Welcome to Our World-Building blog

Welcome! We weave dreams, some dark, some not, but all fantastic.

We are authors of Fantasy, Romance, and much more. Enter our infinite worlds....

On this blog, our visitors will find advice and opinion from published authors on much more than just world-building. We'll tell you in Craft and Opinion posts what we do, how we do it, and what we think works for us.

Authors with A-names post on the 1st of each month, B-names post on the 2nd, C-names on the 3rd etc.
The 29th, 30th, and 31st are free-for-all days.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy All Hallow's Eve!!!


Monday, October 20, 2008


What is it that Scotty from Star Trek always says? "You cannot change the laws of physics."

I'd have to agree with the dear Mr. Scott. Many people think that writing fantasy means you can do anything you want. Maybe if you set it outside the known universe (not outside the galaxy but outside the universe), you can.

We write fantasy or science fiction or horror...not delusions...not misinformation. Readers in the know expect a certain amount of fact and reality, even in a fantasy world.

What are some of the worst offenders I've seen?

Rust! What rusts? Rust is, by definition, ferrous oxide. IOW, it's the state that occurs when unbound iron is exposed to oxygen. UNBOUND iron. That's why stainless steel and surgical steel don't typically rust. If it's made right, it's not unbound. It's been forced by heat and blast into a bound state. Any other type of unbonded steel is able to rust, if the bonding is removed, just like iron does.

Silver doesn't rust. Silver does tarnish, but it's a largely non-reactive element. That's why it's used in electronic components on seagoing vessels, where corrosion runs rampant.

Gravity! Gravity can be calculated by the distance between two bodies with mass and the relative mass of each body...as well as other gravitational pulls acting on those two objects. I once read a book (a wall-banger, I admit) where the author had people in Earth's stone age jumping 30 feet in the air. Now, the Earth has gained some mass from falling space junk...just as we've lost mass from objects we've shot into space. We have not gained enough mass in a few dozen millennia to allow this sort of thing.

Authors don't just need to be well-versed in grammar and self-editing. If you're writing about something that has a scientific base to it, you should research it appropriately first. When I wrote TYGERS, I researched brain functionality, seizures, and tigers for the book.

So, what's your opinion? Does this sort of thing drag you out of a story? What are the worst offenders of it you've seen?


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Chastity. Is it only for historicals?

Never in my tamest dreams did I ever imagine that I'd see one of my covers on the same page as a quote by Barbara Cartland.

It happened.

Thank you, Just Jinny. You've got me thinking.

“A historical romance is the only kind of book where chastity really counts.” ~ Barbara Cartland quotes

Does chastity count?

In my debut futuristic romance, Forced Mate, chastity counted. Technically. Royal males tended tended to cheat, but an heir to the Tigron Imperial throne was legally required to take his Princess Consort's virginity at their Mating ceremony.

However, Forced Mate was an affectionate spoof of a historical romance, so Djinni-vera's story isn't particularly interesting as an example.

My next heroine was a widow, and reasonably sexually continent (my editor abhors that expression) more for lack of opportunity than anything else. When opportunity knocked in the buff and ripped form of Commander Jason, whom she took to be a lesser being, totally unsuitable, sexually safe, and deliciously beneath her, she took him to bed, made a video the occasion, and got herself into trouble. A Royal shotgun wedding was the result.

Again, Insufficient Mating Material could have been an historical romance if it hadn't been in outer space.

The heroine of Knight's Fork is an Imperial Princess. She is also a Queen because she is married to a King. Her King is an alien and a lesser being, so he cannot impregnate her. She requires a sperm donor. No chastity there!

However, her choice for a potential stud has sworn a vow of chastity. Sexual chastity. (During poverty awareness week, I learned that chastity doesn't necessarily refer to sexual abstinence. Chastity can refer to absolute respect for oneself and others.)

Carnal chastity matters very much to 'Rhett, hero of Knight's Fork.

What about other authors' fantasies, futuristics, science fiction romances, spec roms, space operas and even paranormals?

Where do we stand? Does chastity count for some of our heroes and heroines? In other words, does Barbara Cartland's quote still apply?

I think editors of pulp fiction assume that in the future, human scientists will have solved all the problems the fear of which keep us chaste: social diseases, unplanned pregnancies, disapproving parents/pastors/presidents... Is there anything else?

Therefore, and rather conveniently (given that sex sells) our heroines of the future can have as much--if not more--zipless fun as the bad boys of history.

I wonder, though. If there's no risk, no danger, no love, no reason--as we understand it--for chastity to matter, will it?

