Thursday, May 21, 2015

When the story teaches you

More than a decade ago, I wrote a couple of fantasy/sci-fi novellas and fell in love with them. I submitted them to a small publisher who had expressed some interested. 

But the editor wasn't of the same mind. She pointed out that the physics of the world I had built was wrong. You see, her scientist husband told her so. Therefore, my fantasy stories were not acceptable.

I was crushed. They were fantasy stories. And fantasies break the rules. They can have anything from dragons to vampires. Space-faring creatures to undersea dwellers. They are allowed to break the rules. In fact, a writer friend said after I told her about my rejection, "That's what fantasies do."

So the stories mouldered in my ancient computer for several more years. One day, I dug them out and dusted them off. I even went on to finish writing a couple more of them because I had already created them in my mind and knew where they were going. I'd even answered those silly physics questions. (I had been young and intimidated back when that awful editor spoke to me, so very unsure of myself) But this time, I started to self-published them.

Then other projects needed my attention, so I took them down and tucked them away again. A few years later, I pulled them out again and I finished off the first draft of the last story. There. They were all written. 
Another few years passed, and when I searched for them again, I discovered I had lost them. I had one corrupted electronic copy of a few of them, and one hard copy of another few. I felt nearly as bad as when that editor spoke to me.

I spent over a year cobbling them together. The lesson taught me that The Gifts of Argostar don't belong in my hard drive. I needed to publish them into a series of three ebooks.
The first one has finally been published. For more than 10 years, these books called to me. I loved them. I loved the world I'd created, and the characters with their lives filled with danger and mistakes, excitement and hope. 

The Gifts of Argostar

The Gifts of Argostar are not just sci-fi stories, but tales of hope and fortitude. Of endurance when you're beaten down and discouraged. They also teach to grab the time now, for there never will be a more perfect time than the present.
Part 1 has the first three books in the series. The Catch was the story that started it all off. The Lure was a natural fit to follow, and The Demand, the way that leads to the rest of the novellas. Each story encouraged me to finish the series, showed me that when people cut you down, you get back up. Maybe not right away, though it's best if you do. But you do get up. You learn to rise again. 
I hope you'll check out my stories and see what I see in them. 

Click here for The Gifts o Argostar

Pure fantasy. Pure hope for tomorrow.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Ten reasons why I love Broadchurch

Okay, we have a new favourite show. Broadchurch. I know it may not be new to you, but it is to us, and we're just getting caught up.
It's good. No, it's very good. And those of us fed a constant diet of gun slinging cop shows may appreciate the exotic taste that is this angst-filled British police mystery.

So consider these reasons:

1. Scenery - Let's face it: it's pretty spectacular. I'm tempted to look up where it's set, but I don't want to spoil the fantasy.

2. British - I'm used to the culture, although some of the accents take a bit of getting used to. I love British TV characters. They have gut-wrenching conflict.

3. Characters - They look like shit. As they should, considering what they're going through. No professionally applied make up and hair to always look your best. Because, let's face it. Normal people don't always look their best. Has DI Hardy ever done up the top button on his shirt?

4. Excellent storyline - My husband and I suspect everyone. Except maybe the chocolate lab. (but we're watching him)

5. Great dialogue - It's incredibly natural. British wit is sharp, which I love. The whole feel is natural because despite the angst, they have funny moments and moments you can laugh at even if the character would sooner kill you than laugh with you.

6. Nobody's perfect - This goes along with the characters, storyline and dialogue. No one person is all bad. But there's no one all good, either. They're all human.

7. No guns - I haven't seen a single firearm yet. (correct me if I'm wrong) Did see a crossbow, and am glad it wasn't used on that one suspect we're keeping our eye on.

8. The Irony - Yes, it deserves a capital letter.  It's understated and priceless. Beth is mad at Ellie because she didn't know about Joe, and yet, look at Beth's life. Both lawyers have trapped relatives. They have more in common that they realize. It's deliciously subtle, yet shines like polished steel.

9. Realistic police work - Yes, real cases take time, Virginia. Not the 44 minutes NCIS usually takes to solve a crime. Don't get me wrong. I like NCIS, but doesn't Abby Sciuto ever sleep?

10. The scenery - Yeah, I mentioned it before, but come on, the cliffs are stunning, and who wouldn't want either the mansion the crown attorney owns, or Claire's quaint cottage, or even that sunny little blue house on the water that is the polar opposite of DI Hardy's winning personality? The pounding waves, the gentle rain. I bet that place didn't get 200 cm of snow last winter like we did.

There you have it. Ten excellent reasons to love Broadchurch.

Not everyone likes Christmas books.

I may receive a small commission for some of the links below. For years, I didn't want to read Christmas books, nor did I want to w...