BRUSHING UP-10 Facts about The Demon King you may not know.

 

Artwork by Danny Kelly

Artwork by Danny Kelly

In celebrating that THE DEMON KING’s long awaited sequel has been picked up by KnightWatch Press, I thought some of us could use a quick brushing up about our much loved and much hated king of the underworld…So, here you go. Ten whole factoids. Demon Cover

1. I was highly influenced by Jonathan Rheys Meyers portrayal of Henry VIII in The Tudors when I wrote The Demon King.  henry

2. The first fact on this list will become quite evident in the sequel.

Am I hinting? Maybe. But, it may not hint at what you think.

Am I hinting? Maybe. But, it may not hint at what you think.

3. I wrote many, many scenes of the first book as a way to work out my own nightmares and fears.

4. The king’s birds will play a bigger role in the second book.

5. The Demon King was originally written with the intention of the story being an erotica novel. But, it took on a life of its own.

6. There will be new characters in the second book.

7. The second book still has no title. I’m working on that. I’m not good with titles. I could write ten books before I could come up with a decent title. I usually have help titling stories.

8. One of my favorite characters from the first book, Thrack, was modeled to look like Michael Clark Duncan (RIP, MCD).

mcd

9. A character from my Immortal books will make an appearance in The Demon King’s sequel. In the Immortal books, Lilleth was my bad guy. In The Demon King’s sequel, she’s just the girl next door. Though she’s the same person, she is perceived as quite evil in the mortal realm, but once you put her in the Underworld, where she’s known Draken his entire life, she’s nothing out of the ordinary. Well, maybe a little out of the ordinary. As a matter of fact, the king will be giving her quite the honorable title. I won’t tell you what that title is, though. Spoilers!

10. The second Demon King book will be longer than the first. Yup.  You asked, I’m delivering. You’re welcome.

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HAUNTED VALENTINE GIVEAWAY!

bones coversWant to win a copy of my brand new novel, BONES OF WILLOW LAKE? It releases this very Valentine weekend. How exciting! Read the rules below:

RULES:

Leave a comment on this post telling about your most memorable Valentine’s Day or just the one that sticks out the most. Tell me what you like or do not like about this holiday. Write whatever comes to mind pertaining to Valentine’s Day. Lets keep this PG (we don’t need those kinds of details lol). The winner will be chosen and announced on the morning of Monday, February 17th, so please also give me an email address to contact you should you be the lucky winner. It’s that easy!

You can read an excerpt and blurb for the book, BONES OF WILLOW LAKE, here.

OTHER RHIANNON MILLS NEWS:

Not much info as of yet, but be looking for updates on an anthology called HER DARK VOICE. Filled with stories from many different female horror authors (including CYNDI AND THE DEMON ASMODEUS, which I wrote), this one’s going to be a must read!

More ADVICE for writers…spelled correctly this time!

nanoLast time I wrote a post about advice for writers, I spelled advice incorrectly. I spelled it “advise.”… Seriously. And I do it all the time. It’s one of those words I cannot get a handle on no matter how many times I misspell it and how many times someone points it out. I’m getting better, but we shall see if it sticks lol.

Anyhow, with NANOWRIMO being just a day or so away, I thought I’d give out some more advice because sometimes the best way to learn new things is to teach, so the best way to really let thing sink in to your brain is to advise someone else (see what I did there? I’m using both “advice” and “advise” in this post to learn the difference lol).

1– Never assume you know everything. You don’t. I don’t care if you’ve been writing for a million years and you have umpteen degrees in writing and you have eighty novels on the market, all bestsellers, and your mom thinks you’re awesome and you live in a mansion by the sea bought with royalties from your eighty bestsellers. Even the most seasoned writers can learn from newbies. You can learn from people who do not write at all. You can learn from your dog. Don’t be the asshole who thinks he’s made it to Stephen King caliber when, in reality, you haven’t made it out of your mother’s basement.

2– Follow submission guidelines. Do not assume your story is so awesome you don’t have to follow guidelines like everyone else. For those who may not know, submission guidelines are there for a reason. Sometimes many reasons.

