Tag Archives: Emily’s Shadow

Meme The Blue Caravan

  

  

In the “Next Big Thing” blogging meme, an author answers ten set interview questions and then tags five more people to do the same. Here’s my contribution. 

1. What is the working title of your next book?

The Blue Caravan

 2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

This is a sequel to my novel, Emily’s Shadow.

 3. What genre does your book fall under?

Mixed genre: supernatural, mystical, historical

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

For Emily, I’d like Keira Knightley; for Merlin, how about Bill Clinton–he’s adaptable. I googled up and coming actors for the rest. Peter: Jay Baruchel; Fawn: Lizzy Caplan; Bernard: Emile Hirsch 

 5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Something supernatural is about to wake up mystical abilities Emily would much rather bury. 

 6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It’s under contract with Double Dragon Publishing.

 7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? I’d begun it some time ago, and had about 40 pages written, but when I settled down to complete it, after a lot of rewriting and rethinking, it took about a year.

 8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Some Cost a Passing Bell by Lee Barwood which is about a young girl with strange psychic abilities.  

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book? An interest in mysticism, Merlin, and Rom.

 10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

Emily can see Merlin when no one else can. He wants her to help Fawn, but Emily wants nothing to do with her supernatural powers. Also, there’s a scene at the Holy Ghost Ruins:  

 

I will be adding other excellent writers who you can check out!

Read Geoff Nelder’s–author of Aria, Left Luggage–answers: http://www.christinastclair.com/blog_tours

Geoff has a wife, two grown-up kids, an increasing number of grandkids, and lives in rural England within an easy cycle ride of the Welsh mountains. He taught Geography and Information Technology for years until writing took over his life. Geoff is a competition short-fiction judge, and a freelance editor.

 Publications include several non-fiction books on climate reflecting his other persona as a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society; over 50 published short stories in various magazines and anthologies; thriller, humour, science fiction, and fantasy novels.

 2005: Humorous thriller Escaping Reality. Republished 2013.

 2008: Award-winning science fiction mystery with hot-blooded heroine, Exit, Pursued by a Bee.

 2010: Another thriller received an Award d’Or from an Arts Academy in the Netherlands. Hot Air. republished in 2012.

2012: ARIA: Left Luggage science fiction apocalypse.

Geoff’s website: geoffnelder.com

Blog: geoffnelder.wordpress.com

 
 
 
 

 

Shadows: Vivien Bewitches Merlin

This is an illustration by Howard Pyle, taken from his book,  The Story of King Arthur and His Knights, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1903.

In my novel, Emily’s Shadow, Viven’s betrayal of Merlin became the seed for a continuation of the legend.  I wanted to know what happened to Merlin?  It turned out to be a difficult time for him, but he did not disappear without retaliating and continuing to have the power to reach through the ether to any who had ears to hear.

 My Vivienne had dark hair and glittering eyes.  She was evil and very clever, but not such a good sorceress–relying more on her ability to steal the secrets of Merlin than on any new sorcery.  Yet, she was able to find the means to escape the spell that had rendered her helpless for centuries. In Emily’s Shadow, Vivienne is seeking a victim.  Along comes Emily and her family.

Emily is a sweet girl, very protective of her younger brothers who she practically raised during WWII after their mother’s death and father’s enlistment.  But a shadow of her personality is her repressed anger about her mother’s death. It might well open her to possession.

The characters in the book began as shadows based on my family.  I have two brothers who are both older than me.  In this story, the girl, is older than her brothers, but she began as me, the youngest sibling.  In a revision, I made her the oldest because well–of course, girls, even if younger in years, are often so much more mature.  My brothers might not agree. 

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To read an excerpt and find links for purchase, go to: http://www.christinastclair.com/emilys_shadow_a_supernatural_fantasy

Quit your day job to become a writer?

This is an icon of Julian of Norwich. She was purported to be the first woman to write a book–back in the 1300s. It is a classic of mysticism. I don’t believe it ever earned her a penny, and even if it had, she wouldn’t have needed it since she became an anchoress (a hermit) who lived in a ten by ten cell attached to a little church.

Fortunately, we writers of today don’t need to live in such a small place, or do we!

Should you quit your day job? I did!

Over twenty years ago, I quit my job to become a writer. I wanted an authentic new way of life. People told me not to do it. My husband was angry that I gave up a $40,000/year job which back then was quite a lot of income. We later divorced–not entirely the outcome of my deciding to be a writer which was a symptom of wanting a more vital life.

