Karina Fabian: The Dragon Eye PI Stories

One of my favorite, favorite, favorite characters in all of fiction is Karina Fabian’s Dragon Eye PI tales.

Vern is a dragon working off a geas, and he’s got the smart, resourceful nun Grace by his side as he foils (in hilarious fashion) the bad guys.

The writing is crisp and clever, the plots and revelations surprising, and it’s just all-out fun.

Karina has a story for Christmas out, “Christmas Spirits”, available for only $1.50 here..

Visit the Dragon Eye PI site here.

Give Books for the Holidays!

I want to thank the authors who’ve stopped by over the past two weeks for sharing their books and their processes with us.

I met them through the group Infinite Worlds of Fantasy, and if you liked these authors, I hope you’ll continue to follow their work. Visit the Infinite Worlds of Fantasy web site for more information on these and many more terrific writers.

If you’re looking for a wonderful gift to give someone for the holidays, consider a book, be it a traditional print book or an e-book. In this economy and with worries about eco-friendly gifts, e-books are often less expensive than traditional print runs and eco-friendly.

Also, many of these writers have short stories available for free or for small fees. And many e-publishers offer gift certificates for the holidays.

Books make wonderful gifts because one can return to them over and over again, always finding something new and wonderful, and re-visiting favorite passages.

Give the gift of a WORLD this holiday!

Featured Author: Nikki Sinclaire

Nikki tells us a bit about herself:

I’m Nikki Sinclaire. Just a year ago I was leading a quiet existence, minding my own business, when these characters started
escaping out of my brain demanding that I write their stories. I tried to explain to them that I am an IT professional and that math,
not writing ruled my life, but they would not listen, stubborn little suckers that they were! My heroes and heroines (featured in my five
novel Virtual series) were very persuasive and with my family’s encouragement, I began writing their stories. I was flabbergasted! Facing danger and destruction while navigating the rough waters of relationships my characters exist with a zeal and passion for living which sparked a renewed enthusiasm and ardor in my own life!

I have been married for 23 years to my best friend in the whole wide world. We consider our life our very own romance novel and the
inspiration for everything I write. We are the proud parents of two lean, mean, sex-life-obliteration machines, err, I mean two
wonderful boys ages 19 and 11. Yes, testosterone does overflow in our
household! We make our home in Georgia, where I am Research Faculty at a major university.


DE: What inspired you to create The Virtual Reality Series?

NS: When I started writing the first book, The Virtual Man, it was going to be a single book. As I developed the econdary characters, though, I found that some of them merited their own story. The trip to the Omicron quadrant described in The Virtual Man forever changed the lives of everyone on-board. Through the five books, we find out how and experience their individual adventures with them.

Having said that, to more directly address the question, I wanted to show that regardless of the century and regardless of the level of
technology that humans might some day attain, it is our emotions, our dreams and our need to be loved and to love that will still drive us. The futuristic 25th century setting of the book series is just that, a setting. The books are really about people, their relationships and their quest to fit in and become a part of something bigger than

DE: What sort of research did you do for this type of world, and are there any interesting, unexpected tidbits you learned that you’d like to share with us?

NS: The planet Arcadia 10 was created strictly from my imagination, but,
since the heroine, Tiana, was severely wounded, and the hero, Derek, had to come up with food, medicines, soap and even a comb for her hair, I researched the medicinal, nutritional and other properties of plants and minerals found in the wild here on Earth, then adapted them to the differences of Arcadia 10 in order to project our reality upon an imaginary planet.

For The Virtual Virgin, the hero was trained as a Shadow Priest on the planet Exeter, giving him almost supernatural perceptions and abilities, particularly in the art of self-defence. My source for all the martial art bits in the book was my 19 year old son. He can kick butt if he chooses to!!!

DE: THE VIRTUAL MAN and THE VIRTUAL VIRGIN have different pairs of
protagonists. Do you envision any of your characters crossing from book to book, i.e., protagonists from one book becoming secondary characters in another, a secondary character becoming a protagonist, or just having some characters make cameos in some of the books?

NS: Absolutely. That’s part of the fun in reading all five books. The
Terrilians, a “super-race” descended from humans play an important part in all five of the books. In addition, the hateful Colonel Katia
Reginald of the Terrilian Armada makes enemies throughout the series and is not dealt with until the last book in the series … that’s
all I’ll say about that. Don’t want to give it all away. The last book will also contain somewhat of an epilogue that will reunite many of the characters from the series, allowing the reader to learn more about how each one fared.

DE: What is the most rewarding element of world-building for you?

NS: The fact that I have complete control. I can create worlds with more than one sun and no moon such as Arcadia 10, ice planets, luxury starships that cruise the universe and develop technologies that are currently in their infant stages such as nano-technology, skin regeneration, etc. In my 25th century universe we also find an
existence full of hope where cancer is as lame a disease as having the sniffles, where crippling wounds can be healed in a matter of
seconds and where nano-robots construct gargantuan space stations.

DE: Do you have any rituals or rewards you use to push yourself along on days when the writing is difficult?

NS: I’m afraid not. I’m tough on myself. There are times when I’ll
force myself to stare at my computer screen for hours without being able to write more than just a few words, and then, something clicks and in a few minutes I’ll write several chapters. Discipline and persistence are what works for me.

For more information on Nikki’s work, visit these sites:

Author’s web page: www.nikkisinclaire.com

Link to purchase the book at publisher’s page.

Link to “The Never Ending Story” to which I am on the team of
contributors: http://judahraine.blogspot.com/2008_12_01_archive.html

Blog: http://nikkisinclaire.blogspot.com/

Featured Author: Tula Neal

Tula Neal’s first erotic short story was ublished by Phaze.com in February, 2008. Her most recent work, The Mermaid’s Mission, was released by New Concepts Publishing in November. Click here – – to read a free short story by her.

Forty-six Days in the Caribbean: A Girl’s Guide to Sun, Sand, and Sex – Secret blogger, Sex Girl, is young, hot and sexy! When she’s assigned to do an in-depth magazine article about a special promotion organized by a Caribbean airline in conjunction with several hotels around the region, Sex Girl sees an opportunity to combine two of the top blog genres on the Internet – sex and travel. For forty-six days, she blogs about sex with the men she meets on islands as diverse as Jamaica and St. Eustatius while dishing information about the hotels she stays in, the historical and other sites she sees, Caribbean recipes, island aphrodisiacs, and much more.

The Vampire Oracle: Sleep – Can a vampire enslaved for more than a century surrender her heart and her desires to her human rescuer? In Sleep, Belle Le Beau is freed from her long captivity in a castle deep in Haiti’s mountains by Kai Duncan, a member of a paramilitary organization dedicated to saving paranormals from those who would exploit their powers.

The sexual chemistry between Kai and Belle is immediate and explosive but Belle has been brought close to the edge of insanity by her captivity and the only way she connects with Kai is through their lovemaking. Will she overcome her demons to surrender to the love Kai offers her?

The Mermaid’s Mission – Princess Antalya, First Daughter of the Nereid King Tushar, is sent as a Gift Prize to Gregory Landau, the owner of a private Caribbean island whose development threatens her undersea home. She needs Gregory to stop construction if she is to save her people, and she will do anything he asks, but Gregory has never met a Nereid before and is deeply suspicious of her.. Can he overcome his doubts and act on the attraction he feels for the mysterious woman? Owning an island resort has been Gregory’s dream for most of his life but Antalya awakens feelings in him that he’s never known before. Can he hold on to his dreams and still have his mermaid princess, too?

DE: Your novella, “The Vampire Oracle: Sleep” takes place in both New Orleans and Haiti. Did you travel to one or both places to do your research? Did anything surprise you in your research process?

TN: I wish I’d travelled for that story! Both places have this mysterious allure which is why so many writers choose New Orleans at least to write about. I think I was most intrigued by the connections between Haiti and New Orleans in past centuries because of their shared French colonial past. People travelled back and forth between the two places often, they maintained residences in both places, Haitians sent their children to school there, and, of course, the people of both places shared a belief in the loa and the spirits of vodun.

DE: Forty Six Days in the Caribbean: A Girl’s Guide to Sun, Sand, and Sex is cleverly set up. It’s told in the first person; it combines relevant current interests of blogging and travel – do you run into people assuming it’s you talking and not the character? How do you deflect that?

TN: I’ve gotten around that quite nicely by using a pen name so nobody I know is aware that I write erotica. In any case, Sex Girl is much more fun and uninhibited than I am – she loves going out and getting her groove on with like-minded guys while I’m much more introverted and don’t have half her stamina! LOL!

DE: A mermaid and a resort developer in The Mermaid’s Mission. A gladiator and a healer in The Gladiator’s Woman. Your pairs are either in exotic settings or have unusual callings – what draws you to those characters
rather than staying strictly in modern contemporary erotica?

TN: I write the kinds of stories I love to read – stories where I learn something new about a country or a time period. A lot of people aren’t aware that black people were part of the Roman Empire or that some held quite high-ranking positions in the Empire or in the Roman military and I wanted to bring out that aspect of history in The Gladiator’s Woman. Similarly, a lot of people vacation in tropical destinations without really thinking about the cost that some resorts exact from the environment so in The Mermaid’s Mission, the heroine spells it out but I don’t think the story beats people over the head with it.

DE: What is the most enjoyable part about working in the erotica genre? How do you feel it’s positively evolved in the past few years?

