Friday, January 27, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
What do horror novels and paranormal romance have in common? A dash of 'gothic' and a pinch of 'moonlight.' Oh, let's not forget those creatures that go bump in the night – vampires, werewolves, and witches.
I was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. As a young girl in the 1970's, family time was "Creature Double Feature" on Saturday afternoons. I grew up with vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and witches. Oh, and who could forget Godzilla?
As a teenager in the 1980's, I discovered gothic romance written by Victoria Holt. Now Holt could pen a tale full of secrets and darkness. Then I found Anne Rice. "The Witching Hour" is one of my favorite Rice novels.
After graduating high school in 1986, I joined the Army, wanting a great adventure. I got it. I spent 7 years overseas in Germany and 11 years total as an MP.
What I loved about my time in the military was the exposure I had to different cultures and nations. I've been to Germany, France, and even Hungary. In 1991, I was married in Nykobig, Denmark.
I left the Army in 1997 and settled in California where my husband was from and became a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. Writing, however, had always been an itch so I decided to scratch it. My 1st novel, "Destination: Berlin" is a sweet contemporary/military romance that was self published. The story was inspired by my trip to Berlin in 1988, right before the fall of the wall.
The vampires still slept under my bed though – along with those pesky werewolves and witches. I had to let them out.
In 2005, I began "Twilight Over Moldavia." Prince Stefan was cursed to become a werewolf. Could Princess Caroline save him? The story was inspired by this simple thought: I wanted to write a fairytale in reverse where the princess had to save the prince.
From 2005-2009, I focused on my craft, earning several honorable mentions in the Writer's Digest Annual Writing Competitions and Popular Fiction Contests. In 2008, my short story, "Spontaneous Decision," won 8th place in the WD Annual Competition in the Mainstream Category. That same year, "The Wolf's Kiss" was1st Runner up in the Popular Fiction, Romance Category. That story was the inspiration for "The Hungarian," Book 1 in the Budapest Moon Series.
The werewolf under the bed got the jump on the vampire. Wanting to let the wolves out to play, Matthias (the hero in "The Hungarian") became a werewolf. I wanted to do a couple things differently in my paranormal series. I wanted to focus on the humanity of the beast. My paranormals highlight the psychology of the man/wolf. There are secrets and dark corners courtesy of Victoria Holt and my gothic roots.
In 2009, Desert Breeze picked up "The Hungarian," and my Budapest Moon series. Ambitious, I also contracted the "Moldavian Moon Series,' which featured Stefan and Caroline from "Twilight Over Moldavia." While both series have elements in common, such as werewolves, witches, secrets, and European settings, that's where they end.
The Budapest Moon Series
Set in Budapest, Hungary, in the early 20th Century, rivals Matthias Duma and Anton Varga attempt to deal with their lycanthropic condition while retaining their grasp on humanity.
Books in this series include:
Book 1 – The Hungarian – MAY 2010
Couple: Matthias Duma & Katherine Archibald
Book 2 – The Count's Lair – FEB 2011
Couple: Anton Varga & Amelia Andrassy
Book 3 – Danube in Candlelight – NOV 2011
Couple: Adam Varga & Morgan Duma
Book 4 – The Secret Door – DEC 2012
Couple: Sophia Varga & Zoltan Kristos
The Moldavian Moon Series
Set in Romania in the mid-1800's, werewolves haunt the royal witching families of the Romanian principalities.
Books in this series include:
Book 1 – The Wolf's Torment – MAY 2011
Couple: Mihai Sigmaringen and Theresa von Kracken
Book 2 – Twilight Over Moldavia – JAN 2012
Couple: Stefan Sigmaringen and Caroline Moldoveanu
Book 3 – Sunrise Over Brasov – APR 2013
Couple: Michael Sigmaringen and Rosa Getzi
When the wolves and witches stay under the bed, I get to venture out. Just recently they let me out of the house to see Selene, David, & Eve from Underworld 4. What can I say? Selene Rocks. She is my ultimate paranormal heroine. I wanna be Selene when I grow up. Sign in if your Underworld Fan and let me know what your Favorite Underworld Movie is.
This year "I Believe" and got hot about my weight loss. I joined Weight Watchers and the weight loss challenge at work. I'll be talking about the highs and lows of weight loss on my blog every Saturday. Feel free to stop by and visit.
Did I tell you I'm also a glorified chauffeur for my kids? Both take dance lessons and are signed up to play flag football in the local rec center league. Joe also takes gymnastics.
I love playing racquetball, but my partner is my husband and it's not easy to find time with our schedules. What else do I do in my "me" time? I'm an avid reader and love going to the movies.
You can find me on the web at:
Monday, January 23, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012
I have always been a fan of science fiction. I was only six when Star Wars: A New Hope was released, but I can remember watching it at school when I was in fourth grade on the last day of school, and I was completely hooked. Star Trek: TOS was in syndication when I was in elementary school, and I looked forward to four o'clock every day to watch. I discovered Doctor Who on PBS when I was in junior high, and Star Trek: TNG premiered around then, too. The seeds of sci fi were planted young.
I was also a writer from a young age. I wrote my first short story when I was in fourth grade. My best friend and I didn't get together to play, we got together to write. I wrote a novel (still buried deep under my bed) when I was fifteen (speculative Christian fiction before there was such a genre), and decided around twenty I wanted to write novels. But my interest then went toward contemporary romance. I never imagined myself as a sci fi author because twenty years ago sci fi was just sci fi, no romance involved, and I loved romance.
Thankfully, genres have expanded in the last few years. Nonetheless, I was actually a reluctant sci fi writer. I was urged (read that as urged with a virtual cattle prod) to try my hand at sci fi. A few years ago I was in a slump. I had just finished writing my first romantic suspense novel, having always written contemporary romance prior to that, and just couldn't find that next great storyline to sink my literary teeth into. I tried several ideas, got about three chapters in, and hit a brick wall. So, I'd try something else.
When nothing original would feed my muse's need to create, I turned to writing fanfiction. For those who don't know what fanfiction is, this is a genre of writing in which a writer will enhance, expand upon, or create new storylines based on established characters usually from television or movies. I had written fanfiction in the past for an 80's television show I loved as a kid, but this time around I delved into the fanfic world of Stargate SG-1, my favorite sci fi show at the time( Partially because of Richard Dean Anderson, and partially because I loved the forbidden romance sub-story). In a year's time, when I couldn't find anything else to hold my attention, I probably wrote the equivalent of 250k words in Stargate fanfiction.
A good friend of mine, also a writer, kept asking me "Why don't you write sci fi?" I thought she was nuts. I couldn't just create this stuff! But, she kept asking and asking and poking and encouraging, until finally an idea began to form. The great thing was I saw how I could take some of the ideas I'd already tried in a contemporary setting and make them work in a futuristic setting. Characters began to form and plots began to unfold.
But, I didn't see these books as being a typical 'romance' outline where boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, gets her back and they live happily ever after in the course of 100k words or less. I saw a whole cast of people whose lives intertwined and fed into each other. I decided this was a whole new thing for me, so why not do it in a whole new way?
At the time, I was new published with an established ebook publisher, and was surprised when I was approached by the editor of another house. She told me she had seen my posts and was impressed with my online personality, my activeness, and most importantly my writing. She asked if I had any books in the works I might be interested in placing with her house. I told her about The Phoenix Rebellion, or at least, the ideas I had because I was only a few chapters into the first book. I also told her it wasn't a typically told romance.
She listened and she loved it. And she said to feel free and go with my 'cast of characters' concept. I wrote the entire four book series in about nine months, and then waited to see if people loved or hated my approach. I've never had anyone tell me they don't like the way I tell the stories. In fact, I've been told frequently they feel like they're reading a television show or movie.
And along the way, I discovered I really love writing futuristic romance, and I really like "living" in the world I've created. Which is one of the things I like about writing series. I don't have to leave anyone behind as quickly as with single titles. I'm currently working on a new series, Phoenix Rising, which is a sequel to The Phoenix Rebellion, with many of the main characters from Rebellion returning in a secondary status. I'm working out in my head details for another series, Children of Phoenix, which would take place twenty to thirty years after both The Phoenix Rebellion and Phoenix Rising. And I would like to write a prequel single novel titled Birth of Phoenix that tells the story of how Phoenix came to be.
I've dabbled in other story ideas by doing a short story in the Borealis series titled Forgive Us Our Debts, and I have a couple non-Phoenix related ideas I might work with down the road -- one a 'near-future' suspense and another far future/off world concept. I enjoy the freedom of living in a world not strictly defined by the present, and creating storylines and possibilities we have yet to see. I've always enjoyed playing "What if…" with my critique partners, and the answer to the "What if…" question is so much more interesting when it's asked with sci fi in mind.
Prior to writing sci fi, I never used 'models' for my characters. I just wrote from the nothing in which my characters were born. But, when I began Phoenix, I realized my main character Nick Tanner paralleled the character of Jack O'Neill on Stargate (played by Richard Dean Anderson). And as I move on through writing, I find I like keeping an actor in mind when writing. It helps me visualize expressions, motions, reactions with better detail. And my heroes are almost always actors from sci fi somewhere. Take my new series, Phoenix Rising, for example. My heroes are inspired by Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who), Ben Browder (Farscape and Stargate SG-1), Jonathan Lapaglia (Seven Days) and Christopher Pine (Star Trek: Reboot).
I've fully given into my geekdom now. I love it, I embrace it, and I share it. I hope you enjoy it.
You can see more about The Phoenix Rebellion and my other works at my website:
Gail Delaney Dot Com :-)
I'm most active at my Facebook page.
Or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Nope, I wanted to work in music. I come from a musical family and owned my first 45 rpm record at age two. I didn't care what capacity I worked in for my music—from performing to radio to video and all the promotion that goes into it. I also decided when I was a child and saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan that I loved Paul McCartney and that one day I would meet him, not as a screaming fan but as a semi-equal.
To that end I directed every bit of my energy. I worked in radio and then moved on to record labels and yes, I finally did meet Paul and Linda McCartney and Paul told me a funny story about another girl with my name on the subway who slightly freaked when she realized who they were—probably to stop me from passing out when I stood next to him and looked into those big browns! I must add here that Linda McCartney was one of the most gracious people I have ever met! Both had a great sense of humor and even made a joke when they saw my poor sister waiting in the conference room, lol! To this day, Paul remains my inspiration, template and obsession for my (mostly) tall, dark and British heroes.
Yet there it was, still right behind me like a cold metallic hand on my shoulder to drag me back to that one thing I never wanted to do: write. Yet every facet of my life shone with the diamond bright idea of writing for real this time—journalism was a trade for me, fiction was always the "real" writing.
So one day I decided to dip my proverbial toe back into the fiction pool for real. It wasn't like riding a bike. I'd forgotten more than I knew and my first attempts at short stories, while they were published, were terrible in my opinion and so I looked upon it with more than a little tongue-in-cheek. But this time something was different. The more I wrote, the more I remembered about it and how to do it. The difference was my commitment; I actually took it seriously this time.
Something else was there too: maturity. Emotional, mental, and most of all experiential maturity that made my writing something it could never have been when I was younger. In a sense I reversed the process that most writers go through. I started out writing and writing professionally at that and took it for granted, walking away from incredible opportunities to follow an iridescent dream while other writers lusted after it, lacking time or energy or opportunity to follow their own iridescent dream of being an author. They were the authors who struggled (and still struggle) against all odds—marriage, children, heartache, life in general that stood in their way, obstacles to finding time, energy and opportunity to write the stories in their hearts. Those authors I salute—how you do it all I have absolutely no idea. You chose it rather than it choosing you. Writing haunted me until I had no choice. That cold metallic hand at last morphed itself into mine of blood, flesh, and bone and twisted out stories of the future where those same icy fingers grasp at readers to drag them forward into it as well. It's called science fiction.
