The day changed when another realm was revealed. Time to kick ass! #fantasy @SenseyZd #mustread

COLD DESOLATION BY A. H. ALWAGDANI For fifteen years, Jenny Da’ Gare was behind the doors of her cabin with her parents. One day, those doors broke open and Jenny was introduced to Soulaven, a world of monsters and lies. … Continue reading

Fans of fairy tales and folklore need this book! by @1alliemacdonald #fantasy #fae #Scottish #YA

The Unseelie Prince by Nicki Allie MacDonald After thousands of years of bloodshed and slaughter, the humans and the Fae, known as Neighbours, now enjoy an uneasy coexistence, although a shadow of danger looms closer everyday. Peace is threatened the … Continue reading

Witches,wizards and magic, oh my! #fantasy #magic #newbooks

An interview with the author of BURN THE WITCH by Magdalena Kubasiewicz   Who is the protagonist; their background? What makes them them? The protagonist is a witch named Sanika. Well, there are only two people allowed to call her … Continue reading

Reasons not to read this book

The King’s Blood – DO NOT READ!
by
Sabrina Zbasnik



Today I am here to tell you all of the multitude of reasons to not read my book, The King’s Blood by S.E. Zbasnik. (That’s still me. I didn’t inject my mind into the body of a sea slug to write this post.)

If, like some poor souls across the world, you suffer from a prevailing lack of imagination, if you expect your cereal to stay crunchy even in milk, if you — in fact — have no whimsy, then you will despise this book. Being a fantasy tale and all, it should not come as a surprise that there is very little discussion of the preferred architectural structure of housing in the late Roman Empire. Rarely do characters insist that their underlings get the nuclear launch codes or have inner monologues about the fall of a plastic bag. Even a few fantastical creatures pop in to say ‘hi’ on occasion.

You will despise my book and probably want to set fire to it if you think of the world in one, maybe two shades. I prefer to work in all the greys of the rainbow. Is the villain truly evil? He is following orders he doesn’t agree with, but he’s also trying to preserve as much life as he can even if it means he has to kill to do it. Are the protagonists really good? Is relying upon a prophecy to determine your destiny ever a wise move or are you moving into self-fulfilling territory? Where have all the cowboys gone?

If you think that all medieval fantasy should be lily white where the girls wait around in towers and the boys do all the fun sword fighting this is not the book for you. Media’s done its best to convince us that everyone in Europe prior to the 19th century was so white they were almost see through, but that is nowhere near accurate. The King’s Blood injects some much needed color into the sword & sorcery genre with Ciara, the main heroine, as she struggles to get a teenage idiot’s butt on the throne. Along the way, she encounters Taban, whose skin is even darker than hers; and Isa, an Asian witch not about to take crap from anyone.

Expecting 80 pages of the history of some world that only exists inside one person’s head and then another 30 on the preferred imports from surrounding countries and their choice of symbols on the flag? Then you really will not like my book. There are very few songs about the joys of bathing, no treatises on the drapery highlighting a noble lady’s figure, and the exquisite buttresses of the crumbling castles continue to be unadmired. The vast uses of the iron smithed expertly into a plow are left unheeded in favor of another five or seven fight scenes and a dozen jokes about the frailty of life.

Take your medieval fantasy as serious as your bourbon? Abandon all hope, ye who read here. For as you hopefully determined from this article, my tales of crossing and double crossing an empire, of struggling to find a place in a world on the brink of destruction, of assassins and witches and priests, are to be taken lightly. I see no reason to take life seriously, it’s not as if we’re gonna get out of it alive. Unless the zombocalypse occurs, then I call “zombie-run-over-by-old-fashioned-carriage.”

If, despite all these warnings I scrawled across your door, you still want to read The King’s Blood, you can find it here. But don’t say I didn’t…eh, you get the picture.




Author Sabrina Zbasnik taking
size zero a little too far!
Nice hairdo though.


S. E. Zbasnik has a degree in genetics, which means there may or may not be a horde of monkeoctopi doing her bidding to take over the world. Bringing that scientific approach to the fantasy world is her game, trying to put some common sense into magic and magic into common sense.
You can find here flitting about on twitter as @introvertedwife or on the book of face, trying to seal in a demon or two.





Save the prince, save the world. Maybe stop for coffee. The King’s Blood


Magic is coming back. Or so say the old prophesies cobbled together from wandering soothsayers, women huffing broken gas lines, and the back of comic tomes. The Evil Empire™ of Avar and its perfectly sane, in no way crazy Emperor risks others’ life and limb to stop it from coming to pass.

