February Sucks and I Want This Desk: A Love Story

February: I’m not a fan.

It’s the shortest month for a reason. Football (in the US) is over). Sports as we know it begin to hibernate until baseball season. For much of the nation, the weather is putrid. Naturally, in this national funk, my thoughts turn to a fifteen year quest that remains unfulfilled.

It’s So Much More Than a Desk.

Before I discuss my personal Great White Whale, let me give you some back story about my wife’s  eerie ability to find rare and unusual gifts. She’s like a tall, Norwegian bloodhound with really great legs, but a high customer rating on Ebay to boot. Nothing escapes her internet sleuthing, except for an odd furniture request I’ve had as a standing goal– even she hasn’t been able to find my dream desk, which is crazy given her skills. Since there isn’t anything else fun in February, I shall reignite my search for The One That Got Away.

Scene: 2002. The Hemingway Collection from Thomasville

I was watching television and saw– and got excited, mind you– an advertisement about a furniture collection. Thomasville announced that they were creating two American collections based on Ernest Hemingway and Humphrey Bogart. Look, I write books and I’m over the age of forty; either one of those men lived the kind of life that I was raised to consider just short of Godhood.

How Writers See Themselves. But Of Course.

 So, I see this desk.Yes, it’s mass produced but I don’t care. I freak out and start looking to buy one, only to find out it’s around 2500 dollars.
“No, we can’t take a post-dated check,” Said every Thomasville store. Trust me, I asked.
All right then. I file the item away as *to be located* and move on with my life. I’ve seen two versions of the desk in various locations around the United states– one in California (of course, those people horde all the cool things) and one at an undisclosed location. The seller was rather tight-lipped, leading me to think the desk was stuffed with human skulls or something; naturally I wanted that desk even more.
I envision myself sitting at the desk, writing novels of great weight, penning letters on handmade vellum and generally acting like it’s 1937, but without all the Nazis and Stalinists ruining everything. I would wear some sort of linen something, a devil-may-care attitude, and I would have my first whiskey at eleven a.m., right after I had my first screaming match with a shadowy editor somewhere– this brawl would ensue on a vintage handheld telephone and would include terms like scalawag and reprobate. Seriously, it’s a fantastic desk.

Wanna see?

Be still, my heart.

 Do I need a desk with faux Arabian Oryx horn legs? Of course not. But I want it very much indeed. So, I’ll keep poking around on ebay, pinterest, whatever, and then one day, it will be in my grasp at a reasonable price, though located in the U.P. of Michigan or something. No matter, there’s a lesson in here somewhere about patience and, character, maybe. Or just plain old consumerism. Either way, if you see one of these beauties, you tell me. I’ll be there with my postdated check.

2015: Look What’s Coming!

Welcome to what will be the busiest writing year of my life.

I’ve recently made some Super Executive Command Decisions based on requests from readers, and the menu for 2015 has changed. So, let’s begin with what is happening right now.

I’m thrilled to be working with the brilliant Rebecca Cook once more. She’s currently applying her repertoire of voices to the third book in The Fearless, and I can tell you with complete certainty that ‘The Waking Serpent’ will be the best audiobook we’ve done together. Rebecca inhabits my characters, and the early samples are fantastic. Here is Rebecca pretending to be Rebecca:

Rebecca, Sans Braiiiinnnns.

Fun fact: I have multiple pictures of Rebecca in zombie makeup. She’s a crew member on Z Nation (Zombie freaks, take note!) and yet, in the spirit of altruism and all that is pure, I chose this delightful photo instead.
(I know not to anger the talent!)
Moving on. In the clearest demonstration of “it isn’t what you know, it’s who you know”, I’m proud to announce that the voice of my new series Banshee is the stellar Henry McNulty. He’s an actor, musician, and according to Rebecca, “one heluva singer” (note to self– write musical for dragons. Like Fame, but more fantastical!). Henry attended a workshop hosted by Rebecca in which she imparted knowledge on the art of voiceover acting. I asked Rebecca, “Hey, know any guys for this dragon thing?”, one thing led to another, and here we are. Henry begins production of Banshee the first week of February; the series will be released in all forms simultaneously. Here’s the rakish baritone himself; I’m told that, like Rebecca, he hails from a place called “Washington State” which frankly sounds made up to me, sort of like North Dakota or the Smithtown Mall.

