Author Archives: Lee French

About Lee French

Lee French lives in Olympia, WA with two kids, two bicycles, and too much stuff. She is an avid gamer and active member of the Myth-Weavers online RPG community, where she is known for her fondness for Angry Ninja Squirrels of Doom. In addition to spending much time there, she also trains year-round for the one-week of glorious madness that is RAGBRAI, has a nice flower garden with one dragon and absolutely no lawn gnomes, and tries in vain every year to grow vegetables that don't get devoured by neighborhood wildlife.

Unnatural Dragons – A Science Fiction Anthology from Clockwork Dragon

writefullywritten

True to it’s premise, this anthology presents four very different stories of dragons. From Lindsay Schopfer’s tale of a planet devoted to entertainment using people resembling creatures of fantasy, to a future imagined by Jeffrey Cook where A.I.’s have taken over and humans create dragons as a weapon to fight them, to a wild story from Lee French involving a portal to another world and mechanical dragons from this one, and finally to Sechin Tower who brings us an emotional story where a young dragon is conflicted by the attachment it feels to humans and the discovery of another of its’ kind and some of the most heartbreaking moments you may ever find in a short story..

Each story is well-paced and full of characterisation and action. More than that though is each story gives a look behind the curtain so to speak on how society works and where that…

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Cover Reveal: A Curse of Memories

The Greatest Sin #5 doesn’t just have a title. It has a cover and a release date! Bask in the glory of A Curse of Memories.

It’s pretty. Pretty epic, amIright? See what I did there? Eh? Eh?

Epic fantasy!

*cough*

Anyway…

Release date is July 11, and the ebook is currently in pre-order for 99 cents. You can find it on Amazon, Kobo, and a few other places. The price will go up on July 12th. Snap it up while it’s cheap!

If you haven’t heard of The Greatest Sin, it begins with The Fallen. Chavali, a cranky, sarcastic, and entirely fake fortune teller, hates people. Her job is dealing with them. Madness ensues. Also death, murder, abduction, magic, and prophecy. With snark. Lots and lots of snark.

New Release: Fixer #books #ebook #cyberpunk

The Darkside Seattle collection is full of grit, grime, and blood. Each novella tells the story of an important character in the setting. This second installment rises above the seedy underbelly of Seattle. Way, way above.

Victoria Godhand’s father built Godhand International Incorporated from the ground up. She’s been his right hand since she was sixteen. Now thirty-one, she’s the Chief Nepotism Officer and busts her ass to get things done in the glitzy world at the top.

As you might expect, things do go as well as she’d like.

Fixer is available on Amazon in ebook and paperback.

This collection isn’t a series. The stories can be read in any order. If you missed the first installment, Street Doc is available on Amazon. I’m expecting to release the third installment, Mechanic, by the end of the year.

I use a separate pseudonym for this collection because it’s different from everything else I write, and it’s not at all appropriate for kids. If you love my YA, this is not that. It’s nothing like that at all. If you want something else like Spirit Knights, try the Maze Beset trilogy of superhero fiction instead.

Cheers!

It’s All About You #amwriting #writingtips

Over the weekend, I chanced to have an interesting chatroom encounter with a person claiming to have multiple neurological diagnoses. I say “claim” because it’s a chatroom, and you never really know. I spend a fair amount of time in that particular chatroom, and most folks seem honest. I try to be when I’m not goofing around or being ridiculous.

I’m going to refer to this person as a male called “D”, though I have no idea of their gender, and this is clearly not their real name. I’m just doing it for simplicity.

D had been in the room before, and wanted help with writing stuff. Being myself, I stepped up and offered to help. During his previous request for assistance, he’d announced he enjoyed writing fanfic, and wanted help with mashup ideas.

To be clear, I think fanfic is great. I don’t spend my time writing it, but I have daydreams and such, and my brain wanders through what ifs for characters I like. To those who write and read fanfic, that’s great. If you ever have the urge to use my stuff for fanfic, knock yourself out. Anyway.

It soon became clear this person had a narrow list of ideas, but couldn’t pick one and wanted someone else to pick for them. Of the things on the list, I didn’t know much about most of them, so I didn’t say much once that list was revealed. I will say that I still think Harry Potter vs Predator would be neat. But I digress.

On this second occasion, the one which prompted this post, D entered the room and posted, “I hate writer’s block.”

If you don’t hang out with writers, you may be familiar with only the basic idea of writer’s block as some mystical creature shaped like a wall that writers bang their head against while producing nothing. Some writers see it that way too. In reality, it’s not a mythological beast or even an actual thing. Writer’s block is just another way of saying that you’re tired, overworked, burned out, need a vacation, should eat, could use some exercise, or have some other problematic issue with self-care. Either that, or you did something wrong in the story and your brain knows it, but can’t figure out what it is.

Whenever people try to cop the writer’s block excuse around me, that’s what I tell them, one way or another. As I did in this case. More or less–do some exercise, take a nap/get a night’s rest, and/or eat, then come back and try again. If that doesn’t work, switch to another project for a while. This is what the professional writerfolk (and, for that matter, most artistfolk) do, because we can’t wait around for airy fairy muses to flutter out of the sky and wave a magic wand around our heads with ideas. We hunt muses and seduce them so they never want to leave in the first place.

If you subscribe to the muse theory, that is. Anyway.

Other folks in the room did what they do, which is offer suggestions, none of which seemed to satisfy or appease D. He then did what I later realized was whining with a post which roughly translated to: you’re all jerks, I don’t know why I bother asking for advice here, this is a waste of time.

To which, I, being me, pointed out that yes, it is a waste of time because he doesn’t need outside ideas, he needs to think about what kind of stories he wants to tell and figure this stuff out for himself.

Which apparently made me sound like a sanctimonious bitch, but that’s not the point.

The point is this: any average human can string together words to make grammatically understandable sentences, draw lines and shapes, or arrange elements on a canvas. These are not especially challenging activities to the average human.

What makes writing, drawing, or design into art is the pieces of yourself that you put into it. It’s the tools you select and how you apply them. In writing, it’s about your word choices, the beats of the plot, the nuances of the characters, the descriptive details. It’s about expressing something in a way that evokes emotion.

What a writer needs from the outside isn’t ideas. It’s a sounding board. Someone to whom you express ideas and they help refine or shoot down the really stupid crap. If you can’t come up with an idea in the first place, taking someone else’s won’t solve the problem.

As a side note, this is why there are some specific challenges inherent in writing with a co-author, but that’s a whole different ball o’ wax.

Happy writing!

Sunday Surprise

Oh, look. I’m in a bundle. If you haven’t read Al-Kabar yet, now is a smashing time to pick it up with a bundle of other cool fantasy novels.

creative barbwire (or the many lives of a creator)

And this is the last author interview for the fantasy bundle. Stay tuned for more author interviews and more bundles. Ladies and gentlemen, last but not least, please welcome Lee French!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in Olympia, WA, the wacky heart of the Pacific Northwest. My workspace is a beanbag next to a coffee table and a large window with a view of the incessant rain. Sometimes, the sun comes out. It’s disturbing and distracting.

Why do you write?

I write because not writing is harder. After a few days without writing, unless I’ve been doing physically exhausting work, I get cranky and weird(er). At this point, I’m more or less unable to work at a regular job anymore because my writer brain muscles are so strong.

When did you start writing?

Shortly after I started reading. I was a late bloomer, not really grasping…

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Summer Is Coming #amwriting

The start of June means I’m busting my butt to finish whatever I can in time for GenCon. Here’s my con schedule through September:

July 1-2: GEARCon in Portland, OR

July 6-9: NASFiC in San Juan, PR

August 1-3: MALCon in Denver, CO

August 20-24: GenCon in Indianapolis, IN

September 9: Readerfest in Renton, WA

September 30-Oct : GeekGirlCon in Seattle, WA

And that’s it. Looks like not much. Lies. All of it. I’m driving to all those places, except Puerto Rico. Turns out PR is an island. Who knew, right? July 23-29, I’ll be in Iowa, riding Ragbrai, which I’m also driving to. I also have other personal matters to tend to, which will result in me traveling all but a week or so from the last week of June through the end of August. For a value-added bonus, I’m having long-overdue dental work done in there somewhere.

And that leaves…not much time for writing. As usual.

This Ragbrai will be my last, at least for the foreseeable future. As I’m discovering this spring, training takes too much time away from writing. My parts aren’t very happy about the amount of riding I’ve been doing, either. At this point, I’m concerned about my knees and their ability to handle the whole ride.

At this time, I’m expecting to have two new books in time for GenCon. One is the fifth book of The Greatest Sin, title to be revealed with the cover in the near future. The other is Darkside Seattle: Fixer. More to come soon about both!

Sunday Surprise

creative barbwire (or the many lives of a creator)

One more for the ride! And one more that I met in person! I am thrilled to have her onboard! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Debbie Mumford!

Where do you live and write from?

I make my home in the beautiful Pacific Northwest of the USA. Vancouver, Washington to be exact. No, not Vancouver, British Columbia, that’s in Canada, several hundred miles north of where I live. Vancouver, Washington is just across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon, and in some ways, is a bedroom community to Portland.

As to the question of my writing, I don’t have an actual office. I write on a MacBook Pro laptop, sitting in my favorite chair in the living room … with my feet up. What can I say? I’m into comfort! With my body at ease, my mind is free to wander into other worlds and visit possibilities of existences other than…

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