Hi Julie! Thanks so much for having me again! I’m spreading the word about my new short story series. Tales of Ever is part of a new short story program being put out by Echelon Press. Electric Shorts is a pilot program for young readers. Each series contains six short stories presented once per month as electronic downloads (eBooks), much the same as a television series. Tales of Ever is a fantasy series written for young adults (13-17 year olds) and a new installment comes out the first of every month an is available for only 0.99$.
Welcome to Ever.
Ever, a deadly realm where feared, powerful and dangerous magical beings are banished. Though very large, it is not a world but a magically created prison. You can’t break through its circular boundary. Who, or what, made Ever? I’ve no idea. They were powerful, and cruel. That is all I can tell you.
Ever is like and unlike every other world. Nothing is safe. Safety is a dream. Ever is a nightmare. Few survive their first day. Nothing is what it seems. If something appears safe, it isn’t. If something appears dangerous, well it is, but probably more so than you think.
Ever has no sun, no moon, no stars at night. Time is told by the ever changing color of the sky where portals open, dropping new inhabitants, or new terrors. Time does pass. Don’t worry, you won’t get old. You won’t live that long.
The landscape changes without reason form dessert to jungles. The flora isn’t safe at any time. There is food, if you can find it without getting eaten yourself. Most plants and animals are poisonous. So is the water.
Are you afraid? You should be. This is the end. It gets worse of course. Remember the portals? Do think angels come through? Rarely the innocent do. Mostly, it is people of evil, people too powerful to kill. Their magic works here. The creature’s are worse.
Do you understand? Well you will eventually, or you’ll die. There is no escaping Ever. Ever.
#1 Banished- release date March 1 2011
Word count: 13+k
My life was normal. It sucked, but it was normal. At least until I got this new power. I can control fire. It would be cool if it wasn’t so dangerous and if I knew how to use it. Pretty much my sucky life took a nose dive once I got it. Yup, everything gone. I suppose I should be thankful some uncle I never heard of took me in. Turns out the whole family isn’t normal and my power is a lot more dangerous than I thought. I thought things couldn’t get any worse. I was wrong. They banished me to Ever.
If I’m lucky, I might survive my first day.
Could you tell us a little more about your non-writing life?
Non-writing life? What is that?
I spend most of my days and nights editing, writing, editing, marketing, editing. When I take breaks or get stuck then I clean. Unfortunately I’m not very exciting!
I’m a stay at home mom of two darling little boys. Our house is also full of birds, and one australian shepherd. Sometimes I putter at crafts, and in the summer I like to work in my flower beds. I love to read, but haven’t had much time for it lately. I live in rural Ontario, Canada and hate the snow. I get a lot of writing done in the winter because I hate to venture outside!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve been writing since I was in public school. I never had big dreams of being a writer, I wanted to be a vet, or a geneticist or something. Life’s road brought me wandering back to writing more and more and my parents finally pestered me into trying to get my work published.
When did you first start writing?
Public school! I actually still have some of my stories. I keep meaning to give them a good read and edit and see if I can do something with them. I wrote on and off up until I had my boys, lack of sleep kept me from writing for a few years 😛 then I jumped back into it again when they were a little older.
Do any of your novels have special stories involved in their writing?
I have a very vivid imagination, and my stories rather write themselves. Very little comes from real life. A lot of ideas I get from music, either a line from a song or even just the general mood.
I’m a very emotional person, and that shows up in my writing a lot. How the story is written has to do with what mood I’m in too.
What are your favorite books?
Anything fantasy related! If there is some romance thrown in somewhere, even hinted at I’m even happier. (I’m a big romantic!) If an author can make me feel, make me cry- then it’s on my favorites list.
Who are your favorite authors?
My mom introduced me to Anne McCaffrey, David Eddings, Mercedes Lackey and the like when I was barely a teen. I’ve too many favorite authors to list! Some others: Melanie Rawn, David Gemmell, Michelle Sagara (West), hmmm I need more coffee- or to check my room of bookshelves. LOL
How long did it take you to write your first novel?
I don’t really remember. There were a few I lost way back when due to computer crashes and floppy disc (remember them?) failures. Sweet Light is my first book I finished and didn’t actually lose. I don’t think it took me very long to write, it’s hard to say, as at the time I wrote it and its sequel all as one book.
Where and how do you get your ideas?
My brain is always going off in many directions with various stories romping around through it. It’s actually almost annoying. I’ve files and files of just notes on story ideas. Once some start to stand out, start to turn themselves into little movies in my head, then I write them down.
Are you an outliner or a pantzer, or like me, somewhere in between?
What are outlines? I never use them. I write as I go, sometimes I need to go back and add things, but that’s fine. I also don’t always write in order. If a scene comes to me I’ll write it down. Sometimes an ending will get written first. For me, this isn’t a problem. I’m sure it would give some other writers heart failure.
What’s your opinion on writer’s block?
