The Start of my Freelancing Journey?!

Well, I’ve done it – I’ve resigned from my position in a company due to personal reasons, and it’s time I moved on in life. I’ve always truly wanted to dedicate everything to focusing on writing (and similar endeavors) – I have yet to see what I can accomplish when not mentally strained by my day job. I’m ready to see that now.

It’s been tough as a self-published author. To be honest, I absolutely suck at marketing – people generally enjoy the worlds I build like in The Dancing Crow. I am told all the time that my flavor of vampires is incredibly unique, and it’s something I hold with a lot of pride. I also am really happy when people describe my writing as ‘vampire horror’. They’re not lying, as my stuff gets incredibly intense! But with sweet spots as well, since I adore paranormal romance (with lots of magic, naturally.)

Anyway, I’ve been told people enjoy what I have to offer the world, so I’m going to see truly what I have to offer now. I am incredibly lucky and can rely on my lover as I establish over the next few months. I have the privilege to do this, and it really isn’t something available to everyone. I will not be taking this for granted. I’m incredibly far from actually having a decent income, and while we’re not struggling like some folks, we’re definitely not anywhere close to rich. Not that it’s our goal, anyhow. But the road ahead is going to be really difficult, and that’s okay.

In reality, I just want a sustainable income doing the things that I love (who doesn’t?). I’d also love to be able to support other creators I love more than I have been able to. My mental health hasn’t been the strongest lately, but I have a feeling trying this, at least, will help and allow me to express my muse properly.

I have skills I’m taking with me to offer from my last job: Transcription. Given my typing speed is 98 words per minute (yes, I know, crazy right?) I can do things like captioning videos or other such things that require transcription. Combine that with my video editing skills for trailers, narrations, and of course, writing, and you see I have tons to offer. I’ll be working on setting up my Fiverr to encompass all of this while also offering these things on my website. Oh, also, I can definitely research and write up articles, as you can see quite clearly here on this blog, hah!

But yes. We’ll see how this goes, pretty much. I could use all the support I can get! I still would love for more folks to pick up my books as well – I have one coming out on October 31 (Spooky?!) called Claws of Midgard. It’s a Norse Mythology Urban Fantasy where I not only twist Norse mythology, but the concept of vampires & werewolves, too. It’s a very similar flavor to my other writing, so if you liked The Kingdoms of Blood, you’ll be into this, I reckon.

Word of mouth is SUPER important to me, and you’ll see me tweet often about my endeavors asking for support. I hate to come off as pestering (and it will ONLY be on my own wall or relevant posts, I am not about spamming either DMs or other people’s threads) but it’s what I have to do. This blog, of course, will continue to roll, and in fact, be more active than ever. I want to try and release two posts per WEEK. Sounds crazy, but hey, I have ambition. You can give me that!

Check out the information on my book coming out soon!

Cobratongue University: Summer Daze and Crimson Nights {Canon Short Story}

Image by Pexels from Pixabay


Hey bats! Recently, a short story I wrote got accepted into an anthology. I wrote this one as well, and since it didn’t get placed anywhere, wanted to share it! It’s a perfect time to post, since it’s the middle of summer in my area (and would be in their area too, given they live in Northeastern United States).

You don’t need any previous knowledge of my series to understand this story, though if you are curious about my lore, check out my Compendium.

The Story: Summer Daze & Crimson Nights

“ARES. GET BACK HERE! Oh, for gods’ sake. Luna, have you trained on vampire restraint so I can get his ass over here?” 

Luna looked up from her ice cream, glancing from Cecelia to the culprit. He was sneering at Cecelia from the ocean’s edge as shining indigo waves crashed into the sand. Luna looked over at her lover, raising a brow. Though she was growing in power as a mage because of her classes in magic, she figured calling upon those already established as rather powerful could help. “Can you help us get your brother, please?” 

At the moment, the vampire that looked to be in his early thirties was sunbathing, laying out on a towel with sunglasses, his crimson hair spilling out all around him yet somehow avoiding the sand. He reached up, grabbing the glasses with two claws and pulling them up a moment, balancing on just his elbow to examine the scene before him. 

His younger brother, who appeared to be in his mid-twenties, was twisting his mouth into odd shapes to make weird expressions he considered as ‘funny’ as possible. Some of his ebon hair, the tips of it red, fell into his crimson eyes. He kept his hairstyle a half-shaved look he never changed, though no one around here changed their appearance, really. Already, his rather pale skin was reddening just slightly, especially the many scars that littered his muscular body. 

“Hmm…” Jasper mused, laying back down on the towel, much to Luna’s dismay. He was more muscular than Ares, and his fair skin was far more scarred, though this wasn’t as obvious right now given he actually used sunscreen. In a smooth, deep voice, the vampire replaced his sunglasses. “Morsel, I am confident you’ve got this. You are quite the mage now. Aren’t you?”

Staring at her lover in disbelief, Luna placed her hands on her hips. Her sea-green eyes nearly glowed with rage under a big, floppy sun hat. She had plenty of sunscreen on her tawny skin, unlike his ridiculous brother. “You can’t be serious.”

“Let me guess,” Cecelia shouted to her best friend. “He’s not listening. Alright, fine, I guess we need to waste mana for this. Bastard.”

Jasper let out a rumbling, growling laugh, giving a dismissive wave. He propped himself on his elbow again, maneuvering to read a new Norse mythology novel called Claws of Midgard he’d picked up recently.

Well, he’d be no help. Damn it. 

Luna wandered over to her friend, staring at the unruly vampire by the violent waves. She glanced over to Cecelia, who was concentrating hard, no doubt building up a spell. “Hey, don’t use too much mana,” she said, reaching up to adjust her hat so she could see better. “We promised to help Kelsy talk to some fae-mutated animals for her summer classes. It’s unknown territory, at the edge of ours, so it could be dangerous.”

“Oh, don’t worry. It won’t take too long,” Cecelia growled. She reached behind her, tying back long, bleached-white hair with streaks of azure, some strands messily falling into her electric-blue eyes. Despite having the palest skin of anyone here, she showed no signs of redness. Probably because not only was she human, unlike her sun-sensitive vampire lover, but she put on plenty of sunscreen. “Why do we always have to play this game?!”

Ares cackled mockingly, pointing a claw toward her. He somehow looked foreboding even in those T-Rex-decorated swim trunks, but perhaps that was because of his shark-like teeth. After a few boyish giggles, the vampire said, “Awww, what’s the matter, dove? Can’t face little ole’ me? Hm?” Given he was nearly a foot taller than Cecelia, that just caused her fist to clench even further. “Thought you and Luna were ‘always training’? You can’t catch a widdle vampire, of all things?”

Cecelia snarled, “You ass, you’re a royal vampire. You know very well you can still overpower us, or use your stupid chains to cheat should we even get close.” The vampire opened his mouth to reply, but the powerful mage didn’t let him. Cecelia suddenly flicked her wrist, sending out a jolt of pure electricity toward him. This caught him completely off -guard, and he fell to his knees, just shy of collapsing into a gigantic wave. 

“NOW!” Cecelia yelled, rushing toward him with all the haste she could muster. Luna bolted in next to her and reached toward a belt on her side that held a bag. She withdrew a small book, drawing her nail over it as if she was reading–but she fixed her eyes on her target. 

