Snippet Sunday

CoverI shared the cover of a WIP, Aliyah’s Tears, last week, so I thought I’d share a snippet of the work this week.

Aliyah’s Tears is written in the epistolary style and is told through communication between Roxxie and Victoria, two college friends who’ve stayed in touch. I’m still working on distinguishing their voices from each other, but here’s a little bit from the beginning.

Best wishes!

http://www.lissadobbs.com

http://www.hiddenhollowediting.com 

 

Aliyah’s Tears

January 12

Hey Roxxie,

You know, it would make my life easier if you’d get a cell phone. Hell, even an email address would help. Why do you insist on written letters? It’s not like you’re in one place long enough to get them. Please consider coming into the modern world. I know you don’t want to, but technology is here to stay, dear heart, whether you want it to or not.
It was good to see you last month. I wish it had been a happier occasion, though. It was too bad about Aliyah. Do you remember her back in college? Back when we all roomed together? I’d thought about using her as a character in a book and had written this about her.

I’ll never forget the first time I saw her. Frightenly beautiful, yes, but cold. Hard. As if her bones were steel girders and her heart a stone that beat ice water. My opinion of her never changed, not in all the years we were acquainted. Yet I never once doubted her loyalty or fortitude.

I think that sums up the way I thought about her. I’ll never forget that first day when she walked in with the designer jeans and her hair in that braid that must’ve taken hours to do. *shakes head* I guess we were mean to laugh behind her back, especially since she wasn’t stuck up at all. She was cold, yes, and hard to get to know. I don’t think I ever found out any more about her than that she had three or four brothers. What about you? Do you know any more about her? I guess it’s weird that I’m only wondering now.
Anyhoo, I guess I’d better stick this in the mail while I still know where to send it. I just hope it gets to you before you head off on your next adventure.
I wish I could go with you, but I just can’t get away from work right now.

Have fun.

Write soon.

Love you, girl.
Victoria

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Pondering Direction

The Spirits of YuleI’ve been doing some thinking about my writing lately. That’s why I haven’t been nearly as active on social media. I’m trying to decide on a direction, for I think I’m spread too thin.

I’m one of those eclectic readers/authors who likes to do so many things that I can’t keep track of all of them.

I love fantasy, and I love the world of Grevared. If I could get there, I’d pack my bags and leave now. I have so many ideas that span all age groups that my head spins when I think about them. I have a spreadsheet and all of my ideas are organized, but I don’t know which one to pursue first.

I also love mythology and folklore, and I’d like nothing more than to lock myself in a library with tons of books and research until I’m a skeleton turning to dust. I want to delve into the mysteries of ancient times and see where we came from.

I’m also a horror junkie, and, let’s face it, some days horror is just the way to go. Writing it is a cathartic exercise, and I’ve often wondered how many people have escaped prison by writing it. I don’t care much for horror novels, though, so most of my horror is short stories.

Then there are mysteries. I love trying to figure out who did what and when. I love the relaxing atmosphere created by cozy mysteries, and there is plenty of room to mix in my love of mythology and folklore.

CoverSo, at this point, I have no idea what I want to do and where I want to go. I know I’ll release The Spirits of Yule later this year, and I’m hoping to complete the anthologies Rise of the Mad Gods and a horror one. With the horror, I haven’t decided if a current WIP will be part of it or not. It’s a ‘wait and see’ thing right now.

So, as spring approaches and a new cycle begins, I’ll be doing some thinking while I pursue the writing.

Best wishes!

http://www.lissadobbs.com

http://www.hiddenhollowediting.com

 

 

Winter Deities

photo of mountain with ice covered with black and gray cloud
Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

I’ve been doing some research into winter deities, partly for The Spirits of Yule, but partly because I’m fascinated by the topic. I’ve read a lot of books on the history of Christmas, the most recent being Christmas: A Biography by Judith Flanders, but there’s so much more to the season than just that holiday.

There’s darkness in winter, a sense of foreboding as the land goes to sleep. Chill air nips at the fingers and toes, and wind howls through leafless branches. It’s hard to think about a long, cold night full of anxiety and wondering in a world of electric lights and central heating, and while nature may take a break, modern life doesn’t allow it. With the advent of working/schooling from home capabilities, there aren’t really even snow days anymore. I find that sad, and there’s a part of me that wishes for a time when the end of the day meant the end of the day.

