Monthly Archives: May 2014

The Writing Process (Blog Tour)


I was invited to partcipate in The Writing Process Blog Tour by my friends Carol and Tom Phipps.

They are the authors of The Heart Of The Staff fantasy series and currently working on the sixth novel, DOOM, the final book in the series. With great characters, imaginative settings, and action-packed scenes, it promises be a fast-paced spellbinding conclusion to the epic story. As the title suggests, the evil descending on the world like a dark shroud of death could tragically destroy the kingdom of Niarg. There are no guarantees that the forces of good will triumph.

Carol and Tom started the series with GOOD SISTER, BAD SISTER, then THE COLLECTOR WITCH, then STONE HEART, followed by THE BURGEONING and THE REAPER WITCH.  Their novel THE ELF KILLERS is a prequel story set a thousand years before the series begins.


Carol’s lifelong love for classic fantasies (Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz, Sleeping Beauty, etc.) inspired her to begin writing her own fantasy. Inspiration shared is magic indeed, and Tom was soon helping her build the castle and kingdom of Niarg one word-block at a time. 🙂 Now with the sixth and final book due to be published this year, they have to be feeling a bit of sweet sadness knowing the end is near. So much life, love, magic, and hard work went into the series.

So please, dear reader, go to and say hi to Carol and Tom; they’re good Heartland people in Illinois country. While you’re at Niarg, browse through their books. The Heart Of The Staff is pure magic.

Here is the WordPress link for my review of THE COLLECTOR WITCH

And, my review of GOOD SISTER, BAD SISTER


Now to answer a few questions directed to me about the writing process.

 What am I working on?

My third book, THE PRIZE OF THE SURVIVORS will be finished and published this fall (I hope).  It will be an action-packed dystopian sci-fi where natural disasters destroy cities and farmlands across the world, and a few human refugees are given sanctuary on the terraformed planet of Lantamyra.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I blend fantasy with sci-fi to create a realistic world (Lantamyra) and populate it with fantasy characters: dragons that are intelligent alien refugees, fairies that are alien insects bred to talk, look human, and tend the ancient gardens of the Keepers of Akosh. The Keepers are ancient alien caretakers of living worlds that took human form long ago and account for some of our mythological gods/goddesses legends. The crystal powers of my story have definable limits. Another point that makes my work different is that I avoid using contractions in the narrative whenever possible. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer the classical style of prose. I believe contractions belong in the dialog not the narrative. If a sentence sounds ‘stiff or stuffy’ because I say “do not” instead of “don’t” then I’ll  write four or five variables of the sentence until I find one that doesn’t sound so stiff.

 Why do I write what I write?

I have always had a deep love and respect for science, mathematics, and logic. I adored reading all the Sherlock Holmes books. I had the hots for a green-blooded Vulcan from the Star Trek series. The TV series was not enough so I read dozens of novels based on it. I never really believed in magic until my husband introduced me to Buddhism. I came to accept the ancient Eastern philosophies of life, Universal reality, and time.  So now I write stories to enlighten and remind the atom-splitting scientific thinkers that magic exists. Before the Universe nothing existed; something had to be created from nothing at least once. Pure magic.  Science will NEVER be able to define or explain the true infinite nature of the Universe. However, we absolutely MUST continue to scientifically explore all the frontiers of our Universe. Somewhere out there is a green-blooded Vulcan who would love to share tea and time with me. 🙂

 How does my writing process work?

First, I create the scene in my mind and that is the fun and easy part. Then, finding the appropriate words to describe the characters, setting, and action is the challenging part. I usually write the basic scene (character interplay and dialog) then later add embellishing details of setting and graphic descriptions of action. I edit, edit, edit, and most importantly– I read my story aloud, multiple times. It must sound like a story.


Here are the Amazon links for my two books:

Lantamyra A Tapestry of Fantasy

A Tale of Two Worlds



Now I would like to introduce two authors that I have enjoyed reading.

Gerri Bowen is a talented lady who has written a number of works in the historical/romance/fantasy genre. Her book, Audrey’s Love, was the first book I read. Audrey is a 21st century woman that finds herself transported to medieval Engand where she finds adventure and romance with Sir Rolf. My husband and I read it aloud and enjoyed it immensely. Here is my GoodReads review.

Her latest book, Love’s Blood was her best work. I loved the character transformation of the simple kind-hearted Adyna into the complex powerful Britta. Her lover Erik the Dane is a great example of royal manhood (noble one moment, then sexy). The characters of Dromo (the cheetah) and Koozie (the raven) add magic and fun throughout the story.  Once again, the story was read aloud by my husband and I, so much more enjoyable that way. Here is my GoodReads review.

Visit Gerri’s blogsite and browse through her collection of work.



Rachael Mollinson-Read loves fantasy and it shows in her books. Written more for middle-grades to young adult readers, her books can also be enjoyed by older adults (like myself) who want to escape into a fantasy where magic abides and the world is as enchanting as the characters. In her first book Magician’s Mayhem, young Tobin and Darcie set out to find out who is terrorizing the kingdom with exploding orbs. We read the book aloud and enjoyed it. Here is my GoodReads review.

