Fellowship of Fantasy Writers Blog Tour – Day 16 – Deedee Davies

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Today we continue the Fellowship of Fantasy Writers Blog Tour with British writer, Deedee Davies. Tell us a bit about yourself, Deedee.

I’m a short-story author and wannabe novelist interested mainly in the fantasy, horror and science-fiction genres. I’ve had five short stories published to date in publications from Seventh Star Press, Horrified Press and EMBY Press, and am currently seeking a publisher for my first novel. A second book is more or less complete and a third (a sequel to my first novel) is in progress. I’m also a cover artist, with around 30 published book covers under my belt. I live in Plymouth, UK with my partner, 10 spiders and four snakes.

 

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Fortune’s Thief.  It was (as most of my work is) inspired by a random thought.  I started writing about a man who had been away from his friends and their thirst for adventure for some years, being pulled back into that life. Around that time, I also had another idea about a mystical stone and a magical sword.  I ended up working the three elements into one story and out popped Fortune’s Thief.

Deedeefortunesthiefcover10122014

Do you have any unusual writing habits?

I think the phrase ‘anytime, anyplace, anywhere’ applies. I have been known to write in bus shelters, pubs, hotels, on trains, buses, parked in my car in a layby, and walking down the street (dangerous, but it has to be done if you want to get those ideas down while they’re fresh!).  I also need either absolute silence to write, or else low background noise (like the noise of a coffee shop or pub). If there’s music, my head’s in the music, not the writing. Oh, and the most potent ideas always pop into my head ten minutes after I’ve turned the light off, which is why I keep a book and pen next to my bed.

 

What authors or books have influenced you?

Clarke Ashton Smith, Robert E Howard and Edgar Rice Burroughs are the biggest influences on my writing.  Clarke Ashton Smith (and his contemporaries) always drew me in with his rich writing style, while the low fantasy of Howard and Burroughs appealed to me in a way high fantasy never has.  Although it’s fantasy, you won’t find elves or wizards throwing fireballs in my writing!

 

What are you working on now?

A sequel to Fortune’s Thief and a vampire romance novel.  No, it’s absolutely not what you’re thinking!

 

What is your best method or website for book promotion

It’s hard to say as I’ve only had stories published in anthologies, but social media seems by far the best way to get the word out. I have profiles on and constantly update Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Amazon Author Central, Goodreads and AuthorDB.

 

Do you have any advice for new authors?

Go and see what publishers are looking for, find something that appeals to you, and write about that.  If you go and write a random story about something no publisher is looking for, it’ll be that much harder to find representation.

 

What is the best advice you have ever heard?

Write with one person in mind as the audience: it really helps you focus.

 

What are you reading now?

 Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence. I really enjoyed the first two in the trilogy but I’m finding this one slow going, so I’m dipping into the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. I’m on my third this month – I think they’re a bit addictive…

 

What’s next for you as a writer?

To finish my next book and get the first one published. I have three publishers potentially interested at the moment, but I’m finding it a bit of a minefield.

 

3 or 4 books for deserted island?

The Name of the Wind, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Newnes Golden Treasury, The Mabinogion.

 

What inspires you to write?

Really mundane, everyday things.  I like to take a concept or image that strikes me in everyday life, convert it, add a fantasy twist and run with it to see where it takes me.

 

Tell us about your writing process

I outline the plot, sketch the main scenes, figure out roughly what’s going to happen – and then often write something completely different.

 

Are you an outliner or a seat of the pants writer?

Usually I just let the story flow with just a nugget of an idea underpinning it, but I’ve found recently where I’m working on novel-length projects, once I get past 40,000 words, I lose track and I absolutely have to plan it out so that I know where I’m going.

 

What do you use to outline? Whiteboard? Software?

I use yWriter, which is free software and has some fantastically useful tools for planning, outlining, organising your thoughts, characters, items, locations, chapters and scenes. It also has a ‘read aloud’ feature, which helps you to understand how your text flows, and a facility to output to e-book format. I’ve also recently taken up a free trial of Scrivener and may well be investing when the 30 days are up!

 

Do you create character sketches before or during your writing?

I rarely create character sketches before I start: I prefer to let them create themselves as I go, but I’ve just started doing this with my current book in Scrivener. I’ve found pictures that match each of the principal characters, and have noted the salient details for each. I’ve found it’s given me a much stronger starting point than usual and just looking at the pictures inspires me to write about the characters and envisage what they might say.

