Meet the Stories

Juggling a stack of books is difficult, and one can only imagine that juggling a stack of books that aren’t written yet would either be impossible or very easy. In truth, it’s somewhere in between.

My silly brain is overly active and constantly overwhelmed with far too many ideas to write. But sometimes an idea reaches a certain stage when it becomes a “story” and at some point (if I have a title for it) I usually put it in my list of “official” stories, which means I’m going to try to write it. Someday.

Unfortunately, I’m by no means a fast writer, so many are going to have to wait quite awhile for me to get to them. But maybe by that time I’ll have amassed enough ideas about it that I can write it. So for some of the more vague ideas I’m in no hurry. I also have a sad tendency not to focus on one story at a time, which makes it an even longer time before I finish anything.

So this post is to “meet” a few of the books I’m writing, have written, or plan to write someday. Since there are so many, a very detailed post would be far too long for anyone to read, so I’m going to try to keep it short. Ish.

My stories — written, unwritten, and in progress — fall into the following categories (not counting fanfiction, old endeavors, and co-writing attempts).

Standalone:
7 novels
4 novellas
11 short stories

Series:
The Chronicles of Starrellia (8 novels, 3 novellas, a few short stories)
Kedran’s Wood series (2 novels and 1 in-between novella)
Tales of Evera fairytales (3 short stories)

Which comes out as roughly 40 all together. Am I crazy? Well yes, actually, but that’s beside the point. (Also, don’t worry — I’ve only actually finished 3 novels and 3 short stories, aside from my “unofficial” stuff. Which makes me not so much accomplished as ambitious.)

So without further rambling, let’s meet some stories . . .

Finished novels

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Quest For a Legend
(The Chronicles of Starrellia, book 4)
Fantasy, complete at 98,000 words.
10,000 words into rewrite, which is on hold.
Ethan sets out on a quest to discover the secrets of a strange map, but with the sudden invasion of the kingdom, he is caught up in the action. Alongside an array of friends including a princess, two talking bears, a merry young spy, and a mysterious prince who seems to have questionable intentions, Ethan battles to save the realm from the greedy clutches of an evil king. But can he save the kingdom and still complete his quest for a legend?

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Far-mark’s Dream
Fantasy. Complete at 53,000 words. On hold for a rewrite.
More info here.

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The Owl of Kedran’s Wood
(Kedran’s Wood series, book 1.)
Contemporary Fantasy / Mystery, complete at 105,000 words.
Sinister creatures called Wildlings are lurking in the woods by a small town and the members of the local Chess Club take it upon themselves to do something about it. But that is before the arrival of shape-shifting Wildlings who can look like humans, and the sudden appearance of a shady character in a black leather jacket, calling himself Tare. The Chess Club are caught up in a swirl of dark mystery and must find the answers to the secrets of Tare and the Wildlings—before it is too late.

Finished short stories:

FinishedShortStoryCovers

Clarity in Darkness
(Unsure of genre; complete at 2500 words.)
Music from beyond the buildings, through the darkness . . . calling.

Dragon Eyes
(Fantasy, complete at 4500 words.)
Ronan’s world is acting unusual, and he must discover the cause before anything truly dreadful happens.

Midnight Fear
(Horror? Complete at 1000 words.)
Walking home in the dark . . . and a black panther is on the loose.

Past projects that are on hiatus but I plan to finish/rewrite someday:

Grey Betrayal
Fantasy novel: The Chronicles of Starrellia, book 1. 50,000 words so far.

Twelve Fugitives in the Wild
Fantasy novel. 48,000 words so far.

(Those two are talked about in this post.)

The Emerald Avenger
(Novella. Historical Fiction? 22,000 words so far.)
In the tradition of Zorro and other such non-supernatural superheroes, this is a story of a masked man, set during the 1700s on a fictional Caribbean island under the jurisdiction of England. I started it a very long time ago and it will need some serious rewriting after I finish it.

