Thursday, June 27, 2013
Meet Author Ronald Hore
A Blog ... How I come up with these ideas...Really!
As usual, I’m running off in all directions at once. Life is not supposed to be like this, so I’ll settle down and talk about two of my recent projects.
The Queen’s Pawn novel was published in April 2013, first as an ebook, and then in print format. It is what I think of as a medieval-style fantasy, complete with adventure and romance. I’m what writers call a “pantser” in that I don’t spend a lot of time pre-planning a novel, in most cases. I do a lot of writing by the “seat-of-my-pants.” Queen’s Pawn started with one scene that I dreamed up from somewhere (Maybe I had just watched Troy?). I pictured a young man, a mature student, who finds himself in a burning city with the enemy breeching the gates. I started to write and here is an outline of what came out:
Harow, the student, is mistaken for a bold and infamous duke who dies at his feet. Harow, dragged to the palace by a mysterious wizard who pretends to be Harow’s servant, is charged with the duty of leading the queen and her daughter to safety. Queen Reginee is a beautiful woman who comes across, at first, as lost in all the chaos, then later, as quite mysterious. Her daughter, Desiree-Rose, is another matter, spoiled, loud, constantly complaining. Harow must round up the royal party, escape from the city, and lead them safely to the castle of the queen’s brother. To compound Harow’s life, the queen’s large maid. Mathilde, is anxious to find out if the duke’s reputation with the ladies is as rumored.
I had a lot of fun writing this, watching the characters change before my eyes, and leading them into all sorts of trouble. Of course, hardly anyone, with the possible exception of our hero, is who they seem to be. Some days I write to find out how it will all end. This was one of those cases.
Another, quite different project I have on the go is my fantasy detective series: The Housetrap Chronicles. The first novella, Housetrap, came out in December 2012, followed quickly by three more in the same series. I decided to do a hard-boiled detective tale set in a fantasy land. For my inspiration, I decided I would take the title of a famous mystery or thriller, mangle it, and use that title as the feeble inspiration on which to hang a plot. To give you some idea of what I am talking about, the next three in the series are: Dial M for Mudder, House on Hollow Hill, and Hounds of Basalt Ville. All are either published or will be published this year. I’m currently working on two more of the things. They are fun to write and I can throw just about anything into the pot and stir.
I am currently working on two sequels for my first novel: The Dark Lady, and have another manuscript sitting on the publisher’s desk, (Alex in Wanderland). I’m about to start adding about 30,000 words to another novel I thought I had completed, (We’re Not in Kansas) but then I changed my mind. That’s what happens when you have a alien who looks something like Harrison Ford.
I don=t like Elves, never have. I sat tilting back in my chair counting the stains on the ceiling when she walked through the open door of my inner office unannounced . Unannounced because I’d just given Bertha the afternoon off to visit her sick brother. Bertha=s half Banshee, thin as a lamppost with long straight dark hair and big brown eyes. She=s always got a relative down with the Black Death or some obscure curse; I think she has twelve brothers, but I digress.
The Elf arrived in my office wrapped in a full-length gold lame coat with a large hood covering her head and hiding most of her features, but I could tell she was pure Elf. Those yellow eyes are a dead giveaway even if you can=t spot the pointed ears. I=m a student of nature, have to be; the breed often determines character, or motive, or veracity. In my business you have to stay two jumps ahead or you=re squashed like a scarab. I=m a Mongrel myself. You can never tell about Mongrels, and there are more of us around now ever since the Goldilocks affair. Now there was a real witch, not the kind with just a warty nose, but she married that Wolf back in the days before they gave femmes the vote. Then they went overboard and made it all legal in the Intermarriage Act of 1812, and everything has tumbled Jack over Jill downhill ever since.
The Elf glanced about the room nervously, then in a single fluid motion crossed her long legs and slid into the battered chair opposite me like maple syrup poured from a mason jar. I sighed deep inside, rocked forward to rest my elbows on the scratched oak desk, painted a smile across my ugly mug and waited. I had all day; it had been two weeks since my last case. She fidgeted for a minute and I matched her, stare for stare, until my eyeballs screamed for mercy. The Elf had the kind of face you see perched high on a mantelpiece, thin bone china, pale, delicate, and carved by a master.
