Retelling the Fairy Tale

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is which fairy tale would you pick to rewrite and why?

It’s kind of a funny question for me, because it’s starting to be more accurate to ask me which fairy tale I *haven’t* rewritten yet. Come on over for more. 

 

Answers to Reader Questions

These rainy days and chilly evenings have made for a cozy autumn. So lovely to build a fire, put on a warm robe, and read by the fireplace. 

I sometimes get questions from readers – for the most part through my website contact form, Goodreads, Facebook, or Twitter – and usually I answers those questions where they’re asked. The other day, however, I received an email via the website contact form, with enough questions and enthusiastic thoughts, that I asked for permission to share it here. Pretty much the fun version of asking the question so the whole class can hear, because other people probably have the same question. 😉

Here’s the email from Ellen: (I added the handy links)

Hello! First of all I have to say that I’m a huge fan! I recently discovered you through another favorite author of mine, Grace Draven. I started with “The Mark of The Tala” and then literally binge read every book in your entire 12 kingdoms universe in a matter of weeks. I absolutely loved how you tied in all the stories and I’m so excited to see what happens next, especially with war on the brink! That being said I do have a few questions I was wondering if you can answer (if not I totally understand!)

I always try to answer questions! Plus, I love to hear what readers love and what snags their curiosity. So here are some answers!

1) many of your Dasnarian characters use the term “cvan”, however I can’t find a definition for the word anywhere in your books. What does it mean? (On a side note it might be cool if future books had a glossary of terms. Just an idea! )

That’s a great idea to include a glossary of terms and Assistant Carien is on it! I don’t always define terms in my books unless I can find a way to make it a natural part of conversation. “Cvan” is a Dasnarian word that I made up, working off Old Norse – which is the springboard for all of my Dasnarian language – and means essentially “my lover.” Because that’s meant in a very sexual sense, there’s rarely opportunity to work into conversation a discussion of the term!

2) I understand both of Ami’s twins can shift, due to the barrier expanding, but what does it mean that only Stella has the “mark”? Before I thought the mark meant that she had enough magic to shift, so now I’m just a bit confused as to what the mark means. Is it in reference to her magical gifts? Like Andi with the foresight and Stella with emotions?

Aha! This is still somewhat mysterious and will not be explained until the final book. There are lots of guesses out there, and it’s nothing that people probably haven’t already intuited, but it’s not surprising that you’re confused since I’ve never come right out and explained. You’re on the right track – that it has to do with the magical gifts.

3) Will we ever find out the significance of Salena’s sea shells and the connection of them with Rayfe’s mother?

It’s funny, Carien had to go look for this for me, to remind me of the reference. For those wondering, the scene Ellen references comes at the end of THE MARK OF THE TALA, in the vision Andi experiences. Really there’s not much significance to this. Andi tells Rayfe’s mother, Garland, about the seashell because it’s part of showing that it truly was a message from Salena – something only Salena and Garland knew about. It was simply a memento of their friendship.

4) I can’t wait for “Seasons of Sorcery,” after that will there be any more “Uncharted Realms” releases? I’m so curious to see what future POV characters will take the main stage!

Right now I’m planning one more book in The Uncharted Realms series, which will tie up all the current threads and reveal some answers to questions posed back at the beginning of The Twelve Kingdoms. I haven’t publicly announced this anywhere yet (I think) because I was still noodling it, but that book will be called THE FATE OF THE TALA, and if all goes well, it will be out in May of 2019. 

The Arrows of the Heart Is Out!

Just in case you missed the news, THE ARROWS OF THE HEART, sequel to THE SHIFT OF THE TIDE, and the fourth book in The Uncharted Realms series, is out in the world! 

 

A STRANGER’S FAITH

As the Twelve Kingdoms and their allies are drawn toward war, a princess cast aside must discover a purpose she never dreamed of…

Karyn af Hardie behaved like a proper Dasnarian wife. She acquiesced, she accepted, she submitted. Until her husband gave her a choice: their loveless, unconsummated royal marriage—or her freedom. Karyn chose freedom. But with nowhere to run except into the arms of Dasnaria’s enemies, she wonders if she’s made a mistake. She wants love, security, a family. She can’t imagine finding any of it among the mercurial Tala.

Worst of all is Zyr. The uninhibited shapeshifter is everywhere she looks. He’s magnetic, relentless, teasing and tempting as if she’s free to take her pleasure where she wishes. As if there isn’t a war rising before them, against a vile and demanding force far stronger than they. But with Karyn’s loyalty far from certain, Zyr offers her only chance to aid the defense—a dangerous gambit to seek out a land not seen in centuries, using clues no one can decipher. Together, they’ll have every opportunity to fail—and one chance to steal something truly precious…

Living in the Future – and Waiting for the Money to Catch Up

It’s morning glory season here in Santa Fe. I love these gorgeous blooms – maybe even more so because they’re so temporary.

