From Firewalker to Firebinder: Character Creation

Photo Credit: ABS-CBN

There is a place in the Philippines called Alfonso in Cavite where they have a tradition of fire walking.

I became interested in this practice primarily because I couldn’t see myself walking through fire. Just the thought of incredible heat touching my skin set my imagination running wild and my feet seeking the cooler confines of a cold bed or the bathtub.

The Philippines isn’t the only country with this kind of tradition. There are the Firewalkers of Beqa Island in Fiji and even Firewalkers from Bulgaria. Which begs the question, did they at one point in history come from one group of firewalkers who brought the tradition with them when they started forming communities?

This became my inspiration for the creation of the Firebinder. My firebinders do not walk on fire or hot coals. They’re blood is infused with fire. Literally. This fire calls the disease out of a person to heal them, but they must be near earth so that they can embed the disease into the ground where it is destroyed. Faith Hannah, Zac’s mate is a Firebinder. So are Marek, Lia, Rogue…

and now Fleur.

So If you want to know more about my Firebinders, you can start with Firebinders:Marek and you’ll read where they came from.

The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec (@gengornichec)

I have always loved mythology, in particular, Greek Mythology. Unlike my son who has an affinity to all things Norse. So when Genevieve Gornichec’s The Witch’s Heart was recommended to me while browsing on Amazon, it had a long excerpt available, I couldn’t stop reading. I was so intrigued that I pre-ordered it.

I’m so glad I did.

The Witch’s Heart is the story of Angrboda and Loki, of the life they shared until it was ripped apart by Odin and Thor and Frigg, and Freya (yup, they’re not your friendly Marvel superheroes, though Loki is true to his nature), It’s a story of loss, and love, and loss again, and betrayal until the events in Angrboda’s life are allowed to take their natural course towards Ragnarok.

To say, the least, I suddenly developed a desire to know more about Norse Mythology, about Loki and his women. I wanted to know more about his children whom he betrayed; yet he said he did this to save them.

I have to say this was difficult reading particularly when Ms Gornichec beautifully tells Angrboda’s story and I like that she provides us with a different perspective of who Loki’s wife was even though Norse Mythology paints her as the Hag of Ironwood. Reading The Witch’s Heart has also led to discussions about Norse Mythology with my son, something I will always treasure.

I am nearing the end of the book and yet, I don’t want to finish it knowing how it will end. I feel so much of Angrboda’s pain, the sacrifices she was forced to make, and her love for Loki.

As for Loki…(I see Tom Hiddleston here!) He is also a misunderstood soul. Yet so many times, he has been given the chance to see the error of his ways. He refuses to, defaulting to the justification that he is a god. And how can he not? When the very people who vilify him in Asgard are themselves fallible. Ms Gornichec provides us with a glimpse of who Loki is and why he does what he does despite Angrboda’s love.

This is one book that will stay with you even after the last page has been read.

#ADayintheLifeofanAuthor

You never really know how long you will grieve until one day you realize the grief is gone.

I haven’t written as much as I should not because there are no words. My uncle’s sudden death from CoVid threw me off. I had a lot planned – from writing a chapter a day to preparing my marketing plan to promote my books – I suddenly found it difficult to return to the swing of things. Procrastination became my best friend, mental and emotional exhaustion my constant companion.

Until I decided that nothing was going to happen to my writing if I didn’t step up to bat.

So here I am, slowly getting back to writing, getting out of my own self-imposed lockdown. And in those moments when writing becomes difficult and personal circumstances become like the movie ‘Insidious’, I’ve found a way to break free by writing poems.

I did this one yesterday in less than half an hour. God! if only my writing mojo inspired me this much, I’d have finished the first draft of my novel already!

Anyway, here goes…

Ode to Papa

My uncle died today, another victim of CoVid.

We commiserate with people, are dismayed when we hear when the numbers rose, sighed with hope that it would soon be over.

But nothing prepared me when it hit home.

I am still reeling, still hoping that my uncle was just in another hospital battling Covid and winning. Not going to happen.

Unable to cry, I’ve decided to write this ode to him who was a father figure to me.

I’ll never forget you, Papa.

Five Sentence Friday: #FirebindersFleur #CynnCruorsWorld

Welcome to another edition of #FiveSentenceFriday!

Sorry I’m late for posting this. I had to attend to some personal matters plus the fact that it’s Good Friday. Anyway, here goes…This is when Fleur fights a group not knowing they were Scatha mortals.

“Look, I don’t want any trouble. I’ll just leave, okay,” she said retreating. She had no intention exposing her back at them.

Big mistake.

Before she even drew her last breath, the stranger with the weird neon green eyes was in her face, pushing her against the wall with his hand around her neck.

That’s it it for this Friday! I’ll have another one for you next week.

If you want to learn more about the Firebinders, click here .

Want to learn more about the Cynn Cruors? You can find them all here.

Join my newsletter to get more free excerpts of my upcoming paranormal and contemporary romance novels. Plus you get a free short story when you join!

Five Sentence Friday #Firebinders:Fleur #CynnCruorsWorld

Welcome again to Five Sentence Friday! Here’s a snippet of a scene when Fleur Mellisande, a Firebinder meets Cynn Cruors warrior, and bomb expert Ewan Blair. Ewan notices something about the woman he’s drawn to.

“Is that wound around your neck part of Halloween make-up then?

She paled under the streetlamp, fear leaping into her eyes. Eyes the colour of warm caramel and olive green stared back at him. Ewan could have gazed at her until dawn broke or the world ended.

But the dawning realization in those depths reminded him of what he must do.

That’s it it for this Friday! I’ll have another one for you next week.

If you want to learn more about the Firebinders, click here .

Want to learn more about the Cynn Cruors? You can find them all here.

Join my newsletter to get more free excerpts of my upcoming paranormal and contemporary romance novels. Plus you get a free short story when you join!
 

Travails of being an Indie Author

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Last night, I received an email from Amazon letting me know that my just recently released Cynn Cruors novel, Midnight’s Secret: A Prequel cannot be made available because some of the content in my book was found with another publisher.

What. The. Fuck.

I immediately wrote them back with proof that I am the author of Midnight’s Secret – shots of my notebook where I wrote Herod and Arabella’s story in long hand, and the screenshot of my files showing the progression of changes. After this, I just sat staring at my computer starting to feel utterly numb.

I hate it when pirates take authors’ genuine works. I hate it when the work that you have put blood, sweat, and tears into is seen in another published material. You are the copyright holder and you have to provide evidence that you are the author BUT no evidence will be requested from the other party. In Tagalog, there is a saying, Inapi ka na, dehado ka pa. In a nutshell, not only have you been victimized, you also got kicked in the teeth. Or something to that effect.

I am really hoping that Amazon accepts the evidence I have provided.

In the meantime, there are lessons for indie authors here:

Authors, make sure that you have something to show Amazon that you hold the copyright of your work. I know it’s a pain to prove you are you. But identify fraud not only happens in the real word, it does in the digital ones as well.

Authors in the UK need to have safety nets so that they don’t have to go through the anxiety and heartache of others pinching their works. I’m not saying that piracy and even plagiarism will stop. But if we have something to show as proof that we are who we say we are and that the work we have published is truly ours, it will greatly reduce the burden we have to go through now.

From Cynn Cruor to Scatha Cruor

Photo by Visually Us from Pexels

Now that Midnight’s Secret is done, I’m on to writing the next book. The thing is, I should have written Craig and Annaseth’s story even before I wrote Midnight’s Reckoning! I became engrossed with writing Dac’s story that the Leeds Cynn Cruor’s story fell by the wayside. It’s time I pick it up, but not before I write Fleur and Ewan’s story – Firebinders: Fleur.

And yes, it is part of the Cynn Cruors’ world. 😉

But that’s what’s nice about creating your fictional world. You can turn back time and go back to a period which you can thresh out. I’m just not quite so sure what readers will think.

Then again, I just finished writing a prequel…🤔

Speaking of which…a reader asked me an important question about the Cynn Cruors.

How did Herod become a Scatha Cruor?

In Midnight’s Atonement, Elliot Hammond changes humans to Scatha Cruors. Part vampire, he tortures the acolyte before biting them to infuse them with the corrupt Kinaré.

Herod’s transformation was different.

When the Cruors were created by the Ancient Eald, he infused them with his blood. He chose families from Scotland and around the world to be recipients of his own DNA – forged by millennia of walking the earth, from learning very old magick lost to the mists of time, to being adopted by the first vampires, and to absorbing the Deoré’s blood during their mating. The Ancient Eald/Ancient Cynn was an alchemist, and with the magick he had learned and harnessed, he created the vampire/werewolf DNA given to these families. The moment the Kinaré mixes with human blood, these families are irrevocably connected to him, which is why he can read their minds and hear their thoughts too.

As with any evolving species, the Cruors learned to develop their abilities which included strengthening their minds and ‘walling up’ their thoughts that even the Ancient Eald will be hard pressed to break through. Still, this connectivity with the Ancients made sure that the immortals’ path was on the right and true since they were created to keep humans safe and contribute to technology.

But when any of the immortals deviate from their reason for being, this common connection is jarred. Think of it as a guitar string violently plucked. It causes a ripple in the Cruor’s consciousness and this ripple sends a signal to the Kinaré that there is something wrong. The minute this consciousness breaks away from its creator, the Kinaré separates also. Without a tether to hold on to, it now absorbs the dominant trait of its host. In Dac Valerian and Herod D’Argyle’s case, veering away from the Ancient Eald created a vacuum allowing evil to take over.

Herod knew what he was getting into, but he was assured by the Ancient Eald that he would be tethered to the Eald himself for as long as needed. Temptation what it is, the more Herod remained with Valerian, the brittle this link with the Cynn Cruors became. The good part of Herod’s Kinaré weakened and was no match for the corrupted Kinaré’s dominance. It didn’t help either that the Eald abandoned him in the end.

This was how Herod became a Scatha Cruor without being bitten, for corrupted blood to flow in his veins.

If you want to know more about the Cynn Cruors leave a comment to this post and I will reply as soon as I can.

And just as a reminder here is the reading order of the Cynn Cruors Bloodline series.

TTFN!

Birthday 2020

Yesterday, I celebrated my birthday. It was simple and beautiful. I celebrated it with my husband and son. Just the three of us appreciating quality time especially since my son is returning to university. Today, I still celebrated my birthday with the people I have met through Facebook. The greetings have kept pouring in.

My point is, it doesn’t have to be extravagant to have such a wonderful birthday. I will remember the number 54 for a very long time.

The Writer’s Wheel

Midnight’s Reckoning is done and is with the editor. I’m in the middle of writing Aiden Kane’s story for the Second Chances Series. My husband helped me thresh out the background of my female main character then I realised how varied the advice on writing has been.

As much as possible, I try not to use adverbs or adjectives. I show more than tell, though this can be difficult too. As it so happens, I was going through my creative writing notes when I saw this wheel.

It is so easy to use these words as part of dialogue tags. But what does it mean to despair? How does that look? How about anxious? How does that look? Feel?

One of the responsibilities of a writer is to make the reader feel that they are inside the story that they completely forget about the tags so they can see and feel everything the character is going through. The way to do that is to describe…to show than leaving it to a word to encapsulate what a character is going through. Not that a little bit of telling is bad, but that’s for another time.

Ironic, isn’t it that these words are no longer enough when this was how some stories were written in the past. At least some of those I’ve read.

I’m not saying that all writers completely depend on this wheel. I’m speaking from my own experience. The Writer’s Wheel is a guide when you need another word for ‘happy’. Just not an end all or be all of writing.

I gotta get back to Aiden and Raine before my mojo goes on a retreat.