Scott M. Sandridge

A Work in Progress

Editor Interview w/ Yours Truly @ Library of Erana

Editor Interview Number Eight – Scott Sandridge.

I went to the Library of Erana to pass on my editor knowledge, in my own zany manner. 😉

 

May 31, 2014 Posted by | Writerly Updates | , , , | Leave a comment

SpecMusicMuse – A Chimerical World Roundtable Interview, Part 4.1 (A Surprise Visit with Eric Garrison)

A strange thing happened to Eric on his way to the virtual table. It appears he had an encounter with Queen Mab, who on a whim decided to toss him into a time-flux portal. Alas, everyone else was already gone before he could make it back to the present era, and in a private discussion I think he may have mentioned being stuck in the Dark Ages, having to “play Merlin” for a few years….

Ah well, better late than never. 😉

But anywho, here’s the great Eric Garrison. Enjoy!

Introductions

I’m Eric Garrison, author of “Seelie Goose”, which is set in between the first and second of my upcoming Tipsy Fairy Tales novels, and takes place in Bloomington, while the main character, Skye, is on loan in RJ Sullivan’s Virtual Blue.

 

Tell us a little about your story

“Seelie Goose” is from the point of view of Skye MacLeod’s diminutive spirit world companion, Minnie. She’s on her own for the first time, and is out to discover whether she’s truly one of the Fae, and becomes more involved in the lives of some goose-women than she intended.

 

What’s your favorite type of faerie?

At the moment, my favorite has got to be Trolls. I blame Red Tash for her novel, Troll or Derby, for infecting me with this trollish bug. This type of fae have invaded my second Tipsy Fairy Tales book, Restless Spirit.

 

Is music a part of your personal writing process, and if so what kind(s) of music do you listen to when your write?

Absolutely. I listen to a lot of classic Delta Blues, Classic Rock, Irish Punk, and lately, science fiction & fantasy movie soundtracks. I wrote a blog post on the topic: http://sillyhatbooks.com/2013/11/22/nanowrimo-playlists-for-writing-fast/

 

Has a song ever inspired a story idea for you?

YES! Actually, a TV show episode inspired a song that inspired a novel. My favorite band, Five Year Mission, is doing an original rock song for each episode of the 1960s Star Trek series. The pilot, called The Cage, inspired a song that had the lyric, “She’s the only constant thing / in a million different dreams!” Which ignited an idea I had about bouncing to alternate realities with a Quantum Supercomputer – and Reality Check was born. I even listed the line and attribution to the band in the dedication of the book.

 

Last but not least: who’d win a fight between Princess Toadstool and Zelda?

Well, Zelda has magical and mad ninja powers, so realistically, she’s the obvious choice. But then again, Peach does pretty well for herself in Super Smash Bros, despite her subtler powers. In a straight-up fight, my money’s on Zelda, but in a long game, I’d bet on Peach for resourcefulness.

 

 

57d7e-final_talesoftheseeliecourt_650Where to find the books:

Amazon Links for Tales of the Seelie Court  
Print Version http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Seelie-Court/dp/1937929477
Kindle Version http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Seelie-Court-ebook/dp/B00IAHTMAO  

Amazon Links for Tales of the Unseelie Court  
Print Version http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Unseelie-Court/dp/1937929493
Kindle Version http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Unseelie-Court-ebook/dp/B00IAHTVSC

May 30, 2014 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SpecMusicMuse Double-Whammy—Review of Olde School + Interview w/Selah Janel

Today I have the honor of starting off the Olde School Virtual Tour by giving you a review of Olde School and an interview with the author, Selah Janel. Enjoy! 🙂

 

OldeSchoolCoverFinal_650X433SpecMusicMuse Review—Olde School by Selah Janel

Fairy tales meet modernization in Olde School by Selah Janel. One of the most interesting aspects to this book, is that the main protagonists are trolls. One specific troll, Paddlelump, is a bit of a pushover, which isn’t a very trolly thing to be.

Janel does a great job blending old and new into her world while also paying homage to the fairy tales that the history of Kingdom City is based on. She also does a great job in blending campy humor with serious character development and even delves into the horrific in a few scenes. The plot contains many twists, but are weaved seamlessly into each other in a way the reader never has to worry about getting lost.

I enjoyed reading Olde School so much that I nearly forgot that I was reviewing it. The story pulled me in and refused to let me leave.

Oh, and a troll’s gonna troll. 😉

Best to read while listeing to: The soundtrack to Schreck mixed with some classic R&B, and a tad bit of theme music from the Mirkwood scenes in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

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Interview with Selah JanelSelahJanel-smaller

 

Tell the readers a little bit about you.

First off, thanks for having me on, Scott! I’m so happy to be here!

I consider myself a fairly typical, albeit quirky, Middle American gal with a huge imagination. I’ve worked in a lot of different fields in the theatre and entertainment industry: I’ve been on stage here and there, studied voice for about ten years, been a puppeteer, done theatre admin work, and I’ve been involved in costumes in various forms for about 14 years now.

As a writer, I have an ongoing love affair with ideas, and I consider myself a very curious personality – I love learning, and I love talking to people and finding out what their experiences are and how they relate to or differ than mine. I’m also a big defender of speculative fiction and curious about how gender roles are portrayed and perceived within them.

I love crafting and dabbling in art forms that may not be my forte, that I can just do for fun. I’m an unrepentant geek – I love graphic novels, books of all types, fairy and folk tales…and I am a HUGE music fan. I studied classical voice and musical theatre, but I LOVE classic rock, glam rock, hard rock, and I probably know way too much about it for my own good. I don’t get into everything, but what I do like I tend to be a big walking, geeky Wikipedia for.

How did you come up with the idea for Olde School?

I may or may not have been frustrated at someone I was around at the time. I tend to be very proactive and forward momentum, and the other parties were most definitely the opposite. It originally started as a short story to vent my frustration and experiment with a few concepts, like technology in a fantasy world. The scenes that were there from the beginning were the first Trip Trap sequence, and the first few Nobody scenes.

For some reason, it never occurred to me to paint myself as a put-upon princess or heroine. From the get-go I was just “ugh, this makes me feel like a troll…” and I began to wonder about what would happen if a Cinderella or other put-upon heroine was actually a conniving wreck. I’ve learned I have a very different concept of what a princess is than most people. When I hear the word I don’t think a tragic heroine or an entitled person – I think of a girl who may have power, who may have hard circumstances for some reason, but also has a lot of personal potential and can go out and have adventures. I got intrigued with playing with how people perceive fairy tale heroines, and Nobody spiraled out of control from there.

I couldn’t find a good ending for the story, so I put it away for years until I began submitting a lot of short fiction in earnest. It spiraled into a novella, then a novel, but I still couldn’t find an ending that felt right. When Seventh Star approached me for a series idea, I realized that the reason I couldn’t end it was because it was bigger than a book.

The other thing that was there from the beginning was the modern tech and pop culture in a fantasy setting. It kind of surprised me that I hadn’t read much done with that idea, so I just decided to go for it, to see what would happen if this fairy tale society modernized and treated the “old stories” the same way we did: either as legends based in history or based in fiction. Originally I wasn’t planning on making magic as big of an element as it was, but when I started remembering elements of international Cinderella-type stories that I loved, I suddenly realized how much fairy tale magic is like Lovecraftian horror. I mean, think of it! In a real-world setting, if an animal starts talking to you and wants you to kill it so its skeleton can help you, or if a tree starts giving you advice…that’s not normal in any setting, I don’t care what kind of fantasy world you live in – that is some pretty mind-bending stuff. The concept of the Olde Ones developed almost immediately from that thought process.

 

What gave you the idea for the character, Paddlelump? And how’d you come up with that name?

