The Write Focus Summer Series on Discovering Your Novel … a series of craft-focused podcast episodes along with productivity and process and tools … has reached its conclusion.

Presence / Promotions / Publish / Party are the four steps to get that finished novel into the marketplace.

Yes, Party is a step. It’s a major step! Let people know the major task that you have completed.

You can listen to the concluding episode at this link.

Next up to start the Autumn right: Challenges then a mini-series for PrepToBer with inspiration!

Thanks for listening to The Write Focus.

Fae Mark’d World

licensed from DepositPhotos
sprites on the wing in the Wilding

Magical Creatures

Dragon – still imprisoned in the Wastes where they were banished after they lost the war against the Fae and Wizard and Mundane alliance following Dragon Dark. Rumors that they were once controlled by the Kyrgy. Massive wings, snake-like body, and a spiked tail. Only queens are fire-breathing; all others are only venomous, with large fangs to deliver poison. Long-lived but not very fertile. (Only queens nest.) Greatest dragon is Werthyrmir.

Fae – wielders of all the elements and exceptionally long-lived. They inhabit Faeron. In the past decade they have renewed alliance with the Wizard Enclave in order to defeat the threat of

Gobber – a stunted creature with round eyes, pointed teeth, and stubby claws. Always in a pack, rarely wear clothes over their thin fur.

Huldra – a mysterious creature, usually female, that lurks only and creates traps for the unwary. Rarely seen and only the Hinterlands of the Wilding and the Wastes. Traps and magical attacks are based upon the elemental power that the Huldra wields. A water Huldra uses ice; an air Huldra uses a sandstorm.

Kyrgy – Dark Fae who rule the Wilding. Krygy means “choosers of the Slain”. Marble-white skin, silver hair, slanted highbrows and sharply angled facial structure. Teeth are sharp points. Eyes are a full-black, with no white sclera. Long and slender limbs. Wielders of all four elemental powers. Supported by their riders, knights and dames who chose to serve them and have their lives extended.

Lindworm – a type of dragon, smaller than both the dragon and the wyvern. Vestigial wings near the head, snake-like in appearance. Only the females are fire-breathing; the males are poisonous with large fangs.

Ogre – Giant-sized and therefore larger than a troll, an ogre is solitary by nature although it will run with others in a pack. Bad-tempered, it usually prefers clubs and maces to other weapons. It dislikes arrows and hates spears. Most ogres have a hunched back and long arms. The skin is a mottled rock color.

Rhoghieri ~ wielders of elemental power. The wyre are their Rhos’ natural enemies. Rho can wield one of the pure elements: Earth, Air, Water, or Fire. They cannot wield the magic of wizardry or sorcery. Once allied to the wizards of the Enclave, they escaped the alliance—burdensome to them—about three generations ago.

Sprite – tiny winged creatures, with a spindly humanoid body and dragon-fly wings. Flashes brightly in various colors. Has a stinger; often called “jewel on a wing with a sting”. The apiary of sprites is ruled by a queen, her consorts, drones and workers.

Troll – a huge, lumbering creature, with mossy and warty growths, usually a shape of grey. Primarily cave-dwelling. Usually in a small group (three to five) or in a pack (10 or more) called a Trouble.

Wolfen / Wyre ~ shapeshifters, taking wolf-form. Ruled by a Prime, who can change and partial-change without limits. All others can shift only at a Moon-Turn (the 3 Lady Moons or the 3 Dragon Moons). Stronger shifters can partial shift. In order to shift out of Moon-Turn, sorcery must be employed. Wizardry does not affect the wyre, who usually ally with sorcerers. Elemental power can affect the wyre. Wyre hunt in packs and stay in lairs. The Prime is supported by a Second / Secondus, Tierce, Quartos, Quintos, Sextos, Septos, Octavos, Nunes, Decem. A full pack has 13 males and 13 females. When assigned to a sorcerer, a pack is usually 10 males with three females.

Wraith / Wight – a vaporous creature from Neotheora (the realm of the Dead Souls). When fed blood or other body substances, the wraith takes on a corporeal form. To say the name of a recent dead person is to give the Wraith a shape to mimic.

Wyvern – a type of winged dragon, smaller than a dragon. Venomous. Not able to breath fire. Four limbs plus the wings.

