Friday, June 24, 2016

Death More Than Usual; Or, Random Mirrody Conversations #2

[For #1, see this post.]

One of my favorite parts of every day is chatting with my best friend, MuseTwin, and soulsister Mirriam.  Our conversations zigzag from history ('The Ptolemies made the Lannisters look normal') to philosophy ('If people won't learn, they deserve to be ruled by those who do learn') to every other subject under the sun.  She's always up for whatever bizarre topic I throw at her and many and varied are the discussions which make up the mosaic of our friendship.  A few nights ago I came online after supper and a conversation ensued which had each of us laughing harder than we have in a while.  I present the conversation here for your amusement, with a few minor rearrangements made for better reading flow.

Me: Just finished dinner, which was a hilarious meal.

Mirriam: Why was dinner hilarious??
Me: Because it consisted of (among other things) beginning a discussion on hanging vs burning alive as the least desirable method of death with my 12-year-old brother- which was quickly shut down by Erudessa (my sister) because APPARENTLY some people don't like to discuss that kind of thing over dinner. Go figure.


Me: RIGHT? So boring.

Mirriam: Also, I've thought about it multiple times and I would much rather be hung, thank you.

Me: I'd rather be hung, too. There is only type of death that I find more gruesome than hanging and it's being burned alive.  But if I get to choose the way I go, it's poison or firing squad.

Mirriam: SEE FOR ME HANGING IS LIKE. A GOOD WAY TO GO. HANGING IS A+ compared to things like burning alive or the iron maiden or skinned alive or dismembered by four horses etc.

Me: Well, when you put it like that, it is definitely an attractive option.

Mirriam: That's my thought.  
I mean, poison + firing squad are definitely the best, but hanging is a pretty decent way to go
.  comparatively.
  Particularly if your neck snaps. xD

Me: Exactly. The main reason I find hanging rather distasteful, as far as manners of expiration go, is because I dislike the struggle if the neck does not snap.

Mirriam: True; I'd rather not slowly suffocate while my insides burst, /but/ I would rather suffocate than, say, be crucified. I mean honestly I've thought about this quite a lot and hanging is in the second-best death category, after firing squad or poison.

Me: I've thought about it, too, though not usually including more medieval forms of death. But in light of those supposedly less 'civilized' kinds of death, I would place hanging in third best, I think. Second best would be having my throat cut.

Mirriam: How did we get onto this subject again?

Me: Because it's JuNo and our thoughts run to death more than usual.

Mirriam: TRUE.  I would say it depends on where the throat is cut, because it can be either immediate and painless, or you can drown in your own blood; soooooooo it would all depend. xD

Me:  Exactly. Depending on WHERE it was cut, it would be my second favorite death. Though hanging is certainly looking more attractive by the minute.

Mirriam: I'm trying to bring hanging back as a method of swift justice XD

Me: There is definitely something poetic about a rope noose, or a necktie party.  My stomach is very full and is starting to slightly ache with how hard I'm laughing.

Mirriam: I'm sorry I can't help you I'm laughing too xDDDD


Mirriam: Here I was like 'ah yes all showered, all clean, got coffee, time to settle down and do a little quiet writing'.

Me: And then I burst onto the stage.


Me: Resplendent in bloody philosophical glory.

Mirriam: This conversation is Ferdinand + Isabella approved.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Space Kitties 2 Cover Reveal, Giveaway and Interview with E. Kaiser

Several months ago, a friend posted on FB asking for someone to fill in for a judge who'd had to drop out of an anthology contest.  I volunteered and that's how I came on board the Space Kitties 2: Searching the Cosmos team.  I enjoyed reading the submissions, scoring the entries and following along with the rest of the process.  Today, I'm thrilled to introduce you to the finished anthology!  My Standard Operating Procedure still holds - you have to scroll through the whole post to see the cover at the end. :)

Throughout the week, each of the seven authors will be featured on a blog.  If you comment on any of the blog tour posts, your name will be added to a drawing for an ebook copy of Space Kitties 2.  (If you win the Facebook party giveaway, you are not eligible for the blog tour giveaway.)

June 4 - Facebook party 1:00 - 6:00P.M. Central Time
~ Tour kickoff and cover reveal at E. Kaiser Writes A Blog
~ Interview with E Kaiser at The Splendor Falls
June 5 - Interview with Jamie Mortensen at Lesa McKee
June 6 - Interview with Lesa McKee at Bookworm Reading
~ FB giveaway winner announced
June 7 - Interview with Rachel Harris at Bookish Orchestrations
June 8 - Interview with Faith Blum at Rachel Rossano's Words
June 9 - Interview with H.L. Burke at Jessica Greyson
June 10 - Interview with Aletha Bakke at H.L. Burke, Author
June 11 - blog giveaway winner announced and tour wrap-up at E. Kaiser Writes A Blog

Here today for an interview is Space Kitties contest mastermind, editor and author E. Kaiser Writes.,1,213x249/ 
 E. Kaiser Writes credits her nearly nomadic childhood for the vast reach of her fictional worlds; she has lived (and gotten to known the locals) in the Rocky Mtns, the Smoky Mtns, the plains, the deep forest, the searing Texas summer and frozen Minnesota north.

