Posts Tagged ‘janice hardy’

As you might be able to tell from the gallery and the number of hugs involved in these photos, the Coastal Magic Convention was wonderful, casual and, in a word, awesome.  Our organizer, Jennifer Morris goes out of her way to create a fun environment where no one is up on a pedestal, no one (well, almost no one) is just talking at you, but we’re all talking =with= each other.  Meet & Greets, Flash Fiction Panels, Come as your Character cocktails…you name it, we did it.  To the readers and bloggers who came, I have to say YOU ARE ALL AMAZING.  The boxes of books bought, the great questions and conversations…I feel like my heart grew three sizes that day, and I was no Grinch to start with.  I carried my glow from the convention all the way home and then got the after con blues because we weren’t going to do it all again the next weekend.  Seriously.  So much fun.

If you want to hear/see more from the convention, one of Wednesday’s YA Rebels (Sarah/Aria Kane), posted a vlog last week:

And I posted an interview just today with the fabu J.A. Souders.  Enjoy!

A P.S. to this post, brought on by recent events:

1- I attend Coastal Magic Con and a few other conventions during the year as an author rather than an agent, which means that I pay my own way and feel freer to be me as opposed to my agent persona, who is also me but a lot less casual and never spotted in the wild wearing a coconut bikini.
2- Anyone currently spouting sexist and bigoted diatribes who decides that the wearing of such means I “can’t” be a feminist and I’m not to be taken seriously…I’m so sorry, but didn’t you go extinct with the dinosaurs?  (Anyone who doesn’t know what I’m talking about can follow this link to be clued in or this one to see my subsequent rant on the subject.)

I’ve been trying to find time since I returned from the Olde City, New Blood conference to post pics and blog about the general fabulosity of the event and the people involved.  Unfortunately, as usual when I return to the office from a con, I’ve been swamped.  But since today started with an ultrasound on my not-so-little-boy’s belly, I needed a pick me up this morning.  Posting about Olde City, New Blood was just the thing.

First off, its unbelievable to me that this was the first time for Jennifer Morris pulling together a convention.  She did an amazing job.  I’m still in awe of all the incredible authors, bloggers and readers she managed to pull in for the conference and how warm everyone was.  Picture one big coffee klatsch or bar round table, and you’ve pretty much summed up the weekend.  Jennifer also came up with some really fun concepts like the Mystery Science Theatre-esque movie showing, which I heard Damon Suede rocked, the flash fiction panel in which the audience gave up prompts leading to fun things like a horror/romantic comedy featuring a heroine on a space ship with a hyperdrive dealing with a platypus infestation.  (Let’s just say that by the time we were done, they were venomous, shape-shifting platypi aliens who wanted our heroine to breed with them to create a whole new race.)  Possibly the most fun, though, was the Character Dating Game, where many of us portrayed the characters from our book, a la the cheesy 70s game show.    In the first match up, our bachlorette was Agent Parker Adams (aka her author Karina Cooper), definitely a take-charge kind of girl.  Her dating options were (from L to R) Daemon, the hero from Jennifer Armentrout‘s Lux series, Deacon Chalk, from James R. Tuck‘s Occult Bounty Hunter series, and Criminy Stain, Delilah S. Dawson‘s creation for her Blud series.  In the second match up, we had Karina Cooper again, playing her colorful heroine Jessie, Tawdra Kandle, playing her mind-reading heroine Tasmyn Vaughn, me in the guise of Gina Covello, fashionista of the fanged (she asked me to fill in for her since she doesn’t show on camera) and Criminy Stain, who’d failed to find “his” perfect match the first time around.  I’m happy to say that wasn’t true in the second dating game!


The charity signing was a HUGE success, and I’ve posted some pics below for your viewing pleasure:

ocnb ocnb9wocnb9c ocnb9d ocnb9e ocnb9f ocnb9g ocnb9h ocnb9i ocnb9j ocnb9k ocnb9l ocnb9m ocnb9n   ocnb9q


1- Damon Suede of Dreamspinner Press sweeping me off my feet

2- Lea Nolan, Me with my eyes closed, J.A. Souders and Janice Hardy, ready, willing and able to sign books at a moment’s notice

3- Janet Breakfield, Pamela Palmer and Cynthia Eden

4- Elisabeth Staab, Tes Hilaire and Elisabeth Naughton

5- James R. Tuck, Karina Cooper and Alex Hughes

6- J.A. London, aka Loraine Heath

7- Jenna Bently/Jennie Bently and Lexi George

8- Amanda Carlson and Kristen Painter

9- Erin Quin and Rosalie Lario

10- Alex Hughes, Delilah S. Dawson and Jess Haines

11- Nancy Haddock and her new friend Vlad

12- Caridad Piniero and Dianna Love

12- Amanda Carlson and Jennifer Armentrout showing off each others’ books

13- Don’t know what’s more fab – Kristen Painter or her poster

14- our event planner Jennifer Morris with author Amy Lane

ocnb4 ocnb5 ocnb6

1-Delilah S. Dawson and Karina Cooper all dressed up for the steampunk panel and James R. Tuck because he’s awesome

2- Dinner: Sarah Nicolas, Janice Hardy, James R. Tuck, Alex Hughes and Sarah M. Ross

3- Dinner continued: blogger Sarah-with-an-h whose last name I have to catch from The Book Life, Micki (ditto on the last name), Amy Christine Parker and J.A Souders

Janice Hardy, pictured here, is an agency mate (author-me is repped by the Nelson Literary Agency, because a) it’s wonderful just like The Knight Agency and b) I wanted my work at a remove from me and my day-to-day business handling my clients careers) and all-around wonderful writer.  I’m very pleased today to have her here, talking about war and her latest release, DARKFALL, which concludes her epic YA trilogy.  So, without further ado, I present to you:

War, Huh? What is it Really Good For?

I knew as soon as I decided my stand-alone fantasy novel The Shifter would turn into a trilogy that it would end with a war. I pretty much clinched that when we named the series “The Healing Wars.” So it was funny to get to the final book (Darkfall) and not be sure what to do with it. All I had to do was write the war, right?

Turns out writing a war isn’t nearly as fun as you’d think. While watching it play out on screen can be exciting, describing a lot of fighting and horror and all the terrible things that go into war get—if you can believe it—boring.

He stabs her, she stabs him, they scream, they fall down. Slice, dice, repeat.

The first draft of Darkfall was like that because I needed to know how the war played out before I could put my heroine, Nya, into the middle of it. I had to work out the mechanics first, understand how the bad guy would invade and how the good guys would fight back. And an interesting thing happened.

I discovered the bigger the battle, the more boring it was. The scenes I found the most compelling were the personal ones where Nya was dealing with the war from her perspective. It wasn’t about “the war” it was about Nya’s place in it and what it meant to her.

That’s when everything changed.

Draft one grew larger and less personal as the war went on. For draft two, I threw away all those epic fight scenes and made it more personal to Nya as it went on. She went from the big picture, the idea of war, to the personal choices and sacrifices of it.

What a difference that made. Not only did it fit the themes of the series, it actually made the “epic battles” more exciting because they were personal, with characters readers could care about.  The war also became the catalyst for Nya’s personal growth. It wasn’t just beating the Duke and gaining her people’s freedom, it was about accepting who she was and her place in the new world she was helping create.

This was even more important for this particular character, because fighting for Nya is very personal. She has the unique ability to heal by shifting pain from person to person, so to help one person she has to hurt another. While this is helpful, it’s also a powerful weapon—and makes her extremely hard to kill. Her fighting involves touch and making a literal personal connection to the person trying to hurt her—and who she’s being forced to hurt back.

Taking a broad, detached view of that felt wrong. I didn’t want it to be a book about a girl who caused a war. I wanted it to be the story of a girl who’d been shaped by war, and how that war forged her into the very weapon that would ultimately bring peace.

It made for a better story, especially since it had never been about the war to begin with. But Nya wouldn’t have become Nya without it.


Janice Hardy always wondered about the darker side of healing. For her fantasy trilogy THE HEALING WARS, she tapped into her own dark side to create a world where healing was dangerous, and those with the best intentions often made the worst choices. Her books include THE SHIFTER, BLUE FIRE, and DARKFALL from Balzer+Bray/Harper Collins.  You can visit her online at or chat with her about writing on her blog, The Other Side of the Story.


About Darkfall

War has come.

Nya’s the one who brought it. And the people love her for it.

With Baseer in shambles and Geveg now an impenetrable military stronghold, Nya and the Underground have fled to a safer location—without Tali. Nya is guilt-ridden over leaving her sister behind and vows to find her, but with the rebellion in full swing and refugees flooding the Three Territories, she fears she never will.

The Duke, desperate to reclaim the throne as his own, has rallied his powerful army. And they are on the move, destroying anyone who gets in the way.

To save her sister, her family, and her people, Nya needs to stay ahead of the Duke’s army and find a way to build one of her own. Past hurts must be healed, past wrongs must be righted, and Nya must decide: Is she merely a pawn in the rebellion, a symbol of hope—or is she ready to be a hero?