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Children's & Fantasy/Sci-Fi Books


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San Diego Comic-Con 2021 Panels

I’m thrilled to share that I moderated two San Diego Comic-Con virtual panels.

The first, Young Adult Dark Fantasy, Sci-Fi & Horror, features bestselling authors Kendare Blake (Three Dark Crowns), Mylo Carbia (Violets are Red), Sarah Beth Durst (The Queens of Renthia), Jonathan Maberry (Rot & Ruin), and Seanan McGuire (October Daye). They’ll share their insights into writing dark speculative fiction and the publishing industry, including book to TV/film.
The video stream can be viewed on YouTube.

The second panel is Meet the Creators and Cast of Netflix’s Norsemen. Norsemen is Netflix’s hilarious historical comedy series—think Vikings meets The Office. Participating in this Q&A are actors: Kåre Conradi (Orm), Trond Fausa (Rufus), Nils Jørgen Kaalstad (Arvid), Øystein Martinsen (Kark), Marian Ottesen (Hildur), and series producers/directors/writers Jonas Torgersen and Jon Iver Helgaker.
The video stream can be viewed on YouTube.


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5 Powerful Writing Techniques That Bring Stories to Life

Excerpt  from my article on The Write Life

Take a moment, close your eyes, and recall a story that truly engaged you as a reader — one whose world and characters became completely real for you. Got one?

Now, take off your reader hat and don your analytical writer hat to think about what makes that story so captivating. What writing techniques did the author use to bring the story to life? Was it the wrenching appeal to your emotions, the vivid and brutal action scenes, or the high stakes facing a character? Mastering these and other storytelling methods is the key to writing your own engaging tale.

Just as a lion is the product of all the zebras it has eaten, a writer is the product of all the books he or she has read. Reading the works of skilled writers is a fabulous way to hone your craft and learn how to effectively employ the writing tactics that help you create your own captivating story.

Here are five great examples of writing techniques that bring the story to life for readers, as demonstrated by five accomplished writers.

BeyondThePale

1. Invoke multiple senses

When you experience a situation, you pick up more than just its sights. By describing sounds, scents, tastes and sensations, you’ll immerse readers in your story’s world.

The following scene from Saladin Ahmed’s “Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela” does a wonderful job of pulling the reader into the story by using senses other than sight.

Her voice is more beautiful than any woman’s. And there is the powerful smell of jasmine and clove. A nightingale sings perfumed words at me while my mind’s eye burns with horrors that would make the Almighty turn away.

If fear did not hold your tongue, you would ask what I am. Men have called my people by many names—ghoul, demon. Does a word matter so very much? What I am, learned one, is Abdel Jameela’s wife.

For long moments I don’t speak. If I don’t speak, this nightmare will end. I will wake in Baghdad, or Beit Zujaaj. But I don’t wake.

She speaks again, and I cover my ears, though the sound is beauty itself.

The words you hear come not from my mouth, and you do not hear them with your ears. I ask you to listen with your mind and your heart. We will die, my husband and I, if you will not lend us your skill. Have you, learned one, never needed to be something other that what you are?

Cinnamon scent and the sound of an oasis wind come to me.

Read the rest of this post at  The Write Life

If you enjoyed these excerpts, find the full stories in the new dark fantasy anthology Beyond the Pale.

Click to Tweet: 5 Powerful Writing Techniques That Bring Stories to Life at http://wp.me/p31Xf4-Fu via @Nimpentoad


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Meet the Authors of “Beyond the Pale”

Beyond the Pale is an anthology of 11 fantasy, urban fantasy, and paranormal short stories. Below are short bios of the award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors of Beyond the Pale.

BeyondThePale

Cover art by Abigail Larson

AhmedSaladin

Saladin Ahmed
Saladin Ahmed’s poetry has earned fellowships from several universities, and has appeared in over a dozen journals and anthologies. His short stories have been nominated for the Nebula and Campbell awards, have appeared in numerous magazines and podcasts, and have been translated into five foreign languages. He has also written nonfiction for The Escapist, Fantasy Magazine, and Tor.com. Throne of the Crescent Moon is his first novel.

