Writing “realistic” magic — a post on Tim Powers & John Bellairs

  (written as a participant in the Rainier Writing Workshop)     LAST CALL and HOUSE WITH THE CLOCK IN ITS WALLS Tim Powers and John Bellairs In my spies+sorcery novel Wilderness of Mirrors, I’m trying to write a grounded fantasy that builds on known facts about the Cold War, the War on Terror, 9/11 and the WTC. I am attempting to construct a fantasy that feels as intricate and realistic as the spy novels of John Le Carré. I think I can write a pretty good spy plot, with gun battles, secrets passed in the dark, cryptographic codes to be broken, etc.  The tricky part of the novel for me is writing the “fantasy” part, as to this point in my writerly life, I’ve written “straight” contemporary or historical fiction. I also have no desire to craft a...

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Withholding and Hinting at the “True” Story — a Post on Toni Morrison’s Beloved

  (written as a participant in the Rainier Writing Workshop)     Toni Morrison’s Beloved              I’ve been pondering writing a new novel that illuminates a horrific period in my family’s heritage. As I re-read Toni Morrison’s Beloved this month, it became clear to me that her techniques of emotional withholding and surrealistic storytelling would be quite useful in telling the story that I’m tentatively calling A Mercy Upon Us. The verifiable family history I would use in my novel is the story of my grandfather’s parents. They were two young immigrants from Holland, with four children in tow, and one in the oven. They brought with them their elderly grandmother, to help with the children and the new baby about to be born. However, the only...

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Taking Monday Off

My week (Or: why I’m taking Monday off) Monday all-day meetings in Korea. Tuesday breakfast in Korea, Lunch in Japan, Dinner in Seattle. Birthday when I landed. I think I lived that day twice, across time zones. Wed & Thurs work started at 7 am. Thursday night, public Preview of the show I’m in at OFT with my family. Had a call with India at 8:30 pm. Show ended at 8:45. So I actually started my call back-stage, put the phone down, did the last scene and curtain call, and came back in time to the phone in time to close the deal with the India partner. At 9:30. Friday began with a bang — 6 am prep for 7 am sprint planning with Argentina team. Non-profit Board meeting in the middle of the day. Followed by Opening Night tonight in this...

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Nikki McClure and Sinful Folk

New York Times best-selling illustrator and author Nikki McClure and I know each other through our children’s school and our mutual interest in locally sourced art and supporting local artists. Nikki’s son and my children both attended the Lincoln Options Elementary School, and we are both very involved in the local arts community in the South Sound area in the Pacific Northwest. We first met at a Solstice Celebration that featured local children in an impromptu theatrical celebration of the season.   Nikki created the cover of Sinful Folk as one of her signature papercut pieces, but went in a new direction for the internal illustrations, which were created with charcoal. After reading the book in 2012, Nikki created her own graphical interpretation of SINFUL...

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Sinful Folk – Interview on BookNote

Video interview on BookNote (w/ Riana Nelson)   SINFUL FOLK by Ned Hayes, illustrations by Nikki McClure  Please like &...

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