Friday, December 15, 2017

And What Do YOU Want For Yule, Little Girl?

What do I want? It's not a long list, but the things on it are all important.

I want to be able to find a new place to rent in the first part of 2018 with minimal fuss. We have two small breed service dogs, in addition to Herself and Himself, and it's not an option of whether or not they come with us. Now, before you say anything about the Americans with Disabilities Act and service dogs, I will let you know that the Act states that a property owner must have at least four properties before that "Ya Gotta" provision enters into the equation.

No, apartments are not an option, either. We need a single family, single floor home, with at least three bedrooms, if not more. Preferably in a quiet neighborhood, not on a main street.

I want to be able to reliably schedule time to be able to sit and write when I need to write. At this point, that so-called "schedule" has been shaky and more than a little bit reliable. I miss that a lot.

I want my health to improve further, and I'll do what I can on my end to make that happen, but if Father Yule sprinkles a little Magic Elf Dandruff over me to make things go more smoothly, I won't complain too loudly.

And finally, and most importantly...

I want my daughter to get a decent raise and a calmer atmosphere at her job. She's stressed out all the time and it's not doing her health any good right now. If Father Yule feels it necessary to slam Certain Persons over the head with a little Magic Elf Carcass to make things go more smoothly, I won't complain too loudly about that, either.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

My Favorite Authors and Series...

I'm not sure where other authors get their ideas, but mine have a weird habit of coming to me while I'm either trying to get to sleep, or while I'm dreaming. While it's a great way to come up with new material, it tends to be a lousy way to get enough sleep.

My first novel, SIOFRA, came to me in a dream. I think it was the result of trying to find vampire novels I wanted to read and not being able to find them. I knew I couldn't be the only person who was tired of seeing the same thing out there. Stuff I would still refuse to read if you jabbed at me with a pointed stick to make me do it.

So many of the novels I found seemed to involve vampires who hated what they were, and were looking to be returned to their human, mortal selves, or it would end up being some sort of romance. Neither genre was or is something I would ever read. It's just not me.

I was the kid who rooted for the monster in those classic Universal horror movies and some of the remakes/reimaginings. I loved Frank Langella and Gary Oldman as "Dracula" in their takes on the classic character. Barnabas Collins was my first non-Dracula love, in the days when I didn't realize how truly hokey soaps like DARK SHADOWS (1966) really were. I would race home from school (I was in the First Grade) to see it, I loved it so very much. Who was I to know that the acting in that show was so over the top?

All I knew was that it was a show with vampires, ghosts, witches, werewolves, and more, and I couldn't get enough of it! I'm not sure if I even noticed when a "wall" shuddered as a door was closed, or a piece of lighting equipment was in the frame, both of which have been well-documented over the years since the series ended.

Already precocious reader, even at that age, I begged my Mom to buy the tie-in books for the campy soap opera (so campy there should have been roasted marshmallows and mosquito bites in evidence), and with her generous heart, she enabled me to devour tales of Barnabas, Quentin, and whatever evil they faced in those hideously bound (what was that color? Yellow? Green?) rectangular treasures by the mythical Marilyn Ross. I'd even reread them whenever I had the opportunity.

Did anyone else think of another "Willie" when they first heard of "Groundskeeper Willie" in THE SIMPSONS? Yes, that's how my mind works, if works is the right word here.

I often wonder where other authors (I don't include the "author" of the Dark Shadows tie-ins in that number, as they were simple fluff marketed by canny sales executives at ABC Studios during the show's run) come up with their own ideas for new novels, but a few of those authors immediately come to mind when I think of which of them helped to inspire me to become an author.

When I was in high school, I discovered the second novel in Anne McCaffrey's "Dragonriders of Pern" series, DRAGONQUEST, while I was visiting a friend after school, and happened to take a closer look at her bookshelves. I suppose you could say that much like newborn dragonets, I was Impressed by what I read and suddenly couldn't get enough of Pern, its dragons, and its humans.

Just the idea of magnificent dragons, telepathically linked to their riders for ever and ever, traveling instantly between one place and another, caught my attention. I was equally enamored with her fire-lizards: miniature versions of those self-same dragons, so I gobbled up her "Harper Hall" series of Pern novels as well. Dragons, even in miniature, where just another taste of klah for me, and I loved that wonderful burst of literary flavor I got with every sip of her words.

When I ran out of dragon-related stories by Ms McCaffrey, I moved on to her other novels, from DINOSAUR PLANET (not what I really hoped it was, but it was something she'd written, so I absolutely had to have it), to her debut novel, RESTOREE, which was a romance novel thinly disguised as science fiction. Her DECISION AT DOONA was something I completely adored, and I've read every sequel, including those co-written by her with the inestimable Jody Lynn Nye. I knew I'd like those because of their earlier collaborations with Ms Nye on the Ship Who novels.