She wears many hats: writer and editor of ad copy, web copy, office correspondence & fiction; a cowgirl, animal trainer, seamstress, jeweler, artist and... authoress!

Welcome to The Splendor Falls, E!

What is the synopsis of your Space Kitties tale?
Well, when an A.S.P. ship (Air & Space Patrol) unwittingly gets involved with a monopod stealing Company princess, someone must go down onto a young world and get the runaway golden kitty back. Two somebodies get picked... and it's too bad that the young lieutenant and the Scotch Terrier have been quarreling thus far.

What inspired you to write it?
I wanted to play with some classic lines from pop-sci-fi, so I built the story to accommodate a subverted usage of some of science fictions most popular catch phrases. It really came to life, and I think many people won't even notice the way I snuck the lines in amongst the action of the plot.
[My favorite was the 'Beam up, Scotty'.]
Oh, well.

How long did it take you to write?
I probably came back to it over the course of a month or two. It's only 10k words, so it's not that big of a deal. I write in spurts, so the first 10k of anything is usually pretty easy to get... putting the finalization on it is always the hardest part!

Was there any music you liked to listen to while you wrote?
I am a "silence is golden" type of writer. I like to "hear" the special effects in my mind while they're playing out, so too much auditory stimulation is actually a terribly frustrating thing.

What was your reaction when you found out that your story had been selected for the anthology?
I was thrilled! Of course I was... as the main host editor, I have the lovely job of accepting the submissions, stripping them of all identifying info, and then compiling them into documents for the judges to assess "blind." I put my stripped story in amongst the rest and it had every chance of "getting the gate" like any other! As it was, reading the judges scores on the tales was twice as suspenseful because they had no idea they were talking about my tale in there!

As it was, I really enjoyed the experience, because I felt the judges comments were completely truthful since they didn't know. Therefore the positive opinions were that much more valuable!

Are you a plotter or a panster?
Definitely a panster. I start with a premise, a general idea of a theme, and generally a compelling character. Then I see where it goes.

What elements does your ideal story contain?
Oh, I'd say a lot of sly humor, some action, and a whole lot of realism being clever. I love to read about clever things that could actually be done in real life. (I share an appreciation with my brother for "true crime" stories of very smart heists, scams, etc. where someone was extremely tricky about something.) Other than that, I love a good turn of phrase and realistic, witty dialog. 

A lot of dialog I read is just so flat, it's terribly boring.

Has there been an author or non-author person who has influenced your writing more than anyone else?
Hmm... as far as person, I guess you could say my Abi-sis is a huge influence because she crits everything I write... though authorly, Tolkien, O. Henry, and Robert Lewis Stevensen are major influencers on my general craft.

Have you written any other books?
Yes, two in the Five Gems series where Fia Brithin gets her dream of a jeweler's apprenticeship, but it includes total removal from her family and childhood home. That leads to dangers and growing, which home-body Fia never really craved!

Second, the Thaw quartet deals with the combined tales of Snow Queen, Snegurken, etc. with a Frozen adaptation that focuses on self growth and maturity... giving a cast of characters a wide stage to play on as they find their way toward internal balance and true happiness. This gave rise to the Fairytale Collection, which will include over 20 books and many classic tales retold in the world of Demargen and it's 13 fascinating princes.

What stories can we expect from you in the future?
Well, clearly, the 20 upcoming Fairytale Collection, for one thing! We're in the final stages of Beaded Slipper, which has a lot more action and mystery and surprise reveals than most people expect out of a Cinderella retelling... but what can you expect when Elinor only goes to the ball to steal sensitive documents?

King's Ward, #3 in the Five Gems books, has Fia once more being uprooted and immersed into a whole new place, and dangers come skulking pretty soon there as well. Readers of Fia's first two books are going to LOVE the villain of this piece, and the stakes get very high and very personal for our home-body heroine as she adapts to letting go of "what should have been" and deal directly with what needs done, now!

And of course there will be a Space Kitties 3; The Ones They Left Behind anthology, (submissions opening now!) for a planned release 2017.  [See below.]

We're also wanting to include our fantasy writer friends, so we're planning a fantasy kitties up next, tentatively titled "Cats in Black Boots".  (I love that title!!! And of course I'll be doing the cover art, so that is just full of delicious possibilities!!! Can't wait!)

After all of this? Wow, who can say? I do have several historical novels which may come into play at some time, but that's all too far away to lay any solid plans.

Thanks for having me! It's been fun talking books with you all!!

Aaaaand now.  Are you all ready to see the pretty cover?

Buy Space Kitties 2 on Amazon
Add Space Kitties 2 to your Goodreads lists

Submissions are now open for the Space Kitties 3 Anthology: The Ones Left Behind.  Visit this page for all the information you need!