Today, Spooky Moon welcomes its first guest post, from author T. Frohock. T. writes richly dark fantasy with delicious characters. Her latest book, In Midnight’s Silence, is available now.
I love Cat’s site. It’s the perfect combination of color and imagery. She maintains just the right consistency between subjects and pictures so there is nothing to jar my sensibilities as I scroll through her posts. She makes it look very easy, but designing a website is never easy, and submitting new and appealing content in an interconnected manner can be daunting, too.
A writer faces some of the same obstacles when using description in their works. No one wants to get bogged down in a four page of description of a doorway—unless it is a very, very, VERY important doorway, and then the author had better milk the use of that doorway for the next six chapters.
I’ve yet to come across a doorway that important to my story.
So I try to choose small details to convey both the mood and the essence of a scene. For me, personally, the problem always arises because I don’t have an artist’s eye. More often than not, I rely heavily on photographs to set the stage.
This is especially helpful when I’m writing a historical fantasy. Even though there is magic and angels and all the trappings of a fantasy world, I need for my descriptions of the real world to be authentic. My Los Nefilim series is set just before the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, so I’ve resorted to using Pinterest to collect images from the that time period. The lovely thing about Pinterest is the link to the original picture is preserved, so I can return to the website for more information if necessary.
I have a board for the Spanish Civil War. Here, I can look at catalogs for the styles of the period, what kinds of cars they drove, and especially the streets and buildings. Small details make a huge difference between a good scene and an excellent scene, and even the name of a store or restaurant can inject a certain feeling in the reader’s mind.
However, I don’t just use Pinterest for historical details. A lot of the pictures are there for inspiration. I have a board for angels and cemetery statuary; a board for haunting images, which stimulate my imagination. Another of my boards is for the dark sounds, which is comprised mostly of flamenco and tango, so I can study the poses and the footwork of the dancers.
I use all the images to inspire me with a sense of mood and place. Then I try to transfer those images into words by choosing an aspect of the picture to describe. I keep my descriptions as brief as possible, because what the reader can imagine is far more powerful than anything I write. A good author will nudge your imagination, not overwhelm it with insignificant details.
BIO: T. Frohock (website | twitter) has turned a love of dark fantasy and horror into tales of deliciously creepy fiction. Her other publications include everything from novelettes to short stories. She is also the author of the novel, Miserere: An Autumn Tale.
T. lives in North Carolina where she has long been accused of telling stories, which is a southern colloquialism for lying.
In Midnight’s Silence (Los Nefilim: Part I)
The fate of mankind has nothing to do with mankind …
Born of an angel and a daimon, Diago Alvarez is a singular being in a country torn by a looming civil war and the spiritual struggle between the forces of angels and daimons. With allegiance to no one but his partner Miquel, he is content to simply live in Barcelona, caring only for the man he loves and the music he makes. Yet, neither side is satisfied to let him lead this domesticated life and, knowing they can’t get to him directly, they do the one thing he’s always feared.
They go after Miquel.
Now, in order to save his lover’s life, he is forced by an angel to perform a gruesome task: feed a child to the daimon Moloch in exchange for a coin that will limit the extent of the world’s next war. The mission is fraught with danger, the time he has to accomplish it is limited…and the child he is to sacrifice is the son Diago never knew existed.
A lyrical tale in a world of music and magic, T. Frohock’s IN MIDNIGHT’S SILENCE shows the lengths a man will go to save the people he loves, and the sides he’ll choose when the sidelines are no longer an option.