ALL the Red Riding Hood – Part I

In going through twitter and Instagram promoting my version of Little Red Riding Hood, I’ve come across many others.  I thought I would do a few blog entries to provide links to them.  If ever finish editing my book and have time to READ a book, I’ll have a handy list of Red Riding Hood adaptations.  I’m not specifically recommending any of them, I’m just providing the list.

Let’s kick this post off with a link to National Geographic’s article about the varied origins of Little Red Riding Hood.

Just click on the covers to go to the websites.

LRM

terrypratchettwa

sisters-red

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gilliancross

LRRRRLD

darkestdesire

sss

bolt

Raven Heights Radio – Red August – Episode 48

Red August will be available August 19th on Kindle – and if all goes according to plan, a variety of other platforms as well!  You can find out where to buy Red August at www.hlbrooks.com as soon as the links become available.

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Erica of Raven Heights Radio

As I posted in a quickie post yesterday, I was a guest on Raven Heights Radio.

I wanted to go ahead and do a little episode guide of sorts, to provide links about things that Erica and I discussed, as well as clarify a few points.  Because, as I stated in the episode, being misunderstood is kind of my kryptonite.

kryptoniteish

I DO realize that some people make it their MISSION to misunderstand people, so those are NOT the folks I’m worried about.  So long as I do my best to be clear, I know I’ve done my part.

Before I want to get on with the links I want to make it clear that I don’t think there is anything wrong with classic romance where the guy saves the girl.  Romance is a fantasy world, and particularly fairy tales have that element.  Those are the stories I fell in love with and I still like those kinds of stories.  People rescue each other all of the time.  And I think if you look at the underlying elements of many romance stories – even if on the surface it seems like the guy swoops in and saves the day – you will see that people just rescue each other in different ways and sometimes the swooping is mutual.  For my part, in Red Riding Hood, I wanted to take the story of the little girl who was warned about going through the woods and turn it on its ear.  Whether I manage to do that, remains to be seen in the court of public opinion.  But whatever others bring to the story and read into it, that was my intention.  There is a possibility in the future that I will write a more classic “guy rescues girl” scenario – and there ARE elements of that in Red August – we don’t exist inside of a bubble, after all.  Relationships are built on mutual helping and understanding.  Whatever your tastes, somebody is writing it. There are many wonderful writers of romance out there to fill every type of story fantasy you could wish for, so go forth and find them.  Look for them on twitter and Instagram.  They want you to read their stories and you want to read them – what better match is there than that?

STUFF RELATED TO THIS PODCAST EPISODE!

ftrh

Fast Time on VHS!

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Genre Guideline Links

Sub-genres of Romance

What is Erotic Romance?

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Sex Positive Links

Sex Positivity

Laci Green

Joy of Sex 1972 – Man, everybody’s parents had one of these.

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I was going to say the two types were the top 40 and rock – but also rap was just starting to come out and I was fascinated by that as well.  I listened to Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Blondie, Queen, Billy Idol, John Cougar (no Mellencamp), Heart, Billy Joel, Sugarhill Gang, Olivia Newton John, Comodores, Hall & Oates…man the list just goes on and on.   Everybody who liked any kind of popular music would not miss Casey’s Top 40.  I’ve found that through the magic of the interwebz we can listen to a whole episode from July 24, 1982 – 33 years ago! WHUT!?  Even though it doesn’t have the full songs (I guess they can’t) but it’s got the commercials and everything!  Talk about flashbacks!  There is no doubt I was laying in my room on my bed under all of my music posters listening to this on my radio.  After I listen to this I’m going to have to make a mix tape and go make-out with my boyfriend.

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WHFS – DC (Historic)

HFS – Baltimore – you can listen online (but it ain’t exactly the same, tho!)

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George Lucas and Star Wars

This was written in 2014 —

“In 1978, Star Wars won seven Academy Awards. But if you want to watch that original version, the first of George Lucas’s soon to be seven-part saga, you’ll find it difficult. In fact, it’s actually impossible to buy an official copy of Star Wars as it was first released. Lucas doesn’t want you to see that version. Instead, he wants you to watch the continuously updated special editions—movies with added CGI, changed sound effects, and whole new scenes.”  READ MORE AT THEATLANTIC.COM

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As an example of the discussion over the digital work on the original movies, which birthed the controversy – Han Shot First.