. ~ . ~ . ~ .

cover design for To Wield the Wind, bk 1 of Spells of Air, by Deranged Doctor Design

Characters in Spells of Air

Orielle – a wizard who has not passed her trials. She volunteered for the mission to enlist the Rhoghieri of Iscleft Haven for a new alliance against the sorcerers and wyre of Frost Clime. Named Aiwaz Solsken by the Kyrgy Knight Sir Sangrior. Assisted in her journey by Grim, a Rhoghieri mercenary from Iscleft Citadel, also on a journey to Iscleft Haven.

Brok – a sentry of Iscleft Haven, who has recently lost his wife Zairantze. Wielder of Earth. A childhood friend of Grim.

Fortis – a mentor of Iscleft Haven and childhood friend of Grim. Wielder of Fire.

Grim – a Rhoghieri of Iscleft Haven, wielder of Air, who has been a mercenary at Iscleft Citadel for the past few years.

Hackett – a mundane who came with Tobit to the Haven from Iscleft Citadel

Kristofen – a knight of Lady Bone’s

Lady Bone – the Kyrgy lady whose brother rules the Wilding

Lillias – a mentor of Iscleft Haven, wielder of Air

Lord Skull – the Krygy lord who rules the Wilding, brother to Lady Bone

Saircuista – a dame who rides with Lady Bone

Sangrior – a consort knight of Lady Bone

Skuld (see Lady Bone)

Surrect – a healer and mentor of Iscleft Haven, wielder of Water

Tobit – elder of Iscleft Haven, wielder of Earth

Trebetha – a wielder of Earth, voted in to replace Tobit.

Volk  a consort knight of Lady Bone

Waren, married to Malva – a sentry of Iscleft Haven, friend to Brok and Grim

Zairantze – Brok’s late wife, a mundane missing from Iscleft Haven

Cover design for The Wyrded Forest, bk 1 in Spells of Earth, by Deranged Doctor Design

Characters in Spells of Earth

Desora / Adalse de Sora – a woman who has lost her wizardry following the backlash of a spell at Iscleft Citadel six years before. She wields Earth. Formerly of the Enclave Clan D’Aulnois.

Braxton – a captain who is seeking Desora. On leave from Iscleft Citadel, recently allied with Harte Regnant de Thettis, the Fae ruler of Bermarck, a sept of Faeron.

Granny Riding – wise woman in the village of Mulgrum

Griss – woodcutter’s helper

Guards from the Citadel – Klemt, Mannon and Challach.

Harte Regnant de Thettis – Maorn of the Bermarck sept of Faeron.

Lord Horst – ruler of the Wilding’s Northern Reaches. His riders include Morcain, Ehren, and others.

Merketh – a forester of Mulgrum turned into a wyre

Rangers detached from Maorn Harte – Alwin, Blaise, Dunstan, Ferrac, Gregoir, Imri, Ivhort, and Seire. Rangers are usually detachments of 10 in number; this detachment has lost Dunstan’s brother Waleran and Ivhort’s brother Vidorst.

Serron – Prime of the Wyre pack in the Wilding. Other wyre are Herlig ……

Skellig – elder of Mulgrum

Tammas – a friend of Teyja’s, son of the potters Estild and Ogrim.

Teyja – apprentice to Granny Riding

 

M.A. Lee has four books that celebrate an anniversary this month,

three born in 2019 and one born last year.

On the Second of September: The Hazard of Secrets

This is one of those books that kept expanding. The word count was intended to be around 70,000; the final book topped out at nearly 109,000 words.

original cover by Deranged Doctor Design for Writers Ink
Jem and Clarey face press gangs and murderers.

Two hearts with dangerous pasts ~ Can they keep their secrets, or will murder force them to reveal all?

Clarey Parton crosses the Atlantic to steal an inheritance. She hopes that no one discovers the rightful heir lies in a cold grave.

Jem Baxter returns to the England he fled three years before. He assumes the name James Axminster to conceal his past, one littered with misdeeds.

When a press gang sees two people traveling alone, they seize the opportunity for quick cash: they plan to sell Clarey to a brothel and impress Jem on a merchant ship. Fate brings these two lonely souls together. Chance helps them escape.

Yet escape traps them in another secret—one with murder as a bloody solution.

The Hazard of Secrets offers twists and turns as tight as knots. Can Clarey and Jem keep their secrets, or will murder force them to reveal all?

Fetch it here: https://books2read.com/u/4DWRJr

 

On the 10th of September, A Trio of Hazards.

