Posts Tagged ‘Faminelands’

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.

2013: #ECCC Confessions from Booth 1006

Okay I started this on Facebook, but then realized this was really a blog post. So some of these are repeats from this morning. These are things I actually said over the course of this weekend and thoughts going on in my head.

2013: #ECCC Confessions from Booth 1006: Exhibiting as Elizabeth Guizzetti

Maria and I in the booth!

Maria and I in the booth!

How does it feel to be a woman in a man’s field?

In my head: huh? Man’s field? What do you think this is 1950?

Spoken answers:

  • When I started Faminelands six years ago, I didn’t know comics were a “male-dominated” industry. I just thought it would be fun to try to write a graphic novel. I have been doing indie comics and when I look around, I see plenty of other ladies. So I didn’t really break the “rules” as much as no one told me I could or couldn’t do what I do. More and more women write books all the time.
  • I have never been discriminated against as a woman–or if I have– I was simply too dense to notice. Sometimes being thick is good. 😉
  • I did not know Other Systems was hard scifi when I wrote it. I did not know I was breaking into a man’s genre. I didn’t even consider my audience. I wrote a book I liked and listened to when and where Dennis groaned when he watched StarTrek.


HERE IS MORE TRUTH. Not a single thing has to do with me being a woman. I want to be considered a great author, not a great “woman author.” My reproductive organs have nothing to do with writing! Here is some stuff that matters:

  • I spent six months researching the gold rush to make Lure as real as possible. 
  •  I am a good dog-mom/alpha-dog/whatever to Rosie and Tycho so they continually feed me inspiration for Out for Souls&Cookies.
  • I wrote three graphic novels in the Faminelands Universe in a way that made me feel I never ruined the story.
  • I am damn (a stronger 4-letter word is more appropriate, but don’t want to embarrass my folks) proud that my worst reviews of Other Systems is there is too much science, exploring and not enough romance. I spent three months researching scientific theory alone, so of course there was a lot of science! Come on people! 

When is the sequel to Other Systems etc?

  • I am working on one now.

But when?

  • I don’t just push out books to get them out on the market. Sorry, you have to wait, but good sequels take time. Don’t worry, I always announce my sequels early.

A follow up to #5: Do you want to know how to make [Insert title] better?


In my head: Oh my god, did they see Malak’s jacket on page 41 in Mareton’s Curse? It was not rendered with as much care as every other piece of an image and if that wasn’t bad enough, the crappy looking coat makes his head looks pasted on!!! NOOOOOO!

  • No thank you, once a book is out, it is what it is. No one is more critical than I am, but I know better than to keep obsessing over it.

How is it to work with your bff?

  • I love Maria, but we do sometimes disagree. That is a fact in any friendship, but how do we stay friends? We have had a business contract since the beginning of all of this.

Why did you write Faminelands?

  • Because I like elves. I admit it. Now that the trilogy is complete, I am working on The Martlet for the same reason.

Hey There…

  • No, you can’t buy me a drink later, I am married.

Follow up to Question 8: then where is your ring?

  • See this tattoo? (On my ring finger on my left hand.)


Where is your husband?  (Actually this year he had the flu, but this question is asked every year and even if he wasn’t sick, it is not Dennis’ job to man the booth.)

  • Well it’s [insert day] so he’s probably home playing computer games, but he might have gone to a movie or something. Dennis does not have to hang out in my booth for me to know he loves me. I don’t hang out in his office. What you think that’s different? You are wrong, because this is my job. And no, you still can’t buy me that drink.

I want to do indie comics or write books or…. ?

Most days I say: Well it’s hard work but I love it. I write or draw every day and by the end of the year I have a novel. I love the work. 🙂

It’s the truth, but somedays I wish I could say to an attendee: Look, I work 40-60 hour work weeks with very little financial reward. But to me it’s not about the money. Sure I would love to have the money. I would build a big pool of gold like Scrooge McDuck and swim in it. However I think writing and drawing comics and novels are worth it even if I don’t ever have a commercial hit. I’m not even trying to have a commercial success in the way most people consider it.

