The BIG Reveal

In which I introduce my newest book available April 26.

Ta-da. I could probably hook up some sort of music file here to produce a fanfare, but music erupting from a web site can be pretty obnoxious, so I will refrain. However, you can help me. Right now, imagine a trio of horns blasting a triumphant fanfare as I introduce …

 

Stone Key 1000

 

The Stone Key is my latest book, and it will be available April 26 as both an ebook and a print book. You can preorder it now at Amazon. (Or if not at this moment, any second now)

If you can’t tell from the cover, The Stone Key is a time travel novel.

Sworn to protect a powerful artifact, Arden of Throckmorton is reluctant to carry out her duty until the relic whisks her nearly eight hundred years into the future. Her only way home is to find it. Modern England is no place for a medieval maid.

Hawkins Arlington is a prominent medievalist and just the man to help her, once he gets over the whole time travel and magic nonsense. Besides, the chance to study a real medieval woman is too brilliant to pass up.

But when a villain from the past appears, Arden and Hawk race to find the artifact first, risking their lives, their homes, and their reputations. And if they find it, can Arden discover what her heart wants and will Hawk be able to let her go?

I hope you will check out this newest adventure of mine. More inside stories will follow.

–Gabi

Books I’m reading now:

The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks

A New Beginning–Changes in the Air

In which I look at rebranding, revitalizing, and renewal. Perhaps a fitting post for the day after Easter?

I promised that you’d be seeing changes in me. Well. they are arriving. First, my website is being overhauled. Right now (today) if you visit my website, this, as in this blog, is what you will find. More is coming, but we’re not there yet.

Second, I’ve decided not to let the Gabi Stevens name die. After my three  WISH books, it looked like Gabi Stevens was through. Not true anymore. Gabi Stevens writes paranormal (a lighter tone with heavy subjects–the kind of book and stories I like to read) and the voice that I love. I have big plans for her. Starting with …

…(Third) a reboot of THE FALCON AND THE WOLF.

Falcon  500
The Falcon and the Wolf

I had released it under Gabi Anderson, but it didn’t fit with the non-magical historicals I’d written under that name.  It is now available from Amazon and –this is the biggie–CreateSpace. That’s right! You can order it as a print book. Here is the link (I always find it wierd to create a link with the declaration of a link–it’s so meta.). A bit more expensive than the ebook, but what can you do?  The link to the ebook is the caption. And I’m giving you a heads up–the listing hasn’t quite caught up with the changes yet; while, the author is now Gabi Stevens, it still is linked to Gabi Anderson, but you can find it on the Gabi Stevens author page, not the Gabi Anderson author page, but if you look up Gabi Anderson, it will still list it there too (Lots of buts). I figure it will take a little while to catch up. Maybe a few more emails.

And there’s a new cover. Looks much more fantasy, huh?

So keep watching. There will be another Gabi Stevens book before the end of April. Brand new, never seen before. I’m excited about this one.

–Gabi

What I’m reading now:

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks (a re-read)

The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

 

Ten Quick Tips About Writing Fantasy . . .

. . . In which I examine my own thoughts about writing fantasy.

I am trying to switch genres from Romance (though I still love it and am currently working on one) to fantasy (Although my next manuscript will be more science fiction–it’s the process of “throw everything out there and see what sticks”). I love fantasy and have since I was a child. I am currently shopping a fantasy romance (which I love!) and a straight fantasy (which I also love–two books of the heart) So here are my top ten quick tips about writing fantasy.FalconAndWolfLatestSmall

  1. Read in the genre–there are all kinds of fantasy. Read, read, read. (That’s true for any genre)
  2. You can’t just throw in a dragon– although dragons are great, right?
  3. You must build a world–as the author, you have to know the rules of the world and stick to them.
  4. Logic must still prevail–just because you’re making up a world, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to make sense. (Almost the same thing as 3, but not quite)
  5. The characters are more important than the flash and decoration– a reader still wants and needs to identify with at least some of your characters.
  6. Writing rules still apply–If you’re going to be wordy, you’d better have a good reason to be so. (Like not using contractions–works great as a characteristic for Data, but not so good for other characters)
  7. Know where you’re going–especially if you plan several books. You have to know the destination.
  8. Avoid story clichés–they’ve been done to death.
  9. Actions have consequences– don’t forget to show them. Rarely is anything black and white. Gray can be a much more interesting shade.
  10. Research is essential–yes, even for a fantasy, you must do your research.

So, you know anyone interested in a fantasy?

–Gabi

Books I’m reading now:

Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Space, Time, and the Woo-Woo Contingent

. . .or My Experiences Posing as an “Expert” when I feel like a fraud. In which I give a report about Bubonicon 2014, the Albuquerque Sci -Fi and Fantasy convention.

I spent the weekend at a science fiction/fantasy convention here in Albuquerque. It’s called Bubonicon because New Mexico is famous (sort of) for having the most cases of bubonic plague each year. I find the name amusing. The symbol is a rat–Perry Rodent, to be precise. I know this because I wrote the short story that appeared in the program featuring non other. That was my first foray into the world of becoming a con artist. I had to write a sci-fi story featuring a rat. While I love Sci-fi and had written a couple of short stories (now appearing in the Preternatural collection by GS Anderson), this was scary. I chose to do a light-hearted romp filled with allusions to famous sci-fi and fantasy titles and characters. There’s a dog named Kahn, a quote from Star Wars, and a nod to my daughter’s favorite speculative fix series The Power Puff girls. I think sixteen different puns/groaners/ allusions in one thousand words. (I could probably count, but I’m too lazy).

