Showing posts from 2009

The Edit Monster

Why is it that what you wrote a month or even a few days ago and edited seemed fine (even brilliant) at the time. Yet, when you go back in to edit it looks moronic in review? Sometimes I write on hyperdrive, where what is going on in my head and my poor typing skills do not merge. If my brain could imprint on some software through telepathy would have brilliant work, but alas, am restrained to primitive type type type. Plus, it is Monday. Wretched day, cruel day, heartless day. I wanted to stay in bed and watch Christmas movies (or Doctor Who) I often wonder about my fellow writers from the past-the ones that had only quill or creaky mammoth typewriter with heavy keys, no delete button, no easy print. Just precious paper scrawled upon in the candlelight. They had it tough. I think I am babbling now. I have been editing and polishing so much my brain is soft from mental strain. Alas, I will eat some chocolate and continue. I will finish book on a sugar rush. More later.

Happy Saturnalia

Merry Wishes to all in this time of spiked eggnog and Christmas specials. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Solstice, Hanukkah, or Muharram this season, please have fun, eat drobba truffles, and pumpkin pie piled high with whipped cream. Okay, now I am hungry. While I am editing a frenzy with my editor Joe Dickerson of HD-Image, I do take time out to make merry and watch DVDS. Here is my partial list of favorite holiday specials. 1. Night of the Comet. Zombies, Christmas, and two valley girls that kick ass and appreciate automatic weapons. Now that's a holiday movie. 2. Die Hard. Bruce Willis-enough said. 3. A Charlie Brown Christmas. Even I can be traditional. 4. Any of the Lord of the Rings trilogy-there is snow somewhere, plus Aragorn. Enjoy your own holiday treats and make merry. The diet does not start until January 1. In the meantime, back to writing. Happy Holidays & Lots of Fuzzy Warmth Verna

10 Commandments For Novel Writing

Okay, the thing is, I am always in a better mood when I write. It does keep me sane in this loopy world. When I am there, it flows and things are good. Much of my flow comes from a good organization of my characters and world for my tales. As I have been putting together the goods for my next two novels, there are a some writing commandments I would like to share with my readers and hopeful writers, so that it may help you create worlds of your own. 1. Character Outlines: This includes name, age, basic physical points like hair and eye color, race, importance in story, relationships, and anything that would be important to your tale. A good character breakdown list is a good thing to work with. 2. Go with the impulse: A few of my favorite characters were not planned at all. They were meant to be very minor characters or not even in book at all, but they popped in head as I was writing and they basically came to life. Go with this-it is your inner muse giving you a boo

In mourning for a wonderful actor and inspiration Edward Woodward

This is a dreadful Monday. I learned this morning via phone call from my husband Rick that one of my favorite actors, Edward Woodward, has passed away. Mr. Woodward's voice was the inspiration for one of my major characters in Familiar's Tale series, Belwyn the Owl, familiar to Cathal the sorcerer. I know it may seem odd, but I imagine very specific voices for my characters in my "Familiar's Tale" series. Edward Woodward (who had been a fav long before I conceived of Belwyn the Owl) was a wonderful actor and someone I wished I could have met. The minute I put his voice to the character of Belwyn the owl, he was truly born. Those of you that have read my book Gate of Souls know who Belwyn is, and what a great character he is. I hope that pays the great actor some small tribute. Edward Woodward will be missed.

Focus, Focus, Focus!

As a writer, it is an important skill. You need to focus to get all the great imaginative stuff jumping about in your brain into print mode (be it paper, computers, whatever) and it is often so damn tough because you get distracted by the idiocy of the world. It is easy for writers to get lazy too-I have been working on 2 books and editing Tree of Bones for my second "Familiar's Tale" book. But my focus has been dreadful. I keep getting distracted by trivial things, the way Mellypip gets distracted by a drobba-chip cookie. I have much of book 3, Fires of Rapiveshta, running scenes in my head. As I try to write it I keep getting scrambled by which part of book to write. It is very annoying because I have the last half of the book worked out but the first half is still taunting me. I have resolved to be made of tougher metal-because when I am focused and writing- I feel better . My mood is less glum. I am less cranky. I even stay on my diet better (though drobb

Chaos of Creativity

Being creative is not neat. It is not tidy. There is no linear circuit or smooth straight pass on the road to imagination. It is messy-much like a teenager's room with the rumpled bed, hidden Twinkies, beloved stuffed animals, loud music, secret diaries with tiny keys and your favorite faded jeans rescued from mom's ironing board. My writing room (which I share with my husband Rick, who is also a writer) is stuffed with piles of books and magazines, file cabinets, two computers, two printers, cork boards covered with writing charts, cards and colorful fantasy/science fiction prints. My desk is clogged with overstuffed notes and chapter drafts, little dragons and pewter figurines of sorceresses and stuffed animals. Stacks of Cd's teeter by the stereo to provide inspirational music for battle scenes. But it is within this condensed madness that my mind flows clear. It is my imagination wellspring that draws out of stories I type out, even when my cat Duncan insists on he

Chris Speakman's Review of Gate of Souls

Hello Familiar's Tale Friends! Here is the link to Chris Speakman's review of Gate of Souls, A Familiar's Tale, Book One, I will probably read it over and over, eating drobba until reality slaps me back to my writing.

