Tag Archive | dark fantasy

Killing off Beloved Characters

killDo you ever read a book and one of the main characters, or a beloved character, dies? Do you get upset with the story itself or do you actually get upset at the writer? I was once on a business trip and the movie Message in a Bottle came on. It was really late, but I’d never seen the movie and really wanted to watch it. I ended up spending a few hours, well past midnight waiting for this awesome ending, (spoiler alert here) only to be incredibly disappointed. I couldn’t believe I actually “wasted” three hours of my time.

As an author, you have to grapple with the fact that sometimes characters need to die. Look at the most popular books, movies, and television shows out there. Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones? They’ve made killing characters a normal occurrence, but for some reason, authors still get vilified for doing it.

The World of Karov

The World of Karov

I wrote a dark fantasy series and Book #1 is called THE WORLD OF KAROV and it is definitely not a pink princess fairy tale. There’s a lot of violence in this book, but come on! We’re dealing with war and a great evil spreading through the universe. My characters are not having tea parties. That said, one of my aunts actually called me up and yelled at me for ten minutes about what I did to one of my characters. In fact, she refuses to read the sequel thinking I’ll do the same thing, though I assure all of you I haven’t, and Book #2, THE RUBY AMULET, ties up everything nicely.

Sometimes characters need to die. As the author, it makes total sense, but sometimes readers get upset. And that’s a good thing. You want to elicit an emotional response and if the death makes sense in the context of the story, it’s a good thing. Looking back, occasionally I’ll second guess myself if I should have been more kind to my characters, but then I check my reviews. What mollifies me so far is the 15 five star and 10 four star reviews I’ve received. At least some people liked it and understood what I had to do.

So, for this post, I leave you with this… sometimes people have to die in your books. Don’t sacrifice the scene because you’re afraid of what readers might think. Unless you’re only writing for a reader and not to be true to your characters.

Have any of you experienced this? Love to hear.

FLYING TO THE FIRE… it’s coming March 2013!

Well, I’m starting to get excited. FLYING TO THE LIGHT, my first YA novel with Cool Well Press, has been out for over a year and I’ve had such a great response to it. I’ve been able to visit a bunch of schools, did some library chats and was hosted on a bunch of different websites and blogs. It’s been a lot of fun.

the world of karov AaThen, I decided to self publish my dark fantasy tale, THE WORLD OF KAROV. Hey, it’s been sitting in my computer for years, the sequel is also written, so why not? I figured it would force me to really immerse myself in social media and the experience has been great. I did a free promo of the book and over 450 people downloaded it! It was very exciting.

But, the newest news is the March 2013 release of my upcoming thriller, FLYING TO THE FIRE. It is the sequel to FLYING TO THE LIGHT and takes our main character, Danny Anderson, who was only 6 in the first book, and now he’s 13. Here’s the teaser and blurb:

One looks up… and the other looks down…
An evil black mass is attacking Danny Anderson in his dreams and in his waking life. Attacks so vicious that if it weren’t for his birds, he would have died. Danny soon realizes that this monster is not coming for him, but for his little sister-because while he can see up to the place of light and peace, Katie can see down into the realm of darkness and cruelty. Danny must fight to save Katie before the creature steals her away… and she is lost to him forever.

Yep, there’s now a little sister. But don’t worry, Michael, Gary and Maddy are there too… along with a few surprises! FLYING TO THE LIGHT
If you’d like to read FLYING TO THE LIGHT, please feel free to get it here: http://www.amazon.com/Flying-to-the-Light-ebook/dp/B00666JMOM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1360790495&sr=8-2&keywords=flying+to+the+light

Thanks everyone! Happy Reading!

My new book launch THE WORLD OF KAROV

the world of karov AaI’ve been writing for twenty years now. I’ve got seven books under my belt and at least fifty short stories and for the past twelve years I’ve been actively trying to sell all of them. I’ve been fortunate to have my short stories published in various magazines, online sites and anthologies and I was super fortunate to have my young adult novel, FLYING TO THE LIGHT, picked up by Cool Well Press in November, 2011.

But what I really want is my other books to see the light of day and that keeps eluding me.  You see, the very first book I wrote was called THE RUBY AMULET and I created this entire fantasy world rife with rules, different realms and a huge back story. Very epic of me. I tried to get it agented and not a one would take a peek at it. (of course, it was my very first book, terribly written and that probably was the real reason.) So, I hooked myself up with the amazing Denise Vitola – an editor/teacher who helped me become the writer I am today and we cleaned up that book and she taught me how to write. Over the years I’ve tried to get it agented and looked at again, with no luck, so, I decided to write another book in that series and THE WORLD OF KAROV was born. I tried to get THAT agented and read, and again, no takers. So I wrote more books and sent them out, too.

Rejection letters are frustrating, aggravating and defeating. But, it’s the letters and inquiries you send out that get NO reply that are even worse… did they get it? Is it just sitting there? How long do I wait? So, with self publishing being so accessible to authors, I thought I’d give it a try with THE WORLD OF KAROV and see how it goes. I figured at the very least, I’d immerse myself in the indie commuty, learn the social media ropes, and make some great friends. And I’ve achieved all that so far. I’m pretty up to speed on FB, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and a bunch of other sites. I know how to upload books to Amazon, I’m learning how to format to print. I’ve worked with editors, illustrators, beta readers and other authors and it’s just been an incredible learning experience. So what is next? Learning to put my heart on the line, apparently.

THE WORLD OF KAROV is a dark fantasy novel. “Haunting and sad,” has been floated around. My beta readers liked the book, but are conflicted on the ending. Will people like it? I don’t know. I hope so. But what I do know is that I wanted to get this story out so I can continue with the sequel and wherever else I’d like this to go. Taking the plunge is hard, leaving yourself esposed to criticism even harder, but I’m at a point in my life where I don’t want to NOT do something because I’m scared or self conscious. So, my fellow readers, I’ve decided to jump in, feet first. Here’s a teaser and blurb from the book:

An ancient race of children hidden away, a set of identical twins who can speak to animals, and a ruby amulet with the power to rule the worlds…
Adam and Alec look like identical twins, but their personalities are as different as possible. Adam is gentle and kind, whereas Alec is the essence of nightmares. Always jealous of his twin, Alec does everything he can to destroy his brother’s happiness, including kidnapping Adam’s fiancée on their wedding day and disappearing with her deep into the Canadian mountains. Adam searches for them for months, but he never finds them. Just when Adam is at his most grief-stricken point, a stranger appears and offers him a chance for a new life in a land filled with magic, gems, and powers unimaginable; a world mysteriously led by a special tribe of children who have hidden themselves away from a great evil that is seeking to destroy them. Adam takes the chance and goes with the stranger, but his past is never far from his mind. Eventually, reality comes back to haunt Adam, resulting in a final showdown with his brother…. and this time, only one will win.

If anyone would like to read some sample chapters of the novel or purchase it on your e-reader (until I figure out how to format to print) here is the link. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and have a wonderful New Year!