Tag Archives: author

Another Twist in the Road

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Well, okay here we go. I’ve been putting off writing this, because I’m still figuring it all out, but I’ll do my best.

Hunt Press and I have mutually parted ways and I am currently without a publisher. They wished me all the best and I wish them the best of luck. I’ll never forget that Angela was the first publisher to believe in my and my work. They were my first break and my first fans. But things came up and they optioned me the rights to my works back and we both agreed that would be the best course. Thanks for everything, Angela, Barrie, Laureen, and Tamala, and I’m glad we’re all still buddies.

I’m excited and scared and a little overwhelmed.

What does this mean? Well it means that currently my Hunt Press works are unavailable for purchase at this time. If you REALLY need one, I have a grand total of 3 books left (2 of Runs in Good Condition and 1 of Madame Bluestocking’s Pennyhorrid. Email or message me if you want to buy them.) I’m working to rectify that which means, for the time being, I will be publishing my past books through my LLC, Tangent Artists. We’re the guys who came up with “The Handbook for Saucy Bards,” and “A Cleric’s Guide to Smiting,” so I think they’re in good hands.

So what now? Well, my top priority right now is getting Book 3 in the Linus Saga, “No Shoes, No Service,” out there for those who have been waiting so patiently (and for those who have been waiting impatiently). I don’t want a five-year-gap in releases to become a six-year-gap. Then maybe I’ll go down the line with re-releases of Book 1 “Must Love Dragons,” Book 2, “Runs in Good Condition.” And maybe then I’ll even be able to release the prequel I’ve been working on, “Must Love Humans.”

The reason I say “maybe,” for all of this is because after all these years I’ve realized that doing it on my own isn’t helping my career any and I will begin soliciting for an agent. I am currently looking for someone to represent me, so if you like my writings, musings, and other things and want to see more of them, any help you can give me in this matter would be spectacular.

This is where you can help: as most of you know, I’ve dedicated several years of my life to working on these projects. I’m also writing 3 webcomic series that I publish every week for free. GRATIS. By publishing books, and doing freelance work, the money I make goes to, not only help my family, but it also pays for the equipment and time spent on providing free entertainment to the internet for all to see. Please consider visiting the Tangent Artists storefront and purchasing something. Every little bit helps. It will also raise funds to help produce Book 3, so I don’t have to go too deep into my pocket to do it.

Tangent Artists also has a FULLY BACKED kickstarter that’s ending in only a few hours. If you like to play FATE rpgs, or know someone who does, the Fate Accompli erasable game aides are a great product, and a SURE THING crowd-funding-wise.

Okay. I know you all got my back on this. I’m so honored and blessed to have so many people gunning for me, buying my books, asking for more, giving me assurances and encouragement, and spreading the word. I’m so grateful that my fellow Tangent Artists have got my back too and are willing to set aside comic-making time to help me get this done.

And you. You, the person reading this, you are my reason for doing this. Thank you. Thank you for everything and let’s continue in this vein and grow old together as I work hard to make more stories and art to entertain you. It’s going to be a wild and crazy ride, and this is just another hairpin turn in the “flying dutchman” coaster that is life, so let’s just throw our hands up in the air and scream for the fun of it… and hope we don’t get clobbered by a random seagull like Fabio did.

Love to all,

Monica Joanne Marier

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Character Spotlight: Tyrrus Gruthsfield

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It’s high time I covered a baddy, so this week’s post is about Tyrrus Gruthsfield. Now, I don’t like to think of him as a baddy, although he’s definitely a villain in books 1 & 2. I just dislike characters who are evil through and through. I grew up watching cartoonishly evil bad guys in movies and on TV that were evil simply for the sake of being evil, and those always bothered me a bit (I should probably write a post on this later.) The point is, Tyrrus isn’t a villain because he wants to be evil. Like all proper villains, Tyrrus thinks he’s the hero of his own story—in this case a story of loss, love and abandonment.

