Sunday, 9 September 2012

Top Ten Behind-the-Scenes Moments of The Hands of Tarot!

Top Ten Behind-the-Scenes Moments of The Hands of Tarot!

10. Destroy, destroy, DESTROY!

I’m a very anal outliner. Before I write a chapter, I have to craft the outline. Now, granted, there’s still a lot of room to wiggle with and not all my scenes follow the “script”, but it’s there for me anyway, giving me and the characters the direction we need.

However, there was on night during NaNoWriMo when I was pushing out 3,000 words an hour, when Veronica (QueenCalisto on Twitter) leaned over and started laughing. She read my chapter outline for one of my chapters. It was quite simply, “DESTROY! DESTROY! DESTROY!” It was bolded, underlined and in big handwriting. We still laugh about it to this day.

9. How is the word “Sky” a curse word?

Cursing is like breathing for me. I’m a military brat who joined the Army and went into construction. It’s all around me.

But I had to find a way for the characters in this book to curse. They’re on a different world! They’re not going to drop the F-bomb, and they don’t have dams.

In The Hands of Tarot, you can tell where each person originates by how they curse. Joshua is a land dweller, so he praises dirt and curses the sky. Synn is a sky dweller, so he’s the exact opposite. We have such a diverse world, it’s a lot of fun for me to listen to them curse.

And because of that, I now curse using “monkeys”. It’s a lot of fun and gets some strange looks, but people react by laughing! It really is funny. And because of this book, I get emails, Tweets, and texts of people cursing at me with “For the love of Sky, Frankie!” I really get a kick out of it.

8. One thing you would never know about Synn.

His sister, Zara, used to dress him up like a doll until he was four. Apparently, his best color is purple and he looks great in ruffles. It’s because of his eyelashes. They’re very full. Ladies, be prepared to be envious.

7. Not so quick quicksand.

I have never been in quicksand. I’ve seen Indiana Jones and a couple of other Hollywood movies, The Jungle Book, where some nameless dude falls into quicksand and drowns.

I don’t even know how this came up, but I was sitting at the table with my parents and my daughters one night. I’m pretty sure my inside voice escaped because Dad just looked up at me (he was reading a book) and said with a frown, “Most people don’t drown in quicksand. All you have to do is float.”

That reaction, that statement, the whole package was the inspiration for the scene where Synn is leading the sphynktor bugs to the ocean and he falls into the quicksand pit. The part of Synn was inspired by yours truly. The part of Haji, by my dad.

6. The sphynktor bug versus the sea snake.

This scene was inspired by the latest Star Trek movie, which I’ve seen nearly a dozen times. I love it! I was watching Kirk running, screaming like a little girl from this giant snow monster, only to have the giant snow monster taken out by this gigantic red sea monster!

I said to myself, “Self, you have a sphynktor bug problem. This could be the solution!”

Okay. So it wasn’t original, but there you go.

5. Food for the brain…is not just caffeine.

I am addicted to King Soopers’ cranberry orange soft top cookies. They are amazing! I’ll get them as bribery for myself.

“Frankie, if you sit down and write an entire chapter, you can have one cookie.”

“But, Self, I want a cookie now. They’re calling my name. I promise. I’ll eat the cookie now, feed the brain, and then write the chapter.”

“Frankie, we’ve been over this before. You don’t write after the cookie. Your brain goes into sugar overload and you FB and Tweet when you should be writing. Now, be a good author and go write a chapter.”

“Self…you’re a bully!”

4. Developing technology that…doesn’t quite work.

I think my favorite scenes involve really cool tech that doesn’t work! Like the scene where they’re escaping from Sky City and Synn finds out there’s no landing gear.

“Without—Wait.” I followed Joshua into the belly of the beast. “We won’t be able to land?”

The characters are just so much more…real when they’re thrown pieces like that. Their dialogue sounds more genuine. And I laaaaaaaugh!

3. One thing that would surprise you about Queen Nix.

Her favorite color is pink.

2. The most watched movie, most played soundtrack while writing The Hands of Tarot.

The Prince of Persia. OMW! It’s just such a lovely movie. I deeply enjoy it! Though, I think it’s going to be awhile before I can watch it again. I love the visuals, and the sites, and the sounds. The Hands of Tarot is nothing like it! You can’t tell that movie was playing in the background. At least I can’t, but there it is.

Oh, and Synn speaks with an Adalic (Arabic) accent, not Handish (English).

1. Not the ending I was expecting.

The Hands of Tarot actually had a HEA ending (Happily Ever After). Everything was closed up very nicely. It was tidy. There were no loose ends.

