Picture a nervous 17-year-old cub reporter standing in front of a scarred desk, behind which sat a great, gruff bear of a man with an enormous black beard and a huge gut. He was the editor of a Northern Ontario town’s weekly newspaper, The Elliot Lake Standard. He stabbed his finger at the copy I had left on his desk.
“What’s this word?” he demanded. I peered where he pointed, reading upside down and glad for at least that accomplishment.
“Uh, ‘misles,'” I answered.
“Really?” he said sarcastically. “‘Misles’–and that means what, pray tell?”
I was stumped for a few minutes and stood there wracking my brains for a simple way to explain the word. “You know, ‘misles.’ It’s the present tense of ‘misled.'” (I pronounced it MY-ZILD.) “It means fooled, led astray.”
The editor sat there for a moment, his face screwed up in thought. “Ah!” he roared suddenly and I jumped. “You wouldn’t happen to mean ‘misled,’ now would you?” (He pronounced it MISS-LED.) “Which happens to be the past tense of ‘mislead,’ not…” and here he practically spat the word, “…’misles.'” He thrust the copy at me. “Fix it and, while you’re at it, go over the rest of it to make sure we don’t have any more unexpected little nuggets like that one.”
Flushing, hot and uncomfortable, I ran to my desk to do as he said. I learned a lot from that man and not all of it in such a painful way.
Since then, my adventures have taken me across continents, into the sky, beneath the earth, and into the hearts of people. In 1993, I won the best short story award in the Saskatoon Writers’ Club’s 5th annual Wordsmith contest. The story, “‘Til Death Do We Part,” was a somber, modern-day story regarding the harshness, as well as the joys, of a couple’s life’s work on a prairie grain farm.
My children’s stories have been sold to magazines like Hopscotch for Girls and Parents Without Partners, and my police stories have been printed in The Saskatoon Sun and Law & Order magazine. Details of these and more can be found in my print media portfolio here.
In 1997, my son introduced me to a hithertofore unknown (to me) treasure, the internet, and I have been writing online ever since. My online writing portfolio can be found here.
From early childhood, I have always loved fantasy stories. My first encounter at the age of six with The Wizard of Oz and other Oz stories by L. Frank Baum drew me into a land of imagination and delight. My own imagination was inspired and I vowed that, one day, I would write stories that sent the mind and spirit soaring into the limitless universe.
My first published fantasy novel, Witchcanery, is one such story and has been happily acclaimed by readers across the world as a delightful novel, fast-paced and as entertaining as any they have read. When it came out in its second edition, published by iUniverse, I won two of iUniverse’s awards: Editor’s Choice and Rising Star.
I also write and publish some short fantasy fiction on the forum at my website, FantasyFic. The first of this bounty is an interesting tale of halflings, elves, war, a strange baby and the secrets of moon magic, entitled, appropriately enough, “The Secret of Moon Magic.”
Several other stories followed…”The Birth of a Unicorn” and “Battle Cleric,” to name two. Both were so popular with readers that the first story formed the basis for the anthology recently published by Fantasyfic, entitled Birth of a Unicorn and Other Stories.
The other short story is forming the basis for my next novel, Battle Cleric, the Novel. I’m still working on the first draft of this and have already written over 100,000 words on it. However, it will be a trilogy so it will be a question of writing all three books and then honing them down to complement each other and still have each book a standalone story on its own.
It was while I was putting the finishing editing touches on Birth of a Unicorn and Other Stories that I found out I had been selected by The Authors Show to be included in their book 50 Great Authors You Should Be Reading. It was a great honor and I was very excited. I’ll be talking about all of this in my blog in a little more fun detail. But the focus of this blog is based on the writing of Battle Cleric, the Novel, plus any hints, tips, exercises that work for me, etc., that I can come up with. And I hope you will join in with your comments and dreams and plans and suggestions. I am going to stop now to hopefully save you from eyestrain. Come back often.