Santa Dragon’s Holiday Contest!

Santa Dragon's Holiday Extravaganza!

Chestnuts are roasting; hot cider is filling the house with allspice, cloves, and cinnamon; gingerbread cookies are turning golden in the oven; and the merry scribes of the Fellowship of Fantasy are ringing in the season with Santa Dragon’s Holiday Extravaganza, 24 days, 24 prizes, and oodles of fun! Each day, enter a new contest and meet a new author. The contest runs December 1st to December 24th. Go the Fellowship of Fantasy Facebook Page to find your stop of the day.

 

I’ll be hosting my contest on December 4th. I’ll be giving away a signed, first edition of Wyndano’s Cloak. This beautiful hardback book is a keepsake you or a child will treasure! The prize can only be sent within the US. If you win and you live outside the US, I will gift eBook copies of my award-winning novels, Wyndano’s Cloak and The Stream via Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Here’s how to enter:

  • Go to my Facebook Page
  • Like it if you haven’t already done so!
  • Like and share the post about this contest
  • Leave a comment that completes the following sentence:
    • What I most love about fantasy fiction is…
  • Sign up for my Newsletter
  • If you’ve already signed up for my Newsletter, follow me on Twitter and leave your handle in the same comment above.
  • If you already follow me on Twitter then you’re a loyal fan, but leave your handle in the comment section anyway.
  • If you win, I’ll need your email, so DM now your email via this Facebook page.
  • The winner will be selected December 26th.
  • If must must must have a copy of that hardback and don’t happen to be the winner, or you live outside the US, all is not lost. Simply go to my home page, scroll down, and complete the PayPal form. I’ll send you the book lickety split, and can personalize it as a gift in time for the holidays! (For international orders, contact me directly.)

That’s it! Good luck, and let’s talk FANTASY FICTION!

Santa Dragon Holiday Extravaganza


Linda Gray Sexton: Author Interview

Linda Gray Sexton, author of Bespotted

Linda Gray Sexton, author of Bespotted

I’m honored to have Linda Gray Sexton join us today. Linda is the daughter of the Pulitzer-Prize winning poet, Anne Sexton. She’s an accomplished wordsmith in her own right, penning four novels—Rituals, Mirror Images, Points of Light and Private Acts—and three memoirs. Her first, Searching for Mercy Street: My Journey Back to My Mother, Anne Sexton, was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and was optioned by Miramax Films. Half in Love: Surviving the Legacy of Suicide, takes a hard look at her struggle with her own mental illness and the legacy left to her by her mother and her mother’s family. Join me now as Linda delves into her life and her work.

 

From novels to memoirs, your books cover a startling range. How has your writing evolved over the years?

 

I have loved moving from genre to genre as I have evolved as a writer. I began with poetry in my early adolescent years, working with my mother in her writing room, critiquing both her poems and mine. I guess that was natural enough, considering that she had written two published collections of poetry before she won the Pulitzer Prize. However, when I became older, she warned me that writing poetry might bring me pain in the end: “Don’t be a writer, Linda” she said. “I will follow you around like an old gray ghost.”

 

After her suicide, I tackled a book her publisher suggested: a volume of her letters with narrative interspliced, so that it would become something of a biography at a time when no biography had yet been written. It was emotionally difficult to explore and write about my mother’s life in detail immediately following her death, but as her literary executor I was determined to make sure it was available for her many curious readers, who wrote to me often inquiring about the depths and facts of her life. Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters gave them the taste they craved as they waited for a complete accounting of her life, which did not happen for many years.

 

My mother was right, of course, about following me around like an old gray ghost. When I first began writing and then submitting my poems, while simultaneously writing Self-Portrait, they were rejected; I was compared, as she anticipated I would be, to her genius as a wordsmith. I knew I should switch, and so, when I was twenty-one, I wrote a non-fiction book about my personal life—that which my mother and I had often focused in our work together. Between Two Worlds: Young Women In Crisis examined the difficulties young women of my generation were experiencing in the early ’80’s, difficulties in balancing career, marriage and family—despite what feminism had taught us and in which we had believed so fervently.

 

After that, I moved over to fiction, which, besides poetry, was my favorite genre to read. How many hours I spent hunched over Flaubert, Updike, Oates, and so many other accomplished novelists. I developed a passion for the form and just didn’t move away from it for many years, publishing Rituals, Mirror Images, Points of Light, and Private Acts over the course of the next decade.

