State of House Andrews: the copyedits for the Fated Blades novella are finished. It came in at 45,000 words so double the typical novella length. I will post more once we have the cover.
Blog prompts, here we go.
Do you have a favourite meeting with a reader or reader interaction? Something that marked you or changed the way you did things?
Not a favorite, but something that fundamentally changed the way we handle signings. We were signing, I don’t remember where, and this lady came up for the table. She was already pale and when she got to the table, she didn’t say anything. She just kind of turned green and started sliding sideways and Gordon jumped up and caught her before she hit the floor. Apparently, she was very overwhelmed.
Just so you are aware, when you are at our signing table, we are watching you carefully in case you faint.
Have you ever thought about creating your own book covers?
I can make a serviceable cover, but you know what? Professional artists are still better.
Do you carry around an idea notebook, or have a folder on your phone for when you’re out and about. Do you ever write by hand? Stationary goodies you like to have?
No. But I do have a relatively sticky brain. Stuff is retained well until I can get to the computer and write it in a file. Like this:
“You can rest assured, my lord, that if you are going to kill me, my death won’t spark a blood feud. My murder will elicit no grief or rage in anyone from House Martel. However, they will care about the political ramifications, which is why if you decide to dispose of me, my death cannot be accidental. It must happen during a battle with the enemies of the kingdom, and it must be public and glorious. I must die a heroine, my lord. My brother will garner sympathy as he publicly mourns his courageous sister who sacrificed herself for the good of the realm. His star will shine brighter. That is the only way you will escape the consequences.”
There is nothing else in that particular file, just this. If we ever write it, I know where it goes.
Music playlists- one for each series or depending on what you write (fight scene, emotional scene etc)? Do you have them on Spotify or Youtube, can you share?
Spotify. I don’t use them as often as I used to because Gordon and I changed the way we write to account for my hands, but I do enjoy them when I edit. Here is a playlist in the process of being built for the novel quoted above. I stick things in there when I hear something that would fit.
Music can be a very effective tool for getting the right mood down on paper.
Turn this on and read the chunk below.
He buckled a sheath on his hip and thrust his sword in to the scabbard. Hugh grabbed a length of black fabric from the chair and shook it open with a quick jerk of his hand. A cape edged with fur. He’d worn it when he first came to the castle.
He wrapped it on his shoulders. She took the leather tie away from him and reached for the other side of the cape and pressed it on the two metal studs there. Hugh picked up a helmet from the desk. It was a Roman style helmet with cheek pieces and a crest of black hair. A stylized dog snarled at her from the wide piece of the helmet that would be positioned just above Hugh’s brow. He put the helmet on his head. It didn’t hide that much of his face, but somehow it altered it. Two blue eyes stared at her with focused intensity.
She took a step back. Hugh was a big man, but the cape, the helmet, the armor, it made him look giant.
“You look like a villain in some fantasy pre-Shift movie,” she told him. “Some dread lord about to conquer.”
“Dread lord,” he said. “I like that.”
He would. “Won’t the cape get in the way?”
“The cape and the helmet are for Aberdine. We don’t have time to play politics. Once I’ve got the town, I’ll take them off when the battle starts.”
Something had been nagging her since the strategy meeting. “What you told me about the ley point made sense at first. But the mrog soldiers don’t hold towns, Hugh. They wipe them out and disappear. Aberdine’s massacre wouldn’t affect our access to the ley point. Why are you really going there?”
“They broke into my castle. They attacked my wife. They attacked a child in our home. The point of having a castle isn’t hiding inside its walls; it’s being worthy of it. It’s being able to control everything around it. They’re growing bolder. They’re taking larger settlements. They’ve got my attention now. They will wish they didn’t.”
In her head she saw him let Raphael’s knife strike him again and again. He was riding into battle. Anything could happen in the battle. All he would have to do is to not try as hard. To not step out of the way of a sword. To let himself get shot. She wanted him back.
Her voice was steady. The words rolled off her tongue. “You like making bargains. Here is one for you. Come back to me alive, and I will stay the night. The whole night.”
Outside the horns screamed and she almost jumped. There was something dark and primitive about the sound. A steady beat rose, thumping like a giant’s heart. The war drums grew louder and louder. She heard horses neighing, the clang of metal, the voices of fighters, all of it mixing with the drums into a terrifying marching hymn. Someone howled like a wolf, in tune with the horns. She turned to Hugh. He had somehow grown darker, grimmer, scarier, as if he emanated some imperceptible magic. The darkness curled around him, like a willing pet with savage teeth.
“Done,” the Preceptor of the Iron Dogs said.
And that’s all the questions we’ll tackle today.