Thursday, December 9, 2010

Rebecca Ryals Russell, MG/YA Fantasy Author, Joins the Fun

            I recently received the honor of an invitation to join the illustrious gang here are YA Authors You’ve Never Heard Of. I have to admit I fit that category as I’m not yet even a published author. My debut novel, Odessa, comes out April 1, 2011 from MuseItUp Publishing.

            Odessa is the first book in a five-book YA series called The Seraphym Wars. There is more about Odessa and my other books, their release dates and an excerpt at the end of this posting.

            First, more about ME. (lol) I’m actually not used to talking about myself. This whole promoting myself thing has been hard since I am by nature introverted. But I’ll do my best.
            For fourteen years I taught Middle Graders all subjects. My favorite, however, was English, particularly Creative Writing. I devised my own curriculum of Poetry and Prose and by the time I retired had students’ works published in several Anthologies. I’ve always wanted to do nothing but write, but unlike my mother’s generation of stay-at-home mothers, a second income was no longer a luxury, so I had to work. Nonetheless, I thought about my story over the course of thirty years. There were some mornings I got up at 5 am to type some chapters on my electric typewriter, then go to school for eight or ten hours. But that didn’t last long. I’m the kind of person who puts 100% into whatever I’m doing and being split didn’t work. Besides I was exhausted all the time.
            Then I started a family about mid-way. My hubby of 35 years, is from Ireland and for several years we were happy traveling back and forth to Ireland and working. Then I got the bug to be a mom, but it didn’t happen. That’s when we adopted our first baby, now 22 and working on her Graphic Design program. About 3 years later I had our first biological child, now 19 and a Freshman at University of Florida (Go Gators! and alma mater for her Grandfather who has passed) then I had a son 3 years later, who is now very much 16, with a miscarriage in the middle. About 5 years after that we decided to adopt again. This time we spent 2 awesome, scary weeks in Vietnam and arrived home on Christmas Eve with our 2-month-old baby boy, who’s now 11.
            We currently live in a 101-year-old Victorian house on 5 acres in the country. I run a Vacation Rental business out of the log house my father built to live in after Mom died and we moved into the big house to care for him. You can see pictures of it at Florida Black Bear Cabin LLC. The Victorian house is for sale if any of you want the idyllic writer’s scenario. Seriously, we’d stay if my husband didn’t have to drive 75 miles each way to work daily. Ouch!

            I really have gotten into this new Electronic Age thing. I love texting with my daughters, I live on my computer and adore the Internet. And I just today won a Kindle to read my eBooks on! I wish I’d had all of this awesomeness growing up. I enjoy watching my sons play video games and have learned so much about the gaming industry that way. I have designed multiple websites, written html (although I’m not any good at it), I have several blogs, and now I have 7 books coming out over the course of the next couple of years on eReaders as well as in print editions. What an awesome world we live in.

            Speaking of my books, here is what I have so far:
Conscientia     Available September 1, 2011
Odessa                 Available April 1, 2011
Harpies     Available January 1, 2012
Majikals     to be written (stewing in the pot at the moment)
Debello     to be written

These are a maximum of 30,000 words and so there are more of them.
Jeremiah     available November 1, 2011
Zarena     available July 1, 2011
Laman     available February 1, 2011
Mercy     awaiting word on submission
Magaelbash     awaiting word on submission
Tien     partially written
Phoebe     partially written
Luis     partially written
More to Come

For NaNoWriMo this November I wrote ¾ of a YA Dystopian Romance which I will finish by the end of this year. I have a Steampunk rolling around in the brain as well.
Don’t Make Marty Mad     Available October 1, 2011
Charles Creevy Chops His Sweetie is offered as a FREE READ on my website.

Middle Grade Chapter Books
I’m working on 2 series of these which will run about 10,000-20,000 words per book covering curriculum-based topics. They will include a Teacher’s Guide. You can follow my progress on these Works In Progress at where I have some awesome Word-o-Meters posted.
Marcy Mouse and the Phantom Feline
Masquerade the Scaredy Cat and His Side-kick Snort I’ve posted Chapter 1 as a FREE READ.

Here’s an excerpt from Odessa, coming out April 1, 2011. You can ask for notification of its release by clicking the button on my buy page. (this has not yet been officially edited)
            I shook my head, “I can’t stab a child in the chest! I can’t kill a child!”
            He rested both hands on my knees and said in a firmer voice, “That is not a child. It is a demon. He wouldn’t think twice about killing a child. Or you. Get your sword and go now.”
            Like a zombie I rose and picked up the sword where it leaned against the corner. I carried it to the door of the bathroom where I looked back down the hall at Michael who stood there mouthing “now” and shooing me with his hands.
            I stepped into the bathroom just as she-he slid the curtain open. Twelve-year-old Tien stared at me with wide oddly-colored eyes and long black dripping hair.
            “What are you doing, Myrna?”
            I stepped forward and thrust the sword into her-his chest where I hoped the heart was. I couldn’t imagine how a simple shard of metal could destroy a demon, but I watched in fascinated horror as he swelled and changed.
            The screeching wail that ensued did not issue forth from a twelve-year-old’s throat. It climbed in timbre until the roar was a train running through the bathroom, echoing off the shiny, wet tiles. The demon, no longer able to hold the image of the child, displayed his usual golden scaly skin and horned head with large toothy maw. Claws with long nails scraped at the tiles, shredding them to dust as he thrashed madly, trying to pull the glowing sword from his chest. I wondered why the sword glowed. It hadn’t been doing that when I held it. His barbed tail lashed back and forth knocking down walls between the bathroom and utility where he struck and overturned the washing machine and water began gushing everywhere.
            It seemed to take forever, but eventually the evil creature stopped thrashing and lay still on the floor. I hesitantly stepped forward to retrieve my sword. I was sure at any moment he would grab my ankle. I tugged and pulled on the handle of the now normal-looking sword until it yanked free with a sickening glurg. Black acidic blood oozed from the wound, puddling on the tile floor as it bubbled and ate its way through to the ground.
            “Lop off the head before he disappears,” Michael called from the doorway.
            I raised the sword over my head, ignoring the few drips of black blood that fell onto my hands and brought it down hard on what should have been the demon’s neck. But as the sword dropped he poofed into thin air. The blood began bubbling on my skin and I ran to the kitchen to wash it off before it burned me any further.
            “Well. I guess you’re officially a demon slayer.” Michael sidled up beside me as I stood crying into the lather on my hands. “You’ll have some cool scars as proof, too.” He rinsed my hands with warm water and gently dried them with the towel. “Let me put something on those burns so they don’t get infected.”
            As he applied antibiotic cream and gauze he asked, “Did your sword tell you her name yet?”
            “Her?” I asked. I glanced at the black blood encrusted blade which I had been shining recently. “It’s Tyrannoctonus.”
            “Tyrant Slayer,” he rolled the name around his tongue, “I like it. Now don’t tell anyone else, ever. It gives them power you don’t want anyone else to wield.”

Here are a couple of Book Trailers I have on Youtube. Join my Channel and be the first to see more as I make them for upcoming books.
Odessa:          According to prophecy, Myrna must gather the remaining six demon-hunter Vigorios then train with the Majikals on an enchanted island. But first she has to get them there.

Seraphym Wars series:     Recruited as demon-hunter by Laud the Creator, Myrna leads six other teens across the primal Dracwald, battling monsters and dragons while assisting the Seraphym in the final battle between Heaven and Hell; between the Seraphym and Demons.

Friend me at Facebook:
I’m also a member of SCBWI (for children’s writers), Steampunk Empire, Savvy Authors, YA Lit Chat, Jacket Flap, Inkwell, She Writes, NaNoWriMo, Teen Fire, MySpace, Linked In and much more. You can find all of my Internet Footprints here.

Lastly, I'd like to mention another Grog (group blog) I have with other MG/YA Authors at Teen Word Factory. Come by for helpful postings about writing, author interviews, book reviews, and more.

I’d love to hear from you about the Book Trailers, websites, blogs and such. Leave me some comments and I’ll be sure to respond. You can also email me at myrnawatts (at) gmail (dot) com.

I look forward to sharing more posts and hope you will find what I have to say informative and interesting.

                           Write Often, Write Well


  1. Welcome, Rebecca. Congratulations on all your forthcoming books. You've been one busy lady. I enjoyed reading about you and your family, also about your work. The house is lovely.

    Great excerpt. Will check the trailers and your other sites later today.

  2. Thank you Beverly. I never dreamed I'd be involved in something as prestigious as this blog. I've been following you for years. What an honor.

  3. Rebecca, your books sound terrific! Can't wait to read them! I currently teach junior high school (7th grade) and always get a kick out of other teachers-cum-writers!

  4. Rebecca, welcome! It's great to have you here. Your upcoming books look fabulous.

  5. Welcome to the group. I really like your hat. Your books sound very interesting. Since I have five grandchildren who are readers, I'll be looking at your books.

  6. Thank you all for the kind welcome. It's a treat to be here.

  7. Welcome! Sounds like an interesting life so far, and it's sure to get more interesting. :) Your house is beautiful! And your books look fabulous!