Sounds like an amazing journey huh? It was. I met people I couldn't conceive ever meeting, did things I never expected, "danced along the light of day" like the song says (Drops of Jupiter by Train). But just like all glistening dreams this one faded into the harsh light of morning and dried up just like dew on delicate grass blades.
And still at the end there it was, waiting for me always, that faithful black and white print of a dream that I could hold in my hand, send to others, and share with whoever in the world was interested. This time I am the creator of those dreams not the follower, I write movies from the reels that run in my head, and premiere them for others to read and watch.
I hope that you enjoy the show from your third row center seat. Just remember the next screenplay is in the studio and your movie tickets in the form of novels will be waiting for you at "will call" under VIP.
Facebook.com P.I. Barrington
Let's start again. Who am I?
Well, I originate from the middle-of-the-US where it snows 2 out of 4 seasons a year. *shivers in horror* Being a smart, scrawny, big glasses wearing, tuba toting SciFi nut growing up, let's just say I was the poster child for "GEEK". My mother was a reformed disco queen and free spirited by nature, so the teenage years in Denver were an adventure that contained little restrictions.
When I wasn’t exploring the city, my two best friends and I were writing stories and swapping them with each other. They were passionate stories of unrealistic love, melodramatic violence, and horrific plot lines. Looking back at them now, I can both cringe and laugh. All my stories were set in space or on an alien planet sometime in the future.
And if I wasn't exploring or writing, I was hanging out in front of the television and tape player watching Star Trek, Back to the Future, Running Man, The Abyss, and my all time favorites as a kid, Short Circuit, The Flight of the Navigator and The Last Starfighter. Yup, the exciting life of a geek girl in the 80s.
Oh, and let's not forget that little trilogy called Star Wars either, that bumped my whole elementary school Wonder Woman phase out the window and evolutionized what SF meant.
Yes, Denver was a great place to grow up, when not freezing, but even as early as eleven I knew Colorado wasn't my place. And I knew that space exploration was out of the question. I can't even find my way home half of the time. Plus, you know, the whole technology not being developed and all that jazz.
I was a visitor waiting to find my home.
And I found it, along with the love of my life, in California. The Northern Bay Area is the most beautiful and interesting place on Earth. At this point, I set my writing aside and focused on being a mother and building my career. When the two older were nearing the end of their elementary years and the two younger were just babies, my husband talked me into writing again. I did and felt that missing part of me click back up to the whole.
Phew, was that first year writing again exciting times! The stories, bottled up for a decade, poured out of me. Crazy frenzies of writing sessions followed by the smacking realities of the publishing industry, resulting in the psychotic decision to plunge head first and risk my art and my pride on the gamble of success.
This time I brought to the page a depth of experience and life. I still have future and geeky tech stuff in my stories, but I learned the difference between melodrama and conflict. I also learned to integrate my passion of motherhood, family, and true love into them. For me, the best romance novels are those that go deeper than just passion, to build a foundation of respect and friendship between the love interests. They are the novels where characters focus on more than just their attraction to one another and have an actual life to deal with, that include family, friends, goals and a history beyond just ex's and bad love experiences.
I have several published SF, horror and speculative shorts in various anthologies and ezines, and two SFR novels released through Desert Breeze Publishing. The first is Duty and Devotion, and more recently, Revelations of Tomorrow (which is the first book in The Telomere Trilogy). You can stop by my website or blog to learn more about me and my imaginations. Of course, I'll also be hanging out here the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month.
