Archives For Online Writing

Ecante by Aiyana Jackson (Cover)

Deep under the ocean, Simeon Escher, protégé to the leader of the order of Loth Lörion, finds himself an unexpected guest aboard the submersible, Narwhal. Home to a crew of humans, and strange mer-folk few people are aware exist, Simeon is swept up in their quest to find a world within a world, a possible safe haven from the insidious reach of the Kabbalah. Yet how can he think about his mission when the captain’s niece fills his every thought, distracting him from all that’s important to him, including his own fiancée.

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Encante (a Novella) is the first in a new Steampunk series, set in a multiverse known as The Fifteen Solars. Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is probably the most well recognised example of a Multiverse-based tale.

The Fifteen Solars is so named due to the fact there are fifteen planets existing in parallel, each very different from the next, but Continue Reading…

I don’t write these kinds of posts often… but, well… I just can’t not, this time…

I’m going to say some stuff that people won’t agree with. That’s fine. Say I’m wrong, I’ll listen, and I’ll consider. That’s as much as I can promise.

Amid all this rape culture media coverage (earlier in the year with the boys in the US and more recently with, shamefully, NZ’s own), I have realised that as I happened to include sexual assault in HEALER’S TOUCH it is a responsibility of my characters to deal with it in a realisitic, and hopefully healthy way.

Something I have been realising with fiction: it’s one thing to go out there and say, “Look, this is a bad guy doing bad things, we blew him up… that’s what happens when you do bad things… but, look, this good guy isn’t totally shiny, but he’s not that bad, so he’s cool”… But what about saying “Here… this is how it could be done… grow up like this guy/gal”? Just a thought I’ve been having.

It’s a tough one. Because to go out there and design a character, or three, that you think are the best role models for the world is to assume that you know best… which, well, who can?

I like to think that Jonas is a good Continue Reading…

I wrote this article for last month’s “Coffee Shop for the Fantasy Society” Newsletter (aka “Dragon Scroll”) and just thought I’d put it up here, just in case it turns out to be helpful to anyone. Perhaps it will strike up a discussion, who knows?

Here goes…

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So. You’ve finally finished that manuscript. You’ve worked on it long and hard hours. You’ve studied the craft of writing a novel and applied it every which way to your amazing story. You’ve developed amazing characters that everyone will love … Well, maybe not everyone. Let’s be real here. This is real life. Everyone is different. Not everyone is going to like what you’ve written. But a good many will if you do have that great story and wonderful characters. How do you create those? Well, I can’t tell you that. There is a huge range of advice out there. But I still think there is a certain je ne c’est que about the characters I have totally fallen in love with.

But back to that manuscript. Are you going to send it out to agents? Unsolicited to publishers? Or are you going to self-publish? Self-publishing? Great. Self-pubbing is really taking off. And you can Continue Reading…

Work In Progress Challenge

DebE —  September 29, 2012 — 4 Comments

I just got “tagged” by R E Hunter of Writing & Random Thoughts with the Work In Progress Challenge. I’m supposed to answer the following ten questions about my Work In Progress (WIP).

I’m in an interesting situation in that I am in the process of finishing off the WIP I have been working on for the past nearly four years (yes, ouch!) – it has been accepted for publication by Kristell Ink, and is due out early 2013. In the meantime, I will be going on with the next book in the series. In that respect, many of these questions apply to both … So, I’ll answer as appropriate …

Cover by Me – Not the final cover (which will be done by someone with talent in that area)

1. What is the title of your book/WIP?

“Healer’s Touch” (completed). The next book is still in search of a title (although, I’m thinking something along the lines of “Warrior’s … [something]”, with a final part called “Magician’s … [something]” … yeah …)

2. Where did the idea for the WIP come from?
That could be a long story … I didn’t start out with any sort of plan, or idea. I had a couple of characters I wanted to “hook up”. When I started enjoying the writing, I decided to read up on what sort of things a story needed (a goal, an antagonist, stakes, etc) and the rest started to get tacked on until I had something I thought was quite exciting … and then I re-wrote.

I guess the main “idea” in this book is my MC’s power–she transfers life-energy (“ghi”, or “jin”, depending on which culture’s talking about it); so to heal herself or a friend, someone or something has to be injured … or killed. Now, that idea comes from a character I created when I was a teenager (a young male … I was a teenage girl, afterall). Where it came from before then, I don’t know … I was watching a lot of “Gargoyles” at the time …

3. What genre would your WIP fall under?
Fantasy (with a dollop of romance and a little steampunk)

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Well, now … Continue Reading…


A Night to Remember: Part Six (by Simon Petrie)

Part One of this story can be found here. Part Two is here. Part Three is here. Part Four is here. Part Five is here. An updated list of extant parts can be found here.

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The one positive aspect, Gordon decided, was that Claudia Iyzowt was still alive. Albeit for a given value of ‘alive’ that involved the short, grey-haired heiress’s apparent sedation and confinement, by the medium of a set of depressingly secure-looking straps, to a disconcertingly medical-looking and unnervingly technological trolley with an unnecessarily extensive collection of blade- and sensor-wielding robotic limbs poised thirty centimetres or so above Claudia’s.

The negative aspects Continue Reading…

Snippet for Snippet’s sake

DebE —  July 19, 2012 — 6 Comments


So, you guys know I’m not organized enough to have special days for special kinds of posts (I call it being creative … You know, writing whatever my inspiration tells me to write) but I know sometimes other bloggers share bits of their WiPs(eseses – uh oh … maybe my coffee was a touch stronger than necessary), and I just felt like sharing a scene.

Um, yeah … that’s all the intro I can think of. So here goes:

Leaving yet another small town behind, Jonas swung from Chino’s back and punched a tree.

Things were not going well. They had been zigzagging through every Turhmos town that lay roughly between Brurun and Duffirk – that city being the capital of Turhmos. Jonas suspected that was where Braph was, but there was no telling for sure. He could just as easily hide in a small town, if he found the right one. Granted, small town folk were more likely to talk and be suspicious of the kind of activity Braph got up to, but it wasn’t impossible. And so, they had been checking, with nothing to show for it. There hadn’t even been sightings.

Jonas punched the tree again. Bark and blood went flying – he might have been super strong, but his skin wasn’t impenetrable.

“Hey, Jonas.” Hisham slid from his own horse and tried to stop Jonas taking another swing. But Jonas went Syakaran on him and swung even faster and harder preventing Hisham grabbing his arm.

The tree creaked, and pain shot up Jonas’ arm. He bent over, cradling the limb, then shaking out his hand, all the while cursing profusely and stamping a foot. It was a hard-won victory, but a victory nonetheless.

“That’s not helping, man,” said Hisham, placing a hand on Jonas’ back. “We’re doin’ the best we can.”

Jonas took a moment to breathe through his curses. Then he straightened, stretching and clenching the injured hand. He’d scraped his knuckles good and jarred his bones, but nothing was broken. If he’d been alone in a room, he might have been pacing and throwing things. Nature didn’t always offer a decent alternative. But punching a tree was close.

Jonas looked at Hisham thinking he would just agree with his friend, climb back on his horse, and they would carry on. But when he looked up, all he wanted to do was punch something – someone – else, and Hisham didn’t deserve it.

Jonas turned from his friend, striding several frustrated paces, muttering incoherently, cursing Braph, cursing Turhmos, cursing himself for leaving Llew, cursing Llew for not just letting him be and staying put inside where she was safe, cursing Lord Tovias for not having an estate secure against Braph . . . He walked away from and back to Hisham several times, muttering and cursing, muttering and cursing. And finally stopped, puffing out a deep breath, in front of his friend.

“I know,” he said. “But it’s not enough. Braph can fly.”

The usual “I’m open for constructive” criticism invitation applies. Of course, scenes out of the middle of the story might not work as well as I think they do out of context, but oh well.


The goings on

DebE —  June 28, 2012 — 2 Comments

Oops, it’s been a whole week since I posted anything. The shame.

And here I had been trying to come up with plans of regular post-types – music, snippets, other stuff … But, well, you know … Good intentions and all that jazz.

The story goes that I have decided to take a shot at a novel manuscript competition, because it happens to have come up and my manuscript is kind of nearly finished. Nearly finished enough, I think, for me to bash out the last bit, hopefully leave myself time for a couple of read-throughs and a little finessing and submit. That won’t mean it is finished to my satisfaction, but it will be “good enough” to be assessed on story, which, if I were to be one of the top three winners (yeah, unlikely, given the last-minute rush, but maybe the others are in the same position …), would win me a critique (the three prizes include critiques – which would save hundreds of $$). A critique would be fab. If I don’t win, I will go through the story a few more times, see if I can get away with a few tweaks, or if I’d be better off re-writing huge chunks … I can imagine that being the case. And then, I would find my own manuscript assessor.

