Mythic Orbits 2

 

Today’s blog post is super exciting for me. Not only do I get to tell you about the release of a great speculative fiction anthology, I have a story in it.

Mythic Orbits vol.2 contains my first published story under the pen name C. O. Bonham.

 

Mythic Orbits 2

This anthology collected the best available speculative fiction short stories written by Christian authors. Science fiction, fantasy, LitRPG, and other genres are included, whether the stories have openly Christian themes or characters or not, without requiring the stories to have any specific theme in common. This collection is clean fiction—no profanity, graphic sexuality or extreme violence.

In a series praised by both Tosca Lee, Kathy Tyers, and Kerry Nietz,  this anthology of eleven speculative fiction stories by Christian authors shines in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and LitRPG genres. Featuring Kat Heckenbach’s “Mark the Days,” this collection has something for every speculative fiction fan.

 

 

My contribution is the short story “Recalled from the Red Planet.”  The quick pitch is Left Behind on Mars. The long pitch is, this is in response to that guy who said,  “Revelation proves that man will never colonize space.” I don’t remember his name now, but it annoyed me enough to write a story about it.

If that isn’t tempting enough, this anthology also features stories from such greats as, Steve Rzasa, C.W. Briar and Kat Heckenbach.

Also I just discovered that I can include the Kindle sample right here in the body of my post. (Complete accident, I will never be able to repeat this.) Just hit the free preview button and enjoy Mythic Orbits vol. 2.

 

Kindle edition sells for: $2.99

The paperback pending. But I will let you know once it’s available.

I really hope you’ll give Mythic Orbits vol. 2 a try. If you do would you consider leaving a review on Amazon or Goodreads if you have an account. They really do help books get visablity.

And if you would like to give Vol. 1 a try you can find it at the link below:

Building an Irresistible World

 

Today I’m featuring, Irresistible World Building by Janeen Ippolito. It’s a writing craft book, about how to make your fictional world more than just window dressing in your stories.

 To showcase this new resource, author Janeen Ippolito had the idea to ask bloggers questions about the worlds they are writing.

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World Building for my Work In Progress:

Working title: The Steampunk Prince

Working Blurb: Jay may be a prince in hiding but he wants nothing more than to hop on an airship an leave his little nation to rot. If only he didn’t have a condition that keeps him within the borders of his mountain locked country.

When rumors surface that there maybe a cure for his condition, will Jay choose to run, or fight for the throne that is his birthright?

1)Name your spec fic subgenre!

 Science Fiction > Steampunk

 2)Why this subgenre? What makes it awesome?

 I love science fiction. But I’m also an old fashioned girl. I like vintage stuff. Steampunk is a combination of these two things. Also the plot needed an airship.

 3)What are your favorite books in your subgenre?

 Despite deciding to write in it I am still new to the Steampunk genre. But the Leviathian trilogy by Scott Westerfeld was my first foray into the genre. Recently I have enjoyed the Soul Chronicles series by Morgan Busse.

 4)How is your world building just as cool as in these books—if not cooler?

 One of the hallmarks of Steampunk is cool gadgets. Another is pseudo-sciencey stuff. I have both.

 5)What is fresh and different about your world building that hasn’t been done before?

 My Pseudo science is aethergen. It’s a gas that is safe to breath, but it can also be condensed and burned as a fuel. When exposed to ray of a specific wavelength it will become unstable and explode.

 6)How does your world building explain something that you’ve never understood?

 I love the steampunk aethetic of putting gears on everything. But it isn’t really practical. 

 Victorica is a factory economy. There are lots of spare parts left over from the mass production of mechanical devices. Add to that the Lord Regent’s poor negotiating skills, results in more exports than imports. People have to make do with what they have. Gears become buttons and belt buckles. A discarded piston may become a replacement leg for a chair.

 7)What universal feelings do you explore in your world building—and why?

 Feeling trapped in a life you can’t control. Being told your dreams are pointless.

 Jay can’t leave his country — ever. His body is dependent on aethergen, without it his blood would stop absorbing oxygen.

 He can never live his dream of flying airships, because aethergen is heavy and will not make it to high altitudes.

 8)What cool superpowers does your character have related to your world building?

 The condition that keeps Jay grounded, was originally meant to create super soldiers. It was a success at first, but after generations, Jay has maybe just slightly faster reflexes than the next guy, and maybe he can lift a little more than average without straining.

