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Saturday, November 26th, 2016
Talking about the Rogue Mage world

So as you might have heard (because I’ve been shouting about it), I have a short story, Ashes and Dust, in the soon-to-be-released Trials: A Rogue Mage anthology. Faith Hunter wrote three novels about Thorn St. Croix. She’s a neomage in a post-apocalyptic earth where seraphs have killed most of the earth’s population. There are those who believe the seraphs are messengers of God, sent to punish people for sins. Others believe they are aliens  (though those people hide because just saying so is sinful). There are a variety of magics and evil in the shape of the Dark–demons and fallen seraphs. Humans and the human world are the battle ground between the Light and the Dark.

Thorn is a neomage–which means she is forbidden to exist, except in what amounts to internment camps for neomages. She lives under the radar as a jeweler, but all too soon, bad things start to happen and she has to take serious risks.

I love this world. It’s so rich and strange and amazing. So I was excited to get a change to play in the world. I was also a little bit panicked. It’s one of the reasons I’ve never even considered anything like fanfiction–playing in someone else’s world means knowing everything about it, and writing in such a way that you’re faithful and don’t break it. I really loved the books, though, and I absolutely wanted to try. It helped that there’s an RPG game based on the world, and I could use the books for that as a reference. And of course, Faith herself.

The conditions of the story were that it could be set in any time pre, during, or post-Rogue Mage stories. I set mine slightly later, and across the country on the west coast. I had a pretty specific idea of what I wanted to do, and thought that it would be easier (and less likely to break the world), if I created my own place in the west where I didn’t have to worry all that much about previously described areas or people.

Writing the story was terrific fun. It flowed out of me fast and was too long. I did my best to cut a lot, but it still ended up on the longish side. Luckily there was room. I think the coolest part of the Rogue Mage world is figuring out how to fit in the world and still bring your own creative ideas to the table. You have to color within certain lines, but there’s still a lot of room for crazy colors and textures and shapes.

Mistral is my main character and what I like about him is that he doesn’t fit well anywhere. I’ve felt like that a lot in my life, and then I found my tribe. He’s looking for that, too, only he doesn’t quite know it. He wants to define himself and choose his own path. The thing is, others don’t exactly want to let him. His story is about standing up for himself and choosing the kind of person he wants to be.

Mistral is an unusual being, which accounts for why if anybody discovered what he is, he’d be dead meat. He’s born of a Dark rma1_trials-ebook-cover-correctedMage mother and a captured seraph father. He’s kylen, with unique neomage powers. There’s no other like him in the world and that’s a tough thing. He knows he’d be hated by everyone if they knew, and so he has to hide. But others also want to use him as a tool for their ambitions. He despises both the Light and the Dark. For much of the year, he travels as a ti

nker and trader. For the rest of the year, he suffers at the hands of an evil master.

When I got to the end of the story, I loved it for approximately 5 seconds. Then I was sure it was a big pile of stinky poop. I was sure it moved slowly, that it wasn’t any good, that it was a dumb plot, and that the whole thing needed to be scrapped. (All of which is pretty typical of finishing things for me). Faith, though, seemed to think it was pretty good. I had some kinks to work out where I’d crossed lines I couldn’t cross–world facts, for instance–and I had to revise my prose, but mostly the story in the anthology is as it was when I finished.

I was also really happy with the ending. A lot of the time writers tell stories by feel. What I mean by that is we are searching for that ending that clicks and says more than just the simple plot. That it delves into character and makes the story robust and interesting in ways that weren’t clear until the end. It’s like going through maze and looking back to see that

all those little twists and turns were really a glorious pattern.

Now I need to go back to work on finishing my fourth Diamond City Magic book, which remains untitled. It’s so close to done, but I’m looking for that ending that clicks, and I have a feeling that a little farther away than I hope it is. I feel the story coming together toward that finish, though, and I’m super pleased about it.

I also am working on the second Mission: Magic book, and I just turned in a Horngate Witches story for an upcoming anthology. It jumps about four years after the end of the last book. And then I got blindsided by a dream last night that is parlaying itself into a book idea that I think is pretty awesome, but needs to be fleshed out a whole lot more.

