Friday, July 11, 2014

The Magic Of Speculative Fiction

I think the reason I love writing speculative fiction is pretty similar as to why a lot of people love to read happy endings to stories. Most people like happy endings because real life has so much tragedy and sadness, it feels good to read about everything working out in the end.

In real life, our world has definitive rules. In speculative fiction, I make up the rules. I can find the solution to any problem as long as I am creative enough.

If someone dies, the characters aren't as limited. In this world, we must accept death, but in speculative fiction, you have necromancers raising people from the dead, vampires living on past their deaths, ghosts bringing people's souls back, science using electricity to bring people back to life. Anything is possible.

And usually the things we find to be scariest have easy cures for them in speculative fiction. Like in science fiction, cancer has long been cured by doctors. Or in fantasy, hunger has disappeared ever since mages learned to conjure food from thin air. Or in paranormal/horror novels, vampires can be hit with bullets and not even flinch.

I want characters to go through similar problems as to what real people do, like facing disease or death or poverty or anything, but I want it to be so different than anything real, that it feels less personal.

Yeah, reading about a mage getting into a fight with a necromancer and the mage dying might make me sad, especially if I'm really attached to the mage. But nothing at all similar is going to happen in real life, so it also makes the situation less personal. It lets me empathize and feel without the story resembling real life.

It's easier to chew on real world problems like racism, for instance, when the two races don't exist in real life (like dwarves and elves for instance). It allows you to talk about real world problems such as this in a way that will offend less people. They'll be more open to hearing what you have to say because the story isn't about them directly.

And it has a certain feel to it. Even though there is dark fantasy and adult fantasy, which are both kinds that I prefer to write, it still reminds me of being a child a little bit. It broadens my imagination and enters me into a world with endless possibilities.

And it adds a more fantastical and exciting twist to things. People are no longer just people going about ordinary things. Their world is so different than ours that everything they do is extraordinary. There are gods. There are fates. People no longer just rescue people. They are foretold heroes who are here to save the world. People no longer just fall in love. The fates and all the universe brought them together. People don't just die. Their death changes the world. It can be the reason a kingdom falls or why a hero is able to find their strength and conquer evil. Things mean so much more in fantasy.

It's why I am a sucker for Disney songs and Disney movies. They bring a little magic into my life. And we can all use a little bit of magic.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Witch Crystal By Malika Gandhi

I'd like to welcome Malika Gandhi to the blog, who is here to talk about her book "Witch Crystal" today!


I love Witches, and not the normal kind. What do I mean by normal kind? Well, it’s not as if witches really exist to they? Far from it!

In the ancient and olden times (By this I mean the 1200- early 1900), when people believed Witches existed, they targeted normal women and some men, who helped injured people heal with herbs, and potions, amongst other things. If they looked ‘evil’ or wore certain clothes, they were witches, and must be killed! Witches – beware!

The Horrible Histories books informed me of the gruesome way they were killed, and I just shudder thinking about it!

But, I am not writing about historical witches, but fantastical witches whom I think are just brilliant. When I think of books I have read based on stories of witches, such as Roald Dahl’s the Witches, JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books, and C.S.Lewis’  The Chronicles of Narnia books, it made me even more determined to write one of my own.

Where there are witches, there is magic and magical elements, that doesn’t exist in the human world however hard we try to create them. That’s why I love reading books that bring the imagination to life, where we see them as a film reel, running through our minds, and expanding our creative thoughts along the way!

So, I sat and penned the book Witch Crystal, something a little different but that would have you hooked. So what ‘s so great about this book? There are thousands of YA Fantasy books to read, why is this one so special? Well, without trying to blow my own horn, I will tell you some things about the book and the characters, and let you make the decision  - is it something you want to read or not? Does it sound like it may be something different?

So, Witch Crystal is about a witch – that bit is quite obvious. Where is it based? What elements can you look forward to reading, I hear you ask. So here are some of the tantalising facts!

1. Witch Crystal is set on two planets – our very own Earth, the location being Robin Hood Bay in North Yorkshire, and Norway. The second planet is fictional, called Zrotaz, where fictional or mythical magical creatures reside.

2. There is an abundance of magical/mythical creatures in the book, some talk and some don’t. One of my favourite is the Unisus – a cross breed of a Unicorn and a Pegasus – a magnificent creature, if I do say so myself. There is also, Luille, my lovely comedian owl.
There are also villainous creatures too, such as the vile werewolves, and the evil Merpeople. Look out for them!

3. Teen romance – there is a sweet little romance that is not so evident as yet but it is there in the background. I would like to say it is a subtle romance that will grow in the next two books.

4. Spells, enchantments, and magical visual scenes – there is plenty of this throughout the book, that will leave you mesmerised, and that will bring the story to life.
The magical waterfall that won’t freeze in freezing weather
The trees that grow tea that help sleep
The luminous river
Enchantments that keep away unwanted company, spells that will throw you, lift you, and take you away to another place, and magically treated buildings that is a source of power for all witches and creatures.

