Saturday, 28 October 2017

How George Lucas ruined Star Wars for me

I'm a Star Wars fan. Have been since the first movie came out. Seen them all at the cinemas when they first came out. Loved everything about them.

I didn't think we needed the beginning explained. even as a kid I got the premise. But the went and made the movies and this is where they made the biggest mistake of them all.

For over 30 years, fans grew to understand that the dark side was bad and the Jedis were good and that Darth Vader was tempted to the dark side and went there and then he built a death start but his son saw good in him and refused to give up and we were all teary-eyed and rooting for both of these characters to reunite.

Breathe. It was a classic story of redemption. Right?

Then along came Return of the Sith where Anakin Skywalker commits the unredeemable act of killing all the Jedi children.

I'm sorry, but there is no coming back from that. You're no longer a lost soul, you're an evil son of bitch who deserves to be strapped into an electric chair. And that was when I felt incredibly cheated because, for over 30 years I have understood that the dark side was bad and the Jedis were good and that Darth Vader was tempted to the dark side and went there and then he built a death start but his son saw good in him and refused to give up and we were all teary-eyed and rooting for both of these characters to reunite.


I can't wait to see the new Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi, which we get in Australia in December, right before Christmas. I'll go along to the cinemas and enjoy it. I'm a fan. I'm enjoying all the spin off and continuing stories. Yet because of the new movie coming out, what's on TV each Saturday in the lead up is the entire series so far.

On TV tonight is Return of the Sith. I will watch it. But I will be sticking my middle finger up at Lucas for ruining everything for me. I used to believe that a good person could do bad things and be redeemed through one good act - like throwing Palpatine over the railing and recognizing that his son was right to believe in him all along. But there is no redemption for a character who kills children so now I'll be watching and that scene and screaming "You got what you deserved" where for over 30 years I too have felt there was some good in him.

Thanks George, you've ruined the some of the best movies of all time for me.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Coffee chat with horror author Lily Luchesi - Halloween special

Halloween is just around the corner. So I invited Lily Luchesi in for a coffee chat. Lily writes and lives horror. Halloween is her favourite time of the year, and she admits she celebrates it every day.
Lily Luchesi is the award-winning author of the bestselling Paranormal Detectives Series, published by Vamptasy Publishing. She also has short stories included in multiple bestselling anthologies, and a successful dark erotica retelling of Dracula.
Please welcome Lily into my virtual café.
DL: Firstly, since this is a coffee chat, how do you have your coffee (or not as has been the case)? And what is your favourite time of the day to partake?
LILY: I love coffee, I used to sneak my nonna’s cold, black coffee when I was a little girl. I mostly brew a strong pot about an hour after I wake up, adding only a little half and half, sometimes whipped cream. If I want a treat, I will get a latte at Starbucks.
DL: You have books plotted out to 2019. Are the books written yet? And if not, how do you maintain enthusiasm to continue with the series?
LILY: Right now I only have one book scheduled in 2019 (I hope to have four in total out that year) and that is book seven of my Paranormal Detectives Series. No, it’s not written yet, but I have 90% of it set in my head, as to how it will go. It will be the penultimate book in the series, and 2019 will also see it end, which is bittersweet for me. I love these characters and hate to see them go, and book seven is going to be a tearjerker for me and the readers. I have the enthusiasm to keep writing them because, to be honest, Angelica Cross doesn’t shut up in my head. She has a story, and she wants it told, whether people read it or not.
DL: Your website slogan is Horror with Heart. What is the biggest misconception about people who enjoy horror that ticks you off?
LILY: That we’re all weird or Satan worshippers. I posted about this recently, actually. Horror fans are usually the sweetest people. Yes, we are a little strange, and our humor can be dour, but we’re decent people. Yes, a lot of the horror I enjoy has heavy occult overtones, but that doesn’t make me a Satanist (the total opposite is true, actually). Not all horror is evil. Many times, it is about the people trying to stop evil.

DL: What does Halloween mean to you? And what is your favourite character to dress up as? 

