Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pre-launch Book Party

Come meet Author Mary Moriarty as she talks about her new book "One Thousand Years to Forever: The making of a Queen" here on March 25th at 6PM. That book will be out early June. There will also be question and answers and a lucky attendee will get a free, signed copy of "The Kings of Angkor:Army of a Thousand Elephants" So stay tuned to this channel or blog :-) for more information.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fact and Fiction: Where the edges blur...

I have sent back my novella to the editor and she said she would get to work on it. As she works on it I am trying to finish up the sequel to it. The story begged to be continued and finished. I let my daughter Megan read the rough manuscript and she really enjoyed it. She holds back nothing and told me what she thought I should add or take away. I am doing that. One thing is she thought I should have a back story to explain the past lives of the main characters. Loving history the way I do and knowing a lot of the Irish history from the time I was little. I grew up listening to my father who was Scottish and Irish. We won't mention the English there (for now) Anyway even though he only went to 8th grade he also loved history and would tell me about this place or that, or this person lived here. Or This battle was fought here. He got me into antiquing at a very young age and looking for old bottles along rock walls. That was all fine and good till I became allergic to poison ivy and all it's cousins... Do you know the sap from the mango fruit has the same properties as poison ivy,oak and sumac... Yup!! Well anyway back to history, I learned to love reading and thankfully my father never censored my reading. While I was plowing through "War and Peace" and Anna Karenina by Tolstoy I was also reading anything about the Czars and Russian History. It was then in the 1970s that I found out from my Uncle (Mother's brother) that my mother's family the Oldenburgs who were from Northern Germany and part of a Royal Family and later one of the girls married the last Kaiser's second son. Well the Oldenburg family married into a lot of the Royal families of Europe. Boy what a rabbit trail I am getting on this morning. Back to history So being raised by my father since my mother passed away when I was five gave me a certain amount of freedom. I had a steady supply of money to buy as many books as I wanted. Sometimes I am sure it was not what my teachers thought was appropriate for my age BUT I have the same attitude, If my child is reading, I don't really care what it is(well maybe) BUT my father didn't censor me and in between all the Tolstoy books and history I also read a lot of fiction, "Summer of 42" about gave one of my 8th grade teachers a fit... "Helter Skelter" Not the best reading for however young I was, gave me nightmares... Anything Stephen King. Again nightmare city. BUT I was reading and while one of my friends went and bought tons of clothes, I was happy with my faded jeans, peasant blouses and any cast off she gave me cause I took any spare money I had and bought books. History was right at the top of the list. Somewhere soon after 1979 I found romance books and Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. All of her books, well I was sold on the whole romance genre. "The Flame and The Flower", "Shanna", "The Wolf and The Dove" were the first ones that I read. From then on I knew Romance with history would be the love of my life when it came to books. So now I am researching the prologue of the sequel of my second novella. It will go back to the year 1014 and the Battle of Clontarf and it's main characters and some I am making up who were the main characters in my novella which is in the hands of my editor. The Battle of Clontarf was on the outskirts of Dublin,Ireland and between the the Forces of High King Brian Boru and his opposing forces. It is quite the impressive list and one of the characters was his ex wife. So I will get back to organizing my characters and getting the opening scene set so I can write. Once this novella is finished I can take a breath and get back to the second in the series of "The Kings of Angkor"

