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Posts Tagged ‘fantasy writer’

Hey, it’s my book anniversary! It was three years ago, on May 15, 2019, that I self-published The Tower in the mist, which turned out to be the first Minstrels of Skaythe novella.

At that time, I had only an inkling of a series taking shape. That there would be a group of mages exploring non-violent resistance to an overlord’s cruel regime. That each adventure would stand alone, yet build into something greater.

Now it’s been three years, and I’m working on the series finale. Happy anniversary to me!


The Tower in the Mist

Mages vs. Amazons vs. Giant Badgers vs. Tyranny!

Zathi’s job is to capture renegade mages, but Keilos isn’t like any other mage she’s dealt with. Her drive to bring him in only leads them deeper into a cursed forest. Together, warrior and mage will face deadly beasts and grapple with decisions that compromise every principle. Until they stumble upon a place of ancient, forgotten magic. Zathi must choose — allow Keilos to claim it, or kill him once and for all.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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The work week continued being stressful with extreme student behavior, but I’m sure you’ve heard me moan about that enough. There’s a lot of residual tiredness, but I still managed to work on The Tale of the Drakanox. It’s well above 57,000 words now. I worked in a fun scene of bonding with Piyaro, Hawk Squad and Shonn traveling together. A bunch of young, energetic guys are camped out beside a lagoon. Sergeant wants them to wash up. What are they going to do?

If you said “massive water fight,” you are correct! The other two plot threads are getting intense, so the reader needs a humorous break. And so did I.

The other thing going on is Queen Titania’s Court, which begins in two weeks. Only four of the authors have turned in what I need, so I took a few minutes to poke everyone about it.

Besides that, my garden is calling me. It’s still too chilly to put my tomatoes and peppers out, but I have the soil amendments ready and seed doesn’t care so much about light frost. It will feel good to build something. Guess I’d better get out there!


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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It’s been a heck of a day. I’m not sure I’ll get much writing done tonight.

The high-stakes testing has begun, you see. Special Ed students get to take their tests in the Resource Room, with supports that General Ed students don’t get. That means we can’t run our regular groups in that room. I am still expected to run those groups on a full schedule, though. Fun!

I left for work early today hoping that I could find an alternate location and prepare material that I could teach without access to my normal setting. But, as I passed below a dark viaduct, there was something on the road. I got a flat tire.

After pulling over safely, I went through the telephone maze to call AAA and they told me someone would be there in an hour. So I started getting out my spare tire and trying to remember all the steps to change a flat, in case I could do it myself in less than an hour. Meanwhile, several people in shiny hummers drove by and gave me side-eye.

Luckily for me, a street person came by and said, “Oh, I can do that!” So the street person fixed my flat tire and I gave him a few bucks with thanks. Then I called AAA back through the phone maze and said I didn’t need them. I will never let anyone say mean things about street people again. If anybody understands how it feels when the world takes a turn against you, it’s street people.

Anyway, I was only 1/2 hour late to work and still before my groups started, so I scrambled the material together and I don’t think the kids noticed anything weird because we were in a different place, and that was already weird.

After work, I went to a tire shop, where the guy said, “Let’s take a look… Oh, I can’t fix that.” (Yeah, the tire had a visible 3″ gash.) An hour and a half later, and $300, I had a set of new used tires (because it’s a Subaru and the whole set has to match for AWD). Okay, the tire replacement was on my to-do list. This is not the way I wanted to be taking care of that.

So I’m really tired. But despite it all, I do have an idea for at least a few paragraphs. Guess I’d better get at it!


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Mother’s Day is here (or will be by the time some of you see this). It’s made me think about how, in my own work, family is so often a major factor.

This might not be surprising. We humans are social, and we grow up in families. When we’re writing, a character’s family and upbringing has a major impact, no mater what external stuff is going on in the plot. “Found family” is a major trope in all sorts of fiction, because it resonates with something we all know and need.