LILY: I have loved Halloween even as a kid, I dressed up as my favorite characters: Princess Jasmine, the Red Power Ranger, Velma from Scooby-Doo, and of course as a vampire, even then. As I grew up, I didn’t dress as much as trick-or-treating wasn’t fun and I was too young for parties. These days I spend most of my money on my career instead of costumes, but next year I plan on being either Raven from the Teen Titans or Black Canary.
However, I do spend some money at stores like Michaels during Halloween, because I keep the decorations up year-round. It’s not a holiday for me, it’s a lifestyle.
DL: What is something you tell people about yourself that completely surprises them?
LILY: I surprise different people with different things. Some are surprised that I graduated high school before I was sixteen. Others are surprised I believe in God. Yet more can't believe that this introverted Goth girl loves baseball more than air. I like to be that fabled enigma wrapped in a riddle.
DL: And lastly, are you a biscuit or cake kind of person? And what is your favourite biscuit/cake?
LILY: I’m an everything person! I blame my nonna, I got my sweet tooth from her. My favorites are chocolate chip cookies and cannoli cake (that’s not available everywhere, but it’s white cake, buttercream frosting, and cannoli cream filling, with chocolate chips and pistachios).
Please thank Lily for dropping by for a coffee chat. And a huge thanks to everyone who drops by to read them.
Lily Luchesi:
Lily Luchesi was born in Chicago, Illinois, and now resides in Los Angeles, California. Ever since she was a toddler her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things "dark". At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle. She is also an out member of the LGBT+ community. When she's not writing, she's going to rock concerts, getting tattooed, watching the CW, or reading manga. And drinking copious amounts of coffee.
The Paranormal Detectives Series:
In a city overrun with the undead, an ex-cop is given a chance to get revenge...

Stake-Out (Book 1)

Danny Mancini is on a case, following a murder suspect. When he catches him, he finds out that the perp isn't even human: he's a 200 year old rogue vampire! 

Miranda's Rights (Book 2)

Danny Mancini, is haunted by nightmares after he found out that paranormal creatures exist.  

Life Sentence (Book 3)
Danny and Angelica have to adjust to a new kind of life at the Paranormal Investigative Division.

Right To Silence (Book 4)

We learn the history of hunters Brighton Sands and Mark Evans in their two lifetimes, culminating in their final battle with the insane vampire they have been hunting for centuries.

 Last Rites (Book 5)

 Danny and Angelica are finally ready to take some time for themselves while Angelica gets used to her new role as the Empress and they make their relationship official.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Why did you write this book? What it really means when you’re pitching your manuscript

Attention writers: I’ve included a writing task for you at the end of this post. It’ll help you when you have to answer the question about why you wrote the book or how you came up with the idea. So stay reading till the end to find the task that may help you pitch your novel to agents and publishers.
Why did you write this book?”
This is a question sometimes seen on publishing submission pages. They’ll ask for a reason why you wrote this book, or maybe they’ll ask why you’re qualified to write this book in the case of non-fiction. In the past, when faced with this question I think I’ve rattled off some droll attempt to give the person what I think they want to hear. Not because I’m trying to win any small favours, but because I haven’t really grasped this question.
The funny thing is that I can tell you the reasons why I wrote each of my books.
For example, “Poison in the Pond” was a story first written in the 90s after I’d heard about a horrible attack on Fran Dresher, the woman who starred in “The Nanny”. The attacker had contacted Fran wanting forgiveness, and I was livid at this display of arrogance. I don’t know how Fran Dresher handled this situation, but it fuelled an anger in me to write a story about a woman who is in this situation and how she meets her attacker and how she wishes him to hell, then when her attacker dies, he returns from the grave to seek this forgiveness. I wanted to write this as a horror story because the situation called for it. I’ve never told anyone the reason behind “Poison in the Pond” because I didn’t want to be seen as exploiting a horrible situation.
Until recently, I hadn’t truly understood the reason why agents or publishers ask this question. But I’m glad I’ve finally understood, because last year when I pitched my dystopian novel to a major publisher, I think it was reason why I wrote this novel, combined with a brief overview of the story that piqued her interested. She asked me to submit my manuscript. Better still, she said she would like to see this story published and she hadn’t even read a word.
I won’t divulge the reason behind writing this particular manuscript, suffice to say the reason behind our stories should connect authors to readers. Stories bridge gaps or open them. They soothe or open wounds. They provide lessons or Aha! moments. They provide laughter or tears. The reason behind why we write our stories should turn them from an idea conceived out of thin air into an authority to write this story. It should be the truth, and we shouldn’t be afraid to bare our soul. We ask our characters to do this. We can do this, too.
Your writing task for today is to sit down and write about the true reasons why you wrote your story, without going to point where you’re opening wounds you don’t want exposed, but seek the truth inside the myriad of songs and dances and bells and whistles that you may have written into your blurb. And when you find the reason why you wrote your story, it will help you when readers ask where you got the idea from, because they’re often closely linked.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Coffee chat with sci-fi author J. I. Rogers


Joining me today in my virtual café is sci-fi author, J. I.Rogers who is a green-eyed, ginger-haired, caffeine addict currently working on ‘The 942 Series’ of science fiction novels.

When not acting as a conduit for the voices in her head, J. I. Rogers is busy being an artist or indulging her inner child with boondoggles that lead to eye-strain and tinnitus. She lives in the wilds of British Columbia, Canada, with her husband and their collection of movies, books, computers, games, and cats.

