Category Archives: Lost and Found

All. The. Things.

When I looked at the list of things I wanted to signal boost this week I actually felt a little dizzy. “How the hell am I going to fit Twitter, Facebook and blog posts for all those things in without sounding like a social media spam-bot?” I wondered.

Then I got smart and decided to just put all the things into one big blog post. Yay!

Firstly, check out this character portrait:

Bayne -- Artwork by Danica Parrish

This is Bayne.

He’s a half-incubus swordsman who figures prominently in many of the stories I’ve written set in Aphanasia (Sister Margaret, Lost and Found and the forthcoming Shadows — which is subject to re-naming LoL).

Bayne is also the character I will be playing with at the Character Death Matches at Pure Spec next month and he’s also the only character from those stories who hasn’t been on a book cover… so didn’t have a portrait.

My daughter, Danica, felt bad for me as she watched me struggle to find a stock image I could crop, Photoshop or otherwise fake to fit my character and she drew this portrait for me 🙂 He looks a little younger in this than he is in the stories I’ve written about him thus far… but I’m taking this as a sign that perhaps I ought to write some stories about a younger Bayne… someday.

Anyway, I’m super lucky to have such a talented kid who is willing to draw character portraits for me. Thank you, Danica! He’s awesome and I love it 🙂Aphanasian Stories by Rhonda Parrish

As I mentioned, Bayne features strongly in Aphanasian Stories. If you haven’t read Aphanasian Stories and you like straight-up fantasy, have I got good news for you.

This week I’m participating in #CreepyFreebies. As part of that I am giving away copies of the most recent issue of Niteblade and I’m running a raffle to win a copy of Aphanasian Stories.

However… there’s this t-shirt I wanted (Roots of Remedy) but my Paypal account was a bit short, so I spontaneously decided to put Aphanasian Stories on a super big sale — 70% off (Coupon code: VG96R at Smashwords — click here) to try to top it up a bit*.

That made me feel bad for having Aphanasian Stories as the raffled off item, so I’ll also be throwing in a copy of White Noise for whoever wins. And if you win and you already own a copy of Aphanasian Stories, I’ll give you something else instead. Because.

I’m not just doing CreepyFreebies though. I’m also taking part in #CoffinHop2014 🙂 This is a super fun little system where rather than interviewing one zombie author a day, Julianne instead asks several of us one question each day. The posts are pretty short too, which in today’s world full of constant distractions, seems like a good thing. So far the posts have included:

But wait! There’s more!

White Noise -- Art and cover design by Jonathan ParrishI was interviewed by Virginia from StarkLight Press recently to celebrate the launch of White Noise. It’s not a very long interview, only about six questions worth, but I really think it gives a lot of insight into what’s going on in my skull. If you’re even a little intrigued, it’s a quick read that ought to satisfy some of your curiosity. You can check it out here:

An Interview with Rhonda Parrish | Starklight Press

Annnnnnd there’s only a few days left to get your submissions in for Scarecrow and Corvidae. Our deadline is Halloween, which is my 10 year anniversary so you can bet I won’t be sitting at my computer watching midnight come around so I can officially cut off submissions, BUT if your work isn’t in my inbox by the time I get up on Saturday I won’t be able to consider it.

Related to anthologies, at the World Weaver Press hosted #SFFLunch last week we announced the subject matter for my next WWP anthology:

Sirens

When submissions open (in 2015) I’ll be looking for siren stories to fill its pages 🙂

Lastly, I think. I will be attending World Fantasy Convention next month, as will several of the authors from Fae and A is for Apocalypse. I’ll post another reminder nearly the time, but just as a head’s up, C.S. MacCath will be having a reading where she’ll be reading from her A is for Apocalypse story, N is for… on Thursday afternoon (plus I’ll be reading part of it with her, so be sure to come by to watch me shake in my boots) AND Adria Laycraft will have a reading Saturday evening which will feature her story from Fae, Water Sense.

Whoot!

Unrelated to this post at all, but I have noticed that my website is running slowly these days. I’m in the process of moving domains over to a new host as they come up for renewal so please bear with me until that process is done at which time things should speed up significantly.

 

*Great plan except that the Smashwords quarter comes at the end of December LOL Oops. #brainfart

Aphanasian Stories

Aphanasian Stories by Rhonda ParrishAphanasian Stories.

I’ve bundled up three of the stories I’ve written which were set in Aphanasia into a collection I have cleverly titled Aphanasian Stories, and it’s now available for you 🙂 Including in this collection of re-released stories are Lost and Found, which was originally given away here on this blog, A Love Story, which was originally published by Sam’s Dot Publishing as Shades of Green and Sister Margaret which was originally published by Wild Child Publishing.

