Posted on 1 Comment

Redheaded Roses

There aren’t that many of us on the street, but we turn up a lot in books. What, editors? Struggling indie authors? (I’m both of those!) No, redheads. (Yes, I’m one of those too.) The most popular hair colour for literary heroines is red, and to go with the fiery locks they often have green eyes. I’m as guilty as the next person. I’ve created a green-eyed redhead leading character, Fiona, in Something Fishy, a book you’ll find in blovel form here under the pen name of Rorie Stevens. I hadn’t realised I was being so predictable  until a message thread on an author’s forum alerted me to the fact that many of us have similar looking heroines. Since then I’ve come across hundreds more in books I’ve read! We redheads make up a lot less than 10% of the population, even in Celtic countries such as Ireland and Scotland, but around 50% of the fictional population I’d guess!

Not that it matters. I think authors tend to go for redheads because that colour hair is unusual, attractive and has the associations of a certain feistiness. Red hair has long been thought to be a sign of a hot temper, but there’s no proven biological explanation for this. The idea probably grew up, in England anyway, due to the invading Vikings having red hair as did the brave and troublesome Scots.  Another myth is that redheads have a higher libido than other people. Another good reason to have a redheaded hero or heroine if you’re writing in the romantic genre!

Rose Thorne of Gary Vanucci’s short fantasy novel A Rose in Bloom is therefore both a typical yet very unusual literary heroine. She has long red hair and green eyes, a strong personality and works in a bordello. So far she fits the bill. But add to that her various special gifts which include light-fingeredness and the ability to merge in and out of the world of shadows at will, and she becomes a formidable ally, or if you’re unfortunate, enemy. Arm her with a magical daggers and you could have a problem! You can read about Rose for yourself for free today and tomorrow – 18th and 19th May – since A Rose in Bloom is free on Amazon here (and on the other various Amazon sites). Gary Vanucci is a brilliant author. He creates wonderful characters and exciting situations for them, so you’re in for a treat with his books. And if you fall under Rose’s spell, which I am confident you will, then you can follow her adventures in Gary’s Covenant of the Faceless Knights, where she plays a leading role.

Gary’s books are illustrated by the talented William Kenney. I’m a huge fan of his artwork.

Can you spot Rose?
Posted on 2 Comments

Gary Vanucci, Talented Fantasy Author and Creator of Wothlondia

I’m thrilled to host a guest post from talented fantasy author Gary F Vanucci. I’ve been lucky to work with Gary on his latest project, Wothlondia Rising, a series of entertaining and remarkably powerful short stories. (I’ve written about them here.)

Stephanie asked me to write a blog for her and I was at a loss as to what I could say that her readers might find interesting. I figured at first, I’d briefly touch on my experience as a writer up until now. Let me preface the post by saying that I have met some very interesting and unique people through social media that I would never have met otherwise and am very thankful for it.

I met my artist and fellow fantasy author, William Kenney and many more amazingly talented people along the way. Stephanie Dagg was another. Where else but the social media hubs would I be able to meet someone in another country with the talents, similar interests and willingness to meet my demands other than on social media?

I have been writing on and off all of my life. Whether it be stories for games, blog posts, term papers or other writing projects (like a sci-fi series I started and never finished in 1999), I have been perfecting my craft for decades. I have thousands of unpublished pieces of writing under my belt. Alas, this is a tough business in which to attempt to make a living! There are so many other authors which you are in competition with that it really makes your head spin. And some are very good! Those are truly special when you can sift through and find those that write well and care about what they are giving to the consumer. I have decided to pursue my craft regardless of the outcome and let the people decide if my work is worth the purchase.

I thought that my writing was fair or possibly even above average from both the story-telling and grammar perspectives. And I was proud of my works and still am, especially seeing what editors can do for you! So, when I handed the stories to Steph, she not only repaired my grammatical errors, but she was able to take my work to the next level! I am truly pleased with the effort she turned in and with the amount of care that she took to make sure everything was in its proper place. She literally made me sound as if I knew how to express my thoughts with clarity and unbridled enthusiasm! Truly amazing!

I would highly recommend using the talents of this woman who clearly A) understands the business, B) cares about the work she turns out and C) understands the business and financial strains of the independent artist in order to work with them. A more polished editor will not be easy to find!

Steph, thanks for letting me ramble on here and for allowing me the venue in which to share my product with readers and fellow writers!

See you all in Wothlondia… I hope! Cheers!
Please visit MY HOME PAGE to enjoy an extended reading experience, see direct links to purchase my full length novel, Covenant of the Faceless Knights, the short stories: Wothlondia Rising, and to see what else Ashenclaw Studios, LLC has in store in the future.