The Alleged Washington State Resident

While those projects are rolling along, two other books aren’t just happening; they’re moving forward at ludicrous speed. I’m well into book five of The Fearless, and if the concept of sexy Nazi werewolves isn’t for you, well, you can just skip that chapter. It’s fantastic. Love the villains, and I know you will too. I cannot wait to hear Rebecca spit curses in a Germanic/Schnauzer accent. Next stop: Vocal Gymnastics!
My third series begins in 2015, and it’s a departure for me. It’s a comedy/fantasy based on a young witch who doubles as a short order cook in a resort town. She lives and works in a mythical lakeside tourist trap in the Adirondack Mountains; this area is my family’s natural habitat, and if you’ve ever waited tables and wanted to hex the person who just stiffed you, then I have the book you’ve been waiting for. It’s funny, and sad at times, and the character is totally unique. She has a hate/hate relationship with cars, so her teenaged neighbors extort money from her for rides, but she wrecks their love lives so it all evens out in the end. I am targeting this series for publication in June of this year, and will keep you updated.
I’m also writing a short ghost story for an anthology that will fund the breast cancer vaccine. As you may know, I lost my mother nearly twenty years ago, as well as my Nana, and two aunts– breast cancer is an utter plague on the women of my family and millions more as well. I am honored to be a part of the anthology, which is in the capable hands of my good friend author J.L.Brooks.
So! Lots going on, and I’d  better get typing. Grab your copies of all my books this week; I’m looking into this new alpaca farm thing and I want to fund it soon. I need sweaters.
Cheers!
Terry

The Voice of the Dragon: Audiobook News

Banshee is coming.

Rather dramatic, eh? Thanks. I spent hours crafting that announcement.

But seriously. Banshee, the dragon, is getting closer. Before I tell you the news about what’s coming, I’d like to mention some great news from 2014: The Forest Bull made the Audiobook Review’s Top Ten list. Audiobook Reviewer: Top Ten of 2014

Let’s face it, I got lucky when Rebecca Cook allowed me to shmooze her into voicing my books. That moment of weakness on her part has paid off, and the proof, as they say, is on the internet. Or pudding. The next series promises to be stellar as well, and I’m thrilled to announce that Banshee, my dragon, has a voice– and what a voice.

Henry McNulty is a trained stage actor and musician from Washington State, the same area that provided me with the talents of Rebecca Cook. That begs the question: just what’s in the water out there? Amazing talents, and I’m lucky to have them.

Banshee is a story of the last war we’ll ever fight. Hell is real, mankind is in retreat, and dragons have risen to fight by our side against creatures boiling forth from the darkness. It’s violent, desperate, and beautiful, and I love every detail about it. Here’s the first promo teaser:


If that doesn’t make you want to join the fight, well, I’ll repeat it a hundred times until you do.
Moving on.
So, about Henry. He’s brilliant. Take listen to this two minute preview of what’s on the way. Our heroine Saavin and her dragon are on patrol in the high Texas desert, and the world we know is long gone.
Saavin and Banshee: Patrols

For those of you keeping score at home, I’m thrilled.
Banshee is already expanding to a trilogy and beyond; the world of dragons, demons and war is too interesting not to explore.

So, after listening, what do you think? 

Until next time, cheers, Happy New Year, and go pick up a few of me books for winter reading, won’t you?

Best,
Terry

It’s Not You. It’s Me.

It appears I miscalculated.

I was originally under the impression that I’d written a Paranormal/Urban Fantasy series. It seems I am mistaken. After nearly one-hundred-fifty reviews, the consensus is as follows:

1) It’s fantasy. It just happens to be in a civilized area, free of roaming dragons and orcs. Sort of like a suburb, but with vampires. Oh, and succubi.

2) I can channel the female mind when writing my characters. To every ex-girlfriend who said I wasn’t listening, nyahhh nyahhh

3) I’m appearing at more Sci-Fi/Fantasy events in 2015, and less general fiction events. I need to connect with the people who I huddled with at the lunch table in middle school. My tribe. My herd. My nerd herd.

4) Writers are supposedly the product of a vivid, often tormented existence. For your consideration, I present the following and ask you, does this look like a face that knew torment? With that hair? No. Now hand me my hair gel and give me some room to grow.

5) Now that you’ve recovered form your laughter, allow me to tell you about what’s new with my books. There’s a new boxed set available, and two new books coming soon. Book five of The Fearless will be available in March, but before that, my new series starts. Do you like dragons? Do you hate civilization? Well, I have the book for you. Banshee is the first novel in my post-apocalyptic dragon series. Check out the first teaser:

6) Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Yule, and may your new year be bright and warm. Thanks for visiting throughout the year, and we’ll start the Outlander blog as soon as the next episode is onscreen. I’m like many of you ( I think) in that casting Bree and Roger is a major concern of mine. We shall see!
Thanks for spreading the word about my series, and I look forward to our next time together.