Has becoming a writer been more meaningful than being a chemist, the job I chucked?

I have had a lot of freedom. I have never missed mixing chemicals. I got specialized training in ministry and spirituality which fascinate me, subjects I never would have had the energy or time to study before. I have never starved, but had I needed to provide for children, my choices would have been more difficult and different.

The plusses outweigh the negatives, but my income has been seriously low for a long time and I’ve had to live off the guy who is my second husband. I hate being dependent, but luckily my guy is also a writer, so he understands. He also worked as a professor, a job he enjoyed, which paid our bills.

I do not regret having left a job I never felt much passion for, and I have learned so much on this writer-journey. I have learned the first flow of writing is a wonderful high, but doesn’t last. Kindof like that guy or gal who is so perfect. You must have him or her. But then…

Creative moments need to be honed, shaped, and rewritten from an analytical rather than subjective point of view. That first flush of words seems marvelous, but upon a deeper look, those words are in need of serious revision. In relationships, you gotta hang out with the other, get to know him or her, give selflessly to him or her, forget about yourself, learn new things, be open to fresh possibilities. It’s the same with writing novels.  You make a commitment to do the work, try to forget your presuppositions and dig deeper for something worthwhile, something others might enjoy or find useful.

An editor/publisher suggested to me long ago I ought to take a class in how to write. I was not deeply offended, but I didn’t get it. I thought I could write. Sure, I had down grammar and sentence structure, which aspiring writers had better understand, but I hadn’t yet opened a creative artery. It took me years to develop the skills necessary to write creatively. It’s true of relationships and of writing–if it’s to be worthwhile, don’t give up, work on it…

Hopefully, in the twenty years or so I’ve been struggling to write meaningful prose, I have become a fairly decent writer.

You decide.

Buy my books!

 

Books for Sale

 
  Christina St. Clair, award winning author, former shop-girl, chemist, and pastor, is currently a spiritual director, Reiki Master (don’t read too much into the title master!), wife, animal lover, and writer. She says, “Boring life? Let’s not do duty. Let’s do awe! Take a look at your own complexity? You might be amazed. Life leads us into so many interesting and sometimes difficult crossroads where we get to choose what now, what next? As a student of mysticism and spirituality in all its incarnations both religious, secular, and new age, I want to understand what life is about, what is truth? I am still seeking, but I am offering to any who are interested my insights weaved throughout my essays and stories. I hope my writings might add to your already surprising lives.”
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Unexpected Journey

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Moon

A picture showing the legend of PAH taken from our Native American mythology archives. Illustration by Chas Saunders. Read the story below or search the index for more Native American Gods, Native American Goddesses, heroes, demons and monsters!

moon image: http://www.godchecker.com/pantheon/native_american-mythology.php?deity=PAH

In the creation story of the Pawnee people four major stars were said to represent gods. Pah was a Pawnee lunar deity and was male. His consort was Shakaru, a sun goddess. Together they produced a son, but the first human being in Pawnee mythology was a girl, the child borne of the Morning Star and the Evening Star.

This might sound like good news for women, but one sect of the Pawnee, the Skidi, practiced child sacrifice, specifically of captive girls, in the “Morning Star ritual”. They continued this practice regularly through the 1810s and possibly after 1838, the last reported sacrifice. They believed the longstanding rite ensured the fertility of the soil and success of the crops, as well as renewal of all life in spring. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pawnee_people

Archeologists and anthropologists have determined the Pawnee had a sophisticated understanding of the movement of stars. They noted the nonconforming movements of both Venus (Evening Star) and Mars (Morning Star). The Pawnee centered all aspects of daily life on this celestial observation, including the important cultivation cycle for sacred corn.

They built earthwork lodges to accommodate the sedentary nature of Pawnee culture; each lodge “was at the same time the universe and also the womb of a woman, and the household activities represented her reproductive powers.”[2] The lodge also represented the universe in a more practical way. The physical construction of the house required setting up four posts to represent the four cardinal directions, “aligned almost exactly with the north-south, east-west axis.[3]  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pawnee_lodge.jpg

Give a book for Christmas, maybe one of mine?

Unexpected Journey (www.roguephoenixpress.com): historical coming of age novel about a shaman, a rich girl and a street girl who end up in colonial Philadelphia.

Kindle edition: $5.99

Available in HTML, PDF, and Mobipocket directly from the publisher:

http://shop.roguephoenixpress.ieasysite.com/productinfo.aspx?productid=UNEXPECTEDJOURNEY

  

Emily’s Shadow (www.bloodmoonpublishing.com): supernatural fantasy set in Cornwall, where Merlin made magic.

