fantasy fiction

The second question I asked Ilona Andrews

My second question is – how do you two work together?
I’ve wanted to ask this for a long time, and maybe you’ve already answered this somewhere. You can just give me the link, if you have. I always considered my ideas very private, something to stew over in secret. I understand discussing ideas for projects and doing stuff in a team, but if two people sit down to write with the same story-line (discussed and decided on mutually) in their heads, wont their writings still be widely different? How do you manage that?

In answer :

I believe Ilona answered the first part of your question on the blog.  As far as the second goes, it is more complicated.  (more…)


Ilona Andrews gives her take on narrative ‘voices’

I wrote to Ilona Andrews for advice on my writing, and the authors graciously answered me on their blog. My question was the following:

“I know the best advice given to new/young writers is read, read, read and write, write, write. So, I read and read, but while writing I’ve discovered a block I can’t seem to get past. While writing short stories or fables this doesn’t bother me so much, but when trying to put an idea for a longer story on paper, I try to stay away from emulating the authors of the genre I’m trying in – that is, I try to write in third person :] – but somehow I can’t find the voice I’m looking for. I can’t decide how to narrate my story. The narrative decides how you explain the characters and how you unfold the story, right?  So, my first question – how did you find your voice? How did you KNOW it was the right style to write your story in?

Ilona Andrews:

Emulating other authors is normal.  I’ve pointed it out before – almost every successful writer goes through a stage where he or she writes a derivative work.  That’s how we learn to write.  🙂

“…That is, I try to write in third person” – does it feel “right” writing in the third person or is this a choice you are making to distinguish yourself from other writers?  If it’s the second, then your voice troubles might be happening because you are forcing yourself into the pattern you don’t subconsciously feel is comfortable for you.  Here is a secret: (more…)

From Bayou Moon – (a well-written funny)

He’d spent the night in the boat. Next to the spaghetti queen.

William glanced at the hobo girl. She sat across from him, huddled in a clump. Her stench had gotten worse overnight, probably from the dampness. Another night like the last one, and he might snap and dunk her into that river just to clear the air.

She saw him looking. Dark eyes regarded him with slight scorn.

William leaned forward and pointed at the river. “I don’t know why you rolled in spaghetti sauce,” he said in a confidential voice. “I don’t really care. But that water over there won’t hurt you. Try washing it off.”

She stuck her tongue out.

“Maybe after you’re clean,” he said.

Her eyes widened. She stared at him for a long moment. A little crazy spark lit up in her dark irises. She raised her finger, licked it, and rubbed some dirt off her forehead.

Now what?

The girl showed him her stained finger and reached toward him slowly, aiming for his face.

“No,” William said. “Bad hobo.”

The finger kept coming closer.


Now what cracked me up here – and you, I’m guessing – is the well placed “Bad hobo”. I had never thought that word funny before but it worked here.

For more conversational snippets from this book click —> ME!



Assassin Study [A Valek story] by Maria V. Snyder

Yelena, the heroine of Maria V. Snyder’s stunning debut novel Poison Study, is on her way to her ancestral homeland of Sitia to be reunited with her family and to learn more about her magical powers. An order of execution hangs over her head should she ever return to Ixia. But her true love, Valek, quickly learns that an assassin has taken it upon himself to make sure Yelena doesn’t reach her destination… As Ixia’s chief of security, and a highly skilled assassin himself, can Valek track down the killer in time to save Yelena’s life? (more…)

my map Registered & Protected

                                 Click on image to enlarge it. =])

This is my Continent and the kingdoms you see are where my favourite characters run rampant. I had first thought of Nimirtha when I created Rusha, Falcon and Parthen.  It was in the great forest of Pirr that Rusha challenged Falcon and lost.

As you can see, all the nations on this continent have access to the vast oceans and seas of Yohara, Kiriam, etc. But Nimirtha’s closest neighbour Ermere is the only country which excels in ship building. This verdant and prosperous land is a Queendom ruled by the family of Eravars. To the east of Nimirtha is the scorching desert of Thanrav by which reside the people of Sarath. This nation is ruled by the Priests of Limhn who are revered by all, even by the kings who live across the seas. Gilviarth was once part of Ermere but its people revolted against an old Eravar queen and were allowed to secede from that nation. Now it lives under Ermere‘s benevolent protection for its own rulers have proved to be ineffective and corrupt, and the country fears its greater neighbour to the west too much to stand alone. Karvik Vun is a looming threat for all other countries on the continent. The great Marhib ranges is the only thing that protects both Nimirtha and Ermere, for the emperor of the Vun dynasty cannot attack by sea. Ermere’s formidable naval army is its deterrent. Thus the Vun try to capture Gilviarth and Sarath. The former is protected by warriors of both Nimirtha and Ermere and the latter can defend itself very well. No one seems to know how, but Vun has never succeeded in landing on Sarath’s shores.

