Bard Worshipper of Desna

Elaine Cunningham's page

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Here's the link to Feder & Schwert:

http://www.feder-und-schwert.com/verlagsprogramm/winterhexe-pathfinder-saga -band-2/

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Hi, folks. It has been a while, but I thought I'd share a recent development. German publisher Feder & Schwert is releasing WINTERHEXE, a German translation of Winter Witch, this week. Here's a link to the book's page on the publisher's website.

There's also a French translation available on Amazon.com. Here's that link.

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I just found out today that a German translation of WINTER WITCH will be released next week by the publisher Feder & Schwert. They'll be posting a product page for WINTERHEXE next week, and I'll post the link here for those who might be interested.

There's also a French translation, La Sorciere de L'Hiver, available on Amazon.com

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I will be attending Thursday through Saturday. Hope to see many of you there!

Here's a link to my schedule:
http://www.elainecunningham.com/upcoming-events-2/

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And by the way, I was exceedingly tickled to learn that Channa Ti has found her way into the Pathfinder card game. (Thanks again, Mike Selinker, for the heads-up!) We played the first set, Rise of the Rune Lords, as part of our family game nights. We also attend the twice-monthly game nights at Rivendell Books & Games in Rehoboth, MA. We're mostly board gamers, but I might see if there's any interest in running through this campaign.

I love this card, btw. I didn't envision Channa as a redhead, but I like the artwork very much.

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Hi, folks. If I'm not mistaken, the elven tribes of the Mwangi Expanse are not sub-races, but simply...tribes. Dark Tapestry predated the detailing of the Mwangi tribes, so I didn't have a particular tribe in mind. If I were to go back and retrofit Channa's history add in this new info, I would say that her father was from the Ekujae tribe. So, yeah. Channa Ti is an Ekujae half-elf.

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What a great approach to characterization! Dave Gross pointed me toward this post a couple of days ago. (Thanks, Dave!) The post about Ellasif was lovely and poignant.

This reminded me of The Emperor of Scent, an excellent book about perfume and the science of scent. We read this at a (now-defunct) book club a few years back, and one of the members brought her perfume collection for show-and-tell. Are you familiar with this book, Liane? If not, I think you'd enjoy it.

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Shisumo wrote:
No, these things. They are rather awesomely awesome and you should buy them all.

Ah. Looks like this would do the trick. Thanks for the info!

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Hawkmoon269 wrote:
Harsk is not one of the 11 characters included in the Skull and Shackles adventure path. But he is included in the ranger class deck. So your husband could either use the RotR character in Skull and Shackles (starting fresh of course) or use the version in the ranger class deck.

Are you speaking of the character expansion pack?

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We've been playing Rise of the Runelords, which introduced my husband to the world of RPG games. In the process, he has developed a deep fondness for Harsk (though he mocks the notion of Harsk as a tea-drinker.) So I must ask: Will Harsk be available as a PC in Skulls and Shackles?

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I love Radovan and Jeggare, but this is my favorite story yet. In addition to being a well-told, deftly paced fantasy adventure, it's...fun. That's not something that can rightly be said about a lot of fantasy books.

IMO, if you liked the first two books, you've going to love this one.

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I didn't set out to specialize in elves. They just kept showing up when I was writing, playing with my harp and making snooty comments about my wine collection until I put them in the story to get rid of them. As one does.

"A Single Thread," however, started with a facebook message from Allen Drees, one of the editors at IPG. Having met him at Gen Con Milwaukee years ago, I can attest with a high degree of certainty that he is not, in fact, an elf. But he wanted an elf story, set in a fantasy version of medieval Europe (the year 1415, to be specific) known as Kingdoms of Legend, a Pathfinder-compatible setting.

Okay, I was intrigued. When I learned that the Forest Kingdom shares a border with the Kingdom of Poland, I was sold. If you've read WINTER WITCH, the Pathfinder Tales novel written with Dave Gross, you're familiar with my fondness for Slavic folklore, upon which the land of Irrisen is loosely based. In this story, however, I was able to go Full Polish. We've got spirits and creatures taken directly from folklore, and the story offers a new take on one of the most famous Polish legends: the dragon of Wawel Hill. There's even a mention of Jadwiga, a term that's familiar to Pathfinder fans, but in this case it refers to a Polish queen, not to the descendants of Baba Yaga.

The story subverts a familiar theme in Slavic folklore: the trickster hero, a common man who outwits nobles and/or monsters through his native cunning. In this tale, the trickster is a female--an elf bard who lives by her wits and wiles--and she might not be quite as clever as she thinks she is.

The story is a little over 5000 words long, and is told from the point of view of two elves--Mellindria the bard, and Wisenti, cleric of Valpas Once-Watchful. Here's a link to a post on my website with more information:

http://tinyurl.com/9cdhpxp

Hope you enjoy this new tale!

