Monday, April 17, 2017

#Character Interview #CaptainWrath #New Short Story

Please welcome Captain Wrath for our character interview today.  Captain Wrath's new short story "Hothouse" was just published in the April 2017 edition of the quarterly sci-fi magazine Outposts of  Beyond.

Tyrean: Captain, can you explain your name?

Captain Wrath: My name? You're the author. Shouldn't you explain it?

Tyrean: Do you have to be difficult?

Captain Wrath shrugs and gives me a devilish smile: You did write me this way - tempermental one moment and charming the next.

Tyrean: Stop with the smolder, Captain. I'm married.

Captain Wrath winks: You know you love me, darling, so I'll answer this one. Captain Wrath isn't my real name. I was down on my luck when I found a job as a space cruiser captain for Galaxy Cruise Lines and they wanted me to put on a pirate costume, take a pirate name, and run a themed pirate cruise ship.

Tyrean: Yes, like the movies about pirates based on the ride at a certain theme park.

Captain Wrath rolls his eyes: Except I know how to captain and pilot a battle cruiser and I'm stuck babysitting tourists.

Tyrean: You know I don't make you do that part of the job that often.

Captain Wrath: I wouldn't have put up with it if you had tried, darling.

Tyrean: Moving on. Can you tell us something intriguing about your new short story?

Captain Wrath: I had to dance with someone who considers herself the "Empress."

Tyrean: Impressive.

Captain Wrath groans: Not really. She's not a client or a guest, or anyone that I would want to dance with, but the job called for it.

Tyrean: Poor you, dancing with a beautiful woman.

Captain Wrath: There's beauty and there's beauty. Trust me, the Empress is only skin deep in that department.

Tyrean: So, if she wasn't a client or a guest, you weren't on the cruise ship, right?

Captain Wrath: Right. There's the other part of my job, the one that's kept quiet by the company and others. (He raises an eybrow at me and smirks.)

Tyrean: The best part of the job.

Captain Wrath: Definitely. The only one that's worth my time.

Tyrean: What? You don't like leading everyone in the song?

Captain Wrath furtively glances to the side: Shh. Some of my crew might start singing even though it doesn't come up in this new story.

Tyrean: I know. It's in the novel.

Captain Wrath: You haven't finished editing it yet, so I think the song could get lost somewhere in the paper shuffle, darling.

 He winks at me.

Tyrean: The charm doesn't work on me. I wrote it.

Captain Wrath: Too bad, darling.  He saunters back into the space port.

Despite working with Captain Wrath on a number of short stories, an initial novelization attempt, and finally, a full rough draft of a completely different novel with a secondary main character, I struggled to interview him. He's a busy character and he's a bit rough around the edges - if I were to meet all my characters in real life, I would say that he's my most dangerous hero. He has issues - PTSD, a gambling addiction, and a love of fist-fighting. When he isn't in a physical fight, he's also willing to use his good looks and charm as weapons. He makes a ton of mistakes and his crew sometimes has to save him. He has deepened and morphed a bit from the first time he played on the page in a flash fiction challenge back in 2012.

Here's his world-building/character-building Pinterest page.

Here's a link to his new published story: "Hothouse" at Outposts of Beyond.

Someday, I will get his novel into good enough shape to show an editor, an agent, and the world 
- but not quite yet. 

BTW - in the real world, I am slowly recovering from my second surgery. Inclines (hills) and stairs are against doctor's orders so, of course, I experimented three different times and put my recovery into slow-mode. I am following the doc's orders better these days and I can now walk a 1/3 mile distance if it's flat and I go at a snail's pace. I still need naps.

Despite that, I managed to get out to see an hour of the Paddler's Cup event the first weekend in April so I could watch my daughters do some flat-water sprinting. My oldest canoed (and we didn't get any pictures of her) and my youngest kayaked (and we did get one picture from a friend). Of course, all my youngest sees in this photo are her technique "issues," but as her mom, I think she looks fiercely awesome. (And yes, it rained off and on for the event.)
Photo Credit: Cathy Kasperbauer

The event made the news which was great for our team since we hosted it (I didn't volunteer this year but many did).

My dad's 79th Birthday was yesterday and I feel blessed to have a gentle, loyal, adventure-loving, and book-loving Dad.
(He didn't know I was taking this picture last year while we were at the Ted Houk Canoe and Kayak Regatta in Seattle.)

 I wasted some precious writing time on Saturday while watching the new Last Jedi trailer and reading critical reviews of the trailer (really, critical reviews of a movie trailer - I was seriously geeking out.)

So, although as I mentioned in the main post that I had been working with Captain Wrath, he's actually taking a break somewhere at the moment (where do vigilantes go when their writers are letting their WIPs rest?).

I am currently working with another cast of characters in a completely different setting - modern day America (and another location). These characters are comic book geeks. I'm good with some of that, but I realized that I don't know many teen comic book heroes from the Marvel universe who aren't X-men. If you know of Marvel teen comic book heroes who aren't X-men, could you drop me an e-mail at tyreantigger (at) gmail (dot) com? I might need to borrow your expertise.

So, what do you think of Captain Wrath? Had any good/bad/interesting life moments lately? Know any teen comic book heroes? 


Monday, April 10, 2017

Here There Be Dragons #BookDreams #BrainstoBooks Anthology #CharacterInterview

Please welcome my short story character, Mel, for our interview today.

Tyrean: How are you doing Mel?

Mel: I could have been better if you hadn't stuck me in a dragon story.

Tyrean: Sorry. I thought you would do well in any circumstances.

Mel: Sure. A simple country girl like me?

Tyrean: Simple? I thought you were a reclamation specialist?

Mel: That's the name that Gavin came up with for us. It's not how I would introduce us.

Tyrean: So, how would you introduce your team?

Mel: I wouldn't. I'd just steal something.

Tyrean: Wait, where did my favorite tea mug go?

Mel: Exactly. If you want it back, you could pay me.

Tyrean: What if I wrote you into a new story?

Mel: (Snorts) Yeah, right, like you have time for another project. I've heard how you pick up characters, write some stories about them, and string them along with promises of a novel or a better story. I won't be so easily taken.

Tyrean: You're my character.

Mel: (Rolls her eyes) I suppose. The question is: how much will you give me for your pink mug with the pixie on it?

Tyrean: I'll write you a new story. I'll even .... make sure you get the credit in the next one.

Mel: What? I don't want the credit. I really don't even want to be interviewed. If Gavin wasn't already busy at the tavern, getting the patrons interested in our work with his foolish stories, I wouldn't be here.

Tyrean: Hmm. Let's see. What if you rescued a prince?

Mel: Ick. No way! I left my village so I wouldn't be partnered off. Here ... just take your tea mug back and forget all about me.

Tyrean: If you give me the tea mug, I won't marry you off to a prince.

Mel: Deal. Just ... don't forget it. You made me good with knives, remember.

Tyrean: I'll watch for paper cuts.

Mel stalks off, saying unladylike things.

And now you know the kinds of relationships I have with my characters in "Here There Be Dragons. For more about Mel and her sword-partner Gavin (not a romantic partner, according to Mel), read "Here There Be Dragons" in Book Dreams, a Brain to Books Anthology.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

#IWSG and Jen Chandler's 5 Reasons to Write Fantasy

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is an awesome hope that encourages authors and gives us all a place to vent some of our insecurities, as needed.
Started by Alex J. Cavanaugh, this hop has multiple guest hosts, 

My insecurity this month: feeling far behind and out of it.
 I meant to take part in the A to Z challenge. I had a week's worth of posts written. I realized that I really didn't think I could keep up this year with all my health issues. I had some amazing blessings pour in last month with some short story publications, but I didn't even know about them to post about them properly on twitter and other social media sites. I guess I feel like I've lost my social media savvy - if I had any to begin with (doubtful).

However, I do know I have an awesome team of fellow authors in The Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life 2017 IWSG Anthology

Please welcome Jen Chandler winner of the IWSG anthology contest and author of the title story "Mysteries of Death and Life"

5 Reasons to Write Fantasy

1. Fantasy lifts us out of current situation and plunks us down into that of another. The people in the fantasy are always embroiled in issues worse than those of my reality. I'm able to let go for a while and let someone else battle the orcs.

2. Fantasy speaks to the deep need in all of us for wonder. Even the most level headed, practical realist needs something of wonder in their lives. I know they'd argue with me; I know a couple. And perhaps I'm wrong but I don't think so. People who cannot believe in anything higher than themselves are never happy. They constantly argue their perceived superior intellect and position over that of us poor, ignorant bearers of faith in things unseen. Frankly, I have to believe in the magic and wonder, and, yes, the horror of fantasy. It sheds light on the reality around me, helps me make sense of the horrors of the world and reminds me that life really is beautiful.

3. Fantasy is rebellious. Oh yes! Think about it: it's very anti-establishment. I'm not just talking about the current trend of dystopian fiction. I'm talking about every singe epic fantasy out there. The essence of fantasy is a person or group of persons going up against a seemingly insurmountable foe who has declared absolute rule over some aspect of the world in which the hero or heroes live. The Lord of the Rings is always a superb example. The establishment is that of Sauron and the darkness that wishes to cover the entire world. Tolkien wrote LotR after his experiences in WWI as well as in response to what he was seeing with Industrialization in Europe. Every time I read or see the scene where Sarumon's tower and caverns - filled with breeding Uruk-hai and the forges that outfit his army with weapons - get flooded I like to think it was Tolkien's beautiful, literary way of sticking it to the horrible waste of Industrial era England. 

4. Fantasy, as I touched on in #2, helps us to make sense of the reality around us. When I write something fantastic I feel I am at liberty to really delve deeply into the hard issues of life. It's easier to put myself outside of the hurting and the pain and write about it in a fantastical setting and yet I feel that when I write it, I tell it truer than if I were to write an op-ed piece for a newspaper. When I read it in horror, I feel I am able to better understand the decisions people make in dire situations better than when I read it in the papers or online.

5. Finally, fantasy is FUN! Come on, who doesn't want to talk with a sphinx, ride a dragon, or play chess with a troll? OK, I made that last one up.

Born and raised in the deep, dirty South, Jen Chandler cut her story-telling teeth in the old folktales of Appalachia. She grew up chasing ghosts and gods, devouring the myths and legends of Egypt, Greece, Ireland and the British Isles. Now happily ensconced beneath the moss laden oaks of Savannah, GA, Jen delights in rummaging into the dark corners of stories, re-imaging mythology and collecting ghosts, goblins, and other strange things that tap at the back door of her imagination. When not writing, Jen can be found drinking copious amounts of tea, designing and stitching fabric patterns, studying folk herbalism, and re-reading old copies of British Country Living with frightening regularity. She may or may not be addicted to gummy candy. 

Jen wrote the anthology winning story "Mysteries of Death and Life"
Can Death die? Is Death capable of love? A young, homeless woman named Leah meets the Angel of Death in an abandoned church and discovers that he longs for a release from his eternal work. If Leah can’t uncover the reason for his despair, the souls of the dying could be doomed to wander forever.

Read Jen's story and eleven more in the 2017 IWSG anthology 
Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life!

To find out more about the stories and authors featured in the anthology, 
check out the Hero Lost website!

We also still need help with our Thunderclap Campaign. Please sign up if you can. As of the moment I wrote this, we needed just 4 more supporters for it to go live on May 2nd.

Many thanks to all those who have supported the 2017 #IWSG Anthology Hero Lost Anthology in some way already!

And those unexpected short story publications:
"Here There Be Dragons!" in the Book Dreams Anthology (read the e-mail 5 days late)

"I Didn't Know His Name" - at The Drabble. (didn't know this was out until 3 days later)
"New Answers" at The Crawl Space Journal (had received acceptance letter, but didn't realize the day of publication)
"Worries in the Sand" at Story in 100 Words. (came out the same day as my second surgery)
"My Hope" at Story 100. 
Five Hint Fiction Stories in the April 2017 edition of Nail Polish Stories (new this week)

New Books from More Authors:
Piper Morgan Makes a Splash

Piper Morgan tries her hand at acting in the fourth book of the charming Piper Morgan series.

