Showing posts from 2010

Writing Talk about Dark Forces & Heroes

The thing about writing imaginative fiction, whether it be any sub- class of science fiction or fantasy, is to create and maintain some very strong and solid templates for world and characters.  Evil must be strong and frightening-something to make your soul churn- not your stomach .  At least not too much.  I have never been one for the gross out factor.  Tubs of  blood is something easy for humans to spill, because they do it all the time.  Do not get precious.  Our species is flawed and barely evolved out of the primordial pits.  You do not even need to read history to verify this, simply watch the news or read the newspaper.  We are very violent-which is why heroes (real heroes) are important.    The conundrum is to create strong heroes that do not go all wimpy or stupid-or turn as evil as the forces they battle. A person can be brave or willing to sacrifice.  A group not so much.  That is why we cling to our heroes and the myth of what they represent.  Hope.  Hope for us.  Hope f

Happy Scary Halloween!

I love Halloween.  My favorite holiday, since its rituals involve dressing up in costumes, parties, horror movies, eating candy and caramel apples.  How could you not love Halloween?  The origins of course, are in the Celtic New Year Eve's, when the veils between our world and the Otherworld are thin, and spirits and magic abound beneath the moon.   It's all good to me. My whole weekend has been a celebration of Halloween fun movies.  Army of Darkness with Bruce Campbell (We love you Bruce!), the Underworld movies, old classics like Dracula and The Mummy, and Snow White a Tale of Terror.  Snow White is my favorite fairy tale.  I prefer the darker versions, and Sigourney Weaver's wicked stepmother rocks.  I love fairy tales and want to explore them in more depth, not just the truncated versions they do for kid's book or film.  There are levels in these old tales which have only been scratched, and I want to delve deeper into the mystery. I also watched my favorite epis

New Short Story in Mystic Signals in Print!!

Hello!  My new short story, "The Forest Paradox," is in the new Mystic Signals magazine issue #7.  It is a print issue, so below are the links for ordering the magazine.  If you would like to order copies – please use one of these links: or I am loving Seattle and writing.  Looking forward to Steamcon this year, where I will be on some panels and promoting my novels.  Have a great weekend.  Talk to you soon.

Desperate Barabrians Are Back!

Hello all. I just wanted to let you know that I have a new short story posted for your fun reading on my website. It is called Desperate Barbarians , a semi-comic fantasy adventure about two barbarian sisters. It was first published by Aberrant Dreams webzine in November 2006. I hope you enjoy the fun and mayhem. My other short story, " Dragon Toast ," can still be read on my my website. It was first published in print by a magazine called Fantasy World Geographic in June 2005. But it lives on through the wonder of my website. So, sit back and enjoy the tale. More will be coming. I also have a brand new story coming out through Mystic Signals this August called " The Forest Paradox ." I will update you with more details later. Have a great week and think of fantastic things!

Monsters and Moving

Hello Familiar's Tale fans. I am finally resettled in new home in Seattle. I love it here and am trying to find way around. Moving is chaos-full of horrid little monsters. I prefer the fantasy monsters-not the real ones that take forever to deliver your stuff. But that is over now. I have a new short story that will be in the August issue of Mystic Signals. It is called the Forest Paradox. Have fun reading and let me know what you think. I will get more details on post them on blog. My poor editor Joe has promised that he will get me the last chapters of "Tree of Bones" to me soon. I cannot wait for second novel to be in print. Well, more soon, but now I am off to write more stories. I just wanted everyone to know I was not eaten by trolls.

Sorrow, Seattle, and Rainy Days

Hi Familiar's Tale Followers! These last few days have been chaotic. Moving to Seattle, which makes me happy. Packing up house for move, insanely not happy. And what is it with the dust bunnies? Are they mutating and breeding at an accelerated rate? They are everywhere. Plus oddly, it has been rainy here in Concord, California. Usually it is dry as a bone after February and growing quite hot by May. It has been cool and rainy-which I love, but still strange. Perhaps another global warming sign where the earth is trying to get our attention, but alas, no one is listening. Also, one of my favorite artists, Frank Frazetta, died, which is very sad. Too many of my favorites are passing on. Sigh. He will be missed. I often dreamed he might do a cover for one of my books when I am a famous writer. I admired his skill and imagination and depth. Anyway, I am writing stories and brewing new ideas. When this move is done I must focus. My publisher, poor Joe, will be in li

Chaos and Chocolate and Seattle!