That aside, the entire season still holds great fascination for me as the spirits of the dead walk and creatures of darkness lay claim to the land. It’s a great time for horror stories and contemplation, and just a quick dip into the lore of the season is enough to cause shivers.

I’m not far enough along in the research to have too much to share, but I hope to have some soon.

black and white cold fog forest
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Until then, here is a short list of beings said to be associated with the winter months.

Amaratasu (Japanese): sun goddess who hid in a cave after a fight with her brother, bringing darkness to the world.

Father Winter: a personification of the season of winter. This being comes from a number of cultures.

The Wild Huntsman: leader of the Wild Hunt, sometimes called Herne the Hunter but goes by other names. The Hunt flies through the night and devours all in its path. Germanic and Celtic

Saturn: (Roman) God of agriculture. His festival, the Saturnalia, was held in December. It was a time of feasting and drinking where roles were often reversed.

Wah Kah Nee (Chinook): a being said to be able to walk barefoot through winter and communicate with its spirits

Aaaahhhh! It’s here, and I’m not ready yet.

christmas xmas christmas tree decoration
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Well, we’re getting down to the wire on the Christmas holiday, and, once again, it’s come upon me unawares. I think most things are done, but I can’t be sure. Tree. Check. Food. Check. Gifts. Um…partial check. There are still a few more things to get. Holy cow! Am I gonna make it in time? I’m not sure. I could sure use a little help from the man in the red suit. He hasn’t let me down yet, so I have complete faith that things will be ready on time.

As to the Christmas story, it’s coming along. The first draft of the first two sections is complete. Now, on to the rest. I did come up with a title and a cover, though, so that’s something.

If you read last week’s excerpt (remember, these are unedited), then scroll below for the next installment. Also, remember there are spoilers for those who haven’t read Wolf in the Shadow.

All the best and have a wonderful holiday season.

Lissa Dobbs

http://www.lissadobbs.com

http://www.hiddenhollowediting.com

The Spirits of YuleFlight Through the Forest

Running.

Snow on snout.

Leaves under feet.

Cold.

Pain.

Fear.

Eleanor wanted to rid herself of her human mind. She wanted to forget she had ever walked on two legs. She wanted to revel in the joy of being a ly’kita, to hunt, to leave the past behind forever, not just in the world but in her mind as well. She wanted to run forever, to be free. She let the scents of the forest—the trees, the flowers, the animals, life and death—wash over her as she cried to Worichiom to take her body and mind and set her free.

Before she realized it, Eleanor had left the cover of the trees and entered a small range of hills. She slid to a stop in the snow and sniffed the air. The cold crispness of the winter air filled her nose and cleared her mind. She panted and licked at the snow to quench her thirst then sat on her haunches to rest.

I need to return for the clothes.

The thought entered her mind unbidden, but she pushed it aside and looked around her. Hills rose above her, grass almost covered with snow. Wind howled between the hills and blew snowflakes into her face. She blinked her eyes to clear them, and her breath caught in her throat. A creature, not human according to her nose, crawled up the hill in front of her. Eleanor blinked again, several times, and cocked her head to the side.

The creature climbing the hill was unlike anything she had seen before, in either form. Cloven hooves sank into the deep snow, and multiple tails whipped away the falling flakes. A mass of tangled hair whipped in the breeze, and a sack across its back wriggled eerily.

Eleanor dropped to her belly, her canine senses telling her to be cautious. She slithered forward to get a better smell but stopped when the creature halted its climb.

“I see you.”

Eleanor froze. Snow whipped into her face and ruffled her fur the wrong way. Her heart beat wildly in her chest, and she panted as terror pumped through her veins. She tried to speak, but the sound was nothing more than a growl.

“None of that. I know you. Better than you know yourself. Come with me and join me. I could use another creature to help me with my work.”

Eleanor stood, but she didn’t move forward. A gust of wind shifted and brought the creature’s stench to her nose. She sneezed. Ogre. She hated the smell of ogre.

“Come on now. I won’t harm you.”

Eleanor shivered. Ogres couldn’t be trusted, and this one was far different from others. Older. Almost godlike. She sneezed. Still… It was cold. Frigid. And she could use a rest before returning home.

“That’s a good girl. Come with Grýla and let’s get you warm.”

monster illustration
Photo by Tookapic on Pexels.com

Eleanor took a tentative step forward, then another. Her fur stood on end from more than the cold, and she wanted to turn and run. But she was exhausted from her run and the discussion with Abilene. Rest wasn’t an option, and this creature, Grýla, was currently her only choice.

