Blog Archives

NaNoWriMo Done, Dusted, and Conquered! Now Book 3 Awaits!

The Cover for Book 3: The Sword Bearer's Awakening

The Cover Image for Book 3: The Sword Bearer’s Awakening

Yup, yup, yup, I did it! I beat the NaNo deadline by three days, and while the story is not yet finished I have an almost complete novel in my hands that I can publish around mid 2013 after I’ve published Book 3 in my Sword Bearers tetralogy titled The Sword Bearer’s Awakening.

Honestly, I wondered if I could put together an entire novel in one month when it took me three to five months to write the first draft of The Sword Bearers and The Sword Bearer’s Journey – for each book! As I said to one of the reviewers for my sci-fi short story, The Door, after she suggested I turn it into a novel ‘cause it had a tad too much detail for a short story, I am one for a lot of detail – not rambling, I must stress, because I don’t do that – but I like to make sure the reader doesn’t miss any vital information that, if left out, could spoil the story. When I took up the challenge to write an entire story in one month I almost gave into the little voice that kept reminding me how long it took to write my epic fantasy (I’m consistently producing one book a year)! But what excited me about NaNo was the possibility that I actually could do it. I wasn’t lacking for a fantastic idea (based on a very vivid dream I had) and I’m very good at “pantsing”, as people call it – writing off the seat of my pants. The scenes and characters always take care of themselves; without fail they are born without my conscious help and the story develops as if by magic. Yes, I had a rough outline and I knew my characters’ names and personalities, but that was all I had before starting. I knew how the story began and how it ended; the “in between” flowed from my mind through my fingers onto the screen in that process none of us writers can truly explain to a non-writer.

The result: Avalin: A Vampyric Legend, something totally unique in that I have not read similar ideas anywhere yet, and I can only hope it stays that way.

My experiment to fuse different genres actually worked – as I mentioned in my last couple of posts – and I believe I have produced a work of fiction lovers of romance, adventure, fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and action will all enjoy. Of course, I will let you know when it’s ready for publication in 2013, so watch this space!!

The Door Cover KB

Now that The Door is published and available on Amazon and Smashwords for you to enjoy, my focus is on The Sword Bearer’s Awakening. This is the third instalment of my Epic Fantasy and I’m thrilled to return to it after more than a month’s break. The characters are so much a part of me that I’ve missed them like I miss very close friends I haven’t visited for ages.

KC, the protagonist, and the antagonist, the arch demon Drakoor s’et, are headed for the Final Battle, a mighty confrontation prophesied about for centuries across the entire galaxy of N’varda and beyond. In this book KC, the Bearer of the Sword of Heaven, is trying to recover from a terrible loss that nearly destroys her mind and has shredded her heart, and as she struggles daily with the lust for revenge that consumes her every waking moment, she knows that her family are depending on her to protect them from the wave of devastation Drakoor s’et has unleashed on N’varda, for if she fails in her duty, if she fails to stop this great evil, then the Universe will forever be enslaved by the demon and his kind.

I hope I’ve whetted your appetite with that little peek into KC’s world. Book 3 promises to be not only about battles between worlds, with u’mans pitted against aliens and demons, but about the battle of the mind and heart, about right and wrong, about what each individual believes is happening in their world and in their heart. It’s about choices and the terrible or wonderful consequences that follow, and about the power of love, truth, trust, and the deep understanding of one’s self.

I think the most wonderful stories exist out there as a result of NaNo, and I can’t wait to read some of them. Allowing the magic to flow unfettered and unencumbered by too much thought or concern about detail and perfect grammar and spelling and just ‘letting go’ has produced those brilliant stories you hear about, the ones that will take people on journeys they never forget and, in some cases, never recover from.

Magic Book!

Even in the editing and rewriting process may I encourage you to not mess with the magic? Don’t think too long or too hard about the ‘feel’ of it; just let it be and build around it with the knowledge you possess. If you sense that it is losing its magic then let it be for a while until it calls you back, and then continue slowly. There’s no rush, after all. You need to decide what’s more important: passion or knowledge, or a perfect balance of both.

Any NaNo tales? Leave them here!


Does Genre Fusion Work – and is it Wise?

I’m finally done with my week-long dance show and now I can get stuck into my writing again and catch up for NaNoWriMo. I’m excited about this novel because it’s new territory for me.

“Write what you know,” I’ve heard countless times in my short writing career, and I believe I’ve stuck to that good advice. I’ve also interpreted it to mea, write what you’re passionate about, what you spend most your time reading and watching on the big screen. The thing is, I love so many genres and I read them all, too. I am as passionate about fantasy as I am about sci-fi, action, adventure, thrillers, horrors, and even some romance.

When I decided to embark on NaNoWriMo I made up my mind to try something new. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am most probably nuts trying to do this for a time-sensitive writing challenge when I don’t have a lot of time to think things through first and investigate and research it for too long. But if you knew me better you’d understand my love for new challenges and how comfortable I am working under pressure. I thrive under pressure; I’ve always had the knack to perform better and deliver and accomplish that which I set out to. Also, I’ve had this idea in my head for quite a while, since I had an awesome dream one night, the kind of dream that sends my imagination into overdrive and I think, Dang, that would make an awesome movie! Now when I write I’m imagining what my story would look like on the big screen because I am a very visual person, coming from a world where everything relies on aesthetics – dance, drama, and art, i.e. the performing arts. Therefore I see my story and then put it down on paper. The moods, the colours, the way the characters look, the environment – it all has to come together visually first and then I begin to create with words.

Image courtesy of Emil Bacik

Let me tell you about Avalin: A Vampyric Legend, my novel for NaNo.

