Monday, August 25, 2014


Congratulations to Bella Boo, who won this month's contest! Thank you all for the lovely comments! Please come back next month--I'll have some photos of Scotland!! And I'll be giving away signed copies of The Vampire and the Virgin and Eat Prey Love! Meanwhile, you can follow the Scottish adventures on Facebook and Twitter.  See you next month!

Have any of you been watching the new television series, Outlander?  Jamie Frasier captured my heart years ago when I first read Outlander, back in 1991. But then you know that I have a thing for valiant young men in kilts (or valiant old vampires in kilts!).  One of the things I love most about the TV show is that we get to see Scotland. I've been fascinated with that country ever since I was a kid reading
Nancy Drew books and she traveled to Scotland (and solved a mystery, of course.) And I have Scottish ancestors, so I can't help but feel drawn there.

In September, I'll be traveling to Scotland with a group of writers.  You may know of a few of them-- Cathy Maxwell, Lorraine Heath, Elizabeth Essex.  We'll fly in together to Glasgow, and then take off to an old hunting lodge for a week. Of course, the only thing we'll be hunting is countryside, castles, and men in kilts! When we come back to Glasgow on Sept. 14, I hope to meet some of my readers. If you are able to attend our get-together, please let me know! I want to bring a signed book for everyone.

And since sadly, you can't all make it, I'll give away two signed books today.  One lucky winner will receive a signed copy of Secret Life of a Vampire and Forbidden Nights with a Vampire! Just leave a comment to enter. International entries are welcome. Good luck!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Loving the rogue

Each month, the fabulous Helen Lowe sends us ideas for posts - because sometimes, you get so caught up in your world (both the real one and the one in your head) that you just can't conceive of what to blog about.

I don't know if Helen was inspired by one of the comments on my last post, but one of her prompts about swashbucking rogues mentioned the one, the only, Han Solo. So, let's get our Solo love on.

What was it about Solo that attracted us (apart from the fact he was played by Harrison Ford - seriously, just look at that face!)? Why was it the bad boy, who wasn't supposed to be much more than a foil to show up how heroic Luke was, who became the star of the trilogy?

I've always kinda felt sorry for Mark Hamill. He should have been the one to come out of those movies a megastar. Instead, we've been gifted with decades of Harrison Ford.

I don't think it's just about the actors. I don't think it's about the fact Hamill had that accident and it changed his face. I think it was about the characters.

While Luke had the real hero storyline, he started off selfish and a whiner and I don't think any of us ever got over that. Whereas the first time we see Han he's poised, in control, and you bet your sweet patootie that he shot first! Not likeable, but still you see in the relationship with Chewbacca that there's something to him. Han knew who he was, and he wasn't apologising for it. Luke knew what he wanted to be, and did nothing to get himself there until circumstances allowed it.

In the end, I think that's the attraction of the rogue - it's his confidence. He don't care what people think, and we'd all like to be like that.

So let's drink a toast to Han Solo and his ilk - may we never lack for a good rogue!

What do you love most about Han Solo in particular, but rogues in general? I'd love to know. Help inspire me to write my own lovable rogue!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Masquerade of Fiction

Zorro the Mask
Name your favorite masked character and win a free kindle book.

The winner is - Diane Scicluna! Please send me your email address  (to enchantmentATkimfalconerDOTcom) and I'll send you your copy of Tatsania's gift, or Vampires Gone Wild, if you prefer. Congratulations! 

Since the beginning of time, masks have had a powerful influence on human evolution. From preliterate societies to the ancient Greeks and on to present times, the mask represents a part of our multiplicity, the many ‘selves’ that reside within.

Greek Masks of Comedy and Tragedy
In the Greek amphitheater, masks were performance props that helped bring out a ‘persona,’ a word that originally meant ‘to sound through’. The mask actually amplified the voice of the actor on stage, a wonderful metaphor for the expression of character.