We first meet Tyrrus when he appears in the last act of Must Love Dragons as the ruthless head of the corrupt Rangers Union. But we also know he and Linus have a history together. Let’s look into that, shall we?

 

 

Image copyright ©2014 Monica Marier

Image copyright ©2014 Monica Marier

 HISTORY

Linus met Tyrrus when upon passing his entrance exams at the Rangers Union to become a Pre-One Ranger, or a Ranger-in-training. This is an apprenticeship period where a Ranger is usually assigned to an E-10 Ranger in good standing to have as mentor. The trainers assigned Linus to Tyrrus Gruthsfield, who was in his late 30’s at the time. Tyrrus was a rugged, jovial dandy bachelor, with a love of adventure and a lust for high living. He and Linus bonded straight away. Linus was in awe of this rugged expert of the wilderness and his bombastic personality. Tyrrus fed off of Linus’ admiration, and his youthful outlook made Tyrrus feel like he himself was a young teen again.

When Linus had finished his year under Gruthsfield as a student and graduated to E-1, he continued to travel and work with Tyrrus as a friend and compatriot. Linus became a family to Tyrrus, who had grown up as an orphan in the Rangers Union’s boys home for foundlings and had never known a family.  And Linus, who had always had to fight with his dozen siblings for attention, enjoyed the singular attention Gruthsfield was giving him and eventually left his father’s house to live at the Union boarding house with Gruthsfield and other young bachelors.

Tyrrus tried to advise Linus as best he could on how best to navigate the rocky path of his late teens into adulthood, but it was myopic and sometimes self-serving. Tyrrus had avoided growing up, and didn’t really want Linus to either. It’s possible that a lot of Linus’ early missteps (bad relationships, hijinks, faux pas, his drinking habits) were either from Tyrrus’ lack of direction or from simply bad advice.

It was about five years after their pairing, when Linus began to make friends and peers in his own age-group, that his relationship with the then 40-something Tyrrus became strained. Tyrrus became more controlling of Linus and his free-time and assignments. He subtly tried to orchestrate fallings out between Linus and his friends, and when that didn’t work, he would bombard Linus with accusations of betrayal and callousness.  

Linus didn’t take well to Gruthsfield’s constant intrusion on his life—feeling like he was tied to the apron strings of a clucking, nagging mother hen. By the time when Linus was beginning to slip into depression, alcohol, and a dangerous affair—a time when Gruthsfield genuinely wanted to help Linus—it was too late. Linus had already stopped listening to Grusthfield.

 The incident with Tchineline (as outlined in Runs in Goods Condition) was the final breaking point and, soon after, Linus severed ties with his ex-mentor. Tyrrus and Linus most likely had no contact with eachother until the events of Must Love Dragons. Linus was more than aware of Gruthfield’s rise to power in the Union, but was only a disinterested bystander at the time. He had no idea that during that twenty-some years in-between Gruthfield had spent it brooding on the loss of his only friend and family, and becoming harder and more twisted as the realization of his own mortality grew more apparent and tortured him with the passage of time.

 

Fun Facts:

*The name Tyrrus is (rather obviously) taken from the Greek tyrannos meaning monarch or King.

*Gruthsfield’s actions have always been chiefly fueled by his fear of aging and death. It’s what draws him closer to true villainy as he begins to enter old age.

*He probably assaulted Linus a few times in their younger days, but played it off later as nothing. That unrequited attraction, as well as his emotional manipulation was a key factor in their falling out and later turned into the hatred we see in the books.

*Tyrrus was the one who blackballed Linus from renewing his Ranger’s E-10 license prior to the events of Must Love Dragons. After failing to ban him entirely, he brought up the motion to make Linus restart as an E-1.

* In my head, his voice sounds like the late Tony Jay.

Back to Work Day!

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“Smile Honey!”

“Don’t wanna!”