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 9)Tell us about an aspect of your world that causes problems for your characters. Any dangerous weather patterns or geographical complications?

 Jay can’t fly, but he can’t walk away either. Victorica is surrounded by mountains. Only one mountain pass is open, and that is tightly controlled by the government. The River exits the mountains over a huge water fall and even if you can use an airship, there are storms that make flying out treacherous.

 10)Are there any cultural or racial tensions? What are they?

 Victorica started as a Prison colony. Kind of like Australia. So the population is pretty diverse. But rather than have racial tensions, it’s based on whether your ancestors were criminals or part of the settlers who came when the country was established. And that is still mostly an upper class thing. If you are stuck working in the factories, you don’t have time to worry about that.

 11)If you could take any part of your world building and make it into a giveaway item, what would it be?

 I have actually been thinking about this. There are these cute corked vials that I was thinking of filling with slime and calling condensed aethergen. Careful they might explode. That and gear jewelry.

 12)How is your character special/significant in your world building? Note that this doesn’t have to be a good kind of special!

 Jay isn’t just trapped in a life he hates. He’s the lost Prince. He doesn’t want to rule, but really he’s afraid that if he fought for the throne and won, he still couldn’t change anything. His super solider ancestors became rulers through strength, it’s a legacy that he’s not proud of. The royal family is everything that’s wrong with his country. Jay does not want to be a part of it.

 13)What about your world building messes up your main character’s life?

Well you know about the dependence on aethergen already. The second thing that gets to him is the government mandated work program. Victorica is a small country with no room to expand. There is no room for welfare. Everyone is assigned to a factory to work at after they finish school, that is unless you can test into a career field and be able to afford the tuition for university. Or be lucky enough to have someone offer you an apprenticeship.

14)What was the first thing that inspired your world building?

 Most people feel trapped by finances, but some people can’t even leave their homes because it would kill them. I took this and said, what if it was a country. The rest kind of snowballed from there.

15)Tell us about a historical event in your world which impacts the events of the story.

 The country of Victorica began as a place for the world to dump it’s prisoners. Then they tried to use these people as slave labor for mining camps and factories. The Third generation prisoners rose up and fought back. The Nation of Avenir sent in troops to suppress the uprising. Their Super soldier performed well and when they found that he had become dependent on the aethergen contained in the country, they made him a King to keep him happy so he would control the people for them.

 16)Describe a food your protagonist enjoys in your world—and one he/she hates.

 Jay loves sky biscuits, these are very filling and shelf stable. Basically Airship rations for long voyages. I based them on sea biscuits, but sky biscuits are loaded with herbs or spices because altitude messes with your sense of taste.

 Jay hates bland foods. Especially potatoes. True you an do a lot with them but he can’t stand the gritty texture.

17)What languages do the characters in your story speak? Do you have a conlang? Share a bit about it!

 English is the only language. It makes translation work easier. I’m not kidding. Every country on my made up planet speaks English. Am I just that lazy, or do I have a super secret spoilery reason for it? Only time will tell.

18)Tell us about a worldbuilding element you’re proud of even if it doesn’t make it much into the story itself.

 Dr. Carbuncle is a Willy Wonka type character. His candy and snack cakes pop up a lot throughout the story. I wanted to add an inside joke element and maybe make people wonder a bit. Also there is a lot of science being used for evil in the book. I want to remind people that science is still fun too.

Irresistible World Building CoverWrite stories with worlds that create lifelong fans and fandoms!

Irresistible World Building for Unforgettable Stories contains key methods and tips on how to weave your world building into every aspect of your story, from theme to plot to character arcs. 

-Use writing prompts and exercises to jumpstart your creativity
-Get ideas on how to refresh world building genre tropes while still hitting reader sweet spots
-Learn to embrace your inner geek and passions to connect your world building with readers

Vivid world building is great. Vivid world building that sells? Even better!

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Irresistible-World-Building-Unforgettable-Stories-ebook/dp/B07BYP99DS

 Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39776107-irresistible-world-building-for-unforgettable-stories

Author Bio Pic for Uploads - FictionJaneen Ippolito is two authors for the price of one! She creates writing resources and writes urban fantasy and steampunk. She’s also an experienced teacher, editor, author coach, and the editor in chief of Uncommon Universes Press. In her spare time, she enjoys sword-fighting, reading, food, and making brownie batter. She believes that words transform worlds and that everyone has the ability to tell their story. Two of her goals are eating fried tarantulas and traveling to Antarctica. This extroverted writer loves getting connected, so find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and at her website: janeenippolito.com

Social Media Links

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JaneenIppolito

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janeenippolitocreative/

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dfB5yX

 

 

C.O. Bonham dot com

If you have been on the site recently you may have noticed a change.