“Secure the brat,” Luna muttered. Her eyes shifted to a blood red momentarily as minor cuts opened on her forearm. Mana surged through her body, flowing as a force of energy toward the water. It appeared similar to glowing indigo viscous liquid slithering through the air into the ocean. From within the very shallow ‘depths’ burst several large crimson tentacles. They lunged toward the stunned vampire, wrapping around his arms and legs, forcing him flat on his back in the wet sand as the tide lapped at his side. The waves might be rather large, but luckily, the tentacles were long enough to spare the vampire from getting slammed with seawater.

For now.

Rumbling growls emitted from the pit of Ares’s chest as he snapped his fangs at the approaching women. Cecelia rolled her eyes and said, “Oh, stop. You need sunscreen and you always play these games. Your skin is already going red.” No doubt, he could use his ridiculous natural power to challenge the women, but held off. These games wouldn’t be fun if he always won. Plus… well, Cecelia was right.

“Aww, something tells me you actually care about me, pretty dove!” Ares cooed, fluttering his eyelashes toward Cecelia. Luna held in a chuckle, watching as her friend slammed her sandal into the sand. 

The white-haired mage withdrew her weapon of choice–sunscreen–and got to work slathering his body. He made it clear how much he didn’t mind this by letting out frequent gleeful chuckles and growls.

Soon, the vampire was let free to toss and tumble in the waves, and the two women collapsed into their beach chairs. Luna couldn’t wipe the smirk from her face, nor resist tossing a jab at her friend. “You sure know how to pick the wild ones.” 

Cecelia rolled her eyes, elbowing her friend. She set her chair up right next to the literature professor so they could chat together easily. “Oh, shut up. You’re with his brother, who’s a weird-ass in his own way.”

“I can hear you, you know,” the sunbathing vampire muttered, lifting his sunglasses to shoot Cecelia a glare. 

“Oh good. I don’t need to say it louder.” 

This sent Luna into a frenzy of giggles, so much so that she had to clutch her stomach to stop herself from laughing even further. She replied, “Hm, you’re right,” much to Jasper’s dismay. 

There was not a cloud in the sky as some famous professors of Cobratongue University took their summer break in the sun. From the down-to-Earth teachers like Luna Miller to the absolutely rowdy, like Ares Arachnida, they could have some fun during peacetime at the beach. After aiding students in their magical training, which could be very intense on the body and mind, they definitely deserved some rest. 

Luna peered at Ares as he tumbled in the waves; he swam around expertly and splashed a few of his fellow vampire gang members, on purpose, of course. The human mage said softly, “You know, with all the legends of vampires prior to their takeover of the world, you’d think one of the most common would be right.”

“To be fair,” Cecelia said. “Their skin is sensitive to the sun. They might not burst on fire, but I suppose their nocturnal nature means that they, well, need a ton more sunscreen. To be fair, those with us are living vampires. The recent and odd ‘undead’ variant can’t handle the sun.” 

“Well, that isn’t a naturally occurring species!” came a feminine voice from behind them. Luna turned her head, a smile spreading across her face. 

“Kelsy! You finally made it!” she said. 

“Yes, yes! Sorry I’m late, oh bother, relevant to the subject, well… I was trying to see if I could magic or science Jason some immunity to bursting on fire in the sun, but with no luck. Poor fella. He doesn’t seem to mind all too much, but he can’t be here with the gang at the beach. I think it still gets to him, even if only a little bit,” said a woman dressed in a tight black bikini and donning a dark sunhat similar to Luna’s. 

The new arrival approached her friends, rubbing sunscreen on her ivory skin, making sure not to smudge her thick eyeliner or get the stuff on the square frames of her glasses. She pulled out a chair, taking a seat and resting back, tilting her head toward her friends. 

Luna said, “Shame. Well, you know how magic is. Ever expansive, and we never stop finding out more. Quite like science.” She gave a wink to the newly arrived biology professor, who giggled and nodded. 

“Right! Exactly. Perhaps a blend of the two will help this new species see the sun again. The ones here have a spell on their eyes, after all, to reduce the glare they deal with in bright light,” she said. She nodded to Cecelia enthusiastically, who was just shaking her head at her lover currently tumbling around in the waves. “Oh! You got sunscreen on him today, right?” she asked. 

“Yes,” Cecelia grumbled. “Wasn’t about to suffer his whining.”

“I think his antics are cute, Cece,” Kelsy said. “It’s nice to see him relax after that rather stressful year, huh? Even he looked like he was constantly dealing with a headache.”

“Tensions were high this year,” Luna said with a deep frown. “But humans are finally mastering their magic. At least… well enough to defend themselves from monsters. It was hard adapting to vampires from other kingdoms trying to make an effort, however. I was very patient, but, well…”

A rumbling growl emitted from the fellow reading his book just off to the side of the three women. Jasper Arachnida peered up through several strands of his dark red hair, moving a few pieces behind his pointed ear and shaking his head. “It took me everything not to rip their throats out and devour them,” he hissed.

“You’re a king, alright,” Luna started, causing him to raise a brow. “A drama king,” she finished, prompting an eye roll from him. She chuckled, but then grimaced, furrowing her brow and looking down at her bare legs. So many scars from aggressive vampires trying to rip her to shreds…

“Though. I can’t blame you for being overprotective,” she said in a whisper. 

“Well,” Cecelia assured. “Even if the bad ones are getting more aggressive, our magic is growing more and more powerful. Especially the professors. We can handle it.”

“Oh! How was your first year teaching, Cecelia?” the biology professor asked, practically jumping in her seat with excitement at finding out the answer, causing Luna’s frown to shift to a bright smile. Cecelia just had to shake her head and chuckle. 

“High pressure. But good. I enjoyed teaching combat magic. Can’t wait to see my students take on the loser in the water over there,” she said, gesturing to the vampire riding the waves. That got a laugh out of all three of them, no doubt. 

After an hour of chatting, reapplying sunscreen, and ensuring the attending vampires did the same, Kelsy asked, “Are we still on for tonight? I wanted to collect some frogs, too. Er, though fae magic has enhanced their poison, I’ll have the proper potions with me. We shouldn’t have the same problem with the snakes, though. They agreed to a meeting.”

“You kidding? Of course we’ll be there, Kels. Why you’re running summer classes when you should be resting too, I don’t know, but we sure as hell are not letting you go alone out there,” Luna said, causing Cecelia to nod in agreement. 

“I know, I know! Oh, it’s really not too much, it’s just three days a week anyhow, and ending in a couple weeks. Plus, I can’t miss a teaching chance like this! Animals are changing because of leaking fae magic in the area! It’s too cool. I need every chance I can get to show students!” the professor explained. 

Luna and Cecelia exchanged glances, shook their heads, and had to let out amused sighs. 


Stars twinkled above as Kelsy led her fellow professors into the woods. The scent of bug spray wafted off of all three of them, but only Kelsy was fitted with thick waterproof pants and a dirt-stained jacket for her typical field work. Still, her friends wore high boots, at least, because this place was rather muddy. 

The biologist tensed at some movement in the shadows, her eyes widening. She focused her flashlight on something that made her squeal in delight. A jet-black frog with piercing red eyes, roughly the size of a wolf, stared her down and expanded its throat pouch.

Meanwhile, Luna grabbed her friend’s arm, and the hairs on the back of her neck stood up as Cecelia’s powers began to charge.

