Victoria A. Jeffrey's authorly doings. . .

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Work In Progress

I'm on Pinterest and one really fun thing I've done is create a board for my work-in-progress. The work that is currently in progress is The Mountain King and I've been pinning photos on the board that are related to the story I'm writing.

Some of the things that have influenced the story are the folk tales of The Wild Hunt, specifically the fairy king called Oberon in modern times, known under other names such as Freyr the Elf king, Alberich or Ing, an older name for Freyr, according to Wikipedia. Much of this comes from old German folklore. I'll probably be posting some of these visuals on this blog as well.

I've always been fascinated with The Wild Hunt and the fairy king specifically. We read and hear of fairy queens far more often. High ladies of the Faerie often capture our imaginations but I don't think there is as much information on the fairy king. Perhaps that's my perception. I'm planning a trip to the library for research this weekend so perhaps that notion will be dispelled.

Anyway, the first time I'd read about the fairy king other than in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream was in Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series (a great series BTW). In this series he is referred to as the Erlking and he leads the Wild Hunt, chasing after Harry Dresden. It would be a long time before I would think to write about this powerful fairy but it seemed to make sense to have this character be a powerful and dangerous hunter.

The Aziza will make a large appearance in the story as well. They are a fairy race from Africa and from the start they have been represented by a character in the series named Zi. Of course, I take liberties with Aziza folklore ( I don't know if Dahomey folklore involves changelings).

I have photos of mountain fortresses, forests and pictures of fairies and such. A nice mix of visuals that echo my ideas as I write. This is the first time I've used a visual technique to help with writing projects and it's a lot of fun. I mostly deal with words on paper - even going so far as to write my first drafts in longhand. These are just some rough thoughts. More will come later in the week.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Save The Shire! Campaign

I've been busy doing a great many things this month. However, one thing has been brought my my attention last week. I belong to a special network for people who love Tolkien and general fantasy related things - The Middle Earth Network - and they have brought up the issue of the Saul Zaentz company and their over-zealous application of trademarks.

The Zaentz company have a number of trademarks related to Tolkien's Middle Earth but lately they have been attacking small businesses for using words that they have a trademark on. They use this trademark to sue anyone who uses the word. They have many trademarks already related to Tolkien beloved fantasy world myth. The founders of the Middle Earth Network and I believe that it is greed that fuels what they do, buying up anything related to Tolkien's world, ahead of fans of his work and even ahead of his surviving family.

Here is an eloquent note from the founders of The Middle Earth Network. It sets the stage for what is happening and the importance of this issue.

They have now moved to try and trademark the word "shire" and the Middle Earth Network is trying to raise awareness about the issue. This is a common English word with roots back in ancient times. Its ridiculous on its face that such a thing can be trademarked and used to bash other businesses who already used the name over the head in court.We feel that the SZC is over-reaching and acting out of greed, plain and simple. TMN has launched a new campaign called Save The Shire. Three small businesses are currently under attack from them but will it stop there?

To find out specific details of the issues please go directly to the site STS here. It is also at this site that you can get involved to let the SZC know that what they are doing is unethical and abuses the spirit of Tolkien's beautiful work. if you are a fan of Tolkien's work or even if you aren't but you are offended over corporate greed tactics. Tolkien certainly would not approve of what they are doing.

Here are some things you can do: go to "Save The Shire:

1. Get the word out via blog, email, Facebook, stumble upon, twitter, Pinterest whatever means you have.

2. donate. a donation system for this campaign will be in place soon at the Save the shire site.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pinterest! Uh-Oh!

I've had an invite to Pinterest for a month and last night I finally decided to do something about it. I fear for myself at this point because I can tell that I am going to be wasting a lot of time on this site.

Never fear though. The next book is coming along.

You can join me on Pinterest if you already have and if you need an invite, send me your email. I only have a few invites though. There is also the link to my Pinterest page in the sidebar.

Currently I am obsessing/pinning food, recipes and books. :o)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

New Blog Interview: Inspiration from Frank Herbert

I have a new author interview over at the Kathleen Valentine's Parlez Moi Blog's Writer On Writer series! Check it out!

I write about one of my favorite authors and his book that helped inspire me - Frank Herbert's magnificent Dune!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Working, Working, Working. . .

I've been quite busy designing a website for my books. It'll be a few weeks before that site actually goes live. I have to say that it certainly takes time away from writing but when you live on a budget, sometimes you just have to roll up your sleeves and do it yourself. You either pay with money or you pay with your time. There are no ways to get around this.

But I have done at least some work on book 5 in the series. In fact, I've finished the outline for the book and I plan to start writing the first draft this coming Sunday. The title for the next book will  be The Mountain King. As always you will be able to go to Scribd and download free sample chapters of the work in progress.

The Mountain King is gonna rock!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Books I'm Reading and Enjoying

As always, I've been reading books and I enjoy sharing them with those that read the blog. This is what I've read and loved so far:

Guardian Cats and the Lost Books of Alexandria by Rahma Krambo, a fantasy story about special cats who guard special magical books and what happens when an evil man tries to get a hold of the most powerful book in the world. it's a wonderful story for both kids and adults!

Devils's Lair by David Wisehart, if you like Ellis Peters's Brother Cadfael series you'll enjoy this. An erudite read of a monk, a poet and a girl who travel with a wounded Templar knight to, well read the synopsis here as I'm not finished but it's an excellent book.

The Last King's Amulet by Chris Northern is a great fantasy novel about a down-on-his-luck, lazy nobleman named Sumto who finds that he has to join the army in order to better his fortunes and regain his family honor and respect but finds that doing so is not nearly so easy as he first thought. Not a children';s book but definitely compelling reading for adults who love fantasy!

of course, there's also Gargantua and Pantagruel by Rabelais a fne and fun read as well but a little difficult unless you enjoy reading Shakespeare!

I'm still going through Gargantua and Pantagruel and Devil's Lair but I am enjoying both books, especially Devil's Lair.

Happy reading!   :o)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Stitched Crosses Audio Drama

I'm thinking of writing a children's book of astronomy some time this summer. I have so many ideas it's crazy! It's also a lot of fun thinking about all of the things I want to do.

I've been listening and enjoying a new audio drama set in during the early crusade era. I suppose you could call it sort of like The Kingdom of Heaven (a film I loved) but from the point of view of the Christians. It's called Stitched Crosses. You can listen to each episode on middle earth network radio every Sunday, 10am and 9pm EST. Excellent story telling and production values. I recommend it.

If you would like to purchase the audio drama you can get it as an audio download at or the beautiful three disc set at I'm springing for the disc set - I love discs like some people love vinyl records -  and it is beautiful. Take a look at the set here.

This audio drama and other wonderful books and comics were created by the folks at Grail Quest Books, a site I'll be blogging about more in the future.