A. R. Norris: Adventures of a SciFi Writer
Monday, January 16, 2012
Welcome to the Writer Limits. That's a taste of déjà vu. Didn't I just write that same thing a couple weeks ago? I did, but today is kinda special. I kick off the first of the intros for this outstanding group of writers. Before I get to actually telling you who I am, I want to tell you how privileged I am to be in the company of these amazing women. Each one sits at the top of their perspective genres. I can't think of anyone who writes what they do better and hopefully you either know or will come to know that for yourselves. I can honestly say I stand in the presence of greatness with them.
That said. It's time to get this show on the road.
Some people call me a space cowboy. Some people call me the gantsa of love. Some people call me Mo-rice. But, the majority of the people call me J. Morgan, or Jmo for short. I hope Steve Miller forgives me for mangling the beginning of The Joker, but basically that song, or those few lines, pretty much sum up. Because, I am a joker. A dyed in the wool class clown, who grew up and decided he wanted to make people laugh, feel good, and generally forget the troubles of the real world. Even if it was for the short span of reading a book.
But, like with most of us, it took me awhile to figure out what I really wanted to do with my life. For the first 36 years, I played with being an artist. Even as a kid, I loved telling stories. Only back then I liked doing it with pictures. Yep, grew up on a steady diet of comic books and cartoons that rotted your brain. At least they did according to my dad. It was a short jump from tracing comic book pages to drawing my own comics. As a result of my artistic bent, I went to college and studied hard, if spending too much time in the student union and the finer frozen daiquiris establishments can be considered hard. After graduating -- yes, I did graduate --I found artist jobs aren't as easy to come by as my guidance councilor made out. That starving artist saying is true.
So I went to work at the locally funded hell. No not Wal-Mart. I stumbled along clueless for a few years until I met my beautiful wife, Jenn. It was her that first got into writing and finally convinced me to try my hand at it. I think her actual words were, 'Stop reading over my shoulder. Go write one of your own'. Those profound words led to my first novel, a dreadful fantasy mishmash that met with more rejections than I care to admit. Finally, my wife again stepped in and said I should try my hand at writing a romance, since I'd more or less took over reading hers. That novel, The Michelangelo Blues, later rereleased by Desert Breeze Publishing went on to be my first published work.
It was a romantic suspense, so unlike what most of you would expect from me. Frankly, it wasn't me to me either. I have always loved comedies. Be it in books, movies, or television shows, British mainly on that last one. And, I loved anything spooky. I blame my mom for that. She used to make me watch Dark Shadows, whenever it came on in reruns. So, I decided to combine my two loves. And as they say, I'd found my voice. My next book, Ghost of a Chance, kicked off my career as a paranormal comedian. Did that make me sound like a Vampire with a funny bone? As long as no glitter is involved I'm fine with that.
But, my voice didn't truly find a home until Desert Breeze. They took a chance on a one-off short story that had been rejected by a couple of places I won't name. That short story under some carefully asked questions centering around "Where do you see this going?" got enlarged to become Love at First Stake. That book led into the Love Bites Series. Quite frankly, it still amazes me that people accepted it the way they have, because it is more than just a romance series. It's a combination of everything I love in books, movies and television. It's high adventure. It's a parody. It's romance. It's the unfolding story of a group of people and how they cope with the world changing around them. See, not your usual fare when it comes to a romantic comedy series.
Then, we come to The Southern Werewolf Chronicles, another comedy. In fact, it started as a joke between my wife and me. I told her I wanted to write a book about our love, but we would be werewolves. She told me to go shave my back and stop being such a Wookie. Were Love Blooms is the result of that. It is also my attempt to write a truly Southern Paranormal Romance. Let's face it, people from the South are eccentric enough without adding fur and fangs to the family tree. Being born and bred in the South, I know of which I speak.
Like any good writer, I wanted to expand my horizons and try something out of character. That's where Immortally Yours comes into play. I wanted to write a modern fairy tale. Something that captured the magic and wonder of Prince Charming and your basic insert compatible princess in this slot. I wanted to write something dark with a hint of hope. The story of Chase Michaels and Belle Garner was what came out of me. Soon, I hope to deliver the second story to spin out of that idea. Immortally Damned will tell the story of my half-vampire anti-hero Caern.
