Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year Goals: Big and Crazy Style

It's that time of the year again! New Years Eve, traditionally the night of taking stock and setting resolutions.

If you've been by my blog for a few years, you'll know I don't do resolutions, though. I set goals. And on my other blog, I check up on my progress every three months to see how I did. December's check is here.

Today, I'm also taking stock of what I did this past month as part of my Big Dreams Bloghop. Most of the goals I set also go toward my long term goal of earning $7500 royalties per month every month.

Sign up here

But first: What I did in December. Honestly, not a ton. Mainly I rested, but I did make some good progress on editing Birds vs Bastards. 

Now, here are my goals for 2014. And yes. I know that this is insanely ambitious. But the way I see it, if I get a quarter of my goals done, I will still have achieved a lot.


Read 75 books.
Read more William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and other classics.


Research relevant time periods and facts for various works in progress.



The Countess
The Wedding
War of Six Crowns 4
Optional: One other on my to-do list


Opsies and Lysties
Optional: One other on my To-Do List.


Eden’s Son


War of Six Crowns 3
Birds vs Bastards
Any two of the “Edits” projects.


War of Six Crowns: The Heir’s Choice


Make a point of visiting every follower and commenter on both main blogs.
Weekly posts on my War of Six Crowns Blog.


Weigh 65kg by end March.
Maintain weight for the rest of the year.
Do yoga.
Do more exercise in general.
Eat healthily. I.E. The minimum refined carbs.
Do other arts. E.G. Paint. Needlepointing.
Get involved with people with similar interests to me.
Get back to singing regularly.

That's it from me. Have any big goals you want to share? Please feel free to join my bloghop. Otherwise, just let me know in the comments. 

Happy New Year, awesome people! May your 2014 be filled with blessings and joy.

Monday, December 30, 2013

And the winners are...

Hey all! I'm busy painting my guesthouse, so I'm only dropping in to let you know who won copies of The Vanished Knight. 

Without further ado, the winners are:

Brandon Ax 
Laura Clipson


If you've missed out on this round, never fear. There's always Amazon. ;-)

Since the death of her parents, Callan Blair has been shunted from one foster family to another, her dangerous secret forcing the move each time. Her latest foster family quickly ships her off to an exclusive boarding school in the Cumbrian countryside. While her foster-brother James makes it his mission to get Callan expelled, a nearby ancient castle holds the secret doorway to another land...

When Callan is forced through the doorway, she finds herself in the magical continent of Tardith, where she’s shocked to learn her schoolmates Gawain and Darrion are respected soldiers in service to the king of Nordaine, one of Tardith's realms. More than that, the two are potential heirs to the Black Knight—Nordaine's crown prince.

But when the Black Knight fails to return from a mysterious trip, the realm teeters on the brink of war. Darrion and Gawain set out to find him, while Callan discovers there is more to her family history than she thought. The elves are claiming she is their princess.

Now with Darrion growing ever more antagonistic and her friendship with Gawain blossoming, Callan must decide whether to stay in Nordaine—where her secret grows ever more threatening—or go to the elves and uncover the truth about her family before war sets the realms afire.

Friday, December 27, 2013

'Tis More Blessed Giveaway

Hey all! As promised, I'm giving away The Vanished Knight. Thing is, since it's my birthday tomorrow, I'm giving away not one, but two e-copies.

To see who else is giving away books today, go here.

All you have to do to win is leave a comment with your e-mail address. I'll announce the two winners on Monday.

For those of you who don't know anything about The Vanished Knight: 

Since the death of her parents, Callan Blair has been shunted from one foster family to another, her dangerous secret forcing the move each time. Her latest foster family quickly ships her off to an exclusive boarding school in the Cumbrian countryside. While her foster-brother James makes it his mission to get Callan expelled, a nearby ancient castle holds the secret doorway to another land... 

When Callan is forced through the doorway, she finds herself in the magical continent of Tardith, where she’s shocked to learn her schoolmates Gawain and Darrion are respected soldiers in service to the king of Nordaine, one of Tardith's realms. More than that, the two are potential heirs to the Black Knight—Nordaine's crown prince. 

But when the Black Knight fails to return from a mysterious trip, the realm teeters on the brink of war. Darrion and Gawain set out to find him, while Callan discovers there is more to her family history than she thought. The elves are claiming she is their princess. 

Now with Darrion growing ever more antagonistic and her friendship with Gawain blossoming, Callan must decide whether to stay in Nordaine—where her secret grows ever more threatening—or go to the elves and uncover the truth about her family before war sets the realms afire.

Can't wait for the prize draw? You can get The Vanished Knight at these following resellers: 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Just a heads-up

Hey all! I'm still on holiday, but I'll officially be back tomorrow. I'll be starting with:

A book giveaway. That's right. I'm taking part in Milo James Fowler's 'Tis More Blessed bloghop, so if you haven't bought The Vanished Knight yet, tomorrow might be your chance to win it. So don't forget to drop by!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

50 States of Pray: South Africa

Lord God, Father,

Tonight, the night before Christmas, I want to thank You for giving us Your Son. The truth is that His short life on Earth was a game-changer. Your love for us goes so much deeper, so much further than we can even begin to imagine, and without that love, my life, everything I could possibly achieve... everything would have been meaningless.

Thank You, Lord, for the many blessings you've sent my way, and across the way of my loved ones. And thank You for the many opportunities You gave for us to bless others. I pray that next year, I'll learn how to use those chances even better.

Tonight, I want to pray for my country, still settling into a new era now that President Mandela has joined You in heaven. I ask that those appointed to lead our nation do so to the best of their ability. I pray that You guide them, Lord, and guide each of us as members of the nation to find ways to build it into something even stronger, more united than it is today.

I also ask that you be with people who lost loved ones this year. Christmas is a difficult time when those we love are missing from the feast. Please wrap them in Your love, and be with them in noticeable ways as their wounds heal.

Lastly, I want to pray down Your blessing on my family, my friends and their families and friends, and theirs. And theirs. Lead us, strengthen us, and open our eyes to the amazing things You do for us.

I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior.


“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life
John 3:16

Monday, December 23, 2013

Just a short Christmas wish

Hey all.

Today's a weird date for me. Today, the 27th, and 29th, are the only days this week that aren't someone's birthday or Christmas. (Mine's the 28th, by the way.) My mom's was yesterday.

