Tag Archives: novel

The Seeds for a Story

sandy and MM

The author standing on the porch of the burned Moore Mansion.

It’s amazing what can inspire a story.  The arson fire of a 93-year-old mansion along the Columbia River in eastern Washington sparked the plot of my novel-in-progress, The Windwilder Haunting, first book of the BELLA trilogy.

The James A. Moore House, also known as the Moore Mansion and the Big House on the Columbia, had enjoyed a colorful history and was one of the Tri-Cities’ last historical buildings. This grand home underwent many transformations:  Originally the water-front home of a well-to-do family, it became a speakeasy, a nursing home, a hippie camp, and finally a restaurant.

During my time there it was a restaurant, one I often passed as I crossed the blue bridge spanning the Columbia River between Pasco and Kennewick.  While curious, I never visited, which I regretted after the fire.  That conflagration, however, drew me deeper into the Moore Mansion saga than a restaurant visit ever would.

On May 9, 2001 I was working as a programmer/analyst at the Kennewick hospital.  It was one of those clear, fresh Mid-Columbia spring days that made you wish for a wide open field and the energy to run across that field forever.  A former I/T employee who now worked in the business building next door called our department around noon to report she’d just heard that the Moore Mansion had caught fire.  My imagination sprang into action even before my curiosity.  I dashed outside, stared for a moment at a tall column of smoke rising from the northeast, then jumped into my car.

Sunroof open, I headed for the blue bridge, planning to follow the highway west to the nearest interchange and then reenter the highway, crossing the river again in the southbound lane.  Even before I reached the top of the bridge I knew there would be no coming back on that highway.  Already southbound traffic had stopped, creating a jam extending for miles.  The house itself had become a torch, shooting red-orange flames 30-40 feet into the air.  Smoke and embers spread themselves upon the breezes, fanning out across the river and town.  The smoke didn’t smell like smoke.  It had a heavy, musty, almost moldy odor.  I wanted to stop but there was no place to pull off, and the state police were struggling to keep people moving.  You can read the Tri-City Herald account here.

Unable to return by the same route, I sought an alternate route, getting a last look at the doomed house from the cable bridge farther east.  The creative juices not only flowed, but gushed!  Already my mind had conceived a cast of characters and a plot entailing adultery, murder, dark secrets and ghosts.  I wrote the story, but never truly finished–until now.

And the Moore Mansion’s fate?  The day of the fire I figured the flames would burn the house to the ground.  When I drove past later that afternoon, the house, minus its third floor, still stood.  For two years the ruined structure awaited its doom.  Several declared its era over and called for its demolition, I joined forces with six other Tri-Cities women, and together we managed to raise enough interest to prompt one couple to step up to the plate.  They totally rebuilt the mansion and, in my opinion, the house is now more beautiful than before.  Today the Moore Mansion serves as a setting for weddings and other special events.  You can read more about it here.

NOTE:  My novel is purely fictional, with no historical references pertaining to the Moore Mansion or its owners, or to the Moore family.  I hope to release it in late April or early May.  Stay tuned!

© Everthedreamer, 2017  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.

 

 

The Journey Continues

Ryadok

With Ryadok’s demise, Epthelion should have enjoyed lasting peace and Warrior Queen of Ha-Ran-Fel should have remained a stand-alone book.  That was my intention, at least, but readers did not agree.  Evil never dies, they told me, and neither did the malignant serpent who embodied it.  So–what happens next?  There must be a sequel.

I had to agree.  The scene that started it all, unused in Warrior Queen, remained fresh in my mind.  The unhappy maiden staring into the sunset had a story yet untold.  The serpent’s return, the growing unrest within the Dark Land, and this young woman’s hopes and dreams amid her shattered reality joined forces to produce A Dark Moon Rises.

In this time period, arranged marriages were the norm.  The war had claimed many lives, leaving few prospects for the widows and young maidens left desolate in its wake.  When Sam Shaw, a well-to-do Garris butcher asked newly-widowed Sarah Greene for her daughter’s hand in marriage, Sarah readily agreed, knowing the union would insure that neither she nor her daughter hungered.  She did not consider that daughter Melinda was only nineteen, while Shaw was nearly sixty.  (And yes, he wanted Melinda–not Sarah!)

Unwilling to endure such an arrangement, Melinda fled to Teptiel, a fledgling colony to the north, and to her joy met and married a handsome, prominent farmer named Eldor Rand.  Teptiel, however, harbored dark secrets.  So did Eldor Rand, and Melinda soon found her nightmare just beginning.  The serpent returned, drawing many to himself as he hunted Arris Marchant, the Arganian mystic who had left him stunned and crippled after slaying Ryadok.

As the serpent’s discipleship grew, Teptiel’s most honorable citizens became treacherous.  Who could one trust?  Could any hope rise from the ashes of the devil’s fires?

 

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Find out here!

© Everthedreamer, 2017  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.

 

Interview and Spotlight with indie author Sandra Kopp

My sincere thanks to Isis Sousa for this marvelous spotlight!

