Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Caught Talking to Myself…

By YA Author Andrea Buginsky

Has this ever happened to you? You’re sitting in a room all by yourself having a conversation. Someone walks in, gives you a strange look and says, “Were you talking to me?” You innocently say, “No,” and return to the conversation.

If this has happened to you, you’re probably a writer. As writers, we often talk to ourselves. Only, we’re not actually talking to ourselves, we’re talking to our characters. Actually having one-on-one (or two-on-one, or three-on-one…) conversations. We can really get into a discussion with our characters as though they’re actually sitting right there in the room with us.

There have been times when I’ve been embarrassed to have had this happen. There I’ll be, talking to my characters when someone walks in the room. I’d get quiet and try to pretend nothing’s happening. After all, I didn’t want the person walking in on me to think I was a lunatic or something. But lately, I’ve learned I’m not alone in this trait. It’s a trait many writers have, and most of them relish in it. So, I’ve decided I’m going to learn not to be embarrassed by it, and just let it happen.

Many of your stories can come out of these great conversations with your characters. They can tell you a lot of things about themselves and their stories that you may not have known. Listen to what they have to say. Grab a notepad and pen, because you’re going to want to jot down what they say for later. Believe me, if you really get into a conversation with them only to forget about most of what was said when you’re sitting in front of your computer ready to write it all out in your book, you’re going to really hate yourself. And since these conversations can even take place in your sleep, or just as you awake in the morning or from a nap, you’ll want to keep a notepad and pen on your nightstand too. Oh, and one in your purse for when they start talking to you in public.  Now, that can be really interesting to have happen….

So the next time you find you having a chat with your characters don’t be embarrassed! Have a good time and see what they have to tell you. Curl up and get ready for story time!

Andrea Buginsky is a freelance writer and author. “The Chosen” was her first book, and was followed by “My Open Heart,” an autobiography about growing up with heart disease. “Nature’s Unbalance” is the second story in THE CHOSEN series. Andrea plans to write more in the series. She’s already done with the first draft of book 3 and has a concept for book 4. You can find Andrea on her website, Andi’s Realm. Her books are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New Release - Setara's Genie

SETARA’S GENIE (August 17th)
A girl, a genie, a few demons. Would could go wrong?
by Marva Dasef
MuseItUp Buy Link: http://tinyurl.com/SetarasGenie
Amazon Buy Link: coming soon


Abu Nuwas sits in the bazaar on his threadbare rug; a cup and sign proclaim him a teller of tales. For one small coin, he bids passers by to listen. A poor girl, Najda, sells spices from a tray. Would he, she asks, trade a tale for a packet of spice? Abu Nuwas agrees and begins the epic adventures of a girl and her genie.

As did Scheherazade before him, Abu leaves Najda hanging in the middle of each yarn to keep her coming back. Between stories, he questions the girl about her life. He discovers that she’s been promised in marriage to an old man whom she hates, but she must wed him to save her sick mother’s life. The rich bridegroom will pay for the doctors the mother needs. Meanwhile, Najda sells spices in the market to earn enough money to keep her mother alive.

He relates the adventures of the bored daughter of a rich merchant, Setara, and her genie, Basit, as they encounter the creatures of legend and folklore: a lonely cave demon seeking a home; a flying, fire-breathing horse who has lost his mate; a dragon searching for his family; an evil genie hunting for the man who put him in a lamp; and a merboy prince cast out of his undersea kingdom.

Chapter One
In Which a Poor Little Rich Girl Seeks Adventure

The nomad chieftain, usually a brave man, cringed on hands and knees before the enormous, shadowy figure towering above him.

“The bargain is a simple one, fool,” the creature rumbled in a deep, menacing voice. “You bring me what I ask, and I will not take what I need from your miserable tribe.”

“I understand, oh Great Demon,” the chieftain replied, his voice muffled by the fact that he had his nose pressed firmly against the cavern’s stone floor.

The demon growled. “What did you say?”

The chieftain raised his eyes and then quickly averted them from the fanged mouth and fiery, glowing eyes. He spoke carefully this time, enunciating each word as though his life depended on it, and he was sure it did. “I understand, Mighty Demon. I will obey.”