 The dolphin18cb is gone. The website is now cobonham.com.

 “Why?” you ask.

 Well, random musings from my addled mind really weren’t cutting it. I needed more focus, better branding if you will.

 I’ve felt like I’ve been floundering on the blog. Just writing about whatever struck my fancy wasn’t working. I started this blog to promote myself. But what was I really promoting?

 Dolphin18cb isn’t a pen name it’s a user name.

 Enter the Pen name C.O. Bonham.

 Why a pen name?

 The pen name was born out of two thing.

 1) I’ve written two unpublished novels and a handful of short stories, all with one thing in common. Male POVs. That’s right I write about boys, and someone who I trust and respect told me that boys don’t want to read books written by Cathrine Opal Bonham.

 Could I have asked for a more feminine name?

 This is a great lead-in to thing two:

 2) You may have noticed that Cathrine is spelled with out an E in the middle. It’s not wrong, I’ve checked my birth certificate.

 I was content to be unique until I took some bad advice from a job fair flier. “A professional email address should be yourname@mailservice.com so I created an email with no e in Cathrine.

And you guessed it, the only emails I got were spam. My potential employers couldn’t read well enough or didn’t care enough to spell my name right.

 So there it is, you have my weird writing habits and my odd spelling to thank for cobonham.com.

 A decidedly book-centric website, for promoting my works and the works of others. No more Randomness, no more addled mind. But dolphins are still nice, yes I’ll find away to work in dolphins.

 Keep watching this spot as I gradually make updates and tweak my brand.

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Also I made a logo. Let me know what you think of the changes in the comments.

White Wolf and the Ash Princess Blog tour.

Hi, guess what? I’m participating in another blog tour. This time it’s for the book: The White Wolf and the Ash Princess by Tammy Lash.

 White Wolf and the Ash Princess

About White Wolf and the Ash Princess

Eighteen year old Izzy’s limited world begins to feel cramped after she completes her self-appointed book dare. After reading two-hundred and fifty books, a thought that had been once tucked away as tightly as the books on her library shelves becomes too irresistible to ignore…”Who am I?”

Memory loss prohibits Izzy from remembering her life before age seven when she was injured in a fire. Fifteen year old Jonathan Gudwyne and his head housekeeper rescued her and took Izzy in as their own, but who did she belong to before Jonathan took her in?

Crippling panic keeps Izzy from wandering beyond the stables but Tubs, the Gudwyne’s thirteen-year old stable boy, encourages Izzy to go beyond the property’s rock wall to a world that promises possible answers. A scorched castle in the woods and its mysterious cellar reveal secrets that push Izzy beyond her discomfort to embark in a journey to the New World with her young friend.

Here, she finds love and a home in the most unexpected of places.

 Purchase Link

– Amazon (available on KindleUnlimited): http://a.co/0XX0PDf

 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34103987-white-wolf-and-the-ash-princess

I am excited for this book, though I haven’t read it yet, how can you resist a book that involves a book dare?

 Today I invited Tammy over to my blog and gave her the floor to talk about anything she wanted.

 She kindly agreed, and wrote this great post below:

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 How to Write with Anxiety Disorders

 Oooo! I’m having a mini panic attack. I was asked to write two blog posts. Two blog posts—and one of them is to be on whatever I want to write about.

Yikes! That’s double pressure. A) I need to write two blog posts. B) One of them is to be on whatever I want to write about.

My first instinct is to run for my bed covers and snuggle there until the “noise” goes away—but, I have a promise to keep (that’s a story for my other panic-inducing blog post)—and I won’t run and hide because I know I can do this. To help drown out the negative chatter in my head, I’ll just crank up my King Arthur soundtrack a little louder today. Together we’ll talk about what I know best—battling anxiety—and we’ll learn how to use it to our advantage in our writing.

