Thursday, September 12, 2019

BEHIND THE SCENES: Ineffable Charms and Upcoming Conventions!

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This week, Ginger is releasing some heavenly merch in her store, and Kara's making some 2020 plans!

First up, Good Omens fans will want to check out Ginger's store today as she's putting out new designs inspired by Crowley and Aziraphale (and their love of sushi!). Prints are available for order, and charms are available for pre-order (provided minimum orders are met).

Meanwhile, keep your options open in 2020, as Kara has plans to be present at two conventions so far! More information will be forthcoming on which and when, and hopefully there will be some good Owl's Flower rep at both. Stay tuned!

Friday, September 6, 2019

BEHIND THE SCENES: New Pins and... We're Okay!

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Hello again, readers!

First off, just a quick note to let everyone know that Hurricane Dorian has come as close as it's going to come to Kara's place in Hampton Roads. There was some wind and a bit of flooding, but otherwise it wasn't much cause for concern. If you or your loved ones are anywhere in the path of Dorian, please stay safe and look after yourselves.


Ginger has turned her "Thank God and Scotland" shirt design into a pin! A limited number are available, so if you're interested, be sure to grab one now. They turned out looking great, and they have two pins and nice safe backs so you can display it on a jacket or bag without fear of losing it.

She's got lots of other pins, shirts, prints, and more in her shop, so be sure to check it out! It's a great way to get your hands on some Ginger originals if you're an Owl's Flower fan; plus, as it's her own shop and not hosted through a third party, you know exactly where your money is going.

There's more on the horizon, including an upcoming charity anthology and some other cool stuff. So keep an eye on our blog, Facebook, and Twitter!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

BEHIND THE SCENES: Books, Podcasts, and More to Come!



Applications have closed for Ginger's next zine, and now she gets to lurk in the darkness of her inbox as she chooses who will be working on A Pile of Good Things. As she does that, here are a few other things to keep an eye on.


Kara has made an appearance on You and Who Talking to chat with J.R. Southall! You can hear a reading of one of her essays, along with a chat that covers everything from British TV to Doctor Who fandom to, of course, Owl's Flower.



Plus, Kara's in a new anthology! Sockhops & Seances comes from 18th Wall, and features spooky stories set in the 1950s. Kara leads off the collection with "Son of the Wolf," a tale of seaside amusement parks, haunted roller coasters, and a girl named Heck. You'll see other familiar authors in the book, too!


More continues under the radar. Thanks as always for your support! We're looking to move our shop to a different layout before long, and we'll make sure to warn everyone when that happens.

Friday, August 2, 2019

BEHIND THE SCENES: A Birthday, a Shop, and Last Call for Zine Applications!

Kind of terrifyingly, it's a new month already! Both of us are surviving the summer, working away on the next book and other projects we're looking forward to sharing. Thanks as always for keeping an eye on what we're up to!

This weekend is Ginger's birthday, so feel free to embarrass her online if you happen to see this. They'll kill time while her gifts get shipped to her.

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Speaking of Ginger, she's moved her shop over to a personal page. Things are still being put together there, but you can browse her goods, including brand new shirts for those days when you've 'bout had it with social media.


Finally, you have until August 5 to apply to A Pile of Good Things, the next charity zine from RaThZEm! (It's fun typing those random capitals.) Writers and artists are being accepted - writers, you don't have to have a pitch ready, just have a link to some previous work! Apply here!

We'd tell you what Kara's up to, but she's still not allowed to go into it yet. Soon. Eventually. Hopefully.

Friday, July 26, 2019

BEHIND THE SCENES: Illustration Continues for Owl's Flower 3!

In the midst of all our work elsewhere, we're still ticking away at Owl's Flower book 3 — admittedly a bit more assiduously now than we were able to in previous weeks and months. Being employed is great, but it does cut into passion project time. Thanks to everyone for their patience!

Ginger has been working with some new resources to ease her workload and make her art pop even more than it already did (which is really saying something, if you're familiar with her work!). She's been posting samples here and there on her own social media, and we've been sharing it on the Owl's Flower social... But in case you missed the first, here's a sneaky Dumb Baby scoping out the background of a scene:


We're both working away on this and other things behind the scenes. Ginger's got a new zine, A Pile of Good Things, coming up in the near future. 11th Doctor fans who are also writers and artists, take note: applications are open! Head over now and get your name in!

