A shelter tale and a dream. How does it affect art? New releases and Keyla Damaer.
OUT NOW, BUT BLOG RUNNING LATE - SOME ART FROM MY PAST. A piece of prophetic art again. I've told many people that the crisis we are in would happen, I didn't know if it was a natural or manmade disaster. I pictured it in the past in the Pre-Mycenean era when a few characters we meet in the earlier series have regrouped and left Egypt. (After Children of Stone finishes - yes folks as long as I am sentient I will write these, so why not spread the word and READ them.)
In this one a character Djerah (introduced in Bk 1 Voices in Crystal) is leading people into a cave system for protection from whatever is going on. SHELTERING-IN-PLACE . The technique was scratch print (Printmaking class) where students used a Dremel on plexiglass to create a plate, then pulled prints from it.
Creation date and the dream before it? 1973. Was it a prophesy?
I ASKED A QUESTION about whether or not the sheltering has affected the reader's writing or reading habits, what they want to read as well! Here are some answers!
Mike Adams Trying to.. One about self initiative.
Guy Donovan Nope. WC Quick No affect, still as lazy as before
Gayreth Walden No change for me.
Then I wrote:
I noticed my scatterbrain is worse. Might be due to the recent move more that the stay-in business. I haven't written much and I need to get on it for about 3 projects by the end of the month 😳🔥🌪🌪😱
Christy Richie I haven’t written much either & I have a May 15th deadline! However, the quarantine has allowed me the time to take a course in near-selling fiction that has helped me tremendously in character development!
Merri Halma I still read. But sadly, all the books left for me to read are the ones I found too slow to finish. Or started last summer, but got sidetracked with my Brandon Sanderson marathon (which lasted over 6 months. I still haven't finished all the books he wrote and my son won't let me read the new Sanderson novel I bought for him that he hasn't started). Anyway, I have a ton of books I could read.
Chele Pedersen Smith Yes, hard to focus on writing.
Lawana K. Johnson For me, yes. Due to the fact that schools are out, and my 5 and 6 year old grandsons, who I take care of, are home ALL DAY...and they are very energetic. I am soooooo tired.
Troy Hudson Carter Reading dawn to dusk...
Eva Pasco I'm not any more or less productive based on how I write and how much time I devote to it each day. I'm not any more prolific with reading either.
Stephen Eagles Been working so hard, No time to write. I opened my WIP for the first time in over a month and looked over my shoulder to see who wrote that cool stuff.
A Stump Author I definitely do NOT want to read anything pandemic related. Which is what most people want to write nowadays.
Susan Green It hasn't changed my reading preferences. But I'm having a harder time writing than I'd imagined. I never realized how much I enjoy writing while dining at my favorite eateries!!
Margena Holmes I couldn't write or work on anything until Camp NaNo started this month. But my attention span is...Oh, shiny! If I don't start writing in the morning, I can't write. And certain family members are starting to drive me crazy, which affects my concentration.
Carol Harris ,yes it has having trouble reading as much and remembering what I read
Fizza Younis Yes, positively. I'm writing more than ever and for some reason switched from short stories to flash fiction. 😅🙂 I'm actually writing one flash fiction every day. So far, 22 stories. 🙃 But I'm reading less :/ Tauna Sonn-lemarbe Also positively, I have worked on at least 100 sketches, some thumbnails, initial layouts, trying new mediums, and some finished or near finished pieces. Worked on maybe 10 second drafts, critiqued 12 pieces of others, wrote one complete short story. I've been watching a lot of You Tube drawing tips and Master Class assorted lessons from Neil Gaiman to a past FBI negotiator. Binge watched five or more series on Acorn, Brit Box, Net Flix, and Amazon. Came up with six different story ideas, reading a backlog of Kindle books, but on Audio books, and cooking again after a ten year hiatus.
Need my son's help to bring me things in the kitchen because my wheelchair won't fit let alone move in there. (very small kitchen, frig needs two doors or no space to open it. That small) Except for art books, nothing in hand I can only see colors with my right eye, so reading with one eye is a strain. About the only thing different for me is I can't go out to a restaurant five times a week and relax with a glass of wine. Actually, forced confinement (high risk) is a good rest, the previous 3 months I had to be chauffeur for my husband to have two different eye surgeries, eye tests and .follow-ups. Luckily, he can see now better than ever in his life and only needs glasses to drive now. Before he wore coke bottles. We were lucky he was back at work one day before the lock down. He is considered of critical need. When he was off they called him five times a day with questions. They found out he was "irreplaceable". It scared them to death, because he might retire in the next three to five years. He is now tasked with writing instructions and doing technical drawings so they can learn to live without him. Quite literally. Shane Thomas I'm leaning away from the Post Apoc angle of my new series and toward Metaphysical and Visionary. I don't think readers will keep flocking to doom and canned food like before. Sandy Fosdick Not bothered me. I still read the same stuff, watch the same stuff but I have discovered audio books are great. They are when read by the right person
Keyla Damaer has released a second edition of her book The Parallels so here's her main character to tell you about self
The Parallels (The Sehnsucht Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
by Keyla Damaer (Author)
1. Go ahead and introduce yourself.
I’m Halazar Mevitz, a pal of the Manderian militia. The rank of pal would be a commander to Terrans.
2. Tell us where and when were you born.
I was born in the Manderian Halden in the Manderian year 2445. I can’t tell what that would be in terms of Terran calendar.
3. How would you describe yourself?
What kind of question is this? I’m a Manderian.
4. Tell us about where you grew up.
At my parent’s farm, with my brother Danar. I helped my family with the farm. As per tradition, my parents tried to find me a mate, but most of the males in the area considered me too unfit to be a match.
At three years old I was accepted at the military school and that’s when my training started.
Now don’t make that face. My species is different than yours. We’re independent after a few weeks after our eggs hatch. At three years we can already speak fluently, make calculus, pretty much like your children around ten years old.
5. How old are you?
Forty-eight Manderian years.
6. Did you have a happy childhood? Why/why not?
**Rises eyeridge** Happy? We don’t define ourselves in terms of happiness. I was and am a woman in the body of a man. Don’t get me wrong, my sexual organs are those of a female, but look at me! Do I look like a woman to you? Broad shoulders, flat chest, stocky legs, tall like most men. Most people take me for one when they first see me. As a youngling, I was mocked and shunned for this, but it doesn’t matter now. I am what I wanted to be. A soldier ready to die to defend my people.
7. Past/ present relationships? How did they affect you?
During the war between the Manderian Halden and the Federal Coalition, I was arrested by the Black Squads, the secret service. Why? I still am not sure. I suspect it was because the Partaks, a rich family living in my province, didn’t take well my refusal to marry one of them.
When my brother Danar died while working in the fields, I returned home for his funeral. My parents had arranged the wedding without talking to me first. See, I had made an oath to defend the Halden. Getting married to a farmer meant to desert. I couldn’t do that. I just couldn’t. An oath is an oath. I refused to get married and returned to my battalion but the Black Squads arrested me.
At the labour camp, I had a relationship with Pasir, the camp overseer. When the Halden fell, and the Federal Coalition invaded Mander Prime, Pasir and I joined the resistance. We fought against your people
until the day he died in front of my eyes. The Augments, human Augments, captured us and tortured him forcing me to watch. They thought I would reveal to them what I knew about our cell. **Brief pause** I didn’t say a word.
8. What do you value above all else in life?
Honour, duty, and justice.
9. What are you obsessed with?
Obsessed? I’m not obsessed with anything.
10.How do your beliefs make life better for yourself and the people you care about?
All the people I cared for died. I have made some poor choices in the past because of my beliefs, but if I had to go back I would do the same. What you humans would call my conscience is clean. I couldn’t have done it any other way, but I have to live with the heavy burden of my choices for the rest of my life.
11. Biggest fear?
Having other innocents die because of my choices.
12. What line will you never cross?
I’m a soldier, is there really a line we can’t cross? The army relies on the chain of command and we have to obey orders, even if we don’t agree with them.
13. What is the best thing that ever happened to you? The worst?
The best? I think my current assignment to Hydra, a space station orbiting planet Tau. Here, I found a great team to work with. My Commanding officer, Tal Plinn Corbol has become a friend to me. I know his secrets and he knows mine.
The worst? Losing my brother Danar.
14. Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?
Being shunned by my peers for being ugly. It took me a while to accept myself for what I am.
15. Biggest secret?
By now, you should know I wouldn’t reveal that even under torture.
16. What is the one word you would use to define yourself?
17. What is your current goal?
Running the space station until my commanding officer doesn’t return from his mission on Tau.
And now the author speaks!
1. What made you want to be a writer?
I don’t have an answer to that. I’ve been writing since I could. Words can be magic if combined in the right way. A few months back at my parents’ house, I found stories I wrote when I was a teen. They’re garbage of course, but the desire to put down words had always been there. I could say that I write because I must and when I don’t, I feel sick. I write for myself, stories that I would like to read.
2. Tell us your book’s genre?
The Parallels is the first novel of The Sehnsucht Series, featuring the Manderians, a reptilian alien race. I would say it’s soft science fiction diving into the dark side of humanity.
3. Tell us about your book and how it’s available. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, paperback etc.)
The Parallels is available at your favourite retailer, ebook or paperback. Just look out there for my name. I’m everywhere.
4. How important is it to read books when you want to be an author?
It’s paramount. I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember and I’m pretty sure it helped in my imagination’s development. Now that I’m an author, I read my colleagues’ books to enjoy their stories, but also to learn from them.
5. How did you come up with this fantastic idea?
I don’t know if it’s a fantastic idea. After all, I think all stories have been told already. It’s the way we tell them that matters and it’s up to the reader to decide if they like them or not. The idea of the Manderians came from my interests in reptiles. I’m not an expert, but I find them fascinating. As a matter of fact I have a turtle. Or perhaps I should tell that she has humans.
6. Which character do you identify with most in your novel?
I don’t identify in anyone of them specifically. There something of me in all my characters.
7. Did the Bible or other spiritual works have anything to do with your idea for this novel?
8. Is there a message you’d like to send through your book?
No, I have no message to send. My stories are about feelings not messages.
9. Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?
This answer would have been different two years ago, and it may change again in time. As I go on and write more, I gain experience. The hardest parts are the ones I still have to master. Right now, I’m dealing with marketing. That’s my answer now: marketing.
10. Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.
I used to need isolation and silence to write. Two months ago, I was writing in a ER where I waited ten days to get a bed in a hospital ward (yes, welcome to Italy and to a free health care system). That experience gifted me with a couple of ideas for short stories, but I’m still musing over them.
So, basically, I can write everywhere now. Of course, the quality of the writing may vary. A quiet environment should guarantee better prose and less edits, but it’s not necessarily true. Ideally, I sit at my computer and listen to classical music. My favorite artists while writing is Ludovico Einaudi.
11. What is one goody you must have at your desk when you’re writing?
I don’t eat at my desk. I always have a bottle of water next to me. Sometimes, but it’s not a given, I’ll have some coffee (Italian espresso) in the early afternoon.
12. What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel? IF it’s too personal just make a generalized statement if you can.
Sharing my face around. I’m a shy extrovert. Sharing my pictures on my web pages and media was a hard step to take for me.
13. When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?
My life companion. The Parallels is dedicated to him.
14. How do you market your book?
After paying the editor, the cover artist, the copyright, and the ISBN, I need to save money before I can market with paid advertisement. Right now, I’m marketing it through interviews, newsletter swaps, free book promo, and all that jazz.
15. Have readers ever contacted you? If so, tell us the best thing they’ve said to you.
A few days ago a reader told me she read the book after Christmas in a very sad moment of her life. The story lifted her spirit and brought back the will to read again, which she had lost for a long time.
16. Who do you trust to read your finished books before publication?
Beta readers. Mostly other independent authors. Hubby doesn’t read much. His job is physically draining. By the time he returns home, he’s too tired to read in Italian, forget about English, even if he speaks it well. Better than most Italians anyway.
17. Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc.
Never did that. I live in Rome, Italy. It’s hard to sign book in English when no one can read that language.
Some silly questions!
18. What do you enjoy when you’re not writing?
Walking in the sun—something we usually don’t lack here in Rome—chatting with some friend, gardening, sightseeing, and drawing. As a matter of fact, all the images inside my novel are mine. I sent drawings of my characters to the cover artists who adapted them into the stunning cover he created.
19. Tell your readers what your favorite food and color is.
This is hard. I’m Italian. My people have a special relationship with food. I love pasta, of course, especially lasagna (Italian way, no meatballs please), and pizza (no pineapple thanks). But something I really adore are potatoes. No matter how they’re cooked.
My colour is red.
20. Tell us your favorite novel?
The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien. I’ve read it tens of times and each time I discover some detail I never noticed before, or something I had forgotten. It’s magic and it makes me cry every single time.
21. A live drama or the opera?
Why not both?
22. Chips or crackers?
Do you need to ask? Chips, of course.
23. Hamburger or chicken sandwich?
Hamburger, medium, with BBQ sauce on the side.
24. Fries or onion rings?
Fries with BBQ sauce on the side and after that onion rings too. Always with BBS on the side. I love BBQ sauce.
25. Milk shake or smoothie?
26. Thunderstorms or star gazing??
27. Kindle or paperback novels?
This one is hard. I can get drunk smelling fresh printed books. Yet, paper reminds me that we need trees to breathe. Also, papers is heavy. With a tablet I can carry thousands of books everywhere I go. I can read in the darkness. The downside is that if the battery dies I can’t read, while with a paperback, I can read for as long as there’s sunlight, and then turn on artificial lights and read more.
28. Are there any mistakes you made with your first book?
First edition of The Parallels was filled with mistakes. That’s why I spent two years and a half rewriting completely. Even though the story isn’t changed, the novel is.
29. What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors?
While writing, and self edit, save money to pay a good editor, and a cover artist. You’ll also want to buy your own ISBN (if you’re lucky, they are free in your country) because this way, you can publish through IngramSpark and get your book into libraries and book stores. And remember to register the copyright. Not because it will shoo away pirates because no one has money to sue them all. Probably not even to sue only one. But because if some moron plagirises your story and publishes it with their name, say on Amazon, you can send the retailer your claim and they will remove the moron’s story from their store. This is the only way to demonstrate them that you own the story. The rest is just chit chat to save money. And you may regret it deeply.
30.When in doubt, who do you trust to help you out?
My husband. If it’s something related to a story, I also chat with other authors, especially with the members of the Roundtable.
31. When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series. If your book is part of a series tell the readers about the others that are out for sale.
I honestly don’t know, and with this quarantine I’m not making any plans. The Parallels is the only book I have out. I’m working on an anthology of short stories introducing the reader to the Manderians’ universe. They’re slowly getting into the hands of my beta readers. The sequel is in the second draft’s state. There’s a short story out there available for free to all those who want to taste a bit of Manderian culture.
32. Where can we find your author page of your work to follow you and purchase your awesome book?
I’m on all major social media, although I’m most active on Facebook. The novel is also available on all major retailers.
You can find it here:
And my free story here: https://www.subscribepage.com/keyladamaer_free_story
This week's memes and a challenge: There were two additions this week and as soon as I post this blog I'll design one around the third picture. Look for the completed meme in the next issue. The first is of Houra as a captive by a band of thieves. She escapes but believes Marai has become a god and cries for vengeance.
This chapter was touch to find a picture and a meme without too much of a spoiler. So much happens in the Chapter "Black Lightning". Suffice it to say Marai discovers he can bend time. The opponent is N'ahabatal, leader of a band of thieves - again a pivotal antagonist. I always knew what he looked like because I patterned him on an old friend (now deceased) He knew about the story and laughingly said he should be the thief. He was an unpublished writer himself. I once asked him if he wanted to read my story and his answer was "No, I'd probably steal it." I DO have a short fan-fic Star Trek piece he once wrote that wasn't stolen. The image (borrowed from Rise of Heroes) is spot on in the face, body shape and amount of jewelry. The costume itself is a much later era than the ancient Middle East and likely cleaner, but when you have 2 out of 3 points ... Rest in peace Mike. Hope wherever you are you see this.
This last will be from Chapter 13 "The Women" The image comes from a still of the character The dust witch from "Something Wicked This Way Comes" When my friend Annette and I saw the movie, we gasped and pointed like little girls and said "That's her!" Who? The image launched the character Deka, the fallen goddess from Ta-Seti who later called herself Nefira Sekht. Look for what I do with it on my Children of Stone Page tomorrow.
Turn The Page: When You're Looking For A Killer Kindle Edition by Robin Rance 3/31/20 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0834CRSZJ/
Storm Breaker (Blood Moon Trilogy Book 3) Kindle Edition by Kayla Krantz (Author), Raven Heidrich (Editor) 4/1/20
In Search of Loch Lilies (A Loch Gaoil Novel) Kindle Edition by C.A. King (Author) 4-1-20
Alpha Encounters: Nomity (A Blue Moon Riders Tale Book 1) Kindle Edition by J. Haney (Author), S.I. Hayes 4-4-20
Ridin' for Hell (Royal Bastards MC) Kindle Edition by Nikki Landis 4-7-2020 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0812ZCJHM/
Blood Moon (Thaddeus of Venice Book 2) Kindle Edition by Greg Alldredge 4-7-20
Where there will be hopefully some news about a long awaited Pre-order, a new cover and maybe a new short story along with more memes another interview and new releases.