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Dusk’s Warriors by Emerian Rich

We have a guest blogger today, Emerian Rich! She’s going to talk about her new book, Dusk’s Warriors. With no more delay, let me turn my blog over to Emerian.

In Dusk’s Warriors, the goddess of Dusk (Severina), is challenged with building a new heavenly world for her kind. She has inherited the destroyed world from a war that happened in the first book, and because all the old gods are dead, she has to learn to conjure on her own.

 

When I first imagined the world of Dusk, I saw in my mind’s eye the red rocks of Colorado, crimson and ginger jagged pieces of rock jutting out from the ground like nature’s skyscrapers. But when Severina conjured, she did so with her hands. I couldn’t imagine a being as fluid and sultry as Severina creating anything so harsh. So my mind went to clay and I imagined her carving out each room and balcony with her hands, the motion of it causing ripples or overhangs as she went.

 

The buildings of Barcelona reflect the look I imagined. Casa Mila (photo courtesy of Angela Estes) is a prime example of architecture that looks hand sculpted, as if god reached down and formed it with his bare hands. The world of Dusk is made of such buildings. Combining the look of Casa Mila and the color of Colorado, Dusk came into being.

 

Below, read an excerpt of the story where Severina first begins to build:

 

“And so, My Queen, have you thought about what it will look like?” Reidar asked.

She took a sip of her drink and then stood, looking into the vast void of nothingness before her.

“I thought I’d start with a gateway.” Pacing in front of her sector, a red sandstone archway formed as she spoke. “A ruby sunset for our sky.”

An instant flash of red went up and over them to form the sky. Streaks of orange and yellow ran through it.

“This is going to be fun.” She grinned, stepping onto the red sand road. Pedro and Reidar followed as she conjured rock formations into buildings like a master sculptor.

Severina stopped to stand before a castle of red sandstone and glass. Reidar marveled at its artistic form. The structure stood three stories tall and at first glance, it looked like the red rocks and caves of Colorado, until he noticed glass windows embedded deep in the cave entrances. Unlike some structures Reidar had seen carved into rock, the building surface was smooth and liquid as if Lady Dusk had reached her hands into a vat of modeling clay and pushed in holes for rooms. Reidar watched her conjure, which he’d seen many do during his time in The Garden, but she worked with such grace, like a dancer. She was beauty personified in her thin red dress. It blew back from the wind of creation and showed the perfect curve of her body.

 

 

 

Dusk’s Warriors by Emerian Rich

 

Heaven has opened up and welcomed the vampires of Night’s Knights into a new reality. As they struggle to find their place in their new world, trouble brews on Earth.

Demon servant, Ridge, is causing havoc by gathering up all the souls on Earth that have been touched by immortality. When he injures one of the Night’s Knights crew, he launches a war between the vampires of Heaven, the Big Bad in Hell, and a mortal street gang of vigilante misfits.

 

Will Julien, Markham, and Reidar be able to defeat the evil that’s returned, or will they once again need Jespa’s help?

 

Praise for Dusk’s Warriors:

“All hail, the queen of Night’s Knights has returned! Emerian Rich’s unique take on vampires delights my black little heart.” ~Dan Shaurette, Lilith’s Love

 

“A world of horror with realistic characters in a fast paced thriller you won’t be able to put down.”

~David Watson, The All Night Library

 

Praise for Night’s Knights:

“Fresh, original, and thoroughly entertaining.” ~Mark Eller, Traitor

 

“Emerian brought the Vampire Novel back from the dead.” ~C. E. Dorsett, Shine Like Thunder

 

Available now at Amazon.com in print and eBook

 

https://www.amazon.com/Dusks-Warriors-Nights-Knights-Vampire/dp/1544628803

 

Emerian Rich is an artist, horror host, and author of the vampire series, Night’s Knights. She is the hostess of the internationally acclaimed podcast, HorrorAddicts.net. Under the name Emmy Z. Madrigal, she writes the musical romance series, Sweet Dreams and she’s the Editorial Director for the Bay Area magazine, SEARCH. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.

 

Commas and FANBOYS

comma

Commas, commas everywhere! Yes, I’m talking about everyone’s least-favourite, most-misunderstood bit of punctuation, the lowly comma, yet again.

Here’s a sentence with two variations.

He stomped down the stairs and left the house in a rage.

He stomped down the stairs, and he left the house in a rage.

So what’s the difference? Why does the second have a comma but not the first?

In the first sentence, you do not have a complete phrase (with a subject and a verb) in the second half of the sentence. You have a verb (left) but no subject. In the second, you have both a subject (he) and a verb (left). That’s your first clue that you’ll need a comma.

The second clue is the presence of the conjunction “and,” which is one of the FANBOYS, the conjunctions which call for a comma IF the part of the sentence following said conjunction is complete with subject and verb.

So what are the FANBOYS?

For

And

Nor

But

Or

Yet

So

FANBOYS

I’ve been editing for clients quite a bit lately, and this is one of the most common mistakes I see: putting commas where there isn’t a FANBOYS or not putting one where there is.

It’s one of the easiest errors to correct in your writing, too. An easy mnemonic. An easy search for subjects and verbs.

The man entered his home, and he found his wife waiting for him in the living room.

The man entered his home and found his wife waiting for him in the living room.

She smiled at her husband and gave him the good news.

She smiled at her husband, and she gave him the good news.

Granted, these aren’t great sentences, but they show the FANBOYS in action.