Kelsy clicked her tongue and said, “Oh! No worries, that’s Reggie! He is helping me with my research,” she said. This caused both Luna and Cecelia to pause and exchange confused glances. The scientist explained, “He’s one of the original folks morphed by fae magic, which granted him high intelligence. His speech is coming along well.” Her eyes fell on the frog again. “Care to say hello to my friends?”  

The frog opened his mouth to reveal a set of shark-like teeth, causing Kelsy’s friends to shudder. He said, “Helooooo… ribbet.” Luna gave the tiniest of waves, but Cecelia stood still as a statue. Evidently, Reggie had somewhere to be, so he turned away from the group. “Beware. Some… ribbet. Bad fae. They proooowl.” With that, he hopped off, leaving the three women silent for a few moments. 

“What, did you teach him a lesson in dark prophecies, Kelsy?” Luna joked, elbowing her friend. Kelsy giggled nervously, staring at the spot of light where the frog had hopped off. Cecelia, however, was far from merry. Her eyes glowed a deep blue as she kept her mana at the ready. She pulled her backpack so that it was in front of her, then grabbed a bottle of liquified energy. She chugged a good third of the mana and replaced it, letting out a sigh. 

“We should be wary,” Cecelia said. “Giant frogs giving prophecies in the middle of the wetlands aren’t the best of signs. Especially in the dead of night.”

“It’s not too late, is it?” Kelsy asked, absolutely lacking any sense of time. Luna gave her a deadpan stare as she reached into her bag, pulling her phone out and squealing. “Oh! Midnight, right, I, erm, knew that. Oh bother, I only have a few hours left until the witching hour! I was hoping I would have more time to set up.”

“Set up what?” Luna asked softly, furrowing her brow and placing her hands on her hips. The hum of the insects and song of night birds were, admittedly, relaxing, but letting her guard down in a place like this was unwise. “Are you going to be setting up a huge banquet or something for a bunch of giant talking snakes?”

“Yeah!” Kelsy chuckled. “See, you’re getting it!” 

Cecelia glanced at Luna in sheer confusion. The two women could see each other well enough in the flashlight-lantern they carried, at least. Luna just shrugged, shaking her head with a light smile. She mouthed ‘just go with it’. 

An hour later, Cecelia and Luna were sitting on a rock, watching Kelsy move about the one ‘dry’ patch of grass and evidently making sure the rocks were ‘placed just right’ so the snakes who she invited to the meeting could remain comfortable. Ominous pine trees surrounded the clearing, which were shrouded in shadows, their branches swaying in the occasional wind. The scent of the woods was pleasant, at least, what with a mix of bark and summer flowers. Cecelia scratched the back of her head, her shiny light blue nails glinting in the light.

“… This is an unusual situation. I mean, I’m used to Doctor Kelsy and her…. Antics. But this? Can you explain what’s going on, Luna?” Cecelia finally asked. She’d been eyeing some unusually large fireflies that darted in too close every so often, her frown deepening. She added, “There really is a leak of fae magic around here, huh…”

“Yes,” Luna replied. “Well, we see firsthand how it’s morphing the plants and animals here. I never knew plant roots could move like snakes, but I think I tripped over one on the way here. Confirmed it was indeed part of the tree. They don’t seem… aggressive, like in the stories. Which is weird. More like the untwisted version of the fairy tales. Only applicable to some, though.”

“I suppose,” Cecelia said, her eyes growing distant as she stared into the dark marshland. “I never thought I would say this sentence, but I think we should take that… frog… seriously.” She shifted in her seat, unable to help but be antsy. “Something feels off. Perhaps someone is watching us. Not that we can’t handle it, but it’s not the same feeling as when our lovers are, well. Messing around.”

“Mmm, I’ve noticed it too,” Luna replied. She glanced from a very busy Kelsy, who was grunting while carrying a large rock and setting it up to look nice for ‘aesthetic reasons’, to the edges of the woods where the pool of ethereal moonlight didn’t touch. Every so often, in the night’s darkness, she noticed a flicker of glowing white eyes, watching… waiting. There was intelligence behind those gazes. 

Fae creatures. But are they just morphed animals from Earth, or are they from the fae realm itself? The latter has to be more dangerous, Luna thought. 

Cecelia shifted in her seat, her eyes darting around as if expecting an attack from every direction. She jumped as Luna placed a gentle hand on her shoulder, then settled down and chuckled upon realizing it was just her fellow professor trying to calm her down. “Oh. I’m restless again, aren’t I?” she said in a low tone. 

“Yes. But I understand why, given your past. These forests are transforming quickly. I get why Kelsy is excited, but I think we have a right to be worried. Let’s just make sure none of us gets hurt when the witching hour comes about.” 

Another two hours passed, and Luna stared with raised eyebrows at a very curious sight. Giant snakes with glowing emerald scales were coiled on the rocks Kelsy set up, staring the biology professor down expectantly. The scientist said, “Thank you for attending my meeting today! We have a bit to cover. Now, ever since gaining a massive amount of intelligence from fae radiation, have your lives changed for the better, or for the worse?” 

Mouth moving, and voice projected from their mind, one serpent lifted their head. “Both. Life was much more simple before the enchantments. Now we contend with much thought, sometimes with too little to do, or with many more worries to be had.” 

Luna listened to the conversation progress regarding their biology changes, newfound interest in science, and the like. Cecelia was less immersed, though she kept glancing over to the magical meeting and blinking in surprise. The lightning mage said, “Before vampires took the world, and magic made its return… I thought only the bloodsuckers were around. Now… well. Giant snakes mutated by fae magic. Who would have thought?”

Nodding in agreement, Luna rubbed the back of her head, staring at the enormous serpents kindly discussing matters with Dr. Kelsy. She said, “I’ve lovingly drowned myself in books my entire life. I never thought I’d be living a fairy tale live, at one point.”

One of the snakes turned their head, no doubt hearing the conversation. They weren’t paying attention very well, as Kelsy was asking individuals specific things for their answers, so slithered on over and nodded their head. They said, “Human literature. Fascinating. I’ve wanted to delve into it. Dr. Kelsy explained her friends are, as they say, ‘in the know’ of those things.”

Widening her eyes, Luna let silence stretch between them before saying, “I never thought I’d be asked by a giant snake about books. But… well… sure. I brought some fables with me to read in case we had a dull moment. Turns out there hasn’t been one. But here. How would you go about reading it given your, ah… lack of hands?” Well, there was no better way to put it. 

She withdrew the book from her bag and held it out to the snake, feeling foolish. Evidently, the solution was rather simple. The book floated under the golden-glowing gaze of the emerald serpent. It then opened on the first page, in front of the serpent’s eyes, and they hissed in delight. 

“Oh, thank you. Giant legged lizards. Will there be giant snakes like us in these books too?”

“Yes,” Luna said, her voice now rather excited. “There are more books in the world than you ever could imagine, really. I could… bring more sometime, if you’d like.” The snake nodded enthusiastically, their forked tongue flicking out toward her. Then, however, the glow to their eyes faded just slightly, and they hung their head. 

“Please, do. Though… I worry about tonight. A feeling. Whispers. We are of the fae now. Faeries that pass over the veil between the Fae realm and Earth realm aided us. Most of them are kind, their auras nice, but… well. You know the story. Not all of them.”

Cecelia said, “A fae-morphed frog warned of something… bad fae are on the prowl, he said.” The snake twitched their tail, then tilted their head. Then, they opened and closed their mouth, as if contemplating something. Finally, they projected what sounded like a sigh. 