“Very well. Your tribe remains safe...as long as you keep your end of the bargain.”
* * * *
Setara tapped the stone-lined pool’s surface and smiled at the rippled reflection of her own face. The pool was like her life, she thought, always placid and clear, the only excitement as brief and trivial as a summer rainstorm. Even a tempest with thunder and lightning would be a pleasant change of pace from her dull existence.

She sighed, a deep sigh only a very young, very romantic girl can muster. Where was her heroic sheik riding a pure white horse? The prince to carry her away? Where was the...the magic?

Yes, that was the word. Her life was utterly and totally without magic.

If only her father let her live in town. Afraid of losing the only thing remaining of his beloved wife, he kept her locked up in the compound. Setara, only fifteen, feared her father would never free her, even when she came of age. Would he even let her marry? Oh, he loved her, she had no doubt. She lacked for nothing in the material sense, but she wanted more.

Setara strolled along the garden path toward the west wall of the compound. She wandered aimlessly, lost in her blue mood until she approached the little niche in the wall she considered her secret place.

As far as she knew, no one but she had found the crumbling opening. When she discovered it, she immediately recognized its importance. A breach in the wall was dangerous. The renegade tribes who lived in the mountains raided the village and sometimes the isolated estates such as her father’s. The raiders only went after the easy prey. They hit hard and fast and then returned swiftly to their mountain aeries.

But the wall had to be impenetrable to be effective. Why did she keep this secret? She wasn’t sure but suspected it had to do with her insufferable boredom. As long as invaders could breach the wall, there was a chance, a tiny chance that something exciting might happen.

Although the opening was very small, she was not a large girl, so she could easily crawl through it. The mortar between the stones on the outer wall had given way and fallen rockery littered the small space directly in front of the breach. The hole itself, about three feet tall by two feet wide on the inside, narrowed through its four-foot depth to a space barely big enough for her shoulders to pass through. She had cleared the brambles on the outside to give her enough room to sit leaned back against the wall.

Never venturing beyond the bramble exit, she could see the valley and the mountains beyond. She came here often to watch the sun setting over the western range. Inside the compound, dusk came a half hour earlier than over the mountains. Setara watched the sun set from within the walls before she crawled through the niche to watch it set a second time.

Sunset neared, and she decided to go through the gap since she had nothing better to do. She noticed how tight the fit had become and hoped she wouldn’t grow much more, or she might not be able to get through at all.

Setara poked her head out of the tunnel when a very large, very strong hand grabbed her hair, pulling her completely out. Too startled to make any sound except a pained squeak, she fainted when a hand clamped over her mouth.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dragon Clans: Sequel to Dragon Flame YA Series

Thank you Rebecca and Teen Word Factory for inviting me to the Teen Word Factory blog.

'Dragon Clans' is a fantasy young adult book. the sequel to 'Dragon Flame'. The second book continues the story a few years after the humans have come to an understanding with the dragons.

The four dragon clans are wary of the outcast red dragons who have attacked with provocation in the past. When the reds once again appear in their skies and cause destruction to the sentient forest, the dragons of the clan treaty ask the humans for help.

Sie is human, but the reds rescue her from the sea and invite her to become part of their clan. Can she help her dragon family to find a peaceful solution to the feud between them and the treaty dragons?

I love dragons. I know they're mythical creatures but they are the most well known of the beasts of fantasy. Dragon stories always attract me so it's natural for me to write about them. Series with stand alone books are also a favorite with me which is why I have made this a series with a third book to come.

My very own dragon is made of stone, others think he's a garden ornament but both he and I know he's a dragon just waiting to emerge from his stone covering. I've included a photo of him - isn't he cute?

Below is an excerpt and I hope you'll leave a comment for a chance to win an ebook selected randomly from commenters at the end of the tour.


