Category Archives: My Books

What is Steampunk?

What is steampunk? I’m asked this question a lot, especially as the release date draws near for Tainted, the first book in my own steampunk series.

In a nutshell, the genre steampunk is a fusion of our history (usually Victorian or western) and science fiction/fantasy. For example:

  • London set in an alternate universe where magic exists.
  • A western city with sophisticated technology that runs on steam.
  • A Goth English setting with a character who hunts monsters with high-tech weapons.

What I love about steampunk is the possibilities. Steampunk isn’t just science fiction or Victorian. It can have magic if you want. Or you can borrow from the time period of your choice without being confined to it or to the technology that existed. So if you want to invent some kind of steam powered cell phone, go for it!

The thing that sets steampunk apart from other genres (both visually and in story) is the feel. Steampunk has a feel of fantastical inventions, adventure, and science/discovery. Usually cogs, clocks, corsets, goggles, airships, and alchemy are associated with steampunk stories. But you don’t have to have any of those if you don’t want to. Have fun and create your own technology, weapons, and culture.

My own steampunk series borrows heavily from the Victorian era and science. I also had fun inventing things such as mechanical animals, an airship that runs on solar panels, a sniper rifle hidden within a walking cane, and a prosthetic arm that functions as an electric cannon.

But like any other genre, the story cannot stand on just the genre underpinnings. What connects the reader to the story is the story itself, with characters the reader can relate to. So while you’re having fun inventing your steampunk world, remember to tell a story, one that will grip your readers by the heart and mind.

How about you? Have you ever heard of steampunk before? What do you like about this sub-genre?

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Tainted_Hi_Res

What Happens When Your Soul Dies?

Kat Bloodmayne is one of the first women chosen to attend the Tower Academy of Sciences. But she carries a secret: she can twist the natural laws of life. She has no idea where this ability came from, only that every time she loses control and unleashes this power, it kills a part of her soul. If she doesn’t find a cure soon, her soul will die and she will become something else entirely.

After a devastating personal loss, Stephen Grey leaves the World City Police Force to become a bounty hunter. He believes in justice and will stop at nothing to ensure criminals are caught and locked up. However, when Kat Bloodmayne shows up in his office seeking his help, his world is turned upside down.

Together they search World City and beyond for a doctor who can cure Kat. But what they discover on the way goes beyond science and into the dark sphere of magic.

Book one of The Soul Chronicles series.

Order your copy of Tainted here: www.enclavepublishing.com

More Book News

TaintedSo I have more book news to share! I am holding a Goodreads giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy of Tainted. So what are you waiting for? Head on over now: www.goodreads.com

The second bit of news: after a lot of talk and much prayer, I am happy to announce that I am now represented by Steve Laube of the Steve Laube Agency. I wasn’t looking for an agent, but a great one came along anyway. Funny how God works that way!  www.stevelaube.com

Tainted Available for Pre-Order

Pre-OrderIt’s finally here! Tainted, the first book in my steampunk series, is now available for pre-order! For those of you who don’t know what steampunk is, Tainted is a mixture of Victorian historical and fantasy/science fiction. In Tainted, I ask what happens when a young woman has the ability to manipulate the laws of science, but every time she does, a piece of her soul dies.

So what are you waiting for? Here is the link: http://amzn.to/20GXuuV

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What Happens When Your Soul Dies?

Kat Bloodmayne is one of the first women chosen to attend the Tower Academy of Sciences. But she carries a secret: she can twist the natural laws of science. She has no idea where this ability came from, only that every time she loses control and unleashes this power, it kills a part of her soul. If she doesn’t find a cure soon, her soul will die and she will become something else entirely.

After a devastating personal loss, Stephen Grey leaves the World City Police Force to become a bounty hunter. He believes in justice and will stop at nothing to ensure criminals are caught and locked up. However, when Kat Bloodmayne shows up in his office seeking his help, his world is turned upside down.

Together they search World City and beyond for a doctor who can cure Kat. But what they discover on the way goes beyond science and into the dark sphere of magic.

Book one of The Soul Chronicles series.

The Story Behind Heir of Hope

This week I am a guest over at Behind the Scenes. I share the real story behind Heir of Hope: the darkness I went through and how I channeled that into the final book in the Follower of the Word series. It is my hope that others find encouragement, and that in the darkest times of life there is light.

Here is the link to the article: www.castlegatepress.com

2015-05-18 08.15.05 am

Trivia Facts about the Follower of the Word series

As the release date for Heir of Hope approaches, the final book in the Follower of the Word series, I thought it might be fun to share some of the more interesting facts behind the characters, the setting, and the plot. Enjoy!