Okay, that sums up who I am up to this date. Some details have been left out because people have restraining orders in place and of course that old yadda yadda about changing the names to protect the innocent, but do you see me knowing anybody innocent enough to protect?
Before I exit stage right, I want to thank you for stopping by to check out this new venture and ask you to stick around because we're only getting started. The truly fun stuff is just around the corner. And, if you'd like to check me out away from here, I've posted a couple handy dandy links to direct you to other spots you can find all things J. Morgan.
My other blog
Me at Facebook
And my newly updated Yahoo Newsletter
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Welcome to the inaugural blog of the Writer Limits!
Since this is the first blog, I guess I need to explain a bit about what the blog is all about. What is it about? It's about new worlds, old ones seen with a new perspective, and books that will take you to those worlds and beyond.
The Writer Limits is a collection of authors who span genres beyond the "Romance" norm. Then, again "norm" is subjective with the Romance of today. Where once you had Historical or Contemporary to whet your appetites, with maybe the occasional Gothic thrown in for variety, now you have everything from Paranormal to Science Fiction to Fantasy. There are sub-genres and crossovers to boot. That's a whole lot of everything for you to read.
It is also the reason we started The Writer Limits. We as authors want to connect with you the reader as much as readers want to connect with their favorite authors. This blog offers all of us the chance to do that. The seven premier authors making up the Limits write, live, and breathe these genres. But, who are these seven authors? Why are they hiding behind the big green curtain? Are they shy? Good questions, one and all.
So, I'll start with the first one.
First up in our world of Fantasy and Speculative Fiction is Jennifer Hartz. Her Future Savior series is a truly amazing twist on the genre, with elements of faith and time travel (how often do you see those two elements together), and enough twists to keep you guessing. Jennifer will take you to worlds you can only imagine.
Tami Dee gives us the perfect blend of past, present, and future with her Best Selling Mist of Time Viking Time Travel Series. From the Highlands of Scotland to the present day, she spins romance across time. And your heartstrings.
If your tastes lean toward Science Fiction and the Futuristic, we've got the deck stacked for you.
P.I. Barrington is known and acclaimed for her Future Imperfect series, a gritty blend of danger, suspense, crime drama, and romance in a less-than-perfect futuristic world where just about anything is possible, sometimes the unimaginable.
A.R. Norris kicks SciFi into high gear with her Telomere Trilogy. If you're up for a trip to a distant star on the heartbeat of love, strap in because she'll take you there at warp speed.
Gail R. Delaney rounds out our Trio of Tomorrow. The Phoenix Rebellion series redefines how we view both Science Fiction and Romance in an all too possible and not-too-distant future Earth. The familiar blends with the future, presenting a 21st Century Earth after "First Contact".
Last, but not least, is Paranormal. If you love the things that go bump in the night, we've got a duo of authors that make the night things more than bump, they beat with a love so strong not even the night can hide them in its shadows.
Stephanie Burkhart weaves tales of a Gothic world so rich with detail you can't help but be drawn into them, creating a tapestry of folklore around the mythology of the werewolf in two different times and places. Her two series, Budapest Moon and Moldavian Moon, bring the darkness straight into your furry heart.
J. Morgan, on the other hand, would rather make you laugh than give you chills. You like vampires (and not the sparkly kind), then check out his Love Bites series (and Bite Marks, coming soon). More Team Jacob-esque without the major teen angst? And maybe a side of collard greens? The Southern Werewolf Chronicles may be more to your liking. Either way, I don't recommend drinking anything while reading... it's tough to get Coke off a monitor screen.
That ends who we are... Oh, wait... I didn't explain the green curtain. We have a clubhouse back there and by February you'll have your invite to come inside. So stay tuned…
Once you step inside the Writer Limits, we're not letting you go. You can insert a grandiose Brawhahwahwahwahawa right here. We don't mind. In fact, we're doing it now.