On Friday I discovered another free library. This one is dedicated to a school principal, which is a wonderful idea. Unfortunately, there was no protective door, even though there are hinges for one, so I’m hoping the books are taken inside soon. I gifted copies of Life in Slake Patch and The Rython Kingdom for it’s readers.
Four author friends and I went to Daisy Chain Book Co in Edmonton on Saturday night. Our gracious host and bookstore owner, Brandi, was very accommodating and had set out display tables and chairs. As you can imagine having access to a whole bookstore was too tempting. We may write books, but we are also voracious readers! Purchases were made.
I am continuing with the November writing challenge and as of November 12th my total was 22,531words. The third book in the crime series is, of course, the culmination of the trilogy series. It is exciting to create the investigation, the missteps and ultimately the resolution.
It is my pleasure to welcome back a fellow author to my blog. Verna has been here before, but today we celebrate her newest novel, The Bastard Sorceress.
Since your last interview, how has your writing life changed? I’ve learned to go with the flow. I’ve survived and found new publishers for my fantasy novels when my previous publishers stopped publishing. It’s happened to me more than once too! But I’ve been lucky to find new publishers willing to take me on. It’s a tough business, and small presses suffer the most. Other than that, I’m still a mad writer who drinks pots of tea and keeps a package of emergency cookies on hand when I create my tales. I’m focused in details of story, world, and characters. I put together book bibles for each novel that are very detailed about every aspect of story, world, and people in in. I still have plans on becoming the next princess of heroic fantasy. Just give me time.
What have you learned about your craft of writing? I learned I have a knack for three things-creating good dialogue, great characters, and giving my characters good names. It’s a gift I’m grateful for.
Would you ever write in another genre? I love fantasy, but would love to dive into science fiction, especially some space opera.
What inspired you to write about Sabine Fable in your latest novel? A new character I’ve never done before. I love my heroines, and they always lead my tales. With Sabine Fable, I wanted to explore a character who suffered a rough home life and poverty, but was determined to rise above what society dictated. I added real human elements in this tale of magic, and created flesh and blood characters with more depth.
What characteristics does she have that make her a force to be reckoned with? A tough upbringing can make a tough character. Her heart is good, but she is fierce and protective of those she loves. She does not trust easily. She champions the underdog because she is one of them. Her family once had magic, but mage fever took that away. She was a bastard, and judged for her low birth. Magic is currency in her world, and mages rule. Even humble charm caste has respect. She had none. Sabine is hungry for more than magic. She wants justice and to be treated with respect. She wants people to see her. And yet she would never betray a friend or family member for what she desires.
Which author would you most like to meet and why? There are so many! Many of my favorites have passed (Ray Bradbury, Tanith Lee, Robert E. Howard, Patricia McKillip). Neil Gaiman is one of many on my list. I did have the joy of meeting Tanya Huff (so awesome), Kevin J., Anderson, and the great Larry Niven at conventions. I would love to meet Jennifer Roberson someday. At least she is my Facebook friend. As are you, Mandy.
With several series of books, are you planning more? Yes, but with publishers rising and falling around me over the years, I plan to be more careful. Even if I plan a series, I will do each novel as a stand-alone. I am working on the second novel to Bardess of Rhulon, called War Poet. But I am writing my novels from that perspective.
Has a movie or TV show inspired any of your stories? Some of the actors in favorite shows or movies I may be inspired by. Some of my characters are drawn from well-known actors.
What aspect of writing do you like the most? The power to create my own worlds and stories. Yes, I am a goddess who rules her worlds.
Where can readers find your books? Amazon has all my novels, available in both print and Kindle. My books are also on Barnes& Noble online. And my new publisher (for Bardess of Rhulon & The Bastard Sorceress) TANSTAAFL Press.
Verna McKinnon is a fantasy author of adventurous heroines. She is the author of the novels, The Bastard Sorceress, The Bardess of Rhulon, Gate of Souls & Tree of Bones. Fantasy is her genre of choice, though she has some science fiction in the works. Check in with her at her website. You can also read some of her previously published short stories at her website http:// vernamckinnon.com. Stay in touch by subscribing to email list at http://vernamckinnon.com/newsletter.html for her quarterly newsletter for news & updates. Follow Verna on Instagram @ vernamckinnon.author & Facebook for the latest on her writing life as a fantasy author, animal lover, and how she stays sane despite the odds. Chocolate helps.
I had a great deal of fun last Saturday at an author fair hosted by Spruce Grove library. Not only did I meet new writers and authors, but lots of readers. It is the best part of in-person events to actually talk to people interested in my stories.
It was a successful day book sales-wise and the library also purchased one book. I will donate a couple more too, as the more libraries have my books on their shelves the better. If you request one of my books, at your local library they will get it in for you.
There were young contest winners at the event as well, which is always encouraging as we need new voices to create stories and poems for future generations. Our brain is the same as any other muscle it needs to be exercised and what better way than to create something from our imagination.
I am continuing with book three of The Delphic Murders trilogy – Killers Match within the National Novel Writing Month challenge and as I write this have a total just over eleven thousand words. The characters are leading me down an exciting path.
My next event is this coming Saturday at Daisy Chain Book Co, Edmonton. Five authors, including me will be available for a meet and greet and will be happy to sign our books for you or Christmas gifts for your family and friends.
Many of us are in the heady first few days of this crazy writing challenge. Time away from our projects is ‘wasted’ time and the pull to immerse ourselves into our new stories is strong. It is our new shiny thing, and we want to spend time with it. We begin to know our characters and their plight, and the tale becomes more real in our minds.
So, my question is, are you brave enough to share your first paragraph? We all know that in the editing process it may not be structured the same, or even part of the novel at all. Let’s see what everyone is writing.
If you regularly read this blog, you know I am creating the last book in a crime trilogy. Killers Match will conclude The Delphic Murders series.
So, I will take a deep breath and expose my unedited, rough first paragraph.
Edmonton was in the grip of winters freezing temperatures, icy roads and sidewalks and snowplowed windrows on every street. Multiple traffic accidents kept the local police patrols busy and ice related falls crowded the hospital waiting rooms. It is in such an emergency room, amid the overpowering aroma of chemicals, vomit, blood and sweat that we find Avril Finn, gritting her teeth as she tries to convince a heavy bodied nurse she is indeed a police detective.
Come on, be brave. Let’s cheer each other on!
Good luck to you all with new projects, whether NaNo related or not.
I let you know I was behind on my 2022 reading challenge recently. To help me catch up, I put several local author books on top of my pile. I’d purchased these when I attended two recent book events, Words on the Street and Words in the Park.
As you know I always review every book I read on Goodreads, so you can find my reviews of these books there.
Fairy Tale by Stephen King
Whistler’s Night by H.M. Sander
Ready to Burn by Mandy Michelle
Saving Grace (Heart’s Haven book 2) by Katie O’Connor