*I started writing this series almost exactly eleven years ago. Wow!

*Daughter of Light was originally supposed to be a stand-alone novel. About halfway through the first draft, I realize there was a lot more to the story.

*I completely rewrote Daughter of Light four times (and that doesn’t include the two rewrites during the official editing process).

*Many of the places in the Follower of the Word series are based on real places I have visited including the Oregon Coast, the Rocky Mountains, and the Mojave Desert.

*When I could, I would explore a place to write a scene accurately. For example, for the scene outside Avonai in Daughter of Light at night I went for a walk on the beach in order to see what it would look like, sound like, smell like, feel like, especially to see how well a person could see during a full moon on the beach. Verdict? You can actually see pretty well 🙂

*Nierne, one of the main characters, originally came from a group of islands to the west. Somewhere I found the name Nierne and it meant “western islands”. Since then, I have never been able to find her name again online and she ended up in the Thyrian Monastery instead.

*Knowing the ending to my books is very important to me before I start writing. However, when I discovered Daughter of Light would be more than one book, I had no idea how I would end the series. Two years later, at a Women of Faith conference, I was sitting in an arena filled with thousands of women and I suddenly saw the ending. I grabbed a napkin (the only thing I could find) and started jotting down the ending that would eventually become Heir of Hope.

*When Daughter of Light was originally published, there was no series name. When Son of Truth came out, we decided we needed a name for this series. I had earmarked Follower of the Word for the title for the last book, but we decided it made a good series title instead. So that left me to figure out a name for the last book. I realized the main theme for the last book was hope, and Rowen carries the hope of both her people and mankind, and thus Heir of Hope was born.

*The cover for Heir of Hope is based on a scene from the story.

It’s been quite a journey and hard to believe it is almost finished (at least for me). I hope to someday revisit this world, perhaps in the form of a novella that might extend Caleb’s story, or another series that takes a look at the Nordic Wars, an world-altering event that precedes the Follower of the Word series.

Heir of Hope releases April 21st. In conjunction with the release, I will be throwing a Facebook party that night that will include giving away a couple signed copies of Heir of Hope and a complete, signed set of the Follower of the Word series in their new covers. Of course, you are all invited 🙂 Just click here to let me know you are coming!

Heir of Hope Nightmares

Signed Copies Giveaway

Goodreads Giveaway

Hi Everyone! In celebration of the soon-to-be released Heir of Hope and the new covers, I am holding a giveaway for one signed paperback copy of Daughter of Light and Son of Truth in their new covers!

To enter, head on over to goodreads.com and enter the giveaway. I have provided a link for each book:

Daughter of Light

Son of Truth

Enjoy!

Heir of Hope Cover Reveal

As you may have noticed, things have changed around my website. I am excited to reveal not only the new cover for Heir of Hope, but for all three books in the Follower of the Word series.

Why the new covers? My publisher decided to update Daughter of Light and Son of Truth so they matched Heir of Hope. Now the titles of each book are easier to see in thumbnail form and are definitely eye-catching. So without further ado, here they are:

Daughter of Light coverSon of Truth coverHeir of Hope coverPre-order is now available for the paperback version of Heir of Hope. If you are interested, here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Heir-Hope-Follower-Morgan-Busse

There was a glitch on the ebook pre-order, but as soon as it is available, I will let you all know. Thank you, everyone, for your patience as you waited for the last book in the Follower of the Word series. This book is definitely worth the wait!

My Writing Process

A couple days ago I was invited by my friend Ralene Burke to blog about my writing process and what I’m working on. So I said sure, why not? I’m always curious about what my favorite authors are up to and I thought you might be the same. So here we go!

1) What am I working on?

If you don’t follow my Facebook page or my twitter, then you haven’t heard the news yet: I finally finished the rough draft for Heir of Hope, the final book in the Follower of the Word series. Wahoo! Yippee! *cue music and dancing*

I’ve been working on this book for almost a year and let me tell you, this is going to be one big book. It finished at 48 chapters (not including the epilogue) and at least 150,000 words (your average book is usually 80,000).

So what am I working on now? My rough drafts are usually the bulk of the story. In other words, I don’t do a lot of rewrites. The story is here, it just needs a bit of clean up. So that’s what I’m working on right now: I’m checking the pacing and continuity, adding description if it needs it, and anything else I find. I should be done in a month and then off it goes to my beta readers, then to my editor. Whew!