But I figured that you'll all be busy visiting with loved ones from tomorrow if you're not doing so already. So tonight, I want to wish you a blessed Christmas.

May you have a wonderful, happy time with your loved ones and may you remember what an absolute blessing that is. 

Other than that, I'll be by tomorrow night for a Christmas prayer, but I'll take Christmas day and Boxing day off to be with friends and family.

God bless you all!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

My new realization on "Show vs Tell"

Man, I thought I'd have time to post yesterday, but a friend got married and me, my gran and my mom did the flowers for her.

Being a total novice at flower arranging, I thought it'd be easy. It wasn't. We spent most of the past two days standing, and believe it or not, those arrangements are HEAVY. Add to that the fact that it was a garden wedding with no shade and at the hottest part of a summer's day, and it all adds up to exhaustion.

But today I'm a bit more relaxed, putting up my feet and reading my new crit partners' WiPs and suggestions for  mine.

One WiP I'm critting got me thinking about something interesting. We all know about the "rule" show don't tell. And if you've been writing and reading about writing long enough, you'll know why this "rule" exists.

It draws the reader in more, letting him/her experience the story as close to the same way as the character as possible. Doing that, the reader gets sucked in, which is something any fiction writer worth his/her salt should want.

There's something else I realized just now, that I thought I should share. Showing events rather than telling gives us as writers more scope in a story. It gives us more depth.

Let's say, for example, that the main character's mother died at a young age. You as writer could mention it briefly and let the story progress (telling) OR you could show the effect the mother's death has on the character. So how does this open up the story more?

By exploring something you would have just mentioned, you might find the internal conflict you didn't know you needed. You might even find a subplot that makes the main one stronger. You might even find a solution to a plot hole in a surprising place.

So showing strengthens a story in more ways than the conventional wisdom states. Don't miss a chance to expand your book's horizons, just because a scene doesn't seem to fit the plan. It might just be the difference between a good read and a great one, and leaving emotions un-shown is just one huge missed opportunity.

Have you found an unexpected but perfect story element by delving deeper into something a character just mentioned in the rough draft?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Just a few short updates.

Hey all! Just want to let you know that I have another blog out there. It's about my War of Six Crowns series and writing it, so if you want to find out more, head on over!

In the meantime, I just want to say thanks to everyone who've offered to be my crit partner. The offer still stands, so if you want/need a CP, please check out this post to see if we might match. :-)

Friday, December 13, 2013

What to Do... (Need a CP?)

So... today I finished my first round of edits to Birds vs Bastards. That's very fast, I know. But I don't know whether the first edits went so fast because the story's so good, or because I'm still blind to its faults.

Most likely it's the latter, but at least I'm sure that it's polished enough for crit partners to look at it. So I've sent the first chapters off to two so long.

In the meantime, I'm at a loss as to what I want to do while I wait for feedback. See, I didn't expect edits to go so fast, so I didn't really put thought into what I'd like to do next.

Really, I'm thinking I might rest until year end. Or until I feel the need to start in on something else. Right now, I don't, so maybe a rest will be a good thing while I wait for two of my CPs to get back to me.

By the way, I'm looking for a few CPs for Birds vs Bastards, so if you like reading adult urban fantasy and would like to see something new, please leave your e-mail address in the comments, along with a short explanation of what your book's about. Of course, I'm willing to crit in return, but please know I don't read erotica, horror, MG or Picture Books.

So what's Birds vs Bastards about?

Aleria Tyson wakes up in hospital, unable to remember the terrorist attack that put her there. In fact, she remembers nothing. Since she's immortal, that's a huge problem. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Diamonds and Dust Launch

Hey all! Just a quick stop by to do a favor for my friend and fellow Untethered Realms author, River Fairchild. Isn't the cover amazing? 

It's Launch Day!

Diamonds and Dust

by River Fairchild
Book 1 of the Jewels of Chandra series

Magic is real. So is betrayal.

Two heirs. A Kingdom of dust on a troubled world. One might resurrect it. One might destroy it all.

Archaeologist David Alexander investigates the cave where his father disappeared and hurtles into another world, one filled with magic and bizarre creatures. The mad ravings in his father's journals of icemen and dragons may not be fantasies after all.

Convinced his father may still be alive, David begins a treacherous journey to find him and discover a way home. Along the way, he encounters a few unlikely friends. A Dreean warrior, a beautiful thief and a satyr join him as he searches.

David's arrival into this new world sets off an explosive chain reaction of events. Faced with powerful adversaries and few clues, he may not get the chance to rescue his father before disaster strikes, condemning both of them to death. Or worse.

Buy it here:


About the author:

River Fairchild is somewhat odd, brandishes a dry sense of humor, owned by several cats. Lives in a fantasy world. A fabricator of magic. Makes stuff up and spins tales about it. Believes in Faerie crossings and never staying in one place for very long. Speculative Fiction wordsmith. The secret to her stories? Spread lies, blend in truths, add a pinch of snark and a dash of tears. Escape into her world. She left the porch light on so you can find your way down the rabbit hole.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Editing Again

I've been taking a bit of a break after November. It was necessary. 

Sometimes, I think I let people think that I'm just rolling along and getting stuff done. That it's just coming easily.
In some ways that's the case. Being a writer really is a matter of sitting down and getting stuff done. It's about making sure that I finish the projects I set out  to finish. 

But at the same time, doing this is difficult. Last month, I went to sleep before midnight... maybe like one week while we were moving house. But only because I practically passed out from exhaustion. And whenever I had the chance, I wrote.
I learned what I'm able to accomplish, because I pushed myself way past my comfort zone. But the fact is that I did get tired, so I rested. 

That rest is over now. It's time for me to sit down, open Birds vs. Bastards  and get my first round of edits done. This week, I might still go a bit slow to get back into the groove, but I will get some editing done. 

Why? Well. I want to get four or five novels out on queries next year, so it would be nice if one is close to ready. So that's where I am at the moment.

Who else is editing in December? 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Thoughts on Madiba's Death

I wish I could call this a tribute, but I don't think I have the words to do this great man justice. Instead, I'll share my thoughts today (random as they may be) and hope they add up to something worth reading.

See I'm South African, born at the tail-end of the Apartheid regime. In fact, the reason why my birthday is on December 28 is that my mom had me born by c-section so my dad could see me before being posted to border patrol.

