Guest Blog: J. Scott Coatsworth on “The Great North”

On Jamie Fessenden’s blog I found a great guest post, written by J. Scott Coatsworth, author of “The Great North”. Enjoy reading about his work, this author and the book.

Jamie Fessenden's Blog

Where to Tell the Story

They say write what you know, but that’s always seemed like dubious advice to me.

As a writer of sci fi and fantasy, I often write tales set in distant or unknown locations – to date, these have included London; Althos; Avalon; Purgatory; Oberon and Titania; Forever; a half-drowned San Francisco; faery; Thompson Falls, Montana; and some imaginary village in northern Quebec, to name a few. More about that village in a moment.

Most of these places are imaginary, and the ones that aren’t are either places I’ve never been or real places that are far separated from our own time.

So when I planned to write a retelling of a Welsh myth, reset to a few hundred years in the future, I knew I needed to find the right place to tell the story, even if it was a place I’d never seen.

With…

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Language Generator for Fantasy and Sci-Fi

Kristen Twardowski informs us with an exciting blog post about “Vulgar”, a language generator for Sci-Fi and Fantasy writers. Thanks so much Kristen.

Kristen Twardowski

I’ve talked about my fascination with language before, but sometimes writers need a little help creating words that make sense in their nascent worlds. I recently found something that streamlines that process.

Vulgar (pardon the terrible name) is a constructed language generator. The generator creates fully realized languages; if you were truly ambitious you could learn some of them. The program attempts to mimic real languages, so there are patterns to the words that develop. For instance, in 50% of generated languages, the word for “tongue” is the same as the word for “language”, and words often share roots as is the case for:

pson /pʂon/ n. paint; v. paint
psopru /ˈpʂopru/ n. painter

I’ve played around with the generator quite a bit and am highlighting a few sample languages below.

Vulgar Zulia.JPG via Vulgar

Vulgar Nahis.JPG via Vulgar

The above screenshots simply capture the summaries for the languages. The full pages, however…

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A Fantasy Tip From History: Doo-Dooing The King

Nicholas Rossis provides us with a fascinating fantasy tip from history. Thank you very much, Nicholas!

Nicholas C. Rossis

Hand Of The King | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Hand Of The King pin (image: Dark Comics)

In Game Of Thrones, it is the King’s Hand who exerts some real power of the Seven Kingdoms. His symbol, appropriately enough, was a pin depicting a hand.

But in yet another example of reality being stranger than fiction, it was the Groom of the Stool—named for the close stool, the king’s 16th-century toilet—who filled a highly coveted position in the royal house. How powerful were they? Well, historians believe that both James I and his successor King Charles I were so swayed by their grooms’ counsel that political discussions of the king’s privy helped fuel the 17th-century English Civil War.

As Natalie Zarrelli of Atlas Obscura observes, every day, as the king sat on his padded, velvet-covered close stool, he revealed secrets. He asked for counsel, and could even hear of the personal and political woes of his personal…

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Adventure In The Woods

Yesterday I surprisingly saw a rainbow and raced to find the end of it. I’m doing this now for many years, and I’m really good at it. I’m fast, in particular. But still, not fast enough. As usually I missed the pot of gold by a nanosecond and stood there, lost.

My sense of orientation only guarantees that I’m not getting lost on my way from the kitchen to the bathroom and that’s why I needed to find ‘something’ to climb on to get at least a halfway decent cell phone reception to call help.

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I was told to walk to the west. After I had safe ground under my feet, I did exactly as I was told – until I realized that either we needed to turn the entire forest about 45 degrees to the left, or the moss on the trees grows on the wrong side.

I was indeed very careful… stumbling across the woods is quite dangerous, in particular when you’re alone, lost and could meet some REALLY lethal creatures, like spiders, ants or the one or other rainworm. I was as well extremely cautious since I didn’t want to end up in some witch oven accidently and made sure I wouldn’t run into a candy house. You never know, right?

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My efforts took me to another challenge… the wild river I had to cross. I was nearly helpless. I mean, how should I ever be able to do this? I’m a weak woman. *sigh*

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At the end finally, I found out of the woods and ended where I started. (At my car, to be precise) With a smile on my face.

I’m sure you might have guessed: I have neither seen witch houses, nor spiders, ants or worms. I wasn’t climbing, and the water I saw was an extraordinarily cute puddle; the only thing running wild was my fantasy, but all in all it was just a beautiful 90 minutes walk through the forest. When did you take the time to do this last time?

Have a wonderful Sunday.

 


 

Shadow Stalker Part 3 (Episodes 13 – 18) Release – by Renee Scattergood

part-3-release

 


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Bio:

Renee Scattergood lives in Australia with her husband, Nathan, and daughter, Taiya. She has always been a fan of fantasy and was inspired to become a story-teller by George Lucas, but didn’t start considering writing down her stories until she reached her late twenties. Now she enjoys writing dark fantasy, and she’d dabbling with paranormal thrillers under a pen name.

She is currently publishing her monthly Shadow Stalker serial, and she has published a prequel novella to the series called, Demon Hunt. She is also working on a new series of novels, A God’s Deception.

 

Aside from writing, she loves reading (fantasy, of course), watching movies with her family, and doing crafts and science experiments with her homeschooled daughter. Visit her site for more information and a free copy of Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6): http://reneescattergood.com


Author Pages:

 

Website/Blog: http://reneescattergood.com/

Renee’s Author Spotlight: http://reneesauthorspotlight.blogspot.com.au/ – a blog where I feature indie and small press authors.

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00NTJY1W2

Smashwords Author Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/rscatts

BookBub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/renee-scattergood

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8507658.Renee_Scattergood

Renee’s Shadow Stalkers: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/16rTPYCAwDq5cpyxHfphx0-x6ka9C7DWoJsdgYa2CyAw/viewform

 


Social Media:

 

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/reneescatts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReneeScatts

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/100671337443224225702/posts

LinkedIn: https://au.linkedin.com/pub/renee-scattergood/56/963/3

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/rscatts/

 

Newsletter (new subscribers get 3 free books): http://reneescattergood.com/subscribe-today/


shadow-stalker-p3-72-smallBook Description:

Things go from bad to worse when the Galvadi Empire develops a new technology to use against the shadow stalkers. Now Kado and Makari are more determined than ever to keep Auren away from their enemies, but Auren decides enough is enough and takes matters into her own hands. She turns herself over to the Galvadi to get close to Drevin and Makari has no choice but to play along. He is forced to either torture Auren to prove his loyalty or die knowing she will be tortured and enslaved anyway. Somehow, they must get close enough to Drevin to bring him down and put an end to the Galvadi’s tyranny once and for all.

 

 

Episode 13: Defiance

 

Three years have passed since Auren and Shai escaped the daily torture of the Galvadi. With Makari’s help, they have learned more about the Galvadi’s technology and discovered ways to overcome its effects on their power, which gave them an edge in the war. However, the Galvadi have spent that time developing new technology that could mean the end of the shadow stalkers.

 

Episode 14: Falling to Pieces

 

Things go from bad to worse after Cali is captured by the Galvadi. The new technology they have employed is making a rescue attempt impossible and endangering the lives of all the shadow stalkers. Auren refuses to give up though, but the more she tries to fix thing, the more Kado tightens the leash.

 

Episode 15: Into My Own

 

Just when Auren thinks she’d had enough of Kado’s overbearing and overprotective nature, he surprises her by apologizing and admitting he had been wrong. Auren finally accepts that she is not at fault for Cali’s death after visiting her in the shadow world, but Kado and Makari are still preventing her from confronting Drevin. They don’t feel she is ready, and Auren is beginning to believe they will never let her fulfil her destiny. It’s time she takes matters into her own hands.

 

Episode 16: A New Emperor

 

Makari is told the only way he can prove his loyalty is by torturing Auren, but he refuses to go through it. So Jharak, Drevin’s master interrogator, took the liberty to be the one to break her, but in the end, it would take forcing her to watch him torture and kill Makari.

 

Episode 17: Allies to Enemies Part 1

 

Traitors are weeded out and new allies are found. Auren and Makari are determined to bring peace once again to the Serpent Isles, but they have a deadline. If they don’t make it in time, they could end up at war with their own people.

 

Episode 18: Allies to Enemies Part 2

 

General Graves wants Auren and Makari dead. When Makari demands one of Graves’ men, who secretly supports Makari, is sent to him for extra security at the palace, Graves uses a mind control drug to get him to assassinate them. Will Auren and Makari learn what happened before it’s too late?

 

Buy Shadow Stalker Part 3 – http://reneescattergood.com/books/shadow-stalker-part-3-episodes-13-18/

 

If you haven’t read the Shadow Stalker serial yet, download Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6) free – http://reneescattergood.com/books/shadow-stalker-part-1-episodes-1-6/


 

Excerpt – Episode 13: Chapter 1 (feel free to use all or part of the excerpt)

 

Cali gave me a nudge as she took a seat next to me. “Do you have any idea what’s going on?”

“No idea,” I said, moving over a few inches so she had space to sit between me and Shai on the log someone had converted into a bench.

Shai slung an arm around her cousin and Cali returned the gesture, then wrapped her free arm around me. I smiled at her. Cali was the only one who had helped me maintain my sanity over the years. It drove me crazy never knowing what was happening to Makari. Kado kept me busy, as usual, but any time I had a free moment, all I could do was wonder if he was safe. I would know if he died. I would sense him again in the shadow world. He had been blocking me to keep me safe, though I had no idea how it was supposed to help. All it did was make me want to go to him, which would be more dangerous.

Of course, Kado would never allow that. He saw my thoughts as I had them most of the time, and he would know as soon as I made the decision. I learned quickly not to allow my thoughts to go down that path too often. That’s where Cali came in. She distracted me by helping me forget the war and making me feel like a normal person once in a while. She was as good a friend as Jade, except she didn’t encourage me to disobey Kado when I was angry.

“Maybe the Galvadi have decided to give up,” Shai said, pulling me out of my thoughts.

Cali snorted.

“I know. It’s wishful thinking.”

I smiled at Shai. “I want this to be over too.”

“You’ll figure it out soon.” Cali gave my shoulder a squeeze.

All the shadow warriors knew the end of the war would not come until I stopped Drevin. The only problem was I had no idea what I was supposed to do, and no amount of training helped. Each day it seemed like I was further from my goal instead of closer.

After everyone had taken their seats, Kado held up a hand calling us all to silence. “Makari has just given me some disheartening news. The Galvadi have developed a—”

I tried to listen, but I couldn’t get past the fact that Makari had been here. “He didn’t even bother to see me?”

Kado glared at me, and I suddenly realized I’d blurted it aloud.

“Makari has to keep a low profile for his own safety, and they were not aware he had left. He couldn’t stay away long.”

“I think it’s time he left the Galvadi all together,” I said, folding my arms over my chest.

“It would be the healthier option,” Cali added on my behalf.

“Makari’s work has been invaluable to us, and would not be possible if he weren’t living among them for the time being,” Kado said, then leaned in my direction looking straight into my eyes. “And he knows what he is doing.”

Kado watched me, and I was sure he was waiting to see if I would continue to interrupt him. I remained silent, but neither he nor Makari would be able to convince me the man I loved wasn’t taking an unnecessary risk. They could get whatever information they needed from their missions.

When he was sure I wouldn’t interrupt again he finished explaining that the Galvadi had developed a new recinder and how it worked. “You will need to avoid capture at all costs. Once these recinders are placed on you, there is no known way to nullify its effects even after removal. Auren, I want you to visit Makari’s unit to steal the schematics, and if possible, one of the recinders along with any other information you can find about new technologies. Makari suspects there is more, but they are keeping him in the dark.”

I stood quickly, smacking my hands together. “When do I leave?”

“Wait a moment. I have other things I need to discuss with you first.”

I sat again, hoping I wasn’t in for one of his long lectures.

“The rest of you are dismissed. Sephir, you and Shai are clear to leave on that special mission you’ve been training for as soon as you’re ready, but please be careful.”

