Friday, 30 October 2009

Beautiful review by Brian E Erland: 5 out of 5 stars!

"It Can Be A Dangerous Thing For A Man Not To Know Who He Is"

Author Wendy Gillissen's spiritual adventure Curse of the Tahiéra succeeds on so many levels; her characters have personality, depth and personal history, the fantasy environment is vibrant, detailed and filled with mythic wonder and the storyline is absorbing and well paced from beginning to end. Plan and simple it's one of the most enjoyable fantasy books I've read in a long, long time. However my highest praise for Ms. Gillissen's book is reserved for the deep, profound spirituality oozing from her written words; her understanding of the nature of dreams, her innate knowledge of the unseen but sometimes felt lifeforce emanating from the world (or worlds?) around us and the way in which she reveals the spiritual underpinnings and karmic destiny that ultimately determine who and what we are. Many writers have attempted to wed their own personal spiritual paradigm with literary fiction and generally the results are less than satisfying. Either the 'message' overpowers the story to such a degree that the fiction is delivered flat and contrived, or the author is forced to compromise the 'message' for the sake of the tale and the readers entertainment. In both cases both the author and the reading audience are left unsatisfied and wanting.

In the case of Curse of the Tahiéra both of these pitfalls have been successfully and masterfully avoided! If you're looking for nothing more than pure fantasy entertainment this is the book for you. On the other hand if you're looking for a generous dose of spiritual insight that will help guide you in answering some of those inner nagging questions and doubts we all carry with us this is also the book for you. Now if you're looking for both, this must be your lucky day!

By Brian E. Erland (TOP 500 REVIEWER)

APA Book Feature: Tuatha and the Seven Sisters Moon

APA Book Blitz features the launch of Dayna van Thaer's upcoming novel: Tuatha and the Seven Sisters Moon!
If you are like me and love the Celtic world, pick up a copy of this book!
Available for pre-order on Amazon.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Creative Writing For Highly Sensitive Persons - 6 Tips to Boost Your Creative Flow

When surfing the net for tips on writing, I came across many articles and sites giving valid and useful tips on how to write a story that will sell - to editors, to agents, and so forth. However, for me as a creative and a highly sensitive person, much of the advice went against the grain.

For instance, the very first article I read explained how to write a proposal and approach literary agents without ever having done any writing whatsoever. Only when a buying party was attracted, the book would be written, almost as an afterthought. Now you may call me naive, but to me as a creative person this seems like the world turned upside down.

Yes, as a writer I want to be read, so of course I want to sell my books. But they have to be my words, my stories, not the stories I think agents and sales managers are going to like because they think they can sell them.

When you are writing to sell, you should probably skip this article. When you are like me and are writing from the heart, writing because you have stories to tell, you may find some of my tips useful.

And by the way: I actually believe that in the end, writing from the heart will yield a better harvest than writing for a buck - if not in a monetary sense, than at least in satisfaction, joy, and recognition from like-minded souls.

Writing tips for the high-sensitive writer

I hardly ever suffer from the dreaded writer's block, and after finishing my first 444 page novel in one year, I began to wonder why that was. I have decided it is because I am writing from the inside out. I'm not writing from the head - I'm writing from the heart. I let the stories tell themselves.

When writing from the heart, writer's block becomes a thing of the past - an obstacle that only surfaces when you start writing because you have to, not because you want to. But even when you write because you love it, you may encounter blockages and obstacles on the way.

So, here are some writing tips for writing from the heart and overcoming those obstacles.

* Write the story you want to read. Choose a setting you would like to walk around in - however gruesome or dangerous it might get sometimes. Choose a storyline you can get excited about, create conflicts for your characters you can identify with. Write characters you love - or love to hate.

* Turn off the chatter.The endless chatter of the mind can be a great distraction to creative flow. If, like me you have no patience for meditation, there other ways to silence the mind and gain inspiration at the same time. Music, art, movies that inspire you, physical activity like dance, sports, yoga, etc. can all serve to still internal chatter and get you into 'writing mode'.

* Stuck in a rut? Take a walk. Sometimes, sitting behind the computer, wondering where the story wants to go, you may get stuck in your head and the story no longer flows. When writing from the 'rut', you may find your dialogue getting stiff, your characters behaving out of character. Stop and take a walk! Get your body moving. Go do some grocery shopping. Many of my best story ideas came when cycling, or doing the dishes.

