Nightmares Rise – Interview

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Introducing a soon to be released book: Nightmares Rise. Burning Willow Press will be releasing Nightmares Rise, Book 1 of the Dark Shores trilogy – co-authored by Mirren Hogan and Erin Yoshikawa – on April 8

Here is a character interview with Flynn Cole, from Nightmares Rise.

Today I sat down with my good friend and character Flynn Cole.

Me: Hi Flynn.

Flynn: Hello.

Me: Nice Australian accent you have there.

Flynn: Thanks, I like yours.

Me: You do sound a bit like me.

Flynn: So, you had questions?

Me: Yes. I understand you went to Hawaii on holiday?

Flynn: Not so much a holiday. It was more a working holiday.

Me: So– a holiday?

Flynn: (laughs). The point was to take some photos and then sell them. I’m a photographer. Okay, budding photographer.

Me: Why Hawaii?

Flynn: It’s about as far from my family as I could get. Don’t get me wrong, I love them, but a guy needs a break from being asked when he’s getting a real job.

Me: So when are you?

Flynn: …

Me: Okay, okay. So tell me about Makani,

Flynn: (grins like an idiot). She’s amazing. She’s strong, independent, funny, sexy, smart, and likes Angry Birds and Dr Who.

Me: Danger seems to follow her around. Are you okay with that?

Flynn: Well – to be honest I could do with less of that. I mean, it’s nice to have a bit of excitement, but to be followed around by vampires – sorry, manangaal – and other monsters get tiring after a while.

Me: What’s the difference between a vampire and a managaal?

Flynn: Have you seen those guys? They don’t sparkle, and they’re not civilised. They’re more like flying gut-sucking dogs.

Me: Woah, they sound like fun. Not.

Flynn: I know, right? But we hold our own against them. Mostly. Kind of…

Me: (laughs sadistically) And then some of your family tracks you down.

Flynn: I told you not to ask about that. (turns in chair). Where’s my manager?

Me: I’m your manager. Now answer the question.

Flynn: (sighs) Fine. Yes they did, my sister, her husband and their kids.

Me: Did they get eaten by monsters?

Flynn: I wish. I mean, you’ll have to read and find out.

Me: I heard there was no Vegemite in this book. Why should I read it?

Flynn: There’s pizza. There’s also beer and bacon. And sandwiches. everyone loves those, right?

Me: I like a good sandwich. I hear Makani likes them too?

Flynn: Oh yes, she loves a sandwich.

Me: What else do we need to know about this book?

Flynn: It’s funny, and urban, and sometimes a little gross, but in all the right ways.

Me: Well there you are folks: funny, urban, has monsters and sandwiches. I guess you better read it for yourself.

Follow the Author

Website: http://Mirrenhogan.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MirrenHoganAuthor/

Twitter: @MirrenHogan

Blog: https://mirrenhoganblog.wordpress.com

Mailing list: http://eepurl.com/cA1PCb

The Scandalous Flap Book History

Nicholas C. Rossis

Mary Natalie reading with mommy | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Mary Natalie reading a story about an insomniac bear who bears (heh heh) an uncanny resemblance to her dad.

Mary Natalie loves her flap books so much that we now have an assortment of them. My personal favorite is probably Spot, although that was before I realized what a scandalous history flap books have, courtesy of Sarah Laskow of Atlas Obscura. To my great surprise, flap books were first conceived not as innocent children’s companions, but as titillating mementos of tourists’ good times in what can only be described as Renaissance Europe’s own Las Vegas: 16th century Venice.

What Happened In Venice…

Sixteenth-century Venice was a cosmopolitan, wealthy city, known for its diversity, romance, and relaxed mores. As a republican port city, it was tolerant of all sorts of people and all sorts of behavior in ways that other European cities were not. All this made the city a popular…

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When Book Covers Get Characters Wrong

Kristen Twardowski

Book cover design is often grand, but sometimes publishers don’t get it quite right. Take for example the case of Nnedi Okorafor.

Nnedi Okorafor is an extraordinary science fiction writer, and she has the Nebula Award to prove it. Before she was quite so lauded, however, she had a strange and terrible interaction with her publisher regarding the cover design for The Shadow Speaker.

The Shadow Speaker is a young adult novel that was originally published in 2007 and received a James Tiptree Jr. Award. The book is set in 2070 in a time after a nuclear war that occurred in the early twenty-first century. It follows the story of Ejii who lives in a Nigerian village and is the 14 year-old daughter of her tribe’s former chief. Ejii is Muslim, and though her family has a complex ethnic background, she is undeniably African.

