Friday, July 6, 2018

State of the Hoots: Owl's Flower 3 and 4

As you can probably tell from our previous posts and social media, it's a whirlwind over here. Ginger and Kara are both finishing off work on other books, and starting work on a new zine. But that leaves the big question:

Where is Owl's Flower 3???

The short answer: in Kara's Dropbox, awaiting the last chapter and a half. Basically, she's to the Good Bit, and once that's wrapped, it goes along to Ginger. And then she works her artistic magic, and we leave her alone for that because art is hard and takes time and frankly we have no idea how she does it.

As for the future of Owl's Flower, avid listeners of fiction podcasts may have heard tell of what the fourth book's plot will entail. Future books are going to involve more explorations of mythology and world religion. In fact, the third book will do the same, so part of getting it to press will probably include some end notes.

In the meantime, we'll both be sharing some other related work. Relics with its stand-alone OF-verse short story is on the horizon, as is another book on which Ginger and Kara both worked. Stay tuned!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Coming Soon: Doctor Who goodness from our creators!

Ginger is safely home having ridden seven roller coasters in a day, Kara is back to work, and we're both gearing up for some fun stuff for the Doctor Who fans in our audience. Hope you're in the mood to do some reading!

First up, applications for the Hybrid Zine are now closed! If you applied to be a contributor, keep your eyes out in the coming days to see if you've been accepted. Ginger is currently in Planning Mode to get the lineup and publication sorted. It's looking to be an amazing zine!

Speaking of the Doctor and the next handful of days, you can now preorder Kara's book-length investigation of Heaven Sent! The book is #21 in the Black Archive series, and second in a set of three books exploring the series 9 three-part finale. Put in your order here -- you can also read a sample of the book!

More news coming in the near future. And yes, some of it will actually be about Owl's Flower!

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Ginger Has Landed!

This nerd is in Virginia for a week -- and since Kara makes the blog posts, she can say that and use pictures from Ginger's Twitter while doing so!

Since the airport pickup is in the wee hours, this is being written well ahead of schedule to give us both time to come back to the house, crash, and figure out what the hell to do with our time starting this morning.

As mentioned before, we're absolutely hitting up some theme parks. We're also going to -- at Ginger's request -- play some Psychonauts. And at other people's request, we're going to (fingers crossed) be doing a Twitch stream of it. So if you've never met or talked to us in real life and want to know what it's like watching us play a video game, keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter!

Regarding book and other media news, we'll have some fun stuff to tell next week, both with regards to book 3 (if Kara gets her ass in gear) and the short story in the outside anthology (if all goes to plan).

For now, stay tuned, and we'll be back with you once we've both gotten some rest!

Friday, June 15, 2018

ZINE OPPORTUNITY: Join "The Hybrid"!

So in case it's not, like, super freaking obvious... Ginger and Kara are both massive Doctor Who fans. (We know... huge shock, right?) Between us we've been involved in a variety of print, television, and live events concerning the show and its creatives. And Ginger has decided to go all in and create a charity fanzine for the Twelfth Doctor and Clara.

Titled The Hybrid, it will consist of new stories and art created by fans, focusing on the relationship between the two characters. And you don't have to be a shipper -- the contents can examine their time together at whatever speed you wish.

Best of all, proceeds from the zine will benefit One to One Children's Fund, for which Jenna Coleman is an ambassador!

Applications are open now for writers and artists. So if you're a Doctor Who fan, want to create something for a good cause, and want to work with the people behind Owl's Flower (yep, Kara will have a story in it!), hit up the zine on Tumblr to apply! You don't have to create a work to apply: just send in examples of previous work for now.

You can also keep an eye on the zine's Twitter, @TheHybridZine.

Not a creator yourself but know someone who is? Please pass this along! We can't wait to work with you!

Friday, June 8, 2018

Who is Clare?

A while back, you may recall we mentioned an upcoming Owl's Flower universe short story in a separate anthology. The story's been written for quite a while, but sadly due to issues outside of our (and the publisher's) control, the anthology had to be back-burnered for a bit.

But we've just found out that the book is on its way in the near future, with a proof copy on its way to the publisher as we speak. So it's a good time to sort of refresh everyone's memories, and build a little hype for the upcoming work.

