Featured Book

Rita Monette On Writing in Present Tense

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Past tense or present tense, that is… or was… the question.

I’ve recently been researching the professional and non-professional views on tense in novel writing.

Why, you might ask? I am almost to the finish line of a YA novel I have been working on for…let’s say six years. I first wrote it in past tense, which is my usual way of writing. Then about half way through, for some unknown reason, I thought it would sound better in present tense. So I rewrote it. Now that I’m almost done, I’ve begun to see articles about the pitfalls of writing in present tense, which I—at one point or another—have encountered all. Have I overcome the warning obstacles? We’ll see.

According to David Jauss, of On Writing Fiction, these are three of the drawbacks of writing in present tense.

  1. Present tense restricts our ability to manipulate time, in that it is hard to switch to past tense during the story.

I didn’t seem to have a problem with that, as this information can be brought out in dialog or in the protagonist’s thoughts.

 

  1. It is more difficult to develop complex characters. He goes on to say it is harder to build depth in our characters in present tense. He states without the use of flashbacks, we can’t know enough about our character’s past and he ends up being generic.

 

I accomplished this feat by using dreams or nightmares in the beginning and on occasion to let the reader know what makes our hero do what he does.

 

  1. The present tense can diminish tension by eliminating the knowledge of upcoming events.

 

I didn’t find this to be problematic, but I suppose my readers will have to decide that. To quote Carolyn Chute, author of The Beans of Egypt, Maine, “What we gain in immediacy, we lose in tension. Present tense fiction can create another kind of suspense of course—the kind we feel when no one knows the outcome…”

 

Other articles I’ve read talk about how annoying some people find reading stories in present tense. I have to admit, I have read some that I couldn’t get past the first chapter. It seemed too jerky. But more recently, reading This Night Sucks, by Elizabeth Walker, I actually didn’t even notice it was present tense until well into it, then realized how refreshing it was to read it that way.

 

So, my humble conclusion on whether to write your story in present as opposed to past tense, is that it totally depends on the story,  the way it is told, and perhaps why it is told that way.

 

I will include here the first scene here for anyone that wishes to contribute their opinion.

Excerpt from The Zone of Fear

By Rita Monette

THE DREAM

It’s late August 1990, almost a year ago. My dad and I are sitting in the seat of his Ford Pickup traveling a couple miles west to pick up my friend, Darwin, then on to the park so we could shoot some hoops. He decides to pull into a convenient store to pick up some cigarettes.

“I’ll be right back,” he says.

Dad’s favorite CD, Unplugged by Eric Clapton, is playing Tears in Heaven. What a sad song, I think, and push the eject button. I twist the knob on the radio, looking for something I can get into, when I see a vehicle drive up and park at the end of the lot. Two men get out and head toward the entrance. I notice them because they are acting a little odd. They stand at the door and appear to be arguing, pushing at each other in the chest. One of the men turns and stares at our truck for a moment. He says something to the other man, then they enter the store. I can see Dad at the register handing the attendant some money. I am hoping he remembers to get me the Snickers bar I asked for. Dad picks up his bag and walks toward the door. He smiles as he looks at me through the glass.

Suddenly, I hear three loud bangs. Dad first turns to look behind him, then ducks and dives out the door. He runs toward the truck, staggers, then gains his footing. Then every…thing…turns …into…slow…motion. The front of his white T-shirt looks like a large red rose opening wider and wider. He drops the brown bag he is holding. Then things return to normal speed.

I crawl into the driver’s seat and shift into reverse. I back out of the spot, then swerve around to where my Dad is stumbling and holding his chest. I open the passenger door, and he crawls in. I push my foot hard on the gas pedal and burn rubber, leaving the scene behind us. But we never reach the hospital.

I always wake up at this point…sweating…alone in my room…back to the real world where my dad no longer exists, and the truth. That I had sat frozen in fear…watching as my dad fell to the dirty pavement. It’s the last thing I can remember of that day or for days afterward. I tell myself that I was only thirteen at the time, and no one could possibly

expect me to drive Dad’s truck. It doesn’t help. I could have.