The only obstinate chunk of gravel in their shoes is a small kingdom warring against the over confident reach of the growing Empire. The fight was going well for them, all things considered, right until their King went and let his head slip right off his shoulders.

Now Ciara, a black servant into her sixteenth year, finds herself on a mad quest across the countryside trying to get the second son and possibly only hope of the severed Ostero line back onto his throne. Along the way, she and Aldrin — the rather simple and OH GODS KEEP HIM AWAY FROM ANYTHING SHARP prince — find themselves at the mercy of assassins, witches, traveling historians, a sect of killer doctors, and the unblinkers.

 
 

What does "show don’t tell" mean?

SHOW don’t TELL
by
Ednah Walters


The first time a critique partner scrawled these words on page after page of my chapter, I went, uh? I was clueless as to what she was referring to. As a self-taught writer, I knew that descriptive pros drew a reader in, but the journey from telling readers what’s happening to showing them has been bumpy but satisfying. Telling is unimaginative and boring. Showing engages the senses, makes readers visualize a scene and allow them to draw their own conclusion. 

So how can you tell when you’re telling instead of showing? Lets start with a simple sentence. 

My husband flirted with the waitress. 

This sentence gets straight to the point and tells you what is going on. It is bland. It doesn’t engage the imagination or evoke any emotion. In fact, the writer leaves everything to the reader. Instead of wanting to read more, a reader is left wondering what the husband did for the narrator to draw this conclusion, how the waitress reacted and how the narrator felt. 

The waitress flung her blonde hair and sashayed toward my husband. She leaned forward to pick up the empty plates, deliberately thrusting her chest too close to his face. He read the writing on the tight T-shirt barely covering her large breasts then said something. The woman’s high-pitched giggle filled the room. As she walked past him to serve the next table, my husband turned to watch her with a grin. 

Now this version is a bit more descriptive you must admit. A reader can visualize the scene and become engaged…maybe. Yes, there’s a bit of showing, description of the waitress, a bit on the flirting, but the passage is so impersonal. Something is missing. Why should you as a reader care about what the waitress is doing when the narrator doesn’t seem to? 

Her black, ruffled skirt short and indecent, red top snug, the woman flung her platinum blonde stresses as she glided toward my husband’s table. She fluttered her fake lashes as she talk, her hand lingering on his arm after she served him. I clenched and unclenched my fist when he leaned forward and pretended to read the writing on her T-shirt then whispered something in her ear. He was checking out her enviable double-Ds, the letch. I crossed my arms over my less noteworthy chest and cringed when she giggled, the high-pitched sound grating on my already frayed nerves. He turned and ogled her as she walked to the next table with an exaggerated sway of her generous hips. 

Okay, this passage may be wordy, but you see what I’m getting at. It shows emotions. It is descriptive. It shows the use of senses. We now know more about the waitress, what she wore, how she looked and the exchange between her and the narrator’s husband. But above all, we know about the narrator’s take on the scene. There’s pain as she watches the waitress and her husband, and glimpses of her insecurities about her breast size. The entire passage is personal and raw with emotions. A reader is left with questions and the need to learn more. What is the narrator going to do after this scene? What is going to happen to her marriage? 

So there’s my take on showing versus telling. Stimulate the readers with descriptions and throw in a dose of emotions, and viola! 


About Ednah Walters
In her own words:

I grew up reading Nancy Drew and Hardy boys mysteries before I graduated to my older sister’s romance books and the rest is history.

I’ve written picture books, contemporary and romantic suspense, biracial/multicultural books, and finally YA fantasy. Awakened was the first book in The Guardian Legacy YA series. Book 2, Betrayed, is due in August. For my adult series, I started with an Irish-American family, the Fitzgeralds. Slow Burn is the first book in the series (Ashley’s story). Mine Until Dawn (http://www.ednahwalters.com/Mine_Until_Dawn.htm due in July 2011) is Jade Fitzgerald’s story. Kiss Me Crazy (Baron Fitzgerald’s story) is due in November 2011. 


I’m presently working on Faith Fitzgerald’s story and book 3 of the Guardian Legacy YA series. When I’m not writing, I do things with my family—my five children and my darling husband of 20 years. I live in a picturesque valley in Utah, the setting for my YA series.