Okay I know I have not been around my peeps, but things have been very busy. Things are hopping in Familiar's Tale land. Down to polishing of last couple chapters with my editor and also finished final edit on my short stories that are included in the new Aberrant Dreams anthology-2 of my tales are in this collection of short stories which will be released very soon. The two short stories in the anthology are "The Wizard's Apprentice" and "The Trouble with Witches." Am excited. My poor exhausted publisher, Joe Dickerson, will get me the last pages for Tree of Bones soon. The book has been completed forever, but anyone in the publishing field knows there are periods of patience needed. My publisher does the work of ten men and we fight the good fight to keep small publishing house afloat in world of powerful big publishers. I know I have said book is coming soon and it is-I promise. You will love the new book Tree of Bones-full of our favorite heroes and evil

New Short Story News!

Hello there! Am thrilled to announce that I have a new short story coming to print soon. I have not written a short story in a while, so this is a good thing. I forgot the thrill of acceptance you get when a short story is accepted. The tale is called, "The Forest Paradox" and will appear in the print July 2010 edition of Mystic Signals. It is a story about a witch besieged with many personal problems, including helping a village with a cursed forest, her former lover, a warrior with commitment issues, and a younger brother witch-it is a comedy with darker edges. I cannot wait to see it in print. Speaking of short stories, I am planning on posting my older short stories that have been previously published to my website soon on a rotating basis. My wonderful web designer, Sally Hoss, will be helping with this. Am planning just one or two at a time. More on that later. My publisher has promised we will soon polish up the last few chapters on Tree of Bones, book two of

Good Riddance

After reading horrific article in which an actor I formerly admired brags about killing wolves-his movies are not only banned from my DVD collections now -but I shattered the DVDs into many pieces. Not even worth taking to used DVD store for trade. I am appalled and disgusted. I always find it strange that so-called outdoors men take such pleasure in killing wild animals. I also find it disturbing. We should respect nature and its wonders.

The Demon Code

Here's my rule about creating supernatural creatures in a story-make up your own rules. Just stick to them. It would be very easy to research some mythological data and use these monsters, gods or demons in a usual way. Use just those same old boring perspectives. But how much fun is that? You must free your writing mind to all kinds of possibilities. Go beyond your perspective of religion, the supernatural or demons of your own upbringing. Research other cultures and histories. Study different ancient religions and philosophies. Read other novels of the types of fantasy or horror or science fiction that interest you. You need to do this to stretch your mind. I like making up my own dark gods and demons, good gods, monsters, spirits. After all, I am the creator of my fiction fantasy universe, so I do what I feel works best for me and my story arcs. Remember these things are also part of the flesh that makes up the culture and society of the characters. It's al

Wicked, Bothered, and Blue

Hello all. I am in the trenches of writing Fires of Rapiveshta. The third "Familiar's Tale" novel will have return of our favorite characters, and the addition of a few new characters-both good and evil. The second is very close to coming to book form once my editor Joe and I fine tune the last few chapters before he sends it to print. I long to revel in telling you about some of those characters in Tree of Bones, the second book. But we must be patient. It is a process that involves more than writing and proofing for boo boos. There is much back and forth communication between my editor and myself, though his points are more about tiny bits of editing that slip by and very minor corrections. But even he noted many times my wicked characters are the most fun and need the least the editing. The only exception to that is a new strong but good character added to the series in book 2 named Grimm Darkrunner, which I cannot wait for you to read. He is currently my

Doctor Who-Farewell David Tennant

Alas a sad day, for I watched the final David Tennant Doctor Who episode tonight. I have been a great fan of Dr. Who since I stumbled across it on PBS long ago (The Tom Baker era) and have thoroughly enjoyed this new incarnation of Who, begun by the wonderful Christopher Eccelston in first season, then carried by the remarkable and energetic David Tennant (who needs to diet with Who-all that running from monsters and you get all the cardio in the galaxy following him around). The incredible writing and wonderful enthusiasm of David Tennant's Dr. Who has kept me enthralled and joyous, terrified and tearful. The show was a bit darker, but just enough to give it texture. Tennant's Who is a rare gem, not only in the Doctor Who universe, but should be a template for all science fiction and fantasy on television. Farewell David-I shall miss you.

Happy New Year!

Hail New Year 2010 and fresh shiny new beginnings. I feel very perky, but then I did not drink last night. Despite my wild Irish/Scottish DNA -I did not drink on New Year's Eve. Alas, when I gave up smoking four years ago drinking has never been the same. I did salute the new year in with a champagne glass brimming with Perrier. My naughty indulgences were in form of chocolate yummies. But I am on diet as part of new resolutions, and am learning to make my treats low fat style. But on to more productive endeavors-I hope my editor Joe views this-Happy New Year and please send more chapters for me to polish for Tree of Bones novel. I am antsy to get my second book in Familiar's Tale series out to my eager readers. We are so very close to completion before it goes to print. I am brimming with revisions to perfect my novel too. It is very much like evolution, it never ceases, no matter how often you type "the end" at the bottom of the page. It can always be impr