Tag Archives: mythology

Hunted Heart, by Alison Deluca

Most avid readers of the fantasy genre are fans of the old fairytales as told by the Brothers Grimm and I am no exception. In fact it was my love of fairytales that inspired me to write in the first place. I am always interested in reading other authors’ takes on these fairy tales. It is amazing how differently two authors will tell what began as the same story.

Today my good friend, Alison DeLuca, author of  the steampunk Crown Phoenix Series, has consented to answer a few questions for us, and allow me to share the wonderful cover of her new book, Hunted Heart. It is a standalone book, and is a true fairytale, the premise of which had really intrigued me.

CJJ: Alison, tell us a little of early life and how you began writing:

AD: I always loved reading. My early favorites were Alice in Wonderland, the Odyssey, Arabian Nights, and fairytales of all kinds.

CJJ: Tell us about your most recent book.

AD: Hunted Heart is an adult version of Snow White. Prince Kas is the one threatened by the wicked queen, and the huntress, Tali, is given the job of taking him to the forest to cut out his heart. They end up falling for each other, but not without a great deal of adventure along the way. Yes, there is a wicked queen and my version of a poisoned apple. And we mustn’t forget True Love’s Kiss…

CJJ: How did you come to write this novel?

AD: Someone I met online prompted me and begged me to write the story – she is the J.R. in my dedication. I loved her idea of making the hunter a strong female and ran with it.

CJJ: Do you have a specific ‘Creative Process’ that you follow, such as outlining or do you ‘wing it’?

AD: This book was an exercise in winging! The Snow White structure supported my story, and I was able to take off from there. Writing a fairytale redux is completely addictive – I might have to do a few others.

CJJ: How does your work differ from others of its genre?

AD: It is genderbent, and I’ve set the story in a mythical Norse country. I couldn’t resist including Freja, Iduna, and a few others from Norse tales. It’s also quite adult, with violence and some sexy scenes, and a charity project: Tali, my main character, suffers from some terrible abuse as a child, and so 100% of the royalties go to HelptheChildren.org.

CJJ: Why do you write what you do?

AD: Honestly, because I can’t help it. When I get an idea it needles me until I pin it down on paper. It’s like giving birth, to be honest.

CJJ: I so know that feeling! I know why I chose the indie route for my work, but I’m curious as to why you’ve chosen this path.

AD: I love the freedom indie publishing gives me. I’m able to write what I like and donate the proceedings when I do a charity project like this.

CJJ: What advice would you offer an author trying to decide whether to go indie or take the traditional path?

AD: Both have their merits and challenges. Being an indie does give you freedom but also relies on individual marketing. Traditional publishing gives more support but gives the author little choice on things like covers and presentation. Both are good in their way – each author must decide for herself how she would like to proceed!

 CJJ: Alison–I love the answers you gave my stock questions!  Thank you for giving me this opportunity to get the word out about your charity, HelptheChildren.org.

AD: Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Connie. This was a lot of fun!

And without further discussion, here is that amazing, most intriguing book cover:

HuntedHeart cover final

 

I confess I am blown away by this one, and I have become quite a fan of Alison’s graphic designer.

Alison DeLuca HeadshotAlison DeLuca is the author of several steampunk and urban fantasy books.  She was born in Arizona and has also lived in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Mexico, Ireland, and Spain.

Currently she wrestles words and laundry in New Jersey.

You can find Alison here:

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/alison.deluca.author

OR http://on.fb.me/TNWEfb

Twitter – http://twitter.com/ – !/AlisonDeLuca

Google + http://bit.ly/ADGoogle

Author Central: http://amzn.to/ADeLucaAuthorCentral

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/alisondeluca/

I have long been a fan of all of Alison’s work and have been fortunate enough to have some of my own work  included included along side of hers in a charitable anthology, Christmas O’Clock,  a book of wonderful short stories for children that is available in both paperback and for the kindle. (All proceeds for Christmas O’Clock go to Water Is Life to help children and families in an international effort.)

