Crazy Author Reads Fairytales..and Dresses like a Fairy!

I love dressing “weird”.

No skinny jeans, fat belts and over sized sunnies for this girl. I hardly ever follow trends..unless the trends include purple full length skirts and beaded headbands!

I usually go for anything fairytale like. I’ve been known to go around with a henin aka cone hat, but I’ll spare you the photos of those in which my favorite horse and I are dressed up as fairy princesses! I will, however, share some fabulous links that show/create/sell things I really love to wear. Enjoy!

http://www.gipsydharma.com/

https://www.facebook.com/SwampNymph

https://www.facebook.com/FayeTalityCouture

https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/FairyTribe/169381103152390

Trailer Park…. Horses?

Mandamus on the beach

When I decided to write Mandamus and Luco, the first thing I did was research my subjects. I spent countless hours at the library pouring over books and websites about wild horses. I drove the Ocean Park library staff insane with my constant demands for more reference material. All those hours of reading and tormenting librarians, besides being tremendously helpful to my book, paid off with the exciting discovery of Sable Island.

A slash of sandy white beach just off the coast of Nova Scotia, Sable Island is home to several wild horse herds. When I first found out about this place, I immediately started having hilarious anthropomorphic fantasies about horse versions of Ricky, Julian and Bubbles, the golden boys of Halifax.

TPB<a

I soon began planning my exciting adventure to Sable Island. An avid skipper of the fine print, I failed to notice that:

a: nicknamed The Graveyard of the Atlantic, Sable Island is located through treacherous waters about 175 kms from Halifax in a spot famous for shipwrecks;

b: you need permission from the coast guard to visit which I undoubtedly would not have received and;

c: did I mention the shipwrecks?

You can read about it here:

http://curriculumplus.ca/Docs/Guides/Sable_Island_Online_Guide.pdf

http://www.sableislandhorse.com/horse.html

http://www.greenhorsesociety.com

Oh, and definitely check out this guy’s amazing photos of the herds:

http://dutescoart.com/

The island has recently been classified as a national park, a move that has sparked a furious debate over its future. Apparently, now it will have hordes of tourists dripping ice cream all over it’s sandy beaches and, as it sits on a rather large patch of petroleum, Exxon is sniffing around in the hopes of gleaning riches. Hopefully there are horse versions of Ricky, Julian and Bubbles who will dispense large amounts of steaming manure in the path of anyone who tries to disrupt this beautiful place.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1139289-questions-remain-about-sable-island-our-newest-national-park

For those of you who don’t know who the Trailer Park Boys are,
you can find them here:

http://www.trailerparkboys.org/

Two completely unrelated subjects in one post. Baffling..but fun!

Oliver

Agonizing over my ferret friend’s latest escapade, (eating a frighteningly large piece of my coral colored skirt), provided me with a glittering example of why I gravitate towards writing stories with talking animals.

“Go, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”

Ok, I know Babel meant people, but do you ever think that the Powers That Be, whoever they are, might have come up short where our furry/scaled/winged counterparts are concerned? More often than not, our creature friends don’t and can’t show us what is wrong until it’s really bad…or too late. That’s hard.

Mandamus and Luco don’t have this problem. No one in the Silver Kingdom does. Everyone understands one another by speaking the “Common Language”…which conveniently happens to be English because, well, that’s what I speak. No inventing languages here. I’ll leave that to Tolkien who gave us Aragorn with his elvish speaking lips and smoldering eyes…

aragorn

Right now, I desperately want Oliver and I to be denizens of the Silver Kingdom. If we were, I’m sure it would have went down more like this:

Oliver: Karai, I have an overwhelming desire to eat fabric. I think I’ll start with your lovely orange skirt.

Me: How about some poached salmon instead, my little mustelid munchkin. It’s orange, has protein and… it’s digestible!

Luckily, after a trip to an all night vet and a few doses of ferret “castor oil”, the little guy seems to be on the mend.

My skirt, however, did not survive.

Character Peek – Raja

Raja is a King Cobra:
http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/reptiles/king-cobra/

While I am no fan of snakes, having stepped on some beauties while running barefoot through the woods of Ontario, I admire their beauty, strength and resilience. Asking all of you to be fond of a cobra..well… ok – it is a bit of a stretch!

