Okay so it looks like I fell off the planet. Promise - I'm still here. The last two years have been ... hard. There's no other word for it. Everything is fine. I'm fine, but I've been the caregiver of my Mother-in-law and now I'm taking care of my mom. Between her needs, work, etc I seem to have lost control of my time. I am still writing and have made a few hard decisions.

I pulled my books from Mundania and have decided to to try to sell them through other publishers. I'm happy to say the 1st three books I sold to HSWF (now owned by Mundania) have been picked up by Melange Books and will be released through their Satin Books imprint. The rest I'm still working on.

I'll probably still be sporadic. Unless I win the lottery and can hire someone to help me I can't avoid it, but know I'm still here still working hard in the background and am hoping to do better at keeping my blog alive.


Tink...tink...tink...anyone out there? Hi! I'm Barbara Donlon Bradley - Author - editor and slightly crazy - ask anyone in my family. I hope to use this blog to talk about writing, editing and whatever pops in my head. Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Meet my Latest Guest: Margaret Fieland

I want to welcome Margaret Fieland! First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

Tell us about your latest release.
     I have three published science fiction novels. The third one in the series was published last July, and the second in the series this past November. Yes, the third one appeared first.  The first two novels in the series, Relocated  and Geek Games, are young adult sci fi novels. The third one, Broken Bonds,  is an adult sci fi romance. I'm finishing up book number four in the series, another adult sci fi.

Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.

1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?

     Captain Hook. I was a huge Peter Pan fan as a kid. I saw Mary Martin on Broadway in the original Peter Pan. I loved Barrie's novel and read it over and over. Hook was pure evil but was not so scary that he gave me nightmares.
     My sister became a fan of Alfred Hitchcock and dragged me to see Rear Window. Unfortunately, the movie terrified her, and she had nightmares. I am still not a fan of horror movies.

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?

     At the moment it's Imarin Namar from Broken Bonds. He's passionate, possessive, and possesses a great personal integrity. In spite of his love for Ardaval, there are lines he refuses to cross. He won't compel – but he will remind Ardaval of the love they once shared.

3.) What do genre do you write? What made you pick that one?

     I write sci fi and fantasy. I'm a huge sci fi and fantasy fan, but up until 2010  I'd never written any, mostly because I had a fear of the world-building. So in September, 2010 I decided to write a sci fi novel of my own for National Novel Writing Month (NaNo), which takes place every November. I spent the six weeks I had mostly on creating my aliens, their culture, their history, the history of the Terran Federation the politics, the art and literature. I spent less time on the plot, ending up a couple of pages of notes, but enough to give me the overall arc of the story.  In November, I started writing. I spent from January to June or so revising.

4.)What are you working on now?

     I'm finishing up the fourth novel in the Novels of Aleyne series. I'm very close to being done, but I still don't have a title.  I've also started work on a fantasy about a young man who lives in a cave in a future ice age. It involves animals with near-human intelligence.

5.)    What got you to start writing?

     I wrote poetry for years before taking it at all seriously, but around 2005 or so I wrote a couple of poems I wanted to keep. Since even then I was frequenting more than one computer, I searched for a way to store them online, and became involved in a couple of online poetry communities.  I came across a contest on one of the ezines I likes and was a finalist. I started taking my poetry more seriously, submitting it for publication, working more on it, and hanging out more online. I discovered the Muse Online Writer's Conference, and met Linda Barnett Johnson. Linda required everyone who joined her writing forums to write both fiction and poetry. I got started and became hooked. Before that it never occurred to me to write fiction at all.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

     Everywhere. The initial impetus for the Aleyne novels was a reaction to a story I read years ago about aliens who formed foursomes, but they were basically two couples. My reaction? I wouldn't write it like that. And when the time came, I didn't.

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?

     I can write backwards and wiggle my ears. When I was in college, I'd give up going to the library in order to study for exams. I'd become bored. Then I'd reread Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. I also taught my self to write backwards and wiggle my ears. Thankfully, I had – and still have – a good memory, because as you might gather, I was not a terrific studier.

8.)    Do you have any special talents?

     Other than those? Yes, I play the flute and the piccolo. I also enjoy playing with digital art. My mother was an artist who specialized in portraits in oils, and it left me with a lifelong love of art and art supplies. When my sons were little, we carried a restaurant bag with crayons, colored pencils, paper, and playdough in the back of the car to keep them amused. Fortunately, they all liked to draw.
     You can check out my Pinterest boards to see some of my digital art work. I use GIMP, a free program with a lot of the features of Photo Shop. Be warned, however: it's quite addictive. 

9.)    What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?

Keep Writing. Don't get hung up on how awful whatever you're writing is – if you don't get it down on paper, you can't work on improving it.

10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?

Charles L. Dodson – Lewis Carroll was his pen name. He was a true eccentric, a mathematician by profession. I'd ask him if he had any poems he hadn't published.

11.) What song would you say describes your life?

Yikes. I can't think of a song to describe my life. I'm really terrible with song titles. I am very fond of Greensleeves, even though I'm far from suffering from unrequited loved. I have a poem/song of mine I like a lot:

Green Peas, A poem-song
by Margaret Fieland

1. Mom: Tune: Greensleeves

Alas my son you know it's wrong
to leave the table discourteously.
Don't give me "pretty please," come along.
Sit down and finish your green peas.

2: Son: Tune: Red River Valley

How can you serve these peas, knowing
I hate them; I've told you six times.
Don't give me that stuff about growing.
You must think that I'm still a child!

