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

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

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

Azellian Affairs: Diary of Merran Corina

Merran Corina has always been one of the characters who speaks the most loudly to me. In early versions of Alawahea, he was meant to be a minor character, someone distant and uninvolved. That didn’t last very long. From early on, he sauntered onto the stage in my head and proceeded to take over. Who is Merran Corina? What makes him tick? Why does he act the way he does? I asked those questions of myself and of him, and I got the next several blog posts of “diary” entries: an intimate peek inside Merran Corina’s head.

Merran came to Earth as a young man, just out of acolyte training, wary, but still willing to hope for the best, before he learns that there is something beyond both hope and fear. 

Over the next several posts, we will be playing inside Merran’s head and getting a peek into the man we first meet in Alawahea: Book One of the Azellian Affairs. If you're meeting him for the first time, welcome! If you have already read Alawahea, have fun learning more about Merran...I certainly did! 

Merran Corina—one week after his first arrival on Earth, fifty years after the first Azellian embassy was established on Earth.

Interesting planet, Earth. Full of people who are so wide open. No barriers to their thoughts at all. It's like standing in the middle of a party of people talking and shouting at once....overwhelming and nothing more than noise, unless I stay shielded all the time. I don't know how other Corinas do it. I don't think a Healer, sensitive as they are, would ever survive here. If I hadn't had extra training from the aarya, I'd be a mess and heading home as fast as my feet could carry me. Even if it meant Kaelynn left me.

Speaking of Kaelynn, we had really great sex last night. I'm really glad both of us were acolytes. They taught us stuff that I'd really miss if she ever left me. I wonder if she thinks the same thing?   I mean, I might be Corina on my father's side, but my mother...I'm not going to think about that. Kaelynn isn't from a High Council family. She’s an acolyte, like me. Surely she doesn't care if I'm...never mind. She doesn't care.

Want to read more about Merran Corina and his experiences? Read an excerpt from Alawahea to learn moreExcerpt of Book 1

Get to participate in the look of an entire series!

Creating a look for a series has a whole different set of challenges and joys to recommend it. When I first started, I was looking for some symbolic and interesting art that suggested what was going on in the book. It’s taken me several months to realize that a series is a different set of thought processes than a single book and that having the input of other people is very important.

I’m beginning to launch the process of starting the second book and am taking a moment to review the first one and what I’ve learned so far. Where do I want to go with the series? What look do I want to create? What would be fun on the cover, giving hints about the story behind it, but also is eye-catching? I recently discovered 99 Designs, which runs a contest for designers all around the world to compete for a chance to design a cover. I’ve seen some beautiful artwork based on a short paragraph I gave them about the story…and they responded. And best of all, it’s led to some really great concepts for covers!

For the next four days, I’m going to be running a poll to help me decide the direction of the covers for my series. I want to know what you like! And of course, I’m showing the work of some very talented designers in the world of 99 Designs. Some of these designers have really floored me with their talent and insight—they all created these pictures from a description I wrote about the story. There are some really amazing artists listed here. Which is your favorite? 

The voting link is here:

https://99designs.com/book-cover-design/vote-bkwok5

Tell me what you think!

Top Five Reasons I love the Karen Chance Cassie Palmer Series

Karen Chance just recently released her newest novel in the Cassie Palmer series: Reap the Wind. I read the book and found myself re-reading the entire series (again). That’s the way the best books go: you read them over and over and they splash their magic every time. Yummy!

  1. Intricate, interesting plot line that goes in totally unexpected directions. I certainly have my preferences for where the story will go…and so far, it hasn’t. Yet the way it turns out is always perfect and leaves me wanting more. 
  2. A time travel story that links back to itself. There have been scenes with a later Cassie that have happened in the story (but occurred in earlier books with an earlier Cassie, just from a different perspective). I always try to dig up the one scene I’m looking for to see how it went the first time and compare…ebooks are great for that, although most of mine are now littered with bookmarks where I’ve earmarked a scene to go back to.
  3. Madcap action. These books are quickly paced, and MOVE through their plot lines. Yet they’re not simple plots. Some of them are downright…Machiavellian in their complexity and twists (worthy of the vampire society she creates in them). But they are delightfully entertaining as they do it. I can read them over and over and find something new every time.
  4. Wonderful, robust mythology. My favorite books always have what I call a “mythology,” a backstory that is rich and varied and delivers all kinds of surprises and discoveries. The more internally coherent they are, the better I like it. It’s challenging to write out a coherent culture and history. I’ve done it myself and have lots of admiration for those who manage it. Karen Chance does it beautifully.
  5. Funny, engaging humor. The books have a dry, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes silly sense of humor. Yet for all that they explore some very dark subjects (some pretty intense stuff happens), they aren’t dark. I love the goofy and the sarcastic characters and the rich depth of them all....even the ones intended as comic relief, since they perfectly balance the violence of the fight scenes.
  6. Pritkin. I have my preferred character and my favorite “romantic” lead. As I mention in item 1), I have no idea WHERE she is taking this character or his story arc, but I wait in breathless anticipation to see where it goes. 

Yes, there are only five reasons in the title, and I’ve added a sixth, but like the war mage Pritkin says, do the unexpected. It keeps you unpredictable, just like the Cassie Palmer stories themselves. Well worth the read! Even after the 101st time I’ve read them….

Here is a link to her site and a list of her books. I'm always looking for a new read, so if you know of any other quality authors with fun characters and a great storyline, please comment below!

www.karenchance.com

The Cassie Palmer Series:

Touch the Dark

Claimed by Shadow

Embrace the Night

Curse the Dawn

Hunt the Moon

Tempt the Stars

Reap the Wind