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Editor’s Perspective: Finn Finnegan

03032013 - Finn FinneganThis month I get to celebrate the release of another of my editing “god-babies”!  Finn Finnegan by Darby Karchut!  This one I got to share awesome co-editor, Vikki Ciaffone, who now heads the Spence City imprint of Spencer Hill Press.

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Finn (not bleedin’ Finnegan) MacCullen is eager to begin his apprenticeship. He soon discovers the ups and downs of hunting monsters in a suburban neighborhood under the demanding tutelage of the Knight, Gideon Lir. Both master and apprentice are descendents of the Tuatha De Danaan, a magical race of warriors from Ireland. Scattered long ago to the four corners of the world, the De Danaan wage a two thousand year old clandestine battle with their ancient enemy, the Amandán, a breed of goblin-like creatures.

Now with the beasts concentrating their attacks on Finn, he and his master must race to locate the lost Spear of the Tuatha De Danaan, the only weapon that can destroy the Amandán, all the while hiding his true identity from his new friends, Rafe and Savannah, twins whose South African roots may hold a key to Finn’s survival.

Armed with a bronze dagger, some ancient Celtic magic, and a hair-trigger temper, Finn is about to show his enemies the true meaning of “fighting Irish.”

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Vikki and I were going through the slush pile when we both fell in love with this manuscript.  Irish mythology! Adventure! In the suburbs!

Only… it was skewed a bit young for what, at that time, we were familiar with as the type of book SHP went for.

At first, unbeknownst to each other, we each still individually jumped on Kate to expand the SHP vision to include mid-grade.

Kate, in her usual awesome-Kate-ness, said something to the effect of, “Sure, I think we can do that!” and then informed us we each had asked for it, and wouldn’t it be nice for us to co-edit the manuscript.

Lots of fun ensued.

Including Vikki snickering at me searching through tissues for this one particular scene I was editing at her kitchen table.  Because snark and teasing so don’t fit with the things we adore about Darby’s characters. Noo… not at all!  Finn is such an angel… no, wait, that’s Darby’s other books (also awesome.)

So, with the ups being the immediate emotional ties we had to the characters, our love of the humor and dialogue, our appreciation of the story… what was there left for us to edit, you ask?

Well, there was a big chunk of “No, you need to write even more about this, this… and definitely more Gideon!”  (Seriously, wait till you meet the knight!)

Since this is also written in third person, mostly through Finn and Gideon’s eyes, we also played around with the point of view, which is a lot of fun to play with because it can both offer some excellent insight to the characters, but get confusing if it gets away from you… as writing often does in its journey.

Also, for my part, my roommate-at-the-time and I experimented with my collection of daggers, dirks, and knives to ensure the plausibility of using one’s jeans to hold a blade (notsomuch, boy/girl-butt shape regardless). Vikki picked up on the specifics of knife sharpening (whetstone needs oil) and set me to work helping her sharpen some kitchen knives for missing something I should’ve caught. ;).  Of course, in my geek world, any excuse to (safely) play with blades and talk about them makes me a happy camper.

As I said, much fun ensued.

Furthermore, because having so much fun editing wasn’t enough, I managed to hook Darby up with one of my favorite Celtic bands, Emerald Rose, who let us license their music for the wicked cool trailer!  Darby loved them so much, she also asked about licensing to quote their lyrics to “Fire in the Head” in the novel. Way cool!

While I have not had the chance to hug Darby in person for this release, I’m happy to direct you to her page where, if you’re out west-ish, you might get to do that for me.  She’s got an excellent tour planned with her boys (Finn and Gideon… and possibly Griffin and Basil might make a showing), that, if at all possible, you must check out.

At the very least, you have to get yourself your own copy of Finn Finnegan to love and hug.

And be tortured by as you wait for its sequel, Gideon’s Spear, coming out next year.

The Broad Pod: February 2012 Romance

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Welcome to the February 2012 edition of Broadly Speaking, where this month we are romantically speaking.  Your host, Heidi Ruby Miller, writes stories where the relationship is as important as the adventure. She is the author of the SF Romance series set in the Ambasadora-verse and co-editor of the writing guide MANY GENRES, ONE CRAFT based on the Seton Hill University Writing Popular Fiction graduate program. Find her at http://heidirubymiller.blogspot.com.

Heidi’s guests are:

PAULINE BAIRD JONES
The “romance force” is strong in Pauline Baird Jones’ family. Her parents recently celebrated 60 years of marriage and she and her hubby will clock 37 years this April. Maybe that’s why romance is laced into her 12 novels of mysterious mayhem and space opera action adventure. She hangs out at all the usual social networking sites and has a website at paulinebjones.com

ALEXA GRAVE
Alexa Grave loves to tell stories–it just so happens her characters occasionally take her on an unexpected ride.  Her story “Kindled Morphogenesis” can be found in the anthology Modern Magic: Tales of Fantasy and Horror.  Please visit her at Born to Write–http://alexagrave.blogspot.com.

BRENDA COOPER
Brenda Cooper lives in the rain-sodden and beautiful Pacific Northwest where she works as a technology executive and writes science fiction and fantasy in the wee hours of the morning.  Her most recent published novel,  Mayan December, came out from Prime Books last August, and Pyr will be publishing a duology that can loosely be described as “Evita in Space” in 2011 and 2012.

No matter the level of sensuality, whether the sex is on or off the page, romance has its place among the many stories of speculative fiction from these women. After all, love stories are universal.

Broadly Speaking Travels Through Time!

Broadly Speaking Travels Through Time!

Welcome to the January 2012 edition of Broadly Speaking. According to the Mayan Calender, this year is the year that we run out of time. (Or, more probably, a new cycle begins quite uneventfully.)  But if we can’t go Back to the Future in our own version of The Time Machine, we can at least talk about it. 

Join your host, Tracy S. Morris, for a timely discussion about the adventures of women writing science fiction, fantasy, horror — and everything in between.
 
Up first, Tracy and Melanie Fletcher discuss the rules that one must decide on before writing about time travel. 
 
Then, listen to a round-table discussion on the various conflicts that are inherent in time travel fiction with Pauline Baird Jones, author of Steamrolled, Kathryn Sullivan, author of Talking to Trees,  S.A. Bolich, author of Firedancer and Lynda Williams, author of the Okal Rei Saga.     
 
We hope that you can make time to listen to this podcast. If not, save it in your player for sometime when you have time on your hands.