Posts Tagged ‘urban fantasy’

The Sandman series, on Netflix, has been getting a lot of buzz recently. I’m here to tell you, the buzz is deserved.

I remember my husband picking up the Sandman title back in the ’90s, when DC Comics revived one of its oldest characters, the Sandman. Originally a pulp action hero from 1939, the Sandman used a gun that fired sleep gas, and wore a gas mask to avoid breathing the gas himself. The character had surprising longevity, making the transition from pulp to superhero and even helping found the Justice League, but by the ’90s he had been dormant for a long time.

DC aimed to change that, and the editors enlisted a young and hungry British writer named Neil Gaiman to do it. Gaiman’s approach was to blend the trappings of superhero with the supernatural trappings of pulp fiction, and spice it with the scandal and suspense of the old EC horror titles. The result was a strange and striking invention.

Sandman has often been referred to as a horror title, and it’s true the subject matter sometimes gets very dark. I think, though, that the title fits better as urban fantasy, which was becoming increasingly important in the ’90s. The main character, Dream, has been held prisoner by a cult for 100 years, and has to reclaim his place while re-learning a world that has changed during his absence. Gaiman created a whole cosmology of the Endless, beings who represent core human needs and traits. The Endless intersect with lots of other supernatural realms like Hell and with the standard DC Comics universe. Even in the earliest issues, you can see the great fantasist Gaiman would become and how he would change the landscape for both comics and the YA genre.

Is this a good adaptation of the comic? I think so, and not just because Gaiman has been personally involved. The characters and plots seem much the same to me. What’s been updated most is the inclusion of more diverse characters in the casting. The original comics were basically all white. That no longer works for contemporary audiences, and I was glad to see that some important roles were filled with actors of color.

I’ll say no more for fear of spoilers, but if you’ve been wondering whether Sandman is really as good as all that… Yes. You should watch 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 websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Everybody welcome Bob Ironspell-Cabas, star of M. H. Bonham’s urban fantasy, That Dragon Was In No Way My Fault. It’s the starter for her series, The Ironspell Chronicles.

“Seriously, Elryn? You think that Titania would want to talk to me?” I looked at my unofficial partner in disbelief. By the way, my name is Bob Ironspell-Cabas, but everyone calls me Ironspell because lot of people laugh when I tell them I’m a wizard named Bob.

Elryn rolled her eyes as she typically does when I say something stupid. She agreed to help me go through the mail piling up at the post office since our latest adventures since she lost a bet with my fiancee, Luna.

But back to the subject at hand: why would the Faerie Court want to talk to me? Don’t tell me I pissed them off, too. “Look, the queen just sent an invitation…” Elryn held up a piece of mail that looked like just another one of those too-good-to-be-true offers that say that I’m cordially invited to stay in a timeshare unit if I can sit through the boring sales pitch.

“You sure she got the right Ironspell? I mean, what would Faerie want to do with me?” I grimaced as I plucked the invite from her hands. “Shit, it’s real. I guess I’m going to have to go.”

Character Questions

Who are the most dangerous people in your world? Oh fuck. You know we have so many bad guys, I can’t pick just one. Fallen angels (we call them Watchers), Void Daemons, the Drow, and, of course, the Cult of the Messiah. The Cult is a religious group whose main purpose is the eradication of all Supernaturals on Earth

Who is your best friend? Gosh, I always say that Tuzren — oops, I wasn’t suppose to say his name, was I? — I mean, Tuz, is my best friend. He’s a daemon from Onoys — a realm in another plane. But I have other close friends, my werewolf financee, Luna, my unofficial Elf partner, Elryn, and my Jotun partner, Vetr.

Author Questions

Are there any authors who inspire your work? Wow, well, Gary Jonas is a friend and fellow urban fantasy writer who encouraged me to write this series. I also like to read Orlando Sanchez, RL King, and Jim Butcher to keep my mind in urban fantasy. I read other urban fantasy writers as well to get a flavor of what people are reading.

When did you know you were a writer? Before I was four years old. Seriously. I attempted to write a book when I was five, seven, and eventually wrote a book when I was 15.