Your Reputation Always Precedes You

Pen and Notepad

To be a professional writer, to gain and keep a good reputation, you need to act like a professional. You can’t blow off responsibility and decorum because you are “a genius.” You just can’t. Don’t tell me that such-and-such fantastic writer spends his days drunk in a hotel room and then churns out brilliant novels in a cocaine fueled haze, misses all his deadlines, spits at publishers, and is beloved by all. Chances are you aren’t a genius – they are not thick on the ground – and I’ll wager his publisher, agent, publicist, and third and soon-to-be-ex-wife are all eagerly awaiting his fatal coronary so they can be rid of him. And write the tell-all book which will expose his nastiness to the world after he’s safely out of it.

So, dear writer, and I need to keep this in mind myself, let’s say you see an open call with the following guidelines: We seek short stories, 2K words max, no zombies, no rape, pedophilia, bestiality. Please don’t send that publisher a 10K novelette about a zombie apocalypse where the villain rapes the 8-year-old girl next door by means of a bull mastiff. I mean, just don’t. And, furthermore, don’t think publishers haven’t seen that story as a result of that sort of open call. More likely, though, if the publisher says “No reprints,” don’t send a reprint. If the publisher wants the story single-spaced in 8 point font, don’t sent it double-spaced in 12 point font.

Say you’ve gotten a contract or are participating in a round robin or other group project. If you say you’ll have your story in by such-and-such a date, do your dead level best to fulfill that promise. As a person who suffers from more than one debilitating illness, I understand that sometimes your body will fail you. Sometimes other life circumstances will get in your way. That’s not what I’m talking about here. Truthfully, sometimes circumstances just stop even the strongest of us from making our goals. Mental, emotional, physical illnesses. Family turmoil. Loss of parents, partners, spouses, children, even jobs. I am not talking about those things. I’m talking about something a good deal more frivolous — and something I see happening with some writers. I am urging you, for the sake of your reputation, not to ditch your obligations because it’s summer and you’d rather be swimming. Do that too many times and you’re apt to find those opportunities drying up.

If you get a bad review, don’t blow up on social media. It’s an opinion. Not everyone will like your work. When you feel as if no one likes your stuff, go to Amazon or Kobo or Barnes & Noble, and look up your favourite book — one you truly love. I’ll bet there are some 1-star reviews on that book which will curl your toes. Opinions. Seriously, everyone’s got one. Thicken your skin.

When you hire an editor, listen to him or her. That doesn’t mean you have to take every suggestion you editor makes. But you need to pay attention. Know why you are rejecting this or that suggestion. Understand why the editor suggested the change.

I usually say, “Treat other people the way you’d like them to treat you.” A very wise Man said that many years ago. Others have said it, too. No one ever said it better.

Reputation matters in business – and in the publishing business it matters a lot.

A Comma Here, A Comma There

 

 

 

Let’s talk about commas, shall we? Not all uses of commas, mind you, because that would take way more time than either of us has and way more space than one wee blog post. Let’s talk about one use only today. It’s one that confuses lots of the writers I work with – and lots of writers whose books I read.

 

My brother, Frank is a good driver.

My brother Frank is a good driver.

My brother, Frank, is a good driver.

Look at those three sentences. Each one uses the same words. The only variable is the comma. Let’s examine each one in turn.

Number one is wrong. Period. If you do that, stop it. Just stop. You’ve left things unfinished. You began something with that comma and then dropped the ball, fumbled the hand-off, stumbled out of the blocks, whiffed your at-bat, and probably five or six other sports-related phrases I could throw out.

The second sentence shows that the particular brother you mean, Frank, out of your two or more brothers, is a good driver. You might mean that your other brother, George, is a bad driver. And maybe your third brother, Henry, is too young to drive. But Frank, that one particular brother, is a good driver.

Sentence number three indicates that your ONE brother whose name is Frank is a good driver.

If you want to think of it as an equivalency, go ahead because that’ll work, too. Your brother (your only brother) is equivalent to the name Frank, so you set that additional information off with a comma. Your one-brother-of-several Frank is NOT equivalent to the word brother, because you have other brothers as well, so you don’t set his name off with commas.

My stove, that annoying appliance I’m chained to, provides meals for my family.

In this case, the stove is the equivalent of “the annoying appliance I’m chained to,” so – you guessed it – that latter phrase is set off with commas.

 

My husband, Walter, is the love of my life.

My husband Albert is the love of my life. (My other husband, the one I’m committing bigamy with, isn’t.)

Try these.

Vinnie’s cousin Cleo thought her brother, Michael, hung the stars. (Vinnie has more than one cousin; Cleo has only one brother.)

That dog Sparkles is a huge nuisance .(Well, of course, there’s more than one dog in existence.)

My dog, Sparkles, is a huge nuisance. This time there’s only one dog.

I’ve used simple sentences in these illustrations, but the principle will remain the same, no matter how complex the sentence.

Women in Horror Month

 

Why do women write horror? That’s really too broad a question for me to answer. I’ll just try to say why I write horror. I write horror because that’s where my mind goes. I like to wonder how human beings react when they’re put under the worst kind of stress. My stories are never about the monsters or the demons or the Great Big Evil, even though they often contain monsters, demons, and Great Big Evil. My stories are always about the people, their responses, their failures, their successes.

I’ve always loved horror. I’ve loved the terror – which I could still control, at least in part,  by closing the book or turning off the television, leaving the theatre, or shutting down Netflix. (Disclaimer: I never once walked out of a theatre because I was frightened. I’ve closed a book to take a break, etc., but only rarely.)

Darkness is interesting to me. Dark colours of the palette. Dark corners of the mind. We know that light cannot exist without darkness – and vice-versa. I’ll let other writers write the sunny side of the street, though. I’ll be over here playing in the shadows.

As one of my sons said once, “You don’t look like the kind of woman who walks around all the time thinking of horrible ways to kill people. But you do. You absolutely do.”

Yes. I do.

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