Program, Bubonicon 2014
Program, Bubonicon 2014

While my last books were indeed fantasy (paranormal romances) and I have had a spec fic story collection published and I’ve a complete fantasy novel that we’re starting to shop around, I feel like a fraud. There are so many books I haven’t read, so many shows I haven’t watched (Supernatural to name one), that I felt like Garth and Wayne: “I’m not worthy, I’m not worthy.”

I appeared on three panels: one on tropes, one on pop culture, and one on urban fantasy vs. paranormal romance. I won the tropes panel. Just kidding. My husband and I have a running joke that I always try to win panels after my experience on a panel in the past where they other participants were so patronizing and dismissive of my knowledge and then I blew them all away. I certainly didn’t win the pop culture panel. I was there with Cherie Priest and Ernie Cline, who have such big personalities that I was as caught up in their stories as the audience. I did get to speak and even get some laughs, but I was content to mostly sit back and listen. It’s awesome to get on a panel with two big names and ride on their brilliance. I highly recommend that strategy. The third panel was a group of women, mostly romance writers whom I know, and we talked about the differences between urban fantasy and paranormal romance. We came to no real conclusion but took a lot of questions and made many erudite points. I was the moderator of that one, so protocol required I tried not to win and let the others speak.

It was fun. Scary, but fun. I plan to go again next year, if they’ll have a fraud like me. If you were at the book signing, I gave away THE WISH LIST to the first twenty-five people who wanted them.  With luck I’ll have more cred next year, but I guarantee, I will still feel like a fraud. I’ll let you in on a secret: most authors do.

Let me know if you want to read the Perry Rodent story. It’s mine, so I can post it here.

–Gabi

P.S. While it’s not quite the dress up con as others are, I did see a kid dressed up as an awesome Dr. Horrible, and a wonderful Howard Wolowitz. (Pictures, damn it, pictures. I am so bad at remembering to capture cool moments.)

Books I’m reading now:

Holy cow, I finished Serpent of Venice last night and haven’t picked up a new one yet. I have a pile to chose from (from the RWA conference) and I haven’t chosen yet. Stay tuned.

Tastes and Age

Lately I find myself engrossed in a couple of television shows. I was a firm fan of How I Met Your Mother, but it’s over now. I watch The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family, but I’m absolutely hooked on Grimm, Once Upon a Time, and Agents of Shield. I’ve glommed a few series on Netflix: Dr. Who, Eureka, Warehouse 13, Primeval, The Dresden Files, Firefly; and I’ve caught a few episodes of Torchwood and Farscape (not glomming those, though). Most of my friends who are not in the writing world don’t watch any of these. They don’t read the same books as I either. They’ve all seen Breaking Bad, which I am currently watching, but more out of a sense of “need to” rather than “want to.” I recognize the superior story crafting, the superb acting, but it’s just not my thing. I’ve been pleading with them to watch Game of Thrones with little success. We own the discs and the books.

It’s left me wondering about tastes and age. I suppose most people believe that as one ages, one’s tastes become more serious. I’ve found the opposite to be true. I’m gravitating even more toward the paranormal (to use a generic term for sci-fi, fantasy, and other speculative fiction). I recently visited my daughter in Boston, and I think I shocked her roommates when I not only understood their references, but added my own insights to their conversations. We watched Pacific Rim together and had a great time.

So am I just more youthful in my tastes? I don’t think so. I believe that all entertainment, whether it’s books, movies or television, is about the characters. It’s the great characters that keep us glued to a show or a book. It’s just the delivery method that changes. A character gives us someone to recognize and cheer for. When they change, we grow. When they hurt, we ache. We feel with them and experience universal truths through them (This ties into Theme, which proves that you can’t isolate one element of a story with any kind of success). Tyrion Lannister is a fair, loyal, and just character with great flaws who happens to be a member of a ruthless family from whom he’s learned some of his behavior. Does that sound like Hamlet to you? (Okay, not exactly, but you get the picture.) And when [SPOILER–skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to know even this non-event specific fact] they push him too far, he finally rejects them. He is honorable in his own way. We root for him even more than the outrightly noble character of Ned Stark, because liking Ned is too easy (Not that his death wasn’t heart-breaking, but, really, he was too good.)

Perhaps I like my characters in settings that aren’t of this world because I am so aware of the realities of this world. I’m highly political (which I try to keep from these pages), aware of current events, scientifically minded, and have my own personal demons I battle. In my entertainment, I don’t want to face those realities in a realistic setting. I would argue those same realities are in the paranormal, but in a background where they are easier to handle and comprehend and still be entertained. I would also argue that historical fiction is also not of this world. Must be why I like it too.

So don’t expect me to write or read the next great American novel. Give me magic, fairies, spaceships, and time travel. I’ll take my characters and morality from real fiction instead of reality fiction. Disagree with me? That’s fine. I’m not asking you to change your mind. But don’t judge my tastes either.

Meanwhile I’m waiting for a friend of mine to return from her European trip and bring me the Harry Potter series in German. Can’t wait to re-read them.

–Gabi

Books I’m reading now:

A Storm of Swords by George RR Martin (re-read)