That Dragon Was In No Way My Fault

Bob Ironspell-Cabas, known as Ironspell, is a rookie officer on his third day in the Denver Police Department Supernatural Unit or DPDS. His partner and mentor takes him to the Denver Zoo, thinking that it’ll be a good training opportunity. Instead, they discover a deranged sorcerer has let loose a dragon from the Supernatural portion of a new exhibit called, “The Magical Zoo.”

With a crazed sorcerer and a pissed-off dragon on the loose, Ironspell must use his knowledge and his magic to stop both. Otherwise, Denver is in for some serious trouble. What’s more, the sorcerer has taken hostages and threatens to feed them to the werewolves in the Lycanthrope House.

The problem is Ironspell isn’t exactly a wizard — he learns his spells by reading magazines like Popular Wizardry. Can Denver and the Denver Zoo survive Ironspell’s attempts to save the day?

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M. H. Bonham (and friend)

About M. H. Bonham

I am an award-winning author of more than fifty books living in the wilds of Montana as a Colorado refugee. Because I love confusing people, I go by Margaret H. Bonham with my pet books and M. H. Bonham in my science fiction and fantasy. I train in shotokan and ninjitsu martial arts, I race sled dogs, and podcast. I frequent science fiction conventions, so be sure to check out my blog for places I’ll be at.

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 websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Today we welcome Frankie, who’s visiting from Robin Banks’ LGBTQ and neurodiverse urban fantasy series, Margin Street Zeroes.

Frankie peered through the door with eyes roughly the size of dinner plates. They didn’t see anyone they knew, which was too bad because they had so much to tell them. But they did see a big buffet table! They crept over to it and began to stuff their face and pockets. Elegant slices of cheese went straight into their mouth. Cherries and chocolates were stored for later. After all, they were Gio’s favourite foods!

After a bit, they spotted a fountain with some sort of glittery drink. They immediately snagged a glass. It wasn’t a single malt, but it wasn’t too bad! Then they noticed a throne at the head of the room, where a lady was talking to one of the guests. Frankie guessed they were supposed to go thank her for the hospitality, but first, just one more drink!

Character Questions

Who is your best friend? Gio! She is the most wonderful person in the whole wide world! He’s clever, and pretty, and kind, and just so good at EVERYTHING it blows my mind! We met totally by chance and I still have no idea why she wants anything to do with me, because he’s so great and I’m all over the place, but I’m not complaining. Am I lucky or what?

I wish he didn’t worry so much about stuff because I know that there’s nothing she can’t deal with, but, huh, his brain kind of misfires sometimes, I guess. She’s still the most wonderful and perfect person ever, though! Oh, we got married! Twice! But we only had a proper ceremony the second time, with a viking boat and everything! And one of our best friends did the actual marrying bit, because he’s, huh, well, technically he’s a god, but he only does turnips and staple foods so you’d hardly know it. And our other best friend who’s his boyfriend — our other friend’s boyfriend, I mean, not Gio’s — he was there, and our landlady and my uncle who is also technically a god but mostly he’s just a huge pain in the ass, but don’t quote me on this! And the raccoons wore tutus, because Gio kinda likes stuff like that even though he’ll never admit to it, not even under torture.

Author Questions

Are there any authors who inspire your work? I don’t know about inspiring my work as such, but my favourite writers are Spider Robinson, Tom Robbins, and Emma Bull. I’d give at least a kidney to be half as good as them. Tom Robbins writes the bounciest stories ever, Emma Bull writes characters I end up feeling I know better than most of my friends, and Spider Robinson is just all-round fantastic.