You need to know from the start that the Twilight films made me cringe at anything vampire because of the poorly written books and the awful execution and acting in the films. I roll my eyes whenever I hear someone rave about the films, especially about the glittering vamps! I mean, seriously!! I cannot conceive of vampires being pretty in any shape or form, no matter how “kind” their personalities appear. They are all killers, just shy of animals – capable of love and passion, sure, but killers nonetheless. So when I decided to write my story I knew it needed to be serious, to have gravitas, for the characters to be true to themselves, and for the situations and emotions and circumstances to be as close to real as possible within the fantastical story.


“In the era of the gunslinger, dangerous creatures of the night roam free and undetected.

A beautiful woman, once wealthy and respected and married to a man of great influence, is forced, out of great personal loss and desperation, to become a prostitute. Working in a high-class brothel, she catches the eye of two mysterious men and ends up spending a night with them, only to discover, in the heat of passion, that they are vampyres.

In what she thinks are her final moments, she begs them to end her life of suffering and grief. But these are no ordinary vampyres: they have searched for Avalin for many years, they reveal to her, and now that they have found her they have no intention of ending her life. She has something they desperately need. She is unique, they tell her – one of a kind.

Fascinated, yet sad that her suffering will not end that night, she agrees to remain exclusively theirs, and so the extraordinary legend of Avalin begins. As she gets to know more about her mysterious benefactors and protectors the more frightened she becomes.

These are no ordinary creatures of the night; they have a terrifying secret, a secret that could mean the end of all humankind!”

My story has a fusion of the following: fantasy, urban fantasy, horror, romance, adventure, mystery, thriller, and, I say this hoping not to reveal too much, a little sci-fi.

Image courtesy of boogy_man

Those who have come to know me and my books know that I am a Fantasy author with two Epic Fantasy novels under my belt and another two in the current series to come. For Christmas I will soon be publishing a sci-fi short story on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords titled ‘The Door’. Now, fantasy and sci-fi can sometimes be quite similar in my experience, so creating stories in both genres isn’t that hard for me. The story of Sword Bearer’s Journey – Book 2 in my Sword Bearers tetralogy – moves into deep space and immediately involves some sci-fi elements along with the strictly epic fantasy style. For me, mixing the two isn’t hard; I’ve read enough of both genres to know how to write both with comfort (not that my research ever stops if I want to make things convincing).

Personally I think bringing different genres together isn’t a problem. One, two, and even three work quite nicely if done well, but here’s my real question: Can fantasy, urban fantasy, horror, romance, adventure, mystery, thriller, and sci-fi work together?

This is what I am attempting to do. I have taken all the above genres and put them into one pot, and I am attempting to make an awesome stew!! This is an experiment in more than just a genre change for me; it is a combination of every style that I love to read and see in movies, and by the end of the month I’ll see if I’ve been successful.

And then, dear reader/author/reviewer, you can judge it for yourself, for I have every intention of publishing it!

I’d love to know your thoughts on this topic. Have you fused genres in your writing? Does it work for you? Have you tried it or even considered trying it? Let’s get a discussion going.


Related articles

NaNoWriMo and Other Scary Events

So, I’ve decided to do NaNoWriMo . . . well, I’ll try to do it, anyway, while I’m also doing rehearsals for a HUGE dance show from 5th to 10th November with shows on the 10th and 11th on a fully professional stage (this means, absolutely no computer time except maybe a couple of hours in the very early mornings before I leave for the theatre). While NaNo and the show are happening I’ll be trying to find the time to continue editing my third novel in The Sword Bearer’s series – The Sword Bearer’s Awakening – which I’m hoping to get published around February next year! AND I have a sci-fi short story – The Door – coming out before Christmas!

Think I’m nuts?? I do!! Dang it, but I love giving myself a lot to do – fortunately it’s everything I love doing. Whether my love is big enough to get it all done in time remains to be seen! After a reading another blogger’s post on why she’s terrified of NaNo, I have to wonder why I don’t feel the same kind of terror. Perhaps it’s because I have absolutely no idea what I’ve let myself in for.

Someone I connected with on the NaNo site gave me some great advice, which will take all my self-control to achieve: DO NOT EDIT while you’re writing. JUST WRITE and worry about the editing after November. Me, a perfectionist of note, not fixing and changing and rewriting what I’ve written?? Aaarrrrgh! Is this possible??

Smiley from the sMirC-series. dunno

Dunno . . .

Another thing that makes me think I’ve truly gone off my rocker is that I will be writing in another genre – Urban Fantasy/Horror/Supernatural – all them things combined! Yup, I’ve decided to try my hand at another kind of Fantasy, and although I was always planning on writing in these genres at some point I’ve decided to do it for NaNoWriMo! Yup, yup, I can already see you shaking your heads and mumbling how unwise it is, but, hey, where’s the fun in doing the same ol’, same ol’? “Yes, Monique, but is now the time?” you’re asking me.

Dunno . . .

What I do know is that I certainly have the ability and the imagination to create a great story. It has enough Fantasy elements in it to keep me comfortable, and I’ve already done the outline – which makes it so much easier, by the way. I have my characters sorted, my timeline, my environment, the antagonist and protagonist, and the huge “OMG!” moment!! It’s gonna be great . . . I hope 🙂

Image courtesy of: sofamonkez (

So, who’s with me? Come on, we can be scared together. It’ll be fun!

Please let me know if you’re doing NaNoWriMo, too! Share your fears and your expectations so I can feel better that I’m not the only nutter out there!!!

Related articles

%d bloggers like this: