Welcome to the Friday Feature of the Fantasy writers group, A Drift of Quills! We Quills get together once a month to chat up aspects of reading and writing. This month we’re choosing a picture we think best represents some person, place or thing in one of our works. I don’t know about you, but I love seeing the pictures that have inspired my fellow authors in their writing. Sometimes their choices are surprising, and at others I nod my head madly and say yes, yes! So—wanna see what we’re envisioning? Read on!

The character Crow, from my novel As the Crow Flies, is the obvious choice for this endeavor, so I’m going with him. When I wrote the book, I didn’t have a picture sitting by my computer to prompt or inspire me, but I had a very strong sense of him. In fact, I didn’t have a picture to represent Crow until after I started a Pinterest board for the novel. Crazy, right?
I found one fine-looking fellow, then another, then… my daughter came to me one day and said, “MOM! I know the perfect guy to play Crow! Colin O’Donoghue!” 
It turns out she was right:
(image courtesy of FanPop.com
from the television show “Once Upon a Time”)

“An alley appeared below me, but it was not so wide that I couldn’t make the jump, and I took it with a quivering thrill in my heart. No wings, no strings, an unmeasured height—and the certain knowledge of the cobbled street below. That dizzying leap on the run was one of the few ways I could ever get close to flying.” (excerpt from “As the Crow Flies“)

Crow’s companion, Tanris, began life as an image in my head too. And oh, what a chore it was to search through gazillions of pictures of men to find just the right one! Alas, someone had to do it. Alan Van Sprang didn’t have any trouble at all filling out the requirements of “tough, weathered, capable.” And look, a shaven head, too!
(image source unknown, from the film “The Immortals”)

“That was the Tanris I had come to know and appreciate over the years of our association, a man like myself, quick-witted and not confined to the obvious. He had come up with the perfect answer to our utterly impossible question, and at that moment I cheerfully hated him.” (excerpt from “As the Crow Flies”)

And here we have the Kerdann Moors that our heroes had to cross in search of the dragon’s egg:
(“Eerie Irish Countryside” from imgur.com)

“We’d come down out of the mountains without any incident and traveled east across the Kerdann Moors for days and days, shrouded in constant fog and mist. I had begun to doubt these parts guarded any kind of civilization at all. Even Kem had disappeared completely. Our supplies were so reduced that Girl rode one of the pack horses, silent as a sack but wonderfully obedient, doing whatever Tanris required of her, wrapped in an air of quiet, hopeless misery.” (excerpt from “As the Crow Flies”)

Last, but not least, I want to leave you with a teaser for my current work in progress, which is laboring under the working title of “The Sharpness of the Knife.” This is the fortress, Heaven’s Gate, where our young protagonist, Sherakai, unwillingly spends some formative years:
(image of Brunella fortress courtesy of Bed & Breakfast Lunigiana)
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Author of the short story, Sanguis Dei and a poetry collection, Light and Dark

I have always loved deep forests and mountains. It seems natural, then, that when I began to write stories I would set them in such green and mystical old places of the world. Some of the most inspiring images in my head are things I have seen in this world: the ancient woods of Wales, the deep canyons and caves in Pennsylvania and Arizona. There are wonders to behold in our very backyards that strike me as otherworldly. 

. . .  (Read more!)

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Author of Oathtaker

A reader recently asked me, if Oathtaker was a movie, who did I see playing the characters? For me, the real difficulty in this question is knowing that whatever celebrity names and faces I choose, someone will not like them. It is amazing what strong feelings we have about celebrities, either because of their past work, or possibly as a result of the bits and pieces we hear about their private lives . . . But I will give this a shot, nonetheless.

I thought I would start with my main character, Mara . . .  (Read more!)

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Do you like seeing the author’s idea of who fits as models for the characters in their stories?
If you could choose someone to represent the mage Ammeluanakar (Melly), who would it be?