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Guest Post: Building a Fantasy World on an Historical Landscape by Marni L.B. Troop

Guest Post: Building a Fantasy World on an Historical Landscape by Marni L.B. Troop

Please welcome guest author Marni L. B. Troop to the blog. Marni will be giving away a copy of Brian Froud’s and John Matthew’s How to See Faeries. Marni says, “Brian Froud’s artwork is one of my inspirations, so it’s very appropriate. Plus, it’s a cool book!” Please comment today to enter to win.

Building a Fantasy World on an Historical Landscape by Marni L.B. Troop

Pure Fantasy writers have it easy. Make the landscape acceptable within most of the laws of physics and your readers will be happy. As a writer of Historical Fantasy, however, readers expect to recognize where they are even if the characters didn’t necessarily exist there. For “The Heart of Ireland” journals, which will encompass at least six volumes, I am bound by the geographical facts of Ireland… in case you want to go there to walk in the Faeries’ shoes.

I had to portray Ireland in “Journal One” as it was thousands of years ago when the Iberians (a.k.a the Celts) first arrived. In each book, as the centuries bring readers closer to the present, I must make the bogs dry up, the castles rise and the remnants of ancient civilizations fade away while maintaining the air of surrealism and magic that comes with the Fantasy genre.

You could argue that since nobody really remembers what Ireland was like eons ago, who cares? You wouldn’t say that to a Fantasy purist, would you? Of course not. Choosing to write Historical Fantasy means choosing to follow the rules of the genre. It’s a part of the challenge to create a fantastic world within a verifiably real one. The “fantasy” part of Historical Fantasy is how you shape your characters in light of the historical landscape, including its historical figures. Yes, many writers choose to alter aspects of historical figures to meet the interactive needs of the story, but never have I seen the actual landscape altered. That’s the allure of this sub-genre. You must know the land as well as you can before you put people on it and then weave the magic into the earth.

About the Author

Marni grew up in a suburb of Washington, D.C., where she worked at and attended many sci-fi/fantasy conventions and bought several Tarot decks before going off to college. After college, she moved to Los Angeles to work as a story analyst, editor, ghostwriter and just about any film or television job she could find.

After earning a Master of Professional Writing in Cinema/TV-Drama from the University of Southern California, Marni started teaching others how to write. Marni currently lives in Glendale, Arizona, with her spouse, two brilliant children and six crazy pets (11 if you count the fish).

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About Tir Na n’Og by Marni Troop

Casey is a Faerie, but not in the way you might think. She’s not a little creature with wings or magic dust. If not for her tall, pointed ears, this regal princess could be mistaken for a human. She is gifted among her people in that she can see into anyone’s thoughts. She can remember every detail of every event that has occurred among the Faeries since her birth.

In “Journal One,” Casey watches as the Faerie kings slaughter Ith, a stranger from across the sea and man of peace who believes the Faeries to be the gods of his people, the Iberians. Little do the kings know that when you kill an innocent, humans seek vengeance. Ith’s people come in great numbers to slaughter their “gods” and take Ireland as their new home. Caught in the middle, Casey tries to find a way to bring peace to the two peoples so they can live on the Island together. After things do not go as she plans, the humans prove victorious. At the moment the Faeries surrender the Island, she and her people are transformed into the magical creatures that inspire legend, and Ireland is changed forever.

You would think this to be enough drama for a young Faerie princess, but in the midst of it all she meets her one true love, an Iberian named Amergin. At the moment when all seems perfect between them, they are separated in the worst way possible – dangled right in front of each other but forever just out of reach.

Casey knows that the fate of her people and her love are inextricably linked. For the moment, all she can do is observe… and record everything she can. She has become the Chronicler: the one true historian of her entire race.


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I came upon the thirty Elders sitting quietly on blankets and looking at me with mixed feelings. Scanning them quickly, I knew that most thought fondly of me and wanted me to be happy. What was strange was that none of them were thinking about the ritual. In fact, several were completely closed off to me and the others were concerned about me. I did not have time to listen carefully to any one person’s thoughts because Eriu spoke quickly.

“The visions you have had, Casey. Are they prophecies?”

“No,” I said. “I do not have that power.”

“Then you should ignore them,” my mother said. “They cause you great distress for no reason.”

“But this is a real being I see,” I replied. I did not understand why they were dismissing my visions simply because they were not prophetic.

“You may feel as if the being you see is real, Casey,” said Oghma in his deep, soft voice, “but there is no evidence to suggest that any of us can see beyond the Island. Even Dagda himself has lost his bond with the Northern Islands.” Oghma was our scholar and keeper of the trees. His stature was lean and forgiving like the trunk of the Willow. His sense for seeing the new and important was as keen as his aim with the bow. For him to believe that my visions were imaginary meant that everyone else would think the same. The way he phrased his comment to me said something different. He wanted to believe… he wanted to find a new power among us.

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Ten Questions with Pickle Culpepper

Ten Questions with Pickle Culpepper

Today, the blog is happy to host a “character interview” with Pickle Culpepper from Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction by Amy Metz. Scroll down for links to purchase!

Q: Hello, Pickle, thanks for sitting down with us today. Can you tell us how you got your name? Pickle isn’t your given name, is it?

Pickle: No ma’am. My real name is Dylan. But my daddy doesn’t like that name. Never has. Soon as I was born and my mama insisted on namin’ me that, Daddy started callin’ me Pickle. Said “Dylan” reminded him of dill pickles. Now just about everybody calls me Pickle. Even Mama.

Q: Tell us about yourself, Pickle.

Pickle: Well…I’m sixteen years old. I go to Robert E. Lee High School. Um…I work at Stafford’s—it’s a bookstore. Uh…I have a little brother named Peanut. And my favorite food is Slick’s macaroni and cheese and my mama’s peach pie.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about Goose Pimple Junction?

Pickle: (Blushing and squirming in his seat.) Charlotte Price.

Q: Ah! A girl. Tell us about her.

Pickle: Oh, Charlotte’s as pretty as a spotted heffer in a pansy patch. She goes to school with me, and she works at the First National Bank, and she has long blond hair, and she’s as nice as can be. Smart and pretty too.

Q: She sure sounds like it. What do you all do for fun?

Pickle: The usual things. We hang out at Slick & Junebug’s diner. We go to the shows. We go to dances at school and youth group at the church every Wednesday night. You know…stuff.

Q: Pickle, have you ever won any awards?

Pickle: Sure. Just last year I was voted Person With The Funniest T-shirt. I didn’t even know it was a category, but I guess it is, ‘cause I won it.

Q: Do you always wear funny t-shirts?

Pickle: Yes ma’am. Except to church. Well, I wear ‘em to youth group, but I don’t wear ‘em to Sunday school or to the service.

Q: Do you have a favorite shirt?

Pickle: Uh huh. I like the one that says, “Lock up your daughters.” ‘Course, Charlotte gets kind of mad when I wear that one. And her daddy gives me the stink-eye .

Q: What is your least favorite characteristic your writer has attributed to you?

Pickle: I think she thinks I’m kind of a slow leak. I mean, some people think I’m as dumb as a bag of hair. But I’m not. I mean, I got Jack and me outta that speck of trouble we were in, didn’t I?

Okay, Pickle, it’s Lightning Round time.

Q: Plain or peanut?

Pickle: Definitely plain. I’m not the nutty type.

Q: Morning or night person?

Pickle: Night. Duh, I’m a teenager.

Q: Chocolate or vanilla?

Pickle: Chocolate. Vanilla’s dull as dishwater.

Q: Kindle or hardcopy?

Pickle: Hardcopy. Duh again—I work in a bookstore.

Q: Country or rock ‘n roll?

Pickle: I’m a little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n roll.

(Interviewer groans)

Pickle (grinning): Sorry. I had to.

Thanks for talking to us today, Pickle.

Thank yew, ma’am. I had more fun than a tornado at a trailer park.



Twitter: (@goosepimpleisms)

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Guest Post: Greg Kuhn

Guest Post: Greg Kuhn

Please welcome Greg Kuhn to the blog!

Why Quantum Physicists Don’t Get Fat, my new book, is an enjoyable read about an important topic: weight loss. My book teaches you to use new paradigms from the super-accurate science of quantum physics to make your diet and/or exercise program work almost like magic. The modern diet industry still uses old paradigms from old science, which is failingly inaccurate; most people find that when they begin to use these new paradigms, from science that reflects the way our universe actually functions, their weight loss efforts are much more powerful and positive than they had originally hoped. And it is all tremendously simpler and easier to understand and do than you might imagine!

When my first son was born in 1996, I was confounded by my weight gain. I had gained about thirty pounds in the span of a couple years – all while dieting and working out regularly! My friends and peers were extolling the “conventional wisdom” that “people just get gain weight as they enter their thirties and there’s really not much you can do about that”. But because I had already been writing and collaborating with my father, Clifford Kuhn, M.D. (aka The Laugh Doctor) about humor and healing, I knew full well that our mind and body had much more capability to grow, change, and heal than “conventional wisdom” dictates! I became determined to find a way of living that would allow me to enjoy a body and weight of my choosing, without the constant strain of diets and weight-loss programs. I got a tip to check out the amazing science of quantum physics and, through years of research, writing, and experimentation, was able to create these new paradigms and personally use them with great success. As I began to teach others about what I was doing I was encouraged to write this book to exponentially multiply my plan’s reach.

Marketdata research and the Center for Disease Control have statistics which clearly show America’s problem (and obsession) with weight loss. We are now spending over $60 billion yearly on weight-loss while our obesity rate is booming. This incongruence is caused by modern weight-loss plan’s continued reliance on old science to frame our weight loss efforts; when you use paradigms from quantum physics, weight loss becomes a relatively simple process because of how accurately these new paradigms reflect the way our universe actually works. And because our paradigms are always created from science, you can rest assured that “everyone else” will be eventually be using these paradigms to frame virtually every aspect of life. They will become the “conventional wisdom” of your children and grandchildren – but you get to start using them right now (instead of waiting for everyone else to adopt them) to lose your unwanted weight.

Why Quantum Physicists Don’t Get Fat has been well-received and is garnering great reviews on Amazon. I’m also fortunate that people in the medical community have read, enjoyed, and validated Why Quantum Physicists Don’t Get Fat. The science is real and it works – and my explanations and instructions are simple and easy to understand. So having nurses, physicians, and nurse practitioners extol my book (in addition to everyday readers) is wonderful and I credit that to the extensive amount of research and work I put into crafting this great book.

If you have struggled with your inability to lose unwanted weight, you will unlock new answers and solutions in Why Quantum Physicists Don’t Get Fat. You’ll find the science works, is simple to understand and implement, and works with any virtually any diet or exercise program you want.

I welcome any questions or comments you have; please visit my blog (at to contact me.

Author Greg Kuhn is a professional educator and a futurist, specializing in framing new paradigms for 21st Century living. For the last fifteen years, he has written primarily with his father, Dr. Clifford Kuhn, M.D., about health, wellness, and productivity. 

Greg Kuhn lives in Louisville, KY with a wonderful wife and four fantastic sons (one by marriage) whom he couldn’t have published this book without; you can read more at and