Note: This is my own humble creation and I would be obliged if you didn’t steal it.

Enchanted Pools (fantasy)

At the beginning of the Seventh Age, the kingdom of Garnami was ruled by the siblings Esha and Arsh. They were strong rulers and protected their kingdom with both wisdom and the power of their enchanted wards. To the east of the kingdom, stood a tall mountain and atop it they placed three large bowls of water. The water in those basins were charmed. They were always still and could not be removed from the bowls, nor could ordinary water be added to them. As long as the bowls remained intact, the three perfect circles of water protected Garnami from the moment the first rays of the sun touched the still surfaces till darkness replaced them. To the north, south and west, they also placed wards, and these protected the kingdom while the moon glided across the sky.

One day, a lone child wandered from a distant land to the top of this mountain and tired and hungry he sat down by the basins. Noticing the cool, clear water, he dipped his fingers in the bowls and brought out his cupped palms full of sparkling liquid. But before he could bring it up to his mouth, the water vanished. He tried again and again, but with no success. He put his mouth to the rim of the bowl, but couldn’t pull in a mouthful. He tried tilting the bowls, but not one of them moved. They were too heavy and he was just a child. Finally, almost crazed with thirst, he picked up a big rock and threw it against one of the bowls. It bounced off, without harming the basin. Regretting his rage, but almost faint with the burning in his dry throat, he sat by one of the bowls and cried.

Now, Esha and Arsh alone knew the secret of the eastern ward. To protect their people, they told the source of the magical water to no one, but they had forbidden all children from climbing the mountain. Any disobedient of this rule, were punished severely.

But, now this child sat by the basins and his tears rolled slowly down his cheeks and into the unusually still water. He didn’t notice, and not a single sound was made, but as soon as his tears touched the surface of the water, a million cracks appeared on all three basins.

The little boy cried for a long time, but when he finally rubbed his eyes clear, he looked around and could not see a single bowl. Pieces of the magically strong earthen basins were littered all around him and the charmed water had been spilled all over the grass. It was slowly seeping into the ground.

Not knowing what to do, he dug the wet soil with his fingers and found that water rushed into the small hollow from the earth. Still very thirsty, he cupped this water and brought it to his mouth, the water touched his lips and didn’t vanish. The boy drank it and found his aching throat completely cured and his empty stomach suddenly full. He dug more and drank more. When he was very full he lay down on the ground and fell asleep.

Esha and Arsh had felt the breaking of the ward and in a panic, they took a large guard of soldiers and hurried up the mountain. There they found the small child asleep and the bowls in pieces. In anger they shouted that the child be thrown in prison. He woke up and very frightened, he started to cry again. His tears joined the water under the soil and suddenly three little holes appeared in the ground. No one noticed them, but quickly they widened and deepened. Just as the child was being dragged away, a soldier looked back and shouted. Esha and Arsh turned and saw three deep pools in the ground which were perfectly circular and perfectly still.

Suddenly, the clouds in the sky cleared and the sun’s rays spilled across the enchanted pools. Esha and Arsh felt a new ward take birth. Stronger, far stronger than before, its magic cloaked the land in its protective shield. Amazed, the monarchs took the child to their palace and questioned him. They found that he was an orphan who had wandered far from his city. On his way, he had met three old men who had advised him to climb this mountain. They had promised that atop it, he would find the path to a new home. Esha and Arsh wondered who these wise men could be and how they had known the secret of the wards. They never found out. The pool’s water had come from the tears of many children and only a child’s earnest tears could have broken through their magic.

In the end, though, the three men’s promise was kept when the royal siblings adopted the child as their heir. Neither wished to marry and so the boy found his new home.

To this day, if one could make up the steep slopes of the mountain, they would reach a flat grassy land and amongst the green they would find three deep pools.

The Garnami kingdom is no more, the pools have long lost their enchantment but the water is still sweet and very satisfyingly filling.