~*~

A Love Story: Z’thandra, a swamp elf living with the Reptar, discovers a human near the village. When she falls in love with him, she faces the most difficult choice of her life, a decision that will affect the Reptar for generations.

Lost and Found: Xavier, the escaped subject of a madman’s experiments, and Colby, a young lady on a mission to save her brother, must combine their efforts to elude capture and recover the magical artifact that will save Colby’s brother before it’s too late.

Sister Margaret: A vampire hunter and a half-incubus swordsman are hired by a priestess to kill the undead pimp that is extorting, torturing and murdering vulnerable girls.

~*~

The physical copies of these books are fan-freaking-tastic, no word of a lie. The original art is the illustration I commissioned from Darek Zabrocki long ago for Lost and Found and Jo (my husband) had turned it into the sort of wrap around cover that dreams are made of (mine anyway). However, if you like to read electronic books I’ve got good news for you. The Kindle version of Aphanasian Stories is available for free for May 15th and 16th.

Enjoy 🙂

Aphanasian Stories Giveaway

Aphanasian Stories by Rhonda ParrishWhen you combine Lost and Found, Shades of Green (with a new title) and Sister Margaret into one self-published collection you get Aphanasian Stories. Clever title, no? LoL This book is available now but I don’t have time to promote it yet so what I’m going to do is pretend that it’s not available. Yet. Come the middle of May when the Niteblade fundraiser, Blogging from A to Z, Camp NaNo and April Poem a Day are done, and I’ve recovered a little bit, I’m going to officially release this book.

My plan is to do some intensive promotion over the first five days (May 15-19th) and I’d love for you to be a part of that. If you have a blog that accepts guest posts, does interviews or book reviews please get a hold of me (rhonda@jofigure.com). I would really like to send you a copy for review or make an appearance and share my book with your readers. I promise not to be spammy 🙂

If you don’t have a blog, I’d still like for you to be a part of this launch. I’m giving away three copies of Aphanasian Stories on Goodreads. You could be one of the lucky winners, all you have to do is enter at the website.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Aphanasian Stories by Rhonda Parrish

Aphanasian Stories

by Rhonda Parrish

Giveaway ends April 20, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Reminder

I was just editing the page for Shades of Green to link to a review that was just done of it (ChrisChat Reviews) and in a roundabout way it reminded me that I ought to remind you — If you want to read Lost and Found for free you should do that sooner rather than later. In the near future I will be taking it off my website and re-releasing it (along with some other stories) in other formats.

Time Management Fail

I suck at managing my time. I really, really do. I make plans, I make schedules — they don’t work, or worse, they do for a couple days and then fall apart all around me. My Epic Win! to-do list tells me I’m supposed to make a blog post every Monday, but I’m failing at that too.

To be fair, I’ve a bunch of deadlines kicking my butt.

  • Writing, revising and polishing a short story to submit to the Whittakers every other week
  • Writing, revising and polishing a poem to submit to the Whittakers every other week
  • Writo De Mayo writing goals
  • Self-imposed June 1st deadline for this draft of Shadows

There was also a death in the family that, while I couldn’t make the funeral, did have me writing only about my deceased aunt for a few days. It was good, it was cathartic, but it didn’t help with my accomplishing other stuff.

…that sounds so callous. I hope if you’re reading this you know me better than that.

So, anyway, I’ve been busy, busy, busy. So busy that I’ve been thinking of bailing on my daytime raids, which I love. Hopefully things will come together soon though. WdM and the Whittakers, for example, don’t last forever, and progress on Shadows has been great. I just need to suck it up and keep going. In the meantime though, I’ll probably continue to be scarce around here. Thinking of interesting things to blog about is, quite simply, beyond me at the moment.

I do want to thank everyone who has taken the time to email me and tell me what you thought about Lost and Found, or added it to their shelves in GoodReads to tell the world. Thank you -so- very much. I’m writing you each back, honest, but it may take me a little bit. Thank you. Hearing someone say ‘I loved this story’ or ‘I love CHARACTERNAME’ makes me smile like you wouldn’t believe.

I <3 you all.

Truly.

 

New Layout

I have a new layout. If you’re reading this on livejournal pop over to my main site (http://www.rhondaparrish.com) and take a look. It’s a lovely green layout that looks fresh and ready for spring*. My friend BD made it for me, because she is incredibly awesome. I actually want to write a whole blog entry about how awesome she is and invaluable to my writing, but, that would embaress her. I don’t want to do that (and not just because she could totally kick my ass), so I’ll just leave it at this:

BD, you rock. Thank you.

In other news, Heather, from Doubleshot Reviews gave Lost and Found a read and made me happy with her review. She analyzed Xavier and Colby’s characters a little bit, found them believable and gave them a thumbs up. That makes me smile. You can check out the whole review here: Lost and Found Review.