In my current series, Minstrels of Skaythe, there is one book that involves motherhood more than the others. That’s The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh. Meven (the ice witch) is not looking for a family. She is only trying to save herself. Then she gets targeted by a street kid, both of them unaware that family is about to find them.

I hope you’ll take a look at The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh. And, happy Mother’s Day!


The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh

Meven is a renegade, hunted by the cruel regime of master mage Dar-Gothull. Her desperate desire is to lose herself in the treacherous Fang Marsh. Only there can she live the life she wants, in freedom and safety. To reach the marsh, Meven must sneak through the town of Eshur, where her old enemy, the wicked Countess Ar-Torix, commands dozens of spies and guards. It should be no problem!

What Meven doesn’t know is that she’s already being tracked. Ozlin was thrown out because of his emerging magic. Now he’s starving on the streets of Eshur. Caught stealing, he’s about to be imprisoned in the brutal temple school.

Until Meven recognizes his power and intervenes. Suddenly she has a new, desperate desire — to save this mageling boy, and maybe save herself as well.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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What’s Happening? It’s been a damp and chilly spring, but my cherry tree is in bloom! Those beautiful white flowers are threatened by late frost, though. Despite that, I’ve been buying tomatoes, peppers and geraniums. This weekend I hope to put my first seeds into the ground.

What I’m Working On. The Tale of the Drakanox will definitely be my summer project. It’s grown to 54,000 words and the end is nowhere in sight.

What’s Next? I’m happy to say that I’ve added a few things on my calendar. After Queen Titania’s Court, next month, I have SpoCon science fiction convention in October, and Fall Folk Festival will be in November. It’s not much, but it’s something!

Fun and Games. As a birthday gift, my kid gave me a Pokemon game for the Switch. It seems I am about to go on a Pokemon journey. I find the battles a bit repetitive, and I miss the characters having voices. But it’s keeping me interested.

I hope you’re all enjoying new things this spring, too.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Last weekend was pretty exciting. My husband and I went out and looked at new bicycles as a birthday gift to me. Last year, we took my old bike to a local swap event and sold it, thinking we’d be able to get me an upgrade. No such luck. I’ve been bikeless for a year (the exercise bike downstairs doesn’t count).

No longer! I’ve been looking forward to us both getting out on our bikes together, but it’s been raining all morning. Oh well, the forecast says tomorrow will be nice.

I also was hoping to get out and finish cleaning up my garden area. Maybe I could even put my early seeds in for radishes, lettuce, and such. That one I might still get to. It depends whether this is a drizzling rain or a steady soaker.

If outside work is not possible, there’s all the housework that I didn’t do on spring break. Or, gosh, I could pick something from my to-be-read pile! One way or another, I’ll keep busy.

This might sound like Episode # 62 of “Why I’m Not Writing Today,” but actually I wouldn’t be writing anyway. I always keep Saturdays open for things like bike rides.

What about you guys? Got any big weekend plans, writing or otherwise?


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Those of you who use Twitter, either for salesmanship or personal connections, have no doubt heard about the platform being under new management soon. First there were rumors of a hostile takeover by Elon Musk. Then there was a poison pill that held it off. But now the sale is peacefully concluded. It’s interesting, sort of, as a writer, to watch how organizations can publicly proclaim something, but then instantly double back and do the exact thing they were fighting against. I guess the resistance was just a tactic to increase the price?

I’m concerned about this, to be honest. First of all, Musk sets me on edge. People who proclaim so much about freedom of speech, usually turn about to against it. As sole owner, Musk will have too much power to censor speech that he personally doesn’t like. He has followers, sure, but he also faces skeptics on Twitter. Now he’ll have the power to silence them. Depending on how he enforces community standards, I can foresee a tidal wave of misinformation that swamps the world.

In addition, Twitter is also one of my main social medias at the moment. I get a lot of news on Twitter, even if it has to be followed up for accuracy, and I’m in touch with a lot of fandom. I promote my books more there than anywhere. Plus, where will I get my adorable “cape beansies” pet art? Anything that might tamper with the experience makes me anxious.