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The link's not working, Brent. I suspect the space between the a and d of "thread" might be the culprit. :)

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fasthd97 wrote:
I miss alias and elaith but im hoping to read your pathfinder novel soon.

Thanks, fasthd97! I hope you enjoy WINTER WITCH.

I can't speak for Alias, since she wasn't one of "my" Forgotten Realms characters, but I hope we haven't seen the last of Elaith. :)

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Aaron aka Itchy wrote:

I would also enjoy a rematch between Bonali and Jamang. I would like to see Bonali win, but not by Jamang's method. Jamang's conniving and scheming should be his own downfall with only a little encouragement from Bonali.

Or, even better would be if good advice from Bonali is interpreted by Jamang as political maneuvering so he does not follow it, which leads to his own downfall.

You, sir, have a devious mind. :)

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Mikaze wrote:

I wish I had seen this earlier, but I'd definitely be interested in more stories following this one, either as a one-shot or a longer story.

Pretty partial to a longer format, or even a novel, since that would mean more background goodness for those of us interested in Nantambu. ;)

Also, go Team Bonali!

Thanks for the response, Mikaze. I'm leaning toward a short story set in the Acadamae.

I agree that a closer look at Nantambu could be interesting. At this point I have no plans to head in that direction, but I'd certainly read a story by someone who did! :)

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Waylorn, "The Illusionist" was written as a short story for WAYFINDER magazine. That's why it was only a one-part story in its Web Fiction incarnation and a VERY short ebook.

I like short stories and novellas, and I find I'm purchasing quite a few of them for my Nook in the $.99 - $2.99 range. But I can understand how it would be a little frustrating to assume you have a lunch break worth worth of reading and find only a 2500-word short story.

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Okay, the random number generator at www.Random.org has spoken. It selected #4, which corresponded to the email send by Kenneth Goad.

Thanks to all who entered, and especially to those who included entertaining commentary. I haven't held a contest for ages. This was fun. Let's plan to do it again in a couple of months, when the print version of the Tales of Severin "Thorn" trilogy is available as a print omnibus. :)

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Ha! Actually, I enjoyed that email immensely. My response included a link to a YouTube performance of "The Twelve Days AFTER Christmas," which is notable not for the quality of singing, but for the commentary behind the singer. :)

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Oops! Apparently the file name leaps up to defend the photo from incursions of mice. I must see to that. Thanks for the heads-up.

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Actually, same contest, new riddle. If you like free books and bad puns, here's another seasonal riddle and a second change to enter.

Same rules apply. Send me an email with the response and I'll enter it into the drawing for a signed copy of the Pathfinder Tales novel Winter Witch.

http://tinyurl.com/bmjax99

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Marital bliss should always be that easy.

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Quick and easy, as advertised! :)

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If there's a Pathfinder fan on your holiday gift list who might like a signed, personalized copy of WINTER WITCH, switch into Bad Pun Mode and enter this contest. :)

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Thanks for doing this, Dave. I'll be there on November 21. :)

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I've been pleased to note that this story has been in the 10 top e-fiction list for quite some time now. I suspect that has something to do with the $.99 price tage, but still, I appreciate your interest in the story.

With this in mind, I'm pondering the possibility of a rematch between Bonali and Jamang. Is this a story you'd be interested in reading? If so, who, in your opinion, should come out ahead?

Also, would you prefer another one-part story, or something longer?

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I'm curious: Would anyone be interested in a rematch between Bonali and Jamang? If so, who, in your opinion, should come out ahead?

Also, would you prefer another one-part story, or something longer?

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Good story, nice little exit twist.

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See you Monday, Dave. I'll bring the chips and guacamole.

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Qstor wrote:

Anymore books from Elaine Cunningham?

Mike

Hi, Mike.

There are no plans at present for another novel. Every now and then I think about pitching a book about Channa Ti, but Channa was created to carry a novella-length story, and I'm not sure she'd be the best choice for a novel's protagonist. I like Channa--a lot--but if there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's the importance of paying attention to intangibles. If you're ambivalent about a story, it's probably not your story to write.

Maybe I just haven't come up with the right story idea for Channa, or the right sidekick character to balance her serious demeanor and dark sense of humor.

If I have a great idea, either for a Channa Ti story or another character/story idea that would fit the setting, I'll run it past the folks at Paizo.

As for the podcast, I didn't join in because I'm sort of technophobic. I hate cameras and the idea of doing audio or video interviews gives me a case of the twitching heebie-jeebies. Given the way promotion is going, this is something I need to address. I'm working on it. Sort of.

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Hi, folks.

If you're interest in fantasy with a Slavic flavor, there's a somewhat more traditional tale posted on my website.

"The Princess and the Psotnik" is influenced by Polish history and folklore, and it's written with a fairy tale flavor.

