Fantasy lovers, look no further than this amazing fantasy giveaway! EIGHTY-FIVE, yes, that’s correct; 85 FREE ebooks for you to read in this amazing promotion offer (including one of yours truly)! It runs for one month from 20 June – 20 July. Check it out!
I met Lexi on Facebook. I was looking for fantasy authors and her book, Ignited, jumped out. It’s a beautiful cover, and a very intriguing story. I had to get to know Alexis Deese a bit better.
Alexis Marrero Deese
Tell us a bit about yourself
I am an avid reader of all things Young Adult and Fantasy. Favorite authors include Brandon Sanderson, Jacqueline Carey and Leigh Bardugo. Although a Tampa native, I currently live near Atlanta Georgia with my husband and three dogs. I enjoy gardening, reading poolside and binging on Netflix.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I do! It was written on a yellow legal pad stolen from my father’s office and was about a little girl who runs away from home only to get swept away into a land full of dinosaurs. She has to fend for her life before she can go back home. I’ve always had a vivid imagination. My mother still has the story and it’s nothing more than a few sketches with some scribble underneath but I remember it very well.
What is your favorite under-appreciated novel?
Definitely Kushiel’s Dart (honestly that entire series) by Jacqueline Carey. Read it, people! I love stories with rich world-building and this series gets you hooked from page one. There is romance, danger and political intrigue. Basically all the things I love. If she had a dragon in there I’d be done.
Who is the most famous author you have ever met?
I met R. L. Stine a few years ago at a book convention in St. Petersburg, Florida. It was a beautiful day and I definitely geeked out. I stood in line for an autograph 🙂
R.S. Belcher friend requested me and I fangirled just a little bit. Oh, maybe I should change my other answer. Read Shotgun Arcana (the start of his Golgotha series) by Belcher, it’s SO GOOD!
What are your books about? Could you tell us a bit about them and why they are a must-read?
I write Young Adult Fantasy with just a hint of romance. My debut novel, Ignited, is a multiple POV, fast-paced adventure full of elemental magic, political intrigue and dragons. It is the first of a planned quartet titled: Dance of the Elements.
Do you want each book to stand on its own or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
I’m definitely trying to build a solid body of work. Submerged, the sequel in the series takes place right where we left off at the end of Ignited. With the exception of a couple stand-alone projects I’m working on, all my current and foreseeable projects will be connected.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?
Kay is certainly my favorite. She is a precocious seven year old with too much attitude and too much power. She dreams of riding dragons and she’s kind of a badass. I’m actually releasing a novella featuring Kay later this summer. The novella will show everything that occurs in the two week period between the first two novels of my series. The second book is set to release in February.
What did you edit out of this book?
I actually deleted an entire chapter from Ignited at the suggestion of my editor. She said the chapter was redundant and the flashback was unnecessary. She was right and my novel was stronger for it. Always invest in a good editor! Submerged is currently in the hands of my Critique Partner so its editing fate remains unknown for now.
Can you give us a small teaser of your work?
I’m currently working on both Kay’s novella (title unknown at the moment) and Windswept, the third installment in my series. I’m happy to share an excerpt. Here are the opening lines from Kay’s story:
For the first time since she’d been taken Kay opened her eyes and knew exactly where she was. The early morning light forced her to squint; someone had positioned the beds in just the right spot so that dawn brought its blinding radiance no matter which bed she chose to sleep in. She frowned down at the row of empty beds and reached blindly for the small glass of water on her bedside table.
Every morning there was a new glass of the stale, warm water. Kay wondered who had the job of sneaking in her room at night and placing it there. Ash perhaps? She drank the morning’s rations and thought of the crisp water from the well back on her family’s property, somehow the water had always been cold, even in the middle of the summer. Here in the Sand Sea, the summer never ended.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Vanity Publishers!!! In the publishing business, money always flows down to the author. It’s sad how there are so many scams out there ready to trick newbie authors into giving them all their money 🙁
How do author friends help you become a better writer?
I love this question so much because I would be nowhere without my CP (critique partner). She is literally life saving. Having good friends who are also authors helps you in so many ways. Aside from the wonderful constructive criticism, my friends also provide me with motivation to write and answers to the publishing ins and outs. If you don’t have any author friends and you’re an inspiring author, go get some now! Join a Facebook group or a local writers club because writer friends are priceless!
Thank you so much for your answers, Lexi! It’s great to hear you talk so enthusiastically about writing. It’s clear from this and your earliest work you are a writer at heart 🙂
I couldn’t resist. I had to post the blurb for Ignited. Here it is:
A NOBLE DAUGHTER.
A FORMER SLAVE.
SCORCHED EARTH AND DANGEROUS GAMES.
“Jura imagined it sounded like rain.”
Juggling death is nothing new for seventeen-year-old Jura, daughter of the First of the Thirteen, successive rulers of the Republic of the Sand Sea. However, when a blood chain ensnares her father, she is thrust into the seat of power and forced to rule her elders.
“To Tylak, water had never tasted sweeter.”
Jura must track down her father’s assassin and balance a country on the verge of collapse. To find the Prince of Shadows and uncover the truth, Jura puts her trust in Tylak, a former slave accused of stealing from the Everflame—a man she once condemned to death.
In a world where water is currency and enemies lurk around every corner, Jura will use her wits or risk igniting a world war.
You can follow Alexis Marrero Deese via the following social media:
This weekend my son wanted to watch Deadpool with his mates. We were chartered to cart him and his buddies to and fro. As we live a forty-five-minute drive away from the cinema, it was no use going back home again. So, we decided to watch a movie ourselves. We wanted to see Deadpool as well but didn’t want to spoil the boys’ fun. There wasn’t a lot of movies that my husband and I both wanted to watch, so we settled on Solo.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
It is very hard to find an actor who can pull of being the younger version of a famous actor, especially one that has to portray Han Solo, i.e. Harrison Ford. Alden Ehrenreich was a very good choice. Although he kept reminding me of a young Leonardo DiCaprio, he does look like the ‘old’ Han Solo when you take a better look. He sure seems to have his charm (or is it DiCaprio’s charm?).
I hadn’t seen any previews of the movie and was surprised to see Woody Harrelson as Tobias Beckett, the criminal/friend of Han, and Emilia Clarke (aka Daenerys Targaryen from GoT) as Han’s girlfriend Qi’ra. It took me a few minutes to actually recognize Harrelson, but it was his typical acting that gave it away. I didn’t recognize Clarke with the bob hairdo either. Only when she changed her hairstyle did I see her smile (with the amazingly pretty teeth). Donald Glover did a good job portraying the young Lando, Phoebe Waller-Bridge was very funny as Lando’s droid companion, and Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca.
Qi’ra and Han live on a shipbuliding planet called Corellia and are made to steal to survive. When they get their hands on some coaxium, a powerful hyperspace fuel, they use it as their ticket to get off the planet and start a new life. Unfortunately, only Han makes it out and Qi’ra is captured.
Han enlists and becomes a pilot but is expelled for subordination and now fights in the infantry. For three years he tries to get back to Corellia to save his sweetheart Qi’ra, but things don’t go as planned. He teams up with outlaw Beckett to steal a big score of coaxium. With the profit, he hopes to finally go back to Corellia.
What I liked about Solo
I liked seeing a new face as the main character, even though he did resemble other actors. I liked seeing Emilia Clarke making a career outside GoT. I’ve seen her in the fifth Terminator movie, Terminator Genisys, but thought that was just a one-off. Good for her to continue her career outside GoT! I liked seeing Woody Harrelson as I think he’s funny. Whatever role he has, he’s always Woody. And I like that.
What I didn’t like about Solo
I won’t lie. The movie was extremely predictable. Obviously, we already know Han ends up with Chewie as his best mate, that he hasn’t got a girlfriend, and that he flies the Millenium Falcon. I guess I expected more twists, more one-liners, more… something. I recently read that screenwriters did a bad job if you can speak the lines before the actors did. That’s what happened while I was watching this movie.
Even though the movie was incredibly predictable, it was still good entertainment, and as I grew up a Star Wars fan, I couldn’t pass this one up.
Birmingham-based Jay Raven has written multiple horror/fantasy short stories which were published in many anthologies. He is an author with multiple books under his name, not all of them in the horror genre. Jay has been in the writing world for a while, as a journalist at first but now as a full-time novel writer. Let’s get to know Jay a bit better.
Tell us a little about yourself…
I have passion for all things horror, especially vampires. As a teenager I’d skip school to sneak into the cinema to watch Peter Cushing staking Christopher Lee.
I’ve been a full-time fiction writer for 25 years, widely published on both sides of the Atlantic, but it was only a few years ago that I began to focus on my dark fantasy output. Most of my stories are set in the past – I jokily label it “harpsichord horror”.
In my free time I do a lot of baking, although I’m not sure the description free time is strictly accurate as that’s when I dream up my best plots.
What is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to you?
Just before Christmas I was signed up by Junction Publishing to write two Gothic horror/dark fantasy novels. It’s since become a three-book deal.
What is your favorite childhood book, and why?
Alice in Wonderland. Even as a child I loved its creepy, menacing atmosphere, laced with barely controlled mayhem.
How has your environment and upbringing colored your writing?
I grew up in Glasgow which had more than its fair share of Victorian grave robbers in its past. The cemetery near us had a small building where relatives would stand guard through the night to protect their newly buried loved ones. Learning about that made a huge impact on me.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
While still at school I used to write local history pieces for my local newspaper. One was a three-part reconstruction of a notorious murder of a foreman by gangers building the railway between Glasgow and Edinburgh. My articles documented the manhunt to bring the killers to justice and the resulting public executions.
Just after part two appeared I was taking a shortcut home from my girlfriend’s house and I bumped into the school bully in the dark. I thought he was going to beat me up, but instead he was all excited and in awe, demanding to know what happened to the killers in the final installment.
Who is your favorite author? How much is your work influenced by his or her works?
Michael Crichton, author of best-sellers Jurassic Park and WestWorld amongst others. His writing is so tight, pacy and cleverly structured that it leaves you breathless. There isn’t a wasted word, character or scene. He is a master storyteller. I try to make my writing just as fast-paced and lean.
Music or silence?
I write with earphones on, music pumping. It blocks all external distractions and helps inspire me. You could say that my stories are created with their own soundtracks.
Do you outline or just write?
Before I begin a book I spend two weeks creating a highly detailed blueprint – every chapter, scene, major hook, key pieces of dialogue all go into it and I end up with a 30-page mini version of the novel, which I just need to flesh out.
If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
I’d bake artisan cakes in the shape of coffins and sell them at Dracula events in Whitby.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym, and if yes, why?
I already do. Jay Raven is the name I use for my dark fantasy work. I write humour under my real name. I try to keep both sides completely separate. As Ghostbusters advises: “Top safety tip. Don’t cross the streams!”
What is your writing style?
I concentrate on making the work as visual as possible. I want readers to forget they’re reading and imagine themselves watching a movie. I inhabit the boundary between horror and fantasy. My work relies more on suspense than gore.
Do you try to be original in your storytelling or to deliver to readers what they want?
I try to do both – I obey the rules of the genre but mix in loads of new elements to keep things fresh. In Blood Riders, for instance, my vampires have demon horses and can communicate with each telepathically.
Do you have any difficulty writing characters of the opposite sex?
No, I started out writing short stories for women’s magazines. That’s something many people would be surprised about.
Out of the protagonists you’ve written about so far, which one do you feel you relate to the most?
Anton Yoska, the marshal caught up in the jailhouse siege, is an idealised version of me. But where he is brooding, I am just moody. He is noble and high minded, I come across simply as pompous.
What do your plans for future projects include?
Witch Hunt – a series of whodunits set in an alternative history (1930s) where a Russian empire warlock is a homicide detective investigating murders that involve supernatural elements.
What writing wisdom would you bestow upon new writers?
Write the kind of books you would want to read, don’t slavishly try to recreate what is currently hot!
How do author friends help you become a better writer?
I kick about ideas with my fellow writers. They see things from a different angle, and are brutally honest – which is exactly what you need.
What has been the best compliment?
A magazine editor who paid handsomely for my first short story said – “Love this – do you have any more?”
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. Their support makes it all worthwhile.
Can you give us a bit more about your latest book, Crimson Siege (Blood Riders – Book 1) as it is launched today, the 22nd of May 2018?
When ruthless bounty hunters target one of 19th century Europe’s most feared vampire clans, the last place any lawman wants to be is caught in the middle…
But for Anton Yoska, Lord Marshal of the Imperial lands south of the Carpathian Mountains, fate has trapped him in a supernatural stand-off that can end only in terror, pain and destruction.
A gang of mercenaries led by Anton’s former army comrade Milosh Drubrick have captured vampire aristocrat Stefan Modjeski, wanted for a string of bloody ritualistic murders, and have come to Anton to claim the reward and seek shelter and protection. And as Stefan’s predatory undead kin lay siege to the jailhouse, Anton is faced with an agonising choice – hand over his prisoner and abandon the treacherous hunters to their unspeakable fate, or stand and fight.
What’s more, the vampires have made him an enticing offer if he co-operates – they’ll save his dying wife by turning her into one of their kind. He can join her, and the devoted couple will live forever.
The jailhouse defenders are outnumbered and out of options. It’s a battle that can’t be won, certain slaughter for them all, and Anton can’t trust his scheming allies. But Lord Marshal Yoska isn’t about to surrender.
For he’s an experienced vampire hunter, a dangerous man when cornered, and a single minded warrior who knows there are worse things to fear than death…
Why it is a must-read?
It’s pacy, visceral and packed with twists and turns.
Here’s the trailer for Crimson Siege:
Thank you so much, Jay, for letting us get to know you a little bit better. Besides reading your books, I’d love to try one of your cakes one day!
Jay Raven‘s books and anthologies containing his stories can all be found on Amazon. Why not get your copy of Crimson Siege now!
You can follow Jay Raven via the following social media:
I have a little gem for your today. I’m particularly proud of this one as I’ve helped the author, Troy A. Hill, a little bit with it. It is published today!
You may remember the Dark Fantasy Spring Giveaway Event not long ago. I won this book in Troy’s competition after guessing the correct shifter form of Ruadh (and no, I didn’t see the bear in the moon on the image that he showed us 😀 ). That’s the first thing that attracted me to this book; the cover. The artist did an excellent job detailing the atmosphere described in the story (not that I knew that when I saw the cover for the first time, of course).
It’s a short read, with only one hundred pages. This doesn’t diminish the reading entertainment, though. Mr. Hill has a particular way of writing, one that suits the character of Ruadh very well. He gets you to experience exactly what Ruadh is going through as he shapeshifts and on his flight from evil but without getting overly descriptive. His words are straight to the point yet transporting you into the scene. You get drawn into this ancient world with shapeshifters, banshees, and godesses creating havoc. There even is a comic relief in there, although this may not have been intended 🙂 . There truly is not a dull moment in this story. It is a good set up for the main novel to come, and I hope to read the other books soon.
All of Troy A. Hill’s books are available on Amazon and Cursed is on sale at the moment, so grab it while it’s hot!
Ingrid Foster is the author of two short horror stories, a fantasy suspense novel, My Father’s Magic, the first in the Esme Bohlin suspense series, and working on the sequel called Revenge of the Dark Queen. She is a real world traveler and a great storyteller.
You have traveled a lot, including to places like Australia and The Netherlands (places I traveled as well) as well as thirty US states. What attracts you about traveling?
I grew up a reader, loving books about foreign places and strange names. When I enlisted in the Air Force and was given an opportunity to be stationed in Germany, I jumped at the chance. Exploring Germany and much of Western Europe allowed me to experience places I’d only read about. That’s what traveling gives you, opportunities to explore and sense new things.
Which country do I like best?
I don’t know yet, maybe I’ll know after I’ve gotten a chance to explore them all 🙂
You have written two short stories (A Home for Rose and Fresh Meat) and a novel; My Father’s Magic. In Fresh Meat, you feature a grandmother. Did you have a special bond with your grandmother?
I did. My grandmother is no longer with us. In truth, she was my best friend, especially when I was a child. My mother suffered from Post Partum Depression, so my grandmother retired early from her job so she could care for me. When I was a small child I used to spend hours playing with old makeup and perfume bottles, whatever I could find and create the most elaborate stories. My grandmother was always amazed and supportive; she never had a negative word, even when I beat her at Chinese Checkers.
Where did you get the idea for My Father’s Magic?
I wanted to write a memoir, but quickly tired of it. So I decided instead to write a story about a lonely young woman who finds a key to an old haunted house and discovers a family she didn’t know she had. Of course, being me, I needed to keep it entertaining, so I included magical creatures and scary things that go bump in the night.
I don’t plot my stories, so when I write, I never know what will happen next. My theory is that if I enjoy writing the story, my readers will enjoy reading it.
What is your favorite passage/dialogue in the book?
My favorite passage is when my main character, Esme, whose memory had intentionally been blocked by her sorcerer father when she was six, gets her memory back:
(Excerpt) Reaching out to open the stainless refrigerator, something caught my eye. At the far end of the kitchen, in a vacant hearth, sat a child’s table with two small chairs and a half-played game of checkers, the game appeared to be waiting for the children to return.
Something was familiar about the scene, something that wouldn’t let me pull my eyes away and as I stared, a sense of déjà vu hit me. “Stoney, we never did finish that game of checkers, did we?”
As if in response, there was a loud thud and then Stone was by my side. “No, your father called you home and you never came back.”
There were so many questions I wanted to ask at that moment, but my mouth could only form one, “And you never picked up the game?”
Stone smiled down at me. “My mother thought to a few times, but I told her no, that one day you’d be back and we would finish.”
…over coffee laced with whiskey, we finished the game we started eighteen years before, in the living room in front of the fire. I had never enjoyed a game more in my life. And then as we curled up on the sofa, in each other arms, and the flames danced across the thick logs, I was content for the first time in a very long time; probably since I was six and my only care in the world was beating my best friend, Stoney, at checkers.
(Excerpt, My Father’s Magic)
What part of the story did you find the hardest to write?
When Esme is sexually assaulted by someone close to her. It was hard for me to write because I have a history of being both sexually assaulted and raped. I had to put myself back in those memories, so I could capture the raw emotions. It was actually quite therapeutic, especially when Esme gets justice in the end.
What can readers expect when reading your work?
My stories are all suspenseful and captivating leaving my readers wanting more. Or, at least, that’s what they tell me. At 5 Stars for most of my reviews, I must be doing something right.
Are you working on another book? If yes, what’s it about and could you give us a little preview?
The second book in the Bohlin Series is coming out later this year. It’s titled Revenge of the Dark Queen and it picks up where My Father’s Magic left off.
In the following scene, my main character Esme is on her way up in an elevator to her father’s penthouse. With her is Liebling, the last known Katzenspinder, a very old magical species that has the cashmere-soft body of a cat and eight legs like a spider, the front two ending in paws. Liebling’s fur changes color according to his mood:
(Excerpt) Seconds later, the elevator stopped and I took a deep breath, “Okay, we’re here.” As the doors opened, not waiting for my signal, Liebling dropped his invisibility and jumped down from my shoulder.
“Wait,” I told him telepathically. I started scanning the apartment.
It felt all right. I didn’t sense anything, no people, no spirits…but still, something was definitely off. I pointed my wand at the far wall, opposite the elevator, where my father’s elaborate gold mirror once stood.
“Revelare Cesern,” I said with more power in my voice than I expected considering how nervous I was.
Red words, left splattered and dripping, appeared on the far wall. Liebling, his fur now white, began to shake. “Need Edgar.”
I looked down at him, trying to catch his meaning. “Bruce is in school.”
“No. Go. Need Edgar.”
In my mind’s eye, I knew he thought I was walking into a trap and, based on my experience with my father’s magic, I knew that even though the last occupier of the penthouse, Geoff, was dead, his magic could remain.
“Very well,” I said, pushing the elevator’s “G” button. I lifted Liebling onto my shoulder and he turned invisible before I thought to ask. As the elevator lowered, Liebling shuddered. “Bad magic. Bad magic.”
(Excerpt, Revenge of the Dark Queen)
What is your preferred surrounding when writing?
I have a home office that allows me to close myself off from the world. As for music, I only listen to instrumental while I’m writing, and it varies according to the scene and story. For the Esme Bohlin Suspense Series, I listened mostly to Nox Arcana, Escala and anything Celtic. For the Dark Desert Tales which is all dark fiction, I’ll listen to something darker.
Thank you so much, Ingrid, for sharing your life’s experiences and giving us those wonderful excerpts of your novels. Katzenspinder… I just have to read your books now! 🙂
Ingrid Foster’s books are all available on Amazon.
This weekend we had a double whammy and went to see The Shape of Water first and The Greatest Showman straight after. Both were great movies. I actually don’t like singing in movies, so I’m not going to discuss the latter here. I do love a good romance story, so The Shape of Water it is.
The Shape of Water
Cast and Plot
This story plays in 1962 Baltimore when racism is the norm and homosexuality is still a taboo. Elisa Esposito (played by Sally Hawkins) is a woman who lives above a movie theatre and works as a cleaning lady in a secret government laboratory. Her neighbor, Giles (played by Richard Jenkins), is a homosexual artist, trying to make a living with his drawings. Elisa is mute. She appears to have been found as a child with strange scars in her neck like someone scratched her.
When an aquatic creature (played by Doug Jones) is brought into the facility, Elisa forms a bond with it. She is delighted to have found someone like her, someone who can’t talk, and she spends her lunchtimes with the creature. The agent in charge of the creature, Colonel Richard Strickland (played by Michael Shannon), is a very cruel man and delights in torturing it. The Russian scientist studying the creature (played by Michael Stuhlbarg) notices the bond between the creature and Elisa and realizes it is an intelligent being. He tries everything in his power to make his superiors see this without spilling the beans on Elisa.
What I liked
This is a wonderfully romantic story about an outcast who becomes a hero and finds true love. Who doesn’t like a story where this happens? The fact that is was nominated so many times probably has something to do with the fact that the movie puts a spotlight on all sort of social taboos; masturbation, homosexuality, racial discrimination, and physical disabilities. The fact that it plays in 1962 only highlights that a lot still needs to change.
I like the casting of the actors. They weren’t perfect, yet beautiful. In other words, not a typical Holywood cast. Michael Shannon was a particular well-cast actor, and I think we’re going to see more of him on the big screen.
I liked that Doug Jones, who played the creature, also played Abe Sapien in Hellboy, one of my favorite movies. The creatures aren’t the same, yet their likeness was the first thing that sprung to mind when I saw the creature for the first time (before I knew Doug Jones played both roles). Loved, loved, loved the outfit!
What I didn’t like
Even though it is a very romantic story, I missed something. Maybe it was the short time dedicated to the build-up of the romance, I don’t know. Questioning logistics issues, explained too late, took me out of the story sometimes. And of course the WTF-moments that always seems to happen. I can accept fantasy logic, but I won’t accept things that they pretend can happen in this physical world. It just isn’t possible from a earthly-scientific point of view. You can take the girl out of science, but you can’t take the science out of the girl 🙂
All in all a bloody good movie for Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Romance, and Thriller lovers. Go and see it!
Today, I’m introducing to you… Terry Marchion. I met Terry online through One Stop Fiction. He is a lovely man who doesn’t mind going out of his way to help a fellow writer (he’s one of my beta-readers and my writing would be terrible without him). He has written three sci-fi novels about Christopher and his uncle Tremain, who live on a space colony called New Earth. Terry gives us a peek into his WIP, The Misplaced Mentor. It’s the fourth book in the Adventures of Tremain & Christopher series, so be sure to read all the way till the end :). But first, let’s get to know Mr. Marchion a bit better.
Interview with Terry Marchion
Are you a full-time writer?
Ok — I’m not a full-time writer — I do hold a day job, which sucks away a lot of my time – eventually, I’d love to write full-time, but I’m not there yet. I’ve always written – in one way or another, but I’ve never had the confidence to pursue it. When I was around 18 or so, I did submit a short story but was promptly rejected. That colored my dreams for quite a few years until 2016, when I submitted a pitch on a twitter event. I received a few replies of interest but was rejected then too – go figure. But, thinking that others could read AND like my work inspired me to go the indie route and do it all myself.
What do you like about writing?
I like the freedom writing gives me — it’s sometimes frustrating, but also very liberating. I’m satisfying my need to be creative and hopefully being entertaining at the same time.
What don’t you like about writing?
I don’t care for the politics around writing — I’ve come to like the process of writing and formatting and having others beta read — the rest is work. LOL — but I’m learning to embrace the work too.
Who should read your writing?
People should totally read my stuff if they like fun adventures with a sci-fi bent to them. Think the old serials of the 40’s — Buck Rogers, for instance, or the episodic tv shows we all watched like Lost in Space, Star Trek, Doctor Who — that’s the spirit this adventures series is written in.
What is the best thing you’ve learned about writing?
The best lesson I’ve learned is to be persistent and never to give up.
What is the worst thing you’ve learned about writing?
The hardest lesson I’ve learned is to be persistent and to never give up. I want it all NOW dammit!! LOL
Where do you write?
Where do I write? Everywhere! I don’t have a dedicated writing spot — I tend to feel constrained if I can only create in one place — I use a laptop or a tablet/keyboard combo or just a pen and paper to get my thoughts down. I eventually go solo on the laptop to put it all together. But at least I’m writing.
What is the most memorable sentence you’ve written?
I’ve yet to come up with a consistent writing schedule, but I’m working on that.I don’t have a memorable line yet, but I’m working on it. Hopefully, one of my characters will spout something I just can’t predict.
Thank you so much, Terry, for sharing this with us. I’m sure we all can do with that boost to never give up! They say great writers are the ones that don’t quit, so I clink my glass to you and will keep on writing!
Without further ado, here’s that special snipped I promised you from Terry’s fourth book, The Misplaced Mentor, which is to be released soon.
Preview of The Misplaced Mentor
Marjorie’s apartment sat in the middle of the city, just off from the bazaar. Tremain and Markus walked the short distance from the lab complex, past the flapping tents and awnings of the bazaar, down to the residential area, overlooking the coast. The austere building was built around a park, complete with park benches and walking paths. The pair walked up the stairs to Marjorie’s apartment in silence, the smell of stale air, cooked food and paint heavy in the corridor. Once outside the door, Tremain consulted his tablet.
“Well, you are right, it shows she’s inside. Well, at least her tablet is.”
“What if she’s injured . . . or worse?” Markus whispered.
Tremain turned to his friend.
“Have you regressed to a teenager again?” he scoffed, “you’re jumping to conclusions,” Tremain gestured to the door. “after you.”
Markus knocked on the door. There was no answer. He gripped the door handle. It buzzed in answer. Naturally, it was locked.
“Oh, it’s a biometric lock. Only Marjorie can unlock it.”
Tremain nudged Markus aside.
“Or someone with a key,” he said as he pulled a device from his lab coat. He fit it around the handle and pushed a few buttons. In seconds, the lock clicked open, pinging in acceptance. “There, we’re in.”
“Tell me we didn’t just break the law,” Markus asked.
“Of course not, who do you think helped Marjorie design that lock? Naturally, I had a back door for emergencies.”
Markus sighed in relief.
“Good. I didn’t want the authorities called down on us.”
Tremain shook his head.
“Need I remind you that YOU are one of the authorities?”
“I suppose you’re right. Come on, let’s go in.” He pushed the door open, ready to enter, but Tremain held him back.
“Hold on, let me look first.” He said as he pushed past his friend.
“Why? What do you think you’ll see?”
Tremain stood just inside the doorway, scanning the areas he could see. No bodies visible, so that was a positive.
“I’m just seeing if there is anything out of place.”
“You’ve been here recently?”
“No, I’ve never been here, but there’s a lot you can deduce from what you see initially,” Tremain stepped into the apartment, beckoning Markus to follow, “for instance, she’s not much into decorating, is she?” He gestured to the walls, which were bare, save for a few small pictures. The furniture was functional, but not cozy. The apartment’s front door opened into the living area of the apartment. Directly in front of them was a short hallway which led to the bedrooms and bathroom and off to the right was the kitchen.
Tremain and Markus stood in the center of the living room. The coffee table was littered with some papers and pamphlets. Markus walked through the kitchen to the bedrooms while Tremain leafed through the papers. He picked one at random and frowned when he looked at it. A photo of a plot of land appeared at the top, with a description of the property below it. At the very bottom was the agent’s details. The next few papers were the same, a piece of property, some large, some small, but all were offered by the same agent. He checked the dates.
All were printed at least six or more months ago. He scratched his head as he pulled up one of the pamphlets. A brochure about a construction company. Another was regarding refrigeration processes and equipment. Tremain’s frown deepened. Markus came from the bedrooms, shaking his head.
“She’s not here. I did find her tablet, on her bed. She didn’t want to be tracked down.”
Tremain showed him the real estate listings.
“She was looking at land all over the place. And,” he pointed at the various brochures, “she was building something,” He scratched his head again, “something secret. She didn’t want anyone knowing about it or we’d have heard.”
