Tag Archives: writing

Unspiration

For one reason or another, the other day I was actively trying to think of things that did not inspire me.

My list:

  1. Telephone poles, water towers, billboards
  2. Armadillos, nutria, dingoes
  3. Light bulbs (despite their association with ideas)
  4. American cheese
  5. Petty crimes and misdemeanors

Writers, you know where I’m going with this, right? Any list – even an uninspiration list – can be used for inspiration.

No, I’m not going to write a story about an Oliver Twist type girl with American cheese colored hair who lives in a water tower with only a single light bulb and a family of nutria. But, hey, I could.

I might.

Because ideas can come from anywhere – even unideas. And giving your muse absolute, unfettered freedom can sometimes make your WIP seem fresher and less frustrating. :-D

If you are stuck: write a list! Of anything. Everything. Nothing.

What else have I been up to?

billy joel concert nat park

Concert: My husband’s birthday was this past weekend. We celebrated by seeing Billy Joel at Nationals Park in DC. It was fantastic! Wished he would have played Vienna instead of Uptown Girl, but except for that, a perfect setlist.

Jalapeno Poppers: Once again, I am faced with a bumper crop of jalapeno peppers. What else can you do but stuff them with cream cheese, wrap bacon around them, and bake them?

Reading: LUCY by Laurence Gonzales. I actually bought this some time ago. Yet another example of a book that’s been in my TBR pile way too long. Now that the movie’s out, I figured I’d better get to it.

I miss Borders

I miss Borders

Writing: Here’s another character sketch from the Nightshade novella I’m working on:

Aceraceae “Acer” Feldspar’s healing magic only works on one person: her. Losing her mother at the age of seven to a disease she couldn’t cure, she was determined to find a way to use her magic to help others. Now, at nineteen, Acer protects her tribe’s perimeter. But the intrusion of a scarlet augur – demon harbinger of passion, pain, and seismic change – threatens far more than Acer’s pride.

So how about you? How was your week? Have you seen any great concerts or read any good books? What do you do with a dozen or more jalapenos? Writers, what are you working on? What’s on your “Unspiration” list?

Enjoy the last two days of July!


#Writing Workshops for August

RWA’s Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Chapter is offering two workshops in August. Descriptions, sign up links, and other details are below. Reminder: If you are a writing instructor who would like to teach a class for FF&P, please consider submitting a proposal. We are currently scheduling workshops for the first half of 2015. For more information, please contact me.

LAYERED PLOT TECHNIQUES

We all want to tell a compelling story. We all want our books to be un-put-downable.

When we study a number of plotting techniques, we discover they’re all similar, and different enough to seem discordant. It is possible to make that discord work for us. This class will show how to create a synthesis of techniques that will translate into strategies we can use to make our stories richer, deeper, stronger.

Layering Plot Techniques  focuses on synthesis and assimilation, starting with three of the instructor’s favorite plot techniques/structures: Christopher Vogler’s Hero’s Journey, Michael Hauge’s six-stage structure and the W diagram.

At the end of the class, you’ll have a deeper understanding of plot than any of the techniques could give you alone.

Instructor Bio

In her previous life Terrel Hoffman studied physics, researched superconductors and wrote documentation for engineers. In her current incarnation, she writes paranormal romance and steampunk fantasy,  and teaches writing topics like this one. In addition to her degree in Physics and her educational forays into math and technical writing, she has trained to be a life coach. She is a certified guardian ad litem, has mentored at-risk kids on probation and has served as a CASA (court appointed special advocate) for children in dependency. She holds memberships in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and RWA National, as well as several regional RWA chapters in the Pacific Northwest where she lives. The two cats who share her home assure her she is their property and treat her accordingly.

Cost: FFP Members:$25.00/Non-Members: $30.00

08/04/2014 – 08/31/2014

To sign up for this class, click here.