TN: I get to have my characters try things I might not do in real life! LOL! Sex is natural and I really love writing in a genre that expresses that. Erotica has come a really long way – for one thing, you have many more writers and many more publishers in the field now and they’re mixing and matching things up like crazy – paranormal erotica, historical erotica, futuristic erotica, etc. We’ve gone way beyond Anais Nin – my personal favorite – now.

DE: You’ve got great advice on your blog about both time management and epublishing, in addition to other topics. What do you enjoy about
blogging? Does it ever become a chore?

TN: I like letting my readers have access to me and helping people to have some insight into the writing life. Blogging is difficult, though. I used to do it every day but now I’m lucky if I can get to it twice a week. What works best for me is doing a batch of articles at one time and then I just have to upload them when I want.

For more information on Tula’s work, visit these sites:




Featured Author: Janet Lane Walters

Janet Lane Walters is an eclectic writer and reader. She is published in mystery, suspense, romance from sweet to spicy. historical, fantasy adult and young adult, poetry, and short stories. She lives in the scenic Hudson
River Valley with her husband, a psychiatrist. She is a member of EPIC and has about twenty books available in electronic and or print formats.

The Henge Betrayed — Flight — “We’ve been betrayed.” Those four words send four young people with affinities for Air, Earth, Water and Fire on a search for teachers and plunge them into adventure and danger.

The Temple of Fyre — A rebellious priestess flees the temple and encounters a stone seeker. Together they must bond on the physical, emotional and mental levels to efeat an evil priestess.

The Secret of the Jewels — The seven Jewel Holders and their Chosen learn the secret of the Jewels and combat the last of the mages of Earda.

DE: You write both series and stand-alones. How do you find switching back and forth fuels your creativity?

JLW: I’ll admit that I write both and I do jump around. The odd thing is that some of the series started out as single releases. When I began The Henge Betrayed — Flight this was to be just one book. I had it outlines but when I reached 80,000 words I was perhaps a quarter of the way through the outline.

Since I wrote the book for my grandchildren I figured that was long enough. I thought I would get away with a trilogy but I think it will be four books.

Other series have been planned. So have the single titles. Actually, what I write reflects my reading habits. I read both series and stand-alones. Actually I generally read a book about every two days. Many of them are re-reads. The way I jump between genres is also part of my reading habit. That’s why I call myself the eclectic writer. Sometimes I think my way of writing and jumping around comes from my years as a nurse. When you work as a nurse,
you fragment yourself, doing a dozen things at a time. So that’s the way I write.

DE: Do you keep a series bible? Do you create detailed plots ahead of
time, or update the notes AFTER the draft is written?

JLW: A series bible would be a good thing but I’m not that organized. Detailed plots are my thing, but there’s a twist since seldom do the stories completely follow the plan I set out to do. After I finish the rough draft of a book in the series, I generally read the previous books and make notes of the things I need to be sure are in the next book. Some of the series like the Opposition one are really independent stories that are interconnected with some of the characters from them appearing in the next story. This is the same with the Seduction series. I do have lists of words that are specific to some of
the stories, especially the fantasy stories but they’re just that list. Lists are something I love to do and check off.

DE: You also write across several genres. Do you ever feel that arketing
people try to box you, and, if so, how do you deal with it?

JLW: Since I write for epublishers I am generally allowed to move from genre to genre. Lately I’ve been concentrating on fantasy. I am the marketing person and so I market each book as a separate entity. There was a time when I ran
into several agents who would have taken me on as a client but only if I write one kind of story. Then I discovered epublishing and I never looked back. Fortunately my readers have accepted that they never know what I’ll write from young adult to very steamy romance. From mystery and suspense to romance, to fantasy.

DE: What is your favorite research tool?

JLW: I love non-fiction books and have shelves of them. I also use the internet for encyclopedias for general information. There are also experts in the
field and that’s a help. Since I write books with a medical background, I’m fortunate to have been a nurse and am married to a doctor. I grab acquaintances when I need a bit from an expert in such a field. I also have volumes of magazines, nursing, medical and archeological to look into when I’m writing
fantasy. I’ve a massive amount of material I’ve collected over the years. Sometimes finding what I want is hard but doing a search on the internet often leads to one of the books I have on my shelf.

DE: Several of your books use the medical profession as a backdrop. Other than the obvious life-and-death ecisions faced in a hospital every day, why do you think people are so drawn to books with that setting?

JLW: Interesting question. I think people find medicine interesting, especially in these days of rapid changes in the system. Doctors are often seen as heroes and also as Villains. We’ve all read medical suspense books where there are doctors on both sides. In Obsessions, published by Hardshell Word Factory, the nurses and doctors are being killed by a serial killer who has what to him is a good reason to see these particular medical personnel dead. Perhaps because they work so intensely with the sick and dying nurses and doctors
have an intensity about their characters. In a soon to be published mystery, the heroine is a retired nurse who goes undercover to discover what is happening in a local nursing home. Katherine Miller is also featured in several
other mysteries. Her caring nature is what gets her into trouble.