Here’s a little snippet from the story:

    They’d not gone much farther up the rutted road — perhaps a mile — when Ebet emerged from the shadow of a tree. He moved into the center of the road to face Mistral, his movements flickering fast. The daywalker was inhumanly beautiful, with black hair that hung to his waist and a lithe, muscular body. They were all of a kind — black hair, slender, piercing eyes, and Michelangelo faces. And evil.
    “You are late for your lessoning,” Ebet said, his voice sweet as a clarinet. “The master grows anxious.”
    “The roads washed out south of the delta. I was trapped on the wrong side.” The floods and delay were not news. Nor did they make the delay forgivable.
    Ebet dipped his chin, a slow, vicious smile curving his mouth. “I am to remind you to hurry.” He lifted his hand and held it out. Dangling from his fingers was a collar.
    Mistral blanched despite himself.

If you’d like to order Trials, here’s a quick link to Amazon. You can preorder now, and it releases on November 28. I’d love to hear what you think about it.

trials-2

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016
On the road again

I’m off to Miscon! It’s my favorite con. It’s in Missoula, MT, and it’s going to be lovely fun. I’ve decided. Plus they make my favorite beer around there–Coldsmoke Scotch Ale. I’m going to have swag, if anybody reading is going to be there. Find me and I shall give something to you.

My schedule is as follows, in case you want to know where to find me:

  • panel Fri 2:00 – 2:50 PM, Book Signing: General Session, Pavilion (2)
    Moderator: Justin Barba; Panelists: Carol Berg, Jim Butcher, Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di), Robin Hobb, Todd Lockwood
    This signing is moderated, and we will maintain a STRICT 3 item maximum per person–zero exceptions. In order to keep the lines moving, Robin and Jim can only personalize one item per person per trip through the line.
  • Break Fri 2:50 – Fri 5:00
  • moderator Fri 5:00 – 5:50 PM, Beyond The Fangs, Ballroom B
    Moderator: Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di); Panelists: Jim Butcher, Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di), Julie Frost, Rhiannon Held, Randy Henderson
    Urban Fantasy encompasses more than just vampires and werewolves, yet it seems that the fanged creatures of the night have captured the limelight. What other creatures, dangerous and ghastly, lurk around dark city corners?
  • Break Fri 5:50 – Sat 10:00
  • moderator Sat 10:00 – 10:50 AM, Desire in Fiction, Ballroom B
    Moderator: Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di); Panelists: Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di), Laurey Patten, Brian Rathbone, Joyce Reynolds-Ward
    Noir is, in part, about what people want, how badly they want it, and how far they’ll go to get it. In this panel we’ll talk about all your characters’ desires, their darkest needs, and how to translate that to the page, regardless of genre.
  • Break Sat 10:50 – Sat Noon
  • panel Sat Noon – 12:50 PM, Meet & Greet/Signing: DianaP Francis/Steve Diamond, Hotel Lobby of Doom
    Panelists: Steve Diamond, Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di)
    Meet a few of our authors, get signatures, and see what they’re up to these days.
  • Break Sat 12:50 – Sat 4:00
  • panel Sat 4:00 – 4:50 PM, Crafting Unique Titles, Gallatin
    Moderator: Rhiannon Held; Panelists: Brenda Carre, Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di), Rhiannon Held, Laurey Patten
    How much work do I put into a title for my book or short story? How do I chose one? What titles worked for you? Are the titles themselves becoming tropes?
  • panel Sat 5:00 – 5:50 PM, Keeping the Momentum, Glacier
    Moderator: Randy Henderson; Panelists: Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di), Julie Frost, Ann Gimpel, Randy Henderson
    Maybe you�re receiving some really great rejections, or perhaps you�ve got a couple short stories published–now what? How do you maintain that momentum? What�s the next step? This is for those writers who are on the cusp of professionalism and those who want to learn what it�s like.
  • Break Sat 5:50 – Sun 1:00
  • panel Sun 1:00 – 1:50 PM, The Grand Scheme, Ballroom B
    Panelists: Carol Berg, Jim Butcher, Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di), Peter Orullian (Rock Lord), Brooke Stanley
    Every great villain needs a masterpiece scheme in order to realize their ambitions and force the hero to their knees, as well as to set themselves apart from every other nefarious criminal. Learn what elements make every grand scheme extraordinary and how to construct the plan that will give your mastermind their edge.
  • panel Sun 2:00 – 2:50 PM, Fiction Slam Readings, Tent By the Trees (1)
    Moderator: Brenda Carre; Panelists: Matt Buscemi, Brenda Carre, Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di)
    Come hear your favorite pro read a selection of their work.
    1400: Diana Pharaoh Francis
    1420: Matt Buscemi
    1440: Brenda Carre
  • Break Sun 2:50 – Sun 4:00
  • panel Sun 4:00 – 4:50 PM, Horror Vs Urban Fantasy, Madison
    Moderator: Peter Orullian (Rock Lord); Panelists: Steve Diamond, Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di), Peter Orullian (Rock Lord), J.A. Pitts
    There’s a lot of shared blood between the two genres, especially as urban fantasy grows darker and darker. What are the major differences? Similarities? How do you know which you’re writing? What are some of the points you must hit to designate one versus the other?
  • Break Sun 4:50 – Mon 11:00
  • panel Mon 11:00 – 11:50 AM, Write a Story on the Fly, Pavilion (2)
    Moderator: Krista Wallace; Panelists: Carol Berg, S. A. Bolich, Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di), Krista Wallace
    In this panel, the panelists will improv a story on the fly, one sentence at a time. It will be written down as they go, and will be read aloud at the end. Promises to be a rolickin’ good time!
Wednesday, April 20th, 2016
Surprise giveaway!