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Rita Monette is our featured author this month and her newest book, The Secret in Mossy Swamp, launches September 17th!! You can pre-order this installment in the Nikki Landry Series, written and illustrated by Rita, for only $0.99 with the promo code: LEGEND.

If you want to know more about Rita, please check out her website: www.ritamonette.com

Let’s all go to the Bayou!

It’s September. That means it’s time for another featured book. But, we have Rita Monette’s The Secret in Mossy Swamp launching September 17th, so I thought why not combine the two!

So now’s your chance to pre-order the next installment in the Nikki Landry Swamp Legends Series, The Secret in Mossy Swamp for only $0.99!!! All you have to do is follow this link to our store and enter the promo code: LEGEND at checkout.

And, don’t forget! Members get this book and all the others from our store FOR FREE by using their member numbers AND they don’t have to wait for launch day either. Whether they order a paperback or an ebook, it will ship out the same day they order it. If you think this sounds like a good deal, you should check out our membership program here.

Rita-studio pic cropped-croppedNow, a little bit about Rita Monette and her newest book. The Secret in mossy Swamp is Rita’s third book and the third in the Nikki Landry Swamp Legends Series. A wonderfully talented writer and illustrator, Rita came to us from Musa Publishing along with other Mirror World Authors, Leigh Goff, Sharon Ledwith, and Elizabeth J. M. Walker. When we first received her submission of The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, I remember that all of us here at Mirror World were immediately hooked as Nikki Landry’s voice dragged us into the bayou. At the time, we weren’t sure we wanted to do books for younger readers, but Rita’s writing convinced us. We just HAD to publish her book.

The Nikki Landry Swamp Legends series is geared toward younger readers and has a protagonist that starts off around ten years old, but the strength of the writing is such that I really feel that readers of all ages will love this series. I’ve also had people take one look at Nikki on the cover and think that this series is only for girls, but it’s certainly not. Nikki is a tomboy and children of both genders will certainly relate to her insatiable curiosity and adventurous nature.

The Legend of Ghost Dog Island centers around a mysterious island in the bayou and Nikki’s missing dog, Snooper. The Curse at Pirate’s Cove takes us on an adventure through time in search of cursed pirate’s gold and The Secret in Mossy Swamp tackles the legendary swamp creature, the Rougarou. Here’s the blurb:

contrastSMSyThings are never what they seem… in a foggy Louisiana swamp

Living in a tiny houseboat, Nikki is stuck with sharing a room with her little brother, Jesse, who does what little brothers do best…torture their sisters.  Fed up, she decides to build a place of her own…a tree house where no boys are allowed. Meanwhile, something strange is happening on Bayou Platte. Things and people are coming up missing…and little stick dolls covered in moss, known locally as “signs” from the legendary Rougarou, are showing up in their place.

Is the Rougarou really to blame? Can Nikki get to the bottom of the mystery before things get worse? Find out in this third installment of the Nikki Landry Swamp Legends Series!

So what are you waiting for? Head over to our store and enter the promo code: LEGEND to get this book for $0.99. Or, better yet get your membership card today and get UNLIMITED access to our entire library for the year, including early access to pre-orders like this one!     

Unintended: A Comedy of Errors

Uncover3There’s still three days left of the sale on our featured book for August! Go to our store and use the promo code: FEATURE at check out for $3.00 OFF the price of the ebook, making Unintended by Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred only $0.99!

Kenzie en Shareed, daughter of the Northern Clan Chief, is sent south to the Kingdom of Ismera to uphold a treaty between the two lands by marrying the prince. Somehow she manages to marry the wrong man in this romantic comedy about good intentions and their unintentional consequences.