GAME OF HISTORICAL THRONES

USE THE PAST AS YOUR GUIDELINE FOR CHARACTER MOTIVATIONS, PLOT DETAILS AND WORLDBUILDING

This brilliant idea strikes! You know it’s a winner! It’s got everything you love in a story and you’re rarin’ ta go on it. Then reality strikes back. You have no idea why certain things happen, what should happen next, and there is this scary world building to deal with yet. What to do!!!!???

Head to the past, that’s what. People are people (even aliens from other planets and dimensions and parallel universes are people) and that means the sort of elements you need have been played out before…and will play out again and again and again over time.

In fact, using George R. R. Martin’s GAME OF THRONES as an illustration, see how he might have done just this!

In this 4-week workshop we’ll begin harvesting ideas from the past to recreate in our own special ways to fill the gaps in the brilliant idea waiting to be birthed. We’ll look at how these elements can be used in a contemporary tale or a historical story unrelated to the inspiration we’ll use or how it can show up in something you spin that takes place in the future.

And we’ll do it quick, getting ideas on where to go and what to mine as that brilliant idea evolves into a complete manuscript in your very near future.

Your brilliant idea can lean more toward romance, incorporate mystery, or be totally convoluted fantasy, so come one and come all!

Instructor Bio

Beth Daniels currently writes as Beth Henderson and J.B. Dane, though she answered to Lisa Dane and Beth Cruise in the past as well. She has worked with editors at Berkley, Zebra, Leisure, Harlequin/Silhouette, and Simon and Schuster’s Aladdin Paperbacks, done e-books for a now defunct company (not her fault, she says), and began her writing life with hardcover books slated for library use with a publisher that got out of the romance business (again, not her fault). More recently she’s had a number of articles about writing picked up by e-zines, saw a short story published in a mystery and suspense magazine that turned up its toes the next year (really, really not her fault), and has a story in the MOTHER GOOSE IS DEAD anthology from Dragon Moon Press. For over a dozen years Beth taught college level composition, both in the classroom and online, and a credit course on Novel Writing. Five of her former Novel class students are now published. Twenty-six of Beth’s manuscripts have appeared in print or e-book format. These have been historical romantic adventures (6), romantic comedies (10), romantic-suspense (3), and young adult romantic comedy (7). Her titles have appeared in 12 different languages in over 20 countries. At the moment she is working on various manuscripts and collaborated with another RWA member on a contemporary/fantasy/romantic adventure. She also ventured into self-publishing to keep her out-of-print backlist in print.

Cost: FFP Members:$15.00/Non-Members: $20.00

08/11/2014 – 08/18/2014

To sign up for this class, click here.


#Writing life: Should you keep your face to the sun… Or your nose to the grindstone?

sunflowers 2

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows. It’s what the sunflowers do.” HELEN KELLER

I’ve been keeping my face to the sun and my nose to the grindstone. It’s why I’ve been mostly absent on Facebook and Twitter lately. I’m enjoying summer and my sunny writing cave. What am I working on? A novella featuring a character I’ve wanted to spend more time with for a while now. Here’s his character blurb:

Nocturo “Nightshade” Onyx has the sinister looks of a Maegester but the soft, healing magic of a Mederi. Eight months ago he joined the progressive Demeter Tribe so that he could hone his skills. He now wields surgical scalpels, defensive daggers, and waxing magic with ease. But his greatest challenges are still to come: trapping a demon, capturing a young woman’s heart, and bringing his sister back from the brink of death.

What else have I been up to?

Reading: Tina Connolly’s IRONSKIN and the first two books in C.L. Wilson’s Tairen Soul series.

Map Making: Bought Campaign Cartographer 3. CC2 was tough for me, so wish me luck! If I can master the upgrade, I’ll be able to make maps of the places I write about. Maps I’d love to share: St. Luck’s campus; New Babylon, Etincelle, and the Mederi outposts; the eastern Lethe; the Shallows; southern Halja; and — if all goes according to plan — Rockthorn Gorge!