Piper’s mom is helping out at a local pool shop, and the owner wants to shoot a commercial for his store. Piper thinks it’s the PERFECT opportunity to get in front of the camera and experience a little bit of showbiz. But will Piper’s contribution to the TV commercial make a splash—or will it go belly-up?


Learn A Word in 100 Words
By Patricia JosephineA collection of flash fiction inspired by unusual words. Each tiny tale is crafted around a word that is unique or no longer in use. Read them while waiting in line or before bed. They range from sweet and lighthearted to dark and disturbing. Look out for the supernatural, but don’t turn your back on the average human. A killer might be lurking underneath. Expand your vocabulary, and get some inspiration of your own.
Smashwords -

Tales From The Digital
By Renee Cheung (a Hero Lost author who visited my blog last week)
Somewhere along the way, humans found a way to anchor magic into technology, bringing about the commercialization of once-mystic energies. Little do they know that by doing so, they also created a conduit for the fae and other creatures to migrate into a whole new land...

Come explore a world where programs take on lives of their own and the Unseen hide in lost server spaces. Three short stories give a glimpse to the lives of the Unseen and the human developers-turned-technomancers.
 AmazoniTunes and Kobo

1001 Evocative Prompts 
by Laurel Garver will stimulate your thinking wherever you are in your writing journey and get you writing today. It provides story starts and writing inspiration for a wide variety of genres by focusing on emotions, character development, and pivotal moments.

You can face a blank page with confidence when you use these prompts to warm up, beat writer’s block, develop and maintain a writing habit, change up your routine, start a new project, experiment in a new genre, deepen parts of an existing story, or overcome burnout.

What are you waiting for? Dig in and get writing right now!

Have you supported Hero Lost already? See a book you like? And, what are your reasons to write the genre you love?

Monday, April 3, 2017

Hero Lost Authors

The Hero Lost Authors have been a super supportive bunch, and I'm generally a bit behind.

Yvonne Ventresca has me over at her blog today for an Author Spotlight! Thank you, Yvonee!

I hosted Renee Cheung here last week on the same day that Erika Beebe hosted me. Thank you, Renne and Erika!

Erika is hosting Ellen Jacobson today. 

And, Olga Godim is interviewing Yvonee's character, Sylvia, at the Hero Lost site.

A number of other posts are roaming around as well - please stop by and visit this amazing group of authors.

Friday, March 31, 2017

March 2017 Goals Post

Although I had said I would take an internet break for two complete weeks, I'm back.


Because I love this hop.

So, I'm here for a tiny moment today - trying to keep it short. 

My main goal last month was to get healthy.

Just mostly recovered from my first surgery (gallbladder removal), I had a surprise phone call from my gynecologist. A cancellation freed up a surgery spot on March 20th. So, less than a month after my gallbladder was removed, I had four fibroids, several cysts, my uterus, and my fallopian tubes all removed. They left my ovaries so I wouldn't go into medical menopause. Thanks to all the amazing prayers, encouragement, and the anesthesiolist's understanding of my body's inability to break down drugs quickly, I had a fairly quick first and second day recovery. I still have a long ways to go, but I feel much stronger than I expected to at this point.

So my main goal for April is still to get completely healed from both surgeries.

My second goal is to do whatever I can to help and encourage my eldest daughter to make a great decision for her college years and her future. At this moment, she is considering bio-engineering as a major. Six universities have accepted her and most have offered merit scholarships. It's her turn to make a decision and it feels huge. 

My third goal is to get a bunch of writing done on my main WIP in April. I'm not going to name a word count at this point, but I'm going to go for it.

Some blessings this last month have been:

The Hero Lost Anthology Authors rock. I have never worked with a group of people to promote a book before this and they are wonderful!

My short story "Here There Be Dragons" made it into the Book Dreams Anthology

My short story "New Answers" was published at The Crawl Space Journal. 
A new drabble that I wrote this year "Worries in the Sand" was published at A Story in 100 Words.
Another new drabble "I Didn't Know His Name" was published at The Drabble.
"My Hope" at Story 100. 
(At the end of May, I'll do a mini-report back about Duotrope - where I've been finding short story markets.)

I finally started up a newsletter that I think will work.

I've been using Hootsuite and I like it. I prepped two weeks worth of stuff before I went in for surgery.