Margin Street Zeroes

My family is pretty simple, when you get used to it. There’s me, Frankie, Ben, and AK. Frankie and I are with each other, and Ben and AK are with each other, but not like that. They don’t want to be with each other like that, though, so it’s cool, even though it took me a while to get used to it. Ben and I are best friends, and so are Ben and Frankie. Frankie and AK are also good friends, largely because Frankie is the friendliest person ever and a natural wonder, but AK is pretty cool, too. AK and I don’t always get on, but we try. I like people of all genders, and so did Frankie, but now that we’re together they really only like me. Ben also thought that he liked me, but that’s because he hadn’t got himself quite figured out. I like Ben a lot, but not like I like Frankie, and that used to be super awkward until we straightened it all out. AK doesn’t really like anyone – not like that, anyway. Mostly he likes sci-fi, brewing his own booze, and chilling. Somehow, it all works out.

We’re all university students, but AK isn’t actualy enrolled, because he doesn’t legally exist. We live in our house because a librarian rescued me from a snow storm. We have three semi-domesticated raccoons, but that’s not really our fault; they lost the ability to speak, and now we feel responsible for them. Oh, and Frankie can spot lies and teleport, and they could technically break reality, but they don’t want to, so that’s not an issue. We can all open magical portals, and AK is the god of turnips, but we don’t hold that against him. It’s all good, really. This is the story of how we got there.

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About Robin Banks

I was born a while ago, and these days I don’t regret it too often. A fan of peregrinations with a terrible tendency to get myself marooned, I currently dwell with an excessive number of dogs right at the end of the big cabbage field. That’s the big field with the cabbages, not the field with the big cabbages. Don’t be silly.

I enjoy road trips, dogs, guitars, and getting into scrapes. My favorite writers are Tom Robbins, Spider Robinson, and Matthew Stover, Rory Miller for non-fiction. I refuse to be landlocked, because you need to have *some* standards. I like Irish coffee with condensed milk in lieu of cream. You can’t help some people.

There is a rumor going around that I might in fact be a collection of raccoons hiding inside a hoodie, but that’s not been confirmed to date, possibly because I bite.

I have also written about neurodivergence as Ash Banks (https://www.amazon.com/Ash-Banks/e/B08TMMNPZH), and about self-defense and recovery from violence and trauma as A.R. Banks (https://www.amazon.com/A-R-Banks/e/B09JHP4FT5).

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 websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Kelly “Thorn” Henderschott is here today, from Sheryl R. Hayes’ urban fantasy, Chaos Hunt.

“Mr. Kelly Henderschott of the Conclave of Rancho Robles.”

Thorn bit the inside of his cheek as the butler announced his entrance into the ballroom. What possessed me to choose that name for this identity? He must have been drunk at the time.

He made his way to the Faerie Queen and bowed low. “Queen Titania, Elder Marcus sends his greetings. He regrets that he is unable to attend in person and has sent me in his place.”

“Yes, I do know Jordan Abbey. I heard that she made an impression on the Court. Elder Marcus specifically requested that I tender apologies necessary for her behavior.”

“Yes, she is living up to her title of Chaos Wolf, much to everyone’s chagrin. She still prefers the company of vampires and refuses to have anything to do with the Black Oak Pack. I can’t blame her because one of the younger members of the pack bullies her and the Alpha Wolf refuses to do anything about it. Personally, Montgomery and I have a wager about when Jordan finally decides she’s had enough and about how much damage she’ll do.”

“I can neither confirm nor deny the recent deaths in Rancho Robles, nor Jordan’s involvement in the situation.” He smiled. “But if you are curious about her latest misadventures, I can tell you about her attempt to find a lost dog…”

Character Questions

Who are the most dangerous people in your world? You wouldn’t believe it to look at them, but that would be Jordan and Mac. She’s a werewolf who has chosen not to follow the Pack Traditions. He’s the vampire who enables her. Neither of them seem to realize what a dangerous game they are playing. And I’m afraid it’s going to come back to bite them both.

What kinds of things do your people like to eat? I’m a vampire. My dietary options are pretty limited. But I do prefer a good human B- when I have the choice.

Author Questions

How do you handle multiple points of view in a story? Each POV gets their own chapter. The majority of the chapters will be from the POV of the main character, but there will be several from secondary characters for necessary information that the main one has no way of knowing.

If you could travel anywhere in the world (assuming complete safety) where would you go and why? The question is where wouldn’t I go? If money and were no object and my safety guaranteed, I would love to do a worldwide tour visiting every country and continent.