 

 

 

 

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Loki, Zorg, and why I love the bad-boys

Thor-Everything-LokiI love swashbuckling sword-fights and movies fraught with testosterone and machismo. I don’t need it in real life, thank you–that’s what I have books and movies for. So what are my favorite movies?

Thor–anything Thor will be a winner  from my point of view.

Let’s just say that anything featuring a bad-boy god with a twisted sense of humor is high on my list of must-watch movies. Plot? Sure, if you say so–but this is a movie so bring on the eye-candy now.

I love the character of Loki as played by Tom Hiddleston. He is everything the God of Mischief should be, and then some. He’s like that beloved ex-boyfriend–you’re always glad to see him, and even happier to see him leave.

Fifth_element_poster_(1997)What other sorts of movies intrigue me? Well, I am a huge fan of the 5th Element. I adore the character of Korben Dallas as played by Bruce Willis, but for me the man who stole the film was Zorg, as played by Gary Oldman.  Who doesn’t love a megalomaniac industrialist enslaved to The Great Evil? What a guy! And lets face it, Korben Dallas is just as much fun as Han Solo, and both are quintessential bad-boys.

The thing that intrigued me most about the 5th Element was the way the film portrays consumerism in that society as a living, breathing thing that has veered out of control. Extreme lust for technology and power is set against that of a simple man wanting a simple life–our own flaws are laid bare in the characters of Zorg and Korben Dallas.

But where is the eye-candy in that movie? Well you have to admit it is one of the most visually stunning films of the twentieth century.

You might wonder where I am going with this-so do I. Oh wait!  Bad-boys! Why I love to write about the bad-boys and read about them and even see the movies featuring them!

han-solo-smugglerThe bad-boys are intriguing, dangerous, and definitely not the boy your mama set you up with.

They are fun.  So I have two new manuscripts in the works and one features a bad-boy, a man who falls from grace and years later returns. Some of his experiences have changed him, but some things will never change. While his basic arrogance has been tempered, he is still the man he always was, but with a better grasp of what is truly important.

A bad-boy is a multidimensional character, made of many layers both good and bad, and as the story progress those layers are peeled away, revealing a new facet, but also hinting that more still lies hidden. The trick is to make those layers lure the reader (or watcher) in.  Loki, Han Solo, and Korben Dallas are all characters who intrigued me. They are written perfectly, because at the end of the movie, the observer still doesn’t know them well, but wants to.

From watching these movies, I’ve learned that one should dole out the character in small bits, showing a layer at a time, but always holding out the lure that far more lies hidden beneath the surface.

That is the trick, and it’s one thing to know it and another to do it.  But we try!

 

 

 

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How I came to fall off the Earth (and why I don’t care)

The Arc of the StoryWow–what a wild week this has been–28k words written on my NaNoWriMo manuscript, and a dip into a culture that is nothing short of amazing.  What a challenge–to write a great story well enough that people will want to read it, and to do justice to a whole culture.

We should have challenges in our work–if it comes too easy it’s fluff. A lot of people are happy with fluff, but not me, and I suspect, not you!

As you all know, I have written some very difficult scenes in the past, not for the gratuitous effect, but because those situations made my character who they were. They were life altering moments where the path suddenly changed, and everything that followed was driven by that incident.

A friend recently asked me how I handle writing such scenes.

When it’s a tough scene, I write as much as I can when I first know what has to be written. Then I set it aside and come back to it later to expand on it and shape to my intent. For me, a scene has to be done in stages so that it flows naturally. At the end of my my last journey though a manuscript, I will have a seamless narrative that flows from one scene to the next, always building toward the final denouement and the conclusion.

a medieval keggerBut right now I have five bodies to get rid of, so I need to get back to writing. Hero set down his mug of mead and picked up the shovel. He looked first at pile of corpses and then at the sky. They didn’t usually fall from the sky and he wondered what Author was up to now, that he should suddenly have to dispose of so many. However, Author was inscrutable and Her mind mysterious. One could only go with the flow, and dispose of the corpses as they fell.

