Author Spotlight: Cait Spivey, author of From Under the Mountain

One of the books I’ve most enjoyed reading so far this year has been the epic fantasy adventure From Under the Mountain by Cait Spivey, released through Reuts Publications. The story is based in a mind-blowing, fantastic world meticulously built by Spivey as a young woman finds herself, after the death of her tyrannical royal family, at the head of an empire. The novel is sometimes reminiscent in the best possible way of Game of Thrones in its scope and intrigue. There is magic and intrigue and complex human relationships in a world where sexual orientation doesn’t raise eyebrows, but…

5 Random Thoughts I Had When I Wrote THE ARROW (The Children of Brigid Trilogy, Book One)

I am surrounded by goddesses. I hand wrote the first chapter while on a retreat with a group of twelfth grade girls from one of the schools where I used to work. These students were powerfully intelligent, capable, kind, and just so cool. The retreat center was on the banks of Lake Tahoe, a really gorgeous location. As the sun was setting the first night, I watched the water and snow-covered mountains turn pink then purple. I was surrounded by young women who were set to take over the world and make it a place that made more sense, despite…

THE ARROW Playlist

In my urban paranormal fantasy THE ARROW, research scientist and reluctant goddess Fynn Kildare finally gets her man. That man happens to be rock star Komo, the son of Dionysus, the love of her life since they were children together in her family’s commune Brigid’s Keep. When a local pharmaceutical company run by witches and demons threatens to unleash a catastrophic virus, Fynn must decide between Komo’s drug-fueled ecstatic life on the road or  her family’s work to fight to save humanity. Enter Eli, a surfer biker half-demon who, though bred to kill Fynn instead falls madly in love with her. We’re talking an epic goddess/demon/god love triangle, a rock…

Goddess University: Furiosa

Okay, so Furiosa isn’t a goddess, she’s a character in Mad Max: Fury Road. She doesn’t even have magical powers or supernatural forces of any kind. She looks like Charlize Theron, so she has that going for her, but being beautiful is not exactly an asset in her world. I read Cindy Fazzi’s film review of Mad Max: Fury Road that touches on the feminist themes at work in this film. In fact, I read the review on the way home from seeing the film and it was such a joy to see that someone else understood the same things I…

Notebooks

On the way to the gym this morning, I heard this story on NPR  in which Eric Weiner reported that Moleskine’s business is booming, and research shows that  all the cool kids write in notebooks now. I was fascinated but also horrified by this story. Listening to an interview with a guy who revealed that he wrote in notebooks like it was a new idea made me feel  sort of the way I did when the lady who wrote Freedom Writers came to town and everyone at the school where I worked got very excited about her revolutionary teaching technique of having her students write in journals.  My…

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: 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…