 

But then something devastating occurred: the rejection of my two next novels. I did not think I would recover as a writer and found it difficult to move onward with any book at all. But, at last, an idea burst from the deep well that all writers tap for their creativity: I began work on a memoir. Searching for Mercy Street: My Journey Back To My Mother, Anne Sexton was my passion, though I had never before dreamed of writing a memoir. The book was about forgiveness, written quite candidly about my life with my mother. To my surprise, it garnered wonderful reviews and that encouraged me to go onward to another memoir, Half In Love: Surviving The Legacy Of Suicide. Enduring a deep and dark depression, resulting from a bipolar break and a painful divorce, the book took some ten years to write, but with determination and hard work, it was eventually published in 2011.

 

Then my life took an upswing. I discovered I was able to write about the positive aspects of my childhood—specifically, the joy Dalmatians had brought our entire family, (from the past of childhood through to my adulthood), as true therapy dogs for those of us who needed unconditional love and encouragement. This memoir, Bespotted: My Family’s Love Affair With Thirty-Eight Dalmatians, was published in 2014.

 

Currently, I am working on another novel, one which is very different from those earlier books, which were about family mysteries and secrets. This one is psychological suspense, a genre I’ve always wanted to investigate, as I also love to read books like this. I am still in the middle of rewriting, but I hope to have my agent take it out to publishers fairly soon.

 

Having begun writing in 1965, at eleven years old, and still pursuing my craft now, at sixth-three, I do indeed love the art of writing—whatever genre it may take. Poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction all bring me joy and fascination. Writers must be readers, and I have been both for all my life.

 

You describe the legacy of suicide in your book, Half in Love. How much did the writing of the book provide catharsis versus raising demons?

 

For me, a book about my family or me does not provide catharsis because the catharsis must already be complete before I begin to write. Otherwise the memoir that results is too much like a diary or journal, whose sole purpose is to vent and, perhaps, only to begin to understand what has happened, or is still happening, to the writer. For me, I must fully understand events and emotions before I begin to write. Otherwise I cannot put them down on the page with candor, self-reflection and the acquired wisdom that may eventually comfort others and bring them to new revelations about themselves. Half in Love helped those who were suffering from depression and thoughts of suicide, as well as family members trying to deal with their disease, because it accurately described the process in a reflective manner, and then offered the hope that I eventually found. When I was in the middle of writing it, if all I had been able to achieve was catharsis, I don’t think I could have offered the help that came with distance from the subject.

 

What advice would you give to people living under the shadow of suicide?

 

The best advice I can give is that offered in two of my blogs, published as “newsletters,” which go into intricate detail about the “shadow” of suicide and depression—from both the family’s and the affected person’s point of view. I have been in both places and have a lot to say about them. When National Suicide Prevention Month rolled around this year, I wrote two pieces about the subjects, and received a lot of e-mail from people who found them helpful and inspiring. You can read them on my website, at these two links: First: “Waking Up To Suicide.” And then “Steps To Fighting the Darkness. Read them in the order I’ve listed so that they make sense.

 

In writing a memoir, I would struggle with the feeling I was violating the memory and privacy of loved ones. I wonder if you encountered that, and if so how you contended with it?

 

This is always a problem a memoirist wrestles with: how much do you tell, how much do you withhold, how often do you ask those still alive if they approve of what you’ve written.

 

I basically feel that my memories are my own. I don’t represent them to be factual or an exact truth. A memoir is not a biographer, written by an impartial observer. I like to use the metaphor that a remembered event is often totally recalled differently, even when two people have experienced the same thing. It is as if they have entered the same room, but through two different doors, and thus have a different perspective on what they see.

 

And so, I only rarely ask those still living what they think of my interpretation of the past. For them, that past is always seen through the lens of their own memories, and so we can disagree and arguments can result. I do offer my galleys to family members who might be surprised about what I have written, as a way of making them feel included in the process, but I never promise to change anything as a result of their opinion. On the other hand, if something they want changed is minor and doesn’t affect my interpretation or recall of an event, I will respect their wishes.

 

In terms of memories of those who are no longer with us—what memories are there to violate? The memories presented are totally your own and those family members aren’t around to read them. If I have presented such a person fully, with as much candor and honesty as I can muster—keeping away scrupulously from “venting” over past events—then I can feel good about what I am writing. It’s all a question of making sure you are as true to people and situations as you can be—but knowing from the outset that this will be your presentation of all that is past.

 

Tell us about Searching for Mercy Street and what the title refers to.

 

Searching for Mercy Street is about my journey back to my mother, and how I forgave her as a parent for her suicide, for her difficulties with her motherhood and for my troubled childhood. It is a memoir about forgiving whomever you have to forgive in your life. It was a hard book to write, but forgiveness was a more difficult emotion to come to in my life. It took me from the time of her suicide to the point shortly before I wrote the book to achieve it.

