Blog Tour: David B. Coe, The Outlanders

The Enchanted Alley would like to welcome David B. Coe!

David is here today as a stop on his blog tour for the newly re-released edition of The Outlanders! He’ll be talking to us about the things he’s learned since The Outlanders was originally released — things about writing, about publishing, and about the facing the challenge of returning to your earlier works once you’ve learned a few things. 

About THE OUTLANDERS!

Four years after the insidious, devastating invasion by agents of Lon-Ser, Tobyn-Ser’s Order of Mages and Masters is riven by conflict and paralyzed by inaction. From the outlander, Baram, they have learned much about their neighbor to the west: Unlike Tobyn-Ser, which is served by the Mage-Craft of the Children of Amarid, Lon-Ser is devoid of magic. Instead it possesses a dazzling and deadly technology that shapes every aspect of its people’s daily life.
Frustrated by the Order’s inability to act, Orris, a young, rebellious mage, takes it upon himself to prevent further attacks on his homeland. Taking Baram from his prison, he embarks upon a perilous journey to Bragor-Nal, an enormous, violent city in Lon-Ser, ruled by a brutal, feudal-like system of Break-Laws, Nal-Lords, and Overlords. As Orris soon learns, however, Baram has been driven insane by his captivity. Upon reaching his strange and fractured homeland, the man abandons Orris.
Armed only with his magic, Orris is thrust into a world whose language he does not comprehend and whose technology he can barely fathom. Together with Gwilym, a man with strange powers, whose vision of Orris has lured him out of the mountains and into the chaos of the Nals, and Melyor, a beautiful Nal-Lord who harbors a secret that could cost her life, Orris must end the threat to Tobyn-Ser without getting himself and his companions killed.
THE OUTLANDERS is the second volume of the LonTobyn Chronicle, David B. Coe’s Crawford Award-winning debut series. This is the Author’s Edit of the original book.

And without further ado, here’s David! 

“Lessons Learned in the Writing Trade”

by David B. Coe

I have recently released the Author’s Edit of The Outlanders, the second novel in my very first series, the LonTobyn Chronicle. This follows the re-release of Children of Amarid, book I in the series. Book III, Eagle-Sage, should be re-released in December. These books are incredibly special to me. They launched my career, won me the Crawford Fantasy Award as best new author (this was back when novels were still published on granite tablets), and established my career critically and commercially.

But I also recognized from the time I wrote the books originally that they suffered from many of the flaws that afflict first novels. They were earnest, ambitious, and in many ways quite good, but they were also wordy, overwritten, and longer than they needed to be. Hence the Author’s Edit of the new versions. The Author’s Edit is kind of like the Director’s Cut of a movie — I have revised the books to make them more readable without, I hope, compromising them in any way when it comes to essential story elements like plot, setting, character, pacing, etc. I was able to do this now because at this stage in my career, after writing nineteen novels over as many years, I’ve learned a thing or two about writing and storytelling.

So, I thought it might be helpful to look at some of what I’ve learned and at a few of the lessons I was able to apply when I edited these beloved but imperfect early novels.