I don’t  have a release date yet, but as soon as I do, all of you will be the first to know 😉

 

2) How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I write fantasy, but my fantasy lacks the usual creatures and races that other fantasies contain: like elves, dragons, orcs, etc… Instead, in my world I focus on people who are born with special gifts and abilities. I ask myself why would people possess such gifts, like the ability to see inside the soul (Daughter of Light), and how would they use this power? What choices would they make?

My books are not YA (young adult) which also sets them apart from others in my genre. I write about deep, dark stuff, but not with all the graphic details. And my characters are adults, with adult issues, ideas, and desires.

My work has been compared to Terry Brooks’ Shannara series and Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series.

 

3) Why do I write what I do?

A lot of authors answer this question differently. Some absolutely love writing and can’t imagine doing anything else. Some write to tell a story, others write to explore issues.

I originally wrote because I had this story inside me. But as the years passed and the rejections came, I needed more of a reason. I didn’t know if I would ever publish this series, but I still wanted to write it. I wanted to leave this series as a legacy to my children. The Follower of the Word series is a reflection of my own faith: my fears, my doubts, and my exploration of what does it mean to really follow God?

I know any story I write will have bits of me inside it. And will probably have some element of the fantastic, too. That is who I am: a mixture of questions, faith, and imagination. That is what I write. That is probably what I will always write.

 

4) How does my writing process work?

I’ve went into deeper detail about my writing process (How I write a novel), but in a nutshell, here it is:

~I plot months to years in advance before writing a novel.

~Storyboard my book a couple days before I start writing (this is the outline I follow).

~Write rough draft (this takes the longest amount of time). I try to write 500+ words a day. Recently I was able to move that number up to 3,000 words a day, but that is hard to sustain with a family that wants dinner, laundry done, and mommy around 🙂

~Rewrite and edit (I’m fast at this).

~I have beta readers read the manuscript and give me their feedback.

~Work in any feedback.

~Turn manuscript in to my editor.

Of course, that’s only the beginning. Then there are all the edits from my editor, proofs, etc… before I finally hold the book in my hands. But as far as my own process, this is how I write my books.

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 Thanks, Ralene, for inviting me to be a part of this blog hop. If you are looking for a freelance editor or advice on marketing, look her up (www.raleneburke.com).

And in celebration of finishing Heir of Hope, here is the blurb I worked up for the back cover:

The great city of Thyra has fallen and shadows spread across the country of Kerre. Rowen Mar, the last Truthsayer, is taken before the Shadonae. But the Shadonae are not who she thought they were. And now they want to claim her as their own.

Caleb Tala, former assassin and prince of Temanin, is now a Guardian of mankind. Exiled from his country, Caleb wanders the Great Desert in search of his mother’s past. Along with him are Captain Lore Palancar and Nierne, Thyrian scribe.

These are the last days of the Eldaran race. Rowen and Caleb must find their way along the dark path set before them by their ancestors: to heal what was wounded and love where hatred grows. But the road is narrow and the darkness beckons. If either of them fails, all will be lost…

And the human race will be no more.

To find out more about the Follower of the Word series, check out Daughter of Light, followed by Son of Truth.

How Do You Say That?

Part of writing fantasy is finding or coming up with fantasy words and names. You want something that looks out of this world, yet won’t make the reader stumble. I am more of the camp that believes less is better. I don’t want my readers pausing every couple paragraphs trying to figure out what that word is, or remember who that was because the name is so different, or needing a glossary at the end of the book for every creature, species, or person. I want it simple.

That being said, I still have creative or ancient words in my books. Recently I had someone ask me how to pronounce some of them. I told this person part of the magic of reading is you get to pronounce it the way you want to. However, I know some people like to know how the author pronounces it (even I am curious sometimes as to how the author would say that word).

So here is a short guide to some of the places, people, and races in the Follower of the Word series. Enjoy!

Nierne- Scribe from Thyra. Near Nee

Avonai- Capital city of the coastal country.  A Von Aa (long “a” at end)

Azar- Capital city of Temanin Empire.  A Zar

Tala- Ruling family of the Temanin Empire.  Tal La

Palancar- Guard family for the rulers of the White City.   Palan Car

Thyra- Capital of Kerre.  Thy Ra

Kerre- Country to the far west.  Cur

Eldarans- Race of people descended from the ancients ones who accompanied the Word to the Lands.  El Dare Ans

Shadonae- Race of people of which there is little known, other than they are powerful and violent.  Shad Don Aa (long “a”)

Mordra- Beings from the Unseen World. Also known as shadows or shadow wraiths.   More Dra

That about covers the main cast of people and places. If there is a person or word I missed and you are curious, feel free to leave it in the comments and I’ll comment back on how I pronounce it 🙂