Connect with Ednah Walters:
She doesn’t want to deal with the past… 

Ten years ago, Ashley Fitzgerald witnessed the death of her parents in a tragic fire and blocked the memory. She pretends to have moved on, is a successful artist and photographer, until the morning she opens her door to a stranger, assumes is a model and asks him to strip to his briefs. 
He wants to expose the truth… 
Wealthy businessman Ron Noble has the body, the jet, the fast cars and the women, but he hides a deadly secret. His father started the fire that killed Ashley’s parents. Now someone is leaving him clues that could exonerate his father and they lead to Ashley’s door. Blindsided by the blazing attraction between them and a merciless killer silencing anyone who was there the night of the fire, Ron can’t dare tell Ashley the truth. Yet the answer he seeks may very well tear them apart. 
While a demented arsonist and plots his ultimate revenge..

In preparation for the release of Mine Until Dawn, book 2 of the Fitzgeralds, Slow Burn is now $0.99 at the following e-stores:
Amazon
Barnes &Nobles
Smashwords or (http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/50822)
Goodreads or (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10750656-slow-burn)

Slow Burn’s book trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ednahwalters?feature=mhsn


Take A Virtual Reality Trip With Johnny Oop

by
Arthur Levine
fantasy/coming of age novel



Join Johnny Oops as he charges across the country acting as if he were a prophet, sinning like a charlatan, and in his own way attempting to spread the word of God by touching other people. Travel with him as he survives a plane crash in Venezuela, drowning in France, and a stabbing at his home in California. Enjoy yourself with Johnny as he discovers his inner self—a one-foot tall albino with pink eyes dressed in a Boy Scout uniform. Suffer with him as his scandalous affairs are revealed. Have fun trying to predict what Johnny will do and say next in his self appointed role as a guru.  Question with Johnny whether everything that is happening is real.

Johnny Oops, The Rocket Fuel Of Captivating Fiction Available for only $1.14 or 99p on US Kindle and UK Amazon.  Print versions can be found here for $14.95 or at £7.50 on Amazon UK. 

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=wiswor0a-21&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0595335616&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

Arthur Levine has a background in finance and publishing. He is the author of the how-to Book The Magic Of Faith.

He is a former Director of New Business for Family Circle Magazine, and was the Publisher of TALK Magazine (Girl Talk).


Mr. Levine graduated from The Wharton School of Business with a BS in Economics. He is a freelance writer living in New York City. He is married and has three married children.

David, an ordinary man in an unordinary world – The Silver Cage

By
Mik Wilkens
fantasy novel
Life is good for David Conner. He has a great job, plenty of money, and he’s just met the woman of his dreams. But his dreams turn into nightmares when he finds himself on Lucasia—a magical world of shapeshifters, dragons, faeries, and other creatures of myth—where he is the key to victory in a struggle between opposing forces: one sworn to save the world, the other intent on its destruction.

If he is to survive, David must learn the rules of this strange new world, master its powerful magic forces, and decide who is friend and who is foe.

But is David the world’s savior . . . or the cause of its ruin?



 
 
 

Mik Wilkens has done a lot of different things in her life, all of them creative. She’s been an illustrator, trophy designer, graphic artist, programmer, multimedia developer, webmaster, and author. She loves science as well as science fiction, fantasy, and other speculative fiction. She’s a rabid Joss Whedon fan, she’s crazy about greyhounds, and she collects moose. Mik participates in Renaissance faires throughout the southwest United States promoting adoption of retired racing greyhounds with Greyhounds of Fairhaven, a non-profit organization she founded several years ago. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with her husband, a pack of retired racing greyhounds, and an ancient, three-legged demon in a cat suit.

Click below for the interview:

What inspired you to write The Silver Cage?
My inspiration was twofold. One of my favorite fantasy authors is Katherine Kurtz. Her novels inspired me to try writing books of my own. They also taught me the importance of having a logical magic system in a fantasy story. Rather than just having some intangible force called “magic,” there needs to be a source of the power and some kind of rules that the characters have to follow to use that power. That idea was one of the driving forces behind The Silver Cage.

The other inspiration was my desire to write a modern fairy tale that could be enjoyed by adults whether they were fans of fantasy fiction or not. By ‘fairy tale,’ I don’t mean the traditional, short folk tales written for children. Instead, I use the term as defined by Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien in his essay ‘On Fairy-Stories.’ Tolkien said that fairy tales are not stories about fairies or other fantastic creatures; rather they are about the interaction between humans and such beings. David Conner, a sensible, modern-day businessman, is the human that interacts with the fantastic creatures in The Silver Cage.

