How to Avoid Cliches (or The 4 Things You MUST Know Before Starting A Novel)

September 1st, 2014

A reader recently wrote to me and asked, how do you write a novel when every time you start (oh, so many times!) you get a few chapters in and suddenly become deluged with doubts? And how, when you’re so well-read in the genre that you’ve read it all and seen it all a hundred […]

4 Steps to the Ultimate Compelling Villain

August 18th, 2014

I want to talk about villains. Not the blackened-to-the-core, maniacally twisted kind or the ultimate evil, soul-devouring kind—I’d say genre fiction is all too familiar with stereotypical antagonists of this ilk. No, I want to talk about the villains you love to hate. Once upon a time in fiction (say, twenty years ago), good and […]

They’re here! Spectacular new covers for A Pattern of Shadow & Light Books 1-3

August 3rd, 2014

  When I began thinking about cover design for Paths of Alir, the third book in my award-winning epic fantasy series, A Pattern of Shadow & Light, I started looking through covers for similar fantasy books published in the last few years. When I published Dagger of Adendigaeth in 2012, fantasy covers were still primarily showing work from commissioned graphic artists. In the […]

How Not to Write Yourself into a Corner (in Your Novel and in Life)

July 28th, 2014

There’s something known as writing yourself into a corner. This phrase might be used to describe any number of authorial ailments, from the scene that mystifyingly “doesn’t work,” to the sinking realization—many chapters in—that your entire plot resolution hinges on something your protagonist can’t possibly know about. While trying to finish my third novel, Paths […]

#Excerpt from Paths of Alir, A Pattern of Shadow & Light Book 3

July 6th, 2014

Paths of Alir, the third book in my epic fantasy series, A Pattern of Shadow & Light, is in the final stages of pre-production (cover design and layout for press). The publication date is scheduled for October, 2014. Believe me, I understand that it feels like cruel and unusual punishment to be kept waiting (especially since  you’ve been waiting so long already!) when the book […]

Breaking Up With Your Novel

April 22nd, 2014

Last week I finished penning the third book in my epic fantasy series and sent it off to beta readers. Paths of Alir was two years in the planning/writing, and the final clocked in around 300,000 words. (It is an epic fantasy. Providing a series is well-crafted, anything short of 250k and epic fantasy fans somewhat […]

The Use of Emotion in Storytelling

July 22nd, 2013

  I was recently in dialogue with a reader about the use of homoeroticism in my novels. She asked if I had intentionally created a correlation between two homosexual characters (Sandrine du Préc in Cephrael’s Hand and the Prophet Bethamin in Dagger of Adendigaeth) and unethical conduct. In short, I had not. However, I found […]

An Amuse-bouche for Fans of A Pattern of Shadow and Light

June 23rd, 2013

As some of you may know, I’ve been traveling in Europe this month gathering a plethora of research for book three. Much of the third installment of A Pattern of Shadow & Light is set in the Empire of Agasan – specifically in the Sacred City of Faroqhar – which in turn is based on […]

Overcoming Writer’s Block – 5 Unconventional Ideas

April 29th, 2013

As writers, we innately tend to know when our story is working and when it isn’t. I like to describe this awareness as a sort of resonance, but it could just as easily be compared to an engine with all pistons firing. A skilled mechanic can tell just by listening when an engine isn’t purring […]

Fear: The Most Undervalued Emotion in Fantasy

April 26th, 2013

I’m thrilled to host this guest post from fantasy author A.E. Marling (@AEMarling) in celebration of the upcoming release of his epic fantasy novel, Gravity’s Revenge.  “The time for fear is past.” ~ King Theoden, The Lord of the Rings In fantasy worlds, fear is the enemy. It swoops down on black wings to smash the heroes to […]