  Kindle edition:   $4.79

FREE: Misty, the London Pony,  is based on a true story. An illustrated children’s story is available as a free PDF download.

 

Champion, the Dream Horse, about Mara Sue, who lives in Kentucky, is poor, but determined to own the horse of her dreams.

Kindle edition: $2.99 

Fish Reveal Fate of the Lovesick

The Town of Newborough in the Isle of Anglesey, Wales

For many Welsh people, a most sacred place is the ruined 16th century church found on the southwest tip of the island, across from the little town of Newborough. Here, on a little promontory jutting out from a vast expanse of sands and forest that makes up a nature reserve called Ynys Llanddwyn (Uniss Thlan thooin) is the spot where Dwynwen, patron saint of Welsh lovers, chose to make her retreat.

St. Dynwen’s Day is celebrated on January 25th. For the Welsh-speaking, it replaces St. Valentine’s Day, as the day to send flowers and greetings to loved ones (a point not unnoticed by today’s publishers of Welsh greeting cards). A lovely legend is the story of Dwynwen’s rejection of the sexual advances of her swain Maelon.

Though in love with Maelon (My Lon), Dwynwen’s wish to remain chaste led her to dream that God offered her a sweet drink that would turn her suitor to ice and free her from her bonds to him. She was then granted three wishes. The first wish was to revive Maelon; second, to become the patron saint of lovers and third, never to marry. What happened to the poor love-struck Maelon we will never know, but a miraculous spring, Ffynnon Dwynwen, appeared at the spot where Dwynwen had her dream. In the spring, located in what is now a very difficult to locate spot on the muddy, tidal beach, fish are said to reveal the fate of the love sick.

http://www.britannia.com/celtic/wales/sacred/anglesey.html

Buy my Books:

Unexpected Journey (www.roguephoenixpress.com): historical coming of age novel about a shaman, a rich girl and a street girl who end up in colonial Philadelphia.

Kindle edition: $5.99

Available in HTML, PDF, and Mobipocket directly from the publisher:

http://shop.roguephoenixpress.ieasysite.com/productinfo.aspx?productid=UNEXPECTEDJOURNEY

  

Emily’s Shadow (www.bloodmoonpublishing.com): supernatural fantasy set in Cornwall, where Merlin made magic.

  Kindle edition:   $4.79

FREE: Misty, the London Pony,  is based on a true story. An illustrated children’s story is available as a free PDF download.

 

Champion, the Dream Horse, about Mara Sue, who lives in Kentucky, is poor, but determined to own the horse of her dreams.

Kindle edition: $2.99 

E-Publisher and Indie-Publishers

I have never been able to give up on my book projects. Never! Every so often I dust off my old manuscripts, revise them, and submit them to publishers.

Recently, I sent two of my older rewritten novels to e-publishers.  To my astonishment, both were accepted. I dutifully signed the contracts, glad to have such a validation.

One problem I encountered was I didn’t remember the storyline all that well, and when a reader asked me about the symbolic meaning I had in mind for my fantasy novel, Emily’s Shadow, I couldn’t remember. Ha ha. She did get me to thinking about what I’d written though, and why. I have since completed a sequel to this novel, but because I have matured as a writer, this story is quite different from what I’d originally planned. I haven’t looked at the draft yet, but hopefully it is better. Also, having a legitimate publisher, www.bloodmoonpublishing.com , gave me energy to work on this new project because they had already accepted it for their 2012 list.

My second book, Unexpected Journey, published by www.roguephoenixpress.com  has been an exciting project because the editor, Christine Young, helped me turn this historical fiction novel into something far stronger. They also had an excellent copy-editor. If the novel is successful, and by this, I mean it gets some readers, then I may write a sequel.

I self-published a children’s novel, Champion, the Dream Horse, on Amazon. This was a fun thing to do and also empowering, but the question of whether or not it deserved to be published will always remain. I’d like to think I am an accomplished writer and my work is strong. While that may be true, I remember how often I have been blindly in love with my stories, and only after input from experts, have I seen the errors, and the ways to improve the work.

Whether you are an Indie or have an e-publisher, you will still have to find ways to market and promote your books. I like e-marketing but it is difficult, with so much competition from other Indies and e-book publishers, to establish a readership . For my children’s novel, Champion, I am going to try advertising to a targeted audience through Blaze Magazine.

