Author Interview – Stephanie Barr

A fellow author who writes YA science fiction/fantasy. Can you say shapeshifters in space?  Check out this lovely interview.

Author Stephanie Barr is a storyteller with a focus on people, whatever form those “people” might be. And she loves to make you think, feel, and laugh. Please welcome this dynamic writer to No Wasted Ink. Stephanie Barr is a part time novelist, full-time rocket scientist, mother of three children (two still at home) and […]

via Author Interview: Stephanie Barr — No Wasted Ink

Tales of the Archer Sneak Peek

I’m so excited. Exactly two weeks from today Tales of the Archer will officially be released!  As a special sneak preview, you can read the first chapter free below.  Order soon to take advantage of the $0.99 preorder sale.


 

CHAPTER ONE

Reid Tarhill watched the bonfire crackle and flare, sending sparks like stars up into the velvet sky. The bright crisp moon beyond the fragrant boughs of the sheltering pines heralded the return of the growing season and warmer weather. The rare gift of belonging warmed Reid against winter’s lingering chill far more than the bonfire’s glow or even the smoky heat from Aedan’s stolen flask. As the tang of wood smoke tickled his nose, he reveled in the merriment around him.

He couldn’t remember the last time his family had attended a Fire Night. His father, Tamrach Tarhill, disdained raucous celebrations, avoiding them with dogged determination. Tonight though, Reid’s mother had worked her subtle magic on the old curmudgeon and here they were—under the stars with all the families of Bear Clan. Their village was small compared with their sister clans at Seal Bay or Eagle’s Nest. Less than a hundred homes in all nestled under the towering pines tucked in the curve of the great White Mountain Range. Continue reading “Tales of the Archer Sneak Peek”

The Least I Can Do – Charlottesville, We Are With You

I write fantasy. I’m no historian.  Nor do I claim to understand the lives of nations as entities in themselves. Or politics. Or even the factors that trigger in-group/out-group phenomenon leading to violence.

But even in my ignorance, I feel in my bones that we are at a turning point.  

And it is a turning point that needs addressing.

Still, I hesitate to write this post, for a number of reasons – fear being the most obvious. Continue reading “The Least I Can Do – Charlottesville, We Are With You”

Tales of the Archer: A New Release is on the Horizon!

My next book is just about to be released into the wild! And I couldn’t be more excited.  You can preorder it here.

I used to think I only had one story to tell and that was Dreamwalker. But then I joined a wonderful group of flash fiction writers a few years back and discovered that perhaps I had a lot more plot bunnies in the warren of my mind than I’d originally given myself credit for.

I published Son of Anubis first, a novella that was written as a challenge between friends.  And then I screwed my courage to the sticking point and published Quest of the Dreamwalker.

Now I’m working on the sequel to Dreamwalker, a hefty book called Chasing the Legend. But it seems I’m a girl who likes challenges. Continue reading “Tales of the Archer: A New Release is on the Horizon!”

MidWeek Flash: Poison or Regret

Hello, all. I know I’ve been silent for quite a while.  Real life issues have kept me busy and likely will continue to do so for a few more weeks. However, I did want to set aside some time to write. I apologize in advance for the unnatural darkness of this piece. It has been a hard few months.  This is from a few weeks ago (#13), and hopefully I will catch up with the rest of the MidWeek Flash crew soon.  Enjoy your Fourth of July!


Poison or Regret

From my threadbare cot, I gaze out across the sandy strip of land to the fouled sea. At this time of day, the blue of the sky and sea deceive me, convincing me they are safe like before the War.  But they lie. The intervening junkyard of monstrous gears rusting in the sun accuses me and rightly so. Guilt turns like a nauseous worm somewhere between my gut and my heart.

My world is about to end, has ended already in fact, and the fault is undeniably mine.

I had done this, me and my rose-colored glasses. My blankets carry the sour stench of  my fear. If only I could vomit up the churning mass of rot inside me and be rid of it, this mess of guilt and shame and regret. The torment of knowing how close the end is wracks my soul, pinches in my chest. No God in history, however loving, could forgive me what I’ve done. I will never forgive myself.

I had borrowed from the future to pay for my privileged and lofty ideals, stealing our children’s future as if they wouldn’t notice. Thinking I could pay it back before they realized what I’d done. But I had gambled on bright-eyed hope and love and kumbaya—and lost.

The aliens hadn’t been out to exterminate us. Truthfully, they hadn’t even noticed us at first. Our little blue-green planet had simply been in the way of their galactic feud.

I shiver and my stomach roils as flashbacks shudder through my weakening mind. Giant machines sheathed in sleek oily carapaces of bottle-fly green clash around me.  Earth herself is hard-pressed to tolerate their size and weight. Each footfall, each strike, each crash reverberates through the ground beneath my feet like an earthquake. I imagine myself, pitiful and small, standing between them like a child playing referee to warriors. I try to stop them from trampling the world I love, but they battle on heedless of the fragile life beneath their feet.

We should have attacked when we first saw them, out beyond the moon. We should have thrown everything we could think of at them, but instead I had led a call for contact and diplomacy. I convinced the world to follow me… to our doom.

Is my sin one of hubris, or only short-sightedness? Or perhaps cowardice? A fear of  looking circumstances in the face and calling them by their right name. I’d attributed human processes to the aliens’ actions, thinking that behind the callous destruction lay misunderstanding rather than ingrained aggression. I once thought it was daring and brave to believe in universal Good with a capital G, but in reality I had turned my eyes from the truth. Nature is the only ruler, and she is as blind as Justice. Her rules are simple: kill or be killed.

I swing swollen feet to the ground and teeter on starved legs. Emerging from the sheltering debris where I sleep, I walk my penitent gauntlet as I do every day.  My sleeping quarters had once been an alien diplomat who thought as I did. Or at least that’s what the translators conveyed.  Death found him (it?) quickly. I am not so lucky. Passing beneath the broken bodies of the combatants left behind, I notice rivulets of bright blue and green and oily yellow. Their alien alloys leach into the ground, finding their microscopic way to the water   My gut twists a turn tighter.

Oh, that joyous day when the War ended. Whether by victory or surrender we had no way of knowing, but no one cared. The giant robots simply stopped fighting and one by one blasted off into the sky, leaving their dead and wounded stranded. Such misguided relief, as if Fate was done with us. The simmering backlash of my cause lashed out then and we retaliated with all the spiteful anger of a tormented child, nuking what was left of their number and our world. But it was already too late. The tincture of alien metals left behind and irradiated by our foolishness now poisons us little by little. One cannot survive without water and drinking the water will kill you.

The bleak landscape of my mind is torture. Guilt, regret, sorrow, isolation. I want to die and I surely will along with everything I tried to save. The question is: Will the alien poison or my own regret kill me first?

Fantasy and the problem with Tolkien — The Write Stuff

The eternal dilemma of the fantasy writer: Has every story been told or can I tell an old one in a new way?  Read what Sue Vincent at The Write Stuff says about it. Regardless, I will continue to write my own fantasies and hope they have half the depth of Tolkien’s Middle Earth…

It has to be said that Tolkien causes problems. Quite apart from being so addictive that, once read, you are likely to go back and read the books again, you may never find anywhere quite as rich as Middle Earth within the pages of another book. Anyone whose introduction to fantasy is via The Hobbit […]

via Fantasy and the problem with Tolkien — The Write Stuff