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Why Do I Write Fantasy? or You Never Know Who Might Show Up at Your Front Door
By Heidi Garrett
As long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with the truths that my physical senses cannot explain: the mystical things occurring on this planet. Writing fantastical stories is my testament to these other layers of reality.
There are many ways of looking at our world. Imagine sitting at home, perhaps in your living room. There’s a knock on the door. When you open it, a funny little woman is standing there. She is about half your height, and a plaid crimson kerchief—knotted under her hooked chin—covers her head. Her dress is sack-like over her square body. She’s wearing an apron that could use a good ironing and she’s carrying a battered brown suitcase that’s almost as big as she is.
“As long as you’re staring, a glass of water would be nice,” she says.
Despite her gruff manner, you sense something mysterious about this stranger, and to be honest, you’re dying to know more about her. When she crosses the threshold of your home, a strong wind slams the door behind her. You both jump. There hasn’t been a breeze all day. In fact, it’s sweltering and heat waves have been rising from the melting pavement for weeks.
When you offer it, she almost grabs the glass from your hand, and you can’t stop your staring—even though you know it’s rude—as she drinks in noisy gulps.
“What? You’ve never seen a spring faerie before?” she asks.
Before you can answer, she wipes her mouth with the back of her hand. “Guess not, there aren’t many of us left. And I haven’t been to the Mortal World, since…”
She stops. Her deeply etched face softens. Something like sorrow pools in her dark brown eyes. She waves her hand. “That’s not what I’m here to talk about.”
Your heart tugs. You want to pull her from that sad place. “What’s in your suitcase?”
She points to the table. “I’ll show you.”
The suitcase is filled with eyeglasses. There are so many. Some have square black frames, others have round wire frames; there are a few speckled frames with octagonal lenses. You spy a pair of purple ones.
She shoves a pair of thick black glasses into your hand. “Put these on. Tell me what you see.”
With the eyeglasses settled on the bridge of your nose, you can’t see anything but yourself. You blink. You can see your hands and feet, your legs and toes. But the spring faerie—if that’s really what she is—is just a blur. You pull them off. She trades them for a pair of wire rims. With these glasses you can see her and your home.
“What’s your name?” you ask.
“Like flowers blooming.”
She nods and looks away with that whiff of sadness.
Again, there is something about her that pulls at your heart. You think of the miracle of spring after a long hard winter, and that she shouldn’t be sad—if she really is a spring faerie.
“But…you don’t have any wings,” you say.
She smoothes the wrinkles in her apron. “Not all faeries do.”
She almost jerks the wire-rim spectacles from your nose. You reach for that purple pair. She doesn’t stop you. Now, you can see down the street; your eyes travel the highway. Your view elevates, as if you are a bird. Soon you see the entire city you live in. With each pair of glasses, you see the bigger world.
When Flora tucks the temple arms of a pair of red frames behind your ears, perspective zooms around you. It’s like the lens pulls you into outer space, and you can see the entire world and all the billions of people who live on Earth.
Your heart flutters in your chest; it’s a lot to take in.
“Now—” Flora hands you a pair of fuchsia glasses with tiny rhinestones embedded in the frames. “Try on these.”
When you put them on, you’re able to see beyond the physical entirety of the world into the things that you’ve always known exist, but since you can’t see, touch, smell, or hear them, sometimes you’ve doubted. But you’ll never doubt again, because now—with these special glasses—you can actually see the bonds of love that death can never sever, the strings of fate that wrap the brown paper package of all our lives with twine, the tide of time that alters us, even as we never change…
But most importantly, you’ve seen that you belong here, on this planet. And you know—without a shadow of a doubt—that everything fits. Including you.
“I don’t ever want to take these glasses off,” you say.
Flora is already cramming the rest of them back into her bag. “Then don’t.”
The Queen of the Realm of Faerie is a fairy tale fantasy series that bridges the Mortal and Enchanted worlds. The main character, Melia, is an eighteen-year-old half-faerie, half-mortal. She lives in Illialei, a country in the Enchanted World, with her two sisters and their mother. Melia’s father has been exiled to the Mortal World, and her best friend is a pixie.
When the story opens in the first book, Melia is troubled by her dark moon visions, gossip she overhears about her parents at the local market, and the trauma of living among full-blooded faeries with wings—she doesn’t have any.
As the series unfolds, the historic and mystical forces that shape Melia’s life are revealed. Each step of her journey—to find the place where she belongs—alters her perceptions about herself, deepens her relationships with others, and enlarges her world view.
In The Dragon Carnivale, book 3 of The Queen of the Realm of Faerie, energies in the Enchanted World are shifting and new alliances are forming; the Battle of Dark and Light has begun. Melia is desperate to make things right with Ryder, the young priest from Idonne, but first she must warn the half-bloods in the Mortal World that Umbra is coming for them, and face the powerful Dragonwitch and her spectacular Dragon Carnivale.
The first two books in the series: Nandana’s Mark and The Flower of Isbelline are currently available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords. Nandana’s Mark is free.