Hairdo Havoc
(Humorous short story. 600 words so far.)
A whimsical tale that I started writing one day and haven’t gotten very far on due to having no idea what happens next. Sometime if I can figure out what else will happen and regain that whimsical humorous mood, I may try to finish it. It’s a very fun story even as it is at the moment.

Currently in the midst of
(meaning you’ll probably hear mostly about these over the next several months)

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Underground Rainbow
Contemporary Fantasy novel, currently writing for NaNo.

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The Invisible Mask
(Fantasy novel, currently at 10,000 words.) On hold at the moment while I work on other things and figure out the plot (because I’ve no idea what’s going to happen).
A young nobleman searching for the woman he wishes to marry. A princess who wants revenge. A disinherited brother and sister looking for a new way of life. A young lady seeking to regain her rightful land. A man who disappeared five years ago, whose daughter is still searching for him. Secrets, spies, highwaymen, people who are not what they seem, and at the heart of everything, a missing book and a dark and secret tower. The key to it all may lie with a mysterious nobleman whose shady past is hidden in lonely mansions on the windswept moors.

SPcoverSong of a Pirate
(Fantasy Novella, currently at 22,000 words.)
Started for Camp Nanowrimo and I just need to get around to figuring out the ending and writing the rest.
The pirate crew of the Sea Maid is losing the memory of why they appointed their captain, a new sailor is curious about it—and the Captain has plans of his own. An enigmatic woman who knows impossible things, a silent man found by gypsies, and a lonely nobleman with a tangled history, join in the voyage. They are bound for an unreachable island that holds the secrets to their past and their hopes for the future, but all may be lost in the end. For the boy Captain of a pirate ship no longer sings his song.

OUcover2Out of the Unknown
(Fantasy Novel, The Chronicles of Starrellia, book 2.)
Currently at 34,000 words. I’m going to go back and rewrite most of what I have so far, adding some plot points and characters, before continuing the story. Finishing this is going to be my main focus in 2014. I hope.
They will have to face their fears. An exiled king and his brother—haunted by the present. A man who has forgotten his identity—haunted by his lack of a past. A girl on a mission—haunted by dreams of the future. An outlaw four times over—haunted by his past, present, and the possibility of a similar future. All are brought together by a fate that will cause them to undertake a journey together, to try and depart from the land they are trapped in—a land from which no one in remembered history has ever escaped.

KWnovellaCoverSnowfall at Kedran’s Wood
Contemporary Fantasy Novella. Kedran’s Wood series, book 2 (or 1.5, depending on how you look at it). Unstarted, but might start soon. Currently in brainstorming/plotting/snippet-writing mode.
After the otherworldly events of the summer, the Chess Club believes the Wildling affair is behind them. But when some alarming men begin investigating what happened, and Tare returns from his absence one snowy December day, they realize their adventures are far from over. Assailed by nightmares, Tare tries to recover and does some investigation of his own, while the Chess Club must deal with local mysteries, a group of threatening people, and Christmas holidays, amid the snowfall in the shadow of Kedran’s Wood.

***

So those are the stories I’m most likely to mention ’round here.

Sometime in the future I plan to also write:

StoryCovers

5 other novels and a collection of novellas/short stories in the Chronicles of Starrellia
a second novel in the Kedran’s Wood series (following the novella)
a fantasy novel about young river pirates
2 science-fiction novels (one a sci-fi thriller, the other a sci-fi western)
a time-travel/sci-fi/historical fiction novella
a fantasy novella that I can’t figure out how to explain
a post-appocalyptic short story
a sci-fi short story having to do with mind reading
a time-travel story (possibly steampunk)
2 fantasy short stories about birds
a fantasy short story Cinderella retelling
a world-hopping fantasy short story (or two)
3 fairytale-like short stories that are interrelated

Several of those I occasionally work on or write down a snippet or some story idea notes for, and if at some point I get closer to writing those stories, they may get introductions as well.

But at the moment I think this post is quite long enough . . !