 Accepting the Distracting Tri-head of Anxiety

I had no idea what was happening inside my stomach at age five. It felt like something angry was living there. I finally found out at age thirty that my “angry something” had a name. Three names, in fact. Over the years, the angry something grew and it morphed into the noisy tri-head of OCD, Panic Disorder and Generalized Anxiety.

Living with the trio is like wearing a headset playing the uncomfortably loud “Assassins Breathe” from the King Arthur soundtrack. You try to do your daily tasks but the noise that storms through your ears and into your brain makes it difficult. It confuses you. It makes simple tasks seem scary and it makes the days ahead feel like a maze you’ll never find your way out of.

With Christian counseling, the help of my husband, family and close friends, my tri-head has gotten a little less angry. I can still hear the noise from the headset—but the volume is a little less loud.

This isn’t a post meant to spark a debate on whether Christians should have these types of disorders. I am a Christian and—I have these disorders. The debate never gets off the ground for me. I know what the Bible says about them. The Lord desires us to “be anxious for nothing” and He asks that we “do not fear”. I’ve camped out in the Psalms, begged for relief and prayed the words in different ways hoping I’d finally say the right combination. I listened to pastors who said I was doing something wrong and I let them make me feel like a weak imposter.

 On my last day of therapy, a thought woke me up and it completely changed how I see myself and my anxiety. What if my angry trio was meant to be a part of me? Isn’t God the Master of everything? Time, weather, circumstance—mental health? He could cure me if He chose to, but He hasn’t. I may never be free—BUT is that so bad? I smiled at my therapist when I told him my new discovery. He smiled back and nodded an agreement. The kind of smile that said I passed my years of therapy with an A+. I have come to believe that OCD, Panic Disorder and Generalized Anxiety disorder are no different than the diabetes of your uncle or the high blood pressure of your aunt. These are life’s annoyances that are no different than the wart on your knuckle that won’t go away no matter how much you pick at it. It’s there—possibly forever—and why does that have to be bad? It’s an inconvenience— not the result of sin or a lack of faith.

I have come to believe that the Maker and Creator of all things gave me my trio to serve a purpose. This makes me special and unique. How could a gift like this be bad? So, with this new realization, I poured my experience with my trio into my writing. From it, White Wolf and The Ash Princess was born and this is how I did it…

 OCD Can Be a Good Thing

If you have it too, you’re probably shaking your head. I know, I know—sometimes it can be a complete pain. My OCD is mild for the most part. It’s cute and funny with a sprinkling of irritating. My family and I call my weird OCD hang-ups “ticks”. For example, before I can go to bed, I must first: take a sip of water. Second: smear chapstick on my lips until I reach the “you-can’t-possibly-be-putting-any-more-on-you’re-just-smearing-it-around” phase (hubby quote). Third: one last careful sip of water to keep my lip layers intact. Heaven forbid, I forget to go to the bathroom. Miss this step, and the three steps NEED to be done all over again. My husband finds this funny. He’ll sit at the edge of the bed with an amused smirk to try to catch the number of times the stick passes over my lips. We have yet to see how many times I do it. Apparently, I’m super-fast at it.

OCD in writing can be an amazing thing. It can keep you from moving on from a ho-hum scene. In Letters from the Dragon’s Son (the coming sequel to White Wolf and the Ash Princess), I could NOT leave one of my chapters. I literally read it or thought about it all day for days on end. Each time I thought about it, I looked harder into the scene. Every time I read it, I made the adjustments that my daydreams told me to. When I finally felt ready to let the chapter go, I was stunned at what my OCD tendencies left behind. Jonathan was the “rawest” and most pure in emotion that I had ever seen him in. Shaping and combing it until I felt it was right helped me bring him and his circumstance to a richer level. The extra flourishes were made by my OCD brush and I wouldn’t have reached that color of emotion if it weren’t for my “tick”.

 Panic Disorder Can Be a Good Thing

Out of the three, I despise this one the most. Panic disorder is uncomfortable—it’s scary—and it’s debilitating. This disorder feeds you heaping portions of terror until you are helplessly full. Overstuffed, you can’t catch your breath and your heart pounds so fast you fear it will short-circuit and stop. Our brain tries to convince us we’re dying and our body angrily fights back to keep it from happening. Feeling this type of panic is like getting to see what dying could be like in sample size for free (without actually dying)—like the tiny, clear cups of granola that they pass out at Wal-Mart in the grocery area to see if you really like it or not. Who wants to die? Nothing good can come from a disorder that gives you free test samples of death? Can it?

