Sunday, June 14, 2015


Are you up for a contest?

Those of you who've read Prophecy: Elf Queen of Kiirajanna, thank you! I'm glad so many of you have enjoyed it in the year and a quarter since it's been out.

Now, about Book 2....

It's been a whole coming. As I've mentioned before on the blog, I was in a rather dark place emotionally for much of last year, which in turn caused my writing to be pretty dark as well. Thus, once the draft of Book 2 was done and revised, it was -- well, dark. Not at all like the first one. And while darkness is, in fact, coming to Kiirajanna, it's not there yet, nor is Alyssa's tone ever going to go that direction.

So, yeah. Near-total rewrite.

And I'm almost done with the editing phase. Yay!

Here's the thing, then. I need a title.

The book blurb (which still needs some editing, too -- getting to that!):

Join Alyssa as she and her band of companions journey to the northern forests of Kiirajanna to seek the endorsement of the mighty chieftain, Padrig, on behalf of his clan. There she's treated to delights only available in the north: frozen fields of ice, moose head stew, a bear encounter, and the northern lights. She also finds the Cult of the Wyrm, who she'd believed to be defeated and destroyed, flourishing and plotting its next attack against her. Will she and her friends be able to escape the trap tightening around them, or will they discover it too late?

So -- yeah, it's rough, but that's kinda the gist. What do you think? Ideas for a title?

G'head and post your thoughts about the title in the comments. I can't wait to read them! If I use your idea, I'll send you a free copy of the ebook once it comes out.


(PS - as always, if you help me out with the book, you'll also get a mention in the Acknowledgements page)


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A Lesson - Genres

Happy June! June 2nd, to be specific. Sometimes I'll type the date into Wikipedia just to see what it comes up with. Happy Decorations Day (honoring veterans) to my Canadian friends! Happy Sack of Rome Day to my -- um -- never mind.


The almighty genre. Find one and stick to it, they say. Write the genre you love to read, they say. Don't spread your efforts, your brand, your time too thin, they say.

They say a lot, whoever they is. But is it useful? In the case of genres, companies stretch their brands all the time, and more or less successfully at that. Take Disney, for example: from movies to amusement parks to cruise ships, with hops in between. Then there's Virgin: music, airlines, banking.

And who doesn't like Trump vodka on Trump airlines? Oh, wait -- those both failed.

Trump isn't alone; according to a Nielsen report I just read, one out of every two attempts to enter a new product genre ends in failure. Yes, some succeed, and grandly (and profitably) at that. Back to writing, Stephen King's a master of the art of brand-stretching. Robert Gailbraith? Not so much.

Recently I've thought of trying my own hand at it. Heck, I figured, I've been more or less successful with fantasy now. Not J.K. Rowling successful, mind you, but not bad either. But, see, there's this romance genre over there that's tantalizing. I mean the genre, not the work. It represents the largest customer base out there.

TV-wise, there's been plenty of action for fantasy, with Game of Thrones and so on. No options envy there, then. Still, I've watched Outlander with my family with interest, in large part because that series successfully bridges fantasy with romance. It's got great characters, and it's a very well executed storyline from a historical perspective.

Just watched the last episode of the first season, though. Nope. Can't do it. I can't write that stuff.

Gonna go back to my gods and elves and dragons and so on. They, at least, play nice with each other. Usually, anyway; when they're not playing nice, they're just killing and maybe eating each other.

No genre-stretching for me....