Give us a short, sharp synopsis.
The Silver Cage is a fantasy novel about David Conner, a down-to-earth guy who has everything going for him: he’s got a great job, he has plenty of money, and he’s just met Jennasara, quite literally the woman of his dreams. But David’s world is turned upside-down when he finds himself on Lucasia, a world where magic is a force of nature and creatures of myth are real. To save Jennasara, David must learn the ways of the strange world he finds himself on, master its magic, and decide who is his friend and who is his enemy.

Was there a character you struggled with?
I’m not sure “struggle” is the right word, but writing about the character Riak was definitely a unique experience. He wasn’t in my first concept of the book or even in the first part of the first draft. I was several chapters into the novel when he walked into my head and said, “Hey, I’m supposed to be in this story.” So I had to go back and add him in several places. Good thing I did, too, because he became a pivotal part of the story.

Is Riak one of the bad guys?
Riak is a creature called a Child of Sytan. He’s part human and part dragon. He’s basically a very sexy guy with wings. When he’s first introduced, he’s definitely one of the “bad” guys. However, whether or not he’s “good” or “bad” by the end of the book is something readers will have to discover for themselves.

How many unpublished books do you have lurking under your bed?
If by “lurking” you mean books that will never see the light of day, I really only have one partial novel that I’ll probably never finish. However, I do have several novels and novellas that I’m currently working on getting published.

How did you find your publisher?
Finding my publisher was actually something of a fluke. I got an e-mail from my sister about a new digital publisher, LazyDay Publishing, that would be launching at the end of 2010. She was thinking about submitting something and wanted to know what I thought about them. I did some research and then, basically on a whim, I submitted The Silver Cage. A couple of months later, I got an e-mail saying that LazyDay had accepted it for publication as one of their debut novels.

Would you recommend them?
LazyDay takes care of getting the cover art, ISBNs, and other technical aspects of getting an e-book ready to publish, and they make the book available through major third-party distributors such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. They also help create book trailers, and they even have a professional musician to write the music for them.

What’s the best/worst part of being a writer?
I’m horribly anal about everything being perfect, so my editing sessions can get a little crazy. I’m rarely happy unless I’m 100% positive that every comma is in the correct place, every word I’ve used is perfect for what I’m trying to say, and every sentence is structured just right. Because of that, deciding that a piece is finished and ready for submission can take a ridiculously long time.

Do you use an editorial service?
No, I do all the editing myself. That might not be the best idea for a lot of authors, but I’ve done quite a bit of professional editing in my life, so I feel confident enough to edit my own work.

What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
My productivity isn’t based on time of day. Rather, it’s based on my mood. When I’m in a writing mood, I carry around a pad of paper everywhere I go and write every chance I get. Fortunately, I have a very tolerant husband who doesn’t mind me writing when we go out to dinner or go for a drive. When the writing mood strikes, I write. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is.

Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
I write most of my first drafts by hand. I have favorite pads and favorite pens, but anything will do in a pinch. I’m currently dealing with an neurological issue with my hands that makes it uncomfortable for me to write or type, so I’m experimenting with speech-to-text software. If I can’t get the first drafts of my stories to go straight from my imagination to my mouth, at least I’ll be able to enter the handwritten first draft into the computer simply by talking.

The book cover, and your photo features a dog. Is it safe to say that you like dogs? Do they appear in the novel?
The “dog” on the cover of The Silver Cage is actually a wolf. Wolves and wolf shapeshifters figure prominently in the novel. I like all kinds of animals, particularly dogs; my favorite breed of dog is the greyhound. The dog in my photo is my greyhound Peaches. I’ve been owned by greyhounds for over sixteen years now, and am very involved in promoting adoption of retired racing greyhounds. I’m currently writing a fantasy novel “starring” greyhounds: I’m going to donate the proceeds from the sales of the book to greyhound adoption groups. You can read the drafts of the first four chapters of the novel at:

www.GreyhoundsOfAeravon.com

What/who do you draw inspiration from?
I’m inspired by pretty much anything and everything. It could be something I see, something I read, just some passing thought. Sometimes my muse will just toss a scene out at me and I have to figure out what to do with it. That’s how The Silver Cage started. My muse showed me a scene of a young boy sitting by a spring in a forest. I knew the spring was magic and could be used to access other worlds. Based on that, I came up with the idea for the story.

Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?
Not usually. Sometimes I’ll tell myself I have to finish this scene or this chapter before I can do something else, but usually I just write until I’m out of ideas for that session.

