Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sci-Fi For Your Wi-Fi: Panel on Krypton Radio

Tomorrow I, along with fellow novelists Robert Seutter (the Brass Jack novels) and Maggie Secara ("The Dragon Ring", "King's Raven" and "The Mermaid Stair"), will be doing a panel on creating a fantasy world. It will be recorded for broadcast on line on Krypton Radio ( on the following dates and times:
Saturday Sep 27 9PM Pacific
Sunday Sep 28 5AM Pacific
Sunday Sep 28 4PM Pacific
Thursday Oct 2 5AM Pacific
Thursday Oct 2 4PM Pacific
Saturday Oct 4 5AM Pacific

The panel will be presented at The Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society (LASFS).

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Launch Date 31 October 2014!

The novel that almost didn't happen will be published this 31 October, just in time for me to take it to the World Fantasy Convention, this time in Washington D. C.!

I started this book ("Raven's Daughter")  in 1995, got about 56,000 words into it and suffered a total computer crash.  Needless to say, I was heartbroken.  I had a lot of it in longhand, but the prospect of doing it all over again was a bit more than I could bear, so I started in on the two series "The Glastonbury Chronicles" and "Tales of the Dearg-Sidhe" which Pendraig Publishing picked up in 2010.  Then a few months ago my wonderful husband, Jay T. Mayer happened to find a file on one of his old computers.  He had backed up the entire 56,000 words for me and forgotten about it.  It was in a very old form of Word, and on Mac format instead of PC, but with a lot of work he was able to convert it and deliver it to me in a format with which I could work.

Two months later, to the day, I finished the book and turned it in to my publisher, and last night the publication date became finalised.  To say I am elated would be an understatement!


Friday, August 1, 2014

What's In A Name?

     I just saw the mock-up of the cover for my latest novel.  It was wonderful, except I noticed the title had been changed from The Raven's Daughter to Raven's Daughter.
     "Why?" I asked.  
      Before I had a chance to ponder the question for more than a few seconds my publisher responded that it was a stronger title without the article and that the use of the word the at the beginning of a title was disappearing.
     A sign of the times.  We have gotten so used to texting in shorthand, speaking in shorthand and conversing in shorthand that those wonderful building blocks of speech, articles, are beginning to be banished from our consciousnesses.  I mourn their loss.
     Fast cars, fast food, fast talk.  The use of an article as the beginning word in a title makes it difficult to find the title in a search engine.
     Yet  I do recognise the truth of it and have been guilty for a long time of the same article abuse, even when referring to the plays of  William Shakespeare.  Tempest, Merchant of Venice, Taming of the Shrew, Winter's Tale...all of these seem to have lost their article when mentioned in conversation and nobody seems to miss them.  Gone also is the initial A in such plays and films as Hard Day's Night and Streetcar Named Desire, which at times is simply called Streetcar.
     Welcome to the twenty-first century.
     As Bob Dylan sang, "The times, they are a-changing."
     Wait...maybe that's where one of the missing articles went...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Once Upon A Time

About 19 years ago I began to write a book,  It was a fantasy romance about Jacynet Corbeau, a Bladeswoman and member of the Raven Guild, a redheaded sword-for-hire in a mythical land  filled with political intrigue in a society somewhere in the Middle Ages, and the man who would become her true love, a young Bard called Donall with a mysterious past.  Somewhere  about 50,000 words into the novel I was beset with a profound and total computer crash and I thought the manuscript had been lost forever.

Thank The Gods I was wrong!

Two months ago my husband Jay, that steadfast, good-hearted dear soul whom I have known since we were children together, my dear husband Jay found a back-up of the book on one of his old computers.  It was in a version of Microsoft Word so old that he had to strip the files entirely and reconstruct them to get them into the current version of the same program, but techie that he is he was able to restore everything I had written up to that point.