OH the endless agony–but for a little hilarity amidst the eternal darkness of November take a look at Stephen Swartz’s blog post this week:

How NaNoWriMo is like being in Interstellar

 

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The race is on!

Zuni Folk Tales Frank Hamilton CushingNational Novel Writing Month is in full swing.  I have 30 days in which I can do nothing but write, write, write. The wheels are turning in my head, and my new story is flowing at a slow but steady rate. I know who I am writing about, and I know what his story is. I know what the action is and where it goes within the framework of the novel.

My only problem is I can’t key fast enough. When I do key fast it becomes illeggiebble…illegeabngle… .

Doh!

the Zuni EnigmaAnyway I have just received my newest textbook, The Zuni Enigma: A Native American People’s Possible Japanese Connection, written by Anthropologist Nancy Yaw Davis. I  have found some wonderful legends in the small book,  Zuni Folk Tales, by Frank Hamilton Cushing.

This book is an incredible departure for me.  Not only am I working in a world that exists in reality, I am working with a culture that is both known and unknown to me, and I must do it with respect.  This novel is a historical fantasy, but it is set in the 1890’s. I have to remain true to the period, to the two cultures this tale depicts, and I have to make my character real.

Zuni frank hamilton ushingWhat makes this even more tricky, is I am telling this story from the perspective of the main character–something I have not done before. But this tale is a diary in a way about one man’s journey, and the duality of his path in life. It is a stand-alone novel, and while it is definitely fantasy, I think it will be more of a literary novel than Genre Fantasy.

The Zuni are a private, mysterious people, and rightfully so. This makes it imperative that I know what I am talking about. Fortunately have been immersing myself in the Zuni culture through the work of early anthropologist Frank Hamilton Cushing.

Frank Hamilton Cushing’s stay at Zuñi pueblo from 1879 to 1884 made him the first professional anthropologist actually to live with his subjects. Learning the language and winning acceptance as a member not only of the tribe but of the tribal council and the Bow Priesthood, he was the original participant observer and the only man in history to hold the double title of “1st War Chief of Zuñi, U. S. Ass’t Ethnologist.”

My goal is to honor these amazing people, respect their privacy and maintain their mystery, and entertain my readers. The story is amazing–if only I can get it right.

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Mmmm…chocolate…

halloween kisses

Kisses of Death by artist Andrew Bell

I’ve always thought that if you really wanted to do something creepy for Halloween, you should hand out little mini-packs of chocolate covered ants, or something. I  just feel there is nothing scary about a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, and to do the most sinister night of the year justice, we should serve evil treats.

Halloween is the most important day of the year for many reasons–not the least of which is the annual midnight write in at Shari’s Restaurant for those intrepid heroes who can’t wait a minute longer to start their November Novel!

HTB New Front Cover with gold frameI wrote Huw the Bard in 2011 as my NaNoWriMo Novel–it had a different working title. In 2014 it was published, and the changes it went through in those two years was amazing. Fortunately I have a supportive husband who  regularly allows me to neglect him.

This year I am writing a novel that begins in the old west of northern New Mexico, where a journey to take a holy relic to be melted down at the smelters in Durango takes a terrifying turn into a world between the worlds. The first plan I had for this story was to co-write it with indie author Aura Burrows, but that didn’t pan out as various commitments made it impossible for us to get together on it, and she is unable to do it. But I fell in love with my main character, William Two Cats, and I am going to tell his story.

I have a working title, I have designed a placeholder book cover, I know who and what I am writing about, and tonight at midnight I am off to the races. On the National Novel Writing Month website I am Dragon_Fangirl, and you can see my book page and follow my progress here.

William Two Cats is a man of two worlds, the white-man’s world and the world of the A’shiwi–the people we call the Zuni Pueblo Indians,and yet he is a man of neither. His white mother insisted he be educated him in both cultures, and his Zuni father agreed. The tribal elders know he is destined to be firmly centered between the two worlds, and ensure he takes the path of the shaman. When we meet William, he has left the pueblo.

I can’t wait to get started on this new novel, counting down the hours to midnight…counting…counting….

Oh, look! We still have chocolate covered ants left! Yum!

What? They’re not vegan?

Curses….

ants

 

 

 

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The Wayward Plot

Eternal_clockIf you happen to be a character in a fantasy tale maps are awesome indicators of what direction you should probably point your horse, whenever you are off on a nice vacation in Hell.  However, the wise hero also carries a calendar,  and perhaps a pocket watch, since even the most absurd quests have a finite date of completion.

I’m not sure what would have happened if Frodo and Sam hadn’t arrived at the volcano in time to scorch Sauron’s plans, so to speak–and what if Gollum had not gotten the memo? Who would have leapt into the lava?

images“…After you, Samwise, old buddy, old friend….”

“…Ah….no Mr. Frodo…. Please, you go first….”

SO, even though maps and calendars as created by frail, elderly  authors are  NOT finite, and nothing is exact or engraved in stone, the wise author uses both when constructing the tale.  Sure in the end you don’t use exact dates, nor do you use exact miles–if you do, you won’t get it right and your editor will pick it to bits.

Remember, in fantasy, time  and distance are mushy, but it really helps to have some idea of when all the important bits are supposed to come together.

Prague-Astronomical_clock-Clock-Old_Town_Prague-Prague_Astronomical_Clock-originalEven in this modern world of the GPS and Atomic Clocks, each individual traveler arrives at their destination at a different time and by a different route. Take my family: My husband and I will have the family dinner scheduled for 1:00 on the given holiday, but family members will arrive at varying times up to 3:00, all from the same general area of the north, and all of them funneled down I-5.

So when you are constructing your story, the calendar helps keep you on track, so that an event that takes 2 months for the main character also takes that length of time for the supporting characters.

Calendar Capricas 3262 NeveyahFor my books set in Neveyah, I invented a 13 month lunar calendar, and labeled the months with names drawn from astrology. I named the days of the week using norse gods (don’t ask me why–it was years ago, and I was writing the basic outline of TOWER OF BONES  as the walk-though for an old-school RPG that never got built.) Since the book was not originally graphed out as a book, there are flaws inherent in this that I am dealing with to this day!

map of Neveyah relief 3-4-2013 001But those flaws are creating some awesome plot opportunities in Valley of Sorrows, the final book in the TOWER OF BONES series.  I just have to make sure I use the calendar to mesh events in the first half of the book with the events in FORBIDDEN ROAD, because John Farmer and Garran Andressson absolutely must be in Braden when Edwin, Friedr, and Zan arrive.

The second half of the book is pretty much structured, but the first half is giving me fits.  As Alison DeLuca, author of the steampunk Crown Phoenix Series frequently says, it’s like birthing a cement hippo.  Still, it is beginning to come together.

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Philosophy and Crafting a Tale

buddha-225x300The Buddha once said, “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.”  I believe this to be true, and try to live my life accordingly. I am a basically happy person.

I think a certain amount of my personal philosophy finds its way into my writing. It’s only human nature to want to make the world to fit your idea of what is good and beautiful. In my worlds, good people always find themselves in bad situations, but through the drama, heartache and violence, what I hope to express is the beauty of life, the emotions that are experienced when joys are contrasted against sorrows.

If you have never felt hunger, you can never understand what it is to have plenty. In the same context, if you have never known sorrow, how can you know joy? The contrasts of life are the flavors, the textures that give it meaning.

The LOTR advance posterBuddha also said, “There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it.”  This is a fundamental truth for all writers of traditional fantasy fiction when devising plots, one that J.R.R.Tolkien understood quite clearly. After all, what would have been the point of Frodo and Sam going to the depths of Mordor, suffering the hardships they endured if not to destroy the One Ring and negate the power of Sauron? And why would they do this, if Sauron was not the embodiment of evil?

sam-frodo-frontdoorIn the Lord of the Rings trilogy, we have one of the most enduring works of modern fiction. It is an epic quest where through it all, we have joy and contentment sharply contrasted with deprivation and loss, drawing us in and inspiring the deepest emotions. This use of contrast is why Tolkien’s work is the foundation upon which modern epic fantasy is built.

If I can create a tale in which the reader experiences the full gamut of human emotion, I will have done my job.  The longer I am at this craft, the more I see that the rest of my life will be a training ground, teaching me new things, and widening my writing horizons everyday. With each thing I have written over the years, my work has evolved. Because the universe follows certain fundamental laws and nothing is static, my work and that of all dedicated craftsman-authors will continue to evolve.

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Joan Hazel, Burdens of a Saint

Cover BOAS3Today we’re talking with Joan Hazel, a lovely person and an author-friend whom I met through our former publisher. She is one of the founding members of our mutual publishing group, Myrddin Publishing. Over the last two years I’ve become quite good friends with her.

She is  a talented author, whose new novel, Burdens of a Saint, was released yesterday. I had been lucky enough to be a beta reader for her on the early manuscript and really loved the characters of Janet Beesinger, and Saint.

But first, the Blurb:

 Your life will change today…

When Janet Beesinger writes  the words in red on her calendar, she has no idea what they mean. But, as a psychic, she knows when the universe gifts you with personal information, you listen.  How was she to know the Universe meant an irritating and sexy shape-shifter who would challenge everything about her life?

Saint Wolfe can feel the gravity of his arrangement with the goddess Hel closing in around him, forcing him to confront his past and the betrayal of the woman he was to marry. Needing to make peace with his past, he returns to New Orleans in search of forgiveness, only to be confronted by his own immortality. His only hope for atonement lies in the hands of a woman claiming to be a psychic. Will she be able to help Saint find salvation before his debt to Hel comes due?

And now–the interview:

Me: Where did you get your original idea for a fantasy-romance involving a society of shape-shifters from?

Joan Hazel PicJoan: Would you believe they walked out of the bushes while I was mowing the yard and said “here we are, now tell our story”? It sounds strange, but that sort of what happened. I was doing yard work and thought what would happen if you found out you inherited a mansion and the surrounding lands, and while you were tending the yard four hot guys walked out of the woods and you found out it was your responsibility to take care of them? And, by the way, they are all shape shifters.

Me: I like that. I think we often find our inspiration in the most mundane places. When you are mowing the lawn, your mind is free to move about the airplane, so to speak.

What is your personal connection with Norse Mythology? 

Joan: I have always had an attraction to Norse Mythology and Vikings. It may come from my Germanic roots or it may come from a past life. LOL. Even when I sang opera I specialized in Wagner which is deeply steeped in Norse Mythology.

I just always felt the Norse gods were more connected to the common man more so than the Greek or Roman.

Me: I agree. I’ve always felt the Norse gods were too closely involved in human affairs for our own good, lol!  (Loki, please make mischief elsewhere, thank you….)

So I understand you use Dragon Naturally Speaking software. What is the evolution of your manuscript—how do you take it from the first draft to the completed stage? Is there some point where you switch to a standard word-processing program?

Joan: This is why it takes me so long! I do use Dragon, but only after I have written the manuscript in longhand. For me there is something magical about the brain-hand connection when it comes to weaving these stories.

After I have the written manuscript, I then input through Dragon into a Microsoft Document, then go into that and work formatting, etc.  The hardest part for me in using Dragon is the fact so many of my characters have unusual names. So far I have been unable to get the software to recognize names like Apple-y and Aegir.

Me: Wow–that seems time consuming. I don’t have that sort of patience.

Like me, you’re an indie author. What is the most difficult part of this process for you?

Joan: The most difficult part of the process for me is finding the time to write while juggling everything else. It seems that quite frequently I will be in “the zone” chugging away when the  my hubby yells at me from the other room or the dogs try and get my attention. Plus, my muses  have an irksome way of popping up at those times that I can do nothing about it, like when I am  driving or taking a shower. I have tried using a recorder, but listening to the sound of my own  voice irritates me.

Me: I know! I am always embarrassed by the sound of my own voice. And distractions are something we can all relate to.