Interjection: they're just playing Viva Viagra on the TV. Why is this issue (is it an issue?) so normal and socially acceptable? What effect will Viagra in our drinking water (you know it is getting there after it's been passed by our water inspectors) have on future generations? Why is there such a burning need for these products (or is there?)

Possibly, it is more likely that in the future there will be new reasons for chastity. I'm thinking of Dune. What a hassle to get in and out of those suits! What a waste of water! What happens if in the future, we are rationed to one bath a month (whether we want it or not)? Perhaps we'd spray ourselves with futuristic Febreeze, and rub ourselves with minty fresh hand-sanitizer.

On that happy thought, I will leave you.

Rowena Cherry

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Think you've nothing to give?

How about the dead leaves raked up from outside your home?

I've just signed off the radio after interviewing Brother Jerry Smith about the work of the Capuchin brothers in Detroit.

I thought I'd done my bit, but Brother Jerry's words changed my mind.

He runs so much more than a soup kitchen! There is an acre and a half on Meldrum (Detroit) where the brothers and volunteers and soup kitchen patrons who want to give back not only grow organic vegetables for the soup kitchen, but they receive vegetable waste (and dead leaves and grass clippings) to be composted for organic fertilizer. (By appointment, please. Telephone 313 579 2100 ext 204)

They buy their seeds.

They also have beehives, and at this time of year, they are bottling honey.

The brothers are very close to starting their own bakery. At the moment, they teach men who have been incarcerated, or who are recovering from addictions to bake breads for the soup kitchen and cookies and cakes for sale.

The Capuchin order was started by St. Francis of Assisi. When he sent his brothers into the world to make a difference, St Francis charged them to change lives by the way they lived. "If necessary, use words," said the saint.

Best wishes,
Rowena Cherry


The sad story of Dawn and Diane Thompson

A Tale of Two Sister

The sad story of Dawn and Diane Thompson of New York, USA.

I won't address the many hard knocks that hit the Thompson sisters through the years. Life tends to visit death, loss and unfortunate circumstances upon us all. It's their later life-and death of Dawn-that touches my heart and mind on this day meant to bring world consciousness to the ugliness of poverty.

Eleven years ago, Dawn was hit in a car accident that left her unable to walk. She could barely take more than two or three steps, dragging one leg. She had rods in her arms, and due to improper care in hospital, she lost the use of the last three fingers on her left and right hand. They were curled back and could no longer respond for her. From that point on a wheelchair was her only means of moving about. There was a settlement for the accident, so she was able to get along.

The government provided her $565 per month in disability (I have no idea why so LOW), meaning she would have had no means of existing without the settlement. They originally provided her with an aid in the morning to help bathe and get her dressed. Another came in the afternoon to do errands such as pick up medicine, fetch groceries and do laundry. A third came in just before bedtime to help her undress and get into bed. Three years ago, they decided Dawn was getting too much aid, and cut her aids for afternoon and evening. Afternoons were difficult, but the night aid really was missed most of all. It was very hard for Dawn to get out of the wheelchair after sitting in it for 12 hours straight. Sometimes it took her an hour of battling just to get into bed. This was a woman in her late sixties and riddled with pain and arthritis. Each night was dangerous on her heart.

Dawn's plight became more acute at the end of 2005. She had an accident that nearly killed her-the wheelchair malfunctioned and tossed her into the dishwasher, ripping open her thigh. She was lucky she didn't bleed to death. Medical expenses mounted. Yes, she had Medicare. But co-payments and so many medicines she needed were not covered by the government support saw her money from the accident settlement eaten up by these expenses. She was forced in the spring of 2007 to sell her pre-paid funeral policy just to pay her rent. She had to choose between food and a roof over her head. Things grew so grim, that I began sending her food and cat food. Author Rowena Cherry was another who sent money to help Dawn, as well as my dear friend Monika Wolmarans. Monika is retired and on very limited means herself, so her giving to help Dawn really touched me. I thank both ladies for their caring about Dawn's plight.

Dawn fell had to be hospitalized, and things spiraled out of control. People couldn't understand how a woman with over a dozen books out for two publishers didn't have plenty of money. Well, sad fact, new authors don't make big bucks, and often you have to wait 2-3 years before you are seeing money from your books. The money those books would earn would came way too late to help Dawn.

During her final days, her younger sister, Diane, stayed with her as much as possible. She was a driver-education instructor and basically the only person there for Dawn in her final days. She requested family emergency leave, and was refused. Then she requested vacation time - time she would spend easing her sister in her final moments. The hard-hearted boss refused to give her vacation time. Instead, she was forced to choose between obeying her boss and being there with Dawn in her final moments. I am eternally grateful she chose to be there for Dawn. I do not want to imagine how horrible it would have been for my friend had she faced dying alone.

