Friday, January 11, 2019

Creator Weekly Wrap-Up: Zine Applications Closing and Reader Award Poll Open!

Artists, you've only got a few more days to apply for Moon Man, Ginger's Peter Capaldi charity zine! Proceeds will be going to Capaldi's alma mater, the Glasgow School of Art. Artists can be of any style, and don't require existing heavy knowledge of his CV to join. You bring the art and the enthusiasm, and Ginger will have your resources.

Applications close Monday, January 14, so get your application in ASAP! Applications are for artists only this time, but if you are a writer, there will be other zines to look forward to this year—be sure to pass this along to your artist friends!

Also closing January 14 is voting for the Annual Critters Readers' Poll, and Kara has a nominated story! "The Wandering Child" from Stranger Tales of the City is up for an award, and your vote could help get it there! If you enjoyed the story and/or Kara's work, head on over to the short story voting page and cast your vote!

Other friends and associates are also up for honors. You can see the full list on the 18th Wall blog.

Thanks for your continued support, and we'll see you next week!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Trivia Time! What Do You Know About Owl's Flower?

Owl's Flower has been around for a couple years, but we're still pretty new in the world. Illustrations for book 3 are now underway (and they're looking great!) and we're always happy to get more readers, but we're aware that we're not all that well known.

So... why not fix that?

Today we're taking a minute to drop a few fun facts about Ginger, Kara, and the world of the books—both the fiction and the making of.

Ginger and Kara didn't meet because of Doctor Who.

Granted, the show is a major part of both our lives, and we started talking more after Kara saw Ginger's Doctor Who art on Tumblr, but that wasn't our first encounter. We actually first crossed paths when Kara found some Sleepy Hollow fan art by Ginger! (Yep, they were both fans of that, too!)

Lots of planning happened in Kara's car.

Everything from Herne's and Iris's names to lots of what would become standard elements of the book were finalized during one long drive. Thanks to a storm that caused Ginger's flight home from D.C. to get cancelled one summer, the two spent a lot of time together on the Interstate after Kara went to rescue her so she wouldn't have to stay in a hotel. The story was still in the earliest planning phases then.

Stormy is named after a real person.

Stormy Nakabito is named after a girl Kara grew up with, whose actual birth certificate name was Stormy. It seemed like a good fit for the character. Incidentally, her last name also has a special meaning... but you'll have to wait to find out what that is!

Herne was originally just a were-owl.

In early iterations of the story, Herne wasn't able to take on multiple forms. He was literally just an owl-shifter. He still favors the screech owl look, but has a lot more flexibility. And yes, we're looking to showcase some more of it in later books.

Technically, he's a genius loci.

The concept of genius loci, or "spirit of a place," dates back at least to ancient Rome, though there are shrines to similar spirits in Asia. Genii loci had altars built to them and were given sacrifices. They could be big-time gods, but that was more a reflection of the size of the region they oversaw. With Herne in charge of a suburb, he's not particularly big news.

Iris is named after one of Ginger's pets.

We knew we wanted a flower name, for obvious reasons. "Iris" has mythological ties, of course, but was also the name of Ginger's betta fish in college. We like to think our Iris has slightly better survival skills and fights a little less.

Honey cookies are deity-approved!

The owl-shaped honey cookies Iris makes for the shop came about because we wanted something that would count as a traditional offering to a spirit. Honey (and sweet things in general) are especially favored in offerings. Angela Pritchett came up with a honey-based sugar cookie for us, and voila!

You've already seen some major hints to the future.

We know what we want to do with these characters pretty far in advance, and we're already laying the groundwork. What may seem like scene setting or offhand comments may end up being important as we expand on this first story arc. Or they may just be scene setting. You'll just have to wait and see!

Want to know more? Our first book is always free to download for most e-readers, and our second book is pay-what you want (as will be the case for digital editions). Go get yours now!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

10 Questions for Owl's Flower in 2019

A new year is coming, which means new things for Owl's Flower!

Rather than saying specifically what it is you'll be looking forward to and when (largely because we're both on multiple deadlines outside of these books and have to play it by ear), we thought it might be fun to play a bit of a game... that is, give you a few questions to muse on, to which we will give the answers in the materials coming in 2019.

We are looking at having Book 3 and a short story out in the near future. Book 4, we are keeping on a loose schedule for now. But in the next 12 months, expect to find the answers to the following:

1. Are there other ways deities can come to be? We know from "Clarity" and the main book series that gods of various levels can be born out of necessity. But are there any other means of origin? And what does that mean for their standing?

2. Who is the messenger of the gods? At least five of you just guessed incorrectly. Patience. We'll make sure you get a proper introduction.

3. How many fancy cookies can an owl eat before it gives itself a tummyache? Note: we are talking about a shapeshifted deity. Please do not feed owls cookies unless you are absolutely certain they are shapeshifted deities.

