Saturday, May 24, 2014

Rituals of a Seelie writer

Editor: Scott Sandridge
Featured Books
A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court
A Chimerical World: Tales of the Unseelie Court
May 18 to 25, 2014

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Today I get to welcome author Alexandra Christian to my blog. There's a chimerical book touring the internet, containing one of Alexandra's stories, and, with stories about the Seelie and Unseelie Courts abounding, one has to ask, are the authors also chimerical? What rituals might a fantasy author enjoy while creating and exploring these worlds? And what might they be willing to share? So, over to you Alexandra, and thank you for visiting my blog.




Rituals

By Alexandra Christian

Most writers will tell you that they are superstitious.  I think it comes from being a creative person.  You’re more likely to believe in magic, fate and fantasy.  Superstition falls into the category.  Don’t get me wrong, most writers are fiercely intelligent folk who don’t go in for black cats crossing their paths or breaking mirrors and bad luck.  But ritual is, my friend, at the heart of the creative process. 

Throughout my career, one of my favorite things about “being an author” is the convention.  Those gatherings where like-minded people come together to talk about their favorite topics and dress like Klingons.  I appear at maybe five sci-fi/fantasy conventions each year and I sit on a lot of panels about writing.  Though their topics are wildly different, I always get asked some of the same questions over and over: How did you get published?  Where do you get your ideas?  But my personal favorite is:  Tell me about your process.  I suck at this question because my answer really isn’t helpful.  And the dirty little secret is:  no author’s answer is going to be really helpful because what works for me may not work for you.  In fact, my brand of crazy probably shouldn’t be attempted by others.  What we’re talking about here, kittens, is the ritual of writing.  Everyone has their own little things they do to get into their “writer zone.” 

So here it is.  Breaking news:  Alexandra’s Ritual (trademarked in the forty-eight contiguous states and the US Virgin Islands).  

1.       Outlines are evil. I have always hated an outline.  Unless I’m writing a research paper, I loathe using outlines.  I have a very hard time using a format to organize my ideas and not overthink them.  I can’t jot notes.  My notes become a magnum opus in such a way that it would have been faster just to write the damn book.  I realize they work like a charm for others and they don’t feel limited or locked in using one.  That’s just not me.   It’s not, as the kids would say, “how I roll.”

2.      Music is a must.  When I get down to serious writing, I must have a playlist that lends itself to the story or scene I’m working on.  That’s right, it can’t be just any music.  If I’m writing a really sensual, grinding sex scene then I have to have sensual, grinding music. If it’s a fight scene, then hard rockin’ metal is a must.  Some writers say that they can’t write with music that has lyrics so they use classical or movie soundtracks.  This isn’t true for me, but again—my brand of crazy.

3.      Starbucks.  This is part of my ritual that is probably the greatest asset and the greatest detriment to my art.  I began writing every Thursday night with my little group about five years ago.  It’s all girls. We go to dinner together and then convene at our local Starbucks coffeehouse to write for about three hours.  During these sessions we can plot, talk and yes… let’s be honest—play on Facebook.  The point is:  I am generally more productive in that three hour session than I am all week long on my own.  That’s the good part.  The bad part is that because this has become so ingrained in my ritual, I have a difficult time writing at home on my couch.  But I’m working on it. 

I could go on and on with the intricacies of how I work, but then the point of this post would be lost (you’ve already forgotten what it was, haven’t you?).  The point is:  everyone has to find their own groove.  You may have to sit in a quiet room all alone.  You may have to listen only to the Argentinian national anthem while you write with your Ticonderoga Number 2 pencil.  Whatever it is, find that ritual and play it to the bone, baby.  Go forth and write your masterpiece.   ‘Cuz if you don’t, nobody will.

In that case, Alexandra, I had better borrow my neighbor's dog and start typing again. In the absence of canine companionship, I'll just make do with multiple cups of coffee. Luckily our dear oldest son bought us one of those one-cup coffee-makers for Christmas, which definitely helps! And my dog stories just found a publisher, which helps even more. I wonder if you sent me some Seelie assistance along with this post. If so, thank you!

About the author: Alexandra Christian is an author of mostly paranormal erotic romance and horror.  In case you don't know what that means, she writes about not-so-nice girls getting it on with out- of- this- world heroes.  Vampires, werewolves, dragons, fairies, angels and demons-- and that's just recently! 
A self-proclaimed “Southern Belle from Hell,” Lexxx is a native South Carolinian who lives with an epileptic wiener dog and a pet ghost hunter.  She has published several novels, novellas and short stories with Ellora’s Cave, Purple Sword Publications, Mocha Memoirs Press and most recently, Seventh Star Press.  Her short story, “Wormwood” appears in A Chimerical World:  Tales of the Seelie Court from Seventh Star Press.  She looks forward to sharing her twisted view of reality with the masses through erotic paranormal romance and horror.  Lexxx’s long-term aspirations are to one day be a bestselling authoress and part-time pinup girl.  Questions, comments and complaints are most welcome at her website:  http://lexxxchristian.wordpress.com/ .