“So they felt the unease too. Something is on the way. Could happen tonight. The witching hour occurs soon, when most of the fae will cross over to return home or visit Earth. You remain wary, alright?”

Cecelia nodded, “I will. Thanks for the advice, er…” 

“Grass,” the snake said. At Cecelia’s raised eyebrow, the snake projected chuckles. “We are… getting used to naming ourselves. I like the feeling of grass on my belly, so I chose that name. Perhaps future generations will be a tad more creative. Your friend’s stories may help with that.”

Luna let out a chuckle beside Cecelia, who joined in on grinning as well. As Luna and Grass talked things through, the clock struck three in the morning, and the moonlight flickered from a milky white to a blood red. 

Tensing, Luna gulped. The literature professor glanced toward Cecelia, who narrowed her eyes and looked up at the sky. Luna said, “Blood-red moon isn’t ever a good sign. At least… not in many fairy tales.” 

“Well, the world is now turning into a storybook. A horror one at that. And I have a feeling all these ‘omens’ are about to come to fruition,” Cecelia muttered, her irises glowing a faint blue as she prepared her magic. 

Everything happened so fast.

 Laughter rang out from all around them, and a menagerie of colored orbs lit up the in the shadows of the trees around the group. The serpents let out hisses of alarm, spooked and slithering away in an instant. Magic helped them vanish into the night, much to Kelsy’s dismay. The biologist shot a bewildered glance at her friends, who were now rushing over to her in the center of the clearing. 

“The witching hour,” Luna said. “Kelsy, I think it’s time to go.”

A deep, unfamiliar voice rang out, causing all three women to tense. 

“Oh? But you just got here. The story has only just begun….”

From the shadows emerged a muscular male humanoid with ebon hair flowing down all the way to his lower back. He wore a thin golden crown with rubies the shape of raindrops. His slightly tan skin was entirely absent of scars, as smooth as stone. He wore a simple T-shirt and black jeans, a modern look that contrasted from expectation.

This was because, unfortunately, this gentleman was a faerie. Large wings that looked like the Red Admiral butterfly jutted out from his back. Dangerous black claws jutted from his fingertips, and he had no eyes. No faeries did; they had mere sockets with orbs glowing in the center. His happened to be a deep gold. 

“What are you three tasty humans doing out here, hm? Not pets of the very many vampire kingdoms that took over your world? How unusual. Oh… have I happened upon a harmony kingdom?! What fun,” he mused. 

Cecelia stepped forward, baring her teeth and holding her arm out. A bolt of electricity formed in her hand, and she said simply, “Come any closer, and you will see what humans with magic can do.”

“Oh! So, the rumors are true!” the fae gentleman said in a gushing, delighted tone. “It is so interesting seeing the species that erased magic from your history trying so hard to stay afloat when it’s been over for you. My, I love playing games and seeing how quickly I can help tragedy strike. You folks make it so easy. Am I near New York? I really should get a map. Oh, I would love to be a major factor in that city falling to the vampires…”

Luna quickly pulled one of her larger books from her bag, her sea-green eyes glowing brightly. “He’s a tragedy faerie… those who enjoy suffering for those with little hope left. Shit. We’re in trouble.”

Cecelia mumbled, “You think?” but didn’t hesitate to hurl her bolt of lightning to the dangerous faerie, who laughed in delight. 

“Oh, a battle! Yes, yes! Feed the story, feed it!” he cheered. He barely dodged it by one flap of his wings, focusing on Cecelia, his enemy below. He ran his tongue over formidable shark-like teeth…. Which he had two sets of. That was a trait of some faeries Luna wasn’t aware of before, but sure as hell understood now. 

The way they look at the world, just one big story to play with, is creepy. It’s eerie enough with those who want ‘happy endings’. Dealing with one that wants tragedy, though… far worse, Luna thought to herself. 

Cuts split open all over the literature professor’s body as she ran her finger over the book. What appeared to be a flayed hyena let out a shrieking laugh, launching from the pages of the book and growing considerably larger the closer it got to the faerie. This caused him to laugh out again, clapping his hands and flying up just out of reach of the monster. 

“Oh! A fleshcrafter! So we have a lightning mage, a fleshcrafter, and—”

Rotting branches suddenly lashed out and tore into his wings, though not enough to ground him. Dead trees were now animated, granted temporary movement as well. Skeletons of animals slain by the weather, predators, or disease rose from the ground, baying, howling, and screaming in excitement as someone ripped their willing souls from the underworld. Kelsy stood there, her chin tilted up and her eyes narrowed. She reached up and adjusted her glasses. 

“And a necromancer,” the biologist said. “You interrupted my meeting with those lovely snakes. Prepare to get your ass handed to you, you… you… you big jerk!” Well, at least she tried to be a tad threatening. The animated dead around her did a bit to help with that. Unfortunately, not in the eyes of the fae gentleman. 

“How intriguing! Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Redoul. Pleased to meet you. I cannot wait to write the ending of your story, beautiful humans. Oh, and get a bite to eat,” he purred. Then, suddenly, thorny vines ripped from the ground, dripping with a watery pitch-black substance that held an eerily sweet scent. They whipped around, forcing the women to leap out of the way to avoid getting cut. 

During this, the fae gentleman flew downward toward Cecelia, who was charging up another attack. “Now, now. I don’t want to be grounded because of your pretty lights,” he giggled. The large faerie, who nearly appeared in front of her with ethereal speed, snatched her up by the throat and flew upward as she kicked and struggled.

Redoul gasped in delight, studying the puncture wounds dotting Cecelia’s flesh. “You are a vampire’s pet? But you don’t seem miserable. How fascinating! Regardless, I want a bite.” Bladed teeth sank into Cecelia’s shoulder, causing her to give a choked scream of pain. Blood gushed from the wound, but she had enough. Suddenly, swirling black clouds above formed far too quickly to ever be natural, blotting out the red moon. 

The thrum of energy bombarded the air, and forked lightning struck the faerie, forcing him to convulse and drop the woman. Unfortunately, she fell directly on top of several viney thorns, screaming once again as they ripped into her skin and sent poison flowing through her body. 

Seeing her friend fall like this, Luna took in a deep breath, trying to remain calm and keep focused. The faerie slammed to the ground, snarling out in agony. That strike did a lot to knock him out of the air–and now the summoned flayed-appearing hyena under Luna’s control lunged toward him, sinking jaws into his leg. It ripped a chunk of flesh from him, causing deep crimson to bleed out from the wound. 

Meanwhile, Kelsy was not about to sit around and wait to help. She commanded her reanimated animals to lunge for the vines. Jaws slammed together and bones clattered as the dead danced around the aggressive plants, dodging their attempts to shatter the skeletons to pieces. Onyx-colored liquid poured from the rips in the vines, the thorns stripped from a bite or slice from undead claws. 

Still, the vines landed several hits on both Luna and Kelsy, forcing them to their knees. The faerie snarled out as a few skeletal animals tore into his wings, further preventing him from taking flight. Kelsy yelled out to her summons, “Potions… i-in… the bag…”

A surge of skeletal animals, from wolves to mice, gathered around the necromancer, running in circles protectively while the smaller ones ripped the bag from her side. 

They rolled healing potions out, but the vines snatched them up before the skeletal beings could deliver them. Luckily, Luna focused enough to direct her fleshy hyena away from the fae for now, sending it to the vines. It ripped large chunks from the plants, immune to the poison currently inhibiting the human mages. The hyena’s paw sent the potions flying toward each woman as it slammed them in the right direction.