When THE WHITE DRAGON came out in hardcover, I absolutely had to have it, even at it's wildly inflated hardcover price (at the time) of $7.95, and I scrambled to assemble enough of my allowance (my folks gave us an allowance for the performing of specific chores every day, once a week) to get my greedy little hands on a first edition of it. I was equally as eager to lay my hands on any of her subsequent sci-fi/fantasy novels, and so most of those also ended up on my shelves.

I learned about the amazing artist Michael Whelan from seeing his work on the covers of the first several Pern novels, and was heartbroken when the publisher decided to change artists. His were the dragons Ms McCaffrey said looked like what she imagined when she wrote her dragons, and I took that to heart. Pernese dragons had four legs and a set of wings, and depictions of them on post-Whelan covers, as two-legged, two-winged beasts didn't jibe with what she'd written in her novels, from the time of the first chapters of DRAGONFLIGHT.

After all, Mnementh captured Lessa in one of this forepaws and held her in place until F'lar to get to her, and if he'd done that with a back foot, he'd have been terribly off-balance, which wouldn't have been a good thing for anyone. A dragon almost the size of a DC-10 (according to Ms McCaffrey) isn't some lightweight, you know.

I learned the Teaching Songs from those two series, and even went through the Dragondex at the end of the book and bitched and pissed and moaned about inconsistencies in that compilation. I doodled dragons and I painted dragons, and I sung dragons.

Did you know that The Fire-Lizard Song can be sung to the tune of "Puff, the Magic Dragon"? Well, you do now.

I discovered Stephen R Donaldson's "Thomas Covenant" series of books at about the time epic fantasy caught my attention. I read and reread those novels as well, reveling in the story of the damaged main character and his redemption of sorts over the course of multiple series. I wore out more than one set of the first series, which I read long before the advent of e-books.

Of course it was a no-brainer to replace them as they wore out or were lost to injudicious loaning.

David and Leigh Eddings' Belgariad, Malloreon, Elenium and Tamuli were constant friends to me, and I grabbed up each as I discovered them. I read those aloud to my daughter, multiple times, and she loved them as well. We still use certain phrases we heard in those novels, with secretive grins and knowing smiles at one another, don'tcha know dorlin'?

I used to fantasize about who I would cast in the roles of those series' characters, if I were given that opportunity. I know I'm not the only person to do something like that, and it's comforting in a way to know that. It's good to know that I'm not the only person to have loved these series so very much that I would take the time to do something that silly.

These are all authors about whom I would love to know how they came up with the stories and characters I came to love so very much. The thing that binds these novels -- these series, all together is that they are part of the wonderfully vast science fiction and fantasy universe, but then they go their own ways, feeding some need I had to sate at the time I discovered them.

I hope that when people find my stories, they come along at the right time in those people's lives. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Big News! Narrator Engaged for AYA'S DRAGON!

I'm very excited to announce that I have engaged a narrator, a lovely woman called Roxanne Wiederhold for AYA'S DRAGON, and actual production of the audiobook will begin shortly.

Our hope is to have the audiobook completed by the end of February 2018 and have it released shortly thereafter.

I'll provide you with more information on this delightful new narrator in the near future, I was just so excited, I had to share this tidbit with you all now.


Anna Rose

Sunday, December 10, 2017


For those of you who enjoy audiobooks at least as much as I do, I wanted to let you know that I am currently in the process of finding a narrator for both AYA'S DRAGON and SIOFRA. 

The whole thing has been a very interesting and enlightening experience. So far, I've received some excellent auditions, and then others from folks who, though well-meaning and really wanting this opportunity, clearly do not have the equipment and/or experience for something like this.

At this time, I believe I've found the narrator for AYA'S DRAGON, but the jury is still out on the right performer for SIOFRA. At the beginning of this next week, I'll be making my decision on AYA, and will then focus on narrowing down the finalists for SIOFRA.

On the writing front, I believe I'm almost finished with SARA'S FIRE, the next installment in The Tales of the Dragonguard. Once my first draft is completed, then the editing process starts. Part of that process will be sending that first draft out to my wonderful beta readers.

Once they go through it with a fine-tooth comb that first time, I'll take a look at what they tell me and then make what changes are appropriate. After that, I'll send it back for further scanning and criticism. Once I get it back without too much pointing and laughing on their end, I'll move on to formatting it for publication in reading and audio formats.

Such fun!

I'm hoping to get SARA'S FIRE released by the end of January 2018. Of course, I'll keep all of you posted on what's going on and where I am in the audiobook and printed/ebook publication process.