“We will,” Sephir said, bowing.

I leaned over Cali to give Shai a quick hug. Cali wrapped her arms around both of us. Shai stood as soon as we released her, and Sephir, who had been standing next to her, wrapped an arm around her as they headed off.

“Good luck,” Cali said, winking at me before following Sephir and her cousin.

Kado sat next to me. “Auren, you have been the most adept at overcoming the effects of the beryllonium. That’s why I’m sending you on this mission, but you need to be extra careful this time. Makari believes even you wouldn’t stand a chance with this new recinder. If they are looking for test subjects, they may also have new ways of detaining shadow stalkers that Makari might not be aware of. If you are discovered, do not take any risks. Makari will not be able to help you. You will need to leave immediately. Understood?”

“Yes, Kado. I’ll be fine.” I only just managed to stop my eyes from rolling.

“I’m serious, Auren. We can always return later, but if you are captured, you may be lost to us for good this time.”

The fear in Kado’s eyes sobered me. Things came easily to me now that I had completed my training, and though I had discovered abilities not even Kado had known about, I wasn’t foolish enough to believe I was all powerful. Sometimes my foster father seemed to worry more than he should, but I was beginning to think that wasn’t the case here.

“I’ll be careful, Kado. I promise.” It wouldn’t hurt to pay Makari a little visit too if he was alone.

Kado gripped my arm and tilted my head with his free hand so I was looking directly at him. “Under no circumstances are you to seek out Makari. If you attempt something so foolish, Auren, you will be punished and banned from future missions.”

My shoulders sagged. “It was an errant thought, Kado. I will focus on my mission.”

“The mission and nothing else, Auren. This is important.”

I nodded and averted my eyes. I just missed him. That’s all it was.

“I know you miss him, Auren, and that it’s been hard for you both to be apart, but it won’t be forever. You and Makari will have your time in this world if the shadow people will it, but not if you risk both your lives on foolishness.”

“I know. I’m sorry.” Makari was being the more foolish of us both, and yet Kado supported him. It didn’t make sense, but whenever I brought the subject up with either of them, they redirected the conversation.

Kado pulled me into a tight hug and whispered, “Come back to me in one piece, please.”

I returned his embrace. “I will.”


 

The Trouble with Series – Guest Post…

Jemima Pett, guest blogger on The Story Reading Ape’s blog published an article about the “trouble with series” which I think, provides us with helpful information on what to consider when writing a series. Thank you, Jemima!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

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One of the best things to do as an indie author is to write a series. People like reading them, and it makes your author page look much better when you have more than one title to your name.

For most of us, writing our first book is a Big Thing. Finishing it, whether after six months or six years, does not immediately change your mindset into ‘published author’. It’s often only much later that you read the advice about series and start to think of the sequel.

Even the most successful authors fall foul of this. I was at a Crime Writing event last year (Noirwich), where the well-loved British writer Elly Griffiths confessed that she had never expected her first book, The Crossing Places, to lead to the long run that is the Ruth Galloway series. If she had, she wouldn’t have packed so much into…

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5 Mythical & Magical Creatures: Dating Pros & Cons #MondayBlogs #Halloween

Pros and cons for dating a magical creature. If you meet one of them and fall in love – here are the answers! Thanks blondewritemore for this fun and entertaining post. Even good to know after Halloween. 😉

BlondeWriteMore

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I have been wanting to write this post for ages. As it is Halloween,some of these creatures are a bit spooky and my fictional character Roxy is going on date with a possible vampire, I thought today would be perfect for this post.

I can’t be the only one who doesn’t sit and think about what it would be like to date something mythical or magical. I am sure you all must be pondering this too.

Below are 5 mythical & magical creatures with the dating pros and cons for each one.

Werewolf– a human with the ability to shape shift into a wolf-like creature.

Dating Pros:

  • Useful for snuggling up to on a cold night.
  • They will have superhuman strength.
  • You will get plenty of exercise as they will want regular walks.

Dating Cons:

  • You might not like the constant smell of dog.
  • They would be no…

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