The Worlds of Terri Pray

The highs and lows of chasing a writing dream. From fantasy to erotica and beyond as seen through the eyes of Terri Pray.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

News

The news is in about my Dad and it’s good. Nothing nasty. I cannot tell you just how it feels to have that weight lifted from my shoulders. The words simply aren’t enough. I imagine that whatever I felt it was doubled for my parents.

Thank you, to whoever looks after my father, thank you.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Doogal

Now I grew up watching The Magic Roundabout, and now I’m sat watching the Doogal Movie that they did last year I think. Now although my kids loved this movie I have to wonder did they ever actually watch the old series?

It was full of double meanings, the original series I mean, aimed at adults, in the guise of something for kids. To the point that more than one British comedian made fun of it. I kept waiting for the things like ‘Bong’ said Zeebedee, as he didn’t say much else apart from ‘Time for Bed’ at the end of the show. And Dillon was a spaced out rabbit, he was a complete hippy who was obviously as a high as a kite when I grew up.

Bah.

Humbug.

Yes Humbug I say.

I still remember, vaguely, my Dad telling me about adults putting on the Television to warm up before the news, though it didn’t really need that long, and of course that coincided with the playing of Magic Roundabout which was always on just before the six pm news on BBC One.

Now for those too young to recall about 30 plus years ago you did actually have to warm up the television set by switching it on for a short time before you could watch anything on it. And I’m probably the last generation that will recall such a detail.

Ah well, I will grin and bear it, and try not to recall just how spaced out The Magic Roundabout actually was – without muttering sacrilege too loudly…

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Utter Helplessness

It’s one of those mornings where my sleep has been broken and I’m finally thinking about going back to bed. But before I do there are some things I needed to get down on paper and clear up in my mind.

There is a family friend, one who has been in my life in some form or other since before I was born. He and his wife are almost akin to sister and brother to my own parents, though there are no blood ties between them. They grew up together, shared their teenage years together, even went on honey moon together. (no not like that, mind out of the gutter please)

This couple never looked down on my parents, or family, when money was tight for us, when Dad wasn’t working due to the lay offs of the 80’s, or when they moved into better housing and started to enjoy a comfortable life. They took pains to never make my parents feel left behind, nor to treat them as poor relations. Basically the money simply didn’t matter, nor did the distance when they moved 200 miles or so away for his job.

It is fair to say that this man is my father’s dearest and perhaps only true friend, for my father is a man who makes surface friends easily but there are few he would step in front of a bullet for, and that is the level of bond I see between them.

Yet something has happened that my father can do nothing to stop. He cannot take the bullet for this one found it’s way into his friends flesh many years ago. He cannot ignore what is happening, nor can he do anything to ease what will be. For the first time in some twenty years or so (dating back to a time prior to the Falklands War) I see my Dad, and through him my Mum, struggling with a helplessness.

Their friend, my uncle, is dying of cancer.

There is no hope in this save that he passes with as little pain possible.

There is no way of easing the grief that tears into them both not only for the loss of their friend that they will soon face, but for the way that loss will also affect his wife.

There are no treatments, no pills, no magic cure lingering in the shadows that will make it all go away.

There is only time, knowing that it will be short, knowing that it will end and knowing an utter helplessness to prevent it.

So I sit here, at 7am in the morning, wondering what will happen when the news comes that their friend has passed away. Wondering what I can do to ease their hurt and knowing that whatever I come up with it will not be enough.

Then there is the fear. The knowledge that my parents are the same age, that if it’s not cancer it will be something else that takes them from me. Selfish I know. But I’m human and I cannot, for now, silence the small voice whispering the hateful what ifs in the quiet moments of my day.

So I send emails back, small snippets of news, jokes, something, anything, hoping it will distract them if only for a short while from what is going on. It’s all I can do…

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hunters Moon

Hunters Moon by Lori Handeland
St Martins Paperbacks
ISBN 0-312-94940-5

I’ve read one other book by this author before and it wasn’t too bad. It didn’t grab me the way some do, but it wasn’t throw the book against the wall status either. But this time I’m 160 pages into the book when the author makes a classic mistake, she forgets how she’s had her character behave.

Let me explain, she’s made a big deal earlier on the book about not caring if someone sees her naked. She has no sex drive, no interest in men, not going to happen their a liability. Fair enough, I already know that part is going to change that she’s going to end up tumbling a guy she met in the first few chapters, so that isn’t the problem.

No, my issue is the nakedness. Suddenly on page 141 just after she’s had sex with her interest we get a reaction due to a scar being spotted on her body, a pretty MAJOR one, that the other who saw her nude would have stared at and fought not to, but that’s still not the jarring problem. No, this line is. “I hadn’t let anyone see me naked since it happened.”

Yes she had, she didn’t care and had an I don’t care, stuff it if you don’t like it attitude according to an earlier chapter.

Now I’m an ebook author primarily and if I pulled something like that in a book the reviewers, readers and my editors would be all over me. Yet there it is a HUGE change in personal storyline and I, the reader, is left wondering WTF.

I won’t be buying any more by this author. I’m not even able to finish the book, I can’t get past this glaring error in how she’s handling her POV character. It’s too violent a shift in engrained storyline and attitude.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Under the Moon and Claudia Christian

As many will know Under the Moon is a small press that I co-own along with my husband and also Daniel Scott Palter. UTM is an imprint of Mr. Palter’s company, Final Sword Productions and through that is linked with Ad Astra Games, which currently has David Weber’s Honorverse license.