“Ah, c’mon! It’s the first day of school!”

“I don’t want to! Everyone hates me.”

“It’s your job. You’re an internet writer and artist. And now that the kids are going to school today you have to update the blog.”

“I can’t. I’m sick. I have to stay home”

“You work from home.”

“Damn it.”

I don't want to smile.

I don’t want to smile. Smiling sucks.

 

I actually had it pretty good this summer. I spent oodles of time with my kids coming up with stories and adventures and projects, and introducing them to my MMORPGS. But I didn’t get much work done. That’s how it goes, and frankly I’m not sorry I had a blast with my kids. But it’s time to dust off the parts of the keyboard that aren’t: QWEASD and get my working pants on.

So, here’s some stuff I’m working on now:

Book 4 of the Linus Saga: Working Title “Inquire Within” It’s a more serious missal where we get to meet all of his brothers and sisters and see how they interact.

Linus Saga Prequel: I’m working on a novel where we see a young asshole-ish Linus meet Deirdre for the first time and what eventually culminates in their marriage. Should be fun.

Madame Bluestocking’s Pennyhorrid 2: Working Title: “The Lost Mines of Nadoras” in which Kelly and Lynald become claim jumpers hoping to strike magic in an abandoned zynythstite mine.

I’m also working on some commissions that I might reveal in the fullness of time, if the clients should allow it, and I’ll be bringing back Character Spotlight Wednesday this week starting with Quince.

Pass the Coffee. It’s going to be a long 9 months. Goodbye, Lord of the Rings Online. It’s been fun.

 

 

 

 

Sounds like Progress

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So this exists:
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Coffitivity is a site that that hosts a continuous loop of ambient coffeehouse noise. The theory is that it creates an atmostpheric atmosphere that enhances your home office. I got to say, I love this idea. I always work best when there’s a clear divide between working at home and just “being at home.” Coming up with rituals, sounds, smells and other devices to make a work place special can really help you get your head in the game and work efficiently.

I love the atmosphere of coffee houses, myself and I love writing there when I can, but it’s a luxury I can only afford rarely. Usually I only get the chance when I have to take my car in for work! As much as I love this sound, I can’t help but think it’s missing the smell though. I really need the smell of fresh dark roast wafting in the air to make this experience complete. Fortunately that’s easily remedied in my house.

I’ve used atmospheric soundscapes before, actually. One of my favorite sites is RainyMood which plays the sound of gentle rainfall or storms. It’s good for decompressing and warding off headaches, and sometimes can help me feel reenergized.

Another site I love (WARNING ADDICITIVE!) is Nature Sounds For Me which gives you the chance to mix your own soundscapes! I can do anything from a medow full of sheep, to a storm on the beach, to campfire on a snowy night. LOADS of fun!

So when you eventually DO get back to writing or drawing, your mood is set.

A coffee-shop on a rainy day next to a busy street? Yes please!! 😀

All of these sites provide  their services for FREE by the way so please consider donating to their site if you enjoy it.

And please see my GoFundMe page if you want to help me out. Thanks.

Link

GoFundMe SOS

This is it guys, I might soon not be able to work. I need your help. Please share and spread the word.

Click HERE to donate or share:

Hi, there!
Some of you already know me, but I’m Monica Marier (I’m the one in the space-suit above). I’ve been an artist and writer for Tangent Artists Webcomics since 2006, putting quality FREE stories online for 3 different comic series: CRIT!, Skeleton Crew, and Donuts for Looking. I’m also a published author with Hunt Press with my two series: The Linus Saga and Madame Bluestocking’s Pennyhorrid.
My husband currently has to work two jobs, because between our kids and my chronic health problems, I have trouble contributing to our family’s income. These days I’ve been able supplement what I can with art commissions and my novels and that little bit has been able to help keep food on the table, a roof over our heads, and clothes in the closets.
Now, I’m losing my only means to support my family. This January, my computer died beyond all repair. Right now I’m using my friend’s old laptop and that too is starting to crack at the hinges and malfunction. Very shortly, I will have no means to write books or make comics.

I need your help.

With your donation to help me buy a new computer and art software I will be able to earn money for my family and continue to provide you FREE COMICS online for years to come. 

What will the money go to? I need $3.5k to purchase the following:
1. 1 laptop computer with a good graphics card and processor so it can run art software— $1,700-$2,200
2. A subscription to Adobe Photoshop to use for my art— $600
3. A copy of word for my manuscripts —$30
4. Anti-viral software (to protect this investment) —$30
5. Extended warranty on the Computer—?
5. GoFundMe’s 5% cut of all donations. 
6. Shipping for all rewards. —?

Any amount you can give is greatly appreciated by me, my family and my readers, even if it’s simply spreading the word. An investment in this fundraiser is an investment in my career as an artist and writer, which continues to grow with every passing year. With your help, I can keep my career alive and continue to create my worlds to delight you.
Thank you.
~Monica J. Marier

(LEGAL: See GoFundMe for terms concerning donations. The artist will do her upmost to satisfy all reward recipients. Every attempt to contact reward recipients will be made to discuss completion of terms. Failure to respond after a period of 90 days will void terms without refund of money. All parties will be in agreement of satisfactory completion of terms before rewards are shipped. Damaged or lost shipped items will be replaced but no money will be refunded.)

Character Spotlight Lynald Winguard

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Sorry for the radio silence! Between Ravencon, a lung/sinus infection and a flooded basement I’ve been running behind on stuff. But I did have time to do a little extra special art for this week’s spotlight on Lynald Winguard, the co-star of Madame Bluestocking’s Pennyhorrid.

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Lynald Winguard was the brainchild of a college bout of procrastination. Back when the internet was shiny and new I was enamoured of an image generator called “hero machine.” One day I was playing around, avoiding my assignments (like ya do) when I randomly created a peculiar looking elf. He was dressed as a 1930’s pilot, with a whip and a torch. He looked very dashing and Indiana Jones-esque. I knew immediately knew that his name was Lynald Winguard (Bad spelling was my forte back then). It looked a lot like this recreation:
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I loved it so much I printed it off and hung it on my wall. It stayed on my walls through most of college, but sadly, he had no story. Lynald had no home, no personality, no goals. 

It was only later when I was thinking of writing a weekly serial that this dashing pilot came back into my head. He was a pilot but I wanted to make this a steampunk fantasy, so rather than a plane, I decided to give him a dragon in a world of steam dragon machines. I then paired him with a conniving, selfish, cowardly Orchid Hunter from another story idea, changed him slightly into a neurotic wizard and there was my team for Madame Bluestocking’s Pennyhorrid. 

I stuck him in Tereand, because it was already there, I just set the clock forward 200 years. A lot happened to Linus’ world in that time, chiefly almost all the magic and Elves have died out. I don’t want to go into much detail on that. It depresses me. But anyway here’s some Lynald facts, including (as requested by fans) stuff his own mother doesn’t know.

 

FACTS:

 

WHAT WERE HIS EARLY YEARS LIKE?

Lynald is the only son of Sylvestir and Gwynriell, two first cousins who isolated themselves from the rest of their clan, and pretty much the world too. The Winguards decided that the ultimate way to save the dying race of Elves was to revive the old traditions of the Elves of centuries ago. They lived like hermits, communicated only with other Elves of sufficient lineage, and tried to raise their poor son as a golden epitome of the Elven Ideal.

Lynald was forced to learn fencing, bowmanry, ancient traditions and customs, and the dead Elven tongue. He failed abysmally at all of these.Lynald had no head for academics, languages, and his parents’ constant hectoring. He resolved to run away at the first chance he got. It was only when he convinced his father to let him attend university to learn more about Elven history that he got his chance. He stayed at University for all of eight weeks before doing a runner and joining a touring opera company. He spent years becoming a classically trained tenor, countertenor and actor until his company toured an Imperial Air Force base and saw a fleet of dragons flying overhead. Enamoured with the creatures he parted ways with the opera company and enlisted as a pilot in training. After going AWOL, he traveled throughout Paracelos getting by on his charm, eclectic talents (including a mastery of machinery) and the occasional confidence trick. That’s when he ran into Evelyn Kelly. The time-frame of these adventures is muzzy at best. Lynald himself doesn’t know how old he is.

At this point he has had little to no contact with his parents. He has only written them to announce that he is no longer “Sylvester’s son.”

 

HOW DID HE MEET KELLY?

Lynald’s first meeting with Kelly was pretty much a comedy of errors. Lynald was escaping another hot pursuit from the Air Force when he spotted a show by his old opera company. He slipped in the back door and made his way to the prima dona, Anwe Druhelian’s dressing room. After an *ahem* agreement was struck, the lady agreed to hide in her room while Lynald took her place on stage as the title role in “Die Dame Regina der Dreiundzwanzig Schürzen.”

 

In the audience that evening was a Byronic figure, Mr. Evelyn Kelly, an avid opera-lover who was “celebrating” the termination of another one-sided relationship with a girl. He was looking forward to seeing his favorite opera singer, Madame Druhelian on stage for the first time. He was not disappointed. Madame was radiant, stunning, and showed amazing presence while attacking her songs with her angelic, regal voice. Kelly was entranced, falling under her spell as she sang. She’s singing to me, he thought foolishly.

After the show, shocked at his own boldness, Kelly decided that he had to—he must—meet this astounding woman and tell her how wonderful he thought she was. He saw her in the grand foyer afterwards (which was oddly crowded by many men in uniforms for some reason). She was hiding demurely behind a fan and after a lot of anxiety and false starts, he managed to finally approach her. She tried to politely shoo him away, but Kelly knew his course and without reservation, snatched her fan away and blurted out, “I love you!” he was surprised to hear the good lady growl, “PISS OFF,” in a very mannish voice. 

Of course by then, the uniformed men were starting to swarm on the two of them, (Kelly is now guilty by association) so they started running and they’ve pretty much never stopped. Kelly’s regard towards Lynald shifted to a DRASTICALLY different branch of friendship, but he never stopped being in total awe of Lynald.

 

OTHER THINGS:

*It’s pure coincidence that Lynald shared the same initials as Linus Weedwhacker. He’s actually not related to Linus at all, but he IS related (distantly) to both Bart Yenasfrin (On his mother’s side) of Must Love Dragons and Vilori Reagan (On his father’s side) of Runs in Good Condition. 

* His dragon Philomena, I named after Saint Philomena, a very minor Catholic saint who died a martyr and a virgin.

*Lynald has never married, but he’s been engaged a few times. The first was a childhood sweetheart (a cousin) that he ran away from (more on that someday), there were some whirlwind romances that were cut short by fathers, rival suitors, or the good lady coming to her senses, and most recently there was Renata, who was a loony about preserving the Elven Race as Lynald’s parents. He’s also been engaged as a “kept man” (again, more on that later).

*Despite his icy relationship with his parents, he’s on good terms with his more distant relations, who actually pity him his nut-job parents and often offer to bring him into more “liberal” Elven society.

*Lynald’s Dragon saddle is a unique design, patented by the Tereand Imperial Air Force of treated leather, wool, and canvas, all treated to be as flame retardant and insular as possible. Some good amount of stretching is needed before the pilot mounts his dragon, since their bodies are rather wide. The rider holds his seat with the help of straps and an emergency tether. The only problem is if the Dragon decides to shoot fire at anything. The seat can become very hot, sometimes resulting in dermal burns similar to a bad sunburn. There are jokes among Air Force towns about the dashing pilots and their “cooked sausages.” 

