Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cast your perfect “Fairy Godmothers, Inc.” movie!
We’ve all had it happen. They finally make a movie of our favorite book (or comic book series), and we stalk the Internet for every scrap of information. Then the cast list comes out and… him? They pick him? Or her? They don’t look anything like [insert name of character here]! What were these people thinking?

Well, we’re about a million years away from even the possibility that there might one day be a “Fairy Godmothers, Inc.” movie, but I believe in planning ahead. I want your dream casts, people. What actors/actresses do you see stepping into the shoes of Kate, John, Rellie, Bubbles and the rest? I’ve speculated about this question on a blog or two, but I’d really like to know how you guys see the characters in your mind’s eye.

Do your best to give me the full cast – I’d really love to hear who you guys suggest for Ned and Jon’s mother. You can e-mail me your list at, but I’d rather you leave it in the comments either here or on Facebook so that everyone else can get ideas or comment on your genius. If possible, also cite a movie/TV show the actor/actress has been in. None of us are afraid of Google, but it might save time if we don’t have to do it for everyone.

Depending on the responses, I’ll comb through the answers and assemble an overall dream cast that I’ll post next week (with proper acknowledgements to the genius casting agents involved, of course). I’ll also add some special recognition if anyone feels tempted to get creative with their casting – a Shakespearean version, for example (all guys) or actors/actresses from a different era.

I’d really love to hear from everyone who’s read the book. Even if you hadn’t, check out the preview at and tell me who you’d cast as Kate and Jon (and whatever other characters make it in).

UPDATE: Some of the winners!

Ned: Logan Lerman

Lawton: Gabriel Mann

Bubbles: Judi Dench

John: James Wolk

Rupert: Channing Tatum

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fairy Godmothers, Inc. responds to news of tell-all

Fairy Godmothers, Inc. released this statement:

We have received word that a woman from your world, who shall hereafter be referred to as the “author,” has written highly inaccurate and prejudiced reports about recent events at Fairy Godmothers, Inc. Though she is marketing it as a work of “fiction,” which our lawyers say will cause challenges should we try to sue her for slander, company officials are concerned that her grossly inaccurate statements about our procedure and employees may injure the company.
Fairy Godmothers, Inc. has never [this part of the document has been removed in compliance with the current gag order]. Kate Harris [this part of the document has been removed so that slander charges aren’t added]. The author never spoke to the company’s PR department, and obtained samples from the employee manual through unofficial channels.
Contrary to reports, Fairy Godmothers, Inc. is still accepting clients. Discounts may be offered in order to compensate you for possible delays or any other inconvenience.*
We remain committed to providing the ideal happily-ever-after to all our clients. If you have questions, feel free to e-mail us at
*Extra fees may be included in case of discounts.

Related stories:

Author Jenniffer Wardell gets an insider’s look at the sins and secrets inside the largest Fairy Godmothering company in the world:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Deities 101: The Mythology of the Pipe Woman Chronicles

We have a visitor today! The amazing Lynne Cantwell has recently released “Annealed,” the latest book in her Pipe Woman Chronicles series (Never heard of it? Check it out on Goodreads!) Her literary playground is the world of gods and goddesses, and she’s stopped by to offer us a Deities 101-style look at the power players in her world.

The Mythology of the Pipe Woman Chronicles
by Lynne Cantwell

When I began writing the Pipe Woman Chronicles, I made a conscious decision to make it a different kind of urban fantasy.  Instead of incorporating vampires, zombies, and other things that go bump in the night, I decided to mine various pre-Christian pantheons for the otherworldly beings who populate my novels.  Here's a quick primer.  If you’re interested in seeing what they look like, I’ve created a Pinterest board.  Feel free to stop by!

Kicking things off is White Buffalo Calf Pipe Woman, the Lakota Sioux goddess who gifts Naomi with her extra-special powers of persuasion.  The Lakota believe White Buffalo Calf Pipe Woman brought them the sacred pipe they smoke when making decisions for the tribe.  She also taught them their seven sacred ceremonies – among them, the Sun Dance and the hunka, or making-of-a-brother, ceremony that both occur in Annealed.

Many Plains Indian tribes – including the Lakota and the Ute – include Coyote in their belief systems.  Coyote is a Trickster who can change shape at will.  He is always cooking up some scheme to enrich himself at someone else's expense.  The Ute have a number of stories about Coyote plotting to have sex with one woman or another.

Another Ute legend is that of Blood Clot Boy. (I couldn’t find a picture of him for the Pinterest board, sorry – although that may be just as well.)  He transformed initially from a clot of buffalo blood into a human-like boy, and a childless couple adopted him.  His chief activity was providing his family, and later his tribe, with plenty of buffalo – an important function for a nation whose subsistence largely depended on them.

