Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Notes from the (re)Writing Cave, and an Orc Saga Teaser

I'm back in the saddle, going through my manuscript for some extensive reworking and rewriting -- I've already cut 13,500 words or so and added back in about the same amount, and I'll be rewriting the last 100 pages more or less entirely. These next two months are going to be a whirlwind of writing, rewriting and revising, punctuated by my trip to Denver for the HNS conference, which means it's time for the annual summer hiatus!

Fear not loyal friends and followers -- with any luck, I'll be back mid-August, and I'm tentatively planning for a new game of #NAMEthatBUTT in the fall, (assuming I can relocate the lost butts required!)

Enjoy your summer festivities and be sure to check back in when I return, because I'm hoping with fingers crossed times a million to maybe possibly hopefully perchance have some authory news, for all you wonderful readers and fans who have been waiting oh-so-patiently for me to talk about what might actually be coming next in some kind of firm manner. (Oh, Publishing!)

In the meantime I'll leave you with this small teaser of Orc Saga: Book Two, because I can't make any promises at all quite yet --

“What are you?” Ragnar demanded.

Bolvarr forced himself to relax, forced his limbs to assume more of a lounge against the stone at his back, than the miserable crouch he’d suffered since moonset. “What do I look like?”

Ragnar grunted, pacing slowly around him, as if to get a better look. “Seithr, by the marks on your face, but you’re strange even for their kind. And everyone knows no Seithr woman would teach a man her arts.”

“Maybe my mother made an exception.” Bolvarr shrugged, causing the chains to clank together. He had no idea what the Seithr were, but he could only assume they were witches of some kind.

“That green skin is something else. You’re too pretty to be orc or dragonkin, so I suppose you’ll tell me it was the work of some potion.”

“Not at all,” Bolvarr said, pretending boredom.


“Cursed.” He tipped his head back against the wall and closed his eyes. Men or elves, it always came back to the shade of his skin. The imperfections of his form. He was the closest the Hrimthursar had come to redemption, and it wasn’t anything near good enough. How he’d believed for a moment they’d think him human in the dark was a question that was likely to mock him until the end of his days. Which, it turned out, might well end up being far sooner than he’d anticipated. “By the Ancestors.”

Ragnar snorted. “Cursed or not, you’ll make a fine gift for the king. And if the Ancestors smite him for holding you, all the better.”

“And why’s that?” Bolvarr asked, lifting one eyelid to watch him make his way back to the door. A handspan thick, and reinforced with iron bands, not that he could reach it, chained as he was.

“Because he’s standing in my way.” And then the door swung shut with a thump, taking the torchlight and Ragnar with it.

Forged by Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1) Tempting Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1.5) Fate Forgotten (Fate of the Gods, #2) Taming Fate (Fate of the Gods, #2.5) Beyond Fate (Fate of the Gods, #3)
Honor Among Orcs (Orc Saga, #1) * Postcards from Asgard * Helen of Sparta
Buy Now:
Amazon | Barnes&Noble

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Ode to an Action Figure Base

Little did you know, O Lowly Styrofoam Packing Piece, when you were formed to cradle and cushion a halogen lamp, that upon unpacking, you would be called to serve a higher purpose! How could you have dreamed that once revealed and emptied of your precious cargo, you might fall into the hands of a small girl in need.

And there was no greater need in those days, than the need for a most excellent base. What are action figures without the shelter of a base? Without wall behind which they might hunker and defend themselves from marauding jungle animals three times their size? Without pressure and vacuum formed rises and dips to be seated upon as improvised couches? Without the canvas of styrofoam upon which computer terminals and monitors might be drawn, to spy upon thine enemies and receive communiques?

O Lowly Styrofoam Packing Piece, how finely you served! With a hole in the center, perfectly created to imprison and punish our enemies, and neat rows to prop those figures which could not quite stand on their own feet, or to be treated as benches in a make-shift briefing. Your thin corners easily broke to become escape hatches, at just the right height and size for the tiger figurine allies to stick their heads inside and converse with our heroes.

Truly, there was no awesomer Base to be had. And so many hours we spent together, in play! Somehow, you survived the garbage bag sweeps in which so many green plastic berry pint elevator/prison cells lost their lives, and we played on through the years, traveled on from the house of our childhood, to the home of our teen years, and even hid those long years while I was away at college, until you returned to me again, here, now.

But alas, there are no games left to play, O Lowly Styrofoam Packing Piece. Your destiny has been fulfilled, and after all these long years, it is time to set you free. To free myself from the clutter of your presence in the back of my closet where you merely waste away, beginning at long last to disintegrate, suffering only neglect, as my play has become words on pages and pages bound into books.