Example of Submission Guidelines (the short of it):

Word length: 2,000-5,000 words
Standard Format
Accepting werewolf, vampire, and zombie fiction only
Attach: Ms, cover letter, and brief bio.
Send to: submissions@phonybalognapress
Subject Line: Submission/AuthorName/StoryTitle

So, if you read those guidelines and send them a 7,000 short story called “Roses In the Wrong Garden” about a character who fades into another dimension after wandering through an enchanted garden, you’re not likely to be accepted. Why?

Cause your conceded self thought you were too good of a writer to be rejected. You thought they’d make an exception for you. They might have another antho open taking garden stories and you might actually be lucky enough for them to send that story to the right department, but chances of that happening are pretty darn slim. Send your stories where they belong and don’t try to fool yourself.

3– If you constantly get two different words mixed up (advice and advise), use them both all over the place until you get it through your head that they are NOT the same word. I’m doing that right now myself. It’s helping.

4– When in doubt, you should probably do more research.

5– Help your fellow writers out every now and then. If you see someone struggling along with their work and you know through social media that they are having it rough finishing something, offer them an ear. Don’t bad mouth another author for their successes or their shortcomings. That’s just not nice and it’s bad business, also. Writers should be encouraging each other. ESPECIALLY writers in the same or similar genres!

Do you know why? Because if I wrote a horror novel and Author Suzie Q. Cutiepie wrote a horror novel and both novels involve vampires, then readers who loved my novel are going to want something equally as awesome to read afterward. That means they might pick up Suzie Q. Cutiepie’s novel. Why not help each other promote instead of badmouthing and being jerks? I share links to other people’s books all the time and other authors share links to mine from time to time too. 😀

6– Get some sleep at night. You can’t write if you can’t hold your head up.

This is all I have to say today. I felt these things needed posting, so I posted.

To anyone participating in NANOWRIMO this year, look me up on the Nano site! I’d be glad to be your buddy! And good luck! May the force be with you.

…And may the odds be ever in your favor!

 

How to prepare for Nanowrimo and other crap…

nanoHow many of you are planning on participating in Nanowrimo 2013? I made a post on Facebook today asking what others were doing to prepare for the month of November and all the National Novel Writing Month entails, but mostly the responses I got leaned toward planning and plotting. Makes sense, right? What else can you do?

Well, I have a list of things that may help you. At the very least, it may make you laugh or give you some food for thought.

1.) Hook yourself up with a good writing playlist. A lot of writers need some music to help them along while others would rather write in complete silence, but if you enjoy a tune, Youtube is a great place to start. But, if Youtube is too much of a distraction–what with their shiny, sparkling videos and all–then you can try a site called Grooveshark.com. No videos, just music and the ability to make playlists and save them.

2.)  I refuse to get into a long debate over the concepts of plotting versus pantsing, but if you’re a plotter, perhaps now would be a good time to jot down some notes or get a few key phrases or reference photos for characterization rounded up and put together in a folder on your computer.

3.) Consider using Google Drive to make your documents or creating a profile and downloading Dropbox to keep everything organized. I use Google Documents through Google Drive because I’m constantly bouncing back and forth between my laptop and my desktop computer. However, Dropbox is equally as accessible and very helpful. I’ve heard great things about both.

4.) On about October 30th or so, go to the grocery store and buy what you need, be it toilet paper and coffee or snacks to nosh on through your adventure into Nanowrimo. You should also make sure you have a few legal pads, pens, pencils, a sharpener, highlighters, or whatever else you may need.

5.) If you’re making your participation in Nanowrimo official, head over to the website (Nanowrimo.org) and make a profile. It’s free. However, you can take part without creating a profile and making it “official” because the greatness behind this particular month is that it gives you an incentive or a special drive to FINISH THAT DANG NOVEL already! LOL.