Raja is General Caucus’s Creature Bond. The old cobra’s whispered wisdom seems to comfort the angry soldier but, after all, Raja is a snake….can he really be trusted?

Oooo Baby It’s Cold Outside

Squirrel in Winter

Ooooo Baby It’s Cold Outside!

When most people think of winter they picture snowboarding, hot chocolate and Christmas and while I celebrate all of those things (sometimes in overabundance) my thoughts mainly go to our animal friends.
During the cold season it’s harder for our wild creature buddies. Here are some ways you can help combat the cold for critters:
Bird seed – spread that stuff everywhere! The biggest mistake that folks make is buying birdseed mix which is 90% millet and 10% black sunflower. If you don’t have a birdhouse, try spreading a patch of birdseed under a tree. If you really want to do all the animals a solid, then your best bets for seeds are:
Hulled Sunflower Chips- packed with protein these tasty little morsels work hard to keep animals warm. Also, by buying hulled, you’re not paying for shells;
Crushed Roasted Peanuts – these must be kept dry so serve up in covered feeders only and absolutely, positively ensure they’re roasted. Raw peanuts carry a mold that is toxic to squirrels.
Black-oil Sunflower and Striped Sunflower;
Flax Seed – also keep dry. When it’s wet it gets gummy and clogs up your feeder;
Suet – for our protein loving friends;
Peanut Butter – spread it on pinecones, dollop it on the fence! Natural peanut butter is best unless you want fat, sugar addicted squirrel running around like fiends wreaking havoc;
Hazel nuts or walnuts – the superheroes of nuts, I leave all the droppings from our trees for the animals and they add to their stash, so if you have native nut trees in your yard as well, try not harvesting for a month or two.
Bones – If you really want to get in depth about helping, squirrels and some birds will gnaw on bones for calcium. Odd, right?
Remember water is also scarce and or frozen this time of year so if you have any way to keep water warm outside, that is really helpful! Brodie and I throw a heater in our outdoor turtle pond (which I know isn’t an option for most people) but you can keep water warm outside too by filling a bucket or tote and throwing a fish tank heater (anywhere from $7.99 to $29.99 at your local pet shop) in it and plugging it in. It’s as easy as that.

The animals thank you and so do I!

Villians – The Importance of a Good Jerk

Scooby doo gifThe sad reality was, I didn’t need to look much further than the evening news and my own life to find worthy foes for Mandamus and Luco. There is plenty to ire against in my own backyard.

Whether it is the person I forwarded my manuscript for an opinion who ended up just foraging through it for inspiration and then Never. Spoke. To. Me. Again. or various political dictators (use your imagination), my ideas of what makes a truly hideous anti-hero are quite simple:

a. They should invoke fury in the reader tumblr_n8gz9aRTz71tdg0lqo1_250
or at least the seeds of it. You won’t hate anyone right away, they need time to prove how truly loathsome they are;

b. They ought to have minions. No one can possibly execute a kingdom takeover/princess poisoning/mushroom patch stealing on their own. Even the most misanthropic baddies have henchmen. If Wile E. Coyote had a buddy, he might have caught the Roadrunner. Even Gargamel had Azriel. Lastly;

c. They MUST…and this is a biggie so I’ll repeat it, MUST have motivation. I’m forever reading books with nasties and asking myself but why? Why is he/she/it so terrible? That’s one thing I’ve always loved about Scooby Doo. There was ALWAYS an excuse (it was usually real estate related) that Mr. Carswell or old Henry Bascombe was dressing up and scaring the bejeesus out people only to be foiled by Shaggy, his dog, and three other kids that would never have hung around with him in real life. Scoundrels need a cause. Even if it’s something lame like their toe got stepped on and it still hurts. A reason. Give it to me.

Queen Asura (whom you briefly met in The Stolen Herd) and her despicable wizard, Dazra, are the leading heavies for Mandamus and Luco, but it doesn’t end there. They meet lots of not so nice people/animals/mythical creatures throughout their journey. People, I find, are usually a confused haze of darkness and light. No one is all bad, or all good. Not even idea stealer.

