Role-Playing and Writing: the Storytelling Intersection

Hello, friends. This time, we have a guest post from Coyote Kishpaugh, co-author of The Order of the Four Sons series. He will tell us about the connection between role-playing games and writing fiction. As I mentioned last time, when his co-author, Lauren Scharhag, graced us with her guest post on creating fantasy worlds, I received an advance review copy of the first book of the O4S series (book one is out now as of this writing), and I recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy or horror or other forms of speculative fiction. It also has a touch of science fiction, crime and history. I’m looking forward to further journeys in this universe they have jointly created, which has many similarities to our own, but tons of differences too. I hope you’ll give the series a try. Links to book one are in Lauren’s guest post, the link to which is at the bottom of this post.

Before we hear from Coyote about his experience with rpgs and fiction writing, let’s get to know him a bit. I asked him and Lauren both the same set of questions, and they agreed to answer them without consulting each other about their answers. Fun, fun, right? Coyote’s answers are below. A link to Lauren’s answers and her guest post are at the end of this post, so you can easily compare to see how close their answers are. Continue reading Role-Playing and Writing: the Storytelling Intersection

Home Sweet Universe

Today’s guest post comes to us from Lauren Scharhag, co-author of Order of the Four Sons, Book 1. Much of the story takes place in Excelsior Springs, MO, not far from where I grew up, and near where some of my family still live and work. I received an advance review copy of the book (it’s out now as of this writing), and highly recommend it to all lovers of speculative fiction. It has touches of science fiction, fantasy, horror, crime and history, all wrapped up in one little package. It’s the first book of a series, and I’m looking forward to book 2 and further journeys in a universe not quite ours.

By way of introduction to Lauren and the O4S universe, I’ve asked her a few questions and posted her answers below. Following the interview is her guest post on creating believable settings for fantasy worlds and the universes they inhabit. Continue reading Home Sweet Universe

My Trouble With a Single Viewpoint Character

I’ve been working on my debut fantasy novel for too long. This will be my seventh and last draft. There will be beta reading and editing, but I’m never writing this thing from scratch again. Seven drafts are enough, even if a couple of them were not complete.

I’ve written 40,000 words on this latest draft. That’s half what the experts recommend for a first novel. But I’m only a quarter of the way through the story. So my novel will be twice the length the experts recommend, unless I cut a lot, and even then, what remains will exceed 80,000 words. It will be what it is, and I won’t cut so much the story suffers for it, regardless. I plan to self publish this sucker, so it’s not like I have to adhere to someone else’s ideas of what’s best.

I’d thought about breaking the book into two or three books, but some people don’t like reading a book, even one that’s part of a series, that can’t stand on its own. I’m not that way, as long as all the books in the series are available to me. If I can’t find one or if the author stops writing the series partway through, then that irks me. With that in mind, I think it best to make this novel a standalone story, even if it’s 120,000 to 160,000 words. I intend this to be the first book in a series, but I want it to be a complete story in itself.

The previous draft of the story was meant to be the one I’d edit for publication. But after it went to beta readers, I discovered they all agreed on one thing: Alonso, the male human protagonist, was not a good viewpoint character. I’d been shooting for an antihero, and that’s what I produced. He was just such an antihero that the readers couldn’t relate to him or, worse yet, root for him.

The problem I face with not using Alonso as the point-of-view character is that he’s so central to the story, whatever viewpoint character(s) I use need to know about Alonso and be able to observe his actions in so many different venues. To sufficiently cover all significant aspects of his tale, I determined that I needed three viewpoint characters: Ngozi, the shadow elf woman married to Alonso; Locket, a nearly-twenty-year-old dream walking human gal who’s been told to spy on Alonso in his dreams to help facilitate his death; and Gabriel, a teen-aged human girl with a secret or two and a grudge against Alonso from her previous life as a jackal. The tale will be told without either the protagonist or antagonist being used as a viewpoint character. Other authors have pulled off this type of story. The tales of Sherlock Holmes comes to mind, those narrated by Dr. Watson.