The Dragon Carnivale is scheduled for a June 18, 2013, release.
Sign-up for Heidi Garrett’s new release email List and receive a lavender and gold Half-Faerie bracelet while supplies last…because you’re half faerie, too, right?
Heidi Garrett is the author of The Queen of the Realm of Faerie series. Her personal message to all her readers is:
Once upon a time, you lived in an enchanted world, too…
There is magic in all our lives; sometimes we need to look through different eyes to see it.
The Queen of the Realm of Faerie includes many strong female characters within an intricate fantasy land. It is also a fairy tale fantasy.
The first book, Nandana’s Mark, is one of those free ebooks; the second book, The Flower of Isbelline, is now available; and the third book, The Dragon Carnivale, will be released in June 2013.
The series was inspired by the 15th century French fairy tale, Melusine.
Heidi’s hope is that when you read her books, you will rediscover the enchantment in your own life.
She currently resides in eastern Washington with her husband and their two cats. So far, she loves the snow. Being from the South, she finds it magical.
Learn more about Heidi and enjoy her stream-of-consciousness reading journal, Eating Magic, at: www.heidigwrites.blogspot.com.
If you want to say hello, give her a shout out on Twitter at @heidigwrites or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/heidigwrites.
I have been so busy lately between work and school that I haven’t had a chance to do any reading for fun or write any reviews! This Saturday my class is finally over and I can get back to reading and reviewing. I do have one book that I finished about a month ago who’s review will go up on Sunday and then hopefully another new one shortly after, so if you enjoy reading my reviews or you’re waiting for one on your book it is hopefully on its way soon!
I didn’t come close to my goal of 100 books for 2012 so I’m going to try again for 2013.
My first review of 2013 will be of Raven’s Heart: A Tale from the World of Secramore by M.S. Verish. It’s a crazy long epic fantasy that i’ve gotten about half way through so far. It was a bit confusing in the beginning which is why it’s taking me so long to get through it, but now that i’m past most of the background bits and really into the plot it’s been an enjoyable read thus far, it’s just not possible for me to finish it for 2012 though.
Books to read for 2013:
*If you sent me a review request and I haven’t yet reviewed your book and you don’t see your book on this list, all is not lost, I just didn’t imagine the huge response for requests and I’ve gotten horribly backlogged in reviewing/responding to people, but besides reading and reviewing 100 books another goal I have is to be quicker at getting back to people who’ve requested reviews, so if this applies to you I apologize!
2. Time, Love, Memory: A Great Biologist and His Quest for the Origins of Behavior (This one’s not fantasy but I have to read it for a class i’m taking.)
3. Yseult: A Tale of Love in the Age of King Arthur (The Pendragon Chronicles) (Another whopper at 579 pages – but still not as long as Raven’s Heart)
Somewhere in between review requests i’d also like to start reading more of Terry Pratchet’s discworld series in preparation for possibly going to the North American Discworld Convention (https://www.nadwcon.org/), so far i’ve only read the Tiffany Aching books but I loved them.
And last but not least. .. .
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE!!!!
Today’s hottest fiction ebooks are on sale for .99 from Dec 28-Dec 31 only!
Mystery, romance, young adult – there’s something for everyone …
… including the chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card!
I started this blog over the summer and apparently set a very unrealistic goal for myself to read 100 books/ short stories this year. With a little less than 2 weeks left to do so, I just don’t think it’s going to happen. Maybe this year with starting my new goal in January i’ll be able to make it? I’m also hoping to be able to add one or two more books to the list before the year is out 🙂
- 1: Switched
- 2: Alice in Deadland
- 3: I Shall Wear Midnight
- 4: King Bong
- 5: Torn
- 6: Dead to the World
- 7: A Circle of Iron (Eldernost: Book 1)
- 8: Imperfect (Lacuna Short Stories)
- 9: Suspense
- 10: Little Girl Lost
- 11: Thieves at Heart
- 12: Claire: the Lost Fae
- 13: The Prisoner (A Novelette)
- 14: The Knight (The Dark Elf of Syron, #2)
- 15: Splatterism: The Tragic Recollections of A Minotaur Assailant (Pars Prima: Hellenistic Asskicking)
- 16: Forsaken – An American Sasquatch Tale
- 17: The Demon’s Promise
- 18: Last Chance Jack
- 19: When Walls Can Talk
- 20: Nolander
- 21: She Speaks to Angels
- 22: Wings of Shadow
- 23: The 5th Realm (New Orleans Voodoo Chronicles)
- 24: Mark of the Dragon Queen
- 25: Gnome Wars
- 26: Watcher’s Web
- 27: A Little Magic
- 28: Self-Made Scoundrel (The Valley of Ten Crescents #2)
- 29: The Circle of Sorcerers
- 30: The Consuls of the Vicariate: A Mages of Bloodmyr Novel: Book #2
- 31: The Immortals of Myrdwyer: A Mages of Bloodmyr Novel: Book #3
- 32: Rise of the Retics (Rosehaven: the Hidden City)
- 33: Wool
Are you a Harry Potter fan or perhaps a Percy Jackson fan and looking for a new book fix? Try Rise of the Retics, T.J. Lantz’s newest release.