Chaos Hunt

Werewolves are apex predators. So why does she feel like prey? Territory, honor, the trust of her peers – Jordan Abbey has earned none of these from the supernatural residents of Rancho Robles. The werewolves shun Jordan as a creature without honor for siding with the vampires. The vampires dismiss Jordan as an unruly pet who needs to be kept on a much shorter leash. Chased out of the wilderness and not allowed to shift within the city, she is without any place for her inner wolf to run free.

Someone is killing the servants of vampires. Soon vampires themselves fall victim. Each attack is linked directly to Jordan, fueling rumors that she is working to undermine the vampires’ grip on the city. The werewolves dog her steps, harassing her whenever and wherever they can.

Then, in the heart of vampire territory, the corpse of a werewolf who bullied Jordan is discovered. The children of the Wolf and the Bat are ready to go to war, and Jordan is caught squarely in the crossfire. Can one woman prevent the annihilation of the only place she calls home?

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About Sheryl R. Hayes

Sheryl R. Hayes can be found untangling plot threads or the yarn her cats have been playing with. In addition to writing, she is a cosplayer focusing on knit and crochet costumes and works full time at a Bay Area water company.

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 websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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I have a new short story coming out! Time Capsules is an anthology edited by Carol Hightshoe of Wolf Singer. Writing my story was a fun challenge. The anthology should be out on January 17th, but alas, I don’t have a link to pre-order it.

Time Capsules

Time capsules — history and mystery — a gift or a message from the past to the future? Messages that can easily be misunderstood. What were the reasons for passing along a pair of pink, fuzzy handcuffs? A glass vial containing a perfect dandelion puff? A Japanese katana? A red and blue scarf? A wooden spoon?

What magic do these items contain? What stories do they tell? From the past to the future, mysteries and meanings abound within these pages, as well as reminders of what people find precious. What will you find?

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 websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Today I’m following up on my previous post about the contrast of characters who are Innocent or Not Innocent. For most writers, I think we understand that stereotypes do not result in very good writing. No one likes them. In fact, I’ve noticed that a lot of writers want to conceal the nature of stereotypes by calling them something else. “Tropes,” for instance.

You say to-ma-to, I say to-mah-to.

However, a clever writer can have fun with stereotypes, flipping them and such. I’ve done that myself, and I find it a really effective way to get readers to question some assumptions they might not even have known they had.

One book I read recently does a really good job with this. That’s The City We Became, by N. K. Jemisin. Jemisin is a multi-award-winning author, and that’s for good reason. She uses stereotypes liberally throughout the book. In fact, every one of her principal characters is a stereotype. Before you complain about spoilers, I just want to point out that the cover copy on the book says this exact thing.

I’m speaking here of the stereotype as a character which embodies and personifies a set of ideas and actions that are closely associated. In this book, the main characters embody and personify the five boroughs of New York City: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island, with Jersey City playing a strong supporting role. Jemisin explores what it means to exist as a stereotype while also being an individual.

She brings in a whole lot of other stuff, too. There are queers, racism, sexual harassment, artistic fraud. There’s a strong vein of homage to a certain vintage horror author. There are a whole bunch of observations that might have made more sense if I had ever lived in New York City. The thing is, none of it felt forced or packed in for the sake of woke-ness. The book is big because New York is big.

I especially enjoyed this book because it expands the definition of what Urban Fantasy can be. Not that there’s anything wrong with vampires, werewolves, love triangles, et all. Those concepts were very successful, but they’ve all been done. Many times. The genre was overdue for a shake-up.

As writers, if we want to avoid using stereotypes, one thing we can do is to be aware of what’s current for our genre. You recognize stereotypes once you start seeing them repeated. For that reason alone, I urge you to read The City We Became. Personally, I can’t wait for the next book.

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 websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Today we’re joined by Sheryl R. Hayes, with her urban fantasy, Chaos Wolf. Seems like her character, Jordan Abbey, is in a truly “hairy” situation.

