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Sword of the Moon

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About Sword of the Moon

  • Birthday April 21

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  1. Looking at my stuff, I realize I almost never use 'as' that way. More likely to divide the thought into two sentences. That doesn't mean there is a darn thing wrong with it though—unless, of course, over-used.
  2. This is something I needed to touch on in my latest (now completed) novel, which has a number of two-year-olds, human and otherwise, as characters. The little monster friends of my MP's son pop in to play with him and his toys from time to time. I regret a little that I didn't explore what sort of playthings they have in their own somewhat more primitive world/home, but it wasn't relevant to the story. I did explore a little the 'baby-sitting' arrangements of their monstrous moms. The human child has fairly normal toys for a well-to-do family of a pre-industrial society, carved wooden soldiers and animals and that sort of thing. I also set up a birthday party for him not a great deal different from those of our own time. But the cake, of necessity, had somewhat different ingredients, being closer to gingerbread (no refined sugar available!). And they sang a birthday song for him but I doubt it was the familiar one we know. 🙂
  3. Facing death is facing death and that happens frequently enough to many of my characters. What's worse? The loss of the soul, perhaps — though strictly speaking my stories do not allow for a 'soul' as many understand the word, ones physical essence might be trapped eternally in another world, which comes to much the same thing. My Donzalo character faces that threat at least once, and it is implied that is the final fate of the sorcerer who tried to inflict it on him (to be explored in the sequel, of course). And then there is poor Saj who faces a fate worse than death when he is threatened with marriage.
  4. Loads of inexpensive paperback books, the greater part of them science-fiction, and especially all the re-releases of Edgar Rice Burroughs's stuff that coincided with my youth. That led to a great deal of wider reading and eventually fantasy (though I didn't get into--or maybe 'get'--Tolkien till I was older). The Ballantine series of classic fantasy novels was definitely big, and introduced me to William Morris, Lord Dunsany, Clark Ashton Smith, etc. Incidentally, the paperback rack was right down the aisle from the model airplane shelves in the local hobby store and I always had to make a choice of which to spend my money on. Those models definitely stimulated my imagination too and I could follow a thread from them to my shortly-to-be-released non-fantasy adventure 'The Dictator's Children,' which has it's share of 'vintage' airplanes. 🙂 If I go back a little further, books on paleontology and archaeology first evoked a sense of wonder in me. Especially paleo-anthropology (i.e. prehistoric man) eventually. That has stayed with me and I have not hesitated to drop a few 'cave men' into my stories.
  5. I use a four act approach quite a lot. In the majority of my fantasy adventures, in fact. It lets me put a twist at the end of act 2 and introduce new problems/conflicts/subplots in act 3. I also try to have each act bring its own little plot arc with a bit of a resolution (or apparent resolution) before tackling the next one. It's nothing I hide, btw; many of the novels are formally divided into four named sections.
  6. I've gone more the opposite direction when it comes to pantsing/plotting. I don't write out near as much ahead of time as I used to and rely more on the story in my head. I think this might be a matter of greater confidence in myself to improvise, and not worry so much about the world-building. Not that my world-building isn't extensive anyway! And the writing certainly flows easier. Less editing is necessary. It's the old practice makes perfect thing, I guess, though I'm far from perfect. I'm also far more confident in my descriptive language. I've always tended to be spare with that sort of thing but now I can better see the places I need to drop in a few words to flesh things out.
  7. If I've gotten more than a couple pages in I will probably finish, More than a few have only taken those couple pages (or even a couple paragraphs) for me to say 'no way' and put them down. Or thrown them across the room. Very infrequently I might drop a book I've gotten further into. I'm usually too invested by that time, even if I've concluded they aren't very good and/or interesting. That is entirely likely to be something I've been assured is a good story so I keep looking for evidence!
  8. I have to admit I find it hard not to drop humor into my work, even when I attempt to be so, so serious. I might blame it on Edgar Rice Burroughs. Most folks don't realize he would slip all these witty and sometime sarcastic bits into his genre adventures. James Branch Cabell too. That, i realize, is a somewhat different direction for humor than that taken by Pratchett (though I do appreciate both). A darker humor, perhaps, though it needn't be. Stepping outside of Fantasy, my 'idol' has to be Evelyn Waugh when it comes to incorporating humor into novels.
  9. I don't quite do a 'moodboard' and certainly not online, but I do have folders on my own PC with images that seem relevant to story creation. In particular, photos of people (actors, sometimes) who might resemble my characters. I find it easier to visualize and describe them that way. And landscapes and buildings and weapons and so on. It is long since I had a Pinterest account. It really never seemed that useful to me but then I'm not connected constantly to the internet as so many are these days (that is a result of living out in the boonies, with a satellite hookup and spotty cell coverage).
  10. I am perhaps less into any period of history than I am into prehistory. So much happened before we started writing things down—so I figure, why not write 'em myself? 😉 Especially the cultures of Eurasia going back as the late Paleolithic, but also the Neolithic and Bronze Age. In several of my stories we are essentially at a Neolithic level of development. But I am a lover of history from any period (after all, I have a degree in it). I might be particularly fond of the Renaissance, with its new dynamic as the Middle Ages transitioned to more-or-less the Modern world. And I do intend to return to it and write a sequel to the tale I already set there (or in a fantasy analog, I should say).
  11. I am found HERE. I, as many of you, do not socialize at GR but do put up reviews. And, of course, make sure all my own books are up.
  12. Though it is certainly possible to bring something new to any setting, including a medieval-like world, I have avoided it so far. Maybe I'll find a reason to use that setting someday, but I think maybe I feel a little uncomfortable walking that much traveled terrain. I might fall into one the very deep ruts. It's that cookie-cutter medieval that bothers me. Probably bothers a lot of us. Shoot, it bothered Cervantes enough to spoof it hundreds of years ago. But people keep writing it, don't they? I have set tales in periods that would correspond to those just before and after the middle ages, so I can get a little of the flavor without being strictly medieval. My Donzalo books would correspond to the late renaissance, so there are still men riding about in armor but they are more likely to carry wheel-lock pistols than lances. My WIP and those related to it are similar to late antiquity, just before the dawning of the medieval. Ha, maybe I'm zeroing in...
  13. It undoubtedly has and will help. By the time I had the degree I realized I would rather create art than teach about it, so I chose to be a painter.
  14. She is trying to avoid adventures and enjoy her retirement, having escaped (literally) the responsibilities of leading pirates. Unfortunately, having a demi-god infant son has brought complications. He is kidnapped in the first novel in which she has the lead, and her attempts to retrieve him eventually lead her to his father's world of gods (the father himself is absent, as he is at the time a rather mindless gigantic crocodile swimming the seas). The new WIP is focusing more on the boy's growing abilities, including his penchant for drawing little monster playmates to their house. And Daddy has returned. And the new Pirate King is trying to scuttle the treaty she helped set up in the previous book, as it would be bad for the piratical business (that's actually the central plot element).
  15. I like the concept of co-main protagonists, male and female. Did that in a couple novels. But otherwise, males have definitely predominated—at least in my earlier work. Since the first seven books, I've pretty much alternated male and female leads, including a couple with women narrating in first person. Do I worry about pulling that off? To be sure, but I felt more confident about attempting such things after I had more experience. And, indeed, human beings are human beings and there is more to a person than gender.