Animal Shelter: Took some food, treats, and my youngest to visit our local pet shelter. I’m still trying to talk my husband into adopting another cat in the fall. lol.

Sharing someone else’s good hiking/writing advice: I read this article recently about the Appalachian Trail. It struck me that thru-hiker Jim Parkins’ words about hiking a 2,180 mile trail might also apply, with one slight tweak, to writing a 100,000 word novel => “The hardest part is the mental part, [putting your butt in the chair every morning].” (emphasis added :-D )

sunflower

So how’s everyone’s summer going? Are you writing? Reading? Working? Sunbathing? Are you keeping your face to the sun… or your nose to the grindstone?

Hope everyone is having a terrific week!


Functional Nerds Podcast: #writing #violins #scrivener

John Anealio and Patrick Hester, hosts of the Functional Nerds podcast, interviewed me recently (Episode #198). We covered a range of interesting topics, which are listed below so that, even if you only have a few minutes, you can tune in and hear select bits. I’m also including links to some other podcast episodes you may enjoy. If you’re not already a Functional Nerds subscriber, check it out. Podcasts are free, but if you like what you hear, consider donating and/or sharing the links!

04:10 — My Pick of the Week: A Natural History of Dragons

09:09 — Patrick’s Pick of the Week: Magic: The Gathering

12:40 — John’s Pick of the Week: The Shambling Guide to New York City

14:00 — How my past career as a lawyer impacts my writing

18:20 — My alma maters: Penn State and University of Baltimore

19:20 — Me, rambling about how/when I started writing

22:20 — The Episode’s Big Reveal: Patrick tells me there’s a sequel to The Devil Went Down to Georgia (! — I had no idea).

23:10 — I talk about how I used to play the violin; great discussion on kids and music

29:00 — I do a horrible job discussing the original blog post that caught John’s attention (my post at SF Signal: What Is It With The Devil And Violins?). For some insane reason, I thought this would be the one thing John wouldn’t want to talk about (naively assumed he’d have a been there, done that feeling about the topic. Duh.) John’s articulate. I am not. Please forgive and read my original post instead of listening to my inane, totally unprepared response.

38:40 — We discuss fan conventions. John and Patrick share their favorites and recommend some for me.

42:00 — Urged on by me, Patrick gives a mini-intro to Scrivener spiel. I’ve written in Word pretty much since I first switched from typewriter to computer so I wanted to hear his perspective on why Scrivener’s so great.

51:10 — Episode closes with — what else? — The Devil Went Down to Georgia :-D

Other Functional Nerds podcasts you might enjoy:

Episode 195 — James SA Corey

Episode 148 — Mur Lafferty Part 1

Episode 149 — Mur Lafferty Part 2

Episode 146 — Delilah S. Dawson Part 1

Episode 147 — Delilah S. Dawson Part 2

I hope everyone is having a great July!


Book Series: How Many Books Is Enough?

To B4 or Not To B4, that is my question…

Yesterday Lynda from Books Direct posted her interview of me.  We talked about what my family thinks of my writing, my upcoming short story “Dream, Interrupted” (featuring new heroine Corelei Neverest; she was tons of fun to write), and how darn difficult it was to write the ending to White Heart of Justice.

Why was it so hard?

Well, because White Heart of Justice may be the last Noon Onyx book. As I mention in the interview, I felt an enormous amount of pressure to make sure the ending was emotionally satisfying for those who have followed the series so far – which was challenging considering where I’d left things at the end of Fiery Edge of Steel and the fact that, originally, I’d roughly plotted a total of seven books in the series. (Go ahead, you can say it, what sane writer plots that far ahead of her own career?!)

So, after a mild (dare I admit, significant) panic attack, I got down to business and wrote the ending to WHOJ. That ending changed countless times. I’m not sure what readers will think of it. Early feedback has been wonderful but no one (including me) has really addressed whether this is THE END.