I’m staggering the chapters, writing one from one character’s viewpoint, the next from the second character’s viewpoint, and the next from the third character’s viewpoint. Repeat to the end. I like this approach in that it gives the reader information from different perspectives, and the reader comes to understand all that’s going on before any of the individual characters. I think this helps with the suspense, because it’s questionable whether each character will discover what they need to know in time to save themselves and those they love. Before, with only Alonso as viewpoint character, it was unclear exactly what the threat was against him — or if there was any threat — until late in the story. Without knowledge of the threat, it was difficult to root for Alonso, especially with his being such an antihero. The way the story is written now, the reader will have other characters to root for, and whether they root for Alonso or not won’t matter much.

It will now be clear to the reader from the outset that someone wants Alonso dead and for him to endure a lot of physical and emotional pain in the dying. Not all of the characters, especially Alonso and Ngozi, will know this. The reader will understand why Alonso is being treated so nicely by certain people he interacts with, whereas the beta readers of the previous draft had confessed to wondering at Alonso’s great luck in certain situations. One beta reader had even admitted to feeling a bit jealous of Alonso’s luck. That shouldn’t be the case now.

Initially I’d thought that using a single viewpoint character would be the only way I’d want to tell this story. The reader could delve deep into one character’s psyche and get to know the character well. That’s cool if the character has a psyche you want to visit for an entire novel. Alonso wasn’t like that. All of the three viewpoint characters I’m using now are likable in their own ways and more likable than Alonso. Gabriel was singled out by one of the beta readers as a favorite character. Another beta reader singled out Ngozi. Locket is one of my personal favorite characters from the story, and is suitable in the role of main character. So there you have it. Three viewpoint characters.

In writing the story from these different viewpoints, I’m finding the need to fill in some details that I hadn’t bothered with before, partly because Alonso had paid them no mind. I’m also finding that using these characters is invoking a better understanding in me of events that before had transpired in the background, but which now make sense to flesh out to further the stories of the viewpoint characters. There are times while writing this new material when I feel a flush of excitement as I realize that I am coming to understand these characters better and loving the cool new stuff I get to write because I’m using their viewpoints. There is a whole side to Gabriel that never came out in previous drafts, because Alonso wasn’t privy to it. This secret aspect of her had colored how she acted in those previous drafts, and I think it was because of this that a beta reader liked her the best, even though he didn’t know her complete backstory.

When will I be done writing this book? I think I’ll finish writing this last draft by the end of 2015. But the beta reading and editing will go into 2016. So I’m setting a goal of mid-2016 to publish. I will have to stay focused, which is difficult at times. I’m easily distracted by the lure of doing something new.

I love receiving words of encouragment from others. They really help motivate me. Got any such words for me?

New Release Alert: The Forever Girl Series, Book 2

Today I’m posting a special announcement from Rebecca Hamilton, author of the Forever Girl series, of which I happen to be a fan. Read on!

Coula Killed Me

Thanks for stopping by to view this quick announcement on Rebecca Hamilton’s latest release, COME, THE DARK, book 2 in the Forever Girl series. Although this book is the second in the series, it is a complete standalone following a completely new set of characters. And you can grab your copy today for only $0.99! Still apprehensive about reading the second book in a series? Well, you can grab the prequel, HER SWEETEST DOWNFALL, off Kindle–Always Free–and on January 9th, THE FOREVER GIRL will be free also, for the first time ever! Worried you might forget the date? Join the mailing list using the option on the Rafflecopter below and you’ll receive a reminder on January 9th to download your free copy anytime between January 9th and 13th!



by USA Today Bestselling Author, Rebecca Hamilton

Come, the Dark 2Rose desperately wants to escape the abuse of the father who impregnated her and the dark spirits that haunt her life. Being thrust from Georgia 1961 into the era of Salem’s infamous witch trials isn’t what she had in mind, and now her daughter is left hopelessly out of reach.

The only way to return to her daughter is by facing certain death to banish the dark spirits that plague Salem. If she doesn’t eliminate these dark spirits in time, they will destroy civilization and trap her in this strange new place, ages away from her daughter.

Even if she can complete the task in time to return home to save her daughter, there’s still one problem: she’s falling in love with a man who can’t return with her. Achieving her goals will force her to choose between the only man who has never betrayed her and a daughter she can’t quite remember but will never forget.

A heart-wrenching tale of a mother’s love for her daughter, this romantic paranormal fantasy underlines the depravity of both historical and modern society while capturing the essence of sacrifice and devotion.

