Amazon is promoting Larkspur!

This is so cool! I just woke up and go to check my email. Nothing new, just something over in ‘promotions’ so I click there to see if it’s interesting. It’s from Amazon.. but wait, I know that title! Amazon sent me an email asking if I’d like to buy my own short story!

Amazon promo

There were a few other books on the list too, but mine was not only first, the title shows up in the email description!

Languages, Names, Mythology

I love language. Languages, even, not just my own. The differences, similarities, translations, and meanings of words in my tongue, and in the languages of others.. it’s amazing isn’t it? I think it started with my love of names- you may have noticed I have a varied group of names in my work. Larkspur’s Clandestina is influenced by France, and the UK, so you have ‘Pierre’ and ‘Elizabeth’ but it’s also a fantasy world. It wouldn’t be a good fantasy world if some of the names didn’t have deeper meanings, would it?

Some are mundane even so. Joséphine, the reine (I’ll get to the title translations in a second) is named so because A) I like it and B) it was Napoleon’s wife’s name. And C) It was also the name of the evil princess’s horse in the Story of Evil Vocaloid series. Ok, that was the main reason I used it.. ;)

Edgard, the roi, has the French name version of Edgar, named after one of my favourite authors and influences Edgar Allan Poe.

Other names are more foreign. Ophion, Pierre’s uncle, has a Greek name. Mythological actually. Ophion was once the ruler of the universe, as well as a giant snake (his name means serpent). Ophion’s adopted daughter is Eglė, who in Lithuanian mythology marries the serpent king. Her name though means Spruce, as in the tree, for she is turned into one at the end of the myth (her children are also named after, and turned into, trees). So far you don’t see the snake connection, but it’s addressed in book 2 and a prequel book devoted just to Ophion and Eglė fleshes this out.

Now, you don’t *need* to know any of this to enjoy the story. I forgot why I had chosen Ophion as a name until I googled it a few days ago. I assumed it was a form of Ophelia (who commits suicide in Hamlet) or a variation to Orpheus (who goes to the underworld to bring back his lover). That said, Ophélie (Pierre’s mother) is the French for Ophelia, and I’m going to use Orpheus somewhere for something.

But it is still nice and fun, and to the few people that get it a little extra joy. I’m certainly pleased.

About those royal and noble titles: in Clandestina you see most of the terms used are in French. Roi, Reine, Duc, Prince (yup, spelled the same as in English, but it’s French). The ‘default’ language of the world is our English. Mainly because I speak English, but also because English is largely becoming a lingua franca and truly is in many ways a ‘default’ language.

(Mythology sidetrack)

In-Universe this is explained as the language being Saiva’s gift. She is a somewhat of a goddess, the ‘Nothing’ to Amôru’s ‘Everything.’ I’m trying to be precise about terms, because like Middle Earth, while there are many magical creatures, even divine beings, there is only one God- Amôru. The personification of Everything Good. Saiva, who is the personification of Nothing (not evil, or a lack of good, just stillness and.. nothing) is his wife. Amôru’s name means 10, though I also chose it because it reminds me of Amor, a term for Love. Saiva means 0, though it seems to also be a variation of Shiva’s name in Hindu mythology.

(Back on track)

So everyone innately speaks and communicates in English. Each realm though is influenced by a real world country or countries and other languages still exists. So yes, Pierre and Elizabeth are speaking English. But there are times where the French term holds more weight than the ‘generic’ English, and so code-switching happens in everyday speech.

Most of the time this is in the form of Titles. With the addition of magic, other beings, other realms, and planes of existence, there have to be more terms to quickly differentiate who or what everyone is.

In plain terms, the English titles refer to the rulers and nobles of that ‘race’ (I say race, but I don’t like the term. Hence the in-universe bestia, ‘beast’). So the King of Triumphe can only hold authority over other humans in that kingdom. Still in Clandestina, but outside of Triumphe, he would be respected but not have authority. Perhaps of a lesser title. The Queen of Werewolves though holds power over all of Astrarctia, but only about/in matters involving werewolves.

Clandestina is very entwined with Faery though, and while a full-blooded fée living next door is unlikely, the shenanigans of the fay might well cause lots of harm. So the king is called Roi, and if the fée step in Triumphe they must defer to him. Not as strongly as a human, not if they don’t permanently live in that plane, but even so. (Outside of Triumphe Edgard would be well respected, but not a king to anyone there).

Same thing with Pierre- he is a duc, not a duke. Fée, or as we see more in Delphinium, vampires who come up from Italaviana, are his to hold power over.

There was one term left in English which you may even have missed at the start of Larkspur: Margrave. A variation of the term Marquis, meaning a rule of a land at a border. Margrave specifically is used for those who rule between the borders of planes. So the Margrave Bastoni who spoke to Pierre rules the mountains where there happen to be a lot of portals to fée. He has authority on both sides of the portal, though much of that comes from his fée wife as well.

I could go on for another hour typing up why I chose one certain term or name, but I think I’ll save the rest for another post at a later time.

((For those wondering, I am quite well now that I’ve taken a little time to reset, worldbuild, and get back into the flow of things. I’m no longer worried or doubting. I am writing.))

ARC – Advanced Reader’s Copy

So I’ve worked out a solution to my problem. I want to write, and quickly, and have books out asap. The thing is I’ve also finally succumb to the idea that I need an editor. Here’s where things get a little difficult.

Amazon (and Kobo, Nook, iTunes) let’s you change the file of your book whenever you want. In a matter of hours the new version will be up for grabs. This is really cool.

Now I’ve been working on Delphinium for a while now. Longer than I should have, but in other cases it’s still been a short while since Larkspur is half the length and took me 2 years. So as soon as I finish Delphinium I want to put it up for all you lovely people who have been waiting.

Thing is, my editor has given me October 9th as a time to send over Delphinium. I assume that I’ll be finished by then, and I’ll frankly feel bad about an almost-done draft sitting on my computer while I know folk are waiting.

Bring in the concept of ARCs. I will put up the ‘final draft’ version of Delphinium on the sites, labeling is as an ARC, and have it for sale at a discounted price. 99cents, as opposed to the 2.99 for the final go. Then when the draft comes back from the editor I’ll switch out the files, up the price, and everything will be hunky dory.

Editor

Ok.. I sent Larkspur over to an editor. It’s only for a proofread, but people are right- I can’t literally do this all by myself. There are things I will miss, even if I read the book a hundred times, because I know what I want it to say. And I still have no idea what a comma splice is :P Should get it back in a few days and then I’ll reupload it to Amazon and all the other distributors. If I like working with her I’ll probably give her Delphinium too.

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21 Harsh But Eye-Opening Writing Tips From Great Authors

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

A lot of people think they can write or paint or draw or sing or make movies or what-have-you, but having an artistic temperament doth not make one an artist.

Even the great writers of our time have tried and failed and failed some more. Vladimir Nabokov received a harsh rejection letter from Knopf upon submitting Lolita, which would later go on to sell fifty million copies. Sylvia Plath’s first rejection letter for The Bell Jar read, “There certainly isn’t enough genuine talent for us to take notice.” Gertrude Stein received a cruel rejection letter that mocked her style. Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way earned him a sprawling rejection letter regarding the reasons he should simply give up writing all together. Tim Burton’s first illustrated book, The Giant Zlig, got the thumbs down from Walt Disney Productions, and even Jack Kerouac’s perennial On the Road received a particularly blunt…

View original 712 more words

I’m back!

I haven’t been around lately. Life got in the way, and not the good parts of it, so I haven’t been writing or online. Most of that has been fixed (and hopefully it stays that way).

My first priority will be to finish Delphinium. I truly am trying to make it the best book I can and well-worth the wait. While it has been dragging several weeks, it has just been 5 months since Larkspur’s release, so at least I’m still on ‘normal author’ level drag.