B2BCyCon2018 Fantasy Blog Tour #1 – Why I Write Fantasy by Mary R. Woldering

Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo 2018This post appears as part of the “Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo Fantasy Book Tour”…

Running from April 6th through April 8th 2018 this online book event brings readers and authors together for a weekend of books, and book related events.

Learn more here

B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Tom Fallwell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Mary R. Woldering B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Ashley Capes
B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Connie Cockrell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Shakyra Dunn B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Dove Winters

Why I Write Fantasy – By Mary R. Woldering

I really don’t have an answer to that. I write and fantasy happens. Reality, as in life restricted to the five senses bores me to tears.  I was born into a very religious family, so things of “God” and angels and devils were natural to me, even though I couldn’t see them. When I was afraid of storms (as one of the characters in my novels fears them) my Mother told me it was god cleaning and re-arranging things in heaven. I was given little candles to burn to speed my prayers to heaven.

I drew pictures of scribble tornados even though we had no TV in those days and I had never seen one. When I went to the movies and later when the television arrived in our house, I BECAME characters in them. I was Davy Crockett “Grinning a bar…” It didn’t matter that he was a man. I had an imaginary friend named Starr who could appear as different things: A Native American, a young man with long black hair who danced. He could also be just a star. I sang “Twinkle, twinkle little star to him.”

I knew about other creatures too. I saw them in my dreams, even though I never read about them. There were solid white or pale people, ghosts and apparitions in my room. My Mother said it was the devil and told me to pray. I told her I would pray him out of Hell and after that she didn’t say anything else on the matter.

At first, I drew, then I wrote. All stories I wrote, even as a child, contained something of the spirit or of dreams. I could fly, I could be a witch, I could turn into a hawk, I could walk through walls. Starr was still there in the background, but we didn’t talk as much. In High school I wrote a Regency/early Victorian romance but, sure enough my pale people came in and Starr showed up as a ghostly guide to the hero of the story.

In college I met others like me who spent much time in the ‘dream verse” My best friend and others told me I was just psychic and I was seeing real spirits as well as remembering past lives.  Starr? He, they said, was a guardian spirit.

Now my writings of the unreal increased and I wrote down all the dreams, meditated with friends and wrote some more. It was as if my world of fantasy suddenly had permission. My friend and I traded stories of our off-kilter childhoods. She could fly, and there was something about a dragon (if I remember right) she made up a language and talked to ghosts too.  We ended up “seeing” each other in different eras – and of course you find us both in my major work series Children of Stone.

In summary, I say I write fantasy because it’s my reality. As I say in my bio, fantasy is me. One hundred years ago I would have been in a madhouse.

The excerpt below is part of an Urban fantasy short story published in Dreamtime Dragons this year. It’s based on stories my friend told me of her childhood and if became “Ana’s Dream of Flying”

The entity shaped the crystalline orb it formed with what might have been a hand.

Human. As man, it self-whispered as the dark blue star-filled shape with the emerald bracelet at its wrist became clear, took on the appearance of ruddy skin and solidified.

He watched Ana grab the broken stub of a much-chewed pencil and begin to scribble a shape on the pale purple scrap of paper.

She bit down on the eraser in a nervous gesture and tucked one of the fat braids that had come loose from her head. A figure emerged. It was a tall and red manlike thing with a long turban-like hat tilted back from his brow. She colored his long robe red, but couldn’t decide what to do with the feet so she extended it to the bottom of the page.

The entity smiled and nodded, pleased.

“I will call you Mr. Man.” she affirmed. “I know you. You watch over me when I am sleeping.” Her teeth flashed in a grin as she pushed the crayon over the surface of her artwork.

She can’t see me; not in the light of day, the creature smiled.

The veil is too thick in the cursed sunlight.

At night is when she can see me

I will come to her as a dream,

then carry her away to the lands and places where we walked once when we were gods.

I have watched parts of her shattered soul for centuries.

Tonight, sweet little child, when you dream,

I will take you flying,

I will teach you to fly and then you will remember even more.

In the thinning distance between worlds, the entity heard a crackly sound of something from another room, suddenly joined by the wispy, singing voice of an older female.

