Friday, 2 March 2012

Things That Go Bump - Guest Post by S.G. Rogers

Today I am welcoming my very first guest blogger to Flight of the Dragon
Originally from Southern California, S.G. Rogers has lived in Asheville, North Carolina and Laurel, Mississippi. She earned her first black belt in taekwondo from martial arts champion Billy Blanks.  Later on, she earned black belts in taekwondo and hapkido from Master Myung Kim. Currently residing in beautiful Savannah, Georgia, S.G. Rogers writes fantasy and romantic fantasy stories.  She’s owned by two hairless cats, Houdini and Nikita, and lives on an island populated by exotic birds, deer and the occasional gator. Although she’s most often drawn to speculative fiction, she’s been known to break away to write other genres.  Tab is her beverage of choice, but when she imbibes, a cranberry vodka martini doesn’t go amiss.

S.G. Rogers is the author of The Last Great Wizard of Yden and here to share her thoughts on fantastical creatures - just in time for this month's mythical creatures post due out next week! Here I will leave you in Ms. Rogers capable hands. 

~Ciara Ballintyne

From goulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night
Good Lord, deliver us!

- The Cornish and West Country Litany, 1926

Er…I rather like things that go bump in the night.  I particularly enjoy writing about fantastic creatures in my stories.  Sometimes these beasties stem from myth and legend, such as dragons and demons, but others are flights of fancy based on how I’m feeling at the time.  Writing unfamiliar ‘designer’ creatures, however, can be fraught with pitfalls.

In my fantasy adventure The Last Great Wizard of Yden, a group of kids from Earth are transported to the magical world of Yden, where they encounter all sorts of unusual beasties that go bump in the night…


The bitwings kept coming in a seemingly endless wave.

“Is this normal?” Jon asked Kira.

“It's a bitwing stampede,” Fred said.

“They are fleeing something,” Kira replied.

“Are they scared of the dragons, do you think?” Casey asked.

The bitwings passed and Kira jumped to her feet. “We should flee as well,” she said. “Bitwings are afraid of very little. Not even dragons.”

They reached the forest just as another flock of flying beasts flew overhead, circling the clearing as if searching for something.

“Those aren't wingbats,” Fred muttered.

“Bitwings,” Casey corrected. “But you’re right. They look more like flying monkeys.”

“Gnoamian Imps!” Kira exclaimed.

“What’re ‘No Man's Imps’?” Fred asked, peering upward. “They’re kind of cute in an ugly way.”

“Imps are the magical creatures guarding Gnoamian Territory. They may look innocent, but they have razor-sharp teeth. Once they swarm…” Kira trailed off with a shudder.

Jon’s ring flared and Casey slapped his hand over it. “Cover the light,” he warned. “We don't need to attract unwanted attention.”

“Good idea,” Jon said. He stuck Ophelia in his armpit. “We’re still in Mandral Territory, aren’t we, Kira?”


“I wonder what Gnoamian Imps are doing here?” Jon asked.

As the creatures swarmed, Jon noticed a black bird flying among them, unafraid. Kira saw it, too. “The Imps are looking for us! That's a spyrrow. I saw it at Mandral's castle,” she said.

“What’s a spyrrow?” Fred asked.

He stood up to see the black bird better. Jon and Casey grabbed him by the shoulders to pull him down. For a long moment, Ophelia's glow was visible. The Imps stopped swirling and formed a big, black arrow of death pointing straight at Jon.

“Oh, no,” he murmured.

“Now would be a good time to transport us elsewhere, wizard,” Kira said.

The Gnoamian Imps rustled closer, the gnashing of their teeth sounding like the sharpening of knives. A rush of cold air preceded the Imps’ descent through the trees. Fred, Casey, and Kira grabbed onto Jon wherever they could.

“Dude!” Fred yelled, his voice rising two octaves above normal. “Go, go, go!”

Take me to Brett, Jon thought.

The Imps were so close some were vaporized in the flash of light and energy from Jon’s transport—but not before one of them clamped down on Fred’s arm.
My challenge in this scene is to give enough detail to create a descriptive picture in the mind’s eye, but not so much that the narrative reads like a back issue of National Geographic.  In addition, it’s critical the reader grasps how to pronounce unfamiliar names.  To me, there’s nothing worse than an invented animal called khwolumnt. The author may think it clever, but I can’t enunciate it.  What’s worse, when they make the movie, I finally discover khwolumnt is pronounced ‘cat.’ 

So please don’t deliver me from magical creatures.  I just want to make sure we’re all on the same fantastic page.

~ S.G. Rogers

The Last Great Wizard of Yden has been nominated for book-of-the-month at iBookBuzz.com!  To vote, please go to http://www.ibookbuzz.com/Vote-for-Next-Book.html before March 14, 2012.

The Last Great Wizard of Yden is available in e-book and paperback format at Amazon, and e-book format wherever online books are sold.

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-last-great-wizard-of-yden-sg-rogers/1106658023?ean=2940013308275&itm=1&usri=last%2bgreat%2bwizard 

Thank you, S.G.,  for sharing your take on fantastical creatures and an excerpt from The Last Great Wizard of Yden. If you'd like to vote for The Last Great Wizard of Yden at iBookBuzz.com, don't forget to stop by the link above. If you haven't yet read it, you might like to check it out in paperback or ebook. 

If you'd like to know more about S.G. Rogers, you can follow her on Twitter @suzannegrogers or check out her blog Child of Yden.

Don't forget to drop by next week for this month's mythical creatures post, where we'll be taking a closer look at creatures of the sea, from sirens and silkies through to mermaids and more!

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S.G. Rogers said...

Thanks, Ciara, for allowing me to guest on your fabulous blog!

Amberr Meadows said...

I like things that go bump in the night, too. Great first guest post!

S.G. Rogers said...

Thank you, Amberr, for leaving such a nice comment.  :-D

Ciara Ballintyne said...

 It was my pleasure.

Greever Williams said...

"My challenge in this scene is to give enough detail to create a descriptive picture in the mind’s eye, but not so much that the narrative reads like a back issue of National Geographic." I think that is exactly the challenge of the whole of speculative fiction - keeping it "real" in an "unreal" world. I love that challenge and obviously you do too. I love the scene - reminds me of the early chapters of the Guardians of the Flame series from Joel Rosenberg (from the far away days of my youth). Props to all the things that go bump, boo and hiss in the night! : ) 

S.G. Rogers said...

 Props, indeed, Greever! 

Ciara Ballintyne said...

 I've heard it suggested that it's even more important to ensure that your characters respond in a believable fashion to compensate for the unreality of the setting because the reader can only 'deal' with so much weirdness. So it becomes even more important for the character to ring true so the reader can connect.

Greever Williams said...

I definitely agree! You can crank out all sorts of weirdness and chaos, but how your characters react to it on an emotional level is what makes a story powerful (and relateable). If you can make a connection on that deep level, I think readers will welcome a barrage of beasties, magic, and all sorts of things that "bump'

Greever Williams said...

A random afterthought...what about setting up interviews with main characters like we writers interview each other? That could be great fun! On a related note, the antagonist from first novel has jumped off the page and into twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/NastyPastor) and now he is hurling insults at me...and the book hasn't even come out yet! WTH? 

S.G. Rogers said...

I've done character interviews before and they are great fun to write, Greever.  But don't let your antagonist get the upper hand! 

Ciara Ballintyne said...

 I did an interview with my protagonist, Astarl, too. I barely survived the experience! She SAYS she likes me but I'm not reassured...

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