 

The title refers to one of her poems, 45 Mercy Street, in which she is looking for “Mercy Street,” a place from her past, and one to which she wants to return, using the metaphor of a house, number 45, on the street named “Mercy.” She is looking for mercy, as well as desiring to experience mercy. The last words of Searching For Mercy Street are:

 

“Mother, are you listening? Twenty years have passed since you confided that dream to me. I am still the gatekeeper, and I bring you good news. The spirit of the poems does go on past both of us—and many will be remembered in one hundred years.

 

Mother, I read your words and turn the corner. Here, at last, is Mercy Street.”

 

You wrote Between Two Worlds: Young Women in Crisis in 1979. How do you see the women coming of age today?

 

Well, it is a very different generation than mine was. I often hear that young women today don’t identify with feminism at all, and that the young men with whom they may eventually have relationships or even marry, don’t approve of its agendas. In fact, for many in the US today, feminism is a dirty word. This makes me very sad. So much of what we fought for and achieved back in the 60’s and 70’s is now forgotten and taken for granted. There are so many freedoms we all enjoy that were won from a cause well-fought: paid maternity leave for both men and women; some day care centers at your place of employment; pay that quite often equals that of male counterparts, or which is close to that; a reduction in the glass ceiling; opportunities to rise without barriers in a chosen field; laws about sexual harassment. Often, young men view feminists as strident women who are trying to destroy the traditional family, even though there are many self-employed and happy stay-at-home Dads doing a great job. I don’t mean to criticize, but I wish there could be an acknowledgment and some gratitude for everything earlier feminism brought this generation of women. And there is still much work to be done. Who is going to do it? The new generation must. I know I’m going out on a big limb here!

 

Tell us about Self-Portrait:

 

Self-Portrait is essentially a biography of my mother, told through her letters. I spent several years going through her archives, looking for the best correspondences and the best memorabilia, all of which would tell the story of her life in an informal manner. Interspersed between the letters is the narrative I wrote to make clear the relationships between the writers, the events that are occurring, or those that have occurred, in my mother’s life. It is a book for those who want to learn more about Anne Sexton, for those who love to read correspondences filled with humor, love and joy, and for those who want to read about the life—personal and poetic—of a creative woman.

 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

 

I think the most important advice I have to offer is that you must sit down everyday and write something—even if it is something poor that you will eventually pitch into your outbox. Being regular in your writing helps you to keep going, even when there is no “inspiration” to energize you. Writing begets inspiration, not the other way around. Just sit down and begin. You will discover it is not as hard as you think. And if you let days go by with nothing on the page, it will be like starting all over again every time—which is definitely a more difficult process. And even a paragraph counts toward this goal! One more thing: don’t throw anything away, even the most rotten writing. You never know when you will go back and discover a hidden nugget.

 

Linda, thank you so much for sharing about your life and work. Readers interested in learning more about you and your books can follow the links below:

 

Purchase Linda’s Books on her Website

 

Sign up for Linda’s Bi-Weekly Newsletter/Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Linda Gray Sexton Biography:

 

Linda Gray Sexton was born in Newton, Massachusetts in 1953. She is the daughter of the Pulitzer-Prize winning poet, Anne Sexton. Linda graduated from Harvard in 1975 with a degree in literature. She has published four novels: Rituals; Mirror Images; Points of Light; and Private Acts. Her three memoirs include: Searching for Mercy Street: My Journey Back to My Mother, Anne Sexton; Half in Love: Surviving the Legacy of Suicide; and Bespotted: My Family’s Love Affair With Thirty-Eight Dalmatians. Linda is now at work on a fifth novel, and is now a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. You can find her latest article here. She lives in California with her husband and their three Dalmatians.

 

 

 

 


Fantastic Creatures Anthology Release & Scavenger Hunt

FANTASTIC NEWS ABOUT FANTASTIC CREATURES!

Fantastic Creatures, an anthology of twenty short stories from the Fellowship of Fantasy, is here at last! Each tale features a creature from folklore or mythology, including my yarn, Three Steaks and a Box of Chocolates, my funniest tale yet. You can read more about it by taking part in our Scavenger Hunt. Visit all the stops, collect the clues—look for the number in each post!—and you could win a Kindle Fire, plus eBooks from participating authors. Read down to the bottom to find out how to enter.

But first, here’s D. G. Driver, who contributed Who’s Afraid of a Baby? to the anthology.

Who’s Afraid of a Baby?

by

D. G. Driver

For just over eleven years I have been the lead teacher in an infant classroom at a child development center here in Nashville. My assistant teachers come and go, getting promoted or moving on to other kinds of jobs. I’m currently working with my 7th who is leaving soon. We’re having some trouble finding a full time replacement for her. Why? Babies, especially eight of them at one time, are scary. Apparently, only I have the nerves of steel to work with the little wailing creatures year after year after year. (No, I joke with you. I love my precious babies, and although I dream of abandoning them for a life as a full time author, I can’t say I’d prefer a different job.)