The glass bottles shattered on the human mages, causing some very painful laceration wounds. Still, the liquid poured all over them and stopped the physical and magical effects of the poison, much to the faerie’s dismay. Cecelia gave him no other chance to react. Her friends were preoccupied by finishing off the vines, and this was her chance to stop him for good. 

She bared her teeth, the bite on her shoulder still gushing blood. Raising her fingers to the sky, she summoned all of her power, feeling the lightning flow harmlessly through her because of all the effort she used to practice her craft. Each finger tip touched a branch sent down from the cloud, forming energy that grew thicker and thicker, eventually turning into a ball of electricity. 

Drawing her good shoulder back, she hurled the ball of lightning toward the faerie, sending him into convulsions all over again. No doubt, he couldn’t handle this, so upon recovery of this attack, he called back his vines to form a wall to protect himself. At the moment, they obscured him at the other side of the clearing from the women. 

Panting, he shouted, “Well played. This story grew quite a bit more interesting. Perhaps I should pay for this fun, hm? Your ‘good friends’, the kingdoms that want you in chains, have become even better friends with the likes of me. Won’t that quite the game?” 

Just like that… nothing. The vines dispersed, and where the faerie was, there was just a puddle of blood. Cecelia collapsed to her knees, having expelled quite a bit of mana. Kelsy and Luna were not too far behind, also needing to take a seat in the grass and hold their chests. Luna managed to say, “L-let me call the boys…”


“Ares, my love. I’m fine,” Cecelia sighed as the tough-guy vampire hovered over her, constantly offering some aid should she need it. At the moment, he was keeping his distance from her on the couch, concerned that the thorns might have made her sensitive. “You can cuddle. It’s okay.”

Ares and Jasper had picked the women up. The state of them outraged the two brothers, who promised to go after that bastard of a faerie themselves, but the three mages declined. “We can handle it,” Luna had said on the ride home. Luckily, they hadn’t been too far from a side road where they’d collapsed, so could get out faster. “But we need to inform the others to be more alert on their vacation.” The conversation continued for the duration of the trip, with the vampires eventually agreeing to calm down.

At the moment, Luna was napping on the other couch in the vampires’ mansion-like ‘clubhouse’. She was curled up in Jasper’s powerful arms, more than happy for the rest after that adventure. Kelsy was going over her notes, bags under her eyes while constantly yawning. 

She said, “Oh bother, I wanted to get more information… still. It’s, erm, good to know that the fae who want tragedy are now working with vampire kingdoms who want to stop our efforts to teach magic… Well. Good information, bad, uh, news.” 

Ares said in an aggressive growl, pulling Cecelia closer now that he knew she was okay with such an action, “Yah, well, we’ll get them. No mercy. I’m not afraid of those bastards. I can take them on, so can the rest of us.”

Kelsy replied, “It’s a shame some might be a bit more worried about their vacation, now, regarding this. I mean, the woods where we were attacked were just on the edge of our territory. I’ll contact Hades and see if he can get a break to reinforce the barrier again. He’ll have to do so, anyway, before the fall semester starts.” 

The punkish vampire mulled this over, just having to nod and sigh. “Guess teachin’ you humans magic as much as possible is our best bet, yeah. Rather than going haywire over it. I guess. Can’t wait to be more aggressive and sink my claws into those assholes, though.”

“We can make attacks on horrible kingdoms around the world when we have enough people trained up and ready to fight,” Kelsy said with a wink. “Besides! It’s not all doom and gloom. I got to talk to some snakes mutated by fae magic today.”

The vampire’s eyes lit up, and he leaned forward. “Yeah?! Tell me!” Meanwhile, Cecelia relaxed in his lap, her head lolling as she embraced a much-needed nap. 


Several hours later, the women were awake and gathered at a table. Kelsy said cheerfully, “Oh! OH! ROLL TWENTY!” She pumped her fist into the air as her friends around her cheered. She was rolling hot during their tabletop roleplay game tonight. 

Luna smiled, relieved that even after an incident in the woods, her friends remained cheerful. Even Cecelia was relaxed, but that was likely only because she was now home. The college year was tough, and she was hoping vacation would be a bit more, well… relaxing. 

With how much her world had changed when vampires took it over, there were very few chances to take a breath. Not to mention, magic previously hidden intentionally by human leaders had been revealed to the world again. Though, here and now, with her friends cheering during these games, and the beach party earlier in the day… she supposed she should be happy for those times even if they were sandwiched between constant danger. 

The literature professor leaned back in her chair, looking over to Cecelia, who wore a content smile that was nice to see on her typically stressed friend. “Professors’ work is never done. Huh? Isn’t it funny how it’s always when we’re trying to work on anything to do with classes that we get dragged through the mud? Literally, in tonight’s case,” Luna observed. 

Cecelia chuckled and nodded, her eyes twinkling as she glanced at her fellow mage. “No rest for the righteous, Luna. I think we need to start a tally on how many times we get attacked during this year’s summer break. Don’t you?”

“Ugh,” Luna laughed. “I have a feeling we’d break that record every single year…”

“Maybe,” Cecelia mused. “But it won’t ever break our incidents during the school year.”

The End

Stars of this story:

Check out the characters & art credits here.

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Many Perspective, First Person – How I do it, and Mistakes I’ve Made.

Image by Khusen Rustamov from Pixabay

I pretty much started out with first person when writing via Red Viper. The book started out on Wattpad, its first iteration, anyway. I admit, nowadays I do regret not writing it in third person, but perspective hopping is a lot of fun and has worked out for the series pretty well. Plus, it’s going to make for an awesome audiobook with different voices. There are ups and downs to perspective hopping in first person that I’ve learned, and I’ve run into quite a few hiccups along the way.

For one thing, the second series (The Cobratongue Saga) used to be completely different books with eight perspectives, which turned out to be too much. I ended up splitting books 1 & 2 into 4 perspectives each, which tell different parts of the story. As of now, one of those pieces still isn’t out yet, but I plan on working on it soon as a version 2.

Speaking of versions, in the first books of The Kingdoms of Blood, or both Red Viper and The Dancing Crow, the main characters are different and once again tell different stories (though same events in some cases, parallel scenes, and the like) based on the character. You learn different backstories depending on who’s book you read, which is a lot of fun. One book’s experience is entirely different from the other even if some of the same things happen.

That said, here’s some short tidbits of advice to stomach on this matter:

  1. Don’t add in too many perspectives!
  2. Make each character distinct enough that the reader will enjoy reading their story too.
  3. Don’t make one character’s story similar to another/don’t have too many scenes that parallel if you are doing multiple books.
  4. Properly indicate when there is a perspective swap. (This one is debated heavily in the writing community. I am a STRONG supporter of markers while some are not. “The character should stand alone and people should know” is a nonsense argument and I’m not sorry for saying that.)
  5. Ask yourself why you’re exploring the story this way as opposed to third person. Will you regret it later?

First person perspective head-hopping can provide a really neat new experience if that’s how you’d like to tell your story. Sure, it’s not conventional, and anyone will say that. Agents may turn their nose up at the idea. Personally, I’ve read books that utilize this strategy really well and have enjoyed them. It’s all about the readers’ taste and who you’d like to appeal to. I love getting into characters’ heads.

