Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Genre blending...

Way back (ok, it wasn’t that long ago) in the 1980s, I started writing stories. I suppose to one degree or another, I was always creating stories, either with little drawings or with actual words. I never gave much thought to doing anything more than doodling with it. Then I graduated and somehow found my way to a writing course. From there I wrote my first novel which landed fairly solidly into a thriller category after some changes suggested by an editor and agents but with a truly occult touch I couldn’t completely remove like advised. My second book stemmed from a nightmare I had as a young mother and grew in my crazy imagination to a horror thriller or suspense. Then came my third.

The Unseen was the first book of my Manipulated Evil trilogy and defied easy categorization. Was it a science fiction? Not exactly. Was it a romance? Not exactly. Was it fantasy or thriller or action adventure? Sort of. How about coming of age? In truth it was a little of all of the above despite being labeled a science fantasy. And I’m told I do that blending a lot. My latest release, Rise of the Arcadians is a little bit Eco Thriller, little bit future fantasy, little bit action adventure with dashes of romance and a drop of magic. In general though, such mixing doesn’t sit well with big publishers or stores because they are hard to put in their place. But how about for readers?

I know I love a story that has many elements all mixed together. For me, it becomes more interesting and it’s not just me who’s doing the mixing. Authors like Laurell K. Hamilton are running along the same path, not building stories to any box easily tagged, but creating variety and excitement with a complicated recipe of story elements. So, are the big publishers learning what the small publishers have been promoting for years?

As an author, I don’t think it would be possible for me to write something that slipped easily into one cozy category. My imagination won’t hear of it and readers seem to love the mixing. As head of a publisher, it’s the stories that stretch the ordinary that stay on the desk at Star Publish and often those are the mixes.

So onward I go with Among the Ancients and Daughter of Gods, not trying to squeeze them into any category, but letting the characters do what they may for my readers.

Monday, February 25, 2008

It's good

I don’t usually complain about life. At times, stresses will get to me, but that’s when it’s time to take a day and go for a hike or in the winter, go see a movie, take a breather. Life’s been good to me, not perfect, but good enough. Then all heck broke loose the last couple weeks, stretching me to the point I thought I was like some little cartoon existing just for the piano to fall on and keg of black powder to blow up on. I literally was to the point I thought another week like the last two would send me to the funny farm. (They’re coming to take me away haahaaaa!!)

Then I got up this morning, ready for battle again with companies who can’t keep records correctly and computers that can’t cooperate with programs that like to suck up RAM and freeze and the strangest thing happened.

Now, let me explain that I’ve spent more time on the phone trying to reach billing of a few companies (I won’t name names) for services both for my company and for my household than anything else the last two weeks. I got sent in so many circles it dizzied me with frustration. It was a case of one hand not knowing anything about the other or where one should be sent with a certain question. I finally got two resolved and another accidentally billed me for something I cancelled. I tried to correct it by email but was given a phone number instead. I tried for two days and couldn’t get through. So I figured today was a battle day with more dizzying circles.

Imagine my surprise when my first attempt got through to a very polite man who knew exactly what I was talking about and how to fix it, and yep, upon checking, it’s fixed. And in less than 15 minutes on the phone. That IS possible. Then my computer decided to cooperate again. I got more work done today than I did in all of the past two weeks.

So, was my sign misaligned with the stars for the start of February or something? I don’t really care, I’m just glad it’s over. I’m ready for things to begin working again so I can get back to regular work day hours with time left over for my kids and maybe even a little for me :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Little Respect

I don't usual open my mouth about controversial topics unless specifically asked, but over the weekend, I saw an image that deeply disturbed me. It was an image of protestors carrying signs. I won't state what the sign specifically said, but the gist of it was a deeply hateful thing against soldiers.

I don't come from a military family although I've had relatives in the military. But still, I can deeply empathize with the families and the soldiers fighting today. All I have to do is think of the images of strong soldiers in a battlefield with tears in their eyes, a soldier holding an injured child amongst chaos, children running to a mother or father they haven't seen in many months - the list goes on.

The war in Iraq is something none of us like very much. War is ugly, terrible, full of horror, but sometimes necessary. Anyone who thinks it never is should really think hard about what this world would be like if tyrants were left to overrun without opposition. Don't judge quick by what you think you know. Truly imagine it - what if everyone refused to fight?

But, I digress, my main topic here was the pain I felt for soldiers when I saw that image a second time. As my daughter said, who would say such an awful thing about soldiers? I really don't understand it and I wonder if the person who made that sign or carried that sign ever stopped to think about the soldiers fighting overseas as human beings. And did they ever stop to think that not all of them are in Iraq?

It shames me to think people in my country can think so badly of the men and women that give up everything of themselves, sometimes even their lives to protect our country, protect the rights of people, no matter who they are. Those soldiers hurt from what they've experienced. They witness horrors most of us can't even imagine and somehow keep going on, some with hearts of gold, running to help anyone, even perfect strangers, while risking their own lives.

Sure, some of you might huff and state some of the horrible things that have been done by soldiers. I say don't judge all by a few. Nothing is fully perfect. Perfection is a myth. But stop and think about the type of person it takes to leave family, home, modern comforts and safety behind to help ensure the rest of us can enjoy all those things without worry. The least we can do is thank them and be glad for their returns.

I don't know if the war is right or wrong. It wouldn't matter to me if I did believe it was all totally wrong, I could never speak so badly of those making such sacrifices to help others and protect what they believe in even if I didn't believe in the same thing.

I thank each and every man and woman out there who have put defending our country and the people before anything else. I thank their families too. I deeply respect them and wish them all the best for what they've given of themselves and hope they never once have to feel unappreciated or let down by anyone they've fought for. I can only hope others do the same for them, or at least don't do anything to disrespect them.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

It's Official!


Contact: Star Publish

After Global Warming!

January 28, 2008

Can you survive? This is asked of you when you turn to the back of T.C. McMullen’s new Thriller, Rise of he Arcadians.

It’s 2122, seventy-two years after the Upheaval changed the world. Continents, world-communication, and modern technology are no longer what they once were. Society struggles to reestablish behind walls along what’s left of the Eastern United States. Darvid Squire, the leader of the citadel protecting the wall, relies on a rogue woman, Desire, for information and supplies. She knows all about the wild outer lands thought too harsh to support human life, yet Desire knows the wild lands hold secrets of old, secrets of hope.

One common enemy has risen to threaten both the civilized and the wild lands – Oceaners, a race of cannibals who swarm the continents, stripping from it resources and people. Desire must turn to her past to help her allies. Secrets of her ancestors mix with the future, creating a family saga and coming of age tale inside a thriller.

It’s been over two years since McMullen’s last release, Scorching Eden, but Rise of the Arcadians and the characters it introduces are well worth the wait. McMullen resides in rural Pennsylvania with her husband and three children. She is currently writing her next novel, Daughter of Gods, with more in a series to come soon.

For more information about this novel and McMullen’s other titles, visit the author's website at
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