  1. Less is more — One of the things I did in editing these books was remove exposition, adverbs, and unnecessary dialog tags including gestures and facial expressions. Not all of them, but enough that the new version of The Outlanders is some 14,000 words shorter than the original. Children of Amarid I cut by 20,000 words. Why? Because readers don’t need to be told every little thing. For instance, sometimes — most times if we’re doing it correctly — dialog conveys meaning through wording and context. We can usually tell from what a character says whether she is angry or sad or joyful. In the original versions I put in so many expressions and gestures that my characters read as caricatures, their facial expressions changing with every word until they seemed like something out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon. “Less is more” means what it sounds like. I could get away with describing fewer of those expressions and gestures without losing meaning. The result is a cleaner, leaner manuscript.
  1. Trust your reader — This is something my editor told me a lot while working on those early books. Readers don’t need to have every little storytelling nuance explained to them. In fact, as with “Less is more,” if we do our jobs as authors we shouldn’t have to explain much at all. Readers can figure out from dialog, from action, from the little details we show, from limited internal monologue, all that they need to follow our stories. We need to trust their ability to intuit what they need to know. Overtelling, pointing out the already obvious, undermines our writing. In a sense, “Trust your reader” is another way of saying “Trust yourself.” Err on the side of telling too little. Let your story speak for itself. And if your Beta readers or your editors don’t understand something, they’ll let you know and you can bolster the narrative with a bit more exposition.
  1. Don’t overuse adverbs — Some people will say that we should NEVER use adverbs. That’s ridiculous. Sometimes adverbs add to our readers’ understanding of context, scene, and emotion. The danger lies in overuse of adverbs. The problem with adverbs is that when used too often they become of symptom of showing rather telling. I used way too many in the original versions of these books and I removed a lot of them in the edits. Some remain, and they add to the narrative. You don’t need to ban them from your writing entirely (see what I did there?); just beware of them.
  1. Reach high, push yourself — This is actually a lesson I was reminded of in reading through these old books, a lesson from my younger self to my older self. They were ambitious novels that demanded a lot of me when I wrote them. I sometimes wonder if my more recent books have been too “safe” in a way, and I am currently writing a new epic fantasy that is as sprawling and far-reaching as these early efforts. And I’m having a blast. So if you sense something lacking in your current work-in-progress, maybe you need to push yourself a bit harder. You might be surprised by how much fun you’ll have if you do.

Lessons learned. Every writing project teaches me something new, whether I’m editing or writing. I love that about this craft. It keeps my work fresh, and it keeps me feeling challenged. As long as that continues to be the case, I’ll keep writing.

Thank you, David!

Everyone here at the Enchanted Alley hopes you will be writing for a very long time. 


About the Author

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David B. Coe/D.B. Jackson is the award-winning author of nineteen fantasy novels. As David B. Coe, he writes The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, a contemporary urban fantasy from Baen Books. The first two books, Spell Blind and His Father’s Eyes came out in 2015. The third volume, Shadow’s Blade, has recently been released. Under the name D.B. Jackson, he writes the Thieftaker Chronicles, a historical urban fantasy from Tor Books that includes Thieftaker, Thieves’ Quarry, A Plunder of Souls, and Dead Man’s Reach.

David is also the author of the Crawford Award-winning LonTobyn Chronicle, which he is in the process of reissuing, as well was the critically acclaimed Winds of the Forelands quintet and Blood of the Southlands trilogy. He wrote the novelization of Ridley Scott’s movie, Robin Hood. David’s books have been translated into a dozen languages.

He lives on the Cumberland Plateau with his wife and two daughters. They’re all smarter and prettier than he is, but they keep him around because he makes a mean vegetarian fajita. When he’s not writing he likes to hike, play guitar, and stalk the perfect image with his camera.


Where to find David online


Essential Information

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Title: THE OUTLANDERS (The LonTobyn Chronicle, Book 2)

Author: David B. Coe

Publisher: Lore Seekers Press

Price: $4.99 eBook/ $18.95 Paperback

Length: 561  pages

ReleaseDate: October 2, 2016

ASIN: B01M0ZQPZ9

Goodreads link

Purchase links
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million


Let’s Talk Promotions is also sponsoring a tour-wide giveaway. Click below for more information and to enter. 

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Guest Post: Jim McDonald

The Enchanted Alley would like to welcome today’s guest, Jim McDonald! 


About Jim McDonald

Jim has spent over 25 years as a business and technology consultant, which has allowed him to travel around much of the world.  Now somewhat settled down in the Carolinas, he is using a lifelong interest in history, mythology, anthropology, the hard sciences and B movies to bring his own versions of folklore to life.

When not clacking away at a laptop either for the job that pays the bills or drawing the odd ideas from his head to paper to disturb and amuse the readers, he can be found playing with hot glass or running around in a kilt promoting Celtic culture with his wife and three dogs pretending not to know him.


Today Jim is talking about what it’s like to be a writer, constantly being judged, and how to handle that fear and criticism. 

Fear in a Sea of Judgement

Has your finger ever hovered over the button, poised to send your manuscript off to your beat readers? Your editor? Your publisher?

The one that shoves it out into the world on Kindle?

When your heart races, the sheen of sweat on your brow, dampness in your palms that sends you to make another cup of coffee instead of sharing your work?

Do you have thoughts about the controversial scene? The one that kept you up at nights, or that you wrote around for weeks, knowing you’d have to come back to it at some point?

That statement you know will bring down scorn from some people?

Just even the simple internal doubt about whether or not your work is good enough to warrant a form rejection letter from the slush pile?

You know, that old friend. Fear.

As a writer, you pour your heart and soul into words streaming on the page. Your thoughts stretch to wondering what people will think of you, because of what you have written. What will you do if people don’t like it? Even worse, what if a lot of people read it, and you stir up a lot of noise because of the subject?

Good.

There’s an old saying. Kill your darlings. I carry it a little further. Give life to your dreams and fears.

If your writing is truly worthwhile, it is not only entertaining, but will energize some, and infuriate others. Trying to make everyone happy leaves no one satisfied.

The key to having your message heard, is giving people something worth remembering. And almost always, this comes from triggering one or more of our four core emotions. Happiness, Sadness, Fear or Anger.

When I look at the books that hold the most meaning for me, they are the ones that pushed the limits for their time. Robert Heinlein is one of my favorite authors, and he was more than able of stirring up people of every ilk, and pushing buttons. Some people saw Stranger in a Strange Land as the foundation for the Free Love movement of the 60’s. Others saw Starship Troopers as both an endorsement and an indictment of the military industrial complex. Both are stories that spurred controversy, satires of their subject matter and the societies he modeled.

Not so far on my end of preferred reading has been the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon from E. L. James. Definitely controversial, sending some people into frenzies that it promotes and glamorizes abuse. For others, it’s been freeing to give a tantalizing glimpse into a niche lifestyle.

What do these have in common? They are controversial, and influential in society. I have to think that when Robert H. was writing freely about incest, it gave him a little pause. E. L. James has certainly taken some backlash, as well as praise.

Writing gives us a medium to explore those ideas that fascinate, titillate, and terrify us. And then we get to share that with our readers, and do the same for them.

So why do we hold ourselves back, and ultimately fail our readers?

We are afraid what people will think. We worry about how others will judge us.

And guess what?

They are going to do it anyway.

I’ve been guilty of toning down some of my writing. It’s often been my regret about some of my work. I worried about how people would view me based on something from a story, and I’d cut it, or at least trim it back. When I talk to my readers afterwards, and they talk about how they read something, or how it affected them, I’ve realized how much of a punch I’ve pulled in a few cases.

I’ve gotten better about this, and the reactions I get these days are much more visceral. On a couple of earlier works when I’ve new editions to fix the little things, I’ve taken opportunities to make small enhancements to restore some of that impact. But at some point, you’ve got to push your children out into the world, warts and all.

So I hereby challenge myself to push more boundaries, especially the ones that make me uncomfortable. The ones that make me grow. And hopefully, touch at least one reader out there.

I’d rather be judged for pushing some limit, testing some boundary, shoving someone’s darling off a cliff with a hand grenade attached than being judged for doing something without substance or meaning. And no, I’m not looking to make everyone happy. Really, I’m not looking to make anyone happy. Except myself.

Even if I worry how my work will be received, I’d rather people look at me and shake their head because of what I do, not because of what I might have done.

Will you do the same?

Want more of this? Come by and see me at http://www.jim-mcdonald.net/. And soon will be launching a podcast over at: http://www.thewritermind.com/.

Thank you, Jim!

We’re really looking forward to seeing you push those boundaries and see where you go from here! 


Jim can be found all along the interwebs at the following places:

Be sure to show Jim’s latests releases some love as well! 


51rxx8jz1xlWe Are Not This 

Over two dozen writers from North Carolina or with deep ties to the Tarheel State band together to raise money for LGBTQ charities in Charlotte and North Carolina as a response to the NC General Assembly’s passage of HB2, the “bathroom bill.”

We are not discrimination.
We are not hate.
We are not fear.
We are not oppression.
We Are Not This.

Proceeds from the sale of this anthology will go to support LGBTQ charities and non-profits in North Carolina.