“That’s a good ly’kita. Come on now.”

Eleanor took another step, and something set fire to her chest. She howled with the pain and buried her face in the snow to ease the burn. A throbbing, began near her heart and moved through her until every part of her ached. She tried to take another step, but her legs gave out, and she landed on her side in the snow.

“Begone, foul beast!”

The ogre screamed and hurried down the far side of the hill, while Eleanor’s head swam. She tried to rise but found her legs too weak to hold her. She shivered at the chill wetness against her skin and realized she had lost her ly’kita form. She was lying naked in the snow in a storm increasing in ferocity. She could barely see in her ly’kita form, and now she’d lost the heightened sense of smell she needed. She tried to will herself back to her Lycan self, but her body refused to respond. She searched for the source of the voice, the one who had sent the ogre running, but all she saw was a vague, humanoid outline. She tried to call out in hope of help, but her voice, too, had abandoned her.

The world went black.

Holiday Weekend — Creating Fantasy Holidays

IMG_20181122_163331It’s been a wonderful holiday weekend for me and mine, and I’m a bit sad that’s it’s over and the real world intrudes again tomorrow.

I’ll admit I’m a bit tired, though. Two days of cooking followed by two days of decorating was a bit much, but the turkey had his day, and now the tree twinkles.

Holidays are a time to be with family and friends and are a vital part of creating any fictional world. Or at least in making it complete. In the world of Grevared, holidays occur throughout the year. Most of them take place around the same time across the countries, but they differ by country and culture. For example, the demons mourn the loss of their own world around Yuletide, while the humans celebrate the season with gifts and decorations. The elves continue to honor the solstices and equinoxes even though the void has no visible celestial bodies. The celebrations of each country and culture differ slightly as well, and this helps to add depth to the holidays.

The same is true of the autumn holidays. Those who follow the Arcana Maximus celebrate the ritual of Akatha Mabikym, which is a ritual that returns the spirits of the dead to the chaos of the void. Those who don’t follow the Arcana tend to focus more on the harvest and the plenty that comes with it, even those in the larger cities like Ymla and Sangeron.

IMG_20181124_105130Tips for Creating Holidays

  1. Consider what we already celebrate. Many of our current celebrations are world-wide in many respects, for humans tend to celebrate the same milestones of life regardless of individual culture.
  2. Think about the world you’ve created. What are the important times of year for its inhabitants? Are there things that are important to one group that aren’t to another? (e.g. Those who don’t follow the Arcana Maximus are less likely to celebrate the ritual of Akatha Mabikym, and many outright disagree with it.)
  3. Add in elements of the fantasy world to the holiday. In Corleon, for example, horses play a major role in the economy of the country. Therefore, horses come into play during their Yuletide celebrations, and hay is commonly used to decorate.
  4. Don’t be afraid to mix and match celebrations that are already in existence or do some research into older celebrations and pull elements that we no longer use in our modern time.
  5. Have fun with it.

Creating holidays for your world can be one of the most rewarding parts of world-building and can help you get to know the characters and cultures you created all the better. Even if you never write a scene including one of the holidays, simply indicating that they exist can bring your world to life in the minds of your readers.

Best wishes and Happy Holidays!!!!!

Lissa Dobbs

http://www.lissadobbs.com

http://www.hiddenhollowediting.com

I Finally Figured Out Assaberries!!!!

Assaberry juice
Assaberry Juice

Those who’ve followed for a while know that Ethan Grimley’s favorite fruit is the assaberry. These berries are ubiquitous in Grevared and are one of the most common berries for use in baking and sweet-making. It is also the most common flavor of Fizzy Drink, and Mondor Fizzy Drinks and Snacks in Freywater owns large tracts of land in the Xaggarene Empire to grow the berries.

 

I also love creating food for my fantasy worlds, and the assaberry has been one of my biggest challenges so far. I wanted something with an unusual, but palatable, taste. Mixing berries was the obvious choice, but it was too obvious. However, after several trials, I’ve finally found a mixture I like. It still tastes like berries, of course, but there’s enough of something else to it to make it somewhat unique, at least as far as my culinary tastes run.

assaberry-left-over-mush.jpg
The fruit remains after making juice

To Create the Assaberry Flavor

1 pomegranate

15 raspberries

15 red grapes

juice of 1/2 orange

I made sponge cakes and jelly from the juice this time, but I also want to make jelly candies, since that’s one of Ethan’s favorite sweets. Now, if I can just find what I need for the talakilkonna tail, I’ll be good to go.Assaberry cakes

Best wishes!

http://www.lissadobbs.com

http://www.hiddenhollowediting.com

A Bit of a Conundrum-Adult, YA, or Both?

