A Writing Meme – 3

The Writing Meme – Part 1
The Writing Meme – Part 2

12. In what story did you feel you did the best job of world building?

Hm. No clue. I’d have to ask a reader. But, well, the Lost Knowledge world is growing with each story. The building won’t be complete until the last book comes out.

That said, the coolest piece of information I’ve dropped so far (in my opinion) comes in The Medium: 

“Conscious access to memory is a unique trait of living things, but memory itself is not. It’s encoded in the minute vibrations between elementary particles. Our entire universe is built of information given shape. Part of that is its history. Its memory. Now watch.”

13. What’s your favourite culture to write, fictional or not?

Oh, golly, you can’t ask that of an anthropologist. Pick a favourite culture? Can’t be done. But, as mentioned previously, I’m always in love with whatever shiny new thing is currently going down, and right now, I’m researching Polish history for that nameless gothic thing. It seems that, whenever anybody decides to take over the world, they always start with Poland. In-depth research is a bit tricky for someone with only a high-novice understanding of Polish; there’s less literature in English than I would like. Ah, well. I found a volume of translated fairy tales, and that’s entertaining me, for the moment.

14. How do you map out locations, if needed? Do you have any to show us?

I do have a pile of fantasy maps somewhere, for a project that was shelved several years ago. Everything else takes place in our world, though, so I just print things out from the internet and scribble on them in Sharpie. I’m sure I can dig up some examples, but they’re likely in the very bottom of one of my file boxes and will take some time to locate.

15. Mid way question! Tell us about a writer you admire, whether professional or not!

I am (fondly) jealous of Jodi Lamm’s ridiculously fine ability to turn a phrase. I am so in love with her Titan Magic trilogy and look forward to the third book’s release. Gorgeous, subtle world-building, fascinatingly flawed characters, spine-tingling twists… Am I gushing? Go buy her books. She’s also loads of fun to talk to.

16. Do you write romantic relationships? How do you do with those, and how “far” are you willing to go in your writing?

Eh, a bit. Not much that’s yet been published. There will be a touch of romance in The Van Helsing Legacy and in that unnamed gothic piece. I don’t like the glorification of infatuation, though. Being in love is enjoyable in the  moment, but has no lasting worth at all without a deliberate commitment. Otherwise, it’s just a fling, with all the depth that word implies. If it’s a fling, I write it as a fling. If it’s love, though, the decision is more important than the emotion.

Sex doesn’t interest me in the least. You won’t find anything beyond implication in my writing.

17. Favourite protagonist and why!

Oh, definitely Kim. She gets things done. She’s determined and efficient and has a sense of humour, and she isn’t impressed with Daniel’s whinging. I’ll be sorry to leave her behind when Liminality is done. But hey, that’s what Patreon is for, right? I’ve got loads of deleted scenes and backstory that’ll have to come out somewhere.

The Writing Meme – Part 4
The Writing Meme – Part 5

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A Writing Meme – 2

The Writing Meme – Part 1

6. Where are you most comfortable writing? At what time of day? Computer or good ol’ pen and paper?

I always have a notebook with me, because you never know when or where you might find yourself with ten minutes and nothing to do. If I have a choice, though, I prefer early mornings or late nights at my desk. A burning candle is nice, too. I always draft on paper. Always. Transcribing from paper to screen constitutes my first round of revision.

7. Do you listen to music while you write? What kind? Are there any songs you like to relate/apply to your characters?

Sometimes, but only instrumental. I’m a fan of Peter Gundry and Philip Glass for writing. There are certainly songs that remind me of my characters, but I don’t make playlists for them, or anything.

8. What’s your favourite genre to write? To read?

The bulk of my writing so far is paranormal. I’m really enjoying mystery, as well, but I have no plans to branch out beyond Morrigan Holmes. Future projects – The Van Helsing Legacy and that gothic back-burner – return to paranormal, though in time periods other than the contemporary. I guess I just like a real-world setting with slight, ah, embellishments.

I read anything I can get my hands on. About equal parts fiction and non-fiction, the fiction about equal parts mystery, horror, paranormal, science fiction, historical, satire, YA… More picture books now than previously, since I collect them for use in my classes.

9. How do you get ideas for your characters? Describe the process of creating them.

I hate this question. I think most authors do. There is, in fact, only one character whose origin I can pinpoint to a single moment. John, from The Siren, was inspired by a comment on a Youtube video. Everybody else evolved sort of organically. I’m thinking about stories for a while, telling myself stories, and suddenly realize I have a character.

I can describe how they develop, though. Most of my Lost Knowledge characters were involved in role-play around the internet for years before I began publishing the books. I can’t think of any better way to really get to know a character than to have someone else throw situations at them.

10. What are some really weird situations your characters have been in? Everything from serious canon scenes to meme questions counts!

That role-playing background resulted in some really strange ones. Daniel once wound up married to a time-travelling airship captain from a steampunk alternate universe, living in an interdimensional bubble where they were occasionally attacked by Daleks. Non-canon, of course, but he still hasn’t forgiven me. Lenny’s been turned into a wolf, hit with a love spell, attacked by Umbrella Corp. zombies, and press-ganged into taking care of a magical toddler. Kim and Jadwiga have, for the most part, been spared any particular indignity, except for that one time they both got really smashed and almost came to blows over the lyrics of Bohemian Rhapsody.