Thank you for all of you wonderful patience. I love you all,

Anna Rose

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

NaNoWriMo 2017 - Seven Days and Counting

It's only a week until the annual writing event known as NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and I've finally decided for sure on what I'll be working on during that time.

I had initially thought to write the third story in the Tales of the Dragonguard series, KAL'S HEART, but have instead decided to write THE THING IN THE CLOSET, which is intended to be more of a novella, or even a novel, versus the short story format of the Tales of the Dragonguard stories.

No, it's not horror, even with a title like that.

THING seems to have something resembling an original idea, so it seems like fun to me. It's intended for young adults and up, although adults could certainly read it to their younger children, if they so desired. If you've read my previous stuff, you'll know that I like to write "different" stuff, and this should be no exception to that personal rule. Keep that in mind when deciding whether or not to read this to impressionable young minds.

Knowing this, I will probably be less active in social media during that time, as I plan to focus on writing, rather than socializing for those 30 days. It won't mean that I love you all less, only that I love you so much that I want to get something new written for you all to devour with your eyes and minds.

Right now, the second story in the Tales of the Dragonguard, SARA'S FIRE, is still in the editing process, and I hope to get it out before the end of the year. I know it would be nice to have it out sooner than that, but I fear that if it was, it would be clumsy and not something you would enjoy as much as I'd like you to enjoy it.

If you must get in touch with me, please feel free to email me at, and I'll respond to you as quickly as I am able, providing you're not just being some kind of an asshat in your email. Sounds fair, doesn't it?

Anyhow, off to planning and plotting THE THING IN THE CLOSET for NaNoWriMo.

Love you all!

Anna Rose

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Ye Olde Website - -- and More

I've been working on the long-neglected website today.

I was shocked at how long I'd left it laying there, and decided that I had to remedy that situation as quickly as possible with the newest information available.

While it's not necessarily pretty, at least it's up to date as of today's date.

I suppose that employing the services of a web designer would be a good thing, but for now, I've got a tight budget, so that's not going to happen for the foreseeable future.

So, what's up on the home front...

The second story in the Tales of the Dragonguard, "Sara's Fire", is in the editing process as we speak, and the third story, "Kal's Heart", is the subject of this year's NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) competition. I'm hoping to have the third story published late this year or early next year.

I've got the cover image worked up, so I'm pretty happy about that.

Want a peek at it? Here you go!

Kal's Heart - Third Tale of the Dragonguard

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

NaNoWriMo - What?!?!

On November 1st, the annual writing frenzy known as NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) begins. The general idea with it is that one writes at least 35k words on a new story/book/whatever.

I plan to start the third entry in the Tales of the Dragonguard series.

"What?", you say? "Aren't you working on the SECOND story? What the actual hell?"

Well, I've essentially finished the second story, SARA'S FIRE, and am currently working on the editing process for that entry in the series, but the editing process takes time, and me, being the person I am, will end up with a longer story than I supposedly "ended" with.

That seems to be my modus operandi. I end a "short" story with close to 20k words, but by the time I'm done with the editing process, I'm closer to 30k words. 

Stupid, I know. Perhaps I just haven't figured out what the word "edit" means.

Anyhow, the third in the Tales of the Dragonguard series is being planned at this time. Yes, I have other exciting ideas out there, but this is the one I will be working on, come November.

What would YOU like to see in the third entry in the series?

I really DO want to know.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Sleep? What Is "Sleep"? (With Apologies to Ruumahum)

I've had a hell of a past few days that all came with way too little sleep.

I'm practically sleeping while I'm writing today, trying to get work done when all I want to do is curl up and sleep for at least a few hours. As always, my days start early and end late. Not sure when that situation will end, either.

When you're in public, there is little chance to do something like that. I try to be a bit more polite than that in my daily activities Out In the Real World.

I vaguely remember a time, when I was a whole hell of  lot younger, when I could do the whole "barely get any sleep at all" thing, and not be the worse for wear for doing it. I think that age range went from seventeen to about twenty-one.

Oh so very long ago now.

These days, that's not a part of the equation. Sleep is necessary for me to get anything at all done, unless I really want to present half-assed work, which I refuse to do. I have something resembling a conscience when it comes to such things.

That said, I do miss those days and nights when I could burn the mythical candle at both ends without having to pay the consequences. Spend a day at work, and then go to the Friday night midnight movie, then get together with friends at the local coffee shop (my go-to was Denny's) to talk about the movie we'd just seen for the umpteenth time, talk about whatever had gone on that day/week, and suck down enough caffeine that we'd be ready for whatever we had planned for Saturday, once the sun rose again.