ScottSandridgeAbout the Editor: Scott M. Sandridge is a writer, editor, freedom fighter, and all-around trouble-maker. His latest works as an editor include the Seventh Star Press anthologies Hero’s Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions, and the two volumes of A Chimerical World, Tales of the Seelie Court and Tales of the Unseelie Court.        

TalesoftheSeelieCourt1200X800Book Synopsis Tales of the Seelie Court: The Fey have been with us since the beginning, sometimes to our great joy but often to our detriment. Usually divided (at least by us silly humans) into two courts, the first volume of A Chimerical World focuses on the Seelie Court: the court we humans seem to view as the "good" faeries. But "good" and "evil" are human concepts and as alien to the Fey as their mindsets are to us. Inside you will find 19 stories that delve into the world of the faeries of the Seelie Court, from authors both established and new, including George S. Walker, Eric Garrison, and Alexandra Christian. But be warned: these faeries are nothing like Tinker Bell.    

Stories Included in Tales of the Seelie Court: "Extra-Ordinary" by BC Brown, "Dead Fairy Doormat" by George S. Walker, "Taggers" by Christine Morgan, "Wormwood" by Alexandra Christian, "The Harpist's Hand" by Steven S. Long, "Sanae's Garden" by Chantal Boudreau, "Mark of Ruins" by SD Grimm, "Birdie's Life at the School for Distressed Young Ladies" by JH Fleming, "Cultivated Hope" by Jordan Phelps, "Seelie Goose" by Eric Garrison, "I Knocked Up My Fairy Girlfriend" by Brandon Black, "The Body Electric" by Sarah Madsen, "The Last Mission" by Cindy Koepp, "The Beggar-Knight & the Lady Perilous" by Matthew A. Timmins, "The Filigreed Lamp" by Edward Ahern, "Keys" by Michael M. Jones, "Like a Sister in the Proper Court" by Lisa Hawkridge, "Gnome Games" by Saera Corvin, and "The Goat Man's Garden" by Marten Hoyle
 
 Be sure to also see A Chimerical World: Tales of the Unseelie Court, for more tales of the Fey!    

TalesoftheUnseelieCourt_Cover1200X800Book Synopsis Tales of the Unseelie Court: The Fey have been with us since the beginning, sometimes to our great joy but often to our detriment. Usually divided (at least by us silly humans) into two courts, the second volume of A Chimerical World focuses on the Unseelie Court: the court we humans seem to view as the "evil" faeries. But "good" and "evil" are human concepts and as alien to the Fey as their mindsets are to us. Inside you will find 19 stories that delve into the world of the faeries of the Unseelie Court, from authors both established and new, including Michael Shimek, Deedee Davies, and Nick Bryan. But don't be surprised if these faeries decide to play with their food.

Stories included in Tales of the Unseelie Court:   "In Plain Sight" by Rebecca Leo, "The Wunderhorn" by David Turnbull, "Treehouse" by Kim Smith, "I'll Watch Over You" by Angeline Trevena, "The Enemy of my Enemy" by Deedee Davies, "Maestro" by Nicholas Paschall, "Prey of the Boggart" by Rony Blechman, "Fear of Little Men" by Mike Pieloor, "Faerie Stories and the Bean Nighe" by Carmen Tudor, "Gifts" by Michael Shimek, "Djinn and Tonic" by S. Clayton Rhodes, "The Bet" by Jodi Ralston, "The Fool and his Money" by Nick Bryan, "The Yielding" by J. A. Ironside, "The Tamer of Beasts" by Doug Blakeslee, "The Last Sword of Barrow Thorns" by Matthew A. Timmins, "The Rose and the Dragon" by Steven S. Long, "The Brothers Doran" by John A. McColley, and  "Wonderland" by Stephanie Jessop

Be sure to also see A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court, for more tales of the Fey!

Editor Links:  
Twitter: https://twitter.com/scottmsandridge  
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/smsandwrites  
Website/Blog: http://smsand.wordpress.com  
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5772749-scott-sandridge  

Tour Schedule and Activities  
5/18 Jorie Loves a Story Review  
5/20 Deal Sharing Aunt Guest Post  
5/21 Armand Rosamilia, Horror Author Guest Post  
5/21 Vampires, Witches, and Me, Oh My! Guest Post  
5/21 Beauty in Ruins Guest Post
5/21 The Bird's Word Interview  
5/21 Book in the Bag Interview  
5/22 Bee's Knees Reviews Guest Post  
5/22 Spellbindings Promo/Spotlight  
5/22 I Smell Sheep Guest Post
 5/23 The Official Writing Blog of Deedee Davies Guest Post
 5/24 Heroic Fantasy Writers Review  
5/24 Sheila Deeth Blog Guest Post
5/25 Come Selahway With Me Interview    

Where to find the books:

Amazon Links for Tales of the Seelie Court  
Print Version http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Seelie-Court/dp/1937929477
Kindle Version http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Seelie-Court-ebook/dp/B00IAHTMAO  

Amazon Links for Tales of the Unseelie Court  
Print Version http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Unseelie-Court/dp/1937929493
Kindle Version http://www.amazon.com/Chimerical-World-Tales-Unseelie-Court-ebook/dp/B00IAHTVSC

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