Here’s an excerpt:

Kenzie suddenly felt ill and more than a little dizzy. “You are not Prince Kadrean…?” The golden-haired stranger she’d just married wore a look of concern mixed with confusion. “Then who are you?”

“Uh…” He cleared his throat, made a little uncomfortable by the stares of the clanspeople. “Lord Garron D’Arbonne…at your service, Your Highness.”

An uncomfortable silence fell over them and the clansfolk, but Kenzie couldn’t find it in her to break it or fill it with anything meaningful. Her entire focus was on keeping herself from hyperventilating.

I just married this Garron D’Arbonne…not the Prince. Not my intended. Kenzie was in full panic at the gravity of the error she had just committed. How can I fix this?! The marriage bond is forever, never able to be undone. A man can remarry, under certain circumstances, but can a woman? Would they even allow such a thing?

My father will be so disappointed in me. He wanted this treaty between our lands to work. I’ve only just arrived and I’ve already ruined it. What am I going to do?!

“Well,” Garron cleared his throat again, “we should be going. I’m sure Prince Kadrean is eager to meet you.”

Gesturing forward, her husband held out his arm for her.

No, I mustn’t think of him that way, she admonished herself. He is my husband, but he’s right, I’m supposed to marry Prince Kadrean. There is a treaty. Our marriage is law. It must happen.

I’m so stupid. I could have avoided this if I had just thought to ask his name.

Her mentor had spent long hours making sure she understood the nuances of Ismeran culture, so Kenzie knew what was expected of her now. She slid her arm into Garron’s, even though she felt very conscious about doing so, and her people’s cheers resumed.

“What’s that all about?” Garron leaned into whisper to her, which didn’t help her self-consciousness.

“My people are happy for us,” she did her best to explain, “Most of them do not know English.”

“Oh,” he answered simply, considering this a moment. “I’m glad they approve…but what are they happy about, exactly? Pardon my questions, but I feel as if I’m missing something here.”

Garron took hold of the reins of his horse as they reached it, and with Seraphina leading both Kenzie’s horse and her own they were now reaching the open gates of the city, where it seemed that more people waited to greet them.

“They approve of our recent marriage…” Kenzie meant to say the words clearly and confidently, but they came out as a whisper instead.

Unfortunately, Garron heard her. “Our what?” he demanded as the roar of the crowd and the renewed fanfare swallowed them and there was no more time for words.

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Justine Alley Dowsett (right) and Murandy Damored (left) are the co-writing duo behind Mirror’s Hope, Mirror’s Heart and now Unintended. Their next novel, Uncharted, is coming early 2017. In addition to writing novels, they’re inseparable sisters and the unstoppable force behind Mirror World Publishing.

 

 

What lies ahead…

Our featured book this month is Unintended by myself, Justine Alley Dowsett, and Murandy Damodred. This means, you can pick up the ebook edition of this book for only $0.99 in our store with the promotion code: FEATURE

To read more about our featured book this month, click here.

I thought, in honour of Unintended being featured this month, that I would give you a sneak peek into what Murandy and I have been working on. Our next book is set in Ismera, the same world as Unintended, but it is not a sequel. It will feature entirely different characters with a story of their own, but will keep some of the style that you loved in Unintended. If you haven’t read Unintended yet, I suggest you do so, since it’s on sale this month!
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Here’s the description of the upcoming Uncharted by Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred:

There are no coincidences..

Fated to be a Priestess of Saegard, Meredith dreams of leading a normal life with a family and a home of her own, something she’ll never have if she swears her life to the Order.  A chance encounter with a stranger in the sacred Celestial Chamber sends her previously well-ordered life into a tailspin of adventure and mayhem as she is blamed for the theft of a legendary artifact. Now a fugitive, Meredith must join forces with Captain Reginald Lawrence, the son of the man who initially brought her to the Temple, and his enigmatic business partner,  the charming yet at times infuriating, Grey Rhodes, to find the Celestial Bowl and clear her name. From the cosmopolitan capital of Saegard to the coast of Ismera and back again, Meredith’s journey will reveal the true nature of her past, present, and ultimately, her future.  