TRIGGER WARNING: This book deals with the sensitive subject of sexual abuse.

Buy Now for $0.99




by USA Today Bestselling Author, Rebecca Hamilton


Beautiful blonde with dandelionsAt twenty-two, practicing Wiccan Sophia Parsons is scratching out a living waiting tables in her Rocky Mountain hometown, a pariah after a string of unsolved murders with only one thing in common: her.

Sophia can imagine lots of ways to improve her life, but she’d settle for just getting rid of the buzzing noise in her head. When the spell she casts goes wrong, the static turns into voices. Her personal demons get company, and the newcomers are dangerous.

One of them is a man named Charles, who Sophia falls for despite her better judgment. He has connections that might help her unveil the mystery surrounding her ancestor’s hanging, but she gets more than she bargains for when she finally decides to trust him.

The Forever Girl is a full-length Paranormal Fantasy novel that will appeal to lovers of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, witches, vampires, ghosts, paranormal mystery, and paranormal horror.

View Now on Amazon




About the Author

BeccaRebecca Hamilton is a USA Today Bestselling Paranormal Fantasy author who also dabbles in Horror and Literary Fiction. She lives in Florida with her husband and four kids. She enjoys dancing with her kids to television show theme songs and would love the beach if it weren’t for the sand. Having a child diagnosed with autism has inspired her to illuminate the world through the eyes of characters who see things differently. She is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA and has been published internationally, in three languages. You can follow her on Twitter: @InkMuse

What is a Forever Girl?

Being a Forever Girl Means

Thanks for stopping by!

Disclosure: The owner of this blog, Michael K. Eidson, is not a Forever Girl. But he greatly admires them.

A Poem for the Would-Be Novelist


I’m withering
and shrinking
in on myself,

all but a corpse,

but wanting
no death just now,

still surviving,
not yet to cease,

not to crumble
or tumble
into the abyss,

to be legend.

So why haven’t I published a novel?

Words come and flee,
free-form spirits

flown far away
on the wind
twixt my temples,

now out of mind
out of touch,
out of space bar,

all out of time,
same as I,
so soon, too soon.

I’ll not e’en be
a mere speck
within God’s eye,

not e’en a joke
or a whim,
no afterword.

Because I haven’t published a novel.

—Michael K. Eidson

Dark Light – Author Interview and Book Excerpt

Cover art for Dark Light, the second book of the Web of Light YA Fantasy duology by Kyra Dune.
Cover art for Dark Light, the second book of the Web of Light YA Fantasy duology by Kyra Dune.

The Web of Light, a magical force lost for three hundred years, has been recovered by the heirs of the land of Solice. But its return bears a heavy price. A price that will be paid in blood.

Seva and Valdor have fled to the Outlands, where an unanswered question drives them apart. And as Valdor seeks to prove his worth, Seva struggles to control the power threatening to consume her.

But the web is not what it seems and by the time the truth is discovered, it may be too late.

I love it when I give an unknown fantasy author a try and their work turns out to be a great read. Kyra Dune’s work is known to some, but I’d never read any of her books until recently, when I checked out Web of Light, the first book in the Web of Light duology, from the Kindle Lending Library. I enjoyed the read and admire how the book is structured. For the most part, each chapter is written in five sections, one section per each of five different viewpoint characters, giving the reader insights to events that none of the characters have individually. It’s a pleasure watching events unfold and interweave.

Dark Light, the second book in the Web of Light duology, has just been released, and while I’ve not yet had a chance to read it, I’m looking forward to it. I don’t want to miss seeing how everything set up in the first book plays out. Continue reading Dark Light – Author Interview and Book Excerpt

Love After Death – Cover Art

Love After Death cover art So here’s my first stab at a cover for my debut fantasy novel, Love After Death. Click on the image to see a larger version. I rendered the 3D portion of the cover in DAZ3D Studio using the Genesis model. Postwork and titling were done in Serif PhotoPlus X5. The title font is Showcard Gothic. The font for the rest of the text on the cover is Century Gothic.