Hope you enjoy the tale. :)

Best,
ec

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James Sutter wrote:
Also, don't forget the illustrations! Art generally costs more than words, and the journal compilations are full of pictures.

This is true. And it may be that the illustrations will influence some people's decision to buy the journal compilations.

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I agree with Victor that word count might not prove meaningful to many readers. Also, word count is only part of the equation.

Take "Dark Tapestry," for example. At 25K words, it's about 1/4 the length of most mass market paperback novels. If a mmpb sells for $9.99 and the PDF download for $6.99, does it follow that a novella-length story should be $1.75? Should readers pay by the word?

Ultimately, I think it comes down to whether or not a reader believes a STORY is worth the price. I downloaded Patrick Rothfuss's "A Wise Man's Fear" to my Nook for $12.99 and considered it a bargain. Yes, it's a long novel, but I didn't buy it after doing a per-word cost analysis. I bought the novel because I wanted to read it.

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Winter wrote:
In case you are collecting data on the issue, I'd like to see word count as well.

"Dark Tapestry" totalled a little over 25,700 words.

E-book pricing is an inexact and evolving science. Several independent writers who've been experimenting with e-books found that $2.99-3.99 seems to be the sweet spot. $2.99 is an impulse buy. People are willing to take a chance on a new writer or series for less than three bucks. Much more than that, and people stop to think about the purchase. Much less, and many people assume the book is priced low because it isn't worth reading.

For independent writers, I'm a big fan of "less than a latte" pricing. My first "e-riginal" novel, HONOR AMONG THIEVES, will be published in late May and priced at $2.99. Since this is very short, only about 35,000 words, I suppose it's technically a novella. The second story will be a little longer, about 50,000 words, but the price will remain the same. This makes sense for a number of reasons.

For publishers, however, different price structures apply.

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I'd be very interested in hearing reader reactions to Channa Ti's story, and your opinions, pro or con, as to whether you'd like to read further adventures.

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Dave Gross wrote:
Elaine Cunningham wrote:

Oops! Plans change, life happens, and other songs from the same album. I won't be attending this year, after all.

I'm sure you can persuade Ed to stand in for you and do a signing session in drag.

If you suggest this, I doubt I could KEEP Ed from doing so.

This brings to mind one of the bizarre anxiety dreams I had before my first GenCon. We were living just north of Los Angeles at the time. The Santa Monica mall had a Fredericks of Hollywood shop, and all the mannequins in the window had long, snow-white wigs. So in the dream, I was trying to break into the mall at night and make off with seven of those wigs so that the TSR writers attending GenCon could dress up as the Seven Sisters. I don't recall why they had to be stolen, exactly, but apparently it was quite important. For some reason.

I suppose it's a good thing I'm not attending PaizoCon. Just think what sort of weird dreams Golarion could inspire. ;)

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Oops! Plans change, life happens, and other songs from the same album. I won't be attending this year, after all.

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Mikaze wrote:


So a Mwangi-oriented novel is coming soon then? ;)

Not to my knowledge. It may be that Paizo has one in the pipeline, but if so, I'm not aware of it. All I can see with absolute certainty is that I'm not currently working on a Pathfinder story.

Mikaze wrote:


And is it wrong to hope the Bonali/Jamang conflict escalates to The Prestige levels across the Inner Sea?

That's a satisfying notion to comptemplate. :)

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Thanks for the kind words, folks.

I was very impressed by the Mwangi game product. Lots of great story hooks there, and Nantambu struck me as an interesting culture, well worth revisiting.

As for Bonali, I'd prefer to think that he eventually repaid Jamang in his own coin. :)

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Kajehase wrote:
Nah. That's her dad. *grins and hopes for a Stig-Lennart or Lars/Lasse in your next book*

I like Stig. I can work with that name. :)

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Kajehase wrote:

Aww. But I really liked Elasif.

Edit: Coming from a Swede with Russian ancestry I guess that never was what you'd call a long-shot. ;)

I'm just relieved to hear that you don't have an uncle by that name. ;)

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Charles Evans 25 wrote:

Hmm. How does one apply to be a Beta Reader, what skill-sets and knowledge ranks does it require, and does it involve seeing more Channa Ti, Bonali, or Ellasif, Declan & Liv stuff early?

Heh. There's no formal application process. For that matter, there's no actual position. I don't have any Pathfinder stories in the pipeline or in discussion.

Thinking to the future, I might be interested in revisiting Channa Ti, but I'm all set with Declan, Elasif et al. Winter Witch was intended to be a stand-alone novel, and I'm content to move on to new characters. The only exception I would consider would be a (very short) tale that offers a Bonali and Jamang rematch.