When I've had to pull hours similar to that, these days, I end up having to catch up on a lot of sleep, which, I have read, isn't the most healthy thing to do anyway. At this point, caffeine isn't a treat, it's a necessary food group. Fortunately, it's not actually bad for you, if you're an otherwise healthy person.

I know that eventually, everyone is required to pay the piper, but I really do wish he wasn't so damned loud when he came into the room. I'm trying to sleep.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Making An Office Away From the Office

I don't always have the opportunity write from home, and I do have my favorite places to write from in those cases. I've had to settle for spotty internet from places like Starbucks and Panera, which I know you've read about from me both here and on my Facebook page.

My number one favorite out-of-the-office office is in a data center in downtown Los Angeles. Whether or not I can work there depends on whether or not I can find street parking, which isn't always a given. This is downtown Los Angeles, after all!

While I'm here, I put on a set of comfortable headphones and play music as I write, as it helps to put me in the right frame of mind to write. I try to use music that's appropriate to whatever it is that I'm writing.

For this blog post, it's Cat Stevens.

In this office, which is about 400 square feet in size, I've got a gigabit wired connection and a quiet room all to myself on a rarely visited floor. I even have a locking cabinet in here with me (I have the only key) I can use to store the things that are good to have with me, but that I don't want to have to haul all over the damned place. It makes life so much easier, as I haul enough heavy crap around with me all the time without having to add to the burden.
I've still got to get the proper wiring to connect my Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (my workhorse computer) to the currently unused monitor that sits atop the upper level of the glass and metal desk I use here. Of course, that wiring would hit the cabinet when I wasn't around. It would stand too much of a chance of being appropriated by someone else.

As this office is also periodically (though very rarely) used by data center employees for working on computers and servers, it's cluttered and full of boxes and equipment, both working and dead. It's sort of a peripheral computer graveyard, if you're familiar with the concept. I've seen the main graveyard, and it's much more cluttered than this small room.

I've done my best to clear the area I want to work in, although periodically I'll walk in and discover that some asshole has been in here to work and strewn their discarded crap across the workspace I use. Then I remember and practice at least a few of the bad words my father so thoughtfully taught me and proceed to tidy up the electronic and cardboard carnage.

I'm considering putting up some simple artwork on the walls to quietly suggest to those people that they aren't the only ones using this space for something. I clean up after myself well enough that they might not realize that someone else makes use of the space, but you'd think they'd have noticed that the open desk surfaces aren't covered in greasy black dust anymore.

That might be expecting too much of them, I suppose. If you have any suggestions for simple artwork that can be printed up, please let me know. I'm open to new ideas.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Dreaded IRS Scam Call

This scam has been going on for years now, but I only just got my dose of it a little bit ago. I was in an irritable mood at the time, so this lightened it considerably. Yes, I have an odd sense of humor that way. If you know me, you already know this.

I didn't hang up, because I wanted to see where it went. Sadly, it wasn't a real live human on the other end of the call, which was sort of sad-making. It would have been fun to play before I dropped the anvil.

It was a robotic call featuring a "male" voice, threatening me with arrest and a lawsuit over supposed irregularities in my tax return. I noted that the script the robot was using was missing words and using incorrect words, so the scammers are likely not native English speakers.

First, let's deal with the bare facts.

The Infernal Revenue Service isn't going to call you or email you about supposed financial irregularities. They will contact you via snail mail. You now, snail mail. The kind the nice man or woman puts in your physical mailbox, wherever that may be. I know this from personal experience.

Don't worry, it turned out that everything was fine on my end. A previous employer was playing fast and loose with State money and mixing my name and tax information in that ball of shit. I called the IRS when I got that letter and they were very interested in what I had to tell them.

Their next letter said that they had recomputed my tax debt and determined that I owed "$".  It was a very satisfying letter, I must say!

Second, there is a whole bevy of things they do before Court, much less arrest, is even an issue. They don't want to spend any more money than they have to in order to resolve tax issues. Suing someone costs real money. They're like you in that regard. Why spend money when you don't have to?

A friend was recently targeted by these assholes, and I got angry. I decided that when the time came that I got one of these calls, I'd take steps.

Well, ladles and germs, I've put the number that called me today, and that I was instructed to call back by the robotic voice, in the hands of the proper authorities. 

I hope they enjoy the attention. I just wish I could watch the entertainment.

In conclusion, I recommend that if and when you get this call, instead of freaking out, make note of any phone number you are directed to call (the calling number is probably fake) and report it to the Internal Revenue Service as soon as possible.

We need to take these asshats down as quickly as possible, and they go through phone numbers like toddlers through cotton candy.