On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Celta Thursday: Heart Choice cut bits, Drina, Straif's FamCat, on bloodline:

Drina stopped licking her paw and looked at him. *I fail to understand why this blood thing is so important.* She lifted her pink nose.

Straif frowned down at her. "It's a difference between humans and cats."
She sniffed. *Maybe. Maybe just some humans. Cats are more sensible. Having offspring who die is bad. Worse than having same bloodline.*

Straif clenched his teeth. "You wouldn't understand."

*Who does? No one agrees with you.*

*I am your Fam, connected to you. I do not run away, *she replied haughtily. *We are Family, yes?*


*Then you will get good mate and children, and I will have kittens. My kittens will be bloodline.*

He stared at her, trying to grasp the concept. Marry who he would – Mitchella — his heart leapt at the thought. And he loved Antenn like a son. A HeartMate, and children.

*I never wanted to have kittens, but I will, for you,* Drina said generously. *My blood is good. I will have strong kittens for your House and line.*

Straif stared at her. Her Sire was Zanth, a Downwind feral, Lord and Lady knew who his forebears were. But he was a huge, tough, scrapper. And his get was the prized line in all of Celta. Trying to imagine a poor or sickly kitten from Zanth or Drina boggled Straif's mind.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Fresh Fiction Review of Ghost Killer

Wow! Wonderful review, here! http://freshfiction.com/review.php?id=50927

Friday, February 20, 2015

Nailing Voice

For those of you who like to read my monthly contribution to the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers blog, today I talk about Nailing Voice here: RMFW Blog.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Celta Thursday - cut from Heart Thief

This was the original first scene introducing our heroine, Ailim D'SilverFir, and is now in the backstory of the book.

"The Family is deeply in debt. We must sell this Residence and Estate." Ailim D'SilverFir kept her tone steady though she blinked back tears. She glanced around the gleaming u-shaped reddwood tables in the D'SilverFir GreatHall, studying her relatives. Then she looked at the huge space of faintly rippling air that showed those attending by viz. Meeting blue gazes ranging from light sky-crystal blue to indigo, or her own shade of blue-gray, she watched shock ripple through them.
Family. They were all Family. And they were all her responsibility. Because of her great Flair, she'd been named her Mother's Heir at birth, but she hadn't anticipated inheriting the GrandHouse title until she was middle-aged at sixty or so. Twenty-nine was too young to be burdened with the Family.
All the muttering and mumblings stopped as if sucked from the room.
"NO!" screamed several people in chorus.
Even though she'd been braced, their emotions hit her mental shields like a tidal wave, testing their limits. She pulled more energy from her body to bolster them, and felt the beginning tightness in her head of an incipient migraine.
"You can't sell the estate! We are a FirstFamily, a GrandHouse, and the land has been ours since the Colonists claimed Celta four hundred years ago," sputtered G'Uncle Ab, his ruddy-veined cheeks puffing out a final breath.
Ailim matched stares with each of her relatives. "I see no other option. What little income we have should go to the productive lands. This town Residence and grounds only drain--"
"You don't know," Aunt Menzie shrilled, hurting Ailim's ears. "You can't know what has passed these last few years. How we've struggled. Your MotherSire and Mother--"
"Quiet!" Ailim commanded.
"You've no respect for your elders and betters," sniped Menzie.
Ailim nearly replied in kind, but that wasn't the way a GrandLady behaved. Whether they liked it or not, whether she liked it or not, she was now the head of the Family and held the title of D'SilverFir. Obviously, some of them didn't respect her. She stared pointedly at those who wore little cheaptin crowns. Even a couple of relations attending by holo sported the pointed metal bands. The headpieces were supposed to block the wearer's thoughts from any telepath. The cheaptin didn't work.
Ailim's specific psi gift, called Flair, was telempathy -- being able to hear thoughts and emotions from others, and she was acknowledged the strongest on Celta. She could have read every opinion in every head, even that of the person furthest away. And experience every emotion. But why would she want to? She already knew their arguments.
She had erected her own mental shields so her relations' thoughts couldn't pummel her more than the occasional sharp blows she expected of such an emotional meeting. But the discomfort of having so many people in the room, shouting at her with their minds as well as their voices, bordered on pain.
The tall white walls of marble veined with gold of the spacious GreatHall seemed to darken and close in on her as an effect of her Family's emotions.
After drawing a deep breath, Ailim returned to the topic. "We have a 1,500,000 gilt debt. The sale of the ancestral estate would clear the debt and allow every member now living here in the Residence a modest home."
Everyone followed her glance down to the flimsysheets containing Family financial information. For security purposes, the papyris was already deteriorating and would be gone in another septhour. Right now, the figures loomed large and red.
"This Residence would be transformed from a drain on the Family to a positive asset," Ailim said.
"This Residence and the estate, the FirstFamily GrandHouse D'SilverFir estate would be gone!" screeched Menzie.
"The Residence and estate, and the standard of living that the ten current inhabitants demand, consumes too much gilt," Ailim countered. "We cannot maintain the estate, let alone pay off the debt." Again she inhaled deeply. "That's why I've called this meeting. I would appreciate any input that would lead to acceptable alternatives."
She didn't dare look at Menzie again, or any of the other Family members who lived in the Residence and contributed nothing but complaints.
Ailim continued. "I urge Family members who have a paid avocation to donate as much as possible to the Family coffers. Both my past and my current annual allotment from the Noble Council has been applied to the Family finances. I've stopped my free circuit rounds. I have an application in for an appointment as Supreme Judge here in Druida."
The old folk scowled, but other heads nodded at her plans.
"Hopefully the Council will decide in a couple of days. I should hear no later than an eightday, when the FirstFamilies Council meets. Our financial dilemma must be resolved by then, so I can inform the FirstFamilies Council of our situation, for good or ill." Ailim stood.
Her shields weren't equal to the horrible lashing waves of emotions and thoughts thrown at her from the others, that started a migraine pounding in her head. The exertion of keeping her shields strong eroded her energy. Knowing her limits, she had to leave, now, or be incapacitated for the next day. And she couldn't afford that.
She couldn't afford much of anything -- certainly nothing she wanted.
She wanted to have her MotherSire and Mother back, but they were dead, their souls resting before rebirth.
She wanted to wash her hands of the Family and all its responsibilities, but that would bring a chaos of infighting amongst the others that would destroy it.
She wanted her old life back. It was gone forever.
Ailim squared her shoulders. "Please consider the budget, and your own personal and Family budgets and talk amongst yourselves. I encourage creative options and will welcome any new ideas. We'll meet again in three days to discuss this matter and any additional solutions that you can find, before I make my decision. Again, this needs to be handled before the FirstFamilies Council meeting in an eightday. Be inventive." She smiled crookedly. "It's a pity we aren't a more financially astute Family."
With raised hands, palms up, she uttered a Word. A one-word spell of the most powerful -- binding her relatives, and whoever they consulted, to silence. Then, with lifted chin and steady step, she walked from the quiet D'SilverFir GreatHall, her footsteps echoing.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Celta Thursday: Cut bits and notes on a scene from Heart Thief

Celta Thursday: Cut bits and notes on a scene from Heart Thief:

Her appointment as Supreme Judge of Druida had been 'ported to her personal scry cache at dawn that morning, along with a request that she start immediately in Druida's Judgment Grove. She'd blinked sleepily at the official parchment, then read the cover letter. Her appointment* had been based on her record as a circuit judge and on her Flair testing after her Third Passage, the emotional storm that had freed her psi power completely. At the time she had tested highest in telepathy, empathy and judgment. XX years had passed and she still held the highest scores. And now she had grown and matured, and her Flair, too had increased. She'd rubbed her sleepy eyes and yawned. It was to be expected, after all. She was the Daughter of a GrandHouse, a FirstFamily, that like all FirstFamilies, had bred for Flair for centuries. She'd been named "Ailim" at birth, the heir's name, when the oracle attending her birth had sensed the power of her Flair. So she was confirmed as Supreme Judge, and soon to be publically and officially confirmed as D'SilverFir.
She shifted her shoulders, feeling the unseen burden as if weighed on her back.
Her day ended in the early afternoon.
In the distance, between a small, planned, gap in the trees, loomed Nuada's Sword, the last of the three starships that had brought the colonists to Celta. The grove had been planted in such a way to remind all of the society they had sprung from -- a society that had hated and feared their ancestors for their beliefs and their burgeoning psi powers.
**The ritual ending Judgment Grove.**
Ailim removed her robe in the small building that housed her offices and hung it in her refresher. She stepped from the small two-story, building and admired the flagged terrace and the semi-circle of pillars that arched behind her altar-table. Her glance rested on the matching building at the other end of the pillars. It held a suite of rooms, a small but stately apartment for the Supreme Judge, should he or she wish to reside there.
She went and sat once more in her chair behind her table. Ailim smiled. One of the first things her bailiff had done was to initiate the spell that made the chair conform to Ailim's body, a personal ComfortChair. She ran her hands on the XX (stone & color) surface, smooth and slightly warm from the sun's rays that the weathershield had magnified.
The weathershield and anti-harm forcefield faded as the Grove returned to normal, or as normal as it ever would be. The manifestation of great Flair over generations had given it an atmosphere as strong as any Healing Grove, or outdoor RitualCircle. She looked out to the grove, massive trees of all the FirstFamilies namesakes were planted in a way to draw the eye. Some of the earth trees had not prospered and had either died or been cross-bread with Celtan flora. Still, the prospect was both stately and comforting*.
She breathed deeply of the fall scents of turning leaves and fading flowers. A sense of peace enveloped her as she enjoyed the lovliness of the Grove, and she was glad that her Family was a GrandHouse and had no month named D'SilverFir, like the GreatHouses did. What would she have done if she'd been born a Hazel, a Family with a month in high summer, and loved the autumn like she did? Ailim chuckled at the fancy, an impractical, unlikely thought to be flitting through her brain.
Still, as the air shimmered a little less, the colorful purple, maroon, and red leaves became highlighted by the sun, brilliant in their beauty. A last summer-warmed breeze swirled through the trees. Ailim smiled, but the stress of her first day in such a lofty position, the use of her Flair, and being the scrutiny of all of Druida who came to see the new Supreme Judge D'SilverFir seemed to transmute to weariness in every cell of her body.
She loosened the pins in her hair, just a little, and rested her head on her arms, just for a moment.
And slowly, wonderfully, peace came upon her.
"Sleep." She imagined she heard it, almost as if the Grove itself spoke, deep and quiet and infinitely tender. "You've had a full day, and you haven't recovered from all the time you went without sleep to try and solve your Family problems, have you?" The voice turned a bit tart, with an autumn apple bite. Ailim murmured, she agreed she needed sleep, but to agree that her Family was plaguing her would be disloyal.
"Sleep." She heard again, and the tight braids on her head loosened*, and wonderful, massaging fingers seemed to knead the knots from her neck and travel down to her shoulders and her back. A soft sigh of pleasure escaped her. And a little laugh, something supple and furry tickled her cheek, then her nose. Even as she thought of sneezing, she fell asleep.
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Thursday, February 05, 2015

Celta Thursday: Tabacin Cards

Celta Thursday: All right, I've spent an hour looking for a good cut, and I can't afford any more time away from Heart Legacy and the next Ghost proposals, soooo, below find the back of the Tabacin cards in Heart Journey, before they were cut individually.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Photo Used for Ghost Killer Cover

If, by any chance, you want to use this pic, please give me credit. :) I was in Creede doing research for Ghost Killer when we emailed about the cover and cover conference. I sent several pics, and they chose this one.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Ghost Killer Out Tomorrow!

Yay, it's finally come, the third in the first installment of the Ghost Seer series.

I hope you enjoy it!

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