6.) If you already know you’re going to need some reference materials for your project, locate those things now. Bookmark sites on your computer you might need, locate books you might need as desk references, and get everything together in one spot (or in a folder on your computer). Great places to bookmark would be baby name websites for naming characters and maps of places you’re thinking of including in your story. Another great resource for reference books or other books you might need is Thriftbooks.com. I buy a lot  of used books there because they’re cheap and in great shape and there are no shipping fees in the US (and I just happen to live in the US).

7.) Don’t do any of these things. Just wing it. Some of the best books were written that way.

 

IN OTHER NEWS:

Bones Of Willow Lake has a cover artist! The very talented Mark Hogg will be creating a wonderful cover for my pending release and I’ll report more when there is more information available. Other than that, I’ve been listening to you people. One of the most searched keyterms for this blog is “Demon King Rhiannon Mills sequel.” Somebody really wants more Draken, huh? Well, I hear you and I’ve got something coming.

The Bones Of Willow Lake playlist…because every book should have one.

I’ve been working on a new novel, so I haven’t really had a lot of blogging time. Tonight, however, I have decided to take a moment and share with you the playlist I listened to while writing The Bones of Willow Lake. All my books have an unofficial playlist lol. Here it goes!

1) You Are the Ocean — Phantogram

2) In the Air Tonight — Phil Collins

3) Linger — The Cranberries

4) Dancing In the Dark — Matt Kearney

5) We Are Trees — Sunrise Sunset

6) Crestfallen — Smashing Pumpkins

7) The Day We Never Met — The Crash Test Dummies

8) It’ll Never Leave You Alone — The Crash Test Dummies

9) Gravedigger — Dave Matthews Band or just Dave Matthews (not sure which lol)

10) Never Let Me Go — Florence and the Machine

11) Hans Zimmer — Time

12) LOTS of Michael Nyman songs

13) Haunted — Type O Negative

14) Paradise — Coldplay

15) I Go To Sleep — Sia

16) Paper Route — You Kill Me

And there you have it! I will try to update a little bit more. I’ve been really busy lately, so please excuse me. There is no new news about The Bones of Willow Lake, other than it is forthcoming! So hang in there with me 😀

 

 

My Advice For New Writers

Ever wonder what his advise to writers would be like? I'd be afraid to ask him...lol.

Ever wonder what his advise to writers would be like? I’d be afraid to ask him…lol.

A fellow blogger published a post earlier called 10 Things Aspiring Novelists Should know.  Well done.  The link is there for you if you’d like to read it–and you very well should–but, I thought about this over and over and there are a few things I wanted to add to that list.  I had a running commentary in my head the entire time I read the post. I’m not going to give you her post and then my response to it, but rather write an entirely new list.  After all, if I just gave you hers and then added my two cents, you would’t learn nearly as much from either of us lol.

So, without tweedle-dumming around, here is my list.

1–Write whatever the heck you want to write. Just write. And then write some more.  And, after that, write in the bedroom.  Then, move to the kitchen and write in there.  Write all over the place or keep one specific place to write.  But, just write, okay.

2– Read stuff. Lots of stuff.  Read magazines, comic books, romance, horror, science fiction, non-fiction, and pamphlets in the doctor’s office.  The more you read, the better off you’ll be.  After all, a writer who chooses not to read is like a scientist who chooses not to learn the periodic table of elements. It just doesn’t work. Chances are, if you’re not fond of reading, you want to be a writer for money and fame and nothing else.

And as you can see by my overwhelming lack of celebrity status and the missing yacht from my driveway, writers do not always become rich, famous celebrities.

3–Some folks say to write what you know, but I say write what you see.  Depending on the genre you’re writing, you may not know anything about what you’re writing because it may not have been invented or discovered yet.  Like time machines and the planet Uberdork. Some writers will see things they actually do know, which is wonderful.  But, never think you have to fit into a mold and do things by the book just to be published.

4–Create your characters first.  This is a lesson that was particularly difficult for me to learn, but my friend George hammered this habit into my head fairly hard and I think it finally stuck.  And, you know what? He was right.  Create normal people or create immortal creatures, monsters, goblins, or whatever your heart desires.  Give them depth.  Write out a character sketch for these characters and write out some background for them before you start writing your story (if you want to…but, if you’re new to writing, I would suggest at least giving it a try).  As long as you can create real, lifelike characters and really give them their own voices, your story will pretty well tell itself, sort of.  Not completely. You still have actual work to do.

5–Set up a writing schedule and try your best to stick to it.  Stop making excuses.  Sit down and write, even when you’re not in the mood.  You can always go back and change things that ultimately suck later if you have to.  Don’t beat yourself to death if you can’t stick to your schedule to a tee, but make a conscious effort.  You will be much more successful in finishing your projects this way.

6–Read some more, but this time read something in a genre you’re not used to or fond of.  Choose a book you wouldn’t normally choose.  I’ve gone through genre phases throughout my life.  As a kid, I started out reading comic books. By the time I reached eleven years old, I’d moved on to good ol’ Billy Bob Shakespeare.  After Romeo and Juliet, I phased into reading historical romances, then historical anything else, and by the time I was a freshman in high school, I began reading more horror and science fiction as well as romance novels ranging from historical to contemporary to paranormal. Nowadays, I lean toward paranormal novels of any sub genre.  I love horror–zombies, gremlins, imps, witches, and of course, vampires.  I also have a real sweet spot for books of any genre that include time travel. The more you read, the more open your mind becomes the more you’re exposed to new possibilities. Don’t cut yourself short by only reading one thing.

7–Do not limit yourself, your stories, or your characters in any way, shape, form, or fashion.  Characters shouldn’t have to fit any cookie cutter mold and neither should their plots.

8–Take some time to smell the roses.  Go on a fishing trip. Book a hotel in town for the night just to order room service and watch television uninterrupted by your normal life.  Take a walk through the park. Go to your local community center and take a knitting class.  Join a gym. Live your life.  Life experiences make you a better, more perceptive writer.

9–Take advise from more experienced authors, but don’t take it all straight to heart.  Just because bestselling author XYZ drinks 3 oz. of lizard spit every morning because he swears it helps his creative juices start to flow doesn’t mean you should do it, too.  Like most things in life, rules you were taught as children often apply to the writing business–as far as etiquette and common sense goes–as well.  Just because Bob jumps off a bridge, do you think you should jump with him? No. No, you should not. But, you could bungee if you want to.

10–Do not measure your success by comparing yourself to other authors.  Authors who write for the love of the craft are just as valuable–more, in my opinion–than writers who write with the full intent to become millionaires.  You’ll meet your fair share of each of those kinds of authors when you get started. You’ll quickly learn to figure out which ones are which. If you write romance, do it because you love it, not because romance books sell. If you write horror, write the heck out of that stuff! Don’t worry about what Stephen King is doing (but, buy his books because he is awesome).

Alternately, do not measure the worth of another author by the amount of money they make, the status of their publisher, or what their sales are currently looking like.  There are a lot of diamonds sparkling in the coal pile, just waiting to be picked. Well, read. Whatever.

me

A quick note to my followers and anyone else who happened upon my blog:

From time to time, I do post things intended to help other authors along.  We all have our moments of doubt and sometimes we need a push.  Sometimes, when we read things focused on the craft of writing, it ignites a fuse inside our weirdo brains that causes us to write marvelous things.  That’s why I do it. Not because I feel like I have to. Just because I want others to go forth and write. I do like to read, so I suppose it’s rather selfish of me to push others along if you think about it that way… Nonetheless, if you feel like something I’ve said is wrong, please explain which thing and why in comments.  A good conversation or argument with intelligence instead of nastiness is always welcome. 😀

Write on, folks.
Rhiannon Mills.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

My dad is in North Carolina, so I can’t celebrate with him every year, so this year I decided to do a Father’s Day blog post and I’ll email him the link and also give him a call, too. I’m faced with the question of what exactly goes into a Happy Father’s Day blog post because this is a first for me.

When I was born, my dad was in the US Navy, so I was born on a naval base in Portsmouth, Va.  While I’m sure that was loads of fun for my mother (sarcasm, there), it’s a neat story to tell.

Somewhere around 81 or 82.

Somewhere around 81 or 82.

 

The first movie I saw in theaters was Gremlins…I’m sure that was my dad’s influence more than my mom’s, and I sometimes wonder if that first film I saw (while still in diapers) didn’t have some sort of effect on me through the years.  I think it probably did.  My dad taught me how to pitch a tent by myself, how to make tuna salad sandwiches, how to ride a bike, how to race trucks across a field (a story my kids don’t know and don’t need to know…lol), how to always buy a camera case when you buy a new camera, how to bargain shop (and I’m not sure he even realized he did this), and lots of other things.

1986-1987ish

1986-1987ish

My dad was one of the coolest dads a kid could ever want.  My weekends with him were always fun, regardless of what we did, but an evening with just the two of us typically began with a trip to Burger King for a kids meal–and, more importantly, a kids’ meal toy–followed by a trip to the grocery store and the video store.  We rented movies and I ended up with every single Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Burger King toy ever made…I think. And, the remarkable thing about that is that I’m pretty sure he still has most of those old toys.

When I spent summers with my dad, though, we got to do a whole lot more than that.  He took me camping and that’s where I learned to pitch a tent and sleep in a sleeping bag on the ground and I really loved it.  I always had something to complain about (I’m bored, it’s hot, there’s nothing to do, the lake is too cold, the lake is too hot, etc…), but I always had fun and the memories made have always stuck with me because a few years ago, I was able to (sort of) teach my kids how to pitch a tent, too.  Unfortunately, they were little and don’t remember, but the gesture was made and past down and we’ll do it again soon anyhow.

A dad is one of the most influential people in a kid’s life, even if the kid’s parents are divorced like mine are.  I got my taste in music more from him than my mom.  I got my taste in books and movies more from him than anyone else, too.  My dad loooooooves Batman and I like Batman, but not nearly as much as he does.  Instead, I looooooove a movie called Labyrinth (Jim Henson Films, 1983, starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connolly), but the fanatic way I love Labyrinth is the same fanatical way he loves Batman.  As a matter of fact, the first time I ever met my step mom, she brought me my very own VHS copy of Labyrinth because he told her it was my favorite.

And THIS was the photo taken that day...

And THIS was the photo taken that day…

When I was a teenager, I’m pretty sure my parents both wanted to strangle me, but luckily they didn’t and I’m still alive to tell the tale of my growing up.  Well, some of it, anyhow. Without my dad being who he is, I wouldn’t be who I am, either. My oldest daughter is a lot like him, too, probably more than me and probably more than she realizes. Genetics are weird in that way.

Dad and Allysa

Dad and Allysa

So, to just wrap this up, Happy Fathers Day, Dad.  Wish I could be with you, but the state of Virginia is in the way. We all love you.  The kids say hi.

Love, Kel.

 

**ALSO**

Demon CoverIn case you missed the memo, THE DEMON KING is on sale in both the US ($2.99) and the UK (£1.49) Amazon sites.  There is also a guest post about the book at Fringe Works you can read if you’d like to read a little more about it, beyond the Amazon description, before you buy.  However, you should buy it.

Draken needs a soothsayer to help him keep his kingdom under his own rule and not that of his twin brother. What he doesn’t count on is that his bewitching soothsayer, Willow, could possibly be the fall of the entire Underworld without trying to do so. One small twenty year old secret could destroy everything Draken has ever held dear. Through battles, both political and emotional, the King must do what is best to destroy his brother and hold his kingdom in the right hands, although nothing is ever what it seems and no one can be trusted in the Underworld.

Read this review of THE DEMON KING at Proserpine Craving Books! 

Read this Rhiannon Mills interview by author Rebecca Besser! 

 

And in other Rhiannon news…  In case you missed this memo also, THE BONES OF WILLOW LAKE (formerly titled “Willow Lake”) will be published by KnightWatch Press, an imprint of Fringe Works Press sometime this year.  Stay tuned with my blog to find out more details as they come!