 

Whisper of ShadowsTheIncubousJob-FJM_ARE_200x300In honor of the release of Whisper of Shadows in two days (April 22), I want to give away 4 e-copies of The Incubus Job. All you’ve got to do is leave a comment in this post. And a way for me to contact you later. Or make sure you check back. You’ve got until Monday, April 25, noon, Pacific Standard Time.

If you feel like it, tell me something about yourself in your comment. I’d love to know you better. Good luck!

 

 

 

Thursday, April 7th, 2016
What needs to get done

You’ll notice that the title is in passive voice so no one actually is implicated in the doing.

  1. I have to write a bio for my husband for a con. He’s going to be on a panel about being married to writers. I plan to lie. Totally and completely.
  2. I need to go through and delete buy links for some of the books and put in some explanations about when and how things will be available. For instance, The path books are currently unavailable new or in ebook. However, the ebooks will be coming back soon with new covers (from Open Road Media). After that, I will hopefully put together the print versions and have them available.
  3. I have to fully learn InDesign for laying out print books. I’m making progress
  4. I can’t begin to tell you what I need to do in my yard and around my house. I keep plugging away.
  5. I need to finish reading this book that I have and want to read.
  6. I need to brush the dogs and trim nails.
  7. I need to show you the new cover for Whisper of Shadows! It’s so pretty. It is up for preorder for ebook form now. The print book will be available soon, I think on the release day, April 22nd.

Whisper of Shadows

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016
Win The Incubus Job

Click this link to my Amazon giveaway and you could win a copy of The Incubus Job.

Monday, July 13th, 2015
Edge of Dreams on sale

The kindle version of Edge of Dreams is on sale today for $1.99. Yay! So if you still don’t have a copy, it’s time to grab one. And spread the word for me, okay??

And now to go back to work on book 3 and see what damage I can do to my poor characters . . . Remember, adversity builds character. Bwahaahahahahahaha!

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015
Happy Book Birthday to me!

Edge of Dreams has officially been born. I’m totally excited and yet absolutely panicked that nobody will like it. So pretty much, all is normal.

I have been thinking about what I should talk about on the day of book birth. You know, in childbirth, people just coo over the baby and don’t expect much from the mom. I can’t really set out party favors and streamers and serve cake. That’s seems sort of rude when nobody is nearby to attend. That leaves me to just babble on in interesting and hopefully entertaining ways to possibly whet your appetite.

I’m thinking I want to talk to you about Diamond City and what makes it special. First of all, it’s built on a prehistoric volcanic caldera. It’s such an old and deep volcano, that there are diamonds inside it. I love that setting. Just the idea of an enormous treasure place. Maybe it’s the fact that I love rocks and I want to learn to rockhound my own. I go scouring estate sales and riverbeds and the coast looking for treasures. So Diamond City is dear to my heart. I wish I had a place like that that was full of such treasure to dig in.

Under the caldera are ley lines of great power. I love the way magic becomes organic to the place. Some are given magic talents and some aren’t. What’s fun is how silly some of the talents are. I haven’t thought of all of them yet, but some are very limited. I should have you give me some ideas on useless magical talents. Anybody? Like maybe speeding up broccoli cooking on the stove? Or the ability to summon slugs.

We learn some cool stuff in this book about the area, that would be terrifically spoilerific, so I’ll not talk about those. I like the way there’s a diamond dole. That everybody makes a base amount from the diamond mines–sort of like the way people get money from oil in Alaska. It helps people in Diamond City afford to live there, for one. And also keeps people happier living there.