Uncharted is currently in the hands of our beta readers, but we expect the book will come out sometime early in 2017. We had a lot of fun writing this one and in my opinion it’s the perfect blend of romantic comedy and swashbuckling adventure. I guess we’ll see soon enough what the beta readers think of it.

Have you read Unintended? Are you looking forward to Uncharted? Let me know in the comments section below!

Thanks for reading!

August’s Feature is not your average love story. It’s four of them.

This month we’re featuring Unintended by myself, Justine Alley Dowsett, and my sister, Murandy Damodred. Which means, with the promotional code: FEATURE, you can get this book from our store for only $0.99. Or, if you’re a member, you can get it FOR FREE, along with all the rest of our books and some other cool perks. (Find out more about how this program works, here.)

Uncover3Unintended is a comedy of errors co-written by two authors who like to butt heads. It has influences from Shakespeare’s romantic comedies, from The Princess Bride, and believe it or not, from the love triangles common in Korean dramas (we went through a phase, okay?). Set in the fictional world of Ismera, which is part historical fiction, part fantasy, Unintended has four main characters, whose romantic stories intertwine in comedic and often disastrous ways.

Kenzie

As Murandy and I co-write, we tend to divide the protagonists between us. Mackenzie en Shareed, or Kenzie, is written by Murandy. As the daughter of the clan chief of Haldoram, Kenzie must travel south to the capital of Ismera to marry the prince in order to uphold a peace treaty between the two nations. Determined to marry on her own terms, Kenzie performs the marriage ritual immediately upon her arrival at the gates of Ismer, only to find out moments later that the man she’s just married isn’t the prince at all…

Garron

Garron D’Arbonne, written by me, is an Ismeran noble tied to the royal family by his engagement to the princess Margaret. He is sent down to the gates to act as escort for the prince’s arriving fiancee, only to find himself married to the strange, yet beautiful foreign woman before they even reach the palace.

Kadrean

Kadrean Authier, also written by me, is the Crown Prince of Ismer. He doesn’t think much of Kenzie, or their arranged marriage, especially not after their disastrous first meeting. Being who he is though, he knows he’s going to have to make the best of it, even if Kenzie seems to bring out the worst in him and he’d much rather spite his father by making Kenzie spurn him and return home.

Vivianne

Murandy wrote Vivianne, the headstrong, over-curious young lady cursed with visions of the future, who’s desperate to do whatever it takes to get away from her abusive family. Secretly in love with her father’s servant, she’s determined that her father won’t make her flirt with the prince, leaving that task to her sister, Victory, a pawn in her father’s plan to get the foreign princess out of the way so his family can rule Ismera once more.

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All of our beta readers and fans agree that Unintended is our best co-authored book yet, so I hope you’ll use this opportunity to pick it up for $0.99 and give it a try. I promise, you won’t be disappointed. And if you like this book, chances are you’ll like the rest, so why not check out our membership program and get unlimited books for the year?

Thanks for reading!

What’s next for Joshua Pantalleresco?

Joshua Pantalleresco and his series, The Watcher, is our feature for this month! Which means you can pick up either The Watcher or Stormdancer for just $0.99 with the promo code: DRAGON. Just head over to our store. It also means that we’ve invited Joshua here to tell us a little bit about where he’s at and what it’s like to be working on the last installment of a trilogy. Without further ado, here’s Joshua Pantalleresco:

WatcherFront copyWhat’s it like to have a world in your head for years?  Not quite sure where it is going?  How is it going to end?

To that, I answer this:

It’s a dream.  You have these characters that you envision in your head.  You have a savage who dreams of freedom and his world is harsh, cruel and unyeilding.  Life and death only go to the strong.

It sounds very much like our world, yet different.

I love this world in spite of this cruelty.  Struggle is the one thing we all understand.  Every day there are battles we all fight within ourselves.

