Thursday, February 20, 2014

Unseelie & Seelie Goodness

Here's the latest anthology that includes one of my stories. In the beginning, the anthology would be a flip book with Seelie & Unseelie stories. The response led them to split into separate books. Mine, "The Tamer of Beasts", is in the Unseelie anthology, while my friend, Christine Morgan, has a story in the Seelie book. Pick them up in the format of your choice. You won't be disappointed.

A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court





A Chimerical World: Tales of the Unseelie Court





Monday, February 17, 2014

Fitting the character

More of an idle thought as I was tossing and turning last night. My current list of calls is 16, two are due at the end of March and a novella synopsis to submit for a linked trilogy. A future call was announced and that got some ideas stirring. Looking at my current "cast" I can easily fit characters into these calls and all of them have been supporting characters in the past. Except the novella. That's all Theo.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Beauty, Beast, and a Rose

Today's post is inspired by a Facebook group I belong to and the current thread about blogs and a reference to fairy tales. Thanks Liz!

     Of late, I've been writing a lot of urban fantasy and dark fairy tales. For some reason, it's struck a cord with me and the words have come easier than other projects. Another reason is that I love the various characters that I've come up with during the process and want to explore them further. During the last NaNo, I wrote a side story using three of those characters for the fourth time. This morning as I was being bothered by one of the cats demanding pets, the thought hit me on how ideas come to me based on a someone's throwaway line or idle comment. One such occasion brought to life those three characters.

     In the "old days", fairy tales weren't not all brightness, sunshine, and happy endings. Many were dark, brooding, and violent. In a conversation with a friend, we talked about reading them as kids and the sort of inspiration that we pulled from them and how tales are being retold from different POV's or with a twist on the setting. Beauty and the Beast came up and how the POV is one of them for most of the time. My friend mentioned that it would be interesting to see the POV of the rose. That's the comment that sent the wheels in motion.

     What about the rose? What did it feel? How did it "see" the events? Did it lure the father to pluck it, knowing the consequences? What if it was holding Beauty and Beast captive, toying with them at a whim? I loved the notion that the rose was the antagonist of the story and what if? That's was the genesis of The Flowering Princess of Dreams, The Tamer of Beasts, and Justin [aka Beast]. To date, the stories "The Flowering Princess of Dreams" and "The Tamer of Beasts" have been sold and published. Tamer was written first, but FPoD got the glory of seeing print first. The other two stories are hanging around, waiting for calls or revisions. Not a conscious effort, but I've noticed that my fairy tale stories get titles referring to characters and it seems to work so far.

    In the process of spinning stories, I've come up with a nice dynamic on how they interact with each other and what I hope is a different spin on a familiar fairy tale. The stories in question are in "Someone Wicked" by Smart Rhino Publications and "A Chimerical World: Tales of the Unseelie Court." by Seventh Star Press.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Looking Ahead in 2014

This is going to be a bit of ramble.

     We're a month and change into 2014 and I finally have a chance to breath. Last two months have been busy with another project and my chances to writing has suffered. I don't regret it, as I was helping someone with their dream and that makes things okay. Now it's time to get back to writing and taking stock of what I've got pending.

     NaNo left me with three finished short stories, a hefty partially-complete novella, and a smattering of ideas that need to be expanded upon. I just finished taking two of the short stories and pulling them out of Scrivner and into a file for submission. They were destined for calls, but those have passed, so now I'm working on finding them a new home. Each needs a complete edit pass on them and then shipped them off to beta readers for review. More of my urban fantasy faerie tales, including Tamer, Beast, and The Princess from previously published stories.

     The past two months has seen five short stories go into print, either dead tree or e-book. That brings the total to eight since I started this back in February 2012. Two years. It's been an interesting haul, but I want more. "Fire and Frost" went to a professional for editing and review. I got a lot of good praise and a dose of good advice. Now I've got to take it all, revise the story, add more words, and then send it out. I can do this. I can get it published. That's the next milestone for me and time to get serious about it. That also leaves my 2013 NaNo effort, Oath of Fire, which needs at least another 10-15k words to complete. I've got the ending written for once, even if it's not a whole story.

     Another bit that's spurring me on is all the stuff in my head. It wants to be told. All the characters are asking for screen time to tell their tales and the queue gets longer each week. "Oath of Fire" is the origin story for my main character, who features prominently in "Fire and Frost", which is eleven years in the future and there's a handful of tales that have been published that fit between those points of time [Broken Horn, The Dank, Knife's Edge]. Add to that is the Tamer/Beast/Princess stories [The Flowering Princess of Dreams, The Tamer of Beasts] which are nominally set in the same "universe". Yes, there's a chance of a cross-over, but its not joined in queue yet just loitering in the background. Then there's "The Crew", which got rejected on one hand, yet possibly accepted on the other hand to a different, yet related, publication. I sent out a query again to see if the offer is still open. If so, that means a reformatting of the story, but no major edits, just tweaks.

     So, here's the list of current stories in publication which can be found on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Nobles. Theses are in no particular order. A special mention to Weldon Burge of Smart Rhino for taking a gamble on an unknown author with a story about a boy and his ax. Thanks for the acceptance.

"The Dank" in Fossil Lake, An Anthology of the Aberrant [Daverana Enterprises]
"GRONK!" in ATTACK! of the B-Movie Monsters [Grinning Skull Press]
"The Tamer of Beasts" in A Chimerical World: Tales of the Unseelie Court [Seventh Star Press]
"The Flowering Princess of Dreams" in Someone Wicked [Smart Rhino Publications]
"Broken Hron" in Astrologica: Stories of the Zodiac [Alchemy Press]
"Knife's Edge" in 66 Sex Club [Scarlet Petals Press] [NSFW]
"Perfection" in Zippered Flesh 2 [Smart Rhino Publications]
"Madame" in Uncommon Assassins [Smart Rhino Publications]