What are you working on now that you can talk about?
I’m working on several books right now. I’m almost finished with the sequel to The Silver Cage. It’s called The Golden Drake, and it pretty much starts right where The Silver Cage ends. I’m also almost done writing another fantasy novel called The Greyhounds of Aeravon, which is the first book in a series of novels I plan to use to raise money to support the adoption of retired racing greyhounds. I’m also working on a science fiction trilogy. All three of the books in the trilogy are finished in rough draft form. I’m doing the final edits on the first book, and then I’ll start on the other two. Finally, I’ve recently completed and submitted a science fiction novella called Esora, which is a follow-up story to another science fiction novella I have coming out in 2011 called The Price of Conquest.

How do/did you deal with rejection letters?
My first rejection letter was dated December 7, 1990. I was lucky in that it wasn’t a form rejection letter; it was actually typewritten on letterhead, addressed me by name, referenced my manuscript by the title, and was signed by a real person. For a rejection letter, that was pretty heartening. I’ve received quite a few others since then, both personalized and form letters. I’ve gotten used to them to the point that I just check them to see if there’s any suggestions or comments about the piece I submitted, then I open the spreadsheet I use to keep track of all of my submissions, mark that one off, and then get back to work.

Do you have a critique partner?
I’ve been a member of several online critique groups over the years and some of them have been a lot of help, but I’ve never had a specific critique partner for all of my writing.

The wolves surrounded him. One leaped past his horse’s flashing hooves, its fangs slashing at the animal’s throat. Two more sprang in from the sides; one snapped at the horse’s neck, and the other flew straight for David.

Terrified, he started to throw himself over the horse’s far side, but the animal reared again. He grabbed handfuls of mane and saddle and hung on. The wolf crashed into the horse’s shoulder, and its jaws snapped shut inches from David’s knee.

The wolves behind the horse tore at its flanks and back legs. With a scream, the animal started to go down.

Desperate to avoid being crushed, David threw himself clear. He landed hard on his right shoulder and back, and the air whooshed from his chest in a painful, explosive gasp. Once his lungs unlocked, he took a tentative breath to check for broken ribs or other damage and tried to ignore the horse’s terrified screams and desperate thrashings as the wolves completed their kill.

He would be next.

He forced himself to his knees just as a monstrous black wolf crashed through the bushes beside him. It knocked him to the ground and spun to face him. Slitted yellow eyes glowered above huge, slavering fangs.

This can’t be happening, David’s mind told him, coldly logical despite the horrifying sights and sounds that surrounded him. There are no wolves. There is no horse, no cabin. It’s a dream.

The black wolf leaped.

“No!” He raised his arms in a vain attempt to stop the huge creature’s charge.

I’m at home, in bed with Jenna. It’s just a bad dream.

The wolf’s jaws closed on his right forearm, and he yelled again, a wordless scream of agony and disbelief as his mind exploded with pain.




Links:
(Links to where you can buy The Silver Cage are under the “BUY” link at TheSilverCage.com.)




Fantasy Novel: People of the Sword

by
Neil O’Donnell

PEOPLE OF THE SWORD combines myth, history, and conquest with music, sorcery and a touch of romance to impart the struggles of two vastly different cultures suddenly dependent on one another for survival. Confronted by a common enemy, the wizard Crarnock, the druids and knights of Tropal realize that only through cooperation can they defeat Crarnock’s goblin army. The journey will test the resolve of both peoples as they realize that their collective bias and misunderstandings are as much a threat as Crarnock himself.

Neil O\O’Donnell is an anthropologist and life-long resident of Western New York. After years of studying changes to Native American and European societies through contact, he incorporated his discoveries into journal articles and short fiction pieces. His intent is to relay his professional discoveries to a wider audience through the world of historical fiction…PEOPLE OF THE SWORD is the culmination of these efforts.

Click below for the interview:

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=wiswor0a-21&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0982305079&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrWhat age group is you book geared towards?
I geared my novel towards adults and adolescents.

Into which genre would you say your book falls?

It’s a fantasy-genre novel.

Tell us a little about your book?
The book follows a band of druids and knights who put aside their respective differences in order to give Humanity a chance to survive.

