The Chosen of the Light Series continues with Soul Seekers, an epic fantasy novel COMING SOON from Wild Child Publishing and Matt Campbell, now writing under the name
Jon Carlin Shea.
Same stories. Different name.
Same stories. Different name.
Today’s guest post is from R.A. McCandless!
Angels should be a human’s worst nightmare. Del didn’t think there was anything worse than angels, or their fallen kin, demons. She and her partner Marrin helped to keep the world safe from the horrors of escaped demons for generations. But when Del’s daughter is kidnapped by a shadowy group, Del will find that the world is even more dangerous than she suspected.
There are worse things than angels and demons.
The doors slid back exactly as they were supposed to, and Del pointed both her SIGs through the opening. She knew it was wrong. Two hands on one gun with a straight-thumbs hold was the correct way to give proper support to aim and shoot quickly and consistently. Hollywood liked to show action heroes shooting from the hip, or blasting away without aiming and taking down a room full of bad guys, whose best response was to fire impotently at the ceiling or comically into other bad guys. It was all so much useless eye candy. A gun in each hand gave support to neither and made it impossible to sight. She’d need independent use of each of her eyes, like a chameleon, to train the guns on different targets at the same time.
Del knew it was wrong, but it looked damned impressive from the receiving end.
“Hold your fire!” a voice commanded from outside the elevator. “Hold your fire!”
Del wasn’t certain if the order was for her, the two ranks of Ljosalfar soldiers in their body armor who surrounded the elevator, or both. Either way, holes weren’t being punched into her favorite skin and that was a good thing. She might still die, riddled with bullets and spitting blood, but not yet. Not yet.
She unwrapped and wrapped her fingers on her SIGs, and smiled.
“Hello boys,” Del said. “Who wants some?”
“Hold your fire!” Alfred Waru said again.
“Alfred, you cunning bastard,” Del purred. “Come on in and give me a hug. I’ve solved almost all your problems. There’s only one left.”
“I’d rather you put down your weapons,” Alfred replied. Del homed in on his voice from behind the second rank of soldiers, but couldn’t make him out through all the helmets. “We’ve locked the elevator. The doors won’t close, and the car won’t move. Let’s talk about this.”
“Talk about what?” Del said and laughed. “How you lied to your people? How you betrayed and murdered your own? How you’ve doomed them through your schemes and plots?”
R.A. McCandless was born under a wandering star that led to a degree in Communication and English with a focus on creative writing. He’s the author of the urban fantasy “Tears of Heaven” winner of the 2014 Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Preditors & Editors Reader’s Poll and a 2015 EPIC eBook finalist. His shorts have appeared in “In Shambles” (with Kevin J. Anderson) “Gears, Gadgets and Steam” and “Nine Heroes”. His next book, “Hell Becomes Her” will release in 2015. He continues to research and write historical and genre fiction, battle sprinklers, and play with his three boys.
(If you do not have a sense of humor, proceed with caution)
Whenever I try to explain the differences between this grammar rule and that one, authors and clients will say something like, ‘Will you please speak in English?’ so I began teaching such things with the technical label for a specific form of grammar, followed by a simple explanation of it.
Was and were, however, often suffer PMS. In other words, they have moods just like people do. So they’re a bit more difficult to convey, especially to young students.
Here’s an example of what I mean. Everyone I work with, whether kids doing homework or writers pounding out their next stories, struggle with was and were. There are to be forms of was and were, but there are also the subjunctive forms of was and were. Subjunctive verbs are the forms I see misused the most by writers.
“Hey, you in the corner! Go back to your chair. This is easy if you just keep a good attitude.” [Looks around for Triple B, the classroom bouncer. Guy in corner runs for his chair and promptly sits and looks innocent]
Now, like I was saying, [Triple B gives the guy in the corner the evil eye], to be verbs—was and were—are the forms we all recognize. He was a little boy. We were going to the theater when John slipped and fell.
