Monday, October 24, 2016

Best Music for Writing Inspiration

It really should be no surprise that epic music helped to inspire me and keep me writing as I was working on The Collision of Fire and Ice. Since The Collision of Fire and Ice is filled with magic, far away lands, and a fight against good and evil, it only makes since that Celtic Thunder had a hand in my inspiration.

Specifically, the Isle of Inisfree, Turning Away, and Hunter's Moon from the Mythology album have been played over and over and over again. I absolutely love these pieces. There's just something about music that takes my mind to other places. Perhaps it's because I was a musician for so long, that I feel the music more than hear it. With Celtic Thunder, feeling the music is a pure joy.







Another group that I've found inspirational is not as well known as Celtic Thunder. They are Valentine Wolfe. They sing chamber metal. The vocalist, Sarah, has a haunting voice, and Braxton is simply amazing on the bass cello. I haven't been able to buy their newest albums yet. But, the album I did buy is called, Once Upon a Midnight, and it's fantastic. It features the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe. What could be better for influencing a writer? Honestly, I hope some day I can get Valentine Wolf to perform a book trailer for The Collision of Fire and Ice. How cool that would be!









These groups are only two of the ones that have influenced my writing. I will post more later. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.


--Arwen, author The Collision of Fire and Ice, and The Louvre Still Stands



Let me know what music influences your writing in the comments below! 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Book Trailer for The Collision of Fire and Ice by Arwen Chandler


Have I mentioned that I am so excited about this book? The Collision of Fire and Ice is available on Amazon in print and e-book.

Separated by gods of Fire and Ice, clans bound by tradition live on the brink of war. From the shadows, evil arises creating a true clash of clans through-out Arcadia. With no real claim to the throne, Fridtjof declares himself High King of Arcadia. Together with his sorcerer Magnus, and under the banner of fire, they bring a scourge across the land, leaving a path of bloody destruction in their wake. An epic battle between good and evil, fire and ice, threatens to both destroy and unite the land of Arcadia.

From the scattered ashes of devastation, Karn, a reluctant champion, arises from the high mountain region of Bardai. He is destined to wield the blue flame of the goddess in an unbelievable fight of sword and sorcery.

Can Karn and his Brehon war band defeat a power as old as the gods themselves?

Can he unite the clans into one Kingdom where men and sorcerers stand together in a single cause. Will he defeat those who threaten to destroy the very stability of Arcadia, and can Karn usher in the age of dragon riders?

Can he learn to harness the power of the goddess, and let go of the life and love he left behind?

The Collision of Fire and Ice is a tale of romance, sword and sorcery. It merges the wonderful world of fantasy with romance, and blends some of the most fascinating aspects of the Celts, Druids, and Vikings into a new culture all its own. Part Viking romance, part clash of clans, all sword and sorcery. The Collision of Fire and Ice creates a world where only the strongest survive. Do you dare enter?

Check out the trailer below!

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Collision of Fire and Ice by Arwen Chandler

After ten years, my book is finally and truly published. It's been a long hard road, but I am so glad the end is here. Although, I feel like this road is just the beginning.

A little insight to The Collision of Fire and Ice:

I wrote a book that I would like to read. I have always loved magic, Celts, Vikings, and dragons. So, in my world, the people are kind of a combination between the Celts and the Vikings.  I also love epics like the Lord of the Rings, so I wanted to write something epic with a little romantic twist. I really hope you enjoy this book, and I look forward to hearing from you.

About The Collision of Fire and Ice:

Separated by gods of Fire and Ice, clans bound by tradition live on the brink of war. From the shadows, evil arises creating a true clash of clans through-out Arcadia. With no real claim to the throne, Fridtjof declares himself High King of Arcadia. Together with his sorcerer Magnus, and under the banner of fire, they bring a scourge across the land, leaving a path of bloody destruction in their wake. An epic battle between good and evil, fire and ice, threatens to both destroy and unite the land of Arcadia.

From the scattered ashes of devastation, Karn, a reluctant champion, arises from the high mountain region of Bardai. He is destined to wield the blue flame of the goddess in an unbelievable fight of sword and sorcery.

Can Karn and his Brehon war band defeat a power as old as the gods themselves?