For more information on Janet and her work, visit these sites:

Dame Amber, _Jewels of the Quill, _
Books We Love Author Janet Lane Walters_

Books We Love Spice Author Janet Lane

Nothing Binding_

Eclectic writer

Featured Author: Adrianne Brennan

Adrianne Brennan stumbled into her love of writing by accident at the tender age of ten when she was given a creative writing assignment for her science class. The end result was her writing a brief science fiction comedy featuring numerous puns regarding vegetables. Once the writing bug bit, it bit pretty hard, and from the age of fourteen onwards she worked on a lengthy fantasy novel.

Her works were previously published through Aphrodite’s Apples Press and are now published through Freya’s Bower. In addition, she is a member of the Romance Writers of America, EPIC , Infinite Worlds of Fantasy Authors,
the Midnight Seductions Authors group ,
and is an alumnus member of Kappa Gamma
, a co-ed national professional performing arts fraternity.

An avid reader, Adrianne has been most influenced by various science fiction and fantasy authors including Madeleine L’Engle, Roger Zelazny, Laurell K. Hamilton, LA Banks, Yasmine Galenorn, Michael Ende, Neil Gaiman, and Alan Moore.

The author resides in Boston, Massachusetts with two cats and a car she has aptly named “the TARDIS.” She assures her readers that people tell her it looks bigger on the inside.


Blood and Mint Chocolates:
Merideth is presented with a gift from a goddess which allows her to experience in reality her deepest fantasies, which existed before in dreams alone. But can her and Kalia’s passion survive the intrigue and potential
dangers that await them, or will it only last as long as her vacation?


Blood of the Dark Moon:
Amanda is about to fulfill a legacy that began over thirty years ago and ended in tragedy. Can she learn the truth about her identity in time to help others and find happiness in her new life with her lover and sire, Jesse?


“The Longest Night” – an upcoming holiday short in the
Dark Moon series from Freya’s Bower: Winter Solstice marks the longest night of the year, a time for
honoring many different holiday traditions. For vampires, observing the day when the sun shines the least is a sacred event. Sneaking away from her duties at Clan Gladius, Merideth finds a warm and passionate embrace awaiting her to distract her from her woes. But with so much on their minds, how will Erin and Merideth spend their longest night together?

DE: What drew you to writing a series rather than stand-alone books?

AB: My initial story got long. Very long. Had I decided to tell the full tale I wanted to tell, it would’ve been 500k, not 100k. As a result, I decided to end it at a good place and continue in future books.

DE: Have you planned out the full series, or are you going to see how far
each book takes you?

AB: I have the bare bones of the plot mostly decided, and the rest is according to the whims of my Muse.

DE: I’m intrigued that your novella, BLOOD AND MINT CHOCOLATES is tied in the the Dark Moon series. How did Merideth become the protagonist of her own story, and how does she fit into the rest of the series?

AB: Merideth became surprisingly popular among some of my readers, and I thought she was definitely interesting enough to warrant her own story. She does feature as a minor character in Blood of the Dark Moon, and people liked the quirky, mint-chocolate eating librarian.

DE: Does the Dark Moon series keep Amanda is the main protagonist, or will you have different protagonists in different books?

AB: The main books of the series all deal with Amanda as the main character. The novellas and other side projects deal with other characters. I am also at work with a prequel that focuses on another main character in the tale-James, the head of Clan Gladius.

DE: What do you find the most fascinating part of the writing process?

AB: The strange dventures it takes you on, and the interesting people you meet along the way. Writing is a captivating process, and pulls you along for the ride before you have the chance to know what you’re getting yourself into. There have been elements of my books which were not previously planned upon that just sorta “happened”, and many events which happened as a result of my being a writer which wouldn’t have occurred otherwise. It’s really a mad,
mad world out there, and you’d be surprised to know what scenes in my stories are rewritten tales of what actually took place in real life.

For more information on Adrianne and her work, visit her sites:


Featured Author: Gloria Oliver

Gloria Oliver lives in Texas. She is the author of the four fantasy and YA fantasy novels – “In the Service of Samurai”, “Vassal of El”,
“Willing Sacrifice”, and her latest “Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles”. She also has a handful of short stories in several anthologies. For sample
chapters and other info please visit www.gloriaoliver.com. She is a member in good standing with both EPIC and Broad Universe.


Willing Sacrifice

La’tiera knows that to save the world, she must die. But when she’s
kidnapped, she’s told that to save the world, she must live. She won’t
be fooled so easily.


