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HollowLands Posts

I met my reader today

Posted in Readers

What I mean is, I met an embodiment of the person for whom my books are written.

Oh, I've followed the advice of other authors who say to make up a person of a certain demographic and set of opinions, the better to target a marketing message at. That never worked very well for me as a concept.

My reader was excited to spend time with an author, in depth, discussing a book not yet read. We ranged all over the conceptual landscape discovering common opinions about how a plot should work, how worlds should be built, how characters should be, what makes a hero. We were someplace where we had the time to do that.

The whole time, I was at least as excited to meet the sort of person with whom my kind of story connects, to feel our mutual enthusiasm.

THAT'S why I'm writing, not just because I can.

Ah, the wonders of fiction

Posted in Characters, Heroes, The Hounds of Annwn, The Ways of Winter, and Works

This morning I got up at 6:15 to do my daily writing. I reflected, as I sat down at my keyboard, on what a wonderful thing fiction was, that I had gotten up early out of a warm bed (and ultimately missed foxhunting later that morning) to write a scene from the point of view of a fifty thousand year old rock elemental, because she had opinions worth hearing about regarding the plot twists of the current book.

Anywhere else, they'd lock you up for that.

The trade paperback version is now available

Posted in Publishing, Release, The Hounds of Annwn, To Carry the Horn, and Works

I'm happy to announce that To Carry the Horn is now available in paperback. See the link to order.

I'm still having difficulty with Google Play and may have to give up on that channel even if I finally get it working properly, because I understand that their propensity to discount ebooks arbitrarily may trigger the same behavior from Amazon to match the price, and I can't have a book seller making that decision for me; discounting needs to be my decision..

To Carry the Horn – available to buy

Posted in Publishing, and Release

You can now buy the Kindle version of To Carry the Horn on Amazon, and the other retailers will clock in as soon as they approve the uploaded files. Got my first customer already! Thank you very much, whoever you are.

UPDATED – I'm live on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, too. The proof of the trade paperback version arrived yesterday, so as soon as the Library of Congress gets its act together and sends me the CIP (Cataloging in Publication) data for the copyright page, that should become available in about two weeks.

Also got my first review, from a stranger, on Smashwords. 5 stars from a satisfied reader! Whoo-hoo!

To Carry the Horn (excerpt) – Chapter 1

Posted in The Hounds of Annwn, To Carry the Horn, and Works

ToCarryTheHorn - Full Front Cover Widget

CHAPTER 1

Prologue
I did it! He’s finally gone, dead, finished. A few snicks and snecks, and there he was on the ground, wasn’t he, throat twitching. And they just stood around, didn’t they, deluded like fools by the spell, that wonderful spell he gave me, he was right about it, all those hounds and nothing they could do.

The mighty prince. Ha. One less for you. I remember how he helped you hold him down before you cut him open…

Hush, hush, no, don’t think about that.

Character names & the joys of Welsh

Posted in Characters

I'm slogging through the character names index and a Welsh pronunciation guide (very necessary — sorry to do it to you folks. One of my beta readers is complaining bitterly. I say, could be worse – could be a Russian novel.) This requires me to look up every name and make sure I provide some clue about how to say it. Welsh looks much harder than it is because of unusual spelling conventions. “Gruffydd” is Griffith, “Rhys” is Reece, “Vachan” became Vaughan, and so forth, but there are some genuine problems, too.

To begin with, the name of one of my main characters turns out to be the wrong gender. (No, I'm not telling you which one.) That's fixed now (that is, I fixed the name, not him.) Too bad, I liked that name.

Secondly, you can't just look up Welsh words in a dictionary. Perhaps you didn't know this… Celtic languages share a phenomenon known as “mutation” and are annoying enough to change the spelling accordingly. This means, when you pronounce a word differently because of the influence of its surrounding words or grammatical syntax, you spell it that way.

We're used to this in English for vowels in some of our older words, such as our class of strong verbs. We share with other Germanic languages couplets like “run/ran”, “fall/fell”, “know/knew”. Initial letters, on the other hand, rarely do this in English, so it doesn't seem so bad because we only have a few of them, and the initial letter isn't involved. It's different in Welsh.