Victoria A. Jeffrey's authorly doings. . .

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Back To School MG Blog Tour!

Hello and well met, dear readers! I am participating in the Back To School Middle Grade Blog Tour and I have offered the first three of my books from my children's fantasy series, Secret Doorway Tales for free during the tour. The tour lasts from September 2nd - 6th. Below are study questions for each of the books and the links where you can get the books for free. I think you will find this a fun project for your class or your family. It can also be a blast for a child to read the books and then use the study questions for finding the answers on their own. Not all of the questions have wrong or right answers. Some questions are open-ended. Feel free to read the books and participate at your leisure. If you prefer, you can download the questions on Word .doc file format from my website here: Study Questions. At this time, the Secret Doorway Tales are in ebook form only. Sorry about that.
There are eight indie authors of middle grade fiction that are participating and on each day of the tour there will be a guest post by each author. My guest post will be included on Tiffany's website. Please have a look around at Tiffany Turner's main blog tour page at the Back To School Middle Grade Blog Tour website and check out all of the great content for parents and kids from all the indie authors participating in the tour!

Study Questions for The Green Door
1. What kinds of things does Anne like?
2. What moves her to explore the shed behind the green door in the field?
3. Would you have explored the shed? Why or why not?
4. Who does she meet before and once she enters Other Land? What kind of fairy do you think he is?
5. What thing does Anne need to get from Other Land (land of the fairies) and why?
6. Who is behind all the trouble in this story?
7. What does Anne's father buy her at the end of the story? 

Study Questions for The Pumpkin Princess
1. What does Anne hear on her way home?
2. Who is visiting the Greene household when Anne comes home from school?
3. Relate the story Anne hears before dinner. Do you see a lesson in it?
4. Why does Anne go back to Other Land?
5. Who does she meet before she gets to the Whitestone Lodge? Is this related to the voices she heard earlier in the story?
6. How does Anne meet Hunter and how does he help her? How does Anne meet Antigone and how does she help her?
7. Who is Princess Tryssa?
8. What does Anne do to try and rescue her?
9. Who is behind what happened to Princess Tryssa and why?
10. What important thing does Anne discover while reading her book at the end of the story?

Study Questions for The Winter Wolves
1. Anne’s other grandmother sends her a gift in the mail. What is it?
2. What happens to Anne when she wears her new gift to school? Have you ever had to deal with a bully? What did you do?
3. Who does Anne meet on her way home?
4. Do you think the snow storm is a normal winter storm? Why?
5. When Anne goes back to Other Land this time, which of her objects become very important to her? Why does she go back this time?
6. What wolfish thing does Anne learn how to do while traveling with the wolves?
7. Why are they traveling north?
8. What plan do the Gnome Grandfathers have to defeat the Winter Fairy Queen?
9. What has the Winter Fairy Queen done and what is her future plan?
10. What weapon do the Gnome Grandfathers give her this time and how does this help her instead of the hammer?
11. Do you think the Winter Queen is a bully? If so, explain why you think so.
12. Why do bullies like for people to be afraid of them?
13. Is Anne still intimidated by Lauren when she comes back from Other Land? Why do you think this is so?
14. Do you think the Winter Fairy Queen will try to make more trouble in the future?
You can download The Green Door for free on Amazon or Smashwords:
You can download The Pumpkin Princess for free at Smashwords by using this coupon code: HR77Z
You can download The Winter Wolves for free at Smashwords by using this coupon code: XC55L

Happy reading!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Other Realms: Diverse Worlds in Speculative Fiction

I am participating in some exciting things this month! One of them is the Other Realms project. Other Realms is a cool project that will showcase an array of speculative fiction stories; it is also a broad and inclusive way of looking at speculative fiction. The project will be open to readers starting August 20th and will be open until September 5th.
Often, spec-fic does not have much in the way of diverse characters either in race or culture, in how characters and cultures are displayed or written about. Other Realms is for those of us who write speculative fiction stories with unusual heroes or unusual and/or minority characters. My own first fantasy series had a bi-racial girl as the heroine and in my current fantasy trilogy the characters are patterned mostly after those of Middle Eastern, African and Some Southern European peoples and cultures.
Enter the realm by clicking the link and get immersed in a very different and expansive world - a way of looking at fantasy and science fiction through different lenses and every bit as fun! We are also hosting the works associated with Other Realms either free or at discounted prices. Free and discounted content (books), folks! Go and search and explore and I'm sure you'll find something you'll like! So click the link and get started on your journey and find some really cool and intriguing work. I have offered excerpts of my own Red World trilogy as part of the Other Realms project for exploration and there is new content there from the Red World trilogy not posted anywhere else or even in the books. So check it out! Other Realms!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ideas, Ideas, Ideas

By the way, the great artwork above is from a Kickstarter campaign called Clockwork Universe. Its a sciFi anthology that looks really cool. Check it out!