No such thing. If you can’t find the words, then something is wrong. The story should be there, it should flow. If I get ‘stuck’ I stop and leave it for a bit, until my brain sorts out what the problem is. Sometimes I have to back track and go off in another, better, direction.
How many novels have you written and which is your favorite?
I’ve written um… 7 or 8 books I think. Most of them are in the world of Sweet Light. I’d have to say my favorite is the first of a new YA series, called Broken Aro. I just love my new characters, and as it’s my most recent book I feel my writing is much more improved.
Tell us about your journey to publication.
Once my parents (mostly Dad) talked me into looking into getting published I then spend a few months editing, writing a query and a synopsis etc. I then spent about a year and a half querying agents and collecting rejections. (and re-editing and re-writing query and synopsis LOL)
I then met Karen Syed of Echelon Press on twitter, and later got to chatting a bit in someones comments section on a blog (I don’t even remember whose blog). She and her company seemed pretty darn awesome, so I sent her my book, and a few of my short stories…and the rest as they say, is history.
Are you currently working on any projects? Can you tell us about them?
Oh my, yes. 😀 I’m currently writing away to keep up with my Tales of Ever short stories. I’m also in the middle of edits for Sweet Light. I’ve a few books I’m also working on, and a few more short stories too. I really need a few clones. And a maid.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
DO NOT GIVE UP! You can never stop learning. DO get online and research. If you want to be an author, then learn about the business. Google is your friend! Use it! Writing wise, there is so much to learn online about editing as well. If you are looking for an agent or publisher, get started on an online presence, a webpage, facebook, twitter. Your books won’t sell themselves. If you can get your name out there now, it certainly won’t help.
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
(((Big sun shiny hugs!))) Thank you to everyone who has given me their support. It is so greatly appreciated. I hope you have enjoyed my stories and I always look forward to hearing from readers, so do drop me a note anytime by email, on twitter, fb etc. 🙂
I see it everywhere.
When did it start? I don’t remember. A year ago? Maybe more. I see it more now than before.
Flames dance just out of sight. They flicker on school lockers, in windows, anywhere.
Now they hover over the road as I run.
I glare at my watch as I round the block. School sucked today. I’ve run farther and faster than I usually do, trying to push all my stupid problems away. I wonder if Mom waited for me.
The last year I’ve been unsettled. Sometimes I get these hot flashes. I don’t understand why. Mom gets them sometimes, too. She says not to worry about it.
I can’t tell her about seeing the fire, or about the dreams.
We do Yoga and that helps. So does running. I’ve done a lot of both over the last year.
It hasn’t been the best year. Mom lost one of her jobs. She found another, but it doesn’t pay as much. Lack of money really stresses her out.
I hope she’ll let me get a decent job soon. Something other than yard work and babysitting. I want to help. Mom looks so tired lately. She is really starting to worry me.
In a few months I’ll be sixteen. I haven’t asked about getting my driver’s license. I’m sure Mom won’t bring it up either. We don’t have money for a car, anyways. We don’t even have money for lessons or the stupid license test.
What will I do if something happens to Mom?
I have no idea. We don’t have any really close friends. A few people we sort of talk to, like our old neighbor Mrs. Green. No family either, at least not that Mom ever talks about.
I don’t have any friends at school. Even though I go to a public school, most of the kids there have money. We don’t, and it shows. People can be so fickle. Of course, I don’t really try to make friends. I fall into the quiet and shy group. Years ago I gave up trying. Too many times I thought I’d found a friend and then got stabbed in the back.
Seeing fire sets me apart too. I know other people don’t see it, not like I do. Some are obsessed with it. I watch them play with matches and lighters outside at school.
I’m not obsessed. What I see scares me.
I slow when I reach our falling down house. Flames dance on the metal mailbox. I look away and dash into the broken porch.
Mom doesn’t answer, but I didn’t expect her to.
She had started without me. Sitting on a mat, her body is twisted into a Yoga position.
I started Yoga when I was little because it was fun. Later, I did it to spend time with Mom. That was after Dad disappeared and Mom took a second job. The only thing Mom ever makes time for is her Yoga.
Tucking away how much that hurt, I join in quietly.
My thoughts don’t want to calm. All I can think about is how unfair everything is. If Dad hadn’t disappeared, we wouldn’t be living like this.
I glance over at Mom, wondering if anyone knew the truth. The police listed him as a missing person.
Dad left work to come home one night and never arrived. They found his car in the next county. Someone had set it on fire too. At least Dad hadn’t been in it. We still don’t know what happened to him. Would Mom move on if she knew?
I feel another hot flash coming on and grimace. Breaking my stance, I pull at my T-shirt.
“Misha,” Mom says quietly. “Find your center.”
Mom never speaks during Yoga. Weird. “I’m fine.”
Starting another position, I pull something in my side. Today so isn’t a good day.