*Lynald can fly Philomena without crashing but chooses not to for the sake of comedic narrative.

Character Spotlight Deirdre the Indomitable

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I got some requests to cover Deirdre this week so here’s the lowdown on Linus Weedwhacker’s other half.

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We meet Deirdre at the end of the first book in the Linus Saga, Must Love Dragons, but she’s a constant presence throughout the book and her relationship with Linus is the linchpin in the series. It’s no secret that Deirdre is a 300-ish-year-old red dragon. Her father was a Human wizard with the gift of shape changing. Ulric the White was famous for changing into various creatures to see how they lived. He got a bit in over his head when he transformed into a red dragon and met Deirdre’s imposing mum. One clutch later, Betty took off leaving Ulric the Dragon with five baby boy dragons and one girl dragon. The boys left the nest as soon as they learned to fly,but the girl stayed with him.

Unlike her mother and brothers, Deirdre was very attached to her father and the two kept each other company. Ulric taught his daughter how to shape change and educated her as best he could. Despite their mutual camaraderie, in a few centuries Ulric began to feel old and tired. One day changed back into a human for the last time and quietly passed away, leaving Deirdre alone.

She was a little befuddled by her newfound freedom and after a few clumsy raids on neighbouring sheep, she found herself the target of several attacks by locals and treasure-hunters. She began to feel that life was nothing but a horrible struggle to defend yourself from everyone else. She was hurt and lonely and didn’t understand why everyone was determined to kill her.

That’s when a drunk Linus stumbled into her cave and did something different: he fell over and had a seizure. Most likely it was because he was the only person who hadn’t taken a punch at her, or  maybe it was her human half calling out to her, or that she felt a need to help a dying man, like she’d helped her father, she felt an instant attachment to Linus and the two were cemented together by fate.

It wasn’t exactly a love-at-first-sight, happily ever after Disney, tra-la-la, love story. There were a lot of teething troubles, as there generally is when you suddenly stop being a 12-ton fire-breathing sauroid and become a fragile, soft, pink, monkey-creature. Between complicated human mating ritual and the rather straight-forward but unfulfilling dragon rituals but after so many years and a lot of kids it seems to have worked out for them. Deidre is a stoic amazon warrior matriarch, even if she waffles between confidant and insecure frequently. The confidence comes out when she forgets that she’s not a dragon anymore. The insecurity comes out when she remembers.

 

Fun Facts:

*Her first name was Deirdre and eventually became Deirdremagorafangowenetherix (DEE-dree-ma-GO-rah-FAN-go-wen-ETH-er-ix). Dragons get bored with their names and after a long time or a great victory they like to celebrate by adding a syllable to their names. A long name is usually the sign of an old dragon or a vain one.

*She actually LIKES being a mother of lots of kids. Dragon clutches are usually around six or seven so large families are typical in dragon family if not always so intimate. If anything she’s probably just frustrated that she has to do it in so many goes to get the family -size she wants.

* Deirdre has to be very careful about changing back into a Dragon. She misses being a Dragon a lot but since her magic is dampened in her human form, she’s worried about how it will go. She had a few close calls early on, so she hasn’t changed form in nearly 15 years. She misses flying most of all.

* Her five brothers are named (in short form) Barney, Enoch, Wallace, Carl, and Orin. Orin was Deirdre’s closest thing to a childhood friend, and her favorite brother (which is whom Orin is named after). Barney, on the other hand, keeps trying to get Deirdre to get the kids to come to his cave so he can eat them.

*Carson has inherited some of his grandfather, Ulric’s, ability to use magic and is interested in  becoming a wizard.

*Deirdre’s mum HATES Linus and he is not allowed to visit her under any circumstances. She’s a very kind grandmother to the kids, however, despite a chilly but civil relationship with her daughter. Deirdre never really forgave her mother for abandoning them.

*Her voice in my head sounds like Isabella Rossilini