Posts Tagged ‘adventure’

Who is the protagonist of The Grove?


The Grove Cover_blogsized

I always think its fun to see if I can create a character that the reader loves to hate. They must be sympathetic. They must be interesting. They must also have a need that must be met in the course of the story. But that isn’t necessarily what makes them a protagonist.

So how do you define protagonist.

The most common definition–especially for the lay person–is that the protagonist is the central character of a story.  And professionals agree: According to “A protagonist is the central character or leading figure in poetry,  narrative, novel or any other story.” However, then the definition goes on. Seriously its a whole page.

So lets first start with the central characters. For The Grove that’s Dayla Fisher and Jonah Leifson.


Jonah wants to save humanity from themselves. He believes waking a few bloodthirsty ancient Gods will do it. And he doesn’t care that he might have to sacrifice a few people to do it.

dayla happy.jpg

The Keeper of The Grove, Dayla will do anything to stop Jonah from waking the Gods.  She suffers over any loss of life though she eventually comes to realize she might have to take life to stop Jonah.

So who is the protagonist?

There are a couple basic elements for a protagonist:

  • The protagonist is driving the action of the story and so the narrative revolves around him/her/them.

By this definition, that means my protagonist would be Jonah as he drives the story towards its conclusion.

  • The protagonist may undergo some change within the course of the story.

Uh Oh, Jonah doesn’t go through much of a transformation, he is a true believer in what he is doing, so that might mean the protagonist is Dayla.

  • The events occurring in a story often viewed from the perspective of the protagonist.

Well that could be both characters. As well as three other people: Dayla’s husband Oliver Hayes, Dayla’s best friend Samantha Miller and her one time rival, now charge, Galeno DeAdams.

  • A well-constructed protagonist allows the audience to relate to themselves and the other characters.

This too could be either character. Do you want to save the world with Jonah? Or stop Jonah from sacrificing people with Dayla?

So who is the protagonist?

The truth is who is the protagonist is questionable. I wrote The Grove as a thriller. So in that sense, Jonah is driving the action, while Dayla is fighting for her life, her husband, her friends and lifestyle. Most people will see Dayla as the protagonist, because she isn’t using her magic to delude people into waking three ancient Gods. She is “the good-guy.”

However ultimately who is the protagonist is up to the reader!

Do you agree or disagree? Do you have a favorite book/series in which you question who is the protagonist?

About The Grove:
The Grove Cover_blogsizedGenre: Contemporary Dark Fantasy
340 Pages
Paperback ISBN: 9780980145908
Ebook: ISBN:9780980145922

Sitka’s Quay appears to be like every other coastal tourist town on Highway 101, but lurking below its southern grove of ancient spruce are three sleeping primordial gods. The Keeper, Dayla Fischer, must remain in control of her magical abilities or fall into sickening madness, but lives a relatively quiet life with her husband, Oliver. That is, until the delusional, but charming Jonah Leifson comes to town with a plan to awaken the Three. Soon, children begin disappearing. With powerful suggestion spells and mind reading abilities, Jonah wins over other sorcerers, meth users, the police, and eventually even her husband. Though no one believes her and she doubts her own sanity, she must stop Jonah, before he wakes the Three and brings about the end of the world.


Reviews for The Grove:
“Chaos, murder, sacrifice: it was a delicious read, and I devoured it all.” Dan Thompson, The Black Petal

“If you’re a fan of well-written, fast-paced, fantasy thrillers that trot into the neighborhood of horror, you’ll love it…” Fia Essen, Ariel

“Guizzetti’s delusional and magically gifted anti-hero is truly terrifying…” Janice Clark, Healer’s Apprentice Series

Spokane: I’m going to Auntie’s Bookstore!

The Light Side of the Moon Final

Looking for something to do in Spokane Tuesday Night?

I will be reading my next heart-wrenching, dystopian science fiction novel, The Light Side of the Moon, on Tuesday Night, August 18 2015 at Auntie’s Books which is located at 402 W Main Ave, Spokane, WA 99201.

The Light Side of the Moon is the second novel in the Other Systems Universe, but it is not a sequel. Fans familiar with the series know that Other Systems followed immigrants to the utopian planet, Kipos. The Light Side of the Moon is the story of those who stayed behind on Earth.

Science fiction has a long history of social commentary as humanity’s technology has advanced. Our imagination–or lack of it–can bring progress or missteps to the future of our species. The poverty shown in The Light Side of the Moon is dire, but it is also a story of redemption. And if that’s too serious…don’t worry we’ll have cookies!

Review of Isaac the Fortunate: The Spring

Here is my review of The Spring which is the next book in the Isaac The Fortunate Series.

19546483I loved The Winter and all I can say is wow for The Spring. AoKA’s engaging characters and beautiful descriptions will transport you to medieval Switzerland where you follow Eostre–the mysterious lady from the Winter who gives the farmer Beltran the Golden Bridle.

After the death of her drunken father, she goes to a nunnery. She begins having visions that leave her confused, lost, and in deep trouble with the other nuns. She sees her best friend another novice alive and then she sees her dead from a plague. Then other nuns are alive and dead.

Eostre begins to doubt her own sanity as she wonders what is real. As the timelines converge, well, I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.

AoKA has a beautiful style and the poetic descriptions left me hungering for more. She doest they beautiful black and white “woodcut” style illustrations. I look forward to The Summer!

Why does an author end a series….

Cover_ksToday the final page of Faminelands: Book 3 Mareton’s Curse went up on the webcomic. I am proud of what I accomplished with the series and this is a bittersweet moment for me. Though I am not saying I will never go venture to Talamh with pen in hand, I also believe in being honest with the fans. At this time: it is unlikely.

Our reasons are simply practical.

Though I enjoyed the creation of Faminelands Book 3, post production did not go well. Its Kickstarter failed, but I produced the book anyway. We did a minimal run, but a full-color, perfect bound project we were never able to get our costs down. Though there were avid fans of the series for whom I am truly thankful, and we sold out of our first run of The Carp’s Eye, Faminelands #3 did not sell well in 2103, and our sales have dropped to 0 in 2014.

Faminelands has always been a project of love. I knew going into it that some people would hear the words ” mercanary elf” and started running in the other direction. However I have also spent thousands of dollars and hours. I need to pull the plug.

As some of you know Faminelands Vol 1: The Carp’s Eye was not only my first book, but it was how I taught myself how to create comics after years of painting landscapes and baby room murals. This act of creation defined who I wanted to be as an artist and author as well as set up the kind of books I wanted to write. So Faminelands has a special place in my heart. It always will. At the same time, there are other projects that I want to work on. A 100 page graphic novel takes me approximately 800 hours in production, post production. And forever to sell.

Ultimately, my heart is no longer on this project and its bleeding me dry. 

Maria had to scale back the hours, she is able to give to the projects. Though it was a bit dicey for awhile, I think we figured out what is going to work for both of us.

All that being said, if you want to know about Lark and Orin the webcomic is still up (in fact at least for the time being the store still has the Faminelands Banner since I need to send in the ZB Template) And we will keep a small amount of stock if you want to order the books. To be clear, though this series has ended, as a company, Maria and I are not going anywhere. In fact though 2014 is a year to regroup and end a few dangling projects. Out for Souls&Cookies #5 is being released starting March 27, 2015.

At Emerald City Comic Con, we will be having a huge raffle of both Faminelands and Out for Souls&Cookies swag, books, and sketches. 

We have some exciting news about 2015 that I look forward to announcing later this year.

Author’s Life: Week 10


Here’s me and the dogs at Blanca Lake.  I don’t know if you can tell, but I already went wading so my pants are dripping water down the stone. Photo taken by Rebecca Brown (my hiking partner)

Just a short blog post this week. So  a couple weeks ago, I told the world or at least the people who read the blog about my exercise program in order to enjoy hiking again. Well it’s week 10.  My big hiking goal of the summer was to make it to Blanca Lake. Today Rebecca, Rosie and Tycho and I made it!

An Authors Life: Fighting writer’s block and pain of rejection and flab all at the same time.

This post is not about writing. It is a confession.

I am going to confess something which most of my readers already know. I love sweets. I love baking. I don’t necessarily consider this negative –except that I stress eat. If I only ate sweets when I wanted them, I wouldn’t worry about it at all.

Other Systems put about 30 pounds on me. The comics added some too, but they were less stress added less, but lets say I have been on an upwards creep for the past six years. Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows every year my New Years resolution has been to exercise. I discovered for about a month I do really well and then give it up. Main reason I get bored. Being a writer and artist means I spend a lot of time alone. What would happen is if I don’t work out first thing in the morning, well I’d tell myself, I’ll just do it later. Then the day ended and I never exercised.

Well seven weeks ago, I have finally realized I need a workout buddy. Or more accurately I need someone to hold me accountable.

My friend, Rebecca and I started doing a few easy hikes.  We both hiked when we were younger and enjoyed it. We went to Iron Goat and Snoqualmie Tunnel…. these are both easy. Then we thought maybe we could start by doing some moderate hikes and work our way up.

So we did Rattlesnake Ridge. It is 4 miles with moderate elevation gain. We were panting terribly. In fact I am pretty sure my heart and lungs wanted to explode out through my ribs. We could only walk about a quarter mile before taking a short sip of water to cool down.


Rattlesnake Lake is where you start to get to Rattlesnake Ridge.


Then you climb to the top and see this view!

Sitting on the top of the ridge, we enjoyed the view for awhile, and I remember this is why I started hiking so many years before. I found I really missed it.

Somewhere between the ridge and the car, we decided if we really wanted to enjoy hiking again–we needed to exercise every day.

We even said we would be buddies, but we didn’t have a specific plan yet.The next day, Dennis was watching a movie and I decided to walk around my neighborhood with the dogs.

I found our workout. Seattle has a bunch of stair climbs because we are a city of hills. So Rebecca and I started climbing the stairs. (The Day Street Hill Climb)

Week 1: We made it up and over and back down the hill, resting at 27th AVE but took the easy way back through the bike tunnel. We were panting and gasping for breath. But by Friday we could talk as we walked up the stairs.

By Week 2: Now there is a noticeable difference in our breathing.  We started going up and over, and then back up and back down. We still rested at 27th Street. But on the way back through the park one day, I got the bright idea to climb over the big toy.  She had the idea to run through the rock garden.

By Week 3: One day I felt spunky and refused to stop at 27th Street. Damn it hurt, but I made it.  It took Rebecca a little longer, but now she doesn’t stop either. On that weekend we hiked up Granite Mountain, we meant to do 4 miles, instead did 7. Rebecca and I had a epiphany: Crap the daily exercise was working! We just hiked 7 miles!


This is Lake Serene: 23 switchbacks and we climbed them all.

By Week 4: We were mixing up the hill climbs with other hill climbs to get max elevation gain in an hour. Don’t ask me why except we wanted to get to Lake Serene. That weekend we made it. 7.2 miles with an elevation gain of 2000 ft.

Three weeks later: we are now at week 7! I have exercised 5 days a week and one weekly hike!

Now here is the part no one will want to hear: Though I have noticed some bits of me (legs) more toned and I am much stronger, I have NOT lost a single pound. I am still a pleasingly plump pear shaped kind of woman. I have a soft and squishy belly. I was a size ten seven weeks ago and I still am a size ten. That might not change, but something else has: I used to exercise so I could lose weight and when I didn’t lose weight, I lost interest. Now my goal is a healthy mind and body no matter what size I am.

1) I am exercising because it allows me to remain strong enough to do things that I love such as hiking.

Rebecca and I have two “goal hikes” by the end of the summer.
Hers is Easy Pass which is 7 miles and 2800 feet elevation gain.


Here we are last week at Big Creek Falls. I am in blue.

Mine is Blanca Lake. which is 7.5 miles and 3300 feet elevation gain.

Our secondary goal is to exercise all year round so we might do snowshoeing in the winter.

2) It relieves stress and pain of rejection. I still love desserts, but have stopped going for a snack every time I get a rejection letter which is good because I have gotten three this week alone.

3) I have not had a day of writers block since I began exercising in the morning. It resets my brain and ideas have flooded in.

I am, Tycho, the might mountain poodle!

I am, Tycho, the mighty mountain poodle! Where is my cookie?

4) I love my dogs and I want them to be healthy too. Tycho LOVES running up the stairs in the morning. He has gotten much more confident over the past several weeks. He wants to play with other dogs again. He has lost weight. He was plump in the middle now he has toned up through his hind quarters. So the flab part of the headline was actually for Tycho.

Stoic Rosie doesn’t show her emotions, but is always awake and ready to go. So I think she likes it. She loves the hiking, because she gets lots of attention on the trail.

So I finally found something that works for me. I still like doing DVD exercise programs, but being accountable to someone else really gives me the push to do it –even when I don’t want to. Trust me there has been complaints.

So I realize this isn’t really about writing, but what works to keep you motivated on your goals?

I claim this mountain for Rosie! It will furthmore be known as Mt. Rosie. You and You and You are my subjects. Bow before me so I might cuddle you.

I claim this mountain for Rosie! It will furthmore be known as Mt. Rosie. You and You and You are my subjects. Bow before me so I might cuddle you.

Summer Reading List

Once I finish my next rewrite, query letter, and other submission goodies for The Light Side of the Moon I will be getting ready for another reading rampage…err I mean my oh so civilized summer reading list.

Embracing the Flames Cover

Under the Dome by Stephen King

Embracing the Flames by Candace Knoebel (And check out my interview with Candace during her blog tour coming up on July 16th.)

41ueAi988sLThe Caseworker’s Memoirs by Dan Thompson

Nights of the Round Table and Other Stories by Tanya Huff

Tethers by Jack Coxall

Finally I am going to finish up the Voyage Embarkation (Voyage along the Catastrophe of Notions) Series by Zachary Bonelli

What are is everyone else reading this summer?

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