Seeing the Bright Side of Romance & Fantasy

Author: Sam Page 1 of 14

Falling Snow

While I don’t write a ton of winter stories, it’s without question one of my favorite times of year. Not a lot of things I like better than sitting in front of a fire with a cup of hot cider while it snows outside. Then there’s the morning after a snowfall, with that quiet serenity of an unbroken blanket of snow, when even the normal noises of the world are muffled and distant.

So it’s probably not the biggest shock that my winter project this year is (yes, yet another) retelling of Snow White. Coming in January!

Prince Carwyn is going to be crowned in less than a week when he overhears a conversation he wasn’t meant to—one that precipitates his swift flight from the castle, pursued by Gareth, the loyal huntsman who wants nothing more than to keep him safe.

Want the visual? Here’s the pinterest board, for a little taste:

Puss in Boots

I promised more information on my upcoming projects, so here’s one that’s in the works for an anthology in 2021: An Urban Fantasy retelling of Puss in Boots.

The plot:
Luke Miller’s parents just died, and his greedy brothers turned him out of the only home he’s ever known, with little more than his clothes and his cat, Wentworth. In his quest to find stability and somewhere to belong, Luke stumbles across an apparently abandoned mansion, a mystery surrounding the neighbor who left Wentworth in his care, and a whole lab worth of shattered glass, all of which conspire to change his life not only for good, but for the better.

Want more info? Here’s the pinterest board I put together as inspiration for Luke’s journey:

Time’s Almost Up!

Hey all, Waverly and I have a short story in the fourth edition of the awesome Heart2Heart anthology, all proceeds going to some great LGBTQIA+ charities, and its time is almost up! As of the 29th of September, it’ll no longer be available, so get your copy before it’s too late!

The Fantastic Fluke

Hey folks! I’m back, and so is Fluke! Now available on Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited for your reading convenience, The Fantastic Fluke.

I’ve been getting some amazing feedback on it, and I’d love to hear your opinion! Either here in comments, or email me at sam@burnswrites.com , I’d be thrilled to hear from you!

happy fox

A Fantastic Prelude

Hey all! It’s been a while, so I thought I’d update you on what’s happening. In August, I have a new world, and a whole new cast of characters to introduce you to, so I’m starting here: A sassy fox, a grumpy ghost, and one overwhelmed mage trying to evade a conspiracy that wants him dead.

Coming soon to a kindle near you, The Fantastic Fluke.

https://www.pinterest.com/samburnswrites/arcanist/

A Little Wolf Music

Hey all! I’m running slow lately because of a lovely bout of pneumonia last month, but slowly getting back to work.

One of the best ways for me to keep focused on a project is a playlist I custom build for each new project, so I figured I’d share a few of them. If you’ve read The Wolves of Kismet and pay any attention to chapter titles, you probably already have a clue what would be on those playlists, but I threw in a few extra character-related songs on each, and some things that randomly struck my fancy. Also, there’s a little overlap because these guys are just that close.

January in Words

Hey all! So January is over, and boy was it a long year. For me, it was an incredibly productive month. In fact, it was the most productive month I’ve ever had.

So I thought I’d share it here, along with one of the ways I track my word count: I write it on an old-school paper calendar every day. This way Mr. Burns can get a look and if I’m having a slow period, give me a poke. (Okay fine, it’s more so he’ll praise me when I’m doing well.)

Imaginary cookies to anyone who can guess any part of my random notation system.

tl; dr: Take Care of Yourself

I’m one of those annoying authors who doesn’t believe in the concept of writer’s block.

Yes, sometimes I struggle to write.

Often, that’s the black dog hounding my tail. If it’s depression, it takes time to run its course. I sit around and read a lot of books—or if it’s really bad, I don’t read a lot of books.

Sometimes I struggle because there’s something wrong with the book I’m trying to write. If it’s that, I need to figure out what the problem is. Usually, it’s me trying to push square pegs into round holes. Sometimes the plot I envision just isn’t what my characters would do, and I need to accept that and replan to suit them.

So when I sat down to write the last book in the Rowan Harbor Cycle, Wren and Oak, and the words refused to come, I presumed it was one of those two issues. But instead of taking to my kindle and reading books, I spent a lot of days sitting there staring at a blank document, wondering why the words wouldn’t come.

It wasn’t my plot, I was sure. I’d spent eight books setting this up. I knew what needed to happen, and just how Fletcher would react to it.

And yet, my daily word counts had gone from thousands one month, to only occasionally positive numbers the next. It’s convention planning, I told myself. Then the convention itself. Then vacation planning. Then vacation.

Suddenly two months had gone by, and I didn’t have a book.

This is probably when I’d have usually started to despair about how I was never going to write again, and other such melodrama. Instead, I realized, I hadn’t eaten in two days. I’d lost fourteen pounds in the last week, in fact.

As it turns out, I started a different medication right before I started working on Wren and Oak, and because I was so busy, and traveling all the time, I didn’t realize that I was, in fact, poisoning myself. It turns out my body was not a fan of the medication in question, and was slowly shutting down.

I went off it, and two weeks later had a finished manuscript.

What was the purpose of this ridiculous plot twist?

I mean, other than that it’s a true story and proves that fictional plot twists have nothing on real life, there’s this: sometimes we all neglect ourselves in the daily rush to get everything done. I know if we don’t get things done, everything falls apart. Rents need paid, after all, and electric and grocery bills. But if you ignore your body’s warnings that something is wrong, you won’t be able to get everything done from a hospital bed.

Also, if we met or started speaking between September and mid-November, I apologize for anything and everything I said or did.

‘Tis the Season

…for holiday stories, of course.

I don’t usually write anything for the holidays, but in May, when I was struggling with a major project, taking a day to write a short story was a good distraction from my mental blocks. So here we are in December, and here’s my day well spent.

It is that–a short story–so if you don’t like things that aren’t novel length, it’s obviously not for you. If you’re looking for a feel-good holiday tale, it just might be. It’s a standalone contemporary, so there’s no magic (the shame!), unless you count the odd holiday miracle of two guys finding each other despite themselves. It’s even lucky number thirteen in the lineup of advent stories!

Wren and Oak

Almost two years in the making, the final book of The Rowan Harbor Cycle is finally coming! On December 26th, the cycle will end.

Wren and Oak, by Sam Burns
Rowan Harbor has been peaceful for a now unprecedented two months, but everyone knows it’s the calm before the storm. The Summer king is coming for the thorn—a weapon destined to bring his end—and Fletcher has never felt so helpless.

When the disturbing dreams start and his mentor, Oak, is hesitant to discuss them, Fletcher doesn’t know where to turn. He and his boyfriend Conner are in the process of moving in together, and he doesn’t want to add anything else to Conner’s list of concerns.

With a vengeful fae waiting for his chance to raze Rowan Harbor to the ground, Fletcher has to find a way to protect everything he loves and survive the coming storm.

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