Illustrating Words

I came across Sandra Kopp’s work via GoodReads, when I was looking for reviewers for my novel, she kindly offered to read my book and review it. Seeing that Sandra was an author as well, I got interested in her work and asked to read and review her book, too. I was quite excited when I saw her work was an Epic Fantasy series, since I appreciate the genre. Without further ado, here is an interview I did with her:

73664881. Tell us about the beginning. When did you start writing the Dark Lords of Epthelion series?
I think it was sometime during 2003 when I first saw “Fellowship of the Ring,” and everything about it–plot, characters, and setting (especially the Shire)–intrigued me immediately.  My imagination kicked into high gear, and soon I was visualizing the six kingdoms that would compose Epthelion, along with the slender blonde maiden who…

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My experience: Self-publishing with CreateSpace, Blurb, Kindle, LULU, Smashwords and Peecho

For any of you out there thinking of self publishing, but not sure what route to take, here is an excellent article by author and graphic artist Isis Sousa on some available options and the pros and cons of each.

Tragic Books

I am an indie author/publisher who writes on her free time and benefits of using FREE self-publishing services. If it wasn’t for these platforms, I probably would not be publishing books right now, since I wouldn’t be able to afford paid services and my work  would most likely not interest bigger presses.

In my two years self-publishing journey I have tested both print and e-book publishing platforms and now I’d like to share some of my insights with you.

For print books:

these POD (print on demand) companies deduct the manufacturing cost of your title + the distribution fees and you can set your profit or royalty after that margin.

For e-books:

you also need to pay a small fee per sale.

CreateSpace

CS is an Amazon company, however by publishing with them, you can distribute your titles to worldwide retailers. They have a neat-step-by-step setup/upload process and an

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One Leg of the Journey

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When I decided to seriously pursue my writing aspirations back in 2002, it still took a number of years before I devoted the amount of time and diligence required to transform the dream into reality.  Back then I was years from retirement, the day job paid the bills, and at the end of most days the LAST place I wanted to be was in front of another computer.  But then an idea came to mind and never went away.  Totally engaged, I had no choice but to delve deeper and keep writing.  Warrior Queen of Ha-Ran-Fel resulted.  Intended at first as a stand-alone, its publication generated enough interest for the development of a trilogy, entitled Dark Lords of Epthelion.

I enjoyed a most rewarding experience.  Writing Warrior Queen of Ha-Ran-Fel proved both an adventure and an escape.  For three to four hours every evening I left the mundane world of computer coding and set my imagination free, enjoying the ride as I waited to see where it took me.  I had but an image:  A young woman standing outside a ramshackle cottage at sunset.  The dying sun stained the cottage walls with rusty hues. A dead tree behind her raised skeletal bleached branches to the sky.  The wind lifted her blonde hair and stirred the sparse native grass at her feet.  Her face wore a haunted expression as she contemplated the darkening sky, trying to decide to which of the mysterious kingdoms surrounding her she could flee.  Whether merely unhappy or facing mortal danger I could not tell, but as she began to speak a tale of indescribable betrayal and tragedy unfolded that made me wonder:  How do you retain your sanity when the unendurable shatters your world and destroys all you hold dear?  How can you ever learn to love or trust or laugh again?

A story of human resilience, perseverance, faith, and victory emerged.  My heroine not only survived but thrived, and continued on to a more fulfilling life than she might have otherwise enjoyed. And during her journey she discovered within herself strength and abilities she didn’t know she possessed.


Warrior Queen of Ha-Ran-Fel swept me into a beautiful and enchanted world with a colorful cast of characters:  The Arganian mystics; the stalwart woodsmen; the evil sorcerer and his ambitious apprentice; the sinister peoples of the Dark Lord’s realm; and the rough-neck mercenaries, among others.  Action, suspense, and humor intertwine into an intriguing tale.  I loved writing it.  And I’d love to share my world with you.

MiniWarriorQueenCover

Click here to buy or to learn more.

© Everthedreamer, 2017  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.

 

Rise of the Red Shadow

Of all the characters in THE BOOK OF DEACON, the malthrope Leo/Lain captivated me most, so when I saw THE RISE OF THE RED SHADOW on Amazon, I had to check it out. This book is now on my list of All-Time Favorites.

A terrified toddler cowering near the body of his brutally murdered mother, the young malthrope was captured by slave hunters and thrust into the deplorable existence of a plantation slave, where taskmasters and fellow slaves alike compounded his abuse because of what he was. Alone and despised, he quickly bonded to the one person who did not mistreat him–an old, blind slave named Ben. This bond, along with his natural curiosity, prompted the young malthrope to shadow the old man and try to emulate his actions. Quick to learn and through Ben’s patient guidance, he learned how to speak well and developed an aptitude for making tools and nurturing crops. Yet when events expelled him from the plantation, the skills that should have aided him in the world of men meant nothing. He remained, in the eyes of non-malthropes, a monster–feared, hated, and marked for death. But he never abandoned the values Ben had taught him. He became a warrior–indeed, a champion, possessing exemplary qualities lacking in most of the humans surrounding him; namely, a code of honor and a purpose in life.

This spellbinding fantasy kept me turning the pages. Joseph Lallo’s polished writing style lends a medieval vibe to the story and vividly depicts both the setting and the characters without bogging the action in a lot of cumbersome detail. A definite must-read for fantasy lovers!

Find out more here.