* Let's have some music! A great way to get back into the flow, and experience your story from the heart, is choosing some music that fits the atmosphere, the feel of your story or scene. Use an MP3-player, choose the appropriate music and lay down on the couch. Relax. Now, if your story were a movie, this would be the score to your movie. See what images pop up when you listen - don't try and force it, just let them flow naturally from the music and the mood. For instance, when writing medieval battle scenes, I like to listen to Hans Zimmer's 'Gladiator'.

* Let the story tell itself - go to the movies! To take it one step further, while listening to your score, you can step into the movie. You might, for instance choose a moment in the story where there is conflict, where things are moving, or about to get exciting. Step in and take a look around. It's like stepping into a time machine that can transport you to any moment in time. What is it like to be there? How does it feel? How is the overall mood? You may (and probably will) note things you had not noticed before, when you were sitting at your desk: the atmosphere, the weather and how it effects the mood, little background details that can give your story more 'backbone', etc.

* Let your characters speak for themselves. When you step into the story, you may choose one character, step into that person in your imagination and experience the scene from his/her point of view. Identify with them. What do they feel? What do they think? How do they experience their conflict? This will help you get to know your characters intimately and will truly put flesh on their bones, so to speak. It will help you write them as three - (and sometimes more) dimensional characters that live and breathe, and most importantly, feel. Alternately, you could choose a general point of view, the storytellers' perspective.

I hope you find these tips useful. They may not help you sell stories. But they may help you write stories that are authentic and alive - the kind of story I definitely would want to read!

Read the article on EZine!

As Featured On EzineArticles

By Wendy Gillissen, author of Curse of the Tahiéra, the engrossing new fantasy novel

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Wonderful review by Sassy Brit!

Review by Sassy Brit AND Giveaway for Curse of the Tahiéra hosted by!

"Bound for the North through the forest of Gardeth, home of unnatural evil spirits, young Rom, a half Tzanatzi and half human boy, befriends both Yldich, an Einache Shaman, and Eald, an Einache boy. But this is no chance meeting. Little does Rom know that Yldich has had several Yaever dreams about him; dreams that will entwine their fates forever. Yildich believes that Rom can free the Einache people from a rising darkness of evil that has been brewing for five-hundred years, and yet Rom is a mere boy, without a clue to who he really is. He has so much to learn if he, and the Einache people are going to survive.

Together Rom, Yldich and Eald embark on a life changing odyssey as they are thrown into a new way of life, where the veil between his world and the underworld grows thinner each day, and people depend on him. Soon Rom is to learn that this spiritual journey will gain him the courage to learn things he never thought himself capable of, but sometimes uncovering buried secrets comes at a price. Will he be able to face his fears for the final battle and overcome the weight of the world that has been put upon his shoulders?

What a marvellous book. This is a coming of age, young adult tale, filled with a deep spiritual understanding, which I am positive has much to do with Wendy Gillissen's experience as a past life therapist, and her specialisation in dream-work. I found a few editing errors, such as characters "knitting their brows" one too many times, but overall the depth of Curse of the Tahiéra was so richly detailed with a structured plot, and a believable mystical setting, I found it hard to put down. It's been a long time since I've read a fantasy adventure like this and Wendy Gillissen has a style of storytelling that brims with imagination. It is layered with stories, within this story. She peppers words and expressions from the Tzanatzi /Einache languages throughout, but not in a way that distracts, as some books can. For your convenience these are explained at the back of the book, along with an artistic picture Gillissen drew of the lovable character, Rom. Personally I think this portrait is so good it needs to be moved to the front and not hidden away at the back. All in all the Curse of the Tahiéra is a clever debut novel, and the message is that with the understanding of our dreams anything is possible to achieve."

Sassy Brit

For the Curse of the Tahiéra at Alternative-Read giveaway:

1. Follow Sassy's blog!
2. Leave a comment for me (Wendy) at this post "Wendy's interview with AR" I will be very happy to hear from you!
3. Please come back to the review and leave a comment with your email address to say you have done everything required to enter! Easy! And thank you.

Competition ships worldwide!
Ends October 31st, 2009.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Interview by Sassy Brit!

I was interviewed by the lovely Sassy Brit yesterdag morning - it was great fun! Read the interview here! is also hosting a giveaway for Curse of the Tahiéra tomorrow — read the review by Sassy Brit and comment for a chance to win a copy of this exciting new fantasy novel (if I may say so!;)