Author Spotlight – Fiona Hogan

author new picToday we’re shining the spotlight on author Fiona Hogan. Check out her great books below.

About the Author

Fiona Hogan is a writer, blogger, poet and editor living in beautiful County Laois in the midlands of Ireland. She is an Indie author and has four books published on Amazon – The Lights Went Out and Other Stories and What Happened in Dingle under the name Fiona Cooke Hogan, and Death Comes Calling and The Nightmare under her horror name of F B Hogan.


Let’s Connect

Find out about Fiona’s books on her Amazon Author Page

She writes about her work, nature, family life and anything that takes her fancy on her blog – Unusual Fiction

You can find her on Twitter and her writing page Fiona Cooke Hogan

She is also an editor and proofreader at The Editing Hub

Her editing page is  facebook – The Editing Hub



paperbackThe Lights Went Out and Other Stories

An eclectic mix of flash fiction, short and longer stories. At times humorous, eerie and poignant; a mother burdened by financial troubles shares her problem with a stranger, a young couples’ journey to the airport takes a strange turn, a wedding anniversary in Dingle goes from bad to worse, a small dog is forced to change his ways, and a vampire hiding out in suburbia just wants to be left alone. Dip your toes into this quirky collection and find your favourite.



what happened in dingle coverWhat Happened in Dingle

Dingle was the place of their honeymoon. Ruth and Neil are back to celebrate a milestone in their marriage, their twentieth anniversary. Enjoy this funny, pub crawl of a tale set in the wilds of beautiful County Kerry.




death comes calling book coverDeath Comes Calling

Death comes calling and decides to stay. A selection of dark fiction for lovers of gothic horror. Pull the shutters and bolt the door. Keep the fire burning and the candles lit. Something is coming. Listen for the knock at the door but whatever you do, don’t let it in.



UnlucckyThe Nightmare

Seven cleverly crafted tales of gothic and contemporary horror to keep you awake at night. Ghosts and devils fight for a corner in this creepy collection of dark fiction, from the imagination of the author who brought you Death Comes Calling. Do you dare?





From the author who brought you Death Comes Calling (1)


Book Versus Movie-Coraline

Book vs MovieI’ve been a fan of the movie Coraline for years, but it was only recently that I came across the book, the glory of now living in a town with a bookstore. I have to say that I loved the book as much as the movie, though there are differences between the two.

In the movie, Coraline moves into an old house that has been divided into apartments. This is the same in the book. However, in the movie the house is owned by the grandmother of one Wybie, a strange little boy who gives Coraline a doll that looks just like her. In the book, Wybie and the doll don’t exist.

In both the book and the movie, Coraline’s parents are too busy to entertain her, so she’s forced to take care of herself. This leads to finding a small door with a brick wall behind it. Coraline’s mother tells her it’s there because the house was made into apartments.

In the book, the drawing room is described as a nice room where no one can sit on the furniture. In the movie, however, there’s little in there, and the room is depressing.

In the book, Coraline goes through the door and down a tunnel while her mother is at the store getting groceries. This isn’t the case in the movie. In the movie, Coraline first goes down the tunnel in a dream. Here she meets her ‘other mother’ and has a wonderful meal which seriously outshines her father’s cooking. In the book, she looks around the ‘other’ world and decides it’s too weird. After a brief first visit, she goes home. It is only when she gets bored waiting for her mother that she returns for the meal.

The interactions with the neighbors seem to follow pretty closely together for the book and movie. There are some minor detail differences but not many. It is only when Coraline returns to her world and discovers her parents aren’t home that the differences begin again.

In the book, Coraline does things like eat frozen pizza for dinner, watch TV, and take a bubble bath. When she wakes up in the middle of the night and sees the cat, she asks if it knows where her parents are. The cats only leads her to the hall mirror where her parents write ‘help us’ on the other side. They’re trapped in it. In the movie, there’s no sign of a TV, and there’s no food in the house. Coraline knows immediately that her parents have been taken, and she doesn’t call the police. Instead, she returns to the ‘other’ world.

There’s a good bit of similarity between the book and the movie during Coraline’s competition with the Beldam. In both, she spends time with the ‘other’ neighbors and seeks the souls of the trapped ghosts. The biggest difference here is that the souls are referred to as ‘eyes’ in the movie and ‘souls’ in the book.

