Thursday, April 28, 2016

Nettle King Giveaway!

I have 5 signed copies of Nettle King to give away! This is the official version, not the proof! And all you have to do is tweet, find me on Twitter, or visit my FB author page! There will be 5 winners. The contest is open only to US & Canadian residents.

Also, if you're interested in news about a possible Thorn Jack TV series, Thorn Jack short stories & novellas, or my next written series, sign up here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

What to bring to the RT Booklovers' Convention (Writer version)

SO LIKE CINDERELLA back from the ball, I returned from the marathon of the RT Booklover's Con, back to life as a bookseller and a writer trying to perfect her next book. I've written 2 posts that I hope will help anyone attending in the future.

This post is about Some Things I Wish I'd Brought

Comfortable walking shoes or insoles: Because there is a LOT of walking. Carts were provided for transport, but I needed the exercise

Anti-static cling spray: For the dresses I never usually wear, with tights

A watch: While running around, it was a pain to keep digging out my phone and checking the time

Here are Some Things You Should Make Sure You Have

Water: Make sure, on the first day, you find a water source nearby, especially if you don't like tap water or paying 3 bucks for a little bottle.

Snack bars: For when your stomach starts grumbling during a panel and you get embarrassed

Your phone: Obviously. Mine broke while I was there. You'll want to live tweet and take pics

Swag, Swag, Swag!: Be inventive. I've seen earbuds, charm bracelets, bottle openers, blinged-out bookmarks, notepads, postcards, trading cards of book characters, pins, and pens. I made flower headbands for one event, in keeping with my dark faery theme.
     NOTE: Check that your swag is where it's supposed to be, especially if you paid for it to be in certain swag bags or in Promotional Alley. The staff are uber-reliable, but it'll help your peace of mind.

Cool stuff: Bring small talismans/totems/mascots with which to decorate your assigned space, whether it be for an event, a panel, or a signing.

Free books: To give away. My publisher did this at an event, and they vanished in half an hour. Bloggers, booksellers and librarians attend RT Booklover's Con, as do future fans. Book giveaways are great promo.

To be continued...

Monday, April 11, 2016

Thorn Jack's Symbolism

I adore symbolism, but it's mostly subconscious. When I notice certain themes, I try to make them more focused in future drafts. Here are some of the symbols I used in the Thorn Jack series:

BLOOD: It means life. It's what the Fatas, especially the darker, wilder ones, crave in rituals. When a Jack or a Jill (mortal soldiers kept alive by magical flowers) is created, they are bloodless and heartless. They only bleed when they fall in love. The Fatas also bleed and become vulnerable when they love.

FUR: Mostly in Briar Queen, which takes place in winter, fur on the Fatas represent their almost savage state beneath the elegance. And some of them, like Seth Lot, the Wolf king, can shapeshift into animals.

HAWTHORN: (Jack's last name) The May tree. The tree of rebirth. It's sometimes referred to as a fairy thorn.

HEART: In some cultures, the heart is the soul's resting place. Fatas and their Jack and Jill servants are heartless. In certain folk tales, witches or wizards would sometimes cut out their own hearts and hide them so no one would have power over them.

KEYS: Shaped as moths, butterflies, dragonflies, keys in Thorn Jack are talismans. Obviously, they symbolize doorways, which lead the characters to otherworldly places. They are also transformed people. Keys have always held an almost magical significance in folklore.

POETRY: Poetry represents the power of language. It's a chant, a mantra, speaking in tongues. There's an entire book about it by Robert Graves, called The White Goddess.

REVELS: The Fata revels are inspired by tales of fairy dances that lure the unwary. One night at a fairy dance or feast could turn into one hundred human years. The extravagant parties and masquerades are the Fatas' way of drawing the young to them.

SISTERS: In fairy tales, there's always the bad sister and the good sister, with the exception of 'Snow White and Rose Red', where the two love one another. The bond between sisters in stories can be powerful, and so it is with Finn and Lily.

THE SWING: A lot of important conversations take place on the swing set in Finn's back yard. Swings have always had a symbolic power, signifying being caught between the sky and earth. In the Chinese version of Cinderella, the part where the prince puts the shoe on Cinderella takes place on a swing.

TEETH: Teeth contain DNA. Teeth were the first step to certain organisms evolving into mammals. Although the Fatas can sometimes manifest as creatures of tooth and claw, human teeth, to them, are precious because each represents a mortal life.

THORNS, BRIARS & NETTLES: A standard feature in fairy tales. As well as representing the obvious--barriers and entanglements--they symbolize the Fatas' dangerous and twisty way of tricking mortals.

If you have questions about any other symbolism in Thorn Jack, post them here!