#Outlander @Twitter Party – Updates

Outlander Premier based on Diana Gabaldon's internationally bestselling novelsExciting Outlander News!

I’m REALLY excited to announce that Diana Gabaldon’s assistant has contacted me to set up an interview for PNR Radio! SQUEEEEEEE!!!! With that being said, in my previous post I said I was going to giveaway the Outlander poster my husband and I were able to secure. HOWEVER, I’ve put in a request to see if I can send it to Ms. Gabaldon in hopes that she’ll sign the poster and then forward it on to the winner!!! As busy as she and her assistant are, I’m sure it will take a little bit for them to get back to me, so I can’t promise the poster giveaway for the weekend until I hear back from her. Cross your fingers we have a thumbs-up for this request. I’m sure you’d all rather have HER sign the poster instead of me! LOL And I don’t blame you! ONE DAY my novels will be made into a TV show or movies and THEN I can sign movie posters! Mwahahaha! My ultimate plan for conquering the world!!! I don’t know about you, but I’m all for HOT SCOTS dominating the world. *Arial swoons* What I hope to do is AS SOON AS I learn whether or not Ms. Gabaldon will be able to sign the poster is create a contest entry on the PNR Radio website, where we usually have all our other giveaways, which is at http://pnrradio.com/contest. The duration of the contest will be from the moment I know, through the week when we air her interview (TBD). I won’t know what other giveaways Ms. Gabaldon will have during her interview, if any, so that contest entry point will be updated as I learn more. (And for those of you who might now know, I’m the host of PNR Radio, so be sure to subscribe for free for our weekly giveaways and interviews with your favorite authors and celebrities of Entertainment that Goes Bump in the Night! Listen now on iTunes or Stitcher!)

Event Time Update – 6pm PT/8pm CT/9pm ET

To make things a little more consistent across the board for the whole US, we’ll be doing our Twitter party starting at 9pm ET. Since the show doesn’t air on the West Coast until 9pm PT, I’m going to be watching it ON DEMAND right from the Starz Outlander official website. Didn’t know you could do that?? YEP! You could even watch it TODAY, RIGHT NOW! Just go to http://www.starz.com/originals/outlander and click on the button that says, “Watch Episode”. So no matter where you are in the world, you can watch it at the same time we are and participate in the twitter about HOT SCOTS! Jamie…YUMMMM! We will still be having giveaways during the show this Saturday and will be taking entries until Sunday 5pm PT, so keep using #ScottishShifters to be included in the drawings. The more you use that hashtag in relations to our conversations and the event, the more chances you’ll have to win! Bestselling authors will be giving away books, gift cards and merchandise related to our books, so you definitely want to BE ONLINE DURING OUR PARTY! Just login to Twitter during the show (times above) and watch for the hashtag. You can use TweetDeck or Hootsuite to set up a column for #ScottishShifters and see a live feed of the comments using that hashtag.

Midnight Hunt - Book 3 of the Bonded By Blood Vampire ChroniclesWhy Are We Doing This Party?

Earlier this year, a group of us authors decided to team up to share our love of Scottish Shifters by coordinating a boxed set. Then we heard about Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series being made into a television show AND airing this year around the same time we were launching our boxed set. We thought, “What a great way to celebrate our love of HOT SCOTS and magical stories than during the premier of the one book that started it all?” So during the show, ye’ll get to learn about our new boxed set and chat wit’ the bestselling authors that be participatin’. Ye dinna wanna miss this spectacular event, lads and lasses! (Okay…I’ll stop.) My novel Midnight Hunt will be included in the set, so for those of you who haven’t had the chance to pick up your copy, this is a GREAT opportunity as you’ll also be getting over a dozen stories for 99 cents! If you have any questions about what’s happening, just leave me a comment below. Happy Tweeting and good luck on the drawings!!! That’s my two pence… Arial 😀

Fantasy Fiction—World Building

World Building—How Much is Too Much?

Gnomes as Wil Huygen saw them. Illustration by Rien Poortvliet

World building, in my opinion, is one of the most important aspects of creating a believable backdrop of your fantasy story. As writers, we must create a world that our readers will understand and relate to without having to concentrate too much on what is being presented. One must find the balance of too much new information and too common of information to create this world. Replacing every common word or reference with a newly invented word makes the head spin to have to remember everything. However, using basic references that would clearly not belong in the world you’re creating takes the reader out of the story.