Nothing is normal in Larissa’s witch world!

5. The Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights. This factor is very important to the book, and without giving too much away, let’s say without it, travel between Earth and Zrotaz would not be possible!

6. Some key characters to look out for:
The Witch Crystal
Larissa
Jake/Xyth
Zleus
The Earth Spirits
The High Witch
Abyliss
The Sacred Witch
The Unisus and the Witches Council

Witch Crystal, a story spells, charms, magic, and scenic locations!
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Malika Gandhi’s Links!

The Monsoon Writer: http://malikagandhi.wordpress.com/

Reviews: http://unicornsreviews.wordpress.com/

Unicorn Illustrations & Art work: https://www.facebook.com/UnicornIllustrationsAndArtWork

The Monsoon Writer: https://www.facebook.com/TheMonsoonWriter?ref=hl

My timeline: https://www.facebook.com/malika.gandhi

Twitter handle:
https://twitter.com/MalikaGandhi

LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/malika-gandhi/47/229/447






Where to purchase Witch Crystal!

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00GX49RPQ/

USA: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GX49RPQ

Monday, June 23, 2014

Readers Who Are Friends

Recently, I went to one of my friend's going away parties. My husband was with me and everyone acted really crazy. Several people got drunk and danced around.

But me, being me, socially awkward and quiet, I danced a tiny bit to try to fit in (but felt like an elephant dancing with a bunch of beautiful butterflies), so I spent most of my time talking to people in the corner.

I met this one woman and she seemed really nice. She was a reader and she thought it was so cool that I was an author. I told her my pen name and that I wrote fantasy novels for women.

She said she'd read my books and that she would give me an honest review in person. Which absolutely terrified me. I know I can handle reviews online, but in person? I've never had someone do that before.

But I was okay with it. I'm an author. I can be professional. It's easy to separate friendship and my books. I do it all the time already.

But as I talked, she seemed so nice. And she kept telling me that I seemed like a nice young lady. Whenever people say that to me, it's when they think I'm a very innocent person. It's not that I'm evil and in my spare time hit babies or something. But my books are far from innocent. It's like I act all goody two shoes in person and then unleash all of my dark side into my stories.

I've offended family members by telling them about subjects I want to write about. Because I like to write about things that are difficult to think about or taboo. I want my stories to invoke emotion and to be unafraid to explore any area of life.

But mixing that in with people I know in real life is scary.

I don't mean to come across this way, but I come across as really innocent and naive in person. I don't know if it's because I'm a nerd and quiet or what, but a lot of people think that I'm really stupid. They explain sex jokes to me and don't believe me when I tell them that they don't have to explain the joke. They laugh extra hard if I say a curse word or make a sex joke because they are so shocked that I would say those things. But people also tend to find it easy to trust me. Like there were some little girls in my apartment building, who clung to me because they saw a scary man and I looked safe.

So I probably seemed naive and sweet when I met this woman. So if she opens up Medusa's Desire, for instance, and sees that the whole first chapter is mostly about brothels and rape in Ancient Greece, I don't know what she is going to do.

We exchanged phone numbers and I haven't heard from her since. Of course, I haven't texted her either (a lot due to social anxiety.) But I can't help but worry that me being an author possibly got in the way of the friendship. Did she not read my book and is afraid to tell me? (I wouldn't care.) Did she read it and hate it? (That would also be okay with me.) Was she creeped out that I wrote something like that? (My books aren't who I am, they are just something that I create.) Or is it none of the above and she just forgot to call me?

Not to mention that I am terrified she will read this post and think I am some kind of psycho for posting about her. It's kind of hard to talk about writing and how it effects my life without mentioning the people in my life though.

This is why a lot of times, I prefer to keep my author life and my social life separate. But it's pretty impossible to do so when the question on everyone's lips when you first meet them, appears to be,"What do you do?"

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Insanity

All authors must be insane.


All of us write books, query or self-publish, market ourselves, and start the process all over again. We do it repeatedly, hoping this time it will be different and we will sell more books. Like banging our heads against a brick wall.

I don't sell a lot of books right now. I self-publish, but I take it very seriously and hope someday that as I publish more, I will sell more. So basically . . . .


This is how I feel right now.

I don't work right now. My husband supports me and I was saying to him,"Maybe I should try to go into a different career."

A rational husband would probably agree. But an AMAZING husband would do what mine just did.

He told me,"No. You just need to keep working hard and finding new ways to market your books." He rattled off a list of ideas he had on how I can sell more books and he ended it with talking about going to book conventions. (Which we later couldn't find any of, but that doesn't matter!) And his opinions were actually good ideas, unlike most non-writers who try to give me advice.

He said,"I believe in your books so much that if it means we can't go to Comicon this year (even though we already have the tickets) because we're going to a book convention, I will miss it in order to help promote your books."

You need to understand that my husband is obsessed with Comic books. His one hobby is Comic books. He spends all his spare time reading them and studying them. We see all the super hero movies together. He even plays HeroClix, which is a game where you have little Comic Book figures that you place on a map and fight other people with other figures. And he said that he'd miss all of that in order to promote my books.