I’m not going to vow, as some friends have, to leave Twitter immediately. Maybe it’ll be okay. It isn’t as if I actually enjoy having comments appear in my conversations that turn out to be advertisements in disguise. Even as I have to remind myself to hype my books sometimes, it might be a good idea for me to look around and find a few new arenas for promotion.

Because, when all is said and done, there are few things I trust less than a rich guy who says he’s going to save my freedom of speech.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Yep, I’m still pushing along with The Tale of the Drakanox. I sort of reached the point where my thoughts had focused, and now I’m trying to re-focus toward the ending. Part of this is coming up with new obstacles to prevent everyone from cruising along too easily. I’m consolidating a bit, too.

Shonn and Piyaro had started out each with a separate plot thread, but now they’ve joined forces. They were heading to… somewhere… and they were going to get there too fast, so I had them sight some mysterious ships and have to deal with that.

Duessa has been the POV with the group of fugitives, while Ar-Lizelle has been chasing them. They might have gotten away from her, so I’m bringing in some allies for Ar-Lizelle. This new group is more her rivals than her friends, though. That will lead to some excitement. It should be fun to write.

The evil overlord, Dar-Gothull, is starting to take a personal hand in things as well. I need to make him as sinister and deadly as his reputation, which should be fun in a different way.

That’s the point of all this writing, though. Fun, right?


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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My vacation distracted me, but I’m still working on Queen Titania’s Court. If you missed it the first time, here are all the details!


Coming up in June, this humble blog will host Queen Titania’s Court, a celebration of fantasy books. Titania, Queen of all Faeries, summons magical people and beasts from every corner of the fantastic world to join her for a grand ball on Midsummer Night.

This invitation is for any and all fantasy writers, especially independent authors. Each day in the month of June, I’ll feature one author’s book. Pick ONE character from ONE of your books to attend the Midsummer Ball.

If you’re a fantasy author, or if you know some fantasy authors — especially independently published — I hope you’ll suggest it to them.

Check out this page if you want to know more! To see some of last year’s gala, start here.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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I was responding to a blog last week, talking about the landscape in my books, and that overview gave me something to think about.

A lot of us Gen-X writers grew up with fairly traditional fantasy landscapes in our minds. That means northern Europe: cold, snowy winters and warm summers, lots of forest and relatively tame farmlands, moderate mountain peaks. Fantasy creatures such as elves and dwarves and goblins all come from the European folklore. Of course, J. R. R. Tolkein’s landscapes from Lord of the Rings were very much in this mold and since he was widely imitated, we all grew up with that same landscape engraved in our minds.

I’m not saying this is bad, just that Tolkein was so influential and his inner landscape continues to be dominant.

This thread made me think about my own inner landscapes. I’ve always been an iconoclast, and from the outset I’ve tried to make my work different and distinct. In my first two novels, The Magister’s Mask and The Necromancer’s Bones, I went for a tropical island setting, with influences from Chinese and the pre-contact Caribbean.

For Too Many Princes, I was sort of sending up traditional fantasy, and Brastigan’s adventures were in that European mode.

With The Seven Exalted Orders, I returned to my California roots. The landscape is relatively dry, open forest and the creatures were based on Ice Age mammals that I saw in museums as a kid.

The Grimhold Wolf featured a thick, dark forest with lots of marsh and standing water. There was also a big European manor house with farm fields around it, but those were hemmed in by the spooky woods.

Lately, though, I’ve been trending toward water for some reason. The Minstrels of Skaythe series is in another tropical setting, though not as rainy as previously. The coast is layered with mangrove swamps and salt marshes, while the interior is again a more open forest and field.

Over all, it seems like these open forests and marshes have become my own inner landscape. What about you? Do you have a certain landscape that seems to appear in your work more frequently?


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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