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