Those were war years. I wasn't even two when he was released. Oddly though, I remember seeing on the t.v. as this man left prison. I noted how everyone on t.v. was happy to see him free, but no one in my family was. So I asked what was going on and the answer I got was something like: "My child, it's the end of our nation."

Of course, it meant nothing to me then, because I was too small to understand what a country was. But I remembered thinking he had a nice smile, so I noticed when he was on t.v.

Every time he came on, my family (as I now imagine many Afrikaans families did) greeted his words with distrust. See, that war had set white people in general and the Afrikaners in particular on opposite ends of conflict. Madiba and his contemporaries were fighting for freedom. We... I honestly am very careful to say what we fought for. It's not really discussed.

The sense I have (and I could be wrong) is that the government was fighting for continued suppression, since complete freedom for all races would (and did) mean loss of power. But the white people on the ground level were fighting for survival.

Why this is is another history lesson in itself. But in short, our ancestors had fought for a place in Africa. If we'd failed, we would have been annihilated. In fact, some of us did fail through history, and most of those did die. It was a fact so long-standing that no white person could imagine that the war could end peacefully for us unless we won.

The day Nelson Mandela was released, we'd lost for all intents and purposes.

People expected "The Night of the Long Knives", like another Kristallnacht. We'd suppressed and the government had institutionalized so many wrongs that almost all white South Africans expected bloody reprisals, and for South Africa to be turned into something similar to the rest of Africa.

What we didn't hold reckoning with was that Nelson Mandela was a much better man than any of us had thought. Instead of revenge, he preached reunification. Instead of reprisals, he preached unity. And that coming from someone who'd been sent to jail for fighting for something that was, in retrospect, the right thing.

He won our trust, starting with that day he walked out onto the rugby field before the World Cup Finals in 1995, wearing a beloved Springbok jersey.

And in many ways, he'd steered this country free of disaster so that we could recover and move on. "Us" became something inclusive, something the whole country could belong to.

For that, I am immensely thankful.

Madiba, your strength, forgiving nature and love for humanity inspired more than just a nation. It changed the world. Rest now, Tata Madiba. Your life was and will be a standard the rest of us should and will try to emulate. You deserve it more than anyone else I know of.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Hey all! Wow. I can't believe it's the last IWSG post for the year. It really flew by. For those of you new to the bloggosphere, the IWSG is a bloghop where a few hundred writers come together and air out our insecurities. Then, we encourage each other as well. It's pretty awesome, cause heck, it feels good to know you're not the only one. We get together on the first Monday of every month, although January's post will only be on the 8th. If you want to sign up, go here.

So... I wish I could say that I'm insecurity free this month, but alas, no.

There's a very good reason behind this, but I'm not sure what's public and what isn't yet, so I'm just going to say this:

I've been pushed into a situation where I've had to balance my artistic integrity with my business sense. I've been approached by another publishing house for the War of Six Crowns. 

The terms are the same, as is the size, but the publishing house focuses more on marketing to YA readers, which means that me signing over makes a lot of business sense.


I really really like working with my editor. And I think she was the one person who saw the story's potential when no one else wanted to. So in my mind, the better thing for the story is to stay with the person who I know gets it.

Yeah... so I'm kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place, but I have made a decision. Sort of. But I'll do a follow up post in a few days once everything has been cleared up and the dust has settled.

It's just a bit of a mess in my head at the moment. In fact, now is when I wish I had an agent to hold my hand. These are big girl decisions and really, I just want to stick my head in the sand. Because every time I think in one way or the other, I keep wondering whether I'm making the right choice.

Anyone else have to pick between your art and the business of selling it? How did you choose?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

News Day December Edition

Hey all! It's been a while since I did News Day, but I thought these tidbits were too good to share.

First of all, Mark Koopmans is hosting 50 States of Pray. Here's what Mark's asking:

"I’m calling it the 50 States of Pray event and I’d love to find at least one person (but the more the merrier) from each U.S. state to participate.

But wait... as they say on TV... This is absolutely open to anyone, anywhere. Imagine if we got one person from 50 independent states (countries), too. That would be amazing!

All that’s required is to take a moment and about 100 words. Then, on Dec. 24, 2013, please share a prayer, a thought, a memory, a hope and even a regret about the past and/or a wish for the future.

If you can’t post on the day... it’s Christmas Eve, Mark... (I know, I know :) feel free to schedule your post to go live on the 24th.
I'm *NOT* expecting people to comment - my only hope is that people can stop by to read, relax and reflect for as much time as they can spare :)" 

Sounds amazing, right? Click here to join up. 

Next, Milo is hosting a Christmas Giveaway for every Friday in December. So if you have a book or story to give, why not spread a little Christmas Cheer? Click here to sign up. 

Doce Pares LA Payong drive Doce pares la payong drive

Last but not least, Nutschell is trying to raise funds for the relief efforts in the Philippines. You can help by either buying a book, or a t-shirt. Click here to find out more. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Getting out of my comfort zone

You know, nothing has taught me so much about me as a writer as signing that publishing contract.

I know, weird, eh?

I mean, I'm a writer pure and simple, so publishing shouldn't really have an influence on me being one. Yet it does, I think in a good way.

See, when I signed the contract, I created an obligation towards my publishing house, which means that the book I promised  them has to be a priority for me in ways none of my other books are.

Which means that if they need that book to be revised during NaNo, that book has to be revised. No buts, ifs, or whys. And that's where I'm learning now.

Before, I could say that I couldn't combine drafting with editing, because it takes time for my mind to switch gears. True as it is, I couldn't just say that in November. I had to get some drafting done because I'm trying to create a "production line" of sorts, and I don't think I'll get another chance to draft before February/March next year. December's for editing Birds vs. Bastards. 

So that made complete sense until my editor let me know that I needed to get my book in by end November. With saying no and not drafting both not being options, I said yes and found a way to make it work.

Turns out that once you're writing fit (as I am nowadays), switching gears really isn't that hard. So I did those revisions in about two weeks and got right back to drafting, and I even won NaNo.

If I hadn't had the book under contract, I would never even have tried to work like that. To me, thou shalt not edit and draft at the same time was one big rule to my writing method. Being under contract pushed me beyond my self-imposed comfort zone, into a place where I can be even more efficient as a writer.

Which is great really, since it makes my five year goal that much more achievable.

