Thursday, May 19, 2011

Getting two books ready for paperback release!

I've been hard at work getting My Twelfth Christmas and The Witch of Starmont ready for paperback release. I won't have my hands on the proofs until next week.

I'm excited about them becoming available in paperback for two reasons. One is that I'll be able to offer paperbacks of The Witch of Starmont for sale along with my herbal salves and teas and tinctures when I participate in an arts and crafts fair in early June. The Witch of Starmont is about a woman who runs her own herbal remedy and skin care business, but who also harbors a secret. There's a lot in the book about collecting and growing beneficial plants, so it will be a nice addition to everything I'm offering for sale at the craft fair. Those interested in my wares may also be interested in the book.

The other reason is because My Twelfth Christmas is my best seller and it might be the type of book that people want to have a hard copy of. It's small and will be very inexpensive, likely under $4.00. So when the Christmas season rolls around (although it sells pretty steadily all year round), the paperback version will be there, too, for those who may want it in that format.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Spider Silk

photo from this site
The picture at right is a traditional royal Madagascar weaving done in spider silk. That's right. Spider silk. The silk was milked by hand from golden orb spiders found in the wild in Madagascar. More information about the cloth and the process that went into its creation can be found here.

This is one of the most beautiful textiles I've ever seen, and I'm doubly interested in it because in my book, Rose of Par Kluhnd: A Fairy Tale, there is an area in the Lands of Shey which produces textiles made from spider silk. In fact, Rose, from time to time in the story, wears armor made from spider silk.

Spider silk ounce, for ounce, is stronger than steel, but my use of it as armor in the story is poetic license. It turns out that spider silk is extremely elastic, so although it might be able to stop a sword or a bullet, it would stretch so much in the process that the sword or the bullet would actually go right through you anyway. For a tad more information about spider silk, visit this post in my other blog.

And here is a little clip featuring this amazing, golden cloth woven from the silk of spiders:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I just finished reading Steel, by Carrie Vaughn. I really liked this book and I admire Carrie Vaughn for putting the story together the way she did. She researched her topics well and grabs the reader's attention with all of the adventurous details of life at sea as a pirate, but also shows the day to day knitty gritty of the hard work behind what was ultimately a hard life.

I really like what Vaughn did to get Jill, the main character, to go back in time 300 years. The device is clever and I really liked how the story worked. Several years ago I wanted to write a story about pirates and include the women of the pirating world. I did my research, but I never pulled a story together. Carrie Vaughn has done an excellent job with Steel. I'm jealous, but I've also learned a lot about approaching stories that you want to tell.

If I were still in junior high or early high school, I would eat this book up. If you know any adventurous pre-teen or teen girls out there, give them this book to read.

You can see more of what I thought by reading my review over at Goodreads.