For instance, my husband and I have been crafting the world for our YA steampunk fantasy series—The Keystone Chronicles—that takes place on a planet called Evanterra (see map in progress). We have gnomes, but not your typical garden gnomes like Wil Huygen envisioned and what most people are familiar with. We used to play (quite heavily) the MMORPG game Everquest 2, and their gnomes are all about steampunk—gadgets, gizmos, inventions and even airships! (By the way, if you follow that link to Everquest 2, you can learn more about gnomes on the Neutral tab of races.)

What is this reference all about? Well, we’re on a completely different planet, in a different galaxy and solar system that doesn’t even know earth exists…so I can hardly say, “These weren’t you usual garden-variety gnomes. They were…” Garden gnomes don’t even exist on Evanterra. It’s a complete Earth reference. BUZZ! Nailed!

Tinkerfest in Everquest II – the Gnome holiday

This world we’re creating from scratch has magic and mythological beings such as unicorns, centaurs, merfolk, faeries, etc. I struggle with names. Do I call them unicorns, centaurs, merfolk and faeries? Or do I reinvent their names and let their descriptions speak for themselves? Do I reference cotton and wool material? Or create new names and let the descriptions lead my readers to the conclusion that such material is like wool and cotton? The challenge has been both frustrating and exhilarating! We’re finding a delicate balance. The familiarity of such fantasy creatures draws in those readers who are in love with them, but then we do our best to make them unique to this new world—centaurs are very Native American in culture and art and they’re vegetarians, for instance. Of course, I can’t say they’re Native American….Earth reference again. LOL But I leave it up to the showing instead of telling to handle that.

What about you other writers? What struggles have you experienced in creating your worlds? As a reader, I’m taken out of a story if things are TOO familiar…and I’m also jarred when I can’t keep track of all the new information. Your experiences, readers?? What do you love about newly created worlds? What are some of your pet peeves when reading fantasy or sci-fi? What are your favorite examples of world-building where you became lost in the world and didn’t really notice any difference in such references to their world compared to the world in which we live?

That’s my two pence…I’d love to hear yours!

Arial 😉

 

Fantasy Fiction Author Finds a New Home

Welcome to My New Fantasy Home!

Ahhh! A warm fire crackles beside me. The cushy chair craddles me as I sit before the hearth and absorb the warmth from the flames. I put my book down upon the table to my right and smile at the faeries flitting around the room, decorating my new home with sparkling dust. My spirit guide and friend, MaeDawn the unicorn, curls before the fire. Raja the dragon swoops by my window and I enjoy the overcast sky. A perfect day for writing. Broderick MacDougal saunters into the room and sits in the adjacent chair, his roguish smile setting my insides to fluttering. Would you like to join us?

I welcome you to my new home. I haven’t moved physically…just in cyberspace and in genres. In realizing my clarified role as a fantasy fiction author instead of a romance novelist, I thought it fitting to surround myself with the images and atmosphere of the genre…the things I love. Unicorns. Mystical places. Dragons. Vampires. Werewolves. *sigh* I believe I’ve finally found my home. Yes. It feels right now.

I struggled with being a romance novelist, as I was told my romance stories were more about the layers and the details I’d woven into the plot versus the romance. The final resolution of my stories was NOT the relationship, but the journey the chacters traveled with each other. No matter what story I penned or planned, romance was not the center of the story even though there were strong romantic elements and I tried to hard to fit into that mold. I felt lost. Homeless, if you will.

As such, I could not live up to the expectations of my audience, which influences my sales and by which I gain more readers. Though the romance community never shunned me, I did feel out of place, like walking into a Regency ball, unsure of how to behave under the social scrutiny. I don’t blame them at all. It wasn’t their fault I went to the wrong party. In directing my attention to the fantasy fiction community, however, I was welcomed with open arms. It was as if I’d walked into the Prancing Pony. A mug of ale was shoved into my hand, I pulled a chair up to a table surrounded by hobbits, dwarves, wizards and elves. We laughed and spun tales and I felt the freedom to be myself. How refreshing! Pass the brew!

Now that I’ve accepted the idea and settled into my new home, I look back on my old place, surprised I thought I belonged there. I write fantasy fiction with strong romantic elements. It’s as simple as that. I welcome you to my new home and invite you to sit awhile and explore. You’ll find, as I did, it’s not that much different. Just a little more magical.

How to Protect Yourself from Vampires

I Met A Real Vampire

Because I’ve become an amateur expert on the subject of vampires, people have asked over the years one profound question: Do you believe vampires really exist? The short answer is…YES!