Can he unite the clans into one Kingdom where men and sorcerers stand together in a single cause. Will he defeat those who threaten to destroy the very stability of Arcadia, and can Karn usher in the age of dragon riders?

Can he learn to harness the power of the goddess, and let go of the life and love he left behind?

The Collision of Fire and Ice is a tale of romance, sword and sorcery. It merges the wonderful world of fantasy with romance, and blends some of the most fascinating aspects of the Celts, Druids, and Vikings into a new culture all its own. Part Viking romance, part clash of clans, all sword and sorcery. The Collision of Fire and Ice creates a world where only the strongest survive. Do you dare enter?


Saturday, October 8, 2016

Dream Cast of Characters for Blue Springs, Kansas by Arwen Chandler

So, a great story deserves a great cover. I finally broke down and bought an image for this book. I think it is a much better cover than any other I've had for Blue Springs, Kansas. Hopefully, it will catch a few eyes. It is currently in the process of going live, so hopefully it will be on Amazon in a few hours. Fingers crossed that it will drive some sales my way.

So, in honor of my new cover, I thought I'd share my dream cast of characters for Blue Springs, Kansas.


About Blue Springs, Kansas:

"For years rodeo photographer Laura Garrett never felt more comfortable than behind the lens of a camera or when Clark was at her side. All this changes one night on the way to the rodeo semi-finals in Montana. Suddenly Laura finds herself stranded in the small town of Blue Springs, Kansas. Will she find the strength to carry on, and should she really eat that piece of pie?"

My Dream Cast of Characters: 

Hailee Steinfeld as Laura Garrett: Hailee Steinfeld was amazing in True Gritt. I loved her portrayal of Mattie Ross, and I know she'd do a great job playing Laura. Laura is serious about her photography and is a devoted girlfriend. She's also one tough cookie.

If you haven't seen Steinfeld in True Gritt, you really should watch it.  As a side note, we lived in Northwest Arkansas for a long time, and when True Gritt came out we had just moved to Texas. I didn't want my kids to watch it, because I knew it would make them homesick. The setting is dead on, unlike the original True Gritt. It's one of my favorite movies.

Alden Ehrenreich as Clark Baker: Clark is a rodeo cowboy, good-ole-boy type. He wants to keep his relationship with Laura, but also wants to have his fun when she's not around. Clark has a way of getting under a woman's skin, and making her ignore his bad qualities. Alden Ehrenreich would make an excellent Clark, because he can pull off that bad boy you want to hate, but can't help love type. He's also easy on the eyes.

If you're not familiar with his work, I would recommend watching Beautiful Creatures.


Gerard Butler as Patrizio: Gerard Butler could really pull of Patrizio's character. Patrizio is older than Laura, but still young at heart. He's also been around the block. He's been accused of being in the mafia, and in witness protection. His background is unknown to those around him, but the small town of Blue Springs loves him. He can handle himself in a fight, but he can also make a killer omelet.

Of course Gerard Butler is a diverse actor. He is remarkable in Phantom of the Opera, and just as remarkable in London Has Fallen. And, who doesn't love Gerard Butler?




Christine Baranski as Molly: Molly is a side character, but she deserves her own special actress, and Christine Baranski is it. Molly is a waitress who is infatuated with Patrizio, and is a harmless flirt. She's also kind and encouraging to her patrons. I love Christine Baranski! She is just an amazing actress, and would add a lot of depth and fun to Blue Springs, Kansas. I love Christine Baranski in Chicago, Mamma Mia, and The Big Bang Theory.




Thursday, October 6, 2016

New Book Covers Give Life to Struggling Fiction

New Cover
The Louvre Still Stands by Arwen Chandler

I've been doing a lot of research about book covers, and one thing I read suggested if you're not selling a good story, it may be the book cover. I think that's been part of my problem, so I revamped the covers. I'm not sure if the cover for The Louvre Still Stands is quite perfect yet, but I like it. I hope this new book cover will give life to my struggling fiction. Let me know what you think in the comments.

The Louvre Still Stands Book Blurb:

Old Cover
In a perilous age where humanity lives under the control of the Militarian government, one woman risks life, limb, and ship, for a lost treasure trove on old Earth.