Which is why it was…

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Time Travel Stories Never Account for This One Thing

Our Great Escapes

Don’t be surprised to see flashing lights behind you and hear a police siren while you read this blog post. And it’s not because that slightly illegal prank you pulled in your youth has finally caught up with you.

You’re speeding.

Yep. Sitting in your chair, sipping your coffee or munching on your favorite snack, you are moving at a pretty ridiculous clip.

We experience day and night because the Earth rotates. Being an inhabitant of the Earth and subject to its gravity, that means we are spinning along with it. Standing at the equator, you would be moving at the rate of just over 1,000 miles per hour. In the middle latitudes, where most of the human population resides, it’s roughly two-thirds of that, or six-t0-seven hundred miles an hour.

And your mom always complained about you being so slow to get ready for school in the morning!

We can’t…

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Not with a bang

Not with a bang

Dawnrigger Publishing

Playing with world-building snippets for my Restoration stories again…


The end of world was a global event, but it wasn’t an end. It wasn’t an event. It was a process, a slow collapse that only looks inevitable in retrospect. It was never seen as apocalypse even when cities burned and missiles flew. Perspective is tricky, and denial is a powerful force. If globalism was the theme of the twentieth century, the lesson of the twenty-first was that connections can transmit chaos as easily as commerce .

During the span of decades comprising the Revision Years, governments toppled and economies disintegrated, businesses failed and took governments with them, social and political institutions crumbled and billions perished. Bastions of political stability were eroded by surrounding conflicts, and alliances proved as deadly as enmity.  No place on the planet went untouched by the upheaval.

Some sciences progress by leaps and bounds in times of conflict, but others cannot be…

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Portrayal of Women in Science Fiction

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Have you noticed how the supporting females roles in science fiction television and movies have been portrayed, especially over the last 60 years? I found myself wondering what was going on. Female characters like T’Pol in Star Trek: Enterprise, and Seven of Nine in Star Trek: Voyager were rendered as highly sexualized but with limited emotional range. T’Pol was a member of the famously emotionally controlled Vulcans, and Seven of Nine had her human emotions stripped away by the Borg. It seems that science fiction liked to portray females as nearly unattainable beauties with limited gender socialization.

This treatment, of female characters, has existed since the early days. In the movie Forbidden Planet (1956), the alluring Altaira is naive and inexperienced with gender relationships. She does not know what a kiss is, and must be taught by the male crew of the spaceship. Mission Stardust (1967), introduced the story of Perry Rhodan, a long-running science fiction series of books from Germany. Having sold approximately two billion copies of the books, in novella format, worldwide, it is the most successful science fiction book series ever written. In the book and movie, Thora is an advanced alien female who becomes the love interest for Perry Rhodan. She is, at first, cold and distant, with no thought of romantic connection to a primitive Earth being. Perry must show her what primitive relations are like. These type of portrayals continued over the following decades on TV and in movies.

I delayed writing my thoughts down about what I had noticed. I thought it was a social trait of the past, and less likely to be found in the future. But, 2016 saw the Suicide Squad movie, and Harley Quinn. She is shown at the beginning to be dressed in conservative clothing, with librarian glasses, and a hair bun. Afterwards, she will do anything, dressed as male fetish eye-candy, all for love of Joker. And don’t get me started on Enchantress! She shares a gorgeous model body with an innocent scientist, controlled by love. The Enchantress is controlled because her heart, is literally locked in a box. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) has a character Jadis, the White Witch who is beautiful, but is only evil and enslaves others. She turns people into statues in her palace of ice.

I think we have not seen the end of these alien ice princesses. We will see what happens with The Major’s role in Ghost in the Shell this year. I suspect a gorgeous cyborg woman will have similar traits to those I’ve discussed above. While I enjoyed all the shows I’ve mentioned, it is finally time to explore more rounded roles for females in science fiction, and we have to encourage the writers, directors, and producers to insist on them.

