Thursday, May 20, 2010

Into the Dark

I believe everyone has a dark side in them. And when I say ‘dark’ I don’t necessarily mean evil. I mean that side that houses' aggression, hate, fury, rage, wrath, etc..

It is those things that need tight control, and only allowed out in the right instances. For example, fury can be useful in certain sport situations, but left unchecked can spill over into destruction. In contrast, things like peace and tranquility need no restraints. I try to let my characters touch their dark side and use it to their advantage. Below is an excerpt from my book “The Dragon and the Faerie” that illustrates this. Donella is coming into her powers as Dragon Summoner via the instruction of the ghost of the Dragon Summoner before her.


“Now for the dragon crown,” Layla said. Donella removed her own silver circlet and placed it gently on Tera’s head. She kissed her forehead, then rose and was about to put the crown on her own head.

“Wait!” Layla exclaimed. “This is the hardest part. This will allow you to connect with dragons, but first you must see that dragon that is in you. That base aggression, those dark places you are afraid to go, that elemental raw power, everything must be brought to the surface. You must have the courage to accept this as a part of yourself. You needn’t be ashamed or loathe yourself afterwards.” She looked hard at Donella. “Are you ready?”

Donella was shaking a little, but she was resolved. “I am,” she replied.

“Put the crown on,” Layla instructed.

Donella was not prepared for the sensation she got when she placed the crown on her head. She sank to her knees as if a great force was pushing her into oblivion. She screamed and fought to stay in the light.

“Do not fight it,” she heard Layla say in the shadows of her mind. “Your darkness is a part of you, flow with it, but you control it.”

Donella stopped struggling; she rode the darkness as she would a horse. In her spirit, she saw that she was riding something. It was dark and had wings. Then it started to glow. It took on the form of the red dragon that was marked on her leg. The head turned around and looked directly into Donella’s green eyes. There was malevolence there, as if this creature wanted to hurt something or someone, to inflict pain. Realization then came to her. This red dragon was an extension of herself. It was her that wanted to cause much pain, specifically to Zana, and then to Devon. She loathed herself. This was not her. She thought on it for a moment, and then accepted the truth of the matter. It was her. She did want to inflict pain on Zana, a lot of pain. Donella brought herself under control and bent her thought on the red dragon to take her back to the light. When she opened her eyes, her friends were staring at her openmouthed. Like before when she had told Ala she was the Dragon Summoner, the edges of her green eyes took on a fiery aspect and her dark hair glowed with traces of silver like the color of moon beams.

Layla spoke one last time. “You are ready sister. Bend your thought as you did with the dragon inside you and the dragons of Vasara must come to you.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I am a history nut. Many of the things we believe in the present are based on our perception of the past.

For example, we learn in grade school that in ‘1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue’, and discovered America. For the longest time we have one opinion of the man based solely on that. Then as we re-examine history, we find he wasn’t the first one to find America, and also may not have treated the natives all too well. Many would like to see Columbus Day done away with as more and more of the man’s past is revealed. To me Columbus was a hero, someone to be honored. Now, I’m not so sure. My belief in the man has changed based on my new perception of the past.

That is not why my topic is ‘History’ though. I just thought that was something interesting.

In regards to writing, I think weaving history into a novel is an amazing art. Taking something non-fiction and meshing it with fiction takes skill. One of my favorite authors Clive Cussler of the Dirk Pitt adventures does this with ease.

In my first novel, The Dragon and the Faerie, I try to explain a little of the history of the area in which Andy & Emilia’s adventure begins. I think it makes the story richer and more real to the reader. I’ve pasted the opening scene below. I hope you enjoy it.


As Andy walked farther up the path, he felt that the air had compressed around him. It was as if a thought were floating on the wind just dancing out of reach. He looked out across the water again and found himself staring at the ruins of Bannerman’s Castle. The castle never ceased to fascinate him. He couldn’t help but wonder what secrets were hidden inside its walls.

Andy remembered bits and pieces of the castle’s history. The castle was built in the early 1900’s as a place to warehouse old weapons from the Spanish–American War. Up a short path to the top of the hill on the island was a house, erected in the same Scottish style as the castle. Almost forty years ago, a fire ravaged the island and left the house and castle in a ruinous state.

“I wonder what really happened there,” Andy thought. No one knew the origins of the fire, which left the mind to speculate all kinds of answers. He had heard all the ghost stories that surrounded the place, and he couldn’t help imagining that some spirit or god of the island would not suffer anyone on its shores.

He remembered a tale his dad told him of an English war ship that was able to sail beyond the West Point cannons during the Revolutionary War and came to weigh anchor near the island. It was a dead calm when they put their dories into the water and rowed to the beach on its east side. As soon as their feet touched dry ground, the river became a rolling tempest. The wind rose to gale force and caught the sails, causing the ship to lurch violently and break up on the rocks hidden below the surface. Everyone on the ship perished. Those still on the island jumped into their boats and tried to row for the nearest shore, only to capsize and drown. Andy thought it was a fascinating tale, but he believes there could be some duplicity on his father’s part since history did not record such an event.


The tale about the English war ship is a tribute to the military significance of West Point. Andy suspects duplicity in his father’s story, and with good reason. For a ship to navigate the small stretch of water around West Point, the vessel needs to come to an almost complete stop to change from a north -south direction to an east-west, making it vulnerable to the cannons of Fort Putnam on the heights. This is why Benedict Arnold was so important to the English. The capture of West Point would split New England from the rest of the colonies, because the British would then own the Hudson.

History is awesome! I Love it!

Peace Friends!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Inspired Scenes

This post is dedicated to my sister-in-law Amanda Towsley and my good friend Sue Mallen.

Sometimes when I am writing, ideas for a scene will pop into my head based solely on what I feel or know about a person in my life. Passions that they have or some little idiosyncrasy will find its way onto my pages.
I've pasted the beginning of Chapter 2 of my second book "The Dragons Redress" below. The passion of the two ladies mentioned above will become obvious.

The scene centers on Abby who was rescued from the magical world of Vasara and brought into ours by Andy, whom she has loved from the first book. She is fast in acclimating herself to our world. I hope you enjoy it. Disclaimer: Please bear in mind it is a rough draft.

Chapter 2

Andy and his father had been sitting at the kitchen table as the morning sunlight poured through the window. Two years had gone by since arriving back from Vasara. Andy and Abby were set to graduate high school in a few days time. Abby, with a little help from Redlin, was brought up to speed on the academics of this world. The former library curator was a born scholar and she soaked up the information like a sponge.

“How did this happen?” Redlin asked his son.

“I don’t know. It may have been building up and I just never noticed. What are we going to do?”

“Abby’s her own person my boy, if she chooses the dark path there is nothing either one of us can do.”

Just then the object of their conversation came striding into the room. Abby was wearing jeans with a white short sleeve button down shirt. The shirt-tail was pulled out and the two top buttons were unfastened. Her brown hair was loose and spread out on her shoulders. Andy still thought she looked like a pirate when she dressed this way.

But it was what adorned the top of her head that had prompted the early morning discussion. Sitting above that lovely face was a ball cap with the logo of the Boston Red Sox affixed to it.

“I could hear you two in the living room,” Abby said placing her hands on her hips. “You Yankee wimps need to get used to the idea that this is not just a one ball club home anymore.”

Andy and Redlin cast sidelong glances at each other, not saying a word lest they unleash a tongue lashing from this Dragonsgate scholar.

“Well?” Abby said raising one eyebrow.

“Nothing,” Andy said shaking his head quickly before he said something he would regret.

Abby started to turn and walk back into the living room. She paused mid-turn and leveled a gaze at Redlin.

“I have been reading master wizard that the Sox were once under a hundred year curse. You wouldn’t possibly have anything to do with that would you?”

“Abby! I’m shocked that you would even suggest that. Besides, that curse was in place long before I ever got here.”

Abby feeling she had tormented them enough gave them a winsome smile and glided out of the kitchen.

“That smile of hers is deadly,” Andy remarked.

“That it is,” Redlin agreed. “I think if she wanted, we would be converted to Red Sox fans, and we would be powerless to stop her.”