Gwyndalaria Casteliano, Captain of the starship Pleiades, leads her Ex-Militarian companion Adrik, and her childhood friend Rodrigo on the treasure hunt of a lifetime. While the common belief is that old Earth has been completely lost after the great alien wars, Gwyn knows it’s ripe for the taking. Intelligence, bought for a steep price, proves that the Louvre still stands. Gwyn leads her comrades on an adventure of a lifetime, as they make a desperate attempt at fortune. It’s too bad Militarian troops are hot on their trail.

The Louvre Still Stands is a piece of science fiction, that nods its head toward spacers like Malcom Reynolds, and is sure to leave readers wanting more.

New Cover
Odds & Ends: A Collection of Short Fiction by Arwen Chandler

Another cover I decided to revamp is Odds & Ends. I really like the new cover much more than the old one.

Odds & Ends Book Blurb:

Open the door to a gripping psychological adventure. Odds & Ends: A Collection of Short fiction abandons all restraints and takes readers on an intense journey through world after world of strange, scary and humorous events. Arwen compels readers to take part in a riot where the perpetrators are not what they seem, and introduces unsuspecting fair goers to a sexual sadist serial killer who frequents the county fair. She presents a dystopian world where teaching children outside of school is illegal, and the government destroys those who don’t comply. Odds & Ends is a gritty and thrilling work of short fiction. Brace yourself as turn the page, and see if you can survive in the shadow of the Ferris wheel. Remember, things are never quite what they seem.

Odds & Ends is a gritty and thrilling work of short fiction.



New Cover
Blue Springs, Kansas by Arwen Chandler

And the last new book cover I changed is Blue Springs, Kansas. I really like the new cover!

Blue Springs, Kansas Book Blurb:


Old Cover
For years famed rodeo photographer Laura Garrett never felt more comfortable than behind the lens of a camera. She’d made a career following her sexy, bull-riding boyfriend from their ranch in Texas to Wyoming and back again. Ever at his side, her trust in Clark wavers as evidence piles up he’s been having affairs with buckle bunnies. Suddenly, she finds herself stranded in the middle of the night at a bus depot in Blue Springs, Kansas. Alone, Laura has to face the consequences of her fast paced life. Will she settle for the sexy cowboy she’s loved for so long, or will she pull up her big girl panties and carve out a life of her own? Can she learn to trust again? And, who is that Italian gentleman that’s making eyes at her?

Blue Springs, Kansas is a romantic western read that takes readers on a whirlwind ride. Strap yourself down and cinch up your latigo. Can you hold on for 8-seconds?

Well, these are my current revamped book covers. It is still a learning process, and I am anxious to see what difference, if any, these new covers make on sales. To learn more about creating book covers check out Creative Indie.

--Arwen



Wednesday, October 5, 2016

One of My Favorite Authors: Ursula K. Le Guin


I absolutely adore the Earthsea Cycle --six books in all. Ursula K. Le Guin's masterpiece has greatly influenced me as a writer, and I am certain that the sorcerer Ged is off somewhere visiting my characters living in Arcadia.

I began writing Collision of Fire and Ice in 2004,  after I fell in love with A Wizard of Earthsea. I cannot express how much Le Guin's novel inspired me to take up my pen, and truly I had never thought about the correlation until this moment. But, I think her work helped me to realize I wanted to create a world of my own, a world that I could escape in, and hopefully a place other people will enjoy visiting, too.

If you've never watched the following video, I whole-heartedly recommend watching it. I thought it was amazing!


Top 5 Stephen King Books

All writers have a favorite author, and it is no secret that Stephen King is one of mine. I was first introduced to Stephen King through the film, Silver Bullet. I remember watching it on Television with my best friend. I was enthralled. From that moment, I hunted down every Stephen King book I could find, and I have read many of them. Although, there are still some on my to read list. The following are my top five Stephen King reads. Let me know what yours are in the comments!

Thanks,

Arwen
--Write On!






5.  So,  Under the Dome felt like a different kind of Stephen King, and I love it! Not only is the book a grand-slam with its characters like Barbie, and Big Jim Rennie, it is a complete mind game. I cannot tell you how much I love this book. In fact, there are times that I go back and forth whether I like a character or not. It is such a great piece of fiction.

About Under the Dome:

"On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester’s Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener’s hand is severed as “the dome” comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact..." To read more click:here.

4. 11/22/63: A Novel amazing. I just love the twist and turns Stephen King takes with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He also addresses the desire we all have to go back and change the past. In fact, that is the entire story of the book. What will happen if the past changes, and can you really change it. This book is truly remarkable.

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? Stephen King’s heart-stoppingly dramatic new novel is about a man who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination..." To read more click:here.



3. Everything's Eventual is a great book full of exciting short reads. I think my favorite of the tales is The Road Virus Heads North. The reason this tale really came to life for me is because I am always shopping at yard sales, and while I know the painting is not real, this would so happen to me if it could.

One of my favorite things to do is tell my children ghost stories when we are on road trips, and The Road Virus Heads North has been requested on several occasions. It's just great.

About Everything's Eventual:

"King is in terrifying top form in these short stories, taking readers down a road less traveled (for good reason) in the blockbuster ebook “Riding the Bullet”; bad table service turns bloody when you stop in for “Lunch at the Gotham Café”; and terror becomes déjà vu all over again when you get “That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French...." To read more click:here.








2. The Gunslinger is one of my all-time favorites. It ranks right up there with Dune for me.  I love the way Stephen King draws the reader into the story as we follow Roland on his hunt for the man in black. The Gunslinger is one of those books that's hard to put down.

About The Gunslinger:

“A #1 national bestseller, The Gunslinger introduces readers to one of Stephen King’s most powerful creations, Roland of Gilead: The Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner on a spellbinding journey into good and evil..." To read more click: here.





1. The first time I read this I was in high school. That was 27 years ago, and this book still haunts me. It was the first book that gave me a nightmare, and to date it is the last book that has given me one. The characters were realistic and chilling. I don't love having bad dreams, but the plot and characters truly resonated with me. This book ranks number one on my favorite Top 5 Stephen King book.

About Salem's Lot:

"Ben Mears has returned to Jerusalem's Lot in the hopes that living in an old mansion, long the subject of town lore, will help him cast out his own devils and provide inspiration for his new book. But when two young boys venture into the woods and only one comes out alive..." To read more click: here.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

A Tour Through The Lands That Have Inspired Collision of Fire and Ice



The lands featured in The Collision of Fire and Ice come from a mixture of several different locations. I've often found inspiration in Irish, Scottish, and Norse landscapes, so I relied heavily on images of these places, as I created the landscape of Arcadia. I hope these images are inspirational for you, too.

About The Collision of Fire and Ice:

"Can Karn and his Brehon war band defeat a power as old as the gods themselves?


Can he unite the clans into one Kingdom where men and sorcerers stand together in a single cause. Will he defeat those who threaten to destroy the very stability of Arcadia, and can Karn usher in the age of dragon riders?

Can he learn to harness the power of the goddess, and let go of the life and love he left behind?

The Collision of Fire and Ice is a tale of romance, sword and sorcery. It merges the wonderful world of fantasy with romance, and blends some of the most fascinating aspects of the Celts, Druids, and Vikings into a new culture all its own. Part Viking romance, part clash of clans, all sword and sorcery. The Collision of Fire and Ice creates a world where only the strongest survive. Do you dare enter?"



Inspirational Lands:

If I could have a plane ticket to travel the world, I would go to the places that have inspired the fantasy novel I'm working on. Collision of Fire and Ice is set in a word full of magic, paganism and dragons. For years I have been collecting images of scenery, and someday I dream of actually walking the places that have inspired the world I've built.


Norway would be my first stop on my Collision of Fire and Ice Tour. The land is breathtaking, and rich in history with legends of Vikings. I dream of climbing the mountains, and taking a boat down the fjords. When I imagine my protagonist, Karn, I see him hunting in snow covered mountains high in the vast remote areas of Norway. I see the Elohite's celebrating the Harvest Festival with great bonfires, and generally carrying on a communal lifestyle in the heart of their homeland, the Bardai Valley.

Ireland would definitely be my next stop, and specifically I would love to visit the Cliffs of Moher. There is a scene in my book where the two major antagonists are traveling by dragon ship to the birthplace island of the gods. The island is called Langerhorn. In it I describe cliffs that remind me of the Cliffs of Moher. I would love to travel along side of them and look up their towering rock faces. I can imagine them coming alive and welcoming me to explore their secrets.



Scotland would be the next stop on my trip.  Again, it is rugged and beautiful, and it also has the same old world feel as Norway and Ireland. When I write about the Land of Four Cities, Murias and Danaarn, this is what I'm seeing. I can't help but imagine the people of southern Arcadia walking across green hills, and herding sheep and cattle.



There are so many other places I'd love to visit someday, and many of them pertain directly to this book. Sadly, some of them I can only visit through the published works of others. I hope that someday people will long to see the world I am building just as much as I dream of seeing Rivendell, or the Shire.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

My Dream Cast of Actors for The Louvre Still Stands

I don't know about you, but when I write I like to imagine the people who I would want to play my characters if my book ever made it to film. I guess it's easier to write when I have a good idea what people look like, and maybe it's the ultimate fan-girl thing to do. Either way, I definitely do it, and I thought it'd be fun to share my dream cast of actors for my short story, The Louvre Still Stands.

Before I give you a list of my dream cast, let me tell you a bit about the story.

About The Louvre Still Stands:

In a perilous age where humanity lives under the control of the Militarian government, one woman risks life, limb, and ship, for a lost treasure trove on old Earth.

Gwyndalaria Casteliano, Captain of the starship Pleiades, leads her Ex-Militarian companion Adrik, and her childhood friend Rodrigo on the treasure hunt of a lifetime. While the common belief is that old Earth has been completely lost after the great alien wars, Gwyn knows it’s ripe for the taking. Intelligence, bought for a steep price, proves that the Louvre still stands. Gwyn leads her comrades on an adventure of a lifetime, as they make a desperate attempt at fortune. It’s too bad Militarian troops are hot on their trail.

The Louvre Still Stands is a piece of science fiction, that nods its head toward spacers like Malcom Reynolds, and is sure to leave readers wanting more.

Of  course a book blurb doesn't tell all, so here's a little more background.

Gwyndalaria (Gwyn) is a spacer. She's the fastest pilot in the known-universe and is from the planet Tortuga -- a water world. She is cocky, and really when I created her I kind of had a female version of Malcom Reynolds (Firefly) in mind. She is kind-hearted, but is also rational, and sometimes she doesn't see things as black and white. Perhaps that's why she makes such a good smuggler.

Adrik is career military. He was raised by the leader of the Militarian army, and before meeting up with Gwyn he was strictly by the book in every way. He has abandoned his military life-style and taken up with a smuggler. He is well versed in battle tactic, and weaponry.

Rodrick is an opportunist with a large bank account. He is also from Tortuga, and is one of Gwyn's best friends. Unfortunately, sometimes money trumps friendship and blurs the lines of trust. He is quite a character, and Gwyn knows it.

My Dream Cast of Actors for The Louvre Still Stands

Gwyndalaria: Scarlet Johansson is my dream actress for The Louvre Still Stands, because she is an amazing actress with a powerful onscreen presence. I first truly fell in love with her in Avengers, where she portrays the character Natasha Romanoff; although, since I have found her in several of my favorite films. I think Scarlet Johansson could pull off the cocky, swaggering personality of Gwyndalaria.


Adrik: Channing Tatum is my dream actor for The Louvre Still Stands. He has a strong presence, and I can see him playing a military type. He can easily portray smart and sexy, and that is Adrik. I will freely admit that my daughter has influenced me greatly in this regard. She is a huge Channing Tatum fan. I hadn't really noticed Channing Tatum (aside from the obvious good looks) until I watched Jupiter Ascending. From that moment on, Adrik was Channing Tatum, no other would do.

Rodrik: Nestor Carbonell is my dream Rodrik. I have been a big fan ever since I saw him on the Tick. Nestor Carbonell can definitely pull off the eccentric and mysterious Rodrick. I wanted Rodrick to be beautiful and of a Latin descent. Nestor Carbonell would be perfect.

So, my dream cast of actors for The Louvre Still Stands is now divulged and into your hands. I hope that next time you read the story you can see why I've chosen who I have. Who knows, maybe someday my dream will come true and we can all see The Louvre Still Stands on the big screen!