What is your next project in this series and who will be the main character?

Joan: That is a great question. There are two books left in the series; one for Fergus Wolfe, who is the alpha of Delta Pack and the other, is for Ghost Thorolfur. The two are kind of battling it out to see who goes next. Originally, I had planned for Ghost to be next, but now I am not so sure.

Me: They are both intriguing characters, and I really can’t decide which one I am more curious about! You also write romance novels.  Do you have any other books in the works?

Joan: How much time do we have? There are probably 10 books jumping around in my head at the moment. There are two in particular that I have begun work on. One is a medieval fantasy set in an imaginary kingdom in Scotland. The other is a western set in post-Civil War Texas.

Me: You know me! I am all about the medieval fantasy!  What advice would you give an author who may be struggling with the decision of whether or not to go indie?

Joan: In my opinion going the indie publishing route is one of the best things a writer can do, especially if your storyline doesn’t quite fit into the mainstream (i.e. commando shape-shifters created for the goddess Freyja).

I like being an indie author and having the creative control over my babies. There are days you will want to bang your head against a wall and days you will want to jump for joy.

My word of caution, don’t go into it blindly. I learned a great deal about the business of being a writer, and believe me, it is a business. You can find a lot of information on the internet and there are small, indie publishing companies that will help you publish. Keep in mind, even if you signed with a large house, unless you are J.K. Rowling or Nora Roberts, marketing, branding, organizing book signings, or anything else for that matter is left completely to you.

Me: Joan, that is good advice. I would add that a quick glance through the list at Preditors & Editors will give a new author some idea of small publishers they may not want to go with.  

But thank you so much for stopping by, and for answering a few of my questions. I have really enjoyed it.

Joan: Connie, thanks for letting me stop by and share my thoughts. It has been fun.

———————————————————————————–

Just so you know, Joan is an awesome person! To find out more about Joan and her books check out her website, and these other fine social media:

Website: http://www.joanhazel.com

Blog: http://joan-hazel.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @guardianwriter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Joan-Hazel/362411800440684?ref=hl

Cover BOAS3

BURDENS OF A SAINT

available at Amazon.com

Available in print and for the Kindle

Joan Hazel has found success at virtually everything she has ever put her mind to doing.

A native of Corinth, Miss., she is an accomplished actress and vocalist who has performed with theater and opera companies across the eastern United States. She has also dabbled success-fully in theater as a director and vocal director for numerous award-winning productions.

She completed a double major in music and business from Delta State University and went on from there to earn a Master’s Degree from East Carolina University with another double major, in music performance and pedagogy.

She has spent time as a vocal and piano teacher at both Troy University and Enterprise State Community College. As a teacher she is much sought after for her skills and often works privately with students in her home. In 2010 she was a guest instructor at the International Music Theater Festival held in Venice, Fla.

In her spare time, she plays with a cast of characters who live in her head. She has written four novels that range from historical fiction to reality-based crime fiction to science fiction/fantasy.

Hazel is passionate about the protection of animals and supports a variety of animal conservation efforts.

She currently resides in DeLand, Fla., with her husband, Ricky, and their two dogs.

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The Dilemma

GRAELENT AND THE FAIRY-WOMAN - Illustration from Legends & Romances of Brittany by Lewis Spence, illustrated by W. Otway Cannell.Romantic love and passion are two things that make up the bulk of many a book I’ve begun to read and then set aside over the past few years. Truthfully, romance novels don’t interest me the way adventure novels do–if they are seasoned well with a bit of romance. Graphic romance with no plot is porn, and I think we should just call it that and be done with it. Adventure with no romance is a travelogue detailing a rough trip, but nothing to write home about.

Dilemma.

In a novel, one without the other just does not work. Words splashed on a page for their shock value have been done and over-done, so for me it’s important to keep myself writing for the quality of the tale. If I do it right, I will intrigue the reader and challenge them, making them want to read more.

Adventure must have some sort of romance to drive the plot forward, some unattainable goal whether it is love or an object. I like to look back at history and see what it was about some tales that have kept the interest of readers, not just for years, but for centuries. What do these tales embody that new works should also have, to make them timeless?

