A Time for Change

Last week, I had the fabulous opportunity to attend the Superstars of Writing Seminar in Colorado Springs, and being the conference junkie that I am, I soaked up so much goodness and learning until I was goggle-eyed with determination. If there's any conference I would recommend besides Realm Makers, this would be it. No other conference I've attended has the commitment and real sense of tribe that Superstars did. And it didn't hurt to spend the three days learning from mega bestsellers either.

In his address, Drawing Out the Dragons, James Artimus Owen told some amazing stories of daring to take leaps of faith in order to do what he loves. He told one story where a risk that looked like an opportunity of a lifetime turned out to be a dead end. In order to pursue the opportunity,  he had sold practically all his earthly possessions and  taken a trans-atlantic flight, only to have the goal fizzle before his eyes and leave him sitting on a bench in the rain, with less than $…

Patreon and Pictures

Those of you who know me a little better are probably familiar with the fact that my first storytelling medium was animation--long enough ago that the animation for feature films was still drawn by hand on (gasp) paper. Although making animation ceased to be feasible for me because I was a stay-at-home mom with no time or equipment, that doesn't mean the storyteller part of my soul packed up and took a hike--it just got restless. So restless it spat out five novels and three novellas.
Well, the artist part of me wouldn't be put to bed so easily either, which is why I am now working on a graphic novel version of my first Windrider Saga book, Divine Summons. (This is simultaneous with me also preparing the novel for re-release and freelancing steadily for Rabbit Publishers and couple of other clients.) All these projects have my head spinning a little, as you can imagine, and the practical side of me has put her foot down and said, "Look, if you're going to invest time …

The Windrider Saga has languished too long!!

Dear friends and fans, I know it's been a long time since you've seen much in the way of new writing from me, and I promise you, I am working to remedy that issue as soon as possible.

That's why I come to you with a question: do you prefer shorter books, or big, long, immersive ones?

Here's the reason I ask: I have long been mulling over my books from The Windrider Saga because I have been concerned that the nature of the series (book 1, novella, book 2, longish novella, book 3 THICK novel) was going to make it difficult for me to catch and retain a steady readership. So, in an effort to unify the series, I have been working on Divine Summons (book 1) to extend it to novel length.

But the more I read about fiction trends, the more I see that novellas are actually pretty hot at the moment. People have less time to read, on the whole, so a shorter book appeals to them for this reason.

So, if you ruled the world of my Windrider books, how would YOU want to see them re-…

My Realm Makers: 2017 Reflection

Now that the dust from this year's Realm Makers conference is settling, I'm going to attempt to sum up my thoughts on the event from my very-insider point of view. I won't say I'm writing in any kind of lull, since we're already waist deep in the planning for next year's conference. In fact, the location and dates are now locked in, but you're going to have to wait a little longer to learn those details.

We took a lot of risks with the 2017 conference, and I'm glad to inform you we came out financially solvent, despite the significant potential for missteps that would have sunk the Realm Makers ship. I am extremely grateful we were able to provide our conferees with what I thought was a five-star experience (even if the hotel lobby was smoky because of the nearby casino floor. It's Nevada, what can I say?) Offering our attendees the opportunity to take classes with award winning and bestselling authors is a standard we intend to continue to strive …

Digital Doodle, Sunday June 25th

If you've ever read Gary Chapman's book, The Five Love Languages, you've probably figured out in what way you express and receive love. This was a book my husband, Scott, and I read through and took to heart in the months before we were married, and since then, it's been interesting to evaluate how this theory of emotional expression plays out in my everyday life.

As an artist and author, I spend way too much time in self-analysis, but hopefully my observations
will be useful to some of you as well. My primary love language is time. It doesn't matter if we do anything productive or exciting. I just want to know that you value spending time in my presence. Ironically, because of my socially anxious nature, it takes a long time before I feel safe enough with any person to connect with them face-to-face. So that "quantity time" that deepens my relationships is hard to come by. Clearly, it's complicated.

As an artist, I have discovered that if I don'…

Fabulous Dragon T-shirt--2 weeks only!

We Minors are about to head out on a major adventure, and you know what?

Adventures are expensive. And I don't have a contract from a bunch of dwarves promising me an equal share of the treasure at the end. As the old saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention.

Here's a little context to help you make sense of things. Every year since we began Realm Makers, I have designed the official Conference T Shirt as well as a "fun design" that we sell as a simple artistic endeavor. From fandom to geekery, these shirts have definitely been popular--and I've enjoyed seeing friends and strangers alike wear them.

This year, we've been working with the fabulous Kirk DouPonce, illustrator extraordinaire, to generate some updated branding for the conference and our awards. Out of that process, this awesome dragon graphic arose.

Being the dragon freak that I am, I was immediately ready to slap that puppy on everything, from our awards seals to our car to our bodies. (…

A Dragon Problem-Preview

Today marks a fun day that authors never tire of: release day!
The project that I'm humbled to be a part of is an anthology called Freshly Brewed Fiction, and it's a group of stories penned for the purpose of supporting a local library. Better yet, we'll celebrate the release of this book at our local independent book store, The Towne Book Center in Collegeville. It's good to know the piece I've written will be helping the honorable institution of the local public library as well as our indie bookstore, which does a great job with author events.
In case you're interested to see what I've contributed to this book, I'm offering the first segment of the story for you here. "A Dragon Problem" introduces a new character to my story world, an ebony hatchling dragon named Silya, and it reunites readers with the tempestuous Raen, dragons warder, as well as the unquenchably direct Vinyanel Ecleriast. Mix in an undead necromancer, and you've got a c…