He's definitely a keeper. Good thing I married him!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

How To Write Hotter Sex Scenes

Here's a list of what you can add to your stories to make your sex scenes hotter:

1. Taboo

The characters really shouldn't...and that's what makes it so sexy.

Maybe their boss is in the next room and might overhear or they're trying to join the mile high club.

If it's against the rules, it's hot. Making the reader feel that maybe they shouldn't be reading this story either because it's so taboo, but they read it anyway, will add to the excitement.

2. Inconvenience

It's easy to write a scene where the two characters fall in love and then have sex. But the problem is, it's sweet, but not very hot. People want desire to be the driving force between the two characters.

To amp up the desire in the scene, you need to make the sex inconvenient. Because it's easy for two characters to have sex when the mood and setting are right, but it shows just how much two characters desire each other if the setting and mood are totally wrong, but they are still all over each other.

Like when two characters fight and that leads them to make love in the middle of the kitchen when they know at any minute one of their room mates might come home. It's hot because it shows that the two characters desire each other so much that they don't care if the counter tops are hard or if they are furious with each other or if someone might walk in. All they care about is having sex.

3. Kink

You don't have to go to an extreme to add some kink to your story. Maybe the characters don't use handcuffs, but the guy pins her to the bed with her hands over her head so that she can't move. Or he pulls out a vibrator because he wants to experiment on her.

Adding a little kink can go a long way to show just how much the characters desire one another.

4.  Emotions

Emotional turmoil will immediately make a sex scene hotter. She's not sure about a guy, in fact, she has every reason to hate him, but the way he pulls off his shirt and flexes his biceps as he does so is irresistable to her.

When a character feels tortured by her emotions, but still has sex anyway, it shows that lust is ruling her decisions. It makes the scene a little naughty because she's going against her mind to follow her desires because she feels so passionate that she just can't wait.

5. Torture

There is torture in BDSM, but that isn't necessarily the kind of torture I am talking about. (Although it can work, too.) I mean that two characters really want each other, but circumstances make it impossible for them to be with each other yet. Maybe they are in the middle of a crowd of people or they're driving somewhere or have immediate responsibilites that they need to attend to. They keep looking at each other with desire, maybe whispering about how they feel, but they have to wait and they can barely stand it.

After all that torture, when the characters finally get to have one another, the pay off is great.

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On the other hand, you should avoid these crutches when trying to make sex scenes hotter....

1. Something New

A lot of people know what they like sexually and are just looking for a sexy story that satisfies those desires. They don't need something new to happen. They just need new characters and a new setting. The story will feel brand new, even if it isn't.

If you get too crazy about trying to add something new then that's when you have scenes that might scare your readers.

Like, imagine if a woman took a nutcracker and decided to use it on a man the way the name implies it should be used. I've never read a sex scene like that. It would be a very unique idea, but I would feel disturbed reading it.

2. New Positions

Some authors worry that if they always write sex scenes where the girl is on top or the two people are doing missionary that it will bore the readers after awhile. That's not true. It's the circumstances that surround the sex that makes the sex steamy.

Just do whatever fits the scene and makes the most sense. If the two characters are feeling adventurous, have them try out a new position. If they are having sex for the first time, though, they might stick to missionary. If they are having sex in a public restroom, missionary would be disgusting and likely lead to stickiness all over their bodies from rubbing up against the floor. In that situation only sex while standing up would make sense. If the main character is a strong woman, then maybe she likes to be on top, so she can take control.

Character personalities and setting will likely dictate which position is appropriate.

Friday, June 6, 2014

New Covers

It didn't seem like my old covers for the "God Of Light" series were well liked, so I decided to find some new covers to use instead.

These two books are the books I am working on right now and will be the ones I publish next.

What do you think?*





*Bright's Passion and Night's Lust aren't typos, by the way. Bright and Night are gods.

HERE IS WHERE I PURCHASED THESE COVERS:

http://telltalebookcovers.weebly.com/pre-made-covers.html

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Cover Reveal for "Secrets In The Air" By Liz Borino

Title: Secrets in the Air

Author: Liz Borino

Cover Artist: Anthony Walsh

Blurb:

Wealthy family…
Childhood tragedy…
A love defying all odds…

Secrets in the Air

Flying is in Rhett O’Neil’s blood. And nothing makes this pilot fly higher than wrapping himself in his husband Kaden’s arms. He’s thrilled when his grandfather entrusts him with O’Neil Airways, the family’s charter airplane business. With a mix of humanitarian and corporate clients, Rhett plans a bright future where his success improves the world.

Elise, Rhett’s mother, begins offering advice to “help” her son through the transition into increased responsibility. As evidence surfaces that her words are escalating into devastating actions, the truth comes out about the death of Rhett's sister Annabelle. Kaden has to race to protect his husband and himself from the consequences of the Secrets in the Air before it’s too late.