Category Archives: urban fantasy

Next Step in the Journey: The Thesis

Athena
If you’ve been following this blog (thank you!), then you know that I’ve been going to school at SNHU for my Masters degree in Creative Writing. That is the biggest reason why my blog entries have been few and far between. I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve started my thesis class last week. The thesis is a novel, and it is split into two classes. I should finish in March. For now, I’m going to be hard at work hammering out as many pages as I can!

So, as I begin this venture, I thought I would share with you a quick summary of the novel I’m working on for my thesis. It is a YA paranormal adventure. Yes, it has romance in it, but that isn’t the primary focus. Here’s a summary:

Erin wants to be a normal girl with a normal life, but she’s anything but normal. Bad things happen to anyone that gets too close to her. After a string of foster homes, she finds herself in a small town with a family she cares about and is scared to lose. She even manages to get a boyfriend, Kel, who convinces her that he is immune to her curse.
Erin’s life is turned into chaos when her foster mother becomes ill and Erin is sent to a children’s home. She is afraid she will lose the first family she has ever cared about, and lose her first boyfriend as well. Before she can figure it all out, Erin is kidnapped by a vengeful goddess that calls herself Mina. Erin must figure out who Mina really is, and regain her own lost memories in order to defeat her.

Let me know what you think. Would you check this book out?

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paranormal vs supernatural

I’ve been thinking about genre classifications.  I used to think paranormal meant ghosts and poltergeists, and supernatural meant creatures that were super… vampires, werewolves, zombies and such.  I’m not so sure about that anymore.  It seems like the market is using these terms interchangeably.  Sometimes they are accompanied by other adjectives like dark and urban.  So, what does it all mean? And do I need to care?

As an author, I think I do need to care. I need to understand how my readers are going to find my work. It is important to label the work in a manner that truthfully describes the work.  If it is a vampire love story, it’s paranormal romance right? Wrong? Maybe it’s dark urban supernatural? What?

A search on Amazon for paranormal romance (kindle store only) gives us a Dark Wolf, Dark Angel, vampire, and Immortals in the first 4 books. Book #5 has shifters and witches, and then there  is a demon slayer who is a biker witch (this one is in my queue!)  No ghosts or poltergeists here.  So, paranormal has all kinds of “monsters” and beings that are supernatural in nature. So, what’s supernatural?

That same search done with “supernatural” gave me a couple of books based on the TV series of the same name, and one empathy book. Still no ghosts.

Dark Urban Fantasy gives similar results, but there is a slightly different flavor to these. Check out S.M. Reine’s Descent Series for an example:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Descent-Series-Books-ebook/dp/B009YADS38/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1377740808&sr=1-2&keywords=descent+series

The Descent Series has paranormal creatures: angels, demons, and more. The primary setting is urban. There is some romance, but it is secondary. Reine’s series is one of the best written examples of Dark Urban Fiction out there.

Kim Harrison’s Hallows series with Rachel Morgan is another example.

The main thing that seems to differentiate these genres is romance as a primary element or not. If it is primary, it is paranormal romance; otherwise, it is dark urban fantasy, supernatural, or just paranormal. You could just search for whichever flavor your want in your moster: angel, demon, vampire, werewolf, or whatever…

So, where does my book fit in? It is definitely closer to Dark Urban Fantasy. Romance is a secondary element and it has vampires in it (and more…) So, check it out with these others:

http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Blood-Desolate-Incubus-ebook/dp/B00EH1WLHS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1377740268&sr=1-1&keywords=summer+blood

Whether you dig vampires, werewolves, or bears… romance or not… urban or whatever…. you can find tons of great books out there that will satisfy your paranormal/supernatural urges!

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Writing, writing, writing…

I was surprised to see how long it has been since I posted a blog! I knew it had been a while, but 6 months? Wow! Why so long? I’ve been wrapped up doing other things like writing, writing, and more writing. My classes have been more and more challenging, which is great, because I’m honing my skills! The drawback is that I have little time for other things. I have managed to finally publish Summer Blood to Kindle:

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http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Blood-Desolate-Incubus-ebook/dp/B00EH1WLHS/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_t_3_ZF79

So, check it out – only .99!!
I’m working on the cover for the paperback to put that out also. I’d like to finish it before my next classes start at the end of September. I start the first part of my thesis then… Woo-hoo… as they say, “What a long strange trip it’s been!”

So, look for more posts soon friends!

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What I’m learning Part II

Ok, I’m learning lots of new things in my writing class… here’s something else I’ve learned.  This is my post for scenarios. It is like an expanded outline – very rough draft. Then, my comments on what I got out of the experience.  I got great comments from my instructor, so I think I should share it!!

 

SCENARIOS FOR INK MAGIC:

The Zoran repositions Kaydan, and starts tattooing a different spot. Kaydan drifts back into her memories in order to withstand the pain of the needle.

Kaydan finds a knife and cuts a small hole in the back of the canvas tent and slips into the woods. She runs blindly afraid the army is going to catch her. She uses magic to hide her tracks and continues moving south. She wants to avoid the next town, circling to the south, but catches a whiff of bread baking and realizes how hungry she is. She tries to sneak into town to get some bread, but notices men from the army around. She uses just a thread of magic to make herself insignificant to the soldiers, and slides out of town, but she didn’t get any food.

She opens her eyes. The buzz has stopped and the Zoran is patting her shoulder. Kaydan wants to know why she is stopping, and the Zoran answers that she thinks Kaydan has had enough. Kaydan disagrees and they argue briefly, but Kaydan gets her way and the tattooing begins again. The buzzing lulls her back into her memories.

This time Kaydan comes upon the Zoran’s cottage and it is surrounded by soldiers. They have the Zoran on her knees in front of the small cottage. One of the soldiers is screaming at her and calling her a witch, making Kaydan think he is going to hurt or kill her. Kaydan knows she has to do something. She has been trained in combat, and now that training comes back to her. She uses magic to sling the stones at the soldiers and knock them out. Her heart is pounding and she is terrified that she killed them.

Kaydan comes out of her memory again. The dragon is done, but Zoran makes her rest and Kaydan falls asleep.

COMMENTS:

I think this process is not only useful but essential. I still have a few more to do for this story, but writing out scenarios for the story before you actually write them is like making a complex outline. I can quickly look back over it and see if I have the beats in the right place, if the pace is moving quickly, if the tension is escalating. In this story in particular, I want to feel the seriousness of the war increasing as Kaydan moves through her memories. Once I have it outlined, I can easily shift things around and play with the elements to get the story where it should be even before I even really start writing. I enjoyed doing this, and will use these scenarios to write this story. I think there is more on either side. Once I started writing, it really got things flowing. I felt I could quickly capture the most important elements in each movement of the story. That allowed my creativity to really explode as well; something to remember for those writers block moments.

 

 

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REVIEW: Save My Soul

I just finished reading Save My Soul by K.S. Haigwood.  WARNING… there may be spoilers ahead…

http://www.amazon.com/Save-My-Soul-ebook/dp/B007LB76A8/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1347746654&sr=1-1&keywords=save+my+soul

This is a story of one woman’s struggle to save her own soul by saving someone else’s soul. That someone happens to be her soulmate, but she doesn’t know that yet.  The action starts right away when Kendra makes a deal to save Adam’s soul, but she was tricked. If she doesn’t succeed, she loses her own soul.  Wow… throw in a guardian angel to help and a guardian demon to mess it all up and you have a thrilling, hot roller coaster romance.   The only thing that was difficult at all was that this Kendra seemed to have multiple men falling at her feet. While that seemed a bit far-fetched, it wasn’t impossible and also the rest of the plot wouldn’t have worked without it.  It wasn’t too hard to swallow, and not everyone in the story was on her side, so it was good.  The characters were interesting and each one’s personality came through. It was well written and once I got into the zone, I didn’t stop reading until my kindle died!

It was worth the read.

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Coming soon…

Selena is excited to have an entire summer in the Wolf Game. Shifting into the red wolf is only the beginning. She is positioned for greatness and she is ready to do whatever she has to in order to take control of the pack. But when everyone forgets it’s just a game, the stakes grow higher and higher. Who’s strong enough to save the pack? Who will be willing to walk away? Who’s going to survive? Wolf Games – coming soon!

I’m planning on publishing this next month, so I hope you’ll be looking for it!!   Wolf Games!

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Who are you?

One of the most frustrating things I’m facing in my writing journey is naming my characters. I want the names to fit the character. Some times it comes to me quickly during my outlining stages. At other times, I’m frustrated.  The perfect name doesn’t want to come to me. I think this happens when I’m trying to write the story quicker than my brain wants to process.

In any event, here is a link to a blog with five tips for picking names. They are really good pointers to keep in mind:

http://voices.yahoo.com/five-tips-naming-characters-fiction-228710.html

Here is a slightly different take on naming that is entertaining to read. This one uses some great examples to emphasise important points and perhaps some inspiration can be gleaned:

http://www.hauntedcomputer.com/write18.htm

Finally, Writing World offers these tips. I particularly like the one about not using names that end in S. Also, there are some good points about considering how your character might translate on the back cover.

http://www.writing-world.com/romance/names.shtml

This last article also spells out some differences in naming in genre stories. I think that is important. I tend to write dark fantasy or urban fantasy and some of it is futuristic. You can have a lot more leeway in naming, but if the name is too far out, it isn’t effective within the story. There is a purpose to a name and whether the story is in modern-day real life setting or a futuristic alternate universe or another planet, it has to work in the story.

Ultimately, I want a name that fits the character, flows well, doesn’t end in S, and is just otherwise perfect for the story.

Yeah… easier said than done.  Time to put on my thinking cap and get creative.

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