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Showing posts from 2017

The Windrider Saga has languished too long!!

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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

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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

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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!

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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

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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…

Where Did Realm Makers Come From?

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At the header for this blog, the graphic reads "Author-Artist-Ringleader," and for some of the folks who stop by, the "ringleader" part is a bit of a puzzlement. I thought today that I would shed some light on the reason people attach words like that (or nerd-herder) to me.

A little over 5 years ago, I started planning this thing called the Realm Makers Conference. It came into being because of several factors that exist in the publishing world that make it difficult for Christians who write fantasy and science fiction to find publishers for their work.

On the general market side--that means the Big Publishing Houses of New York, stories that center on traditional values are often passed over as "been there, done that" at best, or "dangerously misogynistic/insensitive/out-of-touch" in more critical scenarios. This climate  has only gotten worse over the decade I've been following publishing. In this past year, I have learned of multiple sce…

Melancholy, My Dad, and the Charcoal Tree

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When you're like me, and you lost your dad at 13, it's easy to romanticize how you perceive a man who's been gone for the vast majority of your life. I like to remember the Marine, the idealist, the brilliant man my dad was, even though he was also an alcoholic, a child abuse victim, and ultimately lifestyled himself to death until he left my mom with 6 kids and no real career to support us. I didn't learn much from my dad, sadly, because I was too young at the time to tap the brilliance part, while we still had him.

He did, however, one afternoon in our smoky, cluttered 80s living room, teach me how to draw a tree.

My dad was a charcoal artist who never pursued honing his gift outside of high school. Probably not a lot of opportunities to draw still life or models while drill instructing on Parris Island, I'm assuming. But I can't count the number of times he sat in his kind-of-gross recliner and told me how he drew a series of beautiful nudes during art less…