The Art of Writing

The Art of Writing

I’ve always loved language. Using a different word might completely change the subtle shading of what I am trying to say—how each and every word contributes to the look, the feel, and the texture of a book. Words deepen the experience a reader has with a book, or drags the reader out of the story if something is jarring or out of place. Words are also one of my favorite “geek out” places.  

Read More

Hunting For Me

Hunting For Me

When my friend, Alissa Tyler, asked me to hunt for a picture of the first car that made a powerful impression on me, I had some trepidation. The burgundy Mazda 626 represented my first foray into true independent adulthood. I am not a picture taker—could I even find a picture of my first experience of the independence of owning a car? 

Read More

The Birth of Inspiration

The Birth of Inspiration

One of the strangest experiences I have had recently is an awareness that the “fiction” I’m writing might not be entirely fiction. The Azellian Affairs series is about an alien race with psychic abilities and its interaction with humanity. Is it possible that I’m not writing about things as “out there” as I think? Where DO I get my inspiration? 

Read More

Being An Empath - Pain

Being An Empath - Pain

I’ve seen and experienced some very strange, inexplicable things over the years. Some fun stuff that makes its way into my stories, sometimes. And some really not so fun stuff, that also might make its way into my stories. Because let’s face it. Being human hurts, sometimes, and pain, as much as we don’t want it to be, is a very powerful, very present human experience. 

Read More

Evolving Into Something New: Science Fiction

Science fiction/fantasy is an interesting genre. Over the years, it has encompassed many kinds of stories, from magic and futuristic space battles. Star Wars to Star Trek are two famous screen sci-fi epics and authors like Marion Zimmer Bradley, Andre Norton and Anne McCaffrey offered print sagas of their own. When I was younger, science fiction/fantasy was a catch-all for any kind of fantastic storyline that wasn’t in the form of a reality based, traditional romance, mystery or real life drama. 

The genre has since matured into countless types of science fiction and fantasy categories (high fantasy, urban fantasy, hard science fiction, sci-fi romance, to name a few). Cross-genre stories have appeared, melding fantastic elements such as vampires and werewolves into mystery stories, or gritty detective crime solving. Spiritual elements introduced themselves, although the best science fiction has always had a layer of enduring spiritual truth to it, speaking of humanity’s struggles and fears about being alive. Many of the authors I read as a teenager: Marion Zimmer Bradley, Alan Dean Foster, Ursula K LeGuin, to name a few, wrote stories that were thinly veiled societal commentaries (and some of them not veiled at all), exploring real world problems in a fantastical way. Some writers were positive—humanity would prevail—and some were a bit less optimistic, but all of the best ones wrote stories that revealed our human condition in the midst of even these impossible stories. 

Hard core sci-fi, many stories written by bonafide scientists who could see what was coming, would provide warnings by weaving thrilling stories about what could be. Many of these have come true—try spending any time in the telecom industry and you’ll discover that artificial intelligence is not quite so fantastical as you might think, although as of now, we haven’t created a Terminator-esque SkyNet. Yet). Softer sci-fi explored culture clash between aliens and humans or alien races, de-emphasizing the technology aspect, but honing in on basic human experience nonetheless. 

Yet through all of this, the basic reality remains: the best stories explore our human experience, whether it be through technology or ordinary life with a science fiction twist. We might be writing about other cultures, but we are really writing about ourselves. We are writing about our hopes, fears, experiences, and the truths we are just now beginning to see and experience. It might have fantastic underpinnings, but the truth is, we are writing about ourselves. We are writing about something that we suspect, but don’t necessarily fully know yet. The best stories, the ones that resonate, are the ones with some germ of truth in them. And science fiction, like all of humanity, is evolving with us. We like to escape, but we want to hear truth. And to merge the two: truth cloaked in fun—well, what is better than that? 

The Next Steps

The Next Steps

It’s been a while since my last post—and I apologize to my readers.

Such is the life of an author—the muse can get derailed by all kinds of unexpecteds and apparently, the blog muse is very similar. In my case, however, the derailing was in the form of something quite exciting: I was quite focused on my launch of Book Two, Triangle: Book Two of The Azellian Affairs. I’m happy to say my book launch at Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver, Colorado went beautifully—I was able to share my experiences on writing the story and the process of getting it launched with a fun group of people. I do so love to stand in front of people, answering their questions about being an author—and questions about my book and the backstory that underlies it. 

Read More

Lessons from the Writing Process: Book 3

Lessons from the Writing Process: Book 3

The time is rapidly approaching to turn over book 3 of the Azellian Affairs to my editor. This is quite a landmark for me, considering this book has taken me quite a bit longer than I expected. Some of this was due to the vagaries of life—when one is a mostly self published author working with a small vanity press, things in life sometimes happen that cause delays in publication—but a large portion of it was because it took me a while to write the book. 

Read More

Holidays on the Planet of Azelle

Holidays on the Planet of Azelle

I received a question recently about holidays on Azelle, the planet I am slowly revealing to Earth. Honestly, I didn’t know the answer, so I decided to ask one of my main connections to the world of Azelle. This interaction is a result of that query. 

Me: Hey, Merran…

Read More

Holiday Musings

Holiday Musings

The 4th of July is almost upon us, and I found myself thinking about the holiday and just what this particular holiday is all about. This one is a commemoration of a very important event to us, culturally—the day we have earmarked as our "Independence Day”, a date in history that marked our official separation from England, and the formation of a new country. It’s a marker of our identity as a country, as well as an excuse to get a day or two off from work.

