Tag Archives: Christian Fantasy

Realm Makers: 2013

Realm Makers: 2013 was a blast. Imagine about 80 Christian speculative lovers gathered in one place for two days. I can’t believe the place didn’t explode! We had some great speakers including Jeff Gerke, Bryan Davis, L. B. Graham, Robert Treskillard and more. Classes and panels included writing horror, worldviews and world building, swordfighting, and comics. And of course a night of dinner and cosplay 🙂

Here are the pics from my first Realm Makers conference:

Realm Makers
Me and my friend Jill
Stephen Burnett and Phyllis Wheeler
Me and Becky Minor (Realm Makers founder)
Me and Kathy Tyers
Me and Kathy Tyers
At the book signing with Jeff Gerke (my editor)
Realm Makers
With friends Jen and Joe
Sword fighting!
Sword fighting!

 

To find out more about future Realm Maker events, follow their website at www.realmmakers.com

 

Daughter of Light a Christy Award Finalist

The Christy AwardI sat at the gas station, waiting for my husband to gas up our van. While I waited, I checked my emails. I thumbed down and saw a forward from my editor. I opened the message. My heart stopped. I read the message again. There was a disconnect between my eyes and my brain. Dan climbed back into the van and started the motor. I turned toward him and in a calm voice announced that Daughter of Light was a finalist for the Christy Awards.

Dan went nuts while I stared ahead again in absolute shock.

It took two more days for the news to finally sink in.

I never expected to final in the Christy Awards. In fact, I almost didn’t enter. The day I had to make the decision, God provided everything I needed in order to enter. On November 15th, I wrote this on my Facebook author page: “Had a God moment this week. I had a writing opportunity come up that I could not afford. I told God jokingly that He would have to drop the money in my lap (my exact words). Well, He did, in a way that I would have never thought. And it was the exact amount too. I’m still walking around dazed lol.” And so I entered the Christy Awards.

And once again I am walking around dazed.

Last week, Daughter of Light hit #1 bestseller in 3 categories on Amazon and #134 overall on Nook. It felt good. But I realized something during that time. Here is what I wrote on facebook: Something I have learned about blessings: enjoy them, don’t horde them. They come and go, so enjoy the moment. Like all things, they will eventually slip away. But if you try to cling to them, you will miss the moment.

So right now I am going to enjoy this moment God has given me 🙂

To find out more about the Christy Awards and other 2013 nominees, click here: www.christyawards.com

 

Daughter of Light is on Sale

Daughter of LightHey everyone! Daughter of Light, the first novel in my Follower of the Word series, is on sale for $0.99 now until Monday. So if you are looking for a new series to read, check this one out 🙂 Click on the preferred ebook link below:

Marcher Lord Press

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

 

 

 

Son of Truth Cover Reveal

Here it is, the cover for Son of Truth, which releases next week (April 1st, 2013).

Son of Truth CoverThe war in the north is over, but the war for all the Lands has just begun. As the Shadonae solidify their hold on the city of Thyra, Rowen Mar, the last Eldaran and savior of the White City, awakens to find herself hunted by those she has saved.

Meanwhile, the assassin Caleb Tala finds himself in the presence of the Word. The time of reckoning has come and he must pay the price for all the lives he has taken. But in his moment of judgment, Caleb is given a second chance to change his life.

These two hold the power to save the Lands from the Shadonae. One must escape slavery, and one must choose to forsake everything before the world is consumed in darkness.

Daughter of Light on Sale

As the release date approaches for Son of Truth, my publisher and I decided to lower the price on Daughter of Light. If you are looking for a deep fantasy story along the lines of Terry Brooks’ or Terry Goodkind’s style, then check out the first book in the Follower of the Word series.

daugher_of_light_lgWhat if with one touch you could see inside the soul?

Rowen Mar finds a strange mark on her hand, and she is banished from her village as a witch. She covers the mark with a leather glove and seeks sanctuary in the White City. She lives in fear that if she touches another person, the power inside her will trigger again, a terrifying power that allows her to see the darkness inside the human heart . . .

But the mark is a summons, and those called cannot hide forever. For the salvation of her people lies within her hand.

 

Son of Truth

Since I’ve been receiving a lot of questions about my new upcoming novel, Son of Truth, I thought I would take today and answer some of them :).

Son of Truth will be releasing in three months on April 1st, 2013. Now of course things can disrupt that date, like Jesus coming back (I would love that), or massive computer failure all over the world. But for now, expect Son of Truth on April 1st (and that’s no April Fools!).

Secondly, I finally have a name for the series: Follower of the Word. This is a 3 book series, with the possibility of spinoff stories if the series proves popular (in particular, what were the Nordic Wars? How did they start? How did they end? And why are people so afraid of another war like that?).

Lastly, here is the back blurb for Son of Truth to get you a little excited:

The war in the north is over, but the war for all the Lands has just begun. As the Shadonae solidify their hold on the city of Thyra, Rowen Mar, the last Eldaran and savior of the White City, awakens to find herself hunted by those she has saved.

Meanwhile, the assassin Caleb Tala finds himself in the presence of the Word. The time of reckoning has come and he must pay the price for all the lives he has taken. But in his moment of judgment, Caleb is given a second chance to change his life.

These two hold the power to save the Lands from the Shadonae. One must escape slavery, and one must choose to forsake everything before the world is consumed in darkness.

Son of Truth lettering

 

Book Review: I Am Ocilla

I Am Ocilla begins in the mind of a young woman trapped in a dungeon who has lost her memories. She cannot remember who she is or where she is from. The only thing she knows is that her name is Ocilla.

She is rescued by two tree men and starts her journey across the five kingdoms. She meets fairies, giants, elves and more. As she travels and finds companions, her memories slowly come back. She is more than she seems. And slowly Ocilla begins to realize that she alone has the power to save the five kingdoms, but it will require that she remembers who she is…in time.

I loved I Am Ocilla. In fact, I read in two days. It was one of those books I could not put down. Diane M. Graham does an excellent job using first person point of view to help the reader experience Ocilla’s fears and struggles with her memory loss. I enjoyed the journey as Ocilla slowly discovered who she was and met people from her past.

The characters are great too. Men who turn into trees, an invisible panda, and dragon people. They may sound weird, but I thought Diane’s creativity to build her own races or place her own twist on a common race rather than borrowing from the usual fantasy fare (elves, dwarves, etc…) made this fantasy story unique.

I definitely recommend I Am Ocilla. And I just discovered this weekend that I Am Ocilla is on sale for the kindle. A great time to pick up a good book :).

 

To find out more about Diane M. Graham, visit her website at http://www.dianemgraham.com

To purchase I Am Ocilla on ebook or find out more, click here.

 

Why I Write Christian Speculative Fiction

I never set out to write Christian fantasy. In fact, I wasn’t sure what place that kind of book had in this world. Sure, there was Lewis’ Narnia series and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. But with all the controversy over Harry Potter years ago, I didn’t know what to think. I read Star Wars, Terry Brooks, and such, but Christian fantasy? I don’t think so.

It was actually the Harry Potter controversy that made me start thinking about Christian fantasy. Could fantasy and Christianity mix? Could a good book be written where the faith element or the fantasy element was not compromised? Like I said, I never set out to do that, but in the end that is what I wrote.

Daughter of Light began as a story in my head. It was a place to play with some cool fantasy ideas. A fantasy book with a hint of faith. But as the years went by and I found myself traveling down dark roads and facing one crisis of faith after another in real life, Daughter of Light began to morph into an exploration of what it ultimately meant to follow God.

Through speculative fiction, I am able to explore what would a Christian look like if the externals generally associated with Christianity were taken away like church attendance, bible studies, or Sunday school. Now I’m not saying those are bad things (not at all), but sometimes our Christianity is defined by where we go or what we do, not by who we are.

I am also able to paint word pictures with fantasy that I could not do if I wrote about this world. For example: sin. In our world, sin is a hidden part of our nature. We see the results of sin, but not sin itself. But in a fantasy world, I can show what we look like with sin: naked, broken, with blood on our hands. Unable to heals ourselves. Helpless and bound to darkness.

Of course, there is a fun aspect to writing fantasy. I get to write outside the box, ask “what if” questions. What if we could see people the way God sees people, would we still love them? What if we could heal, but it meant taking on the hurt and pain, would we? What if you found out you’re really from another dimension (that’s a fun question 🙂). What if you discovered you’re not human?

I love writing Christian speculative fiction. It combines my weirdness, my creativity, and my faith. Here is a quote by C.S. Lewis that best sums up why I write Christian fantasy:

“I thought I saw how stories of this kind could steal past a certain inhibition which had paralyzed much of my own religion in childhood. Why did one find it so hard to feel as one was told one ought to feel about God or about the sufferings of Christ? I thought the chief reason was that one was told one ought to. An obligation to feel can freeze feelings. And reverence itself did harm. The whole subject was associated with lowered voices; almost as if it were something medical. But supposing that by casting all these things into an imaginary world, stripping them of their stained-glass and Sunday school associations, one could make them for the first time appear in their real potency? Could one not thus steal past those watchful dragons? I thought one could.”

How Did I Become a Writer?

How did I become a writer? Most authors I know begin their story with something about when they were six they knew they wanted to be a writer. Not so with me. When I was six I wanted to be a pegasus unicorn 🙂 (probably explains why I write fantasy now).

I never dreamed of being a writer. In high school, I loved science and math, not English and certainly not writing. So how did I start? It began when I walked into a Christian bookstore and asked if they carried any Christian fantasy. The woman gave me a strange look and pointed to a lone Frank Peretti book at the end of the book aisle.

I went home stunned. That’s it? Just Frank Peretti? (by the way, I like his stuff, but I wanted more). After talking to Dan, he suggested maybe I should write. Yeah right. But the thought stuck with me. Then on a long car trip to Seattle, I had my idea for a book. I went home and wrote. I was naïve back then. I thought a writer sat down, wrote a book, found someone to publish it and that was that. Eight years later, I now know there is a whole lot more to the writing process.

I wrote for two years, just writing out the story in my head. Then I discovered there was a writing group in Oregon and that they were having a one-day conference in a couple weeks. I signed up. That one-day conference changed my writing life.

I met Randy Ingermanson (who was the guest speaker that day). For anyone who is thinking about writing fiction, you need to check out his website here. I went home and immediately signed up for his ezine and began to follow his blog. A couple months later, I followed Randy’s advice and signed up for the Mt Hermon Writing Conference.

Mt Hermon was another pivotal point in my writing life. For five days I met with hundreds of other Christian writers, learning how to write better, how to seek publication, met some great agents and publishers and came home ready to take my writing from a hobby to an earnest pursuit.

I spent the following year just writing. Next week I will share how I write a book (from idea to final draft), but let me just say now, it takes a loooong time (at least for me). By the end of that year, I had a finished, polished manuscript.

In 2010 I was able to attend Mt Hermon again and this time had a manuscript to share with publishers and editors. At this second conference, I ran into Rebecca Luella Miller, another pivotal person in my writing life. It was Becky who told me I should blog. Once again my thoughts were yeah right. How? When? And what would I write about? But with her gentle encouragement, I jumped into the blogging world.

It is now 2011 and I am still on my writing journey. Writing is a long, patient process. It requires self discipline, a willingness to learn the craft, and lots and lots of time. I’ll admit if I had known eight years ago what it took to be a writer, I would have been overwhelmed. But here I am and I love it :). I thank God for this medium by which I can share my life, my creative ideas, and His truth.

Next week I will share the ins and out of how I write a book (and no, its not just sit down and write, at least not for me lol). So don’t forget to stop by!