New Fantasy Release – Fire and Lies

Angela B. Chrysler, who has been featured on this blog a number of times before, has a new book coming out today, just in time for Indie Pride Day and the Fourth of July (if you’re in the USA).  It’s the second in her Norse-inspired dark fantasy series, entitled Fire and Lies:

fire

Click on the picture above to go the the Amazon page

Summary:

Blood waters the fields of Alfheim. War rips across the land of usurped kings and elves. The Fae gods draw near, and Queen Kallan’s strength is tested as she follows King Rune into Alfheim. But the Shadow Beast caged within Rune’s body writhes in hunger, and Kallan’s newest companion, Bergen the legendary Berserk, is determined to end the conflict with her life.

As the witch, the king, and the berserk come together, the truth buried within the past resurfaces. Now, Kallan must master a dormant power or watch her kingdom fall to the Fae who will stop at nothing to keep their lies.

Fire and Lies (Tales of the Drui Book #2) picks up right where Dolor and Shadow left off, concluding one chapter of Kallan’s life as the next chapter begins.

Trailer

She gave us excerpts of the first novel in the series, Dolor and Shadow, in this guest post she did about the psychology behind creating fictional characters and aspects of the backstory behind the creation of the series when she came on the podcast.  You can listen to that show in its entirety here or by simply going to iTunes and looking under “The Thirteenth Hour Podcast, Ep #35).

Check out her site here,  and help celebrate Indie Pride Day by giving one her books a read!

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  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast and a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and @the13thhr.ost for your daily weekday dose of ninjas, martial arts bits, archery, flips, breakdancing action figures, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and occasional pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #35: Interview with Author Angela B. Chrysler

Episode #35: Swords, Flux Capacitors, Norse Myths … Interview with Angela B. Chrysler

https://archive.org/download/13thHrEps16On/13th%20hr%2035.mp3

Angela, the creator of the Brain to Books cyber blog tour, took time out of her busy schedule to talk for an hour.  We covered a vast amount of info: Back to the Future Delorean shirts, why having a flux capacitor is a good life decision, the Moon Patrol soundtrack, how her personal collection of weaponry influences her writing, why all the fuss about book reviews from the point of view of a reader and author, how persistence factors into writing, publishing, and life, and much, much more.

 

 

Email Address: angelabchrysler@yahoo.com

Website:  http://www.angelabchrysler.com/

Author Bio:

 Angela B. Chrysler is a writer, logician, philosopher, and die-hard nerd who studies theology, historical linguistics, music composition, and medieval European history in New York with a dry sense of humor and an unusual sense of sarcasm. She lives in a garden with her family and cats. Read More

Social Media Links

Official Site
Amazon Author Page
Goodreads Profile Page

Twitter
Pinterest
Facebook
Google+
Story Time on YouTube – if you ever have have had a desire to create a podcast, consider doing what Angela is currently doing, as referenced on the how to create a podcast post done for Kelly St. Clare’s blog.

Dolor and Shadow (Tales of the Drui Book #1) Official Page

Fire and Lies (Tales of the Drui Book #2) Official Page
Broken Official Page

Books Discussed on the Show

DOLOR AND SHADOW (TALES OF THE DRUI BOOK #1 … BOOK #2 TO BE RELEASED 7/1/16).

 Dolor and Shadow Large

Genre: High/Epic Fantasy

YouTube Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovHqM9cHGDE

Summary:

 

As the elven city burns, Princess Kallan is taken to Alfheim while a great power begins to awaken within her. Desperate to keep the child hidden, her abilities are suppressed and her memory erased. But the gods have powers as well, and it is only a matter of time before they find the child again.

When Kallan, the elven witch, Queen of Lorlenalin, fails to save her dying father, she inherits her father’s war and vows revenge on the one man she believes is responsible: Rune, King of Gunir. But the gods are relentless, and when a twist of fate puts Kallan into the protection of the man she has sworn to kill, Rune obtains a power he does not understand.

From Alfheim, to Jotunheim, and then lost in the world of Men, these two must form an alliance to make their way home, and try to solve the lies of the past and of the Shadow that hunts them all.

BROKEN

 Broken by Angela B Chrysler 1600x2500

Genre: Memoir/Psychological Thriller/Non-Fiction

Awards: Finalist of the 2015 Wishing Shelf Awards

YouTube Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqfR928fpWE

Summary:

And Death it calls as the stone crow breaks. Streaks of blood malform its face. Death becomes its withered eyes and the shadows whisper, “Lies.”

