Guest Post: Catrina Taylor “Knights of the Immortals”

Knights of the Immortals“Knights of the Immortals” is based on the question “What IF there were other hominid species that continued until today? What would they be like?” The answer might surprise you, it did me. When I started the first thing I did was look into the possibility that humans of today once walked with other hominids and according to scientists we have! At least three other hominid species co-existed with humans as we know them. Additionally, when you reflect on historical storytelling, some of them may have lead to mythological creations.

The most recent discovery confirms the prior existence of Hobbits. Yes, I said Hobbits. Smaller humanoid people that created tools, hunted and so much we still don’t know. This was discovered some time ago, but reaffirmed only recently when a prior ancestor was discovered as well. For a fun tidbit on these hobbits, not from the shire, check out this video from SciShow.


Once I learned our humans have existed alongside other hominid species, I researched mythology. It’s amazing what you can learn from ancient stories. Did you know that mermaids off the cost of Ireland and Scotland were vicious creatures that needed to lure in handsome men and women to live? Were you aware that both the Amazons and the Celts were thought to have attacked the islands of Atlantis? They did this not long before the island nation is thought to have disappeared. Neither group fared well against the famed children of the gods.

Here’s where the two mix to create the universe of “Knights of the Immortals.” Let’s imagine instead of being children of a god like Poseidon, they are a technologically advanced society of tribes who have agreed to co-habit the same island chain. Some of these hominid tribes would pass as the ever growing homo-sapien species over populating the Earth. There would be others who don’t pass for different reasons. Maybe some have an aversion to light, or are far shorter than most, or are bald by nature. Each tribe or species would have another benefit that the others don’t have. Let’s then imagine how a long lived group of technologically advanced peoples might look to homo-sapiens at around 10 to 20 thousand BCE. They would seem like the children of gods and maybe even seem like demons, monsters, or immortals.

It’s been a fun ride. With season one of “Knights of the Immortals” nearly released, I’m excited to get started on season two. If you’d like to get the first glimpse at the series for free, book one is available at

The Quick and Dirty

So where have I been and where’s that book I promised you – a year ago?

Truth of the matter is, my dear dedicated reader, that it’s been a long nasty road that I’m not done traveling yet and I can confirm has been seeded liberally with landmines.  The gist of it? I picked up a part time job because editing is expensive. Various important appliances (computers, cars, you know the things I need to live) have broken down and been jury rigged into a state of “please don’t die just yet.” My grandmother has had a stroke, recovered and gone home, had another and resigned herself to hospice care for what will very possibly be the rest of her life. Mom made great strides in her own health that all came crashing down like a castle of cards as soon as her mother got sick and I didn’t help matters much by immediately catching a flu so bad it reminded us both that people can still die from the common cold.

It’s been bad, dear dedicated, and it’s likely nowhere near done being bad just yet. While I’ve been occupied with all of that I’ve gone and let this vital lifeline grow dangerously thin and that’s not helped matters one bit. A writer that isn’t writing is a very unstable and hazardous person indeed. So in the interest of getting healthier (while still recovering from that monster flu) I’m preping “Toxic Ash” for paperback release and working on the rewrites of “Tasting Ash.” It’s slow going, a little like an athlete that’s been out of competition for a long while, gained a bit of a gut and a lot of self hate, before finally starting to train again more for their sanity than for any love of the game itself.

I don’t love editing. Editing is a very special kind of hell that’s only true competition is the dreaded formatting for paperback publication that will come next. But there’s a very special kind of healing magic to be found in reading your old work over again. A kind of wonder and ego boosting pride to read a few pages that aren’t half bad and realize that maybe you don’t suck half as bad as the mangled manuscript you’ve been wrestling with off and on for a year has led you to believe. That maybe, just maybe, you can polish this old turd into a diamond after all. You’re not entirely sure of the exact alchemy you’ll have to perform, to transform turds to diamonds, but there before you is the proof that you’ve done it before and you’ll do it again and again and again.


So long as you can just keep with it long enough.

What the Azathoth is Going On Here?

Posts have been few and far between for a while now, culminating in a long period of seeming silence. I haven’t updated anyone on what’s going on with the books or posted anything of use on the blog, facebook, twitter or tumblr. A few particularly astute readers have taken the time to track me down and demand answers but I’ve been cagey even then.

The truth of the matter is, many nasty things have happened in the last six months or so added up with recurring bouts of problems with my hands and fingers that have really put a hurt on my writing work. Not all of what’s happen only concerns me and my affairs so I’m not even at the liberty to divulge them all (except for the knowledge that my Grandmother had a stroke earlier this month – and we’re lucky that she’s recovering nicely) that have left me psychically and mentally fatigued.

I keep trying to put off saying that I’m exhausted, depressed and looking at a complete rewrite for “Tasting Ash.” Shortening the projected story line has ruined the flow and it needs serious work before I can release it to anyone. Meanwhile I’ve lost one of my first readers to mysterious (and worrisome) circumstances. I’ve also been casting about for a new editor to go over the second books in both the Eldritch Elysium series and The Four Horsemen series, in preparation to committing them both to paperback.

All in all I’m a bit overwhelmed and tired, I had some awesome plans for the new year (setting up a proper newsletter, taking the site to it’s own page, offering up a few ecourses on self publishing) but now I’m cutting my project list waaay back and just trying to keep my head above water for the nonce. Books will be published, stories will be written – it’s just going to take a lot more time and right now I feel like I’m at the bottom of the hill looking up with a giant boulder in front of me that needs pushing.

Yay! More Delays!

It’s been a bit.  I was hoping to surprise everyone with the release of a new Belladonna Romance for Valentines Day but unfortunately my laptop has died the hard death from which there can be no resurrection.

So no romances for you and a long stretch of pen and paper for me.

I do have a backup machine but it has difficulty with the simplest of functions. I can barely even post on facebook as I’m sure those of you who follow my page have noticed already. This means more delays. Longer delays. Soul sapping delay delays.

Please bear with me. Even in the midst of this I am writing.

Possibly very badly. Not as prolifically as I’d like but I am writing. In whole avenues and subjects, I am writing. Hold on and I shall begin releasing… eventually.

“Writers Write” Is That Really Too Much To Ask?

I’m in the middle of NaNoWriMo and polishing off a novel I’ve been struggling with for about two years now but something was making the rounds of my independent author feeds the other day that rubbed me such a wrong way I stopped what I was doing and took a minute to reply that turned into an hour and several paragraphs. Ain’t no one got time for that shit in that format so I had to snip it out and bring it here.

Basically it’s the idea that the golden rule of being a writer, the simple life affirming maxim that “writers write,” was just too much. Inspiring guilt and angst in people with *gasp* actual lives and responsibilities outside of their writing.  Because failing to write, every day, every second. Every. Possible. Moment. Brings with it such horrible feelings of guilt and sorrow.

I don’t have any problems with the phrase “writers write.” There’s nothing in that short phrase that sets your potential pace; it simply, succinctly, draws you to put words to paper; again and again, put words to paper.

Your pace is your own, there are some well renowned novelists that couldn’t manage more than a single word a day, maybe a paragraph a month. Do you think they sat in front of their blank pages staring at them constantly for the entirety of that time? No. They lived their lives. They went to work, took care of their families, went to war or walked across the country. Did they feel guilty for every moment that they weren’t putting words on paper? Who knows, most of them are dead now so we can’t ask but I highly doubt that they did.

If the phrase, “writers write” is causing you some distress it’s because of your own issues with how much you write. It means you know you could find time to write a little bit more often but you’re not, hence the guilt. If you’re really doing all you can and truly don’t have the time for your writing, there won’t be room for guilt.

However if you know you could have written but instead you watched another episode of your favorite TV show, read another chapter of someone else’s work or did something else that’s trivial instead of feeding the beast within you that is your writing, then you’ll feel guilty. You’ll feel guilty because you betrayed yourself, that phrase didn’t betray you. “Writers write” didn’t set the bar so high that you couldn’t help but fail to meet it, that would be you doing that. So stop, reevaluate and either put that bar someplace you can actually reach or stretch and make sure you meet your own expectations.

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s 5 p.m. and I’ve got two thousand more words to get out of my head and onto paper.


NaNoWriMo starts in 3 days and I’ll be participating… I may have gone certifiably insane… Send coffee and donuts… Don’t worry “Tasting Ash” is still scheduled for release on January 24th.


I’ve been getting a lot of questions that sum up simply as “how?” How do you write a whole novel? How do you write a series? How do you self publish? How do I book cover? Sales how!?!

Simple questions often have a complex answer that seems discouraging but shouldn’t. I can, and  have, outlined pretty much all the steps in writing a novel and/or a series and how to format for epublication. I’ve outlined how to do it for as little money as possible (though there’s no real way to do it completely for free, you have to have at least one editor and they will cost you) but still I get asked “how.”

So I’m thinking of setting up an ecourse to help people through the process, step by step though of course that brings up all kinds of new questions. Like what do you want/need to know first? Besides write the damn thing; I’m sure there’s something hopeful independent authors are really struggling with and want to know how to do right off the bat.

Let me know what you think in the comments and I’ll try to come up with something to help. Now back to work on this massive bloody novel.