Sunday, August 31, 2014

Ask the Author

To round out the interviews I've been doing over the past weeks I thought it would be fun to give some of the Dream Traveler characters a chance to ask me questions. Joining me are Raven, Violet, Blade, Cook, and Becca from the Fortress Basin and Ren and Ryan from the Steeple Basin. Let's get started.

KL: I'm so happy to welcome all of you here. Who has a question?

JONAH: So I'd like to know why you set me up with unrequited love.

KL: It adds tension to the story. Readers like that sort of thing.

RAVEN: So really we're just pawns?

KL: Um... well... next question please.

COOK: I get that adapting to living in a forest takes time, and that the move was necessary. But a decent kitchen set up once we got to the protected basin would've been nice. Back at the manor house I used to work with top of the line equipment.

KL: That's more of a comment.

BECCA: I think your food's just as tasty as ever, Cook. But I have a question similar to Jonah's.

KL: What about you, Blade, anything you'd like to ask?

BLADE: You mean such as why do I get the dysfunctional family with the stuck up, whining, egotistical parents? No, no questions here.

RYAN: I wanna know why I have to chop so much wood.

RAVEN: And why does my Gift take forever to show up?

RYAN: At least Dream Travel's easy for you. It kinda gives me a headache.

(assorted complaints and outbursts)

KL: Cardonians, please. I do try my best to listen to you while I'm writing your story.

REN: Guess you didn't hear that I wanted to be taller.

KL: Sorry.

VIOLET: Yeah, and what about what me and Raven had to go through? I mean losing our mom before the story even starts...

KL: Listen everyone, I still have the revisions to work on.

VIOLET: Maybe you should have a comment box. Then we could all have a say. Blade, pass me that pen and paper.

KL: Maybe. Well it's been great having you all here-

RAVEN: You're kicking us out already?

REN: But this couch is so soft.

BECCA: And so dry.

KL: Your story calls, you know.

JONAH: We can take these snacks, right?

KL: Here, let me get the door. Ren I'll need that pillow back.

REN: What pillow?

KL: Fine, you can keep it.

That went well. They're much easier to manage in my head. They're a great bunch, though. I hope you'll agree when Book One of The Cardonian Chronicles, The Dream Traveler, gets released this fall.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Rendering

I'm pleased this week to introduce Ren, one of the youngest characters in The Dream Traveler. Don't let the shifty eyed skin and bones look fool you; Ren has a heart of gold and the strength of a lion cub.

Image courtesy of anankkml/

KL: So Ren, you're a--

R: A warrior.

KL: You're a little young to be a warrior, aren't you?

R: No. Moonlight's teaching me. She knows how to break bones and kill people. Now I do, too.

KL: Is breaking bones a useful skill in the Steeple Basin?

R: The place is full of unsavories. More unsavory than me.

KL: Where did you live before the spirit invasion?

R: The city. No one can live there anymore. I don't know if the whole spirit thing is true, though.

KL: No one in your city was infected?

Image courtesy of hyena reality/

R: We left way before any spirits could get there. The Shielders said it was happening, so most everyone believed them.

KL: Most everyone?

R: Some people stayed put. I almost did. There was good looting once the crowds left.

KL: What changed your mind?

R: I was ready for something different. Are you gonna eat that?

KL: Please, help yourself. Wow, you're really hungry.

R: (through a mouthful) This stuff's really good.

KL: Tell me more about-- um, you know people don't usually scratch themselves there in public.

R: So?

KL: Anyway, you wanted a change.

R: Yeah, all my life it's been sleep in the gutter, hide in the shadows. I watch people. I never been a part of people.

KL: So this was a chance to be part of something.

R: I guess. Then I met Moonlight.

KL: Would you say she's the mother you never had?

R: Moonlight's nothing like my mother. She's my friend.

KL: How did you two meet?

R: She broke a man's wrist and I brought her some food I stole.

KL: And then you two were friends?

R: Yup.

Image courtesy of sattva/

There you have it, a friendship meant to be. Having Ren here was a real treat. You can find out more about Ren, Moonlight, and all the rest in the soon to be released book, The Dream Traveler.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Art of Resistance

A couple of weeks ago I hoped to have one of my favorite characters, Moonlight, join me here for an interview. This week I got to do something even better: meet with Moonlight in her own setting, the Fortress Basin. The basin was even grander than I imagined, putting California's old growth redwood forests to shame. The greenery was greener, the trees more massive.  If not for the marauding outlaws popping up when you least expect them, I'd have stayed longer.

My first thought when meeting Moonlight was that I want to be just like her when I grow up-- strong, confident, self-reliant. She's six feet of muscle and grit, topped by white-blond tresses that seem to glow even in daylight. There's an air about her that makes me want to take kick-boxing, or one of those self-defense classes where you get to take down your attacker full force.