Meanwhile, Kara is working on... er... can't actually say at this point. Assuming all goes to plan, it will be worth the wait.

Keep an eye out for more book news, as well as our other work along the way!

Friday, July 12, 2019

BEHIND THE SCENES: New Projects from Our Creators!

We don't really stop, as you may have noticed.

Ginger's been working away on Owl's Flower 3 (title TBA) art, and the sketches are looking fantastic so far. We have some new characters to introduce to you before long — whether they're temporary or permanent is a bit of a spoiler, but we hope you'll look forward to it!

In the meantime, we've each got a project we've been working on that we'd really love you to have a look at.


Gokigen na Chou is a Digimon Adventure fanzine co-modded by Ginger, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the series. The zine has art from 44 artists (including Ginger), along with some cute merch like pins, bookmarks, and mini-prints. Plus, if at least 100 physical copies are sold, everyone who bought a physical copy will get a really cool enamel pin!


They're already halfway there, so this looks pretty darn doable. And, like, look at it. It's so good.

Orders are only open 'til August 19, so head over to the order page now and pick a bundle! (Also makes a great gift for the Digimon fan in your life... trust us, you know at least one.)

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Speaking of anniversaries, it's the 50th anniversary of "Space Oddity"... and Chinbeard Books is celebrating with the release of Me and the Starman! Fans of the You & Who books will know the format well by now. In this new volume, fans unite to write essays about David Bowie's many works, from movies to music and beyond — in particular, how these works played a part in their lives. Kara has an essay on Labyrinth and her college years.

Better yet, proceeds from the book will fund Cancer Research U.K. Grab a copy here and get reading!

Thanks as always for following our projects both within and outside of Owl's Flower!

Friday, June 28, 2019

BEHIND THE SCENES: Personal Projects and What's to Come


So as you may have noticed, Owl's Flower 3 is still in the works. There's good and bad to this, of course. The "bad" is obvious—no book yet. But the "good" is for good reasons: both of us actually have a lot of work, and having work and commissions is a good thing. For Kara, it's several writing projects in the works; for Ginger, it's more art and zines on the horizon.

The basics: the book is still in the being-finished stage. In other words, it's more done than not-done. And it will be done, and other books after it. But right now, considering this is a passion project and other projects pay, we can't necessarily afford to shove other projects aside to speed this along. That's not a guilt thing, it's just a fact. (We both have day jobs, too.)

That said, the ability to put a little more focus on the books would be welcome. No, we're not opening a Kickstarter or a Patreon because... eh, we tried those individually and they only go so far depending on the project. But any support we can get will help us lift book 3 off the back burner and justify putting it ahead of other projects. And we want this out as much as the next person.

So what can you do to help us?

Download and review the first book!

We made a conscientious decision to make the first book free so people could know if they wanted more. We've heard good things, but you guys can help spread the word.

If you haven't read the first book, we'd be super pleased if you did. If you have, it'd be a big help if you could review it on GoodReads. Our business model means we aren't available on Amazon, so this is how we get ratings and good words.

All of this costs zero dollars, incidentally—can't beat that for return on investment!


Buy and review the second book!

We're very happy that people cared enough to give Ghost Fall a go when it wasn't a free download, many of you even going above and beyond what we would have charged when we named our price. If you haven't gotten your copy yet, you can do that here... and you can also get a print copy if you prefer that real-book feel.

Again, a GoodReads review is always helpful. Whether you drop stars or words or both, you're helping us out a lot!


Peruse our goods!

Ginger has made some awesome merch, including shirts, prints, mugs and much more. If you like our stuff, consider buying some goods. The proceeds go straight back to us, and will help us be quicker about making a print version of Book 3 when the time comes.


Support our individual projects!

Check out Ginger's Etsy shop where she sells pins, shirts, and lots of other really cool stuff. Doctor Who fans in particular will have fun looking through her goods. 

Kara is currently preparing to send some other projects out to publishers so there's nothing new to promote just yet, but she's always got her Ko-fi open for donations. And anything new from both of us will be announced here and on our social media.


Thanks as always for your support and patience. We look forward to bringing Book 3 together for you sooner rather than later!

Friday, June 21, 2019

OWL'S FLOWER WORLD TOUR: There and Back Again


What do two nerds do with a week abroad? Speakeasies and meat, apparently.

