Character Interview: Molly H. Darcey’s Bessie

Meeting With The Muse

(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. Bessie was written by Molly H. Darcey.)

Kelly looked at the directions in her notes to make sure she went where she was told to go. She didn’t doubt the carriage driver, but still. They pulled off the main road and into a forest, and finally at the end of this narrow road, the carriage stopped.

Kelly opened the door and looked around as she stepped out at this strange-looking out with rough brick walls and thick shingle roof and cone-shaped turrets. She saw the windows there, but it looked like the windows had been cut out rather than planned beforehand. That was odd.

Nodding her thanks to the driver, Kelly approached the house and knocked on the door.

There was a pitter patter of several feet running to the door. The door swung wide open, with a little girl of about 5 standing…

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Author Interview: Molly H. Darcey

Meeting With The Muse

(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. Molly was written by Molly H. Darcey.)

The library of Cuskelom—ah, Kelly hadn’t been here for a while, and it was so nice to come visit. She smiled as she stepped into the impressive dome room and took in the sight and smell of all the books lining the walls and the shelves while sunbeams came through the narrow windows in the walls. She could spend forever in here! However, Kelly hadn’t come here just to visit, and the sound of approaching footsteps heralded her reason for being here.

Kelly turned to face the door as Heldon ushered in her guest, and Kelly smiled at her and thanked Heldon with a nod. As he left, Kelly approached her visitor. “Molly, a pleasure to meet you. Welcome to Cuskelom—a fictional world of mine. That was Prince Heldon who escorted you. He’s a nice fellow. I…

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Character Interview: Margo Upson’s Emma

Meeting With The Muse

(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. Emma was written by Margo Upson.)

Emma stood in the kitchen of an aging 1840s Gothic Revival home, patiently stirring sugar into another batch of sweet tea. Hopefully this batch would be better than the last; her guest would be here soon, and her fridge was still half empty. It would be this or water.

She glanced over at the kitchen table. Blueprints, old pictures, and papers scattered the surface, the evidence of a restoration in progress. In a few months’ time, Grisamore would be beautiful again. For now, it was mostly just dusty and faded, but there was no way that she was going to have the table cleared off in time, so maybe it would be better to do this in the living room. She grabbed the tea and two glasses, dropping them off on the coffee table on her way past…

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On Beta Reading, Editing, and Not Being Appreciated

On Beta Reading, Editing, and Not Being Appreciated

Dear Readers, I am about to go on a bloody rant and get real pissy. You have been warned. This is the evil, psycho, mean side of me coming out. I’m not apologizing. I just want you to have fair warning here and now.

I am, at heart, when it comes down to profession, a writer. I live for the written word. I love the look of ink on the page as it forms new shapes, then those shapes become words, the words become sentences, the sentences become paragraphs, and the paragraphs become a tale needing to be told. Nothing brings me more pleasure than reading wonderful tales told by wonderful minds. I greatly enjoy telling my own tales as well. I want to spend my life writing and telling amazing tales. I want to share my universes with anyone who will spare me a minute of their time.

I have been writing since I was in high school. I have been studying the art and craft of writing since high school as well. At least three out of five books that I read over a seven-day period are books on how to better my writing craft or some other kind of research that goes into my writing as well. I pour my mind, body, and soul into my work. I bust my ass to do the work I do. And I don’t do it for some amazing amount of money. I don’t do it for the glam and fame. I do it because I am driven to do it.

If you come to me and ask me to look at your great new writing project… if you come to me and ask me to do a beta on your new shiny story… if you come to me for my opinion… if you come to me for edits and feedback… Please don’t waste my time by ignoring every freaking, single thing, I say to you. Don’t get pissed off at me when it takes me two weeks to simply read and then beta your 80,000-word document.

When I take on a project like that. I drop everything to do with my own work. I pour hours of my day into your work and your future. I spend time on you that I could and should be spending with my loved ones. I drop my life for the entire time I am focused on your work so that I can help better you. AND I do it out of the fact that I have been there and I know how hard it is to get the help you need when you are starting out. But I put my mental, physical, and emotional health on hold, too.

By the time I have read your story all the way through, done all the corrections that a good beta reader should, made a few editing tweaks (because I’m nice like that), and left a page worth of notes and commentary… I’ve spent myself to the point of exhaustion, all so you could make YOUR deadline. To hell with mine, right?

Well here’s the thing. I am done being nice people. In the last six weeks I have done over fifteen beta reads. THAT’S 1-5. 15. That’s over two a week for six weeks straight. My home life is suffering, my kid is worried sick about me, my work is suffering, and I am mentally exhausted. NO MORE. I have been doing all of this for free and have never asked for anything in return. Not once have I asked for any kind of recompense or tit for tat. But, enough is bloody enough.

I need to take care of me and mine and that means that I have to work on my own work. I have to take care of myself in all aspects. I need to focus on me and mine. If you want me to beta or edit for you, that’s great, but I need to have something in it for me too. I want you to succeed. I really do. But I want me to succeed too.

So as of tonight I am not taking on anymore “work” that does not help me as well. I know that that sounds bitchy and selfish as all hell. But after six weeks of throwing myself into other people’s work and being told that I am in fact a “Selfish Bitch”, simply for not taking on more and putting more time into other people’s work. I’m done.


It’s been a wild ride, but I’m getting off now.


Love, Peace, Snuggles, Hugs, Unicorns, and Rainbows…


Character Interview: Tyler Wise’s San

Meeting With The Muse

(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. San was written by Tyler Wise.)

A guest would be arriving soon. Too soon for San’s taste and not the average visitor. Not a boy or a girl, but a woman. An adult had never set foot inside his factory and the prospect quite excited San. Something new was happening. Not the same job of growing up, night after night. This time, his visitor had already done that, possibly ages ago. Growing old would be old hat to her, just like it was to him.


“Late, late, we’re going to  be late,” murmured the Puppet Master’s side of his face. Where San was excited, the Puppet Master was predictably nervous and afraid. This woman’s arrival broke several of this world’s rules—rules he followed to a scary degree.

  “You’re getting on my nerves,” San hissed. “Grow a spine. That mettlesome boy has…

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