Hand_9X7_Illustration1Let me warn you, Paddlelump is one of two characters in the book that had a long evolution, so you may want to strap yourself in for this answer.

Names are a funny thing with me. I tend to either really fret about them, or I just assign one. A lot of the names in Olde School came so naturally, they just sort of appeared and I never really felt the need to change them. Paddlelump, though, is a subtle tribute to one of my favorite series. I wanted his name to flow more as opposed to Ippick and Uljah, who are more snarky and crass. I really love The Chronicles of Narnia – I grew up with the British versions on TV and I read the series as a teen. The Silver Chair blew my mind. I hadn’t realized how dark the series got until that book, and I loved the elements of travel and little mini-adventures that fed into the main goal. They’re staples of fantasy, but I hadn’t really noticed them as themes until reading that book. I love the character of Puddleglum the marshwiggle, and that name has always stuck with me. Padd had a few variations of his name, but all were in tribute to Puddleglum in some form.

Paddlelump as a character came from several places. I loved the idea of writing a fantasy where the main character wasn’t human, but still well-developed. I’d seen hints of supporting characters of that nature in things like Holly Black’s Modern Faerie Tale series, but I really wanted to see how far I could go with it. I like trolls, and I thought it would be interesting to have a likeable one, one who really hadn’t gotten the hang of being a troll. However, it’s important to me that he’s more than a gimmick. He has to carry the book and the series, so there has to be more to him than being “nice.”

Paddlelump was probably how I felt about life around the time I started writing this in 2006. We both look younger than we are, people sometimes think we’re both a target and suckers, and I was in a position in life where it felt like everything was happening at once. Just every little thing felt like a personal offense, I couldn’t get on top of it, and it was overwhelming. Actually, when I pulled the story out for the second time in 2011, I had just gotten out of a similar place, but had grown to be able to deal with things better.

As the story turned into the book, though, I realized that I’d matured in ways that Paddlelump hadn’t. I’m a little more realistic and cautious at times because I’ve been burned, and he’s still willing to give people fourth and fifth chances, even if he knows better. We both don’t like conflict, but he runs from it more than I do. He’s wishy washy where I’ve become proactive, and he tends to embrace his innocence a little too much at times, using a lot of his personality as an excuse. This made for an interesting first half of the book, but by the last fourth it became a problem. It was hard to see him as something more than a likeable guy that I wanted to either hug or punch in the face because he didn’t move forward or stand up for himself. I didn’t want him to be so static. It became hard to resolve how he could defeat some of the larger-than-life challenges in the book, and I very much wanted him to be the one coming out ahead so he could grow and continue to evolve into a heroic character in later books.

I was attempting to redo the last fourth of the book to fix those issues when either someone sent me a link or I stumbled upon a link of Tom Hiddleston talking about Shakespeare at Comic Con. At this point I hadn’t seen any of the Marvel movies and I only knew of him as some guy who was supposed to be great as Loki. I tend to dig my heels in when everyone around me recommends something that becomes really popular really fast (especially when I ask how the story is and they all start gushing about the dudes in it. I mean, it’s a modern world and I’m not against a little well-meaning male objectification, but I’d actually like to know what a film is about).

His discussion in the link was about Cymbeline, which I’d used speeches from when I’d auditioned for schools ages ago. I was actually working on Olde School’s edits while listening to this – I’d taken to listening to interviews and British comedies instead of music to try to get a dialect and speech rhythm for the world down – and something made me pause. Not enough to really have an aha moment or something, but I realized he was way more insightful than I’d assumed. On a whim, I started looking up interviews, because I realized his voice had this really pleasant, yet interesting quality. It’s pleasing without being too neutral, and there’s a good hint of strength and flexibility to it. I really needed all the help I could get with Padd at that point, and it clicked that as a voice, I could picture my troll lead sounding like that. (And this is the point where all of his fans put my face up on a target…)

Long story short, I discovered that Tom Hiddleston is an incredibly articulate actor and insightful, multi-faceted person. I’m drawn to actors and artists like that, and I realized that I was doing to him what a lot of people in my book do to Paddlelump: I was selling him totally short because everyone around me gushed about how he was such a “cute, nice guy” (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I feel like there has to be better description for good people than nice. A lot of things are nice. Kitties are nice. Sandwiches are nice. Artistically styled doorknobs are nice. I would not lump a person into the same category as a doorknob or sandwich).

I realized that Paddlelump might present this good-guy image, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not intellect there, or compassion, or an inner strength that can be developed. It wasn’t about taking him from zero to hero in one book – it was about showing that he has the potential to be a hero, just as we all do. Although I will never, ever live this down from any of my friends ever, in a convolute way Tom Hiddleston really helped the character of Paddlelump click for me, from his inner potential down to the voice. While I’m not one for avatars, I will say this is where my theatre training saved me – by having learned how to recognize what traits Padd was lacking and by recognizing them through another person’s performance, it made his character so much better.

I noticed a few “Easter eggs” in the story. Bull_6X9_Illustration2

I’m glad you did! I really love to include as many little details as possible, and it made sense to throw in a lot of little fairy tale tidbits. As a reader, I love it when authors do that. I feel like I’m in some little club when I catch details like that. I don’t often do it in my short fiction, but in my longer work, I love throwing in Easter eggs. I want people to be able to read a book more than once and catch something new each time.

There are a ton of Cinderella-type story references in this book: the trolls, to some of the characters, to the forest, to the walnuts, and I could go on and on. That being said, there are a lot of other little asides. Things like The Magic Porridge Pot fast food place, a lot of the swears the characters mutter, references to different horror movie franchises – I figured that if I was going to base a world on a fairy/folktale society, I might as well go all the way.

It was also important to me to add in the appendix at the end so that people knew it wasn’t all me – these stories are way bigger than I am – and that they would know where to look for some of this stuff if they were curious and heard of them before. While I can’t reference all the little asides, I was careful to disclaim the biggest ones.

For people who specifically know me, too, there are even deeper Easter eggs – references to Labyrinth (one of my favorite fantasy movies) are there, there’s a very garbled allusion to Hamlet, there’s a reference to an episode of one of my favorite TV shows growing up. I definitely embrace what I love, and while I strive to be original, I like paying homage to the things that have made me who I am. I’ve had readers, family, and friends contact me, asking if certain things were on purpose, or if they’d caught everything yet. I definitely challenge people to read the book and see how many hidden tidbits they can find!

Has music ever been a part of your daily writing routine, or inspired a story or scene?

Oh, definitely. This was one of the few books where I had trouble coming up with music that blended well with the story (I edited it to big band, Swing, and American standards), but I love writing to music. I have eclectic tastes, but when writing I usually do a lot of instrumentals, both classical and more modern. I love David Garrett a lot, I like David Bowie’s instrumental work, that sort of thing. In terms of character building, I love stuff like Sixx: A.M. and G Tom Mac. With books like In the Red, which is currently out of print, it was so much about rock n’ roll that I constantly wrote to bands like AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, and Motley Crue. On the other hand, I’ve been working on plotting out a gritty post-apocalyptic story, and the thing that helps me write it best is boy band music. I’m probably the only person who listens to Backstreet Boys and NKOTB while thinking about killing zombies, but there you go. I’ve gotten back into listening to the radio more, and I like those stations that play random stuff, so it keeps things fun and interesting. I never know when some random tune will give me an idea.

 

So where on the Internet can Selah Janel be found?

I haunt a few places these days. You can usually find me at…

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Books by Selah Janel | Reviews of Selah’s Books |

 

Any future projects in the works?