51ucbzaj9dlUnbound and Determined

Greyson Forrester, born and raised to be a powerful wizard, has survived his trial but left with bigger mysteries behind it all than before. Discovering the trial was just the first battle in a much longer war and the veils between the realms nearly impenetrable, Grey’s lost everything and is again on the run, trying to keep a tenuous hold on life and discover if his restored powers are a gift or a curse.Lost, injured, and alone, someone makes the offer he can’t refuse. To save the two women he loves, and amend for the trail of destruction in his wake, all he has to do is one little job.One thing is certain.The ferryman’s price is a lot more expensive on the return trip from the land of the dead.

Guest Post: Cindy Koepp

The Enchanted Alley would like to welcome Cindy Koepp.

Please give her a very enchanted welcome!


Virtual Tour
Author: Cindy Koepp
Featured Book Releases: Remnant in the Stars and The Loudest Actions
November 7 – 21, 2017

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Without further ado… here’s Cindy! 

Any Sufficiently Advanced Technology: Mechanized Armor

In Remnant in the Stars and The Loudest Actions, the League pilots (the bad guys) used mechanized armor or “mechs” for fighter craft. These are huge (much taller than a person) robots piloted by someone who communicates mentally with the computer from inside a cockpit located in the chest. The mechs come in two varieties: the smaller and lighter Dervishes and the much sturdier and larger Samurai.

The mechs have the advantage of being able to work in space and in atmosphere. They have shielding and armor to protect them and three kinds of weapons for offense. Each mech has railguns, lasers, and missiles. The pilot selects targets and weaponry and actually flies the mech around.

This is hardly a new concept. Anime has had powered suits and piloted robots for decades. I remember watching anime as a kid and seeing some of these mechs. Some of them look more human than others. Mechs show up in role-playing games (RPGs), too. Even movies have gotten into the act with Iron Man popping up here and there.

That’s all grand fun in fiction, but do powered armor suits and mechs exist in real life?

Yes, they do, sort of.

You won’t be able to see Iron Man flying around any time soon, and the Dervishes and Samurai in the stories are still a long way off, but there are powered armor suits that can protect the wearer and improve their strength and agility in stressful situations. (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/which-sci-fi-armor-armys-fancy-new-battle-suit-actually-180949726/?no-ist)

These powered suits are called “TALOS,” an acronym for “Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit.”  Yep, I can see why they gave it an acronym. TALOS doesn’t have all the cool stuff Iron Man has. Nor does it carry energy shields, railguns, lasers, and missiles. The person wearing the suit doesn’t have to “jack in” to the computer with a cable feeding to his brain.

Revision’s TALOS does provide protection for the wearer, increased strength, and improved situational awareness through a wearable computer that provides handy info. Not quite Tony Stark’s Jarvis, but helpful nevertheless. Revision’s TALOS is slated for release into the field in 2018

Here’s more info

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIYHVE1We54

And, you can check it out in motion:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9Wbj1-pZcQ

There are other versions of this. Another company, Lockheed Martin, has come up with one they’re calling HULC (Human Universal Load Carrier). This one is less about armor and more about helping people carry an excessive load under adverse conditions. The interesting thing about HULC is that it even bears its own weight so the wearer doesn’t have to.

Want to see it in motion? Here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2W23ysgWKI

So, powered suits already exist, at least in prototype mode. Some are only slightly better than armor plus a radio, but others are helping the wearer carry loads and even gain situational awareness.

Will we see Dervish and Samurai type mechs someday? Maybe. Keep an eye on the sky as robotics moves forward.

Wow! That was cool! Thank you, Cindy! I think I’d like the HULC for carrying around my books. 🙂 

Enchanted readers, look below to find out more about Cindy’s two latests releases and to check out the rest of her blog tour stops! 


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About the Author: Originally from Michigan, Cindy Koepp has a degree in Wildlife Sciences and teaching certification in Elementary Education from rival universities. After teaching for fourteen years, she pursued a master’s degree in Adult Learning with a specialization in Training and Performance Improvement. Cindy has five published science fiction and fantasy novels, a serial published online, short stories in five anthologies, and a few self-published teacher resource books. When she isn’t reading or writing, Cindy spends time whistling with a crazy African Grey. Cindy is currently working as an optician in Iowa and as an editor with PDMI Publishing and Barking Rain Press.

