Tag Archives: Blog

If you missed my December Guest and need a little art in you life… I’m reposting…Sunday Spotlight – Artist and Teacher Audrey Markowitz

Artwork by Audrey Markowitz

D. I could talk all day about your teaching and how wonderful you are at motivating and supporting those around you. That is my experience with you, …

Sunday Spotlight – Artist and Teacher Audrey Markowitz
Artwork by Audrey Markowitz

My Spotlight Guests for the New Year are Lining Up to Meet You – Here is a Little About Them

Meet Madeline! Sunday 15 January Spotlight Feature

January Madeline Davis – Harpist, Scholar, U.S. Fantasy Writer Madeline and I met in the Fantasy Sci Fi Writer’s Alliance and enjoy helping each …

My Spotlight Guests for the New Year are Lining Up to Meet You – Here is a Little About Them

My Pod People Seeded in My Brain by Aliens are Starting to Reproduce!

Art by Dom Qwek

Okay… so it’s not as scary as it sounds… It’s just the way my new year is shaping up.

I’m talking about my expanding world of developing characters, and if I’m honest, it feels closer to being invaded by a litter of 99 Dalmatian puppies frolicking and vying for a standout place in my stories than impregnation by horrific alien parasite beasts.

If you’ve been following this thread of musings, you know I’m fond of expounding on how my burgeoning characters mysteriously began showing up only a few short years ago when I inexplicably began writing fiction, which led me to conclude they must have been seeded by aliens who conspire to use the human race to produce their entertainment.

I say keep it coming, Pod Seeders!

But what I’m really talking about here are all the short story submission opportunities that seem to be due almost on top of each other. Do they all get together and plan it this way? Every magazine or competition I’m interested in has a deadline in February, pretty much all at once. But that just means my little podlings are popping out right and left from the deep recesses of my mind. I’m good with that. I hope the stories never stop coming, the characters never stop developing, and I always have too much to write. That is my idea of a good life. And that is what I’m looking forward to in 2023.

I’ll let you know around April if I survive the first quarter.

Now, if I could just get to that point where I didn’t have to spend forty hours of every week working for someone besides my Pod People… oh, what I could do with that time…

Happy Writing in 2023!

Announcing my March Guest, Filmmaker Graham Streeter

Happy New Year! Here’s to an amazing year of new possibilities, meeting creative goals, and cherishing the quiet moments.

One of my goals is to continue with my Creator Spotlight feature, and bring you one or even two guests a month where we chat about a day in the life of a creator. Click here for my January and February guests. For March, an old friend will be dropping by.

Graham Streeter is an American film director, screenwriter and cinematographer.

Graham was raised in northern California until high school, which is when we met. Yep. We go way back. He lived in Osaka, Japan for 10 years while working in film and television. He was the reason I got to travel to Japan for three months, which was a pivotal experience in my life. We were supposed to meet up and travel together, but it didn’t happen. That’s a long story for another day.

He returned to the United States and attended California State University, Sacramento, earning a double degree in international business administration and Japanese, then worked for Nippon Television in Los Angeles as a television field producer and ultimately founded Imperative Pictures in Hollywood.

His 2018 film I May Regret was selected for the San Diego International Film Festival and won the Grand Prix at the Vienna Independent Film Festival.

We’ll be chatting about his journey into filmmaking, day-to-day life as a creator, and his amazing body of work. So, stay tuned!

Great Reads by a Fellow Blogger- Enjoy! The Chronicles Of History – A Year In Review: The Top Ten Post of 2022

This year has been a very quick one. 2022 swept by in a blink of an eye and I can barely believe that we are about to enter 2023.  Today will be a …

The Chronicles Of History – A Year In Review: The Top Ten Post of 2022

Now tell me…Whose Husbands Give Them a Badass Knife for Story Inspiration? Mine Does…

First off, I live in a state where these are legal to own. My husband is a blade expert. And he’s the best story collaborator any writer could have. …

Now tell me…Whose Husbands Give Them a Badass Knife for Story Inspiration? Mine Does…

Musings

Once I realized the “real world” was largely in my head, it became infinitely easier to interact with the reality of others.

Musings

Kent is My New Guru

Check out our conversation and meet this sci-fi author who gives us more on his insights.

Next exciting author interview – Kent Wayne -Sunday 20 Nov!

Come meet a totally cool sci-fi author next Sunday on my blog.

Kent and I had a blast chatting, and you won’t want to miss it.

Click below to find his fantastic stories on Amazon.