Some glad morning when this life is o’er,

I’ll fly away.

To a home on God’s celestial shore,

I’ll fly away.

When the shadows of this life have flown,

I’ll fly away.

Like a bird thrown, driven by the storm,

I’ll fly away.”

Then the singing stopped and the crackly sound went abruptly silent with a click, followed by: “Ana…come to supper, dear.”

Voice from another room, it mused, the smell of cooking is strong. Fire-treated winged creature – chicken.

For a moment, the entity wished for a human form; one that would love to eat the older female’s fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans.

There will be something she calls pie, afterward.

§ § § §

“Yas, Muh’dear” the little brown skinned girl muttered, perturbed that she’d have to stop her drawing and put her things away. A slight frown crept over her high forehead. She slapped her crayon on the table, then paused and picked it up. In a quick, gesture, as if adding something extra, she scribbled red angel wings sticking out of the sides of the creature’s robe. Regarding her work, she changed them so that they looked sharp and pointy.

“That’s better. No angel-y wings for you. Now you can fly away. Don’t let them see you, Mr. Man. It’s our secret. Mwah!” she kissed the paper then folded it, tucked it in her school notebook and put away her crayon. She didn’t see the red pulse that glimmered inside the spiral bound pages.

Little Ana, not quite eleven, ate her supper, watched the “Outer Limits” with Muh’Dear and Daddy, then took her bath. She put on her pink PJ’s, brushed her teeth and went to bed, but couldn’t sleep.

Big bad devil is out there but Cass and Jera’boam will protect me, she thought.

They were her daydream friends. They always would laugh and play with her outside and take turns jumping off the porch, pretending they could fly. When she was five they wanted her to jump off the roof of the shed, but Daddy caught her just in time.

They don’t believe in you. They say you are ‘maginary and to stop fooling around. Be a big girl they say, but I always was a big girl. She snickered as she snuggled in her covers. I just shrinkity shrank like my red sweater in the washing machine.

Ana loved to draw and dance and play. She didn’t like school too much.

The nuns are mean and always talk about sins and devils and how they come and get bad little boys and girls who cause trouble in class.

B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Tom Fallwell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Mary R. Woldering B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Ashley Capes B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Connie Cockrell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Shakyra Dunn B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Dove Winters

 

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B2BCyCon2018 Sci-Fi Blog Tour – Behind “Evaline Transcendent”

Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo 2018This post appears as part of the “Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo Science Fiction Book Tour”…

Running from April 6th through April 8th 2018 this online book event brings readers and authors together for a weekend of books, and book related events.

Learn more here

Evaline Transcendent - Cover (x8 - Chromed)The Origin of “Evaline Transcendent”

Evaline Transcendent is the first of my science fiction stories to go into print. It originally was a featured story in the “Across the Kármán Line” anthology from Laurel Highlands Publishing following a request for stories that took place beyond Earth’s atmosphere.

I originally wrote the story outline from the point of view of colonists who were attempting to colonize a distant planet. However, I quickly discovered that it was more about the ship’s artificial intelligence than it was about the colonists.

The second outline became the story of an artificial being charged with the task of delivering the colonists to their new home. But, the stakes had been raised, because of war on Earth, the ship had departed before the systems had been tested, and there was a very good chance the people on board were the last survivors of their world. To make matters worse, they were headed for the only known planet that could potentially support human life, and the mission before them had stopped sending messages home.

At this point the story was called “Evaline Triumphant”, and I was happy with how it had come out.

Even Stories Evolve Over Time

This was the story that I submitted for the Anthology, but that wasn’t the end of it.We went back and forth on the story title for a while, and came up with “Evaline Ascendant”, which worked well with the story as it stood at that time. But, things didn’t end there.

After discussing the ending of the story with the editor at Laurel Highlands, I was asked to add to the length of the story.

Now, this was my first science fiction story, and I’d felt that it had a good solid ending, but then something occurred to me. There was a way to push the envelope, and my twisted mind went “but what if that WASN’T the real end of the story?”, and suddenly the story shifted gears entirely taking on a darker tone.

Two new chapters came into being, and I turned the original ending entirely on it’s head while still retaining that part of the story.