D. G. Driver with the werewolf babies at Chattacon, by doll artist www.werecubs.com

D. G. Driver with the werewolf babies at Chattacon, by doll artist www.werecubs.com

A few years back, my then assistant, a lovely Goddess of a woman named Maria, and I were both super into watching True Blood and The Walking Dead. We shared our enthusiasm for all things vampire and zombie after each new episode. At that time, several of the babies in the room were older and either crawling or beginning to walk. Whenever either of us would get on the floor, the babies would immediately approach us, stumbling and bumbling until we were smothered by babies. Maria and I began to joke about how they moved like tiny zombies. It always started out as simple, harmless ambling by one lone child to suddenly being mobbed and attacked by all of them. Hair being pulled while slobber and drool proliferated.

We nicknamed all our moving babies “Bombies” and it is a nickname for the burgeoning toddlers that I still use to this day. At home my writing mind whirled. What if babies were little monsters? That would be hilarious. I considered writing a story about baby zombies but never got around to it. (I’m not alone in the idea, though. Buzzfeed did this fantasy video “Horror Movie Day Care” that makes me laugh every time I watch it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WTkJHHF4B4) Also, when at Chattacon (a speculative fiction convention in Chattanooga) last year, I met a lovely woman who made monster baby dolls. No kidding. This is how she makes her living. I, of course, had to get a picture with them.

One day, I saw a prompt for an anthology looking for horror stories. Ah! I thought. I will do this. I wrote up a story about a rather unusual day care. It didn’t get accepted, though, because I think it was a little too different from the other stories chosen for the book. So, I stuck it up on Wattpad for a while. My daughter made me a really cute cover image for it. I left it there until I saw the call from Fellowship of Fantasy for their Fantastic Creatures anthology.

I tweaked the story again, and to my great surprise and joy it got accepted. No, the babies aren’t zombies. You’ll probably figure out pretty quick what they are, though. I’m told that “Mother’s Night Out” is one of the more scary/gory stories in Fantastic Creatures, but it’s still PG13. I mainly write YA, and I feel it is fine for my typical audience of readers. I do hope you enjoy it, and if you’re curious about any of my other books or stories, visit me at www.dgdriver.com to learn more about my work.

MINI GIVEAWAY FROM D. G. DRIVER!

Sign up for D. G.’s mailing list on her website during this scavenger hunt, and she’ll enter you to win a free eBook copy of her award-winning mermaid novel, Cry of the Sea. Happy reading!

Mother's Night Out, by DG Driver

Mother’s Night Out, by DG Driver

Cry of the Sea, by D. G. Driver

Cry of the Sea, by D. G. Driver

 

 

ABOUT OUR ANTHOLOGY!

Fantastic Creatures

Fantastic Creatures

Here be dragons … and selkies and griffins and maybe even a mermaid or two.

Twenty fantasy authors band together to bring you a collection of thrilling tales and magical monsters. Do you like to slay dragons? Or befriend them? Do you prefer to meet cephalopods as gigantic kraken or adorable tree octopuses?

Each story focuses around a fantastic creature from folklore or mythology, and they range from light and playful tales for the whole family to darker stories that may make you wish to leave the lights on. These stories carry the Fellowship of Fantasy seal of approval. While our monsters may be horrifying, you won’t stumble into graphic sex and constant swearing.

Perfect for the fantasy lover who can’t get enough of mythical beasts!

GUESS WHAT? The eBook edition is FREE!!! Get it here –>

Goodreads

Amazon

B&N

Kobo

ENTER THE SCAVENGER HUNT!

fcsh-giveaway-graphic-2

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Scavenger Hunt Stops!

Kandi J. Wyatt
A. R. Silverberry
Bokerah Brumley
H. L. Burke
Lea Doué
Morgan Smith
Jessica L. Elliott
Caren Rich
Julie C. Gilbert
Nicole Zoltack
D. G. Driver
Intisar Khanani


Writing Journals: An Author’s Guide

A. R. Silverberry, Author of The Stream

A. R. Silverberry, Author of The Stream

Using a Writing Journal

 

When I heard that John Steinbeck kept a writer’s journal I thought I’d better give it a whirl. It’s turned out to be one of the most useful tools in my arsenal. It helps me stay focused on whatever project I’m working on, experiment with different passages, brainstorm ideas, and sort out story- doubts and self-doubts. It helps me keep going, even when I’ve stalled and I’m ready to abandon the whole vocation and take up golf. It’s also useful to go back through the journals and re-read what I was thinking about at various points in time.

