Cover Reveal for a New Dieselpunk Story!

I’m excited to introduce to you my newest character and her world!

The character is Mrs. John G. Jones – Cornelia to her friends. The world is Los Angeles during the Roaring 20s – with a little magic thrown in. Cornelia Jones will be the headliner for a new series of dieselpunk short stories.

So what’s dieselpunk? Here’s a post I wrote where I give a few different common definitions of this fast-growing genre. Think historical fantasy, retro-futurism, steampunk set in the 1920s, or classic pulp adventure stories. The Mrs. Jones adventures will encompass a little bit of all of that. Continue reading

Freedom to Write

Not much of a blog post this week, because I’m writing this on the 4th of July (very late), and I’m feeling lazy.

But as I was trying to decide what I could write in my tired and lazy state, I reflected on how blessed I am to live in a place and time where I have the freedom to write what I want, when I want.

Of course America is not the only country with a freedom of press. But on this American holiday, when we celebrate our freedoms, I’m grateful for the freedom to write. I can write whatever I want, and publish it in any format I want, whenever I want. The freedom to write, publish, and distribute should not be taken for granted. And I do not want to squander that freedom that I have.

No matter where you might live, if you have the freedom to write, do so. Celebrate your freedom and write!

Writing Is…Seeing the Big Picture

I recently wrote a post about seeing the details. Details add richness and flavor to stories and to life.

Along those same lines, seeing the big picture is just as important. Where I’m living now in north Idaho, everything is big: the trees, the mountains, and especially the sky.

Continue reading

Worldbuilding Tips: Where to Get Ideas

Many people ask me where I get my ideas. That’s always a tough question to answer, but today I’ll share some tips on where I get ideas for worldbuilding. I hope these help you to create alien creatures, futuristic technology, magic spells, new cultures, and all the trappings of building a world.

Build on Common Tropes

I wrote this post a while back about being unoriginal when creating fantasy creatures. There’s a reason that so many fantasy stories feature dragons and dwarves and goblins. And yet, the dragons and dwarves and goblins are different in every story, every world, every sub-genre. There are as many ways to add unique elements to the old standby of “large fire-breathing dragon” as there are people to write the stories. Don’t discount the old traditional classics as a great jumping-off point for original ideas.

Build on Real Things

In this post, I discuss two examples of stories that use real animals as fantasy races. Like the previous point, there’s a lot of value in starting with something familiar and then adding your own creativity to it. Whether you’re creating a race of armor-wearing polar bears, or a dystopian sci-fi world where dolphin and whales have advanced beyond humans, there’s a ton of inspiration in the real world all around. Continue reading

Writing Updates

This week I was stumped for a blog post idea, due in part to being focused on lots of other writerly things besides blogging. I love blogging and I’ve kept at it for years, so don’t worry – I won’t be going anywhere. In the coming weeks I’ll be back to sharing writerly quotes and giving tips about writing and storytelling. But in the meantime, here’s what I’ve been up to.

I’m working on putting my sci-fi novella Blueshift on Nook and iBooks. So if you have a Nook or an Apple device, you’ll soon be able to read it! Continue reading

Adventures in a New Genre: Dieselpunk

So I’ve written and published a fantasy book, a science fiction book, and now I’m on to a new genre that combines elements of both fantasy and sci-fi, with some historical thrown in. Welcome to Dieselpunk!

What is dieselpunk, you ask? Well, if you’re familiar with steampunk, then it’s similar, except it’s set in the age of the internal combustion engine instead of the steam era. Wikipedia’s definition of dieselpunk is accurate, if a bit dry: “Dieselpunk…combines the aesthetics of the diesel-based technology of the interwar period through to the 1950s with retro-futuristic technology and postmodern sensibilities.” Continue reading