My Alien Penpal

Creating a new world is hard enough. Then describing it in a story is a little like pretending that you have an alien penpal.

An alien would have no context or prior knowledge to understand the world that you are writing about. You don’t know what your reader’s life is like, so you can’t compare the things that are unfamiliar to them to something that is familiar to them. But you don’t want to get so bogged down in the details of explaining every little thing that you bore them. (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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Author Interview with Jimena Novaro

I asked some questions of fantasy author Jimena Novaro about her approach to writing, life, and more. She had some surprising responses. Read on to find out what she said!
1. What inspired you to write your first book?

In some corner of my mind I always knew I would be a writer. I started
writing stories as soon as I could write; they just seemed to come out of
me. At first I only wrote to entertain myself, because what can be more
fun than opening up a window to another world and watching characters go
around doing whatever I told them to?

I wrote my first “book” when I was nine for the pure pleasure of pouring
words onto a page. That novel was so incoherent that the protagonists
defeated the villain with pancakes, but every day I sat down and wrote
another few pages in awful handwriting until I finished it. This made me
realize that I could write novels. Tons of them. So for the rest of my
life, I’ve never stopped, even though I never even considered publication
seriously until about three years ago. (more…)

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My New Project: Korinna

I am so excited about this new book that I am writing and I feel like it’s really coming together. I am so close to publishing Small Town Witch, so I haven’t forgotten about that and I will be doing a lot more work on that very soon to give everyone some excitement for the new release, but right now I just want to let you all now about my newest project and how well it’s going.

I don’t have a title yet, because I am horrible at naming stories. I usually use just the name of the main character as short hand for the story until well into the first draft or even during revision. This book’s main character is Korinna, and since she’s probably going to fill up at least three books, I’ve labeled the project “Korinna Book 1”. Here is the plot in a sentence:

The illegitimate daughter of the murdered duke must capture and tame a dangerous monster in order to take control of the city away from the greedy council before the curse that killed her father destroys them all.

(more…)

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What is Urban Fantasy?

On a writing forum that I visit, there was a recent discussion about defining fantasy sub-genres, specifically urban fantasy, contemporary fantasy, and magical realism. Genre definitions can get tricky because…

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