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Archive for May, 2014

This is the second blog in a series of owl-focused posts to promote Owl Light, my new YA-friendly collection of stories featuring owls. Each post features a mix of owl art, facts, folklore, quotes, and links to owlish sites. If you’re a fan of owls, or know someone whooo is, follow my blog, buy my book, and be kind to these beautiful birds.

13 Owl Flying extra Owl art: One of my owl pen and ink sketches from Owl Light.

Owl fact: As predators, owls have a long, hooked beak that is useful in tearing apart their prey.

Owl folklore: Some people believe that owls carry messages back and forth between our world and the spirit world.

Owl link: For crafty types, here’s a link to the Audubon Screech Owl Box Plan  and a video of an Eastern Screech Owl.

Maybe6 owl light cover And, of course, a buy link for Owl Light.

Or buy the book from The Owl Pages and help out owls.

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“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.” – Albert Einstein

A fan of fairy tales since I was three, I agree with Einstein! I read fairy tales along with lots of other books to my kids when they were small, and now read to my grandkids. Fantasy, whether fairy tales or other corners of the genre, encourages readers to lose themselves in another world where tough moral issues can be dealt with and not seem too “real.”

I wrote an essay, Fairy Stories, Magic, and Monsters, published in the Little Patuxent Review, on why we like make believe worlds. I’ve posted the entire essay on my website for you to enjoy.

How do you feel about fairy tales?

I hope you’re enjoying my blog posts and links. Want to show some love? Visit my Amazon page and consider buying a book. 🙂

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Skean copy Next Saturday, the regular Owl Light blog series will resume. Today, I wanted to talk a little about my Young Adult/Cross-Over fantasy novel, The Enchanted Skean, and Balticon.

This weekend, I’m a guest at Balticon, the annual science-fiction and fantasy con sponsored by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. Over the years, it’s been fun and a learning experience to serve as a Balticon Poetry Workshop leader, panelist, and contest judge. Plus, I’ve participated in book signings, author readings, Broad Universe rapid fire readings, publication parties, and this year for the first time, the art show. Not to mention, I love sitting in the audience enjoying other speakers and panels.

This year, I was lucky enough to have The Enchanted Skean considered for the Compton Crook Award (given for an author’s first speculative novel). To my surprise and delight, The Enchanted Skean was selected as one of 8 Finalists. Though I didn’t win, I was honored to be in the company of the 7 other wonderful Finalist books. And a quick congratulations to Chuck Gannon, author of Fire With Fire, on the win.

Now, owl-lovers, I haven’t forgotten you! For The Enchanted Skean, I created a race of owl shape-changers called featherfay who play an important part in the plot. In fact, these owls annoy, warn, and eventually save the central character, Beck. Without owls, our hero would have been captured and killed!

My idea for featherfays came from Welsh folklore. In The Mabinogion, two mages (wizards) get together and create a woman made of flowers to be the wife of a hero under a curse. The woman, Blodeuwedd, is beautiful beyond compare, but like flowers, her heart changes with the seasons. Eventually, Blodeuwedd betrays her husband – who is nearly killed by her lover. For her part in the plot, Blodeuwedd is changed into an owl. In some parts of Wales, owls are still called “flower face.”

So I just took the idea of a woman changing into an owl, and made the transformation a part of my featherfays or owl-sprites. Here’s a video some Snowy Owls who just might be able to change into a sprite if the moonlight is right and there’s a bit of magic in the air.

Intrigued by a race of shape-changing owls? Here’s a buy link for The Enchanted Skean.

Remember to visit next week for a post on Screech Owls.

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Lots of thought-provoking tips here for authors – new, emerging, and old! Which is your favorite? (And try not to be influenced by who said it!)

23 Tips for Authors

I hope you’re enjoying my blog posts and links. Want to show some love? Visit my Amazon page and consider buying a book. 🙂

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Vonnie Today, you’re expecting a guest post – and here’s a link to one written by me at Bitten By Books.

First, thanks to Rachel Smith for inviting me to participate in the Urban Fantasy series of guest posts. I write about “The Cityscape of Fantasy.”

I’ve been following the series, and it’s been fun reading what different authors have had to say about this little corner of the fantasy world. But it’s a great (and sometimes spooky) corner for books, movies, and television shows.

The original Beauty and the Beast television series which starred Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman, has that dark, city vibe. Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley fits the Urban Fantasy feel. And let’s not forget the Grimm television series. (At the moment, one of my favorite tv shows).

I know you can think of many other Urban Fantasy stories, flicks, and tv shows. I love the genre so much that I included stories that would slip into the corners of Urban Fantasy in both my story collections, Owl Light and The Greener Forest. And though my novel, The Enchanted Skean, is an epic fantasy, there are chapters set in the cities and towns that are filled with the twisting streets, moonlit atmosphere, and threatening evil of an Urban Fantasy.

Please visit Bitten by Books and comment on “The Cityscape of Fantasy.”

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This is the first blog in a series of owl-focused posts to promote Owl Light, my new YA-friendly collection of stories featuring owls. Each post features a mix of owl art, facts, folklore, quotes, and links to owlish sites. If you’re a fan of owls, or know someone whooo is, follow my blog, buy my book, and be kind to these beautiful birds.

owl light cover 300 Owl art: The cover painting for Owl Light features a barn owl. I love the species’ heart-shaped face.

Owl fact: Owl ears are located behind their eyes and concealed by feathers.

Owl folklore: Owls are associated with sorcery and dark magic in numerous African cultures.

Owl links: Are you a fan of Barn Owls? If so, you should check out the Barn Owl Headquarters and a video of a Barn Owl that doesn’t like dogs.

And, of course, here’s a buy link for Owl Light.

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I love to add interjections to my dialogue, blog posts, emails, letters, and conversations. I’m not sure why – perhaps it’s just the fun of saying them. Or perhaps it’s imagining the person on the other end of the story, book, letter, or blog saying them outloud when they see them.

I think reading the comics when I was young (and I still read a few) introduced me to: Argh, Bwah-hah-hah, Gak, Pshaw, Uh-oh, and Zowie. Here’s a list of the top 100 interjections, can you think of others?

I hope you’re enjoying my blog posts and links. Want to show some love? Visit my Amazon page and consider buying a book. 🙂

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