But then Keeley got stuck on Sky City and Synn took over the scene. It’s not because he’s in love with her. This isn’t a love story. He just wasn’t about to leave her behind. I still could have saved it, given the reader and the characters the HEA, but then Queen Dyna (Queen of Swords) stepped in and changed everything!

The reason for the chapter title is because I wasn’t expecting it. However, I think this ending works much better for the book! I’m very pleased with it.

Well, thank you so much for letting me stop by! It’s been wonderful! I hope you enjoyed the Top 10 Behind-the-Scenes Moments of The Hands of Tarot! Have a super awesome day!!!

o_O Could I have a few more exclamation points, please?

!!!!!!!

It’s been awesome! Thank you!



The Hands of Tarot

SM Blooding

Available: August 7, 2012

Format: E-book & Paperback

Blurb:

She killed his father.

She imprisoned and beat him.

And now she thinks he’s her trophy.

Synn El’Asim will do almost anything to prove her wrong. But he’s only proving her right.

Queen Nix awakened his Mark of power and inducted him into the House of Wands. She knew what she was doing. The son of the two most powerful Families standing against her is the ultimate prize.

What she didn’t take into consideration was that maybe he was too strong for her.

Maybe.

But the Families aren’t. They’ve been weakened and it’ll take a lot more than one young man with a powerful Mark to take on the Hands of Tarot.

EXCERPT:

As soon as my eyes adjusted to the brightness, the air escaped from my lungs. Before us was carnage. There were two wooden pyres burned to smoking ruin with the charred remains of people on top of them. The air reeked with the smell of burned flesh. Several more pyres stood, two currently burning, three more untouched, all of them in a circle surrounding a large cage.

Filled with children.

Guards walked from one of the burning pyres and lit torches, walking to the neighboring one to set it ablaze.

The children inside whimpered. One screamed, her hand reaching through the bars. Most of them silently wept, watching as their loved ones succumbed to the smoke.

I couldn’t just stand by and watch this. I took a step forward, my hand going for my sword.

My father stopped me, his eyes troubled with sorrow.

Queen Nix turned to me and smiled. “Do you wish to declare war?”

“Let them go,” I commanded, my voice ragged. “What have they done to you?”

She stalked toward me, her nose nearly touching mine, all semblance of beauty twisted with rage. “They refused to submit to me.”

I stared at her aghast, my hands clenched, my jaw tight. “So because you couldn’t control them, you’re going to destroy them?”

The rage turned cold across her features as she drew away, her shoulders back.

“Are you so weak?” The muscles in my cheek twitched.

Father took a step toward us. “Perhaps we can reach a mutual agreement.”

Someone in the cage screamed, the scream turning to ravaged sobs.

I let out a growl. “You will stop this!”

The queen turned her eagle-eyed stare to me. “I do not take orders from a mere boy.”

“Queen Nix,” my father started, “let us be reasonable.”

She took a step back and assessed him.

“The Umira have never been a harmful Family.” My father’s hands were wide at his side, his expression open. “They have always lived in peace with the Hands.”

Her eyes flared and she advanced on him. “You’ve allied yourself with them.”

Father’s eyes widened as he took a half step back.

I watched in alarm, unsure of what to do. My father was the strongest man I ever knew.

The queen grabbed his coat and pulled his face close to hers. “The Umira have always been a peaceful Family, so imagine my surprise when they assaulted us with cannons and weapons.”

“They have the right to defend themselves, Nix.”

“Not against me.” She pushed him away and turned to her gathering guard. “Take him and his heathen son. Throw them on the pyre.”

My father drew his sword and faced the guard. “Go, Synn, now!”

Our men drew their weapons and stood by his side.

“I’m not leaving you, Father.” My sword was in my hand. I was ready to die an honorable death by my father’s side.

He backhanded me and roared, “You will protect our people, Synn El’Asim.”

I was torn. I wanted so badly to fight beside him, to protect him.

But my father had given me an order. One I could not ignore.

I turned and ran.



About the Author:

SM Blooding lives in Colorado with her pet rock, Rockie, their new addition, Mr. Bird, who’s a real bird. She likes to hike the beautiful Rocky Mountains, and is learning to play the piano and guitar. Currently, she’s trying to MURDER them both. Friends call her Frankie.

She’s dated vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, weapons smugglers and US Government assassins. Yes. She has stories.

She’s also an investigator with a

local paranormal investigation group, Colorado Paranormal Rescue!

Find out more about her at:

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Website/Blog

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http://www.smblooding.com/the-hands-of-tarot/