I just re-released Mooner, a historical vampire story, through Mocha Memoir press on e-book, and I’m teaming up with Fortress Publishing later this year to do an issue based around my fiction. I’ve got a few things reserved for future anthologies, too. In terms of other stuff, I’m polishing In the Red, the rock n’ roll urban fantasy/fairy tale novel to shop that again, and I want to finish up a short novel that’s a mash up of the horror and chick lit genres. Beyond that, I’ve got a few half-written manuscripts that I want to develop into some short novels or novellas, and they all deal with folklore elements, but use them to explore some really deep emotional issues that people go through.

And, of course, there’s always Kingdom City! The plan is to do a collection of shorts that explain the tales of the lost dreamers in this first book a little better, and then get crackin’ on book two!

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Author: Selah Janel

Featured Book Release

Olde School

Book One Kingdom City Chronicles

May 26 to June 1, 2014

 

 

About the Author: Selah Janel has been blessed with a giant imagination and a love of story since she was little and convinced that fairies lived in the nearby state park or vampires hid in the abandoned barns outside of town. Learning to read and being encouraged by those around her only made things worse. Her work ranges from e-books to traditional print, and she prefers to write every genre at once rather than choose just one. The stories “Holly and Ivy”, “The Other Man”, and “Mooner” are available online through Mocha Memoirs Press. Her work has also been included in The MacGuffin, The Realm Beyond, Stories for Children Magazine, The Big Bad: an Anthology of Evil, Thunder on the Battlefield: Sorcery, The Grotesquerie, and the short story collection Lost in the Shadows, co-written with S.H. Roddey. She likes her music to rock, her vampires lethal, her fairies to play mind games, and her princesses to have adventures and hold their own.

 

Catch up with her thoughts and projects at

http://www.selahjanel.wordpress.com

 

 

Book Synopsis Olde School: Kingdom City has moved into the modern era. Run by a lord mayor and city council (though still under the influence of the High King of The Land), it proudly embraces a blend of progress and tradition. Trolls, ogres, and other Folk walk the streets with humans, but are more likely to be entrepreneurs than cause trouble. Princesses still want to be rescued, but they now frequent online dating services to encourage lords, royals, and politicians to win their favor. The old stories are around, but everyone knows they’re just fodder for the next movie franchise. Everyone knows there’s no such thing as magic. It’s all old superstition and harmless tradition.

 

Bookish, timid, and more likely to carry a laptop than a weapon, Paddlelump Stonemonger is quickly coming to wish he’d never put a toll bridge over Crescent Ravine. While his success has brought him lots of gold, it’s also brought him unwanted attention from the Lord Mayor. Adding to his frustration, Padd’s oldest friends give him a hard time when his new maid seems inept at best and conniving at worst. When a shepherd warns Paddlelump of strange noises coming from Thadd Forest, he doesn’t think much of it. Unfortunately for him, the history of his land goes back further than anyone can imagine. Before long he’ll realize that he should have paid attention to the old tales and carried a club.

 

Darkness threatens to overwhelm not only Paddlelump, but the entire realm. With a little luck, a strange bird, a feisty waitress, and some sturdy friends, maybe, just maybe, Padd will survive to eat another meal at Trip Trap’s diner. It’s enough to make the troll want to crawl under his bridge, if he can manage to keep it out of the clutches of greedy politicians

 

Olde School if Book One of The Kingdom City Chronicles

 

 

Author Links:

 

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/authorSJ

 

Twitter:

@selahjanel

 

Website:

http://selahjanel.wordpress.com/

 

 

Tour Schedule and Activities

May 26        SpecMusicMuse                                      Review/Interview
May 26        Vampires, Witches, and me oh my!      Guest Post
May 27        Alexx Momcat’s Gateway Book Blog      Character Post
May 27        Watch Play Read                                    Review
May 28        Fantastical Adventures in the Paper Realm     Review
May 28        Sheila Deeth Blog                                     Character Post
May 28        Close Encounters with the Night Kind      Review
May 29        Deal Sharing Aunt                                     Promo/Spotlight
May 29       Workaday Reads                                       Reviews
May 30       Exquisite Corpse                                       Guest Post
May 31      Bee’s Knees Reviews                                Review
May 31      I Smell Sheep                                             Character Post
June 1       Seers, Seraphs, Immortals and More!        Interview

 

Tour Page URL:

http://www.tomorrowcomesmedia.com/selah-janels-olde-school-virtual-tour/

Tour Badge Html:

http://www.tomorrowcomesmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/SelahTourBadge.jpg

 

Amazon Links for Olde School

Print Version

http://www.amazon.com/Olde-School-Selah-Janel/dp/1937929655

Kindle Version

http://www.amazon.com/Olde-School-Kingdom-City-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00J4UGVIM

May 26, 2014 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

SpecMusicMuse—A Chimerical World Round Table Interview, Part 4

Welcome to the final part of the A Chimerical World Round Table interview. Hope you had fun. J

And Part 4 includes Cindy Koepp, J. H. Fleming, Alexandra Christian, Ed Ahern, and Christine Morgan.

 

Introductions

Well hello! My name is Cindy Koepp. I write science fiction, fantasy, and teacher resources when I’m not whistling with my African Grey, editing for two small presses, doing crafty stuff, or learning how to bend glasses back into shape.

I have one science fiction book, stories in 3 anthologies, and 4 books in queue at various publishers.

You can find more stuff about that at my website: http://ckoepp.com

My name is J. H. Fleming. My work has appeared in publications by Visionary Tongue, Evil Girlfriend Media, and Mocha Memoirs Press. I also have a novel and story collection coming from Pro Se Productions this year.

My name is Alexandra Christian and I wrote “Wormwood” for the anthology.  I’m a writer of paranormal erotic romance, horror and dark fantasy for Ellora’s Cave, Purple Sword Publications, Mocha Memoirs Press and now, Seventh Star.  To date, I’ve published 2 novels and 5 shorter works.  My newest release is my angel/ demon romance from Ellora’s Cave, Hellsong.

Ed Ahern. Forty seven stories published thus far, half fantasy/horror/scifi, balance childrens and adult fairy tales, retold folk tales and “literary” stories.

Christine Morgan is the author of several novels and over 60 published short stories, spanning various genres but leaning more toward the darker end of things. In addition to reading, writing, beta-reading and reviewing, she’s recently begun taking on more editing gigs. Her latest project is “Fossil Lake, an anthology of the aberrant,” which debuted at World Horror Convention 2014 in Portland. (http://fossillake.wordpress.com/)

 

Tell us a little about your story

Cindy: When I saw the submission details on Seventh Star Press’s site, I thought about the kinds of characteristics usually attributed to Elves and musical ability ranked high in the list. So, I considered how to put a musical Elf into a science fiction scenario and decided that an Elf would use music to help time their movements in a battle or activate the special characteristics of their equipment.

That gave rise to the idea for “The Last Mission.”

J. H.: My story is about a young girl who’s been dealt one blow after another. She’s sent away to live in a home for girls, some of whom have serious issues, others who have been sent there for bad behavior. She comes across a faery and her companion and thinks she’s finally gone mad, but further events make her realize that she may have found a way out of her bad situation.

Alexandra: “Wormwood” was born of boredom, honestly.  They say that the best stories are conceived doing tedious tasks.  It must be true because I completely wrote Freedom and Ady’s story while stuffing envelopes at the day job.  I wanted to shake up the “traditional faerie story” model and I was thinking about how to do that.  I’m a southern writer myself with an almost unhealthy obsession with the southern gothic genre.  I’m also a Shakespeare fanatic, so it only seemed natural to create a southern gothic story that incorporated the fae and Robin Goodfellow.

Ed: I have a swamp gas mind, and ideas ooze up frequently but unpredictably. My web site is appropriately titled swampgasworks.com. This story fits the pattern.