Both Ginger and Kara are fully home from their trip to the UK earlier this month (framed by Kara spending some time up at Ginger's place). If you followed along on our Instagram, you got to see a few of our adventures in real-time, and will likely get to see a few more as we shake our smartphones out.

But for a very quick run-down of some of the highlights of our trip, read on!


Manga at the British Museum


It was extremely fortuitous that the largest exhibition of manga ever outside Japan just happened to be in town at the same time we were. It costs extra to get in if you're not a British Museum member, but it was absolutely worth it!

If you'd like at look at what's on display, check out Kara's feature over on Crunchyroll.


Evans & Peel Detective Agency



When trying to decide where to go for dinner on our second night in London, our friend JJ turned this place up in a Google search. It's a detective-themed speakeasy that takes walk-ins (which we were), but it seems you get more bang for your buck experience-wise if you call in advance. Even without reservations, it was a wild experience.

If you go for a walk-in "appointment," you're buzzed downstairs and asked why you need a detective, so be sure to have a story prepared. Once you've been judged, the host opens a bookcase and leads you into a vintage restaurant. The food selection is pretty basic, especially if you're a visiting American: fries, wings, and (very large) hot dogs. But not only are they tasty, they come at a discount with a drink. Go through the agency's dossier for a vintage mix, or be like Kara and order a Jane Doe (with all the ingredients blacked out). If you prefer no alcohol, there are three "Prohibition" drinks that are just as good as anything else on the menu.

Soho's Secret Tea Room


Kara was insistent on afternoon tea, and Ginger was happy to oblige not once, but twice. (More on that later.) This little spot is just above the Coach & Horses in Soho, and is an affordable option for a full afternoon tea. There's a great menu of teas available, and a nice selection of snacks on the stacks.

The down side is, we're not sure if this place will be available to visit much longer (if at all). We were told by the hostess that the Coach & Horses is under new management effective very soon, and they're not big on the whole "pub landlord" model and are looking to give it an overhaul. This would effectively cancel out the tea room, which is run by the landlord's sister. There was a link to a petition on a chalk board downstairs, so hopefully there will be enough of an outcry for it to remain.



Full disclosure: Ginger suggested going here because the LOADING Bar (albeit a different location) is a regular hangout for the hosts of Outside Xbox, one of our favorite YouTube channels. Even without the association, though, it's a nice place. There are video games and board games ready for the playing, along with an extensive list of game-themed drinks.

If you're looking for a chill place to go with friends, afternoon seems to be the best time; we were some of the only people there. It looks like the kind of place that livens up at night, so head out after hours if you're looking to meet fellow nerds.


Forbidden Planet


If you're in the UK and you're a nerd, you can't not go to at least one Forbidden Planet. We actually hit up three: the megastore in London, then smaller ones in Glasgow and Cardiff. The former is especially great if you're looking for a wide selection of books and CDs, because the downstairs is stocked. Both of us, and our friends, walked away with a few new finds.

The smaller shops are nice, too, and may have some less readily available goodies than the megastore. We also found one of Kara's anthologies on the shelves at the Glasgow one, so automatic thumbs up!


The Meat Bar


When a friend asks which of three places you'd like to go for dinner and Ginger immediately makes up a song about one of them, you have your answer.

The Meat Bar does exactly what it says on the tin. Lots of nice cuts of meat, lots of burgers, and even meat-infused drinks (or more standard libations if that's a bit much). It also has bite-sized haggis bonbons, in case you want to say you tried it but aren't quite ready to commit.


The Lighthouse


Formerly the Glasgow Herald Building, the Lighthouse is home to both temporary and permanent art and architecture exhibits. Glasgow is very proud of its architecture and of local boy Charles Rennie Mackintosh (Art Nouveau figure who made lots of art, architecture, furniture, and a font that is Absolutely Everywhere).

Several of the temporary exhibits seemed to be invitation-only, but the two main highlights — the Mackintosh exhibit and the observation deck at the top of the Lighthouse's tower — are enough on their own to make the trip worthwhile. The former shows you just how much Mackintosh did in his lifetime and how influential he was. The latter offers you a gorgeous view of the city.


Willow Tea Rooms


Ginger wanted to do afternoon tea again... and as you can imagine, she had to just drag Kara kicking and screaming to do so.