Please raise your coffee/tea mug as you welcome her to my blog.

D L: Firstly, since this is a coffee chat, how do you have your coffee (or not as has been the case)? And what is your favourite time of the day to partake?

J. I. ROGERS: I like my coffee fresh ground, black, or with a tiny bit of honey. I can drink it hot or cold, and at any point in the day— sips coffee and grins.

D L:  Self publishing is hard enough without being bombarded with so many conflicting pieces of advice. It's easy to say 'don't listen to anything', but that's not helpful because most writers are still learning or perfecting their craft. How do you make the decision to listen to or ignore a piece of writing/promotion advice, especially if this advice is from other authors?

J. I. ROGERS: That’s a good question. I’m lucky, I’m old, and I’ve already run the insecurity gauntlet as an artist – I’m still a bit neurotic, but I have much thicker skin than I did when I was twenty. I can admit the fact that I don’t know everything and I love it when I find something that helps me improve.

As to advice? I listen to what the person has to say, and if it resonates, I’ll read a chapter (or more) of their work and compare their style to mine and see if I can learn from it (or if they follow their own advice). It’s important not to fear what people have to offer, just examine it from a detached position and assess how useful it is. If it makes you mad or hurts your feelings is it because it’s just criticism or because it’s hit on something? Did the person offer it because they want to tear you down, or because they honestly feel it will help? Always check for the constructive elements in any advice. Ignore critiques that don’t point out positive elements in your work as well as areas for improvement.

Regarding promotion advice, I prefer to know who I’m dealing with so I can avoid any hidden agendas. Small groups, personal exchanges at Cons, book signings, etc., are my cup-o-joe. I ventured past my comfort zone earlier in the year; I signed on with a book giveaway promotion and got a massive mailing list from it, but I’ve had misgivings about using it. When I submitted my title and the $$, I assumed that my book would be one of the items listed in the giveaway. Only the person who put it together was included in the bundle of well-known authors. My name appeared in the ‘this collection is sponsored by’, but my name without a title means nothing – numbers mean nothing if people regard your mailings as spam and tag it as such. I consider that lesson learned, so it wasn’t a failure.

D L: You've plotted 8 novels for 'The 942 Series'. Do you find it difficult to stay focused on one series? What do you do to keep yourself motivated?
J. I. ROGERS: No, this story seems to have found the compulsive part of me, and I’m in it for the long haul. When I’m stuck, I skip ahead or go back on the timeline and fill in details there, or go do something artistic.

I’ll let you in on my secret - I’m writing the entire series at once. Books two through five emerged while I was writing book one; there were too many storylines to put into one book. The remaining three contain snippets that didn’t fit into the earlier books. My newsletter will contain my short stories and those range all over the timeline.

D L: So many dystopian book covers are sepia in design. What was the inspiration behind your book cover?
J. I. ROGERS: Genetics and genetic engineering play a major role in book one and I wanted an image that evoked a higher-science feel while being slightly menacing… plus I like colour. Each subsequent cover will feature a silhouette, a number, but a different image and colour in the background.

The beta cover designs on my website are all sepia, and I almost went with them before I noticed the trend. I think we can blame Fallout 3, any number of post-apocalyptic movies, and aged photographs of better times for that phenomena.

D L: Science is important to science fiction. When and where did your interest in science begin, and does it play a part in your normal, daily life?

J. I. ROGERS: I have always been interested in science; I was one of a handful of girls that took chemistry, physics, and biology straight through grade twelve. I’d considered a career in medicine, but my better angels shook some sense into me when I went for a tour of the hospital I’d be training in. I abandoned that path and went to art school to train as an animator instead.

As far as playing a role in my daily life goes – my cooking could be considered a form of alchemy, and I like to keep up with the latest tech and discoveries.
D L: And lastly, are you a biscuit or cake kind of person? And what is your favourite biscuit/cake?

J. I. ROGERS: Do I have to choose? I am a comfortably upholstered individual; my physique has been lovingly crafted by sampling both biscuits and cake… No? You’re going to make me choose? Ok. A good coffee-flavoured cake, to go with my coffee.

D L: Thanks so much for dropping by. J. I. Rogers also runs a newsletter  that's a little different to many newsletter you may see in your inbox which are author updates primarily  in the body of the emails. For a start this newsletter has an amazing cover.


"As if being born Diasporan wasn’t enough, Technician Nash Korpes had the bad luck to resemble his Tyran ancestors almost identically in both form, and manner. These traits, though highly prized by the special projects division at the shadowy Korlune Military Research and Development, mark him as a specter from their warlike past. With only his intellect holding his sanity in place, he wages a private war against the entire socioeconomic status quo and begins to uncover the truth that threatens them all."



Newsletter – “Tamyrh Quarterly”: