Monday, April 30, 2012

Blog Tour: Shewhirler's Book Blog

Next stop is a Kristin's site. She has a great book blog site and has provided an interview and a nice book review. Check it out:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Blog Tour: Sherry Gammon

Next stop is a Sherry's site. She's a great friend and writing buddy. Looks like her book may be make into a movie...nice! Check it out:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Blog Tour: Dark Obsession Chronicles

My Blog tour started today. Alana from Dark Obsession Chronicles kicks off the tour with an awesome review and interview.

If you’re ever in the mood for Paranormal, stop by and check out her reviews.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I think writers of speculative fiction do a tremendously good job at bringing their characters, settings, society, and laws governing nature, to life. Readers of speculative fiction, especially science fiction and fantasy, allow a fair amount of leniency in the believability area…I think that is simply the nature of the reader. For example, let’s take the movie Highlander. Here we have these quasi immortal men dueling with swords until there is only one remaining to win some prize. Believable? not hardly, but it’s speculative fiction and therefore we know it’s not real. Now, as fiction readers, we can say: “Okay, what if there were these quasi immortal guys hacking off each other's heads?” If we accept that as a given, then we can sit back and enjoy the story. This is what the readers of speculative fiction do. If you can’t get past the premise of the story, you’re not going to enjoy speculative fiction.

But, believability has layers within the story. Using my example of Highlander, there is a scene where the police are investigating the decapitated man in the underground garage. For whatever reason, a cop is using a metal detector and finds a piece of the sword lodged in the support column. Um…believable? no, not really. We know the story is fiction and therefore allow some leeway, but you can’t get away with using a metal detector in a building on a column that has most certainly steel rebar for support. As readers, we say “no way”, and the story begins losing credibility.

I personally like to spend a fair amount of time on believability factor of the little things. Where the reader says: “Oh yeah, that makes sense.” When I’m writing a scene, I always try to ask myself if the actions or objects make sense. Why does Jericho, in Jericho Solus, allow blood tests after he’s pulled from the ocean? Oh yeah, we find out later that he believed it would keep the government from watching him, as he knew there was nothing in his blood to cause suspicion that he wasn’t human. I think it’s defending and describing these little details that bolster the overall believability of a story.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Fantasy Animals

Fantasy is about transporting readers to a different world. This world is everything from the planet’s orbital path to worship methods to fauna. Animals are a subset of the ‘setting’ in my three-legged-stool for Fantasy (i.e. setting, characters, magic). One thing that you will not see in my stories is animals that are indigenous to Earth. To me, this makes no sense. Sure, it’s easy to just give my band of hero’s horses and let them be on their merry way. Oh, and I can switch it up by giving the horses the ability to speak or having great speed and endurance. We really should be a bit more imaginative than that. I think Fantasy readers want to be transported into a different world and that includes strange creatures. I do use comparisons when I describe my creatures. Because I write Low Fantasy, my hero/heroine is most likely from Earth and can compare the animal he/she is observing to something known.

In ‘Jericho Solus’, I have a creature called d’niten. I spent a fair amount of time describing the d’niten. It is a thick creature, setting low to the ground with a shell-like coat extending from the creatures back up its arm-length neck and across the top of its head. I go into more detail in the book. The d’nitens are pack animals, but can also carry as many as four people. Why spend a lot of words describing the d’niten? Generally, I wouldn’t if the animal was say some type of rodent they trapped and ate for dinner, but in the story, the d’niten have a key role towards the end. When my hero, Jericho, sacrifices the d’niten to save the party from the ravenous falcuta, we are saddened by the loss.

How many fantasy stories just throw in a horse that the bumbling kitchen-boy-gonna-be-wizard instinctively knows how to ride? A lot. Hmm.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Searching for a Cool Name

In the story I’m currently working on, there exists a race of beings I call wraiths, which is just a placeholder for something else I make up. Wraith just isn’t right and really doesn’t fit what I intend these creatures to be. I don’t think I’m alone in my struggle to create a name for these entities that is memorable—I think this is a challenge many Fantasy writers face. In ‘Jericho Solus’, I never felt the need to dwell on the name of the Kurrin. The motivations of the subterranean creatures are simple and played only a small role in the overall story.

My wraiths are different in that they are my antagonist in the story. They yearn for warm blooded creatures…it gives them strength and substance. Like people, there are wraiths that can control their desire for power and those that madly seek it. As the wraiths consume (through various methods depending on the state the wraith is in) they become more substantial and begin to take on an amalgamated form of those consumed. Of course those wraiths that consume only people appear like people. Wraiths that are indiscriminate can appear grotesque and are easily identifiable and killed. But typically the wraiths are smart and cunning and blend quite well among people…maybe even infiltrate the hierarchy of the Dyran Dominions? Okay, enough of the teaser and back to the creature name. As a byproduct to a wraith consuming (called clutting), the victim is coated with a layer of frost. So I’m leaning toward a name something like Rimesect (Rime being a kind of ice) or Rimeman or Rimebeast or Rimefiend. I like rime over frost because I think ‘frost-this’ and ‘frost-that’ are done enough. My goal is to come up with a creature name that reflects or alludes to what the creature is. How about Cruelrime? Feel free to jump in and offer a suggestion.