White Wolf absorbed the heaping helpings for me and it housed most of my anxious energy. It gave me the will to keep going, to share, and to help someone else struggling with panic. Writing helped me focus on something other than terror. Yep. Good things can come from panic disorder. You just have to look and find them.

 Generalized Anxiety Can be a Good Thing

This is the disorder that I’ve had the longest and it’s the one that has the strongest grip. I’m afraid of so many things, it’d take up pages for me to list them all. Some are crazy and insane and if I tell you, you’ll laugh. Ok. Maybe at this point we all need a laugh. Mascots (the cuter the scarier), clowns, policemen, TASERS (My terror is getting caught jay-walking. That’s when I’ll get tased, I just know it!), flying sticks, firemen, people in costume, talking on the phone, flying sticks—did you catch that one?

My anxious spirit seems quieter now that I’m writing about the things that I’m afraid of. I feel like a mean ogre piling it high on my characters, but I promise them a happy ending and that seems to suffice them. The things that had once seemed threatening before in the outside world, seem to lose their power when they’re shoved in a book. I find myself thinking more about storylines, scenes and characters than the looming doctor appointment that I have coming up or the broken garage door. I’m not losing touch with reality, I’m leveling it out. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Isn’t thinking on a book for His glory most, if not all, of those things?

White Wolf and the Ash Princess and Letters from the Dragon’s Son are more than steps towards healing and wellness. They’re a way for me to reach out and help others who feel the same as I do. If that doesn’t make my angry trio a blessing, I don’t know what does. As uncomfortable as they sometimes are, I’m so thankful and blessed to have my disorders.

 A Challenge for Those Struggling with Disorders

How about you? Do you struggle with the same three “thorns of the flesh” as I do? If you do, don’t listen to their voices of limitation. Don’t be afraid of them. Use them to your advantage and put them in your work. Use your strengths and weakness for Him. Lean on Him and trust Him. Don’t give up and let the trio engulf you. Use them while you’re battling them and do it for His glory. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish with His help. You—and your writing—will grow in ways you never dreamed possible.

Tammy Lash             About the Author

Tammy lives in Lower Michigan with her husband and her three children. Izzy’s home in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (Munising) is where she and her family enjoy exploring. Tammy enjoys hiking, kayaking, beach wandering, “hunting” for birch bark and hopes to someday find a porcupine quill. White Wolf and the Ash Princess is her first novel. She is published in Keys for Kids and has been in children’s ministry for over twenty years.

Social Media Links: Website // Facebook // Instagram // Pinterest

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I want to thank Tammy for her insightful post and I apologize for any extra anxiety I caused. 🙂

 White Wolf Giveaway Banner

Tammy has generously offered to give away a signed paperback of White Wolf and the Ash Princess, birch bark bookmark, and necklace (three winners). US only. 

Good Luck: Click Here

I almost forgot, check out the rest of the tour here:

 Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 7th

– Launch Day – Unicorn Quester

– Guest Post –dolphin18cb– You are here

 Tuesday, August 8th

Book Review – Ashley Bogner

 Wednesday, August 9th

– Book Review – Indie Book Reviews

 Thursday, August 10th

– Guest Post – Dream. Write. Repeat.

 Friday, August 11th

– Interview – Lands Uncharted

 Saturday, August 12th

– Wrap-Up Post – Unicorn Quester

Navigating the skies of Steam Punk

Last November I announced my NaNoWriMo novel. I may have mentioned that it was a steampunk story world. Some of you are probably wondering what that means. (Apparently there are many ways to define steampunk.)

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I used to think you can just type Airship and instantly turn any story into a steampunk one. No each steampunk story is unique. Some even have intricate magic systems.

Though it isn’t really steam punk without at least one airship, and Goggles. Goggles are a must. My personal philosophy is the three Gs of steampunk: Gears, Goggles and Grit. Yes Grit, because burning coal tends to make everything dirty.

As a fiction genre steampunk comes across as the mutant offspring of: Historical fiction, Science fiction and Fantasy.

Some advocate for the strict adherence to historical technology. (Do not have your Victorian dandy fire a ray gun.) One author said that steampunk must be an alternate version of our history. ( That means no made up worlds.) Another camp seems to see steampunk as only dealing with Steam power. (Makes sense, but very limiting.) The last camp is an anything goes super-genre mash-up that only requires a pair of goggles and a jolly good time to tell a story. That’s my camp.