BeaglePeter

Peter S. Beagle
Peter S. Beagle is the Hugo, Nebula, Inkpot Award for Outstanding Achievement in Science Fiction and Fantasy, and World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement winning author of The Last Unicorn and Two Hearts. The Last Unicorn ranked #5 on Locus subscribers’ All-Time Best Fantasy Novel list. The Last Unicorn was adapted to an animated movie. Peter also wrote the screenplay for the 1978 movie version of The Lord of the Rings.

BrewerHeather

Heather Brewer
Heather Brewer is the NY Times bestselling author of the Vladimir Tod series. She grew up on a diet of Twilight Zone and books by Stephen King. She chased them down with every drop of horror she could find—in books, movie theaters, on television. The most delicious parts of her banquet, however, she found lurking in the shadowed corners of her dark imagination. When she’s not writing books, she’s skittering down your wall and lurking underneath your bed.

ButcherJim

Jim Butcher
Jim Butcher is the NY Times bestselling author of the Dresden Files series, the Codex Alera series, and a new steampunk series, the Cinder Spires. His resume includes a laundry list of skills which were useful a couple of centuries ago, and he plays guitar quite badly. An avid gamer, he plays tabletop games in varying systems, a variety of video games on PC and console, and LARPs whenever he can make time for it. Jim currently resides mostly inside his own head, but his head can generally be found in his home town of Independence, Missouri.

GarciaKami

Kami Garcia
Kami Garcia is the NY Times bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures novels and the Bram Stoker Award nominated novel Unbreakable, and the sequel Unmarked, in the Legion series. Kami is fascinated by the paranormal, and she’s very superstitious. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found watching disaster movies, listening to Soundgarden, or drinking Diet Coke. She lives in Maryland with her family, and their dogs Spike and Oz.

HolderNancy

Nancy Holder
Nancy Holder is a Bram Stoker Award winning and NY Times bestselling author (the Wicked Saga) also known for her novels and episode guides based on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teen Wolf, Beauty and the Beast, and other TV shows. She also writes and edits comic books. She lives in San Diego with her daughter Belle.

PhilipGillian

Gillian Philip
Gillian Philip’s books include Crossing the Line, Bad Faith, The Opposite of Amber and the Rebel Angels series – Firebrand, Bloodstone, Wolfsbane and Icefall. She has been nominated and shortlisted for awards including the Carnegie Medal, the Scottish Children’s Book Award and the David Gemmell Legend Award. Her home is in the north-east Highlands of Scotland with her husband, twins, three dogs, two cats, a fluctuating population of chickens and many nervous fish.

YolenJane

Jane Yolen
Jane Yolen, often called “the Hans Christian Andersen of America,” is the author of over 300 books, including Owl Moon, The Devil’s Arithmetic and How do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? The books range from rhymed picture books up through novels. Her books and stories have won two Nebulas, a World Fantasy Award, a Caldecott, the Golden Kite Award, three Mythopoeic awards, two Christopher Medals, a nomination for the National Book Award, and the Jewish Book Award, among others. She is also the winner of the Kerlan Award and the Catholic Library’s Regina Medal, and named a Grand Master for both the Science Fiction Poetry Assoc., and the World Fantasy Assoc. Six colleges have given her honorary doctorates.

Herz
Henry Herz (editor)
Henry writes fantasy and science fiction books for young readers, including Nimpentoad and Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes. He enjoys moderating sci-fi/fantasy convention panels and eating Boston Crème Pie. He lives in San Diego with his wife and two co-author sons Josh & Harrison.

Get your copy of Beyond the Pale.

Click to Tweet: Meet the Authors of Beyond the Pale at http://wp.me/p31Xf4-Fz via @Nimpentoad


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Is a Zombie Invasion Possible?

AMC’s series “The Walking Dead” has helped bring zombies to the fore in pop culture, and has (dare I say it) spawned various discussions about the real possibilities of zombie-like behaviors. This fun, yet terrifying, infographic is courtesy of http://wish.co.uk/blog/zombie-invasion-infographic/. Click once to zoom.

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