So today I  want to say: Don't get stuck in a comfort zone. Find ways to push yourself gently, but firmly into places where you can grow as a writer. Even if it means writing something you'd never thought you'd write. Or changing up when or how you write. Sometimes those changes might be exactly what you need to get to the next level.

Have you pushed yourself as a writer lately? What did you do and how did it turn out?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Moonless and Update Day

Hey all!

Sorry for the weird, random silence these past week or so.

Remember when I told you that I was moving to a farm? Well... Said farm had zero connection. No internet, no landline, no mobile phone signal... nothing.

As a result, I haven't been on the internet since the last time you saw me. Except a brief stop before my mobile's data ran out.

Anyway, today I want to do two things. First, I'm welcoming Crystal as part of her Moonless blog tour, then I'll be telling you how I've been doing with my crazy goals.

So first: take it away, Crystal!

Where did MOONLESS Come From?

It was 2002, I had just come off a Dickens reading binge and was querying my first novel when I sat down at the computer with two words in my head: Blue Eyes.

One week and a hundred pages later, I stared at the first draft of the easiest story I’d ever written—a sweet, coming of age tale based in the 1700’s.

Hit the brakes!

As a woman with five brothers, I didn’t write “sweet, coming of age stories.” I wrote fantasy—scary fantasy with action, high stakes, and explosions! I wouldn’t even pick up a book if it looked “girly.” (*ahem* That has since been remedied.)

This little novella sat on my computer and I occasionally glanced at it…or maybe added a page or fifteen while blushing and waiting for my tomboy alternate ego to kick me in the teeth. It was nothing. A silly little love story that made me roll my eyes in embarrassment or (when no one was looking,) sigh contentedly.


Oh the magic moment when I realized it was a piece of my larger story world—the one that RULED MY WRITING BRAIN and had been brewing since I was thirteen. The hero, Mister Blue-Eyes-Who-Will-Consume-Your-Soul (a title bestowed by my fabulous editor) was a key player in a MUCH larger story.

The manuscript underwent a makeover and burgeoned into the entity it is today—adequately scary with fantasy, action, high stakes, explosions (minus TNT), and romance. *gasp*

Simply put, it came in layers.

So if you’re writing a book and it’s a brand sparkling new idea, I suggest taking your time. Give it a little room to germinate, to infest, to overrun your daylight life. The results may astonish you. And hopefully the rest of the world too.

Thanks so much Crystal! 

As part of her tour, Crystal is giving away some AWESOME prizes, so go enter the draw now. :-)

In the English society of 1768 where women are bred to marry, unattractive Alexia, just sixteen, believes she will end up alone. But on the county doorstep of a neighbor’s estate, she meets a man straight out of her nightmares, one whose blue eyes threaten to consume her whole world—especially later when she discovers him standing over her murdered host in the middle of the night.

Among the many things to change for her that evening are: her physical appearance—from ghastly to breathtaking, an epidemic of night terrors predicting the future, and the blue-eyed man’s unexpected infusion into her life. Not only do his appearances precede tragedies, but they’re echoed by the arrival of ravenous, black-robed wraiths on moonless nights.

Unable to decide whether he is one of these monsters or protecting her from them, she uncovers what her father has been concealing: truths about her own identity, about the blue-eyed man, and about love. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with the man of her dreams and risk becoming one of the Soulless.

Crystal, author of MOONLESS, is a former composer/writer for Black Diamond Productions. She can be found practicing her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, three littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. 

For those of you who don't know, I host a bloghop on the last Friday of every month where writers can share their crazy/crazy important goals and update us on how they're doing. You're more than welcome to sign up!

This month, believe it or not, went swimmingly. 

First round of revisions to The Heir's Choice  was done by the 16th.
The move went well, and the unpacking's almost done.
AND I'm about 3000 words away from winning NaNoWriMo, so I might even win tonight! Needless to say, I'm pretty dang shocked and pleased with what I've been able to accomplish.

How have you been doing?



Edit: I've now won NaNoWriMo. This is what my month looked like. See the bumper amount of writing I did earlier this week? Yeah... didn't know I could draft that much in two days...

Friday, November 15, 2013

Visiting M.J. and Julie today.

Hey all! Just popped in to let you know I'm at Julie's for an interview, and M.J.'s talking about splitting Doorways in two.

Hope you're all doing well! X

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Interview with Terry W. Ervin II

Hey all! Today I'm welcoming Terry to my blog for an interview. His newest book, Relic Tech is out now, and sounds like it could be awesome!

Hey Terry, welcome to The Five Year Project. Want to tell me a bit about your goals and how you go about achieving them? 

Thank you for having me, Misha.

My goal is to write interesting stories that other people will want to read. I think I’m like most authors, and write stories I’d like to find on the bookshelf, if I hadn’t written them myself.

Like most authors who aren’t full-time writers, I have a full-time job (teaching high school English) and a couple part-time jobs (grading e-course work and serving as a member of the Village Council) in addition to writing. Plus, I’m a husband and father to two daughters, which means I’m pretty darn busy. Thus, if I want to get my stories written, I have to carve out the time to do so.

I'm the same way. Always better to write what you'd like to read. So what are your favorite sorts of stories and characters? 

I enjoy stories with action and conflict, stories that have interesting plots with an occasional surprising twist connected to intermingling subplots—a few and not a distracting plethora. 

I enjoy characters that are overall ‘good guys.’ That doesn’t mean that they’re perfect and don’t have some aspects of gray to their beliefs or motivations. Main characters that use the skills, abilities and talents that they have are more interesting to me than ones that are the ‘top dog’ where everything in the plot largely revolves around the decisions they make and actions they take. I prefer it when the main characters are just as likely to be forced to respond to events and actions of others in the story as they are to take action that alters a story’s course of events.

Some good examples of characters I like to read about would be: Vlad Taltos from Steven Brust’s Vlad Taltos Series, Prince Corwin from Roger Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber, Atticus O’Sullivan from Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles. I think a sold cast of supporting characters is important as well. They're the ones that add depth and make the plot work. Each of the examples above have this.

To achieve those sorts of stories, both strong plot and great characterization are needed. How do you go about balancing them? 

Good question. I don't have any sort of forumula--50% of each chapter must be focused on direct actions taken by the POV character, 98% action verbs used throughout the story, etc.

I believe the best characterization comes through readers learning about the characters within the context of the story. I'm less on telling the readers what a character thinks or feels, say, about the death of a comrade on the battlefield, and more about how the character responds--what he says, and what actions he takes. I allow the readers to witness how events impact the characters, change the characters’ views, causes them to falter or to grow. The readers fill in the blanks rather than being told what's in those blanks.

A strong plot, I believe, needs to have direction. That doesn’t mean everything proceeds in a direct line from point A to point B to point C. The characters in the story have goals, and they’re never 100% the same, which jostles the plot’s direction, and characters, around a bit. That’s the way real life is, and its effects are amplified when situations, events, and conflict in the story are a bit larger and more volatile than the reader’s average, everyday routine life.

In Flank Hawk (my first novel) Krish, a farmhand who joined the local lord’s militia to escape his mundane life, finds himself on the front lines of an emerging continent-wide war, and not the annual crop disruption raids he and his older cousin anticipated. The death of his cousin provides a point of crisis, propelling Krish forward, forcing him to grow, or to wither, or to turn and flee. He endures and is taken under the wing of an experienced mercenary. Krish isn’t anywhere near the best swordsman (or spearman) on the battlefield—and he never will be. But his resilience and steadfast loyalty gets him noticed, opening the door to a whirlwind of struggles and events, culminating to a point where his decisions and actions come to matter. They matter far more than if the story had been about a simple crop raid, after which he returned to his life as a farmhand.

That’s an example of what I think comprises a synergistic balance between a strong plot and great characterization.

Excellent way of putting it. What are you working on at the moment?

Currently I’m working on the galley proofs of my SF novel, Relic Tech, sent by my publisher. It’s the final step before the novel is ready for publication. It should be released in early November of 2013 (it may be out by the time this interview is posted J). Which it is. See info and links below. 

Otherwise, I have about 10,000 to 15,000 words to finish the first draft of Soul Forge, the third novel in my First Civilization’s Legacy Series. After that I have an alien invasion novel planned. The first chapter is written but I don't have a working title for it, yet, which is unusual for me.

Sounds like you're very busy at the moment. Want to tell us a bit more about Relic Tech


Security Specialist Krakista Keesay, a relic tech, meaning he relies upon technology dating back to the late 20th century, awakens critically injured with his life fading despite advanced life support. Not only that, but he’s on trial for committing horrendous crimes: kidnapping, planetary quarantine violations, destruction of the interstellar civil transport Kalavar, and treason. Actions he doesn’t remember.

In a desperate bid to clear his name and reveal those guilty of wiping his memory and framing him, Kra demands to have his brain hooked up to the experimental Cranaltar IV, an alien device he hopes will draw out those lost memories, translating them into digital form—evidence. The drawback? The process will utterly destroy his brain. He’ll never know the results.

Using the classic frame story structure, Relic Tech relays Specialist Keesay’s story, unraveling the mystery—how and why he ended up a dying man, accused of horrific crimes. 

From foiling a political assassination attempt to serving as a conscript defending the Tallivaster Colony from the Crax’s overwhelming invasion force, readers can follow Kra’s adventures, and discover his innocence—or reaffirm his guilt.

Here’s what one pretty neat individual had to say:
"The tech level premise is fascinating, but what really makes the novel special is the spirit of Krakista Keesay. Kra is a hero to root for—often underestimated, adept with brass knuckles, bayonet, shotgun, and all sorts of old style weaponry. He proves that, while technology matters, so do courage, intelligence, and daring."—Tony Daniel, Hugo-finalist, author of Metaplanetary and Guardian of Night.

Sounds awesome. What inspired you to write it?

Several notions inspired me to write Relic Tech. One came from my pondering about the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ in society. Often it’s based on economic status usually derived from access to opportunity and education. That led me to ponder a technological schism, and how a determined individual using old technology and skills would fare if humanity became a space-faring society.

Last question: What is the best piece of writing advice you can give? 

Treat your readers (beta readers) properly. Refrain from sending them a first draft and requesting feedback—no matter how much you’re craving an opinion. Go back and revise and edit first, making the work a solid piece. Why? The writer will get feedback focusing on the obvious problems assaulting the reader. Instead of providing insight on subtle plot holes or pacing or more elusive concerns, the bulk of the commentary will relate to what the writer could’ve addressed on his or her own, including grammar and poor sentence structure, wandering plotlines, and stilted dialogue (among a host of other concerns).

Insightful readers are a valuable resource. It’s both improper and unwise to ask them to read subpar work—and especially to re-read a revised version after having suffered through a horrid first draft. Even the most steadfast supporter will be deterred from helping out in the future. Their time is valuable too.
Thank you very much, Misha, for the opportunity to ramble on a bit to your blog's readers!

Thanks for visiting! 

Terry W. Ervin II is an English teacher who enjoys writing fantasy and science fiction. His First Civilization’s Legacy Series includes FLANK HAWK and BLOOD SWORD. He is focused on completing SOUL FORGE, the third novel in the fantasy series.

His newest release from Gryphonwood Press is RELIC TECH, a science fiction novel packed with action, adventure, aliens and even a bit of a mystery. It is now out at Amazon, Amazon UK and Smashwords
In addition to writing novels, Terry’s short stories have appeared in over a dozen anthologies, magazines and ezines. The genres range from science fiction and mystery to horror and inspirational. GENRE SHOTGUN is a collection containing all of his previously published short stories.

To contact Terry or learn more about his writing endeavors, visit his website and his blog, Up Around the Corner.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

And so the heroine falls.

I'd really hoped it wouldn't come to this, but I'm going on hiatus.

The plan is that I'll link up to my guest posts every day as they go live, and put up guest posts etc. that I promised for other people. I will do my bloghop's Update Day.

But otherwise, until mid-December or later, you probably won't be seeing me.

The reason? We have to move house even sooner (on the 20th) which means my revision schedule, my NaNoWriMo plans... well... everything, actually, are screwed.

Something's gotta give for the next two weeks, and since only my revisions are on contract, blogging and NaNo have to be it. Hopefully I'll manage NaNo by some miracle, but if the past twelve days are an indication, things aren't looking good.

The last straw came last night. A short trip on moving house errands turned into a seven hour one. I came home, I crashed, and I didn't do a post, despite the fact that I know I should have.

So. It really sucks. I wanted to visit blogs and market my book etc. But life's not working out that way at the moment.

I know a lot of you will be going on hiatus for the Christmas season. To you, I wish a wonderful time with your family and loved ones. May it be a blessed time.

To those of you who are sticking around through December, I'll see you at the latest on the 24th, but hopefully much sooner.

In the meantime, if you want to check out some more interesting posts by me, I'm visiting Bradley, talking about my five-year-project, and Susanne, talking about the five Cs I use when writing good dialogue.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Where I am and NaNo Update

So today, I'm doing the insane thing. I'm going try and write 6444 words to hit 20k tonight. The reason is that I haven't been able to get and stay ahead so far, although I haven't fallen behind either.

But if I'm on the edge, one day spent say... packing... could put me behind. Two days like that and I'm almost screwed.

I basically stole today to devote to drafting and revision, and I don't know how long it'll be before I get another chance to get a huge chunk of writing done. So that's what I need to do.

In all, I have fourteen hours in which to get the writing/revising done. I have five fixed projects and three writing prompts that I can work on. So I have to write 805 words per project today, or 460 words per hour. If I look at it that way, today's goal looks doable.

But it's the hours... fourteen. I don't quite know if my mind can stretch that far. Only one way to see I guess... At the same time, I have to be careful. I don't want to push myself into burn-out territory either, because that will be no help whatsoever.

Anyway, that's what I'll be doing for most of today. But I'll also be stopping by at Kelly's blog, where I'm (ironically) talking about when to give up on what you're writing.

That's me for now. Hopefully I'll be able to get ahead enough to stop by some blogs too. Missing you guys. X

How's your NaNo going?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Insecure Writers Support Group

Funny how in a month where you're constantly matching progress against the date, one can forget when it's IWSG day.

Luckily for me, I have google + and saw someone else's IWSG post.

For those of you who don't know, the IWSG members use the first Wednesday of every month to share insecurities or encouragements. You can sign up here.

My big insecurity for November is... well... November. I don't know why, but everything seems to be conspiring to keep me super busy this month.

For one thing, I need to pack for my move to a new home. Then there's NaNo, marketing The Vanished Knight and revising its sequel. On top of that, I might have to fly to Europe again for business.

Talk about a schedule from hell. I can only knuckle down and keep going, hoping that I can get everything done. *gulp*

In the interest of that, I'll stop now. I need to finish a few more sections of revisions before I can visit other people's blogs.

What's your November schedule looking like?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Where I Am and Updates

Hey all! Today, I'm visiting Suzanne with an interview, and Shah with a short post on Guy Fawkes night.

As for my progress, I think I'm doing good. Finished rereading The Vanished Knight this morning and wrote 1896 words so far today. Which means I'm about 300 words away from being a day ahead.

It'll be awesome if I can get those words and maybe another half a day's worth written tonight, since I want to spend tomorrow rereading and starting to revise The Heir's Choice. Of course, I'm pretty sure I'll be adding on a lot of words, but it might be good to have a bit of breathing space in case I struggle to write in the new scenes.

I'm seriously excited about getting The Heir's Choice done. I think it can only do the sales of The Vanished Knight good to have a sequel out there. And honestly, I do think people will enjoy TVK more if they can go right into the sequel.

It's not that I was mean to my readers or anything. Although one of my friends said she hates me because reading the book kept her up the night before her exam, and now she's wondering what's going to happen next.

Which is probably one of the best reviews I got so far. :-P

Anyway, I just want to say thanks to everyone who've bought my book so far. I don't know who bought or how many bought copies, but I do know that for the whole month since it was published, TVK never went below 600000th of all the purchased books on Amazon. It peaked at around 77000th, which I think is pretty dang awesome for a debut work by an unknown author. Hopefully the sales will keep coming.

Friday, November 1, 2013

November is...

Hey all, first things first, I'm visiting Angeline today to talk about how perfectionism railroaded my efforts at finishing a book.

So... Just when I thought November can't be more hectic...

This month is NaNo, me marketing TVK, me packing up house to move and as of today, me editing TVK's sequel.

I guess I could have asked to start later, but then I realized that 1) I'm moving in December, 2) I'm settling in in December, which means that 3) I'll probably be settled in time for Christmas and 4) that means I'd only be able to do serious edits by January.

So if I want to get revisions done, it has to get done now. I think it can work, though. With this round, revisions will mainly be writing in information, so basically I'll be drafting chapters. Which for the sake of NaNo, I'll be counting towards the final score. Only daily word additions qualify, though, to keep things honest.

But yeah... I think this might be my most difficult NaNo year yet...

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Visiting Lee

Hey all! My mom fell off her horse today, so today was out for doing pretty much anything. She's okay though, thank heavens. Only hurt her leg (which is now braced).

I'll try to come back later with something more meaningful, but for now, you can check out my post on C. Lee McKenzie's blog about my querying process.

...And now I'm back.

So there's two and a half hours left until NaNoWriMo starts. I've arranged my day tomorrow so that I can get more writing done in the morning. Because that's where I think I'm going to win time. The mornings, when no one's around to distract me.

But first, I need to get back into the routine of waking up early. But before that, I really really want to be here at midnight to get some words down. Even if it's just for thirty minutes.

I'll see how I feel, though. NaNo's actually a marathon, not a sprint. In the meantime, I'm playing more music to get into the mood, I'm rereading some of my projects, and I'll be drinking water like a fiend.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, will be the extent of my NaNo Prep.

Are you ready?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Skye Callahan's Fractured Legacy

Hey all! I'm hanging out at Laura's today, talking about my NaNoWriMo/Drafting Method. Hope to see you there! In the meantime, I'm repaying a favor and showing an awesome cover on my blog. ^_^

Can Kaylyn figure out how to stop a spirit that has been looking for her since she was a child?

Available Now!

Fractured Legacy by Skye Callahan

Fractured Legacy

 Kaylyn Anderson's fascination with abandoned places and dark creatures kindled her work as a paranormal investigator. But when dreams begin to distort reality, she questions what is real and pulls away from everyone she trusts. The opportunity to investigate the Teague Hotel--a long-abandoned landmark that has always piqued her curiosity--provides a chance to redeem herself. Unraveling the hotel's secrets won't be easy, but Kaylyn soon finds herself the target of a dark entity that has been trapped in the building for decades. If Kaylyn stands any chance of defeating the spirit, she'll have to accept that her fears are real and convince fellow investigators that she hasn't lost her mind.

Buy your copy on Amazon. Read the first 3 chapters on Wattpad Follow along with the Release Tour for interviews, excerpts, reviews, and a chance to win a signed paperback (US), bookmarks and Fractured Legacy swag in the Rafflecopter giveaway.

