Forever Avalon’s 2nd Edition is now LIVE as a paperback and ebook!

This is going to be short and sweet today. I am happy to announce that Forever Avalon has been rereleased as a 2nd Edition via Amazon. My first publisher, James A. Rock & Company Publishers, went out of business after the death of the publisher and owner a few years ago. Since I retained the rights to my work, I did a rework on the story and published a 2nd Edition via Amazon Createspace online program (now a part of Kindle Direct Publishing) as both a paperback and an ebook. As a reminder, here’s a quick summary:

“Stephanie Drake and her three children were glad to be alive after a sudden storm slammed their boat onto an uncharted island, but it’s not where they think. They found themselves in another world, frozen in time. For more than 3,000 years, the magical island of Avalon remained hidden from the outside world. It was a place of eternal magic, where the descendants of King Arthur ruled over a land filled with magical creatures, wizards, Elves, Dwarves and dragons. On Avalon, Stephanie and her children were being hunted by bounty hunters, thieves and brigands. They found themselves caught in a power struggle between Lord Kraven Darkholm, a powerful wizard descended from the sorceress Morgana le Fay, and Lord Bryan MoonDrake, the Gil-Gamesh of Avalon. The people of this magical isle have been protected for centuries by the Gil-Gamesh, a descendant of Sir Percival Peredyr, the last Knight of the Round Table. But who is Lord MoonDrake and how does he know so much about Stephanie and her children? Now, it’s a race against time as the Gil-Gamesh must protect these Outlanders—as they are called—and get them home to the outside world. All the while, Kraven Darkholm continued his schemes against the people of Avalon, vying to achieve his ultimate goal of becoming ruler of this enchanted island.”

First off, I want to praise Createspace for being easy to use, a helpful staff, and quick action on everything from my queries and questions to shipping proofs. They are great to work with and, to be honest, a Godsend for independent authors like me.

Second, I want to thank artist Dennis Supatra. Dennis did some great character drawings to represent the characters in my first book. He followed that up with a redesign of the cover and interior artwork for the 2nd edition. Check out his work!

This is a big addition to the series, even though it’s my first book republished. It allows people to get into the series again from the beginning. And, as a writer, I’m happy to go through it and correct my mistakes from before. It’s easy to miss a spelling error here and there. Word of advice to any budding authors out there… Spellcheck is not your friend! It doesn’t catch everything and, when you don’t have the money for a professional book editor, you have to do things on your own.

When I first published Forever Avalon in 2009, I sent copies of it out to my entire family. Within a month, I received an email from my mother with two pages detailing spelling and grammer errors she found. That was quite a humbling experience. It also cost me an additional $75 to make the corrections. For a self-published author, that’s adds to the financial burden when you’re just starting out.

So, if you’re interested to start at the beginning (and I hope you are) I hope you’ll pick up a copy of Forever Avalon. And, if you do, help out an author and leave a review! That’s an independent author’s bread and butter! Thanks!

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Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon from Austin Macauley Publishing.

 

What language does one use when casting spells?

Magic spells are the “bread and butter” of any fantasy author. There isn’t a person out there doesn’t know words like “Expecto Patronum” or “Avada Kedavra” and what they can do. The power behind d the magic is in the words. The question is, what words do you use to enchant those spells.

When I first started writing Forever Avalon, I had to come up with a plan since, in my world, everyone could use magic in some form or another. The world of Avalon came from our world, so the easiest think to use was one of the oldest languages of man… Latin.

It made sense to me to use. It is one of the oldest languages in human used, known across multiple cultures. Why not make it a source for magic. Besides, between Google translate and a great online program through the University of Notre Dame, it was easy to use.

Unfortunately, my new story is taking me in a whole new direction. After I finished book four of the Forever Avalon series, I started planning book five, when I got an idea for another series. This would take place in a whole new fantasy world, completely original. So now, I needed another language for magic.

I’m not a linguist, so it’s hard enough doing Elf, Dwarf and other verbiage in my stories. For example, I use Norwegian and German for the Dwarf language, since those countries are where the legends come from. But to create something new for magic, I used a shortcut again. Hello Google Translate.

This time I went on a different direction… to Corsica. According to Wikipedia, “Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 18 regions of France. It is located southeast of the French mainland and west of the Italian Peninsula, with the nearest land mass being the Italian island of Sardinia to the immediate south. A single chain of mountains makes up two-thirds of the island.”

I picked Corsican for the language of magic in my new story because it seemed to flow properly, especially for single word spells. It’s closely related to a the medieval language of Tuscan (Toscano) which fits with a medieval fantasy world. In addition, I created a whole new style of magic casting along with it. You see, I figured spells could be cast using long, drawn out phrases as well as single words of power. This gives the magic caster options for how powerful they want their spell to be. For single words, I use Corsican for the spells. I have to be a little creative in the long phrase spells, mixing a little bit of poetry with my magic. For example, this is a concealment spell in my new story:

“Whispers in the darkness, silent as the wind, bend the light to my will; Cast your shadow around me, hide me from my enemy, conceal me while I remain still.”

It’s not my best prose, but magic is coming from a different plane. You are talking about something of complete fantasy and trying to make it real is what a writer is supposed to do. It’s times like this I wish I had the linguistic skills of a J.R.R. Tolkien.

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Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon from Austin Macauley Publishing.

How does a married, over-50 man write a love scene between 20-somethings?

