All posts by Mae McKinnon

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Excellent news fellow lovers of the fantastical! After a long and hard slog through the treacherous mires of procrastination, cursing of whomever invented timezones and generally trying to balance more balls than should be humanly possible (are authors human? The debate is still out on that) a collaboration across time and space (quite literally) has created something wondrous.

Fantasy Unbound cover

Fantasy Unbound is a collection of fantastical short stories (in more ways than one 😉 as well as an exciting collaboration between several publishers, editors and authors (contrary to all other evidence we’re not complete hermits … yet).

Best of all? It’s a…


Twenty-one stories explores the genre’s spectrum from quaint and curious fairy tale to dark urban fantasy all the way to the borders (and across) of humorous. fantasy. Whether you read fantasy to escape, to relax, to learn, or just on a whim, you’ll be spirited away before you know it.

The one thing we can promise is … since several of the authors love dragons, there will be DRAGONS GALORE.

This was published by Scribecat, and like so many collaborations, it’s been a pleasure to work on it and with all the other marvellous people involved. You can check out more details on Fantasy Unbound’s DQ page or just dive straight into it from over at Scribecat.

DQ Updates and fun *stuff*

It’s been a while since the latest post – which you can thank a very uncooperative book for. Some books flow like a smooth river of starlight from start to finish. Others, not so much. This latest one definitely belongs in category nb two.

Also, it’s still positively roasting here, and has for several months, which I normally enjoy, but not when stuck inside trying to work and the AC insists on making my cold worse.

Alas, the new book HAS been wrestled into submission, so here are some updates from Dragonquill.

* The new website, which is the same as the old website but with a new host, has changed its name to “Dragonsandquill”.


When aliens decided to harvest the Earth’s resources, including ores, plants, water, animals … and people, there was no way to stop them. 
Until now!

If you want your very own copy before the general release, a special edition dustjacket, a signed copy or just want to support indieauthors, head right on over. Plenty of space for everyone.

*** November 2-3 I’ll be at

So do come over to say hi 🙂

Author interview

Last month I was invited for a wonderful author interview by the, always impressive, Katerina King over at the blog that she runs. We had a great little time together and if you’d like to know what we chatted about, just head on over to

I’m more at ease doing these for my characters than myself (goodness gracious, I’m not that interesting) but while every one is a little nerve-wracking (curse you social anxiety, you’re even invading my life online) I’m finding I do kind of enjoy it – afterwards 😉

The Care and Keeping of your author

Writer 1 by Maeix2

So you have yourself an author. Now what?

There are many types of authors. In fact, there are as many different types of authors are there are people being authors and then some, because, being creative beings, they’re quite capable of seeing a different point of view, or two, or ten, all at once, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Some require more attentive care, while others, like weeds, will flourish everywhere and anywhere, including where you least expect them.

After many years of studying this elusive creature – the author – I’ve come to the conclusion that there are some attributes that are shared, to a greater or lesser extent, across the field

To read the full, tongue-in-cheek article by Mae McKinnon, head over to November O’Malley 


Kaheiron is a lot easier to get talking about himself, especially if he gets to talk about books. Here our favourite Archmage gets interviewed over at The Gatecrash Network! by Manuel Arbanassi. 


My oh my, May is rushing by so fast! The days keep getting longer, the heat keeps rising,  summer storms start appearing on the horizon, and with them, we’re getting into the third week! And you all know what that means! It’s time to interview a Side Character!

Tonight’s guest is Kaheiron – he is a very interesting, very well mannered and cultured man, who holds an important position as the Archmage of the Twin Towers, a learning institute for people gifted in the Arcane Arts.

Also, he’s a Dragon.

…. To read the whole interview, please head over to Gatecrash Network here: Kaheiron

Character Interview with: Erina Darklight

Erina (very reluctantly one might add, she’s not a cameras sort of person) gets interviewed over at The Gatecrash Network! by Manuel Arbanassi. 

“We’re in July! The summer heat is getting stronger, but that just makes us here at #CharactersTell want to go on even more!
With the occasional stop by the seaside to cool off. But that’s no excuse! Last week a number of things robbed us of our Background Character Interview, but never fear! We’re here with a brand new interview with a character from a returning author!
Tonight’s interview is with Erina Darklight. She’s a lovely woman (albeit a bit on the reluctant side, when it comes of talking about herself…but when she gets going she goes on well!) telling us about her life and how she got marooned in an unknown zone of her planet – in the titular High Fyelds of her novel!”

…. To read the whole interview, please head over to Gatecrash Network here: Erina Darklight


Who writes your stories?

As much as it sounds like one, no, that isn’t a trick question. And we’re not talking about ghost-writers either.

There are many voices involved when writing. Some of these we’re aware of, others are more ambiguous. We all bring with us, after all, however subconsciously, our prior experiences (whether we remember them or not).


As such, there are many ways a story can come together, but most of them can be boiled down to being either a) author driven or b) character driven.


Author driven stories are probably the easier to define. They are typed, scribbled or otherwise find their way onto paper or into a word-program – just like the character driven stories – by an author.

Everything put down on paper, every revision, every idea, comes from the conscious thoughts of the author himself or herself. They may be inspired by anything, take on suggestions, and change their minds about what is happening as the story goes along, but, ultimately, they’re the definitive decision-maker as to what they choose to put into said story.

There’s a good chance this type of author will plan out the story in advance, separately, and go into it knowing – more or less – what is going to happen, because they’re the ones who have decided that it is what should happen. They’ve sat down and carefully thought about who the characters are, what motivates them, what happened to one of them when they were five that gave them the drive to actually survive the story in the first place, and they actively create the settings, the scenery and the plots.

If you ask a writer who writes author driven stories what their story is about, there’s a good chance you’ll be given a detailed explanation (if they’re the kind of person who likes sharing, not everyone does).


However, if you ask a writer of character driven stories the same question, you’re much more likely to get their favoured version of “ummm…” at least if you do it while they’re in the middle of writing it? Why?


Character driven stories are, just like their siblings, typed or put on paper, by an actual author. Unlike those, this is because the characters simply can’t type it themselves.

This type of writer, usually, doesn’t plot out the details of the story beforehand (on paper, anyway), because it’s fluid and changes – a lot – as each new scene, setting or character reveals more about what is happening.

If they’re fortunate, the characters are easy to work with, show up on time, and know their lines. If they’re not so lucky, they end up with the chrono-hopping, ooops forget what I just told you it was an alternate reality, stubborn ones who, when they’ve finally reached that all-important event that has been planned (yes, even this type of author tries to make plans) from the start, decide that instead of saving the planet from alien invaders, they should go home and have lunch (or, occasionally, die).

Prior knowledge and experiences count as much for these as for their counterparts, but it tends to be applied more unconsciously and the details of the story and the characters will grow organically over time.


One way isn’t better than the other, but I’ve found that the two types of authors often have difficulty in understanding where the other is coming from.