I spent the next several weeks reading, editing and finishing the book, which now stands at about 71,000 words, and with any luck "The Raven's Daughter" will be out this Fall, in time for the World Fantasy Convention in Washington D. C.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The World I Used To Know

I have been in the UK for a week now.  So much has changed in the last 14 years...I barely recognize London, with all its new modern glass-enshrouded buildings.  Even the Tower of London has changed.  There are parts of the various towers which are now open, closed on my prior visits, and the White Tower is filled with exhibits, and not just a place to wander about and seek history on one's own, but a carefully laid out tour, as well as a place in which garbed historical recreationists wander, trying to bring a sense of history to the various tourists.

It was in one of the rooms of the White Tower that I happened to run into one of my readers, a very nice, very tall young man called Simon, who was as surprised to run into his favorite author as I was surprised and delighted to find such a dedicated fan.

As a dedicated reader and fan myself of many authors, I had made various pilgrimages myself in the prior few days, first to the grave of J. R. R. Tolkien in Oxford, then to Shakespeare's birthplace in Stratford and various other sites associated with his life.  I also had the rare privilege of seeing David Tennant perform in Richard II, a fantastic production with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Today is a day of rest, and tomorrow I head to Brighton for the World Fantasy Convention.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Ten Days and Counting

Ten days from now I will be boarding the airplane.  Ten days from now I will be all packed, all sorted out and ready for the trip to the UK for three weeks of research, fun and most important, the World Fantasy Convention in Brighton, England, where I will be doing readings from my novels on Thursday, 31 October from 3:30 - 4:00 PM at the wonderful Hotel Metropole at which the convention is being held.

It has been nearly twenty years since last I saw Brighton, and the friends I visited there have long since passed on, but I remember the place as clearly as if it were yesterday.  I can still feel the sharp cut of the wind off the ocean and smell the salt air.  Lovely place, Brighton.  I do hope I get to see some of it besides the hotel, but then there is a lot more to this trip than the 5 days in the Hotel.

And there is a lot to do before I leave.  I still have things to write, lists to make, clothes to sort, and cats to cajole into being good while we're gone, and I think the toughest part of the trip is going to be not having them around.  We have someone staying at the house to feed them and watch them and everything else while we're away, and I even plan to do the morning ritual on tape so she can play it to them before they are let outside to play.

It is called "The Good Sweet", from the opening line in which they are admonished:
Be good, be sweet.  Stay out of the street.  Don't go near anything with a mouth bigger than yours.  Don't go near anything with claws bigger than yours.  Don't get into anyone's house or garage or patio or storage area or trash cans or boxes.  Don't get into anyone's car or van or motorhome or mobile home or truck or trailer or boat.  Don't go near anything with a motor or an engine or anything than makes a loud noise. Don't let anyone you don't know pick you up.  Don't take food from anyone you don't know.  Don't eat bees; don't eat spiders; don't eat lizards; don't eat birdies.  Don't bring bee or spiders or lizards or birdies into the house.  Leave the creeping, crawling, flying things alone.  No fighting, keep your fur clean, and most of all know I love each and every one of you very, very , very much....and come home when you are called.

Pretty good advice for anyone.  I hope they listen to it, even if it's a disembodied voice on a tape recorder.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Across The Pond

Less than 4 weeks to go until I board the Virgin Atlantic flight for Heathrow Airport.  Less than 4 weeks to go before I have to figure out what and how to pack for a nearly 3 week stay in the United Kingdom.  Truth be told, I am highly excited by the prospect of this trip, as it has been more than 14 years since my last visit, and I am much in need of the sights and sounds of the place and of walking old streets and pathways as I research the next novels.

Besides research, which will take me from Stratford Upon Avon to London and probably Glastonbury once again, I will be attending the World Fantasy Convention in Brighton and doing readings from my books on Thursday, 31 October from 4:00 to 4:30 PM.  Looking forward to meeting other authors in my genre and readers thereof, going to the awards banquet, and all such a wonderful convention entails.

And then there is Stratford!  I have long wanted to see the home of William Shakespeare, and this will be the perfect time, for friends of mine managed to get seats for us to see David Tennant in Richard II, a play rich on texture and in plot, filled with history (albeit weighted politically by the Bard) and the splendour of the times.  What an inspiration to see it in that setting.  My Muse will be working overtime collecting notes from which to prod me later.