Friday, January 25, 2013

Author Interview--Kate Martin

Good Friday,

I present my first author interview of 2013! Today we have Kate Martin with us, and as always, the author will do the talking.

About Kate:
Kate Martin is an adjunct professor by day, a dance teacher by night, and a writer every minute in between. Growing up on the side of a Connecticut mountain in the middle of nowhere wasn’t much good for afterschool shenanigans with friends, but it was spectacular for building an over-active imagination. After getting her B.A. in Elementary Education, with a minor in Psychology, she found Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction Program, graduating with her M.A. in June ‘08. Her novel, Eternal Shadows, has been published by Cool Well Press, and is available at both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can visit her website at

-What book and/or experience made you want to be a writer?

I like to think I was always a writer. I’ve come across elementary teachers who remember me as writing pages and pages . . . But there was one book that made me think, “Hey, I could do this. I could write a novel.” That book was Wizard’s First Rule, by Terry Goodkind. I read it the first time as a freshman in college, and in a truly geeky fashion, I set out to write my first novel while my roommate studied and studied and studied. I’m not sure I can say exactly what it was about Wizard’s First Rule that gave me the final push I needed to write, but I am, and will be, eternally grateful for it.

-What genre(s) do you write?

I am a fantasy writer to the core, though I have branched out within that genre plenty. I have a paranormal romance, an urban fantasy, a high epic fantasy, and another which I am learning seems best described as a “paranormal fantasy.”

-Publication history?

I have two short stories published. The first, Poisonous Redemption, can be found in the anthology Rage of the Behemoth, published by Rouge Blades Entertainment. And its prequel, The Heir of Redemption, was recently released in the charity anthology, Hazard Yet Forward. Both are about a young woman working to avenge her family and reclaim her birthright. They were my first experimentation with Sword and Sorcery. Links for each (along with more detailed descriptions and illustrations) can be found on my website under Short Stories.

Last Valentine’s Day (almost a year, I can’t believe it!) my YA novel, Eternal Shadows, was released by Cool Well Press. It’s a vampire story, but a bit different from the others out there. In Eternal Shadows, the main character is turned in the first chapter! I really wanted to play around with what it would be like to become a vampire, rather than just fall in love with one--though that happens too.  Between past lives, and a vampire civil war, my main character, Kassandra, has a lot to handle!

-Upcoming publication(s) or works in progress?

None I can talk about at the moment. ;)


Here’s a quick scene from Eternal Shadows, my Young Adult Paranormal! Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

“Kassandra?” Millie’s soft voice broke through my anxiety. She still stood in the doorway, patient as ever. “Would you like to meet him?”

Cade got up and left the room without a word. I didn’t care why. Glancing up at Rhys one more time, I checked my resolve. Time to meet the human who would serve as my main source of food. I still couldn’t quite wrap my mind around it. Seeing that Rhys appeared ready to grab me if I tried to bolt, I nodded. No time like the present.

Millie’s smile grew and she looked out into the hall. “Come on in. She’s ready.”

Something about the way she said that made me think that my feeder had been warned about me. Great.

I’m not sure why I was surprised by what walked through the door, but I was. Even after meeting Brody, who was normal in every way aside from being impossibly handsome, I must have still expected feeders to be these helpless, perhaps malnourished, looking things. Why, I had no idea. Really, it didn’t make any sense. But my thoughts were my thoughts, and they didn’t always make perfect sense even when I was human. My feeder--god, I was already thinking like that--was no older than me, and far from malnourished. Not fat, but not thin either, he was probably perfectly positioned in the weight range for his height. He was pale, but he had more color than I did at the moment so I couldn’t really judge him on that. Glasses assisted dark eyes that matched his hair, and he was dressed exactly as the guys I went to school with would have been.

It was like someone bringing you a live chicken to eat for dinner, but you take one look at its little face and suddenly you’re ordering pizza and you have a new pet. Crap.

-For other aspiring writers, any tips?

Write. Write as often as you can, then let someone read it. Find other writers you can trust, and who will support you (and of course, who can trust you to support them back!) Then go online and learn how to write a decent query letter. Nothing happens if you keep your writing to yourself!

-What’s your favorite book/genre to read?

Fantasy. I love fantasy. For me, nothing is better than exploring a world different from our own. Magic, and mystery, and creatures, and danger, and love--it all adds up to a perfect book in my opinion. A few of my favorites at the moment are The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare, The Inheritance Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin, and the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne. (I have a thing for series, if you can’t tell. Ha!)

-What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever written?

My favorite thing I’ve ever written . . . hm . . . Isn’t that like asking who your favorite child is? All my stories are special to me in different ways, but I can say this: I have never had as much fun writing as I did with the last book I finished this past year. It’s a new series, a “paranormal fantasy,” and full of characters who I love, and love to hate. Writing it was like sitting down and reading a great book; an adventure every day. Many times I had no idea what was about to happen--and somehow it all worked out beautifully. (If I may say so myself.) Hopefully I’ll have some good news about this one in the near future . . . ^_^

Want more from Kate?