Only, the problems started for Diane. Diane-called Candy by her friends-was fired by her hard-hearted boss. She is sixty-one, has trouble walking without a cane because of arthritis in her knees. She was forced on unemployment, which barely paid her rent. What money she had in reserves went for food, electric and phone. Very quickly, she was facing little food in the house, losing electric and phone service. Unemployment was extended three months. We are hoping they will extend it another time, but so far that hasn't happened. Things are getting grim for her, and once again, I am sending food shipments. Once again Monika, who has so little, is sending money to help.

Candy is sixty-one. Recently, she went in for a job interview and the lady took one look at her slow gait and told her not to bother applying. Candy doesn't own a car, doesn't live near buses (couldn't walk to them if they were near), and is in an area too far from anything that might provide a job. Even if she could get to a job, it would have to be one where she could sit down. She just cannot stand all day. Within a few weeks she is going to be facing some ugly decisions if she doesn't get some help from somewhere. There is a period of about seven months before she can get Social Security. She might qualify for disability, too, but she would spend months, even years getting that. She needs help NOW.

What are the answers? I don't have them. I do know the American government allows their seniors to live on next to nothing. Rent subsidy for New York is only about $350. WHERE can you live in New York for that? The answer from the social worker - "You can't. You will have to go into a group home, but you don't want that as it's nothing but drug addicts." Candy was denied medical aid. This woman NEEDS medical care and cannot get it. She checked into Meals on Wheels and was told sure they could add her, but the meals came with a fee. A fee? She cannot afford anything. She is facing winter afraid of losing heat, electric and being thrown into the streets.

There are untold of Dawns and Dianes out there. Too many. The government just bailed out the economy, gave out rebates earlier this year to everyone. But nothing to help those who really are in need. Both Diane and Candy worked all their lives, paid their taxes and Social Security. Yet, when they needed help it was and isn't' there. How can this United States sentence their elderly to this sort of humiliating and life threatening circumstances?

Someone needs to care. We all need to care. Time ran out for Dawn. Time is running out for Candy. How many others are facing the same sort of scary, grim circumstances as the holidays approach? When you sit down to your turkey dinner come Thanksgiving, take a moment to consider those who won't have the comfort of family, a safe place to live, and food on the table.

Don't say how sad. DO SOMETHING. Demand of your representative to ensure better care for our elderly; look around you, see how you can help. Millions are being collected for the poor in other countries, which is perfectly fine, but who is looking after the poor and sick and helpless in the USA? "Family and friends" should come first before we pour money into other countries. Is a sad state of affairs. We are always ready and willing to donate money to a good cause. Help is needed right here at home. It should be made easier for people to qualify for funds, red tape should be cut. It is very humiliating to apply for welfare or for help, it takes far too long to receive funds and the deserving cases are getting nothing, or have to fight over and over and have to wait until it is too late.

And on a more personal note we all need to do more to help family and friends - shame on those who turns their back on their family and friends when they need help. Bad Karma will come visiting you one day!



Friday, October 10, 2008

The War Against Future You

The War Against Future You
Grayson Reyes-Cole

A writer’s treatment of time travel is frequently polarized between genius and well, not-so genius. Sometimes it’s mired in bad science regardless of how well researched the piece is. Sometimes its brilliance is proven when vision of the future comes to pass 20 to 2000 years later (think Mayans). From any treatment, though, an observer can extract the age old question: Can you either go forward or go backward in time and meet yourself.

I am an existentialist and an artist. As a result, I study the subject of time travel with a complete lack of science but a wealth of imagination—which sometimes leads me to complaints about phrases like “worm hole”. I mean really, think about it “worm hole”?

Dispensing with theories regarding whether the universe will implode, the earth will implode, or—on a much smaller scale—you and your doppelganger will implode when you meet, I’d like to submit that I think it’s completely possible to meet yourself in the future or past without impending doom. My reasoning is this. There is only one You. Future You is a different person, so is Past You. Different experiences, different thoughts, genetically similar, but either older or younger. Different. Not the same. Not a paradox. I told you I don’t approach these things from a scientists viewpoint.

Anyhow, while I think it’s completely possible, I do not think it’s quite fair. Future You will (if he or she is not the kind of drinker I am) remember exactly the thoughts and feelings running through Present You’s mind at the time of meeting. Future You will be able to manipulate the conversation, manipulate your actions based on that knowledge. Because Future You is just as self-centered as Present You and Future will want to control his/her past which is shared with Present You’s future.