Subjunctive is mood. I wish I were blond. I’m in a wishful mood and want to be blond, so the subjunctive were is correct.
Another hint that the verb is subjunctive is the word if often followed by would or could. If I were blonde, I could have everything I wanted in life. The if is imaginative and the could implies that it won’t happen or isn’t possible. If I were tall, I would pluck the moon from the sky. Again if followed by would shows that it’s imagination, a fantasy, and the would shows that plucking the moon out of the sky isn’t possible.
“Hey, Triple B, that guy is sneaking out of my classroom.” [Guy screams and runs through the door without opening it. Triple B calmly lumbers after him. Screams echo down the hall. Triple B arrives with Guy held by an ankle and drops him across a seat in front of me.] “Uh…does someone have smelling salts handy?”
So when is it correct to use was? If it might be true, if you’re assuming or guessing something, then use was. The sale began early. If Jane was late, she probably missed some great deals. I don’t know that Jane was late. I’m only guessing, so was is correct.
Determining the context is how you decide whether to use was or were. Does the sentence use if to show a wishful statement? Does the sentence use could or would to imply something won’t happen or isn’t possible? Or does the sentence show something that might be true?
There are other mood verbs, which is something all writers and students should study and learn inside and out. Not knowing the correct verb form can give your sentence the wrong meaning. As an editor, I encounter this a lot in writers’ works.
For more on various mood verbs, here’s an easy-to-understand page http://www.englishgrammar.org/verb-moods/ that I suggest printing out and taping next to your workspace. And, of course, get a copy of Avoid Writer’s Hell: Publishing Flame Repellants. You’ll laugh and giggle throughout the book and you’ll have fun as you learn.
Like I said, was and were suffer PMS, so both are moody. Learn as much as you can about them. Don’t make your editor moody too. Just ask Triple B. One can only imagine how many nightmare edits drove him to hanging up his editor’s hat to become a bouncer. [winks]
Sometimes I write blogs that speak to writers in other ways. No grammar, no sentence structure or developing plots, but what it means to be a writer. What it means to be purveyors of the written word.
As writers, we have an obligation besides being writers—we must instill the love of reading in others. Today’s technology has drawn children and teens away from activities that kids once enjoyed. Instead of board games, it’s Clash of Clans or Minecraft. Instead of picking up a book, it’s the Xbox or PS4 controller.
As the current group of movers and shakers, we have the opportunity to re-introduce the upcoming generations to reading. With all the latest cell phones, notebooks and touch-screen computers hitting the scene, children’s fiction and YA books can rekindle the love of reading—if we can present it in a way that ignites a child’s mind.
My youngest son is eleven, and my oldest grandson is five. Both are huge fans of Minecraft and they have fun playing various games on the iPad too. My son loves to read, having just finished book two in David Baldacci’s Vega Jane series. Since my grandson has a fascination with elephants and dinosaurs, I’ve bought him several books on these topics. Although most of the books are at an adult reading level (he wants photos, not cartoons), my grandson still pages through them carefully and asks what the picture captions say. I instilled the love of reading in my son and grandson early on. Their voracious appetites for books proves that the time I put into reading to the boys and downloading children’s books onto my Kindle and iPad have been well worth it.
When my son reads a book four hundred pages long in two or three days, it tells me that all kids can enjoy reading if someone takes the time to nurture this gift in our children. Writers should talk to children and teens about the wonders of reading and how a great book transports a person into another world. Kids today deal with so many problems, but reading can provide them with a fun, exciting escape. Also, youngsters who read can be an example to their peers. By putting ourselves out there in this fashion, it speaks to adults too. Many times over the years my teaching online, in school, or even just talking with my kids’ friends, has inspired their parents, grandparents, etc. to look into my books as well as other authors’ works. It’s a win-win
Texting has seriously weakened spelling and writing. Acronyms abound and the cell phones have made young people lazy. Many kids don’t even know how to use hardback encyclopedias or dictionaries because it’s too easy to pick up a smartphone or notebook to access the Internet. What would happen if a portion of the worldwide grid went down, or worse, the entire thing? It would be up to older people to teach our children the fundamentals as they were taught to us.