It’s not easy picking fonts for cover art. You want them to stand out even when the cover is displayed at a small size. I think the fonts I chose will work well for that. LoveAfterDeath-5 Here’s a smaller version of the cover art, at the size you’d expect to see used in an Amazon ad or brief listing for a published book. I have to lean close to the screen to read the text at the very top of the image, but I can definitely make it out. I can read the title okay, but then I already know what it says.

What do you think of this cover art? Does it pique your interest in the novel? What kind of story does this cover make you think the novel will be? Any suggestions for changes?

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Love After Death – A Synopsis

Here’s a synopsis of my debut fantasy novel, “Love After Death.” That’s still a working title, but I’m thinking more and more that I’ll keep it. See what you think.

The story takes place on a world called Pharas, where magic is the norm. Humans on Pharas are said to have come to the world from Earth a couple thousand years ago through a magical portal that is still operational. The protagonist is a thirty-two-year-old human man named Alonso. He’s married to a shadow elf woman, Ngozi, whom he’s known since he was sixteen. They are childless and since being married have discovered they can’t have children. They own a tower by the sea and now they are broke. Ngozi works but Alonso doesn’t because he’s too depressed. Alonso wants a daughter, and although he has secretly “adopted” the ghost of a twenty-year-old woman as his “daughter,” he wants a flesh-and-blood daughter.

Tax time is coming soon, and Ngozi isn’t making enough money to pay the taxes. So she takes the initiative to find Alonso a job that she is sure he can do: a job delivering hats in the nearest city, Hooblaport, which is where Ngozi works. The city was founded by a lizard-like humanoid kindred called the hoobla, hence the name Hooblaport. Alonso’s employer is a hoobla milliner, but it’s a human sorceress called Lady Ryley who got Alonso the job, and she has some requirements of her own. It turns out that more is expected of Alonso on the job than he or Ngozi realized. Alonso is expected to do a little more than deliver hats.
Continue reading Love After Death – A Synopsis

Sex Scenes in Fantasy Novels

I need your help, big time. My debut fantasy novel, now tentatively titled “Love After Death,” includes a number of explicit sex scenes. I’ve written them this way because that’s how they flowed onto the page. I have no qualms myself about publishing the novel with the sex scenes remaining as explicit as they are currently written. But I know there are some readers who are turned off by the inclusion of such scenes. Are there that many readers who feel that way, or just a few? I’m at the point where I’m ready to revise as needed and I’d love to have your input.

When it comes to sex scenes, I see four basic approaches:

  1. Not having any sex scenes at all, not even to mention that sex happens
  2. Mentioning that sex happens or alluding to the fact, but not describing any details beyond kissing, hugging or other activities that many people might do in public
  3. Describing or alluding to actions that most people would not do in public, but glossing over the specifics, and not mentioning people’s private parts in any way
  4. Placing no restrictions on descriptions of the actions involved during sex, typically being specific about what is done to or with people’s private parts

I say these are “basic” approaches, because between any two of them, there are many degrees of explicitness.
Continue reading Sex Scenes in Fantasy Novels

Next Big Thing Blog Hop Tour

When Riley Banks, author of The William S Club, asked for volunteers to whom she could pass the baton for the “Next Big Thing” Blog Hop Tour, I felt compelled to put out my hand. My book isn’t finished as I write this, and it won’t be finished for some months after this post goes live, but they say writers should start promoting their works early. So I’m taking their advice. Whoever they are.

The concept behind The Next Big Thing Blog Hop Tour is for each participant to answer the same set of ten questions that everyone else in the tour is answering. At the end of the post, the baton is passed on to two or three other authors who have recently published books or are currently working on them and would like to take part in this tour.

So without further ado, here are my answers to the questions for the Next Big Thing Blog Hop Tour.

1. What is the working title of your book?

The Unfinished Tower

The desire to finish the construction of the tower is a driving force throughout the story. Chances are good that I’ll keep that title for the published novel.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

I used my fiction idea generators to spark my creativity. I generated personalities, events, overall concepts, and some magic effects to start with. Then I took a look at the entire set and tried to make something cohesive out of it all, set within my fictional world of Pharas, which I’ve been writing about and using for role playing game adventures for over 40 years.

