Friday, January 28, 2011

Blog Tour - N R Williams Fantasy Writer - What elements are in the story?

My guest today is fellow blogger and author N. R. Williams, who recently released THE TREASURES OF CARMELIDRIUM. For those of you who got a surprise I've invited Nancy to my flash fiction blog as the Publication Party is raging over at my L'Aussie Writing blog.

Nancy's blog tour has proved hugely popular and she has had a loyal band of followers/commenters at each session. I hope you find today's session equally intriguing. Please tell us what you think after the session.

Firstly, in case this is your first visit to the blog tour, here is a little information about N.R.Williams:

N. R. Williams lives in Colorado, U.S.A. with her husband. She is delighted to have two three year old grandchildren, cousins. She’s a long time member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and has been privileged to attend conferences and workshops. Since her formative years, she’s been inventing fantastical stories and since she could spell she’s been writing them down. While she majored in art in college, she didn’t make a living at it. Now, she uses her skills of observation to create fantastical worlds, interesting characters and stories that touch the heart.

Fantasy is not a genre that I, myself, am completely familiar with, so I was intrigued when I first read the synopsis of "The Treasures of Carmelidrium," wondering what elements I would find in this story - romance? suspense? horror? How would these elements add to the story? Let's hear what Nancy has to say.

What Elements Are in the Story?

Thank you Denise for allowing me to be here with my blog book tour for “The Treasures of Carmelidrium.” I am grateful and have been enjoying myself immensely. I hope those who have been following the tour have been enjoying themselves just as much.

Today we will talk about the elements in a story. My story. You may say, “What do you mean by elements?” Good question.

Elements in a story are types of tension built within it to bring added dimension. Some genres are specific with the treatment of its story. In Romance, you must have romance. In a Cozy Mystery, there must be a murder on the first page. Usually the investigator is not a member of the police. In a Suspense Thriller you’d better have suspense and thrills, blood and gore, murder and mayhem. In Urban Fantasy you need to have a raw edge to your writer’s voice.

These are all elements of the story. More and more, stories can also have elements of another type of novel. A Romance can also be a Thriller. A Cozy Mystery may have paranormal activity. A Suspense Thriller may have Romance. Urban Fantasy might encompass a who done it. The way you determine which category each book is, is by the first type. Therefore in a Romance Thriller, the romantic aspect is stronger than the thrills.

“The Treasures of Carmelidrium,” is an epic fantasy more because some publishers don’t have a category for high fantasy. What does epic or high mean? Usually it means that the characters have a quest that must be fulfilled. It can also mean that they must endeavor to defeat the villain and the quest may be a journey of self discovery. Frodo must endure hardships and isolation enforced on him by the power of the “ring.” Samwise will not leave Frodo’s side regardless of how much Frodo tries to push him away. The quest is to get rid of the “ring” in the fires of Mordor. (The Lord of the Ring, J. R. R. Tolkein).

In the “Treasures of Carmelidrium,” Missie is forced to come to terms with the fact that she has been transported to a medieval world. Here in Gil-Lael, her music is powerful. It can heal, destroy and empower the treasures. On her journey, she has several romantic interludes with the prince. She is hunted, attacked and fearful for her life. The elements of romance and suspense follower her; plus the mystery of who Renwyk, the villain, is. These elements create tension, tenderness, fear, questions about what she wants, and more. They are the secondary plots. The reason the reader wants to turn the page. In the end, it is the elements; more than the quest that helps Missie grow from a young twenty year old college student into an adult. She must decide what is more important to her and waivers at every turn.

The reader is given clues throughout. This isn’t a cozy mystery, so my clues are not hidden. But until the end, Missie doesn’t know what she will do and the reader may guess, you might even cheat and read the last page first, but for the character, this is a journey of self discovery.

I’ll be by throughout the day to answer questions and comment.

And don't forget, leave your email address with your comment as there are 3 e-books of Treasures of Carmelidrium to give away. Don't miss out on the chance!

Drawing and announcement is on my blog Feb. 1, 2011. I will email the winner and they will have a choice between kindle, iBookstore or Barnes and Nobles for the e-book. One book per winner.~~


When a hooded man steps in front of her car, Missie is thrust through a portal into a medieval world where she encounters monsters and mythical creatures. Here, her flute has magical powers to heal and destroy and to empower “The Treasures of Carmelidrium.” She is romanced by a prince and hunted by the villain. Will she find her way home? Does she want to?
THE TREASURES OF CARMELIDRIUM is available at Amazon for Kindle and Amazon UK for Kindle. The book is being sold for $2.99 until July 1, 2011 when it will increase to $3.99.

