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The Blessed & The Damned Available at: Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble

Demon Song
Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, April 2011

Duel on Hakkojji Bridge
     Three Crow Press, June 2010

Blossoms Weep, Spiders Fall      Every Day Fiction, February 2010

Blog Hop--My Writing Process
I was invited to participate in this blog hop tour, by my friend and SF writer, Carmen Webster Buxton. You can learn more about her writing process on her blog hop post: Why (and How) I Write. Carmen writes stories where the effect of technology, as well as culture and society, has on the characters within that milieu. I want to say thank you to Carmen for inviting me to participate in this event (I'm a blog hop newbie).

So, in this hop there are a few basic questions that I've been asked to answer regarding my writing process.

1. What Am I Working on Now?

I'm currently working on a sword and sorcery novelette (or what was supposed to be a one) about a warrior who's in search of a legendary wizard. His village was decimated by a magical spell and he needs the wizard to help set things back to normal. But before he can find the wizard, whom he is beginning to believe doesn't exist, he runs into a young boy who may or may not be a well intentioned thief. The boy's crime doesn't go unnoticed, and soon, the warrior must extricate himself from the situation. The only problem is--the boy may be his only clue to finding the wizard he's looking for.

Here's the cover:
COVER_sword hunt3

2. How Does My Work Differ From Others in Its Genre?

I think my work differs from others in the sword and sorcery genre because I have an interest in both simplicity and a little more depth. The simplicity part comes in the use of language. Some S&S stories are very florid in the structure of the sentences. When I write, I like to achieve a simpler, smoother transition from word to word. I still aim for the descriptive elements that help make sword and sorcery what it is, I still try to make interesting worlds, and still try to write incredible battles--I just try to do it with less words and hopefully that will make for stronger imagery.

The more in depth part is trying to add literary elements to a sub-genre that is better known for its action. I try to do this either through the characters and their struggles or based around the idea of the plot.

3. Why Do I Write What I Do?

I think, when we are young, those first new experiences can influence us for the rest of our lives. I can still remember when I saw "Star Wars: A New Hope" at the drive-in theater--it was pure magic. I can still remember the first fantasy trilogy that I fell in love with--"The Dragonlance Chronicles". I always loved reading whether it was comic books, fiction, or the marketing copy on the back of the cereal box. Writing allows me to explore worlds that only exist in my imagination, but through my imagination I can make it so that those worlds and those characters truly exist. In the long run, stories are only a reflection of the world we live in.

4. How Does My Writing Process Work?

Hmmm...well my writing process needs a little bit of an overhaul (which is one of the things I'm working on now).

I'm in one of those painful stages of learning where you try new things that you're not completely comfortable with. You take parts from here, add parts from there, flip that switch on, then turn that one off, and hopefully when you have it all figured out everything will work beautifully...

But it's a process.

What I've discovered though is that I'm good with beginnings. For me, beginnings are easy. They're gold. They're excitement. They can be grabbed from almost anything. The flash of an idea, a question, a character, an interesting situation. I know how to mold beginnings, I know what questions need to be answered. I know how to make them exciting.

I also know about endings. Endings come from your beginning. Endings must answer all the important questions you raise in the beginning. A good ending can be very satisfying, and sometimes, you can just feel when you have the right ending for the story.

Now, my trouble starts with middles. I've learned some things from different sources, but middles are still my Achilles heel--they're where I get lost in the wilderness.  And that is what I'm working on figuring out.


( It's been a long time since I last posted on this blog. I've given some thought to posting once again in 2014, but a recent forum thread gave me the inspiration to write this post. )


The world is full of stories where man battles a savage beast. But in fantasy and horror those creatures are often more than what mother nature intended and the hero is forced to struggle against a creature of supernatural origins. Sometimes though, coming up with just such creatures cause angst in many writers. Here are three easy ways to generate a creature worthy of a hero for the ages.


Classical examples: giant spiders, giant sea creatures, giant insects

The first method is rather quite simple. Give the creature a dose of gigantism. Anything becomes dangerous when it’s much larger than your hero. Bilbo Baggins struggled against giant spiders, Captin Nemo fought against giant squids, and Jack had trouble once he climbed a giant beanstalk and ran into giant men. Even a sweet, little rabbit will become dangerous when it’s the size of a tank.

Most creatures once turned into giants will have their strength multiplied. And if the animal has special attack weapons, they become even more dangerous--Watch out for that giant lobster!


Classic examples: minotaur, centaur, werewolf

Another age old method to create a cool monster is to take a beast in your left hand and a beast in your right--and smash them together. The resulting beast will have a unique appearance and way of acting based on how you want to arrange the parts:

a. head and body

A minotaur is just a man’s body with a bull’s head attached to it. The Egyptians believed in gods who had a man’s body and another creature’s head. Anubis had a jackal’s head, Sekhemet the head of a lion, Horus the head of a bird.

b. merged humanoid

A merged humanoid is a creature that has a man’s body (head, hands, legs, torso), but they’re in animal form. A good example of this is the werewolf. When the full moon rises the werewolf comes out to hunt and the man completely gives way to the beast. OWWWWWWWWWWW!

c. unique

A unique creature is one where a primary attribute of one creature is given to another. Take a bird’s wings and put them on a horse and you have Pegasus. Take a bird’s wings and put them on a man and you have a birdman. Figure out what’s special about a particular animal and then give that attribute or skill to another one.

d. half and half (no you don’t want to put this in your coffee)

The last method of combining two creatures is to make one half of the creature one animal and the other half another. From the waist up a centaur is a man, from the waist down he’s a horse. From the waist up a satyr is a man (except for the horns on it’s head), but from the waist down it’s a goat. Figure out a way to bisect two beasts, then figure out which halves you want to combine together.

# Special Note:

One thing you may want to consider when you combine a creature with a human in the above methods is how humanized that creature becomes. A creature that has a man’s body, or a man’s upper half, or a is just a man with a creature’s unique gift is that the new creature may still act in a human manner. The creature may have language, culture, cities, intellect, tribes, and customs. If so, consider how the animal part affects that group. Think about how the combination changes the man.


Classic example: chimera, sphinx, hippogriff

There are a few creatures that are a hodgepodge of beast when it comes to how they’re thrown together. They combine more than two creatures into one. For example the sphinx has a man’s head, a lion’s body, and an eagle’s wings. When you want to create such a patchwork beast consider these parts of its body: head, body or torso, limbs (arms and/or legs), and maybe a tail. Combine the parts together and you have something no one would want to meet in a dark alley.

Story Outlining / Plotting
Syd Fields

Dan Wells

For further reading: Story Engineering by Larry Brooks


Indie Author Rockstar Banners
Moses Siregar III has come up with an excellent idea for promoting Indie Authors. Each month six random writers are drawn from an available pool, and based on voting, one is selected as the Rockstar of the Month. If you're interested in learning more about the event check out its website, twitter page, or Facebook account.

I've also created a few banners for the occasion, feel free to download as many as you like:

Banners ...Collapse )

Flash Fiction: Parallel Lives

I wrote this for Chuck Wendig's Flash Fiction Challenge. I hope you like it!

Parallel Lives
by A.R. Williams


photo by dhannte

Alejandro clutched the tiny flag that the woman at the desk had given him, bundled up in his fist. The overly bright lights in the room cast a harsh glare against the windows, making it hard to see out. He perched on his toes, elbows digging into the grate of the A.C. unit, face pressed against the glass and stared both at the road that led to the building and the twinkling blackness of the night sky. They hadn’t started yet, there was still time

Alejandro nibbled on his lip and tightened his fingers about the flag. The officer at the door, ordered everyone to rise and form a line. Alejandro’s father stood, pulled him away from the window and into the group of adults. Trapped between them as they shuffled forward, Alejandro marched out into the humid night. 

Headlights shone over the horizon, white hot like the stars in the sky. The bus pulled up just as everyone finished exiting the building. It stopped in front of them, engine growling, brakes screeching. The doors hissed open. 

“Let’s go people, get on board,” the officer yelled. 

They bunched together and slowly began to board, one by one. Alejandro and his father were near the front of the line. Climbing the steps, Alejandro raced to the back, weaving between people. The radio blared in the background.

“Yankees versus Rangers, bottom of the ninth, and what could possibly be the last batter of the game making his way to the plate.” 

Alejandro jumped into the back seat and stared back at the building. The seat moved as his father sat down beside him. Was he too late? Did he miss it? 

A crack split the air like the sound of wood breaking. 

“It’s a home run. He’s going home! Rangers win! Rangers win.” 

The bus lurched forward, forcing Alejandro back against the seat. He kept his eyes glued to the sky, waiting patiently. Just as he was about to turn away, it happened. Fireworks burst into the air: Red, White, and Blue. Alejandro smiled and unfurled his flag, waving it from side to side. 

“Papa,” he said, pointing. 

His father looked and nodded, then turned back around.


(C) copyright 2011. A.R. Williams

Elizabeth Gilbert Speech
l found this video via Jane Freidman's blog. It's about Elizabeth Gilbert's speech at TED concerning her thoughts on creativity and being an artist.


The Blessed and The Damned
Image licensed from DepositPhotos.com/Andreas Gradin


Late last month I published my first e-Book. Needless to say it was a work of love. It's now available for many different platforms and is awaiting the approval for the Smashwords premium catalog which will open even more distribution opportunities. I would like to thank darke_conteur, kmarkhoover, and quill_quirks for giving excellent critiques on the story. If you would like to learn more about "The Blessed and the Damned" just look below. I hope you will take a look at it.
The Blessed & The Damned

Main Content:

11,146 words/ about 45 pages.

Includes extra content:

Behind the Scenes, Kuwar, Character Interview, and Cover Evolution.

Genre: Fantasy/Dark Fantasy

Available: Amazon - US, Amazon - UK, Amazon - Germany, Barnes and Noble.com, Smashwords.com

Price: $ .99

When her twin sister kidnaps her daughter, Lorna Jassan must return to a city she hates in order to find the daughter she loves. Her mission forces her to seek help from a man she never wanted to see again. In the midst of her search, Lorna must keep a sixteen-year-old secret hidden, but the city has secrets of its own. Can Lorna unravel them in time to rescue her daughter and escape?

Excerpt:Collapse )

Southern Fried Weirdness: Reconstruction

In the wake of the destructive tornadoes which ripped through Alabama on April 27th, 2011, Southern Fried Weirdness Press is proud to present the charity anthology, Southern Fried Weirdness: Reconstruction. This collection of poetry and short fiction features 46 pieces from 40 different contributing authors. It spans multiple genres and presents an eclectic mix of voices. All profits will be donated to The American Red Cross to aid disaster relief efforts.

Now available at Smashwords in multiple formats. Here is the link to buy: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/59532.

Coming soon to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and most other online retailers.

The Table of Contents:

Editor's Note

1.) They Are Not Gone Forever by Stephanie Osborn

2.) God in the Sky by An Owomoyela

3.) Make Your Bed Downriver by Jens Rushing

4.) Live Bait Works Best by Brian Rosenberger

5.) The Music of Bremen Farm by Mike Allen

6.) Out of Natural by Jason Huskey

7.) In The Days When Blocks Were For Tires, And The Dusk Chose A Sideways Approach by Jason Huskey

8.) In the Ghost Hours by Jason Huskey

9.) The Old Man's Sweet by Jason Huskey

10.) Planting by Mari Ness

11.) Talking Alligator (Blues) by Sara Amis

12.) Sisyphus Explains by Sara Amis

13.) Lady Glory and the Knave of Spades by Nicole Kornher-Stace

14.) Meditation on a Deer at Night by Berrien C. Henderson

15.) Navel Gazing by T.J. McIntyre

16.) Directions by T.J. McIntyre

17.) Why by T.J. McIntyre

18.) The Fisherman's Tale by T.J. McIntyre

19.) Swimming in Old Spring by Eric T. Marin

20.) Giant Cicadas and Other Odd Indignities by Dr. Philip Kaldon

21.) Billy Anne's Box by Charlotte Jones

22.) Commander Perry's Mystic Wonders Show by Jaime Lee Moyer

23.) The New Elementals by Marshall Payne

24.) Judy and Norman by Darby Harn

25.) The Moon and the Stars by Marian Carcache

26.) Pride and Joy by Gustavo Bondoni

27.) Square Hills by H. Courreges LeBlanc

28.) The Wind by Marcia Gerhardt

29.) I Keep a Vine Woven Basket by the Front Door by Rae Bryant

30.) Up Above the Dead Line by F. Brett Cox

31.) Annabelle Tree by Carrie Cuinn

32.) Who Mourns for Washington by Fabio Fernandes

33.) Suffer the Rains by Craig Wallwork

34.) The Yearning of the Lighthouse Fairies by Brenda Blakey

35.) The Groundskeeper's Tale by Wendy S. Delmater

36.) The White Months by Christopher Woods

37.) Your Enemies Will Devour You by Richard Thomas

38.) The Sweet Song of Canaries at Midnight by Jude-Marie Green

39.) Nature Story by Walter Giersbach

40.) Alchemy by Michael Ray

41.) The Legend of Old Man Joad by Marsheila Rockwell

42.) Hanging the Woman in Blue by Monette Chilson

43.) Till Death Do Us Part by Kenneth Mark Hoover

44.) Neopolitician by Shaylen Maxwell

45.) Utnapishtim on Friday After Dessert by Danny Adams

46.) The Evidence of Things Unseen by Chuck Russell

Kristine Kathryn Rusch on Royalty Statements & Accounting
Kristine Kathryn Rusch has an excellent blog post detailing weaknesses in the current Royalty Statements and Accounting methods regarding e-Books. If you're interested in getting published traditionally or through any means other than doing it yourself, this is worth a look. She talks about how publishing might be getting the numbers wrong because of the system they're using.