Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Princes of the Golden Cage makes another “Best of 2008” list

This is my last post of the year, and, lucky me, I have wonderful news to report: Kailana, over at The Written World, has announced her Best of 2008 list, which includes The Princes of the Golden Cage. Kailana told me that Princes was the first book she read this year, so I’m really happy the story stayed in her mind.

What a great way to end the year! Thanks Kailana!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Getting there


I’ve nearly finished the second draft (which for me is the story draft) of my Urban Fantasy. All major holes in the plot have been plugged, and its kinks straightened. As it stands, the story has all its bits and pieces and makes sense from beginning to end. However, I still may add one chapter to the manuscript in order to further the character development of my male protagonist, and I also plan to add a scene between my lead female character and her best friend…well, ex-best friend. Once that’s done, I’ll begin the delicate task of adding details, refining emotions and building up the atmosphere, all the while reevaluating everything I’ve written thus far. *Gah.*

Friday, December 19, 2008

JC Penny

Last year, I got a surge protector for my computer...yep! :-/

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Books make excellent gifts.

Don’t know what to give that special someone (who already has everything) for Christmas? Why not a book? Which one should you buy? Well, that’s up to you. However, I do have a few suggestions that may help you out a little. So here are some books I’ve read and enjoyed that are available at most bookstores and online outlets.

The Living Dead edited by John Joseph Adams

"When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth!" From White Zombie to Dawn of the Dead, Resident Evil to World War Z, zombies have invaded popular culture, becoming the monsters that best express the fears and anxieties of the modern west. Gathering together the best zombie literature of the last three decades from many of today's most renowned authors of fantasy, speculative fiction, and horror, including Stephen King, Harlan Ellison, Robert Silverberg, George R. R. Martin, Clive Barker, Poppy Z. Brite, Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Joe R. Lansdale, The Living Dead covers the broad spectrum of zombie fiction.

I devoured this book like a zombie devours brains. Mmmm…brains. Mmmm...more zombie stories.


The Courtesan Prince by Lynda Williams

When Earth's first attempt to conquer the far reaches of space was thwarted by the failure of a faster than light transportation system, the first colonists were abandoned.Subsequent colonizations were successful but ideological differences in cloning caused renegade scientists to sever their contact with Earth and establish their own unique world.Now, thousands of years in the future, the scattered descendents of humanity have evolved into two distinct planetary societies: the Reetions of Rire, who rely on advanced computer technology to regulate every aspect of their lives, and the genetically superior and honor bound Sevolites, of Gelion.With one conflict already behind them, these two cultures are once again on the brink of war. But one last desperate mission is launched and somewhere within a dark region of space, Reetions and Sevolites find themselves torn between their own alliances and the inexplicable desire that constantly draws them closer together.

A sweeping space opera with intricate weaving themes and brilliant characterisation that is sure to please any readers.


The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe

It should have been a case like any other: a missing princess, a king willing to pay in gold for her return. But before he realizes it, private investigator Eddie LaCrosse, a slightly shopworn sword jockey with a talent for discretion and detection, is swept up in a web of mystery and deceit involving a brutally murdered royal heir, a queen accused of an unspeakable crime and the tragic past he thought he'd left behind.First in a series of hard-boiled fantasy detective novels, in the vein of Glen Cook's Garrett series.

If you love noir whodunits, sword and sorcery with a lot of action and adventure, this book if for you, because it has it all.


Legacies by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

The first book of the Corean Chronicles: Millennia ago, a magical disaster caused the fall of a great worldwide civilization, the end of a golden age. New civilizations have fought their way up from the ancient destruction and chaos, knowing little of the lost world that preceded them or the details of its fall. Corus today is a world of contending countries, of humans, but also of strange animals and supernatural creatures. It is a place of magical powers, and of a few people who are talented enough to use them. Alusius, the hero of the story, is one. Although born into a successful herder family, Alusius never knew his father, who was killed in action while serving in the Militia. So he is raised on a Nightsheep ranch by his mother and grandparents, and schooled at home. As a child, he shows very strong Talent. He is
warned gravely that he must never reveal this outside the home lest he spend his life in servitude to some rich and powerful person. But as he grows to young manhood, Alusius must serve in the Militia like his father before him. When his country is invaded by the slave armies of The Matrial, an immortal ruler in a nearby land, Alusius is captured and enslaved. A time of changes has come upon all of the world of Corus. If the evil surrounding The Matrial is not brought to an end, those changes will not be happy ones. Gradually, Alusius realizes that he and his Talent have a central role to play.