And thus was born “Evaline Transcendent”, and the story that went into print with the anthology.

The Further Evolution Of Evaline

Once the rights for the story reverted to me, a year after publication, I re-read it and decided to release it as a short story. I added a lot  of extra material into the story. Some of it was clarification on things I thought needed explaining a little better. Other parts were in there to extend the scenes and add a little more to the personalities of characters.

Why So Vague?

Honestly, I’m being deliberately vague about a lot of the details, because I don’t want to give anything away. But, as you read this story, I know you’re going to spot where I originally ended it, and hopefully be surprised by the direction it takes from there…

If you’re intrigued enough to buy a copy, I’d love it if you could leave a review. At the end of the day, I thrive on reading people’s thoughts about my stories, both positive and negative.

Buy “Evaline Transcendent” for $0.99  throughout the Brain to Books Cyber Convention (April 6th-8th).

Normal Price $1.99



Next Up: Stephen Pearl

It’s Possible I’ve Gone Crazy!

It's Possible I've Gone CrazyIt’s true, there is a chance that I might have gone completely crazy!

There are a number of people who believe that this already happened, and many of them work with me in my retail job.

So, that’s actually the crux of the matter. I’m working semi-full time, and taking on a number very interesting projects.

1) Organizing the Fantasy Genre events for the Brain to Books Cyber Convention

2) A complete overhaul of my website design

3) Designing a chatbot for Messenger

4) Editing “Evaline Transcendent” based on reader feedback

5) Working on the second draft of my first full novel

6) Helping promote and test a potential social media site for authors & readers

Blog Header - Readers & Authors, Join Me At The 4th Annual Brain To Books Cyber Convention

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll already have seen my recent post about this amazing event.

In short, it’s a full weekend of online events centered around books.

The event will be coming to you from April 6th-8th, and I’m heading up the Fantasy Genre events.

There will be more information on what we have planned, as myself and the other authors get everything organized.

Blog Header - Website Overhaul

As an author, I’m not one of the most organized people at times.

I was recently going through existing my author website, and planning to update some of the pages, with the most recent information.

Unfortunately, I rapidly came to the conclusion that the site needed a complete overhaul.

  • A lot of the key information about me and my books was hard to locate
  • Some of the pages were seriously out-of-date
  • But most importantly, I really wasn’t happy with how inconsistent the page designs were.

Enter my test site, where I’m trying out some new page layout ideas, along with a cleaner look to the page design.

Enter you, my readers. I’d love to get some feedback on what you like or dislike about both sites.

So, it’s Existing Site vs Test Site – Let me know what you think

Blog Header - Designing a Chatbot for Messenger

Back in December, I wrote a blog post looking at Messenger bots, which are basically an extension of the chat service.

These bots are built to provide a combination of live chat, and “pre-recorded” information. I’m in the process of creating an introduction series that will:

  • Help potential readers learn a little more about me
  • Introduce me to bloggers who might be interested in doing/hosting guest posts
  • Allow fellow authors to learn about my blog, and the services I offer

Check out the chatbot here (Under Development)

Blog Header - Editing _Evaline Transcendent_

A few months ago, I started getting feedback from people about my science fiction short story, “Evaline Transcendent”. There were some interesting questions raised, and a few suggestions for things that could be made a little clearer.

So, with that in mind, I’ve set about going through the entire story with those notes in hand, and making a few edits.

Thankfully, there is nothing in the feedback that I’ve received that requires major changes to the story itself. But, there will be a couple of changes to how I present aspects of the story.

Primarily, I’ll be re-writing the opening of the story, to better present some of the backstory behind the Miranda Two’s mission.

Blog Header - Writing The 2nd Draft of _Of Wolves & Men_

I’ve recently finished reading through the first draft of “Of Wolves & Men (Shadows Over Seattle #1)”, my first attempt at writing a full novel. Along the way I made a lot of notes about things that needed changing, didn’t make sense, or just had to go.

So, I’m now working on the opening scenes of the book, while going through my notes and trying to plot ahead. It’s my aim to have this second draft completed before the end of the summer. Hopefully at that point, I’ll have a solid enough plot that I can go back through and work on editing.