 

Do you listen to or talk to your characters?

While I know some people have characters running riot in their heads with constant internal monologues, my process is to drive their creation, and I usually find that after a short while, they write themselves.

 

How do you interact with your characters while you are writing?

When I’m having trouble getting the dialogue to come out, I stand up and act out the scene, playing each part and putting myself in the character’s shoes. It works a treat!

 

What advice would you give other writers?

Write about what you know and love.

 

What do you think about the future of book publishing?

I think the market for e-books will get stronger and stronger, but I’d like to think there will always be a market for the hard copy.  While I do have an e-reader, there’s nothing quite like sitting down with a bona fide paperback. I’ve also found in my recent dealings with publishing companies that there are a lot of POD publishers out there masquerading as traditional publishers, or who aren’t up front about the fact that they want you to pay for your own publishing. I think there will be more of this kind of approach as POD services become more accessible.

 

Connect with Deedee on her blog or Amazon author page.

 

Deedeebloodtrails  DeedeeFinal_TalesoftheUnseelieCourt_650  Deedeejust onemore step  deedeethe end was not the end cover 300

 

Visit Charlotte Babb for my stop of the tour and an intro to the devious Tegs, Morgana and Stella.

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Fellowship of Fantasy Writers – Day 12 – JoElle Martin

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Today on Paws4Thought we welcome fantasy writer JoElle Martin

 

Q – Tell me a little about your books JoeElle.

A – My young adult series, Dreamer’s Forest, is a story about a young girl who, on her eighteenth birthday, finds a gateway to the fairy world and learns that she is part fairy. My romance novel, Julianne’s Wish, is about a woman, Julianne, and an elf, Forest, who discover they are soul mates. They share the same soul. However, Julianne, despite her attraction to him, is unable to fall in love with Forest because of a wish she made as a young girl.

 

Q – What attracts you to fantasy?

A – I am a romantic who still believes in fairies and happily ever after.

 

Q – If you had a superpower what would it be?

A – With power comes responsibility. I don’t know that I want that kind of burden.

 

Q – Like me you right some YA, how have you attracted teens to read your books?

A – I tested them out on my nieces. Six of my nieces were in their teens when I was writing the Dreamer’s Forest series. I’d send them excerpts and they’d beg for more. They’ve grown up with my books.  Now they are old enough to read my adult romance novels.

 

Q – Have you made any New Year’s Resolutions this year?

A – No. I don’t keep them. But I do have goals for myself for this year, but I set those back in October for after the Fellowship Blog Tour.

 

Q – If you could travel to any place, real or imaginary where would you go?

A – Eight years ago, my husband and I visited Ireland for 10 days. It was amazing. We plan to go back, but for at least two weeks next time.

(I’ve never been to Ireland and would really like to visit. One of my characters, Jessamyn, grew up there and the location is featured in Argentum. I took a virtual tour via the Internet when I was writing that part. DMK)

 

Q – Tell me one odd thing about you.

A- My friends and family tell me I see the world in a strange way.  I see histories, stories, and details in people that no one else sees.

 

book bridge (2)  book secret  my books moonlight

 

 

Fun Facts about the Dreamer’s Forest Series:

The Kingman Family – they are named after the town of Kingman AZ.

Dexy – is named after the band Dexy’s Midnight Runners

Alyssa and Amanda – are named after my nieces. One of them, in the story, studies nursing. One of my nieces actually just finished nursing school.

Rachel Kingman – was named in honor of my son’s German Shepherd Dog, Rachel, who was a guide dog puppy.

Dreamer – was the most difficult character to name. He rejected about five names before he accepted Dreamer. I didn’t find out why until later. His name came to me while listening to the Dream Academy’s song “Life in a Northern Town”.

A Bridge in the Forest – I sent my sister and nieces a list of 12 names for the title of the first novel. They didn’t like any of them. The title didn’t come to me until the manuscript was nearly finished. It made the titles of the next books, A Secret in the Forest and Moonlight in the Forest, very easy.

The inspiration for the story came to me while I was driving through the Willamette and Deschutes National Forests in Oregon during a full moon.

(I also flounder sometimes with titles – I was halfway through the book before I came up with the title, Argentum and I still (two thirds of the way through) don’t have a firm title for book 3. DMK)

 

 

ABOUT JOELLE

me me me

 

JoElle was born in the Pacific Northwest. When she was a young girl, she moved with her family to Guadalajara, Mexico. She has since lived in South Texas, Central Texas, the Bay Area of California, and now her home is in Northern Nevada.