It is with great fervor that I request this: should Present You ever meet Future You, the only option you have is to wage war upon him or her. If you don’t, you will be stuck in a loop of asking questions, attempting to right your life, to change your path, to win your bet on the Superbowl, but Future You will absolutely not help. Future You has fight or flight in mind, survival, and will only tell you the results of the actions, the zeros or the ones, off or on, that put you on the path to Future You. No matter what you do to combat the arrogance of Future You, the anti-temporal session has already happened, so Future You will probably see it coming and will—in the end—only do things that will preserve his/her existence.

It is probably only fair that I disclose to you that warring with Future You is nearly futile. For one, Future You knows all your moves. Going for the jab? Future You dances backwards. Going for a karate chop? Future is raising a steady forearm to meet the firm ridge of your hand. Future You will not get exasperated or tired of this exchange because Future You knows at just what point you will get exasperated and tired of this exchange.

You can try to wrest your predetermined future away from Future You’s grubby little paws by doing something different than Future You did, perhaps by doing the opposite of whatever Future You says. However, Future You would probably remember that and tell you to do the opposite of what he/she really wants. Future You’s version of a kid’s Opposite Day.

You could off yourself, but hey, nobody benefits from that.

No, the only way to ensure that you win this battle is to…




Come to think of it, you may want to ask Future You why he/she chose to come to you after you’ve read this article. Think about it: if I give you the secret to besting Future You, then... why then it behooves Future You to appear before you read this article and to ensure that you never read it at all.

But if Future You succeeds in preventing you from reading this article, well then you would have won wouldn’t you? Your path would have changed, the butterflies would have effected. And, dear friend, Future You will not be you. Future You’s past and Present You’s future will no longer align. You will be free, and Future You will become… well… Bizarro You. And, somewhere, out there, a new Future You would be spawned, probably appearing out of nothing on a couch somewhere watching the Future’s version of Survivor.

That is the answer, my friends. The answer to surviving an interchange with Future You is to listen to Future You when Future You meets Past You.

But, this point is moot, isn’t it. You are reading the article. Present You. And it saddens me somewhat. It means that Past You never met Future You and it means that Present You never will. Because—of course—Future You will not come to you now. Not when you read the words below and understand.


Why that’s all you can do!

Grayson Reyes-Cole
Bright Star

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

IWOFA all day chat at THE HAUNT

IWOFA all day chat at the Haunt this Friday!!!!!Infinite World of Fantasy Authors



An organization of over 200 authors who write paranormal,
fantasy and speculative fiction.

Join US!


Deborah MacgillivrayHost of THE HAUNT @ PNRhttp://deborahmacgillivray.co.ukhttp://myspace.com/deborahmacgillivray


Monday, October 6, 2008

Truth in advertising (my god-Princes of Tigron series)

I'm trying out what I call "Contrarian Marketing". I've been on a blog tour (I'll report back on the success of that, when I have my data together) and I noticed that Savannah had a list, and she said she'd got the idea from someone else. Now, Deborah and Jacquie have made their own cool lists, and so has Emily Bryan.

Those of us who are trying what might be a new trend of truth in advertising are tweaking the idea of a list in different ways. I find it the perfect compliment to my mission statement.

My goal as an author is to give good value. I expect to provide my readers with six to eight hours of amusement, a couple of really good laughs, a romantic frisson or two from the sensual scenes, a thoroughly satisfying Happy Ever After, and something to think--or talk-- about when the book is finished. And possibly some useful information


11. Disrespectful words such as tallywacker and joystick are used with reference to male body parts

10. It's long. (Not the tallywacker... well, it is, but I meant the book). Knight's Fork has 340 pages, and most new Chapters do not begin on a fresh page.

9. It has a Prologue and an Epilogue. That's two beginnings, and two endings!

8. It's going to take about eight hours to read.

7. The hero is a 28 year old virgin and proud of it. (He's also ruthless with a weapon of a different sort).

6. The heroine is locked in a chastity belt, and she doesn't have a key.

5. The family tree is so complicated they needed to spread it over two pages.

4. If you read in bed, your significant other might be disturbed by your giggles and snorts.

3. The F- word is used, but only by villains, and only in conversation.

2. If you read it in public, someone may ask why the naked man on the cover is lying in a puddle

1. If you don't read every paragraph, you may ask yourself why the naked man is lying in a puddle

If the above list has not deterred you, please look for Knight's Fork at this convenient location

Knight's Fork was awarded a PNR Reviewer's "Top Pick"
also a LASR readers' choice for Best Book of the Week

It's predecessor, Insufficient Mating Material recently won the 2008 Hollywood Book Festival's Romance category.


Rowena Cherry