Jordan Abbey paused at the entrance to the great hall. She didn’t think she would have the chance to wear this green silk mermaid dress and matching heels again, given the tendency for vampires to dress their servants in a different finery each time they gathered. She closed her brown eyes, drawing in a deep breath and squaring her shoulders. “Just like when Montgomery introduced you to Elder Marcus.” And just like when she met the vampire ruling the city of Rancho Robles, she stepped into the hall with a confidence she didn’t feel.

Character Questions

Are there intelligent races other than yours, and do they get along? Well, there are humans, which I used to be one until that werewolf bit me. I didn’t even know they were real, let alone one was stalking me. Montgomery, the vampire who saw it happen, should have either left me to my fate or handed me over to the Black Oak Pack. Instead, he took me in and offered to help me. Very unusual since vampires and werewolves can’t stand each other.

Are you an insider or an outsider in your homeland? Definitely an outsider. Most of the vampires think I’m a threat and some sort of sleeper agent for the Black Oak Pack. The werewolves think I’m insane for rejecting a place in the pack and choosing to live with a vampire. Plus I have a steep learning curve for both cultures since humans don’t know that they are real.

Author Questions

Fantasy has many genres. How did you choose yours? I’ve enjoyed reading urban fantasy stories. But the one thing that frustrated me is that while vampires and werewolves did not like each other, no book I read ever delved into why. I decided that I wanted to tell that story, and it made sense to do it in a modern setting.

Why do you write? I’ve always told stories since I was a child. Mostly I told them to myself, until I discovered fanfiction. From there I branched out into original fiction. So I’m still telling stories to a different audience.

Chaos Wolf

Bitten by a werewolf. Taught by a vampire. At this rate, she’s going to start a war. Literature major Jordan Abbey ordered a double mocha latte, but it wasn’t supposed to come with a side order bite by a love-sick werewolf. When a vampire comes to her rescue, gut instinct tells her he has questionable motives. But he’s the only one she can trust to help get in touch with her inner animal. Within a week, her smart mouth lands her in trouble with the hostile Alpha of the local pack and the stiff-necked vampire Elder. She now has less than a moon cycle to master shape changing… or else. And the besotted werewolf who started this whole mess is stalking Jordan and killing her friends. He won’t take no for an answer. In the Northern California town of Rancho Robles, where the children of the Wolf and the Bat share an uneasy coexistence, one woman makes an epic mess of the status quo.

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About Sheryl R. Hayes

Sheryl R. Hayes can be found untangling plot threads or the yarn her cats have been playing with. In addition to writing, she is a cosplayer focusing on knit and crochet costumes and works full time at a Bay Area water company.

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 websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Lyndi Alexander joins us with her character Daven Talvi, from her urban fantasy series, Clan Elves of the Bitterroot.

Daven Talvi paused on the uppermost step, surveying the crowded room before him. The music was beautiful, but too loud. His mountain forests were quiet, filled with natural sounds. But he’d lost his chance at the hand of the young elf queen. He’d lost his mate. He was lonely. He’d accepted the invitation to the ball in hopes of lifting his spirits and, if he was very lucky, to find a new partner to share his years. He straightened his dark green cape and proceeded down the stairs, asking the first single lady he found to dance.

Character Questions

Are you an insider or an outsider in your homeland? Interesting question, and I’m not sure how to answer. My people are wood elves living in the forests of Montana. A war 25 human years ago forced our clan to make some difficult choices. I was specially chosen to go into a suspended state, with a number of brethren, to await a better time. During this time, I lost my mate and missed watching my son grow to adulthood. Now that I have been revived, I’m the same age as my son and his friends, which is very awkward for us. The world now is very different than it was, so I feel like an outsider a lot of the time.

What kind of house do you live in? Our clan doesn’t live in “houses,” as you humans think of it. We have constructed magical platforms in the forest, high above the ground, where our families live in communal happiness. The branches shelter us from the elements, and the platforms and supports are not visible to anyone not tuned to elven magic. So, if you’re walking in the woods one day and think you hear a bit of conversation, or childish laughter—you may be in clan territory!

