Monday, July 23, 2012

Storms and Cover Art

This blog post first appeared on the World Weaver Press website, in which I talk about the cover art for Shards of History:

Shards of History, Rebecca Roland, World Weaver Press
Storms often blew in where I grew up in South Texas. I recall one in particular that I watched roll in at night. Massive clouds blocked the stars. Webs of lightning streaked across the sky. Thunder grew louder as the storm marched towards the small trailer where my family and I were spending the weekend. I felt tiny in the onslaught of that storm, but I also felt the power of it. I couldn’t move from the window as the storm overtook us.
The storm clouds on the cover of Shards of History remind me of that night, and I have a feeling the woman on the cover feels much the same as I did. The storm heading towards her is massive and powerful, but you see her heading into it anyway. Maybe she’s scared. It’s hard to tell since you can’t see her face. But she’s standing straight and moving forward, so even if she is scared, she’s not letting it stop her. That’s the kind of heroine I strove to portray in the novel, and I’m glad it’s reflected in the cover.
The feathers are key to the novel as well, acting as memory wells and a means of communication. They provide a soft contrast to the harsh storm that’s brewing.
I adore this cover. I’d like to thank the kind folks over at Good Choice Reading for launching it, and also a big thanks to those who put all the hard work into designing it.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Live Free or Die

Breaking Bad's fifth and final season premiered tonight with the episode "Live Free or Die."


The episode opened with a flashforward. Apparently, it was Walt's 52nd birthday, and he was buying guns. Big guns. And he had to take some pills. Perhaps things will come full circle and he'll end up with a return of the cancer that started his journey from mild-mannered chemistry teacher to drug kingpin.

I think fans know things will end badly for Walt. How could they not? But the real question is, how will they end? And who will have a hand in his demise? Maybe he'll slip away slowly from the cancer, just as broke as he was when he started treatment. All those struggles and deaths for nothing. No, I don't think that's how he'll ultimately go.

Or perhaps Jesse will find out just how much Walt has screwed up Jesse's life and decide to take him out. Or Skyler, who is becoming quite the criminal mastermind in her own right, could decide that the world would be better off without Walt. Or Hank could finally track down Heisenberg.

However the show ends, I'm sure it will involve a large body count and plenty of blood.

Monday, July 9, 2012


I've really enjoyed Diana Rowland's Demon Summoner series, so I picked up  My Life as A White Trash Zombie and read it over the weekend.

Angel Crawford, a high school dropout and drug addict, wakes up after a car crash and finds herself with a sudden craving for brains. Using wry humor, Rowland addresses both the mystery of Angel's transformation into a zombie and how she deals with trying to turn her life around. As in her Demon Summoner series, the dialogue is witty, and beneath the humor, the subject matter is quite serious. Angel is a strong, engaging character. I'd follow her anywhere. Well, maybe not to the buffet....

Friday, July 6, 2012

World Building in Fantasy

Part of writing fantasy is creating a world for your characters to live in. Plenty of questions come to mind. What's the weather like? Terrain? Economy? Religion? How do people mourn or celebrate? Does this take place on Earth or an Earth-like planet, or does the story take place elsewhere? There are many questions to ask oneself, and SFWA has an extensive list to get you going.

Sometimes writers draw inspiration from real-life locations. According to some articles I've read, George R. R. Martin drew inspiration for the massive ice wall in The Song of Ice and Fire series from a real wall that he visited.

The valley in which Shards of History takes place is loosely based on the Valles Caldera, which is a volcanic caldera in New Mexico. The flora and fauna in the story are similar to what you'd find in the Valles Caldera, but the valley in Shards of History is much bigger. Still, the real valley is awe-inspiring. Gently rolling, pine-covered hills give way to a grassy plain, a narrow stream snaking its way down the center. There are only a handful of buildings, some horses, and very few people. It's easy to imagine a small western town nestled in the valley, or in my case, a Taakwa village. And the fact that it's part of a volcano adds a feeling of immense power to the entire place.

Tuvin's Falls were inspired by Multnomah Falls. I remember standing at the bottom of the falls and looking waaaay up and thinking it would be the perfect place to find Jeguduns, the winged creatures in the novel.

I'll leave you with some real world places that could provide a little inspiration.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Reposted from my guest blogger appearance on WWP from today:

There are a handful of exciting moments in life that you just want to revel in. Graduation, marriage, the birth of a child, winning an Oscar (okay, I’ve never done that, but I imagine it’s pretty darn awesome), and publishing a first novel.
The anticipation builds every day that we get closer to the publication date. The butterflies in my stomach get a little wilder. I drive my loved ones a little crazier. I eat more chocolate and drink more coffee. I do my best to refrain from bouncing up and down while I’m in line at the grocery store or running up to complete strangers to say, “Hey, my book is coming out soon!” If I could do a cartwheel without ending up in the emergency department, I’d throw in a few of those.
Shards of History is not the first novel I wrote, but it’s the first I’ve wanted to share with people. I am beyond excited to see all my hard work pay off and to bring this novel into the world. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed working on it.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Shards of History coming August 21st!

It's official! My first novel, Shards of History, will be coming out August 21st! That's the day after my father-in-law's birthday and just before Bubonicon. Woo! Cue the excitement! Cue the bubbly!