I’ve figured out some new stuff for the third book, or maybe the fourth, that I can’t mention here, but are really cool things about the Tyet factions and how that works. I’ll be looking at the larger world beyond Diamond City, and maybe even traveling to some other places.

There’s a lot of wealth in Diamond City–from diamonds, from illegal activities, and from legal activities. I love the idea of digging into a society that has a lot of money, some have magic, some don’t, and yet people aren’t necessarily happy. There’s so much fear and corruption in the culture that it’s impossible to ever feel truly safe. That’s a truth of many people all over the world historically and in the present, and I wanted to explore that.

I wanted mystery and that noir feel of the world. I may not be a hugely noirish storyteller, but the world has some of that shape and color. It’s got that kind of dirt and edginess.

I like romance. On top of that, I think people are driven by those sorts of feelings to do many things. Jealousy, lust, love, pride–all those sorts of things. So there’s romance. It’s not easy, and there will probably be more (I’m not sure between which characters yet and I’m not sure when, but again, romance/sex is a part of life).

I’m also digging into Riley’s past and you’re going to get to meet some more of her family. I’m not going to say anymore than that yet.

Diamond City has great beauty and great ugliness and a lot of secrets. These are things I plan to keep exploring.

 

Monday, April 13th, 2015
Counting down

Tick tick tick . . . It’s almost April 15th . . . taxes are due and Edge of Dreams arrives!!!!  You can now preorder the print book, and you can read the first chapter here on my website. Just click through the Diamond City Magic tab and scroll down to read an excerpt. Or . . . I could save you all that trouble and just give you the link. LINK.

I’ve been trying to figure out things to blog about. My editor wants me to encourage reviews, particularly on Amazon. There’s a method to that madness, because the more I get, the more likely they can talk Amazon into doing a specific promotion. So I would love for you to review and spread the word and go forth and help me conquer. It doesn’t help that I haven’t really prepared anything for promotion. The stuff with my son has monopolized me, and the work on book three, which is coming along well and I’m enjoying a lot. Between that stuff, mom stuff, and generally keeping my head afloat, I confess I’m a little bit panicked about the launch of this book. I so want people to read it and enjoy it. I know it sounds crazy, but one thing I want is for it to get more reviews on Amazon than Trace of Magic. Like that’s actually any measure of anything. But I’ve never had a second book do better than a first and I don’t even know if it’s possible.

It’s writer neurosis. It’s like a bubbling hot acid mix of 16 year old hormones, PMS, that terror you get when your plane is crashing, and the feeling of riding a roller coaster, all rolled into one and magnified by about 30. That. Right there. Get me some chocolate, chai, and alchohol STAT!!!

I cleaned my kitchen in an effort to make myself feel better. It did not work. My stomach is literally in knots. I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced this on a launch before.

Okay, I’m going to shut up now and read something. Or snuggle a dog, because . . . fuzz therapy, as my son calls it.

Sunday, March 29th, 2015
of news and news

So first, this. You can win a copy of Edge of Dreams from Goodreads! Enter now.

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Edge of Dreams by Diana Pharaoh Francis

Edge of Dreams

by Diana Pharaoh Francis

Giveaway ends April 13, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win


In other news, I sort of fell off my bike and hurt my wrist on Friday. It’s feeling better, but it was stupid. I’m working on building up stamina to do hills on my bike, since I live on hills and that’s the only way to functionally ride my bike is if I can manage to pedal up inclines. I did the sort of fall off upon arriving back in my own driveway, because I’m an idiot.

I will be at Norwescon. Did I mention that? No panels. Just hanging out, so let me know if you want to get together.

I will be taking my son to Seattle to the children’s hospital the week after in the hopes they will be able to actually treat him. We consult first, and then hopefully they can do other things within a day or so.

In the meantime, I’m writing, trying to squeeze reading in, trying to clean the house and organize and etc.

 

 

Sunday, December 15th, 2013
Book buying promo post

It’s coming up on Christmas. Are you getting gifts for people? If so, let me suggest my books. If you can’t find them (the Crosspointe are temporarily hard to come by), just email me and I’ll sell them to you and sign them and send them. Any of my books, really. Or you can get them at most fine book establishments. So introduce your friends to my books. Introduce your family. Introduce total strangers!

For emailing me, you can go to my contact link and just send me an email and we’ll set it up.