Visit her website. Follow her on Twitter @katewmartin, and check out her Eternal Shadows Facebook page.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Homo-nyms-phones-graphs and Heteronyms

Good Wednesday,

***PLEASE NOTE: Media Monday will be on Tuesday next week. Thank you.***

Often when I receive feedback on my monthly thesis submissions, there are points that are marked as having an issue and then noted as “homophone.” Before fixing the mistake, I would stare at these words and think to myself “But that’s a homonym, isn’t it?”

Well, I’ve just about had enough of wondering. So I turned to the Google to find out the true story about homophones/nyms/whatever.

Homonym – from the Greek homo (same) and onym (name), two or more words that share the same pronunciation, spelling, or both.

That didn’t answer my question.

A bit more digging led me to the discovery that homonym is an umbrella term for three subcategories of word pairings—homophones, homographs, and heteronyms. As if writing wasn’t confusing enough already. In any event, I researched these three subcategories and am here today to present them in a, hopefully, easy-to-digest format.

Here goes.


Two or more words that share the same pronunciation but have different meanings. They may or may not be spelled the same.

In other words, the words sound alike, don’t mean the same thing, and may/may not have the same spelling.

How about an example?

Site and Sight
Site – a place (construction site), also combined with “web” to create its internet counterpart, “website”
Sight – the sense of seeing, occipital sense data (sorry, psych major).

These words are spelled differently, have different meanings but sound exactly the same.

Another example:

Not to be a rhymaholic, but Right and Right.
Right – the direction opposite left
Right – correct


Simple enough, right? Let’s move on.


Words that share the same spelling. They may or may not share pronunciation.

Now the words are spelled the same but might sound different.

Exhibit A:

Not to be confusing, but Right and Right again. They share a spelling and a pronunciation, making them both homophones and homographs.

Exhibit B:

Tear – moisture involved in crying
Tear – to rip a hole in

Same spelling, different pronunciation, different meaning.

Moving on.


These share spelling but not pronunciation.

In other words, they’re homographs that aren’t homophones.


Not to be redundant, but Tear and Tear as above.


As you can see, there is quite a bit of overlap. So why are there three different terms? I have no idea. I didn’t write the language. If I had there would have been considerably fewer of these situations, but that’s how it is.

So the next time someone critiques your work and writes “homophone” in the comments, you’ll know if it’s really a homophone or if it’s actually a homograph or heteronym. If you want to be super evil, send them this blog post with a message saying “Actually, you’re wrong. And here’s why. So there.” Consider being more tactful. Or don’t, it’s all up to you.

Hope this was at least a bit helpful. It certainly helped me solidify it in my head. That’s one person helped at least. I feel much better now.

Monday, January 21, 2013

I'm Published!

Good Monday,

I’ve been sitting on some news for the last week or so.

I’m officially published!

My first-prize comedic fantasy short story was published in the most recent edition of Griffin Publishers’ E-zine. It’s amazing. Here’s the link, go download it. Lol.

No, seriously, it’s definitely worth the $2.99. Aside from my piece, there are some awesome shorts and poems in there.

Now, first-prize? Yes. And there’s a pretty awesome story that goes with that.

As I’ve said recently, the first week of this month was my week at Seton Hill for this semester. During residency, there are “genre dinners.” This equates to a gathering of all fantasy/science fiction writers or all romance writers or all horror writers, etc. Since I write fantasy mainly, I attended the fantasy/scifi dinner.

Every res at said dinner, there is a reading competition. One of the students who is further along in the program collects a list of people who want to read. Three judges are selected and then all those who want, read a short selection. There are prizes for first and second place.

I went to the dinner this semester intending to read my flash fiction piece “Musings of a Free-Faller,” a bit about a guy falling down a bottomless pit. As is known to happen, however, plans changed.

One of my friends won a vampire trivia game at a student teaching module she attended. Being fantasy/scifi nerds, we decided to play this game at the dinner. A few questions in, my team was asked “Vampires are afraid of water. True or False?” Because I wasn’t thinking, I talked my teammate into saying false.

The answer, obviously, is true. Vamps can only cross water in their coffin. Now, this is one of those games that has little explanations on each card. This card noted the coffin fact and proceeded to say that another way to kill a vampire was to steal his sock, fill it with pebbles, and throw it into a lake. The vamp would jump in after it and drown.

That struck me as one of the funniest things I’d ever heard, and I decided that this story needed to be told. And so while others read, I sat quietly in the back of the room and wrote this story in my head. I then got up and performed, in my humble opinion, a stellar version of the account. I guess the judges thought it was pretty stellar too. They awarded me first prize—an autographed copy of “Redshirts” by John Scalzi.

And now you can read my award-winning story. Admittedly, it loses something without my performance, but it’s still worth the read.

Again, here’s the link to the download page.

Oh, and writers. Griffin Publishers is actively seeking shorts, poems, articles, interviews, etc. Check out there submissions page for more details.