Cheers!

Terry
Terry’s Books

I Dun Been Kilted: Post Kiltum Depression

Post Kiltum Depression: The Winter of Her Discontent
“But look, yon light in that window breaks—‘tis the moon on the arse of Jamie Fraser, and yer mother needs a moment alone.”
                                                                             –Himlet, Act 2
And so, the long grind of winter sets upon Outlander fans, blissfully filled with minor events such as “Thanksgiving”, and “Christmas” and “Boxing Day”, serving to fill their hearts with the business of celebration while Jamie Frasier endures a five month squat in a freezing window.

I couldn’t be more thankful. Before I draw the ire of legions, allow to me explain.

I recently began listening to the Outlander novels while I run. There are some obvious comments, such as– audio books bring an entire new experience to the story, they enrich my views of the characters, and Davina Porter has, by now, received my offer to narrate my life in live action. 

“Terry was never discrete when selecting cheeses at the market,” intones the narrator, “but the Roquefort appealed to the very heart of his roguish nature.” If she cashes the check, prepare to be wowedby my simplest actions. She’s thatgood.

Unfortunately, Davina has captured the vile heart of Black Jack Randall, too, and that’s where the trouble starts, because her skill as a voice actress is interfering with my workout regimen. I run for health purposes. You know, maintaining the ole’ ticker and all that, but listening to Davina voice the predations of Black Jack leaves me alternately curling my hands in anger or standing, stock still, with hands on hips and a look of utter disgust on my face when I revisit what happened in Fort William. 

Since I run in a family-friendly park, people tend to give me a wide berth while discreetly noting my description. Male. Face like a bucket of worms. Hates someone named Jack. Could stand to lose a few pounds, but won’t if he just stands there.Davina is so skilled, I find myself wondering if anyone will have the courage to dress as Black Jack— the realBlack Jack—for Halloween.

Now, a note about courage.
Let us discuss actor (and apparently delightful human) Tobias Menzies: a man who actually attended high school with other people, graduated from college with an advanced degree, takes his craft seriously, likes dogs, and by all accounts, is a professional, charming, dedicated person to work with. For all we know, this gentleman may end up curing cancer and settling Mars at some point, but I’d like to draw attention to the enormity of his decision to play Jack Randall. Is it a tremendous career opportunity? Of course. Will millions of women regard him. . . differently, now?

Why yes, Tobias. Yes they will.

I’ll simply say that Tobias better cut his food into small bites for the remainder of his natural life, because if he chokes in public, every woman in the restaurant will encircle him like malevolent druids, chanting, “You like that, you wee bastard? HAVE ANOTHER!” while kicking him into a pulp. Tobias, as one man to another: dine at home, eat toast, and chew your food well.

I’ve found my interest drifting to casting issues for the upcoming episodes. I love the periphery of Outlander; as a writer, the minor characters bolster a scene, as a reader they make it rich and detailed. There are major considerations at stake with the casting of Brianna. After all, this is the fruit of Jamie’s and Claire’s passions, and thus will be a critical addition to the experience. It’s also an issue that has wildly divergent answers based on who you ask. 

If you ask a female Outlander fan, the answer might be something like this:
“Oh. My. God. She should be smart and funny and shy and a little bit uncertain at first, but then she totally falls in love with Roger but only after she realized how smart and sort of tough in a nerdy brilliant way, and you really have to use the line where she describes his green eyes as ‘groovy’. She has to make you think about Sa- I mean, Jamie, and she should have the perfect accent but not to be too young because I don’t want anyone showing Cait up in set and I will neverforgive them if they cast someone with the wrong color eyes”—

Ask an Outmander about casting Brianna, and this is what you get:
“A six foot redhead? Sweet Jesus. Yeah, that works.”



You see, men like redheads like women like Jamie. Exactly like that. The next season promises to be a win/win, as long as you can overlook the vampirism, sadism, creepy need for oily buggering, rampant death, destruction, use of cattle, broken bones, disease, famine, did I say death, and forced hugging while pleading for cooing about love.

But I’m not complaining. We’ve got redheads.

Until next time, friends. Stop by my blog, check out my paranormal books, stalk me at will. It’s been a pleasure.
Terry Maggert

Stillborn: A Lesson In Fiction

Bad things happen. Frequently.

