Fantasy | Official Author Website of Melissa McPhail

Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’

On the Author’s Responsibility to Fans

I’ve been thinking about my responsibility to you as my readers, and that got me to thinking about universes. Not the kind that surround us but the kind we carry with us—worlds complete, comprising places imagined by others, populated with people not of our creation, yet colored in by our own mental energy; the universes that. . . Read More


Cephrael’s Hand is now on Audible!

I’m thrilled to report to all of you audiobook lovers that today Cephrael’s Hand releases on Audible! I know this is a long-awaited moment for many of you, and you have my sincerest gratitude for being so patient. The book is narrated by the talented Nick Podehl, who also narrated Pat Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind. Here’s a sample. . . Read More


Where is Book Four????

Since I’m being asked this question many times a day in tones varying from polite interest to downright exasperation, I’m getting the idea that people might appreciate knowing where Kingdom Blades stands in the lengthy process that begins with my transcribing the activities these characters are carrying on in my head and ends with you reading about them. . . Read More


The Treatment of Sexuality in A Pattern of Shadow & Light

Some of you have written in asking me about the presentation and treatment of homosexuality in my novels. You pointed out that the majority of incidents involving homosexual characters portray those characters as being evil. You indicated to me that in presenting those characters as evil, it sends a negative message about homosexuality, and you. . . Read More


Immortality and Gods in Fantasy

It’s interesting to me how many novels, plays, poems (and even, dare I say, religions) deal with immortality without really dealing with immortality, i.e. immortality is automatically assumed, more understood than explored. In our concept, gods are immortal. In fact, immortality is usually a qualifying aspect to being considered a god. In my experience, even. . . Read More


4 Steps to the Ultimate Compelling Villain

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. . . Read More


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

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. . . Read More


Breaking Up With Your Novel

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. . . Read More


Overcoming Writer’s Block – 5 Unconventional Ideas

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. . . Read More


Reviews, Writer’s Block & the Author’s Integrity – A Problematic Trinity

I’ve been struggling recently with a situation that arose from the number of positive—yes, I just said positive—reviews I’ve received on my latest novel (which, by the way, was recently selected as a Finalist for the ForeWord Book of the Year – yay!) It took me a bit to sort through just what I was. . . Read More