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Book tour and giveaway: THE BLACK TRILLIUM November 16, 2018

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The Black Trillium
by Simon McNeil
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy
 
Confederation rules in Trana—so says the king.
But Fredericton is a long way from the shores of Lake Ontario, and
schemes for power will bring together three extraordinary young
warriors.
Savannah
A desert girl who came to Trana looking for refuge but has never found
a home
Kieran
A privileged city boy dreaming of rebellion and hardened by cruelty
Kyle
The disgraced heir to the throne desperate to win back his place in his
father’s heart
Sworn enemies or reluctant allies, they all have one thing in common: an
incomplete half of the legendary fighting skill known as the
Triumvirate sword art. They fight for glory, for power, for the
monsters lurking beneath the streets, and for the mysterious society
moving in the shadows of Trana—the Black Trillium.
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Read on for my review, a guest post, and giveaway!

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Do you ever want to destroy the world? June 17, 2014

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I love superhero movies. I love the excitement, the escapism, the larger-than-life-ness, the sheer drama of them. And I really love superhero movies in which rather than trying to bring a fictional world to life, they make it seem like it really happens in our world. To an extent, of course; I wouldn’t be a fan of superhero stories if I couldn’t suspend a little disbelief.

Another thing I like about superhero movies is that the stakes are always very high. Of course; that’s what makes it a superhero story. In a story like that, one can cause incalculable, irreparable, and frankly pretty improbable damage to civilization or the world itself. That’s what makes it so dramatic, especially if it happens in the very world we live in.

The stakes are always high in fiction. The conflict might not be – will the boy get the girl? – but the risk defines the story – she’s all he ever wanted throughout his high school years, even when she went out with that bullying jock. It’s not dramatic unless it has a big impact. But the scale of that impact varies enormously. Millions of lives could rest on the actions of the protagonists, or just the main character’s feelings.

I’ve never been very comfortable working on a grand scale. I suppose writing fantasy is a bit of a cop-out that way, since I am only affecting imaginary worlds. But even inside my own worlds, I generally prefer to avoid working with those in the most power – kings, lords, etc. The stakes are still high, often world-changing, but the characters who directly resolve the main conflict are generally people who have little or no other influence over the world.

I’m equally (or perhaps doubly) uncomfortable with impacting the real world. That’s why my novel Halcyon, which takes place on Earth, still occurs in an invented city. I don’t feel like I know enough about real places to set stories there, not even places I’ve lived for years. Perhaps if I was writing some kind of novelization of my own life, I might be able to, but the characters in my stories don’t live my life and therefore don’t necessarily or usually live or go to the same places.

This is the part where research should come in, but the fact is no amount of research will make me feel comfortable with writing things that happen on Earth. And trying to write stories that take place on Earth and involve people of power? Hold the phone.

But I read books that take place on Earth and I love how real they feel. They can change so much about the world, even change the course of history, but because it’s the place where we live it feels more believable. I’d like to try it sometime, but it’s going to take some working up to it.

In the meantime, I’ll stick with my magic and dragons and just watch superhero movies.

Halcyon giveaway on Goodreads December 5, 2012

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I’m giving away a copy of my latest book Halcyon on Goodreads. Enter now for your chance to win. Hurry, the contest ends Saturday! For more information on Halcyon, check out the novels section in the menu bar above.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Halcyon by Catherine Fitzsimmons

Halcyon

by Catherine Fitzsimmons

Giveaway ends December 08, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

Halcyon fan art September 4, 2012

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Thank you to everyone who stopped by my tables at Gen Con and Fan Expo! Halcyon had a great reception and I’m looking forward to my next convention in November. And for those who can’t wait that long, Halcyon is now on sale online!

I’ve recently received some fantastic fan art of characters from Halcyon. This drawing of Zander comes from Janna Fong:

The following drawing of Elya comes courtesy of Sarah Petrulis:

And at Fan Expo I received a sketch of Zander from Nicole Chartrand, creator of the webcomic Fey Winds:

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to draw these characters!

Gen Con! August 14, 2012

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I’ll be with my publisher Brain Lag at Gen Con in Indianapolis, IN this weekend. We’ll be in Author’s Avenue in the exhibit hall with my first book Aurius and the very first appearance of my second book Halcyon! This is an exclusive world premiere, so come to Gen Con to get your copy before anyone else! Ever wondered what would happen if a computer virus infected cybernetic implants? Now you can find out…

Hope to see you there!

Sketches – Halcyon June 30, 2012

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I actually picked up my sketchbook and pencil for the first time in quite a while recently and drew up some headshots of the characters from Halcyon:

The characters in the first image are: Zander, Elya, Galina, Amélie, Chen and Dwayne. In the second image: Shad, Deadeye, Gerod, Solace, Sinclair and Squirrel.

It feels good to draw again.

Flash fiction: Dream Guy March 31, 2011

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I am rightfully shamed.  While going through the archives here to link flash fiction to the portfolio page, I discovered that some short stories from a few years ago never made it here.  Let me now rectify that.

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In Other Novels… November 24, 2010

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I have known for a while that the novels section here is incomplete.  I have other novels in the works aside from those listed there.  I didn’t add those other novels largely because they don’t even have working titles with which to refer to them, and some of them were also far too undeveloped to include the same information that is present on the other stories already there – namely, characters aren’t wholly defined in some of them.

However, since my own notes on my works in progress are rather scattered and I like to use that section to keep track of my projects on the go, I decided to add a section to the bottom of the novels page for one-line synopses of those other novels.  Hopefully, I can add further information on those stories in the future.

This effectively doubles the number of novels I have in various stages of progress.  I think I need to do a lot of writing.

Ebooks of Aurius now available! August 11, 2010

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Aurius is now available in a variety of ebook formats – Kindle, Epub, PDF, Palm Doc, etc. – on SmashWords!  Visit now to sample 50% of the book for free and purchase a copy for only $3.99!

Aurius – Arrived! July 6, 2010

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This is a momentous day.  First, I just received the first print run of Aurius, and the books look great.

The book will be released on August 5 at Gen Con Indianapolis, after which sale information will be available here, for both paper and ebook versions.  For more information on Aurius, visit the novels section.  Also note that fan art for Aurius has been added.

Finally, Brain Lag Publishing is now accepting submissions for original novels.  Head on over to the website and contact me if you’d like to publish a book like this.