Yet for all the moments of guilt I had for some of the dangers I put all the characters in, I like the oozes and falling ships and pez dispensers I placed here.  And I loved the characters I have developed over the years that came from the view of the savage.

Kristen is the one I connected with most in the last two books.  With her, I discovered that beneath all her fear there was a real badass.  Her jailbreak in book two is still one of my favorite things I’ve written.  Ever.  But she’s tough, capable and more and more finds confidence in herself.  She is also the character that scares me the most, because she demands nothing but respect.

Will and Nicki I feel have a lot of untold story.  I hope someday if I do come back to this world I tell it.  Without spoiling too much, this is the key I’m leaving in my hands.  Someday they may speak to me like Kristen and The Watcher did.Cover-Final-8by11

But after four years, I owed this world an ending.   How then do I end it?

Revolution?  I wanted something bigger and vaster.

So I thought about the mystery of the Wandering God, and how to tie it with all of the series and I think I came up with an answer.  The biggest theme with this universe is the journey.  Through struggle, through pain, we travel, pieces of us falling bit by bit until we shape ourselves into what we are.   What bigger journey do we find in this life but the one about God?

In one sense this is the most abstract book.  What happens when one listens to a voice in your head?  It’s all a question of faith isn’t it?

And isn’t faith the ultimate journey?

I’m still working on it as of this writing.  I’m editing it, correcting it and just slowly but surely handing it over to the publisher.  We don’t have everything signed, sealed and delivered yet.  This one is going to take the longest to finish.  By that, I mean the editing and final touches.

But to me, the real work is done.  The story is told.

I love them.  I always will.   Will, Nicki, Kristen, and him most of all.   They will always be in my heart.  They took me on a grand journey and I thank them for it.  But for now, the dream is over.   I am thankful for dreaming it.

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Joshua Pantalleresco writes fiction, poetry and comics. He also loves to do interviews. He has written columns for comicbloc and allpulp and currently does so for comicmix. The Watcher is his second book of poetry. He resides in Calgary.

He has a blog you can follow here.

A Fusion of Epic Poetry and Graphic Art

The Watcher by Joshua Pantalleresco and its sequel, Stormdancer, are our featured books this month! Get the ebooks for $0.99 each with promo code: DRAGON in our online bookstore and enjoy an epic post-apocalyptic journey of discovery shown through a unique fusion of poetry and graphic art by the talented Florence Chan! Here’s a sneak peek:

  1. The Watcher

 alive and aware as the light comes in

rising to the sound of the morning drum

it’s plantation time

all of us work extra hard

they said we’d have bigger shares this year

if we did good

we wanted to try

I look to my mom and dad still sleeping

their hands calloused

their skins toughened

catching that last extra minute of shut eye

before they come

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the light darkens

snouts forming silhouettes in the shadows

scaly reptilian eyes and angel wings gaze down on them

he (she/it?) knows

for just a second, there is mercy

then justice rears its ugly dragon head

and roars

time to get to work

my job is atop the watchtower

I watch the skies for weather

we cannot work in rain or hail

if I see a cloud, I clang the bell

easy peasy and important

two dragons guard me from below

wielding their sticks of flame, they look up

making sure I do what I’m told

I would’ve anyway

I wanted that extra bit of honey

I wanted to feel the crunch of blackberries

I would be good until harvest time

days and weeks pass

the fallow ground sprouts with crops

corn and beans can be seen for miles

I gaze into the horizon

the skyscraper gazes back

it once stood tall and proud

now it is bent and tilted

covered in trees and shrubs

unable to tell the forest from itself

I cannot help but wonder

what were we like back before the dragons came?