At Least My Pod People Could be Immortal

So much of my focus and efforts go into creating my characters (aka my Pod People) and bringing them to life through the written word, that I lose sight of the fact that once they are out there, they might live in the world of mankind forever… or as long as mankind exists, and the digital content or printed copies stay intact and available… But I, as their creator, don’t even have the potential to last too many more decades, maybe not even too many more years… weeks, or days…? I’m at that age after all.

It makes me wonder if that is why I create them.

What do you think about that? Do you write stories so that a piece of yourself will always exist, so long as there are humans out there who might read them? I know we write for many reasons, but I think I will have to admit this is one of mine.

Artwork by Jay Carpenter

When I think about that idea more, it makes me realize my Pod People have the upper hand. I mistakingly believed it was me who had the power over them, but it’s the other way around. That’s okay, so long as they do their job and stick in the minds of my readers.

And they have their work cut out for them…

Artwork by Timi Honkanen

Guest Spotlight with Dark Fantasy Author Lucky E. Noma

I’m so grateful to be able to chat with Lucky on a regular basis. Our conversations have been one of the highlights of my writing journey this summer. I’m so new at the craft, and though he’s from a younger generation, he’s never short on wise counsel and encouragement. So, here is some of that for you.

I’m also pleased to share Lucky’s character sketches from some of his works in progress.

I love the sweeping expanse of your fantasy worlds and epic stories. Can you talk a little about how long you’ve been writing and what inspired you to write fantasy? What fantasy genre best describes your stories?

Thanks for the compliment, nice words are always welcome here and thank you for setting up this Q&A. Where would the Alliance be without you?  

It’s hard to imagine that I’ve been writing for eight years now. It still feels like yesterday… Reading built my desire to write. I enjoyed Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series, Glen Cook’s The Black Company, Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen and of course the fantasy bible: The Lord of the Rings. Apart from Butcher’s work, you’ll discover all the authors I mentioned above built vast worlds and their storytelling was top notch, too. So, one day, while reading A storm of Swords by R. R. Martin, I was like, “I think I need to write a book.” My mind grasped that idea and nursed it for weeks. I tried writing some stories but discovered I was writing what I’d read from other Authors and there was no originality… Oscar’s Wilde’s famous quote: “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinion, their lives a mimicry, their passion a quotation,” came to mind and I began to focus on new ideas. It wasn’t easy at first, but I managed to bring my ideas to life. Indeed, while I was influenced and inspired to write by the authors I mentioned above, my real inspiration came from being different. Writing something original. And though it can be argued that the two are intertwined, I believe the latter helped me hone my skills through the years. 

To answer your last question here, I’d like to point out that I love dark stories. Every time I tried to make my stories into sunshine and rainbows, I failed with the plot. Over the years, I tried to perfect the art of dark fantasies, and of course my stories are always high fantasies, too. 

Who is your favorite author(s)? What was it about his/her writing or characters that inspired you most?

Favorite author has to be R.R Martin. His ability to tell a story from ten to fifteen points of view is second to none in my opinion. Plus, like I said earlier, I love huge detailed worlds… and worlds don’t get bigger than Esteros, and Westeros. 

D. You got that right. Well. I think you’re on track for developing worlds in that magnitude!

The New Defeat is such an awesome title.  Can you tell us a little about it and where the idea came from?

The New Defeat… hmmm. December 2019, I wasn’t feeling too well, and was down for about two weeks. While sick, to lull myself to sleep when movies and music failed, I formed up stories. One story stood out which later became the title mentioned above. It was meant to be about a peculiar race, called the Zoryks. Their existence was one of survival as they’d lost their traits or superpowers. They were preyed upon because of this weakness and envied by most around them. Our protagonist had the great destiny to save his world while many only saw his poor mental health. The new defeat was supposed to reflect the sadness of being weak and misunderstood. I for one enjoyed building the world of the be defeat called the Paraworld. A continent made up of six races namely the Zoryks, Lerans, Yubs, Wingyads, Kraskors, and Solbies. Each race had its peculiar trait, and some traits were funny. For example, Zoryks became drunk from drinking honey, and had diseases like the sad sickness, the falling fingers… Other races like the Yuban (Yubs) were naturally bald, head to foot, while Wingyads had the ability to fly. There’s a lot of political intrigue too, and the villains had reasonable personalities. Book two should be out soon. 

D. That’s a great story. Our readers can click on your book cover at the end to link to The New Defeat on Amazon.

I’ve had a chance to preview some of your current works in progress and I’m excited to see them in print. Can you tell us about some of your favorites?

I’m excited about a few stories, like Thirty: Rise of the Dead which is the book of Thirty: XXX released last year. However, I’m more excited about When a Kingdom Bleeds Lords Weep. I’ve been working on this for 8 years. I’m after perfection with this story though I know it’s impossible to write a perfect book. I poured my heart into this up to a point where in 2018 I went through books one and two (over 200k words at the time) and burnt both manuscripts.  Everybody says, “You’re allowed to have shitty first drafts,” but I was having none of that. I started the project again, and I think its release is coming soon.

D. I was hoping you would share this story. When you first told me that, it impressed the heck out of me. You literally burned your manuscript to force yourself to start from the beginning again. It’s the kind of thing many of us might have wanted to do ourselves at one point but lacked the courage. Lucky is giving us a sneak peek at his cover for When Kingdom Bleeds!

The New Defeat is just one of your published books. Where can we find others? Can you point us to your short stories?

Thanks Darci, for this opportunity to point a finger toward my short stories. I have a few available here.

Which of your characters in all your writing is your favorite, and why?

That’s an exciting question, Darci. I’d like to go with Julian Mars-Stalker on this one. He’s the first son of a popular lord in the Province of Samolin. Samolin is a province in the Kingdom of Markia, and they belong to the Sanem Continent. The Continent where When a Kingdom Bleeds is set. His father had high hopes for him, whereas Julian desired the simple things in life. What I really loved about Julian was his ability to rise to every scenario thrown at him. I also liked the way he talked. Sometimes he came off rude, and at other times he was like an angel. My favorite quote from him is: “When the young do their business which the old call folly, the old should stick to their wisdom and preserve their warnings for those without lust.”

D. I love that line. What an elegant way to tell someone to stick to their own business! 

You are also so creative in illustrating your worlds with AI digital art. Is that something you do to relax and want a break from writing, or is it a passion of its own? What other creative outlets do you like to explore? 

Thanks for the compliment again, Darci. I think writing as a form of art should be expressed in other forms too. I love the idea of creating and I’m not good at drawing nor experienced in making state of the art videos. A.I art can come a long way to make it seem like you know what you’re doing when creating, and that’s why I use it as a tool. But if I had the experience or enough dollars to hire professionals, I’d stick to my writing. 

D. What I love about your images is the drama they convey. I’m drawn to the dark portentous things going on and want to know what will happen next. 

One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about meeting you and other writers in our Fantasy Sci Fi Writers Alliance is that we are from all over the globe. So many different experiences! How did you first come across the group, and what perks have you discovered from being involved with a writing community?

It was all down to Eric B. Hunter’s effort. He invited me and helped me through with the basics. He’s such a nice guy, and I like the community which grew afterward in the name of Fantasy Sci Fi Writers Alliance. I think the Alliance has been fun. You get to meet nice people from everywhere and it’s been a very supportive community. 

D. Yeah. This is a good place to note that the original group has been around for a while, before Eric and Anna got the brilliant idea to brand us as the Fantasy Sci Fi Writers Alliance. And with that branding and all the current events inspired by it, the group is growing fast. If you want to learn more, click on my Alliance page.

What has been your biggest highlight of the last year?

Being alive. 

D. I’m with you there, my friend. These past few years have been tough. Here’s to celebrating still being around!

What are you most excited about over the next year?

I really can’t say because life changes in a heartbeat. I’ll keep things simple and hope I become a better writer. 

D. That’s a good way to go. And all the best to you.

What are your plans for future publications?

I’m working toward releasing Thirty: Rise of the Dead, The New Defeat two, When a Kingdom Bleeds Lords Weep and The Château between now and next year. A publishing deal? Maybe… Ha, laughs an indie author. 

D. I know you’re close on many of those. Even one publication down will be a huge accomplishment. You’re always reminding me that it will happen in time and that’s good advice. I know it will happen for you, too!

Any parting advice to those who dream about writing?

I’d go with R. R Martin’s advice, which has helped me through the years. “Write every day, even if it is only a page or two. The more you write, the better you’ll get. But don’t write in my universe, or Tolkien’s, or the Marvel universe, or the Star Trek universe, or any other borrowed background. Every writer needs to learn to create his own characters, worlds, and settings.”

Thank you. 

D. And that does sum up the challenge for a fantasy writer. This has been great, Lucky. Thank you so much for the conversation. All the best!

Spotlight Sunday 9 Oct – Guest Lucky E. Noma

I can’t wait to share my conversation with Lucky! Join us this Sunday and meet a writer hugely influenced by George R. R. Martin. And you will see it coming through in our chat and his writing. Lucky is one of those people who are generous with their time in helping others on their creative journeys, so it’s a real pleasure featuring his work this month. I also enjoy his A.I. artwork so much, I asked to use it in my promo. Enjoy!

Click on book cover to find it on Amazon