Tag Archives: guardian of the gods

No Wrong Way

Right now, a good number of my writer friends are sharing articles on plotting and preparing for NaNoWriMo. Some of them are helpful, some of them sort of irritate me a bit. Some of them make it seem like you have to prepare in the first place to succeed at NaNoWriMo or even writing a book at all. You don’t. There is no wrong way to write a book. There are certainly people who can open a file and write 50,000 words in a month or less with no plotting, no prep work at all. Maybe it’s not the popular way but it isn’t impossible. I should know. Guardian of the Gods, Hunter’s Crossing, and Eldercynne Rising all had their zero drafts done during NaNoWriMo (Hunter’s Crossing is the only one that kept its title) and I had one sentence or one whisp of an idea in my head when I sat down on November 1.

This year is a little different because I’m writing a sequel so, I’ve got to keep continuity with the first and follow some threads I’ve prepared there already, but you absolutely can do NaNoWriMo with no prep work at all. I am not a plotter. I don’t do outlines or sketches. I do a zero draft and build up from there. My zero drafts are pretty sparse but for me, it’s more about the plot than the pretty (though pretty can happen during the zero, mostly it gets cut during drafting and edits).

If you want to write a book, sit down and do it by whatever means necessary. If you need an outline, make one. If you need that prep work, please do it. If you don’t and you just need an open file or a piece of paper – that works too. You do you and tell a good story. This world needs more good stories.


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If it’s not one thing…

It’s a hundred others.

My legs and feet seem to be more or less back to normal (for me – I’ve always had issues with the one knee). Now it’s my hands. Bah. It is quite difficult to type right now but the more I work through it, the more limber my fingers get so I’ll keep plugging (in fits and starts). I just want to be up to par by Sunday – when my next craft fair is. I’ve been enjoying these, believe it or not.

I did all right, especially considering the less than favorable weather and my necessary early exit – the knee just wasn’t going to cooperate anymore.

This Sunday, I’ll be in Weirton at the Italian Festival at the Serbian picnic grounds if all goes well and the weather looks pretty favorable so far (fingers crossed they stay that way.

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Monsters and Mayhem


Fall 1997's Threshold containing my first ever published story.

Fall 1997’s Threshold containing my first ever published story.

I love writing about myths, monsters, and the mayhem they leave in their wake. Which, if you’ve read Hunter’s Crossing, Guardian of the Gods or Eldercynne Rising, should be pretty clear. All the main characters are monster hunters in their own way.


I’ve been writing about monsters from the very beginning.

My first few non-school lit-mag publications were all in the same local zine. And technically, the first fiction in that school lit-mag was monster related too – she was a Scottish death goddess, yes, but very much a monster. Apart from her, I started with vampires like any good Poppy Z Brite and Anne Rice fan. A tragic, miserable vampire in his last moments before committing suicide by sunrise because his love is dead.

At the time of its publication, I hadn’t even met my husband yet so it is under my maiden name but, I think there are only a handful of publications under McBride. I was young and the writing definitely shows it. It’s all very purple and flowery and very different from the style I’ve grown into in the last two decades.

My first fiction publication (1997).

My first fiction publication (1997).

I have always been a mythology junkie. I’ve read up on the mythology from all over the world. Mythology speaks to the primal part of me, the stories still waiting to be told that live in my brain. I cut my literary teeth on the old Grimm fairy tales and all the books I could get my hands on about Greek, Roman, Scottish, Irish, and Native American mythology. Later I’d find Japanese, Chinese, and Mongolian myths.

Not all of my monsters are actually monsters – Leilani’s BFF is a very old vampire after all – but I do love a good monster. I like to find more obscure creatures or, on occasion, create my own entirely.

We all know vampires, werewolves, fairies, elves, and djinn but what about Kitsune or an aswang (and yes, that one is just super fun to say)? Old school sirens, harpies, and Russian style mermaids. There are so many neat mythological critters out there that sometimes I  wonder what it is about the vampires and werewolves that draw us all in so. Probably because, at least on the most basic level, nearly all cultures have something similar to a vampire or a werewolf.

Do you have a favorite underused monster? Something you’d like to see in a future story?


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Hardwired Humanity & Guardian of the Gods

I have now completed all the trailers for all my books so, until I have a new one out, I’m done making them! By the next round, I should be even more comfortable with the software and they’ll be that much better.