Umbrae Blog Tour: Character Interview

Welcome to Hell Bent

umbraeblogtourbannerBlog Tour Landing Page

((So, to help with this blog tour, I’d volunteered to host a character interview. However, I have a hard time asking questions, myself. So, I got one of my characters to do it. Also, due to my affinity for primates, the character I chose to go with was a chimp named Ian. So without further ado…))

Travis walked through the zoo, his tail flicking lightly behind him. He’d gotten a few weird looks from some of those visiting. It was like they’d never seen a half-monkey guy before. Granted, he took no measures to hide his opposable toes or prehensile tail. He wasn’t even walking on two legs, choosing a gait not unlike that of many primates. He’d stopped off to ask a few of those working there where he could find someone he’d been hoping to speak to. Word had gotten out about there being…

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Hawaiian Pidgin: Hawaii’s Creole Language

Nicholas C. Rossis

Kamehameha | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Photo via Atlas Obscure

What language do modern Hawaiians speak? The answer, as Dan Nosowitz of Atlas Obscura points out, is not nearly as simple as you might think. There are several languages co-existing on the Hawaiian islands: Hawaiian, the Polynesian language of the original Hawaiians that’s experienced a renaissance of late; English, brought to the archipelago by Americans; the various languages brought by immigrant workers, including Japanese, Filipino, Portuguese, and Spanish; and something which is now called Hawaiian Pidgin.

A pidgin, which is not capitalized, is a form of communication that arises when multiple groups of people need to talk with each other but do not have a language in common, and for whatever reason choose not to, or are not able to, teach each other their native languages. They are not considered full languages, in that they generally have limited and simplified grammar…

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Interview with Finny from Umbrae

Umbrae blog tour

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Finny Interview

Welcome, Finny to my page.

Thank you I’m happy to be here.

Tell us something about yourself, Finny.

Well as you can see I’m a very fetching sandy and white cat. My fur is the perfect combination for a feline living in the city of Safed. I blend seamlessly to my surroundings. Of course once upon a time I had a human form too, but today I prefer living as a cat, far less complicated.

How did you meet Miri?

I met Miri on the day she arrived in Safed. She was lost and needed a wise cat like me to show her around.

Why are you so willing to help Miri, on her quest?

Love is important. I’ve seen so many of my family and friends destroyed over the years. Miri will never forgive herself if she believes she can help Danny and lets it go. So I’m helping her as much as I can.

How do you feel about the Rabbi, Rav Shmuel? You spend time at his compound, but he seems strict.

Thankfully as a cat I don’t have to follow all the restrictions that Rav Shmuel lays down for his family, but still I try to be respectful. I feel though he should trust Rifka more and give all his children a bit more freedom.

Aren’t you scared to go into Umbrae?

I don’t like it. Every time I visit Umbrae I lose a little of my lifeforce and I’ve been traveling in and out of the shadows for a long time. As I said I don’t like it, but sometimes it’s necessary.

What’s the most surprising, or frightening thing you’ve seen in Umbrae?

The Tegs sisters – Stella and Morgana. I really should stay away, but it’s fun to rile them up sometimes. Still when I first came across them it was scary. I nearly was trapped. They are very devious, almost as devious as a cat …

It’s great you get to travel around the world, sometimes on your adventures. What is the most interesting land you’ve traveled to?

I think my favorite place is Aswan in southern Egypt. That’s where the P.A.W.S. Institute of the Middle East sits. I love this area of the Nile and one day I’m going to smuggle myself onto one the Nile riverboats (or feluccas) and go on an adventure.

What future adventures can we expect to hear about?

I’ve always wanted to go to London and visit the P.A.W.S. Institute over there. I’ve heard there’s an old mage over there with very ancient magic. It would be interesting to meet him and pick his brains.

Umbrae by Debbie Manber Kupfer

Umbrae is the third book in the series about P.A.W.S. and Miri’s learning her powers and fitting in with the other creatures and beings who  are different and special. I have read all three in the series, so far, and rate them five stars. I highly recommend these books.


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Including Background Scenery

Live to Write - Write to Live

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I write a lot of first person. That means that I use “I” a lot. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but because I’m so concerned about my story’s action getting out that I tend to forget to put sufficient background into my story. You know that old writer’s maxim = Show don’t tell? Well I am forever telling.

Not good.

Background scenery is what literally grounds your scene. It allows your readers to visualize themselves right alongside you in your story.  And it is absolutely necessary.

So how is this done?

For me, I go ahead and write my “I” story. I don’t worry about details in the first draft. I just get the storyline out of my head.

Then I go back and work my way through my five senses:

  • Sight
  • Smell
  • Touch
  • Feel
  • Hear

I ask myself questions for each sense. What did I see? What unique…

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