One of the potential outcomes of the contest is an invitation to be published through Steam Press. Something tells me my story won’t be a fit for their company, but we shall see. There are no promises, no expectations.

Anyway, it’s been good for me. I’ve been powering along. And some of the writing isn’t terrible. I might be in with a shot at this.

It’s great because I’ve had the opening of the next novel sitting in my brain for months, now, so it’s nice to think I’m getting close to writing that down and sussing out the rest of the story … and I’d like to outline a 3rd book at the same time.

I get those voices in the back of my head saying “What makes you think you can actually do this? You haven’t been writing long enough. You’re not that good.” But, I figure, a huge chunk of success comes from determination, and I’m determined. My goal is publication and continued writing. Yes, I want to continue with this story, and yes, I want to write others.

I have found several readers who have found pleasure in the journey I have taken with this story. I hope to find several more with the final version. But, you know, it’s a gamble. We shall see.

Continue Reading…

Today’s Procrastination

DebE —  June 11, 2012 — 2 Comments

I’m up to a whole new phase of my story. Things have been shaken up for my characters and it’s taking me a bit to get into the new head space, so progress is slow.

Today, I mucked around with a possible query. It’s not perfect, but it’s nice to be thinking about it. Yet again, I can think of parts of my story that could do with a bit of a tweak to sharpen them up to fit the query/outline. It’s good. Not big changes, just things like making my MC more proactive and such. But, that is for the next revision.

So, lately, I drew a new picture to play around with an idea for a cover. It was meant to have both Jonas and Llew on it. But, I learned something. It’s really hard to draw a female character that I think is cute. I was basing my image on some models (actresses), but she ended up looking a decade or two older than I want her to. Weird, considering it wasn’t anything like wrinkles that did it … What is it about young vs older people that makes them look their age, or not? I’ll put up the pic of Jonas here and in my gallery. Continue Reading…

The warm fuzzies

DebE —  May 18, 2012 — Leave a comment

I know I already shared this on my Facebook Page, but I still feel like sharing it here.

This is going to get me through this weekend:

“I really, really love this – just flew through all five chapters in one go even though I really should be sleeping. I just dropped in to jottify for a few minutes but because of this it turned into a couple hours because this is exactly the type of book I would pick up in a bookstore and just fall in love with the characters. I love the repartee, the characters are excellently drawn, the action well described and you have a deft hand with flowing writing; it’s very easy to read and I found it quite absorbing, although I do I have to admit that I was a bit overzealous in my devouring of it and in the beginning kept jumping further to see what happened next (I guess I’m too impatient, though once it’s published I’m definitely getting myself a hard copy that I can curl up with in bed and read at leisure :-) ). I would definitely like to see more of this!”


What a week …

DebE —  February 17, 2012 — 2 Comments

Or, rather … what an end to a crazy week. Hmm. No. I’m not so sure it’s over, yet.

OK, here goes. (I’m on caffeine, so bear with me). Last week, I learned new stuff about writing (Thanks, Janice) and I set about implementing what I learned in my WIP. This meant MAJOR re-writes (good-bye scenes I was really quite attached to …). The problem with doing this now is we start reviewing in the “First Three Chapters” group I am part of next week! Eep! OK, that’s fine. Breathe, you can do this. And … you know what? I was doing it. At over 2,000 words per day, I was doing it. The end of Chapter 1 is done. Chapter 2 is done. Most of Chapter 3 is done – thanks largely to the fact I can reuse some old stuff here.  And, I even finished a short story (~2000 words)  for a competition yesterday. Yeh man. I am a MACHINE.

So, the two competition stories I did over the last couple of weeks? They earned me two 3rd places. Not too shabby, huh? OK, so they weren’t major, prestigious writing comps, but that’s OK. It’s nice to prove to myself that I can write to a prompt and do alright. Especially when the story I write is away from my WIP. As a novelist, I get worried that I’ll only ever have one story in me. This is it. Once I’ve sent these characters out to play, I’ll be stuck. I’ll never write anything again. Oh woe is me.

So, I encourage you to play with short stories. Find a few competitions ( is great for it … but I’m sure there are others) and challenge yourself.

Even better than placing in competitions is getting feedback – in-depth feedback – from an enthusiastic reader. And I found one today. Continue Reading…