As for my plans, well. I think I will stick to third person for my other series. That could change in the future, but it’s now my comfort zone. I could return to first person someday, especially if people start really liking my books!

Romance – Are my “Ships” too obvious? Hm… nah.

Credit to this artist for this lovely piece of Jasper x Luna!

Well, maybe they are. But that’s okay. It’s intentional. You see, I have a ‘hot’ take that’s quite hot, if you know what I mean. It’s okay for ships to be obvious. Sure, the payout might not be as strong as the ‘resolved love triangle’ (A trope I hate, by the way), but if you slow-burn it, the feeling is incredibly worth it. I want my readers to cheer a ship on and be incredibly excited when they finally get together. Blossoming love is a lot of fun to show, and I love both reading and writing it.

Life doesn’t always have to be so complicated. There doesn’t have to be cheating or constant abuse in relationships. That’s shown in stories on the regular, and honestly? I dealt with fighting parents as a kid due to them being divorced all the time. For once, I just want to see a happy couple that works out and is badass when FIGHTING together too! It’s really too uncommon, and it’s understandable why people write it. I’m not putting down folks who do it by any means at all.

Rather, I’d just love to see more stories that are wholesome when it comes to couples/ships. Sure, we see that with romance. But I’d love for it to bleed into other genre like fantasy with romance subplots. All too often with fantasy, there is some crazy complexity that either makes things not work out in the end, or has someone of the supposed ship dead in the end. Come on, I just want the main characters to be happy!

So, that’s why I write what I write. If you’re reading my works and guess a ship, you’re likely right. Though, I’ve tossed in a few teasers for other ships. Someday, I might write alternative universes for my works, where different ships are tried. There’s questions I always ask myself. What if Ash actually managed to capture Cecelia? Would she change his ways? How does Ares x Darcia sound? Smoke and Sam (okay this sounds like a roller coaster). Sam x Darcia also seem incredibly viable as a friends to lovers ship.

There would be uncommon ones to explore as well. Cecelia with anyone aside from Ares would be one of them. Ash having a character arc where he turns into an antihero (so we’ll say Smoke’s character arc) would be interesting. Then we get into Cobratongue characters, which is a whole different can of worms.

All of that said, my ships tend to be pretty straightforward, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. It’ll probably be that way in my future works, too. I just hope it is satisfying when they finally get together. Because it does take a while even if it does seem really obvious. That’s all about character and relationship building, though!

5 Fun Ideas for Technomancy!

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

The marriage of sci-fi and fantasy is technomancy– or the magical modification or use of tech. It’s a concept I enjoy, because the idea of blending sci-fi and fantasy is fun. However, I prefer leaning far more into the fantasy aspect, with technology influenced by said magic. Therefore, technomancy scratches a very fun itch, and it’s something I’d love to explore in my own works more.

As usual, this article is just sort of a river of thought. I hope my ideas inspire your writing as well!

(1) Destruction

Using technomancy to destroy technology seems like the most straightforward, basic type you would think of aside from ‘hacking’. Overloading a piece of technology until it explodes, either with too much processing or just an overabundance of energy, can really mess up your enemy if they are using anything technology-based against you. Vehicles, computers, you name it, they can be made to go KABOOM.

(2) Creation

To create seems a bit powerful, and might involve some telekinesis as well. Depends on what you are doing with the parts of the technology. If you are combining telekinesis to put it together, then technomancy to make it work, this could be considered creating. Also, however, converting energy in the area around you to power the machine could be a cool concept to utilize.

Programing could be considered ‘creating’, and imagine technomancy or spells that completely streamline that process to do it for you in exactly the manner you’d like. It seems eerily overpowered, but that is something to balance in your lore.

(3) “Hacking”

I think this is the most common thought when it comes to technomancy. The idea of “hacking” isn’t just putting on a ski mask and typing in a computer, however. It’s all about code. Perhaps technomancy can enable you to break code far more easily, or to instantly understand the ‘language’ and locate what you want to mess up. It would be more ‘perception’ based so you could modify whatever the software is doing regardless of whether you recognize the coding or not.

(4) Information Modification

This is the same idea as “hacking”, but perhaps you don’t modify a function, rather information. Imagine you see something on a website and modify what it says, but it applies actively to everyone viewing it right now. Even scarier–it changes things in their mind, as well. That’s a bit overpowered, so if anything, I would make that a temporary effect. Or, you could even have something on a website say one thing to some people, another thing to others, and it could change based on location or powers. There is a ton to do with this!

(5) AI/Sentience Influence (Really Overpowered so be careful)

This one is basically ‘life creation’, just not biological, but technological. If you could breathe life into machines, would you? They might develop and evolve exactly like biological machines… it depends on how your story goes. But if you could use technomancy to grant life to an AI, or make it advance so much faster than it would without it, that could lead to some interesting stories. As I said in the header, though, be careful, it could be super overpowered and leave open some plot holes if you are not careful.

Well, there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this brief exploration of Technomancy ideas. If you want more content like this, be sure to subscribe! I publish writing-related topics and similar frequently!

Religious Extremists Worship One Thing. Toxic Relationships.

I just wanted a cool picture for this article, really. But… implications. For those in the know.

This isn’t something I wanted to touch upon, but it’s been on my mind and I need to get these thoughts out. I’ve been watching Telltale, and my thought go beyond just the clip I’m about to share. But these people are very irrational and rather disturbing to me, and I think it’s time I shared my opinions on my own blog here.

Take note of this:

It should be timestamped here. To paraphrase, this extremist religious person states: “Who are we, the created, to question the creator.” These arguments, which I see repeated over and over by the unhinged, drill into my mind that the only thing they worship is a ‘blood god’, as I put it.

Now, here’s why my thoughts go this way. The mentality that ‘someone created you therefore has all the power over you forever’ is disgusting. It is an extremely toxic mentality, and something horrible parents will use against their children. You know the phrase: “Because I said so.” If a parent was abusive to their child and indeed ‘did whatever they wanted’, would that be warranted because… they ‘created’ the child? Of course not. So this supposed god these people worship, if he exists, is actually very evil.

I find it ironic that they preach about some sort of hell when worshipping an egotistical, all-hating god. I want to make it clear, by the way, that my blade here is pointed at extremists, or those who just… have this gross image of their deity that they try to force on others, and use their faith to negatively impact lives, be it through verbal abuse, physical abuse, or policy. I shouldn’t have to obey rules of something I see as an evil blood god demanding a woman should not marry a woman ‘because he says so’. Along with many other supposed ‘sins’ while at the same time cheering on horrible things that go against my own morals in a book that contradicts itself on the regular and has some really evil messages.

It’s all about control, and I quite frankly am tired of being quiet about it. Even if only in my little corner here on the internet, I’m going to share it. Extremists and their harmful views boggle my mind, because again, it’s all about a toxic relationship. Why would a ‘god’ they consider ‘all-loving’ and ‘all-knowing’ need to punish people for sins he created? He created everything, didn’t he, and free will? So you’re telling me he gave people he created free will, then promptly got angry that they used it? That’s a load of bullshit to me, including how he demands his followers to not only worship him until the end of time, but drag other unwilling victims into their cult. Honestly, this ‘god’ is the sin of pride itself, and it would be amusing to me that extremists don’t get it, but instead it happens to be alarming given they are unhinged and have a ton of power.

