scrapbooking, in a way. It’s taking that memory, and spreading it through several snap shots.

Speaking of which, I’m going to try and figure out posting photos on this blog. We’ll see if it works (Why oh why can i not figure this out???)

Until next time, my lovelies. I’ll be happily writing until then.

Books about Books

Books about Books

 

We’ve all read them—books about books. More specifically, books where the hero/heroine either pop through the worlds created by other authors or, in the case of Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines (Daw, 2012), is able to bring things out of books through magic.

Libriomancer does it deftly, and is great fun. The magic system is consistent AND has consequences, which is always a good thing. The narrator reminds me of Jim Butcher or Glen Cook—the hardboiled detective goes fantasy.  Libriomancer is apparently the first book in a series, but I have to admit: I’ll probably wait for the paperback of book 2.

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the book—I ripped right through it. But I’ve had to start defending my hardback choices:  it should be a book that I’m going to re-read again (which is a possibility) and it has to have some meat on it. For me, meat on it means that I’m going to take longer than 24 hours to read the darned thing. Otherwise, 24.95 just isn’t worth it. But it was a new author, so I’m not too disgusted with myself. Over all a really good read, fast paced and fun.

I know there’s a term for this kind of writing, but I can’t remember it. It’s not fan fiction, because it doesn’t take the entire world. I do remember suffering through several different versions of this type of writing during my workshop years (college & internet). Most of those were not done with any finesse. I am so glad that this one met and beat down all expectations (or lack thereof).

 

In more personal writing news, I have stalled out in Nanowrimo. I got stuck in the novel and just can’t push through. I am however working on another short story. I’ve decided that I just might be a sprinter right now, and not a long distance runner. Perhaps I need to get my writing stride again before I can compete in the marathon (novel) level. But I am still writing, and having mostly given up on Nano, I’m reading again as well. I like the short story format, it suits the way I’m writing right now: short bursts clearly focused through to the end.

Till next time, when I have 3, count em THREE reviews to do.

Alchemist

The Alchemist of Souls, Anne Lyle. Published by Angry Robot. (Yes, the publisher name is real—ain’t it great?)

 

Buying a new author is always interesting. The last time I went to the store, I picked up two that were not only new to me, but new to publishing. Oddly enough, the publishers were new to me as well. I thought I knew most of the Fantasy publishers but apparently not. One was a total waste of time & money, and due to the rules I will not devote any more time to it here. Unless I inadvertently pick it up again and go on a rant about how new authors should NEVER be paired up with inexperienced editors.

Thankfully, I had a lot more luck with The Alchemist of Souls. Oh lord almighty, did I have more luck with this one. Set in the latter years of Queen Elizabeth the first’s reign, it is an alternate history/reality that pulls you in gradually. It didn’t pull me in by the neck from the get go, but it started out solid and only got better.

Better.

YAY!

Mal has a lot of problems. He has a twin in Bedlam, whom he can’t protect. A best friend he can’t trust. A job he doesn’t want, until he does. And way more going on over his head than he can get a handle on quickly. Set among theatres, the infamous Tower, and court, this novel takes you places. The details in the theatre and mannerisms among the troupe were riveting. As a girl with a Master’s Degree in English and more than a few semesters spent with Shakespeare, I hate it when people take on this particular era then get it wrong.

But when they get it right, as does Lyle, it is so lovely. Those details were so good, in fact, that the fantasy element (Skraylings, magic), were completely believable within the story. That takes true talent.

Now on to the publisher! Yes, I know, it is rarely advisable to take on a publisher based on one book. However! I finished Alchemist while in a doctor’s waiting room and read the back jacket copy (don’t ask why I didn’t do it to begin with, it’ll make your head hurt). Love the little sign up on top of it. Then, while flipping through the book, came across a surprise quote on the back inside cover of the book. Oh! And the ad for the other books? I love their tag line “wake eat read sleep repeat.”

They get it.

Now I just got to figure out how to get my hands on more of the same from them!

Sweet reading, my lovelies!