In fact, that's not a bad idea. I was pretty happy with how "The Illusionist" turned out. It will eventually run as Web Fiction. Perhaps if the response is positive, following up with a second, "rematch" story would make sense.

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Quote:
"I'm neither a professional writer nor a werecabbage.

At the risk of sounding entirely out of the loop, what is a "werecabbage?" I keep seeing the term, but haven't a clue.

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Charles Evans 25 wrote:

Just read 'The Illusionist' from Wayfinder #4.

Looks good, a slight typo on the first page aside: ** spoiler omitted **
I'm curious what happened to Jamang though, between 'The Illusionist' and 'Winter Witch'? He comes across to me as pretty cocky - Bonali's comparison to a rooster is indeed apt - in 'The Illusionist', but by the time of 'Winter Witch' my perception of Jamang is that he's lost a lot of his confidence and self-belief. He seems desperate - almost insanely so - by the time of the latter story. The slick operator is gone and instead there's a man resorting to first fawning flattery, and then to overt threats to try and get what he wants out of Declan. Has he got so far in over his head and over-reached himself that the 'secret' of Declan's book animation magic is the only thing which he thinks can save himself? (And if so does he delude himself on that count - not that that matters much to events as they play out in Winter Witch, where Jamang is only an incidental character?)

Good catch on the typo. You're not, by any chance, interested in being a beta reader? :)

Jamang's main failing is arrogance. He assumed he'd have no problem deciphering the magic animating the books he took from Declan's brother.

It isn't revealed how and why he came to claim that magic as his own, but once he did, the stakes were high. The best he could expect if he failed to deliver would be the loss of his apprenticeship with the famous necromancer. More likely the ramifications would be far more severe, both professionally and personally.

So yes, Jamang has had a serious come-down since the events of "The Illusionist." His ego has taken a hit over his failure to master the spell. Also, I like to think that the young man from the Mwangi Expanse eventually repaid Jamang in suitably devious fashion. But mostly, Jamang is in way over his head. He tried to hoodwink a famously amoral necromancer. Guys who are late on payments to the mafia probably sleep better than WINTER WITCH-era Jamang.

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Charles Evans 25 wrote:
And even if you prefer not to write ficton for Wayfinder for now, perhaps you could contribute something on the game mechanics side?... ;)

Thanks for the thought, but game mechanics isnt' really my forte. :)

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Guy Humual wrote:
If you walk away because of what I posted I'll feel worse then I did when I didn't make the cut!

No worries, Guy. This is an issue I considered and resolved months ago. While I appreciate the kind thoughts, Wayfinder is a fanzine. I think an occasional article or story from the writing-IS-my-day-job people is fine, but I've already done two. Two-for-four is well beyond the realms of "occasionally." :)

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Guy Humual wrote:
Dave Gross and Elaine Cunningham? How could an amateur like me possibly hope to compete for a spot in this magazine against the pros?

Guy, I can see how you came to this conclusion. But it was never anyone's intention to edge fans out of the Wayfinder's pages.

My goal in writing this story was two-fold: to support a terrific fan publication and a great group of people, and to take the advice of J.A. Konrath, thriller writer and marketing guru: "The best advertisement for your writing is...your writing."

But.

When published writers show up in a fanzine, it muddies the waters. I hadn't given sufficient consideration to this, or to how it might appear to people who might otherwise want to submit. The last thing I want to do is DISCOURAGE fan participation.

It also creates an awkward situation for Paizo. The material in Wayfinder isn't "canon," but when someone who has written professionally for Paizo shows up in a fanzine, the material appears to carry official approval. I did, in fact, run the story past my editors, who approved the tale but had some of the same concerns I did. What ended up happening is that Paizo bought "The Illusionist" after it was written and allowed Wayfinder to publish it first (and free). They may eventually run it as part of the Web Fiction feature.

This was all a bit more convoluted than I had in mind. So, to avoid further complications, I will not be writing for Wayfinder in the future.

I certainly hope you'll continue to submit your best Golarion fiction to this very polished and creative webzine. :)

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Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
Good job on #4! I really enjoyed "The Illusionist" story.

Thanks, Thomas! Glad to hear it.

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So far I know of the following: Ed Greenwood, Dave Gross, Jaleigh Johnson. And me.

Anyone else?

Also, is there anything you'd like the writer-types to DO? Writing workshops? Short story critiques? Take-All-Challengers Bananagram showdowns?

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Liane Merciel wrote:
Yay! It'll be great if you can make it; I'd love to finally meet you after having been a fan for, um, wow. Has it really been almost 20 years? Good lord.

I hope I can be there, Liane, and I'm looking forward to meeting you, as well. Though I haven't yet read THE KING's ROAD, I enjoyed your Pathfinder web fiction immensely and look forward to seeing more.

And yes, it has been almost 20 years. ELFSHADOW, my first book, was published in September 1991.

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