The germ of an idea about the world of Pharas came into being in the late 70s when my friend Sam Breshears told me about a dream he had involving a giant and an underground lake. The giant and the lake have nothing to do with The Unfinished Tower, and very little with what the world of Pharas has evolved into. But this is what happens when a creative person like myself starts mulling over some small, seemingly insignificant detail and keeps adding to it. A whole world is born and grows and evolves and becomes so much more than what it started as.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Fantasy. Can I narrow it down further? It’s not sword and sorcery like my short stories that were published in Peryton Publishing’s Troll Tunnels anthology. Sometimes I think the novel is paranormal romance. Sometimes I think it’s urban fantasy. Sometimes I think it’s erotic fantasy. I might end up toning down the erotica. I’m not sure how many of my potential readers would appreciate those scenes as written in the first draft. While I try not to be vulgar, some scenes as currently written are sexually explicit and only suitable for a mature audience. Since the main character is in his early thirties, I doubt too many young people will be interested in reading the novel anyway, but I’m not sure how many older readers will either. I welcome any comments on this topic.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I’d thought about this even before I knew anything about this blog hop tour. Initially my image of the main character, Alonso, was that of a younger Antonio Banderas, in his early thirties. Choosing from actors who are currently an appropriate age, I have to go with Orlando Bloom. I know he’s in his mid-thirties now instead of his early thirties, but that’s nothing when it comes to movie making. Orlando is talented enough to play pretty much any role, and he’s a good fit for the body type I envision for Alonso.

For the character of Ngozi, Alonso’s shadow elf wife, who is also in her early thirties, I’d like to see Rosario Dawson take that role. I’ve seen her in a few movies, including Sin City (one of my favorite movies), and I like her style. She’s also got the right body type for Ngozi. Dye her hair violet and she’s good to go.

One of the most important characters in The Unfinished Tower is Lady Ryley, the high society friend of Ngozi who helps Alonso get a job. Lady Ryley looks to be in her thirties, though she is rumored to be older, and no one is sure how much older. She’s a good deal shorter than Alonso and Ngozi, and she has a mean streak. I’d love to see Christina Ricci in this role.

Two characters that make life for Alonso exciting and sometimes uncomfortable are the twin redheads Kala and Locket. While there might be twin actresses who could take these parts, I know Hollywood can do the magic required to use a single actress to fill the roles of identical twins. With that in mind, I’d choose Kate Upton to play the roles of both Kala and Locket. Kate is ultra sexy and so are the twenty-something twins.

Another important character is that of the red-haired Gabriel, a homeless runaway twelve-year-old about to turn thirteen. I confess to not having seen The Hunger Games, but I’ve seen some clips featuring Willow Shields, and I think she’d do the part of Gabriel justice.

The character of Wizard Grommuus, the Wizards Council Representative in Hooblaport, is a lizard-kin man. I’d like to see Rufus Sewell in the part; he can be intense and has a subtle sense of humor. I really liked his performance in Dark City. I wonder how he would look with scaly skin and a tail.

One other important character in The Unfinished Tower is the mysterious Aisling, a ghost who primarily appears to Alonso in his dreams. She chooses the form of a young redheaded woman in Alonso’s dreams. I can picture and hear Lindsay Lohan in that role.

There are other supporting characters in The Unfinished Tower, but these are the characters I’ve thought about the most in terms of which actors and actresses I’d cast them as.

Hover over the images below for rights information; click on the image for the page with full copyright details.

Orlando Bloom

Orlando Bloom as Alonso

Rosario Dawson

Rosario Dawson as Ngozi

Christina Ricci

Christina Ricci as Lady Ryley

Kate Upton

Kate Upton as Kala and Locket

Willow Shields

Willow Shields as Gabriel

Cover Art for The Eleventh Hour

Rufus Sewell as Wizard Grommuus

Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan as Aisling

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

For now I’m going with the following, which might change. I wanted to keep it at 25 words or less.

A depressed married man falls prey to seduction and magic, and must fight both to save his marriage and his life.

