Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions

It's true: you can't get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.

How can I keep up-to-date on book releases and other news?

~~ The JTH READER GROUP/MAILING LIST is the best way. You can also shoot me a simple email. You can sign up for the Reader Group via my mailing list sign-up form on this site, and through the social icons on every page. ~~ You can join my PATREON and receive exclusive goodies--including the upcoming serial audio release of WINTERWODE & SUMMERWODE! ~~ GOODREADS sends a monthly notice about the authors you follow, as does BOOKBUB. Please feel free to friend my profiles in either place! ~~ I have both a FACEBOOK page and profile. Unfortunately, Facebook seems determined on making it as hard for you and I to connect as possible. I can't recommend this for a sure-fire way to catch up on the latest. Also, due to the amount of spammers, I'm just not answering every friend request on my personal profile like I used to... but you're welcome to follow my profile if I don't know you personally. ~~ TWITTER is kind of scary to me. But I do my best with it. ~~ All of these are linked in the 'social' buttons over the website. When in the throes of writing, I'm likely to be absent from all of the above. No one should take this personally... and it means more books!

What are you currently working on?

WYLDINGWODE, the 5th novel that will complete the Books of the Wode, as well as the audio for the 3rd & 4th Wode books. I've also several other projects I can't talk about as of yet, short and novel-length, being shopped about. Hoping for some good news to share on those in the near future!

Speaking of the Wode Books, when will the next one be out? And how many books are planned?

There are five novels planned in the story cycle, as follows: 1) GREENWODE 2) SHIREWODE 3) WINTERWODE 4) SUMMERWODE and the upcoming 5) WYLDINGWODE (#amwriting) ~~ I hope to finish WYLDINGWODE for a 2019 release.

Why Robyn Hode instead of Robin Hood? For that matter, why Shire Wode instead of Sherwood Forest?

I've come to realise it would have been much wiser from a practical marketing/search term aspect if I'd just stuck with the much more widely-used "Robin". Alas, to misquote a certain Doctor McCoy, "I'm an author, dammit, not a marketer!" The subtext, sound and language history remain infinitely more fascinating to me than any pragmatic reasons I didn't in truth consider until after the naming deed was done. More thoughts on this to come...

Why the LGBTQ slant on Robin Hood ?

Why not? Don't just take my word for it, though; several scholars have explored the possibility. There are many excellent essays and non-fiction studies of Robin as a cultural--and changeable--icon. The websites "The Robin Hood Project" and "Robin Hood: Development of a Popular Hero" are both excellent places to begin an acquaintance with the ever-morphing facets of the Robin Hood / Robyn Hode mythos. ~~See the -Research/Bibliography- tab in the -EXTRAS- drop-down if you'd like further information and links. And I've my own essay on the subject in the -Musings- tab.

Why Robin Hood (okay, Robyn Hode) as a Druid?

Again, why not? There are so many reasons to explore Robin/Robyn as Green Man of the Forest. Legend and Myth cling to him, and rightfully so. And yes, there are -Musings- on the subject. *grin*

What IS it with you and cliffhangers?

Eh? What's wrong with cliffhangers? Perfectly valid method for telling a story; read them, write them, whats'mever... I like cliffhangers! A little patience and curled-gut wonder/waiting never hurt anyone... and means the experience lasts all the longer.

Do you do a lot of research?

Yes, indeed. I love research; have done and still do, ever on. It's not just about long hours in closed stacks, but even more the hands-on trial/error and life experience which, I hope, shall continue on for some time. Most of that research never ends up as prose, granted... but it shouldn't. Having knowledge and authority speak through the storytelling is sooo much better than overwhelming an audience with "see what I know?" (Not to mention that for me, Story more often than not trumps Fact. Because Facts can be so... chancy.)

What are the major influences on your writing?

On the subtextual level, it's all about the myths, folklore, ancient stories, cultures and possibilities. Listening to the elders share stories, and to the ideas children express before some of the less palatable aspects of culture start trying to shut them down. As to specific works/writers who have inspired me, I must first list my everpresent Hail to the Three Marys--Mary Renault, Mary Stewart, and Mary O'Hara--for their amazing talent and lovely expressions of Story and Experience. Ray Bradbury's brilliant economy of the fantastic. Leslie Marmon Silko & Paula Allen, whose voices helped me find my own long ago. Albert Payson Terhune knowing--just knowing--that dogs have souls. Anne McCaffrey's dragons, devoted and dangerous (horse stories, really, only with fire-breathing, telepathic horses). Louise Erdrich for so richly depicting the duality of cultures that in some ways mirrored my own upbringing. Marion Zimmer Bradley's inquisition into gender and women's roles. Robert Heinlein, whom I grokked both with admiration and exasperation. LeAnne Howe, fellow Choctaw woman and author. Virginia Woolf's stark-brave candour, and the Room of Her Own. There are others, but these come soonest to mind. No one should regret reading any of these author's works.

How can I become a writer?

Like with Carnegie Hall: "Practice, practice, practice!" I'm not being flippant; it's true. While some who haven't done the work do succeed beyond any expectation, the practice--good work--still matters. It's also less about "being a writer" and more about "writing". Read voraciously; not just in your chosen genre, but all varieties. Make mistakes. Learn from them; that's what they're for. Respect yourself, and your work, enough to not inflict it on the world before either it--or you--are ready. Keep reading. Keep writing.

Will you read/critique my manuscript?

I do sometimes take part in workshops where I critique participants' work. Outside of those, for reasons of both legality and time, I simply cannot accept any work sent to me for reading.