In the Service of Samurai

Adventure set in a fictional Japan, where a
boy becomes the key to completing the mission a samurai has come back from dead to finalize.


Vassal of El

Having avoided his haunting past for years, one act of kindness throws Torren onto a path which will force him to face it once again.

DE: The premise of WILLING SACRIFICE is fascinating. You have a protagonist who is determined to free herself from her kidnappers so that she can DIE. Was there something in particular you can share with us that got that “what if?” going for you?

GO: I started thinking one day about people who gave up their lives for a cause and the kind of stubbornness and strength of haracter it would take to have such commitment. Then it occurred to me to play with that concept and twist it as “truth” is not always as we know it. The book deals with two very stubborn individuals, both who think they are on the right path. It sounded like too much fun to have those worlds collide and see what came out of it.

DE: In the blurb of VASSAL OF EL, it says that “an act of kindness” is what changes Torren’s path. Again, you’re dealing with a wonderfully beguiling premise. What drew you to it?

GO: Each book tends to be different for me both in how the ideas come and how I end up writing it. For Vassal, Torren formed in my mind first and demanded his story be told. As he is in the book, he has secrets, but whether he knows it or not, he wants matters to be resolved, so he started poking at me to tell his story and that of his people. Sorry to be so vague, but I don’t want to give too much away. Let’s just say some unresolved issues he’s tried to avoid from his youth end up coming back and intruding into his life whether he wants to or not.

DE: You move between short fiction (in the anthologies) and novel-length fiction. Do you prefer one to the other, or do the characters and story dictate its length?

GO: I struggle with short fiction. I so much more enjoy the immersion of books since you get to share the world and vision for a longer period of time, and that was where I started. However, short fiction, due to its very nature, can be done faster! So I got into it due to the marketing possibilities and also to seed my name out there more. Plus it gives people a nice sample of what they might expect in terms of ‘voice’ in a longer work. Short stories are in structure and execution a little different from novels. Some people can do both, some only one or the other. I’m rather fortunate as I can get away with both kinds. But you don’t know the number of times I’ve turned in a short story to the crit group only to hear “This sounds like the beginning of a book!”. Oh my…

DE: How do you feel the different places you’ve “spent time” have enhanced your work?

GO: Everything that happens to you in life gets filed away in your subconscious. It’s a great place to throw in stuff for the creative
juices to use later. So by having gone or lived in as many different places as I have, I’ve accumulated (knowingly or not) a lot of info I’ve been able to use in my writing. People are people, but their setting can create different customs, different ways of dealing with things,
even beliefs. By having seen all these places, those differences have percolated into my head, so hopefully I can use that information when creating my own worlds and societies. No experience is ever lost, good or bad. The muse will use it eventually.

DE: The books you’ve written thus far are stand-alone. Do you have any interest in series work in the future? Have your characters been best-served by stand-alones thus far? What formed your decision?

GO: I know the ‘in’ thing right now are series, but I’ve not been able to go that route yet. As an author I am ruled by the muse more than myself at times. It’s not that I wouldn’t like to do sequels or series, just the characters or stories have not driven me in that direction. Which is rather sad too, as at least on two of my books I get asked quite
regularly if I plan to do a sequel. I would if the muse would let me! It was never a conscious decision though. I just go where the creativity takes me and it just hasn’t gone into a series mode…yet…!

Visit Gloria’s website at www.gloriaoliver.com for more information on her books.

Feataured Author: Toni Sweeney

Toni Sweeney was born in Georgia after the War between the States but before the Gulf War. At the age of six, she was kidnapped by a band of ex-patriate Transylvanian vampires who offered to pay for her education if she would write about them in a favorable light. Her efforts to do so can be found in her horror novels. Since graduating from college, she has survived tornadoes in the South,
snow-covered winters in the Midwestern United States, as well as earthquakes and forest fires in southern California. She is a member of the South Coast Writer’s Association, the Pink Fuzzy Slipper Writers website, and has her own website, myspace, Facebook and YouTube pages. Presently, she has nine novels in publication, as well as several short stories featured in magazines, online, and on amazon.com’s Amazon Shorts.




DE: In THE ROSE AND THE DRAGON, I’m fascinated with the way you took a premise that’s reminiscent of the gothic genre of the governess coming into the eccentric house (from JANE EYRE onwards) and turned it into a science fiction romance. You took another premise with a traditional base in THE LAST VOYAGE OF SINBAD SINGH and similarly turned it inside out. What draws
you to these stories and inspires you to take them further than we’ve seen before?