And so I say goodbye, friend Styrofoam Packing Piece. Goodbye, and thank you for all the good times, all the memories, all the stories we shared.

May you return to the great Styrofoam farm in the sky, where the children never grow up, and the action figures always need a base. They will find no greater base than you!

Forged by Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1) Tempting Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1.5) Fate Forgotten (Fate of the Gods, #2) Taming Fate (Fate of the Gods, #2.5) Beyond Fate (Fate of the Gods, #3)
Honor Among Orcs (Orc Saga, #1) * Postcards from Asgard * Helen of Sparta
Buy Now:
Amazon | Barnes&Noble

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Life, The Universe, Everything (V)

I have come to the conclusion that She's All That was a fluke, because I've yet to watch another Freddie Prinze Jr movie (Netflix is suffering from a rash of them) in which he is remotely compelling as a character or actor.
Our friendly neighborhood Milk Snake, not to be confused with
the garage-dwelling snake who refuses to have his picture taken.

These are the kinds of things I learn when I am not actively engaging in disciplined writing. But the vacation is about over -- starting today, I'm back on a regimented daily word count 5 days a week. I'm starting light and ramping up, but I know there's going to be some serious editing and revision work in my too-near future, so exercising those writing muscles is the best way to prepare.

I can't say I feel particularly refreshed after my time away from daily writing. Mostly I just feel kind of anxious, sleep-deprived, and cranky. When I'm not writing I'm far more likely to slip into negative thought patterns and I'm generally not nearly as fun to be around. Sometimes I *do* need a break from the pressure of all the words, but breaking from the actual writing itself for too long is asking for trouble -- part of the reason I choose to be a writer is because writing helps keep me generally healthy and happy.

Which isn't to say that being a writer doesn't have its detractions. Anyone who says it's all flowers and kittens is a liar. But I wouldn't really know what else to do with myself at this point -- maybe go back to bookselling instead, somewhere.

For good or ill, I'm an author now. And an author's gotta write.

Well, and occasionally conference. Which is what I'll be doing at the end of this month at the Historical Novel Society Conference in Denver. Give a shout in the comments if I'll see you there!

Forged by Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1) Tempting Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1.5) Fate Forgotten (Fate of the Gods, #2) Taming Fate (Fate of the Gods, #2.5) Beyond Fate (Fate of the Gods, #3)
Honor Among Orcs (Orc Saga, #1) * Postcards from Asgard * Helen of Sparta
Buy Now:
Amazon | Barnes&Noble

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Life, The Universe, Everything (IV)

The floors are done!!!!

We're still living college-chic, with two armchairs (one which I salvaged in my college days from a pile of furniture beside the dumpster, of course) and a coffee table for our main seating, but all the gross 70s rugs are gone!

Construction isn't QUITE finished -- there's still a length of back-hallway that needs to be tiled -- but we're no longer getting up at 7 in the morning to hustle the cats into the basement in time to let the contractors in, and that alone is a glorious thing. We're also still in the process of setting up our new room, and the books are still in sad boxes, but we'll get there.

For now, a small preview of our fancy new area rug:

Because if you can't put a Millennium Falcon rug on your floor as an adult, when can you?

Forged by Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1) Tempting Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1.5) Fate Forgotten (Fate of the Gods, #2) Taming Fate (Fate of the Gods, #2.5) Beyond Fate (Fate of the Gods, #3)
Honor Among Orcs (Orc Saga, #1) * Postcards from Asgard * Helen of Sparta
Buy Now:
Amazon | Barnes&Noble

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Life, The Universe, Everything (III)

We're now entering week two of the New Floors of Doom project. One day I will once again sleep without waking up to an alarm, and that day will be sweet and beautiful. In the meantime, my brain appears to have reprogrammed itself to a roughly 8am wake-up, which I'll be honest, I kind of resent. Here at House Dillin, we keep a different schedule for practical reasons relating to non 9-5 work schedules, so these earlier mornings kind of mess everything up.

Writing-wise, I'm staring at a synopsis that I have no idea how to tackle. I thought Synopses were supposed to get easier to write as time goes by, but it turns out, while that might be true for a synopsis written after the book is done, it is still NOT true for the synopsis meant to PITCH the book to begin with, before the writing has happened. And if this weren't a book based on myth, I'd be TOTALLY screwed. As it happens, I at least have the mythic framework to help me get my bearings, but knowing in advance where I'll diverge is... challenging. Sometimes I don't know how I'm going to make something work until I get there. This is definitely one of those times.