The only thing I know for certain is that I’ll likely self-publish any future books in the series. And self-publishing a book the way I’d want to (with quality editing and a fantastic cover artist/designer) wouldn’t be cheap.

The final decision is mine. Creatively, I have to want to do it. And financially I’ll have to decide whether or not I’m comfortable with the risk and investment of moving forward with a Noon Onyx B4 instead of some other equally awesome but different project.

So I’m curious…

READERS: After you finish White Heart of Justice, let me know whether you’d be interested in reading another Noon novel. I feel the ending is satisfactory enough for us all to walk away happy… and yet… as I said during yesterday’s interview, it’s hard to say goodbye. Halja is a fascinating world and Noon is an interesting, strong character to write about.

WRITERS: Have any of you continued a traditionally published series on your own? How’d that work out for you?

Ok, enough already with the serious talk!!!

Today, I’m over at Magic and Mayhem with a really fun guest blog:

Top 5 Cool Things

You Can Do with a Sword

and

Why Heroes & Heroines Can’t Do Without Them

You gotta come check it out. I actually mention WHOJ only once (to point out its inclusion on the Goodreads “It’s All About The Swords!” list). If you love swords, the post is a MUST READ. :-D

In addition to my Super Serious questions above, I also want to know:

What’s your favorite book cover with a sword on it? Have any examples of cool things you can do with a sword?

Lemme know your answers over at Magic and Mayhem!

Thanks for following, everyone! I’m loving all the tweets!!!


#Writing: May FFnP #Workshops — How to Build a Super-Heroine and Book-to-Film Adaptations

Last chance to register for this month’s FF&P workshops: HOW TO BUILD A SUPER-HEROINE and HOW BOOK-TO-FILM ADAPTATIONS WORK. Details are below. FF&P is RWA’s Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Chapter. A couple of months ago, I volunteered to help them with their workshops. 

Are you a writing instructor? Do you have experience offering workshops to writers? If so, I’d love to hear from you! Send me an email (archer at jillarcher dot com) with the proposed workshop title and description, as well as an instructor bio or you can just send me a link to the classes you offer so I can take a look.

Other ways to get involved? Consider joining FF&P or let me know if you’ve taken any awesome workshops lately. Hope everyone’s writing is going well!

HOW TO BUILD A SUPER-HEROINE

Developing your characters can be a delightful task or a painful one, but when those characters are of the super-powered variety, you’ve got an even bigger challenge. In this workshop, Eilis Flynn will examine how super-heroes, and in particular super-heroines, are a little different from other characters you’re creating. What do you have to look for, what do you have to beware of, what do you have to know in order to make the strongest, most memorable super-heroine you can? Using suggestions about powers, weaknesses, origin stories, and personality from the workshop attendees, we’ll build a sample super-heroine to inspire your own stories and super-heroes.

Instructor Bio: Eilis Flynn has spent a large share of her life working on Wall Street or in a Wall Street-related firm, so why should she write fiction that’s any more based in our world? She spends her days aware that there is a reality beyond what we can see … and tells stories about it. Published in finance, romance, and comic books, she lives in verdant Washington state with her equally fantastical husband and the ghosts of spoiled rotten cats.

Cost: FFP Members:15/Non-Members: 20

Register here.

HOW BOOK-TO-FILM ADAPTATIONS WORK

Do you have a novel you think would adapt well to a screenplay?  Have you ever watched a film version of a favorite book and come away annoyed at the changes and deletions?  This 8-session workshop will teach you the steps of adaptation necessary to transfer one medium into another Sally Walker has learned that landed her several adaptation contracts.  One session will be the analysis of the two successful adaptations that motivated her, THE EAGLE (2010) and THE LUCKY ONE (2011).

Instructor Bio: Born to poor farm folk in the little rural community of Exira, Iowa, Sally attended many schools in western Iowa and the Omaha, Nebraska, area.  She eventually graduated from Papillion (NE) High School then nursing school at the University of Albuquerque and, eventually received a BFA in Creative Writing back at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  That degree was accomplished while working full-time as a Critical Care/ER nurse and raising a very active family of three daughters with her engineer husband.  Adeptly juggling family, nursing, civic and Episcopal church responsibilities, Sally founded in 1985 and has conducted the weekly meetings of the eclectic Nebraska Writers Workshop to feed her own hunger for in-depth knowledge and skills. The Workshop has grown from a few tentative to over 50 confidently publishing and produced writers. Her own goal-oriented writing ethic has resulted in a vitae packed with novels, short stories, poetry, magazine articles, stage plays, screenplays and a variety of writing seminars.  In 2000 she was hired as part-time Editorial Director at The Fiction Works and Script Superviser for the affiliated Misty Mountain Productions. After retiring from her nursing career of over 30 years, she was elected President of the prestigious Nebraska Writers Guild, serving 2007-2011.

Cost: FFP Members:30/Non-Members: 35

Register here.


Urban Fantasy Settings: Marcella Burnard on Remodeling Reality

Marcella Burnard, author of Nightmare Ink, released earlier this month, is here today to discuss how she turned her favorite tea shop into an urban fantasy tattoo parlor. She also has some fun extras to share: a playlist and cover puzzle, as well as a tour wide giveaway: 5 e-copies of Nightmare Ink. Links are below. Welcome, Marcella!
urban fantasy

Remodeling Reality

Ballard is a neighborhood in Seattle that’s an odd, delightful blend of blue collar workers, white collar, artists, hipsters, senior citizens and young urban families. The joke is that Ballard is where the Nordic people of the Pacific Northwest come to spend their golden years. It is true that there’s a Nordic Heritage festival every year in Ballard. And that Seafood Fest is the biggest street fair in the neighborhood. Yes. Lutefisk is a part of that festival. No. I won’t go near it. I’m clear that lye is a poison. Also, the way my family tells it, there’s not a Nordic gene in our pool. Everything else, but not Nordic.

Ballard is popular on Friday and Saturday nights for its many, if tiny, music venues and all the bands that come through. Two of the last few remaining record stores in Seattle are on the same street in Ballard. There’s a year round farmer’s market every Sunday that closes Ballard Avenue. That’s the street with the highest density of Ballard’s historical buildings, all of which are heavy stone or brick buildings. Most of them are undergoing earthquake retrofit to bring them up to code.

It’s a lovely part of town that I took a bit of poetic license with for NIGHTMARE INK. The Ballard of Isa’s world is less prosperous, a bit more run down and seedier. It’s also possible I put a bus line where no self-respecting metro bus would go. I rearranged some of the stores and turned my favorite, real-life tea shop into Isa’s tattoo parlor.

Ballard Building

Ballard Building

The cobbled streets outside Isa’s shop? They exist. They’re brick but they still rattle you when you drive over them. The cracked and heaved sidewalks are also a real thing. Seattle loves trees. Every gap in the sidewalk has a tree planted in it regardless of the roots lifting sections of sidewalk. City workers come and pour asphalt to smooth out the sidewalk and keep tripping risks down.

In Isa’s world, gangs run rampant all over the city, including in Ballard. And while Seattle does have its issues with gang activity, Ballard is just not that interesting. Go a little bit north, however, to a city park called Golden Gardens and the story changes. Hardly a summer went by that someone wasn’t shot or stabbed at the park – until the parks department brought in musical acts on Friday and Saturday summer nights for the last few hours that the park was open. Opera. I understand that crime rates at the park plummeted.

I haven’t found a way to work that into Isa’s world, yet, but I sure want to.

More About Nightmare Ink

With the needle of a tattoo gun, Isa Romanchzyk has the power to create and destroy. In her shop Nightmare Ink, Isa helps those in need by binding the powers embedded in their Live Ink—the magical tattoos that can enhance the life of the wearer, or end it.  But binding tattoos has earned Isa the contempt of her fellow artists—including her former lover Daniel.