6. What is the longer synopsis of your book?

Alonso is a white human male married to Ngozi, a black shadow elf female. The two have been a couple since they were teenagers, and were married in their mid-twenties. They are now in their early thirties. Money gained from selling Alonso’s family farm allowed him and Ngozi to buy some coastal property and commission the building of the tower of their dreams. But construction on the tower stopped when Alonso ran out of money due to uncontrolled spending and no income. To finish building the tower, both Alonso and Ngozi needed to find work, but only Ngozi obtained a job. Descending into depression, Alonso spent his days walking the beach while Ngozi drove into the city to work. Each night Ngozi would come home and fix Alonso dinner. Seeing that Alonso is spiraling deeper into depression, Ngozi takes matters into her own hands, and finds Alonso a job through one of her high society city-dwelling friends, Lady Ryley. The job Alonso lands turns out to be delivering women’s hats. Earning his wage doesn’t only depend on if or how well he delivers hats; most of the clients are hoping for a little something extra. How far is he willing to go to earn the money he and Ngozi need to finish building their home?

Alonso also discovers that one ambitious wizardly type is cooking up a scheme to rule Pharas. Alonso’s death may be key to the wizard’s plans. Add to that the needs of a homeless runaway who Alonso wants to help and a ghost who begs for help that Alonso isn’t sure he should give. Can Alonso do the right thing for his wife and everyone else in his life, avoid dying, and maybe, just maybe, see his tower completed?

7. Is your book self-published or represented by an agency?

At this point I do not have an agent. I plan to publish my novel under my Eposic imprint.

8. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It took me two months to write the 95,000 words of the full first draft. Before that I spent two weeks writing an outline of 20,000 words. I’m into my second month now of writing the second draft, basically rewriting the entire novel. It’s going slower than I’d like. It takes a lot of patience to write a novel.

9. Who or What inspired you to write this book?

I went through a period of severe depression in my early thirties. The death of my mother when I was 28 and the failure of my first marriage in my early thirties were key factors leading to my depression. That period of depression is the impetus for the character of Alonso. He’s so depressed he has no motivation to do anything but walk the beach all day. He depends on his wife to take care of him. The story begins on the day he agrees to take action to do something to change his life. But life isn’t content to sit still and let him work out his problems—it compounds them for him. That’s how life goes sometimes.

Another inspiration for the story comes from the desire I’ve always had to have a daughter. This manifests in the story in a couple of ways.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The world of Pharas continues to evolve, and at this point it is a world where magic has become an integral part of society, perhaps even more than electricity is on Earth. Their washing machines are powered by water elementals, with fire elementals summoned afterwards to do the drying. They have bathing stalls in which the bather stands while a water elemental swirls over their body to clean them. They have glow stones that are much like light bulbs on Earth, but powered by magic. They have waste disposal bowls on which they sit to do their business, and when they are finished, the bowl transports the waste to another dimension, an adjacent universe. The wealthy have magical contact cards that are similar to Earth’s cell phones. But the people dress in tunics, breeches, corsets and the like. They ride in horse-drawn carriages. Their buildings are all made of stone, with few windows. Glass is expensive because it requires magic to make it strong enough to withstand the most extreme weather conditions.

Though Pharas is a different world, it has a portal to Earth. The portal isn’t used in the story, but it’s through this portal that humans first arrived on Pharas long, long ago. Some of the inhabitants of Pharas are purely human. Others are a mix of human and some other kindred. Goblins, lizard-kin, ogres, and trolls can be found in the cities. Those kindred aren’t like the monsters they are so often portrayed as in other fantasy fiction. That’s mainly because in the cities, laws are magically enforced—for the most part, keeping the monstrous kindred in line.

I plan to post the prologue for the book on this site when I’m nearly ready to publish.

That’s it about my Next Big Thing. I hope you’ve read something here you found interesting and will consider reading my novel when it is published, sometime before the end of summer 2013 if all goes to plan. There’s still a lot of work to do on it and I’m not going to rush it to market. But I didn’t want to pass up this opportunity to participate in the blog tour.

Now it’s time to pass the baton to other authors. Look for their installments on January 23.

Christina Lea is one of the founders of Peryton Publishing. Her work there includes creating role-playing games, herding the cats, and figuring out how to do all the stuff that everybody else refuses to think about. When nobody’s looking, she sneaks off and writes fiction. Look for her installment of the Next Big Thing on her blog, Willfully and Persistently. Connect with Christina on Twitter, @rchristinalea.

Soror Puella Lucis is an experimental musician and an occultist. She is influenced by surrealism, dada, stream of consciousness, and BDSM themes. She lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Her installment of the Next Big Thing will be posted on the Black Flower Music blog.