Bad things cause vivid memories, and if they linger, and you write, you can turn those same images into fuel that churns the waters of your imagination.

I’m writing a character who is totally enmeshed in loss, and I reach back to a short poem from 1998 to find the fuel I need. I hope you enjoy it, and that the emotion is real, maybe?


Stillborn
His physician’s coat rustles
as he leaves-
 the door glides shut, to leave my wife
and I alone with the fluorescent hum
of the lights, a cold steel table
and our sadness.
Our spirits as empty as her womb
her shuffle is tender,
towards the door
to the car
each step normal
just like my stop at the nurse.
Her smile is pasty
she hands me my son in a bag.
On the ride home, I stare at his face
hoping he fogs the plastic
but the bag is as still as the air in the car.
We walk, the yard is frosty
she watches me from the window
as I stop near the hickory
and start to dig.
The pit (grave) is tiny
and the walls collapse
on his face.
Bones pull hardest
when they are small.
The walk back to the house is long.
Summers later, we lay rigid
next to each other
the fear of each furtive union causing wonder:
Will I dig again?

I Dun Been Kilted: Claire Goes Both Ways

Well hello there, friends! I trust you’ve had a week to adequately, ahh. . . review the material from last week’s episode.

You know, for the purposes of art.

Moving on. I admit that, based on the title, I thought that many Outmander’s wishes were about to be granted as Claire played both sides. After I realized my, ah, interpretation was incorrect, I made peace with the actual plotline and moved on after some quiet sobbing.
We begin our travels this week within the friendly confines of the Scottish police offices, and I’d like to give proper credit to the producers for resisting the temptation to resort to cheap stereotypes. That’s integrity!

And one more thing about Scotland. Seriously, even in the most dreary of conditions, the raw beauty acts as another character, a looming presence that either crowds the actors into a cloistered tension or spreads before us, without limit and daring the eye to look away. Is it any wonder that such land creates poets? That this land can make us believe, with great ease, that there is a love story unfolding before us that is so powerful, it overcomes the rules of clocks?
Forgive me for descending into romanticism. Let’s return to the brutality of the era, shall we?

 
BUT. The possibility of freedom– of a sort– for Jamie, and by that rationale Claire? It’s a tantalizing glimpse at what might be even in the convoluted world of Outlander. I’d be remiss if I forgot to mention the issue of Jamie (Former Virgin) and Claire (Veteran) establishing that, yeah, it was pretty good. Okay, maybe better than good.



The pain that Frank is experiencing almost lets us forget what a total bastard his progenitor is, but nonetheless, the loss of one’s spouse is reason enough to take leave of your good senses. I was nearly shouting at the screen as I watched the comedy of errors unfolding. Desperation can make stupidity as natural as eating or breathing. We hear new theories about Claire’s disappearance, much to the chagrin of Frank.



And correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Frank a World War II veteran? At what point does it seem like a good idea to visit a darkened alley. Past midnight. With reward money? Oh, perish our collective worry. He’s the suspicious blood of Black Jack Randall coursing within him, and if we learn anything from Outlander, blood never forgets.

Claire must begin to adapt. 1743 will not mold to her; she must recast herself to survive in the world around her. Fair enough. Begin with a knife, and some of the finest advice ever given.

Indeed.

 
 But then, the real world intrudes yet again in both flashback and highland settings. I would love to see the casting call for the actors so ably filling the roles of rotten bastards in red uniforms.
“Wanted: Filthy sod with antlers for teeth and flexible position on sodomy. Bonus for pre-existing skin condition. Apply to Herself. Be on your best behavior.”
A passionate exchange between Jamie and Claire is shattered as only a marauding scumbag could: with violence, arrogance, and terrible hygiene. Once again, the world is harsh mistress.

There’s some crossover between cynicism of Frank and the hatred of Black Jack. When presented with the possibility of Claire slipping through time, Frank shows us. . .something.
I admit– hearing the echo of Frank and Claire calling to each other across time was wrenching. The scene was filmed so beautifully, with the proximity of two worlds separated by a thin veil. But this episode is ultimately about move, counter move, and a crescendo that serves to push Black Jack Randall to the right hand of Stalin (and bucking for a promotion). It’s incredibly difficult to watch the violence Black Jack brings to Claire; her face collapses upon itself like the last leaves of fall as they lose to the bitter winter. 
And then, Jamie. The sonofabitch is heroic and has good timing!

And THEN, reality sets in. 