When a friend comes to the shop with a tattoo on the verge of killing him, Isa can’t turn him away. For the first time in years, she works Live Ink into someone’s skin—something she swore she’d never do again. But breaking her vow soon becomes the least of her problems.

Isa is horrified to discover her friend’s body in the shop, but the real nightmare begins when she’s abducted and inked against her will.  Now, as she seeks retribution from the man who betrayed her, Isa must figure out how to bind her Living Tattoo before it consumes her completely…

You can purchase Nightmare Ink here:

More About Marcella

Marcella Burnard

Marcella Burnard

Marcella Burnard graduated from Cornish College of the Arts with a degree in acting. She writes science fiction romance for Berkley Sensation.

Her first book, Enemy Within won the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award for Best Futuristic of 2010. The second book in the series, Enemy Games, released on May 3, 2011.

An erotica novella, Enemy Mine, set in the same world as the novels was released as an e-special edition by Berkley was released in April 2012. Emissary, a sword and sorcery short story released in the two volume Thunder on the Battlefield Anthology in the second half of 2013.

Playlist

Marcella: The writing playlist leans to the creepy. Usually, I don’t want someone else’s words competing with writing, so most of the music is instrumental. Lisa Gerrard is the exception. The Myst soundtracks in my mp3 player are Myst, Riven and Exile. Exile is my favorite (Peter Gabriel had a bit of a hand in that soundtrack and that’s a huge win from my perspective.) The Halo soundtrack is usually reserved for writing science fiction, but there were scenes in NIGHTMARE INK that called for some fight music. By far, however, Nox Arcana got the most play. Nox Arcana defines creepy. Every one of their albums is a concept album built around a theme. But here. YouTube links so you can sample the music I piped directly to my brain while I wrote NIGHTMARE INK.

Puzzle and Giveaway

Jill: Ya gotta click here to get to the cover puzzle, but I thought it was neat. (Did I mention I love puzzles?) Anyway, I couldn’t get the frame to load directly into this post. I guess WordPress.com doesn’t load frames or forms…? ‘Cause it won’t load the Rafflecopter forms either. Speaking of… Click here for the Rafflecopter form to enter to win one of the 5 e-copies of Nightmare Ink Marcella is giving away and click here for my official rules for giveaways.

So what about you? Do you have a favorite tea shop? Do you drink tea? How about coffee? Do you have a favorite tattoo parlor? Are you inked? (I know I asked that before but it was a long time ago and I have new followers now…) What’s your favorite tattoo? If you’re not inked, do you want to be? Me? Nope, but I know plenty of people who are. Thank you, Marcella, for guest blogging today!

Nightmare Ink Banner

 


White Heart of Justice: Great PW Review!

Publishers Weekly gave White Heart of Justice a wonderful review:

“High stakes and powerful magic collide in the third installment of the Noon Onyx series…. Noon’s voice is wry and genuine, encompassing her sharp sense of self. Some of the major conflict scenes are succinctly and sparsely written; the emotional journey for Noon is far more of the focus, along with the excellent world-building readers have come to expect from Archer.” Publishers Weekly

I love this review! I’m flattered to receive praise from a publication I admire. I also think it’s a great summary of what readers can expect to find in the book. I chuckled when I saw the “succinctly and sparsely written” comment about my major conflict scenes. This book is the shortest of the three and I spent months trying to determine if and where I could/should beef it up. I even drafted a number of additional scenes, which were later cut during editing (more on that later perhaps; too much of a spoiler now). My point is that not once did I consider (until seeing this review) bulking up the major action scenes. Because it’s true — the heart of these stories is Noon’s emotional journey. I build every book around a central question and that central question is directly related to Noon’s inner character development. That said, *I* think the action scenes are great. They’re just the way I like them. ;-) But if you’re looking for epic battles and will settle for nothing less, the Noon Onyx series may not be the fantasy series for you. If you are looking for an emotional journey in a really dramatic, unique fantasy setting, however, then check it out! :-D

Click here for Publishers Weekly‘s review of Fiery Edge of Steel.

A big thanks to PW, RT Book Reviews, and everyone else out there for their interest in the series and for taking the time to write thoughtful reviews.

What’s up for this week? Tomorrow, another guest blogger and Friday, another Disney post. In between… not sure yet… depends on what I have time for. HAPPY MONDAY, ALL!


#UF Author Angela Dennis: SHADOWS OF FATE Playlist and #Giveaway

Angela Dennis is touring to promote her new urban fantasy, SHADOWS OF FATE. She’s got an interesting blurb, a terrific playlist, and a fun giveaway to share. Welcome, Angela!
Shadows of Fate Cover

I’m so excited to have the opportunity to be here. Thanks so much to Jill Archer for the invite!

I’ve been asked numerous times to post my playlist for Shadows of Fate. I don’t know how other writers choose their playlists, but I pick the scene I want to write, then pick a song to help me get in touch with the feeling I want to express through that scene. There is nothing better than a song to help me channel the emotions of my characters. Here is the playlist for Shadows. I hope you enjoy it!

  • 30 Seconds to Mars — Kings and Queens
  • Shine Down– Sounds of Madness
  • Pink — Raise Your Glass
  • Killers — A Dustland Fairy Tale
  • Slash — Gotten (Featuring Adam Levine)
  • Killers — Losing Touch
  • Brandon Flowers — Crossfire
  • Death Cab for a Cutie — Follow You Into the Dark
  • Mirah — The Garden
  • Pink — Try
  • Christina Perri — Jar of Hearts
  • Coldplay — Fix you
  • Jeff Buckley — Hallelujah
  • Eminem — Love the Way You Lie (Featuring Rihanna)
  • One Republic — Apologize
  • Of Monsters and Men — Little Talks
  • Killers — Human

More About Shadows of Fate

Redemption lies beyond the veil between truth and lies.

After witnessing her husband’s brutal murder, Brenna Baudouin lost control of her Shadow Bearer powers and wreaked havoc on her home world. Her penance: one hundred years policing hordes of supernatural misfits that spilled onto the Earthly plane after a cataclysmic war.

She’s on a routine exorcism run when she learns she’s been assigned a new partner. But there’s something about this Shadow Bearer that sparks her suspicions. Particularly when people closest to her start turning up as piles of ash.

Gray Warlow holds tight to the glamour that allows him to get close to the woman on whom he plans to wreak vengeance for betraying his people. Yet as he skillfully manipulates his way past her distrust, he begins to see her not as the heartless monster he was led to believe, but a strong, vulnerable woman.

As they work to put together the pieces of a killer’s macabre puzzle, an attraction deeper than blood and bone flares between them. And they must reveal their deepest secrets to avoid becoming the final targets. 

Warning: A thrill ride of supernatural proportions. Contains violent battle scenes, nail-biting suspense, crazy hot sexual tension, and enough twists and turns to make your head spin.

More About Angela

Angela Dennis lives outside Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, son and a sheltie with a hero complex. When she is not at her computer crafting stories, she can be found feeding her coffee addiction, playing peek-a-boo, or teaching her son about the great adventures found only in books. You can visit Angela here:

TOUR-WIDE GIVEAWAY: Angela is giving away one copy of Shadows of Fate, bookmarks, and coffee. To enter to win the prize pack, click here. (US only due to mailing costs).

So… writers, do you make playlists for each of your books? Do you write certain scenes to music? Readers, do you have any of these songs already? Any that you’re curious about and are now thinking of downloading? Thanks, Angela, for guest blogging today!