Christine: With “Taggers,” I wanted to take a skewed, updated, more urban look at the sort of “Shoemaker and the Elves” tale. Instead of the kindly craftsman and the helpful fairies, I went with a grouchy old locksmith in a decaying part of the city, and what happens when he catches one of the hooligans who’s been leaving graffiti on his wall … only to find that he’s dealing with no normal kind of hooligan.

 

What’s your favorite type of faerie?

Cindy: My favorite faerie would have to be Elves: tall, graceful wiseguys … er … wise guys, with a variety of different skills because you can learn a lot in several hundred years.

Ed: For adult fairy tales a noir persona with lots of defects. For children’s stories clean cut but as far away from the usual tropes as I can reach.

J. H.: My favorites are the ones who do whatever they want. Most faeries are really this way, but some lean more toward Seelie or Unseelie. I like the ones that surprise you because you never truly know which way they’ll go.

Alexandra: I’ve always had an affinity for the mischievous faerie.  In my younger days I was on a slow moving train wreck toward being an actress and my first major role was as Puck, or Robin Goodfellow, in a community theater production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”  Ever since, Robin Goodfellow has been a particular favorite of mine.  His benevolent nature and bumbling prowess as a trickster have always fascinated me.  Like Freedom, I think he’d be an amazing friend to have.

Christine: I’ve always liked the Fair Folk type, eerie and beautiful, looking just human enough to seem familiar but being decidedly INHUMAN in personality and outlook. The fairies from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” messing with people just because they could (dream casting: Benedict Cumberbatch as Oberon, Tilda Swinton as Titania!) … from Arthurian legend and the classic fairy tales … their society, their indifference to mortal morals … just fascinating.

 

Is music a part of your personal writing process, and if so what kind(s) of music do you listen to when your write?

Alexandra: Music is an essential part of my writing process.  Every story I write has a playlist to go along with it that sets the mood.  As far as the types of music that I listen to when I write, it really depends on what I’m writing.  When writing “Wormwood,” my playlist was a very schizophrenic mix of new age (Enya, Clannad, etc.), spirituals and Civil War songs.  In fact, part of Freedom’s magic that summons Robin in the first place, is her singing “Wade in the Water.”  (Historical fun fact:  “Wade in the Water” is one of the spirituals that is purported to have been a “code song” that would give slaves instructions on how to escape north.)

Cindy: Actually, I prefer quiet when I work. Masika, my African Grey, will sometimes contribute bits of tunes and other silliness when I’m working, and that doesn’t prove too distracting. I save music for when I’m taking a typing break or driving down the rollercoaster roads near my house.

J. H.: I’m almost always listening to music, whether I’m writing or not. When writing, I listen to Loreena McKennitt, a Canadian vocalist, musician, and composer with heavy Celtic and Middle Eastern influences. Her albums always put me in just the right mood, particularly The Visit, The Mask and the Mirror, The Wind that Shakes the Barley, An Ancient Muse, and The Book of Secrets.

Christine: I don’t usually listen to music while I write, but I will sometimes listen to it beforehand during the thinking-and-planning part. My tastes vary, and my choices vary according to the story project in question, but I prefer classical, swing, film soundtracks, and other instrumental works. That, or, when I’m working on a Viking-themed story, I’ll just blast Amon Amarth.

Ed: I drive to classical music, but write in silence. Otherwise can’t hear the gas bubbles pop.

 

Has a song ever inspired a story idea for you?

Ed: Nah.

Christine: Not specifically, though certain pieces –  “Carmina Burana,” Holst’s “Mars – Bringer of War,” Borodin’s “Prince Igor” – always speak powerfully to me and might some day bring about a story.

Cindy: Yes, it has. In the case of The Last Mission, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata was an inspiration for part of the tale. I imagined an Elf timing actions during a fight and staying calm through the use of a slow tune like Moonlight Sonata. I didn’t quite figure out a way to work that into the story as I’d imagined it, but I did get the tune mentioned and used the idea in other parts.

J. H.: More than once. I’ve written three stories based off of songs, and two have been published so far. “The Far Horizon,” published by Evil Girlfriend Media, was inspired by “My Lover’s Gone” by Dido, and “Moonsbreath,” published by Mocha Memoirs Press, was inspired by “Samhain Night” by Loreena McKennitt.

 

Last but not least: who’d win a fight between Princess Toadstool and Zelda?

Christine: No idea; I played Q-Bert.

Cindy: That would depend entirely on who has the largest number of hearts and whether the Boomerang of Extra Special Spiffiness has been unlocked.

J. H.: Princess Zelda, hands down.

Alexandra: Zelda definitely.  Princess Toadstool never won a fight.  She always hired plumbers to do her dirty work for her.

Ed: Who cares, but I opt for mud wrestling.

 

57d7e-final_talesoftheseeliecourt_650Where to find the books:

Amazon Links for Tales of the Seelie Court  
Print Version http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Seelie-Court/dp/1937929477
Kindle Version http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Seelie-Court-ebook/dp/B00IAHTMAO  

Amazon Links for Tales of the Unseelie Court  
Print Version http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Unseelie-Court/dp/1937929493
Kindle Version http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Unseelie-Court-ebook/dp/B00IAHTVSC

May 25, 2014 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

SpecMusicMuse—A Chimerical World Round Table Interview, Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 of the A Chimerical World Round Table Interview. This time ariund we have Sarah Madsen, Steven S. Long, Kim Smith,  and BC Brown sitting at the table. Enjoy! 🙂

 

Introductions

Hi! I’m Sarah Madsen.  “The Body Electric” is my first commercial publication, but I have two poems and a play in The Chestatee Review, my school’s literary magazine. I’m hoping to get my novel, Lysistrata, on shelves sometime in the near future, and it’s been getting really good reception so far. You can follow along with my adventures at unfetteredmuse.wordpress.com or find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SarahMadsenAuthor.

I’m Steven S. Long. I’m best known for my work as a roleplaying game designer and writer (I’ve written or co-written about 200 books in that field), but in recent years I’ve branched out into writing fiction as well.

You can find out more about me and what I’m up to at www.stevenslong.com

Hi, my name is Kim Smith, and I am the author of the short story “Treehouse”, in A Chimerical World: Tales of the Unseelie Court. I am the hostess of the wildly popular podcast, Writer Groupie, soon to be hosted on my blog at http://www.kimsmithauthor.com

BC Brown, author of two urban fantasy/contemporary science fiction novels – A Touch of Darkness and A Touch of Madness; contributor to multi-author anthologies – A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court, Quixotic: Not Everyday Love Stories, and Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction. And one out of print fantasy novel – Sister Light, Book One: Of Shadows.

 

Tell us a little about your story

BC: “Extra-Ordinary” is a tale about seemingly benign people and events. Those ordinary people often turn out to be portals to extraordinary things.

Sara: “The Body Electric”isn’t your typical fairy story. In fact, the only fae-like elements you’ll find in it are magic and an elf protagonist.  It’s a cyberpunk/urban fantasy story, set in near-future Atlanta. Two runners, Alyssa and Logan, are hired to steal some plans and a prototype from a former Americorp employee’s home office, and get way more than they bargained for in the process. It was inspired by old Ray Bradbury short stories and a YouTube short, Quantic Dream’s Kara, and I was trying for a good mix of classic sci-fi and modern urban fantasy.

Kim: I’ve been writing as long as I could hold a pen, and have always been a lover of fantasy. I remember as a youth hanging out around a gas station/convenience store that carried JRR Tolkien’s books. I visited it weekly waiting on the next book. It took years to finish the whole trilogy. They should have put me on the payroll.

“Treehouse” was the brainchild of wondering what would happen if a child could see faeries but no one would believe her. What if she was telling the truth? I hope I did a good job with expanding that idea.