There are two Willow Tea Rooms in Glasgow, modeled after the Cranston tea rooms designed by... yep, ya boy Mackintosh. You get to sit in reproduction Mackintosh chairs and enjoy a fancy afternoon tea with your choice of drink and cake, plus a very nice selection of sandwiches (including egg salad, smoked salmon, and a few other rotating choices). Several of the teas are available in the gift shop if you find you really like one. As a bonus? It is much less expensive than other places, with the same amount of goodness and hot water for tea refills.


Cardiff Castle


As one of the major filming locations for Heaven Sent, there was no way we weren't going here.

You can pay for a guided tour with access to a few other rooms, but walking yourself around gives you a good amount to see. Braving the steep steps to the top of the main castle turret gives you an amazing view (and also puts you in the highest tower of the Doctor's own murder castle). The nearby mansion has more locations from both Heaven Sent and Journey to the Center of the TARDIS, in addition to just being over the top and absolutely gorgeous. And there's a war museum downstairs of the main entrance building.


Now that we're home, it's back to work... once our jet lag is leveled out, anyway. Keep an eye on this space for new announcements in the near future!

Friday, June 14, 2019

LOCATIONS: Hilton Ravine Restoration


Assuming all has gone to plan and no special travel surprises have popped up, Ginger and Kara should be state-side again. You can expect to see some blog posts concerning our travel, our discoveries, and future Owl's Flower fun once we've both recovered. While we're shaking off the jet lag, though, we wanted to point out something that's actually relevant to our readers: the restoration of what was once an inspiration for a locale in our book.

Herne's forest — bits of it, at least — were inspired by the Hilton Ravine, right next to Kara's elementary school. Back in the day it bore a lot more of a resemblance to what you read about in the books. However, the pocket park is also a drainage area for local storm water, which is eventually funneled out into the nearby James River.

The City of Newport News made some changes recently to upgrade that system. The good news is, it worked; the bad news is, the construction destroyed lots of old trees and growth, leaving the forested area... uh... a lot less forested.

So Kara was thrilled last month to see a door hanger left by the Newport News Green Foundation, looking to restore the ravine! Obviously, the overgrown forest of Kara's childhood that inspired Herne's home in William's Grove is likely gone for good. But their plans to beautify the area and make it a welcoming place for locals, as well as re-plant trees, is an exciting move.

Go check out their initiative online. If you feel inclined, be sure to donate a little. Since Kara's still just a walk from the site, she'll be sure to fill people in on how the restoration goes!

Friday, June 7, 2019

OWL'S FLOWER WORLD TOUR: The UK Experience

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By the time this goes up, Kara and Ginger will have been in the UK for about... two days? Yeah, two days. Their flight landed on June 5, and they'll be on the ground in London and surrounding areas until time to take off early on June 12.

We're taking some "time off" for this trip. Kara usually works through holidays as a freelancer, but this is going to be an exception. We've got one week with lots to see and do!

So what's on the docket?

Today marks our last full day in London for the trip (even though we're based there thanks to a cozy lil AirBnB). Tomorrow, we'll be taking a train direct to Glasgow from London Euston and staying overnight. There are plans to visit the Glasgow School of Art, along with some local museums and events. But, well, even Kara is on the back foot here!

Sunday late in the day we're heading down to Manchester, where we'll be staying 'til Monday. The main plan is to connect up with Paul Driscoll (co-owner of Altrix Books with Kara) for a bit, though hopefully we can run into some other Northern friends while we're there.

Tuesday will be our last day in the UK before flying home early Wednesday morning. If all goes as planned, we'll be heading out to Cardiff Castle with our friend Sophie Iles. The castle was one of the filming locations for Heaven Sent, so we're really looking forward to that.

If you'd like to keep more current tabs on our adventures, here's where to go:

Kara:
Instagram: @rubycosmos
Twitter: @rubycosmos

Ginger: 
Instagram: @randomthunk
Twitter: @Kataoi

Both of us!
Instagram: @owlsflower

Friday, May 31, 2019

It's Here! Meet New Gods and Humans in the UNEARTHED Anthology


It's here! After months of planning, writing, drawing, editing, printing, and unexpected gallbladder surgery, Unearthed has arrived to wreak havoc on unsuspecting readers. Or, well, hopefully not havoc. We'd like you to enjoy it.


The anthology is edited by Kara, featuring cover art by Ginger. Two more artists and eleven more writers are inside, totaling up to 12 new illustrated pieces of fiction. Keith R.A. DeCandido continues the adventures of Cassie Zukav, John Peel spins a tale of resurrectionists and vampires, and... as promised... there's a new Owl's Flower story!

"Kill the Cat" was written by Kara and illustrated by Ginger, as mentioned before. Like "Clarity," featured in the anthology Relics, it won't be necessary reading for the Owl's Flower main line series. It does, however, give you a look at a new character joining the main cast in the very near future — and features a cameo from a popular character in Book 2!

Head on over to the Altrix Books shop to get your copy, in paperback or ebook format. Proceeds go to the American Research Center in Egypt, so let's help them make some extra funds to educate future ancient scholars and archaeologists!

Friday, April 26, 2019

The Owl's Flower Tour Continues: We're Going to London!

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Long-time readers and followers of our social media know that Kara tends to go to the UK every year or two. It's about that time again... and this time, Ginger is going with her!

This will be Ginger's first time going, so Kara gets to play tour guide. We've got a few things in mind for what we want to see and do. It'll be about a week, and if we see things relevant to the OF-verse or things that we think our readers might like, we'll be sure to drop them to social media.

More on that later — in the meantime, keep an eye out for more Unearthed news (including a sneak peek of the new art for "Kill the Cat") and further progress on our end. And if you're UK-side, let us know what cool things Ginger needs to see to make the most of her week abroad!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Creator Weekly Wrap-Up: Get in on MOON MAN!


So what have we been up to? A lot, as usual! We're hoping to have more news on the third Owl's Flower one this particular phase of our work is up, but for now, we'd love it if you'd take a look at Moon Man.

Moon Man is Ginger Hoesly's second charity zine via RaThZEm. Her first, The Hybrid, raised $2,000 for One to One Children's Fund, as you may recall. This one is slightly different from your usual zine. Rather than being about a single show or character, it traces the career of Peter Capaldi in images, from Local Hero all the way up to the music video "Someone You Loved."


More than two dozen artists have contributed to the zine, including Ginger herself. Also present are Sophie Iles, Raine Szramski, and many others active online and in the fandom. Plus, Kara Dennison has penned a new Doctor Who story with multiple routes and endings! Take the Twelfth Doctor and Clara on a journey through time and space that you steer. Which ending will you get?

There's also optional swag that you can pick up alone or with a zine. The bundle includes pinback buttons, a bookmark, prints, charms, and stickers. When the merch bundle hits 50 orders, everyone who's ordered will get an enamel pin as well! There's also a sweet shirt you can get separately.



All proceeds will be donated to the Glasgow School of Art, Capaldi's alma mater!

The pre-order period is almost over, so get yours while you can. After pre-orders are closed, the money goes off to GSofA and that's it. Do not live with regrets — support artists, celebrate an awesome actor's career, and get some sweet merch!

Visit www.rathzem.com to put your order in!

Friday, March 22, 2019

We're Busy!


Why have things been silent on this side? Well, mainly because Kara is finishing writing three books and Ginger is assembling a zine. But also, we're looking at making a few changes to how we do things over here!

Don't worry, they aren't changes you'll dislike or that will alter your experience significantly. But they'll make things easier for us, which is better all around.

Ginger is currently in the process of moving her own things — her personal shop and her zine production — over to a self-contained server with a self-run shop interface. If you've been following the news on various online storefronts and creator fundraisers, you'll have seen over the past year or so that things... change more often than is fun or feasible. And that's not great for a couple of randos trying to get their stories and art out into the world, because we never know what will change and when we won't be able to do anything about it.

Stuff on Ginger's side is test-only at this point. You'll likely be seeing it come into play when Moon Man, her upcoming zine, goes on sale. If that goes well, and if it goes well for our shop, that means we'll probably transfer Owl's Flower book and merch sales over to a similar system.


So what does that mean for you?

You may or may not have to change bookmarks. If you just trot over to owlsflower.com, nothing will change. That's the beauty of dot-coms: you can point them wherever you need to. But if you've got us bookmarked on Blogspot, keep an eye out because that will likely be shifting before long.

Ebooks will still be pay-what-you-want. That's the plan. One of the reasons we went with Ko-fi for sales was because PayPal no longer offered a pay-what-you-want option (i.e. a donation box) unless you were a registered charity with all sorts of paperwork. Originally we'd considered going to Ko-fi Gold, making pricing even more flexible and allowing us to easily categorize multiple books for sale. But with everything self-contained, it'll be easier still, both for you and for us.

