Hi, I’m Victor Catano, author of Tail & Trouble and I’m your host for this stop in the Hunt. Welcome, all newcomers! Please have a look around!
If you would like to find out more about the Hunt, please click here - http://vfcscavengerhunt.weebly.com/
Somewhere on this page is a hidden number. Collect all the numbers from all the authors’ posts, and then add them up. Once you’ve added all the numbers, and if I am your last author, please head to the official website and click on the ENTER HERE page to find the entry form. Only entries will the correct number will qualify to win.
The author I’m pleased to be hosting for Virtual FantasyCon’s Blog Hop Hunt today is Ellen Mae Franklin, fantasy author of the Tarkeenia Series and A Dark Compendium.
Initially, I found the very concept of writing a short story to be an absurd notion, for in my heart I believed, I was a fantasy writer whose focus lay only be on the completion of my epic series. So I pushed the notion aside and kept working. After all, wasn’t I happy, immersed in the many layers of multiple story threads, which were thick with intrigue and the characters that inhabited Tarkeenia?
Time ticked by and I once again revisited the idea of writing a short story and what was entailed in its creation. I determined that I would need discipline and the knack to tell a tale in a limited word count; I scratched my head and thought. Seriously! How in the hell can anyone work with such limitations?
But I scratched my head and carried on.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
I sat down to approach this new challenge with curious reflection.
I wrote my first short story, aptly named ‘When is it too late to say sorry.’ I began to wonder what would happen if God and the Devil were, in fact, a married couple who having their differences over the creation of earth decided to use it in a bet.
‘We were happy once? Weren’t we?’
Diablo asked herself this question every day. But nothing ever changed. It always came back the same… a burning anger, so bright that it matched his strutting brilliance and that of course, only made her angrier. God, the almighty, sanctified divinity and his constant holier than thou lectures. Her husband was a pompous fool, whose faults were even greater than the obedience he demanded from everyone around him. Including her, and this perfect creature would not be outdone by anyone.
She smiled despite this, cruel and calculating for she had to admit there was great satisfaction in upsetting him. A single finger raised and from the shadows came a man, not nearly as perfect as she, but darkly handsome none-the-less.
“Baal, General of my armies, my devoted and faithful servant. I have a small task for you. Not the most pleasant, I admit, but then you never shirk your duties, do you my pet.” She ran a well-manicured fingernail down the side of his face. Her voice purred in satisfaction at the man before her, admiring the leanness and hunger that emanated from him.
Baal looked at her, his black eyes never changing, never blinking. “Mistress, on your word I would take out my own eyes just to remain in favor” and he touched her finger with his. How she hungered for more and he excelled in giving her all she desired.
“Go upon the Earth, my Baal, move amongst my husband’s followers and remove their souls from his care. Possess the hollow shells of man he created, do with them, as you will. A score or more to create a diversion, linger long enough, so that I may enter his room without notice. You should keep him busy my pet. Feed on the souls and the dissent you cause within in his founding churches and know, that it will please me greatly. After all, it wouldn’t do, not to turn the other cheek.” She lavished the General by allowing the pitiless smirk to touch her eyes and her face twisted into a glorious mask of savageness.
It is suffice to say that I was hooked. The pleasure from writing a tale from beginning to end in, let’s say in a dozen or more pages was a refreshing break from the arduous work load of writing five books back to back. So, it is with the greatest of pleasures that I share with you this stand-alone book, ‘A Dark Compendium’, a collection of twelve short stories to entice and delight, each uniquely different in what they offer you, the reader.
To showcase this work of art, I will up the ante and give you another excerpt wet your whistle, but what to choose? In the end I picked a story that came second in an Inkitt competition. It is a fun story and one that I know you will love.
Prose was a pretty thing with dark hair and brown eyes, whose smile lit the world around her. This day found her hard at work. Sheets of paper lay scattered on the desk and floor, screwed up balls of the unwanted stuff littered the room, and the quills that she so loved to write with - her most treasured of possessions - were spread out before her in loving array. Feathers and inkpots, scrolls, and the ability to create infinite worlds belonged to this dedicated writer. Prose was proud of every word.