Once Coraline has defeated the Beldam and rescued her parents, she must get rid of the Beldam’s hand, which follows her back to the real world. In the book, she has a tea party with her dolls, and the hand falls into the well. In the movie, Wybie helps her throw the hand down the well.

All in all, both the book and the movie are well done, and both are worth the experience.

Writing Update

E'ma Thalas and the Xaggarene Empire VintageWell, I’m not getting a lot done in the writing department. It’s coming up on graduation, and my youngest is leaving high school. I am, however, getting some world building done. I’ve just about completed the history of E’ma Thalas and will soon start on the Xaggarene Empire.

1486 AOP: Tavrinth of the Moonchaser dragon clan carries King Oberon to a forested land. Oberon approves this as the home of the elves and names it E’ma Thalas, which means ‘sacred refuge’ in the original language of the elves. Oberon petitions the Moonchaser clan to transport the rest of the Fair Folk to their new home.

1487 AOP: Letallatos is established as the capital of E’ma Thalas, and the palace is built.

1500 AOP: Oberon sends an expedition under the leadership of Ashiri Cornflower south of the Borderland Mountains. They discover the human tribes.

1520 AOP: Ashiri, angry that Oberon only has scant patrols along the Borderland Mountains, heads east with a group of like-minded elves. They form a small community at the edge of the land, called O’ntheas, which means ‘escape’. This town later becomes Tradespire. The elves there raise bocearc in the plainland south of O’ntheas and heavily guard the path at the end of the Borderland Mountains.

1768 AOP:  A band of humans crosses the Borderland Mountains and attacks the pixie conclave headed by Odile Snowdrop. The conclave is destroyed, and Oberon leads an army of elves and fairies over the mountains. Oberon is killed, and Oberon’s son Ethalar becomes the new Oberon. Titania helps him choose a new Titania before she dies.

I’m in the process of adding all these to the website, which I’ve redesigned. Check it out at

The Gods of Grevared

VoidOne of the biggest issues I’ve had with creating Grevared is deciding which gods survived the Catastrophe. Since the gods’ existence is vital to the survival of the world, who’s who matters. In some cases, this hasn’t been that big of a deal; I just had to pick an object, and that was the god who survived. Other cases weren’t so simple.

For example, in The Chronicles of Ethan Grimley III: Revenge of Cronus, I needed both Saturn and Cronus to play a part. While the two of them do have different traits, there’s enough similarity that having them both in Grevared was a problem. Fortunately, this was solved by the end of the book and was, in fact, the basis for the story.

The mad gods have been even more difficult. I wanted one to be a dream god, someone who could manipulate the mind, but the only culture that had a well-defined set of dream gods was the Greek culture, the Oneiroi. Since Greek gods are so popular in other stories, I wanted to limit their presence in mine.

The lack of dream gods actually surprised me since so many ancient cultures placed such importance on dreams, but I decided to fix this problem by creating a god to fulfill the role. I figure that if we’re dealing with the remains of multiple planes and almost limitless dimensions, then there have to be gods around that we just don’t know about. The same is true with the antagonistic god in the Gwennyth story. He comes from the fourth level of hell and is the only being from his plane to survive.

Most of the other gods of Grevared, at this point at least, come from mythology, though I have absolutely no problem altering them to fit my needs. It’s over 5,000 from now, and the entire universe exploded, so I’d think they would change a bit as well.

In a nutshell, that’s how Grevared gets its gods. Mostly, it depends on what kind of object I need at the start of the story and whether  I’ve already used one with dominion over the same aspects of life. I haven’t decided just how many of the ‘real’ gods I want to use. In some ways, I want Grevared to be its own world with its own gods and culture, but I also want some remnant of the mother societies to continue.

Best wishes!

Lissa Dobbs

To Heck with Professional

Website Print Screen.pngYeah, I said it.

I know. I know. We should be professional in everything we do. I got that memo years ago. But, come on, professional websites are BORING. Especially when they’re about an author and his/her books. When I visit author sites, I want something fun. I want to feel like I’m visiting a part of the author’s world. I want maps and history and quizzes and… You get the point.

As a book nerd, I love libraries and studying, so I designed the site as if you were looking at a table in Grevared. Clicking on the items takes you to different pages, and those pages that would be the inside of books were left as parchment. I’m hoping to add some of the other elements I love in other sites, like quizzes, etc., soon, but these take time to create, and I haven’t gotten there yet.

