The History of Mab and Clyde

Selene and David from Underworld

War of Nytefall: Rivalry will be a major turning point in the relationship of Mab and Clyde.  I feel confident in saying this because anyone who read the first book or stuff about them on this blog knows how they interact.  There’s a friendly, playful tension that stems from their long history and former romance.  It’s clear that there are still some emotions there, but I’ll get into that another day.  This post is about the history and origin of the ‘Mab/Clyde’ relationship.

I talked about Mab and Clyde in their own origin posts way back in February of 2018.  I mentioned that they were characters used by me (Clyde) and another player (Mab), which rolled into an odd history.  We didn’t exactly plan it before the session started, but we began arguing about old heists and bad dates.  Just bringing up childish slights at the oddest time and talking about how one used to be more romantic or something.  It became clear that the characters had dated long before we began using them.  Once we accepted this, we played it up a lot and sometimes got a little crude.  Mostly, we shot snarky one-liners at each other during tense moments. It carried all the way until we stopped using them.

The humor and fun of this type of connection carried into the books, which resulted in a strange back and forth.  At first, I made them a couple right off the bat, but this resulted in losing the playful humor.  Not sure why I didn’t see that coming.  I then tried to have them be exes that still respected each other and worked together, which kind of worked even though I cut out the sexual tension.  It was almost there, so I did the obvious path of making a wrong decision.  This is when I made a few versions where Clyde ended up with the Vampire Queen and Mab was just kind of there.  It worked for a while until I switched to Windemere and realized that Mab had no role beyond ‘female badass’.  There was no real depth and growth to her during this stage.

I hated to admit it, but a lot of it depended on Clyde and he wasn’t going very far without her.  He was the monster on the edge and she was the angry former thief.  Nobody else was drawing other aspects out, so I put them together again.  From Mab, Clyde gains an anchor for his humanity and a partner who understands him better than anyone else.  From Clyde, Mab gained a partner who could draw her into a role that is more than a greedy thief and give her a chance to show some compassion for another person.  They were both incredibly selfish when apart, but shed that issue when put together even as non-romantic partners.  That’s where they’ve stayed ever since.

To be honest, I never really thought out the specifics of their history.  Both were thieves who stumbled onto each other and decided to work together.  Their partnership blossomed into a rather animalistic romance since Mab and Clyde are both fairly id-driven.  They’ve gained a lot of self-control over the decades.  Anyway, they made the gang to help gather more money and to allow them to work with some friends (Vengeance Hounds and Chastity) that they made.  This group grew pretty big and even stayed together after Clyde as caught in bed with Chastity.  Mab went off on her own for a bit to clear her head, but came back because it was still her family.  It is strange how her and Clyde continued to be partners after that, but Chastity admitted to her trickery.  So, she took the brunt of Mab’s anger while Clyde was targeted by snark and the occasional pummeling when he’d piss her off.  This is why War of Nytefall: Loyalty starts with Mab and Clyde still being partners and caring about each other.  Guess some emotions are hard to kill even with vampires.

So, that’s basically the history.  Bits and pieces will continue coming out, but one might never know the true picture.  Mab and Clyde are much more about the present and future these days.  Guess immortality means you don’t look back very often.  Hope this is enough to answer a few questions.

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This Week in Indie Publishing

Author Don Massenzio

Want to Turn Your Comic Book Idea Into a Million-Dollar Business? Here’s the First Step

Comic books are kind of a big deal these days. Total revenue for the comic book publishing industry in 2018was estimated to be $865 million, and that’s not counting peripheral sources of income from merchandise, or high-profile movie deals. I probably don’t even need to tell you thathalf of the top 10 grossing films of 2018were based on comic books, and 2019 is already on the same track for comic-related film popularity (with no real end in sight).

That said, the average comic book fan or aspiring artist may not have much faith that their nerdy pastime could be worth millions of dollars. After all, it’s challenging breaking into an already-saturated industry, especially if you don’t have much experience. But if you think about your hobby as a business, and…

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The Stigma of Mental Illness

Yahoo Image Search

So, I might be short and to the point here.  Mostly because I know I’m going to get a pretty big workout in the comments.  My opinion has also been stated here a few times, but I felt like bringing up the topic once more.

One of the most interesting things that I’ve noticed over the last year is that there is a lot of shame attached to mental illness.  Some by the sufferer and others by those who think they are helping.  I’ve always wondered why this is, but it feels more or more like the stigmas are built into society.  Don’t let them know you see a therapist.  Why?  Because you’ll never get a job, get married, have kids, or be able to do anything.  Never reveal that you’re on medications.  Why?  Because you’ll never get a job, get married, have kids, or be able to anything.  It’s like people with mental illness are being asked to ‘not be who they are’, which makes the problem infinitely worse.  Imagine struggling with anxiety and then being told that your anxiety will cause all these problems, so you need to hide it.  Now, you’re anxious about revealing that you’re anxious.  It’s just emotionally and mentally destructive.

Now, I mentioned therapy and medication in there too.  The strangest thing is that these are actions that show an intent to get a handle on one’s illness.  Yet, we use them as marks of shame.  People who go in for chemo or have to use an inhaler for asthma aren’t treated like this.  The reason might be because those are physical diseases, which are easier to wrap our heads around than mental.  I wonder if there’s a fear when it comes to mental illness too.  A person might push for someon to get better quickly because then it means it isn’t that big a deal if they themselves have one.  There’s no infection when it comes to these things, but helping a person with severe mental illness can trigger ones in the helper if they are stressed too much.  If you can convince a person to get over their depression then maybe you can do it too in the future.  This is ridiculous, of course.

Honestly, I’m just throwing ideas out there because I really can’t see the point in stigmatizing mental illness.  Especially these days when you have the Internet and more connections than ever.  It’s easier to trigger a breakdown because of some jackass online or to indulge in certain harmful activities.  If anything, society should be pushing for these issues to be brought to the light and teach more people about them.  Maybe have a time in high school where students learn about things like depression, anxiety, etc. and get to share their thoughts.  Make it a discussion class and try to eliminate the stigma with the younger generations.  Just a thought, which has some downsides because you don’t want to upset anyone who is currently suffering.

Anyway, what do you think about the mental illness stigma?

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Choosing your Audiobook Voice

This covers a lot of ground for something that many people might overlook.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Audiobooks | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Image: Pixabay

As audiobooks are the fastest-growing segment in publishing, I have been researching that market. One thing I realized is that choosing a narrator is probably the most important decision you make when you turn your book into an Audiobook. People who love audiobooks may buy your audiobook because they like your work, your genre, your cover, or your price. When they actually start listening to your audiobook however, one of the most important factors to decide whether they’ll continue listening to the end, is the quality of the reading.

So, how do you choose the right voice? Leaving out the financial aspects (if you can afford to pay the narrator the fee he is asking for or if you choose a royalty scheme), there are a few issues to take into consideration, from “demographics” to acting performance. Here are a few tips.

Demographics

So. Man or Woman? Younger…

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Another Busy Week: Goals Rolling Over

Much like the previous week, this one kind of a blurred.  Things happened on Monday that felt like they occured months ago by the time I hit Friday.  Not that it wasn’t fun since they had this week long Battle of the Classes event.  So there were activities all over the place and a few alterations to the schedule.  My evenings weren’t any more relaxing since I had a lot of stuff going on at night.  Might as well get into that.

I do feel bad that I can’t make the long, detailed goal posts from way back when.  I hope to get back there at some point, but it isn’t right to publicly talk about some aspects of my job and that life event is still going on.  The weather is starting to warm up and we changed the clocks in the bad direction (lost an hour) too.  Both of those things tend to throw me off, so the combination left me drained by night.  I did a few blog posts for the future including one on mental health for tomorrow.  My energy was really lacking, so I tended to crawl into bed and turn on Netflix around 9 or 9:30.  Finished watching ‘Daredevil Season 2’ and am starting ‘JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’.  Not sure what to think about that second one since I’ve only seen one episode.  It’s . . . Bizarre really is the right word.

You might notice that I didn’t say anything about writing.  Sadly, I couldn’t fit any in because of the busy schedule.  I kept finding that I was out of something and had to do late evening grocery runs.  My biking was delayed until 8 PM a few nights and my son had two late nights as well.  Had to take care of taxes as well.  Last weekend was when I got a chapter done, but it was a slog because of a rough Saturday night.  Not sure what happened, but I wasn’t feeling well and that threw me off for a few days.  It’s amazing and frustrating how one night of bad sleep can derail you for a while.  Probably becuase it’s really hard to counter it, especially when you wake up at 5:30 in the morning.  You need to either sacrifie a weeknight or push to the weekend.

Sadly, I don’t see much writing this weekend either.  Tomorrow has a morning appointment right in the middle of the time when my son is out, which means I can’t do anything.  Then, I have to get a haircut and get myself looking presentable for an interview next week.  School isn’t in session during the summer, so I’m hoping to get a camp job.  No rest for . . . whatever I am.  Maybe I’ll get some writing in at night, but I’m thinking it might be more blog posts.  Locking April in will be helpful, especially since I’ll have a length of time to write when Spring Break hits.  Not much, but maybe 3 chapters will get done.  I do need to use my writing weekends better to get 2 chapters done instead of 1, but it depends on energy.

I have to admit that these long breaks between writing sessions have me worried.  I’m used to digging in and working hard during the week then taking time off on the weekend.  That’s only a 1-2 day break, but now I’m looking at 2 weeks at times.  My fear is that the continuity is shot and that I’m not remembering things.  It’s frustraing and aggravating after years of being fairly prolific.  Maybe things will improve in April when a few activities end and the schedules loosen up.  If I can get even 2 sections written during the week then I’ll be okay.  Considered becoming a Word Count author too, but the one time I had to stop in the middle of a section drove me up the wall.  Took me 15 minutes to get back into the flow as well.

The lack of sales and questioning the usefulness of Twitter hasn’t helped my mood.  Does anybody get anything out of Twitter?  I schedule one post for every day and then I pin it after I wake up.  I get a lot of retweets, but it’s clear that sales aren’t coming from there.  I think I might make it one post every week unless I have a new book to promote.  Maybe I’ll have this be a post for next Sunday to get opinions.  Social media in general doesn’t appear to be helping me and I don’t count blogging in that category.

Can’t think of anything big going on next week, so I can’t talk about it.  Tomorrow is a big day with us seeing ‘Wonder Park’ and hopefully beating that T.M.N.T. arcade game.  Then it’ll be a lazy afternoon/evening, which isn’t a bad thing.  Sorry that we’re hitting the boring part of my life.  I’d like to talk about work, but being a one-on-one T.A. means I do a lot of things that are personal to my student.  What kind of teacher would I be if I threw their life onto the Internet?  Seeing as I spend most of my time there, the subject matter here is rather scarce.  Let’s just get to the goals:

  1. Work
  2. Biking
  3. Blogging
  4. Writing
  5. Sleeping
  6. Continue one word pattern here
  7. Crap
  8. Mistake!
  9. Give up!
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Meet Guest Author, Tineke Peeters…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Hi everyone, my name is Tineke and I am an author. No really, an honest to God author. What makes an author? Writing. Writing anything that makes slightly sense and you are a writer. In my book, a writer and author are the same thing. According to some you need to be published to be an author.

Now I am published. Am I a writer or an author? Both!

I love animals and have been taking care of them for as long as I can remember. From hedgehogs to all sorts of birds. Kittens that were dropped off in a box somewhere ended up in our house when I was young. Thanks to me mostly.

At a certain point in my 36 years, I decided I wanted to take care of wild animals and ended up studying Biological science in England. Due to the stress of such a course, I…

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New Versions of Old Characters: More Than the Look

Wolverine

This is another post where I wrote down the topic and wasn’t really sure where I was going with it.  ‘New versions of characters’ can mean so many things, but I knew it had to do with War of Nytefall: Rivalry.  After all, I’m starting the hype up for that.  So, what could this be about?

Well, I can’t say exactly because I have the actual scene set to be a teaser later in the month.  It involves a character from Legends of Windemere making a cameo and I can already sense that I need to clarify something.  The events of War of Nytefall take place a couple hundred years prior to the other series, so now you can get an idea of who might make an appearance.  Either a god or some other kind of immortal, but this did bring up a dilemma.  Do I have this character show up looking the same or different?

Well, there was an easier answer here since this character shares an odd ‘origin’ with Clyde, but I still got to thinking about reusing old characters.  It can be a little nerve-wracking because you don’t want to damage what you’ve already created.  I’ve talked at least once about the challenge and danger of prequels, which this feeds into because you could simply leave the characters alone.  Worlds are big places, so I don’t have to have cameos when I write another Windemere series.  Sure, Mab showed up in The Mercenary Prince, but that was really more of a ‘test run’ for the Dawn Fangs as main characters.  It wasn’t a prequel, so now I’m just establishing how she got to that point.  Only issue here is that I make it clear she survives and go entirely off topic from what I should be writing about.

The physical design of a character is locked into their persona mythos, so you can’t do much if you want to change them.  The core/basics need to be maintained or people will wonder simply why you didn’t make someone new.  You can have them age and maybe change the style in some fashion, but the audience expects certain tells.  For example, Nyx will always need to have black hair, her amethyst necklace, and usually have some fire-like connection.  Changing those around turns her into someone else, which isn’t that different than reality.  All of us have identifiers that make us who we are regardless of how old we get, so it isn’t surprising to find that characters will be the same.  That’s part of what I was thinking when I made the handful of cameos in my series.

Now, I do use the word ‘versions’ in the title and that’s because I did make a younger ‘version’ of the character in question.  Those identifiers are there, but it’s obvious that the personality isn’t what it is when you first meet them. It’s less mature, which makes sense considering the hundreds of years between the series.  Did I put a lot of thought into how this is done?  Probably not as much as I should have, but I considered this cameo for years, so it might have simply been spread out over time.  That doesn’t make me feel any more relaxed about it, especially since I may have marked it happening in 3 books because I kept forgetting where it was supposed to go.  Oops.  Glad I solved that problem before I published any of them.

So, what do you think about introducing new versions of old characters?  I know I didn’t touch on it that clearly, but maybe we’ll get further in the comments.

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