TS: Some weird glitch in my brain, I guess. After all, it’s just a living computer, isn’t it? I think The Rose and the Dragon was vaguely inspired by the movie Adventures in Babysitting. When I originally planned Rose/Dragon, I was sticking close to the Jane Eyre version with Miranda falling in love with her employer and he with her. Then I thought, “Nope. Too cliche.” So I brought in Kit, the younger brother. Again, I wanted the story to be as little of a cliche as possible, so I made Kit his brother’s chief hitman but paradoxically a good father and loving husband–to his many wives, who always leave him when they learn he wants nothing but a family. Kit does have his problems, and he’s definitely someone who’d done wrong, by falling in love with his brother’s ex-wife and having her tempt him to murder Dominic. I wanted to make him even less of the typical hero, so I had him having been married several times and having 8 children, and then having him swear never to marry again when his last wife dies in childbirth. His attraction to Miranda versus his vow makes up a good part of the first novel.

I’ve always liked the movie The 7th Voyage of Sinbad with the Harryhausen animation and that inspired my Sinbad book. (Sin’s my favorite character I’ve created, by the way.) I didn’t want the story to be an Arabian Nights clone, however, so I thought–Hmm, who else would be sailing around, having hair-breadth adventures?–and I came up with a space opera–a smuggler, flying from planet to planet just ahead of the Space Coast Guard, laughing at them around his illegal cigar. Then I threw in the reason for the last voyage–Andi. If you’ve seen the trailer, it’s kind of a film noir/Casablanca thing–“Out of all the saloons in the galaxy, why did she have to come to the one where I was?” Sin’s done for as soon as they meet, but so is she, but complication: Andi has a husband (the reason she’s there) and Sin doesn’t poach on another man’s property–but he wants her. It’s his last voyage in more ways than one, and the fact that the sequel Sinbad’s Wife was released this weekend proves it.

DE: As a fellow fan of both reading and writing westerns, what
challenges/pitfalls do you think we have to face when writing them?

TS: In writing my two Westerns, I tried to be very careful of my history and chronology. In Walk the Shadow Trail, one of the characters mentions that he had an uncle who saw Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in Europe. Since the character was German, I checked to see if the Show ever went to Germany. It didn’t, so
I had him see it in London. Historical accuracy is most important. Another thing is language. At the beginning of both Walk the Shadow Trail and Vengeance from
I have the characters speaking almost phoenetically, to contrast the way they speak (a German noble and a Nebraska cowboy; a Nebraskan and a a Texan), then let the dialogue slide into regular speech. It’s important not to use phrases that weren’t around at the time of the story. If it’s one thing I hate, it’s to have a story set in medieval Europe, and have a character say, “I’m going to sleep in tomorrow” or something else totally anachronistic. Or to use word “Okay” instead of “Yes,” “Very well,” All right.” Electricity, horseless carriages–anything like that should be researched to make certain it was available or in existence at the time of the story.

DE: You move between short fiction and novels. Do you have a preference? Does one draw you more strongly than the other, or do your characters

TS: I have difficulty writing short stories because I like to talk so much! SO they are a test for me. In writing some stories, however, I found that I either didn’t have enough of an idea or enough material for a complete novel, and they ended up as short stories. That was what happened with “Blood will Freeze.” I took that Armageddon old idea of a meteor striking Earth and made the survivors vampires and a few humans. So who’s going to be dominant? The vampires can withstand cold but need a food source; the humans fulfill that need but will freeze to death so they have to keep them alive. They establish kingdoms and care for their humans like cattle, nourishing, breeding, protecting them. Then one vampire decides to kill off the others and have all the humans for himself. Only problem is–in every 20th generation, there is born a human who can resist his masters. It wasn’t long enough for a novel but plenty for a short story, so that’s what it became. Only problem with my novels is that generally I think past “The End” and want to show what happened after the “Happily Ever After,” and I end up with one, two, or as many as five other novels about the same characters! The Chronicles of Riven the Heretic and The Adventures of Sinbad are proof of this.

DE: Do you tend to work from character first, or premise?

TS: Either one, and both. in Bloodseek, I started out with a character who was a bounty hunter, seeking revenge on men who had killed his family. That morphed into a knight avenging himself on the sorcerer who abducts his betrothed and wounds him so badly he nearly dies. Blood Sin started out as a Star Trek rip-off…the voyages of the Challenger (this was decades before real Challenger, by the way; my ship was named for A. Conan Doyle’s character in The Lost World). I wrote two very juvenile books, then forgot them. Later, I resurrected them, took the two main characters, made them descendants of the characters in Bloodseek, and wrote five novels about them. The main character underwent a tremendous metamorphosis: in the original, he was so Spock-like, he was nearly an android; in the final novels, he was a hard-drinking, womanizing nobleman who gets exiled for his troubles.

DE: What is the most fun, for you, about the writing process?

