Sunday, September 30, 2018

I had a vision of love: Fantasy Heros and why I adore them

Shifters, Vampires, Aliens and Fae aren't everyone's cup of tea. 

For some folks I know the shifting ability from animal to human creeps them out or that Vampires are more like mosquito zombies than cold, mysterious hunks. Aliens are more likely to be little, microbial germs rather than huge human-looking with crazy skin colors. And Fae, fair folks, are just fairy tales that the reader never outgrew. 

For me, however, all these beings are a beautiful break from the mundane. We all get up and do what needs to be done, working whatever hours we need to to earn the money we need to pay for the ability to keep everything up. The rat-race of everyday life beats you down, causes you to daydream of different career paths, potential changes to make.

What if such a change collided with the humdrum of your life? What if your best friend started going steady with an elf? Or that guy you've been crushing on at the gym that looks too hot to be legal, invites you out for coffee and confesses he's a dragon? 
Or, just hear me out, what if you were making a bank deposit and during the middle of it, the bank got robbed! Your teller behind the counter burst through the bullet-proof glass as a huge direwolf and took down the would-be robber single-handedly? Err, paw-ly? What then? You can't tell me you wouldn't be happy about your teller turned Kujo right then!

Anyways, my point here is our paranormal people give a fantastic twist to the everyday same ol' same. Love has a undeniable ( and sometimes irritating) strength about it that once you've fallen under its spell it feels more supernatural than any of these creatures could ever be. 

Of these lovable fantasy creatures I've got a few favorites and a few more that I would love to explore by writing them into a story. I mean, I can count on one finger how many unicorn shifter stories I've read and the elven people, imho, are super underrated. Aliens will always be a favorite but there are so many more out there.

In addition to stand alone books I have an idea for a book series to include all sorts of different Mr. Fantastics. And this is where you come in. I want to know what mythical or fantastic being you're into and want to read! Are Ogres not getting enough love? Do you get hot around the collar for Dragons? Does your heart flutter for Griffins? What being can you not get enough of?

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

When dreams become reality: penning my first formally published work

I remember when I was struck with the unshakable urge to storytell.

I was sitting at the dining room table looking over my kindle, trying and probably failing not to be scandalized at the fiction I was devouring. I finally gotten to the juicy part and it was a battle to not do a spit take with my coffee.

In that moment I was in love with the story, in love with the characters, in love with love and I wanted more. The want became a need as I began to beta for my favorite authors. Then I wrote my first story and posted it on fanfiction.net.

It was horrible.
Just awful. LOL, downright beat-with-the-ugly-stick bad.

Riddled with typos and filled with stilted conversations, I cringe any time I revisit it. The story was okay but my basic writing skills were just that, basic af.
And as much as I'm embarrassed by it I left it there as a reminder. I could have stayed the same, unchanged, stagnated. I could convinced myself to stop writing while I was ahead because I was clearly not very good at it.

But for the first time in a long time I was driven to be very good at something. I wanted to write a story that made readers feel what I felt when I read swooning tales of love. I wanted to write characters that they could relate to because they looked like them or had similar experiences. And not just one story but as many as I could each as sweet and spicy as the one beside it but unique as a fingerprint. That's what I desired, to leave an impression just like a fingerprint.

So I plodded along with one fanfic after the other until I started to see that I was getting better. There were less typos, an easier flow to the paragraphs. My notorious run-ons weren't as glaring. My dream was coming true because I was working hard to achieve it and faith had seen it through.

Publishing an actual ebook though of my own characters seemed like a pipe part of my dream. And for a while it was but I hadn't counted on Zena Wynn offering me as much as she has. It is great to be one of her trusted betas and even sweeter to have her friendship but nothing could prepare me for the joy I had in her proposal to help me learn to publish a book by writing alongside her! I might have screamed and danced for a maybe five minutes. I couldn't believe it.

Seriously, there I was six years ago a new mother dealing with postpartum depression and other issues that feed that beast, now writing with one of my all-time favorites on something that I thought would pan out to be nothing more than a hobby.

And I hope it doesn't pan out that way. I'm still writing and have 'books' in the works but I'll need your help. I promise you, the reader, that I will do my very best each time I put a book up for submission. I promise to make characters that pull at emotions, make you love, lust and angry on their account. I promise to do my best in writing compelling and unique plots. I promise you this.

I hope it is enough to make you a loyal and happy reader :)

Live long and prosper, Space cowboy

Kioni Hall