Starshine Cover PurpleI’ve been playing around with the idea of The Hidden Roads, a series originally intended for adults. However, I’ve got an idea for a YA version, and I’m torn between having two of them, one for adults and one for YA, and making just one series that’s YA. It really wouldn’t be that difficult to make the adult character a bit younger and add her to the YA idea I have. The stories would gel nicely and add another dimension to the YA story. Below is an excerpt from the beginning of the adult one (unedited). Thoughts on which way to go would be appreciated.

Best wishes!

Lissa Dobbs

http://www.lissadobbs.com

http://www.hiddenhollowediting.com

The land was what mattered to Gemma. It always had. The way the pines and oaks cast dancing shadows over rolling hills had given her immeasurable pleasure. The scent of rain on fresh-turned earth had wrapped her in peace, and a silver moon nestled in a bed of stars had filled her with joy. She would speak for hours on the growth of a single sprout, and Serenity couldn’t remember ever seeing the woman without dirt stains on some part of her clothing.

But that was then.

Serenity sighed as she switched off her beat up Ford Tempo. She propped her hands on the steering wheel for a moment and simply stared out the windshield.

The house was the same as it always had been. A simple structure of wooden slats with a large wrap-around porch and flowers planted in beds at its base, it had been Gemma’s refuge from a world she didn’t understand.

“I wish I’d come when she asked,” Serenity muttered to herself.

Gemma had asked Serenity to come and live with her several years before, but Serenity had refused, determined to make it on her own. She’d spent enough of the previous twenty years being told she was a failure, not ambitious enough. When her world had ended, she determined she would not become dependent. On anyone.

“Yeah, ‘cause that worked out so well.” Serenity blew her bangs out of her face. “Idiot.”

Serenity climbed from the car and grabbed her backpack from the backseat. She shouldered the bag and stepped up onto the porch. A tear slid from her eye as she realized Gemma wouldn’t greet her with a smile and a song. Not anymore. Gemma had disappeared six months before. No note. Nothing missing. No sign of her since. And her sisters had determined she was never coming back.

 

Author Spotlight — Ian Nathaniel Cohen

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Today we welcome Ian Nathaniel Cohen. He’s going to tell us a little about himself and his books, so grab a snack and meet your new favorite author.

What genres do your writings fall under? What age group?

My first book, The Brotherhood of the Black Flag, is a historical adventure thriller, mostly aimed at adults, although there isn’t much in it that young adults can’t handle. If I was going to rate it the way you would a movie, I’d give it a PG-13.

 

When and why did your start writing?

 

I’m not exactly sure when I started writing, as I don’t remember not having ideas for books and making various attempts at writing them. However, it was definitely during college that I found myself with enough time to actually write some of them out and share them with other people. The feedback I got was encouraging, and I got more ambitious with the kinds of stories I wanted to tell. It was also during college that I became a huge fan of H. Rider Haggard and Rafael Sabatini, whose writings have had a huge influence on the kinds of stories I enjoy writing. As more ideas for stories and characters popped into my head, I eventually decided to finally take the plunge and try and do something with them.

The same goes for my review blog, The INCspotlight. I’ve always enjoyed writing movie reviews, and I made more than one attempt at getting professional gigs in local and school papers. When I discovered the website That Guy with the Glasses, later Channel Awesome, and I saw that they accepted guest bloggers, I decided to give it a try. All the reviewers on the site had their own niche, and mine was less-familiar classic movies that I didn’t feel deserved to be forgotten about. A lot of these classic works inspired my own ideas for stories, and I guess I see the INCspotlight as my way of paying it forward. I’m no longer with Channel Awesome, but the INCspotlight continues, now hosted on my own website.

What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t writing?

 

I feel like all my hobbies are pretty old-fashioned, now that I think about it. In addition to reading, I’m a huge movie buff, classic movies especially, and I also like listening to old time radio shows (The Shadow, The Green Hornet, Abbott & Costello) and playing retro video games. I like collecting various stuff, such as vintage playing cards (or replicas) and comic books, older ones especially. My favorite kinds of music are jazz, swing, and blues, but I also like classical, folk, and Celtic music, as well as film scores.

What do you hope readers take away from your writing? Is there a particular theme in your work? Does your work have a moral?

 

At the very least, I hope readers find The Brotherhood of the Black Flag to be a fun ride, like a summer blockbuster. Beyond that, I hope that the book’s theme of how blind loyalty leads people to ignore logic and basic common sense will stick with readers. I also hope that my protagonist sets the kind of example more guys need to follow in real life, particularly in the way he tries to respect female characters (I’ll leave it to readers to decide if he succeeds) and doesn’t demand or feel entitled to their affections.

Which of your characters is your favorite and why?

 

Villains are fun to write, especially in adventure fiction where they’re allowed to be a bit over the top, so they’re always among my favorite characters.

What genre is your favorite to read?

 

It depends what I’m in the mood for at any given time. However, anything with sword fights is usually a winner, so historical fiction, heroic folklore, and high fantasy rank pretty highly. However, I like various other genres as well, and I’ll give most things a shot if it sounds interesting.

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?

 

I probably would have spent less time agent hunting and explored self-publishing options a lot sooner, given that publishers don’t seem that interested non-series historical adventure fiction. On that note, I probably would have done a better job putting together a marketing strategy, especially given limited time and financial resources.

How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?

 

I use Facebook and Twitter, and I’m a member of various Facebook groups where us rookie authors can share our work and hopefully nab new readers. I’m still working on which ones work the best, though.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?

 

For a long time, The Brotherhood of the Black Flag fit that category back when I was trying to get literary agents interested in taking a look at it. Eventually, I bit the bullet and decided to self-publish. It has its disadvantages, mostly having to market it myself and pitch it to total strangers to get them to buy it, but on the other hand, my book is out there and being read and enjoyed instead of taking up space on my computer.

Can you tell us about your book?

 

The Brotherhood of the Black Flag is a tribute to the classic swashbucklers I grew up on as a kid, books and movies alike. It’s set in 1721, the early years of the United Kingdom and the tail end of the Golden Age of Piracy. The main character, Michael McNamara, was an officer in the British Royal Navy before his unjust expulsion, and he falls in with Captain Stephen Reynard, a pirate turned pirate hunter out to earn a pardon. Not really having any other options, McNamara joins Reynard’s quest for redemption, and his travels pit him against untrusting shipmates, bloodthirsty buccaneers, and an international conspiracy that threatens thousands of lives.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

 

When it came to plotting out The Brotherhood of the Black Flag and setting up character arcs, history cooperated with me beautifully. McNamara’s military history has him fighting in real battles during the War of the Spanish Succession and the War of the Quadruple Alliance – even the ship he was on at the Battle of Cape Passaro, the HMS Canterbury, was an actual ship. The same thing happened when it came to figuring out his reasons for leaving the British Isles and moving to Jamaica.

As for whether any of it came from my own experiences, some friends and I have had to go through not being able to follow the career paths they planned to, for one reason or another, and we’ve found themselves asking “well, now what?” It wasn’t planned that way, but once I got the idea that’s what was driving McNamara, it was easy to write him from that perspective.

Also, when I was learning stage combat, I specialized in rapier, and one time, I went up against someone who favored the schiavona. Now, I’m no expert at fencing, but I took lessons for six years, and rapier wasn’t all that different – even the stage combat version. But when going up against the fighting style for the schiavona, the blade comes at you from unexpected angles, and I was stumped. I had no idea how to defend against it or effectively counter-attack. As soon as that bout was done, I thought to myself “one of my characters for Black Flag has to use this sword and fighting style.” I actually consulted with that same guy in said character’s use of the schiavona, and he was very cooperative.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

 

Any scene where I got to write banter was a fun scene to write. I’m also especially proud of McNamara and Reynard’s friendly duel when they first meet. There are a lot of sword fights in The Brotherhood of the Black Flag, and while I’m happy with how pretty much all of them came out, that was my favorite of the bunch.

How did you come up with the title?

 

During the Golden Age of Piracy, pirates were known as the Brethren of the Coast, but also as the Brotherhood of the Black Flag. The latter sounded like a good name for a pirate story (either a movie or a novel), and I just ran with it.

What project are you working on now?

