Lady Warrior: Alanna of Trebond

-alanna-first-adventure-tamora-pierceOne of the first lady warriors that I was introduced to as a child was Alanna of Trebond, from the Song of the Lioness Quartet and other Tortall stories by Tamora Pierce. Alanna lives in the fantasy kingdom of Tortall, where only men are allowed to become knights. She swaps places with her twin brother, Thom, and disguises herself as the boy “Alan” so she can train as a knight. Although her true identity is eventually discovered, she manages to become one of the king’s most decorated knights and actually changes the laws of the kingdom so that other women can become knights as well.

Since we see Alanna grow from a young girl into a woman, we get to watch her overcome a lot of her flaws. She struggles to accept herself as a woman and as a wielder of magic, and eventually embraces all of her gifts, not just her talent for fighting. She also has to learn how to control her temper and her stubbornness. Along the way, she learns about friendship and love. (more…)

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Lady Warrior: Aerin of Damar

Hero-and-the-CrownOne of my favorite literary heroes of all time is Aerin-sol of Damar, also known as the Dragonkiller. She’s the main character of Robin McKinley’s fantasy novel, The Hero and the Crown. The book tells the story of how Aerin goes from an awkward princess who would rather be ignored by the Royal Court, due the dubious heritage of her late mother, to a warrior who wields a magical sword and saves her entire kingdom from the invasion of a demon army.

There are many things that I love about Aerin. She does many brave things, sometimes foolhardy, but often they are backed up by careful thought. She learns how to fight dragons effectively from studying an ancient history text in the library while she is recovering from an illness. Then she tests her methods with scientific precision until she perfects them. Any warrior who uses her brains as much as her strength is inspiring. (more…)

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Secrets of Writing Small Town Witch

Tomorrow and Monday, Small Town Witch is available on Amazon as a free Kindle download! If you’ve been waiting to check out the story, now is your chance!

I’ve talked about the characters, how I wrote the story, and even shared a deleted scene from the novel. But what else is there to learn about this story? These are the top five secrets behind Small Town Witch. (more…)

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Why I Will (Not) Use My Religion in My Stories

I have been religious for my whole life, and my faith is important to me. It’s as much a part of me as anything else, and it’s especially important when I make decisions about how I live. I want the things that I do to honor the gods and show my respect for their creations. You will not hear me talk about this very often, though. My spirituality is very personal for me, and very private.

More to the point, though, I do not think that a story is a good place for religion. Of course there are characters for whom religion is important, and it may affect them in good or bad ways. And creating religions is a personal favorite of mine for world building. A story should also reflect the ethics and philosophy of the author in certain ways. But a story is a very bad place to preach about ideas, religious or otherwise. (more…)

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