Category Archives: fiction

Finding a new Vernacular: the Language(s) of Fantasy

I have spoken to a fair number of people who say they don’t read fantasy because of all the funny names–including agents and editors who are thrown off by too many made-up words.  This is one reason I recommend authors … Continue reading

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Review: Touch, by Claire North: a deeply human and highly satisfying thriller

This is one of the rare books that I finished and thought–That is what I want my books to feel like. For me, it delivered a powerful emotional impact along with the ripping story and engaging characters. It’s the kind … Continue reading

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Anti-technology Fantasy and the Author’s War Experience

This past weekend, I was delighted to spend at Readercon in their new location in Quincy, Massachusetts. Here is the description of one of the panels that got me thinking: If Thor Can Hang Out with Iron Man, Why Can’t … Continue reading

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Developing Magical Systems, with Joshua Palmatier

Under normal circumstances, today would be my book launch day. Alas, that was not to be–but that means I can open up the blog to celebrate someone else’s launch:  friend and fellow DAW author, Josh Palmatier. . . First off, … Continue reading

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How do you Keep an Author in Suspense?

I am an avid follower of the Bulwer-Lytton contest for a truly terrible opening sentence for a book–entries are now open for 2016, if you are so inclined.  At the very least, you should click through to the 2015 winners … Continue reading

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After “The End”

I have had the experience several times now of reading a book that I am very much enjoying–right up until the end.  Then the work either fizzles out, simply stops, or blatantly kicks me in the teeth (as a reader).  … Continue reading

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Alien Intelligence, Close to Home

Thanks to a clever octopus in New Zealand who escaped back to the sea, there’s been a lot of talk lately about animal intelligence.  A recent book by Frans de Waal  questions whether we are even smart enough to know … Continue reading

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Free Fantasy Story: Mari’s Garden

In lieu of a real blog entry, I offer you the following complete short story, a historical fantasy from the Dark Apostle universe.  This story features the early lives of two characters featured in Elisha Magus and Elisha Rex. Trigger … Continue reading

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What I Hate About Writing Groups

Full disclosure here:  I currently belong to four writers’ groups, as well as SFWA, my national genre organization.  And I have recently dropped out of two others (and dropped out of another one last year, for similar reasons). A good … Continue reading

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Guest Author Juliet McKenna, epic fantasy and more!

What do Syria, Wiccan practice and jiu-jitsu suffragettes have in common?  They all spark the imagination of my guest author, Juliet E. McKenna, whose latest epic fantasy novel, Southern Fire, will be available soon! 1. What was the inception of … Continue reading

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