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The new, shiny story idea is tentatively titled MEADOWSWEET. (I like that title, but I may decide it doesn’t communicate fantasy well enough and tweak it a bit. On the other hand, this would be a fairytale retelling, not epic fantasy. So maybe it stays.)

MEADOWSWEET will be a retelling of the fairytale I knew as a child as “Furball” or “Little Furball”. This fairytale has many titles–more than most–and several versions–some of them definitely not meant for children. That much darker (and, truthfully, probably older) version is not the one that was in my fairytale book and it’s certainly not the one I would write.

The Furball I grew up with was a princess who saved herself, not one who ultimately failed and became a victim of the very thing she tried to escape. (Look up some of those versions if you’re curious. I’m not going to tell them here.)

And, in my version, the princess’s name (which is never given in the fairytale, as so many of them are not) would be Meadowsweet. Hence the tentative title. Why? Well, that has to do with my world-building inspiration. For reasons of the magic involved, I wanted a name that tied her to the land in some way. I could have used a mineral name, some gemstone, but I decided on a plant name. In this case a flower, one that looks delicate and is known for its sweetness. One that would contrast with the strength and fortitude of the princess.

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Back at It

There’s no chance I could not write. Not for any prolonged period of time. So, I’m back at work on MAGE STORM, now. Just starting the second chapter. It’s going to be an interesting dance between what I can reuse of the old version and what I just have to scrap and do over–or completely differently. But I’m still committed to this story.

In the interim, I think I have a good idea what the cover will be like, when, eventually, I get that far. And I have a much better blurb for BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM.


Here it is:

As a son of the Goddess, Gaian might become a god himself—if he can remember to try.
In the conclusion of the Become series, Gaian has no memory of who he is, where he lived, or who he loves. He can barely remember his own name. The only thing he knows, the only thing he holds onto is the belief that his purpose is to protect others. That, and the certainty that leaving his solitary existence in the forest would cause immeasurable harm to others.
Everyone else believes Gaian is dead. But they know what he has forgotten: that an ancient prophecy says that a son of the Goddess could become a god—the Sky God—with the right help.
At the prompting of a new prophecy, Margan, the son born after Gaian’s “death”, comes over the mountains to find his father’s grave. There he meets Rose, the girl with a gift for dreams who was once rescued by a strange man in the forest.
Together, they might have the abilities needed to help Gaian complete his destiny. If they fail, it could end in catastrophe.
Inspired by the legend of Hercules.

Now, back to MAGE STORM.


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Character Voice

Moving forward–slowly–on Become: To Ride the Storm.


Building momentum on coming back to this story is part of why it’s slow. Most of it is getting back into character voice.

Now, I write most comfortably in close limited third person, not first person. Still, that means that I spend a fair amount of time inside each character’s thoughts. And different characters shouldn’t all think alike–or in the same words. Some of that is driven by their personalities, some of it by their experiences and training, some by what it is they (think) they want at that moment.

It almost always slows me down a little when I switch POV characters–which I do a lot in this book. And, perhaps, even a little slower this time because I haven’t been writing these characters for a month or so. This time, finding my way back into Rose’s head was slower than usual.

Of course, part of that might be because Rose is a naïve sixteen-year-old and the chapter before was from the POV of a fifty-ish king.

Getting started is always the hardest part and I’m past that, so things should move better, now. Hopefully.

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2018 Writing Goals

Time to lay out my plan for next year.



The first draft is done and resting at the moment. What needs to be done starting in late January or February:

  1. A couple of rounds of revisions. There are things I now know need to be established or foreshadowed. There are always things I need to flesh out–often description or improving blocks of dialog.
  2. Send it out to my beta readers, hopefully in March.
  3. Incorporate any revisions that come out of that.
  4. Polishing edit.
  5. Formatting.

This all indicates that the earliest I’m likely to be able to publish is May.

The only potential issue that could delay this significantly is the next goal. Either way, this one is getting published in 2018.

Second Goal: Finish and (hopefully) publish BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM.

Realistically, getting this all the way to publication in 2018 is a stretch goal. I’m slightly less than 10,000 words into it at the moment. Even if I keep up this pace, I won’t be to the half-way point before I need to turn back to revisions on BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING. And it’s probably doubtful that I’d be able to finish it during March (while the beta readers have the first book.)

That is, unless this story turns out to be shorter than I think it is. And I still don’t have a real good feel for that. If it’s going to be shorter than BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING (which is already on the short side for an epic fantasy), there’s a chance I may decide to delay publication of BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING and publish them together. That’s a decision for later, though.

Third Goal: (Re)Start the rewrite of MAGE STORM (which probably needs a new title, as well).

This is a story I wrote several years ago and one I still very much believe in. The problem with its current form is not the story or even the writing. It’ because the first version was essentially an upper middle grade story–for ages 10 – 12. And that’s just a really, really, rough market for several reasons.

But this story has plenty of potential and can easily become an epic fantasy for an adult or near-adult audience, which is a much, much better audience–and more where I want to position myself as an author.

So, what needs to be done:

  • I need to add a couple of years to the characters’ ages. The difference between twelve and fifteen is more than just a couple of years, though. Some things about how they interact with their families, each other, and the world, and what their aims are–or would be if they didn’t have to deal with the big story problem–will also have to change.
  • In the first version, I kept to only one character’s POV. That will also change. As an epic fantasy, there will be at least two and maybe as many as four more point-of-view characters.
  • And, the big one. There is a major, world-sized problem that was more or less in the background of the middle grade version of this story. That has to come to the fore and be made more dire and immediate.
  • I always intended this story to be the first of a potential four-book series of sequential stories that didn’t necessarily fit under a larger story arc. Some or all of those other stories may get more . . . sort of squashed together into a single arc. That’s something I’ll find out during the rewrite.

Fourth Goal: All the little, sometimes annoying, usually time-consuming, administrative-type things:

  • Complete the migration off of Pronoun and either back to Kindle Select (the four or five books mentioned in my last post) or onto Draft 2 Digital for wide distribution.
  • Finish setting up the x-ray option for selected books.
  • Some semi-regular promotions.
  • And whatever else comes up of this general type.

Fifth Goal: The perennial keep on learning.

  • Figure out how to do a better job of marketing. Including how to market audiobooks, now that there’s an audiobook version of THE SHAMAN’S CURSE. TSC Audio
  • Keep growing as a writer. Try things that scare me or are difficult (like BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

And, lastly, the back burner list (things I’m not likely to get to next year, but they’re still out there.

  • Another story in the same world as DAUGHTER OF THE DISGRACED KING. ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Ailsa and Jathan’s story is complete (at least for now), but her homeland has not yet been saved. This series (MAGIC AND POWER) will have a succession of heroes and heroines, each taking their part in the greater story arc.
  • A couple of fairy-tale retellings, one of which might fit in as the third book in the MAGIC AND POWER series–or not.
  • My weird Oz story.
  • The prequels to the DUAL MAGICS series.Dual Magics 1-3 Boxed Set
  • The third book in the CHIMERIA series.ChimeriaBox
  • A secret-history-type story based, in part, on the Arthurian legend.
  • There are several others that are, so far, just a line or two–the beginnings of an idea, but not there yet.


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I didn’t have this link to share yesterday. But I have it now. The audiobook of THE SHAMAN’S CURSE is part of a nine-book giveaway running this week–through August 7th.  Go, enter now.Untitled-design-30


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Audio Book Soon!

I just now reviewed the handful of revisions to the audio book for THE SHAMAN’S CURSE

TSC Audio

And approved the book. If all goes well, it should be available in a couple of weeks!

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One-Day Sale

If you’ve wanted to start my epic fantasy series, today’s your chance. The first book, THE SHAMAN’S CURSE is on sale for $0.99 today only.


The two kinds of magic have always been separate. Until now.

Meanwhile, I’m proceeding with the edits on BECOME: BROTHERS. I hope to have that one available soon.

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