Steven: I was fortunate enough to place two stories in A Chimerical World — one each in the Seelie and Unseelie volumes. Each of them belongs to a series of stories I’ve written that take place in Tuala Morn, a setting I’ve described in the book of the same name and now use as for fiction. It’s a Fantasy world inspired by Irish/Celtic myth and legend, with a dollop of some other Fantasy tropes thrown in.

Most of the Tuala Morn stories I’ve written so far take place in or around Killdraigan, an enchanted forest that’s often dangerous for mortals due to the faeries, trolls, and monsters that live there — not to mention other perils.

The Seelie story is “The Harpist’s Hand.” It tells how Thomasin Blythe, one of the greatest Tualan bards, has to seek the help of the faeries of Killdraigan when two contentious kings both seek her hand in marriage.

The Unseelie story, “The Rose and the Dragon,” focuses on a different character:  Sir Rhorec of Umbr, the Knight of Five Roses. When he was born, three faeries appeared and pronounced a strange prophecy. Now grown to manhood and armed with the magic sword they left him, he ventures into the deadly confines of Killdraigan Forest to seek the meaning of the prophecy — and slay a fearsome dragon.

 

 

What’s your favorite type of faerie?

Kim: All kinds, I am not discriminatory.

Sara: As in Seelie or Unseelie?  That’s a really hard choice. My gut says Seelie, simply because I love pretty masks and the pretense of civility. However, there’s something refreshing about the Unseelie…they’re at least honest about what they are.

Steven: It’s hard to pick any one type. I’ve researched faerie lore extensively for years and really enjoy it, so getting stories into the Chimerical World anthology was a real treat. I hope someday to have the chance to write a non-fiction book on the subject.

BC: I’ve always been enamored of the more mischievous fey. Basically good-natured, these shining folk embody a spirit of restlessness I can connect with.

 

Is music a part of your personal writing process, and if so what kind(s) of music do you listen to when you write?

Sara: I can’t write without music. It helps me stay centered. I tend to create soundtracks for my projects, so what I’m listening to wont’ always be the same.  If I get really stuck, I find some good instrumental music (like the soundtrack to Tron: Legacy or Deus Ex: Human Revolution for my current project) keeps me from getting too distracted by lyrics.

Steven: It is, in that I listen to music pretty much all the time that I’m awake but not watching TV or talking with someone. But I don’t really consider it a part of my “process” per se, nor do I tailor what I’m listening to what I’m writing.

Kim: I used to listen to my favorite bands, usually classic rock, but now I find that trying to sing to the songs and write conflicts each other so now it’s more nature music, strings, and crickets.

BC: I avoid music while writing. Music influences my mood and, typically, I like a clean slate, so to speak, when writing. It allows the ideas and words to flow unhindered and unbiased.

 

Has a song ever inspired a story idea for you?

Sara: Oh, definitely. I recently wrote a ten minute play called Tea and Temptation that was inspired by World/Inferno Friendship Society’s “The Evil Dance of Nosliw Pilf.”

Steven: Definitely. Among others I have an idea for what I think will be a great story inspired by the Leonard Cohen song, “First We Take Manhattan.”

Kim: Yes! I love celtic songs and Connie Dover sang “A Ruin a Siuil” (I think I spelled it right!) and it just jazzed me into writing this whole historical romance between a Fenian rebel and a Scarlett O’Hara-esque character who tries to charm the Irish out of the man.

BC: A song has inspired a title for a book. However the story itself came well before I’d ever heard the song. Once I did hear it, I felt that the title and lyrics of the song embodied the same message as my story.

 

Last but not least: who’d win a fight between Princess Toadstool and Zelda?

Sara: Psh. Zelda, for sure.

Kim: Zelda. Totally.

Steven: I have absolutely no idea — I never played any of those games. What’s the spread? 😉

BC: The princess. Hands down.

 

Where to find the books:

Amazon Links for Tales of the Seelie Court  32892-final_talesoftheunseeliecourt_650
Print Version http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Seelie-Court/dp/1937929477
Kindle Version http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Seelie-Court-ebook/dp/B00IAHTMAO  

Amazon Links for Tales of the Unseelie Court  
Print Version http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Unseelie-Court/dp/1937929493
Kindle Version http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Unseelie-Court-ebook/dp/B00IAHTVSC

May 25, 2014 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SpecMusicMuse—A Chimerical World Round Table Interview Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of the A Chimerical World Round Table Interview. Sitting with me today are Doug Blakeslee, Michael M. Jones, Nick Bryan, Saera Corvin, and S. D. Grimm.

Introductions

My name is Doug Blakeslee and I’ve sold almost a dozen short stories in the past two years. My current project is an urban fantasy novella that I’m in the process of revising while kicking out short stories.

I’m Michael M. Jones. Not only am I a writer, I’m also a book reviewer and the editor of Scheherazade’s Façade and the forthcoming Schoolbooks & Sorcery. My stories have appeared in a number of places, including Clockwork Phoenix 4 and Jack-o-‘Spec. You can learn more at www.michaelmjones.com.

Hi, I’m Nick Bryan, London-based darkly comic genre writer, author of the weekly (and very British) crime comedy-drama webserial Hobson & Choi. Think Sherlock, but scrappier and more embedded in our reality. Details on http://www.hobsonandchoi.com

I write under the pen name S. D. Grimm. My first novelette Breathless was published last year. Since then I’ve had flash fiction pieces published in Splickety Magazine and a short story published in the anthology Pure Science Fiction and Fantasy. But I’m really excited because I recently signed a contract for my YA fantasy novel! You can check out more about that and my writing in general by visiting www.sdgrimm.com

 

Tell us a little about your story

Doug: This one [“Tamer of Beasts”] sprang to life when a friend of mine made an off-hand comment about Beauty and the Beast. He wanted to know about the flower’s POV. That dovetailed into a “what if the flower captured both of them” scenario. The Flowering Princess of Dreams is a collector of pretty things and quite harsh on her “guests” if they disappoint her. Tamer is one of her favorites and is put in charge of her latest acquisition, Beast.

Michael: “Keys” started life as a trickster piece, in which I took the idea of Saint Peter as the trickster to Jesus’ straight man (as seen in some South American storytelling traditions) and reinvented him as a Jerry Springer-esque figure, a talk show host who gets up to all sorts of wacky hijinks. Then I threw in the teens who encounter him after his latest escapade goes awry, an enigmatic musician, and a host of very furious fancies. Honestly, while it sounds complicated at first, there are layers to this story. The Fae play an unusual role, and it all ties together in unexpected ways.

Nick: My story “The Fool And His Money” stems from an idea I had a while back. I saw loads of news stories about the financial crash, explaining it in terms of bankers spending money that didn’t really exist.

And then, being a fantasy writer, I started thinking about where this imaginary cash really came from, how it would work and what the consequences might be. Faeries were the logical answer.

Saera Corvin: This story [“Gnome Games”] is something like a tribute to all those socks and underwear that get sucked into the black hole between the washing machine and the laundry basket.

S. D.: “Mark of Ruins” is about a teenage girl who lives with a secret: she has huge, pointed ears. It makes fitting in extra hard. But she’s headed to a new school and determined to hide her secret and just be normal—for once. Until she meets a secretive guy who might know more about her than he’s letting on. In order to get answers from him, she might just have to reveal the truth about herself, and hope it won’t scare him off.

 

What’s your favorite type of faerie?

S. D.: Naiads and water sprites.

Nick: Fairy cake. Or, in stories, the evil manipulative ones, as they’re just the most fun.

Saera: Norwegian Trolls. I always loved how the stories would talk about the little ones causing the most damage when they’d come down from the mountains and invade some poor farmer’s house.

Doug: Those that look fair of face but will mess up your day for a giggle or on a whim. It’s the troupe of pretty things aren’t dangerous. Many of the faeries that I write about fall into the Unseelie Court side of the equation.