Today she spends most of her time wandering the scenic highways of America with her husband and creating new worlds and characters for her novels.

JoElle comes from a large family. With two older brothers and three younger sisters, she enjoyed the middle spot while growing up. (She was the official tattletale – a title none of her siblings ever let her forget). Though she loved playing outside as a child, she was also a bookworm.

Married shortly after graduating high school, she and her husband have been happily married over 30 years. (Which is a big reason JoElle firmly believes in happily ever afters!)

When they are home, JoElle and her husband enjoy visiting their son, daughter in law, and four grandchildren.

Ever since she was a little girl, and wrote her first multi-page story in fourth grade, JoElle knew she wanted to be a writer.  She competed in Journalism in high school, winning several awards in feature writing. JoElle writes both fiction and non-fiction. In addition to her novels, she has written a number of feature stories of community interest for local newspapers on subjects such as volunteering, guide dogs, homeschooling, and the Explorer program. She served as a regional editor for a homeschooling newsletter and has had a number of short stories and articles published in print magazines and e-zines.

Connect with Joelle on her website, Goodreads, or Facebook.

Also today swing over to Robert Brooks’s blog where Debbie will be visiting!

And don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter.

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Fellowship of Fantasy Writers Blog Tour – Day 11 – Quan Williams

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Today on day 10 of the Fellowship of Fantasy Writers Blog Tour we welcome author of Godmode, Quan Williams, who has a new way of looking at writing.

 

Writing is the new Running

By Quan Williams

 

One of the more intriguing things to me about pop culture is the portraying of “running” as a person. The first I had heard of this was in the Mel Gibson movie “What Women Want,” where the hit ad campaign concocted by Mel and Helen’s characters features a Nike shoe campaign aimed at female runners.

 “You don’t stand in front of a mirror before a run…
and wonder what the road will think of your outfit.
You don’t have to listen to its jokes and pretend they’re funny.
It would not be easier to run if you dressed sexier.
The road doesn’t notice if you’re not wearing lipstick.
It does not care how old you are.
You do not feel uncomfortable… because you make more money
than the road.
And you can call on the road whenever you feel like it,
whether it’s been a day… or a couple of hours
since your last date.
The only thing the road cares about…
is that you pay it a visit once in a while.”

Since then, I’ve seen a number of ads promoting “running” as this anthropomorphic person all runners have an intimate relationship with. This person even wrote a blog about it (http://www.irunfar.com/2014/09/my-relationship-with-running.html) Even recently I heard a commercial saying “Running does not like the shoes you bought for it,” as if Running is going to dump you for another runner with better shoes. I personally think the metaphor has been taken to a ludicrous extreme, but that is the nature of advertising. I’m actually impressed that the meme has lasted this long.

But that got me to thinking. Why should Running have all the fun? What about those of us who might not have had relations with Running, but have instead courted someone else? Someone, like, maybe…Writing? Pretty much everything you can associate with the amount of discipline, dedication and passion it takes to be a serious runner you can also apply to being a writer. Writing can be every bit as fickle a mistress as running; every bit as time and life-consuming, every bit as painful (although in different ways) and mentally taxing, with just as much chance of ostracizing you from so-called “normal” people. Non-runners will never understand why runners run. Non-writers will never understand why writers write.

So let’s change the metaphor a little bit. Let’s take all of those cool sayings and catchphrases for running, take the word “running” out and replace with the word “writing.” The road is now the page. Your trusty pair of running shoes is now your favorite writing pen (or your laptop) What would a Nike commercial for “Writing” be?

“There are clubs you can’t belong to.
Neighborhoods you can’t live in.
Schools you can’t get into.
But the page is always open. Write.”

“Write happy. Write grumpy. Write speedy. Write slow. Just write.”

“The biggest mistake a writer can make is to be afraid of making one.”

“If you want to become the best writer you can be, start now. Don’t spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it.”

See how easy that is?