When I was a young Sailor, deployed overseas for more than six months as a time, I wrote the occasional dirty letter to my wife. It was a release to, shall we say, “keep the home fires burning” while I was gone. Trust me, she wrote some sizzling ones back to me, which made for plenty off cold showers in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Now, as a 55-year-old man, I am writing fantasy stories that include love scenes between young men and women, half my age. The problem is, it’s difficult for me to put that same fire into my stories that I once wrote to my wife.

You envision your love scenes like you would see in the movies or a romance novel, but it’s not the same when you’re doing it yourself. It’s like being a voyeur or cheating on my wife with someone else. I know that sounds wierd, but true.

As a writer, you have to imagine the situation you’re writing about to make it real for the reader. To be honest, I don’t think of myself as a sexy man anymore (although my wife says I still am). That’s what makes this hard (ignore the pun) for me. Sure, I could watch porn or read a dirty magazine for inspiration, but it’s not the same. I want the romance, the seduction, the lovemaking, not graphic sex, in my stories.

It’s especially difficult when you have daughters the same age as the characters your writing about. It makes me feel like a dirty old man watching girls at the beach behind mirrored sunglasses. So how do you do it?

For someone like me, it involves lots of sleepless nights. When I’m writing, the story I’m working on occupies my dreams. I’ve been working on this love scene for more than a week now. I replay it in my head at night, re-read it on my computer screen several times to make sure it feels right. Like I said, sleepless nights.

Unless romance is the backbone of your writing style, it’s not easy to pick up on. The best advice I can give is to trust your instincts and give into your own feelings of love, passion, and romance. You can’t go wrong.

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Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon from Austin Macauley Publishing.

It’s hard to pick a top moment from Doctor Who, but here goes

If it hasn’t been obvious to people reading my blog, I am a diehard Whovian for life! Tom Baker is my Doctor, that says it all! Doctor Who is the best television series in the history of television (sorry I Love Lucy fans). It teaches us history, science, life lessons, and important things like “always bring a banana to a party!”

With more than 50 years and 13 Doctors to choose from, it’s hard to pick a BEST MOMENT from the monumental TV series, but I’m going to give it my best. Apologies in advance if I don’t mention one of your favorites, but please include them in the comments below.

11th Doctor’s Introduction — Matt Smith will go down as one of the great Doctor’s in the series. His introduction after a very sad departure by David Tenant was hilarious as he kissed his legs and checked for ten fingers, eyes, and nose like a father checking over his newborn baby. He even complained he still wasn’t ginger. However, I’m referring to the end of the episode, The 11th Hour, when he walked through a projection of all 10 previous Doctors and introduced himself. From that point on, you had no doubt that he was the Doctor and the universe better pay attention. “Basically, run!” showed us he was not one to be trifled with. After all, he was wearing a bowtie.

Missy Means Mistress — Throughout the first year of Peter Capaldi’s run as the Doctor, we were I reduced to the mysterious Missy. This crazy woman seemed to be wrapped up in the Doctor’s affairs, but no o e knew who she was, until the episode Dark Water when we learned her name was Missy, short for Mistress, the female nomenclature for THE MASTER. This was a huge reveal, shocking all of us to the core. I really think that the fans reaction to Missy was one of the reasons they went with Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor. In any case, Missy ranks right up there as an awesome villain and a perfect foil for the Doctor.

The Titanic in Space — It was wierd enough that they built the Titanic, in space, but then you throw in the Doctor and expect everything to come out okay. This was a fun episode, but the thing that really stands out to me is David Tenant’s speech when asked who he was. He had such a serious look on his face and it really stuck as such a big moment in the history of Doctor Who. In those few seconds, we got everything we needed to know about the Doctor. It was a masterpiece in writing that any Whovian can recite. That’s what makes it memorable.

Don’t Blink — One of the best monsters introduced since the Daleks, and I know I’m going to get some flak for saying, but it’s TRUE. The Weeping Angels are a mystery unto themselves. “The Lonely Assassin’s” have been a part of some of the best episodes in recent memory. They were the cause of Rory and Amy’s death. How do you not get chills up your spine when you hear the laughter and fluttering wings of the “babies” in The Angels Take Manhattan? Or the voice of Angel Bob talking so monotone and scary as he describes dying to the Doctor in Flesh and Stone? I wish they would have made an earlier appearance in the series. Can you imagine Tom Baker taking on the Weeping Angels? I would watch that in a heartbeat.

10’s Long Goodbye — David Tenant had a great run as the Doctor, and his ending was even better. I’m not talking about his final speech… Well, “I don’t want to go” really isn’t a speech. I’m talking about his trip to visit everyone he met in his time as the Doctor. Seeing Rose a year before he met her, Mickey and Martha as married alien bounty hunters, saving Sarah Jane’s son, getting Captain Jack a date, etc. It was a great way to end it all. They wrapped it up neat and tidy, as “his song ended” but the story continued.

The last of my favorite moments in Doctor Who is courtesy of my Doctor, the 4th Doctor, Tom Baker.

Do I Have the Right? — I don’t think there’s a person alive who hasn’t thought “would I go back in time and kill Hitler as a child?” In retrospect, it was Doctor Who that gave life to that question. In the classic Genesis of the Daleks, the Doctor had the chance to end the Daleks before their reign of terror began, but did he have the right. He debated the issue with his companions as he held two wires inches apart. It is a memorable discussion in the philosophy of life and death in a sci-fi TV series.

So, the new series starts Sunday, October 7th. Let’s see if the 13th Doctor can make the list!

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Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon from Austin Macauley Publishing.