"Vigorously told deceptions and battle scenes." ~Publishers Weekly review of Eolyn

"The characters are at their best when the events engulfing them are at their worst." ~Publishers Weekly review of High Maga

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sequels and Secrets

Here's the most difficult part about writing the companion novel to Eolyn

Every so often -- actually, more often than not -- I get very excited about something that just happened in the story, and I want to tell the world about it. 

I can't, of course.  Because these are the plot reveals and little details that will make the story rich and surprising for the reader, and as the author I have a moral (and commercial) obligation not to spoil that experience.  So I must bite my tongue, and sit patiently on all the delicious secrets of High Maga until the day you discover them for yourself and can let me know what you think. 

This is one of the reasons why I think I will always be a writer who needs to run in a pack; to have companion authors with whom to share the thrill of discovery involved in story telling.  People who can also help chart the course of the story, and tell me whether that 'brilliant' idea I just had really is brilliant, or whether it's a dud that would best be deleted before the larger public discovers just how bad a draft can be.  I'm very grateful to have companions in writing at the moment.  So thank you, Companions -- you know who you are -- for sharing the adventure.

I've been spending an inordinate number of weeks trying to figure out what Sir Drostan would do next, as part of a battle scene I'm crafting for the new novel.  Yesterday I had a chance to sit down with it again, and I think I am very very close to at last pulling all the threads together and making the scene work the way I want it to.  When I finish with Drostan, we'll be at about 105K for the current novel.  I'm estimating High Maga will wrap up at about 130K, though it may extend a shade longer than that.  If everything works out as planned, we will know by this summer.

Last week was a good week for Eolyn  on Amazon, as customers posted three more five-star reviews.  Here's what one of them had to say:

"It amazes me when I read a book that can transport me into a new world.  I loved this book...it was wonderful...delightful...exciting...I couldn't put it down and was surprised with the unpredictable ending.  I can only hope that there is continuation of the Eolyn saga!  PLEASE GIVE US MORE!"

What can I say?  It gives me a great feeling to read such positive feedback, and a lot of motivation to keep writing.

On Heroines of Fantasy this week, guest author Sandra McDonald picks up the topic started by Kim Vandervort last week, with her post Sensible Clothing for Heroines.  Please stop by to read and comment.

Also, remember Down to Earth 2012 is just around the corner, and Eolyn's birthday bash will follow soon after that. Stay tuned for more details.

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you are in for a great week.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Season of Renewal

Crocuses provided the inspiration for "rose aethne",
a wildflower in Eolyn's world that is the first
to blossom in spring.
In my 2010 post Names in Eolyn, I talk at length about the origin of Eolyn's and Akmael's names.  Actually, the multiple origins, because like many good names, theirs were inspired by a couple different sources, and can be interpreted in a variety of ways.

In the untold backstory of the novel, Eolyn's mother Kaie chooses 'Eo-' in reference to one of the pagan names for spring equinox, 'Eostar'. Eolyn was born in the springtime, but Kaie was also expressing a hope that her daughter would bring a new 'springtime' -- a renewal of magic -- to her people.   So any time spring rolls around, I am reminded that this is Eolyn's season, one of color and renewed life, of warmer days and shorter nights.

Of course, spring is not all sunlight and butterflies.  In Kansas City, March is also a time of strong winds and violent storms; of unexpected freezes that can kill the new buds and strip delicate flowers from the trees.  Renewal is not always easy; sometimes achieving it involves overcoming great odds.  This is as true in life as it is in fiction; it is certainly true for Eolyn and Akmael.

I'm starting the final stretch now of High Maga, the companion novel to Eolyn, where our beloved maga continues her difficult struggle to restore magic -- particularly women's magic -- to the people of Moisehén.  Will she succeed?

Eolyn's powers are greater; experience has made her wiser.  But the challenges she faces are also much more intense, by a magnitude of order I would say, though I'm looking forward to hearing whether or not you agree when the novel is at last released, probably during the latter part of 2013.

Looking for something to do until then?  We've got some great activities coming up just around the corner. 

April 13th is Down to Earth, a meet-the-author event with Hadley Rille Books, hosted by Jayhawk Ink at the University of Kansas.  Participating authors will include James Gunn, Christopher McKitterick, M.C. Chambers, Eric T. Reynolds and me.  For more information, visit the Facebook event page for Down to Earth.

May is Eolyn's birthday month (for the novel, not the character).  We have some special surprises planned for the birthday celebration; make sure to stop by around mid-April to find out more.

At the end of May, Hadley Rille Books will host several events in and around the dates of ConQuest, Kansas City's own science fiction and fantasy convention, including signings at local bookstores and the launch of Terri-Lynne DeFino's new novel A Time Never LivedAs dates and times firm up, I will be posting them right here. 

This week, author Kim Vandervort is up on Heroines of Fantasy with a fun post about short skirts and big swords.   Stop by for a read, and please let us know your thoughts.

