Sunday, July 27, 2014

Meet the Witch of Blue Note

It's interesting how this post dovetails with last week's talk on favorite characters. Several Helping Hands Press authors are participating in a summer reading blog tour where we introduce our blogging audience to our stories.and characters. As usual for me, the introduction of my favorite character from my fantasy novel Whispers from Forbidden Earth has taken a slightly darker turn . . .

My name is Jai. I was born as you see me, with useless eyes. Yet I see in ways very few can. Perhaps I’m the only one still alive on the vast world of Eversong with spirit-sight. I don’t know. I have not sensed anyone else for many years.

Since the days of the Bothers’ War, three-hundred years past, the good ancient races of Eversong have despised and mistrusted my people for the Old Knowledge that we keep. Even the pixies and gnomes mistrust us. The trolls hate us, but isn’t that the way with trolls?

Until recently, arrests and trials and hangings have dogged us because of the Old Knowledge. It always angers and saddens me, but it never surprises. Most don’t trust what they don’t understand, or in the case of the clueless magi holed up behind the glistening walls of the castle Haven-Rest, what they don’t try to understand.  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Quite the Character!

I know readers have favorite stories. I blogged about some of my favorite science fiction short stories last week. What about favorite characters? Do you have memorable characters who jumped off the pages? Quirky characters? Humorous characters? Characters whose personality and traits just rang true?

Some of my favorite characters are
* Louis de Pointe du Lac from Interview with the Vampire
* Julian "Bean" Delphiki from Ender's Game
* Rue from The Hunger Games
And maybe because they're from some of my most recent (and favorite) reads . . .

I found an interesting blog post by

Thursday, July 10, 2014

I Have No Mouth and I Must Write

What? Do ya think I lost my mind with the title? Patience, Grasshopper, and my madness will become clear.

I came across a post by Jim Denney on his Unearthly Fiction blog. The post struck me, not only because of the great advice to writers passed along from Harlan Ellison, one of Science Fiction’s grand masters, but also because he mentioned Harlan’s 1967 short story, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream.  

The stark imagery and brutally powerful voice of Harlan’s tale drew me in as a teenager and NEVER let go. Few other short stories have had a similar impact. Arthur C Clarke’s The Star is one, as is Daniel Keyes’ Flowers for Algernon and Brian AldissSuper-Toys Last All Summer Long. These stories touched me in ways that have lasted many, many years. Shouldn’t that be the goal of every writer, to touch and influence his or her readers in powerful ways? Shouldn't we strive to covey ideas and images and emotions in fresh ways the reader may have never experienced before?

That is why I found Harlan Ellison’s advice to writers in Mr. Denney blog so encouraging. In a way, I needed a pep talk. The ache in the pit of my stomach never goes away, even after the many rejections that’s a part of every writer’s life. Will my stories impact readers in the same way that I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream did to me?  Eventually, I hope so. That is my dream. That is why I keep writing.

Here’s a link to Mr. Denney's Unearthly Fiction Blog

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Guest Blog - Happy Fourth of July!

Maybe it's because I am a proud father of a Soldier who served our country in Iraq and Afghanistan, but I look at the Fourth of July and Memorial Day holidays in a special way. That's why I want to share a post by fellow Helping Hands Press author, Joseph Max Lewis. Joseph is part of the author team on "The Declaration of Independence" series. The complete series will be available on Amazon on July 4th. Joseph is also a former Green Beret and is currently a Lawyer. I hope you enjoy reading Joseph's keen insights into the one of this nation's most important founding fathers, John Hancock.