Her second book in the Elden Forest series, Magician’s Mastery, was just published recently and continues the adventures of Tobin and Darcie. It is definitely on my To-be-read list.

Visit Rachael’s blogsite for fun, fantasy, and good writing tips.



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Another Interesting Month of May?

“And so it begins…” King Theoden said in the movie The Two Towers (based on the book by J.R.R.Tolkien). He was looking down from the fortress walls on thousands of ugly bad guys coming to kill him and everyone with him. Today we would say, “The s–t’s about to hit the fan!”

Now, two days into May 2014, I can’t help but wonder what big natural events Mother Earth has in store for us this month. I have a strong feeling that she is about to “soon shake your windows and rattle your walls…for the times they are a’changing,” as Mr. B. Dylan said long ago in the 1960’s.

I have noticed that Mother likes the month of May to throw something big at us. For example: the largest quake ever recorded (9.5 mag. Chile, 1960) happened in May; The largest recent volcanic eruption in the continental U.S. (Mt. St. Helens, 1980) happened in May. Tornadoes are also a problem. According to Wikipedia, since 1950 there have been fifty-nine F5 or EF5 tornadoes and more than half (31) occurred in the month of May. But the scary trend lately is that the last six F5 or EF5’s have occurred since 2011 and all six in the month of May.

My sister and her family live in Oklahoma; every year I hope and pray that the twisters don’t hit their home. When the weatherman says “Watch out tonight for tornadoes,” it could make sleeping a bit difficult. When it happens during the day, do you go to work? Send your kids to school? Yes actually, most of the time life just goes on as usual. Those brave people often say, “you can’t let the fear stop you from living.”

I live in California’s Sierra Nevada, mostly we worry about wildfires and May is usually safe. We can’t worry about earthquakes because we never know when, where or how strong they will be. When a strong one occurs, they are often finished before I can really get my panicking old fanny going. We don’t worry about volcanoes even though we have some good sized ones in the neighborhood. Most of the time they sleep peacefully with an occasional grumble and rumble. I never paid any attention to volcanoes (except to click a picture) until last year.

On the night of May 23, 2013, the strongest quake we ever felt in the Sierra, a 5.7 mag. occurred near Mt. Lassen. A series of unusual coincidences caused me to take particular notice of that quake. And I have been observing earthquake patterns and volcanic eruption patterns since that night. On June 7, 2013, I published my first blog about it, and I made a prediction that Mt. Lassen would erupt “in the near future.” I allowed for slow geological-time and gave myself until the end of 2017 for the eruption to occur. One year has passed and no popper. There have been more than a dozen quakes near Mt. Lassen, most have been small 2 or 3+ mag. and most have been shallow quakes above sea level. One occurred today, May 2, near the same spot the strong one happened a year ago. Today’s quake was small, 2.6, and shallow, 0.2 km. But, it makes me wonder if this is the month when Lassen pops. The last time Lassen erupted seriously was May 22, 1915. It sent ash 200 miles east. So this May marks the 99th year since the last serious eruption. Will it happen again this month? Could be, but probability favors the facts, and the scientists aren’t talking about Lassen.

Today I read a story, that said “magma is rising in Mt. St Helens” and “It will probably erupt in the next 20 to 200 years.” Hardly scary. Mt. Hood in Oregon recently had a series of over a hundred small quakes. That’s scary.

Last year, just hours before our Sierra quake an 8.2 quake occurred near Russia on the Ring of Fire. So you see, it seems to me that Mother Earth likes to shake things up in May. Or just maybe, you could call it Spring Fever.

One more thing, two years ago in May, dear Mother Earth got my serious attention with a solar eclipse. I named it “Susan’s Eclipse” because of a number of incredible coincidences about the eclipse that connected it with my book, Lantamyra and connected it with me personally. To sum up the high points. The annular eclipse occurred on May 20, 2012. It was described as a “ring of fire eclipse” because it would not completely block the sun. It began near the lands of the dragons, China & Japan. The path of totality followed the Pacific Ring of Fire up to the volcanic Aleutian Islands of Alaska then down the American side of the Ring of Fire, into Northern California, directly over Mt. Lassen then directly over my house, then onward over Susanville, California. That’s when I decided to name it Susan’s Eclipse.

Almost exactly a year later and the strong quake near Lassen occurred. Yes, Mother Earth got my attention. In my book, A Tale of Two Worlds, I scripted Mt. Lassen erupting. I can’t help it, but I feel that Mother Earth wants me to tell you that she is about to wake and shake the world. This month may be extraordinary for quakes, volcanoes, and tornadoes.

However, we pessimists love to be wrong. It usually means we survived.

Blessings of life,
Susan Waterwyk


May 3, 2014 · 7:32 am