A great story set in a rich world with well-rounded characters; it’s the perfect series starter. I really enjoyed the adventure too.

Crystal Rain by Tobias Buckell

John DeBrun lives, mostly peacefully, on Nanagada with his wife, Shanta, and son, Jerome, troubled only by the fact that he remembers nothing of his past. War is brewing, however, with the Azteca preparing to finally cross the Wicked High Mountains in search of new sacrifices for their gods, the teotl. As the mongoose-men, defenders of Nanagada, struggle to hold out, John discovers that what he has forgotten may hold the secret to saving Nanagada. Pepper, clearly one of the mysterious old-fathers--wonder-workers from a distant planet who fought a war that left the land devastated and deprived of functional metal technology--claims to have known John long ago. Haidan, leader of the mongoose-men, and Dihana, prime minister of Capitol City, coerce John into leading an expedition to find Ma Wi Jung, which, according to the Loa--godlike beings who interfere with human affairs--is their only hope for defeating the Azteca. Buckell's first novel conjures a vividly imagined world, spiced with intrigue and adventure that unfolds at a breakneck pace.

Fast-paced, action-packed and suspenseful, Crystal Rain transports you into an exotics Caribbean-like world inhabited by fascinating characters. A lot about this book is out of the ordinary: its unique voice, its genre, closer to steampunk than sf or fantasy, and its usual setting. Awww, sun, sand and sea!

Goblin Quest by Jim C. Hines

Jig is a scrawny little nearsighted goblin-a runt even among his puny species. Captured by a party of adventurers searching for a magical artifact, and forced to guide them, Jig encounters every peril ever faced on a fantasy quest.

Okay, I confess I fell in love with a goblin. Oh my God, this book is SO MUCH FUN!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The King’s Daughters coming in 2009

Night Shade Books has just posted the new release line up for all their late titles of 2008, including THE KING’S DAUGHTERS and over a dozen other books, which are now all scheduled to hit the bookstores early 2009. Check out the complete list here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Princes of the golden Cage makes Top 10 list

Kimber An over at Enduring Romancer has announced her 2008 Top 10 Books of the Year, which includes The Princes of the Golden Cage. Here’s what she said:

“This story has such well-rounded characters, fully realized world-building, logical magic, and suspenseful pacing that I had no idea who the real bad guy was until the end. Then, I screamed and threw the book in the air! This one would be great for young men to mommies pushing forty like me. It's that good.”

This honor was extended to books in the “SF/Fantasy/Romance” genre. See ER’s website for the complete list.

Thank you so much, Kimber An. You made my day!

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Princes of the Goolden Cage is in ebook format


I have an announcement for Kindle owners and anyone else who loves ebooks: The electronic version of The Princes of the Golden Cage is now available through Baen Books’ e-publishing site, webscription.net.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008

One Year Later

Tia Nevitt was kind enough to invite me to participate to her One Year Later post series at Fantasy Debut. The piece is part interview and part update. In brief, how becoming a published author has changed my life.

At the same time, check out her post on publicizing your blog. It is extremely interesting and chock-full of good advice.
Here’s a section I found particularly useful:

Comment on other blogs. People know you exist this way. I still check out every new commenter.
Answer your comments. You want to appear accessible. Plus, when you answer comments, you encourage conversation.
Thank reviewers. Even thank reviewers for bad reviews. We feel all special when authors thank us. We may not be special at all, but it is in your best interest to encourage such feelings anyway. Don't kiss our ass; we can see right through that. Just thank us. We're more likely to remember you and to blog about you when we have warm and fuzzy feelings about you.
Consider
blogging about bad reviews as well as good ones. This makes you look uber-cool, like nothing can touch you. You may be crying your eyes red, but we don't know that. We're just marveling at how awesome you are. Of course, if you're only getting bad reviews, this will simply make you look pathetic, so use some balance here.
Shout-out other blogs that you admire, and include a link to that blog, or the particular post that caught your eye. We'll most likely notice (see below for how) and we'll appreciate it.
Consider using
Twitter. I have not taken the plunge yet. Try it and see if it's for you. If you like it, include your Twitter feed on your sidebar. Twitter should have instructions on how to do this.
Join science fiction and fantasy forums and participate. Yeah, I know. I need to take this advice, myself.
Ask! Email the blogger/site owner and make a request. Offer to trade links, or to do an article or guest post, or to send a review copy. The worst they can do is say no, but most of the time, bloggers are happy (read: giddy) to help authors out.
Did I miss something? Leave a comment and share the knowledge, please!

