New Map of Ialana

I have always used a hand-drawn, black and white map for the books in my Ialana Series, but now I have a beautiful, professionally rendered color map for my website, and a  black and white version for my books!

I know that readers of fantasy love maps as much as I do, and how important it is to have a great map, so I hope you will enjoy seeing it on my site in color, and the better B&W one in my books, as soon as I can get it done. You may have to buy the box set that will be coming out this year, but for now, you can see both of them below:

The Continent of Ialana
The Continent of Ialana by Misty Beee for Katlynn Brooke.
The Continent of Ialana
The Continent of Ialana by Misty Beee for Katlynn Brooke.
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Season’s Greetings!

Christmas Tree In Snowy Night

This year, our holiday season on the East Coast looks nothing like the above picture. The temperatures are more like that of early spring, and even the flowers and insects are confused. I imagine there are going to be many disappointed children, too, but there is a solution.

Untether your imaginations! Let it roam free with a good book. For myself, I would prefer an amazing fantasy, perhaps even re-reading some of my old favorites, such as The Hobbit, or Lord of the Rings.  Or, one can find books that have wintry, snowy settings, such as Frozen, Harry Potter books, or anything by Robin Hobb in her Fitz and the Fool series.

For those who don’t mind a Christmas devoid of the white stuff, but love to get lost in a good fantasy book, the choices are endless. It can be confusing, too. There are so many books out there to choose from, so many genres and new authors popping up all the time. Sometimes we are afraid to try a new author, a new series, or something that has not yet been tested by the general public.

As an avid reader myself, I can fully understand how one may not wish to veer from the popular literature out there. But I take my hat off to those who are not afraid to give a new author a chance! After all, it takes a brave soul to plow through books that are badly written, boring, or unedited.

You won’t encounter any of that in my books. Since I am a reader too, and have been ever since I learned to read at age 5, I understand what readers want. More importantly, I understand what it is you don’t want to see in a book.

So give the Ialana Series a shot. The first book in the series, The Six and the Crystals of Ialana, will introduce you to the characters and the setting in a way that will hold your interest to the end. I can promise that the action never lags, the plot will intrigue and it will, by the end, leave you wanting more.

In The Six and the Gardeners of Ialana, the Six continue with their adventures, picking up where they left off, but with an entirely new plot. Each book in the series is a complete book, so you will never be left hanging at the end.

In early 2016 (a few weeks!) the third in the series, Anwyn of Ialana will be available. This book holds a promise for even more action, many more plot twists, and enough excitement to keep you glued to your Kindle or Nook. Or, if you prefer, these books are also available in paperback. Now is a good time to catch up with this series, and I hope you will get as much enjoyment out of them as I did writing them.

Merry Christmas to my new readers, and have an enjoyable and wonderful New Year, snow or no snow.

Katlynn Brooke

 

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How Much Daydreaming is too Much?

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As a child in school, I spent hours wool-gathering during classes. Many teachers despaired for my academic future, and I would get comments on my report cards such as, “Dreams too much.” That one is actually a verbatim comment.

How much daydreaming is too much?

To be sure, daydreaming hampered my ability to understand algebra and trigonometry, but in hindsight, I feel that even had I paid attention I would not have understood these subjects. The part of the brain that understands mathematic formulas and figures dropped out of school before it even began, at the kindergarten level. Instead, its cousin, the part of the brain that could read well and make pictures in my head went into overdrive. If there was an academic award for imagination, I would have aced it.

My English teachers loved me. I wrote essays, short stories and compositions, that were read out loud to the rest of the class. It did not make me popular, but my reputation was always redeemed again during arithmetic and math classes. But this was where I earned the scorn and fury of teachers. We did not have great teachers, obviously (unless they taught English). It was the 1950’s and ‘60’s, and corporal punishment was encouraged. I had been whacked with rulers and hit by flying erasers or chalk too many times to count. None of it helped me understand math. My parents weren’t sympathetic. (But that is another blog for later–about the ’50’s: “What was it really like?“)

I didn’t like science much. Too many facts and figures, not to mention the gross smells. Science class turned into a mad scientist’s lab, and I conjured up visions of monsters being created. Maybe this is where Mary Shelley got her inspiration from for her novel, Frankenstein. It’s probably where I got my monsters from for my fantasy novels.

My math teachers were monsters with claws and big teeth. I was always the heroine who rescued my fellow-students from the hideous creature that drooled and roared up at the chalk-board.

Daydreaming was my escape. There is a saying, one man’s day dream is another man’s novel. Since I knew I’d never grow up to be a scientist or engineer, or even an astronaut, I felt it wasn’t a waste of my time to daydream during class. It has paid off. Unfortunately, not in money. If money is your thing, aim for the astronaut or engineer, or even the burger flipper at the local fast food joint. With the latter, you might still make more money than the average author.

But if it is your dream to write books, and I mean books of fiction, then there is no need to feel inferior to your fact-based friends. I must just caution you, be smarter than I was about your daydreaming. Teachers no longer physically assault students, but they can still write sarcastic comments in your report card. Pay attention. Try to understand the incomprehensible, and work around it. Find a time to daydream where it will not cause problems for you.

Academia is important to all of us, especially writers. We want to be able to understand the incomprehensible just as much as anyone because you never know when you may need it in a novel you are writing. Being smart makes you a better writer! One can have the most amazing inspiration for an excellent story, but being unable to translate that into something someone wants to read requires work. It requires a basic or better understanding of language, syntax, grammar and spelling. Don’t let yourself down on these subjects.