Michael: I’ve always been particular to the pooka, however you want to spell it. Shapechanging tricksters? Sign me up. Little-known fact: the spelling “phouka” is apparently considered offensive by the Virginia DMV. That nixed my plan to get it as a license plate years ago. If you’ve ever read Emma Bull’s excellent War for the Oaks, you’ll understand why the pooka (phouka) is such a compelling concept.

 

Is music a part of your personal writing process, and if so what kind(s) of music do you listen to when you write?

Saera: Sometimes it is. The kinds of music I like to have on varies depending on what hits my mood at the time. Mostly, I like hard rock, blues, and the golden oldies.

Doug: I use Pandora and tune into seeds that contain the likes of Lindsey Sterling, Kodo, the Yoshida Brothers, and other instrumental only artists. These are good for setting the mood and not distracting me from writing.

Michael: Oh, music is essential for me to get into the groove. I make playlists all the time. My tastes are eclectic: pop, rock, showtunes, classical—all that matters is that it has the right sort of energy and beat to engage my subconscious and drown out the outside world. Oddly enough, iTunes says that the track I’ve listened to the most is “Breakout” by OPM from the New Guy soundtrack, followed by “Welcome Home” by Coheed and Cambria. Judge as you will.

Nick: I listen to music constantly – often ambient stuff like the excellent Spektrmodule podcast from Warren Ellis – http://www.warrenellis.com/?cat=63 – or the Gorillaz album The Fall – surprisingly good atmosphere music. I also listen to folk and indie rock, but only albums I really know back to front or it distracts me.

S. D.: It depends on the mood of what I’m writing. For “Mark of Ruins” I listened to Dark Side by Kelly Clarkson and Broken by Lifehouse—pretty much on repeat.

 

Has a song ever inspired a story idea for you?

Saera: “Ramble on Rose” by the Dead

Doug: “This is War” by 30 Seconds to Mars. I used it for a superhero themed story about a young hero fighting against a tyrant. Never sold it, but I think it has some promise.

Michael: Many times, but most of those stories remain on the back burner. I’m still waiting for the perfect opportunity to unleash tales inspired by “Jessie’s Girl” and “Safety Dance,” the latter of which sounds like a very Fae tune. Oh, you can definitely dance if you want to…

Nick: Not sure a song has ever inspired a whole story, but I do have a habit of naming my work after them. Then changing my mind later because the content has nothing to do with the song.

S. D.: Yes! I know it’s a little country, but Why You Wanna by Jana Kramer sparked inspiration for a story about a young girl whose boyfriend comes back from a tour of duty as a changed man—genetically changed (in a super-soldier-gone-bad kind of way).

 

Last but not least: who’d win a fight between Princess Toadstool and Zelda?

Doug: Zelda. She’d totally kick her mushroom highness’ butt.

Nick: I haven’t played a Zelda game since Ocarina of Time, but doesn’t Zelda turn into a ninja? Although it probably doesn’t matter if she’s still a ninja or not, I’m not sure Toadstool could take anyone in a fight. Not even Toad the tiny mushroom.

Michael: I’d rather see them team up and fight evil together. They’ve spent long enough being damsels in distress!

Saera: Neither: Toadstool and Zelda always call Mario and Link in to do their dirty work.

S. D: I’ve never played video games *gasp* so I’m going to have to go with a wild-card princess: She-Ra.

 

57d7e-final_talesoftheseeliecourt_650Where to find the books:

Amazon Links for Tales of the Seelie Court  
Print Version http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Seelie-Court/dp/1937929477
Kindle Version http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Seelie-Court-ebook/dp/B00IAHTMAO  

Amazon Links for Tales of the Unseelie Court  
Print Version http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Unseelie-Court/dp/1937929493
Kindle Version http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Unseelie-Court-ebook/dp/B00IAHTVSC

May 25, 2014 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SpecMusicMuse—A Chimerical World Round Table Interview, Part 1

Today we have part 1 of a special Round Table style interview with the authors of both A Chimerical World anthologies.  Sitting with me tonight are Angeline Trevena, Chantal Boudreau, David Turnbull, and Nicholas Paschall.

Introductions

Angeline Trevena was born and bred in a rural corner of South West England where she still lives above a milkshake shop. She is a fantasy and horror writer, poet and journalist. Some years ago she worked at an antique auction house and religiously checked every wardrobe that came in to see if Narnia was in the back of it. She’s still not given up looking for it.

Find out more at www.angelinetrevena.co.uk

Chantal Boudreau – I’m an accountant/author/illustrator who lives in Nova Scotia, Canada with my husband, Dale and two children, Gwyneth and Etienne. An affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association, I write and illustrate horror, dark fantasy and fantasy and I have had several of my stories published in a variety of horror anthologies and magazines.  Fervor, my debut dystopian novel, was released in March of 2011 by May December Publications, followed by Elevation, Transcendence and Providence.  Magic University, the first in my fantasy series, Masters & Renegades, made its appearance in September 2011 followed by Casualties of War and Prisoners of Fate.  Learn more at my website: http://chantellyb.wordpress.com

I’m David Turnbull, a UK based writer. I’m a member of the Clockhouse London Group of genre writers who collectively have loads of published sci fi, fantasy and horror credits to their name as well as a few collaborative pieces. Recent anthologies featuring my own short fiction include ‘Breaking the Rules’ (Boo Books), Vignettes from the End of the World (Apokrupha) and Black Apples (Belladonna Publications). My short story ‘Aspects of Aries’ which appeared in ‘Astrologica’ (The Alchemy Press) has been selected to appear in Salt Publications’ Best British Fantasy anthology due for release later this year. You can find me at http://www.tumsh.co.uk/

Nicholas Paschall, horror and fantasy author. I’m a recurring columnist for Dark Eclipse Magazine and have been published in eight anthologies. I also maintain my own blog where I post stories freshly written, called the Nickronomicon. I have an upcoming story in Demonic Visions Four coming out early June that I would suggest anyone who is into the Unseelie get, as it involves them to a great degree.

 

Tell us a little about your story

Angeline: My story, ‘I’ll Watch Over You’, is a classic changeling story. It follows new mother, Ellen, in a downward spiral of superstition and paranoia, as she fights against a fae intent on stealing her baby. While Ellen’s husband believes her hormones are simply going haywire, her elderly neighbour fills her head with stories and her home with talismans. Becoming increasingly frightened and isolated, Ellen finds herself standing between her baby and the unknown world of the fae.

Chantal: I was researching Japanese mythology for a novel idea I had in mind and the research inspired my story.  I also had my thoughts focused on my friend Barb who was dying from pancreatic cancer and I think feelings of sadness and a sense of devotion to friends and family naturally transposed themselves into the story as a result.  Barb was the type of person always sacrificing for others and I think I brought some of her spirit to Sanae.

David: My story is a kind of ‘be careful what you wish for’ allegory. The farmer lusts after the thing that the boy has access to and is willing to commit murder to obtain it. He doesn’t realize the terrible mistake he has made till he gets what he desires.

The post revolutionary backdrop of the story has been one that I have used in several stories now, placing well-known fairy tale or nursery rhyme characters into a situation where society has undergone profound changes. In this case the source material was the nursery rhyme Little Boy Blue come blow your Horn. I wondered what else the boy might be calling with his horn other than sheep or cows.

The title The Wunderhorn comes from a 19th Century collection of German Folk songs Das Knaben Wunderhorn (The Boy’s Magical Horn) which was said to have been part of the inspiration behind the Grimm brother’s collection of fairy tales.