Dragons and Critics

What a summer! My editing with my publisher, Joe Dickerson of HD-Image, has been moving along for release of Tree of Bones. I am also heavy into writing "Fires of Rapiveshta," the third entry into my Familiar's Tale series. Fires of Rapiveshta storyline involves the dragons of my world. In the prologue of Tree of Bones, you get some cool dragon action though. I have so many ideas buzzing in my characters outlines that I am dying to tell you, but I must keep things underwrap for now. I did have a recent wonderful and unexpected review on my book Gate of Souls. Chris Speakman just reviewed by book and I am amazed how much she loved my book. Usually my publisher and friends sings my praises, which yes I love it, but when someone you do not know praises you, it is a special warm and fuzzy feeling. Much like Mellypip after eating a yummy drobba snack. Thank you Chris, and I promise you will not be disappointed in the coming books in my Familiar's Tale series. W

Edit, edit, edit....and yet more edits

I am in the heavy process of editing the second book in my "Familiar's Tale" series, entitled "Tree of Bones," with my publisher, Joe Dickerson. It is a fun time though, because we go back and forth with fun perspectives on the story and characters, as well as make suggestions and catching teeny but annoying typos. Working with a small publisher has it pluses and minuses. The minus is trying to get into the bookstores, even small ones. Again, the market is tough for everyone now. I did score a big success with Barnes & Noble when they picked up Gate of Souls, A Familiar's Tale, Book One , and ordered a small but respectable number of copies for actual store placement. This was a wonderful example of the larger corporation wanting to support the smaller book publisher. This may seem like a small victory, but for small publishing houses and their diligent and struggling writers, it is a mammoth success worthy of champagne and chocolate. But despite o


I was prepped to do a lavish blog about my participation at Baycon 2009 in Santa Clara at the end of May. I was exhausted and as I also have a day job along with my scribal vocation, I put off for another week. Then I received news that one of my favorite fantasy writers, David Eddings, died this week. He was a wonderful storyteller. He will be missed. Therefore, I dedicate this week to David Eddings' memory. I will be back next week about me. Now I am in literary mourning.

The Dark Tales of Obsydia

Also great news about a series of short stories I have done set in my world of A Familiar's Tale . My first short story about Obsydia the Bloodstone Queen, called The Bloodstone Queen , was published in Aberrant Dreams webzine a few months back. I am happy to say there will be more short stories set during the Bloodstone Age in which the immortal Queen Obsydia ruled. I have always had a fascination for the dark fairy tale queens of old, and when I conceived of Obsydia, I wanted to create dark wicked beauty and power beyond imagination. A character of my own design in originality. I wanted unique and shadowy. I wanted a Queen of Shadows. Obsydia, daughter of the dark god Ahridum and a mortal seer, born in a dark tower and woke 13 nights after her birth a fully grown woman. Her hair is literally shadow that curls around her death pale face of flawless beauty, silver moon eyes that see all, and lips red as blood. Red as blood is fairy tale speak, but it applies to Obsydia. She

A Successful Book Signing for "Gate of Souls"!

Greetings fans of all things Familiar! So sorry that it's been a while since my last entry. I have been busy writing my third entry in my Familiar's Tale series, Fires of Rapiveshta , and editing the second, Tree of Bones. I had a book signing recently at Borders Express bookstore at the Sun Valley Mall in Concord, CA. They are wonderful folks and so kind to let an unknown writer have a book signing, especially in these hard times. I was at first hesitant about a book signing, as I am not a well known writer (though I long to be princess of heroic fantasy tales) and this is my first published novel. But I am not shy either, and I managed to sell quite a few books in just a couple hours. I even surprised myself! I had such fun! And I sold many books! My husband, Rick, also took pictures which will be posted to site. I must also thank the wonderful artists that created magnificent cover art-Henning Ludvigsen and Natascha Roeoesli-that attracted potential readers

Book Signing Alert!

Hello all! I am having a book signing for Gate of Souls this Saturday, January 24, 2009, at the Borders Express bookstore at the Sun Valley Mall in Concord, CA between 12 and 2 pm. Am excited.

The First Time...

Belated Happy New Year to all. Has been busy time. Physically, I am recovering from the holidays, though the scale turned ruthless upon my New Year's weigh-in; prepping for 2009's pristine diet and exercise regime. As a writer I must remain physically and mentally fit. However, the ginger bread cookies and chocolates left their merciless mark on my thighs. Cruel scale. Will have cocoa to feel better after the even crueler treadmill. The good news is my artistic scales are better balanced. I went into my local Barnes & Noble to see if my book, Gate of Souls , was in yet. I have done this a couple times a week since I received the letter from B&N that they would carry my book in the stores. So when I finally saw it on the shelf, in the new over sized paperback shelf of the Science Fiction/Fantasy section, I was a bit dumbfounded. I stared at it like village idiot for a good deal of my lunch hour. I then took a picture of Gate of Souls on the shelf with my cell p