TS: I enjoy writing–no mistake about that, but what I really like is to finish a story, lay it aside, then a few weeks or months later, go back and read it, and think, “Hey, I’d forgotten about that bit! or “I really like that section there” or just plain,
“Damn! I’m good!” Recently, I submitted a manuscript to a publisher and she called me about it. Among other things, she said she liked the story but wondered if I had a co-writer or an editor. When I told her I didn’t, she said the writing style appeared to be from two people. I was laughing as I told her that I’d written the original story 20 years ago and then about five years ago went back and revised it. I didn’t realize my writing style had changed that much over the years! I got a contract for the book, by the way.


Featured Author: Colin Harvey

Colin Harvey’s latest novel is Blind Faith, a paranormal thriller featuring a partially-sighted investigator and part-time tarot reader who works on the south coast of England. His most recent book is Killers, an anthology of paranormal thrillers featuring original stories by award-winning authors Paul Meloy, Lee Thomas, Sarah Singleton, Jonathan Maberry and Bruce Holland Rogers, and other writers.

His next book will be another anthology, Future Bristol, nine stories about the city outside which he lives with his wife Kate, and cocker spaniel Alice. Colin hopes that wonderful stories by Liz Williams, Gareth L Powell, Stephanie Burgis, Joanne Hall and others will inspire the good people of the twenty-eight American towns and cities called Bristol to reach out to their British namesakes.

His next novel is Winter Song, a hard SF novel in which a spacer crash-landing on a lost colony planet has to flee hostile locals and even more hostile wildlife.

His short fiction has appeared in Albedo One, Gothic.net and Peridot Books, among others. Colin has a website, reviews regularly for Strange Horizons and is the featured writer on SF and Fantasy for Suite101.

Jocasta Pantile needs a case to keep the bailiff from the door; Duff needs someone to find his prize spells; they make the ideal client and enquiry-agent. The trouble is that when she finds them, Duff intends to kill the thieves, which Jocasta doesn’t much like, but if she doesn’t find them, Duff may kill her instead –if he doesn’t anyway; she knows too much about him for her own good. Neither of them realizes just what dark places his thirst for vengeance will take them

Blind Faith
Frances Dedman is a part-time tarot reader on Brighton Pier with an ex-policeman uncle. When he’s asked to investigate a schoolgirl’s disappearance the police are unhappy, but they need all the help they can get. They would be even less happy if they knew the truth about Frances’ blindness, but her blind faith in her ability to ‘read’ people may be the biggest danger of all…

A vampire who tends to her patients in a 1940s North Carolina nursing home; the detective hunting the killer of a most unusual victim in near-future Boston; the university lecturer haunted by the ghost of his unborn brother; the nascent nine-year-old serial killer and her (perhaps) imaginary friend — all these and seven other visions of the end of life.

DE: All four (five if you count BLIND FAITH?) of your current fiction releases are stand-alones. Are you ever tempted to step into series waters? Or do you prefer stand-alones?

CH: One of the things that I like about thriller writer Cornell Woolrich, who wrote Rear Window was that he never wrote sequels. So the reader never knows whether Woolrich’s threatened character will actually survive. That tends to be undermined when the reader knows that a book is the seventh (or seventeenth!) in a series. So I strongly prefer stand-alones. That said, I would never say never to a series — but if I’m to write one, it needs to be done well.

DE: Do you find it difficult or easy to move between short fiction and novels? What do you find are the particular challenges for each?

CH: To be honest, there are times when I’m in the middle of a novel when I long to be able to switch to short fiction, but I can’t afford to take the break mid-novel, and I find short stories demand all my attention when I’m writing them. So I split my year into blocks –this part for novels, this part for short fiction.

For me the challenge of writing novels is to keep the plot on course and the characters evolving. Novels require much more thinking time beforehand — usually a month or two before I start writing. They’re much more like little daubs of paint on a canvas, building up to a much bigger picture.

Short stories are much more like black and white sketches. There is absolutely no room for a wasted word in a short story, which is why I find them such a challenge. I’m much more a novelist by inclination than a short story writer, but that’s all the more reason to master them.

DE: How did you wind up editing anthologies? Did you put out a call for submissions, or offer specific invitations?

CH: I met Harry Harrison at a convention in Ireland, and admitted that I’d loved his anthologies when I was a teenager, but that no-one seemed to be producing many nowadays. He said, “Why don’t you edit one?” So I did.

I’d had an anthology in mind for some time that would feature mysteries or thrillers that included speculative fiction –SF, fantasy or horror– and meld the genres. I issued invites to writers I knew because I didn’t have the time to read the hundreds of subs that would have resulted from a general call.

The result was Killers. Let me be honest; I’m proud of every one of the stories in that book — if they’re not my children, they’re at least my nephews and nieces. But Lee (Thomas) and Jonathan (Maberry) responded with stories that I genuinely believe are as good as anything I’ve read this year in the major magazines. They are simply outstanding.

