Paths Of Alir | Official Author Website of Melissa McPhail

Posts Tagged ‘Paths of Alir’

Paths of Alir on Audible October 18th!

I know the majority of you are waiting for Kingdom Blades at the end of this month, but an increasing number of people are asking me kindly when Paths of Alir will be available on Audible, and I can now confirm the audiobook will be released on October 18th. You can preorder it now. Please remember to. . . Read More


Destiny and Fate in Fantasy (and Life)

Destiny versus choice, fate versus free will—these are core concepts in fantasy. Whether addressed indirectly (“You were born to save the world”) or as a subject of the character’s growth (“Accept this role and take up your sword”), the concepts often form the woof and warp of a story’s tapestry, even when the author isn’t. . . Read More


Grounding Fantasy in Reality and Tackling Controversial Topics

A reader wrote in to me recently and mentioned that while she didn’t have the same visceral reaction to a particular scene (no spoilers) as many other readers had, she didn’t like that one of the characters had to use sex as part of the resolution of the conflict in that scene. This is very. . . Read More


The Strands of Elae and Their Associated Adepts

Many of you have been asking about the magical strands of elae and their associated Adepts. This is a pared down version of the chart that appears in Paths of Alir (that chart contains information that would be spoilers for the earlier books). I plan to soon include this chart in the ebook versions of Cephrael’s Hand and. . . Read More


How Much Should Authors Interact with Readers?

This new age of social media makes it easier than ever for readers and writers to interact. Whether via reviews posted online, comments on a blog, forum discussions, Facebook or twitter, authors now have the opportunity to engage with their readers via multiple direct lines of communication. This is generally fun for the readers. For authors, it. . . Read More


On Isabel and Pelas in Paths of Alir

****SPOILER ALERT***** When I wrote the scene with Isabel and Pelas in the second half of Paths of Alir, I expected it could become controversial. I knew it would hit some readers in a way that felt morally uncomfortable, but I never imagined that the scene would be interpreted as a rape. I’ll explain more of what I did expect. . . Read More


Ultimate Epic Fantasy Writer’s Playlist

“Two boys arrived yesterday with a pebble they said was the head of a dog until I pointed out that it was really a typewriter.” ~Pablo Picasso Inspiration comes in many forms. There are as many sources of inspiration as there are artists to be inspired. A simple turn of a woman’s face might become the basis of a. . . Read More


3 Things Every Indie Author Needs to Know Before Starting Out

Paths of Alir, the third book in my award-winning epic fantasy series, released in stores on Saturday (Yay!!). Along the runway to this book release, I started my own publishing company and created the imprint Five Strands Publishing. Since starting on the indie publishing path in 2010 with Cephrael’s Hand, I’ve learned from the wisdom and experience of. . . 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


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

  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. . . Read More