3: Sister: Tune: Sixteen Tons

Sixteen year old, is this what I get?
If you want to chase me out, well, now you're all set.
If Peter calls, just say I'm out, that's all you know.
Can't stay another minute, Mom, I've got to go.

4: Dad: Tune: Good King Wenceslas

What's this fighting all about?
Please give me a reason.
Everyone can hear you shout
clear over at the Gleason's.

Give him a break just for tonight,
you are being cruel.
All you do is scream and shout.
I think you're a fool.

5: Mom: Tune: Greensleeves

Green peas were for the boy,
but green peas aren't worth a fight.
Green peas have brought no joy.
Forget about eating those green peas.

12.)  If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?

     My family thinks I should be a Portuguese Water Dog:  dark curly hair, intelligent, and doesn't follow the rules.


Born and raised in New York City, Margaret Fieland has lived in the Boston area since 1978.  She is an avid science fiction fan, and selected Robert A. Heinlein's “Farmer in the Sky” for her tenth birthday, now long past. In spite of earning her living as a computer software engineer, she turned to one of her sons to put up the first version of her website, a clear indication of the computer generation gap. Thanks to her father's relentless hounding, she can still recite the rules for pronoun agreement in both English and French. She can also write backwards and wiggle her ears. Her poems have appeared in journals such as Melusine, Front Range Review, and All Rights Reserved.  She is one of the Poetic Muselings. Their poetry anthology, Lifelines, was published by Inkspotter Publishing in November, 2011.  She is the author of  Relocated, Geek Games, and Broken Bonds,  published by MuseItUp Publishing, and of Sand in the Desert, a collection of science fiction persona poems.  A chapter book is due out later this year.

Broken Bonds

Sex with aliens? How about romance with aliens? A treason accusation? Brad Reynolds has his hands full. When Major Brad Reynolds is assigned to head the Terran Federation base on planet Aleyne, the last thing he expects to find is love, and certainly not with one of the alien Aleyni. How can he keep his lover, in the face of political maneuvering and of Ardaval's feelings for his former partners -- and theirs for him?

Excerpt (PG):

Brad took a deep breath of cool night air, inhaling the nutmeg scent of the flowers planted around Ardaval's front door. Before Brad could knock, the door opened and Ardaval stood in the doorway. Brad hesitated before putting out his hands palm up.
Ardaval placed his hands over Brad's. "My heart, my home, my hearth."
"My hearth, my home, my heart," Brad murmured in response.
Smiling, Ardaval directed his gaze at Brad's eyes; it evoked the same curious flutter in the pit of his stomach as the last time they'd met. Ardaval held open the door and gestured for Brad to enter. "You've come to discuss Gavin."
"I have." Brad followed Ardaval into the front hall where tiles of local stone sparkled on the floor and a padded bench stood under a window. Through a doorway on one side, a glance revealed a kitchen furnished with dark wood cabinets, clean and a bit bare.
"Come." Ardaval gestured toward the back of the hallway where a doorway led into a center courtyard, open to the cool night air, and motioned to a small table. A red-leafed tree in the center spread its leaves overhead. Brad sat, and Ardaval sat beside him.
Brad needed to talk about Gavin Frey's political views. Views that, as far as he could tell from the records, were the opposite of his own. A breath brought him the scent of Ardaval's skin, musky, with a hint of clove. Was it duty or cowardice keeping him from reaching for Ardaval's hand and kissing the palm?
Ardaval clasped Brad's hand in his. "Tell me more about why you were posted to Aleyne."
Should he remove his hand? No. He enjoyed Ardaval's touch and what was the harm, really? When he glanced up, he found Ardaval regarding him with evident amusement.
"I recommended that a man who used psi to save his squad be given a dishonorable discharge." Brad hesitated. "Although the soldier deserved a medal rather than a court martial, he was a fool to admit he caught a thought.”
Ardaval nodded.
"About Gavin Frey. Is he your shan?" The thoughts slipped out.
Ardaval stared into Brad's eyes for a a second or two before he replied. "As you surmise, he is my son; my shan, because I didn't raise him."
Might as well ask this, too. "His mother never told you about him?"
Ardaval shook his head. "No, she didn't. He spent six months here after she died. Then we disagreed over a matter of ethical principal and he left."
Given what he understood about Frey, Brad would have been surprised if they hadn't.
"He married, but his wife died. He has a son who is now fourteen by Terran Standard years."
"His mother possessed a strong psi talent."
"She contacted you?" Brad's eyebrows rose to his hairline.
"She did. I suggest you keep an eye on the boy."
"Do you believe he has gazal?" If the boy developed Aleyni mind speech abilities, he'd need careful watching. Brad's own family had been fairly accepting but how would Frey react if he discovered his son possessed gazal? And what about the terrorists, who might try to exploit Keth's talent?
Ardaval nodded. "I do, though of course we've never met. Gavin doesn't, or at least if he does, he keeps his mind so locked down it's the same thing."
Brad sighed and rose. He'd completed what he'd said he'd come to do.
"It happens this way with us, at times." Ardaval paused for a moment. "We'll meet again."
Brad turned to leave. He couldn't ignore this connection, wish it away, any longer. Only Ardaval's assurance kept him moving out the door.

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  1. A very amusing article Margaret. Nice book cover also. Good luck with sales.

  2. I'm posting for Margaret since there seems to be a bit of a snafu with her trying to comment - JoAnne, thanks for stopping by. I love the cover, too.