Seriously if I wanted money, I would write porn–oh sorry I mean “erotica” or go back to painting baby room murals. That’s where the money is, however, that is not who I am. I write stories that my mother will not be ashamed to show her friends, I can be proud of that I paste my name all over it and hopefully makes the reader see beyond themselves. I love to do the research, I love to stretch my skills and to see myself getting better and better every year. That’s my reward. IF and ONLY IF that reward will be enough, then stop making excuses and get off your sorry butt and get to work…. 

But if I ever said that I think Maria would kill me or at least push me out of the booth and tell me to go buy us cookies.

Faminelands #3 Mareton’s Curse has been released into the big wide world


Faminelands Mareton’s Curse is available starting today! You can buy it in our store.

Sequalization of the Webcomic has started!  From today until sometime next year, each Friday by noon PST, I will be updating with a single page of the story. Page 2 is up now. If anyone wants to get caught up The Carp’s Eye and Living Stone are also there, just hit double back and you can go to the beginning.

Note: I use the physical page numbers on the webcomic. Also though I know I am doing it backwards, I actually finish and release the book prior to the webcomic since I never write anything in order.


If anyone is in Seattle, Maria and I will be at Emerald City Comic Con this weekend at Booth 1006. Stop on By! We will be raffling off the original inked image of Lark to the left and continuing our Like to Win ZB Publications Facebook Page giveaway until March 3rd at the close of the Con. We hope to see you there!

Coffee klatch interview with Lady Meadowlark and Hunter Orodherthin

A coffee klatch interview with Lady Meadowlark and Hunter Orodherthin, the Children of Lady Nora, Daughter of Lady Aster of House T’Ralom of the Daoine.

Lark’s eyes sparkle as she drinks her chocolate milk. Yet even for Lark’s jovial appearance, I feel her scanning us, studying us. Orin is more sedate. He sits back, sipping his espresso but his eyes alternate resting upon the doors, the sidewalk outside, and me.


Elizabeth: First let us start off by thanking you for coming down to Seattle. Earth is pretty far away from Talamh, is it not?

Orin (shrugging): The outside is the outside.

Lark: Quite far, but worth the trip, I am sure.

Elizabeth: So what are you plans in Seattle?

Lark: We came to this great city to find work and trade in order to bring wealth to the Daoine, of course. We will take in the sights as you call it of course. Your towers are quite impressive here.  You have wonderful drinks. I never had chocolate milk before.

Orin: Actually, I find it amazing how much food your people have. We just went into one of your grocery stores. Though it is too bad you no longer much in the way of a barter system.

Elizabeth: I see your named brother, Roan, is not beside you today?

Orin (shrugging again): With small children, he prefers not to travel so far from home. He sometimes he comes, sometimes he doesn’t.

Elizabeth: And your father is doing well?

Orin: Our father is a sick man. It is best that Lark keeps her apartments in the Great House.  I personally prefer Lark’s apartment with the Champion’s room to our father’s hut.

Elizabeth: So your relationship has had some ups and downs.

Lark (blushing): Every family has there problems but no matter has happened between us; Orin is my brother. Now he is my Champion too.

Cover_ksOrin just looks pissed off so I decide to change the subject. Elizabeth: And so in Mareton?

Lark: Roan, Orin and I shared an awful dream. There were so many sacrifices during the drought. At least, you will see we were ale to make a difference in Mareton.

Elizabeth: if you want to know the whole story, you can read more in Mareton’s Curse! On March 1st, the sequalization of our story will start at begins! Updates every Friday.

Like ZB Publications on Facebook! Win awesome Faminelands Prize Pack!

Faminelands Prize1

Check out all the goodies!

In celebration of the completion of Faminelands #3, I decided to run a drawing.

LIKE ZB Publications on Facebook between Feburary 23rd and March 3rd to win an awesome Faminelands Prize Pack.

Included are signed copies of Faminelands#1 The Carp’s Eye, Faminelands #2 Living Stone and the long awaited Faminelands #3, postcard pack, 3 1 inch buttons featuring the cover art of each book and a Mareton’s Curse bookmark.

The winner will be chosen by random drawing on March 3rd after the close of Emerald City Comic Con and notified on this page,, and Facebook on March 4th. Please remember I am on Pacific Standard Time.  Also no family members of Maria or myself can win, though we would appreciate it if you still liked the page.

Faminelands Book 3: Mareton’s Curse is here!!!

Cover_ksThe graphic novels arrived this morning wrapped in cardboard, bubble wrap and shredded paper. I need to unpack them and repack them for ECCC and send out any pre-orders as promised. Also in the was our CD’s for the digital copies! Now I just have to burn them, then on to world domination…opps that wasn’t the inside my head voice, was it? There is still time if you want to place an order, check out our store

Also coming are more posters for both Faminelands and “Who wouldn’t trust a poode?” posters for Out for Souls&Cookies.

Mareton Curse

What I listen to when I create Faminelands

Like many artists and authors, I listen to music while I am working. I cannot listen while I am editing or talking to my characters, but every other step is set to music. I also find sometimes when I want to write a specific scene sometimes music that has the same feeling helps me write.

LarkmapsksHowever generally, while I am writing or drawing panels, I listen to Cold Play We have every album they put out so that’s quite a list. I also like The Bravery, Maximo Park, Radio Head, or Muse.

Sometimes I just listen to The Bravery Station on Pandora.

Now when I am coloring, I need faster music. Yet something with a story. I listen to Billy Idol Cyber Punk and his self titled album, Deltron 30,30 Juno Reactor quite a bit.

Now when I am lettering, I need soft music. And it is genera specific. Since Faminelands is fantasy, I need ambient techno such as Single Cell Orchestra. or I need celtic music such as  Clannad or Talizman They are a local band that I heard at Folk Life Festival.

I know others like music when they are working, what do you listen to?

Creating Talamh: Mor

I knew there was a city in the South where Orin lived and worked and the Daoine Village in the North where Lark lived. Ultimately most of Orin’s time is spent in bars, taverns and brothels so here is the first image of Mor that people can see in The Carp’s Eye.


This is how I described Mor  in my author’s notes.

“Mor is an ancient city of great wealth, goodness and evil.  For it is home of the High Princess Inis the beloved ruler of Nemisalla just as it is the base of the Ciarog Crua. 

The respectable merchants despised Lord Malak who robed himself in white in order to serve darkness. However he was still Lord Malak, the Uncle and Regent of High Princess Inis and they paid him tribute.  Just as he was the power behind the throne, it was whispered the Lord Malak was also the true power behind the Ciarog Crua, but no one could be sure. 

The city was built at least twenty thousand years prior upon the cliffs which rise up between two rivers Iascach and the An Loai. Its large fortified castle sits amid some of the finest stone buildings and cobbled streets in all of Talamh, however as the city fanned towards the South, the buildings quickly became little more then shanties and over crowed tenements.

In her wanderings, Lark discovered the entryway into the barracks for the Crua’s men, but she knew she could not enter that realm unescorted.  The shanties around the entryway were filled with unskilled humans and elves who lived in poverty. These people were no better then cattle. Flies buzzed around the filth just left in the dry dirt streets.  They ran low level errands and messages for the higher ranking men in the Crua hoping that the pay would elevate them enough to escape their current position.  Of course they never did.   

Still Lark heard rumors. It was rumored that when the Enforcer Ulthaene questioned someone, even before they answered, he knew their sins. He especially hated the men who hurt whores and ragged children who hung around the grotto scavenging for food. As Lark circled Mor, she found which establishments that the Crua frequented.  Many were nothing, but cob shacks. Dusk was falling rapidly and Lark can see lights dotting the hillside where the Crua houses their men.

She found a tavern that a man as Ulthaene would patron: the Rat and the Snake.  Made from stone and cob with wood beams and balcony on the second floor, it was slightly nicer then the others, but the kind of place an indentured man could afford.

As she moved closer, she noticed the cob was cracked around all the heavy wooden beams and stained with mildew.  She heard the din of fighting and smelled the cheap beer and wine. Down an alley, she saw a man who held a woman pressed against a wall as he thrust in and out of her.  The man was blond so Lark did not tarry.

Lark looked towards the open entry way of the Rat and the Snake. Before she stepped into the tavern, she quickly prayed for protection and that her hunch was right.

It was crowded. Mostly men drinking and gambling, but a few women moved among them freely.  She scanned the crowd.  There were many different types of folk:  Dwarves, Humans, Elves, Goblins, Trolls, and a few Giants who were forced to duck under the low crossbeams.  The Crua employed them all. In the far corner, she saw a brown haired elfin man looking down at his mead.  He was wearing an old dark cloak and a heavy boiled leather breastplate.  He was alone in his thoughts and did not seem to notice the young woman picking his pocket.  Lark realized it was more likely that he simply did not care.

Not a single line creased his countenance, but his eyes showed the harshness of his existence.  He had fought for both evil and good.   He no longer knew the difference only that the stories of gallant warriors defending their people were no longer true.  He also considered that his last copper went to pay for the mead he was drinking, but that night he would make ten gold as he would be paid to cut the flesh of an evil man.”


Creating Talamh: The Daoine Village

It seems only a short time ago, but five years ago, I created Talamh which is the world in Faminelands.

I knew the world was to be faux medieval. I knew it would have elves, humans, giants, dwarves, and fairies. I knew I would want to use Irish words. Talamh is the Irish word for Land or Earth. Daoine is the Irish word for People. I liked the idea that they referred to themselves just as the People. I knew of the Daoine first, in fact, it was only after I decided Orin had run away did I create the city in the South where Orin lived.

Then I began drawing this map very early on in the process. It was mostly for me as I needed to figure out where Lark and Orin were heading on their adventures, but it turned out so beautifully, we made posters.

I decided that most of the Daoine would live in Huts, but the nobles lived in stone houses (or for low ranking nobles, the barracks.) Lark has an apartment in the Great House, but often spends time in her father’s hut.

The Daoine are generally are the “good” guys who believe that they were descended directly from the Goddess. So their history was wrapped up with the mythos of their Mother Goddess.Daoine


“We were but a distant memory of another civilization, great and lost to time.  It was then Talamh was barren, dark and lonely.  She went to find others like her, but finding none, she wept and gave birth to the Seas.  The Seas knew only her sorrow and crashed upon her shores.

The Rising Sun and the Setting Sun heard her weeping and came to see what was the cause. Rising Sun warmed her and the Setting Sun gave way to the darkness and Talamh felt alive and fertile. The Seas now having fathers to guide them, became calmer and many living creatures began to grow within him. Eventually the fourteen moons found Talamh and visited the Seas in their time.

Talamh grew fat and round. From her union with the Sun sprang the Wood. Talamh loved both of her children, but they often quarreled. Eventually the Seas took to the depths and the Wood ran freely across her hills and valleys.

But each was lonely and they met up in places where the trees dip into the Sea and the rivers frolic in the Wood.  And so unknowingly they begat many more creatures and the Lady of the Hunt to watch over them.  

No creature that walked or swam upon Talamh was as fair as the Lady of the Hunt. So beautiful was she that a star seeing her great beauty whispered words of love to her. He came to her during the night and so they begat the first elf woman: Idola. 

Idola ran through the forests and swam in the seas for many years before having children of her own.  She set before her many children a path to follow but it was fraught with danger.  It was her eldest daughter’s eldest daughter the Lady Iris who accomplished this great feat. 

Lady Iris then took her sisters Goldlynada and Lilia to the North and created a great society based upon equality and valor. 

The Lady Goldlynada created House Sarralonde and birthed Lord Galen the First who sired many noble children. The Lady Lilia birthed two noble children and two others that did not live in valor, but lived to create things of use and beauty for the good of all.  Lady Lillia in her wisdom saw the need of another path and the need for some to follow it. Thus the path of the commoners was born.

Lady Iris herself birthed seven mighty warriors: Lord Cairn, Lady Aster, Lady Oaka, Lady Laurel, Lord Perth, Lady Hazel, and Lord Brogan to protect and serve the people.

Each of her children fought in many battles, and harnessed their will in order to push back the chaos which threatened the Daoine.  These great women and men all bore much for the good of Daoine until Lord Cairn fell from the path.  Lady Aster, by her own hand, earned the right to rule the great house Lady Iris created.  She gave to Talamh five children including the great and wise Lady Aren who married Lord Galen the Second and brought forth more noble children.  Evayla who brought forth Nonia the Healer, Perth the Second and Laken who both died in childhood and her untamable daughter Lady Nora who in her time served the people with bravery and fought many battles.