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were we like them?

strong and proud

not caring about how hard we worked others?

many claim we were better then

more prosperous and possessive

me, I think we were the same

struggling and starving

tilling concrete instead of corn

working to eat a decent meal

had we really changed at all?

even more time passes

I stand atop the tower

thinking, thinking

I don’t know when it happened

But now I see things differently

I know what’s going to happen at harvest time

without counting a single crop

it is not enough

it was never enough

we would always fall short

my parents would be waiting for me at shift’s end

tears in their eyes

wondering just where they went wrong

blaming themselves for nothing

I’m furious now

I imagine wrapping my hands around a dragon’s neck

squeezing and squeezing

until I hear something snap

and I am satisfied

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I am unafraid

death doesn’t scare me

because I know the truth

next year it’d start again

the same empty promises, the same cycle repeating

we’d work and work and work

and get not a shred more than a crumb from their table

the way it has always been

it doesn’t have to be this way

I have to be patient

soon my chance will come

I’ll bide my time until then

waiting until their guard is down

I’d steal one of their sticks of flame

using it on their headquarters

I’d burn them to the ground

afterwards, I’d seek something

there just had to be something better out there

I just needed to be brave enough to find it.

I just needed one chance

until then, I’ll wait and watch

and be ready

one day, I’ll be free

Let us pick your next read

Business_CardLibraryfron copyAs always, we’re keeping busy and we’ve got lots of new developments coming your way. My goal is to develop a community around the idea that if you like one of our books, you’ll like them all. To that end, we’ve developed the membership program. For only $19.95 a year, you get unlimited access to our entire ebook collection, a discount on paperbacks and automatic inclusion into our facebook group where authors and fans meet to chat about their favorite books and their experiences with the writing and publishing process. Not to mention the fact that you get first dibs on all of our new releases, which includes getting them delivered to you well before the release date. It doesn’t get much better than that.

WatcherFront copyAnd in case you’re not ready to dive in and become a member, you can always pick up an e-copy of our monthly featured book for just $0.99. This month that’s Joshua Pantalleresco’s The Watcher and the promo code is: DRAGON So go ahead and try that one out by clicking here.

Now for something a little different. This past week I’ve been working hard to put together a series of quizzes to help you pick your next favorite read! There are three versions of the quiz, one for kids, another for young adults, and the last for adults. And here they are:

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Kids: https://www.buzzfeed.com/mirrorworldpub/which-mirror-world-book-should-you-be-reading-kid-2h3t4
Young Adults: https://www.buzzfeed.com/mirrorworldpub/which-mirror-world-book-should-you-be-reading-now-2h3t4
Adults: https://www.buzzfeed.com/mirrorworldpub/which-of-these-mirror-world-book-should-you-be-rea-2h3t4

I also rearranged our bookstore to make it easier to navigate by these age categories and included a new release section! Also, if you want to see our upcoming novels for this year, please check out our 2016 Catalogue. You can also subscribe to this blog to keep up with all the updates, changes, events, and new releases!

Thanks for reading!

 

Featuring: Joshua Pantalleresco!

As you know, July’s feature is The Watcher series by Joshua Pantalleresco. This means, you can pick up The Watcher, or its sequel, Stormdancer for only $0.99 all month long! Use code: DRAGON in our store! This is a real bargain, considering both books are a unique blend of science-fiction, poetry and graphic art that you won’t find anywhere else! Also, keep in mind that this is a trilogy, so we should expect book three, tentatively titled, Wandering God, in the near future.

Without futher ado, here’s an interview I had with the author of this amazing series, Joshua Pantalleresco:

MW:  Do you write about what you know or do you do “pure fancy”?

2015-08-29 12.58.28JP:  It’s funny that my answer is both?  Let me explain.  Most of my worlds are pure fancy.  I do a little research from time to time when I’m constructing worlds.  The Watcher’s world was inspired by pure fancy.

That said, usually what the story is trying to say is something based on what I’ve learned.   I found a few years ago that stories are better if they come from someplace real in you.  Freedom means a lot to me.  The Watcher’s story is reflective of some of my own questions.