About the Author: Skye Callahan

Skye Callahan was born and raised in Ohio and has seen enough unbelievable stuff to feed a lifetime of paranormal stories. When not writing or working at the dayjob, she hangs out with her ethnomusicologist husband and pet ferrets, reads, and takes long walks through the cemetery.

Now who else thinks this story sounds right in season? 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Well... this sucks... but let me tell you about this interesting thing...

Mmm. My blog tour host absconded with my post, it seems. Or she's asleep and the time zone difference is killing us. Or aliens sucked my blog from her schedule.

Either way, although I waited all day for the link to go live, it hasn't.

*blink blink*

So... uh... *does a random tap dance*

And now, on to a somewhat more regular posting.

I figured I'd do a post on something weird today. Or... not weird. Just different.

See recently, the stresses of my day-job with the magician fruit thieves *snarl* had a massive toll on me. Not only was I becoming about as snappish as a non-extinct and hungry TRex, but my creativity was suffering. As was every single other activity in my life.

It came to the point where I went to a psychologist, knowing I'd never faced this sort of stress before. I needed a way to deal with everything. A healthy way.

Not being one to pop pills, I was pleasantly surprised when he shared my sentiment. The surprise grew when he introduced me to this thing called Emotion Freedom Technique, EFT.

It's weird. Really weird. Basically, the premise is that our bodies build up with negative emotions until the result is quite similar to an electric short circuit. Our thoughts, memories, basically everything works on electric impulses running through our nervous system. Negative things like fear, perfectionism, anger, trauma etc. mess with the way the impulses flow.

And when that happens, we lose our capacity to perform certain tasks. Or any tasks, for that matter.

I think you guys know what I mean. That sucky feeling you get when you've had a bad day, followed by feeling as if you're writing through goo in your brain? Yup. That's what I'm talking about.

So far, so normal(ish). The weird thing is that tapping, or rubbing certain nerve points on your body can make it go away. It doesn't remove the cause or the memories of your problem, but it usually makes the fear and angst associated with it disappear. And when that happens, it's easier to deal with everything.

The best thing (for me) about it is that it can take as little as ten minutes to get rid of baggage. Sometimes it comes back, but I can get rid of it again, and again, and again.

This month, I basically dropped into the doldrums because of the magical fruit thieves, me not being able to write, the cat dying and all other manners of tiny but significant tortures. Usually I come out of the funk soon enough, but this time, it just kept on coming. So today, I decided to give the tapping a chance.

I'm already feeling a ton better. And I'll  probably do it again closer to NaNo. In the meantime, I'm rearing to get back into my stories. Guess I should have done the EFT sooner.

Anyway, it's really easy to learn, but it is in a bit of an experimental stage, so if you think it might help you in some way (and it probably can), please go find a professional who can help you. I think it's safe, but I'd be irresponsible if I didn't refer you to those who know better than me.

Anyone hear of EFT or use it?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Re-evaluation completed

Hey all! Before I start, just want to let you know that I'm at S.K. Anthony's blog talking about how I beat insecurities and at Gwen Gardner's talking about how I create complex characters.

So, as I mentioned on Friday, I'll be doing NaNoWriMo again this year, but that at this stage I needed to re-evaluate how I was going to approach it.

I decided I'm going to let myself off the hook while pushing myself at the same time. Sounds crazy, I know, but here's how I look at it.

As far as drafting's concerned, I don't really care what my word counts go towards, as long as I write. So at the moment, I'm a bit too stressed to focus on my current WiPs, but it doesn't mean that I shouldn't write. Just means I can write without focusing on a given project.

Does it mean I'm wasting my time? Probably not. The way I see it, I'll be adding words to most of my projects, since I won't really be able to stay away from them. Maybe not 50k to one, but I'll finish all of them anyway.

Also, doing prompts will open up my thoughts again. It's been weeks since I could focus on writing, so I need to get back into the swing of things.

Besides, who knows? Maybe one or more of those random prompts I'll do will lead to an awesome story.

Who else is doing NaNo? If you want to buddy up, my user name's iceangel. What will you be working on?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Update Day

Before I start, I just want to let you know that I'm at Tyrean's for an one-word interview. Also, I'm visiting Alex to share a Nordian joke.

And now, to the point. You know... This month started off on a high. The Vanished Knight got published, and I have a sneaking suspicion that it's doing pretty good for a debut.

But other than that, I can safely say the wheels have come off. See, the drafting in my down-time went to hell when my publisher let me know that hey, edits are done and I'd be published a week later. (Not really anyone's fault, and honestly, it turned out well, so I don't mind.)

What I do mind is that I'm simply not in a head space to write. Tried to kick-start it by writing 31k by the end of the month. I managed 10k. 8k of which were guest posts.

Then there were family trips, work issues (which I will continue to refuse to dignify with expansion on the internet) and this week, food poisoning. In fact, I'm only starting to feel human again now.

Except I'm feeling a lot like an injured one. Because today, one of my family's cats died. Just so you know, it wasn't one of the kittens. It was an older cat. Eight years old, but utterly devoted to my brother. His loss has been closely felt in my family. And I'm crying as I write this. Honestly, he was too young to die, and his illness was way too sudden. It took him in one week. We don't know why, but maybe we'll have some answers when the necropsy comes back. I'm just praying now that this isn't something contagious.

So yeah. I'm currently physically and emotionally tired. And I really need a rest. Blog hiatus is out of the question, though. And I'm NOT going to miss NaNo.

I will, however re-evaluate in this week before NaNo starts. I'm not sure if I want to work on any important drafts right now. Right now, I don't think I need to feel like writing is work. So I'll need to figure out a way to get me writing in a way that'll get me back on capacity. Without pushing me over the edge.

Where are you writing-wise?

EDIT: The necropsy came back. Seems the cat's cause of death was congenital. He had smaller than average kidneys and liver, and the longest small intestine either of the animal hospital's vets have ever seen. Looks like Sylvester had been suffering for some time without us knowing, and it was just a matter of time before his systems shut down. 

We did see him before he died, and it seems as if  he'd waited the whole day for us to visit. Because the vet found he'd died within an hour after that. Already missing him like hell. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Magna's Plea by Cherie Reich

An excerpt of Magna’s Plea by Cherie Reich

12-13 Days of Luquiry
Year 1717 AUC

Tendrils of smoke swirled heavenward. The smoldering stench reached Princess Magna at the top of the palace’s northern tower. She wrinkled her nose at the unpleasant odor, yet it still smelled better than the filth plaguing the besieged seven-hilled city.

