magic

Shameless Self-Promotion

HEY GUYS.

YEAH, YOU.

GUESS WHAT?

I had some extra time/fun today. I made a new menu item on my site that will link you to a free preview of my book, Black & Red. You can find it here:

Preview

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Synopsis: 

“It’s been two hundred and fifty years since Kalan, the most powerful sorceress in all of Eikon, has been banished to endless hell.

Due to the actions of the powerful men of her time she has been forced to endure endless life in a waste land where death is a luxury she cannot ever hope to achieve.

Then one day, a voice pulls her from her hell back into the world where she once lived.

Upon her return she is confronted with the repercussions of the actions those men have had on their descendants and the world that has come after them.

What is Kalan’s part to play in this? Why has she been returned to her native world?

In a fantastical tale of revenge, pain, and suffering, the results of the actions of others will dictate the lives of those in the future.”

Except there won’t be any sparkles on my actual page. Lame, I know.

BUT!

Now you can read an excerpt of Black & Red which is pretty awesome in and of itself.

So I hope your Wednesday isn’t bogging you down. If you’re chained to a desk and need something to do, why not take a read? Who knows, you might like it 🙂

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 3 comments

A Godless World

In a fantasy world, there are times when  the appearance of various gods or goddesses is warranted. I once wrote a story that I may rewrite and polish for publication in a few years that followed such beings.

In Three Abandoned Kingdoms there are gods and goddesses. However, we don’t really see them. The followings are established and the information about the gods and goddesses is well known.

Here’s the gist:

  • The world itself is called Tessera
  • It exists in an almost bowl like formation. There are mountains or oceans that surround the kingdoms. Beyond the mountains are deserts. This may connect with a previous work I had written years ago.
  • There are four kingdoms: Byrnan, Haima, Hieros and Allos
  • Allos was said to have been loved by the gods. Their people were said to have been touched by the goddess and that is why magic came easy to them.
  • During the First Wars it was said that Allos had an incredible power capable of wiping out an entire kingdom. It was also said that power could save an entire kingdom from famine and drought.
  • Brynan has always been a war-nation. Before they were just proud of their prowess with martial arts and strategy. Their main exports before the war were metal, smithing skills, science and martial arts.
  • Haima’s main exports are literature, medicine and science.
  • Hieros has exports of art, music, and silks
  • Allos had exported magic, education, science, medicine, music and arts
  • If you think of Tessera like a box, Brynan is in the top left, Haima in the top right, Hieros in the bottom left and Allos in the bottom right.
  • In the First Wars Brynan breached Allos’s kingdom walls. It was said that when Brynan stole the Weapon the entire kingdom began to crumble. Brynan brought the Weapon back to their labs which sleep under the castle and for the next 500 years they tried to unlock it.
  • It was said in one last act of sadness the gods and goddesses closed Allos off from the rest of the world by causing the earth to shake and break. If you were to come to the border of Allos from either Hieros or Haima you would not be able to enter. There are sheer rock walls that encase it.
  • During the events of TAK Allos is closed off and Brynan has basically conquered the entire world of Tessera. The gods and goddesses are absent.
  • Our protagonists are attempting to retrieve the Weapon, return it to Allos and destroy Brynan.

And that’s all I’ll tell you right now. This is just a bit of back story that will be covered in the book itself. So don’t try to steal it. Everything I post is copyrighted so I will hunt you 😉

I might write up another short since I haven’t done that in a while. Maybe I’ll write one about Allos before the Fall. I haven’t decided yet.

I hope you enjoy what you’ve read so far, even though it’s more like thoughts at this time. Happy Tuesday!logic

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 2 comments

I Entered a Contest! Weeee!

Hey guys! I entered a contest through Inkitt! Here you can find the link to my two submissions. I need votes in order to win! Please read and if it strikes your fancy, vote!

http://www.inkitt.com/stories/12258

http://www.inkitt.com/stories/12247

I’ve never done this before so I’m pretty excited! Especially since I was invited to give a submission. Made me feel special 😀

 

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Shorts!