 

 

Character Interview Attempt

Today I’m going to attempt an interview with one of my characters. I say “attempt” because he is somewhat unsociable (if not downright hostile) and may not appreciate my pestering him with questions.

Background: his name is Bithoa (prounounced bih-THOE-uh), he is a twenty-two year old outlaw, and at the time we meet him he lives in the Land of Darrotai (over the mountains from the Land of Starrellia). He’s from my 8-book fantasy series, The Chronicles of Starrellia, at the moment appearing in books 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8 (but primarily 2: Out of the Unknown and 5: To Few the Road).

Without further ado, I bring you an attempted interview with Bithoa.

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I am standing in a sunshine-filled forest glade, surrounded by leafy green trees. Before me stands . . . a rather brown figure. A tall young man, dressed in brown leather, with a brown leather vest instead of a shirt, laced up with brown leather laces in the front. His arms are bare and tanned, with more than a couple scars visible on them, and he is holding a transparent double-ended spear made of crystal. His hair is reddish-brown and shaggy, with some of it hanging down partway over one of his deep green eyes, which are staring at me rather dauntingly with mistrust in them. In his face is a wary look and he always seems to be watching out of the corner of his eye, like a hunted animal for the hunters. His eyebrows are drawn together in a frown and his mouth is a thin line as I explain to him that I would like to ask him some questions, as an introduction to some people I know. (I figure a blog might be difficult for him to grasp, since blogs are not exactly medieval . . .)

“Won’t you have a seat?” I ask him, pointing to a stump next to him.

He glances at it but makes no move to sit there, remaining where he stands. I start to sit on the stump opposite, but think better of it. I’m already a whole foot shorter than him, being only 5′ 2” myself, and decide I should not go shorter.

“Tell us about yourself, Bithoa.”

He starts to walk away. “Not interested. Why don’t you annoy David instead? I’m sure he’d love to be interviewed.”

“Get back here! Please,” I add.

He sighs and turns back to me. “Look — I’m sure no one wants to hear about me except my enemies, of which I have far too many already. If you’re so keen on these people learning about me, why don’t you tell them yourself?”

“I want it straight from your mouth. Just . . . tell about your situation. Your life. Anything.”

His eyes harden. “Allow me to say this very clearly: No.”

“Well then I’ll have to go find Calendula and make her ask you nicely. Then you’ll have to,” I threaten.

“What makes you think—?” He breaks off. Rolling his eyes in an expression of “whatever, better get this over with”, he says, “Fine.” Sitting down on the stump, he plunges the spear into the ground next to him, folds his arms, and begins. “Here in this land — which is entirely surrounded by mountains, marsh and desert, and thus inescapable — I’ve been an outlaw for the last ten years. The problem being that there are four different places — Wevion, two kingdoms in Darrotai, and the domain of the Lawdefs, the Law Defiers — and I’m an outlaw in all four.”

I whistle. “An outlaw four times over.”

He glares at me. “Yes. You know that.”

“I . . . was being dramatic,” I say sheepishly.

He looks like he wants to hit me but goes on. “So I’m hunted everywhere I go, with no escape, and now to top it all I’ve got two princes tagging along with me, bringing more danger with them. In short, life is not good right now. And I don’t see it getting any better,” he says with an accusatory glance at me. I cough awkwardly. “Is that enough?” he asks.

“No. Go on.”

He huffs. “Like what?”

“Well . . . how about some more details of your life? Like . . . your past and lineage and what you love and your greatest fears? Would you like to share some of that with us?” I should have known better, knowing what I know about those things. Warning signals go off in my head as his green eyes suddenly blaze with unconcealed anger.

“Oh yes,” he says through his teeth, “I have something I’d really like to share with you.” He stands up, his fingers closing over the shaft of the spear stuck in the ground beside him.

Before I can say or do anything, another voice calls somewhat frantically, “Bithoa!” A boy of sixteen runs up, with light brown hair, dressed in clothes that look like they were once very fine but now look a little the worse for wear, a dark blue cloak billowing behind him as he comes to a halt. A crossbow is slung at his shoulder and he has a long knife on his belt.

OUcover2“Hi, David!” I smile and a wave at the sixteen-year-old main character of Out of the Unknown.

“What is it now?” Bithoa says to David, clearly annoyed.

“Don’t do anything . . .” David starts, with a glance at me.

“Anything? I wasn’t. I was about to do something,” Bithoa interrupts. “And if you don’t leave me alone, I’ll start with you.”

David sighs unhappily. “Why do you have to be so hostile?”

“Me? Hostile?” Bithoa laughs, sarcastic and devoid of humor.

“You can’t hurt David, Bithoa,” I say. “Killing the main character is not allowed. And it’s even more not allowed to kill the author. So why don’t you just sit down again, please?”

“Maybe . . .” David begins.

Bithoa looks at him sharply. “Maybe what? Oh, I know: maybe she should interview you instead.”

“Well, I . . .” David says uncertainly.

Bithoa tugs his double-ended spear from the ground. “I’m off. I’m sure there’s some hunting to be done, or a stick to be whittled, or Donavin to get in a fight with, or some guards to find and have chase me. In short, something more enjoyable than being interviewed.” Though I know he doesn’t enjoy any of those things — except maybe getting in a fight with Donavin. He walks off, while David and I watch helplessly.

“He can be kinda difficult,” David says.

“I heard that,” Bithoa calls back before disappearing among the trees.

David looks at me and shrugs. He sits down on the stump. “Did you have some questions for me? I’d be happy to answer them.”

“Well, at least you’re polite and willing to comply . . .” I think about it, deciding I should try to salvage this interview by getting *someone* to answer some questions. I shrug. “Tell us . . . well, about you.”

David frowns thoughtfully. “Um . . . I’m a prince from Arothin in Darrotai. My older brother Donavin is in line for the throne but . . . there were problems. And now we’re on the run. With Bithoa.”

“What are some things you love or hate or fear?”

“Well, I love my brother if it comes to that. And apples.” He grins. “Hate?” His grin turns to a frown and he shuffles his feet uncomfortably. “Hate is kind of a strong word. I suppose I hate  my uncle and cousin. They killed my father the king, blamed my brother for it, and took over, and now they’ve got all the soldiers out tracking us down. Besides which my cousin Kiya always used to beat me up whenever Donavin wasn’t there to beat him up back for me . . . So I guess I fear him. And I fear for Donavin — he’s, well, a bit reckless and hotheaded, and sometimes I’m afraid he’ll just get himself killed one of these days because of it. Especially the way he and Bithoa rub each other the wrong way . . .” David glances all about and murmurs, “I fear Bithoa sometimes too. He . . . kind of scares me. And there are times when I just want him to leave. Or to throw him in the river . . .”

BithoaSketch“I heard that, too,” Bithoa calls.

David jumps. He clears his throat and squirms on the stump, his eyes appealing to me. “Um . . . could we talk about something else, please?”

The voice of David’s brother Donavin calls from somewhere on the other side of the glade. “You should leave poor David alone and interview me instead. I am the crown prince after all.”

“Oh yes,” Bithoa’s voice says derisively. “Heir to a throne that’s been stolen, and here you are, a fugitive, running from the guards who should be serving you. A lot of good your royalness is doing you.”

“Shut your mouth, outlaw!”

“Don’t call me that,” Bithoa growls.

“Oh, and what shall I call you then?”

“You needn’t call me anything, princeling.”

“Princeling!” Donavin exclaims in rage. I can practically hear him fuming. David and I look at each other, wincing. A few more heated words are exchanged between Donavin and Bithoa before sounds of a scuffle break out.

David sighs and hauls himself off the stump to his feet. “I’d probably better go see to that . . .”

***

And there you have it. It was not supposed to get that long, or that sidetracked. And I guess I introduced more than one character. But it is so hard to get some of my less sociable charries pinned down long enough for an interview . . . Hope you enjoyed! I definitely had a fantastic time writing it.
Do you have any questions to ask them?