“I have finished! I have finally made my mark.” Prose leapt out of her chair. “It is done at last, my very first story. It’s a pearler and once it’s published, I know it will go straight to number one.” She hammered on the wall with her fist and the scraping of a chair on the other-side followed, then, came a knock on her door.
“Come in, come in Ink and hurry up.” Prose shouted, well aware that every writer in her building would be frowning at the interruption. Every time a writer placed the last dot on the end of a tale, indicating that the manuscript was ready for other eyes, there was a celebrated shout: disrupting the usual quiet that enveloped her building.
Ink was a close friend, more of a brother than her true blood sibling, who had left them all years ago. Sketch had chosen to become a painter and as such, had to live in the Virtuoso, the Art Capital of their world. Although she was pleased, Prose missed the freckle -faced lad with permanent smudges on his face and hands.
Ink stood grinning. He was younger than she by a year, with flaming red hair and a nose that was a little too big for his round face. It was a pleasant face, with a ready smile and hungry eyes. He was her best and dearest friend.
“I’ve finished it, Ink.” A smile lit her face with elation. “It’s called, ‘Tripping over Poppies’.”
Ink sighed. “I wish I could finish something,” and his eyes took on that faraway look when inspiration took a hold, dreamy and out of focus. “I can’t finish a damn thing. I just keep getting these random thoughts and then, I can’t help but start writing. There are reams of the stuff lying about.”
Prose smiled, as indulgently as any sister he might have had and stepped forward to hug him. “I’ve finished my book Ink.”
He grinned back. “And you’re so lucky.”
She dragged him over to the table. “Look.”
“What are you going to do now?” He was genuinely earnest.
“Why, silly,” and she gave him a playful push. “I’m going to the Publishers.”
“You are?” There was a note of awe in the question.
“Of course. Why shouldn’t I?”
“Oh, I could think of a million reasons.”
“Name one.” Prose crossed her arms beneath her breasts.
Ink walked to the window. “Rejection.” He whispered the word, so low, that she only just caught the implication. “You know Prose, if you get a rejection letter, the shame will be there for everyone to see. They don’t care. Those men in their 3 tight suits and pinched expressions make a hell of a fuss when they come a callin’.” Ink rounded off the last word to emphasize the distaste he felt.
Anger dusted a rosy hue into her cheeks. “I won’t accept that! Not at all! Just because a book gets rejected by the Publisher doesn’t mean that it isn’t any good.”
Ink nodded. “I know that, but without them, your book stays hidden from the world. No one will read it and then, it is as if your words never existed.”
“Oh Ink, really! What a load of rubbish, of course they exist. I haven’t spent long gruelling hours, agonizing over what phrase goes where and which word makes more sense, to have it said my book doesn’t exist because of a rejection. God! I’ve had enough.” Prose had worked herself into a veritable fit. “I’ll take it to the streets if I get a rejection letter.”
Ink’s mouth dropped open. “Who speaks like that?”
“I do and make no mistake about it. I mean every word.” And Prose humphed her way back to the table. “There’s an envelope around here somewhere. I will post it tonight and show them a thing or two.
Authors Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HK6BWVI
A Dark Compendium
Amazon US - http://tinyurl.com/lcyckkg
Amazon AU –http://tinyurl.com/qdyma5c
Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/500141
Google Play - http://bit.ly/2ate0yg http://ilovebookz.com/?s=A+Dark+Compendium
Australian Author Ellen Mae Franklin websites: http://authorellenmaefranklin.weebly.com/ http://authorellenmaefranklin.com/
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/authorellenmaefranklin/
Youtube Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0QPryonxzI
Rebel Mouse - https://www.rebelmouse.com/carolbondauthor/
Did you find the number? If you did, then click Ellen Mae Franklin’s link – https://www.facebook.com/TheUnseenPromise/to continue Virtual FantasyCon’s Blog Hop Hunt.