Last night the dreams had been bad. Fire roared through them, burning everything. Everyone.
Turning and flopping onto my butt, I fan my face. I don’t want to remember. Heat spreads through me. Maybe water would help. Water puts out fire.
Mom stands and walks over before I can get up. “This is important,” she says firmly.
“I said I’m fine.”
Mom tosses her red hair over her shoulder and reaches out to me.
I don’t want to be touched and push her hand away.
Mom shrieks in pain.
I stare in shock as the welts form on her hand. They look like fingerprints. They quickly blister into burns.
I jump to my feet. Reaching out again, I quickly stop myself. I panic. The heat within me grows worse. “What did I do? I’m sorry!”
Mom sucks in a deep breath. “It’s alright, honey. Let me deal with this.” She pauses at the door. “We’ll talk in a minute.”
I nod dumbly, having no idea what’s going on. Had I done that? How?
Flames flicker out of the corner of my eye. Fire.
I run to the kitchen and get a glass of water. I drink two cups before Mom comes back. Her hand is bandaged. “What’s going on?”
She sits at the table and puts her face in her hands. Her hair falls around her.
My hair is the same shade of red as my moms. It looks like pale fire. Ours is like wild fire, curls and waves going off in every direction. Mom keeps hers really long. I cut mine shoulder length a few months ago. Dad’s hair was red too, but darker and straight.
Mom has flecks of gold in her green eyes like me. I don’t remember Dads eyes.
She looks up at me. The gold flecks remind me of tiny flames. “I was hoping you’d be free of this.”
“Free of what?”
She lowers one hand and holds it out, palm up.
I stare at her hand, confused. “What?”
Mom doesn’t say anything.
A moment later a flame is dancing over her palm. She curls her fingers in and out, playing with it.
I do nothing but stare at the fire she created. It’s impossible to look away from the flame.
Fear runs through me. Mom made this fire. I see fire, dream of fire. I just burned Mom.
“The current term for it is pyrokinesis,” she says after a while. “The ability to start fire from nothing, to control it, has been around forever.”
“So what, you’re like a firestarter?” I’ve seen the Stephen King movie. I’ve even read the book. Perhaps that’s what freaked me out. It wasn’t a very happy story.
Mom nods. She isn’t happy either.
“How…” I don’t even know where to begin.
Mom sighs as she curls her fingers over the flames. They disappear. She leans back in her chair. “In science class, you’ve learned how everything is made up of atoms?”
“We can manipulate atoms to an excited state until they burst into flame. We can create fire from nothing by doing the same with atoms in the air.”
I don’t know what to say. Is she serious?
“Like a microwave,” she adds.
“And you’re saying I can do this too?”
She grimaces. “Yes. The first signs are heat changes in your body.” She shakes her head. “It’s a very dangerous gift, Misha. More like a curse. It’s not easy to control.”
I think of Dad. Of his burned out car. “Dad?”
She nods. “He was like me. Like us.”
“But did it kill him?” I can’t stop thinking of that movie. Of the girl who could kill with her fire. I remember my dreams of fire out of control. At least I know his death hadn’t been my fault. I just got this darn power. Hadn’t I?
Mom looks away. “I don’t know.”
I sit down at the table. My feet just don’t want to hold me anymore. “Okay. So what now? How the heck do I control this?”
She smiles a little. “You’re growing up so fast.”
I stick my tongue out at her.
“You’ve got to learn to control it. Keep practicing. Stay calm and steady.”
It’s fun when you suddenly understand something. “The Yoga!”
She nods. “It helps. I’ll help you, now that I know…” her voice trails off and she looks away. She looks tired again.
I wonder if she’s worried I’ll burn the house down. If I’ll hurt her.
Looking at her hand, I wince. I already had.
Mom smiles a little. “You won’t need to worry about doing that again, honey. I just wasn’t prepared. Our gift can’t fully be explained by science. We can control fire as well, move it, strengthen it, put it out. We can protect ourselves from it.”
“Maybe I should learn that first?”
She chuckles. “A good plan.”
So began my lessons as a firestarter.
Jennifer Wylie was born and raised in Ontario, Canada. In a cosmic twist of fate she dislikes the snow and cold.
Before settling down to raise a family, she attained a BA from Queens University and worked in retail and sales.
Thanks to her mother she acquired a love of books at an early age and began writing in public school. She constantly has stories floating around in her head, and finds it amazing most people don’t. Jennifer writes various forms of fantasy, both novels and short stories. Sweet light is her debut novel to be published in 2011.
Jennifer resides in rural Ontario, Canada with her husband, two boys, Australian shepherd a flock of birds and a disagreeable amount of wildlife.
My website: www.jenniferwylie.ca
My blog: http://jlwylie.wordpress.com/
Today, Mint Magic… Mint is just wonderful, and this blend of various mint plants is just awesome. It’s a strong tea, so steep it for a short time and reuse the teabag 🙂