 

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Quan Williams was born and raised in Flint, MI, and has always had a love for stories. Quan honed his writing craft at the University of Michigan, where he studied creative writing under the tutelage of novelists Jonis Agee (Strange Angels, South of Resurrection) and Tish O’Dowd Ezekiel (Floaters). He also found time to write and illustrate three comic books and work as an entertainment journalist for the Michigan Daily Newspaper for three years.
Since graduating, Quan has jumped at every opportunity to bring his wild ideas to life. He wrote the short story “That Weird Kid” which was published by The web magazine Storiesthatlift.com, before writing the young adult novel The Leopard Man. He wrote, illustrated and programmed two webcomics, one of which (The Seizure) was collected and published as a trade paperback. He wrote the business/family melodrama Double Entry which was published by Red Rose Publishing, and his latest novel, Godmode, was recently picked up by Necro Publications.
links: @bahamutali (twitter)

G O D M O D E

The Sci-Fi Survival horror novel by Quan Williams

 

Connect with Quan on their blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

Godmode

 

Enter the rafflecopter for a chance to win an audio soundtrack of Godmode and many other cool prizes.

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And check out my post today on RJ Mirabal’s blog.

Fellowship of Fantasy Writers Blog Tour – Day 10 – Lee Dunning

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Exile’s Redemption by Lee Dunning

Exiles Redemption

About the Story

 

Exile’s Redemption is, on the surface, a fantasy adventure tale about good versus evil, but it goes beyond that. It’s about paths taken which changed the course of history and sent a proud race down a road of slow decline – so slow they don’t even realize that one day they’ll exist only in history texts and children’s stories.

One of the individuals from days long past, Umbral K’hul, returns after ten thousand years of exile. He discovers his flare of temper as a boy not only saw him banished but set the stage for pride and ambition to run unchecked among his people. He must come to grips with his failings and work to rebuild his people while keeping them from discovering his true identity. Adopting the name W’rath, the elves’ first-born son, joins with a young, untried warrior and strives to save their people.

While the story tackles serious subjects, it is written to entertain and amuse. The characters express themselves in unique ways, and carry the story along in a fast-paced manner. Exile’s Redemption is very much a character driven story, quirky characters for certain, but never boring.

 

 Characters in Exile’s Redemption

Lady Raven

Umbral K’hul: Ten thousand years ago he tried to murder his father.  He failed and found himself exiled to the Abyss to face certain death.  Fate has opened a door and given him a second chance.

Raven: A young scholar, she has traveled to Second Home to research the truth about the first child born to the elves, Umbral K’hul.

Lady Swiftbrook: Driven insane by demons, she is rescued and healed by a small, filthy elf, and so starts a dangerous friendship.

Lord K’hul: Newest war leader to the elves, and lover of Lady Swiftbrook, he trusts not the smirking new arrival at his lady’s side.

smirking

Excerpt

 

Okay, this is a scene from Exile’s Redemption between my primary male protagonist, W’rath, and his pain-in-the-arse half-nephew, K’hul. W’rath wants to put a stop to a rather nasty practice going on in the Elven nation of First Home, and K’hul, who has just replaced his father as “First Among Equals” is standing in W’rath’s way. Enjoy.

*****

Now that they were away from the others, and any possibility of public humiliation, K’hul’s confidence reasserted itself. He faced W’rath, arms crossed, his face hostile. “You have me here now, Exile. What do you plan to do? Chew on my ankles?” 

“Really, lad, short jokes? Even among the Shadow Elf population, I’m shy several inches of average. I’ve heard every possible insult in existence. You’ll have to work much harder if you wish to provoke me. Oh, I know, threaten to keep my lads helpless and labeled as inher­ently evil. That will get my attention.”

K’hul raised an eyebrow. “You’re lads? Until a few days ago, you didn’t even know they existed. Until a few minutes ago you’d never laid eyes upon them. How can you call them ‘your lads’ when you don’t know a thing about them? Their own councilors wanted them collared. You just strut in and decide they should have full access to their psion­ics without first finding out why your predecessors thought it was a bad idea?”

“Interesting.” W’rath cocked his head. “That actually came across as a coherent argument.”

“So we’re done with this, then?”

W’rath chuckled. Ah, so young, so naïve. “Of course not, lad. Those collars will come off. But since you went to the effort to put together a logical reason for your obstinacy, it’s only fair I do the same.”

“Or, since we both know nothing you say will change my mind, we could just skip that part and move on to where I pummel you into a jelly. A very small jelly.” K’hul made a show of cracking his knuckles.

“Charming. However, isn’t that a bit archaic? Isn’t the whole purpose of having a council to facilitate communication and the exchange of ideas? Or am I mistaken and it’s really only an attempt to put a civilized face on our government while the First’s descendant continues to bully the rest of the population?”