Let’s examine the Arthurian Legend. From the website, www.arthurian-legend.com.

I quote:

Illustration by H.J. Ford for Andrew Lang's Tales of Romance, 1919. Arthur meets the Lady of the Lake and gets the Sword Excalibur“The legend of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table is the most powerful and enduring in the western world. King Arthur, Guinevere, and Sir Lancelot did not really exist, but their names conjure up a romantic image of gallant knights in shining armour, elegant ladies in medieval castles, heroic quests for the Holy Grail in a world of honour and romance, and the court of Camelot at the centre of a royal and mystical Britain.”

There we have the essence of what constitutes a timeless tale: Powerful people doing heroic deeds, and finding a bit of romance along the way. Set them in intriguing surroundings and dress them in metal or velvet (or both) and voila! Now all you must do is cue the magic–bring on the wise old sorcerer.

Hey, it worked for J.K. Rowling!

Boys_King_Arthur_-_N._C._Wyeth_-_p82I do a lot of reading, and if I am not reading, I am writing. My hope is that at some point in every tale I write, my readers will find themselves completely involved in the tale to the exclusion of the world around them. If that happens, then I have had an impact on my reader, the same way as Anne McCaffrey, Tad Williams, and Mercedes Lackey have each impacted me.

Someday I will have written that tale.

But if I do that,  I’ll have to sustain the momentum…keep writing good stuff only and forget writing crap….but crap is so much easier to write.

Unfortunately we’re only as good as our next book.

*Doh*

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It’s all Greek to me

Blender3D_Dragonfight_03 Sascha Kozacenko, with kind permission for GFDL.Dragons.

Two tons (or more) of muscle, scales and, frequently, fire.

What’s not to love?

They are rumored to be as devious and crafty as your mother-in-law.

Don’t bandy words with a dragon or you may lose more than the argument.

Again, not unlike your mother-in-law.

St._George_and_the_Dragon_-_Briton_Riviere Briton Rivière [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsMy dragons are not really the kind who bandy words about, however some do breathe fire. That heats things up a bit!

Heh heh.  Oops.

Darn it. Now we need a new hero.

I hate that when that happens.

In English, the word dragon is directly derived from Old French – dragon, which in turn comes from Latin draconem (or draco) meaning “huge serpent, dragon,” AND also from the Greek word drakon meaning “serpent, or giant sea fish”.  Both the Greek and Latin term referred to any great serpent, not necessarily mythological, and this usage was also current in English up to the 18th century. So in that sense, dragons REALLY did exist.

Which came first Latin or Greek? Greek – it’s a living language and has been spoken for over 3000 years.  Many Greek words found their way into Latin, and other proto European languages. Thus English has some roots in Ancient Greek.

Tiepolo,_Giambattista_-_Die_Unbefleckte_Empfängnis_-_1767_-_1768_-_Drachen Giovanni Battista Tiepolo [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsNow as far as dragons go, in my two worlds they are quite different from each other.  In Waldeyn, (Billy’s Revenge) there are two kinds. The smaller wingless variety often has a second breath that allows them to breathe fire–quite an effective weapon, as Huw the Bard will discover. The bigger ones fly and prefer to eat people, so they are considered a nuisance.

No, my dragons are NOT vegans. But that would be an interesting twist….

In Neveyah, (Tower of Bones) they tend to be immense creatures of both magic and the element water. This puts the mage at a disadvantage, as the element that heals the beast is the element of water and you must never use it against them. Water is also their best magic weapon, and they are relentless. They have high reserves of chi and strong magic at their disposal, along with excellent shielding ability, so using any magic at all against them is a no-no.

Good luck, boys.

There are ways to fight them, and all my heroes will find ways to do so with varying degrees of success.  Writing those scenes is a real adventure, as I get to put myself in the battle, and choreograph it so that it flows, is believable, exciting, and hopefully no one crucial to the story dies.

St._George_and_the_Dragon John Ruskin [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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