 

This visual aesthetic, made up of vintage Victorian designs with industrial embellishments. (Keys, coins, gears, and gauges, to name a few.) Is what I love about steampunk.

This aesthetic is part of what I want to capture in my world building.

As soon as I realized that the rules didn’t matter a new world of ideas opened up to me. I saw a world with gears sown on in place of buttons and where teenagers wore goggles on their heads. I knew that airships were the only way to travel and that keys could be used to accent a hat. The entire story world formed in my head because I figured out the only way this aesthetic could evolve naturally from a culture starting from a Victorian baseline.

See it had to feel authentic to the world otherwise I was just riffing off the current trend.

How would you incorporate such a design choice?

New Name Blog Tour

 

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Check it out, I got my copy of A.C. Williams New Name. This is a book I’ve waited for, for almost a year. I’ve looked forward to it so much that I Pre ordered it. I never Pre-order books. But I did this one and the one before it. Namesake. That is how amazing this series is.

The Morningstar series is comprised of the three books in the Destiny Trilogy: Nameless, Namesake and New Name. They follow a girl who goes by Xander. That’s not her name, she doesn’t remember her real name. She has deep amnesia and only knows that she has nowhere to belong. Until she gets swept up with a ragtag team of bounty hunters on a fixer upper ship.

Sound familiar? While the destiny Trilogy is not Fan fiction it is certainly fiction for fans.

Having gotten to know Amy through the wonderful Realm Makers writers conference, I thought I’d take the time to ask her a few  insightful questions about her series. This interview is intended to find the geek worthy bits, the nerdy nuggets and the fan girlish fantasies that hide with in.

Warning: While we agreed to keep out spoilers for New Name, the following interview may contain minor spoilers for Namesake, the second book in the trilogy. So make sure you get caught up.

C: While reading Nameless and Namesake I was struck by how familiar it felt. In a, “OMG this is everything I love about sci-fi complied into one squeal worthy story,” kind of way. There are certainly a lot of time tested tropes within the Destiny Trilogy. What trope do you feel is a must have for any series to feel truly sci-fi?

A: I love speculative fiction of every variety, but just because it’s speculative doesn’t make it science fiction. To be real science fiction, the stories, characters, objects, and/or environment must be based on scientific fact. Events or incidents in science fiction don’t happen through magic. There’s always a logical explanation for how and why technology or biology is the way it is. Ray guns and aliens and laser swords and quirky spaceships add dimension to a story, but none of them are required for it to be science fiction. They just make it more fun.

C: Fair enough, But just between us, and everyone else reading this. Was there any one TV show or movie that was the main inspiration for this series?

A: This is a question I get asked a lot. Believe it or not, there was no real inspiration for the original idea of the stories in the Destiny Trilogy. I think I may have seen a promotional image for Cowboy Bebop that sparked my interest, but I didn’t watch the show until I’d already planned most of the storyline of the Destiny Trilogy. And I didn’t watch Firefly until after the movie, Serenity, released. I was horrified, at first, how similar those two amazing shows and the Destiny Trilogy were. I didn’t know whether to table the novels or keep working on them. But I’m glad I did! If there were any inspiration for the series, it probably came from Star Trek: The Next Generation, which I grew up watching. I loved the idea of having a spaceship traveling from planet to planet. I loved having a bookworm for a captain. And I loved having an android with a ton of personality. If Cowboy Bebop inspired anything, it was the idea of having a dog on board the ship.

C: I love it, just more proof that great minds think alike. Since we just covered the topic of TV Shows. Did you create a dream cast in your head? If so, reveal the actors who would play three of your main characters

A: I am not really a visual person. When I “see” a character, I see their actions, their motivations, the why of their souls. What they look like on the outside isn’t my first glimpse of them. That being said, it does help me when I have to describe them if I can find someone who looks like the vague image in my mind, so I did put together a dream cast of sorts.

aura-morningstar_annalise-basso  Aura/Xander – Annalise Basso

kale-ravenwood_grey-damon  Kale Ravenwood – Grey Damon

talon-mcleod_gerard-butler  Talon McLeod – Gerard Butler

evy-berkley_kate-hudson  Evy Berkley – Kate Hudson

devon-chase_justin-hartley  Devon Chase – Justin Hartley

vix-valentine_megan-fox  Vix Valentine – Megan Fox

jaz-carver_katee-sackoff  Jaz Carver – Katee Sackoff

al  Al – ? a mystery like her character.

braedon-kmight_scott-paulin  Braedon Knight – Scott Paulin

darien-stone_eduardo-verastegui  Darien Stone – Eduardo Verastegui

C: Great cast, I love Butler as McLeod. If this series is ever adapted for screen You must make sure he’s in it. But back to the books now.

