The Last Kingdom preview

Excited yet concerned with Uhtred as a character.

Last year we reported that the BBC was going to produce The Last Kingdom, based on Bernard Cornwell’s best selling novels. Next month the series premieres on BBC America. 

Set in the Viking age and expected to compete with Game of Thrones and Vikings, the new historical action series tells the story of how England was formed. The year is 872, and many of the separate kingdoms of what we now know as England have fallen to the invading Danes, leaving the great kingdom of Wessex standing alone and defiant under the command of King Alfred. Against this turbulent backdrop lives our hero, Uhtred. Born the son of a Saxon nobleman, he is captured by the Danes and raised as one of their own. Forced to choose between the country of his birth and the people of his upbringing, his loyalties are ever tested. What is he? Saxon or Dane? On a quest to…

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M. B. Weston’s Writing Diary: 09/02/15 – Observing Life’s Details Can Improve Your Writing

This is a great reminder piece for writers. Environment plays into your story just like any other character.

M. B. Weston's Official Website

Observing even the smallest details that surround you in life can help add color and spice to your writing.

I haven’t done one of these in a while, and I’m trying to start back up. If you have ever attended one of my writing workshops on description, you may have heard me say, “Your world needs to haunt your reader.” The world that you have created, including the landscape and folklore, should stay with your reader even after she puts the book down. Infusing your story with rich sensory details can help you accomplish that goal.

I’m currently vacationing in the Smokey Mountain area of North Carolina, and I have enjoyed a few hikes in the woods (as much as I can in my 3rd trimester).
So many of my stories, especially those in the Elysian Chronicles, take place in the woods. I “put on my writing hat” so…

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Working With Editors: Eliminate Forms of “To Be” & “Had”

Great stuff here! Thanks to MB for taking the time to write it.

M. B. Weston's Official Website

I’m currently working on the corrections my horror/thriller short story, “Blue Lights,” which will appear in an anthology edited by John Hartness. I figured I would write a few posts about some of the things I’m working on during the editing process. (Be sure to check out my last post, “Working With Editors: Send in Your Best Work.“)

As I mentioned in that post, I worked up to the deadline to complete this story and only slept for a few hours during the final days of finishing the story. Unfortunately, I committed one of writing’s the cardinal sins: using forms of to be and have/has/had too often, and my exhaustion kept me from catching them. Editors hate the overuse of those two words, and John mentioned it to me in an email:

Go through and excise every use of the verb “to be” all is, was, had been words must…

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Here is my interview with Rhonda Hopkins

Check out Rhonda’s work!



Name: Rhonda Hopkins


Old enough. 🙂

Where are you from:
Mansfield, TX

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc:

I grew up in a small town in Texas where just about everyone knew everyone else – or so it seemed. If I even thought about doing something I shouldn’t, my mom knew about it before I ever made it home. I have a sister that I fought with every day of my childhood, who is now my best friend and my folks are still together after fifty-three years of marriage. I received a bachelor degree in business, but nearly had enough credits for a degree in psychology as well.

I planned to go to law school, had been accepted, and all set to go when an injury made it not possible that year or the following. I sort of fell in to doing investigations…

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Author Interview: M. B. Weston

An interview with M.B. one of my favorite people with Dark Oak Press

The Dark Oak Blog

OOTS Front Dark OakDark Oak Press author, M. B. Weston, gave us an interview about not only her current fantasy series, The Elysian Chronicles, but also on her writing style and other things she has going on.

What genres do you enjoy writing? I started out with fantasy, but I’m also enjoying writing paranormal, suspense, urban fantasy, Steampunk, and I’m working on some pulp now. I also see a bit of mystery writing in my future.

Tell us about your latest book: My latest book is Out of the Shadows, the second book in the Elysian Chronicles series. The Elysian Chronicles is military fantasy about guardian angel warfare and treason with a lot of action. In the first book, A Prophecy Forgotten, my hero Davian must keep a young boy prophesied to save the world safe while at the same time stop a conspiracy of his fellow soldiers from…

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Five Things I learned Writing “The Ministry of Thunder”

A quick insight into this author’s process. have not read this guy….. Yet but he’s part of the Pro Se Crowd, which is pretty good company to keep.


acheron_the__ministry_of_thunderMy first novel, The Ministry of Thunder, is six months old this week, and I thought it was high time I did some new post to bore you to death about it.
This will be a week of celebrations.

In case you missed it, The Ministry of Thunder is a pulp/fantasy novel set in 1936 China, in which a stranded Italian mechanic tries to recycle himself as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer.
Cue to mysterious artifacts, beautiful women, evil masterminds, Taoist magic, Chinese ghosts, lost cities, and the Ministry of Thunder and Storms.
And ninja.

So, I normally say that everything is part of the learning process – what did I learn (if I did), writing The Ministry of Thunder?

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Using Character to Fix Plot: M. B. Weston’s Writing Diary 06/11/15

M. B. Weston's Official Website

The interplay between plot and character development in a story should be like watching a couple onDancing with the Stars. It’sso seamless and dazzling that it’s impossible to tell who is leading and who is following. Therefore, it’s only natural that if you’re struggling with one, you might have to tweak the other for the actual fix.

In yesterday’s post, I discussed my most current writing difficulty: the plot snag. Without giving away too many spoilers, my big struggle was with the last two chapters of rising action, where I was drawing total blanks. The story just wasn’t unfolding and I couldn’t even think of the next scene.

Diagnosing writing issues isn’t like figuring out what’s wrong with your car. We don’t have a manual or physical, tangible parts we can examine. However, here are a few things I see in this current manuscript that scream “plot problem.”

  • Unsolved…

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