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femalejedi

Jedi Academy at Disneyland

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After the show the featured song (which is really good, y’all!) – Slow Motion by The Jesters

Studying for Book 2 – Red Archer

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I took archery class last year from a guy named Doc who is an ex-Navy Seal.  It was fascinating, and the most surprising part is that I wasn’t awful at it.  In fact, I was pretty good for a first-timer.  Even won one of Doc’s coveted “Eagle Talon” awards – which I have yet to string onto a cord to wear like a warrior queen, but I WILL!  The reason I bring this up is because when I started Red August I was writing bits about August Archer and archery.  And I could have actually used only what I found in my written research to write about those things.  But I did find that connecting to the activity gave me a fuller range of language and tactile experience to help me to better write about the experience of nocking an arrow, for example.  Sadly, I didn’t make it to this year’s class because I was working so hard on the book that every scrap of spare time was sucked up by it.  But once we get it launched on August 19th, I’m hoping to take a break of a couple of weeks from writing and then start fresh with Red Archer.  I’ve already started it, and I might not actually be able to stay away from it, but I am feeling pretty worn out at this point.  Below are photos from my archery class.

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While Will was editing Red August during the last round of editing, I was reading On Writing by Stephen King, which I highly recommend to anybody considering a career in writing stories.  My friend Kristen, who I consider a brilliant person, recommended it to me, and it did not disappoint.  On Writing made me feel both encouraged and excited about the gears of writing.  That was a first!  I have a whole list of other books I need to read about writing, but that was the the bunch that were suggested, and I loved it.

One of the things about writing a story that isn’t straight make-believe is that there tends to be research involved.  Now, you could argue that there is no need to research werewolves because they are not real, but if I want to honor the tradition of folklore, I need to–at the very least–honor certain rules about werewolves that have been established.  For example, werewolves are partly man and partly wolf.  I can fiddle around with how they look when they change, where they originated from, how much of the creature is a man and how much is a wolf and so forth.  But there are basic elements that I feel I have to respect if I hope to keep the interest of people who like werewolf stories.  The same goes for fairy tale traditions.  Red Riding Hood needs to have some familiar elements to make it Red Riding Hood, or at the very least a Red Riding Hood homage.

With other elements of the story, I need to be more careful about the origins.  The internet has made research so much easier than it was when I was younger.  I remember sitting in the local library as a kid studying lightening and its various incarnations.  That was when I learned about ball lightening.  As you can imagine, even with two or three books about lightening in front of me, the information was limited compared to what you can get on the internet, PLUS videos.  At your fingertips!  Of course the internet doesn’t replace all forms of research, nor should it.  Fortunately I have a library two blocks away.

Here are some links that I am finding useful for my Red Archer research.  Though reading about things is great, whenever possible I try to experience them.  I would love so much to visit some of the places I mention in books, but even if I was a full time traveler, that might be hard.  One of my favorite new ways of experiencing a place I am writing about, when I can’t actually go to it, is to use Google and their feature where you can drive around a place.  If it has a public road, you pretty much can go there on Google.  I’ve also found Pinterest to be helpful in certain aspects of story writing.  This is my Pinterest if you’re interested in following me and looking at the boards that relate to the stories I’m writing.

Below is a video that is extremely interesting about Irish/Gaelic language.  Last year I was learning a bit about Spanish and Arabic – just enough to say the most basic conversational things, because I work with people who speak those languages.  I often wish somebody had plopped me into language immersion classes when I was in third grade.  Anyway – language fascinates me.  I am going to go back and see if this guy has more videos.  Things like this are so helpful to me and I am grateful for them.  In part, because I’m writing a story from scratch at 70-100k words and I don’t have the time to research every single thing that I write about, and of the things I do research, I need them to be easy to get through, otherwise the books would take five years to write instead of one or two.  Incidentally, Red August is just shy of two years in the making–which makes all of this book writing stuff more nerve-wracking.  I expect book 2 to go a lot more quickly because all of the main characters are fleshed out.