Ultimately, writing is hard work, and I think it is better to go with a legitimate established publisher who will help shape and edit your novel as well as give you professional validation.

Buy my Books:

Unexpected Journey (www.roguephoenixpress.com): historical coming of age novel about a shaman, a rich girl and a street girl who end up in colonial Philadelphia.

Kindle edition: $5.99

Emily’s Shadow (www.bloodmoonpublishing.com): supernatural fantasy set in Cornwall, where Merlin made magic.

  Kindle edition:   $4.79

FREE: Misty, the London Pony,  is based on a true story. An illustrated children’s story is available as a free PDF download.

 

Champion, the Dream Horse, about Mara Sue, who lives in Kentucky, is poor, but determined to own the horse of her dreams.

Kindle edition: $2.99 

Should you quit your day job?

1184. That’s what I got as a royalty, and actually, I didn’t get it, because the amount has to be over twenty five dollars before the publisher issues a check. Yes, that’s right. I got $11.84 in royalties. So, should I have quit my day job? Not for the fame and the money. Not if I needed an income to pay for the kid’s shoes.

Over twenty years ago, I quit my job to become a writer. I wanted an authentic new way of life. People told me not to do it. My husband was pissed I gave up a $40,000/year job which back then was quite a lot of income. We later divorced–not entirely the outcome of my deciding to be a writer which was a symptom of wanting a more vital life.

Has becoming a writer been more meaningful than being a chemist, the job I chucked?

I have had a lot of freedom. I have never missed mixing chemicals. I got specialized training in ministry and spirituality which fascinate me, subjects I never would have had the energy or time to study before. I have never starved, but had I needed to provide for children, my choices would have been more difficult and different.

The plusses outweigh the negatives, but my income has been seriously low for a long time and I’ve had to live off the guy who is my second husband. I hate being dependent, but luckily my guy is also a writer, so he understands. He also worked as a professor, a job he enjoyed, which paid our bills.

I do not regret having left a job I never felt much passion for, and I have learned so much on this writer-journey. I have learned the first flow of writing is a wonderful high, but doesn’t last. Kindof like that guy or gal who is so perfect. You must have him or her. But then…

Creative moments need to be honed, shaped, and rewritten with an analytical view not contingent on being in love. That first flush of words is so marvelous, but upon a deeper look, those words are in need of serious deepening. You gotta hang out with the other, get to know him or her, give selflessly to him or her, forget about yourself, learn new things, be open to fresh possibilities.

An editor/publisher suggested to me long ago I ought to take a class in how to write. I was not deeply offended, but I didn’t get it. I thought I could write. Sure, I had down grammar and sentence structure, which aspiring writers had better understand, but I hadn’t yet opened a creative artery. It took me years to develop the skills necessary to write creatively. It’s true of relationships and of writing–if it’s to be worthwhile, don’t give up, work on it…

Hopefully, in the twenty years or so I’ve been struggling to write meaningful prose, I have become a fairly decent writer.

You decide.

Buy my books!

Emily’s Shadow: www.bloodmoonpublishing.com

Kindle edition: http://www.amazon.com/Emilys-Shadow-ebook/dp/B004PYD8NS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1314193199&sr=1-1   $4.79

Unexpected Journey: www.roguephoenixpress.com

Kindle edition: http://www.amazon.com/Unexpected-Journey-ebook/dp/B005I585ZE/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1314034213&sr=1-1  $5.99

Champion, the Dream Horse (kindle edition): http://www.amazon.com/Champion-The-Dream-Horse-ebook/dp/B004XD18LU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1314193429&sr=1-1   $2.99

The Wishing Tradition

At one time there was a chapel opposite St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall built for pilgrims on their way to to the Mount. I don’t think it exists any more. Old-time pilgrimages ended in the mid-sixteenth century, but here is an image of another St. Catherine’s Chapel in Dorset (about 400 miles north).  This chapel has an interesting tradition of wishing associated with it:

“This involves using the niches (one for the knee and two for the hands) in the east jamb of the south doorway to ‘post’ prayers to the saint asking for her help.

The chapel is frequently visited by women searching for a husband, St Catherine being the patron saint of spinsters. A traditional prayer used here by these women says:

A husband, St Catherine,
A handsome one, St Catherine,
A rich one, St Catherine,
A nice one, St Catherine,
And soon, St Catherine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Catherine%27s_Chapel,_Abbotsbury

Buy Emily’s Shadow, a fantasy novel set in Tintagel, Cornwall. by Christina St. Clair at www.christinastclair.com