Sunday, November 24, 2013

Between Darkness and Light is now live on Amazon! It will become available on other sites soon.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Cover reveal for Between Darkness and Light!

A new cover for the the re-release of Brianna Hawthorne's Fantasy...

Between Darkness and Light

Shi’ahn and her brother William find themselves transported into a realm beyond anything they could have imagined. Where they had once been powerful individuals, they are now almost inconsequential - at first. Soon though, they discover something monumental, and everything begins to change. Reality is not what it had seemed. As Shi’ahn and her brother follow where events are leading them, it becomes evident that both are destined for greater things. Shi'ahn does have one advantage that is exceedingly rare - she can hear and manipulate the song of the Universe.
As Shi’ahn and William embark upon their new journey they must survive intrigue, danger, and their growing relationship with the foundations of the Universe itself.
This is the first book in the Universe Cycle.
Brianna Hawthorne has been a tree farm laborer, a choir director, a restaurant worker, a telemarketer (She lasted one day), a transportation planner, a small business computer support worker, a printing specialist, computer help desk technician, a firewall and server administrator, computer security manager, an emergency preparedness coordinator, and now, finally, an author. It's been one heck of a ride...
But the stresses of her profession and all the political... stuff it entailed eventually drove her to write. After many more years and frustrations, she ran away to the mountains where, aside from trips to the Island that inspired the creation of Shiral, she wishes to remain until the end of her days. Before the responsibilities of parenthood overtook her, she loved to play role-playing games and being a weekend historian in the Society for Creative Anachronism. Now she concentrates on providing the healthiest home environment for her family as possible. She enjoys growing her own organic foods and herbs, and listening to a wide variety of music.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

It has been quite a while since I've been active on here, but I promise I'm going to change that now.
Meanwhile, here is a picture of a Tree of Life that I just purchased from

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Raised by an engineer #1 - Sputnik

This occurred before my time, it's a good example of my father's engineer/geek nature.
While many believe that Sputnik was a surprise, it was not.  My dad worked for an avionics company, and was truly fascinated with anything that flew, so when he learned about the impending Russian satellite, he set out to track it.  He was an amateur radio enthusiast, and so used that platform to develop his satellite tracking system.  He wrote up his plans and circulated them throughout his place of employment, but didn't hear anything back.  Not really caring, he planned a neighborhood 'satellite tracking' party.

The day before launch, the owner of the company Dad worked for asked his executives what their plans were for tracking the Russian satellite.  They didn't have any, but one executive had seen Dad's memo, and mentioned it.

So much for the neighborhood party!  Dad's equipment was requisitioned and taken to a place Dad called the 'antenna farm'.  Everything seemed fine, but the antenna he had planned to use was at home.  He ended up jury rigging something and taping it onto the handle of a shovel, which was driven into the ground just outside the facility.  It wasn't fancy, but it worked.

That pretty much sums up Dad's style - visually unimpressive, but effective.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Confessions of an Internet paranoid

I'll admit straight out, I've been paranoid about the Internet.  Back in my IT days, the only secure computer was an unplugged computer.  I spent several years of my career specializing in locking down systems so that they could only be seen by those machines they were intended to be accessed by.  It was a game that I enjoyed, before my health deteriorated.  At home, I continued the game to a certain extent - I've tried to remain invisible.  I didn't understand social networking, as it opened people up to be noticed by the outside world, which was bad!

But one cannot sell or even share books while at the same time remaining invisible.  Especially not e-books, and as I am far too fond of trees to allow any to be cut down to be made into books that may not sell... electronic books are really my only choice, aside from print on demand.  So, nearly consumed with fear, I opened a facebook account.  I contacted old friends there, and while it was wonderful to reconnect with long lost friends, I at first had very little luck in either promoting my writing or finding like minded individuals.

Then something unexpected happened - another author found me, tried to help promote my books, and added me to the Indie Author Group.  (Thank you, Shaina Richmond!)  My internet life began to change dramatically.  The transformation was slow at first, given that it was still school season and I homeschool one of my children, but transform it did.

Lately I have come to rely on my new online friends.  I have run into many problems, both with the mysterious online world and with editing for e-publication, but the people in the groups I've joined are there for me, offering assistance every time I've asked for it.  It is a wonderful feeling I don't know how to describe.  For a long time there has been a part of me that very few understood - my need to write my own story.  Finally I've found people who understand the need to write, even if what we write isn't perfectly targeted to a paying audience.  People that understand that sometimes you just have to write from the soul, and if it sells, that's nice, but if it doesn't, at least we have shared the visions that cry out from us to be shared.

And so to all of you who have helped or even just exchanged notes with me so far, and to anyone else who understands what I'm trying to say... I thank you.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Where to begin, and why I love independent publishing

A common problem I've noticed people commenting on is the difficulty in beginning a story.  Leave it to me to have a completely different issue!  I have lots of stuff written, in fact before I started getting serious about publishing my work, I had written 187 chapters, some long enough to qualify as a novella on their own.

The task of splitting the story into separate books began.  I thought I had a good start, but I was told that at 187,000 words, my first book was far too long.  So I broke it off even earlier, at just 135,000 words.  Then the next problem became obvious; due to the length of the entire story, there has to be a good deal of setup.  Setup, while utterly necessary to the story, isn't nearly as exciting as when the plot gets into full swing.  Don't misunderstand me, there is excitement in my setup, which is essentially the first book, but it builds slowly.  The main character also begins as a fairly inexperienced woman, and grows steadily throughout the entire storyline.

I toyed with the idea of pulling a miniature Star Wars maneuver, and beginning the first book in the middle, then backtracking, but I couldn't figure out a good way of stepping back to provide the beginning.  I ended up writing a prologue that does a fairly good job of introducing some of the truly important individuals in the later books and a hint at what will be happening later on when all heck breaks loose.

So now my story progresses more like the early Babylon 5 episodes, where lots of things are going on that at first don't seem to have much cohesive meaning, but after having read the entire series, nearly every single thing that has happened earlier will fit into the whole like the pieces of a huge puzzle.

I'll admit, the first two volumes of the first book do not have a whole lot of action, and no real romance.  That will change, on both counts!  When the time is right.

Is this the right way to go about it?  I have no idea.  Some people love what I have published so far, while others find it too slow.  One of the many wonderful things about independent publishing is that, if we learn that something isn't working out right, we can change it!

I recently split my first book into three volumes because I knew I needed to give away some of my writing for free, and didn't have the heart to give away all 135,000 words.  Now I'm giving them away anyway, so I'm contemplating re-joining the volumes.  I had also originally had a certain level of romance in the first book, but took it out so my children could review my writing without having to skip sections.  Maybe I should re-join them and also add back the juicier bits?  It's a thought.  I do love independent publishing.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Why I write

I've been an avid reader for nearly as long as I can remember.  I went very quickly from Sammy Seal to finding my dad's Robert Heinlein collection, and there was no stopping me after that.  That collection was surprisingly easy to find, and consisted of a number of Heinlein's children's novels, so I suspect a bit of sneakiness on Dad's part. Next I found his Isaac Asimov collection and devoured it.  I began annoying my teachers by asking for more interesting books to read for class.  Eventually if I wasn't playing in my trees, I was either reading a book or watching Star Trek or any of a number of at that time cool science fiction shows.  I of course joined the Science Fiction Book Club and subscribed to various magazines.  I was completely in love with the world of the written word.

It didn't occur to me to write anything of my own until I was playing a dice-less role playing game and one way to get more 'points' for my character was to write a diary of the game.  I soon learned that writing was more fun than playing.  The gaming group soon broke up - that's the danger of university towns, people move away.  Years later I really needed something to distract myself from the stresses of work, and my husband and I decided to resurrect the game ourselves.  Once again I soon concluded that the writing was more fun than the gaming, and took off on my own.  Literally.

I soon decided that the world I was writing in wasn't good enough, things didn't make sense.  I briefly considered writing in one of the more popular genres but I'm not the kind of person who is happy doing what almost everyone else is doing, I'm far too individualistic.  So I spent about a year or more studying physics theories in my spare time, and came up with my own universe.

The story I'm telling lives within me, like an alternate reality that I visit whenever I wish.  It should eventually be played out in nine books or so.  At least, that is the current plan.  The story, however, has in some ways developed a life of its own, and sometimes demands things that I hadn't planned.  In a way, I am as anxious to see how it ends as I hope my readers will one day be.

So why do I write?  It isn't for the money, obviously, or I would work within one of the most common genres.  I write because I have to.  Because if I don't something within me will break, or worse yet, die away.