Showing posts with label The Talon of the Hawk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Talon of the Hawk. Show all posts

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Bookish Gotta-Have-It Items!

 Science fiction is full of powerful tech and weapons and fantasy brims with fantastical magic. But I can’t tell you which item from my books I most want to own and why, because you’ve got to wait just a bit longer to be able to read them.

Lucky for you, I read a lot and I’ve got gobs of things I dream about collecting—if only they were here in the real world! So if you need some ideas…

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Best Fantasy and Science Fiction

The first book in my Chronicles of Dasnaria series, PRISONER OF THE CROWN, is up for Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Book at Fresh Fiction! You can go there and vote for your favorites in multiple categories. I'm super delighted that this book was nominated. It's up against tough competition, so I don't expect it to win, but getting the nod is so gratifying. 

Our topic this week at the SFF Seven is "Spinning the Spiderweb of Complicated Plots."

I'm finishing up a week at SFWA's Nebula Conference and running low on brainz at this point. But I also think that, on the best of days, I wouldn't have much to say about this topic. I don't really think in terms of plots, since I'm a character-driven writer. When I do think about my own plots, the spiderweb analogy doesn't work at all. Plots feel more linear to me than that. They go from beginning to end, with many threads weaving along the way.

The most complicated effort I ever dealt with was what I called a braided timeline. In THE PAGES OF THE MIND, THE EDGE OF THE BLADE, THE SNOWS OF WINDROVEN and THE SHIFT OF THE TIDE, events in each story co-occurred with events in other places with characters in the other books. Making sure they interfaced correctly gave me headaches.

But I don't have much more to say about it than that.

To assuage your thirst for great blog posts, however, here's one from Jaycee Jarvis: IN DEFENSE OF BETA HEROES. She mentions THE TALON OF THE HAWK and Harlan. Really wonderful words!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Jeffe Confesses Her Favorite Character

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is "Your favorite character to have written and why."

I hate these kinds of questions, I really do.


Truly, I totally get why readers are interested in my favorites - I'm often interested in hearing from my favorite authors which books or characters of theirs are their favorites. Even better, I *love* hearing from my readers which characters they love best, and why. Maybe because I write a variety of personalities, backgrounds, and life paths, who readers pick as their favorite tells me a lot about how they see the world.

For me, though, the big secret is that ALL of my POV characters represent some aspect of me. I don't think I could write them otherwise. So, while they carry flaws of my own, they also get to live the lives I don't - like wielding actual magic or shapeshifting, or being a man! Some of my characters  definitely have more of me than others - but that doesn't necessarily make them my favorite.

All of my characters are my favorites for their particular story and journey. I notice I also tend to favor whoever I've written about recently.

So, in mulling this, a few characters do pop up as the ones I have strong feelings for. Thus, if you're forcing me to pick...

I'm going to say Ursula. I don't know if I can say exactly why, except that I truly love her. I think part of why Harlan is a vivid hero for so many is because he loves Ursula so completely, and that reflects my feelings. I love her sense of responsibility and honor, that she's so determined to protect everyone, that she's intelligent, clever, and a skilled warrior. She has depths of emotion, of vulnerability and deep love that she hides behind a thick wall. And she's always trying to do better, to be a better person, queen, partner, and sister.

There we are. I believe I've convinced myself!

Now, reward me for my thrashing and tell me YOUR favorite :D

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Right Words at the Right Time - Supporting Newbie Authors

THE CROWN OF THE QUEEN will be available as a stand-alone novella on November 22! (You can preorder now at Amazon, Kobo and Smashwords.) If you already have FOR CROWN AND KINGDOM, this is the exact same novella in that duology with Grace Draven. You can get mine alone for $2.99 or both of us for $3.99. A deal, either way!! If you haven't read it, THE CROWN OF THE QUEEN takes place between THE TALON OF THE HAWK and THE PAGES OF THE MIND. It's told from Dafne's point of view and bridges the events in the aftermath of TALON and sets up her book, which is PAGES.

Our topic this week is "The person(s) most influential on my early writing career."

This is like picking literary influences - there are so many!

But it's been fun to contemplate, thinking about those very early days in my late twenties, when I finally realized I wanted to be a writer instead of a scientist. It was really difficult for me to tell people about that.

Because, well, it sounds silly, right?

In telling people I wanted to write books, I felt like every other person who's ever made noises about "someday writing that novel." And, to be frank, many of the people I talked to about this enormous pivot in my life plans pretty much nodded, smiled, and blew it off as so much wishful thinking. Those were the nice ones.

My PhD adviser - with whom I had a contentious relationship at that point as I struggled to complete my degree - said, "I think writers need a lot of self-discipline, to work steadily on projects over time - are you sure that's for you?"


Others were kinder, but "helpfully" presented statistics on the impossibility of such enterprises. One friend, however, one of my sorority sisters from college, sent me two books on writing. She probably went to a bookstore and asked for something to send a budding writer, because they're two of the classics. More important, she sent a note with them that said, "The only people who are annoying because they talk about writing a novel are the ones who never do it. I know you will."

That meant everything to me.

I could go from there, to those early classes and the various writers who took their time to teach me - because the list is long of teachers who did so much to help me along, which is part of why I teach, in turn - but it was the people who gave their whole-hearted supported who made that initial difference.

It's easy to crap on someone else's silly-seeming dreams. Of course they don't have the writer's discipline yet. That comes over time. Of course the odds are stacked against making a living as a writer. They're even higher for the person who never actually writes the book.

So, this goes out to Sandy Moss, who sent me those first books and - most important - the faith at exactly the right time.

Turns out, you were right! As always.

Much love to you, too, in TTKE.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Channel Your Outrage into Art

Can our calendar guru see into the future? If so, I want words with KAK on if she saw these elections results coming!

Maybe it's just me reading in. Our topic this week is: Writing fuel - taking caffeine (coffee and tea) off the table, what fuels your words?

Lemme tell you, folks - I've been writing a lot this week. And it's not because I upped my caffeine intake. It's no secret I was super excited to elect the first woman president of the U.S. I've also long admired Hillary Rodham Clinton and her stellar career. Along with her skin that must be six inches thick, because I don't know how she stands all the muck that's been flung at her over the years. And then she lost to a man who, while I understand he may be the hope of those who've felt silenced, has embodied the worst of human nature. Greed, selfishness, hatred, racism, bigotry. Those who voted for him assure us Trump won't be as bad as he seems, that he didn't mean everything he said, or that it's been exaggerated by the media.

We can only hope.

And keep vigilant.

Also, I've been writing a lot.

One thing about outrage, anger, and other strong emotions - they channel well into making art. My Twelve Kingdoms books started as my answer to despotic patriarchy. The series is the story of the fairy tale three princesses, each more beautiful than the last. They're the daughters of High King Uorsin. This is a spoiler if you haven't read the books, but Uorsin is not a nice guy. In fact, he's a tyrant, and he becomes increasingly unhinged over the course of the initial trilogy.

I found it interesting that some reviews of the third book, THE TALON OF THE HAWK, said that I took Uorsin too far, that he didn't need to be that awful. And yet real world examples easily that awful and worse.

None of that mattered to me, though. He met the sword of justice just as I wanted him to - and by the hands I felt should serve his sentence. And the women triumph.

I may have been working out a few things.

But that's what we do with art. We take that emotion, those experiences, and we channel and transform them. Art communicates a message. Stories do, too.

I've been writing a lot this week. I hope you all are finding an outlet for how you feel, too.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Blogging - Is It Worth It?

Very excited to show the cover for my upcoming duology with Grace Draven, FOR CROWN AND KINGDOM. This contains my novella, THE CROWN OF THE QUEEN, and comes out the same day as THE PAGES OF THE MIND, May 31. The novella bridges the aftermath of THE TALON OF THE HAWK to the opening of THE PAGES OF THE MIND. Grace's story, THE UNDYING KING, is an awesome stand-alone.
This week's topic is "Why I Blog." I almost feel like it should be "Why I Blog Even Though Everyone and Their Cousin Sophia Says that Blogging Is Dead."
Because it seems like that's all I see and hear regarding blogging these days, and yet the seven of us here are doing it anyway. Five years now, for many of us!

Personally, I blog quite a bit - here, on other group blogs, and on my own site. Why do I do it?

It's easy for me.

That's the primary reason. I started out as a writer with short, personal essays and it's my fall back skill. I can write blog posts quickly, they seem to be reasonably engaging and a good venue for me to engage social-media-wise. I'm a big proponent of do the social media that works for you.

This works for me.

I'll be interested in everyone else's answers, too! (Which, I suppose, is another reason I do it - I enjoy the group interplay.)