Her orange and female companion indicated the difference in colors to be between male and female. The majority of dragons doing food preparation were smaller than the one beside her so she guessed they were young, but they were a mixture of genders.
Essi. An orange dragon came forward when Benare called. This is the human you heard call for help. I am making you responsible for her. Find some warm clothing for her and feed her.
With a nod to Sie, the healer turned and moved away.
My name's Essi. The dragon sounded a bit shy. What should I call you?
"I'm Sie. Do you mind if I sit down? I'm feeling a bit dizzy."
Sit over here. Essi indicated a flat rock a short distance away. I'll bring you something to eat.
Visions of raw meat flicked through Sie's mind. What did dragons eat? Essi returned holding a flat rock. Several different fruits and an unusual cake sat on top of the rock, and the young dragon placed it beside Sie, then scrunched down on her back legs.
Eat. We can talk after you have food inside you.
Sie picked up some fruit and bit into it. The juices ran down her throat soothing a path through the soreness caused by swallowing sea water. She took a tentative bite of the cake. It tasted delicious. Made of fruit, it had been compressed and blended to make a cake texture. In moments it vanished.
You have finished? Come, we will find you something warm to wear. Essi led the way to some caves in the rocky walls of the valley. The large opening allowed light into the cave, and Essi began to rummage through piles of hides and skins.
Ah, here we are. The dragon held up a rectangle of thick fur against Sie's body then folded it in half down the narrow edge. With one of her sharp talons she slit the center at the top, leaving a small piece of fur at either end. When Essi offered her the skin, Sie looked at her in bewilderment. What did the dragon want her to do?
Pull it over your head.
"Oh." Sie pushed her head through the slit and found the fur hung from her shoulders to her knees. The flight to the dragon settlement had dried her clothes, and with this extra cover her body warmed up. Essi picked up a bigger fur skin and led the way to a small cave. Near the back Sie could see a heaped pile of animal furs and dried vegetation.
These are my sleeping quarters, Essi explained. You can sleep here for now. I'll be busy outside for a while. Use this as a cover.
The dragon handed Sie the larger fur. Clambering up on the bedding Sie pulled the covering over her and snuggled down.
"Thank you, Essi." A yawn stopped her saying anything further. Her eyelids drooped, and she fell asleep.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Hi, my name is Mary Andrews, author of The Fireborn Chronicles series. I like to call what I write psionic sci fi: the inevitable fusion of man, machine and the paranormal.

When I was young I remember walking to the convenience store with my brother and sister on comic book days. Between the three of us we collected all the Marvel titles, and quite a few of the DC’s. I learned to draw from comics. I learned about cliff hanging segments. Also, I came to realize that, though the action scenes and ‘good conquers evil’ themes were great, the most important part of the story really centered on the MAN in Superman.

Think about it. It gets boring watching super-humans effortlessly defeat criminal after criminal; but how he feels about it, how it affects his life, where he came from, how he fits into society, all these things make him interesting. This is true of all the characters we create.

The creative spirit can, and should, find inspiration everywhere. To learn the art of writing, one has only to pay attention.

Read. Read everything—anything. When it’s impressive, reread it. Dissect it. Study it. How does the author involve the reader? What things were described more than others? Why? Were the sentences long or short? Did the cadence of the words make a difference in scenes?

Don’t stop with the written word either. What motivates people to behave the way they do? Each person in class, the teachers, parents, family members; why do they behave the way they do? What motivates the winners, the losers, and the bystanders? The act of creation flourishes with an awareness of why things happen.

Now what about television and movies? Million dollar industries must have something inspirational for writers— other than inspiration itself, of course. What emotion does the music elicit? When? Pay attention to what the cameraman is doing. What do the close-ups focus upon? Why? How is this done with words?

Practice describing settings, clothing, hairstyles, facial expressions, vehicles and furniture. Listen to the dialog. There’s a world of wealth for writers to study there.

But wait, there’s more! Don’t forget the internet. Without even leaving the comfort of home it’s possible to cross the world and learn from professional authors, editors, publishers, even agents. For instance, several years ago I found both my publishers through the free, week long Muse Online Writers Conference, which I highly recommend to anyone interested in all aspects of writing. This year’s conference runs from Octobers 8-14th.

Consider checking out my website, http://firebornchronicles.com/ . On the sidebars at, there are links to the Muse and other online conferences as well as classes I have taught in the past. I also recommend visiting my Resources Page which contains several years’ worth of collected links to writing sites.

Don’t forget about search engines. Google is your friend. For instance, check this search out: ‘college scholarships for writing

“The prophecy tells of their arrival; a Siphon bearing the Breath of God, the Dark Lord whose deathlike hunger shaves away life, the Chosen One who binds them together, and the Dark Angel who will stand upon the mountain and save us all when the death from the sky is upon us.”   —The Fireborn Chronicles: Revelations