 


remnantinthestarscover_1200x800Book Synopsis for Remnant in the Stars: Two hundred years ago, the Aolanian home world exploded and a remnant of survivors escaped. As their convoy combed the galaxy looking for a new world to colonize, they discovered Earth and were given permission to establish a temporary base while they continued their search for a new home world. When an Aolanian exploration vessel goes missing after transmitting a garbled distress call, the uneasy alliance between the humans and the Aolanians is put to the test as two anti-Aolanian groups jockey to use this opportunity to press their own agendas by foiling the rescue mission.

Because his daughter was onboard the Kesha when it vanished, Calonti Sora reluctantly signs on as an astrogator with the Gyrfalcon, one of the ships in the search party. There he meets up with an old human friend, Kirsten Abbott. Together, they work to overcome prejudice and political plots as they race toward an enemy no one could expect.


loudest_actions_cover_1200x933Book Synopsis for The Loudest Actions: First contact missions are hard enough, but they get even tougher when the negotiator has an ego the size of a gas giant.

Burke Zacharias, a first contact researcher, is chosen to spearhead humanity’s first official contact with Montans, an insect race that has already had a run-in with less friendly humans. Although his words and overtures toward the Montans are cordial enough, the Montans are put off by how he treats the crew of the scout ship that brought him to the world.

With other, less friendly forces trying to establish a foothold on the world, the negotiation must succeed in spite of Burke, or the Montans could be facing extinction.


Author Links

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

Twitter: @CCKoepp

Website: http://ckoepp.com/


Tour Schedule and Activities

Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour! They’re sure to be lots of fun! 

11/7 Beauty in Ruins Guest Post

11/7 The Seventh Star Interview

11/8 MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape Interview

11/9 Jordan Hirsch Review

11/10 Magic of Books Guest Post

11/10 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! Top Ten’s List

11/11 Sheila’s Guests and Reviews Guest Post

11/11 Novel-ties Review

11/12 KylieJude.com Top-Tens List (Blogger Picks Topic)

11/13 Darkling Delights Guest Post

11/14 Enchanted Alley Guest Post

11/15 Bee’s Knees Reviews Review

11/15 The Sinister Scribblings of Sarah E. Glenn Guest Post

11/16 Jorie Loves a Story Review

11/16 The Word Nerds Guest Post

11/17 SpecMusicMuse Review

11/18 Jorie Loves a Story Q and A

11/18 Sapphyria’s Book Reviews Guest Post

11/19 Deal Sharing Aunt Interview

11/20 Jorie Loves a Story Review

11/20 D.L. Gardner Blog Guest Post

11/21 The Swill Blog Review

11/21 Willow Star Serenity Review


Purchase Links

Amazon Link for Remnant in the Stars

Kindle Version

Amazon Links for The Loudest Actions

Kindle Version

 


Guest Author: Shannon Wendtland

Good morning from the Alley! Today we have a special treat for you, a guest post from author Shannon Wendtland! Her new novel, Heliodor, released March 22. Details to follow the post!


Writers’ Guilt

by Shannon Wendtland

Are you a procrastinator? I’m a procrastinator. I can put something off with the best of them. I can find all kinds of ways of distracting myself from the task at hand – to put it off until later. The problem with that is, if you have aspirations of becoming a published author in a particular timeframe (like I did – swearing I would have a mass-market paperback under my belt by the time I was 40) it’s just not going to happen.

At first I would say I had writer’s block, but there were two little lies I was covering up with that one big one: first, I had plenty of ideas… so many ideas I had partially used notebooks scattered all over the house. I definitely wasn’t blocked!  Second, the real reason I wasn’t writing is because it was work. And I’m kind of lazy. Not the smelly, unwashed kind of lazy, but the sedentary-working-at-a-desk-job-all-day-sucks-the-life-out-of-me kind of lazy.

Then once I stopped using the writer’s block excuse I switched to: I don’t have time. This is nonsense … I had time to watch television, I had time to drink coffee on my patio for an hour or two every weekend morning, I had time for bubble baths and craft projects, I had time for baking and cat-vacuuming, regular vacuuming and daydreaming. Basically it was a lie. When my kids were really small, sure, time was spare. When my kids were older, I could have made time while they were out riding their bikes around the neighborhood, but I was too busy lamenting that I had the life sucked out of by my day job and I just wanted to ‘relax’ during the weekend.  But all the while, those niggling ideas scattered in notebooks all over my house would sort of taunt me with their existence. I knew they were there, waiting to be turned into full-fledged ideas, and some of them even into vignettes that might grow up to be stories. But I avoided them – cast my glance away so that I could put them off for another day.