The links below are some examples of the things I’ve been using to research Red Archer.  I have no idea how my book would do within the culture it pays homage to, but I think if nothing else it would help show things from the perspective of an American of descent from that culture.  If there’s one thing I’ve found to be true, it’s that people’s tastes and interests vary widely.

Now that Red August is about to be published, I’m both excited and nervous.  Doing this type of research helps me feel a bit more steady, not to mention it’s all fascinating!  Also, I’m a lot more familiar with the wildflowers of Scotland, which I can’t be the least bit sad about.


blbss

http://www.blbsscotland.co.uk/history.htm


algonquinlink

http://www.tolatsga.org/alg.html

Native American Tribes of Maryland

Maryland Native American Resources


celtichistory

http://www.joellessacredgrove.com/Celtic/history.html


celtic_runes_history

http://www.celtic-runes.org.uk/

Raven Heights Radio – Red August Podcast Episode

It’s up!  It’s up!  Erica posted episode 48 of Raven Heights Radio podcast and I am the guest – talking about my book, Red August.

It was a nice thing to see pop up in my feed because frankly, Will and I have been working our asses off.  Glued to our seats, editing, editing, editing.  And then there is the spending money – on marketing materials, on webservers and domain names and advertising.  So to have this lovely chat with Erica posted was kind of rewarding.  It’s the little things.

We discuss Red August and some of the aspects of the story, such as the main character’s interests and what the story is about – kind of! – without giving too much away.  We also get off on a Star Wars and George Lucas tangent, so be prepared for that bit.  Erica does manage to get us back on track, tho.

http://ravenheightsradio.podbean.com/e/048-hl-brooks-presents-red-august-1437074649/

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One aspect that is discussed is the erotic and sexual element of the book.  At the time this was recorded, several weeks ago, I was still classifying it under the genre of Erotic Romance – but further research lead me to Sexy Romance and Fantasy Romance.  There are many different ideas about how to place a book in a genre, but some of them are a bit fuzzy.  Ultimately my book has too much non-sexual story to be considered erotica, even if it has some very sexy bits in it.  It was helpful for me to discuss that and as of just a couple of days ago I’ve officially switched to Sexy Fantasy Romance.  There is the possibility that some people will have suggestions for other genre classifications, but for now that’s what I’m sticking too.

One funny thing is that when I was reading up on the genre classifications, I was concerned about it being classified as erotica because I didn’t want to disappoint erotica fans by not delivering what they have come to expect.  It turns out that some people really don’t enjoy erotica and they will avoid anything within the genre.  So, I would have been hurting myself two different ways.  A sharp tweeter helped give me some insight about the differences, as well.  Jorie also has a review website if you’re interested:  http://jorielovesbookishblogs.com/

Thanks for stopping by and please go give the podcast a listen!  ❤

It’s a Sprint AND a Marathon

I’ve not kept up with Wonderful Word Wednesday.  I’ve not kept up with Sensual Sunday, either.  That’s because we’re in the publishing homestretch!  The projected release date for Red August is August 19th and that means right now the manuscript is being read and re-read and re-re-read by a few different pairs of eyes.  Then of course, the uploads have to happen.  With the release date just a few weeks away, it’s kind of the most stressful, but satisfying, part of the journey.

I’m thrilled to be so close to done.  I started this project some time in late 2013, so to be this close to finished is gives me a great sense of accomplishment.

Now that I’m so deeply into the world of August and Faolan, I’m very excited about delving into what happens to them in book two, Red Archer.

Still Growing and Learning

Body Politics

I wanted to share a post I put on Tammy Vitale’s Facebook page.  I want people to know what a big influence she’s been in my life.

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I wanted to say “thank you” for being such an inspiration to me, and for being a mentor in my years as an artist. Also, you’ve been an important guiding force as a feminist. Even when I have not agreed with you and you were adamant about something, you helped to develop a sense of confidence that I could stand my ground with my own beliefs, regardless of who criticized me over them. That sense of confidence and feminist sensibility was the foundation for forming my voice as an artist. It helped me understand how I wanted to be perceived, and what to do when I wasn’t perceived as I’d hoped, and most importantly not to let criticism silence me. Now that…

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