It has tons of adventure and the reason why there are no more fantastical creatures living in our world today, at least not that we know of. . .
Book Description: For almost a millennia humanity has been making a concerted effort to eradicate the world’s retics, an eclectic collection of non-human, intelligent species. Recently, those efforts have been strengthened and far more successful than ever, though the Council of Rosehaven, the retic’s hidden sanctuary city, cannot figure out why.
No one realizes the danger of this this more than eleven-year-old Tyranna Wolfskin, who is ripped from her boring, everyday life in the middle of the night by a vicious group of retic hunters. Thrust into a struggle for her own survival, Tyranna must find a way to accept what she is and learn to acclimate herself to a world she never knew existed.
Author Bio: Though new to the world of professional writing, T.J. Lantz has been a world class storyteller (a.k.a. liar) for many years. Originally forging his craft by creating backstories for each of the lawn gnomes he managed to liberate from the prisons his neighbors called the “front yard”, he now uses that ability to entertain his wife and six four-legged furry children. Prior to writing the Gnit-Wit Gnipper series and Rosehaven: The Hidden City, T.J. worked as an elementary school teacher in York, Pa., where he happily resides.
Breaking into the YA market with a little help from my friends
by Leandi Cameron
Young adult paranormal romance/fantasy has become one of the largest book genre’s within the last five years and, that, is a challenge in itself.
Young girls everywhere are dreaming of that hero that would whisk them away and take them to a place where their world will be turned upside down, and magical things will happen to them.
Even when we grow up, we still love to believe that magic really exists and that the worlds created for us by authors could, somehow, one day become a reality.
Mostly, when it comes to vampires, shapeshifters, ghosts and other fantastic or otherworldly creatures, what attracts us most is the mystery and the dangers that we, as readers, are free to explore – in our minds, these characters become real and we come to love them.
Therefore, there is no doubt that the young adult market is steaming, and very, very, attractive to many authors who are racing towards biting off a piece of the pie.
Herewith lies a great problem, however.
As the young adult book industry grows, so does the amount of books that are badly written and cheaply sold, and these books are overcrowding an industry that includes so many authors that are “true” writers with brilliant stories to tell – these beautifully crafted tales wash away within a slush pool of badly written novels that are unedited and badly thought out.
However, true writers would know that the significance of having a unique take on the paranormal genre is the most important part of making your book stand out – or that is what I keep on reading on blogs, highly acclaimed websites and from marketing experts. This, is what I did with A Tale of the Other Kind: A Therian Novel, which is the first in a series.
But, as an author and a qualified journalist and editor, there is one thing that still eludes me – marketing and driving sales. For myself, as I believe with many authors, I have the uncanny inability to know how to get my book noticed. I confess – knowing how to be a saleswoman isn’t my forte.
If you are not on the bestsellers list, you can kiss getting reviews by highly acclaimed reviewers goodbye, and getting bloggers to respond to your emails is a nightmare. You are simply invisible, no matter how well your book is written, or how unique your story is.
Marketing, marketing, marketing, the bane of my existence, yet the most important part of making a book sell. Therefore, when I realised that my abilities simply consist out of being a creative spirit, I decided to leave the marketing and sales driving to the experts.
It is important to find good avenues to market your book – yes, you are going to have to invest some money into getting this done, but if you find a marketing expert that understands your book’s genre, and is dedicated to finding you the best platforms to display your work, then, within time, you will start seeing growth with that book you slaved away on for many years. Your baby will grow, and soon it will become the stable and impressive young adult you hoped it to be.
For me, I found that Bookbuzzr, Goodreads, LibraryThing and Quora are great platforms, among others, to help increase exposure for your novel. Then there is Twitter and Facebook Fan Pages – yes, the list goes on and on. This is a lot of hard work! Especially if you have a full-time job, and need to get started on your second novel, before you start getting screaming emails from those who have read your book and can’t wait to see what happens next.
However, I cannot stress enough, the importance of enrolling the help of a book blog tour marketer. I use Orangeberry Book Tours, and without Pandora’s help, I would never get through all the work it takes to get my book’s name out there.
Hopefully, in time, continued exposure would bring about change and a climb in sales – I know I have a unique book and soon someone will notice that it isn’t “just another paranormal romance/fantasy just like all the others”. Therefore, I will continue working hard at it, and dedicate time to my novel’s success on a daily basis – with the help of others – of course.
Leandi Cameron is a South African award-winning journalist and newspaper editor. She is also co-owner of multi-disciplinary company House of LeaVik. Her debut novel, A Tale of the Other Kind: A Therian Novel, was released in October 2012, and is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook format. For more information, visit www.leandicameron.com.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – YA Paranormal Fantasy
Rating – PG13