Nicholas: It’s a story about loss, and the beauty that can be found in all things, even misery. A fey of unknown species gathers the souls of singers and instrumentalists so that they can forever play for his eternal amusement. He hosts balls for his kind where his favorite specter sings a song of his native homeland. It is really a tale about how even in the most miserable circumstances, beauty can come forth. And, of course, that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

 

What’s your favorite type of faerie?

Angeline: I grew up surrounding myself with the friendly fairies of childhood: flower fairies, tooth fairies, friendly little creatures that grant wishes and sprinkle fairy dust. But through my teens, I discovered there was a different side to the fae. Overall, I like to think fairies are more mischievous than downright evil.

Nicholas: Personifications of nature that have been corrupted are perhaps my favorite, like a dryad who has had her tree poisoned by human waste. The idea of flawed beauty in a creature that the idea of flaws doesn’t even exist has always brought a smile to my face.

David: The Brownie. I like the idea of a creature that makes its home under your doorstep and helps with household chores while your asleep but could cause all sorts of chaos and mayhem if you get on the wrong side of it. Anyone who likes gothic horror should read ‘The Brownie of the Black Haggs’ by James Hogg.

Chantal: I’m a seelie fan.  I especially like helpful fairies with an air of mischief and a sense of humour.

 

Is music a part of your personal writing process, and if so what kind(s) of music do you listen to when your write?

Angeline: I often play music while I write, and find that it has a significant impact on my writing. I often choose specific albums based on the story I am hoping to write. One of my go-to bands is Counting Crows, and they have been the soundtrack to a lot of my writing sessions over the years.

I also use film soundtracks because they’re so full of atmosphere and emotion. My favourites are The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and Edward Scissorhands.

Chantal: Very much so – I try to match the music to the mood of the story: alternative rock, easy listening, pop, celtic, tribal…whatever suits the story.

David: There’s nothing like a good murder ballad to set the mood for a piece of dark writing. Particular favorites include the Everly Brothers’ rendition of ‘Down in the Willow Garden’ and the Nick Cave / PJ Harvey duet ‘Henry Lee’. Also, in keeping with my Scottish heritage, Euan MacColl’s ‘The Bonnie Banks of Airdie’ where the Duke of Fifes’ three daughters are dispatched one by one by a robber brandishing a wee penknife.

Nicholas: I listen to a variety of songs when I write, from dubstep versions of horror songs to country music, to J-pop. The music really influences the writing. Sometimes I’ll just listen to rain fall and write from what bubbles forth from my subconscious.

 

Has a song ever inspired a story idea for you?

Nicholas: Of course! I think every author got the starting point of their story from either a song or seeing something. For me, Maestro came from listening to Jace Everrett’s “I wanna do Bad Things to you,” a song that is by far one of my favorites in the new age variety we’ve been seeing as of late.

Chantal: I wouldn’t say any song has inspired a particular story, but it has inspired some of my content while writing.  Songs have also inspired some of my story and novel titles.

David: I have a story in the forthcoming ‘Girl at the End of the World’ anthology (Fox Spirit) which features a girl with corkscrew hair, inspired by the line in the T Rex 70’s hit Telegram Sam – I ‘ain’t no where with my corkscrew hair. I’ve also managed to get a Metal Guru into the plot as well.

 

Last but not least: who’d win a fight between Princess Toadstool and Zelda?

Chantal: My vote’s for Zelda.

Angeline: I can’t imagine these two ladies fighting one another. They’d far more likely just to go out for coffee and cake together. And why not?

David: I’m declaring Swiss style neutrality on this one.

Nicolas: That’s a tough one. Both get captured far too often to show any real fighting skills, though in recent years they’ve been added to brawler games to showcase their fighting skills, or lack thereof. I think I’d have to give it to Zelda, as she comes from a kingdom of warriors that are human, not anthropomorphic mushrooms. Hard to practice against a race of two foot tall fungus men and learn how to fight effectively.

With Zelda she would, as a princess, at least have the chance to learn archery. And with her constant kidnappings, she can probably defend herself better than the only human in all of Mushroom Kingdom.

 

Where to find the books:

Amazon Links for Tales of the Seelie Court  32892-final_talesoftheunseeliecourt_650
Print Version http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Seelie-Court/dp/1937929477
Kindle Version http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Seelie-Court-ebook/dp/B00IAHTMAO  

Amazon Links for Tales of the Unseelie Court  
Print Version http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Unseelie-Court/dp/1937929493
Kindle Version http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Unseelie-Court-ebook/dp/B00IAHTVSC

May 24, 2014 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Selah Janel’s Olde School Virtual Tour

Selah Janel’s Olde School Virtual Tour

Virtual Tour 
Author: Selah Janel
Featured Book Release: Olde School
Book One Kingdom City Chronicles
May 26 to June 1, 2014

SelahTourBadge

SelahJanel-smallerAbout the Author: Selah Janel has been blessed with a giant imagination and a love of story since she was little and convinced that fairies lived in the nearby state park or vampires hid in the abandoned barns outside of town. Learning to read and being encouraged by those around her only made things worse. Her work ranges from e-books to traditional print, and she prefers to write every genre at once rather than choose just one. The stories “Holly and Ivy”, “The Other Man”, and “Mooner” are available online through Mocha Memoirs Press. Her work has also been included in The MacGuffin, The Realm Beyond, Stories for Children Magazine, The Big Bad: an Anthology of Evil, Thunder on the Battlefield: Sorcery, The Grotesquerie, and the short story collection Lost in the Shadows, co-written with S.H. Roddey. She likes her music to rock, her vampires lethal, her fairies to play mind games, and her princesses to have adventures and hold their own.

Catch up with her thoughts and projects at
http://www.selahjanel.wordpress.com

OldeSchoolCoverFinal_650X433Book Synopsis Olde School: Kingdom City has moved into the modern era. Run by a lord mayor and city council (though still under the influence of the High King of The Land), it proudly embraces a blend of progress and tradition. Trolls, ogres, and other Folk walk the streets with humans, but are more likely to be entrepreneurs than cause trouble. Princesses still want to be rescued, but they now frequent online dating services to encourage lords, royals, and politicians to win their favor. The old stories are around, but everyone knows they’re just fodder for the next movie franchise. Everyone knows there’s no such thing as magic. It’s all old superstition and harmless tradition.

Bookish, timid, and more likely to carry a laptop than a weapon, Paddlelump Stonemonger is quickly coming to wish he’d never put a toll bridge over Crescent Ravine. While his success has brought him lots of gold, it’s also brought him unwanted attention from the Lord Mayor. Adding to his frustration, Padd’s oldest friends give him a hard time when his new maid seems inept at best and conniving at worst. When a shepherd warns Paddlelump of strange noises coming from Thadd Forest, he doesn’t think much of it. Unfortunately for him, the history of his land goes back further than anyone can imagine. Before long he’ll realize that he should have paid attention to the old tales and carried a club.