What is your favourite scene in your book? Can we have a snippet?
My favorite scene is when the power embedded in Sir Harrison’s sword first materializes:

Grabbing the scabbard with his left hand, Harrison forced the hilt downward making it easier to withdraw the blade fully from his ancestral scabbard. The knight firmly grasped the hilt, and a chorus of voices suddenly called forth from seemingly everywhere. Time seemingly stood still while Harrison tried to isolate and comprehend what the voices were saying. The words, uttered in a number of foreign dialects, suddenly seemed to cry out in unison, and Harrison surprisingly understood their meaning; they encouraged him on. The knight captain ripped the blade from the scabbard in response to the chorus and was immediately enveloped by a brilliant light that emanated forth from the blade; it was as if the sun had breached the grey clouds above and rested on the hill. For a moment, the light mystified Harrison. He was overcome with a wave a nausea that quickly became replaced by a feeling of warmth. The sensation preceded a surge of energy that more than replaced the strength Harrison expended during the melee. A passing thought of the knight’s approaching enemies snapped him back to reality. The knight charged forward.

The lead Formeri came no closer, uncertain of what to make of the light that surrounded the knight. Harrison saw the Formeri hesitate and cringe as the knight readied his sword. Seeing the creature’s hesitation, Harrison decided to advance and take out as many as possible. As the resolute knight made his advance, he felt driven by an outside presence. Shaking off such thoughts, Harrison engaged the now retreating Formeri. The knight sliced down on his enemy, not even aware of any defensive or offensive maneuvers it made. The blade effortlessly cut through the creature’s body, rending it in half with the first swing. Without a moment’s thought, Harrison pushed onward. Each Formeri he met fell just as quickly to the blade. The knight was soon splattered with the blood of his victims as he cleared a path back towards the banshee’s dais. Beyaga watched the knight approach, realizing that it would be better to meet the awakened force there rather than away from her place of power.

“Hell’s Bane will not save you from me, boy,” Beyaga cursed as Harrison moved within twenty feet of her. The banshee let loose a terrifying wail, aimed at the knight captain. While several of the surrounding Formeri fell in an instant to the cry, neither the sword nor its wielder was affected. From Harrison’s vantage point, he felt as if he encountered a storm front as the power of Beyaga’s cry engaged the sword’s sphere of power; the light never wavered but rather seemed to consume the voice surrounding it. Harrison added his own voice to the mix.

“ALMIGHTY FATHER!” he cried; the sword’s light intensified.

“You can not curse that which is mine,” a voice cried in Beyaga’s mind as the knight approached. A second, more desperate death cry failed, even as the knight now stood before her. Harrison, acting on instinct, raised the now shimmering blade high over his right shoulder, the hilt itself clearing his metal-shielded shoulder. The knight sliced the sword down and outward towards the aged banshee. Harrison’s sword met flesh and bone and passed through with little resistance, ending Beyaga’s existence. The now lifeless corpse fell into a heap before the captain, blood and entrails spilling out through one long gash that extended from the banshee’s upper chest to her lower torso. Beyaga’s body began pulsating violently, and after several seconds, the remains disintegrated into dust before the knight. The sword’s glow diminished to a pale white light as if contented.

Have your characters or writing been inspired by friends/ family or by real-life experiences?
The characters, for the most part, emulate family and friends.

Can you sum the book up in one sentence?
To survive, Humanity must learn to forgive and accept.
Who is your favourite character in your book and why?
Sir Harrison is my favorite as he lives life believing that every man, woman and child is worthy of respect, regardless of the individual’s background.
Which comes first for you – characters or plot?
Characters come first. You’re not ready to embark on an adventure until you have a solid support cast.

Who is your publisher and where are your books available? Are there e-books and hard copies available?
My publisher is A-Argus; books are available through Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and Borders.com. My book is available in both paperback and e-book formats.

Do you have an agent, or have you gone alone?
I went without an agent, because I was not about to make suggested changes. I would definitely work with my publisher in the future as the company has been receptive to my input and provided solid support throughout the entire process.

What marketing have you been doing to help sales?
My marketing has included some signings and readings, along with using Twitter, Facebook and MySpace to connect with readers. I’ve also done interviews for area newspapers.

Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
I always start with paper and pen. For fiction, I also always have to make a map first.

What do you draw inspiration from?
My family and friends. My Celtic heritage is also a source of inspiration for my stories/characters.

Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?
I don’t usually set word count goals. Instead, I work to complete a given scene I thought about earlier in the day.

What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?
I’ve been writing stories since I was a kid; I’ve always been a writer.

What are you working on now that you can talk about?