Author Questions

Fantasy has many genres. How did you choose yours? I didn’t really “choose” urban fantasy. I tend to begin with a story idea—in this case, what happens when a cynical barista finds a glass slipper on the sidewalk and her friend dares her to try it on—and then since it was fantasy set in modern times in Missoula, Montana, voila! Urban fantasy.

Do you have a regular critique group, and how do you connect with them? For many years, I was a member of Pennwriters, a supportive authors’ group in PA. Our local Erie group was called Fellowship of the Quill, meeting weekly for coffee and critiques. These amazing folks helped me launch a dozen books over the 1990s and 2000s. Then I moved to Asheville, NC, and lost touch with them, and writing came very slowly. Last year—and this is the only good thing that came of 2020 for me—they went to a ZOOM format, and I could once again connect with them. Since then, I’ve finished three manuscripts, two of which are published and one awaiting contract. The group is so good because members come from various professions, like lawyers, police, teachers, etc., and so not only do we get input on our writing, but also can ask questions on facts and how-does-this-happen? Sort of things. They’re going back to meeting in person this summer, but hope to incorporate a ZOOM component into their live meetings so we can all continue to share.

The Elf Queen

When Jelani tries on a real glass slipper left lying on the sidewalk, it splits in half and out pours dozens of two-inch high creatures who scurry away into the shadows. As if that’s not bizarre enough, she is soon approached by two men claiming (of all things) to be elves who need her help to rescue their queen.

To purchase

About the Author

Lyndi Alexander dreamed for many years of being a spaceship captain, but settled instead for inspired excursions into fictional places with fascinating companions from her imagination that she likes to share with others. She has been a published writer for over thirty years, including seven years as a reporter and editor at a newspaper in Homestead, Florida. Her list of publications is eclectic, from science fiction to romance to horror, from tech reporting to television reviews. She’s a single mother of seven with two children on the autism spectrum, a quilter, a gardener, and woman of all trades. When she has time, she blogs on a variety of subjects, including autism, science fiction and life at http://awalkabout.wordpress.com

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 websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Fancy suits and big crowds and lots of elites. Not my idea of a good time on any side of that triangle, but it wasn’t exactly the first time I’d found myself somewhere I wanted to be. All in all, I’d take a fancy dress party to infiltrating a nest full of harpies. Still had the scars from that one. I approached the entrance and did my best tough guy act to keep anyone from bothering me as long as possible, and I made a beeline straight for the bar. Anything this fancy? They were paying for the drinks and I was happy to lighten their pockets up for them.

Character Questions

Is there something you are willing to die for?

Well I’m an OPA agent. Office of Preternatural Affairs. Protecting country and populace against the threats that the rest of everyone doesn’t want to have to deal with. When was the last time you went toe-to-toe with a sorcerer ready to bleed you out? How about a dragon? Yeah, I didn’t take this job thinking I might never die in the course of a job.

Would you rather sneak into a dragon’s den or attend a demonic parliament?

Definitely demons. They get a bad rap. The whole claws and horns thing’s a little creepy. I’ll admit my own biases. But I work with a demon every day. Bark is way worse than their bite, in my opinion. Not that dragons are all bad. But I’ve got a Glock and they can eat me. I’m not that stupid.

If you encounter a dragon, what should you do?

Dragons again, huh? Well if they’re after you, run like hell and hope that works. If it doesn’t, hope like hell you’ve got someone with magic on the way. Maybe a lesser dragon you could take on hand to hand or with a normal gun, but I wouldn’t want to dance that dance if I didn’t have to. Lucky me, that’s what they give me a paycheck to do is dance that dance. If I don’t have a choice in the matter? Aim for the eyes.

Author Questions

How much do you plan ahead of time, vs. following the story where it leads?

I’m a big-time plotter. I like to have my entire roadmap laid out. But just like when you go on a road trip with me, I sometimes take a little detour, do something, and then swing back onto the track. While I enjoy writing off the cuff, from a sheer work and efficiency standpoint, I have to do a lot less work overall if I plan out before I write the first word.