What I really wanted, though, was a lesson in Resistance. After experiencing the persuasive powers of Fillian Barnabas, I thought it wise to be better prepared in the future, just in case we come face to face again. The tips Moonlight gave might come in handy in the Real World, too, in those vulnerable moments of self-doubt and second guessing, when that savvy salesperson or that supervisor with the 'strong personality' is trying to pull one over on me.

Here it is in a nutshell, how to resist a Persuasive.

1. Find your center of power, the place inside you where YOU radiate from. For some it's in the solar plexus or heart. Others are centered in their gut. Taking a few quiet breaths helps with this step.

2. Imagine your center of power as a glowing sphere, and let it expand until it surrounds your entire body.

3. Choose a resistance mantra, something that affirms you as your own authority.  A simple one that Moonlight recommends is 'I am my truth; my truth is me.'

4. Avoid eye contact with all questionable Persuasives.

5. If eye contact is unavoidable, imagine pulling a shield down over your eyes to block out any insidious messages.

I think I left the Fortress Basin standing a little taller, glowing a little brighter. Almost hoping to run into Barnabas. Almost.

image courtesy of photostock/

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Ancient Cardonian Telepathy

Last night while going through some of my artifacts, files, and other resources on Cardonia I happened upon an old, crumbling text entitled The Telepathic Gift. Intrigued, I decided to delve into it.

Image courtesy of adamr/

 I think Telepathy is the Cardonian Gift that fascinates me the most, so it's a shame it no longer exists there. Perhaps there's a place for it in the Real World, though. Lately there seem to be more and more ordinary people opening up to extraordinary gifts. And besides, there's no threat of banishment or annihilation for these awesome individuals by a corrupt royal advisor.

The book is painstakingly detailed, but I managed to boil it down a bit. Here are 5 tips on how to develop your Telepathic Gift. Let me know if they work for you!

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic/

1. Take a moment to focus your mind on a particular message. Allow any emotions attached to the message to rise up. They will give it more power.

2. Imagine the person who will be receiving the message. Pretend he or she is standing right in front of you.

3. Visualize the message, complete with emotions, flowing from you to the receiver.

Image courtesy of marin/

4. To allow a reply, imagine a blank white space in your mind. Focus on your breathing and this clear white space until a message comes to you. It might arrive as an image, feeling, or words.

5. Check in with the other person to share your experiences. And practice. The book says at least 10 times a day when you're first starting out.

10 times a day is a pretty hefty chunk of time, and that's for Cardonians who were naturally equipped with the Gift. Here in the Real World I guess we'd need to up that to at least 20 times a day. I think for now I'll stick with talking. And texting.

Image courtesy of feelart/

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Meet Moonlight

Welcome back everyone.  I had to pull a few strings, but managed to entice one of my favorite characters from The Dream Traveler, Moonlight, to join me today.  Let's get started.

KL: Wait a minute, I'm pretty sure you're not on the schedule today.

FB: Fillian Barnabas; pleasure to meet you. Yes, I know you had planned on someone else, but I thought your readers would benefit more from an interview with me, don't you think?

KL: Well, maybe. But I was really hoping to talk with Moonlight.

FB:  Oh, Moonlight's a busy woman. Wouldn't want to bother her, would you?

Image courtesy of iosphere/

KL: No, I suppose not. But... Wow, your eyes are really intense.

FB: Part of my Gift. Just keep staring into them.

KL: And your voice, it's so pleasant.

FB: Yes, you just relax. You've been working much too hard.

KL: Anything you say, Fillian.

FB: Really? Well now that you mention it, I did have a few suggestions. Some ways to make your outstanding book The Dream Traveler even better, you know?  (sotto voce) Better for me, that is.

KL: Did you just chuckle?

FB: First of all, I must have a bigger army of supporters. Taking over an entire kingdom isn't exactly a walk in the park.

KL: (straightening up) Wait, what?

image courtesy of tiramisustudio/

FB: Just a suggestion. Here, have a drink. You're so tense. That's better. As I was saying, just a small tweak here and there, to really make the book pop. Of course it wouldn't hurt if you added a love interest for me. Even vill- I mean victors need someone special, heh heh.

KL:  Mmm, yes, good idea.  No, hang on a sec. I know what you're doing. You're the Persuasive they warned me about. I'm calling security.

FB:  No need, no need.  I was just leaving.  But remember what I said.

Wow, he's even creepier in person. Sorry about that, everyone. Hopefully Moonlight can join us next week. Until then, if you happen to come across a tall, lanky guy with graying hair and intense green eyes, be sure to run the other way.

image courtesy of Stuart Miles/