Thosha-Tol was chosen to be the protector of his goddesses. They know the Godkillers are coming for them. They trust Thosha to save them but will he still serve them when he discovers their betrayals?

Guardian of the Gods



We spend our days with machines in every pocket, on every wrist, jammed into every ear. We have become dependent on our technological wonders but, what happens when they start to wake? When they begin to talk back, to judge our actions. How will humanity measure up in the eyes of our creations? Follow these machines, or near machines, as they discover all that makes them human and what sets them apart. Standing on the threshold between man and machine, is it possible for a machine to be more more human than her creators?

Hardwired Humanity is a short story collection


I guess I need to get back to writing if I ever want to make more trailers.



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All things Book

I’m currently reading a great book (or two), writing what I hope will be a good book, and thinking about a new book to follow Hunter’s Crossing.

A few weeks ago I went to Steel City Con and was quite enamored of Doug Bradley. If you read my blog or follow The Geek Girl Project at all, you probably already know that I’m also a bit obsessed with movie magic, especially the makeups. Doug Bradley wrote a book: Behind the Mask of the Horror Actor. All about masks. And it is really wonderful. Apparently, it was also a lecture at one point and I really wish I’d been able to attend it. In my head, I hear much of the narrative in his voice anyway but attending in person would have been great fun and very interesting.

A few days ago, I participated in my first ever Facebook book release party. I’m not exactly sure how successful it was, but it was fun.  This event was for the release of the latest in a series of shared world anthologies, Sha’Daa: Facets. I really rather like my story in this book. Granted, I’ve really liked all the stories I’ve written for the Sha’Daa series so far. I still think my personal favorite is in Sha’Daa: Tales of the Apocalypse. The Boy Without Words hits a little close to home maybe, even if the boy in the story’s autism is much more severe than my sons.

Hunter’s Crossing now officially has a print edition as well! It’ll be another day or so before it is up on Amazon but it is available right this moment HERE. Hardwired Humanity also has a print edition. I need to see about getting Guardian of the Gods formatted but maybe soon!

Now, I should probably get back to work. This year has been really great for me but it took a lot of work to get it there. If I work just a little harder, maybe next year will be even better.

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So far, so good.

2015 is starting out kindly (if we don’t count the many snow days). Oldest child went and got pictures taken of the inside of his eye and everything is settled now. He’s got some fibers there that obscure his cones and will have them for life, but he doesn’t have further issues. I cannot begin to tell you what a weight that lifted. Youngest child is showing some unexpected progress in ways that probably wouldn’t matter to most – he doesn’t really play with things the way you’re meant to usually. His uncle got him a Lego Mos Eisley for Christmas and since we’ve  had so many snow days, I put it together for him and he actually spent half an hour playing with it – pretending with the little figures like you’re meant to. I know it’s a strange thing to be happy about but, it’s the little things that matter most.

On the writing front, things are also going well. I’m rewriting and editing Demonborn and it is shaping up quite nicely. I’m hoping to have it off to first readers by the end of January. Better, one of my novels that are currently out in the land of submissions, has landed a full request. That’s no guarantee but it is very good news. Of course, I love the book but it is nice when other people show interest too. Maybe, before too long, I’ll have good news to share on that front. Right now, it’s more of a sit, wait, and hope. I’ve done all I can do for it, it’s entirely out of my hands now.

It also turns out that there’s a free sample of my book, Guardian of the Gods, as well as several others, available from Double Dragon over at Amazon. If you haven’t read the book, taking a little taste of it won’t cost a thing.

Face Off comes back on the 13th and I’m really looking forward to getting back to writing the recaps. I really enjoy doing it. Midseason hiatus breaks are wrapping up and nearly done which is also awesome. I still have my fingers crossed that Constantine can make it through this first season. Even with the change in time slots, I wish it was on a different night. I’ve got kids and as much as I love Constantine, it’s not really something I want them getting into just yet. One is a bit touchy and easily frightened and the other repeats everything (with accents).

For the time being, we’re sticking with Netflix though. I do wish Babylon 5 was on it but we’re watching Deep Space Nine, Dinosaurs, and Star Trek, the original series. There’s not a whole lot to do when it’s bitterly cold outside and school keeps getting cancelled. I’m going a bit stir crazy but I think that’s probably normal.

