Fairy Tale Fortnight

From April fifteenth to the thirtieth, The Book Rat is holding an event called “Fairy Tale Fortnight”, and Titan Magic gets to be part of it! It’s going to be a fantastic couple of weeks filled with reviews, guest posts, excerpts, and giveaways. So if you have an addiction to fairy tales and folklore like I do, be sure to check it out! I expect to find an abundance of new books to add to my must-read list.

Places to Go, People to Meet, Blogs to Read

This last month has been such fun! I thought I’d share what I’ve been up to.

On September 30th, Titan Magic received a five star review from The Little Blue Pig book blog! And I was invited to give an author interview, which is always a pleasure.

Over at A New Kind of Ordinary I got to write about why I love folklore and why I fill my stories with it whenever I can. There’s a giveaway contest going on, too. You still have time to enter to win!

In Libris Veritas has just posted a wonderful review and an author interview, in which I got to answer some truly thought-provoking questions.

And last but not in the least bit least, I was invited to participate in an event at What’s Your Story. It will be an interview/giveaway, and it’s scheduled for March 1st.

What’s in a Name? Besides Letters I Mean.

I find it fascinating how some characters influence their names, and even more so, how a name will often influence the character. I thought it might be fun to examine how the nine characters in Titan Magic got their names, and what those names did for them. I’ll divide them by family and dive right in, starting with the heads of the households, as a matter of due respect.

The Lavoie Family

Charlotte‘s first name happened because a voice actor for an animated film (a billion points if you can guess which one) pronounced the name in a way that had me roaring every time. The film was supposed to be romantic and tragic, but I just couldn’t help laughing every time Charlotte’s love interest said her name… and he said it often. So Charlotte Lavoie was born. She never fails to laugh in the face of tragedy, and I still love her name.

I decided on Madeleine‘s name while eating madeleines. They are so good. So, so good. This has little to do with the character herself, but it is a funny way to come by a name.

Oh, Marcus… “The brother” was not terribly complex when he began. He was only there to prevent Maddy from being an only child. I knew he was a responsible kid with a real mean streak, but I had no idea what to name him. I happened to bike right past a building called Marcus Pavilion just as I was mulling it over. He’s been Marcus ever since, and as it turns out, he plays a MUCH more vital role than I originally intended. As soon as he had a name, he just kind of… took over. Then he totally yelled at me for not having realized he was a main character right away (true story).

The Mahler Family

Father Androcles was named for Androcles of “Androcles and the Lion” fame. And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, you should find out! Seriously! You’ve heard the fable before; you just don’t remember. His I’ll-scratch-your-back-if-you-scratch-mine attitude was part of where he got his name.

Duke Eli Mahler took his name from a Decemberists song called “Eli the Barrow Boy”. I just love that name. As soon as I heard it, I knew it was perfect for the ignoble duke. I even included a scene in which Eli utilizes a wheelbarrow because I just didn’t see him as the type of guy who would forget his own roots.

James got his name from one of the greatest antagonists in all of children’s literature: Captain James (Jas) Hook. Anyone who knows me knows my enormous esteem for J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. It is one of the loveliest, most imaginative pieces ever written. I gave Jas Captain Hook’s name in an attempt to honor them both. And because I like the sound of it. That, too.

The Others

William (Squeezable) Taylor took his name from a friend who jokingly asked me to name a character after him, and then asked me to make that character a pimp. I complied, sort of. Then Will took over and shocked me in much the same way Marcus had. I just love it when they do that.

The Queen of Silence’s given name, Désirée, was inspired by the name of Titan Magic‘s first reader, who gave me the encouragement I needed to finish the story when it was being the trouble-maker it often was.

And finally, Kaspar… I just love the name, and The Other Lamm says I’m not allowed to use it for my future children (you can commence yelling at him, now). As a character, Kaspar has a special place in my heart, and I hope you’re just a little curious about him because you’ll be seeing much more of him in book two!

It’s Sylvia Cassedy All Over the Place

This week, I was able to participate in a special event over at Esther’s Ever After. Digitally speaking, I’m the first booth on your right. I got to write a nostalgic post about my favorite childhood book, and Brenna was kind enough to host a giveaway for one paperback copy of Titan Magic. It’s free! And international! I’m not entirely sure how long the contest will last, so if you’re interested, head on over, read about my childhood eccentricities, laugh at my inability to spell the author’s name, and enter to win!

Ester's Ever After

Fear of Falling

There is no such thing as a fear of heights. Anyone suffering from it can tell you it doesn’t exist. The fear is real, absolutely, but it isn’t a fear of high places; it’s a fear of falling from them.

Last summer I stood at the highest point of a most likely unimpressive cliff and stared down at the little pool of water I was meant to aim for. No way was I going to hit that bullseye the way everyone else seemed to. Not me. I would be the one person who tripped on a rock while leaping and fell headlong into the cliff face. I fully expected to get beaten to a bloody pulp by rocks and shrubs on the way down. I stood there far too long convincing myself of the inevitability of it.

I felt the same way over the last several weeks or so, standing at the edge of another cliff: publishing. The fear of falling is just so intense. I often feel like a complete coward. (Jas had to get it from somewhere, right?)

I didn’t jump off that literal cliff last summer. I backed away and gave up. I slid off the waterfall instead, which was awesome, by the way. But the new cliff—the one that has terrified me for years—I just hurled myself over the edge.

I finally listed Titan Magic for sale at Amazon, and I’m working on getting it up at Barns & Noble, too. You can read the first chapter here, and decide whether you want to find out what happens next.

I hope you do.

Also, The Other Lamm wants me to assure you that the waterfall pictured above is only a tiny fraction of the one I actually slid from. I was shaking too much to get a picture of the big one. Just so you know.