Then I admitted to myself, I had the time to write, I really did. But I still didn’t do it. Why? WHY? Because I already sat at a desk all day – I didn’t want to do that in my ‘spare’ time, too. Oh, the lamentations of woe. Except…

Except I WAS spending my spare time in front of the computer. I was surfing the internet or playing a game with my husband or researching random topics of interest, looking up recipes, reading forums of fantastical content… contributing HOURS of time and thousands of POSTS to said forums. I was writing. I was writing ALL THE TIME.  And yet, I didn’t consider it ‘really’ writing, because it wasn’t fiction.

Then I turned forty and realized I was never going to be a (now) forty-something author with a mass market paperback under my belt if I didn’t put my seat in my desk chair and draft a god-forsaken story.  And that’s when I realized… what I was really suffering from was GUILT.

Writing is hard, if you’ve ever tried it, if you’ve ever done it, you know what I am talking about. Sometimes the stories flow like rivers between your brain and your fingers, magically transferred through the keyboard onto the great white space of the open document in front of you. It’s a joy when that happens. And for me, it’s mostly that way – I don’t have much of a problem turning on the tap. The words flow. And yet… and yet, why did I wait so long to get serious about it?

I felt guilty that I hadn’t written more. I felt guilty that I didn’t want to force myself into what felt like another commitment – even if it was a commitment to myself. I had all of those snippets of ideas laying around the house, and by procrastinating for so long, I was hiding from them, as if the ideas themselves had little tiny angry voices, shouting at me to give them the life I had promised them by the very act of writing them down in the first place.

It’s like when you had your first apartment. Overjoyed with the idea that you can now do whatever the heck you want, you make some dinner, give the dirty dishes a flippant wave and vow to do them ‘later’ because your parents aren’t standing over you, shaming you into doing them right away. Then it gets to be bed time and you think – they can wait until morning because who’s going to notice if you don’t do them? But you forgot it was Sunday, and so in the morning you get up and rush into work, and you have to work late, and when you get home you barely have time for leftovers before bed. So you dump your dirty plate into the sink with the plastic container from the fridge, and promise “Tomorrow! I will do the dishes tomorrow.”  But tomorrow turns into Wednesday and then Thursday, Friday, Saturday… and you wish you could just throw a match into the sink and burn down your apartment because now there’s too many.

This is how writer’s guilt accumulates – just like that stack of dirty dishes.  We procrastinate, and we do it too long. Then once too long has turned into avoidance (because the stack of ideas, or have-to’s is too big) it flat-out becomes denial. After all, we aren’t published authors yet, so no one is actually counting on us to turn in words. No one will go hungry if we don’t sell that story until next… winter. No one will give us that disappointed stare when we don’t meet our self-imposed deadlines.

Except the mirror. When it gets to the point that you can’t admit your avoidance to the mirror, then you’ve really got a problem on your hands. So you have to get a handle on your guilt.

Make a list! Write down the various ideas that are most interesting to you … the top five will do since there’s no point in overwhelming yourself with an inexhaustible list that will make it even harder for you to put pen to paper or seat in chair.

Once you have that list, pick the item on the top, and even if you haven’t researched it fully, write a friggin’ paragraph as if it were a writer’s prompt and writing exercise. Just do it. No one cares if it sucks, remember? No one but you is watching. You might end up throwing it away, heck I bet most ‘first paragraphs’ end up getting thrown away after the first draft is done. I bet someone at SFWA has statistics on that, too. But do it anyways. Write that paragraph and give that baby idea a chance to bloom into a vignette.

Take the second item on the list – do the same for it. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Do one item a day for five days in a row.

