M.A. Guglielmo is a neurosurgeon, mother of two awesome daughters, and a lifelong fan of speculative fiction. Her Italian grandmother may or may not have been able to cast the evil eye on difficult neighbors, and she loves telling a good story, especially if magical curses and witty villains are involved.
Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?
I live in Rhode Island, the US state voted most likely to be used as a unit of measurement, with my two awesome daughters, and a dog and cat who I swear have watched too many Tom and Jerry cartoons. In my day job, I’m a neurosurgeon. So I can say with some authority that writing fiction isn’t brain surgery. Some days it feels harder, though!
How did you get into writing?
I started writing seriously about seven years ago, after I finished reading out loud a middle grade fantasy to my daughters and started to make up a new version of the plot. It was so much fun I decided to start sketching out the story. After writing a fifty-page outline and the tossing it aside when the actual writing began, I learned my first writing term—pantser.
Describe your desk / writing space.
I usually write on my couch, trying to hold onto my laptop with my dog on one side of me and my cat on the other. There’s also a lot of hot tea.
Do you have a writing routine, or do you write when inspired?
I’ve recently adopted a strategy of ‘touching’ my work every day. I open up my Scrivener file of my current work in progress and do something, even if it’s only rereading and lightly editing my last session. It’s worked surprisingly well.
How do you come up with the title to your books?
I have a (usually terrible) working title before I begin writing. My published books have all had their titles changed by the editor and marketing team, so I try not to get too attached to my working title.
What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?
The heroine of my From Smokeless Fire, Zahara, is a demonic jinni more interested in shopping and sweets than haunting. In Price to Pay, the last novel in the trilogy, Zahara has to overcome her party girl of the paranormal persona and become the reluctant heroine of the story. I was surprised how bittersweet her difficult decisions were in the novel, and how strong a character she shows herself to be. Those were more difficult scenes to write.
My favorite scenes to write were when Clifford, a flying cyborg Great White, made an appearance.
What inspired your book/series?
The mythology behind the novel is the story of Harut and Marut, two overly proud angels—or jinn in some versions—who are sent down to earth to show humans how to resist temptation. They fail, in rather spectacular fashion, and are punished by being hung by the feet until the end of the world. According to some sources, the two gave the gift—or curse—of magical knowledge to humanity.
What are you working on next?
I’m starting a new project set in a fantasy version of ancient régime France, with a sexy necromancer hero who has to work with two of his worst enemies to save a princess who’s not what she seems to be.
What authors or books have influenced your writing?
I love the writing styles of more literary authors like Neil Gaiman and N.K. Jemisin, and the storytelling power of writers like S. A. Chakraborty and Martha Wells.
If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?
The best fantasy worlds are way too dangerous for my taste! I’d love to have a second home in Morocco and a jinn muse for my writing, though.
I’ve never been one for April Fool’s Jokes so no big surprise awaits for you.
It looks like between the last newsletter and now, Necronomicon 2021 and RI Summer Comic Con in Rhode Island has been canceled. I think it’s all for the best. Even with the vaccines rolling out it’s going to be a while before the convention scene is back on its feet and most of the conventions are still going the virtual route.
I’m going to assume WorldCon DC isn’t going to happen even if they’re still looking at hotels since the one they were supposed to have it in has filed for bankruptcy.
Now, as for why San Diego Comic Con decided to say: Let’s throw a con on Thanksgiving weekend, I haven’t the faintest idea why.
When Riders Crosleigh Update
The When Riders Crosleigh K BAR count: 36008, goal is 120000.
I was playing around with a boxed set template for eBooks 1,2+3. I realize I haven’t even finished book 2 but it’s fun to play around in Photoshop.
If you haven’t seen Dark on Netflix and are looking for a Stranger Things fix, then go watch Dark. If you liked Dark and enjoyed the music by Ben Frost, seasons 1+2 are up on iTunes and make for great ambience music if you’re looking for something spooky.RKB’s Picks
The Irregulars on Netflix bears a striking resemblance to The Nevers that will be appearing on HBO/Max shortly. Both series take place in London and involve supernatural events going on. The Irregulars has two things going for it: 1. It takes place in the Sherlock Holmes-universe and 2. Joss Whedon isn’t involved with it. I’m two episodes into it and enjoying it, sure some of the plot lines are clunkers, the wide-eyed Prince being the primary culprit but no show is ever perfect right out of the gate.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier are two episodes into their six episode run and the banter we got during Civil War between the two actors is back. Yay! The great thing about this series is that it’s not trying to copy what WandaVision did. While WandaVision covered what happened after the death of Vision in Infinity War, this series covers what happens after Captain America needs to be replaced since the events of End Game. It also takes a couple of deep cuts into the super soldier serum when Captain America was on ice. And as always: the animated credits that started in Captain America The First Avenger and continued through Winter Soldier and Civil War are worth watching.
If there are any authors wish to have their novel in the spotlight or are part of free book giveaway, it’s best to go through StoryOrigin and I’ll get it into the next email that goes out May 1st.
Last bit of news is I’ve found on Youtube some hour long ambience music from Star Wars and while I have a lot of the soundtracks already, it’s nice to hear some ambience music while I write. The ads popping up are easily ignored.
The Head on Amazon Prime is a murder mystery set in the cold tundra of Antarctica. A multi-national team of scientists face several months in darkness before the summer team arrives but when they do they only find two survivors. Overall, the series if a fun watch even if the flashback style of story telling can get a little grating and deafens the suspense since the first episode shows all the dead while the series unspools with their demise one by one. Overall: 4 out of 5.Beast Wars: Transformers on Tubi and Transformers War for Cybertron on Netflix. Growing up in the 80’s I was raised on afternoon cartoons so Transformers, GI Joe, Robotech, Captain Harlock and such turned me into a nerd. Doctor Who circa Tom Baker on PBS and Star Trek: TNG on Fox just cemented it.So when Transformers The Movie came out in the 80’s, it was the first taste of PTSD since a lot of the Gen 1 Transformers died in order to make way for more toys. I have no idea who thought purple was a good color scheme but wow there’s a lot a purple in Galvatron’s crew to the point of squinting and several minions all look the same.
Beast Wars Transformers is one of the better Transformer shows because while it is a show based on merchandise, the characters and stories weren’t aimed at kids. The characters and their voices are unique enough to make them all stand out (Rattrap, Dinobot, Blackarachnia, Megatron) and yes, while some even die their deaths aren’t just throw away to make way for new toys. The Gen 1 nostalgia doesn’t kick into high gear until the end of Season 2. At nearly 50 episodes, the show is worth watching beginning to end.
It gets a five out of five.
I would disregard it’s direct sequel: Beast Machines. It’s completely different animal and while it tried something different it was too different and not as enjoyable as Beast Wars. It’s bad when a few of the voice actors flip out at the fact their characters have changed so much. Sure, it’s the same characters and voice actors but the writers swung and struck out.
Transformers War for Cybertron could learn a few things from Beast Wars. While the show among a few other Transformer shows have decided to focus on the Cybertron before Gen 1, it’s a good nostalgia attempt that only fails on two points in my opinion: 1. Too short a season doesn’t allow for the characters to stretch. It feels like it’s rushing at points. 2. The male voice actors don’t do any favors due to too many of them trying to sound gruff. The woman voice over actors are dead on perfect and make them rememberable.
I bring up both of these series because War of Cybertron Volume 3 dips into Beast Wars continuity if the last shot of Dinobot has anything to say about it.
eBook copies of Weaver are now $0.99 across all platforms. Personally signed paperbacks are available. Available eBay auctions here.
Why should you attend?
Boskone is a convention geared towards writers/authors so if you ever wanted to go to convention minus the airfare, the hotel and parking fees the $25 for a three day virtual convention is probably the best deal you’ll have in ever.
Association of RI Authors will an isle at RICC like we usually do. So long as I can get the time off from work, I’ll be at RICC. Any updates on RICC will be appear here, on my twitter feed, blog and FB page.
I would love to go to ECCC as a vendor but I think I’ll wait off until I have three books.
I’m trying to be optimistic about 2021 and in person events…
The Expo committee has been working hard to learn what needs to be done to put on a free virtual event.
The Rhode Island Author Expo website has been updated with a registration button, panel schedule and participating authors.
The event will be running from 10 AM – 5 PM and will be held on Zoom.
There’re author panels just like in years past along with keynote speakers and this year we’re trying something different with an author kaffeeklatsch, a nice intimate setting to sit down and talk to one of our many local authors.
I hope to see you at the Expo in December where I’ll be on two panels and a kaffeeklatsch.
I haven’t posted in a bit because, well, there has’t been much to talk about that isn’t depressing as all get out. From the covid cases, the BLM movement to the assault on women going through the author community and the gestapo pulling people off the streets of Portland.
My apocalypse bingo card doesn’t need more squares.
The states are re-opening and the covid cases are going up. Masks aren’t political. They’ll save your lives. Period. Darwin is rolling in his grave right now.
The conventions are canceling and 2020 has become the shelter in place year. If anyone was writing a post-apocalyptic or virus novel than you’ve got some great story fodder to play with.
Any of the conventions I may have appeared at have either canceled or gone virtual this includes the Rhode Island Author Expo for which I’m on the committee.
But there’s hope! Expo like the rest will be going virtual so when I know more so will you.
To that end, since I’m not going to conventions this year that doesn’t mean you can’t get Where Weavers Daire my awesome sci-fi novel.
It is still available through every ebook dealer and the paperback is available through local stores, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
If you are local fan and haven’t gotten the book then please support local shops first then Amazon/B&N. Check out this post to find the books locally.
If you’re looking to get free ebooks check out these giveaways: