Archive for November, 2013

So, Why Thor?

(Two days til release! Aaaaaahhhhhh ::arm flail::)

(Also, my post on using Bible mythology is up over at Paranormal Unbound.)

I admit I still have the Avengers on the brain a little, plus I’m finally going to get to see Thor 2 tomorrow, but people sometimes ask me why, when most of the characters in Shards are from Bible mythology, did I decide to include the God of Thunder as well? And why him, out of all the polytheistic pantheons out there?

The answer is a little silly, honestly. A few months before I started working on the first draft of Shards, I was at work, and that employer insisted on everyone wearing security badges. The badge had your picture on it, your preferred first name in large letters (so mine said “Kit”), and then your full name underneath it in smaller letters. I was on my way back from the cafeteria, and I passed this huge guy coming out of the gate around my building. He towered over me by a good four inches, and I’m over six feet myself, and I tend to take note when people are taller than me. But it got even better. I glanced at his badge as we passed each other, and it said “Thor” in giant letters.

Between his appearance and his name, I was charmed. I made a mental note to stick him in a story somewhere. (This was before the Marvel movies, back in 2008.)

So, when I was writing Shards and needed a non-Biblical character to throw in, I remembered Thor-from-work and made my decision based off of that. It helps that the way I structured the world-building makes Thor and my male main character Michael fairly similar in personality and talents.

The rest, as they say, is history.

(My apologies for this post being so late. Both the mashed potatoes and the brazen commercialism derailed my productivity attempts yesterday.)


Shards Release Week and Miscellany

Guys! Five days til Shards comes out! I’m super excited.

I was going to leave this post until Thursday, but then I remembered that Thursday is Thanksgiving, and hopefully (if you’re American) you will be with your families eating too much and plotting your Black Friday attack plans and watching parades and football and getting started on the Christmas movies.

(If you’re not American, no worries, Thursday shall have a post like normal. Or not normal, depending on if I get it down before or after I overdose on mashed potatoes.)

(Mmmm, mashed potatoes.)

Anyway. If you want to stalk me over the next couple of weeks, here’s my (as-of-today) release tour schedule:

I’ll update this with links to the actual posts as they go up. And, of course, there will be posts here as well. Sunday for release day, and then Tuesday and Thursday as usual. Oh! And there will be a Goodreads giveaway as well. I’ll post details for that when that goes up as well.

Other than that, new stuff continues to go up on the website and Pinterest.

Over-arcing Universes

So, I promised myself I wasn’t going to write another Avengers-related post (I watched Captain America yesterday, so I am almost caught up with everything now), but pondering how all the movies fit together, and how they leave little hints in each one that relate to all the others, and knowing that there’s tons of additional superheroes and villains that fit into the same universe made me think about the good, and the bad, things about over-arcing universes.

An over-arcing universe is a large universe in which there are many stories. These can be, like the Marvel Universe, several originally independent stories that have been twisted into a single universe. They can be single author works, where said author has explored the history of a world across generations. They can be single television shows with decades of history.

The defining point is that there are a lot of stories, and there are hints of the other stories in each story, whether it’s a name drop of a character or the reminder of a plot point. Sometimes a character that was the main character in a different story is a side character in a new story, and sometimes you have true crossovers, where characters that don’t normally interact must work together.

Sometimes they’re organic, where things just get added into the mix over time, and sometimes they’re more planned, like the Star Wars extended universe.

The nice thing about these large universes is that they can be very complex and, for people who are familiar with them, the hints and mentions can be a nice treat.

The bad things about these large universes is that they can be contradictory when different stories are forced to work together, and they can become so large that it’s impossible to keep track of everything.

I’m sure you can think of tons of examples, in role-playing games, books, movies, comics, television shows…but which are your favorite, Squiders?

So I Finally Saw the Avengers

Actually, it was a week ago, but the point still stands. And I know I am extremely behind the times, and everyone else who actually cares about the whole Marvel movies thing saw it a long, long time ago.

(In my defense, I was eight months pregnant when it came out in theaters.)

(Also, I’m still deep into my comfort cozy mysteries, so I have nothing to talk about on the reading front except that I am less than pleased with my library’s ebook reader app. It crashed about halfway through the book and then wouldn’t work for the next seven hours.)

You guys know I’m not wild about the whole superhero subgenre, but I really enjoyed the movie. I was a little lost at the beginning because I’ve only seen the first Iron Man and Thor movies previously, but other than that, I thought it was highly entertaining. 

I suspect I liked it so much because so much time was spent not fighting. They had so many characters to pull in, and each character came across as an interesting person, and it was really enjoyable to see them interact. 

And I’m a little sad because I’ve missed the fandom surge that tends to follow a movie like that. Said fandom has moved on to the new Iron Man and Thor movies, and Agents of SHIELD. So, perhaps fortunately, it’s not easy to immerse myself in fandom like I tend to do when I find something I really like.

I mean, I do have a book coming out in two weeks. And then there’s the holidays coming up. So it’s probably for the best.

Have you seen the Avengers, squiders? If you are a fan of superhero movies, how did it stack up against other superhero movies? (And which of the Marvel movies is your favorite?) If you’re not a fan of superhero movies, did you like or dislike it, and why?

I’m Exhausted; Have a Landsquid

I really meant to have an interesting post for you guys today, Squiders. I know we’ve done a lot of talking recently about publishing and mythology and I feel like some of you guys probably haven’t been getting the articles you want (and, please, if there’s more of something you’d like to see, leave a comment and I shall make it so).

But between freelance work, contract writing, and marketing, I’m burnt out.

So I drew you a landsquid. Actually, I drew you several landsquid, both by hand and by tablet, and the first eight were terrible. The Landsquid is as tried as I am. (Also, he has ceiling turtles. At least I am currently free from that scourge.)


If you haven’t been by the website lately, there’s new bonus material and extras, as well as more information about Shards itself, including a book description. New stuff continues to go up on the Pinterest board, and here’s the first review of Shards.

Loki: Norse Myth, Tom Hiddleston, and FATE FORGOTTEN

In celebration of the release of Fate Forgotten, today Amalia Dillin is here to tell us more about the black sheep of the Norse pantheon, Loki, and how he changes based on the various iterations of the mythology. She also gives us a hint at how she’s manipulated the myths in Fate Forgotten, which is book two of her Fate of the Gods trilogy. Forged by Fate is the first book.

FateForgotten blog banner with drop date

During press interviews, Tom Hiddleston likes to say “There is no Loki without Thor,” and in the Marvel Universe, particularly the Cinematic Universe, it’s true. They’re two sides of the same coin, light and dark, order and chaos, good and… well, depending on who you ask, Loki is anything from misunderstood to flat out evil.

But in the Norse Myths, I think the expression would be different. Because you see, while Thor and Loki do a lot of adventuring together, Loki isn’t his brother. Loki has no ties to Thor at all, really, except through Thor’s father, Odin. And Loki and Odin – they aren’t so different from one another. Loki is what mischief and chaos and deceit looks like when those powers are put to a certain use. When they’re used for selfish purposes and selfish gain. And Odin, a king in full possession of those same powers, instead uses them for Order and, mostly, the Good of the World, for the ultimate protection of mankind, that the gods might triumph (at great cost) during Ragnarok, and the world will be born again in a new age, of peace and prosperity.

In the Norse Myths, there is no Loki without Odin. There is no Odin without Loki, and while the majority of Loki’s mischief is clearly his own design, there’s no knowing, really, that it was ALL for his own pleasure. And there’s a very distinct possibility that some of it might have even been commanded by Odin – Odin and the Aesir certainly take advantage of him when it’s convenient, at the very least.

In FATE FORGOTTEN, the second book in my Fate of the Gods trilogy, Loki is *still* a thorn in Thor’s side. The Trickster isn’t just a threat to Eve, he’s a threat to the Covenant which allows the many different pantheons to coexist peacefully on earth. But as the threat increases, Loki’s purpose and motivations grow less and less clear. And if he is, in fact, acting under Odin’s commands, Thor is going to have to make a choice: remain loyal to the interests of the Aesir and Odin the Allfather, or protect Eve.

As long as Loki remains alive, it’s impossible for him to do both.

If you’re intrigued, here’s the blurb for Fate Forgotten. The book is available through most major internet retailers, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and is available in both paperbook and ebook forms.

Since the gods returned Adam’s memory six hundred years ago, Thor has been a scourge on his lives. But when Adam learns that Thor has been haunting his steps out of love for Eve, he is determined to banish the thunder god once and for all. Adam is no fool: Eve still loves the man she knew as Thorgrim, and if she ever learned he still lived, that he still loved her, Adam would lose any chance of winning Eve to his side, never mind liberating the world. But after everything Thor has done to protect Eve, everything he’s sacrificed, the thunder god won’t go without a fight. Not as long as Eve might love him again.

Which means that Adam has to find a new ally. The enemy of his enemy, complete with burning sword and righteous resentment of the gods. But in order to attract the Archangel Michael’s attention, he needs Eve — an unmarried Eve, willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

It shouldn’t be too difficult to find her in the future. Not now that he knows how to look.

Shards Cover Reveal

Surprise! Monday post. (No worries, Squiders, you’ll get your normal Tuesday/Thursday posts this week.) Anyway, I got the cover for Shards over the weekend, and I thought I’d share it with you lovely people.


Isn’t it pretty? I especially like Michael’s eyes and the fact that the broken glass is centered behind Eva’s head.

I’ve also been putting up Shards quotes on the Pinterest board and there’s exclusive content over here, such as deleted scenes and research notes, so give both a look as well! New stuff will be going up at both locations periodically until Shards launches on the 1st.

ThorLove Blog Hop–Everyone’s Favorite Norse God

You know, I didn’t even think about it when I decided to post about this today, but then someone on Twitter said, “Put the Thor back in Thursday.” So hoorah for good timing and all that.

For the next week or so there’s going to be a lot of Thor and Amalia Dillin as the second book of her Fate of the Gods trilogy, Fate Forgotten, was just released on Tuesday. If you’re not partial to Norse or Biblical mythology, well, first of all, I’m not why you’re following my blog, but you may want to take a break. Come back next Thursday.

Bloghop banner smaller

First of all, let’s just talk about Thor–the mythological Thor–and why, to this day he seems to be everyone’s favorite Norse god. (I realize, of course, that some people probably like Loki the best, no doubt helped by Tom Hiddleston’s portrayal, but let’s ignore that for the time being.) Part of it may be because his name is easy to pronounce. (Seriously, have you looked at the spelling for some of the other Norse gods? I have no idea what to do with some of those letters.)

But I think what makes Thor so appealing to the masses is that he’s easy to identify with. As far as godly portrayals go, he’s pretty versatile. Sometimes he’s a hero, sometimes he makes mistakes. He’s both a lover and a fighter. He doesn’t get pigeon-holed into a stereotype like you find with some other pantheons (like the Greeks).

Plus, you know, thunder and lightning and giant hammers.

You guys already know that I like Thor–I posted a few months back about his role in Shards. Thor’s the only non-Biblical mythology person who’s physically present in the book (others–Athena, Brigid, Osiris–are just mentioned), so that probably says something.

I am biased toward my own Thor, of course, but my next favorite Thor is definitely the Chris Hemsworth version. And I’m not just saying that because the movies are really pretty. (And so is he.) I admittedly have never read the comic books, so I don’t know how accurate the movies are re: the comic books, nor how accurate the comic books are re: the mythology. I just…I don’t know. I think the casting for the movies is amazing.

How about you, Squiders? Does the God of Thunder tickle your fancy? (Or do you prefer some other flavor of Norse deity?) What’s your favorite Thor? And, be honest, how excited are you to see (or have seen, if you live in a country where the movie is already out) Thor 2?

Comfort Books (Or Where to Go When Your Genre Betrays You)

Each of us have a comfort book–or even a comfort genre–that we turn to when we just want to relax or when times are tough.

I go for cozy mysteries. I like them because they tend to be witty, fun, romantic, and sometimes even a little sexy. Oh, yeah, and there’s mystery solving!

And generally there’s not a fantasy creature or a spaceship in sight. (Although I am currently reading Donna Andrews’ We’ll Always Have Parrots, which takes place at a fantasy convention.)

I find, that when I dedicatedly working on a story myself, I can’t read the genre that that story is. I know some authors that can’t read at all when they’re writing, which is a very sad state of affairs, so I will take my genre-block over that. If it’s high fantasy, then high fantasy is out. Same for urban fantasy and science fiction. (Luckily, urban and high fantasy are typically different enough that I can squeeze in a little bit of magic into my day.)

A lot of times, to play safe, though, I’ll just head for the cozies. Writing/editing/submitting/publication can certainly be stressful enough to warrant going for the comfort books.

It’s not that I necessarily think that I’ll be influenced by other books in my same genre (though that’s a realistic concern), but I actually feel a little repelled by the genre at that point in time. Maybe it’s because I’m already spending too much time thinking about it.

I was a bit surprised to find that this was true for the publication process, honestly, but I haven’t been able to touch a fantasy novel in over a month. So I’ve gone to the library and stocked up on my favorite cozy series, and hopefully they’ll see me through til launch.

What’s your go-to comfort genre, Squiders?