Uh Oh!! I Can’t Find My Way Home After My Bungle in the Jungle…

MusicGood Afternoon, Readers!

After a whirlwind book tour it’s back to the storyboard. Having revisited my arc outline, completed rough chapter outlines and full drafts of my first and second chapters, I’m downright giddy with accomplishment! I’m pretty sure that’ll go away after I spend the weekend in the pool with my inflatable killer whale but for now, I’m riding high.

One of the things I do when I’m having trouble writing a scene is refer to my trusty Ipod. Music is the sunshine that encourages my seedling manuscript to bloom into a raging, rampant garden (that is later heavily weeded by my equally trusty editor). Unfortunately for me, mankind has not figured out a way for me to link my Sirius Radio to my Ipod (for those of you who don’t have Sirius, I highly recommend it. Best $20.00 a month EVER) but I’m hoping that somewhere, a smart guy in glasses puts the study of important things like genetics, global warming and why reality TV is so popular on hold so he can figure this out. Just for me. Thank you in advance, scientific community!

Anyway, here’s my current song list for my WIP with links so you can rock out. It’s always changing so I’ll post new ones as I go:

Black Sap Scriptures – The Plague Vendors – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeQQHiMQ-bE

Tequila Sunrise – The Eagles – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ws-YqUcD0LY&feature=kp

You Know I’m No Good – Amy Winehouse – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-I2s5zRbHg

Man in Black – Johnny Cash https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCqpPj87ekE

Malandrino – Gogol Bordello – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Fa94Az8z1w&feature=kp

Bungle in the Jungle – Jethro Tull – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0frSN92mTGo

Can’t Find My Way Home – Blind Faith https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TyynO6O0kc

If you’re going to check out any of these I totally recommend The Plague Vendors song. They’re making some old school sounding, circle mosh music and I was super delighted to discover them!! Happy Listening!

Winding Down to A Close…

Mandamus gif

Well the book tour is over and boy – did I ever have a great time!

The last stops are at a great site called ‘Blooming With Books’. I spent three days here and received a fabulous review, book spotlight and first chapter reveal. Apparently, The Stolen Herd brought the reviewer to tears! (Sorry about that, Blooming :)) I am extremely grateful to all of you who journeyed along side me lending your support and encouragement throughout. A special thanks goes out to my tour provider ‘Pump Up Your Books’, specifically Cheryl Malandrinos, who worked so hard to put it all togther and of course props, always, to my incredibly talented and infinitely wise editor, Chelsey Donatelli.

You can check out the review and first chapter below and this is your last chance to enter for a gift card! I hope to see you all again on my next tour.

http://bloomingwithbooks.blogspot.ca/2014/06/the-stolen-herd-review.html

Day 12!

Raven gif

Today I found myself thrilled to pieces with my stop at the Children’s and Teen’s Book Connection. They wrote a lovely review of my first chapter where my writing was called “elegant” and the descriptions, ‘flowing’. How great is that? Check it out here:

http://childrensandteensbookconnection.wordpress.com

Cantering Along to Day 11

Day 9

Today’s stop consisted of me writing a guest post at Lori’s Reading Corner.

Total. Write. Fright.:/

My post turned out alright. What thrilled me to no end were the comments at the bottom of the page from the good folks who read it and checked out the story. You can see the whole shebang for yourself here:

http://www.lorisreadingcorner.com/2014/06/guest-postvirtual-tour-the-stolen-herd-by-k-madill.html

Thanks Lori!

And Here We Are At Day 10!

gif-bat-slow-motion-723329

Today’s stop was the most fun I’ve had with this whole writing thing in a long time. You see, after the initial joy of world building and character development, you begin to suffer from plotholeitis and writer’s block. Doing this interview with Arkas was fun at its finest. Check it out below and don’t forget to enter to win a $25.00 gift card for Amazon!

http://beyondthebooks.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/character-interview-arkas-from-k-madills-ya-fantasy-novel-the-stolen-herd-win-25-amazon-gift-card/#comment-7171