Darkness threatens to overwhelm not only Paddlelump, but the entire realm. With a little luck, a strange bird, a feisty waitress, and some sturdy friends, maybe, just maybe, Padd will survive to eat another meal at Trip Trap’s diner. It’s enough to make the troll want to crawl under his bridge, if he can manage to keep it out of the clutches of greedy politicians

Olde School if Book One of The Kingdom City Chronicles

Author Links:

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/authorSJ

Twitter:
@selahjanel

Website:
http://selahjanel.wordpress.com/

 

Tour Schedule and Activities

May 26        SpecMusicMuse                                      Review/Interview
May 26        Vampires, Witches, and me oh my!      Guest Post
May 27        Alexx Momcat’s Gateway Book Blog      Character Post
May 27        Watch Play Read                                    Review
May 28        Fantastical Adventures in the Paper Realm     Review
May 28        Sheila Deeth Blog                                     Character Post
May 28        Close Encounters with the Night Kind      Review
May 29        Deal Sharing Aunt                                     Promo/Spotlight
May 29       Workaday Reads                                       Reviews
May 30       Exquisite Corpse                                       Guest Post
May 31      Bee’s Knees Reviews                                Review
May 31      I Smell Sheep                                             Character Post
June 1       Seers, Seraphs, Immortals and More!        Interview

Amazon Links for Olde School
Print Version
http://www.amazon.com/Olde-School-Selah-Janel/dp/1937929655

Kindle Version
http://www.amazon.com/Olde-School-Kingdom-City-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00J4UGVIM

May 24, 2014 Posted by | News & Rants | , , , | Leave a comment

A Chimerical World Anthologies Virtual Tour

Editor: Scott Sandridge

Featured Books

A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court

A Chimerical World: Tales of the Unseelie Court

May 18 to 25, 2014

AChimericalWorldBadge

ScottSandridgeAbout the Editor: Scott M. Sandridge is a writer, editor, freedom fighter, and all-around trouble-maker. His latest works as an editor include the Seventh Star Press anthologies Hero’s Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions, and the two volumes of A Chimerical World, Tales of the Seelie Court and Tales of the Unseelie Court.

 

 

 

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Book Synopsis Tales of the Seelie Court: The Fey have been with us since the beginning, sometimes to our great joy but often to our detriment. Usually divided (at least by us silly humans) into two courts, the first volume of A Chimerical World focuses on the Seelie Court: the court we humans seem to view as the “good” faeries. But “good” and “evil” are human concepts and as alien to the Fey as their mindsets are to us.

Inside you will find 19 stories that delve into the world of the faeries of the Seelie Court, from authors both established and new, including George S. Walker, Eric Garrison, and Alexandra Christian.

But be warned: these faeries are nothing like Tinker Bell.

 

 

Stories Included in Tales of the Seelie Court:

“Extra-Ordinary” by BC Brown

“Dead Fairy Doormat” by George S. Walker

“Taggers” by Christine Morgan

“Wormwood” by Alexandra Christian

“The Harpist’s Hand” by Steven S. Long

“Sanae’s Garden” by Chantal Boudreau

“Mark of Ruins” by SD Grimm.

“Birdie’s Life at the School for Distressed Young Ladies” by JH Fleming

“Cultivated Hope” by Jordan Phelps

“Seelie Goose” by Eric Garrison

“I Knocked Up My Fairy Girlfriend” by Brandon Black

“The Body Electric” by Sarah Madsen.

“The Last Mission” by Cindy Koepp.

“The Beggar-Knight & the Lady Perilous”

by Matthew A. Timmins.

“The Filigreed Lamp” by Edward Ahern.

“Keys” by Michael M. Jones

“Like a Sister in the Proper Court” by Lisa Hawkridge

“Gnome Games” by Saera Corvin

“The Goat Man’s Garden” by Marten Hoyle

 

Be sure to also see A Chimerical World: Tales of the Unseelie Court, for more tales of the Fey!

 

TalesoftheUnseelieCourt_Cover1200X800Book Synopsis Tales of the Unseelie Court: The Fey have been with us since the beginning, sometimes to our great joy but often to our detriment. Usually divided (at least by us silly humans) into two courts, the second volume of A Chimerical World focuses on the Unseelie Court: the court we humans seem to view as the “evil” faeries. But “good” and “evil” are human concepts and as alien to the Fey as their mindsets are to us.

Inside you will find 19 stories that delve into the world of the faeries of the Unseelie Court, from authors both established and new, including Michael Shimek, Deedee Davies, and Nick Bryan.

But don’t be surprised if these faeries decide to play with their food.

 

 

 

 

Stories included in Tales of the Unseelie Court:

“In Plain Sight” by Rebecca Leo

“The Wunderhorn” by David Turnbull

“Treehouse” by Kim Smith

“I’ll Watch Over You” by Angeline Trevena

“The Enemy of my Enemy” by Deedee Davies.

“Maestro” by Nicholas Paschall

“Prey of the Boggart” by Rony Blechman.

“Fear of Little Men” by Mike Pieloor..

“Faerie Stories and the Bean Nighe” by Carmen Tudor..

“Gifts” by Michael Shimek..

“Djinn and Tonic” by S. Clayton Rhodes

“The Bet” by Jodi Ralston…

“The Fool and his Money” by Nick Bryan

“The Yielding” by J. A. Ironside.

“The Tamer of Beasts” by Doug Blakeslee..

“The Last Sword of Barrow Thorns” by Matthew A. Timmins

“The Rose and the Dragon” by Steven S. Long

“The Brothers Doran” by John A. McColley

“Wonderland” by Stephanie Jessop

Be sure to also see A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court, for more tales of the Fey!

 

Editor Links:

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/scottmsandridge

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/smsandwrites

Website/Blog:

https://smsand.wordpress.com

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5772749-scott-sandridge

 

Tour Schedule and Activities

5/18    Jorie Loves a Story                                                            Review

5/20    Deal Sharing Aunt                                                            Guest Post

5/21    Armand Rosamilia, Horror Author                           Guest Post

5/21    Vampires, Witches, and Me, Oh My!                         Guest Post

5/21   Beauty in Ruins                                                                   Guest Post

5/21    The Bird’s Word                                                                 Interview

5/21    Book in the Bag                                                                  Interview

5/22    Bee’s Knees Reviews                                                        Guest Post

5/22    Spellbindings                                                                      Promo/Spotlight

5/22    I Smell Sheep                                                                      Guest Post

5/23    The Official Writing Blog of Deedee Davies            Guest Post

5/24    Heroic Fantasy Writers                                                  Review

5/24    Sheila Deeth Blog                                                             Guest Post

5/25    Come Selahway With Me                                               Interview

 

Tour Page URL:

http://www.tomorrowcomesmedia.com/a-chimerical-world-anthologies-virtual-tour/

Tour Badge Html:

http://www.tomorrowcomesmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/AChimericalWorldBadge.jpg

Amazon Links for Tales of the Seelie Court

Print Version

http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Seelie-Court/dp/1937929477

Kindle Version

http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Seelie-Court-ebook/dp/B00IAHTMAO

Amazon Links for Tales of the Unseelie Court

Print Version

http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Unseelie-Court/dp/1937929493

Kindle Version

http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Unseelie-Court-ebook/dp/B00IAHTVSC

May 18, 2014 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse, Writerly Updates | , , , | 1 Comment

SpecMusicMuse Review—I, the Sun by Janet Morris

51MeX4Lp+BLI, the Sun is the story about the life of the Hittite, Tamissari, known in history as King Supiluliumas. A historical fantasy with emphasis on the historical, don’t expect high adventure and flashy magic. The magic is so subtle that it can be mistaken as coincidence…most of the time.

Morris portrays Supiluliumas in a realistic manner, flaws and all. Considering the type of person he was, even when considering him a product of his time and culture, only Morris’s masterful characterization skills make him at all sympathetic. In any other fantasy genre, he most likely would’ve been the villain, albeit a slightly more noble one…most of the time.

The narration is done in first-person POV, and Morris does a good job at taking the archaic mannerisms of the time and modernizing it enough to make it readable. One of the downsides to the first-person narration is there’s a lot more telling than showing, almost as if a diary is being written instead of a story, only without date and time. A lot of stuff which would’ve made for some epic scenes tend to get told in passing, as Morris concentrates more on the political intrigues and romantic dramas. I, for one, would’ve liked to have seen actual scenes involving the amazon.

As good as the story is, it would’ve worked better had it been a trilogy instead of a single book. Overall it’s a worthy read despite its flaws. Some readers will love the story, others not as much.

 

Best to read while listening to: the soundtracks to Gladiator and 300.

May 3, 2014 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , | Leave a comment