 

I’ve got a bunch of different books of different genres in the works – a murder mystery set in 1930s New York, another one set in Chicago in that same time period that pays tribute to classic pulp heroes, a fantasy series I’m collaborating with my beta reader on, and a telling of the Arthurian legends from the point of view of Sir Gawaine, as well as a couple of graphic novel projects. However, The Sherwood Caper, another historical thriller starring Robin Hood, is the one I aim to finish, given how much of it is already written and planned out, compared to the other ones. I’d always wanted to write a Robin Hood novel, and I was struggling with what direction to take it for a long time until I decided to make it a heist story, kinda like Ocean’s Eleven or The Italian Job. The tone will be similar to Black Flag – realistic, historically accurate, but without making it “grimdark.”

Will you have a new book coming out soon?

 

Um…define “soon.”

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

 

I don’t know if I’ve ever gotten any criticism that was emotionally tough to deal with. The feedback I’d gotten from beta readers and my editor, even when harsh, ended up making the book better, so I honestly appreciated it. I’m sure negative reviews will come, and when they do, I hope I can likewise learn from the criticisms as best I can and try not to repeat mistakes in future books.

The only truly discouraging thing I’ve had to deal with when it comes to reviews (so far) is when they’re arbitrarily yanked from Amazon with no explanation, and Amazon refuses to provide any details – I’ve lost about a third of all the reviews I’ve ever gotten this way. I know many indie authors have had to go through this, more so than usual lately, and it’s tough to deal with. We have to scrape and claw for every review we get, and it’s frustrating to have them taken away and not know why. I don’t think I’ve found any aspect of writing more discouraging and “what’s the point?”-inducing than that, and I know I’m not the only one.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

 

Take your time with your writing projects, and don’t rush them out the self-publishing door. Invest time in character development, world building, and writing craft, and get help if and when you need it. Your story will be all the better for it, and your readers will keep coming back for more. Also, most importantly, when people help you out, even if it’s a small thing, please make sure to show your appreciation.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?

 

Thank you to all of you who have taken a chance on a first-time author, especially those who have invested a few minutes of time into reviewing it! I’d also like to thank the folks at indieBrag for awarding The Brotherhood of the Black Flag a B.R.A.G. Medallion – I’m truly grateful for the honor.

Have you travelled to places outside your home town/country? Where did you go? What did you see/experience?

 

I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to travel all over the world, across six continents. When I was a kid, my mom took me on a Robin Hood tour in the actual Sherwood Forest and the Nottingham library, home to the largest collection of Robin Hood books. In college, I participated in the Semester at Sea program’s Fall 2000 semester, literally sailing around the world and visiting different countries along the way. Not only was it genuinely the adventure of a lifetime, but a learning experience and a unique opportunity to bond with people. In fact, I even dedicated The Brotherhood of the Black Flag to my Fall 2000 shipmates.

If you could visit any cartoon world, which one would it be?

Hmmmm…Tiny Toon Adventures, maybe? At Acme Looniversity, the main characters learn the fundamentals of animation, comedy, and cartoon-making from the classic Warner Bros. cartoon stars, such as Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck. I’d love to drop in on one of those classes.

 

If you could visit any fictional world, which one would it be?

 

Middle-Earth, particularly the Shire or Rivendell (although given my height, I’d probably find Rivendell more comfortable). Listening to elven music or ancient tales during a grand feast sounds like a great way to spend a day. Option B would be The Dreaming from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comic book series – specifically the Library of Dreams, where you can read all the books dreamed up by authors who never had the chance to write them, including works by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Lewis Carroll, J.R.R. Tolkien, and so on.

Who’s your favorite superhero?

 

I’m a huge fan of most DC and Marvel characters, and I don’t know if I have an overall favorite. Outside of that, I also love Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, Jeff Smith’s Bone, Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo and Kurt Busiek’s Astro City. I need to broaden my range a bit and discover more indie creators – it’s just a matter of having enough time to discover and read them all.

 

 

 

 

 

Author Spotlight – Sandra J. Jackson

View More: http://anotherperspective.pass.us/sandrajLet’s give a warm welcome to our spotlighted author, Sandra J. Jackson.

Author Bio

A graduate of a 3-year Graphic Design program, Sandra J. Jackson has always been creative, from drawing and painting to telling stories to her children when they were young. Her wild imagination lends itself to new and exciting ideas.

Sandra’s debut novel, Promised Soul, was released in 2015 and Playing in the Rain (Book 1 of the Escape Series) in September 2017 by Fountain Blue Publishing. A short story, Not Worth Saving, was published in New Zenith Magazine’s 2016 fall issue. She also has had several sports articles published in a local newspaper. She holds a professional membership with the Canadian Author Association and is a member of Writers’ Ink.