Joseph Campbell explores this deeply in The Masks of God, delving into philosophical views of supreme beings in preliterate, Eastern, and Western cultures. He shows how, through story and ritual, we meet the divine, and sometimes demonic (dynamic), within - via our masks.

Batman the Game

In modern times, the mask (metaphorical or real) can be a way of allowing a particular aspect of our personality its day in the sun. We put on the mask and become something  else, something more than . . .
This ‘primitive’ practice of donning a mask to express a repressed aspect of the Self is common. We do it all the time when we:

Put on our happy face.

Find our serious look.

Give others our kick-ass stare.

Go all gooey or seductive . . .

Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz in The Mask

We still use masks in fiction to embellish (hide, punish, trick, curse, bless, amplify) a character. It may seem like the mask makes them more archetypal, as in the evil of Darth Vader, the trickster Stanley Ipkiss in The Mask, or Batman and Zorro’s dark hero, but the story always reveals its deeper meaning when the characters finally take off the mask. Then we see what lies beneath.

William Butler Yeats suggests we sometimes prefer the masks stay on!

The Mask

"PUT off that mask of burning gold
With emerald eyes."
"O no, my dear, you make so bold
To find if hearts be wild and wise,
And yet not cold."
"I would but find what's there to find,
Love or deceit."
"It was the mask engaged your mind,
And after set your heart to beat,
Not what's behind."
"But lest you are my enemy,
I must enquire.”
"O no, my dear, let all that be;
What matter, so there is but fire
In you, in me?"

What’s your favorite mask in film or literature? Lord Vader? Scream? Dread Pirate Roberts? Zorro? Predator? Stanley Ipkiss? Stanley Ipkiss’s dog? I’d love to hear.

Name your favorite, most scary/awesome/sexy mask in the comments and receive a Kindle copy of Tatsania’s Gift, a YA dystopia novella, lead in to the Quantum Encryption series.

Kim Falconer is a Supernatural Underground author writing paranormal romance, urban fantasy, YA and epic science fantasy novels.

You can find out more about Kim at or on the 11th House Blog, and on FaceBook and Twitter. She posts here at the Supernatural Underground on the 16th of every month. Her latest release is"Blood and Water" in Supernatural Underground: Vampires Gone Wild.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Creating Characters

A question I'm often asked is how I go about creating characters—and it's certainly a huge part of the writing process.
Malian of Night
Usually, my characters either 'spring forth' in an instant, fully formed Athena style, or they evolve over time a long time before I begin writing. Yet even with the evolving characters, there’s often a flashpoint moment – usually an image of the character in a place or situation where their identity becomes ‘concrete.’ Sometimes it can be the ‘voice’ of the character I hear first. The flashpoint also comes with with far more backstory around what the character’s life is, and the challenges ahead—which is when the writing begins.

In the case of Malian, in the The Wall Of Night series, the flashpoint was an image of her scaling the interior wall of an ancient, ruined castle that was imbued with shadows and a bloody history. She had already been with me a long time at that point, but that was the moment in which her character and journey really became clear. As the series has developed, Malian's character has continued to evolve in relation to events, as well as to changes in the characters around her.

I feel it's important that happen, since it’s a vital part of making characters real. I also believe that character continuity is vital to the authenticity of a story—which means that a character cannot just go and do something against her or his nature, as established in the story thus far, simply to advance the next element in the plot. Not if I’m “keeping it real” as a writer.

Malian is a major character and so obviously gets a lot of attention. But for me, a yardstick of writing quality is whether the minor characters, for whatever brief time they are on the stage of the story, are equally real. One way I like to think about this in my own writing is that even if a character is not important to the story being told, he or she (or "it", since I do write fantasy!) will be important to him or herself. Even the most minor character will have a history and a life that matters to them—and as the writer I have to convey a sense of that.

When an author does this successfully, I believe it adds depth and texture, as well as conviction, to the story. I know it adds greatly to my enjoyment of a book when I don my reader’s hat.