And I don’t mean the kind you wear.

I’m having so much fun writing the shorts that use characters from my next novel TAK that I haven’t touched the main story at all!

I’m actually quite okay with this though. Writing these shorts is helping me flesh out my main characters more. It’s allowing me to get their ages for certain events down better (ugh. Maaaaaath). It’s also allowing me to get a better feel for why some characters are the way they are.

All the shorts I’ve released so far are in their raw form. I’ve just done some basic spelling and grammar reviews on them so if I do decide to publish them into their own book (who am I kidding? Of course I will!) The final products may change a bit.

My first 3 shorts involved The Charlatan and Kokoro who are the medical support to my protagonists in the main story line of TAK. The latest one gives more background to the dysfunctional family life for one of my female leads.

I’ve already got another one cooking in my head that will involve 2 main male characters. It’ll be called “Project: Ghost”. Keep an eye out!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

The Magic of Fantasy

I want to ask a general question here and I’m hoping for some responses.

When you read a Fantasy story, how do you like things like the magic of that world, if applicable, explained?

One of the criticisms I received about my first book is that the concept of magic was not properly explained.

Do people prefer technical explanations? Or sort of ‘historical flash-back’ explanations? Or something else?

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 3 comments

TAK

So I have decided on the name of my next work and I’ve been reading it over again. I had only written slightly over 100 pages when I went to work editing and dressing up Black & Red.

Now that Black & Red is really out there and there’s not much else I need to do to it, I can focus my attention on TAK. I’ve received some great constructive criticism for my writing style from a few people who have read/are reading Black & Red which will help me make TAK that much better. I know I have a grammar problem and I’m working really hard on fixing that. Since I’m not putting a deadline on TAK I feel like I can take my time and pay more attention to it.

The reason I didn’t do that with Black & Red  is because the fundamental story is something I had written many years ago. The story itself has received amazing feedback and I feel very tickled inside that people like it that much.

I feel I’ve done all I can for Black & Red. Sure, I could go back and fix up the little grammatical things that are nagging, but I just feel like it’s out there now, why do that? Why change something? What about all those people who have bought or read it with those errors? No, I’ve told Kalan’s story and I’ve let the world meet Terentya. They are out there now and I’m not about to change that.

For now, I will focus my writing skills on TAK and the story of Brexton and Aldric. This will be the first time I’ve written a story with two male protagonists. Yes, there were male main characters in Black & Red but TAK focuses mainly on Brexton and Aldric and the adventure they have.

Once it’s out there, I hope you will enjoy it as well! Please look forward to it!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

It was a Dark and Stormy Afternoon….

So yesterday we had a Tornado warning for the area surrounding where I live and work. It was coming up from the south-west and crossing over into the north-east.

My dayhome is right in the south-west and I live in the north, but the north-west. There was no damage done, as far as I know, and a few twisters touched down in the smaller towns surrounding the city I live in. I’m glad no one was hurt, but it was scary to look at.

There was rain, hail, thunder, lightning. These may be all things that people who live in twister territory are used to, but for me, this is the first time it’s ever been this bad.

There was a massive tornado here in ’89 which destroyed parts of the city and claimed lives. Whenever there’s a threat of a tornado, some people get very nervous, which is understandable.

But enough of real life!

It made a good setting for a scene in the story I’ll start working on again, TAK. Just the way the clouds were so close to the ground and swept across the land. This morning when I was crossing the river it was like driving into a wall of fog: I could barely see the car in front of me and the entire river vomited fog all along it. It was so neat to see and I like seeing that. It tends to happen the day after it rains. The rain makes everything cold and then the next day the sun heats it all up and makes that awesome fog.

Sometimes seeing the fog reminds me of the mist I would see when I lived in the forest and just watch how it would wind around the base of trees like something out of a fairy tale.

I’m partly reminded of Neil Gaiman’s book Neverwhere when I see the fog. Maybe because it takes place in London.

Either way, I digress.