 

For each piece I’m working on, whether it’s a short story or a novel, I start a journal in a separate folder for that project. This helps me stay focused on that project and find within its pages ideas, explorations, or solutions as needed. I recently validated this approach. I had been working intensely on book three of a sci-fi trilogy but set it aside mid-May to work on three short stories. These got completed in 7/31. When I went back to the trilogy I felt quite distant from it. I knew I was just starting Act II in the plot, but the thousands of ideas and questions that were percolating in my head had long since flown away like a flock of migrating birds. A quick review of the journal helped me get back on track. By reading earlier entries, I was able to find where I was planning to go with a particular character or conflict.

 

My father, who penned plays and screenplays, used to talk about the tyranny of the paper. Of course, this was in the days of typewriters or writing longhand. What he meant was that there was something intimidating about the stark, white, unblemished page. It begs us not to mar it. And if you have a few lines or a passage written there, it can also be difficult to add anything. It’s almost as if the words are set in stone or are sacred—anything else you add better be good, or pack it up. My father’s solution was to crumple a paper bag or something else that didn’t matter and write on that. (I once saw a poem he wrote on a cocktail napkin.) You can even scribble on it first. The crumpling and scribbling sends a great message to your brain: Relax, there’s nothing at stake here; this is something you can toss in the trash.

 

Even on a computer screen, I often experience the tyranny of the “page.” One of my favorite ways to deal with it is to go to my journal and experiment there. I feel totally liberated to write whatever I want, and to write badly. No one ever sees it, so what does it matter? Freed up mentally, I often come up with just what I need.

 

Every novel has one or two sections that I call my Waterloo passages. Gnarly, messy, scary, these sections torture me because I’m not sure how to write them or make them work. Reading in prior journals helps. I can quickly see that this is a normal part of the creative process and that I always get to the other side it!

 

Someday I’ll share some real life examples from my journals. But I thought I’d post this as an introduction. A final thought. Sometimes I use journals to capture something I’ve seen or heard. Here’s an entry from the journal I kept while writing my novel, The Stream.

 

11-27-13:

8:08 PM:

Saw this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.”

 

Leave a Comment! I’d love to hear how you use a writing journal.

 

Happy writing everyone!


Writing to Music, by Alina Sayre

The Illuminator Rising, by Alina Sayre

The Illuminator Rising, by Alina Sayre

Welcome fantasy author, Alina Sayre, who’s just released The Illuminator Rising, Book 3 of The Voyages of the Legend. Alina stops by today with a guest post on writing to music, a topic dear to my heart! More about Alina, The Illuminator Rising, and a chance to win the book below. But first . . . And a one, and a two, take it away, Alina!

Writing to Music

Growing up, I was one of those people who needed complete silence to get anything done. Obviously, that’s not the most practical habit, and I credit my younger brother with expanding my ability to focus in the midst of noise. Now, I actually enjoy—sometimes even need—music in order to get anything done. But to keep a clear line between cranking up creativity and cranking up procrastination, I have a few rules about how to write to music.

Rule #1: To be productive, I have to choose the music playing while I work. I find Starbucks soundtracks more distracting than helpful—usually because I don’t know the songs and start listening to them instead of writing.

Rule #2: Make a playlist. Each of the books I’ve written has its own dedicated soundtrack. I pick out some of the songs ahead of time, but most I collect as the book’s tone takes shape. It’s really fun to see what’s come together for each book. Book 1, The Illuminator’s Gift, used a lot of soundtracks and some Celtic music. Book 2, The Illuminator’s Test, used more choral songs. The Illuminator Rising, my just-released third book, is a really eclectic mixture, including a smattering of Middle Eastern and Spanish sounds. My all-time favorite writing composer is Ludovico Einaudi, whose instrumental compositions are classical enough to help me focus, but enough like a soundtrack to provide imaginative spark. With a play count of over 300 on my iTunes, the song “Ora” now gives me a Pavlovian impulse to write!

Rule #3: I (almost) only work to instrumental songs or lyrics in a foreign language. If there are English words, I’m almost guaranteed to get distracted, or maybe even start typing the lyrics of the song instead of the scene I’m supposed to be writing! Instrumental music creates a space for me to imagine without putting words in my head.

Rule #4: Turn up the music louder than the distractions. Especially when it’s late in the day, or late in the writing process, or I’m just having one of those days when every squirrel is a welcome distraction, cranking up the music can help get me back on task.

Rule #5: Sometimes, no music. When it comes down to tasks that take deep focus—writing a hundred-word summary of my book, for instance—sometimes I just need to stay home, shut the door, and turn off the music for an atmosphere of complete concentration. I can turn it on again when I come up for air J

Do you write to music? What are some of your personal rules?

Synopsis of The Illuminator Rising, Book 3 of The Voyages of the Legend:

Driven from their home island of Rhynlyr, Ellie and her friends must solve a riddle to find the survivors of the Vestigia Roi. But instead of a safe haven, they discover a hopeless band of refugees paralyzed by fear. Strengthened by new allies and new gifts, the crew of the Legend faces dangers like never before. Can they escape being shot out of the sky, falling over the Edge of the world, or being engulfed by urken armies long enough to rally the Vestigia Roi? And can they rekindle a fire from the ashes of the One Kingdom before Draaken takes over the world? 

Advance praise for The Illuminator Rising

“A thrilling read…[Sayre] has a flair for being able to capture the interest of a reader and hold onto it.”

-Readers’ Favorite, 5-star review

For a chance to win a copy of The Illuminator Rising, leave a comment below! I’ll randomly draw a winner for Alina to contact with the book.

About Alina Sayre:

Alina Sayre began her literary career chewing on board books and has been in love with words ever since. Now she gets to work with them every day as an author, educator, editor, and speaker. Her first novel, The Illuminator’s Gift, won a silver medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards, and all three books in The Voyages of the Legend series have received 5-star reviews from Readers’ Favorite. When she’s not writing, Alina enjoys hiking, crazy socks, and reading under blankets. She does not enjoy algebra or wasabi. When she grows up, she would like to live in a castle with a large library.

Follow Alina and her writing here!

Website: http://www.alinasayre.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/alinasayreauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AlinaSayre

Amazon: amazon.com/author/alinasayre

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7469870.Alina_Sayre

Readers who want to follow Alina on her Illuminator Rising blog tour, here are the other stops!

June 8: Jenn Castro (jenncastro.com)-Book 3 announcement with synopsis and cover

June 9: Margaret Bloom (webloomhere.blogspot.com)-Book 1 review, Book 3 announcement with synopsis and cover, giveaway

June 10: Publication day!!! Announcement on alinasayre.com

June 11: Angela Wallace (angelawallace.wordpress.com)-guest post

June 12: W.R. Gingell (wrgingell.com)-guest post

June 13: Rabia Gale (rabiagale.com/blog)-Book 1 review, Book 3 announcement with synopsis and cover

June 15: D.M. Stoddard (kingdomoftorrence.com/wordpress)-guest post

June 16: Intisar Khanani (booksbyintisar.com/blog)-interview

June 18: Caleb Fong (geekosupremo.wordpress.com)-radio interview

Alina Sayre, author of The Illuminator Rising

Alina Sayre, author of The Illuminator Rising


Beach Reads Bonanza!

Get out the sunscreen and umbrellas, I’m taking part in the Beach Reads Bonanza, which runs from 6/7 – 6/13. Come and celebrate your love of reading and find exciting new books to read this summer! There will be author takeovers where you can chat with new-to-you authors or old favorites, enter giveaways, a chance to play some beach/summer-themed games, and more!

There will also be a HUGE event long giveaway for a giant prize pack of e-books, paperbacks, gift cards, swag, and more that you will gain entries for with every post you participate in. My time slot to host is June 10th at 12 PM CDT (10 AM PST) Follow the link to join and share with your friends!

Beach Reads Bonanza

Here’s the truth about writing: it’s all in the prompt. That proved the case here, as I found my funny bone in this interview by fantasy author, Heidi L Burke. Here’s the link!

Random Interview Saturday

In an interview from the League of Scribes on June 9th, I reveal my code name and what sci-fi creatures I would recruit into my army if I wished to conquer the world. What world will I want to conquer? I’ll send the link soon.

Last but not least, children’s fantasy author, Alina Sayre, will stop by my blog on June 14th with a guest post on writing to music. She’ll also be revealing the cover for her third middle-grade fantasy, The Illuminator Rising! Link coming soon.

Wishing everyone a fabulous summer,

A.R. Silverberry

A contemplative A. R. Silverberry

A contemplative A. R. Silverberry


Spring Into Fantasy Facebook Party!

Silverberry, Man or Hoax?

Silverberry, Man or Hoax?

Spring Into Fantasy Facebook Party!

 

Here ye, here ye! It’s time for the Spring Into Fantasy Facebook Party, hosted by the Fellowship of Fantasy, a merry band of fantasy authors who’ve come together for two days of fun, games, prizes, and a chance to meet our authors! I’ll be hosting something special for the event on Saturday at 2 PM EDT (11 AM PST). But you don’t have to wait for the event to find out what I’m going to do! You can find my two games below! First, here’s the link to the party, which runs from Friday, May 6, 3PM (EDT), to Saturday May 7, 8 PM (EDT). Click here to get to the party!

