Tag Archives: Harry Potter

Fear the Walking Dead…and a Writing Dilemma

Fear the Walking Dead writing
Photo from www.amc.com


“Would you believe I’m watching Fear the Walking Dead?!”


That was a text exchange last night between my niece and me—the niece who has been trying unsuccessfully to get me hooked on The Walking Dead for years. She’s sat me down and shown me a few episodes on several occasions, but even though I enjoyed them sell enough, I haven’t gotten hooked enough to watch the show voluntarily, on my own.

Of course, partly that’s because I have a very low tolerance for gore, but we’ll leave that out of the equation for now.

My niece assumed I was watching last night because she had told me the actor who played the teen Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was going to be in it. That wasn’t the reason—I had actually forgotten—but wow, Frank Dillane was just as amazing as Nick as he was as a creepy future young Voldemort.

Actually, I was watching because of what I missed in the original Walking Dead series…how we got here.

I think I’ve mentioned before my absolute favorite kind of suspense. I love the slow build, the mystery, the characters’ discovery of all the weirdness and putting two and two together. In the original Walking Dead, Rick is shot, wakes up in the hospital, and the world has completely changed. We miss the mystery, the discovery, the build-up.

My favorite scene in Fear the Walking Dead was when Madison and Travis were driving on the freeway, discussing what was consuming their lives: the son’s drug problem. Life was going on as usual for them, even though we know it isn’t usual at all. Suddenly, traffic slows and stops. They’re still wrapped up in their son’s problem. We hear sirens. Lots of sirens. We see lights from helicopters. They fret about their son. My heart is beating—I know that something BAD is going down, that civilization could be collapsing right there on that freeway. Suddenly there are gunshots. Now they start to get it. They forget about Nick’s problems long enough to wonder what’s going on. Their attention has changed. Life is changing.

Very powerfully written…at least to me.

Which brings me to my quandary as a writer. I was texting with my niece as I watched, and I told her I was loving the pace and the story—so I bet it was way too slow for usual WD fans. Sure enough, this morning I’m hearing a lot of bad reviews and disappointment with the show, for the very reasons I liked it.

I have noticed before that the books and movies I want to emulate, that have a great effect on me, aren’t necessarily the ones that are most popular, or even hailed as the best written. Often, the most popular works, the ones that sell well and excite everyone else, leave me cold.

I realized awhile back that I had spent years paying for writers’ conferences, edits and critiques and classes that were trying to teach me to write in a way that I wouldn’t enjoy reading, myself. Which helped explain why writing was becoming a chore.

I decided to ditch that pursuit and go back to trying to write the books that I myself would like to read. And yes, trying to identify that niche market is sometimes tough. But writing is more fun. I aim for a “what-the-heck” mystery on every page, especially in a suspense like Jordan’s Shadow. Fun stuff!

Now, to find readers who enjoy what I do!


Hello Misti-Con!

After months of preparation (that is not an exaggeration!) it’s finally time for Misti-Con, a fabulous convention in New Hampshire for Harry Potter fans.

Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets handmade quilted wall hanging.

In celebration, I’m having a MASSIVE PRIZE GIVE-AWAY, and you can participate whether you’re at Misti-Con or not.

So what am I giving away?

GRAND PRIZE: a $50 Amazon gift card!
NEXT…you could win one of three handmade, quilted wall hangings–handmade by yours truly!

First, the bright blue Chamber of Secrets wall hanging pictured above. I’ll show it to you in more detail below, plus the other two.

But first, HOW TO ENTER:

There are two ways to enter:

First, come to my author table at the Bewitching Bazaar & Author’s Alley at Misti-Con and fill out a slip to enter. No purchase necessary!

Second, use the green box on this website that says “Sign up for updates on Robin’s writing.” All new sign-ups will get one entry in the prize drawing. Here’s the box:

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You can get two entries by entering in person at Misti-Con and on the website.  The drawing will be held around 5:00 at my author table, and winners will be notified via email.

And oh yeah…at my Author table at the Bewitching Bazaar, you can also check out my books, of course! Summer’s Winter is a really fun read for fans, because it’s a romantic suspense involving fandom. John Granger said it’s “the most inventive take on fan fiction I can imagine — because it’s a romance-thriller about fandoms, especially if not explicitly the Harry Potter fandom, and explores the important intersection of literature, spirituality, and imagination. Delightful!”

And then there’s my new one, Jordan’s Shadow, a spine-tingling mash-up that’s a little bit ghost story, science fiction, family drama, mystery…well, you get the picture. It’s a fun, spooky read…and the characters are Potter fans, of course!

And now, here are more pictures of the wall hangings you could win (or make).

First, the bright blue, Chamber of Secrets mini quilt pictured above. And in a little more detail here:

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This is partially made from officially licensed Harry Potter fabric that has been out of print for years, and sells for about $65/yard on Ebay! It was hard sacrificing a bit of it, but I love the result.

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And then, this micro mini quilt, which I call “Always…”  Hopefully it doesn’t need explanation if you’re a fellow Potter fan!

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It’s entirely made by hand, including hand quilting. I’m showing front and back views partly because, if you like what you see, you can not only enter to win it but can also come to My Misti-Con workshop, Intro to Fandom Quilting, on Friday morning at 11 a.m. and get a kit to make either a Silver Doe wall hanging like this, or an Owl (scroll further down).

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And here’s the Owl you can try to win–or get a kit to make on Friday morning.

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Hope to see you all at Misti-Con! Oh, and if you don’t catch up with me at the Bewitching Bazaar or the Fandom Quilting workshop:

I’ll be leading two more sessions on Sunday:
9:00 a.m., Christian fans’ praise and worship meet-up (Location: Gunstock)
2:00 p.m., Fan Fiction: Noble Past, Explosive Present, and Your Publishing Future (Location: Gunstock)

Hope to meet you this week!