Category Archives: Guest Posts

War – What’s it Really Good For?

I’ve recently exchanged stories with another great indie author, Pavarti K Tyler. Her serial novel, ‘Two Moons of Sera’, is similar to my work in that it is ‘elemental’ driven. ‘Two Moons of Sera’ is set in a world with water-cultures, earth-cultures, and mountain/lava-cultures all at war with each other. Volumes 1 and 2 are available on Amazon, and volume 3 is expected soon.

Pavarti graciously shared a guest post with me on her ideas of war and its implications in ‘Two Moons of Sera’:

Conflict is at the heart of every good story.  A love triangle, a misunderstanding, an argument, no matter what it is, the conflict is what gives us something to sink our teeth into when we read.  We take sides (Team Jacob!), we feel the tension and fear and desperation of the characters as we read, hoping for resolution.  And what better conflict that a real live, bonifide war?

The Illiad is the most memorable story in history, not because Paris and Helen lived happily ever after behind the fortress wall of Troy but because Ulysses, Agamemnon, Achilles and Menelaus all fought for the honor and reputation of their people.  Hector was respected across the battle lines for his fearless courage in the face of nearly certain death.  Its War that shows what a people are truly made of.  War makes hero and shames the losers.  Who remembers the names of the Trojans?  I bet I’m the only one.  You know why?  They didn’t win.

In my serial novel Two Moons of Sera (Vol 1 is available now on Amazon and Vol 2 will be released in March) the main story is set on a world where the two dominant races are at war.  The Sualwet, a waterborne race which can came on land is battling the earth dominant species, the Erdlanders.

Sualwet and Erdlanders are genetically related but that’s as far as it goes.  It has been a millennia since the two species were close enough to interbreed and as their evolution has continued it has made the specialization of each species pronounced.

The Sualwet live beneath the water.  They have evolved to breath through their skin, absorbing oxygen directly.  With no body hair and webbed feet the Sualwet live in a tight community bound together by responsibility and mutual benefit more than emotion.  Barely recognizable as human, the Sualwet have wide, dilated black eyes and have not had a live birth in 300 years.  Until Sera that is.

The Erdlanders on the other hand are a deeply social species, almost pack driven in their need to have a community and mate.  Despite their social community the Erdlanders are having fewer and fewer children.  In an effort to continue their race The Counsel has set up camps where the young and fertile are kept until they Match and procreate. This has lead to highly specialized jobs, creating a class system where the most fertile and intelligent rule over everyone else.

In their effort to find a solution to the decreasing population the Erdlanders have been experimenting of Sualwet prisoners, attempting to solve the genetic link that allows the Sualwet to breed but not them.  For generations the Erdlanders and Sualwet have fought.  The Sualwet tactics are precise and cruel, leading to the deaths of thousands of Erdlanders.

This is the backgrop for SeraFay’s life.  Ostracized by her mother’s Sualwet family due to her inability to stay below the surface for more than a few hours at a time and the hair growing upon her head, SeraFay and her mother live in a small cove, undiscovered by both species.  The war is a distant thought as Sera grows up, something she reads about in books her mother is able to salvage for her from the sea.  Nothing but bedtime stories her mother tells her, she can’t imagine the kind of devastation war can cause: until it lands on her small beach.

So which are you?  Erdlander or Sualwet? What side of the war will you fight on?

‘Two Moons of Sera’, volumes one and two are now available on Amazon, and volume 3 is expected soon.

About Pavarti:

Pavarti K Tyler is an artist, wife, mother and number cruncher. She graduated Smith College in 1999 with a degree in Theatre. After graduation, she moved to New York, where she worked as a Dramaturge, Assistant Director and Production Manager on productions both on and off Broadway.

Later, Pavarti went to work in the finance industry as a freelance accountant for several international law firms. She now operates her own accounting firm in the Washington DC area, where she lives with her husband, two daughters and two terrible dogs. When not preparing taxes, she is busy penning her next novel.

Author of many short stories, Pavarti spans genres from Horror and Erotica all the way to Fantasy. Currently Pavarti is hard at work preparing for the release of her upcoming novel Shadow on the Wall, a Muslim Superhero Literary Fiction.

Connect with Pavarti:

My blog is all ages: http://www,fightingmonkeypress.com

My tumblr is 18+ only: http://pavartidevi.tumblr.com/

My Fan Page needs your likes: https://www.facebook.com/#!/FMPress

My Twitter likes friends: http://twitter.com/#!/PavartiKTyler

My Google+ is random: https://plus.google.com/?gpinv=JFSVnKSj7Uk:FdjR-3NCJW8#me/posts

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Celebrate Who You Are – Guest Post by A.F. Stewart

A.F. Stewart is a fantasy author and blogger.  From Nova Scotia, Canada, she has  several published books including Chronicles of the Undead, a horror novella, as well as short fiction collections, Killers and Demons, Once Upon a Dark and Eerie…, Passing Fancies and Inside Realms.  Her interests include history, painting, and sword replicas.  Stewart writes about loving the fantasy and sci-fi genres:

 

I’m a fantasy/sci-fi geek and have been for most of my life.  I can quote the original Star Wars, my favourite show is Supernatural, I think Batman is the best superhero, I’ve been a admirer of Neil Gaiman since he wrote the Sandman series and my bookshelves are lined with pages of fictional fantasy worlds.  To me, fantasy and its sibling genres of sci-fi and horror are about ideas that could be, questions hiding beyond your sight and wondrous possibilities.