We'll be happier. And less time spent mucking around with the business end means more time spent making cool things for you guys.

We don't know yet when these changes will go into effect, but we'll be sure to let everyone know as necessary. In the meantime, thanks as always for your continued support!

Friday, March 1, 2019

Coming Soon: A New Owl's Flower Short Story


Want more Owl's Flower and can't wait for Book 3? There's a short story coming to help you pass the time!

Altrix Books, co-owned by Paul Driscoll and our own Kara Dennison, will be releasing a charity anthology this spring titled Unearthed. The book will feature 12 new stories of sarcophagi, tombs, and locked boxes, and what's inside. Stories range from Norse mythology to American history and everywhere in between.

Kara is heading up the anthology, and Ginger will be supplying the cover art. In addition, we'll have a new story from the Owl's Flower universe, titled "Kill the Cat," in the book itself.

Readers of the anthology Relics will know this isn't the first Owl's Flower short piece outside the main books. However, this one will be slightly different. How so?

A new character from the main books will be introduced.

There are plenty of characters — human and otherwise — who have yet to make their debut in Owl's Flower. One will be appearing in the fourth book, but will technically make their debut in this story! Who is it? We'll be interested to see if you can guess!

Another character will be making a cameo.

Readers of "Clarity" remember that Herne and Iris did appear at the end, though Iris notably got more screen time. The pair are nowhere to be seen in "Kill the Cat," though; they have a coffee shop to run! But another character (and one who's fairly popular, it seems) will be making a brief appearance.

You'll learn another way deities are born.

In "Clarity," we talked about how the need for deities can sometimes just make them appear. But in "Kill the Cat," we'll be looking at another place they can come from. The new character won't be the last time you'll see this type of origin story, either, so be sure to take notes!


At present, art is being finalized, with new illustrations being created by Monica Marier, Sophie Iles, and (in the case of this one story), Ginger. Proceeds from the anthology will go to ARCE, which helps train archaeologists and house them abroad. Keep an eye out for more info in the coming weeks!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Be Our Valentine: Owl's Flower's Rules of Romance


So first off, a happy belated Valentine's Day to all our readers! If you missed it, check out the cute Herne and Iris drawn by Ginger specially for the holiday.

The holiday does bring up a topic that's very important to us, and one that Kara talked about at ODUCon last week: how we depict romance and couples. One of the reasons we started doing Owl's Flower in the first place is because we didn't like how couples are written in a lot of popular books and shows. Which isn't to say one should never see bad relationships, because those are stories in and of themselves. But we wanted to see what we felt was missing from romance, and paranormal romance specifically.

We have a few personal rules we follow concerning how we depict Herne and Iris in our books. Regular readers may already have a sense of what those are. But for new readers, or people just curious about what it is we do, here's a quick run-down of our personal rules:

Be careful with using miscommunication as conflict.

Obviously, miscommunication really does happen in the real world. A lot. And it does cause conflict. A lot. But when it comes to basic mistakes that would be out of character, you have to assume (unless your characters are super immature) that they would try to clear up the mistake before running out of the room sobbing and ending everything.

Miscommunication makes up a lot of the first Owl's Flower book, but this is before Herne or Iris know each other or have reason to put effort into talking things out. As a couple, it's far more important to show them working through things, understanding that a turn of phrase might be meant one way but come out another. Is that something that needs to be resolved? Yes. Broken up over? No way.

(Incidentally, as someone at the con pointed out, miscommunication for the sake of comedy? Heck yes.)


One partner is not fixing the other.

Both Herne and Iris have issues. We all do, some more than others. We knew when we created these characters, neither was going to be the "better" one that "fixes" the other. For one thing, it's no one's responsibility to "fix" anyone else. For another, we didn't want a relationship hierarchy where one character had to become "good enough" for the other.

Both of them have things to learn and get over from their own lives as they settle into this relationship. Some have been hinted at; others, you'll have to wait and see to find out.


Jealousy and clinginess aren't cute.

There's a song Kara avoids that came out in recent memory: "Jealous" by Nick Jonas. It's an okay bop, but the lyrics are a little... shmeh. Unfounded jealousy in a relationship being passed off as affection is kinda weird. If the jealousy is understandable... that's a whole other jar of bees.

We actually touch on this in our third book in progress—because, well, we wanted to. Jealousy is rough when you love your partner and have any sort of anxiety. But trust is powerful. And while none of us is perfect, and we might slip sometimes, we wanted to show a couple that cares about each other without getting territorial.


There are a lot more things we attempt to show in our work. Curious? Download our first book free, and if you like it, name your price for our second ebook!

Friday, February 8, 2019

(50% of) Owl's Flower Is Coming to ODUCon!


Will you be in Hampton Roads this weekend? Do you like Owl's Flower and/or wish you could get your own spin on your favorite genre out in the world? Kara will be at ODUCon talking about—among other things—how we did it!

In the past, we've done very technical panels on how to get your own books out there if you want to have your own store front and maintain your own pricing. But this time, Kara's veering more toward the creative side of it. She'll be hosting an informal chat on how Owl's Flower came to be, what we do to make sure we're always putting out the kind of stories we want to, and how you can get yourself there.

The panel will take place Sunday at 2pm in the event's Panel Room. We're keeping this largely informal and conversational, so bring your ideas and your thoughts!

Kara will also be stopping in for panels on Bandersnatch and romance in anime, as well as tonight's Friday Night Fanfiction panel. (Note: FNF is 18+, and for good reason.) Hope to see some of you around this weekend!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Book Inspirations: Kuu the Adorable Owl


One of our favorite things about Owl's Flower is writing and drawing Herne in his screech owl ("Dumb Baby") form. While Herne is not necessarily highly dignified to begin with, the owl is both cute and a way for him to express himself a little more plainly.

But... and I know this will come as a shock to a lot of you... neither of us actually owns an owl. There are no owl cafés near us, and around our respective necks of the woods it's generally not done to keep wild birds as pets. So when it comes to screech owl behaviors, we don't have a 24/7 local source to turn to.

We do, however, have an online source, and one that's become our sort of real-world stand-in for Dumb Baby as we write: Kuu, a Western Screech Owl living in Japan.


We first found Kuu on Vine (remember when that was still a thing), wearing tiny hats and getting generally confused by videos of himself. Occasionally, his owner would post the latest iteration of one particular habit: the owner twiddling his fingers to offer scritchies, and Kuu bounding down his perch to accept them.

Kuu's owners videos include the owl flying around the house, acting judgy about toys, taking baths in bowls of water, and generally being a big silly baby. The sounds Kuu makes in the videos—the contented little trills and the occasional big loud hoots—also help us "hear" what Herne in owl form sounds like.

Incidentally, Kuu has a housemate now: a Spectacled Owl named Pon who's also fun to watch.

So if you're ever curious what exactly it would look like to have owl-type Herne hopping around Iris's house, pop over to @kuuowl on Twitter. Because, yeah. That's what we're working from. The vids are also stellar for bad mood days. Seriously. Just try to wear a frown when that little nerd is riding around on a feather duster.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Behind the Light Novel: An "Interview" with Stormy Nakabito


She may be blissfully ignorant of her boss's boyfriend's true identity, but Stormy Nakabito is no slouch. This week, we're "talking" with her (insofar as we can talk to one of our own characters in interview format... look just let us have this) about the big things in her life. Or, at least, what we're pretty sure are the big things in her life.

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Q: We heard a rumor, so we have to know: What's your ringtone?

A: "Sample of My Pasta," obviously. This year's #1 bop.

Q: What about the app you use most on your phone?

A: Probably OctiKeeper. I do the daily missions at least. I don't actually spend any real money on it, though.

Q: And who's your wallpaper?

A: ... is this about my phone again?

Q: ... n-no?

A: Look, I know I handle social media and stuff for the shop, but you can ask me about things other than my phone. Seriously.

Q: Okay. So, uh, what's it like working at Owl's Flower?

A: I make money. My boss's boyfriend is weird. Next question.

Q: ... right. So, um...

A: You can't think of anything, can you? Seriously. Ask about my interests. About what I'm doing in school. Or is there something you think you can't ask me?

Q: Of course not!

A: You know, come to think of it, the boss and her boyfriend always act like they're trying to hide stuff from me lately. I wonder what's up with them. Think they're doing some shady coffee dealings? Is there a coffee mafia?

Q: Um, probably not. Anyway, you mentioned something called OctoKeeper earlier? What's that?