Three Aztec (or, more properly, Mexica) gods figure in the Pipe Woman Chronicles: Quetzalcoatl, Tezcatlipoca, and Coatlicue.  Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca seem to be brother gods who swap control of the world at the dawn of each new age, or sun.  We are currently in the Fifth Sun, and the god in charge is Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent who some New Agers believed would return to Earth at the end of the Long Count that occurred last winter.  Tezcatlipoca, the Smoking Mirror, is another Trickster – a shapeshifter who commonly takes the form of a jaguar.  Early Christian chroniclers would often try to cast one local god in the “good guy” role and another in the “bad guy” role, and Tezcatlipoca drew the short straw for the Mexica.  But the evidence suggests that he was respected rather than feared, and that he would even help his followers on occasion.

Coatlicue was probably imported by the Mexica from an older tradition.  She is considered to be the Mother of some members of the Mexica pantheon (although not the mother of either Quetzalcoatl or Tezcatlipoca, despite the conflation of their separate myths).  Her youngest son, Huitzilopochtli, led the Mexica from their fabled paradise of Aztl├ín to their final home in what is now Mexico City.  Legend has it that she is still waiting for Huitzilopochtli to come back home to her.

From sunny Mexico, we move to cold Northern Europe and the Norse pantheon.  I think almost everybody is familiar with these gods:  Odin, the one-eyed AllFather; Frigga, his wife; Thor, the hammer-wielding god of thunder; and Loki, who is yet another Trickster.

And from the Celtic pantheon, I’ve brought in Brighid.  Catholics know her as a saint. But before Christianity came to Ireland, Brighid was the goddess of smiths, poets, and healers.  There is a shrine in Kildare where a perpetual flame is tended in her honor in a twenty-day rotation: women keep the flame lit for nineteen days, and Brighid Herself tends it on the twentieth.  Or so the legend goes.

Part of the fun of writing the Pipe Woman Chronicles was getting all of these different gods and goddesses together and playing them off of one another.  I hope my readers will enjoy their interplay, too.

It’s zero hour…
Naomi has just two weeks to find a new home for Joseph's grandfather. The old Ute shaman is fighting for his life against a mysterious injection of toxin he received at the hands of the Norse Trickster god Loki. If Naomi is to defeat Loki once and for all, she must learn what it is he seeks under the old man's wickiup.
She has just one week before she must mediate between the Earth's pagan gods and goddesses and the Christian God. If her efforts fail, all of humankind will suffer the consequences.
And her baby is due any day.
In this, the fifth and final book of the Pipe Woman Chronicles, Naomi is in a race against the clock to balance the demands of her body, her family, and her friends – and she must do it while the whole world is watching.

Lynne Cantwell has been writing fiction since the second grade, when the kid who sat in front of her showed
her a book he had written, and she thought, "I could do that." The result was Susie and the Talking Doll, a picture book, illustrated by the author, about a girl who owned a doll that not only could talk, but could carry on conversations. The book had dialogue but no paragraph breaks. Today, after a twenty-year career in broadcast journalism and a master's degree in fiction writing from Johns Hopkins University (or perhaps despite the master's degree), Lynne is still writing fantasy. In addition, she is a contributing author at Indies Unlimited and writes a monthly post for The Indie Exchange.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Getting to Know You: Kate Harris, Fairy Godmother Extraordinaire

The look Kate gave me when I said
she had to fill out the questionaire
Getting to Know You: Kate Harris, Fairy Godmother Extraordinaire

I finally sat Kate, the lead character from my book “Fairy Godmothers, Inc.,” down and made her answer some “getting to know you” questions (which I borrowed from

*Minor spoilers*

What was your favorite food when you were a child?
My mother kept buying frosted flowers because they looked good when the neighbors came over. I didn’t actually like the flowers – they tasted bitter – but I loved licking the pollen off them. Then I’d crush up the rest of the flower and sneak it into the garbage.

What is one of your favorite quotes?
“Don’t sleep your life away.” – Snow White

What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity?
Jon’s teaching me dancing, but since Jon’s what I like about it I’m not sure that should count. Other than that, I do enjoy stargazing when I have the chance – since I’m in cities most of the time, there’s not many opportunities for me to see the constellations clearly.

What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Having wings makes dusting a thousand times worse, especially when you have allergies. I try to get to it as early as possible, so it never has the chance to build up enough for my wings to stir it up.

What is your favorite form of exercise?
I like walking, because it lets you enjoy the scenery and it means there’s nothing chasing after you looking for dinner. But I generally walk slowly enough that it probably doesn’t count as exercise.

What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?
I like mornings. It’s quiet time where I don’t have to worry yet about all the things I have to do that day.

What’s your least favorite mode of transportation?
Most of the dragons I’ve met are wonderful people, really. But they have a terrible tendency to show off in midair, especially to someone else who has wings, and the ones who don’t tend to forget that the person on their back is being pelted by strong winds and doesn’t have a terribly steady grip. Yes, they’ll always catch you in mid-air and apologize, but it’s embarrassing and mildly terrifying.

What is your favorite body part?
In general, or specifically my body? Well… I suppose my hands. They’re useful, and if they ever do anything embarrassing it’s my brain’s fault, not theirs.

What sound do you love?              
Jon’s voice (Yes, I know I should be embarrassed to admit that. But I’m not.)

What next? Should I make Kate answer more questions, or go on and attack some of the other characters? 

For those of you who are completely lost right now: