Archive | February, 2013

Welcome to the 7/7 Blog Challenge!

25 Feb

C.P. Lesley, a writer and member of Goodreads, recruited me for this blog challenge. I agreed—well, frankly, because it sounded like fun. The rules are simple: post seven lines from p. 7 (or 77) of my work in progress; thank C.P. for inviting me with a link back to her blog; and talk seven other writers into participating by posting seven lines from the appropriate pages of their works in progress, thanking/linking to me, posting the challenge rules, and finding seven other authors to carry on the chain.   Like a chain letter, but more fun!  (And one that might introduce a lot of people to good books they might not otherwise discover.)

My current project, due out early this summer, is The Seal Queen, a shapeshifter fantasy set in Bronze Age Ireland.  It tells the story of Briah, a slave girl who escapes, meets the roane (shapeshifting seal like selkies, only Irish), and discovers her own mysterious connection to them.

My seven lines from P. 7 find Briah in the hold of a slave ship, just after seeing the ocean for the first time.  She is telling the story of Lir, her terrifying former captor, to a fellow slave:

      And since they were many leagues away from where Lir sat like a spider in his lair, Briah repeated the story she had heard once, from a slave who she never saw again; the story she liked the best.  “They say his father was a demon, but his mother an ordinary mortal.  So he has demon power, but not immortality.  And he’s been driven mad by the knowledge that one day, he will die.  And pay for all he’s done.” 

            “I hope that’s true,” said the woman.  “I hope one day, they all pay!”  She rolled over and eventually slept.


Many thanks to C.P. Lesley who can be found here:


And the seven great authors who will keep the challenge going are: 


G. David Nordley

Jason Malcolm Stewart

Emerian Rich

Laurel Ann Hill

Teresa Fendley

Marlene Dotterer

Valerie Frankel




Five Things I’ve Learned From Self-Publishing

6 Feb

It’s been just about two years now since a very good friend of mine asked, “Which of your novels is the closest to being ready for publication?”  That was how the journey started. So in honor of two important milestones: that aniversary and the release of my third book, I now present The List:

1. It’s All in the C!
: Self publishing is great way to increase one’s technological know-how, not to mention confort level.  Especially for someone who was borderline illiterate when taking the plunge.  It’s kind of a sink-or-swim proposition.  And while I’m aware that the skills I’ve gained will have wonderful side benifits in other areas of my life, I’ve learned an essential truth: I’m never going to love the technical side of publishing.

2.  Relationships Will Change:  Since the day Daughter of the Goddess Lands came out, I think I’ve heard from more relatives, and spent more time talking with them than any time in recent memory.  And I’m starting to suspect that my students take me more seriously now as well.

3. Marketing Can Be Fun–And Frustrating: Yes, the two Fs of marketing (there’s a third one, but this is a family friendly blog).  When faced with becoming that type of published author who has to do 100% of her own marketing, I was terrified.  Promoting myself was even more outside my comfort zone than computers.  But it was the need to market my books that got me to book fairs, sent me on my first virtual book tour, and helped me meet some terrific people.  I’ve also discovered that marketing ebbs and flows like the tide (which reminds, me, I’ve got to get back to work on my next book The Seal Queen.)

4. The Feeling: there is nothing in the world like holding in your hands a professionaly printed copy of the novel that you’ve worked on for eight years.  That feeling can only be rivaled by reading a five star Amazon review by someone you’ve never met.  Or possibly being the Writer Guest of Honor at a science fiction convention.  I’ll get back to you when I find out what that last one feels like.

5. Readers Are Everything: It’s great to write, but being read is what makes an author an author.  Never forget the people who do the u!
tterly outrageous thing of paying money for a book, when there’s so much free stuff out there to read.  So with that in mind, I’d like to end this list with a giant THANK YOU to everyone who’s bought one of my books, and spent something even more valuable than money on it: your time, and your willing suspension of disbelief.  And if you’ve gone that extra stop and posted a review, then thank you ten times more.