You’ll also know I wasn’t happy with the goings on at Valleycon, except for a few events/people at the convention. One of the guests was Claudia Christian, Babylon 5 star, talented actress, singer and as it turns out, a talented if new author. Thanks to luck and a conversation at the right time, Claudia Christian is now taking part in a couple of writing projects for Under the Moon. Including a story in issue two of Forbidden Love, which will be released in February. www.underthemoon.org has the details and will be updated with more as time goes on. The links to the store are also there, and please don’t be confused, yes the store link is Honor Harrington.

We are also doing two artwork shirts for Claudia, the first one I hope to have on sale before Christmas, and we are selling her ‘Once Upon a Time’ CD.

Now for a personal fun part for me. One of the shirts has sparked off an idea and as such Claudia and I will be working on a novel over the coming months. We don’t have a title yet and we are in the basic brain storming side of things right now, but it’s going to be a lot of fun indeed.

Onto the Honor Harrington side of things. We’ve just launched a Jayne’s Guide for the HH universe with a second one to follow. These are in pre-order status and Mr. David Weber has contributed to these books so you will find his name is on the front cover as one of the authors.

If you’re interested in learning more about the shop the link is www.honorharrington.net/shop

I’ll have more updates before the end of the week with further good news about just what’s going on in my life and that of the company.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Kitty and the Midnight Hour

Kitty and the Midnight Hour, by Carrie Vaughn. ISBN 0-446-61641-9

This is a book I was given as part of the World Fantasy 2005 book bag and it sat on my shelf for just over a year before I finally got around to reading it.

It’s told in first person, which is often hard for me to get into but once I managed to get into the voice of the author it became easier. One of the problems I normally have with first person is associating, slipping into, the authors voice, but in this case after about the first five pages it became fairly natural for me.

Kitty Norville is a midnight shift DJ for a Denver Radio station, but what most people don’t realize at first is that she’s also a closet werewolf. After endless nights of lame song requests she takes a call from someone about ‘bat boy’ and ends up starting the Midnight House, a late night call in/advice show for the ‘supernaturally disadvantaged’

Her growing popularity with the show brings problems of its own. The leader of her pack, Carl and his mate, Meg are less than happy about the situation. The head of the vampire family is non too pleased about his vampires turning to Kitty for help, and there’s a rogue werewolf on the run in Denver…

To top it all Kitty takes a call that changes her life even more, if that is physically possible.

“I know what you are and I’m coming to kill you. Now.”

It was this line on the inside front page of the book, used as a book blurb, that hooked me. All right there was one other detail, the would be assassin goes by the name of Cormac and I have a weakness for that name for some odd reason.

Will Cormac kill her? Well I’m not going to spoil the book for you, but I do strongly recommend this novel for those who were original Anita Blake fans before the kill junkie aspects were lost. The story combines a modern setting, with a believable character who progresses from being the scared cub/baby of the pack into a woman ready to take on the world if she can learn to keep her inner wolf under control. The pack structure in the story demonstrates how the constant jostling for power can occur within the pack, how a submissive beta can, by being in the right place at the wrong time, become a threat to an Alpha. And how Alpha doesn’t always mean good guy.

I strongly recommend the novel and I’ll be on the look out for book two which apparently came out summer 06, called Kitty goes to Washington.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

World Fantasy- Last day in Austin

It’s my last night in Austin and I have to say that I had a blast here at world fantasy. I met some wonderful people and I wandered around the autograph event collecting the ones I could in a small note book.

Now why did I do that? Why wasn’t I taking part in the signing myself?

Well quite frankly I promised myself that I’d take part in the signing from next year onwards. I’m right now caught between being an author and an editor for Under the Moon. I love both sides, I can’t imagine not being a writer and eventually I’ll be in a position where one of my books is accepted by a larger house.

Let’s be quite frank here. I’ve been writing professionally for only three years now. So I have 17 books/novella’s out on sale. They are small press and ebook so for the most part mean very little if anything to NY and I’ve no idea how an agent will look at my successes. And yes, they ARE successes to me.

I have three in print with Magic Carpet Books, which gives me a track record for contemporary erotic romances. I have a reasonably decent sales record considering that the books came out through a house that does zero marketing and I was very new to the game when they were originally released. I am constantly trying to improve my knowledge about the business of writing and selling books.

Will I make it to NY one of these days?

Yes, I believe so. It might not be this year. It might not be next, but I’m at the point of starting to pursue that dream a little more closely.

I have one story in mind, I think it’s the right one to try with and if nothing else I’ll have taken that terrible step out into the world.

That’s right. I’m nervous. Miss I can take on the world is actually nervous. Of course I am. My writing, my ability to query, my 98% acceptance rate… that’s all about to be challenged at an entirely new level. You bet I’m nervous but if I don’t try it now do you know what will happen, I’ll come up with another reason to delay trying. I’ll stay comfortable in my little world of small press and ebook houses.

So I’m going to double check my research on queries, the correct way to go about it. Finish my research into the agent I am going to query and then get the query checked by an editor I’ve worked with on occasions as well as Scott.

So am I ready?

I don’t know but damn I plan on finding out.