Sandra lives with her family in a rural setting in Eastern, Ontario. She is currently working on Book 3 of the Escape Series, her first trilogy.

A Little About Sandra

  1. Playing-In-The-Rain-Promo-Paperback_preview smallerWhat genres do your writings fall under? What age group? I consider myself a multi-genre author. I like to read many genres so it’s fun to explore writing them as well. My books are anywhere from age 16 and up.
  2. Can you tell us about your upcoming book? My upcoming book would be book 2 of the Escape Series. The book itself is finished but I have yet to edit it. I am waiting to finish writing the third book and then will edit the second.
  3. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?While most things in my books are purely imagined there is always a little bit of me and my experiences included in my writing.
  4. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? I suppose that would depend on what book. I have a few favourite chapters in Promised Soul, one of which is a dream sequence. In it the character, Mary, is fighting to keep herself and younger brother and sister from sliding out a hole torn in the side of their ship. For me it’s interesting to write about something I haven’t experienced and yet try and put myself in that position, imagining what it would be like and all the emotions that would go with it. In Playing in the Rain, one of my favourite chapters is when the character April, enters a bedroom after hearing a noise. I won’t go into too much detail as to not give anything away, but again it’s fun to explore.
  5. How did you come up with the title? My titles are derived from the last line of the book. I always have an idea how I want my story to end. I make sure that the last line has a phrase that can be used as the title.
  6. What project are you working on now? I am working on finishing the third book of my Escape series trilogy.
  7. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers? Build your author platform before you get published. Start a blog and get people to know who you are. 2. When you finally finish a book, find an editor to edit it properly. This is not a family member or a friend (unless they’re an actual editor). I’ve been reading a lot of books lately from self-published authors who have not had their work properly edited. As a reader, it is very distracting for me when I read books (even if the story itself is good) that is full of grammatical errors (I’m talking on every page) or isn’t written well technically. There are a lot of technical elements that a writer should be aware of – do the research. I am still learning these techniques and applying them to my own work.
  8. Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans? Thank you!!!!!! I appreciate all my readers.
  9. Do you also work a day job? How does it inspire your writing? Yes, I work full time as a financial assistant. So far it has not inspired anything but you never know.
  10. What’s your favorite comfort food? Pasta would be my go to comfort food. I also have a sweet tooth so just about any baked good will do. And chocolate, can’t forget about chocolate.

Promised-Soul-Promo-Paperback smallerAuthor Links

Website: www.sandrajjackson.com

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/sandrajjackson.author

 Twitter handle: @sjjacksonauthor

E-mail: sjjacksonauthor@gmail.com

WordPress link: http://sandrajjackson.wordpress.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sandra-J.-Jackson/e/B00UZJO5DY

 

 

 

 

Starting Over

 

ethan-vintage-300I love Ethan Grimley.

I can’t say what drew me to him in the beginning, but he’s one who likes to speak. In looking back over his stories–The Chronicles of Ethan Grimley III–I’ve noticed that there’s much more to tell with Ethan. I think the three books in the series would work better as one story, so I’m working on rewriting the three books into one. At this point, there are already six additional chapters, and I haven’t gotten to the beginning of A Walker is Born yet. I think the end result will be a story that has much more depth and explores more of Ethan’s life, both in Land’s End and beyond.

Ethan isn’t the only reason to rewrite the story. The other characters, particularly Kayne and Faylen, both have their own stories, and I don’t think they work for a series centered primarily on Ethan. With that in mind, I’ve decided to rename and expand the series. (If anyone has a title suggestion, sing out.)

Life over the past few years has been a bit hectic, but things have settled down now. The kids are beginning their adult lives, and I finally have a set work schedule that allows more time other activities. On top of that, Grevared itself is coming to life and showing me more and more of her grandeur with each passing day. The little details, the things that make a world real, are becoming clearer, so I think now is a good time to revisit the existing books and see if I can improve upon them. Not only will this make those books better, but I believe it will improve future books as well. (And, let’s face it, who doesn’t like to play in their own world?)

So, onward and upward. I’ll keep progress posted, a maybe a few snippets of the new stuff here and there.

For those who’ve supported me to this point, thank you. It means a lot. I hope you’ll continue to come along on this journey.

Best wishes!

Lissa Dobbs

http://www.lissadobbs.com

http://www.hiddenhollowediting.com