Read More

Triangle is here! From Vision to Reality: Achieving a Dream

Triangle is here! From Vision to Reality: Achieving a Dream

When I first moved to Colorado in the 90’s, a fresh faced young woman without a clue, I walked into a Denver landmark—the Tattered Cover in LoDo (lower Downtown for anyone not familiar with Denver, an area of Denver that has seen quite a bit of change over the past fifty years, but has recently become quite trendy). As I walked into the store, I had a flash of an impression that I had no way of understanding or interpreting: my book, in the store, on the shelves. 

Read More

Book Two Release Date: Nothing Worth Having is Easy

Book Two Release Date: Nothing Worth Having is Easy

It’s been a while since my last update. A lot has been happening personally and professionally, which has made blog updates challenging—but in this case, no news is good news!! I am thrilled to say that Triangle: Book Two of the Azellian Affairs now has a release date! We will be learning more about the continuing adventures of Tamara, Merran, Alarin and the rest of the Azellians and their supporters in the late summer of 2018 (very likely September). A sneak preview of the new cover is attached to this blog post, and I will be updating my website to reflect the new book (plus release date) in the next few weeks, as we start to finalize everything.   

Read More

What if I’m Not Good Enough: Challenges of Writing

What if I’m Not Good Enough: Challenges of Writing

As I take a break from the production piece of Triangle: Book Two of the Azellian Affairs, I find myself reflecting a bit on writing. One aspiring writer I met recently worried that she couldn’t write stories as good as the ones she was reading. I, too, still face this concern. With every new book it pokes at me—I’ve just gotten better at facing it, because fear doesn’t change my behavior any more. 

Read More

The Other Side of the Rainbow: Book 2 Update!

It’s been a while since my last post—but the good news is, editing is finally done on book 2! It officially has a title, too, and is going to be called Triangle: Book Two of the Azellian Affairs. Within the next month or so, we will be moving from editing to production, which means we should see a finalized book in the next few months—maybe even before summer! 

Read More

Climbing Another Mountain: The Journey of Writing a Sequel

It’s been months since my last blog post, as I have been completely and totally buried in editing my second novel. When I began this journey to publication years ago, I had thought the biggest mountain to climb was getting published in the first place. While, yes, that was a challenge requiring courage and support, little did I know that the process of editing a sequel was going to be quite so vigorous. 

Read More

Remembering the Editing Process -- Take Two

Much like childbirth, one forgets the pain—and utter joy—of any huge creative endeavor. I don’t know what other artists feel like, but it is a mix of emotions that face me as I get the first edit of Book 2 back from the editor and see what she has to say. 

Read More

Fun First: Hiking in the Snow

A few weeks ago, in the midst of one of its famous weather reversals, the Colorado Front Range experienced one of its common, but often dramatic, spring snowstorms. Twelve inches of wet, cold snow interrupted a steady string of 70 degree plus days. And I, being the insane, adopted Coloradan that I am, decided that taking a hike in the middle of it was a good idea.

Read More

Visit From a Bird of Prey

Last week, as I walked out of my house, I had a very powerful nature experience: a magnificent bird of prey hovering over a freshly killed rabbit. Dogs and I both froze in the doorway, my brain racing to figure out what I was looking at, the dogs frozen because that’s when they do when faced with something new.

Read More

The Fantastic Everyday: Cars and Empathy

This weekend, I got a chance to enjoy an annual ritual: attend the Denver Auto Show. Dealerships from all over the Denver metro area trot out their flashiest and best cars. You get to view, handle and sit in everything from a Ford Fusion to a Lamborghini. I didn’t realize I enjoyed nice cars until I had a boyfriend who was a motorhead, but once having discovered it, I learned that cars are fun.

Read More

New Beginnings: Here We Go Again!

Today is the start of new things: a beautiful new website and the beginning editing process on book 2 of the Azellian Affairs. I celebrate the new beginning, even as I approach the idea of editing Book 2 with a distinct feeling of nerves: yes, even having been through the editing process once before, with one published book under my belt, I feel nervous. 

Read More

Azellian Affairs: Diary of Ambassador Merran Corina #5

Has your life ever changed suddenly and everything you thought you knew is different? Merran is about to embark on the life he will have in Alawahea:Book One of the Azellian Affairs: he is to become assistant to the Azellian Ambassador, a post that will change the entire course of his life.  

Merran Corina - about seven months after he first arrives on Earth

Finally got a chance to talk to the ambassador. He told me he’s had his eye on me for the past few months. He was impressed with how I’ve managed to work my way from waiter to manager in two months at the cafe. And that was without using my psi or my body. Mostly. Well, at least not on purpose.

My influence over human woman continues to grow. For some reason, they find me extremely attractive. It’s rather a mystery to me. I have to be very careful not to show them everything I can do, though. They are terrified of my mental abilities…just the suggestion that I might know more than they think I should know about what their likes or dislikes are, or echoing too much what they’re thinking…I have to be very, very careful not to reveal myself fully to them. I’m just glad I have no interest in a relationship. Keeping my partners rotating through and only for a few days at a time helps, but it’s been something of a challenge. There are women out there who would, consciously or unconsciously, attempt to trap me into legally linking myself to them. Pregnancy is apparently a popular way to create this kind of legal linking, which doesn’t make sense to me, but I’ve steered clear of a few women with thoughts like that. Apparently, the father is required to support his child on Earth, whether or not he had any say in the child’s conception.  Good thing I can prevent conception with or without the woman’s complicity in the matter. No way am I a going to ever be a father.

Oddly enough, it’s my…notoriety and popularity with human women that brought me to Saren’s attention. He has been watching me juggle humans on my own for the past three months and I’ve apparently impressed him. Assistant Ambassador. It feels like my life is on the cusp of a huge change. I wonder what’s next?

Want to find out more about Merran Corina and his experiences on Earth? Read an excerpt from Alawahea: Excerpt of Book 1