Blog Header - Helping Promote & Test The _Author Bitz_ Social Media Site

A couple of weeks back, I posts about an author who was in the process of raising money to build a new social media site for authors and readers to connect.

So, if you find GoodReads too difficult to navigate, and find Facebook too full of spam posts and fake news, go check out my article about the site. And if it’s something you think is a great idea, consider heading over to the GoFundMe campaign and dropping a few dollars toward hosting and development costs.

Blog Header - What Does That All Mean At The Moment_

Honestly? It means that I’m going to be very busy over the coming weeks.

But there is nothing more important to me than my readers, so please drop me a line, and let me know:

  • Which of these projects are you excited about?
  • Have you checked out my chatbot? If so, what did you think?
  • Have you read “Evaline Transcendent”? Is there anything you’d want to know more about from a revised edition?
  • Are you going to attend the 4th Annual Brain to Books Cyber Convention, either as a reader, or writer?
  • How do you like the potential changes to my website design, based on comparing the old and new sites?

A 2017 Round-up 3 of 3 – A Year In The Spotlights

 

In This Post:

  • Books featured in “Book Spotlights” during 2017
  • Authors featured in “Author Spotlights” during 2017
  • Update on the reader survey

I know that this series started as a round-up of 2017 in two parts, but I realized there was so much that happened in 2017, that I really needed more posts…

(And yes, it might even go to 4 posts if individual posts get too long).

So without further ado, let’s take a look at the books and authors that have featured on “Ramblings of an Author” over the last twelve months.

Want Your Book Spotlighted?

Click Here To Fill Out The Form

J.N. Sheats

Heidi Angell 

Andy Peloquin

Connie Cockrell

Claire Plaisted

Rosemary Cawkwell

Stephanie Ayers

Renee Scattergood

Toi Thomas

A.L. Mabry

Patricia Josephine

Cassidy Taylor

Interested In Being In The Author Spotlight?

Click Here To Fill Out The Form

 

I’m Still Taking Views From Blog Readers

A 2017 Round-up 2 of 3 – The Year In Books

 

In This Post:

  • Statistics About My Reading Habits in 2017
  • Fiction Books I Read (and links to my reviews)
  • Non-Fiction Books I Read (and links to my reviews)
  • My Personal Book Releases, and feedback from readers

I know that this series started as a round-up of 2017 in two parts, but I realized there was so much that happened in 2017, that I really needed more posts…

(And yes, it might even go to 4 posts if individual posts get too long).

Target Number Of Books To Read: 25

Number Of Books Actually Read: 37 (28 Fiction, 9 Non-Fiction)

Number Of Pages Read: 7,982

Comment below – let’s see how we all did on our reading targets

5-Star Reviews

4-Star Reviews

3-Star Reviews

Comment Below With Any Fiction Recommendations

5-Star Reviews

4-Star Reviews

3-Star Reviews

Comment Below With Any Non-Fiction Recommendations

Evaline Transcendent

Format: Kindle E-Book

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073G9FPZ8

Released: July 26, 2017

Blurb: Evaline is the shipboard computer on the Miranda Two, a colony ship destined for the planet Karman-III-Delta. She is possibly Earth’s last hope of establishing a working off-world colony. However, her predecessor stopped reporting home, so now she and the colonists must establish what happened to the previous colony.
The Miranda Two has been traveling for twenty years, and now it’s time for Evaline to wake the crew and colonists in preparation or arrival at their destination. Can Evaline and the crew figure out what happened to the Miranda One expedition, and what price will they have to pay for the answers?

Note From the Author: This is the second release of “Evaline Transcendent”, which originally appeared in the “Across the Karman Line” anthology. Since that release, I have revisited the story and expanded on some aspects, and rewritten others. At its core, this is exactly the same story but reimagined for a wide audience.

Originally standing at around 8,500 words, this new release boasts a word count of closer to 14,000. I hope that those of you who have read the original story will discover new aspects to it when reading this version. For those coming to it for the first time, enjoy!

Reviews: 

Love reading! Love reading many things but not science fiction… So it’s strange that I LOVED reading this!!! A short and wonderfully captivating story which REALLY should be made into a movie!!! You’ll see why yourselves – no spoilers here 😉 I’ve just downloaded his other book too YAY 😀

Book Dreams Volume #1 (Brain to Books Anthology)

Format: Kindle E-Book

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075VDXD64

Released: April, 2017

Blurb: Here, we present the talents of assorted artists. In this collection, you will find short stories, continuations, and poems that encompass the hidden treasures of today’s uprising authors. May their words influence you as much as they have influenced mine.

Authors Include: Ani H. Manjikian, Adam Dreece, W.J. Howard, Toi Thomas, Timothy Bateson, Laura McHale Holland, Ash Krafton, Sanzaki Kojika, Tyrean Martinson, C.T. Callahan, Natash Jackson, Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra, Jeanne Richards, Charlene Jones, Angela B. Chrysler

Where Did Eight Months Go?

I looked at the calendar this morning and realized that we’re almost at the end of the first week of September. Eight months have gone by, and we’ll soon be heading into the holiday season.

Halloween Is Almost Here…

The Alaska State Fair ended on Labor Day (Monday), and it seems like Halloween is just around the corner.

This is the time of year I always get excited because Halloween marks the anniversary of my first appearance in print. It also means that NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is about to start, and I always get a new energy for writing from taking part.

What That Means For My Writing Projects…

This year I’m hoping to finish “Of Wolves and Men”, the first full-length novel in the “Shadows Over Seattle” series. I’m about to embark on a full read-through and assessment of what I have already written so I can get my mind back on this particular project.

I’m also hoping to have completed the full re-edit of “Evaline Transcendent” in time to post the updates around Halloween, or shortly before.

So, Why Is This Halloween So Special?

Well, I’ve decided to run a huge promotion this year. “Under A Hunter’s Moon” will be three years old, and I want to do something special.

I don’t want to say too much about my plans at this point, except to say… Stay Tuned!

 

Do you have any special plans for Halloween? If so, drop a note in the comments below…

 

The Writer’s Channel Hop, Vol 2 – Hosted By Shane Wilson

Tune in for the online author event of September! Join the regular cast of writers from Joe’s Bar and the Brain to Books Cyber Convention as they discuss everything writing and everything not writing. Hosted by Shane Wilson.

Find out a little about what makes us tick, why pizza is so important to the writing process, how gnomes go from lawn ornaments to mobile art, and which of us are/aren’t wearing pants… Some or all of those might be relevant…

Mark your calendar: Saturday, September 9 at 7 PM10 PM EDT

“Evaline Transcendent” Is Coming July 26th!

Hey folks… I have my first sci-fi book release coming up on July 26th, and would love to get some support for the HeadTalker and Thunderclap campaigns…

Here’s what it’s all about:

“Evaline Transcendent” is a massively updated version of the story that appeared in “Across the Karman Line” a couple of years ago. Not only have I gone back through to make sure the editing is top notch, but I’ve reinstated parts of the story that I had to cut because of the word count limits I originally had.

I’ve added almost another 5,000 words to the original length of the story, and I think it’s a much stronger story as a result, because it really brings Evaline’s mission into perspective.

How HeadTalker & Thunderclap Work

  • People create advertising campaigns for their books/services/projects/fundraisers
  • They then set a minimum number of backers for the campaign, and a deadline
  • They then try to rally support for the campaign by asking people to back it
  • By supporting the campaign, each backer pledges to allow a message to be placed in their social media feeds advertising the book/service/project/fundraiser
  • No money changes hands

Here’s Where I Ask For Your Help

I have two campaigns setup, that I’m asking for support on. Here’s some reasons you consider for backing the project:

  • You really love a good sci-fi story
  • You know some friends who’ve thought of colonizing other worlds
  • You’ve read the original story and want to see what’s new
  • You want to see humanity out among the stars

And here’s the links (feel free to share them with others)

Headtalker: https://headtalker.com/campaigns/evaline-transcendent-release/
Thunderclap: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/59308-evaline-trascendent-prerelease

Pre-Order “Evaline Transcendent” for $0.99 (*) on Amazon until July 25th ($1.99 from July 26th)

 

* The release date is July 26th 2017, and all pre-orders will be delivered on that date.