Thank you,
N. R. Williams (Nancy)

Thank you so much Nancy, for explaining to us the elements of your story. I'm sure "The Treasures of Carmelidrium" has captured our imaginations and we're all excited to read it. We all wish you the best and may you have a best-seller on your hands!

Enjoy the rest of your tour...


Friday, January 21, 2011

I Talk to Dead People #fridayflash

I Talk to Dead People

I could smell the blood, gunpowder and gut-wrenching agony as I opened the door. I looked behind me, nodded.

'You did the right thing to call me here. This house has been a battlefield.'

He grimaced. 'I couldn't believe the stench when I walked in. It all but threw me back out the door.'

'Some terrible tragedy has taken place here in the past. Have you checked out the history?'

'I was an idiot. One of those losers who buy a house online.'

'What site did you use?'


'Well they're pretty legitimate. Obviously the owner didn't tell them about the history.'

'Wouln't have got a buyer then, would he?'

'No. True. How was the price? What was your name again?'

'Cheap. Stu.'

'Well you usually get what you pay for, but in this case you've turned that saying on its head. You've got a lot more than you bargained for wouldn't you say?'

'Exactly. Well, that's why I brought you in. Can't you get rid of these ghosts or demons or whatever they are? Exorcise the lot?'

I stepped inside. The stench and animosity in the room nearly made me gag. I looked behind. Stu was checking out my butt.

'You sure you want to come in Stu? There's things I have to do. Not pretty.'

'Hmm, if you say so.' He grinned. 'I know. Sure, I'm not scared, long as I can be with you.'

I turned around and looked at him. Something in his tone threw me. I had to look up he was so gigantic. Didn't matter how big you were, people were all scared of ghosts.

'Whatcha lookin' at missy?'

Your long grey hair, your handlebar moustache, your bandana, your studded belt and boots, your holey jeans...'Your face. To see what effect this is having on you.'

'I'm calma, calma, missy, just get on with it will ya?' His tone had changed. He was practically snarling.

I paused in the hallway, taking my time, looking around. I turned to face inside again when I felt a hand shove me with a mighty force. I went sprawling into what must have once been the lounge room, not a good look when you're wearing a tight red dress, black stockings and stilettos.

'Aaoomph,' I cried as my head hit the lounge. I heard an almighty crack.

The lounge?

There wasn't a lounge there before. I swear the room was empty when I first looked inside.

I gazed around from my vantage point on the floor. Everything looked red and black. I shook my head, focused.

There they were...

A room full of bikers, all dressed like Stu.

I looked to see if he was behind me. No sign.

'This more like it missy?'

He was looming over me, but, holy Christ, what was this?

I struggled up, confused. 

The whole bikie gang had turned up. The music was loud, the voices were loud, the clothes were loud. I felt out of place in my red dress. I tugged it down over my knees.

'Join the party, missy!'

'What the hell's this Stu? I came here to do an exorcism.'

'This is my gang, the Devil's Advocates. Come meet Joey, Simon, Dean...'

'You're kidding me, right? This is some freak show.'

The music stopped, the voices stopped. I swear everybody in the room was looking at me with icy stares. It was then I noticed the women lounging in the corner. Strangely they all looked a bit like me, long blond hair, tight dresses, stilettos. They stared at me with their dead looking eyes in their white faces, shrugged their shoulders then continued their conversation.

Suddenly the whole room exploded with raucous laughter. I turned away, confused again. I wanted to cry but my head didn't even hurt so what did I have to cry about?

I looked out the picture window and saw some bikers riding up to the house, guns at the ready. There was so much laughter inside Stu and his wild mates were caught by surprise when the gunfire started. Windows imploded, bodies spasmed, blood and gore splattered everywhere.

It was all over as quickly as it'd begun.

What was this? The faces looking at me looked different somehow.

'She doesn't know she's looking at dead people, does she Stu?'

'You kiddin' me? She doesn't even know she's dead.'

'You keep bringin' 'em bro'. You got taste.'

'Yeah, they get more than they bargain for, these creepy Ghost Whisperer types.'



Friday, January 7, 2011

A Thirst Before Dying - #friday flash

Well, if you've missed me I've been having a lovely holiday. Back for a great 2011 with #fridayflash. This week I've set my story in the Australian Outback. The subject matter is all too familiar. Hope you enjoy it...