I am working on a sequel to PEOPLE OF THE SWORD. Chapters for the sequel, VLARA’S SONG’ will be posted on my blog as they are completed. The events in this next book occur 400 years after those in PEOPLE OF THE SWORD. I am also completing an anthology of related short stories, one of which (more of a novella) is an immediate sequel to my first novel.

What is your writing process like?
There is a lot of background that goes into my stories. I develop background stories for every character while I outline the major events (into, climax and conclusion) of the story. Then, through the writing, I adapt the story based on how I perceive the characters would realistically handle a given situation.

Do you belong to a critique group?
 I belong to the “Critters’ writing group.

How long does it take you to write a book?

 Have your written other books (give titles)? It depends on the subject. I started PEOPLE OF THE SWORD in 1984 when I was 13; it was published in 2009. However, since I was also working on the outline to an entire series, seven other related books are coming along a lot quicker. The first sequel, RISE OF THE CELTS, is on pace to be finished in the next six months. I have also written several non-fiction works, which are already in the hands of my publisher. Those books took a matter of weeks to write.

What mistakes do you see new writers make?
Writers need to handle criticism. Not everyone is going to like what we’ve written. I found it funny that even publishers and agents are quite varied in their likes/dislikes. One publisher would give positive feedback about a scene that a previous publisher was critical of. If someone doesn’t like your work, consider his/her comments critically (maybe they’ve pointed out something that needs adjustment) and move on.

As for feedback from publishers from agents and publishers, treat their feedback the same way. Many bestselling authors had work rejected by multiple publishers and agents before making finding a publisher. Everyone has different tastes, it’s as simple as that. PEOPLE OF THE SWORD was rejected by 13 publishers before I received offers from three different publishers in twenty-four hours (yep, that was a crazy day). Keep writing and submitting, and don’t let rejection get you down.

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

Keep writing and always carry a notepad and pencil with you.

What is your website and/or blog where readers can learn more?

Twitter: Neil_ODonnell

Facebook: Neil O’Donnell

Blog: http://www.neilpatrickodonnell.blogspot.com/

Epic Fantasy: A Chronicle of Endylmyr

BY
CHARLES HALL 

 
 

A Chronicle of Endylmyr is a literary epic fantasy that will not only entertain, but also hopefully open your eyes to be more aware of the nature around you.

Full of ambition an Eastern despot seeks to control all magical items in the world of the novel.

These items, created in the distant past have become scattered over time, some coming into the possession of the Khan, others into the possession of a primitive pastoral people, and yet others into the possession of the European-like community of Endylmyr, located in the far reaches of the western plains. When the Khan sends armies to seize the devices, the various peoples of the North and West band together to resist, using the magical devices themselves to defeat the Khan’s schemes.
After a few misguided attempts to use the entire collection of magical items, Angmere, the historian, discovers an ancient rhyme that suggests three women are the key to the puzzle. Gwynyr, Hellwydd, and Hilst, acting the part of the three witches of Endylmyr, become a storm that has been brewing over the northern mountains and defeat the Khan’s attempt to seize the city. For the present at least, the peoples and cultures of the woods, steppes and plains are free from the threat of conquest.
Relax, and escape into the world of the Endylmyr. Ride the wave of this literary epic fantasy to your heart’s content…

Charles has been fascinated by book reading and writing since a very early age. Because of traumatic experiences in his home and family life, he often found himself lost in mystery and adventure stories. He had such a deep love for language arts that he began his college career as a French major. However, he soon realized where his passions lied and graduated with B.A. and M.A. degrees in English Literature.
During that time, he also began to experiment with writing poetry. Some of his work was published in small campus magazines, and keeps most of the pieces he wrote stashed away in his bookcase. His love for poetry also led him into a co-editor role with a popular poetry magazine at the University of Wyoming. His love for writing soon had an added benefit as Charles went on to marry the best writer in the advanced composition course he taught there.

Inspired by authors such as James Lee Burke and James Crumley, Charles wrote his first novel, titled Indian Summer. He wrote two other novels, Crude Surgery and Green Reaper, before the pressure of family demands pushed his professional life into another direction.
Other circumstances kept Charles from writing for several years after that. It was not until his son sent him a short fantasy asking for his opinion that his passion arose again. From there, the idea of his most recent literary epic fantasy, A Chronicle of Endylmyr was born and the rest is history…

Click below for the interview:

What inspired you to write?
I have wanted to write since I learned to read. Inspiration? Initially Conan Doyle and Franklin W. Dixon (The Hardy Boy Mysteries), and later C.S. Forrester, D.H Lawrence and J.R.R.Tolkien.

Tell us a little about your main character?
Is he/she someone you’d like to meet? Gylfalin is a former mercenary and orphan who has found a new life studying with the scholar Angmere and marrying his widowed daughter. He is fearless, loyal, compassionate, and possesses a strong moral core. Events in the plot draw him back to the world of war, though he continues to develop as a lover, father, and sorcerer.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=wiswor0a-21&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1432750283&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrCan we have a snippet from the book?
Yes. Here is the beginning of the main story:

Gylfalin rode out at dawn, leaving the smoke and stench of Farendyl behind as his mount quickly breasted the crest of the surrounding plain, then cantered off north in the direction of Endylmyr, the place of his birth and home to the few relations he could number among the living. He glanced back once. The smoke of the village fires rose above the horizon, drifting into a long flat tail that hung motionless in the frozen air, showing faintly in the first light of day. Though the town was tucked in among the trees of the low ground along the river, out of sight from the level of the plain, in full light its pennant of wood smoke would announce its location to any interested observer—the hunter returning from the hunt, the merchant in search of commerce, or, in the instance he feared, the raiding party seeking loot or slaves.

There had been rumors lately, carried by traders visiting Farendyl on their seasonal rounds, of horsemen from the East encroaching further and further into the northwestern reaches of the great grasslands. While out hunting just two days before, Gylfalin had crossed paths with three of these horsemen. Coming over a rise, he suddenly found himself face to face with three strangely dressed men watering their odd looking mounts at a small stream that threaded its way through the grass. With a shout the three seized reins, swung themselves into their saddles and started in pursuit. Gylfalin survived the encounter only because he reacted quickly, reining his horse in a tight half circle and racing back over the rise. Hearing the thud of hooves at his back, he twisted around and loosed an arrow over the horse’s rump, knocking the nearest pursuer out of the saddle, repeating the shot a minute later as another came thundering up behind, lance at the ready. Gylfalin reined in and turned his mount to face the third man, putting an arrow to string as he did so.

His pursuer slowed and circled warily, bow in hand. The two riderless ponies studied the scene from a short distance away, reins dragging on the short, tough turf. One quickly lost interest in the humans and stretched its neck to crop the frosted grass underfoot. Gylfalin watched, waiting for his moment. The enemy horseman would have to drop the reins to slip an arrow from the quiver on his back before he could draw and release, while Gylfalin, having twisted his reins around the wooden pommel of his saddle, sat with arrow knocked, bow at the ready. His mount turned as he had been trained, to keep the adversary always directly before him. Recognizing his disadvantage, the surviving rider made his decision. With a look of challenge and a cry in a tongue Gylfalin had never heard before, he pulled back on his reins, turned his pony and galloped away past the bodies of his two dead companions, and soon disappeared from sight in the rolling folds of the plain.

How many unpublished books do you have lurking under your bed?
Three.

How did you find the publisher/agent? What was the journey like? Ever feel like giving up?
Yes, I felt like giving up when I couldn’t find a publisher or agent who was willing to read a 180,000 word manuscript. I finally decided to publish with Outskirts Press after reviewing the services and costs of a number of other self-publishers.

How do your juggle a writing schedule with real-life work, or are you a full time writer?
I am retired, and write every morning for three to four hours.

What’s the best/worst part of being a writer?
The best part is entertaining readers, the worst is wondering if my work is worthy.

Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
I wrote my first novel by hand, then moved to typewriters, and finally to a laptop. I now write exclusively on the laptop.

What/who do you draw inspiration from?
Ancient and contemporary native cultures, Western literature (starting with Homer, through Beowulf, Chaucer, Shakespeare, and J.R.R. Tolkien) my personal experience of having lived and delivered a son at home on the Flathead Indian Reservation, among other things.

Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?
 I try to advance the storyline or further develop a character each day. I don’t count words.

Are you a published or a self-published author and how do you come up with your cover art?
I am self-published, and used an artist from Outskirts Press to create a scene from the plot, flanked by two important characters.

What are you working on now that you can talk about?
I have just finished volume two in the “Endylmyr” series. When it has been revised I plan to start volume three.

How do/did you deal with rejection letters?
 I hang my head, take a deep breath and look for the next agent or publisher to contact.

What’s your advice about getting an agent?
Get a recommendation from a friend who has successfully published.

Do you have a critique partner?
My sons and my girlfriend are educated, avid readers. I often defer to their judgment concerning the effectiveness of a scene or character.