BUT, we’ll survive. I’ll still have some occasional funnies as I gather more images and such. It isn’t as if we’ll forget about the show, right?
So! Thanks for dropping by. Tomorrow is a big day for me– my fourth book is released, I announce two new series, and I plan on eating most of a blueberry pie. I won’t share the pie, but if you’d like to explore the world I’ve built in my books, drop by one of the links below, and as always, thanks.

The Fearless Urban Fantasy 


Sign up for our mailing list, too! Stay In Touch 
 

 
Cheers,
Terry

 

I Dun Been Kilted: Nothing New Happened Whatsoever

Oh, hi. What’s new? Nothing here, busy weekend reviewing some tax policies that have troubled me for quite a while. I just cannot fathom how to logically claim certain business–


So there was a wedding, eh?

And did it meet your exacting standards?

I surveyed one hundred ardent female fans of Outlander, and oddly enough, not one of them answered their phone. It was as if they were intentionally avoiding me!

I’m a huge fan of timelines that seamlessly transport the viewer (or reader) along a non-linear path. The episode begins at the end, so to speak, and reveals the intricacies of the day through vignettes. For me, that humanized the event. Due to the limitations of Black Jack’s request to *ahem* question Claire, there was no time for a long, dreamy montage of preparatory action and reaction. In short, you can blame that bastard Black Jack for robbing you, the audience, of the entire joy that planning such a wedding might bring to the viewer.

But, in a rare expression of kindness, it appears that Captain Randall heard the collective wishes of female Outlander fans, and actually accelerated the process of Claire and Jamie’s love story. Furthermore, he did it all of his own accord. Jack is really turning out to be a fine fellow.

But there’s so much more to be discussed! There’s a fantastic scene with our favorite asthmatic barrister Ned, who goes dress shopping for the blushing Mrs. Beauchamp and comes home with more than he bargained for. Who knew that Ned could be so randy at an advanced age? Who knew that Scottish prostitutes had such exquisite skin? Who knew that dresses could be traded for sexual favors?

Wait– that actually makes sense. No matter. Moving on.

This is, above all, the episode in which the duplicity of Claire’s life plays out over her face. If you didn’t think that the casting was perfect before. the interplay of Claire, Jamie, and the entire cast make a compelling case that this group of actors have fully inhabited their roles.

The flashbacks reveal that Claire was day-drunk, nervous, and adapting to Scottish traditions quite easily.

But enough chit-chat about “plot” and “acting” and such.
Three times. The consummation of the wedding is a play in three acts, described as follows:
One: Hey, give the guy a break.

Surely he can be forgiven for such a reaction to the mysteries of a woman. Plus, I sense there is more to Claire than meets the eye.

I’d be remiss if I said I didn’t hear the collective intake of breath from female Outlander fans when Jamie revealed his bum. Ok, it wasn’t a noise, it was more like a near-riot. Which brings us to the next iterations of the Wedding Night Love Train. This episode is a rarity in that is uses sex as a plot device to advance the relationship between two characters. These are people in turmoil. They’re nearly broken, but one can almost sense that something will happen to bind them together forever. The ring crafted from a key is one part of the equation, but there is something more, something drastic, that will cause Jamie to forever be linked to Claire. We’ve also got to mention the fact that Jamie, the virgin, thought that one made love a’la’ barnyard, via the back door. Och, lad.

But. . .heh. . .he gets the hang of it, and—
Let me stop here for a moment. While I can appreciate the passion that fans have for these characters and the actors portraying them, let’s never forget that they are, in fact, real people, and objectifying them can come across as crude or, in some cases, creepy. In fact–

What? I’m not weird. I’m just observant!

Round three in the wedding night is one of those events that caused unilateral jealousy among men and women. Well done, Outlander. Well done indeed. Women can both admire Claire’s beauty and relationship while simultaneously wishing she was sent to the great beyond, to be replaced by them, of course.

And from a male perspective, allow me to tell you what every single dude with a pulse was thinking at one point when Claire introduces Jamie to the greatest invention since the television remote. Jamie is, of course, powerless to resist. Heh.

 
There’s something to be said about sexual power, isn’t there? And remember, in the world of Outlander, apparently everyone gets their cookie, so to speak.

So, a rousing success. Dougal is still an asshole, the wedding is now complete, Claire and Jamie can get down to the business of navigating a vicious world, but they’ll do it together. Let’s close with a prayer, in honor of all the women who waited so patiently for this event to unfold on the screen.

Until Next Week!
Cheers!
Terry
Love Paranormal Fantasy? Let’s be book friends! Take a bite out of evil.

As always, thanks for the visit, emails, and support.