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National Novel Writing Month, for those who don’t know. I at least attempt it every year and have since 2008? I think. I don’t remember anymore how many years I’ve done it but it seems like a long time. My youngest was still pretty darn little but not tiny. I don’t “win” every year but I do more often than not and, even when I don’t, at least I was writing daily consistently.

It seems like every year, about this time (starting mid-September through October), my creativity, motivation, and drive crash while my doubts and all the angsty crap that goes with them flourish. Knowing it’s all related and all part of them same thing that happens every year doesn’t change it or stop it from sucking me in.

And every year about this time, I talk myself into Nanowrimo. 50,000 words in the span of 30 days. It is remarkably doable. And, having that goal in a place that sort of holds you accountable make it easier for me. I love deadlines. I work so much better – the writing is cleaner and crisper when I have a deadline. Nearly every year, I finish a rough draft of a novel, meeting the goal word count a few days before Thanksgiving.

My novel, Guardian of the Gods, started out as a Nano novel. It’s been through a lot of drafts and edits between then and now of course but that’s all part of the process. I have three other novels looking for homes and two of those were also Nano projects (though one has so little left of the original that I’m not sure it counts anymore and one took me well into December to finish). I don’t keep all my nano projects – there are a couple that I’ve scrapped entirely for the time being.

I am, of course, doing it again this year. I don’t plot, outline, or plan much going into Nanowrimo. I’ve got some backstory figured out and a list of characters and that’s pretty much it. I start November 1st with a blank document and see where it takes me. Sometimes the journey is a good one, others not so much, but it is always a good jump start for me after the general blah that sets in every year. Hopefully, this year’s project will be fun and I can manage to write my poor characters into some horrible corner just to see how they weasel out of it – I don’t always keep those interludes in the final product but there is no faster or cleaner way to figure out who the characters really are than to throw them into something nasty and see what happens. I almost feel bad for them.

I’ve got a stronger sense this year of what I want to do – at least tonally. This year is something post-apocalyptic (*sort of). When I wrote Guardian of the Gods, all I had to start with was one sentence: Jaffine monster hunter. Jaffine being Thosha’s (the main character) race. It turned out pretty good in the end and I hope this new one will too. For the time being, I’m calling it Demonborn (unless a better title occurs to me later). I know my main character a little bit and that’s enough for me. I can’t wait to get started but I have a lot of things to do between now and november so I have the time to commit (plus then I won’t want to just get writing already).

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Catching up and looking ahead

My father is finally home from the hospital. I’m not exactly sure whether or not anything was actually resolved but it does sound like he’s feeling better to some degree.  Only time will tell if everything is all worked out. I’m just glad he’s feeling better.

I spent much of last weekend obsessively watching Twitter and YouTube for Comic Con news and wonderfulness. There are too many things I want to watch now. In movies I’m most excited for Horns and Mad Max. In television, I’m still obsessed with Supernatural but Constantine looks like it could be great. I already blogged about my top shows over at The Geek Girl Project. 

In less of an entertainment vein, there is all the space stuff going on. First there was NASA’s panel on The Next Giant Leap. Which I wish I could have been there for and am still searching out other clips on it. There was also the end of the mars simulation.

Years ago, when I was in eighth grade, a group of us did a project called Marsville. The point was to construct a theoretically viable habitat on mars. We researched all the typical stuff – hydroponics, mining for the raw materials for potable water and breathable air. It was a blast. We even had to bring a lunch, designed to contain all four food groups, come in under a certain weight, and the refuse from the lunch had to be under a certain volume. Oh how I wish I’d had my dehydrator then! It would have been so much easier! Somewhere in a box I’m pretty sure I still have the certificate. I think my team placed but I’m not exactly certain. I wish there were more projects like that around now for my kids.

As far as my writing goes, I might have gotten a hundred words in but I’m likely not keeping any of them. I’ve got three projects I’m working on right now and they’re so different from each other. I’ve got a supernatural thriller, a sci-fi something that I’m hoping to push more into the realm of cyberpunk, and a bit of horror. I’d considered trying to stick to one genre but it doesn’t work for me. I love Guardian of the Gods – the heroic fantasy genre, the worlds, and all that but I don’t want to find myself pushed into one category either. All of the novels I’ve finished are different subgenres and I like that. I enjoy stretching into other genres, it’s fun.

Tonight is Face Off night and tomorrow I’ll post my recap but today shall be spent working on one of those projects I’ve got going. I’d like to get the zero draft of that horror story a little closer to completion.

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