Shadows of Fate Banner


Winners and Wrap Up

 

This week I interviewed six new adult SFF authors. (Tuesday: Sarah Harian and Summer Lane; Wednesday: Juliana Haygert and Karen Duvall; Thursday: Rebecca Hamilton and Carrie Butler). We discussed some great topics and showcased some of their novels. To thank participants, I offered one free book (chosen by the winner from among the featured books) and a $10 eGift Certificate to the bookstore of the winner’s choice.

My incredibly high tech method of drawing winners...

My incredibly high tech method of drawing winners…

My elder daughter picked the winners. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO COMMENTED.

(Enlist elder daughter’s help).
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO COMMENTED.

FREE BOOK WINNER => Ruth
$10 EGC WINNER = > bn100

I’ll be in touch about prizes by Monday!

I hope everyone found the interviews and posts as interesting and informative as I did. Surprisingly, my opinion is not much different than it was last year at this time: New Adult is a category that, like its characters, is full of potential. Whether it ever reaches that potential will be up to NA writers and their readers.

I’ll admit that, sometimes, I wonder if we shouldn’t be going in the other direction. If we shouldn’t just jettison the sub-genres and kick the category labels to the curb. There’s so much genre blending these days, maybe those of us who write stories set in imaginary worlds should just label all of our work “speculative” and call it a day.

But I only consider that for a moment. Because today’s publishing world is abuzz with words like “discoverability” and “metadata” and labels matter. Why? Because they help readers find books that are similar to other books they’ve liked.

A few other thoughts

Just to be clear, for anyone who’s been following this who may be new to my work, I think DARK LIGHT OF DAY qualifies as a “new adult” novel, although it’s not a contemporary college romance. It’s got a boarding school setting, a significant romance plot, and a youthful tone. DARK LIGHT OF DAY is also an urban fantasy with deep worldbuilding. In fact, that’s how it was marketed, which is fine. It shares as many characteristics with UF as it does with NA.

FIERY EDGE OF STEEL is neither NA nor UF, although lots of people consider it urban fantasy. I think that speaks to UF’s inclusiveness more than anything else, which is nice but less helpful to readers. It’s a river adventure with romance and mystery elements. That’s why I started calling my work “genre-bending fantasy.” Ha. A cop-out for not coming up with a better label? Maybe.

WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE is a similar adventure story to FIERY EDGE OF STEEL, but this time Noon’s adventure is on land… in a colder, lonelier, harsher environment. It’s more of a quest than a mystery. And, even though Noon’s still a student and one of her biggest motivations in the book is that she wants the right to forge her own career path, I don’t think it’s NA. The character has moved past her earlier NA struggles.

So I continue to label my Noon Onyx series as “genre-bending fantasy.” :-)

And I continue to follow the development of NA literature with interest. :-D

If you enjoyed this Q&A series, please consider supporting my work by pre-ordering WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE:

urban fantasy, dark fantasy, fantasy, White Heart of Justice, Noon Onyx, Jill Archer, cover reveal, cover art

After years of denying her abilities, Noon Onyx, the first woman in history to wield waning magic, has embraced her power. She’s won the right to compete in the prestigious Laurel Crown Race—an event that will not only earn her the respect of her peers but also, if she wins, the right to control her future.

However, Noon’s task is nearly impossible: retrieve the White Heart of Justice, a mythical sword that disappeared hundreds of years ago. The sword is rumored to be hidden in a dangerous region of Halja that she is unlikely to return from. But Noon’s life isn’t the only thing hanging in the balance. The sword holds an awesome power that, in the wrong hands, could reboot the apocalypse—and Noon is the only one who can prevent Armageddon from starting again…

And finally…

This week’s series started with one writer’s question, left as a comment on one of my random blog posts. If you have a question about books or writing, lemme know! Who knows? I may do another series of posts in the future to try to answer it. :-D

Thank you to everyone who participated, both authors and commenters. You are all awesome! Best wishes for the weekend, everyone!


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