A Thirst Before Dying

You don’t want me to stay with you then?
No. I’d prefer to be alone.
I could stay until…
No, it’s best for you to leave now, see if you can find a way out of this god-forsaken place.
Look, there might be water just over that ridge. I’ll go and come back with some as soon as I find it.
Don’t worry about me mate. I’m done for. Listen to me croaking. Let’s invent our own bush lore – every man for himself, none of this laying down your life for your mate…
I’ll feel bad…
Rubbish mate. Just go and let me get on with it. You’d be a silly bugger to stay here and rot. You’ve got a chance. Take it. You know I haven’t got a snowflake’s chance in hell of surviving. And it's as hot as hell here. I can feel myself cooking from the inside out.
Go, you ugly bastard. I don’t want you here. Get on with it. At least one of us silly buggers will survive.
Look, it’s my fault. I was the one who got us lost. I really thought I knew where I was going...
Turns out you didn’t, but we aren’t the first and we won’t be the last to be tricked by the Australian bush, mate. You know that. We broke every rule in the book, then I went and broke my bloody leg to boot. That ends it for me. No chance of me getting out of here now. Think about it. I'm right...Go!

I woke to the pain throbbing through my busted leg. I rolled over, took a deep breath then looked down. The leg didn't seem to belong to me.
I was astounded to see how fat it’d gotten while I drowsed. Nothing I could do so I just lay there, trying to will myself to feel nothing even though the sun was now directly overhead frying me like an egg in a sizzling pan.
I took stock.
How does it feel to die of thirst?
I once read about an old salt who survived nearly seven days in the Arizona desert without water. Well, I’d been about three days and I knew I wasn’t about to break Mr Valencia’s record.
I ran my tongue around my mouth, felt my saliva as thick as paste. My tongue clung to my teeth and the roof of my mouth. I felt like I had a golf ball in my throat. My head and neck throbbed with pain.
At least it’s taking my mind off the pain in my leg.
My face felt like a full moon and my skin was like thin crackly parchment when I touched it with my shaking fingers. I knew before too long I’d be a raving lunatic. I’d start hallucinating. I didn’t want to be around when that happened.
It was a toss up between pain and thirst. Which would kill me?

I’d fallen to my side while I slept. I didn’t want to die lolling like some old abandoned guy in a nursing home. With a few grunts and groans I managed to heave myself up a little and prop my back against the red sandy rock.
The dry valley lay spread before me, shimmering in the heat. I could swear I saw water but I knew that was a mirage.  The reds and ochres of the steep gorges soothed me taking my mind off the possibilites of that inland sea.
I’ve always loved this country, especially the outback. Unforgiving though. Only the tough survive. Better add smart to that. Not smart to get lost, break down then run out of water, you useless clot.
I thought of old Herb. I hoped he’d been smart enough to find some water by now or he’d be propping up a rock too, or eating sand.

My eyes were just slits, but I noticed a pair of wedge-tailed eagles merge with the red rock, flying between the harsh blue sky and the ochre cliffs like children at play with the sun keeping vigil like a protective parent.
It was a sinisterly brutal world out here. I hereby name you ‘tarrangaua’, I smiled to myself, feeling like King George. I knew that meant ‘rough red hill’ in Aborigine. Smart arse!
A thick pain was pushing up against my chest. There was a whooshing in my ears. Here comes the deafness...
But I could hear a crunching sound reverberating around my head. I swear the rock I was leaning on shook, so I must have reached the hallucinating stage. Didn't even need a pill! I grinned what I knew was a terrible grin, feeling my gums and teeth protruding like some zombie's.

‘What are you doin’ sittin’ here in the sun you silly bugger? Hardly Bondi Beach, you bum.’
Looming over me looking like the Grim Reaper I could just make him out with the bright sun behind him. All I could really see was a face as black as the ace of spades and a beard as white as snow all under a black Akubra with silver studs that glinted in the sun, hurting my eyes.
Ouch! Jacky Jacky?’ I croaked.
Every Australian knows an Aboriginal tracker is called Jacky Jacky, even a city slicker like me.
‘No mate, not Jacky Jacky. I’m Mr Theodore White, but who’s askin’? Looks like you could use some help and quick before you turn into one tough piece of steak.’
‘Hey, I’m King George,’ I said only half-joking.
‘That's my line. He died long ago mate. You don’t wanna be him.’
He lowered himself close to my face, cradled my head in his great black arms and let me take a few sips from his water canteen.
I tried to touch his hat just to prove he was no hallucination but it was out of reach.
The water felt real enough. It's coolness was the most beautiful thing I'd ever tasted.
‘That’s enough King George. Only a drop at a time or it’ll kill ya.’
I tried not to cry like a baby when he took the bottle away.

‘Found ya old mate,’ he said, as he began tending to my leg.
‘What? Who?’ I rasped. Then I remembered old Herb.
‘The other poor bugger you musta been with. He was roasting in the sand in the dry riverbed. Musta gone to sleep thinkin’ he was in the water, seein' a mirage. No savin’ him. But looks like you’ll make it.’