“So what does this all mean?” Markus grumbled, “Where is she?”
Tremain crossed his arms as he thought.
“She’s definitely not on one of her sabbaticals, that’s for certain,” He paced the room, “she’s consulted with an agent for land, so I think that’s where we go next.” He stopped pacing and slapped Markus on the arm. “A perfect job for a Senator. You find out where she bought land, and I’ll investigate these disturbances.”
Markus nodded and left on his mission.
Tremain lingered just a bit, glancing around the apartment. To be honest, it reminded him of his own. He spent more time in the lab than at home, so it made sense to keep it sparce. Even in her retirement, Marjorie hadn’t made her apartment more cozy, which implied she spent more time elsewhere. Something caught his eye. In the corner of the doorway was a scattering of dirt. He knew he and Markus hadn’t tracked anything in, so where did this come from? He knelt down and felt the dirt. It had a fine grain feel to it, almost like sand. He gave it a sniff, but couldn’t detect anything. The beach wasn’t that far, definitely in walking distance. She must have brought some sand in with her when she went for a walk. Filing that away for later, he locked up the apartment and headed back to the lab.
You can find all of Terry Marchion’s book on Amazon.
Guess what? I haven’t watched any movies this weekend! Not. One. Movie. That’s a very rare occasion. Why? Because I have been working my butt off on my WIP. This didn’t mean we didn’t watch any TV at all. We did watch Grimm, and The Bing Bang Theory. We only discovered the latter recently. But never mind TBBT, here is my take on Grimm.
Grimm is the story of a homicide detective, Nick Burkhardt (played by David Giuntoli), who suddenly can see people change their image into fairytale creatures, called Wesen, when they lose their composure. They can be anything from werewolves to snakes to birds. Nick’s auntie Marie informs him, just before she dies, he’s a Grimm, a person with this special seeing abillity who must keep the balance between humans and the Wesen. Other people can’t see the Wesen unless they are a Wesen too or when the Wesen want humans to see their true self.
Nick is not alone in his new duty. In the first episode, he befriends Monroe (played by Silas Weir Mitchell) who is a Blutbad, a Wesen like a werewolf. He is the comic relief in the series but plays a major role. Nick has a work partner, Hank Griffin (played by Russell Hornsby) and a girlfriend, Juliette Silverton (played by Bitsie Tulloch). Hank and Juliette don’t know Nick is a Grimm (at least, not at the start). Nick’s Captain, Sean Renard (Sasha Roiz) also plays a major role. I have to mention sergeant Drew Wu (played by Reggie Lee) as he, too, is very funny. His humor is more subtle than that of Monroe, though.
Every episode, Nick needs to solve a murder mystery. Very coincidentally, most murders have a Wesen involved (surprise, surprise!). All sorts of creatures pass the screen and it’s fun to see their faces change when the Wesen are upset or die (and they revert back to their human form).
The second storyline mainly depicts Nick’s relationship with the others; Monroe (who is unwilling to help at first as Grimms usually are out to kill Wesen), and Hank and Juliette (who have no idea why their partner is acting so strange lately). In season two, Juliette plays a bigger role than in season one as she gets involved in the mysteries against her will.
In the background, there’s always the ‘bigger picture’ story involving Nick’s boss Renard and his involvement with a Hexenbiest, or witch, called Adalind Shade (played by Claire Coffee). Things are happening on a more international level with them.
I like the fact that this series is about a more mature cast, not teenagers for a change. Nick is in a steady relationship with Juliette, yet the series manages to incorporate some love issues here and there.
It always amazes me how they come up with yet another type of Wesen. The creators must have a very good imagination or a damn good book on mythology.
The secrecy and love plots make you want to watch the next episode and when you’ve done that, you want to see the next one. There are some really good cliffhangers.
There’s always some dislikes, of course. The graphics are not the greatest. Yes, I like the facial changes of the Wesen, but they can look really fake. The fact that only the head changes (well, most of the time) also seems like a rather cheap option.
Sometimes the plot is a bit predictable, but only sometimes.
We have binge-watching nights of Grimm, going through three or four episodes per night, depending on how much time we have. We’re only in season 2 yet, and there are six seasons in total, so we still have a fair amount to feast on. Bring on the Wesen!