What’s that you say? The weight on your shoulders is getting lighter? The act of writing has become… fun again? Instead of a dreaded activity that will only weigh you down with its self-imposed commitment? I know, I know. Because I have been exactly there. But I’m not anymore, and you don’t have to be either.  Writer’s block? Writer’s guilt? Why wear that heavy mantle when all you have to do is write a paragraph a few days in a row to call yourself a writer.  Your pace is your own. Your word limit is self-imposed. Two hundred-fifty words a day, for three hundred-sixty five days in a row is a novel. That’s one book a year. Anyone can do that. YOU can do that.


HELIODOR

Release Date: March 22, 2016

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About the Book

Malfric sees through the eyes of the dead – literally reliving their last moments as if they were his own. This ability is highly sought and highly priced, which is why the unscrupulous Captain Finch hires him to find the murderer of a nobleman and the whereabouts of a valuable artifact.

Quantex, the able-bodied first mate of Captain Finch, quickly becomes Malfric’s foil as he demonstrates uncommon intelligence during the investigation. Together the two uncover several clues that lead them to the killer, the artifact, and the frayed end of a mysterious plot that begins to unravel the moment Malfric takes it in hand and gives it a good yank.

About the Author

Shannon is a wife, mother, writer, database administrator and general pot-stirrer-turned-mystic.

Social Media Contacts

Website/ Blog: http://shannonwendtlandau.wix.com/a-quarrel-called

Facebook: Shannon Wendtland

Twitter: @ShannonWendtlan

Tumblr: Shannon Wendtland


 

HeliodorEssential Info:

Title:  Heliodor

Author: Shannon Wedntland

Publisher: Mocha Memoirs Press

Length: n/a

Price: $2.99 Kindle

Release Date: March 22, 2016

Amazon Link: Buy it HERE

 

Guest Interview: Artemis Rising Productions

The Enchanted Alley would like to welcome Carrie Anne Hunt and Lindsay Archer, co-founders of Artemis Rising Productions!

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Here in the Enchanted Alley, we love all things mythical, magical, and whimsical, so we thought that even though Artemis Rising is a film company, they would fit right in.  

I think we were right.

Check them out on the web, Twitter, and Facebook!

The Enchanted Alley: Artemis Rising Productions is described on the website as “Mythical, Fairytale, and Historical Journeys Caught on Film.” What has been your most successful project so far?

Carrie Anne: Currently, we are in development for our first project – a television series called Otherworld. We are thrilled with the progress so far and cannot wait to move into pre-production!

Lindsay Archer: If success is doing what you love, then certainly this is very successful.

 …

TEA: Can you tell us a little about Otherworld?

CA: Sure! As mentioned in the previous question, OTHERWORLD is a television series that we are currently developing. The series is high fantasy and Season One will be comprised of 8 one hour episodes.

As far as the storyline? We can’t reveal too much, but here is our logline:

Two hundred years after the Great War that drove magic from the lands and split the known Worlds in half, a Princess is born, setting an ancient prophecy into motion.”

LA: If you love fantasy and fairy tales, Otherworld will enchant you. As it is still in development the story is more of a sentient being that has infected us as the writers. It keeps growing and developing in exciting new directions that surprise us as much as it will the audience.

… 

TEA: Do you have plans to extend past film and move into other realms (writing, stage, etc.)?

CA: Between Lindsay Archer and myself, a lot gets done outside of just the producing side of things with the company.

For instance, we are both co-creators on OTHERWORLD. We have story meetings and bounce ideas back and forth for world building, plot points and characters. Then, I take those things, that we both decided on, and turn them into a script. Meanwhile, she takes those things and turns them into (pretty amazing!) concept art. We make a good team!

So, we already encompass writing, art, and producing within the company. At this time we are focusing on television and film and have not thought about branching out into stage work – but you never know what the future holds and we are certainly open to seeing where this incredible journey takes us!

LA: What she said 🙂

TEA: Where do you hope to see Artemis Rising Productions in the future?

CA: In a perfect world, we will be enjoying the success of our series and continuing to create meaningful, wonderful art to share with the World.

LA: Agreed. In addition it would be lovely to have our own studio. There are many other projects that are waiting in the wings after Otherworld that we would love to be able to sink our teeth into with a dedicated team to speed production.

TEA: How did you two decide to start this venture?

CA:When I first met Lindsay, it was during a photoshoot for her to use as reference to paint from. After that, many model sessions followed and we began to work together more frequently in that capacity. We knew we wanted to combine our talents and work together on other types of projects, but did not fully pursue the idea until last year. Lindsay had a short story that she thought would make a good film with a role that would be perfect for me to play. We sat down and looked at the short story and …well … it grew and grew and grew. And now it is something completely different, that is growing upwards farther than we ever imagined. It’s very exciting!

LA: We really bonded on set when my daughter played Carrie Anne’s daughter in a movie. She soon became the fairy godmother to my child. Knowing how talented Carrie Anne is, I wanted to work with her on a web series. We work well together, and after sharing the story ideas that I had with her, it melded what she wanted to do with the vision that I had for a series. Quickly it grew and evolved into so much more. When we both get into that synergistic mode of creation, it’s a magical thing to behold.

TEA: How do your personal strengths work together to make a fully functional business with only two of you?

CA: Lindsay is really good at visually realizing something through artwork, and I think my background as an actress really helps with the visualizing through words in a script. Combined, those skills give us a powerhouse presentation. Also, I’m really good at networking and have a solid base of industry knowledge from being immersed in television and film for the past 10 years, so that’s definitely a strength of mine. Lindsay has way more of an attention span than me and is always a great source for research on various time periods in history and how we can integrate those things into our script. I feel like we work together really well – sometimes we even share a brain and visualize the same thing at the same time, right down to the color! This happened recently and we were highly amused.

LA: Indeed, we balance each other in a lot of ways, and we don’t always agree on everything. That’s a good thing, because half the time we rework a section with something even better than either of us imagined previously. It raises the bar. When we do “share a brain” it’s pretty awesome.

TEA: How does it feel to take something that you’ve always been passionate about and make it come to life?

CA: Amazing!

LA: Exciting!

TEA: What is your favorite mythical or fairytale creature?

CA: Just ONE? I love them all! Ha! Mermaids, Faeries, Unicorns… even a few of the goblins (you know, the little misfit nice ones…)

LA: I favor equines (Unicorn, Pegasus, etc) and dragons

TEA: What is your favorite bedtime story?

CA:My Mom used to read me these two books, one was called “Fuzzy Rabbit” and the other one was called “Peabody” … they were both about well-loved stuffed animals. I had an extensive collection of them, so I used to snuggle in with some of my favorites and listen to the stories. I still have the copy of “Fuzzy Rabbit” that my Mom used to read to me. Having recently lost her, it has become invaluable.

LA: My mother read the Chronicles of Narnia to me as a little girl, and I’ve always loved them. I look forward to reading them to my own daughter.

TEA:What is your favorite period from history?

CA:Another hard question! I love almost every time period, but I think my favorite to watch films and read books about is Medieval and Renaissance. Though, I love ancient Greece and Rome as well

LA: Yes… I love history, anything prior to the 1900s. Medieval Studies are a favorite, which often lead back into Rome and its effects on Europe. It emphasizes that times change, but people really don’t.

TEA: Favorite book?

CA:Probably The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho. It is a profound and beautiful book, one that I could not put down and that has stuck with me for some time.

LA: One? I love many books for many very different reasons. I just finished reading “Skin Game” by Jim Butcher, the newest in the Dresden Series which is an amazing fast paced series. But a favorite? It’s hard to say when so many are part of a greater series.

TEA: How can people support your projects?

CA: There are a few great ways that you can get involved and help out, if you would like to. One way, of course, is to donate – we will be starting the fundraising process soon and are looking for private investors as well as looking into crowd funding.

Another way to donate, is to do a trade services with us. For instance, if you are a costumer with a warehouse full of costumes that would fit into our world and wanted to rent or donate some to us in exchange for promotion of your work, we would love that!

Otherwise, just like us on FB and Twitter and share the magic with your friends!

Website: http://artemisrisingproductionsllc.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/artemisrisingproductions

Twitter: @ArtemisRisingPR

LA: Share the experience, posts, tweets, and of course if you happen to know someone with a castle that wouldn’t mind letting us borrow it for a few days.

TEA: Does anyone have a castle for these lovely ladies?  🙂

 

 

Thank you all for dropping by the Enchanted Alley!  We loved having you!