Lost and Found is almost done! That’s crazy. It seems like it should keep going, but next week will be the final chapter. Then what am I going to do for my Monday blog entries? I’m going to have to like, think of something clever to write, or something. I apologise in advance 😉 I do hope you’ll check back next week though, to get the final chapter of Lost and Found and see how it all turns out.

Whee? 🙂

*I took the photo used in the new layout. Another point in the win column if you ask me.

 

Givin’ it Away

I seem to be seeing a disproportionately high number blog posts about book piracy these days. For example, and just off the top of my head, there’s Jim C. Hines, Tobias Buckell and Tom Hansen. Those three blog posts all relate to one another quite directly so you’ll understand why one prompts me to think of the other, however, after reading all three of them the thought which was foremost in my mind was ‘Man, with so many people stealing books you’d think they’d be easier to give away’. This says something about my self-interested little soul, but bare with me.

If you’re reading this blog you’re probably aware that I’ve been serializing a novella on it called Lost and Found. That is, I’ve been giving it away a chapter at a time. It’s been a lot of work. In fact, to do it really well I’d need a lot more time than I actually have, but I’ve been making a valiant effort.

On paper things look pretty good for it. Carrie Jones, a NYT bestselling author who writes in a similar genre gave me a glowing blurb that made my millenia:

“Rhonda Parrish’s descriptive and action-packed prose grabs you by the hands and doesn’t let go. This is the kind of story that’s so good you clutch right back because you don’t ever want it to end.”

The reviews, when I could get them, have been positive.

I commissioned a freaking fantastic artist to make a killer cover for me. No stock images for this novella.

Bill Ratner, a well-known voice over artist, liked it enough to create a podcast version of it for me.

It’s difficult to judge exactly how many people have been stopping by to read the story; relying on comments is foolish in the extreme, my webstats are not the best and this blog is mirrored to Livejournal, but I know enough to know that interest has not been what I’d hoped.

There are good reasons for why I haven’t been overwhelmed.

  • People like their stories all at once, not doled out a chapter at a time, and I’m not offering Lost and Found as a .pdf (yet).
  • Reviews are tough to come by because this story hasn’t been through an independant editorial process (and who can blame them? Let’s face it, folks, most self-pubbed stuff is crap).
  • I haven’t got hours to dedicate to driving people to this blog to read it, and I’m not fantastic at it in the time I do have (I hate over-plugging my work so tend to err on the side of infrequency).

Still, when I read about piracy I can’t help but wish the people stealing those books would instead just pop over here and read the one I’m offering for free.

I know it’s not the same, not really, but you can’t blame me for the thought.

By the way, if you’re here reading this — have you checked out Lost and Found yet?

What?

Can’t blame a girl for trying 😉

Giftmas Bookstravaganza!

My family celebrates a secular version of Christmas I’ve taken to calling Giftmas. This year’s Giftmas was very book-centric.

I got:

  • The Hunger Games trilogy
  • Hitchhikers Guide to the Galxay trilogy (I know I should have read it before now, but I haven’t. Don’t judge :-p)
  • Entice by Carrie Jones
  • Dragon Bone by Patricia Briggs
  • Red Hood’s Revenge by Jim C. Hines

Whoot!

I can’t wait to get reading them, though I don’t know where to start. A dear friend of mine, Amber, sent me a crapload of books just before Christmas, and I want to read them too. I need a few more hours in the day, please. That would be fabulous. It’s also fabulous to have so many books I can’t wait to dive into 🙂

In related-to-my-book news I have a new review of Lost and Found to share. Clayton Bye, of The Deepening, reviewed it and he liked it. I liked his review, in fact it made my day yesterday.  Why? Well, in part because he said this:

Parrish represents a fresh and powerful voice in fantasy

*happy dance* How cool is that?

As you may have guessed he mostly liked the story with one notable criticism. The review is right here if you want to read it in its entirety, but be warned, it’s pretty spoilerific. If you don’t like spoilers you may want to wait until you’ve finished the story before popping over.

Speaking of the story, the next chapter will be going up on Monday 😉

Goals Reached

As I sat down to begin this post I realised I hadn’t reported on the progress I made on my Writing goals for November, and that’s pretty relevant to this blog, so let’s start there, shall we?

My goals were:

  • At least 50,000 words toward a first draft of my novel ‘Richter’. (I’m calling it a paranormal mystery for lack of a better genre. At least until it’s been written :) )
  • 30 poems, one a day, based on prompts from the November Poem-a-Day challenge. All with zombie themes in order to give me the last pieces I need to put together a zombie poetry chapbook
  • Work with Danica on a poetry project. I’m not putting a specific poem goal here because the challenge in this will be learning to work together and have fun with it, not on the finished project.