Canon is about to get weird, too. No spoilers.

11. Who is your favourite character to write? Least favourite?

Individual characters aren’t that interesting, to me. I like to play characters off one another. Current favourite is having Kim and Daniel in the same room, snarking at one another, closely followed by Signe tormenting Daniel.

hated writing Sebastian. It was incredibly emotionally taxing, and I am forever glad that I ultimately decided not to give him the status of point-of-view character. That would have killed the series.

The Writing Meme – Part 3
The Writing Meme – Part 4
The Writing Meme – Part 5

A Writing Meme – 1

1. Tell us about your favorite writing project/universe that you’ve worked with and why.

To be honest, my favourite is usually whatever shiny new thing I happen to be working on currently, and my various projects are different enough that it’s a bit apples-to-oranges trying to compare them.

I love my Lost Knowledge world, because it’s flexible enough to incorporate almost any new folklore I come across, and I have fun working with monsters who are basically just screwed-up people.

I love dipping into the Victorian world of Sherlock Holmes in the Morrigan Holmes serial I’m working on. I love the contrast between the glittering upper classes, the stolid middle class, and the starving, tubercular masses upon whose backs the other two build their lives. It’s all very pretty, but only until you actually start paying attention.

I  love the classic horror world in which I’ll be playing with The Van Helsing Legacy, based in part on my deep and painstaking folklore research and in part on the old Hammer films. The post-war attitudes of absurdity and cynicism will be tough, but I welcome the challenge.

And there’s one more on the back burner that I won’t discuss too much too soon, except to say that it’s had me reading lots and lots of old gothic fiction, and I’m very excited.

2. How many characters do you have? Do you prefer males or females?

There are 832 documents in my combined “Character Profile” folders. It’s possible I have a problem.

I don’t have a real preference. There’s a roughly equal number of males and females in the work I’ve published so far. The Liminality Series follows two women and two men, all of whom are pivotal. Women are outnumbered in No Cage for a Crow, but it’s written from a female perspective. Women will far outnumber men in The Van Helsing Legacy (also written from a female perspective), as a result of the dent World War One made in Europe’s male population.

There certainly needs to be more female-driven literature. I may as well contribute.

3. How do you come up with names, for characters (and for places if you’re writing about fictional places)?

I keep a list of names I like, with a connotation analysis and etymology, if I can find one. It’s sorted by gender and origin.

For real-world fictional places, I research trends in place-naming by time period and geography. For instance, a near-future project will take place partly at Blackeagles in Cumbria. There are no eagles in the area, “-eagles” being a corruption of “-eccles”, referring to a church. Blackeagles is named for the burnt-out ruin of a monastery outside the town.

For invented-world fictional places… Boggle.

4. Tell us about one of your first stories/characters!

The first I can remember was a ‘novel’ that spanned something like ten or fifteen black-and-white composition notebooks, begun in… second grade? Third? It was horrible. A girl named Sabrina got sucked into a magical world and was made their princess for no particular reason, and she was the best at magic and had beautiful eyes that changed colour and beautiful hair that changed colour and a magic ring that did I-forget-what, and there were unicorns, and I believe she was able to turn into one at will (though this was never a useful skill). It didn’t really have much of a plot.

5. By age, who is your youngest character? Oldest?

Chronologically, Aaron Margolis, from In the Shadow of the Mountains, is youngest in Lost Knowledge, being fourteen when the story starts. He’s recently been beaten out by Snail, of No Cage for a Crow, who is nine.

Oldest is tough, since I have a few who have technically existed since the beginning of the universe. But I guess they only halfway qualify as characters, so I’ll have to go with Signe the Swarm, first introduced in The Wailing. She’s forgotten how old she is, but the prevailing opinion in the wizard community is that she’s old enough it’s possible she was never human at all.

I came across this interview on DeviantART and couldn’t trace it down to an original post. If you know where this originally came from, please let me know so I can give appropriate credit.

The Writing Meme – Part 2
The Writing Meme – Part 3
The Writing Meme – Part 4
The Writing Meme – Part 5

Virtual Book Fair Booth: The Medium by M.R. Graham

I am a participant in The Virtual Book Fair. The event is live November 12-21. For more information, check out the event at https://www.facebook.com/events/927569970656592/ or just head over to The Virtual Book Fair page right here on the blog!

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Welcome, and thanks for visiting. I’m M.R. Graham, author of the Liminality Series: The Medium, The Mora, and at the end of this month, The Mage. I’m a strange bird, an academic, a collector of books and umbrellas, and a lover of tea and hats. I write about things that go bump in the night, both of the supernatural and early varieties.

