Friday, July 22, 2022

A Bit Of A Teaser...

 Last week, and then on Monday, I was blogging about my world and some of the things in it. The folklore creatures, the supernatural creatures, etc.

Today, I'd like to share with you the overall premise of my world. The prologue of sorts.

Beginning of The Dagrún: 

As at the beginning of all things, the Dagrún appeared out of “thin air”. Meaning they came into existence much like everything else that is part of the “big bang” theory. The energy the Earth generates is more than enough to create anything; tangible or intangible. This energy is purely neutral until through thought, want or need, something is created. Many paranormal and supernatural beings came to be in this manner.  They were regarded as magical, mysterious creatures. Some, as monsters; even others, as gods.  

The name, Dagrún, came from Old Norse, meaning “secret” or “secret knowledge”. What their name was before that, no one recalls. As time continued and other religions sprang forth, these creatures, even human ones with minor magical powers, became monsters. All were considered pure evil, sent to destroy the humans at the whim of a “fallen angel”. They all became connected to Lucifer. Lucifer, (who had not emerged until after the Dagrún) had come into existence like the rest of them: out of need, fear and energy. 

The more humanity evolved, the further the Dagrún retreated into the shadows. Their stories became nothing more than pages in forgotten books and fireside stories to coerce young children to behave.  

As technology improves, their days of hiding in plain sight are coming to an end. The majority of the Dagrún have chosen to sequester themselves in warded pockets around the world. Others have taken to blending in as much as possible, influencing from within. 

So, there we have it. I hope you enjoyed this little bit!

Monday, July 18, 2022

Defining My Paranormal World...

 Like many authors out there, I want to tell you about my book. I want to gain interest in it, build a platform of readers and all that fun stuff.

I also want to talk about some of the things I have learned in all these years. I know I am not the only author out there who looks at past books and cringes.



All right, fine. First, let's start with NOT putting the cart before the horse.

I had someone open up my eyes a lot when I first got involved in a group that was going to put out some really cool material. Problem was, it was all backwards.

Like anyone else might, I defended what we were doing, didn't think the way we were going was particularly bad or wrong, just different. But it stuck with me.

First of all, there were several authors writing off of one world. I was in charge of finding those authors, getting their submissions, seeing if they were a good fit for the project.

*I* thought a lot of it was DAMN good. But when you are part of a creative team, everyone has to agree, blah, blah, blah. We had to hammer out details.

But what is it that we did wrong? Well, this would be a series of stories by different authors, written off the same world. Think of it as a group of writers for a television series. What is the first thing you have to have?

A Series Bible. Go look it up if you want, but it's basically just a trove of information about characters. Supernatural creatures and what they do. Where the story should begin and where it should go.

This is no small task, especially if you are a seriously impatient writer. Writers just want to get going, they don't want to have to deal with the small stuff unless they're serious plotters.

In my series bible, I have everything I need or even might need down the road. If I don't use something right now, doesn't mean I won't use it later. But I have descriptions of everything.

The one thing I had to put in there and now have to describe to my readers is the difference between a Book Witch and a Blood Witch.

In my world, a Book Witch is one who gets her magical ability from studying magical books. Grimoires, Book of Shadows, ancient texts and scrolls. Books handed down in the family, or gifted to the person, but not books you buy in Barnes and Noble. 

Book Witches also have to use their own blood in some of their spells, because magic just doesn't flow through their veins like a Blood Witch. It's a sort of personal sacrifice. However, it doesn't mean that a Book Witch can't learn other ways to be powerful and not have to carry a cache of supplies with them wherever they go.

Blood Witches, I think is a pretty accurate title already. Witches who are born into strong magical families and their gifts are inherited through the bloodline. They don't need to prick a finger, or spit into a bubbling cauldron. They manifest their spells from the magic in their veins.

Now, of course, any Blood Witch will turn their nose up at a Book Witch, as they feel far superior and that causes societal rifts, much like those with money and those without. But it is a rift that needs to be in place so that Book Witches can strive to be better, stronger and maybe overpower a Blood Witch. Who knows?

Out of everything that I write in this world, I think that is the only thing that needs better definition than I can describe in my books. However, I've been told that, no, I get my point across well. If anything, this post can serve as the answer to any heated debate that may arise. 

I wish. How awesome would that be?

Let me know what you think, in the comments below. Or, find me on Twitter: @MelMcC7 and let's discuss!

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Looking At Folklore Creatures...

 All right, so I've been posting about my paranormal world building and giving out little details here and there. I have yet to get into some of these ancient folklore beings. Now, I can be a very paranoid writer, I like to hold my ideas close to the chest until I get my work put out there. So, I won't be telling anyone which ones I'm using.

I certainly won't stop you from integrating them into your work, by all means. We all have different views on these sorts of creatures and folklore. If I get something wrong, I fully expect to be corrected.

Without further ado, let's get into a few. If these inspire you to write about them, perfect! The more the merrier. Our stories and history, our cultures, should not be forgotten or erased.

So first of all, I'd like to start out with Shapeshifters and Animagus.

ANIMAGUS Animagus are shapeshifters who can shift into almost any animal form. The only known “side-effect” is through canine blood when an Animagus who can shift into any canine form sires a child, that child has a chance of becoming a Werewolf. Any other Animagus animal forms do not seem to have that ability. 

SHAPESHIFTERS - Shapeshifters are people who can shift into any other living organism shape, be it animal or human. They cannot take on the true shape of any other paranormal/supernatural creature or being. If they attempt to shift into a Werewolf form, there will always be something odd, like a missing tail, no fur, etc. Same with a Witch or Vampire, something about them will be off or missing.

Now, mind you, these are not the actual definitions. Please don't fill my comment section with nerd rage or anything. I wrote these as a way to differentiate the two and to give them faults and flaws so they're not perfect.

Most of my stories are about these beings hiding in plain sight, but with all of the technology today, it's getting more and more difficult. Humans, however, should be able to see unusual stuff, even more unusual than what they're looking at, which is why I add in the faults and flaws.

CADEJO - These dog-like creatures come from Central American folklore. There are black and white. The White Cadejo protects travelers on their nighttime journey, the Black Cadejo will just kill them.

So as with any type of being, you have your balance of good and bad. At least in this case of the Cadejo, you can actually tell what side they're on.

BTSAN - The Btsan are Tibetan sky spirits. They look like hunters riding red horses. Perhaps in this day and age, they might drive red cars or motorcycles. It would be interesting to see what people come up with.

HONGAEK – Korean for “Red Disaster”. A red cloud of fear and confusion that materializes at the scene of suicide, murder, catastrophic/fatal events that bring people bad luck. 

With everything going on in the world today, we don't need any more bad luck, but what can we do. How would you battle something like that?

All right, that's it for now. I hope maybe this sparks some ideas for you. Let me know what you like in the comments.

What creatures and beings are in your folklore? Did I get these right? Drop a comment or find me on Twitter @MelMcC7.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Paranormal/Supernatural World Building...

 You know, the world building aspect of fantasy was easy. There was so much I could just make up in my head and go with it. That's why I like Sci-Fi/Fantasy. As long as it is believable, the sky's the limit.

With paranormal creatures and horror, all the folklore that goes into it is very basic, mainstream knowledge, so there isn't much work to do, so you can focus on the story.

Or can you?

The thing about writing anything supernatural, whether it be witches, werewolves or otherwise, you're going to have a LOT of people out there either just waiting to point out mistakes OR looking for something new.

Now, I am going to say this right now, I am not, nor will I ever, judge anyone who writes romance or erotica. I personally do not like to read erotica, at all. Romance, well, I will give it a try IF IT HAS A GOOD STORY.

For instance, and shoot me if you must, Nora Roberts. That cookie cutter writer has it in the bag. Granted, most romance I read, I skip the "smoochy" parts and move on with the story. I have several of Nora Roberts books and at one point I liked Amanda Quick, but after a while, the plots seemed too similar.

Anyway, my point is, paranormal and supernatural creatures have become great fodder for the romance world. Even in Buffy the Vampire Slayer series, Angel was a vampire trying to regain his humanity and loved Buffy.

But this is my thing with that, and it honestly may be JUST me. Vampires are undead. They've been turned into these wrecking machines. They're ruthless, bestial killers. They HAVE to drink blood in order to survive. They can keep humans as food, pets, bodyguards or just kill them outright, but the love of the hunt drives them to torture, sometimes.

Werewolves, same thing. They aren't fluffy little puppies running around. They actually have to deal with what they feel is a curse. Kind of like women around "that time of the month". Ha!

Witches. Not all are bad, some are good. It's not the magic of the witch that makes them good or bad, it's the person wielding the magic. And there are LOTS of different types of witches.

Angels and demons... well, angels can fall, demons cannot regain their humanity. At least in my mind.

But there is so much more to paranormal worlds than just these guys. These guys go in and out of style, but horror and paranormal hangs on like a fat leech.

If you dig into other cultures and look at their folklore, and not just what is in Wikipedia, you can find some pretty cool stuff. If you have to, ask people you know in other countries what beasties they have in their cultural background and write about it! There are some VERY interesting stories to be told with these beings.

In your world, make it different, make it unique. If you like fluffy werewolves and angsty vampires, then write about them and I won't judge. I promise.

What are your thoughts on the supernatural/paranormal creatures? What can you think of to make them different or interesting? Please drop a comment and let's discuss! Or, find me on Twitter @MelMcC7 and we can discuss it there.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Getting Into My World...

 When I wrote fantasy (and still do from time to time) I created a whole world. I have a map that takes up an entire bedroom wall (depending on the bedroom size) and everything I created was my own imagination. But I had a background to work from that inspired me.

I played an online text based MMORPG called "COSRIN". Looking back, I played that game from the beginning, when I started working for America Online. (I KNOW!? RIGHT!?)

I won't tell you when that started. Just know I'm dawn of the internet old.

I had characters from that game, names changed of course, because I couldn't use 'Treebeard' without getting smacked down from copyrights. But the story was my own. I did keep the background story of most of the other characters I used, with permission. The rest was all me.

Now that I've shifted from fantasy to paranormal/horror, My stories are still my own, but of course I have a plethora of supernatural creatures to build from.

Fair warning: my vampires DO NOT sparkle. My werewolves aren't cute fluffy puppies. My witches can be ruthless. And there are definitely demons and angels.

But what else does this new world, these new stories contain? Real life moments. Real life issues. I wrote a scene where my MC was being bullied and I had a beta reader stop and put the story down because it triggered them. That definitely was NOT my intent or purpose. But, I was also pulling from real life experience.

I definitely have some real life experiences to write about. They say, write what you know, and I do. I also think it's important to include other things that go on in this world that people don't like to talk about.

The problem with not talking about these things? They get swept under the carpet, nothing gets done and people continue to walk around like everything is rainbows and unicorn poo.

My vampires are the ruthless, soulless killers they're supposed to be. They are part of our folklore, as are werewolves and fairies, along with witches and goblins. If you dig deep enough into any culture, they all have their own mythological creatures. Some benevolent and some... not so much.

Cancel culture is going to have fun with me. Bring it on.

I'll also be including a lot of history later on down the line, because a lot of the beings can be immortal and have seen some shit (pardon the language) and it will have affected them as much as anyone else, if not more and in different ways.

I'm sure people are saying that all this supernatural/paranormal/horror is over done, but I have to disagree. Horror and paranormal have been around and don't go in and out of style like other genres. I will say that the creatures definitely do wobble in and out quite a bit, or are overdone. It just takes a different perspective, like... sparkling.

So what do you include in your writing worlds? Do you show up with some real life issues or do you try to make them light? Do you avoid certain subjects like the plague or embrace them? Let me know in the comments! I'd love to hear what you have to say.

You can also find me on Twitter @MelMcC7 and we can discuss it there, as well,.

Friday, July 8, 2022


 Continuity...what a wonderful little word, but sooooo difficult to do. 

I have a light at the end of my tunnel and it isn't a train, thank goodness. So maybe I will be able to practice continuity more.

My problem is, way too many ideas and not enough time or even energy sometimes, to keep going. I get overwhelmed. I do it to myself, naturally. I have to stop and think about what is more important? Getting all of these little ankle-biting projects done, or laundry? Or dishes, or whatever is hanging over my head like the Sword of Damocles.

But then I have to stop and remind myself, you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time.

So, my almost finished, rebranded story, Blood of My Sisters, is looking good. I was dedicated to it and plugging along when, out of nowhere like a pop fly ball, Walk the Night shot into my brain and demanded attention.

All because of a Tweet I saw from an agent's MSWL (Manuscript Wishlist). Not that I'm looking for an agent yet, but still.

At first, it was just going to be a short series of stories, until I finally figured out where I was going with the story. Then it became a full-blown WIP.

But, I have enough of it out of my head to continue on with BoMS. It also helps that I now belong to a real life writing group and man! The discussions are amazing, the help and support is just wonderful. 

I was so scared at first, thinking, what the hell do I have to offer to these people? They're going to think I'm some kind of flaky weirdo. Well, I can be. I am. But that's beside the point.

One of our meetings, two of the ladies who started the group were discussing their WIPs and how they were so afraid of not getting the setting right. One writes westerns, the other writes historical books. They were so anxious about it and it really put them in a state of panic and imposter syndrome. They each read a part of their stories where they felt it needed help.

By the end of it all, I looked at both of them, jaw slightly dropped. I told them, their writing styles and their author voices put me right in the scene without knowing anything else about these stories, never having heard any of their previous works before.

They were spot on. The western story was very emotional and I could picture every detail. The characters weren't overly descripted, which allowed me to put my own face to the character. Same with the historical story. I could easily tell that those period details were damn near perfect.

I said as much. I told them, even if they didn't get a certain detail right, yes, they would hear about it, but I don't think they'll get much flack for what they wrote. It was a wonderful, supportive writing moment. 

One of them is to blame for telling me to work on Walk the Night! Ha! It was great fun. So, that in itself is helping me get back to my writing and blogging habit. 

How do you get back into your writing after a long pause? I'd love to hear what you have to say!

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

July IWSG Post...

 Wow, July already? That's just incredible. Time seems to move faster the older you get. It'd be nice if it would slow down just an eensy, teensy little bit. Right?

Oh, well.

Let's get to this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group question!

If you could live in any book world, which one would you choose?

This is a difficult question for me. There are many, many book worlds I would love to live in, but I think I wouldn't survive most of them! 

If I had to choose, it'd be a tough call between the Harry Potter world or Middle Earth.

In Harry's world, I would hopefully have magic, and not be a Muggle. Because, let's face it, that would suck. Living in a magical world and you're still mundane. That would be more like a torture. But, we're assuming that whatever world we choose, we'd get the gifts of the characters. And magic would be so fun! My house would be spotless as I learn from Mrs. Weasley, all the magical ways of cleaning. I'd have a penseive for those most important, special memories. I hope my Patronus would be a wolf, or even a cat. Ooh! A llama!

If I chose Tolkien's world, it would probably be a pretty dangerous place for a while. But I would love to be either an Elf or Hobbit. Hobbits seem to have a pretty quiet life, full of laughter and friendship. The Elves are respected and quite snobbish at times, but they're elegant and graceful. I'd be the only clumsy Elf alive! So, I think I would choose a nice quiet life of a Hobbit.

It would be a very difficult decision. I have so many other book worlds I would love to live in, such as The Little House on the Prairie book world. Or even the world of David Eddings, the Mallorean world. There's also the world of The Dragon Prince, by Melanie Rawn. It's a magical world with dragons and so many places to go.

Okay, final decision, I choose Middle Earth. I need some furry feet.

Thanks for dropping by and reading my post! Don't forget to hop on over to everyone else's post and at least leave a quick comment! Happy Hopping!

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

I'm Done With Adulting...

 I know I don't post as often as I should on my blog. It has been difficult to get back into it, mainly due to my personal life.

These days, I don't get into my writing much, but I now belong to a local writing group and it has been helping me a lot. I actually enjoy editing my stuff. I know it's okay to keep working on other stories when the urge arises. I do have a goal of getting my work back out there into the world, however, I continuously have to push back that goal due to life.

I miss writing so much! I miss blogging and being interactive here on the internet. I have the support and digital friendships with some amazing people!

Lately, though, all I can think about is getting through each day, politics, and the ultimate goal of any adult out there: What to make for dinner!

Seriously, though. I know I post more about not posting and everything than I do about writing stuff.

So let's change that a bit.

I'm currently working on rebranding myself, I'm sure I have mentioned that quite a bit. If I haven't: Hey! I'm rebranding myself!

I've been working on several different stories. First and foremost, is to edit and tidy up Blood of My Sisters. That was written for a specific group, but as I hold the rights to my work, I'm allowed to change and keep it, make it my own. So I did just that. I created my own paranormal/supernatural world.

So, after Blood of My Sisters, I have Walk the Night; a book about a teenage, runaway witch trying to survive on the streets selling her hexes and potions to the local sex workers who keep an eye on her.

Then I have Nowhere, Arizona. This is about a woman who is fleeing from her abusive husband, whom she doesn't know is a werewolf. She arrives in a small, magical sanctuary town and begins her life as the local Vet, not knowing her husband is tracking her down.

Next, we have my demonic circus story, creepy clowns and all. That is so very close to being done! I'm excited to get it out there.

Those titles listed above are all either single stories or a series. I have several short stories waiting in the wings as well, all sort of connected to this world I have created.

So what are you currently working on? Writing? Real life? Feel free to vent below in the comments!