DE: Has your experience as an editor altered the way you approach your writing at all?

CH: I don’t think so — although it’s made me more sympathetic toward them!

I suppose if it has, it’s made me try to focus on writing much more tautly at novel length, and to make my prose much sharper, and more active.

DE: Is there any type of writing you haven’t yet tried that you want to?

CH: Not so much types of writing as styles of writing…Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe novels seem so effortless that it’s only now that I’m a writer that I can guess how much work went into them; I’d love to manage something equally urbane! And one day I’ll write a pure mystery, such as written by Kate Wilhelm, or Reginald Hill, both of whom have unique –but very different– styles.

For more information on Colin Harvey, visit these sites:


Featured Author: Eva Gordon

Eva Gordon has written five full-length novels, three fantasy novels, The Stone of the Tenth Realm, Gaea’s Keeper and the sequel to The Stone of the Tenth Realm, Alchemist of the Tenth Realm, science fiction titled Post-Apocalyptic Genome, and Werewolf Sanctuary, a paranormal romance in her Wolf Maiden Chronicles.

She has a BS in Zoology and graduate studies in Biology. She taught Biology, Environmental Science and Anatomy/Physiology in both public and private high schools. Her ackground in science and passion for wildlife biology inspires her writings. She moonlights as a faculty member of the Grey School of izardry, an online school for kids and adults interested in magic and lore. I am in the departments of Beast Mastery.

She is passionate about wildlife and the environment. She combined her love of animals and writing by teaching about animals in fiction workshops for the Hearts Through History Romance Group, including one on wolf biology and lore and ancient falconry.

The Stone of the Tenth Realm
Sophie Katz, escapes a Nazi concentration camp. By way of Prague and with the help of a golem and the Kabbalah she is transported into the 10th Realm, a magical dimension that parallels the world she left behind. Logan Macleod, a man hunted unjustly for a murder, runs to the Bestiary, a forest so dangerous no man dares enter. Drawn by his bagpipes, Sophie and Logan meet. As love ensues, the Tenth Realm’s evil parallels the Third Reich’s atrocities. Together they must join the armies fighting Gustaf Hissler, Adolph Hitler’s doppelganger. Will they survive?


DE: What inspired you to create THE STONE OF THE TENTH REALM and
juxtapose it with the Third Reich?

EG: I was inspired by an old non-fiction book called Hasidic Tales of the Holocaust by Yaffa Eliach, which spoke of real life paranormal miracles that saved people from death. The Third Reich is no doubt one of the most evil regime that has ever existed and I thought why not have such monsters in a fantasy novel. My heroine, Sophie escapes from our realm and into the Tenth Realm, which is one of magic and where the Third
Reich exists but is called The Guild of the Golden Rose. Like the Chronicles of Narnia, Sophie and her friends must fight the same
sinister type of evil. Fortunately, in the new realm Sophie learns she has the powers of mental alchemy and with the help of her love interest, Scottish werewolf Logan MacLeod, she becomes a powerful force in fighting Hitler’s Doppelganger and his minions.

DE: Can you tell us a bit about the research involved and how the research sparked flights of imagination for the Realm?

EG: I had to do historical research for the first chapter, which began in
Terezin Concentration camp and Old Prague. I also delved deep into Jewish mysticism and myths about magical creatures such as the golem.

I love nature so imagining the Bestiary, a land of mythical creatures and vast forests and mountains was fun. I enjoyed creating an
alternative magical Earth that relied on magic rather than technology.

Magnificent palaces and underground villages, once my own wishful thinking, now become real in my novel.

DE: GAEA’S KEEPER deals with pollution and eco-destruction. What sorts of research did you do to give yourself a firm foundation in the possibilities of eco-survival, or was the world created so completely from scratch that you didn’t need so to do?

EG: As a former A.P. Biology teacher I had a firm background in global warming and wanted to create a fantasy world with the similar issue without being preachy. It combines the mythic rivalry of gods and the reality of a world ravaged by environmental pollution, there is plenty of magic, action and romance. Think an adult version of Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax” meets Mythology. I especially love my main character, Kendra who has the gift of animal speak. This story is currently being edited and
should be out this summer.

DE: Do you start from character or from theme with most of your work?

EG: In the very beginning I start with a theme but soon my characters come to life. I would say it’s a mixture.

DE: Are The Wolf Maiden Chronicles your only series, or can you see doing more with the characters from the other books in the future?

EG: A major publisher is looking at my Wolf Maiden Chronicles and I hope it will become a 5 or more book series. The Stone of the Tenth Realm is book 1 of a trilogy. Book 2, Alchemist of the Tenth Realm is written and the publisher has a copy. Gaea’s Keeper is a stand alone.

For more information on Eva and her work, visit the following sites:

http://www.ravenauthor.com (website)