New Dieselpunk Story!

After several (mostly self-imposed) delays, my first dieselpunk short story is now available! You can find it here!

This story launches a new series of short stories, starring the enigmatic Roaring 20s heroine Cornelia Jones. If you like historical fiction, historical fantasy, pulp adventure, or even steampunk, then I think you’ll like the adventures of Mrs. Jones!

 

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Writing and Blogging Updates

For the past two weeks, I’ve missed my normal Wednesday blog post.

I’ve blogged regularly for about five years now, posting once a week, and missed maybe three or four weeks during that time. After missing two weeks in a row this past month, I resolved anew to be disciplined with my writing and my blogging, regardless of circumstances.

My circumstances haven’t been bad – quite the opposite, actually. If you’ve been following me on Twitter, then you might have seen the occasional tweet about me being in the process of moving. Back in April, I quit my part-time job, packed up my books, said goodbye to my parents and the city I’d grown up in, and moved across the country. I’m still not fully sure why I did this, but I did. And so far I haven’t regretted it. Continue reading

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

Writing Historical Fantasy

What is historical fantasy? Well, in my mind, historical fantasy is just what it sounds like: historical fiction with a fantastical twist. Just like contemporary fantasy or urban fantasy has a present-day setting but features magic, monsters, and other elements of fantasy – historical fantasy is the same, but just using a time and place from history as the setting.

Right now I am writing historical fantasy – specifically I’m writing dieselpunk or decopunk, stories set in the 1920s, but with magic and some advanced technology. I’m doing a lot of research, but I’m also doing a lot of world-building from scratch.

Here are some tips that I am applying to my own work, and that I think are important to consider if you want to start writing historical fantasy: 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