A: OctiKeeper. It's a mobile game that just came out for the 30th anniversary of Domo Octi.

Q: Domo... what?

A: ... seriously? You've never heard of Domo Octi? It's only the most popular mascot from SugoiCo. It's this little octopus that came out in 1989 in Japan on, like, greeting cards and stuff? And eventually they started making housewares and accessories and stuffed animals and things. There are a few other mascots in the line, mostly other sea life, but they don't really sell as well. So they mostly market Octi in different colors with different accessories. They did a few anime over the years, and this year they've got one coming out online that's, like, Flash animated? I guess it looks okay, but I kind of like the look of the third series that came out in '94.

Q: Right...

A: But they did get Octi's original voice actress back, which is kinda cool since she's in like her 60s but she sounds the exact same. But yeah, they made the game because it's the 30th anniversary this year, and they've got the web anime, some manga, some new clothing lines for adults, and apparently there's a collab café going on in Akihabara, too.

Q: Wow, you, uh... you really do follow it closely.

A: Kinda my thing.

Q: So before we go, what can we expect in the third book?

A: Besides Boss being weird and her boyfriend wearing the same three shirts over and over? Valentine's Day. Which sucks, because all the kids at school act stupid about it. Oh, but there's some cute boys in the area, so that's kind of nice.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Behind the Light Novel: An "Interview" with Iris Faulkner


A while back, we posted an "interview" with Herne, offering some clarity into what it means to be a nature god. This week, we're bringing you the flip side: a Q&A with Owl's Flower owner Iris Faulkner!

As an aside from us—this is a really fun way to explore the characters between books, and to offer you a little more insight that wouldn't naturally come out over the course of the story. If you have a favorite character in the books so far that you'd like to see a blog post like this for, let us know!


Q: So, how are things going at Owl's Flower?

A: Pretty good, actually! Obviously we're not as big as coffee chains or larger restaurants, but we have a respectably-sized clientele that comes through regularly. I'm always looking to expand, but we're in a pretty okay place so far.

Q: It was a little touch-and-go in the first book, I remember.

A: Oh, yeah. That was a weird one. Literal bad luck entity crashing my party? Hopefully that'll never happen again. You'd think gods and spirits would have better things to do than get in the way of someone trying to run a business.

Q: You're taking the whole "knowing deities" thing pretty calmly.

A: I date one. It's starting to verge on normal.

Q: Is it really?

A: ... okay, no, not really. There are a few things I'm getting used to, like Herne just straight up turning into an owl when he gets nervous. Or hungry. Or for fun. But I'm occasionally still surprised. There's a lot out there I still don't understand, and Herne will fill me in as much as he can, but a lot of it is still just plain weird.

Q: For instance?

A: Well, for instance, having to deal with ghosts. That was kind of a big surprise. Also now there's just this dog who comes and hangs out with us. His name's Frank. Apparently he's a friend of Herne's?

Q: Do you ever feel like maybe things are a little too weird?

A: Oh, constantly. But never too weird to give up on trying to make things work. I really love that guy. I get mad at him sometimes because he makes assumptions about how I'll react to things, or I'll get freaked out when I'm faced with something new. But he's worth it.

Q: Speaking of motivation and things being worth it, how long did it take to pick up the skills you needed to open a business?

A: You say that as though I'm done! It's a constant learning experience. Stormy has my back when it comes to social media and things like that, but the rest—business trends, management, how to survive in a brick-and-mortar when businesses are going digital—that's not something you just go to school for and you're set for life. Like I said, I'm always looking to improve, and that means learning new things.

Q: Did you already know how to bake all those amazing cookies and snacks when you started, or was that a process, too?

A: I just like baking. Honestly, if I didn't run a coffee shop, I'd probably still end up baking as much as I already do. This way, they're at least going to people who like them. Instead of, you know, right back to me.

Q: What are you proudest of when it comes to your work?

A: Lasting as long as I have when there are huge international corporations doing what I do. It makes me happy to know that we've made enough people happy that, when given the choice between the big commercial option and Owl's Flower, they'll come to us.

Q: Last question: what can we look forward to in the third book?

A: Well, it's going to be Valentine's Day! That means doing something special at the shop, but it's also Herne's and my first Valentine's Day together. I have no idea how that's going to go. But as long as nothing throws a wrench in our holiday plans at the shop, I'll be happy.

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!