Techno Research or Traditional?

   This is truly an incredible time to be a writer.  We no longer have to sit for hours at the library, endlessly researching through limited material, desperately trying to find obscure information for our odd short stories or novel ideas.  Encyclopedias are not the only sources for book reports, and the card catalog system is not something we have to think about so much (not that I ever did...it still perplexes).  All we have to do is relax in the comfort of our homes and type in keyword searches on Google or browse through Amazon for a title that sounds like it might be what we're looking for.  (We can be comforted by 30 day money back guarantees, too.)  There's also Netflix for that handy documentary via streaming, DVD, or Blue-Ray for those that prefer their information with in-your-face crispness that the naked eye doesn't even naturally see (complete with pores!  Yuck!).  We never have to venture to the outside world to hunt and gather our data anymore!  It's so...so...neat, but boring in a way.

   When I first started working at a used bookstore I remember thinking, "Holy crap!  This is the perfect place for me!".  I would gather armloads of books to conduct research with while writing my novels.  If I couldn't find the info in the store, I would borrow other people's books or order more.  It was exciting and exhilerating because of the amount of effort I had to put into it, and I ended up learning far more than I expected.  What also came out of it were new ideas I hadn't even considered possible.  Many plotlines in the Assaudian War series came about because of books I stumbled upon while researching other topics.  Short stories blossomed because of much of the same scenarios.  Books fed my creativity not because I found what I needed, but because I found what I didn't.  I ended up with my own library, the bane of anyone who helps me move, and my pride and joy and number one tool for writing anything. 

    Googling for a quick answer just doesn't carry that same kind of fulfillment, and finding a direct answer won't inspire more.  Granted, there are times that you need to be quick.  If you're under a deadline, or it really is a simple answer, or it's 2am and no bookstores are open because the world is lame, the internet is absolutely the perfect option.  However, we mustn't let ourselves become lazy and rule out traditional research altogether.  The lazier we get, the less likely we are to research at all (take a look at some of those TV shows...I can research during a commercial break what their writers didn't bother to for the entire episode!).  Take a few hours and browse a library or bookstore.  They are the best places for inspiration. 

  Totally random: I still want to jump into a big pile of books like in a ball pit.  It'll hurt in reality, but in dreams it sounds really fun. 



Questions and Notecards

     Not a week after posting Zurigan's Child on Amazon.com I got my first fan question from a complete and total stranger.  At first I didn't know how to answer.  No longer was it just sharing info with friends and not really caring if spoilers were involved or not.  I actually had to plot my answer out very, very carefully and go over what info was revealed on book 1 versus 2, 3, 4, and 5.  Holy crap!  Suddenly I realized that I had to brush up on my own Assaudian knowledge as well because I didn't remember some of the finer details myself. 

   Luckily, way back when I'd forseen this becoming a problem because I'd planned on taking a break between writing book 4 and 5.  Caroline, honestly, had become like one of those irritating roommates who are always around that you really want to take a vacation just so you can get a break from them.  She'd turned into quite the freaky lunatic and while I can usually appreciate the crazies in my life...well...too often I'd wished she was real so I could throttle her.  Time for a break.  So I had actually started organizing the character details and events of the series on notecards and created a rudimentary filing system (aka-putting little sticky tabs on the cards and arranging them in tiny boxes.).  As dorky as it sounds, this system has outlasted all of my laptops, and so it remains.  It has become my lifeline now and will continue to be as I copyedit the remaining books in the Assaudian War series and format them for Kindle in the months to come. 

  Back to the fan question: she'd asked if the unicorn had its own name or if it was just Zurigan's parts.  My response was that the black unicorn had no special name, but I couldn't respond further about Zurigan's "parts" because more is revealed in the books and I didn't want to spoil it. 

   If there's one thing about magic in Dore, it's very specific, and everything in the series happens for a reason.  Three cheers for notecards.            


Zurigan's Child on Amazon.com

Over ten years after writing the first draft of Zurigan's Child, it has been pulled from the lonely depths of my computer and brought to the surface where anyone can read it for a mere $3.99. I am outrageously overjoyed because this new media has given me an opportunity I'd almost given up on ever achieving. Considering that publishers only publish about 3 or so new authors every year out of thousands who submit their material...it's really not encouraging.

However! No longer will Zurigan's Child have to endure the assistant editor's glare. No longer will it sit in the slush piles, never even read because in my haste I put the stamp on crooked or didn't have a fancy enough printer so hand wrote the address instead. (Seriously, these are legitimate reasons that I heard straight from editors.). Now it can indeed acquire readership. Finally. I love technology!


Waiting for Amazon Approval...

After many hours of slaving over nit picky details and jpegs, Zurigan's Child is finally in Kindle format and awaiting Amazon's approval.  Hopefully this will take a mere 24 hrs as promised.  My eternal gratitude goes to Tarl for his patience and OCD on making it as perfect as possible, and for keeping me from re-reading it AGAIN as I edited. 

Onto prepping it for epub format so those of you without Kindles can read it, too!  


Kindle formatting almost complete!

 Zurigan's Child is in the process of being formatted for the Amazon kindle. We will keep you updated on the progress.



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