Find a New Favorite Novel: Multi-Author Promotion

I’m running a special promotion on Dryad, and I’ve joined with several wonderful authors from around the world to bring our books to a wider audience.


Dryad is now only $0.99 until November 22, so if you haven’t got a kindle copy, please click over to Amazon here to see what all the fuss is about!

Our whole crew of authors will all have their own special promos starting today and ending on November 22. Enjoy all the discounted books!

Barbara Monier — https://barbaramonier.wordpress.com/ — contemporary literary fiction

John Howell — http://johnwhowell.com/ — fiction thriller

Michael Fedison –https://eyedancers.wordpress.com/ — YA Sci-fi/Fantasy

Shehanne Moore — https://shehannemoore.wordpress.com/ — romance

Janice Spina — https://jemsbooks.wordpress.com/ — middle-grade junior detectives series

Luciana Cavallaro — http://luccav.com/ — historical fiction–mythology retold

Evelyne Holingue — http://evelyneholingue.com/ — middle-grade fiction

Jo Robinson — https://africolonialstories.wordpress.com/ — nonfiction publishing guide for newbies, two short stories, and mainstream fiction

Sonya Solomonovich — https://sonyasolo.wordpress.com/ — time-travel fantasy

Jennifer Chow — http://jenniferjchow.com/ — adult cozy mystery (the beginning of a new series)

Nicki Chen — http://nickichenwrites.com/ — historical fiction–WWII China

Katie Cross — http://kcrosswriting.com/ — YA fantasy

I hope you check out some of these books and let me know in the comments which genres speak to you!


Dryad Characters: Anastacio

As for me, I don’t feel at home in the human world, but I am here since I must fulfil my duty.

– Anastacio

Somewhat like this but more green and leafy!

Somewhat like this but more green and leafy!

Picture a Tarzan-like creature or perhaps Conan the Barbarian, but slightly greenish of skin and very green and round of eye. Proud and sometimes arrogant, but very wise and protective of those he loves, Anastacio is skilled in dryad skills such as magic, climbing, dancing, and vine-throwing.


Why are you so proud?

Because I’m Anastacio!

Who is your best friend?

Venicio, the priest of the Great Tree. He’s very interesting to talk to.

You have much knowledge and wisdom. Have you ever been interested in the priesthood yourself?

Not really. For it would require arbitrating many quarrels and settling disputes among all these obnoxious dryads. I don’t have the patience for that.

You are very protective of outcast dryads such as Solena. Why is that?

Obviously, because they need my help. And if I don’t help them, who will?

But isn’t there just a small chance that you’re drawn to Solena because she is attractive?

What kind of a question is that?! I would help any dryad who needs my help, no matter their level of attractiveness.

Okay, let’s say we believe you… Why would you help any dryad — you just said they are quarrelsome and obnoxious?

I suppose I have a certain disdain for them as a group — they’re just so annoying when they get together — but I feel sympathy and understanding for each individual.

What makes you happy?

Roaming through the trees, watching the animals and birds going about their ways; talking with Solena about her human magazines and books.





Where Does an Idea for a Novel Come from?

idea-for-a-novelI’ve just finished reading To Live by Yu Hua. This was an amazing epic novel that made me think of a Chinese Forrest Gump. The main character is not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, but he lives on through many different historical events in 20th century Chinese history and manages to survive despite the various upheavals in governments and political systems.

Yu Hua says that his inspiration for this novel came from an american folk song. No wonder it made me think of Forrest Gump’s Alabama.

I once heard an American folk song entitled ‘Old Black Joe.’ The song was about an elderly black slave who experienced a life’s worth of hardships, including the passing of his entire family – yet he still looked upon the world with eyes of kindness, offering not the slightest complaint. After being so deeply moved by this song I decided to write my next novel – that novel was To Live.

One would think that China and the old South would have very little in common culturally, but on a basic human level, a meaningful connection can be made. I’m also fascinated by the way a song can inspire a novel, and vice versa: just think of all those Lord of the Rings-inspired Led Zeppelin songs.

Speaking about all his novels in general, Yu Hua describes the way ideas are crystallized from the simplest and smallest things:

For an author, the act of writing always begins with a smile, a gesture, a memory on the verge of being forgotten, a casual conversation or a bit of information hidden in the newspaper — it is these tiny pearl-like details that sometimes transform one’s fate and spread like waves into magnificent vistas and scenes.

Coincidentally, Janna Noelle has written on writers’ ideas recently in her blog, Rules of Engagement:

My ideas are like – to borrow from the libretto of Les Misérables – a little fall of rain: sufficient to get your attention when it speckles the side of your face, but not substantial enough to convince you that anything more will come of it.

For all you know, maybe you were standing too close to a conversation and just got spat on.

Once the idea is born, I carry it with me everywhere.  Like a child, I’m trying to help it grow well-rounded by exposing it to numerous perspectives and experiences.

As for me, my ideas take ages to turn into workable novels. Usually they’re not even my ideas but something someone suggests to me. It usually takes me two to three years to realize that the idea has potential. Then I take that original idea, make it more crazy, weird, and complicated until it becomes truly my own.

So for those of you who are working on a novel of your own, where did your idea come from? And is it more like a pearl or like a child, or perhaps another thing altogether?


Swashbuckling Novel Cover Sketches

I’ve been hired for an internship in website development (more on that in a later post). It’s a very exciting project, though unfortunately this means less time spent writing my blog and novels. But it’s all for the greater good of humanity! Also I got a few sketches of the cover for my swashbuckling novel Count Morelli, and I’m really close to wrapping up the final final draft. I received these a few days ago. I’m pretty sure we’re going to go with the second one. I like how roguish it looks.


Author Interview

A new interview about moi and my historical fiction novel Count Morelli has been published by Felicia Tatum on her blog. Click on the link below to find out why it’s good to read your teenage writing, who my favorite Count Morelli character is, and what Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and David Sedaris have in common.


And another great piece of news, I’ve found an illustrator for Count Morelli, so we’ll be seeing the cover soon…


A sample from the upcoming novel Count Morelli

I’m getting really serious about publishing my historical fiction novel Count Morelli (for real this time), and just to prove it, I am posting an excerpt here. Enjoy!

Count Morelli Chapter 1

The photo is of the Santa Maria Novella, which first caught Palashov’s eye when he arrived in Florence. It’s fairly small compared to other Florentine basilicas, but it’s got the most amazing black and white marble facade, and it was the first of its kind to be constructed in Florence.

I just got back from my Cuban vacation, so I will blog about that soon. Once I get over the jet lag, I’ll also be doing some final edits on Morelli. The plan is to have it out by September or October at the latest. Wish me luck!