Most of all, enjoy this season of renewal.  Walk in the rain, smell the flowers, watch a storm roll in, bask in the sun, fly a kite -- whatever you most want to do.

In the meantime, I'll keep writing...

Monday, March 12, 2012

LunaCon 2012

Lunacon Weekend has finally arrived!  New York's oldest science fiction and fantasy convention starts this Friday, March 16.  I'll be there the entire weekend, along with fellow Hadley Rille Books authors Terri-Lynne DeFino and Lawrence M. Schoen. Guests of Honor for Lunacon include John Ringo, Howard Tayler, Tamora Pierce, and Andy & Kristin Looney. 

I was very excited to learn this past weekend that I've been assigned to several panels and events.  Here's my schedule for the con:

Saturday, May 17

12:00pm -- Hadley Rille Books Authors Panel.  Terri-Lynne DeFino will also be on this panel, as will Hugo Award nominee Lawrence M. Schoen.  The panel will be in William Odelle, and we will follow up with an autograph session afterwards at 1:00pm in Westchester Assembly.

5:00pm -- Ecology of Fantasy Worlds.  I'll be moderating this panel discussion.  Our panelists will include Lawrence Kramer, John J. Pierce and Laura Anne Gilman.  Look for us in William Odelle.

7:00pm -- Reading.  I haven't decided what I'm going to read yet.  It may be an excerpt from Eolyn, or one of my short stories.  Or maybe I'll give a sneak preview of High Maga, the companion novel to Eolyn that is currently in the works.  Look for me in Bartell, and feel free to tell me what you'd like to hear!

Sunday, May 18

10:00am -- The Alternate Regency.  Okay, I admit I don't know what the focus of this panel will be.  Which means it's a good thing I'm not the one moderating.  But I'll be sitting at the table with something to say, along with Byron P. Connell, Meredith Schwartz, and Susan de Guardiola.  Look for us in Birch.

11:00am -- Creating Believable Fantasy Animals.  This one's mine, all mine, to moderate.  Bwahahahaha!  Panelists will include Keira Sokolowski, Robert J. Howe, and fellow Hadley Rille author Lawrence M. Schoen.  We'll be in Birch.

That's my schedule.  Other than these activities, I'll be attending as many panels and meeting as many people as I can, hopefully adding some excellent reads to my list, getting a few books autographed, and all and all finishing the weekend happier than I started it.

If you're planning to go to Lunacon, please stop by and say hi.  If you would like to view Terri-Lynne DeFino's schedule, it's available on our LunaCon Schedule Page at Heroines of Fantasy

Speaking of Heroines of Fantasy, I'm up this week with a post on tears and crying.  When and under what circumstances is crying acceptable for our fantasy heroes and heroines?  Stop by to read my take and please, share yours.  Here's the link:  No Woman No Cry  Looking forward to seeing you there.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Welcome March, and Welcome Spring!

Pre-Launch for Eolyn at Avila University
April 2010
 I'd like to update you on a couple exciting events that are just around the corner. 

The weekend of March 16-18 is LunaCon, the 55th Annual Convention of the New York Science Fiction and Fantasy Society. 

This will be my first LunaCon ever, and I am very excited.  

Guests of Honor this year include John Ringo, Howard Taylor, Tamora Pierce and Andy & Kristin Looney.  I'm especially looking forward to seeing Tamora Pierce again, who was also the guest of honor last year at Kansas City's own ConQuest. 

At least two other Hadley Rille Books authors will be attending:  Hugo Award nominee Lawrence M. Schoen, author of Buffalito Destiny and Buffalito Contingency, and Terri-Lynne DeFino, author of Finder and the soon-to-be-released A Time Never Lived.  To find out more about LunaCon, please visit the LunaCon website.  If you are in the New York area that weekend, you must stop by to say hi!

On April 13, Hadley Rille Books will host Down To Earth 2012, a meet-the-author event at the University of Kansas Bookstore, Jayhawk Ink.  Several area authors who have published with Hadley Rille Books will attend, including James Gunn, Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master and Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas; Christopher McKitterick, Director of CSSF and author of Transcendence; and M.C. Chambers, author of Shapters' Veil.

The master of ceremonies will, of course, be the editor and founder of Hadley Rille Books, Eric T. Reynolds.

All of us will be available to answer questions about our work and sign copies of Hadley Rille Books novels and anthologies. As part of the event, Hadley Rille will launch its new anthology Aftermaths, featuring short stories set in possible futures unleashed by global climate change.  The activity starts at 4:00pm; if you're in the area, please stop by!

Last but not least:

May is Eolyn's Birthday Month!

We have planned some very special surprises and events leading up to the birthday celebration for Eolyn.  Please watch this blog, or subscribe to Eolyn's facebook page, for more information in the coming weeks.

This week on Heroines of Fantasy, our special guest is author Peadar O'GuilénStop by to read his take on what fantasy readers want, and while you're at it, tell us what you want from the fantasy novels you read.  Looking forward to seeing you there.