I’ve always loved reading fantasy in any form, so when I decided to pursue writing seriously those tales came naturally to my pen.  I suppose somewhere in the back of my head I wanted to be a part of that community because those were the stories that showed me what magic exists in the written word.  Any honour roll listing the authors that inspired me would include such extraordinary writers as Guy Gavriel Kay, Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, Harlan Ellison, and Ray Bradbury.  Their words showed me the way to a whole new and remarkable universe.

Therefore, once I started blogging it’s no wonder I plastered both my blogs with genre specific book reviews, author interviews and general geeky commentary.  I learned early how to chatter on regarding the intricacies and luminary brilliance of the fantasy/sci-fi genres and I put that talent to good use for my posts.  What began as a hesitant experiment in my own book promotion expanded into a minor showcase center for indie speculative fiction and a second side blog for me to occasionally rant about my preferred TV shows and movies.

And I think that is the best part of having these platforms to spotlight my passions.  I love finding a gem of a fantasy book (like my recent read of On Dark Shores by JA Clement) or expounding giddy about my fave show, Supernatural.  Sometimes it’s almost a compulsion, such as what happened after watching the Neil Gaiman penned (I bet you can tell by now I’m a big fan of Neil Gaiman) episode of Dr. Who.   I enjoyed that particular episode so much I immediately had to write a review; it took me about twenty minutes to finish.  Sometimes you have to go with the flow.

I guess the moral to this tale (if there is a moral and I haven’t just been rambling again) is to celebrate who you are and, oh, that Geeks Rule!

 

Cheers to that!  : )  Visit Stewart’s blogs at: http://afstewartblog.blogspot.com/ and  http://afstewartpromotion.blogspot.com/

  

Burning Down the House – Guest Post by Stephen Hise

Please welcome Stephen Hise, author of Upgrade, described as a bodice ripper with a Twilight Zone twist.  He also runs the website Indies Unlimited; a great resource for authors that is both fun and entertaining!  If you haven’t signed up to follow him yet…do it.  Do it – I dare you.  Stephen is here to talk about Indie publishing and it’s future:

We are at the beginning of a technological revolution in how books are written, published, marketed, purchased, and read. The hallmark of the technological revolution is that the changes in technology occur faster than society on the whole can adapt to them.

Everyone wants change. No one wants the change that actually happens. Remember all the tumult and furor generated when humankind moved from cave paintings to stone tablets, and again to scrolls before settling comfortably on bound-paper books? No? Well, I’m sure there was quite an uproar.

Technology has put on her running shoes. You can stay behind, faking a cramp, or run along and try to keep up. It may be that the big six publishing houses will somehow adapt and survive. Maybe they won’t. Maybe the big chain bookstores will adapt and survive. Maybe they won’t. The systemic changes will come gradually. It is not that print is dead, but there is little doubt that it is on the way out. It may take a generation before a child hoists a paper book up from some trunk he was exploring in the attic and asks Grandpa what this thing is.

The vaunted gatekeepers of publishing are in disarray. Now writers who could not navigate the labyrinth of agents, publishers, and publicists can get their work directly to readers without any intermediaries. The readers will now decide if this is “what they’re looking for.”

Some of the writing now available is excellent. Some is crap. Know what? The same thing was true when the gatekeepers controlled things. I’ve bought some titles from well-known traditionally published authors that made me wonder how such a thing ever got published. In truth, all the same sins that the traditional publishing houses so easily see in indie-published books are the same sins of which they themselves are guilty.

So the big traditional publishers can cry, whine, and point fingers all they want. The fact is that now readers have more choice and they can buy more books with less money than ever before. That is a good thing.

Indie authors are also accessible to their readers. Most have websites, blogs, and Facebook pages where a reader can communicate directly with an author, get to know them, and ask them questions. I see that as a very positive change. I think readers appreciate that as well.

I wouldn’t hold forth for a minute that everything coming down the pike will be all sunshine and roses – It never is. On the whole, I think we are witnessing some very interesting creative destruction that will change the landscape of writing, publishing and reading for many years to come.

 

Stephen Hise is the author of the novel, UPGRADE. You can learn more about him at his website, http://stephenhise.com/ and check out his blog celebrating independent authors at: http://www.indiesunlimited.com/ His book is available as an e-book at Amazon and Smashwords, or in print from Wordclay.  Also be sure to visit him on Facebook!

 

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