Well, of those three goals I accomplished the first one LoL. In fact I finished the first draft of the story formerly called ‘Richter’ and currently sporting the title ‘Twixt’ (we’ll see how long that lasts LoL). I think it’s a pretty strong first draft, and I’ve got some fairly good revision notes for when that time comes. For right now, however, it’s resting while I reset my brain and re-charge mentally from finishing the draft.

Writing that draft in long hand and trying to keep the NaNoWriMo pace meant that I didn’t have time to do the Poem-a-day thing in November, and Dani and I both were’nt feeling our poetry project after the first day. I plan to use the PAD prompts soon to work on some zombie poems still, and Dani and I will be going back to our project in the new year.

So I reached 1/3 goals, but I’m oddly okay with that and optimistic for future completion of the other two goals.

Speaking of goals…

I bet you recognise this cover 🙂

Dragonlance novels, and specifically the Dragonlance Chronicles series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman are what hooked me on fantasy novels. I love them. LOVE them. I still have every Dragonlance novel I’ve ever bought (including multiple copies of some because they were re-released with new covers) and I can’t imagine parting with them. I named my daughter (in part) after a character in The Cleric Quintet by R. A. Salvatore and I can sooner imagine parting with those books than my Dragonlance ones. When I was in grade nine I created a complete gaming/RP system based on Dragonlance stuff called ‘From the Stories of Children’. Are you feeling the love I have for them? Yeah.

When I created Aphanasia, and with each story I’ve written set in it, I’ve been strongly influenced by the feeling of the Dragonlance books. The incredible world with its diverse races, deep history and potential for amazing stories. I wanted to create that too. To have a world where I could hop from character to character, story to story and culture to culture.

Recently Red Haircrow reviewed Lost and Found and said, in part:

If I had to compare to other works of fantasy, it was be books in the Dragonlance series by Magaret Weis, Tracy Hickman and others. “Lost and Found” has excellent potential and I would certainly be interested in reading further installments.

Talk about making my day 🙂 If you want to read the full review it’s right here. There’s a tiny bit of a spoiler in there, but it relates to something in the middle of the story, not the end, if you’re the kind of person that makes a difference to.

I am one happy bunny today 🙂

Review of Lost and Found

The first review of Lost and Found is in. I sent Kari Wolfe of Imperfect Clarity a review copy of the manuscript, which means she got to read the whole story in one sitting instead of getting it a chapter at a time.

Kari said,

I love reading Rhonda’s work… I love the descriptions she uses.  She’s very exact in what she writes.  There’s no ambiguity here at all,  Each word has a reason for being chosen–they all have weight.  A substance.

There is a whole lot in between the first sentence and the second there in the original review, but I wanted to share both tidbits here. Hence the elipses :-p

Overall Kari seemed uncertain about her feelings for Lost and Found, which is somewhat disappointing, but whatcha gonna do? I’m grateful to Kari for taking the time to read and review my story just the same. You can read her whole review here. Then, if I may, I’d suggest heading over to the page for Lost and Found and either reading, or listening to the first few chapters. If you like what you read/hear then check back and keep following the story, and then you can make up your own mind about how you feel once we reach the end.

Incidentally, once you make that decision, I’d love to hear what you think. For better or for worse.

Zombies and Swamps

You know, I’m still not happy to be unemployed, but I am beginning to feel like my life is more under control than it has been. For the longest time I’ve been doing too much and trying desperately to try and figure out how to balance things and where to cut back. Now I’m getting things done and the other day I almost managed to do everything on my to-do list. I realise how pathetic that sounds, but it’s absolutely true. And it’s progress. Could be that I’ll go back to work sooner or later, but right now I’m truly enjoying feeling like I’m climbing out of the hole I’d plunged myself into.

We’ll have to wait and see if NaNoWriMo plunges me right back into the pit. It could happen. I have a basic premise for the story and one character and that’s it. Not exactly a strong platform to go into NaNo on, but it’s what I have so I’m going to work it. My plan is to embrace this as a chance to feel out the story and find out how to tell it. I don’t expect anything good but I’m not going to resort to any of the word-padding ideas so popular in November. We’ll see how it goes.

In other news, my poem After The Storm is up at Tales of the Zombie War. They have a comment option so you can tell me how much you hate it (Kidding, please don’t. I want you to like it. Like it, I say! :-p).

Finally, World of Warcraft has recently gone through a very disruptive patch. It’s been kinda crazy and overwhelming, in no small part because I have far too many characters with too many specs that I need to relearn how to play. Still, I’m muddling through. Right before the patch, however, I allowed my WoW nerdiness and my fiction writing to collide and snuck off to take a screenshot to share.

Please note, this screenshot is rather spoilerific if you’ve not read Shades of Green. Also, if you’ve not read Shades of Green you won’t likely find it very amusing, so click with caution.

Continue reading Zombies and Swamps