As I've said on this blog before after the Red World trilogy is done I plan to write a science fiction Steampunk series. Nothing new or ground-breaking there.

However, I've had two things that nearly deflated my enthusiasm for the series. First, about a year ago I ran across a blog post written by an author who discusses, or rather calls out authors and readers of Steampunk in general for not including minorities in steam punk fiction. He was pretty aggressive in his accusations - I would have approached it differently but he had a good point. I don't remember the blog address right now. To be honest, I never really thought about authors purposefully excluding blacks and other minorities in Steampunk but that most people write about what they know. Most whites don't know much about blacks today (sad how people of every color don't bother to expand their associations but that's a subject for another blog post) and hardly anyone knows what black American life was like after the civil war. It's as if we were invisible. Simply not there. It's up to black authors to change that. It is up to me as a black woman who is also an speculative fiction author to write about what the plight of blacks might be in the Steampunk era in speculative fiction. In fact, I'd set about thinking up ideas for my story for this new series. But then I went: darn! When this series comes out what is the first thing people will think? That I am writing this series simply to be politically correct, that I am guided by multi-cultural politics, which I dislike - and that I am writing it in response to this tempest in a teacup.
 I am not. I'd thought of writing this story for about two years now and I'd heard about and read the article after I came up with the idea. Shucks! I was *not* happy to encounter that article! Crap!

But it gets better - or worse, depending on how you see it.

A few days ago I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Adventures in SciFi Publishing, and it was a two part episode show featuring Larry Correia. What floored me about these new episodes? Well, Correia wrote a new Steampunk series with many aspects that I was planning to put in my own series. There's the secret society (although I believe this is a steampunk trope and not so bad actually) there are a group of people who have decided to become crime fighting heroes to combat the looming evil or forces of darkness  (yes I am adding this trope as well in my own series) more and more people are acquiring mysterious super powers - yes this is also my idea for my own series I was so upset I didn't know what to do and I turned it off to gather myself together. So now, if I write this series somebody's going to accuse me of copying Correia. Crap.

Great. Just great. There are some differences, though. His dark forces are supernatural, mine are not. And of course, my main characters will be black, with a few Native Americans and Asians and Caucasion characters. In any case, I will still write it but I was crushed when I heard this. All of this has crushed me. I guess we writers all get our ideas from a similar, unconscious wellspring, do we not?

Oh well. That's life. :(

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Guest Post: The Death Or Success of a Series

I have a new guest post up over at the Awesome Trilogies website! It's called: The Death or Success of a Series. I think you might like it! Check it out!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Reclaiming the Blade Kickstarter Campaign!

It's Reclaiming the Blade Day on the Middle-Earth Network! We are running a Kickstarter campaign to create a second documentary called Reclaiming the Blade: Sons of Fire!

What is Reclaiming the Blade? Well, It's a documentary made in 2011 and it's a day in celebration of the romance, history, legends and symbolism of the sword. The sword is no longer a weapon used in warfare but once it was one of the most important weapons in a warrior or soldier's arsenal. Whether swords of bronze, iron or steel the sword has a special place in the history of Man and also in story-telling. On August 3rd we take a closer look at the forging, artistry and craftsmanship in making these blades and what they represented in cultures in history and in story and legend.

While the actual day of festivities on the Middle-Earth network is drawing to a close you can watch all of the great video content at your leisure on the site. Most of all please support our Kickstarter campaign to make the second documentary, Reclaiming the Blade: Sons of Fire. To find out more about the campaign, go to our Kickstarter page and become a supporter. We need your help to make this happen. if you love swords, fantasy, history or anything related to these things check out our content and support our campaign to have the second documentary film made about sword-making and the lost martial art of western sword-fighting.

Get your geek on and join us!