I think I’ve found some geeky Easter eggs in your books. What is the top Easter egg that people have said they found? Is there one that you know of that no one has told you they found?

A: The Easter egg everyone identifies straight out is the Old Man in the Red Scarf, who Xander/Aura meets in the Oasis in the first chapter of Nameless. Everyone knows he’s important, but nobody knows why. And, honestly, the Old Man is one of the most important characters in the series. So answers about him aren’t coming anytime soon. But there will be more Easter eggs. The Easter egg in Nameless that no one really catches is pretty vague, but I think it’s mentioned twice: Aura trips over a lever in the galley. I also draw attention to it again in the new short story I just released on Kindle—Burn. I won’t say why it’s important. Just know I explain it in New Name.

C: So far the series has featured a girl who goes from being Xander to Aura, and if the title of the new book is to be believed she will get a “New Name” again. Are there any names for the character that you considered but decided not to use?

A: Oh, good question. Yes, this will actually be included in a trivia page I’m working on for the series. Originally, Aura’s last name was Morningside. And honestly I can’t remember why I changed it. It may have been a typo. Those were the days when I kept all my notes on pieces of scratch paper, and I think I got some of my notes confused at one point. It’s funny, too, because originally I didn’t have a plan for what her name would mean. I named her Aura because I worked with someone named Aura Rosebury. I just thought it was a beautiful name. I had no idea how much her name would actually turn out to mean to the series.

C: In Namesake you have a ship named the Tempest and a character named Ariel, that can not be a coincidence. What does Shakespeare have to do with Aura’s destiny?

A: Speaking of Easter Eggs, good job. Not many have made that particular connection. That was mainly me throwing in names with connections for my own amusement. The Tempest was a ship that belonged to the bad guys, and when Ariel entered, I wanted to throw in a little hint that she shouldn’t be trusted. So Shakespeare doesn’t have much to do with Aura’s continuing adventures, but I will say that Ariel might.

C: I am a card carrying member of the Shakespeare fandom. To be honest I geeked out more over the Tempest reference than the Sci-fi nods.

Without giving spoilers, can you reveal any geeky surprises in the new book? If doing so would be a spoiler can you reveal a page number for us to look forward to?

A: Oh, I had some real fun with New Name. There are several little surprises for every variety of geek. There’s a new character named Marvin Meredith, and everything about him and his hobbies will make those of the nerdy persuasion chuckle. For anyone who’s a fan of the 9th Doctor, there’s a very tiny little tidbit in chapter 12 about a certain flatulent alien. We also get to briefly meet a new character named Tuan Nguyen. I won’t spill the beans about him yet, but let’s just say he’s important for future stories. And anyone who is a fan of the anime Fullmetal Alchemist may appreciate the nickname Tuan uses—Renkin.

C: Wow so much to look forward to. Almost makes me want to stop the interview and start reading.

With the up coming star wars movie, Rogue One, only a day away, it’s time for the inevitable movie anticipation tie in question. Which side of the force would Kale Ravenwood use if he had force sensitivity?

A: Oh, the dark side, unquestionably. But I recall a Star Wars video game that came out several years ago about a dark-side user who came over to the good side but retained many of the dark side’s abilities. Like the Force lightning and such. So I think Kale would fit into that category. He’ll always be a bit of a bad boy.

C: Good answer. I like to think that everyone can choose to come back from a bad choice. Okay next fandom—

The Doctor in his TARDIS lands on the deck of the Prodigal he can only choose one crew member as a companion. Who goes with him, and why?