MW:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

JP:  Mostly a pantser with a dash of plotter.  I tend to have an idea where the story ends and how the story begins.  Beyond that I keep it vague.  My characters know where they are going better than I am, and I try to steer clear of them.   I find personally if you let the plot be too structured it ruins the story.  It limits where you are allowed to go.  That said, without it, the story tends to be aimless.

That said book 3 is probably the heaviest plotted book I’ve written.  It’s much bigger than book 1 and 2 so I had a few stop points along the way.  That said, there were a lot of surprises in book 3 even for me.

MW:  Is there are genre or style of writing you’d like to try?

JP:  Screenplays and plays.  I’ve yet to try anything there.  And maybe, just maybe write an amazing sestina.

MW:  Are there other authors you try to take from and be inspired by?

JP:  I’m a fan at heart so I would be less than honest if I didn’t say yes to this.  The Watcher and Stormdancer definitely have some Edgar Rice Burroughs influences – especially the Watcher.   I just love the idea of the savage character.  There is an honesty and purity to them that I thought Burroughs captured very well.

Another author I feel like I borrow a bit from is Ray Bradbury.  Bradbury was the kind of guy that would take you by the arm and show you the wonders around you.  I like to think I do a little of that here; not as good as he did.  That would be sheer blasphemy from my part.  But I always loved the sense of wonder I had from Bradbury’s work.

 MW:  What advice would you give to a beginning writer?

JP:  Figure out who you are, and keep writing.  You solve the first and do the second, you will be ahead of the game.

 

Featuring Joshua Pantalleresco and The Watcher

This month we’re featuring Joshua Pantalleresco and his trilogy-in-progress, The Watcher. Starting with The Watcher and followed so far by Stormdancer, Joshua Pantalleresco is currently working on the third and final installment which is as yet unnamed, though I have every reason to believe it will be epic, just like the first two parts.

As our Feature for July, both The Watcher and Stormdancer are ON SALE all month long. Which means, the ebook versions of this part graphic novel, part poetry, part chapter book, series are available for only $0.99 each all month long! Simply visit our store and use the promo code: DRAGON

WatcherFront copyBefore I tell you a little bit more about The Watcher and its sequel, Stormdancer, I’d like to tell you a little bit about how they became Mirror World books. Long before Mirror World opened, I started my career in publishing by self publishing my own books, namely Neo Central and the Crimson Winter series. Joshua Pantalleresco stumbled across my books in a little bookshop in Windsor and took them back home with him to Calgary. Having read Crimson Winter: Ruins of Sapphire, he contacted me to let me know he loved the book and that he wanted to interview me for his blog.

If you don’t know already, Joshua Pantalleresco has made a name for himself blogging, interviewing and hosting his podcast, Just Joshing, which you can check out here.

Now that interview did eventually happen, but more importantly perhaps, Joshua and I met through our work and when Joshua was ready to self-publish his epic poem, The Watcher, he asked me if I wanted to read it. I did so, and I loved it, and it just so happens that I was getting ready to launch Mirror’s Hope with my brand new publishing company… and the rest is history.

The Watcher is poetry, but it is so much more Cover-Final-8by11than that. It is an epic in the true sense of the word. Chapters, told through simple poems, are interspersed with full-page graphic art by the talented Florence Chan. The story follows a slave boy known only as the Watcher who has lived his whole life held captive by dragons. Escaping, he sets out to explore a post-apocalyptic landscape believing deep down that there must be more to life than he has known.

In Stormdancer, the Watcher is kidnapped by a dragon, leaving his friends to follow his trail and find out what has become of him. Through the Watcher’s example and their own experiences within the post-apocalyptic wilds and the remnants of the ancients, they must find within themselves the strength and courage to face the storm.

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Joshua Pantalleresco writes fiction, poetry and comics. He also loves to do interviews. He has written columns for comicbloc and allpulp and currently does so for comicmix. The Watcher is his second book of poetry. He resides in Calgary. He has a blog you can follow here.

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