I'm also still picking at this contemporary romance. A couple hundred words at a time, sometimes more, most often less. Just playing, really. And since I've been in vacation mode on the blog, I thought I'd give you guys a little peek. Meet Methuselah "Sully" O'Sullivan and Kate "don't call me Kay-Kay" Knight:

“It’s hilarious,” he said, grinning, now. “The look on your face when he said it, too, later on. It was the definition of glaring daggers, I swear.”

“Well at least nobody ever tried to nickname me Meth-head.”

“Mock all you want, Katelet, I know it’s only because it drives you crazy that I’m not bothered when someone messes with my name.”

“You know that just makes me sound like some kind of flapjack, don’t you? It doesn’t even make sense.”

“How does Katelet make you think of flapjacks?” he asked, his eyes crinkling at the corners, the way they always did when he was utterly at a loss. “For that matter, who even uses the word flapjack?”

“Plenty of people.”

“If you can find three right now who even know what a flapjack is, I’ll buy your first three drinks tomorrow night.”

“Game on, Sully-O.”

He snorted. “Sully-O? Is that really the best you can do?”

“Short notice,” I mumbled, setting my coffee down on the table. “If you’ll excuse me.”

“Of course, Kay-Kay, take all the time you need.”

I glared, mostly for effect, as I stood, and then climbed on my chair. “A hand?”

Sully put down his cup and rose, giving me a theatrical little bow, before offering his hand with a flourish. “Forgive me for leaving my gloves at home.”

“Shut up and don’t let me fall.”

But it was one of the things that I liked most about Sully – he never questioned. Never hesitated to participate, even when he really should. It was what won him the prize in the roommate awards, more than anything else. All those late night over-tired-and-possibly-one-too-many-drinks-drunk adventures that you could only have if the person you lived with was willing to indulge you in your obvious insanity. Sully had yet to so much as blink in the year and a half we’d lived together.

“Excuse me!” I called out, once I’d hauled myself up onto the tabletop – a high-top, no less, and it wobbled pretty disconcertingly, if I was being honest. “Just a moment of your time, please!”

All eyes in the coffee shop turned to me and I didn’t miss Eric’s groan from behind the counter, either. I’d apologize on my way out and make Sully tip him. He always had cash, though I could not for the life of me figure out why he bothered to carry it.

“This fine gentleman below me has agreed to buy me a whole night of drinks if I can find three other patrons who know what a flapjack is!” I went on, once I had their attention. “Who among you has the wit and wisdom to challenge his insulting assumption regarding the use and abuse of the expression in question?”

Tune in next week for *fingers crossed* the conclusion of the New Floors of Doom adventures, and um... I have no idea what else. I guess we'll all just have to wait and see.

Forged by Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1) Tempting Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1.5) Fate Forgotten (Fate of the Gods, #2) Taming Fate (Fate of the Gods, #2.5) Beyond Fate (Fate of the Gods, #3)
Honor Among Orcs (Orc Saga, #1) * Postcards from Asgard * Helen of Sparta
Buy Now:
Amazon | Barnes&Noble

Friday, May 15, 2015

Cover Art Reveal for Fractured Days by Rebecca Roland

My fellow WWP author, Rebecca Roland is releasing the sequel to her fantastically atmospheric fantasy novel Shards of History, and today she's revealing the Cover Art! Check it out below, along with the blurb! And if you haven't read Shards of History, and love fantasy, definitely grab your copy and give it a read, so you're ready for FRACTURED DAYS, available June 9th!

Malia returns home the hero of a war she can’t remember. The valley burning under the Maddion's invasion, the fate of her late husband, the way she resolved the long-time distrust between the Taakwa people and the wolfish, winged Jegudun creatures—all of it has been erased from her memory. Malia hopes to resume training as her village’s next clan mother, but when the symbiotic magic that she and the Jeguduns used to repair the valley’s protective barrier starts to consume more and more of her mind, she's faced with the threat of losing herself completely.

A powerful being known as “the changer” might hold the solution to her vanishing memories. But the Maddion’s new leader, Muvumo, also seeks the changer, hoping the being will cure them of the mysterious illness killing off his people. Meanwhile, Muvumo’s bride hopes the changer can bring about a new era, one in which she and the other Maddion women no longer need to hold onto their greatest secret.

Pre-order on Amazon Kindle.
Pre-order on Kobo.
Pre-order trade paperback.
Add it on Goodreads.

And it looks like there's a Goodreads Giveaway, too!

Forged by Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1) Tempting Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1.5) Fate Forgotten (Fate of the Gods, #2) Taming Fate (Fate of the Gods, #2.5) Beyond Fate (Fate of the Gods, #3)
Honor Among Orcs (Orc Saga, #1) * Postcards from Asgard * Helen of Sparta
Buy Now:
Amazon | Barnes&Noble