 

Spread the word to family and friends! Hope to see you all there!

 

Silverberry Contest One: Man or Hoax?!

 

Is the photo above a rare sighting of the Silverberry caught in his habitat? Or is it a hoax, cleverly perpetrated by fame seekers? No matter, the best caption for the photo wins a copy of Wyndano’s Cloak, eBook edition! Here’s how to enter:

 

  1. Like my Facebook page
  2. Post your caption in the comment below
  3. Share the post with your friends!

 

Silverberry Contest Two:

 

My second novel, The Stream, utilizes a most unusual setting for the story. In fact, the Stream is a not just a most unusual world, I think of it as a character!

 

Below is an almost excerpt from the book. I say almost excerpt because as much as I love the passage, it didn’t fit into the book, and I found other ways of communicating the same information. But it will give you an idea of just how unusual the Stream is. Here’s the setup: Wend, a five-year-old boy trying to understand the workings of his world, is talking to his father on their boat. Here’s the passage, followed by the rules to contest:

 

Almost Excerpt:

 

If Wend had stopped to think about it, he would have realized that his family, searching for fruit, nuts, and roots, never ventured far from either shore, that travelers never sailed upstream to tell tales of what lay ahead. Except for tacking and voyages of a few miles, his family never ventured upstream either. When he’d asked his father why, he was told, “It’s a law.” Wend must have looked blank because his father told him to jump as high as he could. Wend jumped, and after his feet landed on the ground his father said, “Now jump as high as the top of the mast.” Wend had laughed, but declared that no one could do that.

“Why not?” his father asked.

“We come down first,” Wend replied.

“It’s a law,” said his father. “And it’s a law that we go that way.”

His father pointed downstream.

If Wend had thought of these things, he would have understood that everyone was tethered to the stream and could only go in one direction. People stopped from time to time, working at abandoned foundries to smelt metal for anchors, chains, and knives, cutting trees to build or repair boats, living in villages, taking over deserted houses like creatures that move into another animal’s shell. They never stayed long, always returning to their boats, always going with the current, always traveling downstream.

 

Contest Rules

 

To win a free copy of The Stream, eBook edition, Like my Facebook page, leave a comment, on the post about the Fellowship of Fantasy Facebook event, about what intrigued you about the world of the Stream, and share the post!

 

That’s it for both contests! I may award more than one prize for each contest, so be sure to enter!

CONTEST CLOSES 9 PM 5/8!

The Fellowship of Fantasy is a group of indie writers offering novels and books that are at a low PG-13 level. Readers who enjoy fiction without a lot of graphic violence, sex, or language will enjoy our reads. Check out the Fellowship of Fantasy Website and learn about the Fan Art Contest! Categories include audio, video, costume, cosplay, visual art, and writing! Let your creative juices flow!

Spring into Fantasy Giveaway!

Spring into Fantasy Giveaway!

Wyndano's Cloak, By A. R. Silverberry

Wyndano’s Cloak, By A. R. Silverberry

The Stream, by A. R. Silverberry

The Stream, by A. R. Silverberry

Transported out of Aerdem to another universe!

Transported out of Aerdem to another universe!


Fellowship of Fantasy Giveaway!

Spring into Fantasy Giveaway!

Spring into Fantasy Giveaway!

Here ye, here ye: announcing the Fellowship of Fantasy, a merry band of amazing fantasy authors who’ve come together to share their work, and I’m super thrilled to be part of it! To celebrate, we’re hosting the Spring Into Fantasy Giveaway!

We’ve lined up an awesome prize. What prize? Maybe I should’ve said PRIZES!

That’s right, the winner of this giveaway gets a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate AND an ebook bundle of 28 wonderful flinch-free fantasy novels.

Why flinch free? We all subscribe to the Clean Indie Reads guidelines, which means that while not all our books are for children, you won’t find anything more graphic than a low PG-13 rating. So if you’re a parent with active teen readers or just enjoy your fiction without a lot of graphic violence, sex, or language, this is a great giveaway for you to enter.

And every book is a fantasy: magical worlds, mythical creatures, and marvelous adventures, all at your fingertips! The event runs from 4/21 – 5/17!

Enter the Spring into Fantasy Giveaway now with this rafflecopter! –>

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the Fellowship of Fantasy Website and learn about the Fan Art Contest! Categories include audio, video, costume, cosplay, visual art, and writing! Let your creative juices flow!

That’s not all! We’ve got  a Spring Into Fantasy Facebook Event on Friday, May 6, 3pm EDT – Saturday, May 7, 8pm EDT! Meet our authors and get chance to win more prizes! I’ll be hosting something special for the event on Saturday at 2 PM EDT (11 AM PST). Spread the word to family and friends! Hope to see all there!