Anne Rice‘s books inspired me to delve deeper into vampire fiction. I’ve written vampire poetry, studied the subject rather extensively, read countless books on the subject–fiction and non-fiction–and have finally released my debut novel…a vampire romance set in the early 1500s of Scotland: MIDNIGHT CONQUEST. So, I definitely wanted to believe in vampires, but never knew one…until this incident.

I was in the military at the time and in my twenties, going to technical school to learn a new skill, so I was in a strange and unfamiliar environment. While sitting in the day room reading, an attractive man came in. Even now, I cannot recall his face. I just remember thinking he was a handsome man and was flattered he sat at the table with me, starting up a conversation.

Forced to put my book down and interact, I became engaged in an interesting chat…but I noticed it was all about me. Normally, I don’t mind talking about myself, but he kept asking questions about who I was, where I came from, where I’d been, etc., so I became suspicious and limited my answers, not wishing to divulge overly-personal tidbits.

I noticed my energy waning. I crossed my legs.

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[Fiction] Friday Challenge #199

I’m a slacker! Well, as it pertains to this weekly challenge I keep missing out on. I’ve been pretty darn busy with hypnotherapy, reading up on being a better writer, and pursuing my dreams. STILL waiting for my revisions for ETERNAL CONQUEST to come in and, sadly, it sounds like my editor is writing up a LOT of mistakes. Just when you think you’ve ‘nailed” it, you find out differently. GRRRRRRR! Oh, and I spent a little time playing Everquest 2 while recovering from a bout of the flu. >.<

So here’s this week’s  [Fiction] Friday Challenge #199 for March 18th, 2011:

The one thing your character regrets learning the most is……

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Writing Updates

Eternal Conquest - by Arial BurnzEternal Conquest – Revisions Finished

Taking a break from the horrible situation happening in Egypt and from my Twitter and Facebook pages, I’m happy to say that my major revisions for ETERNAL CONQUEST are finished! These were the revisions I needed to make AFTER I was offered the contract from The Wild Rose Press in their Black Rose line. I met my deadline and had the changes into my editor before the end of December 2010. However, my editor had an unfortunate accident with her computer, and though she thankfully recovered, she is a little behind schedule. Which means she won’t be able to get to ETERNAL CONQUEST until the end of this month. That’s okay! I have lots of other books to write! Continue reading

Fiction Friday Post – September 24th, 2010

Wow! Been a very long time since I participated in my favorite online writing exercise. Been busy with getting married and trying to find a job (collecting unemployment right now). In between all that, we’re trying to start our own businesses and make some money from home doing creative stuff. I’ll list our web sites below so you can see what we offer and perhaps we can provide something you need!

Now that I’m dedicating more of my time to my own writing, I will do what I can to include “Write Everything“s Fiction Friday a little more often. But on to the Fiction Friday Post for 9/24/2010: Continue reading

MIDNIGHT CONQUEST & Updates

Editor Assigned!

I’m very excited to announce that The Wild Rose Press (TWRP) has assigned a new editor to evaluate my book. She’s read the first 50 pages and has requested the rest of the manuscript. I promised to have it to her by the end of the month. LOTS of changes so far, but I think it’s a MUCH better book. Cross your fingers they pick me up for a contract and I’ll finally have my first novel published! YAY!!

MillieLouArt.com – Mom is an Artist, too!

I’m proud to announce that my mother is not only a wonderful painter, she has an online store where you can purchase merchandise with her artwork on it!! I bought her a CafePress.com store for Christmas and she is soooo excited!  Check out her site at www.MillieLouArt.com.

ArialBurnz.com is Official!

I finally purchased www.ArialBurnz.com and have directed it to the web site I’ve already had in the making. That site links to this blog, so check it out and then you can return to this site.

M.A.G.E. Foundation

Are you into magical creatures and like? Then you’ll love my new blog!! My boyfriend and I have come up with a fun idea…Magical Animals Goodwill Education Foundation. This faux foundation provides information on how to see magical animals and educates people on the efforts they should take to help preserve these endangered species. We have a CafePress.com store section created off our Enchanted Woodz store. 15% of all profits for the M.A.G.E. Foundation will go to the World Wildlife Fund, so any purchases you make will benefit our environment–including animals!

Well, that’s all I have time for right now. Looking forward to hearing your input on the M.A.G.E. Foundation and how your holidays were.

That’s my two pence…

Arial 😉