I don’t believe in worship at all, myself. That’s just a me thing, though. My own fairy tales and imaginary friends, or my version of the gods, are not worshipped by me. They are respected and sought out for help, at times, via my own version of ‘asking’ (I wouldn’t call it prayer or ritualistic, because it’s not what I do). But do I give them my devotion and life? No. There is no such thing as perfection. There never will be, because it’s completely subjective. Under normal circumstance, I would not believe anything impossible. But perfection, yes, is an impossible concept.

If this ‘god’ created everything, then fucked up by creating sin, pitched a hissy fit and demanded all humans blindly worship him…. and has a sin literally named ‘pride’, which is what he literally encompasses, then he isn’t perfect. Is he? Why does he demand all of his ‘creations’ to bend to his will?

I mean, I’m a god. Yeah, I said it, be offended, if you’d like. I believe all creatives, anyone who creates worlds with writing, music, or anything else, adds to the multiverse, which is infinite. Every thought expands this. Including anything you or I create–and anything our creations create. If I somehow managed to meet my creations, I would not demand undying devotion. I would, simply, tell them I’m proud of them. And wish them well, and hope for good stories in the future.

That’s because I’m not an egotistical prick, but I suppose I can’t say that of everyone’s created characters. Extremists created a very vengeful, evil version of the very thing they call ‘all-loving’, and anyone with half a brain can see through their nonsense. I’m not sorry for thinking or saying any of this.

Good day. Oh, check out my books, if you’d like. Book list is above in the menu. This rant article is far too serious for any links right now.

NOTE: Wanted to emphasize, for the second time, that this is aimed SPECIFICALLY TOWARD EXTREMISTS who believe this stuff, try to force it on others, and try to ruin their lives.

Things to do while waiting for agents to respond to your query (SILLY)

Image by 愚木混株 Cdd20 from Pixabay

Querying books can be a stressful endeavor, I should know. I’ve used query tracker to send agents my synopsis, query letter, and the like. As of now… I’ve gotten 41 rejections. Ow. Not even one full manuscript request for my Norse Mythology Urban Fantasy. That’s okay, though. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll just self-publish this manuscript too. Though I would prefer to be a hybrid author.

Regardless, I’m not giving up yet. I still have quite a bit of time for possible responses. In the meantime, though, I’ve been occupying myself with some very fun tasks that I wanted to share. (Note: This is a joke article. Well, not the first paragraph, but everything following this statement is a joke. Hah!)

  • Crying into a pillow

This is super effective for the blues of rejections constantly, unless you eventually become numb to it, like I have. You can cry for a variety of reasons, though. For example, a snack of yours being stolen, or not getting that rare drop in a video game. It can eat up a few hours, even!

  • Asking the stars if I’ll get a full request

The stars know a lot, and whether or not I’ll get a full request is definitely something on their mind. So far, they’ve remained dead silent. I’ll take that as a maybe! I did see my first moving stars in the beginning of June. There might have been a meteor storm, but it sadly didn’t happen. Made a wish, though! Can’t tell you, or it won’t come true.

  • Starting my own fandom in my head for my books

I might not be successful with my books yet, but I do have a fandom. In my head. My fans are crazy and awesome. There’s many teams. Tons of fan art. Some really interesting ships that might actually be canon in the wide world of the multiverse (yes, I’ve considered writing alternative universes for my books.) The whole shindig. I’ll have a book signing to meet them soon… I swear it.

  • Dreaming about being in a different version of the multiverse

Yep, speaking of multiverses, I exist somewhere where I’ve gotten a full contract and am able to sustain on writing. Wherever that version of me is, I hope she/he is happy. I’d love to meet them. And ask for advice, of course! Alas, we do not have travel to other universes. Yet.

  • Playing tag with myself

This is really hard to do, because I’m always ‘it’ and ‘not it’. It takes a ton of time, sure, because of the paradox, but… well, you get it.

  • Playing hide-and-seek with myself

Running into the same problems as above. I can’t hide from me. I wish I could, but… I can’t… Hm…

Wellp, there you have it folks! I hope I inspired some ideas on what to do while waiting for responses. I wish you the best of luck in the querysphere!

I made an audiobook! Here’s what I learned.

I am SUPER excited to announce that The Dancing Crow now has an audiobook! It was pretty expensive but incredibly worth it. I’m excited to see where it goes, because it allows so many other folks to actually experience my story. Plus, my narrator, Rein, for the book is badass! He sounds exactly like I imagined Ares to be. Which is super cool, because when that all comes together, it’s amazing.

Now, this audiobook is a bit different, because it’s got dual narrators, which really isn’t common. That means… well, I’m in it too. I have several talented people interested in voicing other characters of mine, including Same Viper, Darcia Deville, Goliath Elapid, and Robert Smoke. That means I got stuck with Cecelia. D’oh!

She’s not so bad, but she’s meant to be a somewhat disliked character until a very important story arc, which doesn’t happen until Book 2. The entirety of The Dancing Crow, therefore, she is a bit… angry and depressed. Given what she’s gone through, it’s understandable. I thought I’d end up voicing Sam someday. But alas, it is not meant to be.

That’s because, judging by how things are going, I will have multiple narrators for my stories including Red Viper and Huntsmaster City. I’m most excited for Huntsmaster City, though, as that’s where the richest story arcs come to fruition. That said, it’s going to take me a while, because it’s all out of pocket. I might try to crowdfund if people like the first book. We shall see.

Anyway, I’ve learned a ton while making this audiobook. Here’s a few short points:

  • Format of your sound is important. When you export a sound file, make sure to choose “constant” for audiobooks and that all the files are 192kbps. Also, joint stereo!
  • I used the free program Audacity to edit my sound files. Make sure everything is in the center rather than too far left or right.
  • When creating audiobooks, you want to find an area with little sound, like a large closet. If you are narrating yourself, that is. Also, you’d need to invest in some good equipment. I use the k3 soundblaster, but there’s other mics for not as much that can do the trick. Don’t forget the pop filter!
  • You want as little background noise as possible. Audacity does have noise reduction, though, so you can use that if there is a constant hum. Keep in mind the more you mess with something like that, the lower quality of the sound.
  • Rein & I went through Findaway voices, which is neat. There were some hiccups, but customer service was super kind. We got it resolved easily enough. I self-published through Draft2Digital so it was already suggested/linked I’d do an audiobook through there.
  • Voice acting–get into character! Be your character, and have confidence as you read. If you don’t feel confident, you might want to practice a month or more beforehand. Or take vocal lessons. Put your heart into it!
  • I usually remove ‘breaths’ (a sound which can annoy listeners) in everything but dialogue. It’s tedious but makes things go smoothly.
  • Listen to some audiobooks before you make one to get a feel on the flow.
  • Make sure not to talk too fast! Drink water between paragraphs, for example. Make sure to get rid of the sound of you doing that, of course. Allow your reader to follow your story.
  • If you are searching for a narrator, don’t just settle–pick who you feel is right for your story. It’s a huge investment for folks who don’t make a lot of money.

As I come up with more things, I’ll do a part 2 to this blog post! This is what I have so far, however. Cheers, and I hope this helps out some folks looking to make audiobooks!


Quirks & Stuff – Things to Keep in Mind while Character Building

Image by Prawny from Pixabay

One of the most important things to me when it comes to writing and reading is a well-made character. As you can see from my extensive character page, I put a lot of work into backstory and appearance for mine. I have a certain brand, and I’m happy to show it through gothic or punkish characters that tend to be powerful humans or monsters.

