Monthly Archives: July 2013

After the Fire

When I first heard about the short-story contest and anthology that the moderators of Holly Lisle’s writing community were putting together, I almost decided not to submit anything. The theme just didn’t speak to me. “The Adventure of Creation” – it sounded much too light and fluffy for me, like I should be writing about somebody frolicking with the Muse. I have nothing against light and fluffy, but I can’t write it to save my life. The last time I tried to write, I ended up with a short story about some poor girl who was barred from the afterlife and didn’t know why. I shudder to think what Muse-frolicking would have turned into.

But it kept niggling at my mind. So I thought about it in the background, and tried to find some way to make it work, even though I knew it probably wasn’t going to happen.

And then I remembered something. I couldn’t remember the exact quote, or who had said it, but it was something along the lines of, “An adventure is someone a safe distance away from you having a miserable time.”

That was more like it. Yes. Maybe I could do this.

So I started thinking about creation. What was the opposite of creation? Destruction, obviously. So… what made the two different?

The answer to that made me realize that, just as with “adventure,” “creation” wasn’t so light and fluffy after all.

It also got me my story.

And that story not only made it into the anthology, it was a semifinalist in Holly Lisle’s contest. 😀

“After the Fire” is available now as part of the anthology The Adventure of Creation. It’s neither light nor fluffy, and there is no frolicking to be found, but it does explain what creation means to me – and adventure too.

Necessary Sacrifices is out!

Necessary Sacrifices – the newest book in the Internal Defense series and the sequel to The Torturer’s Daughter – is up for sale!

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A year and a half ago, Becca Dalcourt joined the resistance. Three months ago, she started working undercover inside Internal Defense. A year from now, she’ll probably be dead. She knows the odds. She’s seen how the life of a double agent ends.

All she wants is a chance to do something with what little time she has left. Something big. Something meaningful. But the resistance doesn’t trust her, and her job transcribing torture sessions hasn’t given her anything but the names of dissidents whose lives, according to her resistance contact, aren’t worth saving.

So when she discovers a secret government program designed to brainwash dissidents into loyal citizens, she resolves to shut it down, no matter the cost. Even if her plan puts everyone she loves in danger. Even if the most experienced resistance fighters say it can’t be done. Even if it means betraying the only person who sees past the mask she wears every day.

Even if she has to do it alone.

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See the Beginning of The Torturer’s Daughter Through Raleigh Dalcourt’s Eyes

A quick link for you: If you want to get a peek inside Raleigh Dalcourt’s head, you can read a scene  I wrote from her perspective here. It’s from the first chapter of The Torturer’s Daughter, where you meet Raleigh for the first time and Becca confronts her about what happened to Heather’s parents. (Don’t worry, there’s no actual torture in this scene!)

The Adventure of Creation

Five years ago, I was one of the first students to join Holly Lisle’s How to Think Sideways course when it opened. Since then, Holly’s courses have had a huge influence on my writing. The Torturer’s Daughter, for instance, would never have taken its current form without the wonderfully comprehensive How to Revise Your Novel course (yes, I will continue to praise this course at every opportunity, because it’s just that good), and techniques from How to Think Sideways keep showing up in my writing process before I even remember where I got them from.

Back in February, I found out that the moderators of Holly’s forum were organizing an anthology with the theme “The Adventure of Creation.” I submitted a story (by the skin of my teeth – I found out about the anthology a month before the submission deadline, and was revising a novel and planning the project I’ve been dropping hints about on Facebook at the time), and found out a few weeks ago that it was accepted! “After the Fire,” a post-apocalyptic urban fantasy short, will be available in the anthology The Adventure of Creation at the end of July.

Here’s what the moderators have to say about the anthology:

In January, the moderators of Holly’s Forum (that’s us), approached her with the idea of an anthology. With the 5th anniversary of “How to Think Sideways” drawing nearer, it seemed a good idea to match the release date with the anniversary. Holly agreed to the idea and even added a monetary prize for the top stories. After a very, very difficult selection process, we settled on thirty-five stories. It’s a pity that we couldn’t take them all. The scores were so close, we had lengthy discussions and finally went five stories over the 30 story limit we had planned.

With the stories selected and in Holly’s hands to pick a winner, we are proudly presenting to you: 

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The Adventure of Creation

35 marvelous short stories by gifted new writers

Follow a girl to the Below-World to slay the Sharkshadow, or help a timid girl to overcome the destructive criticism of her art teacher. Witness a solitary drone on Mars or a naive homunculus struggle to become human. Sew with a mother who lost her daughter in a quilt, defeat super-villains in a bank robbery with an unlikely superhero, or join a great mage in the fire.

In thirty-five imaginative stories, emerging authors present the diversity of their creativity. Each author found a different angle for the unifying theme: The Adventure of Creation. Witness the talent nurtured by writing teacher, Holly Lisle. For the 5th anniversary of her first big writing course, How to Think Sideways, this anthology features the best of her talented students in a great variety of genres.

The anthology will be available in ebook and print on July 24th. If it does well, there might be another one in the works for next year, so spread the word!

Cover Reveal: The Defiance (Brilliant Darkness #2) by A.G. Henley

If you read indie books and are a fan of YA, you’ve probably heard of A.G. Henley’s book The Scourge. The Scourge, a dystopian YA fantasy, has found hundreds of fans since its publication last year, and now I’m happy to share the cover of the upcoming sequel.

Defiance

THE DEFIANCE (Brilliant Darkness, #2)

Cover design by (the fabulous, professional, efficient) Robin Ludwig Design Inc., http://www.gobookcoverdesign.com/.

Suspicion Trust. Fear Compassion. Hate Love.

Fennel and Peree learned the truth: the Scourge, and their world, is not what it seems. Now they need to convince their people that everything they believe is a lie.

An impossible task, especially when someone seems resolved to try anything—even arson and butchery—to destroy Fenn and Peree’s new bond and crush the frail truce between the Groundlings and the Lofties.

Unable to tell friend from foe and with the Scourge pushing both groups to the breaking point, Fenn must again decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice to ensure the people of the forest’s future.

Only this time, the price of peace may be too high to bear.

DEFIANCE will be available on July 29, 2013.

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A.G. Henley is the author of the BRILLIANT DARKNESS series. Her first book, THE SCOURGE, was a finalist for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Award.

A.G. is also a clinical psychologist, which means people either tell her their life stories on airplanes, or avoid her at parties when they’ve had too much to drink. Neither of which she minds. When she’s not writing fiction or shrinking heads, she can be found herding her children and their scruffy dog, Guapo, to various activities while trying to remember whatever she’s inevitably forgotten to tell her husband. She lives in Denver, Colorado. Learn more at aghenley.com.

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