4. What does Herne do in winter? There's not a lot of nature to deal with, after all. What takes up his time when the leaves are off the trees and the animals are hibernating?

5. What are Stormy's feelings on Valentine's Day? At least five of you just guessed correctly.

6. How does Iris handle a competing business? This one pretty much speaks for itself.

7. How does the pantheon cope with multiple deities for the same concept? We'll give you a hint: one potential answer is "not always well."

8. What constitutes "worship" for a deity? Like all things, there are some exploitable loopholes...

9. How does Herne's garb look in the winter? We're actually pretty hyped about showing you this one.

10. WHEN CAN I READ BOOK 3??? When it's ready... but we're approaching it.

Additionally, when book 3 comes out, we will be altering how we handle digital sales. They will still be pay what you want, but we're exploring ways to make it more foolproof and flexible for everyone. It will still be via Ko-fi, though. The change will be launched with the launch of book 3.

Next we talk, it'll be 2019. Stay hype, readers!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Have a Roasty-Toasty Christmas!

We're settling down to celebrate Christmas with our families at our respective homesteads, but we wanted to take a moment to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, too!

If you're looking for a seasonal read, we have a blog-only short story, "Herne's Four Hundredth Christmas," available:

* Part 1
* Part 2
* Part 3

We've also got all sorts of goodies in our Storenvy shop for lovers of cute things: shirts, totes, leggings, mugs and more! They make great last-minute presents for book lovers and owl enthusiasts.

We'll be checking in one more time before the new year... and after that, we're looking forward to bringing you news on our 2019 plans!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

WE LIVE! The State of the Owl

Hello, all!

There has been, as you may have noticed, A Silence in the Owl's Flower offices. There are reasons all over the place, largely involving work and other projects.

Ginger has been working away on The Hybrid, which surpassed $2,000 in sales—all of which have gone to One to One Children's Fund! Thanks to everyone who pitched in.

If you missed buying or participating in The Hybrid, Ginger is setting up her next charity zine, Moon Man, in the coming weeks. Applications are now open for artists, so be sure to take a look and sign up!

On Kara's side of the situation, it's been slightly less tidy. Between converging deadlines and a nasty cold that overstayed its welcome, she's been juggling and triaging left and right. That's the primary reason for the deadness, as Kara's job is the social side of things.

Fortunately, everything is back on track, and we're both in a situation to bring news.

In February, Kara will be holding an Owl's Flower panel at ODU's college anime con in Virginia, talking about the books themselves as well as what we've learned from self-publishing our own light novel series. More info on that as it approaches.

As mentioned, Ginger will be starting work on Moon Man. We'll both be appearing in a variety of zines and anthologies coming up as well, and will be sure to keep you posted on social media.

As for Owl's Flower 3, it is in Ginger's capable hands. Owl's Flower 4 will be getting outlined between us as soon as Kara finishes writing some other literal books with looming deadlines.

Normal communications will continue from here on out, so please be sure to keep an eye on us here and on our social media!

Friday, November 16, 2018

CREATOR WEEKLY WRAP-UP: The Hybrid Close-Out and What We're Up To

Happy Friday, fans and new readers!

Ginger's Hybrid zine is making its way around the world, landing in the homes of fans and contributors. Kara's just came in, so you can see the wealth of goodies that come along with this publication.

The Hybrid has also raised more than was originally expected for One to One Children's Fund—a number Ginger will be divulging officially at a later date. Suffice to say, she done good!

If you didn't get a chance to pick up your pack... just hang tight. Ginger may be approaching new concepts for other publications in future. Again, we'll let her make that official announcement.

If you're in need of more ridiculously adorable paranormal romance light novels, head over to J-Novel Club and check out Apparently It's My Fault That My Husband Has the Head of a Beast. Subscribers can read the book in pieces pre-publication, and you can preorder ebooks from Amazon. Localization on the first book is done and it's coming to Amazon soon!

And yes, this is one that Kara works on—specifically, she's working as editor alongside translator David Evelyn. And it comes with her seal of approval: if you like the personalities and events of Owl's Flower, these are good books to pick up while you wait for the next one!

Thanks to everyone for continuing to spread the word. We'll be back soon with more updates!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Off to Illinois!

On Sunday, Kara's hopping on a plane and heading off to Illinois to hang out with Ginger for a week! Things will still be updating and being worked on in the interim, largely because work still has to happen even though we're hanging out.

What to expect while we're together? No idea yet, we'll let you know. But we're planning to have a sit-down to chat about future publications — Owl's Flower and others — so look forward to new news!

And in case you haven't seen, digital editions of The Hybrid are still for sale on Big Cartel while printing wraps up on physical zines and products. So if you're just now hearing about it and want a copy, you've still got a chance!

Copies of Seasons of War: Gallifrey are also still available from Altrix Books. We've sent along our first donation of £1,000 raised from sales, and look forward to sending more by the time we run out of print copies.

See you on the other side!