A: Words can’t express how much I love this question. I’m a huge fan of the 12th Doctor, so I’ll use his version. He and Talon would enjoy being Scottish together, I know that for sure, but I’m not sure Talon would go with him. Talon’s awfully responsible. Honestly? The one I could see getting on with the Doctor the best is Al! She’d be just the sort to wander off into the TARDIS, probably with Newt the puppy trailing along with her. I think they would probably have some really hilarious conversations. Possibly some yo-yo competitions. And I think the Doctor would be able to read between the lines of the crazy things Al says to understand she isn’t actually as crazy as she sounds all the time. That being said? Anyone off the crew of the Prodigal would be hilarious on an adventure with the Doctor. Maybe I should write some fan fiction…

C: I would be first in line to read that fan fiction. While I have you thinking about time and space–

The book Namesake teased the potential of time travel. If it were possible, would you go back in time? Forward in Time? Or is this truly, “power no man should have?”

A: This is a tricky question, because there are several things I’d love to go back in time and experience. I’d love to witness the signing of the Declaration of Independence. I’d love to have a cup of tea with William Shakespeare or C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien, to share a meal with Amy Carmichael, or shake the hand of Jim Elliot. To watch the Wright Brother’s fly, to hear Mission Control wish John Glenn Godspeed, or to giggle at the astonished gasps of the first audience to watch Star Wars: A New Hope? Can you imagine how awesome that would all be? But I honestly do believe that power over Time is something Humanity will never have, and even if we found a way to change history, nothing would change. I believe that God is Sovereign over Time, and even if we tried to change something, history would unfold as God designed it. But it’s fun to imagine. And the concept provides a valuable, engaging platform to start conversations about faith.

C: Very true. It is fun to think about and I don’t think there’s one person alive who wouldn’t be a little tempted to use that kind of power. But to get this wrapped up–

The book New Name is the last book in the Destiny Trilogy, will I need tissues?

A: Yes. You will. But not for the same reason you needed them for Namesake. Just saying. 😉

Bonus: And, just so everyone knows, this may be the end of the Destiny Trilogy, but I’m already planning the second trilogy in the Morningstar Series. The Covenant Trilogy. And there will be some actual time travel happening!

C: There’s more coming! That’s the most awesome news I’ve heard since the return of Star Wars.

Thank you Amy for taking the time to geek out with me over your amazing series.

new-name_small New Name and all of the books in the Destiny Trilogy are available at www.crosshairpress.com/newname

Bio

acwilliams2015  Amy Williams is a novelist, freelance writer, founding member of Crosshair Press LLC, and professional nerd. You can find most of her work under the name A.C. Williams, but she also writes young adult fantasy (The Legend of the Lightkeepers) under the pen name Kimberly McNeil. Amy is single and lives in her family’s 100-year-old farmhouse on five acres in the middle of the Kansas prairie. She loves cats and drinks far too much coffee.

Follow her random adventures on her blog (www.amycwilliams.com) on Facebook (AmytheStoryteller), Twitter (@acwilliams05), and Instagram (@acwilliams05).

 

I’m a NaNo loser

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Yes NaNoWriMo is over. That grand challenge that drives writers to double their work load during the busiest time of year. Amidst the hustle and bustle of black Friday frenzies, three thanksgiving meals over the course of four day weekend, and 48 hour work weeks, we are expected to churn out an entire novel of 50,000 words.

So how did I do you ask. I got down on paper, 35,124 words. I averaged 1,170 words per day. I never had a day where I broke 3,000 words though I often wrote less. And even though MS word counts ### as a word. Nano word counter does not.

So yes I am a loser. But a NaNo loser is a nano loser which is only a little bit of a loser.

Am I done? Does losing the challenge mean my novel is abandoned?

No but I am taking a break to regain some sanity, pay some sleep debt and work on some short stories that need polishing. I also have to work on finishing my Goodreads reading challenge for the year. 7 books to read before new years still.

The good news: I will pick it up again for JaNoWriMo. You may guess that means: January novel writing month. You are right. The Realm Makers Consortium group on facebook is hosting this more convenient challenge. The challenge is even more manageable because the goal is only to write 40,000 words instead of 50,000. My personal goal is to add to my current novel and hopefully to finish. I am aiming for a 90,000 word novel. There is the ending to write and a subplot that still want to go back and add. Hopefully the more convenient timing will allow me to finish it up.

So yes I lost NaNoWriMo, but as the Beatles sang, “I’m a loser, but I’m not what I appear to be.”

I appear to be some one with less than half a full length novel, but I’m 35,000 words into a novel. That’s only 45,000 words away from being a Paperback Writer.

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