Our topic this week at the SFF Seven is an open one – whatever’s on your mind. I’m talking about how writers work for the future – and the difficulties in balancing a fluctuating income. 

A Better Answer to: Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

Last week I attended SFWA’s Nebula Conference and got to meet our 2018 Grandmaster, Peter S. Beagle. I legit teared up when we talked and he signed my battered old copy I received forever and a day ago. I felt like a teenager again and all those feelings that led into my early love of fantasy rose up and swamped me.

The conference in 2019 will be at the Marriott Warner Center in Los Angeles. I highly recommend it! It’s become my absolute favorite gathering of SFF writers and industry professionals.

Our topic this week at the SFF Seven is “Where do you get your ideas – the least popular question ever.” Come on over for three avenues I rely on for ideas. 

 

The Arrows of the Heart

The Artful Juggle: Planning Future Books While Keeping up with Current Deadlines

The Arrows of the Heart

Our topic this week at the SFF Seven – the challenge of maintaining a writing schedule and trying to prepare for future business – is an apropos one for me right now.

Because, boy howdy, have I been wrestling this particular challenge lately. Come on over for more!

Holiday Goodness Coming Your Way!

At last, the preorder links are live for AMID THE WINTER SNOW! You can get it at:

Amazon
Smashwords
Google Play
Kobo
iBooks
Barnes & Noble

This is an amazing collection of Fantasy Romance stories, with lots of magic and cozying up while snowstorms rage outside. I’ve read the other three stories and they’re all so delicious. And meaty! They’re all substantial novellas. I hope you all love them just as much. 

Here’s a little excerpt from mine, The Snows of Windroven.

********

“I never intended to cause you pain, Ami,” I told the top of her head as she worked to clean the cuts. Brutally insufficient words to describe the depth of what I’d never intended. Beginning with laying a finger on her royal, unblemished skin. Even with her tending me out of simple sympathy, in broad view of the travelers on the main highway, the least brush of her fingers on my skin brought up the insatiable lust for her, hard and hot.

She looked up at me and creaked out a smile through still damp eyes. “I know that. And you’ve made me so happy.” She took a deep breath. “I always understood, though, that this was temporary.”

“We both understood that, from the first night by the lake.”

Her smile went tremulous. “When I seduced you, despite your better judgement.”

I laughed, though it never comes out right. It always sounds more like a groan scraping out of my scarred throat. “Everything with you has been against my better judgement, Ami. And I’ve never been able to help myself. You burn so bright.”

“Like staring into the sun,” she said, an oddly sorrowful crease at the corners of her eyes. Her innate magic made her beautiful even in tears and other extremes of emotion—and my passionate queen ranged through many extremes—so rarely did she look as she did now, smudged with unhappiness, dented by my careless handling of her. “Do you remember when you said that to me? You said you were afraid you’d come away burned and blinded.”

“I remember,” I allowed. I did so much better with silence. I should never have broken my vow. If I hadn’t, we wouldn’t have come to this pass.

“You said that if you stared into the sun too long, you’d be immolated, and the only freedom for you would be to stay far, far away.”

Never mistake that a mind sharp as a sword lies behind that pretty face. She likely remembered every word I’d ever said to her, both the wise and the incautious.

**********

Out December 12!

 

 

Writing a Series vs. a Standalone

This week’s topic at the SFF Seven is apropos for me, as THE SHIFT OF THE TIDE releases on Tuesday! 

It’s the third book in The Uncharted Realms series. Or the sixth in The Twelve Kingdoms, depending on how you slice these things. For some people these lines are more definitive than they are for me. Our topic is: Working in a series as opposed to working on a standalone book. What are the differences and how much do you plan ahead? Come on over to find out my take. 

Getting that Word Count While Traveling – How Do You Do It?

I’m delighted to announce that THE SHIFT OF THE TIDE is up for preorder!! A few others will be coming soon, but – as with many things – Amazon is fast and efficient, making us both love and loathe them. Smashwords wants me to promise to upload the final doc ten days before release and I … just can’t. Ten days is forever in my world, regrettable as that may be. But, hey! The book is coming along really well, and I’m tentatively thrilled with it.

~knocks on wood~

~tosses salt over shoulder~

~pets black cat and gives it extra treats~

Want to see a little snippet? Okay! But you have to click over to the SFF Seven, where our topic this week at the SFF Seven is Writing On The Road: How to stay on task while traveling. See what I did there? Tasty, tasty click bait! 😀