Is there a fantasy trope that you would like to NEVER see again?

There are some general tropes I’d like to see gotten rid of, but specific to fantasy, if we could possibly never have an “I’m going to stop taking my anxiety/depression/etc meds” plotline in fantasy again, I would be so down for that. It’s super lazy and cliché to have “the drugs are blocking you from the magic.” And it’s also frankly quite harmful and stigmatizing. People use those medications to be able to live their actual lives and function. They don’t rob you of magic. They keep you from offing yourself. Give me a character who finally gets help, and because they’re finally able to breathe for a second, the magic reveals itself. Or just give me a magical world where sometimes people have to take SSRIs because they just need a little hand.

Do you have a personal motto or tag line?

For writing in particular, I have “Nobody else is going to do the work for you.” But in the larger life sense, I’ve always resonated quite strongly with a quote from, of all people, Marianne Williamson. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” I, and most other people, have opinions on her at this point, but that quote, often mis-attributed to Nelson Mandela, was one of those rare things that simply stopped me dead the first time I saw it. I have big issues connected to success. We don’t need to go into my personal psychology, here, but I always found that this quote could speak to me in a deep, halting way that lets me change my thinking and my actions, at least for a while.

Toxic Influence (Office of Preternatural Affairs #1)

Dashiel Rourke was never supposed to join the Office of Preternatural Affairs. He was nothing but a low-rung counterterrorism agent. A cog in the greater FBI machine. But when the poison gas attacks plaguing New York City turn out to be a little more magical than anyone expected…well, desperate times. And once he gets a lungful of that poison, it becomes personal.

Now he’s suited up with a magical sidearm, a seven-foot troll for a partner, and a whole lot of questions with not that many answers to go around. One thing he does know? Whoever or whatever is behind this mess, he’s not going to stop until he can take them down. Even if that means hanging out with elves and hags for a little while.

But Dash and the rest of the OPA don’t know just how deep this goes…or how deadly the endgame is. If you like high-stakes FBI drama and higher-stakes magic, check out Toxic Influence today.

The Author

Voss Foster lives in the middle of the Eastern Washington desert, where he writes science fiction and fantasy from inside a single-wide trailer. He is the author of the Evenstad Media Presents series, as well as the Office of Preternatural Affairs series. His short work is available from a variety of publications, including Vox.com, Flame Tree Publishing’s Heroic Fantasy Anthology, and the bestselling Alternative Truths Anthology. When he can be pried away from his keyboard, he can be found cooking, belly dancing, singing, and cuddling dogs, though rarely all at the same time. More information can be found at http://vossfoster.blogspot.com

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Today I’m excited to host my good friend, C. S. Boyack, and his latest e-book, Viral Blues. Over to you, Craig!

Thanks for inviting me over, Deborah. Authors always need a place to promote our wares. I’m promoting my newest book, Viral Blues.

This one is a paranormal tale, just in time for Halloween. My style is more dark humor than slasher, so if that’s your Halloween style, this one might not be what you’re looking for. If your style is more Sean of the Dead, Zombieland, and even Evil Dead, I’ve got a book I’d like to tell you about.

Viral Blues

Someone knows about the Hat. The creature from another dimension that helps Lizzie fight against the creatures of darkness.

They are summoned to a cryptic meeting with a secret society, where they meet other people with enhanced skills. It turns out someone, or something, has been tampering with the world’s vaccine supply. The goal doesn’t appear to be political or financial, but biblical pestilence.

Can this group of loners come together in time to make a difference when even the proper authorities are obstacles?

Check out Viral Blues for your dose of paranormal adventure, with a strong sample of dark humor. And in recent superhero style, don’t miss the secret last chapter after the back material.

Viral Blues is my 13th book, and because it’s a paranormal tale, I published it on Friday the 13th. It seemed like a good bit of juju to court. I hope everyone will give Viral Blues a try.

About C. S. Boyack

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.


Did you know I have an author newsletter? You can get it! I’ll even give you a free e-book for signing up. Just click here.

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