Historical inspiration for my fantasy novel: Early Finns, Sámi, and “unnatural” magic

By April 2022 I had almost entirely lost steam with Seeker of the Lost Song. I had already changed the setting once, from a generation-ship in space. For the type of story I was writing, the characters needed movement. They needed a quest. Deciding that the closed environment of a…

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The Quiet is Loud & old Filipino restaurants

Firstly: Happy Filipino Heritage Month! 🇵🇭 There’s an old-school style of Filipino restaurant called “turo-turo1.” The name is an example of classic Filipino word reduplicating, and stems from the word for pointing at something. They're often located in strip malls, and the typical feature is their cafeteria-style presentation, all food…

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SFWA Blog: Character Development Lessons From Video Games

  • Post category:Misc.NewsWriting
  • Reading time:1 mins read

I'm excited to have the chance to geek out about both character development and video games at the SFWA Blog! In my article "Character Development Lessons From Video Games," I talk about some of my favourite character-driven fantasy and role-playing video games, and the lessons they taught me in developing…

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Italicized words, and not othering myself in The Quiet is Loud

  • Post category:The Quiet is Loud
  • Reading time:2 mins read

One of my favourite conversations with my editor for The Quiet is Loud went something like this: Me: So, we’re not italicizing the Filipino words, right? Amazing Editor Bryan Ibeas of Invisible Publishing: Fuck no we’re not. I know that the conversation would have gone the same way if anyone…

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Filipino & Finnish mythology & folklore in my recent work

To celebrate crossing the midpoint in my science-fantasy novella, I'm sharing the Filipino & Finnish mythology & folklore I've incorporated in my work so far. This includes The Quiet is Loud, Seeker of the Lost Song, and Seeker's sequel as well as the novella. Folklore/mythology from the Philippines:⁠ ✦ Nuno…

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The inevitability of Peter Gabriel: creative inspiration

Today is Peter Gabriel’s 74th birthday, and it's good timing. Lately I’ve been thinking about the way his Genesis years influenced my writing. It might not be obvious mainly because he’s a musician and I’m a writer. Of course, though, in Genesis he did write most of the lyrics he…

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Historical inspiration for my fantasy novel: Pre-colonial Philippines

Seeker of the Lost Song is a historically-inspired fantasy novel merging medieval Finnish & pre-colonial Filipino elements, and I wanted to share two elements of Filipino history I included. Dulang, a low table One of my favourite tidbits from my research is that pre-colonial Filipinos ate at a low table,…

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