Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Captured in Color: How Flash Fiction Shaped My Writing

 A magical necklace that strangles whoever betrays its owner. A plum wine shared between a Japanese ghost and an American exchange student. A stalker who paints portraits of the love he can never see. Eight miniature science fiction and fantasy stories capture moments of love, loss, and choice that shape the characters and the world they live in. Perfect for those who want a daub of inspiration and a spatter of philosophy to brighten their day. 

Release Date: Monday, November 19, 2018

How I Wrote It

Six years ago, I moved to Brea, in order start the next stage of my life. Although I’d been writing for over eight years, I still didn’t feel very confident in myself. Was I any good? Would anyone want my writing? I’d never been published. Part of the problem was that I only wrote novels. Was I capable of writing short stories? Every time I tried, I seemed to get lost in a tangle of words.
Then I discovered something called flash fiction, fully formed stories that clocked in at under 1500 words or about 10 pages. Publishers seemed interested in this new form of writing, but could I do it? I sat down and tried it. To my astonishment, not only did I discover that I could write flash fiction, I even got them published. Two of my stories appeared in Ether, two in Daily Science Fiction.

Now I’m starting a different stage of my life, as a published novelist, moving soon to North Carolina. But before I began this new journey, I wanted to share with you the stories that helped give me the confidence to be a writer. These eight polished tales contain unique worlds, charming characters, and interesting ideas, while also capturing the moods and struggles I faced as a growing writer.


Who Should Buy It?

This book is good for anyone who may not have much time on their hands, but still enjoys fully-formed stories packed with twists and turns, pretty writing, and food for thought. Although there isn’t material unsuitable for kids, thematically these stories are geared more for high school students and adults.


Why Should You Buy It?

I wanted to sell Captured in Color at the cheapest price I could, so that as many people as possible can sample my writing and see if it's something they enjoy. This book makes for a good stocking stuffer or a holiday gift. One notable thing I added in the back of the book is a brief description of how I got the ideas for my stories. This can provide insight for new writers, who may be looking for ways to get inspired for their own stories.


How Can You Buy It?

Right now Captured in Color is on pre-order at Amazon Kindle for 99 cents. It will be available for purchase on Monday, November 19, 2018. The paperback version, which cost $6.00, will also be available at around that time. (It takes a little more time to look through and proof the book, so it’s harder to predict the exact date, but it should be available before December.)


Still Not Convinced? 

If you’d like to look at the stories, you can read three of them free on my website, here: http://www.rebeccalangstories.com/free-to-read.html

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

What Evil Scares You the Most?

What is scarier, evil that comes from within or evil that comes from without?

What do you fear?
My children’s fantasy book, Three Floating Coffins, begins with three princesses stepping into coffins, the symbol of death. A prophecy tells them that one of the three harbors an evil magic; the guilty one will sink and he innocent one will be washed ashore. The princesses know that by getting into the coffins, they are risking their lives—yet death isn’t what scares them.

For the older two sisters, but especially Ariadne, the middle princess, the fear is that they themselves will become evil, that they will become a monster, that they will lead to the destruction of everything they love. Ariadne has the magical ability to fill vessels with any liquid she desires, and while some liquids are innocent, like water or soup, other liquids, like poison and acid, can be quite deadly. 

“Ariadne was afraid every single day that a chance touch and a careless thought would send a plague upon her kingdom. When, in the family chapel, the priest put a hand on her shoulder and whispered the prophecy in her ear, Ariadne had seen it all so clearly. Her hands glued to the edge of a pot, stuck, unable to stop the dark magic that streamed onto land and sea, destroying everything it touched: father, sister, subject all falling to the ground, blue and stiff and silent.” 

Ariadne is afraid that of the power. She is afraid that, willingly or not, power will turn her evil. At the very least, her power will cause her to unwittingly do evil deeds and hurt those she loves the most.

On the other hand, Odele, the youngest princess, is the only one to realize that the prophecy is a lie. The actual evil one is the person telling them the prophecy, the priest. Odele realizes that the priest has plans to destroy her family, her kingdom, and everything she loves. She does not go quietly into the coffin. She kicks and screams and fights with all she has: 

“The hard-faced men threw the youngest princess into the coffin. She tried to climb out, but one man pinned her arms down. The other held her legs. Odele whipped her head back and forth and yelled in a raw, desperate voice.

“He’s a liar! He’s lying to you all.”

But despite her efforts, she is pushed into the coffin and sent out to the sea.

For Odele, evil is an outside force—in this case, the priest—but even though she recognizes it, she can’t do anything about it. She is powerless, and throughout the book she struggles with the fear that she will never be strong enough to defeat the priest and save her family.

So which is scarier? To have power, but to be afraid it will turn you evil? Or to see evil and not have the power to fight it?

You can purchase Three Floating Coffins on Amazon today.