“I’m the bully? You’ve already made it clear you expect the collars to come off regardless of the outcome of any discussion. In fact, you used threatened violence to lure me here in the first place. So be it. It worked well enough for the First, I’m only too happy to continue the tradition.”

W’rath had only a fraction of a second to chide himself for underes­timating his nephew before the huge First Born smashed a granite-like fist into his jaw. He attempted to roll with the punch, but the lad’s speed shocked him, and W’rath felt the bone shatter. Most people wouldn’t expect someone of such size to also have the agility and quickness of a hunting cat, but W’rath, of all people, realized he should have known better.

The force of the blow sent him flying across the room. He landed and continued to tumble across the floor until a wall brought him to a bone rattling halt. He spat out blood and teeth, but already felt his body regenerating, knitting the bone back together. Another fifteen minutes and he’d completely heal. Of course, K’hul wouldn’t allow him to regen­erate in peace. W’rath’s father hadn’t either.

“I knew without your psionics you’d lose miserably in a fight,” K’hul gloated, “but really, Exile, I still expected better. What were you thinking? Is this how you go about turning me over your knee and giving out a good paddling?”

He swaggered over to W’rath, hands on hips. “Did you think because I’m younger than you, you can lord it over me? Or, maybe you think I’m just some big, dumb fighter you can tear apart with your self-imagined superior intellect? Lesson one, Exile, never underestimate your opponent.”

I agree entirely. With the speed of a striking snake, W’rath lashed out with his legs, hooking onto K’hul’s ankle with one foot, and smashing the side of K’hul’s knee with the other. A resounding crack echoed off the walls as the knee exploded. K’hul crashed to the floor, howling in pain and surprise. The entire dojo shook with the force of his massive body splitting the floorboards.

With reflexes honed from years of surviving in the Abyss, W’rath sprang up and forward, smashing K’hul’s ruined knee, causing the First Born to nearly bite through his tongue in his efforts to keep from bel­lowing in agony. Even so he could not help but cry out as the Shadow Elf launched himself into the air using the shattered knee for leverage. The older elf fell back earthward, smashing the elbow of the hand that had seconds earlier broken his jaw. He tumbled forward and came to rest with his knee against K’hul’s throat. He pressed just hard enough to make it clear how easily he could crush the huge elf’s windpipe.

K’hul went to brush the Shadow Elf from his chest only to find his other arm pinned to the floor by a knife, which hummed with faint magic. Tendons neatly sliced, the embedded knife kept him from healing. For now the arm lay useless. He starred up into W’rath’s furious face in horror.

“If you ever strike me again,” W’rath said, struggling to enunciate through broken teeth, and a partially healed mandible, “your current injuries will seem but pleasant memories. I shall break every joint in your body, and then march up this puffed up chest of yours to smash every bone in your face. If your bloodline to the First survives as unsul­lied as you claim, you may regenerate perfectly, but odds are you won’t present quite as handsome a visage as you’re used to.”

K’hul gaped at the Shadow Elf, confirming W’rath’s suspicions that no one had ever dared speak to the young warleader in such a manner before. K’hul nearly choked on the blood from his partially severed tongue. W’rath grinned. “Oh, yes, the various races of elves may differ in a great many ways, but one thing you can always count on is our vanity. Lad, you may hate me with every fiber of your being, but by all the ancestors you hold dear, you will respect me.

W’rath’s smile widened. “And now … if you don’t mind, I do believe I have won our … debate.”

About Lee

Lee Toon Head

Lee has always loved writing, and wrote her first book in ninth grade. It was deplorable, though at the time she thought herself the next J.R.R. Tolkien.  Since then Lee has written several short stories and books, but thankfully had enough sense not to publish them. Now as an older, and hopefully more skilled writer, Lee has published the first story she deems worthy of sharing with the world – Exile’s Redemption. She published it through Amazon in July of 2014.

In addition to writing, Lee absolutely loves reading, working on digital art (she did her book cover and has sold several covers to other authors (including Chris Kennedy’s novel, Can’t Look Back), wasting too much time on computer and tabletop gaming, and baking. She’s working on the sequel to Exile’s Redemption and hopes to have it out in the second quarter of 2015.

Lee lives in Arizona with her beautiful orange tabby, Tribble!

Tribble Painting

Links

 

Exile’s Redemption at Amazon: http://bitly.com/1rczyyd

Lee’s Book Review Blog: http://wildhuntreviews.com

Lee’s Author Site: http://leedunning.com/

Lee’s Goodreads Page: http://bit.ly/1wB8eju

 

 

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