Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Introducing Wulfram: An Exclusive Preview of Dreamwielder

We're one week out from the release of Dreamwielder. To give you a taste of what to expect, I decided to give you a sneak peek at one of the bad guys from the book, perhaps even my favorite character: Wulfram.


The sorcerer Wulfram stooped through the doorway into a small round chamber at the top of the tallest tower in Col Sargoth. A cloak of shadow covered his body from crown to toe, a mottled mantle of black feathers and fur. His body, though shrouded beneath the cloak, was visibly misshapen: his legs were splayed forward and bent at a grotesque angle, his shoulders stooped forward, yet arched above his head, and his head—even hidden beneath his hood of feathers—was too long and too narrow to be completely human.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Lovely Distractions: The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, and Tales of the Apocalypse

We’re exactly two weeks out from the release of Dreamwielder and I’m going a little nutty in anticipation. I’ve been keeping myself busy sending out advanced copies to reviewers, doing interviews, and all that promotional business, but that only seems to add to the anticipation. So, as a healthy distraction for all of us, here’s my recent rants and raves.

Tales of the Apocalypse
I’m teaching a sweet class at the art high school this semester on apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic literature and film, largely because I feel it’s my civic duty to teach students the difference between dystopias and apocalyptic stories. It drives me crazy when moron critics call a show like The Walking Dead a “haunting dystopia.” My other main motive for teaching the class is so I can get paid to watch Mad Max. Doesn’t get much better than that.

John Carter and Mad Max duking it out
in Ragnarok. © Chris Turk. 

We haven’t quite gotten to Mad Max yet though. First up has been tales of apocalypse in mythology. We kicked off the term learning about Ragnarok and reading some of the Poetic Edda. Next up was flood myths. I found this great article from geologist David R. Montgomery that documents geological evidence for some big ass glacial floods that likely inspired everything from the Noah and the Ark myth to flood myths amongst the Yakima and Spokane native American tribes in the Pacific Northwest. Cool stuff. Biblical-Type Floods Are Real, and They're Absolutely Enormous.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Hats Off to the Ladies

(Authors Note, March 8, 2017: I just reread this post, as I'm about to share it on social media to help celebrate International Women's Day, and realize that while my heart was in the right place here, I could have worded things better in many instances. Let's just say I've learned a lot and grown as a person and a writer since I first wrote this in 2013. In the end, I'm happy to share some of the great women authors who helped inspire my Dreamwielder series, so here it is without further disclaimers.)

The Women Authors Who Influenced Dreamwielder

I was recently interviewed by my long-time friend and frequent collaborator Ahimsa Kerp over at Be Obscure Clearly, and one of the questions he asked me was who my favorite contemporary writers are. It didn’t occur to me at the time, but upon rereading the interview I realized there wasn’t a single woman author on the list. If you look over my previous blog posts here you’ll find more of the same—lots of mentions of Tolkien, Asimov, Burroughs, Bradbury, Martin, Powers, Blaylock, Bacigalupi, but no ladies. Apart from my interview with Misty Massey, there’s nary a mention of women authors.

The question I’m sure people are left asking is how could an author who seemingly doesn’t read women authors manage to write Dreamwielder, a book with a young woman as a protagonist and more female characters than male characters? The obvious answer would be that I have strong women who have influenced my life, and that’s definitely part of the story. In addition to my mother, Shirley, who literally dreamt up Makarria, I have a strong woman role model in my step-mom, Corine, as well as my four grandmothers and a slew of aunts, and then there’s my sister, half-sister, and my partner, Mandy. This is the first and most obvious answer, but not the only one.