Liminality follows a cast of characters trapped between, because that is what liminality means. Betweenness. Between life and death, between dreaming and waking, between family and friends, between guilt and repentance. In The Medium, Lenny, a defective vampire unable to take a life, is kidnapped by a creature far worse, a vicious abuser determined to turn him into what a vampire ought to be. Even a gentle monster has his breaking point. Kim is a wizard with a unique perspective, one of the very few who believes you don’t have to be human to be a person. Perhaps she can save Lenny from his captor and from the spark of violence growing inside him…

For a limited time, both published titles are discounted in anticipation of the release of The Mage.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE MEDIUM for only USD0.99.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE MORA for only USD1.99.

Connect with me on social media!

Connect on Facebook.
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Scavenger Hunt Number 5.

Check out more booths at the Virtual Book Fair.

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The shades of autumn encroach.

Each autumn day is growing shorter, the evening shadows are longer, and the wind mutters secrets in the cracks around closed doors. It is time to mull wine, light a candle, and remember days long past. A perfect time for a good book.

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A Halloween in costume, as Doctor Varanus, protagonist of G.D. Falksen’s The Ouroboros Cycle.

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Let me reintroduce myself.

I started this blog as a neophyte flailing wildly around on the internet, without any particular objective or direction. I rambled about daily life, about books, about food, existential mumbling, assorted roadtrips, miscellaneous lists…

A lot has changed in the four years since I started this journey. I’m still a mumbler – no hope of ever getting over that! – but at least I mumble with a purpose, now.

So, salutations. I am M.R. Graham, author and academe, lover of literature and learning.

I believe…
…that knowledge is one of the highest and most worthy pursuits of humankind.
…that books are sacred.
…that beautiful words, poetry, and stories – particularly the fantastical – subtly build the framework of understanding that gives meaning to fact and theory.

Here you can expect from me…
…poetry.
…hints and excerpts of my fiction.
…scholarly musings centered on literature, history, culture, folklore, and education.
…the more interesting tidbits I uncover in my research.

VISIT MY UPDATED ‘ABOUT’ PAGE.

I am pleased to make your acquaintance. If you’d like to know anything more, please ask and reintroduce yourself to me in the comments.

Tuesday Teaser #34

Golly, I seem to have missed two whole Tuesdays in a row! Terribly sorry. In my defense, it was prep week, then first week of classes, plus gearing up for… (tada!) the release of Part 1 of No Cage for a Crow! Why, yes, it’s out, now. So I guess I better get my act together and start teasing again. Here goes.

Every Tuesday (in theory), I post a teaser for one of my current works in progress. I invite all of my writer buddies to join in!

The rules:
Post a link, image, quote, or excerpt related to or taken from your current WIP.
State the name of the WIP.
Do NOT explain yourself! Resist the urge to wax poetic. This is a hint, not an outline.

No Cage for a Crow

Surprised? Well, it’s not done, yet, so I get to consider it still “in progress”! Anyway, this isn’t so much a “teaser” as useful information.

Click that link above. Go ahead, click it. Notice anything? Such as a distinct dearth of paper options?

Well… yes. And no. There is a paperback. It exists. It is sitting on my shelf right now.

Pardon the dust.

But here’s the kicker: You can only get it from me. (Bwahahahaha.) Not from Amazon, not from Barnes & Noble, not from arcane rites. (Prove me wrong on that last one.) You can get it from me through giveaways (typically through Goodreads), or in person at conventions and events, or here on the website. It’ll be appearing soon under my Shop tab up there, but if you need a copy right now, you can hit the Contact button, and I’m sure we can work something out through Paypal.

The result is that every copy in existence will be signed. By both authors. Nifty, eh?

Incredible upcoming box set – FALL INTO MAGIC

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Fall into Magic with 20 Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Reads! 
 
#99c Pre-Order
 
Prepare to be swept away by 20 paranormal romance and urban fantasy tales from today’s NY Times, USA Today, and international bestselling authors! In this limited edition collection, you will find everything from witches to mages, shifters to vampires, demons, faeries, and much more!
 
Preorder for $0.99!
 
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Including:

NY Times bestselling author Rebecca Hamilton & USA Today bestselling author Conner Kressley
International bestselling author Lia Davis
USA Today bestselling author JC Andrijeski
USA Today bestselling author Rainy Kaye
NY Times bestselling author Laxmi Hariharan
USA Today bestselling author Joanne Wadsworth
USA Today bestselling author J.E. Taylor
NY Times bestselling author SC Green writing as Steffanie Holmes
USA Today bestselling author April Aasheim
NY Times bestselling author K. de Long
USA Today bestselling author L.B. Gilbert
NY Times bestselling author Susan Stec
USA Today bestselling author Noree Cosper
USA Today bestselling author Angela Fristoe
International bestselling author AR DeClerck
International bestselling authors Gina Kincade & Kiki Howell
USA Today bestselling author LJ Swallow
NY Times bestselling author Calinda B
Award Winning author Kristin D. Van Risseghem
USA Today bestselling author Angel Lawson

 

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Tuesday Teaser #33

Every Tuesday, I post a teaser for one of my current works in progress. I invite all of my writer buddies to join in!

The rules:
Post a link, image, quote, or excerpt related to or taken from your current WIP.
State the name of the WIP.
Do NOT explain yourself! Resist the urge to wax poetic. This is a hint, not an outline.

No Cage for a Crow

Our intrepid heroine15307316