She’d vowed to protect Amora. Her heart shattered a little more each day at the devastation afflicting her kingdom.

The once grassy and flower-filled plain sprouted dust plumes from the trampling feet. As the sun neared the western horizon, a bloody hue washed over the battlefield. Tiny, metallic dins and men’s shouts rang out. Magical bursts flashed in the sky like Thean’s lightning, beautiful and deadly. A wooden catapult hurled a human-sized stone slab into the city’s wall. Magna jerked away from the opened window she stood before, as if the object had struck her instead. Rock crumbled from the impact, but the barrier held.

When the reddish orb sank lower, the fighting ceased. War’s chaos parted into two orderly sides, and soldiers crossed the field to gather their dead.

She brushed a shaky hand over her cheeks. Tears dampened her face, and she struggled to turn away from the battle before her. Almost two months had passed since the Apenthans had begun their attack Amora. How much longer could the Amorans—she—stay safe behind their impenetrable wall?

Book Description: A princess will rise and challenge Fate.

While her father, brothers, and people fight against the Kingdom of Apentha, tenacious eighteen-year-old Princess Magna can only watch the destruction of Amora, her besieged city and kingdom. Her mother, Queen Vyvian, has refused to allow her heir to join the fray.

But Magna won't take no for an answer. She seeks out an end of the war from Prince Cyrun of Apentha, their prisoner. If she can't persuade him toward peace, then Amora may fall.

This short story prequel includes a sneak peek of Reborn, Book One of The Fate Challenges, forthcoming May 2014.

YA Epic Fantasy
The Fate Challenges #0.5
A 5500-word Short Story

To download this short story for free: Amazon / Nook / iTunes / Kobo / Smashwords / Goodreads
Read online at Wattpad
Add to Goodreads

About the Author: A self-proclaimed bookworm, Cherie Reich is a speculative fiction writer, freelance editor, book blogger, and library assistant living in Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her books include the horror series Nightmare, a space fantasy novella trilogy titled Gravity, and the fantasy series The Foxwick Chronicles. She is Vice President of Valley Writers and a member of the Virginia Writers Club and Untethered Realms.

Her debut YA Epic Fantasy novel Reborn, book one in The Fate Challenges, will be released on May 23, 2014.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Paul Anthony Shortt on Consequences

Hey all! Today I want to welcome Paul Anthony Shortt to my blog! Before we go into that, though, I just want to let you know where I am and what I'm doing. :-)

First, I'm doing an excerpt swap with Quanie Miller, author of the up coming book It Ain't Easy Being Jazzy. My excerpt is here. Hers is here. By the way, if you haven't met Quanie yet, I suggest you check out the writings she's posted so far. The lady has some kick-ass talent and I'm looking forward to read Jazzy. 

Second, I'm visiting Rebecca to talk about writing a series.

Hope to see you there!

Okay, take it away Paul. Adore the cover, by the way.


Today’s guest post is pretty self-explanatory. A good story needs consequences. A character can’t run around, messing with the plans of powerful beings, throwing their own lives into disarray, and expect to get off scott-free.

At the end of Locked Within, Nathan Shepherd has suffered for his actions against the Council of Chains, and his obsession with unexplained murders. One friend of mine describes it as Nathan having “the worst week of his life.” And that’s true.

Or it was, anyway.

In Silent Oath, Nathan has to contend with the demands of his new role. The more he fights to keep people save, the harder he has to work. It’s as if his reward for each heroic act is to be presented with ever more dangerous challenges. He has to learn that it’s not enough to kill a few vampires. He must build something that allows the people of New York to protect themselves. He needs a conclave, a united group of people in the know to stand united against the Council of Chains.

But even that noble goal will have unexpected consequences. Outside conclaves look to Nathan for support. As his reputation grows, amid rumours that he is not just any reborn, but in fact the reincarnation of a legendary hero, he finds that more enemies want to challenge him, which those under his care look to him more and more for guidance.

Nathan must rise to this, and take charge if he is to do any real good.

However, reincarnation is tricky, and Nathan’s memories haven’t finished coming. He has other things to remember; events in past lives that will leave him shaken to his core. His actions, past and present, are leading him, inexorably, to war. For all his determination and strength, Nathan could stand to lose everything he’s built, and he doesn’t yet even remember why.

This is why consequences are so important in a story. As I wrote Silent Oath I thought more about Nathan’s past lives and how centuries of death and rebirth might affect him. What lengths would he go to in order to keep people safe? What if he wanted to have a quiet, peaceful life for a change? Fate has a funny way of dragging heroes back into action, no matter what they may do. This, too, is a consequence. The events that unfold throughout Silent Oath all stem from action or inaction on Nathan’s part. The challenge is for him to not only defeat his new enemies, but come to terms with the way he has changed things in New York, for better and for worse.

A child at heart who turned to writing and roleplaying games when there simply weren't enough action figures to play out the stories he wanted, Paul Anthony Shortt has been writing all his life. Growing up surrounded by music, film and theatre gave him a deep love of all forms of storytelling, each teaching him something new he could use. When not playing with the people in his head, he enjoys cooking and regular meet-ups with his gaming group.

Paul lives in Ireland with his wife Jen and their dogs, Pepper and Jasper. Their first child, Conor William Henry Shortt, was born on July 11th, 2011. He passed away three days later, but brought love and joy into their lives and those of their friends. The following year, Jen gave birth to twins, Amy and Erica, and is now expecting their fourth child.
Paul's first novel, Locked Within, was released on November 6th, 2012, by WiDo Publishing. Silent Oath is the second book in this urban fantasy trilogy.

Hope has returned to New York City. Nathan Shepherd leads a small band of dedicated fighters against the Council of Chains and the city's supernatural masters. But it's not enough. Because from the shadows of Nathan's former lives comes an old enemy, one who knows terrible secrets that Nathan has not yet remembered, secrets that could undo everything he has fought for.

Nathan's only chance to uncover the memories of his previous existence, and to conquer these new forces of evil, lies in Elena DeSantis. A woman he has fought beside in past lifetimes. A woman he has loved.
Together, Nathan and Elena are the only future the city has.

Twitter: @PAShortt