I Want To Read

Sometimes (okay, every day, sometimes twice) I wonder why I’m doing this, the whole writing thing, and putting my naked soul on display for nameless gawker.

I think it’s because I want to read. I want to be engaged in books and stories, and talk about them in my own way. To read actively, to the fullest extent, I need to be a writer too.

It’s not enough for me just to read books alone and never talk about the things between the covers (or under the cover image, since I also like ebooks). I want to contribute to the fictional conversation, so I write.

Two Snippets

A little extra bang today. I have a small snippet of the new Hard Luck, and then, if you like, stay for something from a new (Rothganar) project. 🙂

~*~

First, Hard Luck! I’m adding material, did I mention that in the previous post? I think I did. This is from a chapter right after Dingus and Vandis actually meet.

Any tulon or tulua knew what Dingus was on sight, and no one would let him more than a couple of paces into any establishment. Humans didn’t know—Vandis himself wouldn’t have known—he was anything other than an elf, but a lot of them didn’t want him around because of it. “How do they all know you’re half-blood?” he’d demanded, when the third hitul place kicked them out.

“It’s the ears,” Dingus had explained, clinically, without a trace of woe in his voice.

“What about them?”

“It’s how they’re attached to your head.” He rubbed a finger behind one, leaving a trail of dirt. “See how mine are? They point sort of up and stick out farther. A real one of the People’s ears would point back and be flatter to their head.”

Vandis had scowled and said, “You are a real—”

“No, I ain’t,” he’d said. “Ain’t human neither.”

“Then what are you?” Vandis had asked, more curious about Dingus’s idea of himself than he was concerned with grammar.

“Does it matter?”

~*~

Now a little from another project. I’m calling this one Daddy’s Little Princess, the reason for which I’ll keep to myself for now. While it’s set in the Menyoral timeline and features characters from the books, it’s not a Saga of Menyoral book at all. Trying something a little different with this one, because if you stop trying new things, art stagnates. And business, haha. Anyway, check this out.

The alleys opened their pitch-black mouths, ready to swallow anybody who got too close, looked too close if they happened to be passing when lightning came. Martin wasn’t one for destiny, and he didn’t believe in fate, but when he passed that alley, lightning flashed, and what he saw, or thought he saw, gulped him down just that quick.

There was a woman there, all tall and wet and glorious, dark blood and clear water, and in the breath he could see her, she swung down with a huge knife and split Big Jimmy Pantucci’s head. It was frozen in Martin’s mind, the woman, her long hair flying in thick wet ropes. He remembered all the stories Jacques told when he was drunk as shit, the ones about La Reine Guirriѐre and her chariot drawn by wolves. He felt like he had seen her.

He felt like he had to see her again.

Against every skill and instinct he owned, and at least one unwritten rule of the streets, Martin went straight for the maw. Lightning lashed close by, close enough to hear it crackle, and the thunder broke reality wide. Any minute he’d wake up in his pallet with the sheet sticking to his hot sweaty skin, any minute. She whacked that chopper hard into the mass of Big Jimmy and wound back again, and Martin blinked a dazzled slash out of his eyes. Rain hammered the street. Wind made his sodden clothes flap.

He took a step forward, and another step, into the alley, wishing for a mage-lantern. Another sizzling flash, so bright he almost missed her standing there with Jimmy’s dripping messy head, bloody fist in the hair.

~*~

That’s all for now! Thank you so much for choosing this article, from among millions of others published just today. ❤

 

Big News and Little

Hi!

I know I haven’t been blogging much. I haven’t been very active anywhere, and I’ve been basically in my hidey-hole all the time. I’m going to come out a little more often, I promise.

A few pieces of news for my readers:

  1. The Menyoral series is coming back, better than ever. I still don’t have release dates, but look forward to four (that’s right) full-length books in the future. All the past books will relaunch with new content: more of the things you came for in the first place. I’m going to see how I can get the new versions to readers who have downloaded already, too — I appreciate your patronage and don’t want to take advantage. All that, and the fourth book in the series too. I’m working on Hard Luck right now.
  2. Around the relaunch will come a few new stories and standalone novels, all set in Rothganar, all revolving around characters from Saga of Menyoral. There’s going to be a ton of stuff to read!
  3. Steel for the Prince will continue. The series will run to four books: The High King’s Will, which is already published; The Witch under Mountain, which has another round of revision and beta-readers to get through; The Heart of Stone, which I am drafting; and The Endless Night, which I am outlining.
  4. I’m working on a new freebie, a mailing list incentive, called Crossbow Wedding. It’s the story of Dingus’s parents, and I’m hoping people will sign up to a new mailing list to receive the novella. I’ll let you know more about that when it gets closer.

That was a lot of stuff, so I won’t exhaust your eyeballs. Thanks for reading my nonsense!

I had a lot of self-serving nonsense to spew and I wrote a post about it and deleted the post and now I’m sitting at my keyboard wondering what to say.

I mean, there’s no excuse for how long everything is taking me right now. I keep falling into this cycle of self-loathing and misery and ego, and every time I rotate back to the top, it’s like I’m starting everything over again.

I have to beat this.

I don’t know how, but I have to win, because it’s in my way. It’s interfering with my personal life, and it’s interfering with my life’s work, which is to tell stories. I want to tell stories, and I want to tell them well, and that’s basically it.

I have to win. Back to square one.

Kaden the Dragon: A Guest Post by Maya Starling

Please welcome my new friend Maya, here to tell us about her beautiful dragon!

~*~

“She was the girl who longed for the freedom of the dragon, and he was the dragon who longed to be a man.”

 One of the main characters in book one of the Dragons Awaken Trilogy, Dragon’s Treasure, is, of course, a dragon. The whole idea for the book was born with him.

I feel sorry for dragons. They are mostly featured as evil creatures—monsters really—or as creatures the “chosen one” gets to ride, or even just as a bit part in a plain dragon-shifter romance. That, or I have been reading the wrong books. Mind you, there are excellent exceptions, but only a few in the whole sea of literature featuring dragons.

As a gamer and lover of all things geek and fantasy, it was a given that there would be a dragon featured in my story. Kaden’s appearance was inspired by the artwork of Ben Wotten’s Blue Dragon.

Kaden is a magnificent dragon, with dark blue, silky scales, and a golden underside. Dark charcoal horns and amber-colored eyes grace his body. He has a scar over his left eye, cutting through his brow.

I wanted to give my dragon a different kind of story. Why does the knight always have to save the maiden from the dragon? Why wouldn’t she prefer the dragon to the monster that is the knight? Why not switch roles, give a twist to that old trope and maybe sprinkle it with some Beauty and the Beast elements?

Those were the main questions that started Kaden’s story. And, don’t worry, the main question for the second book was: Why wouldn’t the maiden save herself?

I like playing with tropes and stereotypes, trying to write the “what if” and “why not” stories.

That is how Kaden was thought-born. Since I’m a pantser when it comes to writing, I let Kaden tell me his history throughout both books.

Once a human, Kaden was cursed to be a dragon with a penchant to permanently borrow and hoard other’s possessions. In his cave, you can find anything from gold and jewelry to crates filled with pants, half torn wagons, and even a chimney.

He once “borrowed” a horse, but it didn’t turn out well, as much as he enjoyed finally having some company. He wasn’t cruel of heart, so he let the horse escape.

He learned not to “borrow” stuff from old women—nay, hags! They are tenacious and will beat you with a cane for your attempt, no matter how big and deadly you are.

Being a dragon wasn’t all about the drawbacks. He saved a young girl’s life once from a fire. Lucky for him, fire does him no harm.

And he would never tire of flying. It was exhilarating. He will never forget when he first spread his wings and took flight, as awkward as it was—and drunken-looking. The view, the freedom… the vastness of the sky above and the earth below… the experience entranced him.

But, as the years passed, he tired of the loneliness. He missed the human connection, affection, and even touch. The rare encounters with humans ended up with Kaden defending his life against wanderlusting adventurers and trying to save their lives, too. He had to take some, though. And their spilt blood will forever lay heavy on his soul.

Depressed and weary, he secluded himself on a mountain, in a dreary cave, away from the people, and away from life.

Until, one day, a young woman chased by wolves stumbled into his cave.

She was the one to turn his destiny around. She was the one to bring light to his darkness, and she was the one that brought him the salvation of death and rebirth.

~*~

Follow Maya at these links, or purchase her books:

http://www.mayastarling.com * Twitter * Facebook

Dragon’s Treasure (book 1)

https://books.pronoun.com/dragons-treasure/

Dragon’s Prize (book 2)

https://books.pronoun.com/dragons-prize/