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Posts Tagged ‘The Enchanted Skean’

I’ve been a fan of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon Riders of Pern series of books since they were first published. I think I fell in love with the idea of a dragon who was both apart from a character and a part of the character. I even had compassion for the poor watch-beast who tried to protect Lessa in the first Pern book.

Perhaps it’s because I was born in the Year of the Dragon (I’ll leave you to figure out which Year of the Dragon that is), but those magical reptiles have always held a special place in my heart. I’ve included a dragon in a few short stories, most notably in “Weathermaker,” included in my book The Greener Forest (soon to be updated with an additional story and poem included and released from Pole to Pole Publishing).

Plus, a dragon plays an important role in my novel, The Enchanted Skean – though Fafnir is a wee dragon in this first book of The Chronicles of Lifthrasir. For fans of the The Enchanted Skean, look for a novelette length tie-in book from Pole to Pole Publishing by year’s end.

Now, back to Pern! I loved the fantasy vibe of the series, even though it was officially science fiction. These books tread that delightful ground between genres where I often like the stories I read (and write) to exist.

So hoorah! Though Anne McCaffrey is no longer with us, her marvelous dragon-filled world can still bring joy to fans new and old. As for me- I can’t wait to see what movie technology and good live-action can do for The Dragon Riders of Pern. Here’s the link to the article.

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I’ll be updating my website in the next few weeks. In order to streamline the site while still offering an opportunity for my readers to check out a few free samples, I’ve turned to Wattpad.

Watt-what” a few of you might ask. Wattpad is a site where many writers, some professional and some beginners, post free excerpts and complete stories. There are even some complete books for readers to enjoy.

I think it’s a great site for readers (free reads – need I say more) and writers. For writers, it’s an opportunity to offer a sample of your work to readers who might become fans of your work. If you decide to only offer excerpts, perhaps readers will be intrigued enough to search out the complete story or book. If you own all rights to a story or book, and are so inclined, you can gift your readers with a complete tale. Again, in the hopes those readers will become fans.

Here’s a link to one of my excerpts (over 12,000 words, so it’s a big excerpt) on Wattpad. You can easily find the other free prose I’m offering (including a complete story). If you like my excerpts and complete story, please Follow me, make a comment, favor the tale, and tell your friends.

Happy reading!

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I had a mixed relationship with an agent (and her assistants at the same New York City literary agency). I was so excited when she asked to represent my book, I briefly scanned the contract and happily signed with the agent and her agency.

The good news, Agent NYC read the book and gave me some good rewrite suggestions. Even when she handed my book off to her assistant, I wasn’t worried. Assistant Agent NYC gave me even more good rewrite advice.

Bad news, both Agent NYC and Assistant Agent NYC didn’t communicate often. Time slipped by, and I had no idea if my manuscript had actually made it onto an editor’s desk. Communications got worse, and Assistant Agent NYC #2 informed me she was taking over my book. The agency closed its doors a week later.

I thought I’d asked the right questions. Agent NYC had a credible background with other agencies before founding her own agency and she had clients who’d had books accepted and published, etc. I’d even met Agent NYC at an established writers’ conference where she was critiquing manuscripts. Still, I should have double-checked everything and been more “on top” of things when the communications started to become “few and far between.”

Skean copy Have I found another agent? Not yet, but I’m hopeful one of my upcoming projects will interest an agent.

Did the manuscript so poorly represented by Agent NYC get published? Yes, I submitted the manuscript myself to several small publishers. Its title is The Enchanted Skean, a 2014 Compton Crook Award Finalist, available from Amazon and elsewhere.

Here’s a link to an article about agents from Writers Digest (and the article contains additional links to more agent info).

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Skean copy As I’ve written before, every time I discover a new review of my books, my hands sweat and my heart thumps quickly. It’s always a little scary to see what a reader thinks of the worlds I’ve created. Perhaps they won’t like my story or fantastical world or language or characters or…

Thanks to those people who part with a few dollars and open the (real or virtual) pages of my books. I’m grateful for readers and for their support, both when they purchase my books and when they take the time to review them.

From Amazon, here are a few reviews of The Enchanted Skean:

“Vonnie Winslow Crist has written a fantastical story that brings the reader along for the journey. Young Beck is sent on a mission by his grandmother to bring his father’s bones back home. In the process he discovers the skean and finds out that it is enchanted. I loved this story. I found that the characters were very interesting and I wanted to know more about them. This book is a fun read for young adults and older.” – April Sue Billings

“Originally, I purchased this book for my nephew but was drawn in by the beautiful cover. It’s a wonderful read and I enjoyed the way the fantasy was presented…the protagonist was believable, and without being preachy, the book sends a good message. BTW, my nephew loved it also, and wants to know when the next one is coming out!”  – Haley’s Comments

“Loved this! Highly recommend for both middle readers and adult alike. I’ve read several of this author’s books, and she’s definitely an up-and-coming talent to watch.” – Katie (Hagerstown, MD)

You can find other reviews of The Enchanted Skean on this blog at Looking for Stars, Lucky Thirteen, and First Reviews of The Enchanted Skean.

Thanks again to my readers. Interested in checking out a copy? Here’s the Amazon link for The Enchanted Skean.

(BTW, if you write a review on Amazon or Amazon UK of one of my books, I might reprint it on Whimsical Words).

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Skean copy The debate still rages about whether adults should be proudly reading Young Adult fiction (see Tuesday’s post with links). I was at a recent family gathering, and several of us sat around chatting about the books we had read, were reading, or were looking forward to reading.

Young Adult books and authors (Suzanne Collins, Nancy Werlin, Kristin Cashore, Alice Hoffman, Marissa Meyer, etc.) were discussed. I consider myself and the other family members who were part of the discussion to be well-educated, well-read, and definitely not “book snobs.” We agreed YA books are for all readers. So I must side with those who think Slate’s point of view is wrong.

Here’s another post about YA books and adult readers: Slate’s Condescending Against “YA” Couldn’t Be More Wrong – Young Adult Fiction Is For Everyone

Any thoughts from my readers? And remember, if you’re looking for some YA (or YA-friendly) books, check out Owl Light, The Enchanted Skean, and The Greener Forest at Amazon. 🙂

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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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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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