Best Wishes,

A. R. Silverberry

 

 

The Fellowship of Fantasy is a group of indie writers offering novels and books that are at a low PG-13 level. Readers who enjoy fiction without a lot of graphic violence, sex, or language will enjoy our reads.


Dragon’s Revenge Cover Reveal!

Dragon’s Revenge, by Kandi J Wyatt

I’m pleased to host a cover reveal for Kandi J Wyatt’s latest release, Dragon’s Revenge, Book Three of the Dragon Courage Series.

The Dragon Courage series is a middle grade/young adult fantasy series that has ten-year-olds to grandparents raving. What’s all the fuss? It’s a clean read of adventure and character-quality building set in a new world. According to one reviewer, “Not since reading Christopher Paolini’s Eragon have I read a book about dragons that made me want to be a part of that world.” Each book has a theme skilfully woven into the plot so younger readers won’t even realize they are being taught important life qualities. The series is a “fabulous adventure for younger readers that will fill their minds with the magic of dragons, friendships found and worlds from far, far away”.

Today, I am introducing book three in the Dragon Courage series, Dragon’s Revenge. Book one took the reader to the northern canyon country of Three Spans Canyon where Kyn became a dragon rider. Book two followed Braidyn, a youngling born in the canyon country, who moved to the south along the River Sur. When some nestlings are stolen, Braidyn goes seeking retribution. His search takes him to the sandhills to the east of the inland sea. In book three, our story revolves around Kyn. He travels across the inland sea to a new land of marshes and red dragons.

Synopsis:

In search of his place in the world, Kyn visits his new friend, Ben’hyamene. Together, they meet an ailing dragon rider from the marshes of a land called the Carr. The rider recounts a people beset by anger, depression, and despair. After befriending and healing the rider, the group travels to the rider’s home. There they discover a breed of wild dragons, called drakes, which have been at war with humans for four hundred years.

One sleepless night, Ben’hyamene uses his new abilities to communicate with the lead drake. This sets Kyn and Ben’hyamene on a path that could bring peace to a conflict that’s nearly destroyed a whole people. Can revenge be set aside and enemies be called friends?

Trailer:

Find the author:

You can find her on her website, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

And now for the cover!

Dragon's Revenge, By Kandi J Wyatt

Dragon’s Revenge, By Kandi J Wyatt

 

Kandi J Wyatt, Author of DRAGON'S REVENGE

Kandi J Wyatt, Author of DRAGON’S REVENGE


Manuscript Revision: Clarity Trumps Style!

Wyndano's Cloak, By A. R. Silverberry

Wyndano’s Cloak, By A. R. Silverberry

Manuscript Revision: Clarity Trumps Style!

The beta reads are in, the manuscript is revised, and book one of my YA, sci-fi trilogy is in the hands of a content editor. The responses of the beta readers were positive (I believe the verb love was used three times!). Still, there were spots, and I agonized over them. The novel had gone through five drafts by then. The flow of the prose was pretty well set. It’s hard to integrate new information without disrupting the rhythm and pacing of the story.

 

Clarity trumps style (my new pet phrase), so I gritted my teeth and worked and worked until I had solved the problems that were there. Funny thing, the section I slaved over the most was not something a beta reader pointed out. It was something that jumped out at me as I looked over the manuscript. Bear in mind that I’d pretty much finished it in July, 2014. But I hadn’t looked at it for over a year. It’s actually good to let something sit. You see it with fresh eyes. That’s what happened here. I needed to foreshadow events to come. I came up with dozens of alternative possibilities for how to do that. When I had narrowed them down, I read them to my wife. She hated all of them and liked what I originally had written. We were pretty much done with the conversation. (I could see it on her face!) Almost as an aside, I read her something I’d played with for an earlier spot. As I read it, I felt a chill go through me. It worked. She was stunned and told me it absolutely HAD to be included. So there it is; there it will stay.

 

In other news, I did my first video interview. Unfortunately, the Giveaway is over, but I introduce the real A. R. Silverberry, share some of my favorite quotes, and read an excerpt from “Wyndano’s Cloak.” Many thanks to Book Nerd Paradise for having me. Here’s the link!

 

Thank you all for your loyalty! I’ll keep you posted on how the edits are going, and we can collectively cross our fingers that an agent picks up the project. If not, no sweat. I’ll get it to you anyway!

The Stream, a Shelf Unbound Notable Book

The Stream, a Shelf Unbound Notable Book

 

The Stream, by A. R. Silverberry

The Stream, by A. R. Silverberry