“You mean I have to open that big book and use the alphabet to figure out how to spell a word?”
Oh, the horror!
As authors, we should promote the written word, not so much for profit—all though that is nice—but to keep our languages from dying, to stop the slow burnout of beautiful minds. If kids nowadays can only be reached through electronic devices, then we should push to give them e-books that will have them hitting the turn-page sensor to find out what happens next. However, we should still hand them physical copies of Frankenstein, Moby Dick or even a book from Goosebumps, and say, “Just give it a chance before you toss it aside.” It’s up to us to keep the written word alive, but if we don’t figure out a way to cultivate the desire to read in the next generation, prose may die and writers could become obsolete.
However, an article in Publisher’s Weekly states that more young people are reading than adults are, so maybe writers should talk to the kids and teens about inspiring their elders to read? LOL!
The written word is a gift. Our children are blessings. Let’s bring the two together to create a bright future. If we can ignite a ravenous desire in the younger generation to read, imagine just how fast and big the publishing industry could grow. Imagine how many authors will ignite the creativity of others.
For those of you who struggle with the mechanics of writing—punctuation, grammar, etc.—or if you know a student who has a tough time with these topics, I invite you to check out Avoid Writer’s Hell. It really is written in an easy-to-understand manner with humor—albeit sometimes warped, lol—that writers say has helped them tremendously. PG-13 for students and writers of non-erotic material, and there’s the Rated-R version for those who write the steamy stuff. Christmas is right around the corner!
It has been a long time since I taught my online writing group Avoid Writer’s Hell. So much has happened in my life over the past eight years and there have been so many changes in my family that I just couldn’t keep up with everything. I’ve been dancing like a water drop on a hot skillet.
I’m not trying to get back on the horse with my nonfiction work. I hope to help others as well as getting the news about AWH out to the public.
For those of you just now hearing about Avoid Writer’s Hell, I invite you to investigate the book. It’s in e-book and print, and available in either the R-rated version for those who write erotic romance, and a PG-13 version for those who don’t. This book is written in Laymen’s terms with a healthy dose of humor. Also, the PG version is wonderful for students. The links are at the bottom of this post.
There are numerous things that trip up a writer, but here are a few topics you might have about.
Or do you simply want to discuss something that’s bothering you as a writer? Maybe you need some encouragement or inspiration? Perhaps you want suggestions for helpful writing sites, reference books or even need to know how to pack and mail a large manuscript. This is the place to ask!
Also, be sure to like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AvoidWritersHell
Let’s work on avoiding Writer’s Hell together. My plan is to post at least two blogs a month, but since I’m also an author and I have a daytime editing job, those blogs will depend on how I’m able to juggle my time.
Welcome back to old friends, and come on in and join us if you’re new!
Publisher link: http://www.wildchildpublishing.com/index.html?cPath=107
Buck Hoyt’s Hot Spring and Whore House is nothing more than a two-story, clapboard house in the back end of nowhere. Buck, scruffy and cantankerous, caters to the miners, sheepherders and drifters. Hauling in the whores, he opens for business in the spring. In the fall, he shuts the place down, loads the whores in a wagon and delivers them back to Baker City.
He savors the winter months, reveling in quiet seclusion reading and writing and growing his hair.
Fate steps in, putting in his path a woman on the run from two brutal brothers, Kurt and Beau Laski. Nearly frozen, hungry, very near death, made deaf by a mine explosion, Petra Yurvasi gives birth to a son on a cold and snowy afternoon, beside a boulder in the canyon above the Hot Spring.
Now Buck, the once upon a time prickly, hairy recluse is all shaved and shorn and spends his days and nights conjuring up ways to please and protect the woman and her child. Can he keep her safe from the evil brothers that want her silenced forever?
If Buck and Petra face the evil together, they have a chance.
Purchase Link – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QPOSIL8/