However, their baseline looks and actions aren’t what define them entirely. It’s also about personality, reactions, and the story overall. That, of course, might develop when you have your character created. When character building, you might want to keep certain traits in mind.

Of course, not everything here listed is quirks. That’s where the ‘and stuff’ comes in, which is incredibly important. That said, in this article, we will explore some traits to keep in mind while character building!


My genre of choice, forever, is fantasy, and that often comes with some special powers that a character might be really good at. This can shape personalities, especially depending on how the character uses them. You might have a necromancer, for example, who only raises the willing undead to help protect a town. Conversely, you might have a healer that makes sure an army of evil characters never falls. It’s not about the magic, it’s about the person using it.

You might play by tropes with some characters, things seen often in fantasy, which is perfectly alright too. There’s ways to spice it up and bring something new to the table for sure. Don’t be afraid to reverse tropes, however. Dark magic being used for ‘good’, light magic being used for ‘bad’ is a good one. How will your character either bring something new to the table for an established trope, or turn a trope right on it’s head?

Pet Peeves

What annoys you the most? It might be incredibly distracting to you in real life–and this can be something relatable to characters, too. Even if not, many people have things that annoy them, and this can define how they react. Think about how much it annoys your character, what, and why. Did something happen in their past to cause this? Did the character develop an odd quirk as a reaction to this issue?

You could put something relatable to people in general, or something absurd that will stick out. This oddly specific bird call bothers them for ‘reasons’. There can even be a dark or light-hearted story to go along with why. The why in these cases might be important, or it might just be something that’s always been a thing about your character. In this case, depth can be cool, but not necessary.

Social or Shy

The outside world always talks about introverts versus extroverts. I consider myself an introvert even if I enjoy talking to people and listening to stories. Your character can be one end of the extreme or anything in between. This will obviously affect dialogue and interaction with other characters in the story. Consider the character’s thought process, though. Are you writing in a way where the reader is seeing into the character’s head? What happens when they are dragged out of their comfort zone either way?

We usually see that trope of the shy one being dragged to a party and having to socialize. It’d be interesting to see more stories where that’s reversed. Perhaps an instance where a social character joins a club where you’re meant to be quiet and socialize less or later, but they are super curious about other characters and have to put effort into not asking questions for a while.


This is definitely not a ‘quirk’, but something incredibly important. If you’re writing an ethnicity, sexuality, or gender that you are not a part of, make sure to do your research and not write stereotypes. I suggest getting a sensitivity reader, which is something I did for one of my recent manuscripts in terms of sapphic sex. I am a bi woman but have only ever been with a man, so wanted to make sure I got things right! Luckily, I passed with flying colors and had to make some minimal changes. It’s a great experience.

Be mindful of how you are using representation and, again, not turning a character into a stereotype. These are characters, and should be treated like any other character. Don’t make these traits the main focus if you are not from the group, but be sure to not be offensive with representation. Would you want to be depicted in a horrible light on a regular basis? Or do you want to be the hero or deep character of a story like those commonly represented in media?

Alone versus with people

How does your character act around people versus alone? They say you have different faces either way, and this could be a great way to depict your character. Do they have secret activities they indulge in alone that no one else knows about? Something silly or suspenseful? Do they were a mask of ‘niceness’ around people, but in reality, are really horrible when dealing with people online (if your story is in a modern era)?

This also goes right along with whether the character is shy or not. They could have different speech patterns or behaviors around strangers versus close friends, which can be a good way to build character. I, for example, am incredibly quiet when first meeting someone, and often am content with listening. Around friends, however, I speak up more and relax. Even if only just a little bit more!


Hobbies can sometimes define you, and that is no different with your character. You can take the unexpected route with this, as well. Take a character you wouldn’t imagine having a certain hobby on, and give them said hobby. I will use my vampire gang leader Ares as an example. He looks pretty scary and fierce, and is, in battle. However, there’s one thing he loves with all of his heart. Dungeons & Dragons! He is a huge geek, even if he doesn’t look like one. It’s so fun to completely shatter expectations.

You can have a great time playing around with this too, and challenge the ‘norm’, something really important in writing. Give your tough guy boss-character knitting. Give your shy lady character boxing or some other combat-based hobby. Monster cars! Things like that. There’s so much you can do to challenge the norm, and I would love to see more of that.

Well, there you have it! Those are just a few ideas for character development that might help your writing. Hopefully I brought up some things you might not have thought of before. I’m back to writing blog articles again, so if you want weekly content, please subscribe to this blog! I’ll often put out writing ideas for my fellow writers that tend to be a stream of thought. Why not, right?

Stay tuned for my audiobook announcement and article! It’s going to be sweet.

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Put that Weapon Down -ways to avoid using overpowered modern weapons in Urban Fantasy

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Urban fantasy has its fun points, but it can also get a little bit annoying to balance magic and technology. Questions often come up on: “Why use magic when you can use tech?” and such like that. I’ve been told that’s why cyberpunk + fantasy might not work as well, however I personally disagree with all of my heart. There’s been so many ways magic and technology have been written together, something I find intriguing.

Today I’d like to discuss a specific subject–weapons. Now, as a disclaimer, I’m not a weapons expert, nor have I ever been in combat before. I’m approaching this from the view of an average reader & writer in the fantasy genre, which will be most folks reading this. I do recommend, if you’re going to deep dive into weaponry, speaking with an expert or doing a massive amount of research before implementing them in great detail.

This article will be giving some ideas on how you could implement weaponry in a general sense that doesn’t completely make either melee weapons or magic useless. I now have two urban fantasy worlds I’ve written, but I approached it differently in both. In my Vampire Wars universe, I make it so that guns don’t do much damage to vamps, who eventually become dominant species. They’d slowly been taking over anyhow, meaning most guns wouldn’t be available to the general public once all-out war broke out. The few powerful guns in circulation might be able to kill a few vampires, but that’s also not taking their magic into account.

In my books, the magic is simply too powerful for regular guns. There’s also forcefields that magic is much more effective at piercing than actual weaponry. Once you pierce that shield, you’re better off using melee weapons at that point. Especially if that weapon is silver, which slows healing for my vampires. Here’s the ideas for you–overpowering your magic, reducing the amount of modern weapons that would be available (typically for dystopic stories, granted), and making forcefields best pierced by magic as opposed to guns.

As of now, I have an unpublished manuscript that I also needed to consider modern weapons for. I used forcefields in a more complex manner–that is, metals that commonly make bullets typically can’t pierce them easily at all (or be enchanted to do so), but more rare metals technically could. As such, again, melee weapons and spells are far more common, and high-power ranged stuff is rare. Also, you’ll be targeted by those with strong magic if you have an ‘overpowered weapon’, some of which have more powerful magic than the weapon itself, due to the culture of favoring magic or melee combat. (Bows & arrows are fine too, you can enchant those more easily than bullets to pierce shields.)

There’s plenty of ways to inject lore into your urban fantasy to make guns less useful or even completely useless. There’s cool ways to make guns magical and interesting in urban fantasy works, but I think the best way to go about that is to ‘level up’ your weapon. That is, making long-term additions that allow them to be able to face off against magic users without being useless. Your ‘nerfs’ to guns might only apply to the baseline weapons at that point, but enchantments could make a lot of difference and take a lot of work.

Good luck with your writing, and I hope this was enlightening as to how you might be able to not push aside melee weapons or magic in modern combat!

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