But Lady Nora turned away from her people’s edict and took a common bowyer.  In this way, she brought forth three children: the Lady Meadowlark and her beloved brothers Orodherthin and Calthal. 

My Favorite Character in Faminelands: Lady Aster

I know I have spoken about her before, but today, I am going to talk about  my favorite character: Lady Aster.Aster1

Now in the main Famineland’s trilogy, Lady Aster doesn’t get a lot of panel time, but she was integral in Lark’s development as a warrior and is important for Lark’s (and Orin’s) futures within the House.

When I wrote her, I always knew that Aster would serve the Fhorais Daoine and help their people survive. My author notes say: “She has fought in countless wars, her history is bloody, and her name is legend.” So everything I wrote about, I always kept that in mind. Sometimes she is cold or unfair, but that is what makes Aster  interesting to write. She follows the Path of Valor even when she does not want to.

The leaders of the Daoine are sworn to protect and serve. (They serve as leaders, police and guards inside the village and mercenaries to bring back wealth outside the village.)  Every choice, good, bad, or neutral, Aster makes for the good of her people and her House. Yet it is not blind faith that leads her, but logic, cunning, and the understanding of their enemies. Aster has made plenty of controversial decisions as Matron of House T’Ralóm, including keeping Brogan alive after the loss of his leg and most importantly to the Faminelands Series, Aster chooses the fate of Nora’s bastard daughter, Lark. This is told from Lark’s perspective in the Carp’s Eye and then a much closer version to the truth by Brogan in the History of Lady Meadowlark. 

One summer’s day, Nora did not return from a mission as planned. Each day, the bowyer grew thinner and harder. A month later, we received word that Nora had indeed fallen in a battle. There was no body. I escorted my sister to the bowyer’s hut to deliver the news. For the first time, Aster held Lark as they both wept for Nora. The bowyer would not speak, but sat staring into the flames. During the Moon of Mourning, the bowyer ignored the food which was brought to his hut. Lark had only eaten a little before we heard his mad ramblings, the child’s screaming, and the sound of wood against flesh. After that, Lark scavenged for food.

A few more things happen, then  Calafas goes looking for Nora’s body.

Roan heard screams. He sent word to us and ran to the bowyer’s hut. The man held a bow as he dragged his daughter out the door but they had not food, nor warm clothes. The bowyer snapped, “Forgive us, Noble One, I search for my wife, and you stand in my way.”

Lady Aster called, “Calafas, Your sorrow might demand death, but what of your child?”

Hate filled the bowyer’s eyes as he stared at my sister. He did not seem to care that I unsheathed my sword as he took a step towards us. “I search for my wife, Lady, as YOU will not! My girl needs her mother.”

Lady Aster interrupted, “The child cannot make such a journey in her state.”

Aster did this for a few reasons none of which were charity. Lark might be a bastard, but she is the only known surviving offspring of Nora’s bloodline which is important to the Daoine and their Southern Cousins. (At this point, Orin has run away, they are pretty sure he is alive, but no one has any idea where he is.)

Nora’s death has created a hole in the ranks. She was their greatest mercenary and brought back food for the village. Aster will train Lark so well that in the next major skirmish, Apprentice Meadowlark, skips two ranks and becomes Huntress Meadowlark, by the end of the war, the girl is a great lady. Once The Carp’s Eye starts, Lark is on the road with Orin, Aster is a source of information, but must leave her to her own path. Well, pretty much as you can see from this image from Living Stone.

Living Stone Page 25

And in the upcoming Mareton’s Curse, Aster will begin make other decisions that will effect Orin and Lark’s future happiness. Aster and her Lord Arna were married to create a political alliance, as I alluded to, Lark will be married to someone whose main attribute is that he has a suitable bloodline. Love has nothing to do with it.

Faminelands #3 Mareton’s Curse will be available on March 1st. You can preorder both digital copies and trade paperback in the ZB Publications Store (Pre-orders will ship Feb 26th) and for those of you who enjoy reading the free  version, a page a week will begin on March 7th at

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