8 Urban Fantasy Archetypes You Deal With Every Day

Urban Fantasy is a great escape from reality. Yet if you think about it, you face the following Urban Fantasy archetypes every day. Challenge Okay, so maybe you aren’t a soldier in an ancient vampire war, or facing an impending demon horde.  But everyone faces challenge. A challenge can be anything from fighting an illness to finishing a project. Maybe your challenge isn’t as life-threatening as a literal demon trying to physically kill you, but we all have our own figurative demons to wrestle. City Settings are as   in normal life as in Urban Fantasy. The City may be…

7 Habits of Highly Effective Urban Fantasy Heroes and Heroines

If one of my favorite Urban Fantasy protagonists wrote a self-help book, that would be awesome.  There is nothing I face in my daily life that an Urban Fantasy heroine doesn’t have to deal with on a much more horrifying scale.  The advice she would have would be so helpful in facing the pitfalls of everyday business, romance, and life. A self-help book written by a character who has to save the world from paranormal evil all while balancing a troublesome cross-species attraction to a paranormal hottie who may or may not be plotting to kill her couldn’t be anything but amazing. For example, in…

6 Inspiring 80’s and 90’s Urban Fantasy Movies

Some of my greatest inspiration in writing Urban Fantasy comes from the movies of the 80’s and 90’s.  They are absurd, overly stylized and loud, but so is Urban Fantasy as a genre.  I make no apologies for my taste in urban fantasy movies. If you’re going to have shape-shifters, monsters and vampires, they might as well be flashy. Here are 6 movies that tell the stories of supernatural creatures in urban settings with an uncommon amount of pathos, style, and loud synthesizer music. Cat People Nastassja Kinski’s gorgeous eyes alone are paranormal.  In this remake of the 1942 horror…

Goddess University: Kuan Yin

I know when I need a dose of goddess Kuan Yin when I start daydreaming about sleeping. Forget the fantasy worlds and story ideas that normally occupy my mind; when I’m truly stressed, I fantasize about nothing more than just being allowed to drop out of my life for days and sleep. When my life of full time teaching, grad school, and writing become less like surfing and more like surviving a tsunami, then Kuan Yin is always there to remind me to calm down. Kuan Yin is an east Asian goddess of mercy and peace. I love that word, mercy. When I…

A Snazzy Quote

A student in my Advanced Placement class just asked me for a “snazzy quote about the important of perseverance as a writer” to augment his research project about what it takes to be an author. This particular student is a brilliant writer himself and also a nice person. He’s the kind of young man that makes a teacher glad to work the job. The future of our world is in good hands with the likes of him, and of all my students. The pressure to come up with an original snazzy quote is more than I can bear on a Tuesday…

Goddess University: Athena the Multitasker

This past week, I was assigned five hundred seventy-eight pages to edit and revise in three days. In a perfect storm of events, the final edits for both my latest novel and my Masters project came in on the same day.  That meant that this week, I had five hundred seventy-eight pages to edit, revise, and submit, five classes a day to teach, a sober grad night party committee to lead, out-of-town guests for dinner, my family to care for, two blog entries to write, a new novel in progress, three class sets of papers to grade, two other published novels to market, and four separate meetings with a student’s parent,…

Do Your Research: 7 Things to Do Before Writing Paranormal Urban Fantasy

So you want to be a paranormal urban fantasy writer. All you need is an imagination and a laptop, right? While a boundless imagination and a resilient laptop are your sword and shield in the battle to write awesome paranormal fiction, there are 7 steps you can take before you write a word that will make your adventure that much better 1. Get to know your folklore.  It’s fun when paranormal urban fantasy writers make up their own rules (sparkling vampires, anyone?), but you should know the ins and outs of the original folklore before you start inventing your own. Timeless Tales…

Goddess University: Kali

You might think you would never want to meet Kali in a dark alley. Or in a lit hallway, for that matter. She has four arms, a demon’s head in one hand, a sword in another, and she is powerful beyond measure. Kali also has what might seem on the surface an anger management problem. Kali is a Hindu goddess known as the Dark Mother. The story goes that in a battle against evil, she began savagely destroying everything. Her son lay down before her to stop her, and she stuck out her tongue and stepped on him before quitting her rampage. Yet despite her…

Does Your Paranormal Urban Fantasy Pass The Test? 7 Things You Can Improve On

As exciting as it is to be a Paranormal Urban Fantasy author, the work is not easy. When writing my novels,  here are seven tests I measure my story against as I revise: The world follows the rules. The best Paranormal Urban Fantasy stories are based on carefully contrived worlds. It  helps to keep notes about what is and is not possible within the realm of the story.  Just because I don’t have to follow the rules of the real world, doesn’t mean I don’t have to follow rules of the fantasy world I have created. The characters behave consistently. Characters have to do…

Goddess University: Artemis

My favorite story about Artemis is the one about the time she stood at the gates of a city of unjust men, wielded her bow, and killed every one of them with a single arrow.  By the time that arrow was done, Artemis created one big men kebab. I don’t know what the unjust men did to deserve such an end, but Artemis knew.  The arrow knew. Artemis is one of three Greek virgin goddesses, daughter of Zeus, sister of Apollo. Artemis is the goddess of the moon, silver, young women, childbirth, and the hunt. The Roman called her Diana. You…