When it comes to my writing, I’m a bit of a ‘do it mytelf’, as my son used to say, kind of person. I want my own personality and vision to be in all of it, even if that means it isn’t perfect. I want to learn new things and practice new skills instead of hiring out the job. Would I get more sales if I had a professional cover designer? Probably. But the covers come from me, and they very much go with the books. Could I hire a designer for some detailed cover image that looks like it came from the Sistine Chapel? Sure. *shrug* But where’s the fun in that? It’s more fun to put some gumdrops in a bowl, take the picture, then see what you can do with it.

The whole point of the writing journey, at least for me, is to learn and explore, to try new things, and to get these stories that ramble around in my head out and living their own lives. It’s a way for me to de-stress from everyday life and live in a world of magic and wonder, something we’ve forgotten how to do in the modern world.

So, to heck with professionalism. I like my imperfect website and my simplistic cover designs. I had fun making them, and that’s all anyone can really ask from a project.

Best wishes!

And many thanks to the good people at Pixabay, who have images us less talented people can use.

Thank You! – New Review

Ebook Cover New1

Something is killing the folks indeed in Black Crystal. This is one of the best stories I have read over the course of this winter. Timothy Hawkins, Eleanor Hestenfield, and Justin Harper are Shadow Walkers who arrive in Black Crystal to deal with the deaths that have been occurring there. What they don’t know is that the secret awaiting them is one that will change their lives forever. I will give no spoilers, but when the truth is unveiled, it will blow your mind, as it did mine. When I found out the secret, I was so very surprised. I must admit, I never saw it coming. I loved the writing style of the author and the way she told the story pulled me in from the very start and held me on the edge of my seat to the very end. The story was paced great and the words flowed without a hiccup. The plot was well written. I love her vision and creation of the Shadow Walkers that molded the story and birthed into being a new idea of warriors. The ending couldn’t have been tied up better. You don’t want to miss this story! Lissa Dobbs is an outstanding author and I can’t wait to read her other works. I am a fan!


Writing Update – The Journey of Gwennyth Grimsbane

ebook-coverWell, I’ve started off the new year fairly well, I think. I’ve gotten my website redesigned, and I’ve gone for fun rather than ‘professional’. (More on that later.) I’ve also added an Editorial Services page to the site, something I should’ve done a long time ago. I mean, I’ve got the skills and the education; I really should be using them.

Now, I’m working on the first revision of The Journey of Gwennyth Grimsbane. Finishing this one is going to take longer than I’d thought because my brilliant self added another character into the mix. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but it means rewriting more scenes. I think, in the end, it’ll be a better story for it.

I’m a little torn on Gwennyth herself, though. She’s a strong and intelligent wizard, but she’s also super whiny. She doesn’t seem to want to step up the way I’d like her to, and I’m about to the point of giving her something to really cry about. You’d think with all she has to go through that it would dawn on her to suck it up, but she just can’t seem to get there. It’s funny, sometimes, how the characters take on a life of their own, and there’s nothing the author can do about it. Grrrr.

Vonner, on the other hand, is coming along nicely. He still has his whiny moments, but he’s growing up. I’m kind of proud of him.

There’s the potential here for this story to be at least two books, but I haven’t decided if I want to go that route or if I would rather use the information in another book. I would like all of my books to be connected in some way, for it to be a cohesive story across the age groups. That may be a bit ambitious, though.

We’ll see what happens.

Best wishes!


Talakilkonna Tail

talakilkonna1Even a fantasy world needs holidays, and Grevared is no different. I’m working on Yuletide traditions for each of the countries. These will, of course, vary from country to country. For example, the humans of Moirena, the Xaggarene Empire, and Corleon have traditions similar to those of our modern Christmas, though I’m still working out the details of each one. The demons, on the other hand, view Yuletide as a time of mourning, for they aren’t thrilled with being trapped on the plane with all the other species. There are those, of course, who still follow traditional demon practices of sacrifice, but most of them, particularly those in the more diverse cities like Jitradena, have a meal with talakilkonna tail as the main dish.

So, being the fully immersive person that I am, I decided that some kind of traditional food was in order, and I’m in the process of experimenting with variations of cookies and cakes to see what I can come up with. But I’ve having trouble with the talakilkonna tail. I’ve been wracking my brain for several weeks now, and I think I’ve finally figured it out. For talakilkonna tail in our world, I’m thinking about going with sausage-stuffed squid. I haven’t found a store nearby that carries the uncut squid yet, but I’m on the hunt. We’ll see how it goes.

Best wishes!

Lissa Dobbs