LIFE: Come See Me at Youmacon!

 

I have been attending Youmacon for the last decade, and this year I decided to give the Artist Alley a shot. I had always wanted to participate and sell my work, but never had the chance to do so. After a long wait, I can confirm that I will be a part of Youmacon’s Artist Alley for 2019!

This is a huge moment for my author career, and as a fan of the local convention. Getting into the Artist Alley is difficult – hundreds of artists and vendors apply, and this year there was a juror process PLUS a lottery for those who passed the jury. I am humbled to have gotten through to share my work at the convention that started my love for cons.

So save the date! I will be selling more signed copies of The Art of Falling. Youmacon is held at the Renaissance Center and Cobo Hall from October 31st – November 3rd. Keep an eye out for further updates!

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WRITING: The Battle Against Mara and Ember

Did you honestly expect me not to write a short story about the events that happened in the last two sessions of Neebs and Associates? Writing moments from Basile’s perspective helps me survive the long droughts of playing. Please enjoy the angst, the fluff, and adventure that has become Basile’s life.

 

The Associates arrived in the Abyss through a mist of shadows, passing through the Mortal Plane into the Realm of the Dead. A wasteland of dried earth greeted them. The sky was rusty orange, and rolls of thunder echoed through black clouds. Steam erupted with a loud hiss through cracks and geysers, filling the air with unbearable humidity and heat. Before them stood the Demon Lord Fraz-urr’blu and Mara, Leader of the Unholy Crusade.

A split second of recognition was all it took for Basile to fill with rage. At the sight of his mentor’s murderer, his hands burned as hellfire brewed in his palms. He watched as Alkaid summoned three more copies of herself across the field, the four of them separating to surround their enemies. Not too far away from her, Lorn touched Ragnarok’s side and enchanted him with Rhino’s Rush. The Rhino charged forward without hesitation, his sights set on the Prince of Deception.

As Ragnarok’s feet pounded into the ground, Mara grinned and thrust out his hand, sparks of magic flying from his fingertips. A wall of Force appeared in front of Fraz-urb’luu, but Ragnarok never broke stride. Lorn was quick to respond, countering Mara’s spell with his own Wall of Force. The two spells collided and cracked, shattering as Ragnarok plowed through and drove his horn into the Demon Prince.

With a shout that rivaled the thunder above, Fraz-urb’luu whipped his spiked tail around Ragnarok and held him down, trying to penetrate his armor and hide. Meanwhile, Mara’s eyes glowed white as he studied Ragnarok. Lorn telekentically flung dozens of arrows into the Demon Prince and Mara to distract them.

A crack of black lightning struck down from the sky into the earth. Ciaran held back a startled scream and grabbed Basile’s cloak for support as another Demon Prince was summoned onto the field near Lorn.

“No need to be scared, Ciaran,” Rhaegar said with a grin, Torch lighting ablaze in his hands. He looked over at Bubbles, who moved to shield their new comrade, Biff. “We’ve battled worse.”

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WRITING: Basile and Eyrene

It’s not surprise that I’m a sucker for romance. Hell, my debut novel is a romance. So going into D&D expecting to not have my character have a love interest was a valiant effort but a failure waiting to happen. After Basile met his childhood friend Eyrene, I had to flesh out the conversations they had in a “short” story.

 

The people of Modelheim were starting to calm down after the devil attack, and the Associates were inspecting the bodies of the slain and caring for the wounded. Ciaran kept a brave face to distract the people as Basile walked around and healed them with his wand. Most people weren’t hurt too bad, and there was only one casualty. It could have been a lot worse if they hadn’t have arrived when they did.

“I can’t believe Ivuram didn’t come save us,” someone in the crowd grumbled. Basile didn’t recognize them. “We’ve been giving sacrifices and gifts all year and when we needed him most, he didn’t help.”

“I know we can’t trust dragons, but he had always protected us before. Why stop now?” another person added – Basile recognized him as Saul Larson. He used to be friends with his parents. He wondered briefly if they even realized the Addler’s had left.

“Hey, you guys are adventurers right?” A man around Basile’s age asked Ciaran. Basile couldn’t help but smile as his old friend, Raulin, stepped forward.

“Yep! The strongest and the best!” Ciaran stated proudly.

“You guys should go see why Ivuram didn’t help us,” Raulin said.

“Or just kill him! If he’s not going to do his part, he shouldn’t rule over us,” Saul added.

The commotion was cut off by a loud explosion behind them. Basile turned and saw as a plume of purple smoke billowed up from one of the devil carcasses, forming the symbol of Lucifer briefly before dissipating. Then, a second pop as the magic around them seemed to vanish for a moment.

Basile recognized that sensation. He had felt it when H’rathen had first revealed him to the others inside the library. He tried to turn invisible again, but his magic seemed to fail. Shit…

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WRITING: Basile’s Dream

I was inspired after last week’s D&D session and felt the urge to write again. Finally! It had been too long since I wrote something creative. Please enjoy my interpretation of the dream sequence from last session:

 

Basile laid down in his bed and closed his eyes with a sigh. All he wanted was a good night’s sleep, but the lingering thoughts of his companions filtered through the walls and into his subconscious. His telepathy only seemed to be growing stronger, and while he appreciated it in the thick of battle, he despised it when all he wanted was rest.

He heard Rhaegar’s mind drift toward battle and could imagine the clanging of swords in his mind. Down the hall, he felt a lingering sensation of anxiety that he attributed to Alkaid. As for the others, they all seemed to merge together into white noise. Basile groaned and rolled onto his side, covering his head with a pillow and willing the voices to leave.

Just let me sleep…

Ciaran’s sudden scream jolted him out of bed, only to realize that he was in a dimly lit room made of stone. Confused, he turned around to find Ciaran and instead came face to face with a reptilian monster. With a started gasp, he backed up and bumped into Ciaran, who grabbed his arm in response. They were surrounded by five strange creatures they had never seen before, and all of them were slowly drawing closer.

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WRITING: Henrik Claymore

I found deep in my google drive a short story I wrote about Basile facing Henrik Claymore on the U.S.S Neebs. I figured I would share it with you all as I wait to play more D&D and get back into the swing of writing.

 

The man who teleported onto the deck of the U.S.S. Neebs looked vaguely familiar to Basile. He wore clean armor that was brightly polished and shimmering with magic. Hanging on his back was a crossbow, and in a holster at his side was a set of crossbolts. He had a neatly trimmed beard, a scar on his eyebrow, and blue eyes that looked calm and steady. Basile knew he had run into this person in the past, but couldn’t quite recall how long ago. Did they cross paths when he was Basile or Asgore? Did he have the unfortunate luck of meeting when he was Ambrosio? Or worse, did this man know his birth name? Was this man from Modelheim?

His friends stood at the ready, weapons at their sides and skepticism in their thoughts. They were all wondering who this person was, but they didn’t have to wonder for long. The man cleared his throat and introduced himself.

“My name is Henrik Claymore,” he stated clearly, his voice almost resonating. “I am here to collect Eythan Addler and return him to Modelheim.”

Basile felt the blood in his veins turn to ice. Now he remembered. How could he have forgotten the bounty hunter’s face?

“Who?” Rhaegar asked, playing dumb. The rest of the group echoed his confusion. The tiefling was thankful that his friends were playing along. Even Neebs, who had a habit of turning in his comrades, was keeping quiet.

Henrik’s lips turned upward in a confident smirk, and his eyes glanced past the others to lock onto Basile in the back. “I believe you may know him better as Basile Graywing.”

“And what exactly do you want with Basile?” Lorn asked carefully.

“He is guilty of murdering his father, Levi Addler.”

Basile got to his feet and stood in front of Levi and Ciaran. “Dad, you should go inside,” he warned in the silence of their thoughts, knowing that Lorn was always listening.

“What are you going to do?” Levi asked.

Basile’s hands clenched together and grew warm, itching it unleash hell. When his son didn’t reply, Levi quietly slipped back into one of the rooms on the ship’s deck.

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STORY: The Body and Blood of Brothers

It’s been a while since I shared some writing. Here’s a piece of flash fiction that I had published in Oakland University’s Swallow the Moon 2015. Enjoy!

 

 

The wooden pews of St. Valerie were filled. Not a single seat was empty, which was a pleasant sight to see in a small suburban church. Sitting in the front row between proud parents was Zack. He was the same age as me, and we went to the same Elementary School. He rode on my bus, but we never sat near each other. I also went to Catechism with him on Mondays. Most of the time, he dressed like all the other boys. Today, he wasn’t wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and sneakers. Instead, he was dressed up really fancy, like me. 

He was wearing all black. His shoes were polished, and his suit was new: freshly ironed, crisp, and free from any dust. His hair was slicked back with gel and was as dark as his clothes. It reminded me of my half-brother, Eric, because that’s the only thing I really remembered about him, other than the fact that he and Dad both played guitar and liked music a lot.

The only thing that wasn’t black was his tie. It was pure white. It matched my dress, my Mary-Janes, and my veil. I looked like a bride, but I was far too young to be one. Seven year olds didn’t have to think about marriage or husbands.

However, this was a wedding of sorts. After all, I was about to marry myself to the church, to God, to Jesus. He gave his life for me, to save me from the sins I had yet to commit. Now it was my turn to give back.

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AOF: The First Reviews Are In!

As you all know, The Art of Falling is my baby, and I want nothing more than to be able to promote my book, work on the sequels, and try to make this first novel of mine a success. Unfortunately, with how crazy life has been with trying to plan the wedding, I haven’t had any time to do much with my book other than think about all the things I want to do: mainly, a book signing event.

I’ve been so preoccupied with big life events, I haven’t even been keeping track of Amazon reviews or sales. So it was a pleasant surprise when I stumbled across the first few reviews for the novel!

February 3, 2018

Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Art of Falling is a fun take on good versus evil, heaven versus hell, and two unwitting lovers in a battle for their souls. This book’s got enough familiarity to entice you, and plenty of new steps to make it refreshing and interesting. I can’t wait for the next one!
Nancy

January 20, 2018

Format: Paperback
Can’t wait for the next book! 😱

Amazon Customer
January 23, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I would definitely recommend this book. It was a great read that had me on the edge of my seat at times. I’m waiting on the next book! 5 stars.

In addition to these, fellow author Shanon Rohrer wrote a thoughtful and honest review over on goodreads that you can check out here. (But be warned, there may be spoilers.)

I am so thankful for these simple reviews and ratings, as it shows that my five years of work haven’t gone to waste. Sure, I’m proud of myself for achieving a dream of mine, but seeing others enjoy my hard work makes it worthwhile.

Reviews are so important to a writer. If the writing process is our life blood, and a following of readers are our backbone, reviews are the bread and butter that keeps us going. If we never receive feedback – both positive and negative – we can lose our drive and energy to keep writing.

So please, do me a favor the next time to read a book: go to the author’s Amazon page, Goodreads, or website. Leave a review, even if it’s just a simple statement. It will make the author’s day and help boost their chances of becoming the next big success.