Three novels bundled together, published one year ago in our plague year.

Above, The Hazard of Secrets.

View the trailer at this link: https://youtu.be/I1hb4d9wCOg

Coming Soon

Next comes The Hazard for Spies.

Can Conrad discover the identity of the French spy mastermind? Will Phinney’s single-minded pursuit lead her into the murderer’s snare? Will three children be caught and sold into London’s underworld?

Will Conrad and Phinney discover the connection between past and present murders?

Or will two bullets allow the murderer and the French master spy to continue their work against the British government?

This book did exactly what it was supposed to do: story, length, everything. It concludes the spy narrative in the Hearts in Hazard trilogy, which also includes

A Game of Secrets

A Game of Spies

A Game of Hearts

The Danger for Spies

The Key for Spies

The three children introduced in The Hazard of Secrets above are secondary characters in this novel.

Hector Evans, first introduced in The Danger to Hearts  and receiving his own story in The Key to Secrets, also makes an appearance in The Hazard of Secrets and The Hazard for Spies.

 Last is The Hazard with Hearts.

In the gothic tradition of Victoria Holt and Dorothy Eden, The Hazard with Hearts offers a determined heroine who confronts doubts, superstition, and the dark passions of a killer who wants every countess of Sheldrake dead and buried.

Vivienne Northrup agreed to a marriage of convenience to reap the benefits of becoming the Countess of Sheldrake. While she explores the ruins of Sheldrake Castle, a falling stone dislodged from a tower nearly kills her.

Only then does Vivienne discover that the earl’s previous two wives died tragically. The first had jumped to her death from that very tower.

Or had the woman been pushed? The way the stone nearly killed Vivienne?

I loved this book. At first I struggled with the heroine … until I changed her name. Then she came alive! When I finished this novel and knew I was finished with the Hearts in Hazard series, I was saddened. The characters became part of my family, and moving on from the series was like moving far away from family. I know that I will want to return.

A Trio of Hazards can be purchased at this link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08HVZWVX1

Individual novels are available in ebook and paperback. The bundles are only available on Amazon and in ebook format–although the bundles are a bargain!

The other two books for September are nonfiction guidebooks for writers.

On September 22, Discovering Characters.

Our job as writers is to find every detail of our characters then use snippets so our readers will see our characters as they drive through our books. We hint at the foundations while opening doors to their plans and purposes.

Discovering Characters is designed to help writers find the exteriors and interiors, public and private. We’ll dig around the foundations and climb to the roof. We’ll explore the open rooms and the storage closets. We’ll peek into rooms inhabited by such characters as diverse as Elizabeth and Darcy, the Iron Man, Aragorn and Frodo, Travis McGee, Medea, Macbeth, and Nanny McPhee.

Five areas comprise this guidebook. Just as characters—and houses—are individual, this info is individual. You won’t need every bit. Dip in and out, skim around. When you reach locked rooms, come back and explore to discover the keys to your characters.

  1. Starting Points ~ offering templates and character interviews
  2. Classifications ~ common and uncommon ways of discovering characters
  3. Relationships ~ couples, teams, allies, enemies, mentors, etc.
  4. Special Touches ~ progressions, transgressions, and transitions for character arcs
  5. Significant Lists ~ archetypal characters and much more

Discovering Characters, with 44,000-plus words, is the second book in the Discovering set, part of the Think like a Pro Writer series for writers new to the game as well as those wanting to up their game.

Fetch it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Y7LYK19

Finally this month, on the very last day, we have the anniversary for Discovering Your Author Brand.

Discovering Your Author Brand understands that the browsing readers will only give a few nanoseconds to our books.

So, we explain the three main glances that hook the readers before they swim down the river. We also look at the keys to unlock those glances. With the right keys, the brand is revealed, and the door to the reader opens.

To help with the keys and glances, we have worksheets (charts!) to help you discover the brand for book, series, and your author persona—because the first leads to the last.

In addition to analyzing successful brands by writing greats from the last of the 20th century, we have information on how to develop a video book trailer. You can watch our own trailer for our book on Branding at this link: https://youtu.be/uthI5gEWic8

Fetch this guidebook at this link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YL8GBM1

Coming later this Fall

We have the paperback version of Discovering Your Writing, which combines our books on Plot, Characters, Branding, and Sentence Craft, a real deal!

TAFN!