When a young journalist, William D. Shaw, seeks out Elizabeth, an acclaimed author, in hopes to write her biography, the recluse grants him twenty-four hours to hear her story. What unfolds are events that teeter on the edge of macabre and a psychological thriller.

While toggling the lines of insanity, Elizabeth examines her past filled with neglect, rape, abuse, torture, and pedophilia. The more Elizabeth delves into her psyche, the more William witnesses the multiple mental conditions Elizabeth developed to cope with a life without love, comfort, protection, trust, physical human contact, affection, therapy, or medication.

With the use of existentialism, I wrote Broken in an attempt to philosophical determine what I had become and why. Instead, I found the awareness I needed to seek help. Broken is the road map I took to arrive at “Awareness” and seek medical attention.

Angela B Chrysler BUSINESS CARD back

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Starving Artist Section: where I talk about making a few bucks on the internets!  This week’s app is Nextrack, which pays you (via gift cards, albeit slowly) to work out.  It works via mpoints/mplus points, which is a point system used by a number of other games and apps.  You can only redeem so many per day, but you can also earn free coupons and such.  Nice little bit of positive reinforcement for maintaining an exercise habit.  Available for Android and iOS.

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Schedule for the next few weeks:

4/18/16: Episode #36: a conversation with author George Sirois

4/25/16: Episode #37: fantasy author Kelly St. Clare

5/2/16: Episode #38: knife throwing

Thanks for listening!

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  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast and a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and @the13thhr.ost for your daily weekday dose of ninjas, martial arts bits, archery, flips, breakdancing action figures, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and occasional pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

Preview of Weekend Festivities

This upcoming Monday, on the podcast, fantasy author Angela B. Chrysler, will be on!  She’s been featured on this blog a few times before, and she’s heading up a huge cyber convention that’s also going on this weekend: the Brain to Books Fantasy Cyber Convention, starting this Friday (i.e. tomorrow), 4/8/16.

b2b

Click on the picture above to learn more about this novel on Goodreads.

There’s a massive book giveaway as part of the convention.  You can see the books here.  I’ll be donating an e-copy of The Thirteenth Hour.  You can enter the contest here.

Speaking of which, I’ll have a “virtual booth” at the convention, as well, which will mirror real life, since I’ll be at a library event on Saturday.

I have a free raffle for both events going on using the same Rafflecopter.  You can win one of the three ebooks:

 

 

See you at one of these events!

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Guest Post by Author Angela B. Chrysler: The Psychology and Subconscious of the Fictional

How do you create good characters?  The dilemma of every author.  In this guest post by fiction and fantasy author Angela Chrysler, she writes about one way of creating good characters – by delving into their psychology to give them depth, and, in the process increase interest and relevance to the reader.

In turn, I have written about a similar topic – using fiction writing itself as a kind of therapy and how stories bind us together as a human race.  You can find it on Angela’s blog here:

http://www.angelabchrysler.com/guest-blogger-joshua-blum/

Speaking of which, before we get to the post, Angela references some of her own works in the post below.  You can find out more about her books at http://www.angelabchrysler.com/books/

Tales of the Drui Book #1 3D

 

Click on the picture below for information on one of her latest, a dark fantasy, with an equally dark and epic trailer.  Check it out!

And now, without further ado, here she is.

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A blank page. Endless possibilities stare back at the writer. They start with a character that stares back up at them—nameless, faceless, void of identity and gender. So the writer invents a face. A name is chosen (unless you are H.G.Wells), and with it the first of an identity is formed.

In most cases, the career is selected and a plot is built around this character. You see conflict, strengths and weaknesses being shaped and assigned. Habits, hobbies, and a back story is eventually selected and, by the time the book makes its way into the hands of a reader, that character leads the story on to the conclusion.

Some readers put the book down and the analysis begins.

“Shallow. One dimensional. Contradicting behavior.”

This is the part where the author pulls their hair out screaming to the muse, “What did I miss?”

What indeed.

The back-story was there. The name, the history, the conflict, but the reader is right. Something was missing.

In the ten years I’ve spent examining the writing world, and the thousands of writers who I’ve debated with, one topic seems to always be neglected in character building. The human psyche. The subconscious.

I will be the first to tell you, adding a subconscious to my characters was one of the hardest things to accomplish, especially having no degree in Psychology. For Kallan, Rune, and Bergen, I took the advice of one of my favorite authors. “Write what you know.” (Mark Twain)

I know me better than anyone else. I didn’t just give Kallan a back story. I gave her a complex with that story. I gave her my complex.

I’m going to step away to one of my most favorite shows for a moment. M*A*S*H. There is an episode when the main character, Hawkeye, is working his way through triage when they come to a soldier with wet clothes reeking of mildew and swamp water. And so begins the psychology of Hawkeye.

Hawkeye begins to sneeze. He starts to scratch at a rash that isn’t there. Hawkeye is surrounded by a full medical team. He is a surgeon himself, and they know, after some simple tests, that this isn’t anything physical. They call in the Psychologist. Dr. Freedman (Rest in Peace).

The sneezing is so intense, that Hawkeye can not operate. Dr. Freedman arrives and viewers get to witness the therapy session that follows.

You see the denial, the conscious mask Hawkeye wears that allows him to remain in denial. “My cousin and I were fishing,” he says. “We were out in a boat and he saved me.”

“How did he save you?”

“Well, I was in the water and he…he saved me.” Hawkeye scratches at his chest. Freedman glances at Hawkeye’s hand.

“How did you get in the water?” he asks.

The session continues, and Hawkeye releases a Freudian slip that clues Freedman in on the fact that the cousin Hawkeye so admired was the one who pushed him into the water to begin with. The event traumatized Hawkeye, but the cousin devalued Hawkeye’s trauma and laughed, calling Hawkeye a clutz. Viewers have the rare privilege of watching Freedman walk Hawekeye through denial, into awareness where Hawkeye can accept the truth and finally, after thirty years, grieve. All of this because Hawkeye smelled the swamp water that triggered a subconscious memory he had forgotten.

The event isn’t brought up again, but it did one thing. It added definition to Hawkeye’s character. A level of definition only the subconscious can give.

I applied the same method to Kallan, Rune, and Bergen.

Because of my limited knowledge in psychology, I pulled on what I know: grief and an inability to accept death. I took a week and studied the five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Negotiation, Depression, Acceptance. After witnessing more than twenty deaths by the time I was twelve years old, I was an expert on this topic.

I assigned Kallan the same inability to accept death and assigned her a need to become powerful enough to stop it. Frankenstein is one of my most favorite books. The same need I too have. I lived vicariously through Kallan, giving her the powers I wish I had to stop the dozens of deaths I saw (A total of sixty by the time I was thirty-two). Suddenly, I was moving Kallan through the five stages in Dolor and Shadow.

I then moved on to Rune. A king burdened with a need to protect, a need to end the grief. He too had witnessed the death and he saw what denial can do to a person. He watched the second stage—Anger—consume his brother. He watched the Negotiation devour his father and fuel his madness. He watched the Denial destroy his mother. Rune knows of the process, although he never calls it what it is. He knows and he understands how Dolor can become a Shadow and kill.

He makes that Shadow his nemesis and when he sees his political enemy, Kallan who seeks to destroy him, hording that same Shadow, Rune moves to fulfill his vow and help Kallan. Rune is the character I wish I had. The hero I so wanted who came in and took me by the hand to help me through that grief I suffered alone.

Bergen, I reserved for last. Bergen, I burdened with failure. An inability to save his loved ones…over and over and over. It consumes him. He never stops. He becomes stronger, more determined, but he is up against a Fae goddess. He can’t possibly best her, but he must try. The inability to save his loved ones haunts him, and Bergen is unable to give up.

In all three of these characters, I bestow my final issue. One that I still am not able to accept myself, an inability to accept their own weaknesses and limits. I often summarize Kallan by saying her greatest weakness is accepting her limits and her own weaknesses.

I live every day biting off more than I can chew. I burden myself with the need to accomplish more than I am able. In addition, I have an eye for spotting weaklings in need. (We call this identifying with the victim). I have a need to rescue, protect, and save regardless of my own limitations.

I have the makings of a cat hoarder. I see a stray cat on the street and I am overwhelmed with a need to take her in and protect her. I see a homeless cat in a shelter and am consumed by a need to adopt the cat. “No one else can do it. I must do it. Only then can I know they are safe.” My husband keeps this in check.

This takes me back to the end of one movie I can not watch. Schindler’s List. I identify with the victim remember? I can not watch this film without wanting to save the millions who were lost in the concentration camps. And I failed…it’s a burden I have to live with every day. I have nightmares of being stuck in Hiroshima and being helpless to save the thousands/millions who died by US technology.  

At the end of Schindler’s List, Schindler falls to the ground and says, “I could have saved just one more.”

Psychology.

Schindler identified with the victim as well and, like me, he did everything in his power to save those who needed help. And no matter how many Schindler saved, it still wasn’t enough. He needed to save just one more.

How many saved would have been enough? I smile. I know the answer. When there are no more who suffer…anywhere, ever again. This is the true burden of identifying with the victim.

I watched the first thirty minutes of Schindler’s List (I turned it off right after they killed the one-armed Jew and then open fired on the children in the hospital. I was fifteen years old). I also watched the last two minutes of Schindler’s List. I also know the premise is about Schindler creating a list to save victims from the concentration camp. Schindler saved hundreds. It was barely a drop in the bucket.

From that little bit of information, I was able to assess his need to help, to rescue, to save. The writers of Schindler’s List did an excellent job not neglecting his psychology. Without it, the entire movie would have been “just another movie.”  

It is the psychology that gave Schindler’s List the impact it had. It is Hawkeye’s subconscious that gives that episode the impact it had.

One more example I love drawing on because so many of us can relate to this one. Daryl Dixon in the Walking Dead. The writer’s outdid themselves with this little number. Yes, you have the most awesome Daryl portrayed by Norman Reedus. Yes, you have the unstoppable, dia-hard redneck. But that isn’t what we all relate to. This isn’t why we swoon.

It is his psychological make-up that steals our hearts. Daryl stands in the stables with Carol who gets close to Daryl. This scares him and he pushes her away. Carol takes it. She is impassive and not assertive, so she holds in the abuse while Daryl (and her late husband) lash out at her. Daryl is scared of intimacy. Terrified of having anyone close to him because anytime anyone got close to him (his brother), it hurt him. Remember Beth? It only re-affirmed that when he lets people get close, he gets hurt.

But he wants to be close. He’s lonely. It’s natural, so he strengthens his relationship with Carol until it scares him again and he lashes out. He yo-yo’s between what he wants—a friend or companion…to not be alone—and self-preservation, a distorted perspective that has taught him that having a companion will hurt him.

Carol is just as fun to analyze. She has learned a similar lesson.

In psychology, there is passive, assertive, and aggressive. I believe, a healthy mind toggles between the three, spending most of the time on assertive (My assumption based on an educated guess). Assertive is having the strength to stand up to an abuser, but not identifying with the aggressor and lashing out. This is where bullies come from. Bullies identify with the aggressor and lash out at smaller beings (animals or people) to feel empowered and feel like they have gained back some of the control they have lost. Merl Dixon. Carol’s husband.  

Daryl is assertive.

Carol is passive.

Well, she starts off as passive. This is really amazing to watch! Carol starts off as an abused house wife. She holds in her pain and takes it. She may even feel she deserves it. She sees the same pain in Daryl and this is why she latches on to him. She identifies with him. She identifies with the victim.

Apply Daryl’s own subconscious issues and now you have a match made in heaven. Carol, being passive, has all the patience in the world while Daryl works out his own issues.

Carol learns to be assertive from Daryl. Their friendship helps Carol come into her own. I’m waiting for Carol to identify with the aggressor and become the bully. It’s started with the boy in season five…kind of. I’m curious to see how far it will go.

I doubt Carol and Daryl will ever kiss or form a sexual relationship. Neither have the psychological makeup to entertain that possibility, not without some serious therapy and mental changes from both. Carol is almost there, but Daryl has a long way to go…if he gets there at all. Beth’s death mentally set Daryl back. Logically, I just don’t see it happening at this point.

The one thing these characters have in common is that they are fictitious, in Schindler’s case, a fictitious depiction of a real man. Psychology adds a level of character development rarely seen in literature. Many writers insert their character’s psyche on a subconscious level. Some get it right while others get it very wrong (Fifty Shades of Grey). Some writers insert psychology without realizing that is what they are doing. Psychology is the secret ingredient that brings fictional characters to life. It’s what makes us fall in love with the good guy, cheer on the underdog, and loathe the bad guy. In almost every case, we despise the person who identifies with the aggressor.

Next time you watch a movie, read a book, or write a story look for it. Analyze the characters. And when you have a moment or two, read up on psychology. 

 

Angela B. Chrysler is a writer, logician, and die-hard nerd who studies philosophy, theology, historical linguistics, music composition, and medieval European history in New York with a dry sense of humor and an unusual sense of sarcasm. She lives in a garden with her family and cats.

You can read more of Ms. Chrysler’s writing and accomplishments at http://www.angelabchrysler.com/

 

Angela B. Chrysler The Author of Dolor and Shadow

 

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