Thursday, April 24, 2014

Amazing New Mad Muncle Artwork from Brad Fraunfelter, cover artist for Knight of Flame

I was so excited about the new Mad Muncle artwork that I forgot to launch it on my blog. So here goes. Ahem...ladies and gentlemen, fans of all things amazing and wonderful, I'm thrilled, and a bit overwhelmed truth be told, to present the Mad Muncle. Behold!

The Mad Muncle's Forge

This gorgeous piece was created by the amazing Brad Fraunfelter. That's him to the right. Seems like a happy fellow, don't you think?

Through the use of modeling, photography, lighting, and other...artisticy (I've been told that's the technical term) type things, he creates beautiful images full of light and color and awesome. Check out the composite below, taking us from concept sketch to finished work. Magical!

And to think, it all started with his cover sketch of an intense fireball, Develor Quinteele, the sixth Knight of Flame.

Brad's done many book covers and other magnificent pieces. You can find more great examples of his work, a glimpse behind the curtain into his process, and even buy prints at Brad Fraunfelter Illustrations. Check him out.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Writing Process Blog Hop

My friend and fellow Twilight Times Books author, MariaDeVivo, asked me to join in the fun of The Writing Process Blog Hop. Check out Maria's novel, The Coal Elf, to get your YA Dark Fantasy fix. Yes! Santa is real. But this isn't your childhood Christmas tale. The story is a lot of fun, and with over 100 5-star reviews on Amazon, you won't be disappointed. Check it out.

For the blog hop, I answered a few writerly-type questions, and tagged a few of my friends to do the same on their blogs. Keep a look out for their posts next week.

·       What are you working on?
I'm finishing up the second book in The Chronicles of the Knights Elementalis series, Knight of Air. The story continues three weeks after the events in Knight of Flame, and adds the point-of-view of Cyndralla, the Knight of Air. In addition, I'm working on the outline for a novella set in the Knights Elementalis universe focusing on Cyndralla's past. We only catch the barest glimpse of her back story in the first book, and I wanted to prime the pump for book two. Look for the yet to be named novella to come out in the Fall, 2014.

·       How does your work differ from others in its genre?
I have a hard time with this question. It's not that Knight of Flame, and the Knights Elementalis series, isn't unique, far from it. I just find it difficult to say why it differs. I would much prefer to tell the readers what it IS…and that, at its core, Knight of Flame, in fact the whole series, is a story about relationships.  Sure there are all kinds of cool and groovy action, and magic, and dragons, and humor, and tragedy, and honor, and…  But, when all is said and done, it's the relationships that drive everything else.

·       Why do you write what you write?
I write what I love to read—character/relationship-driven stories of love and honor, good versus evil, set within a fantasy universe. It just so happens that my fantasy universe lives and breathes within our modern world, hidden (or sometimes not so hidden) in plain sight for those curious enough to look.

·       What is your writing process?
I'm a hard-core plotter. I need that roadmap of what happens when, where and to whom in order to make the story elements fit together. Writing from multiple POV's presents the challenge/opportunity of telling the story from different angles through the eyes of fleshed out characters, each with his or her own goals, motivation, and emotional baggage.

My outline consists of a scene-by-scene breakdown of the entire novel. Within each scene description, I determine the setting, POV character, additional characters, emotional drivers, and objectives. Each scene must accomplish at least three things in the story otherwise it gets cut or combined with another scene. Once I know what happens and where "things" go, so to speak, I start writing.

I use the outline as a guide only—a map from the beginning to the end. It is not the end all, be all of the storytelling. That still happens during the writing. I come up with new and exciting ways to torture my characters all the time. The plot lives and breathes until I finish multiple edits, and lock everything down. If you're looking for ways to improve your writing, please check out David Farland's writing courses. His classes are amazing.            

Look for The Writing Process Blog Hop post from this fine author next week:

Colette Black - When Colette isn't caring for her family, dogs, and a mischievous cat, she spends her time writing. Born and raised in the United States, she has also lived in the Philippines and Switzerland. Currently, she resides in the far outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona, where she loves the warm weather and the cotton fields. Colette's newest release, Noble Ark, is available at Amazon and will release to all major book sellers April 25th. Her short story anthology, The Black Side, released March 1st and you can find her recent story, Watchboy, through Isotropic Fiction. For more information, go to