But don’t stop there! Go ahead and read the entire article. Here

Monday, December 1, 2008

Twisted much

I’ve reached the middle of the book—that’s the good part. The not so good part is that I need to reconfigure a couple of chapters in order to straighten, and also strengthen the plot. Right now, it’s a bit too contorted for my taste. Don’t get me wrong, a few cleverly placed, well-thought-out twists and turns can make the story more exciting, but too many can be a pain.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Things I do when I’m not writing.

Before

After

Secondhand French accent chair: $12.50
Fabric and other materiel: $ 39.89
The satisfaction of having done it yourself: Priceless

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fast Writing

A very good article by Jay Lake and Ruth Nestvold in the latest Internet Review of Science Fiction. Here.

WFC report

I had a wonderful time at the World Fantasy Convention in Calgary. I met up with Jeremy Lassen, Editor-in-chief of Night Shade Books, and got news about my book’s release date, mid-December.

I spent some time at the SF Canada table, promoting Canadian writers of speculative fiction.

I went to several readings—David Anthony Durham’s and Candas Jane Dorsey’s to name a few. And among the many interesting panels scheduled during the weekend, my favorites were: The Language of Fantasy, Killing Significant Characters and Genre Hopping.

I was ambushed by Steph Thevideoguy at the autograph reception—it was both thrilling and terrifying. (Mostly terrifying though.)

I also gave an interview to a producer of webcast documentaries, Adrienne Loska, who is putting together a piece about Night Shade Books.

Of course, there were parties with friends, Nina Munteanu, the people of Bundoran Press, and Edge, Lynda Williams, Christian Sauvé, Jennifer Rahn, Alison Sinclair, Rebecca Bradley and Marie Jakober . My apologies to those I forgot to mention.



Lynda and I discussed ancient weaponry with bow-and-arrow expert Tim Hills. To my surprise, when I told him that the third book in my series had a Mongolian inspired setting, he swiftly pulled out a Mongolian thumb ring from his pocket—these were used with Mongolian bows to draw the strings. Only at a fantasy convention can you meet someone carrying a Mongolian thumb ring in his back pocket.




One of the highlights of my weekend was when I met authors Elizabeth Vaughan, Kay Kenyon and Rebecca Rowe, three amazing ladies.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Night Shade Books launches on Bean’s webscription service

Night Shade Books titles are now available on Baen’s e-publishing site, http://www.webscription.net/ Check it out!

The King’s Daughters has a new release date

According to Jeremy Lassen, Editor-in-Chief of Night Shade Books, The King’s Daughters will hit the store shelves in mid-December.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

WFC, here I come!

I’m driving to Calgary tomorrow for the World Fantasy Convention. I look forward to seeing friends, meeting new people, and enjoying all that the Con has to offer.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Chapter three

I was hoping to finish the second draft of chapter three today, but fell short of that goal. That chapter is much more complex than I anticipated. Well, to begin with, I had to introduce two main characters, establish the rules of the world they’re living in and give enough info about it so everything is clear without being boring, or tedious—and all this while my protagonists are investigating a crime. (Deep breath.) On the bright side, it’s very exciting because most of the pieces of the puzzle (and there are a lot of them) are neatly falling into place. So the only real thing I had trouble with today was punctuation. For some obscure reason, the quote and question marks have suddenly decided to trade places on my keyboard. Needless to say it annoys me to no end.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Second draft

Today, I have begun revising my urban fantasy. I was a tad apprehensive about it, because I haven’t written anything in the last couple weeks and feared I would have a hard time getting back into the groove of things. But to my surprise, it went very well. So much so in fact, I finished chapter one—which is very unusual. Normally my first chapters are always the ones that demand the most work. Not this time though. And although this chapter still need a bit of tweaking, as it stands now, it’s not bad. In all, this was a good day. Tomorrow, I’ll tackle chapter two.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Discovery Channel: I Love the World

Love this song!
It never gets old.

Fall spectacle

This is why autumn is my favorite season.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fantasy Creatives nights for 2008

SF and Fantasy Creatives
hosted by SF writers Lynda Williams and Nathalie Mallet
Writers and artists of genre fiction in the fantasy, sci-fi realm are invited to share their work with kindred spirits on each of the following dates:
Wednesday Oct 15 7-9 pm
Wednesday Nov 12 7 9pm
Wednesday Dec 10 7-9 pm
The events will be held at Café Voltaire in Books ands Co, 1683 3rd Ave. Prince George. Each evening will feature a mixture of young and old, beginners and professional authors and artists with book prizes and chocolate rewards (yummy) for special features held on some evenings. Hope to see you there!

Election

Yesterday Canadians went to the polls. Result: more of the same.

Review

Epinions has a nice review of The Princes of the Golden Cage: “I was surprised at just how complex and funny this novel was. While I could recognize quite a few of the elements that were taken from the history of our own world -- the Cage system was used in the Ottoman Empire to keep fratricadal wars from breaking out, or forcing a new Sultan to have all of his brothers strangled -- there were enough twists and turns and plot to keep my interest engaged.”

Thursday, October 2, 2008

VCON

I’m leaving for VCON (held in Surrey this year) later today. It’s an eight-hour drive to get there, thus the early departure. I’m one of the programming guests invited to the con, so I am slated for several panels.

For those who are coming to the con and would like to see me, here’s my schedule:

Friday, October 3rd
5:00 pm Panel: Martial Arts in Science Fiction
8:00 to 10:00 pm Book Launch (in my case a pre-launch)
Saturday
1:00 pm Panel: Physics of Fantasy
Sunday
3:00 pm Panel: MCSI-Magical Crime Scene Investigation
4:00 pm Panel: Using Myths and Fairy-Tale in Writing

Okay, now if I can just figure out a way to close my suitcase without having to sit on it, I’ll be all set.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Done!

I have finished the first draft of my new urban fantasy. Next step: revisions *gah*— lots of them!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Progress report

I’ve been working like mad these last couple days—making up for lost time, I suppose. Anyway, as a result, I am now nearing the end of the first draft. There’s only one chapter left to write.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Reno hell

I did not write for week and a half—damn! Instead I spent that time working on our ongoing basement renovation, mainly mudding, sanding, priming, painting, alouette! So, I’m very glad to announce that I’m back at work on my urban fantasy—woo hoo—and that our basement now have nice sheetrock walls (adieu, knotty pine paneling) and a ceiling—yah…alright, half a ceiling, but the rest is coming.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Struggling with chapter 24

I’ve spent the last three days writing and rewriting the same freaking chapter (sigh). Well, seeing that I was unable to resolve this matter to my satisfaction, and, quite frankly, fed up with it, I decided to write three different versions of chapter 24: option 1, 2, and 3. I’ll choose the best one later…or just start over— #$@*%!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

New release date

As some of you have already noticed, The King’s Daughters’ release date has been pushed back. But fear not, the book will be out by the end of October. Yay!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Halfway point

Despite the computer problems I had this week, and the ongoing renovation of my house—which often means having to run to Home Depot three times a week for supplies, among other things—I still managed to pass the halfway point of the story.
I think I’ve earned a glass of wine.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Back to normal

I just went through four days of HELL. No kidding, I was freaking out! It all started with our internet connection; the darn thing kept on disconnecting every five minutes. Because our router was quite old we thought it was the problem, so we changed it for a brand new model, which, for some unknown reason, only made things worse. My beloved (and rather ancient) computer instantly disapproved of the new device and threw a fit—its last, I feared. So in a state of utter panic, we rushed to the store and bought a laptop. Now that all my files have been safely transferred to the new laptop—thanks to my very smart, very kind, and very wonderful hubby—I feel much better.

Phew, disaster averted.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Review

Curled Up With a Good Book has a review of The Princes of the Golden Cage. Here’s a snippet: “With the promise of skillful storytelling ability that author Mallet reveals in this work, there’s much hope that the sequel, The King’s Daughters, which will continue to follow the adventures of Amir, will bring her talent to full fruition.”

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Progress report

The first draft of my urban fantasy is coming along. Today, I’ve just passed the 100-page mark—yay! Although it’s not really a third of the novel, (I never know how long my books are going to be until they’re finished.) it’s nice to see that three-digit number at the top of the page—a small victory of sorts. It’s not bad considering that I began the draft only two weeks ago, lost several days of work going to a convention and that half of my house is under renovation. If nothing else, I’m consistent. I write about 2500 words, or ten pages, minimum every day—I can do more but never less. I enjoy having a goal to achieve everyday. It works for me, and it helps to keep the flow of the story going.


Oh yeah, I’m also a morning person and a morning writer, so I normally start working at 6:30 am. I never said I was sane.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I'm back!

I’ve just arrived a few hours ago from Con-Version. Although the convention was smaller than in past years, it was still a lot of fun. In fact it allowed me to spend more time with everyone I met. I had long, wonderful chats with Lynda Williams, Alison Sinclair and Jennifer Rahn.









Of course there was the musical, a tradition at Con-Version. Randy McCharles as Elvis.










I attended many readings and panels. Reading by K.A. Bedford




The iron panel with Timothy Zahn and Jennie Breeden was a ton of fun.




As in all good conventions, one often encouters the odd creature...




and the very odd.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Con-Version


I’m off to Con-Version, Calgary’s premier science-fiction and fantasy convention, in the morning. I’ll be back on Monday. I won’t blog while I’m there, but you can expect a full report once I’m back…with plenty of pictures of course.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Appearances

I will be at the “library” in Heritage Lane during the PGX Friday, August 8, from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm and Saturday, August 9, again from 4:00 to 6:00. Don’t be shy and come see me!

Monday, August 4, 2008

B.C. Day


Yay for long weekends!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Done!

I have finished my outline and am pretty happy with it. I am particularly pleased with the opening and the ending scenes. (To be able to successfully plot a story, I always need to have a firm beginning and ending in mind.) Sure, there are still some weak spots and holes left to be worked out, but that will come later. My notepad is full of notations about characters’ backgrounds, magical rules, and the politics of this new/alternative world I’ve created—more than enough to clarify the foggy areas of the plot. Now, I’m looking forward to a blissful first draft. I LOVE first drafts.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New and exciting


This week, I’ve begun working on a brand new project, an urban fantasy. The idea for it came to me while I was writing the first draft of the fourth book in the Prince Amir series. The storyline hasn’t ceased growing in my mind ever since. I became so enthralled by it that I decided to just go ahead and write it. That was the right decision. I started outlining the plot Monday, and, by the way it’s going, it should be completed by the end of the week. My outlines are always brief, a page or two per chapter, sketching the action, setting the order and feel of each section of the story. I also keep a notepad at hand to jot down all the extra details and bits of dialogue that come to my mind throughout the outlining process. Then it’s on to the first draft.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Prince of Persia


It is no secret that Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, the movie, has been in the works for a while. A Disney/Bruckheimer production, due out next June, Prince of Persia is set to start filming in Morocco this June. Needless to say, I am very excited about this movie. Now, let’s hope nothing will derail this project. For more juicy details, click here.

Monday, July 21, 2008

What the heck happened to Carrot Top?


Carrot Top then...


Carrot Top now?
I blame gamma rays.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Strange Horizons

Strange Horizons has a review of The Princes of the Golden Cage. Here’s a snippet: "Mallet has picked a fascinating setting and shows a knack for inserting cultural details without overbalancing the action. Having recently read Alev Lytle Croutier’s Harem: The World Behind the Veil, I recognized much of the information—the royal obsession with tulips, the penchant for assassination via interesting poisons, and the accurate descriptions of harem life, for starters—but Mallet is also true to the literary traditions of the ancient East. Readers of the Arabian Nights will smile at the way she incorporates the old tales into Amir’s investigative research. … Mallet is refreshingly candid about the racier aspects of the culture, as enthusiastically citing the sexual practices and bloodier rites of passage as describing the velvet divans and silver belts."

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Battles in the park

I am fortunate to live near one of Prince George’s nicest park, which also happens to be the meeting ground of UNBC's Medieval Club (also called the Wolfpack). During summer, members of the club gather in the park once a week to practice, meaning they engage in fierce battles for dominance. No kidding, I can hear the sound of weapons striking shields and armor from my house. So this week I decided to go over and snap a few pictures.
Wearing white is Argyle MacMillan, then you have Narfi Naemsson, sporting chain mail.
And the maiden with the red cape, yes that is a woman, is none other than Dea Blooddrinker. Unfortunately, the fourth knight, the one with the white triquetra symbol on his tunic, is unknown.


They’re ganging up on the big guy.


Argyle and Dea locked in battle.



Protection is a must.






Wrist and hand guards.










A few wenches are here to support the brave warriors.






Flashing Swords Magazine

Flashing Swords Special Summer Edition is now available in print. Packed with over twenty stories, poems, illustrations, and articles, this issue has everything readers could ever want, even a full novella and a free poster. Hey, there’s also an in-depth interview with me—wink, wink.

This issue is only available until the end of September so hurry up. Order yours now!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Paul Youll

Paul Youll is the talented artist who did the cover art for my books. He’s English and lives in a little village called Esh Winning in the north of England. And “get this” he has a twin brother, Stephen Youll, who is also a book illustrator. Talk about a talented family. Here are a few samples of Paul Youll’s work.



Do you recognize any of those book covers?










To see more of his work, check out his gallery.