“avengers: endgame”–no ewoks, just awesome

*mild spoilers ahead*

If last year’s Avengers: Infinity War was The Empire Strikes Back of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (because, man, did it feel just as dark and brutal as Empire), then Avengers: Endgame is The Return of the Jedi, with better acting but none of those ridiculous tree-bears.  In other words, Endgame is just all kinds of wall-to-wall, non-stop kick-assery.   

endgame

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doing “5 to 10” for writing (part 2)

Lately, I’ve done a few talks for high school students who are writers, or are interested in becoming one.  In addition to disabusing them of the idea that becoming an author is a fast and easy ticket to fame and fortune, I’ve shared with them a lot of tips and experiences, including the core of my rules for writing: the “5 to 10”:

5 big rules + 10 smaller “Do’s and Don’t’s”

In Part 1 of this series, I told them about the 5 big rules.  Here’s what I had to say to them about the 10 smaller rules that follow from the 5:

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doing “5 to 10” for writing (part 1)

Lately, I’ve done a few talks for high school students who are writers, or are interested in becoming one.  In addition to disabusing them of the idea that becoming an author is a fast and easy ticket to fame and fortune, I’ve shared with them a lot of tips and experiences, including the core of my rules for writing: the “5 to 10”:

5 big rules + 10 smaller “Do’s and Don’t’s”

Here’s what I told them:

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“what does the eastern shore mean to you?”

That’s the question I answered this past Saturday, February 16, when I spoke during “A Place We Call Home,” the first session of the Queen Anne’s Council’s Eastern Shore Heritage & History series. 

Historian and novelist Brent Lewis; poet and founder/director of Salisbury Poetry Week Tara Elliott; and I had been invited to give our perspectives. 

feb 16 speak1Here’s some of what I told the audience about how and why I write about the Eastern Shore….

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on beyond “this wasted land”

First off, let me say THANK YOU! to everyone who’s purchased and read This Wasted Land, my young adult dark fantasy novel, that was officially released just after Thanksgiving.  Because of you and readers like you, it’s been a success. 

If you’ve enjoyed TWL, please leave a review on Amazon.  Reviews are more than just pats on the back for the author: they help other people find out about great books. 

3d

Throughout the holiday season, I had several book signings in Chester, Centreville, and Queenstown, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  TWL and my other books–the novels Dragontamer’s Daughters and Lost Dogs, as well as the children’s picture book Our Wild Place–sold well.

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how it took me 30 years to get “wasted”

On November 26, 2018, I launched my third published novel, and my fourth published book.  This Wasted Land is not your typical teenage-love story.  No, it’s more like:

Boy meets Girl

Evil Witch takes Boy

Girl goes to get Boy back

 

3d

Though TWL just came out this year, its genesis was in 1988, when I was a senior in college, majoring in English Lit.  My initial concept for the story was that a young college student (Alex) had recently been in a motorcycle accident that had crippled him and killed his fiancée Rose, another student. 

Months after her death, Alex sees someone he believes is Rose walking through the snowy woods near their school, and follows her onto a train that takes him to a gray, desolate netherworld.  He soon learns that the person he saw was not actually Rose, but a silver-eyed, shapeshifting witch.  Her master, the ruler of the wasteland, is Ōth, a being of great sorcerous power, exiled from his people, and….

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“this wasted land”: chapter 1

Please to enjoy the first chapter of This Wasted Land, my new young adult dark fantasy novel.  What’s TWL about?  At its core, it’s the tale of a misfit high school girl and her misfit high school boyfriend, but it’s not your typical teenage love story.   No, it’s more like:

Boy meets Girl

Evil Witch takes Boy

Girl goes to get Boy back

TWL’s available on Amazon, and for a limited time, the Kindle version is $0.99.  Without further delay, then, here’s the opening chapter, wherein our Feisty Teenage Heroine Alyx and her boy Sam go for a ride to…. 

 cover

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sorry, tswift: joan jett had the original “bad reputation”

No disrespect directed at Taylor Swift (of whom my daughter Ally is a huge fan) or her latest album, but if we’re talking about “reputations,” I have to bring it back to She Who Didn’t Give A Damn About Her Bad Reputation, Joan Jett, who has a documentary coming out this fall:

I saw Joan Jett perform as the opening act for Robert Plant several years ago, and when she did “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” it was volcanically hot.

Would it surprise you, then, to know that Alyx, the Feisty Teenage Heroine of my upcoming dark fantasy novel This Wasted Land, is not only a fan of Joan Jett (and 80s metal)?  As evidenced by this scene where she and her date Sam are dressed accordingly as they head out to an 80s-themed school dance:

“Mom, this is Alyx!”

“I didn’t know I was going to be meeting your mom,” I muttered, but then she swept in from the kitchen, a big woman, but not too fat, dark hair cut short, arms out for a hug.

“So nice to meet you!” she said, squeezing me. I’m not a huggy person at all. “I’m Brenda.” She pulled back. “Look at you! You look just like Joan Jett!”

“That was the idea, yeah.” And easy to come up with. My motorcycle boots, ripped up old jeans, a red t-shirt, black vinyl jacket. The front of my hair dyed red to match—it took a few tries to get the shade close enough. Lots of mascara and eyeliner.

“I was such a big fan! I saw her about five or six times in concert.”

“Yeah, she’s pretty cool.”

Matter of fact, the chapter that scene appears in is titled, “Do You Wanna Touch Me,” my favorite Joan Jett song:

This Wasted Land will be released October 15, and it’s gonna rock.  Don’t miss it.

cover

 

Kenton Kilgore writes YA SF/F that will make you think and feel.  He is the author of Lost Dogs, the story of a German Shepherd and a Beagle-mix who survive the end of the human world, only to find that their struggles have just begun. He also wrote Dragontamer’s Daughters, based on Navajo culture and belief. With Patrick Eibel, he created Our Wild Place, a children’s book about the joy to be found in exploring Nature.  

Follow Kenton on Facebook for frequent posts on sci-fi, fantasy, and other speculative fiction.  You can also catch him on Instagram.

Don’t miss the latest! Sign up for my mailing list, and you’ll know about blog posts, sneak peeks, upcoming releases, sales, special offers, and more as soon as they appear. I will honor your privacy and never spam you or sell your information. And you can, of course, unsubscribe any time. 

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bad things happen on august 2

“Bad things come in threes,” the saying goes, and they also come on August 2.  Don’t believe me?  Consider this, from my upcoming young adult dark fantasy novel, This Wasted Land:

FernandezGhastly, eh?  But there’s worse.  Here’s a snippet from my young adult fantasy novel, Dragontamer’s Daughters (like Little House on the Prairie, with dragons) where the old native woman To-Ho-Ne tells the young heroines, Isabella and Alijandra, of the Conflagration of Cuidad de Agustin, capital of the Ysparrian Empire:

dtdquoteAnd if that weren’t enough, the world–one world very much like our own, anyway–comes to an end on August 2, as witnessed by a German Shepherd named Buddy in my novel Lost Dogs:

ldquoteCoincidence?  Of course not.  Rather, it’s an example of how all three of my novels–DTD, Lost Dogs, and This Wasted Land (coming October 15)–intersect, even though the stories are vastly different from each other, and are set in different universes.  As you’ll see in TWL, characters and references from other novels–even some I have yet to publish–cross over, though not always in expected ways.

It ties in to what Ōth (pronounced like the word for a vow or promise), a major villain in TWL, calls, “the nine realities.”  I hope you’ll come along and explore them with me when TWL arrives this fall.

cover

 

Kenton Kilgore writes YA SF/F that will make you think and feel.  He is the author of Lost Dogs, the story of a German Shepherd and a Beagle-mix who survive the end of the human world, only to find that their struggles have just begun. He also wrote Dragontamer’s Daughters, based on Navajo culture and belief. With Patrick Eibel, he created Our Wild Place, a children’s book about the joy to be found in exploring Nature.  

Follow Kenton on Facebook for frequent posts on sci-fi, fantasy, and other speculative fiction.  You can also catch him on Instagram.

Don’t miss the latest! Sign up for my mailing list, and you’ll know about blog posts, sneak peeks, upcoming releases, sales, special offers, and more as soon as they appear. I will honor your privacy and never spam you or sell your information. And you can, of course, unsubscribe any time. 

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headed toward “this wasted land”

This Wasted Land is in sight:

cover

This Wasted Land will be my third published novel (after Dragontamer’s Daughters and Lost Dogs), a young adult dark fantasy work that I currently plan to release through Amazon on October 15 of this year.  What’s it about?

Well, I could tell you that it’s a modern day, gender-swapped version of the ancient Hindu epic poem Ramayana, partially inspired by T.S. Eliot’s masterpiece The Waste Land, (which, of course, means that it is infused with and informed by the Fisher King legend), all permeated by a metaphorical  “soundtrack” of 1980’s hair metal (yeah, really).

But it’s more fun, and much closer to the truth–not to mean easier to get a handle on–to tell you that instead, it’s your typical teenage love story:

Boy meets Girl

Evil Witch takes Boy

Girl goes to get Boy back

More specifically:

Alexandra “Alyx” Williams is a misfit: a 17-year Korean-American high school senior, new to Kent Island, MD, who doesn’t like school (except Art class), doesn’t like her family (except for the uncle she’s staying with), and doesn’t like being told what to do (Anger issues? You could say so).

But Alyx does like motorcycles, vintage hard rock, Vanilla Coke, and her boyfriend Sam, who’s a misfit in his own way.  So when a silver-eyed, shape-shifting witch attacks them and snatches Sam onto a ghostly train, Alyx follows, only to find herself in a nightmare world: an endless gray desert of lost things, places, and people, prowled by monsters never imagined by her—or you.

Struggling to survive, find Sam, and return home, Alyx endures horrors and heartbreak as she learns that the witch is but the slave of the ancient, inhuman being who rules this wasted land—and who craves to take Alyx and Sam for himself.

I first started drafting TWL 30 years ago, when I was in college.  I struggled with it for several years, then dropped it for a long time, picking it up again a couple years ago when I felt like I could finally tell the story properly (along the way, it’s gone through many changes).

You can learn more about TWL here, and I hope you’ll check it out when it’s published this October.  I’m wrapping up work on it, and soon enough, I’ll be back with more about it.  Stay tuned!

 

Kenton Kilgore writes YA SF/F you’ll feel.  He is the author of Lost Dogs, the story of a German Shepherd and a Beagle-mix who survive the end of the human world, only to find that their struggles have just begun. He also wrote Dragontamer’s Daughters, (like Little House on the Prairie…with dragons) based on Navajo culture and belief. With Patrick Eibel, he created Our Wild Place, a children’s book about the joy to be found in exploring Nature.  

Follow Kenton on Facebook for daily posts on sci-fi, fantasy, and other speculative fiction.

Don’t miss the latest! Sign up for my mailing list, and you’ll know about blog posts, sneak peeks, upcoming releases, sales, special offers, and more as soon as they appear. I will honor your privacy and never spam you or sell your information. And you can, of course, unsubscribe any time. 

 

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