"Clarity" will be appearing in Relics, a multi-author anthology featuring stories about immortals from all different walks of life. The aim was to create something a little more diverse than typical vampire stories, and so there's a wide variety of concepts from a wide variety of extremely talented authors.

Kara is featured in the book, and given the concept of "immortals," she wanted to reach back into Owl's Flower to explore the structure of its universe. Where do deities come from? Why do they come into being? What's it like being a new god, and how does the "aging process" Herne touched on work?

The main character of "Clarity" is a brand new deity, finding her way in the world as she attempts to discover why she's there. While there are ties back to familiar aspects of the Owl's Flower books, the story doesn't take place in William's Grove and is most definitely not of the "romance" leaning.

Since it's not Owl's Flower unless both Ginger and Kara are involved, Ginger was involved in the writing of "Clarity," and got to vet it before it was sent off for publication. It won't be illustrated in the anthology, but that doesn't mean you won't get to see the characters in Ginger's style eventually.

Stay tuned for more news about the release of Relics, and where you can get your copy when it goes on sale!

Friday, June 1, 2018

Setting Inspiration: Visit Herne's Tree

As mentioned in a previous post, the ravine that served as inspiration for Herne's forest has two major differences from its fictional counterpart. For one thing, it's half gone; for another, it's missing Herne's tree. However, the model for his legendary home is less than half an hour away, on the grounds of Hampton University: the Emancipation Oak.

Named one of the Ten Great Trees of the World by the National Geographic Society, the tree is one of many live oaks in the South. (For those curious about the name -- the "live" part of "live oak" refers to its evergreen nature, keeping its foliage even in the winter. For the sake of prettiness we'll red and orange up Herne's tree, but we already know he likes to redecorate even if it doesn't match the workings of nature!

Under this tree in 1861, schoolteacher Mary Peake held lessons for newly freed slaves. A school was eventually built nearby. And in 1863, the tree was the site of the first Southern reading of the Emancipation Proclamation -- hence the tree's name.

There's lots more information about Mary Peake, the school, and the history of the Emancipation Oak over on the Hampton University website. Be sure to check it out!

The main notable difference between the Emancipation Oak and Herne's tree, at least visually speaking, is the span of the branches. While live oaks like this one will tend to have a couple branches that would dip close enough to the ground for climbing, we thought it best to give Herne his privacy. A little awkward for Iris, but helpful for a nature deity who wants to be left alone.

We're looking forward to offering more glimpses into our books as we go. Is there anything in particular you're curious about the background of? Hit us up on Twitter!

Friday, May 25, 2018

The Real Site of Herne's Forest (Formerly)

Fans and regular readers may have picked up by now that there are a few real-world inspirations behind William's Grove, the town in which Owl's Flower primarily takes place. The fictional Virginia city is based heavily on the Hampton Roads area of southeast Virginia: an historical area that is both heavily forested and near several rivers and swamps. Excellent for peat and tobacco then, fun for travelers now.

In particular, there's Herne's forest "home": an undeveloped area that forms the "barrier" between the William's Grove City Center and Iris's neighborhood, complete with a ravine and a footpath. While there are plenty of largely untouched forests in the area (and many others around the country), Herne's was based largely on Kara's memories of the forest and ravine near her school...

Which, as you can see from this photo taken yesterday, is half gone.

Up until recent years, the ravine -- which is right near Kara's old grade school, itself on the banks of the James River -- was heavily overgrown and untended, a strip of woods between Kara's neighborhood and the area's high-end waterfront houses. There were bridges and paths for safe walking, as well as a little outdoor "classroom" with benches, but kids were Absolutely Not Supposed To Play There. This was partly because climbing down into the creek bed (which all the kids wanted to do) was precarious, but largely because it eventually became the site of a few attacks after dark.

In the past decade or so, the city has cleared out a good portion of the trees around the creek bed and done some upkeep on the footpath, making it a safer area for walking. Go closer to the school parking lot and there's still a small wooded area, complete with the outdoor classroom and dubious bridge.

There was never a live oak like Herne's in this area, but it wouldn't be out of place here. The inspiration for that is one city over in Hampton -- locals know it as the Emancipation Oak.

Which we'll talk about next week!

For now, be sure to hit up our Instagram if you'd like more nature photos and sneak peeks at future books!