Yesterday was dark and stormy and cool. I’m reminded about how powerful nature is and how powerless we humans are to stop it.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

The Reason for my Madness

I’m sure everyone has their own reasons for why they write and for why they write the things they do.

I’m going to share the reasons why I do what I do.

I’ve been writing since I was about thirteen. I started writing in a journal to help me cope with some emotional and psychological stress I was experiencing in my family life. Since I was thirteen and living in rural Ontario, there was only so much help and support I could get, or knew to try and access, so I dealt with things the best way I knew how: I escaped into reading and writing.

I devoured every sort of book I could find. Stephen King, John Saul, V.C. Andrews, R.L. Stein, Guy Gavriel Kay. It didn’t matter the genre although I had a penchant for horror or fantasy.

In my journal I would lament about my struggle with life, with my family, with myself. Looking back it was a torturous time and I only hope that my own children never feel that way. Or if they do, it doesn’t last long and they feel comfortable talking to myself or my husband about it.

I started writing short stories. Everything was horror. People died left, right, and centre. Usually I modeled characters after people who made me feel insignificant or worthless and unceremoniously knocked them off in my stories.

I can’t write ‘normal’ fiction. There has to be magic, there has to be fantasy, there has to be some sort of other-worldlyness or else I can’t connect or identify with the characters I’m creating.

As I’m editing more and more for Black & Red I ran across the first character I ever created to be mentally unbalanced. It was a huge thing for me as I drew upon a lot of what I had experienced to create this persona.

The story to follow Black & Red touches more on power-insanity than this one. In this story, the character has been belittled, under-valued, and basically shunned by society so it was something I could identify with a lot.

I can probably go more into this later, if I remember 🙂 Otherwise, happy writing and happy editing to all those out there!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Interests of days gone by

When I was younger, probably before my mid-twenties, I used to read novels all the time. I always had the most library cards filled up for school and I devoured everything I could find.

I used reading at that time as an escape from my every day life. When I hit my later teens and early twenties I found a few authors that I just couldn’t put down.

I had started reading John Saul when I was in my mid-teens as my mother had a few novels of his. I fell in love with it. I’m not even sure what it was that drew me to Mr. Saul’s work so intensely. I scoured every used bookstore and ordered through Chapters until I had every single novel he had ever published lined up on my bookshelf in chronological order.

Unfortunately, in my late twenties, I lost all of my books. All of my novels, my manga, my textbooks I had kept from University, other educational literature I had enjoyed. I’ve never been able to get back into novels since then.

Two authors I really enjoyed in the Fantasy genre and who have inspired me a lot in my writing, even just the desire to BE a writer, are Guy Gavriel Kay and Neil Gaiman. For Mr. Kay, I first found the Fionavar Tapestry. The fact that it began in a place I was familiar with, CANADA, made it that much more appealing. And he is a Canadian author! YAY! Nothing like supporting my own country’s talent! My ultimate favourite novel by him was Tigana. I LOVED THE HELL OUT OF THAT BOOK. The cover was so beat up and the pages were worn. I never dog-ear them though. But you could tell they had been loved. Unfortunately, those books are gone as well and my mind doesn’t remember all of the story any more. I just know that I loved it. For Mr. Gaiman, my boyfriend at the time read American Gods. I picked it up when he was done with it and was consumed. What an amazing take!

I followed that up with Neverwhere and then Stardust. I have the Coraline movie and I used to own a collection of his short stories.

These two, are also gone into the great black void.

While it pains me to think of these lost pieces of literature I know I can always replace them. It won’t be the same, worn out, over-loved copy that I had read multiple times, but I can just as easily turn them back into that.

I can only hope that I can be considered even 1/16th as great as any of these men. The wonders of twitter have allowed me to follow both Mr Gaiman and Mr Kay so I’m feeling that much more honoured to be in cyberspace contact with them.

Well, back to editing. I can’t even dream of being in the same genre as either of them if I don’t publish my work!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, Rantings, 0 comments