Excerpt from The Queen’s Pawn- Chapter One
“Did you kill him?” The low, harsh voice grated on Harow’s spine.
“Ah ... no, I found him like that. I must flee, the enemy is near and ...”
“Silence! Do not lie to me boy! I saw him deliver a message to you. What was it? Tell me quickly or I will reach down your throat and pull out your feeble heart, then feed it back to you.”
Harow gulped. An imposing gentleman garbed in black velvet stood before him. Grey fur trimmed the full-length robe, while an ebony skull cap covered the top of the speaker’s head. Beneath the cap, wisps of long white hair tried their best to escape. Dark eyes flashed out at Harow from beneath bushy brows and skin like dried parchment clung to the contours of the skull behind the face. Although he had never before seen such a creature this close up, Harow knew from the elaborate symbols ringing the robe that he faced a mage or wizard, of at least the third, and most imposing, rank.
Long bony fingers materialized from deep within black sleeves. One pale hand held a dagger with a thin curved blade almost the length of a man’s forearm.
“Rats stolen your voice-box? No difficult problem, my young friend. I’m certain I can dig something useful out of you, given time.” He smiled, revealing yellowed, broken teeth. The words dropped to the melody of a soft purr blended with honey and seasoned with fine spices. “Come here, my friend, and tell me all you know of this affair.”
Harrow felt his mind turning to soft gruel, felt those eyes burning two holes inside his aching head. Suddenly a hot desire to babble all, like a man who has just witnessed his own death and woken from a bad dream, or a young rooster who has just avoided his first hungry eagle, gripped him.
“He had a message for the Queen ... The King is dead. He wanted me to take his medallion and ring, go to the Palace, deliver a message to the Queen ... He made me swear to do it ... I do not know him. He fell there, right in front of me and died here on the street.”
The tall wizard bent down, examined the body carefully, glancing up once or twice at the schoolboy standing like a comic statue in the lane, mouth open, eyes wide. The sounds of fighting drew nearer, raging up the street on the other side of the row of buildings.
A reader of genre fiction since a very early age, I got down to serious attempts at writing over thirty years ago, although employment kept getting in the way.
During those years I wrote a considerable amount of non-fiction, enough to be listed as a professional writer by the Canadian Authors Association.
Hobbies include trying to keep on the good side of my wife, keep track of my children and grandchildren, and wrestling the blasted cat off of the keyboard. In my diminishing spare time I sail on Lake Winnipeg and try not to get lost.
My fiction writing history includes:
Winning first prize in 2006 for a National Canadian Authors short story contest (a romantic ghost story: “Midnight”) and being published in their anthology that year, and a modern vampire tale “Chrysalis” published in an anthology “Evolve” that seems to be doing quite well after its launch at the 2010 World Horror Convention in Brighton, England.
A current member of three writing organizations, for several years I was in charge of the judging for a national Canadian history book contest, and chaired a writer’s workshop in Winnipeg that in 2005 self-published an anthology, “Pieces of Eight” including three of my own selections: a sci fi piece, an attempt at an epic poem, and a true tale of how I almost drowned my brother and his wife in a storm the first year I owned a sailboat.
I currently review science fiction and fantasy genre novels and anthologies for an on-line magazine aimed primarily at school libraries. I’m losing track but I have done somewhere over 60 reviews so far.
In 2010 I co-authored a non fiction history: “The Rotary Club of Winnipeg-100 Years of Service”.
Through BURST Books I have a medieval fantasy tale of murder and intrigue entitled “The Dark Lady” which came out in February 2012 and a fantasy detective story, Housetrap, December 2012 designed as the first of a series of novellas, another novella, Knight’s Bridge, and a second full-length novel, “The Queen’s Pawn.”
And of course, I also have a large stack of completed manuscripts in various stages ranging from a “What If” — the North Americans discovered Europe first, set in 1215AD – to a contemporary bickering married couple swept away to an alterative universe, or a futuristic tale of a lady archeologist in outer space. Hopefully there will be more to come!
The Dark Lady - February 2012
Housetrap - December 2012
Knight’s Bridge - March 2013
The Queen’s Pawn - April 2013
Dial M for Mudder - July 2013
House on Hollow Hill - September 2013
Hounds of Basalt Ville - November 2013
(available through the usual channels such as Amazon or direct form the publisher www.burstbooks.ca)
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