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Creating a World

Since I have had numerous cups of tea and have gotten the boys to school... I can write. I thought I would do a post about creating a world that is in my book(s). Now how do I get my ideas? Like in the past I wrote, the ideas come from a variety of places and ways. Something that happens in life, a statement that could trigger a thought that ends up snowballing. A song that I get the whole story. That happened in Cambodia when I lived there. My son downloaded a bunch of songs on my ipod(one of the first ones) but one in particular "Back at One" by Brian McKnight helped me picture a whole book. One that I would later write that is yet to be published. Was it a failure since it's not published yet? No, I don't think so. Like with each story I write, I think I get better. I know my daughter Megan said she thinks I am. Honestly I am still learning my craft. I have a way of telling a story and a dear friend of mine in California says she is glad to see someone who writes that way. For me it's the way I am and the way my stories spill out. So that manuscript is on the back burner and in the hands of that same friend who is also a very gifted writer. My heros are strong, can be almost superhuman in their strengths. No, life is not like that but writing romance is an escape and that's why we as women read it... to escape. I can say I think there are some men who are and would fit in that category, almost superhuman in strength. I work in a very male dominated job. I am a firefighter. I honestly wish I had found this at a younger age BUT it would have been even less likely I could have succeeded or been accepted into the ranks of firefighters as I am today. I am very fortunate to have a department such as mine. So fire calls and working around some of the best guys in the world who have accepted me and can tease me helps me to be around some super men. It gives me a chance to watch and learn mannerisms where I would never have a chance in any other way. Do I use any real life times in my writings? Do I create scenes or stories from those real life times? I think I look at life and my days in a whole and take a little bit from here and there and take something from "Everywhere" like a potter and I create. I read and read... a writer is a reader first and foremost. I have far too many books going right now.I read articles in newspapers and magazines and I find something that gives me an idea for a story and I go with it. On the back burner: The second in the novella series that I am editing at the moment. A Paranormal, title to be announced. A manuscript that I have the title but want to wait for the cover to be created. It takes place in Cambodia in the 1920s. One of those fascinating times when women were gaining freedoms. I love being a wife and mother BUT honestly I would really have had a hard time if I was told 'you can't do that because you are a woman'. Even though it was a accepted thing back then. Obviously women were starting to question and want more in their lives. They wanted to be able to create their own lives, have a say in things. I think because I come from a family, both sides where the women were strong personalities. Look at me now. It took living in Cambodia, living through some exciting and scary times there politically, coming back to the states a single mother and going through FireFighter 1 & 2 training for four months. BUT I also know had I not gone through what I had in my past lives I could never done what I did( going through FF 1 & 2 ). I have read that some departments don't even consider candidates after a certain age... I was a woman and age 50 when I joined, age 51 when I passed both my practicals and written exams. Back to the manuscript that is set in the 1920s, So a strong woman in that story... Someone who is feminine but very strong in her own way. That is a common thread in all my manuscripts. Another story starts present time but through memories of a grandmother who was a young woman in the 40s and WWII goes back in time and again a strong woman. Going against norms of that time. I am converting a room in my house that will be my new office. It will have one wall that will be a desk and the wall over that desk will be all cork board. I have tons of notes and with all the books in the works I like to have things out where I can see them, make more notes, add to ideas and newspaper clippings that help. Another wall will be my research bookshelves. Even in romance writing, I research. My "Kings of Angkor" is a big research project. I am combing though photos that I took while visiting back in December and January just recently. One of greatest story tellers, Tolkien used to write and tell stories to his children. He being a professor at Oxford didn't do a whole lot of academic publications on his own which was frowned upon but he was developing a world. He was creating mythologies and languages all his own. Here is a quote from his biography from the Tolkien page: "Meanwhile Tolkien continued developing his mythology and languages. As mentioned above, he told his children stories, some of which he developed into those published posthumously as Mr. Bliss, Roverandom, etc. However, according to his own account, one day when he was engaged in the soul-destroying task of marking examination papers, he discovered that one candidate had left one page of an answer-book blank. On this page, moved by who knows what anarchic daemon, he wrote In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. In typical Tolkien fashion, he then decided he needed to find out what a Hobbit was, what sort of a hole it lived in, why it lived in a hole, etc. From this investigation grew a tale that he told to his younger children, and even passed round." I am so glad that student left a page blank. Glad that the inner daemon wrote on those blank pages what he did and then wanted to find out what a Hobbit was and what a Hobbit hole was... Jane Austen took from her life and created the stories that we have come to love. She was not a widely traveled woman of this time... On the contrary she lived at the time of George washington and our founding father's. She was a woman who studied people around her and created some of the most memorable characters ever. She published six complete books. Those have been read over and over by her fans from the time she first published. From her biography page: "In the period spanning 1811-1816, she pseudonymously published Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice (a work she referred to as her "darling child," which also received critical acclaim), Mansfield Park and Emma." I have read her books over and over. I have watched the movies which are based on her books many times. Even my sons loved to watch them. She had a gift to bring out the best or the worst in a character. She was a keen student of us mere humans. She died far too young at age 41. So though she she wasn't widely travled she took what she knew and wrote. I hope you enjoy this little post. Now back to editing... till the horn blows as we say at the station.