Thursday, November 20, 2014

#New Release: Thomas in Fairyland

Mocha Memoirs Press is proud to present...

Thomas in Fairyland

by Tysche Dwai


Thomas Rymer struggles to make ends meet working two jobs and playing guitar in a local dive at night. Same thing week in, week out. Until the night he starts home to find a beautiful woman sitting on a hilltop. Sensual and exotic, she is everything Thomas has ever dreamed of. She praises his playing, and asks him to come with Fairyland.

The old tale of Thomas the Rhymer takes on new life in this modern revision.

Available Now

About Tysche Dwai

Tysche Dwai has written erotic romances for publishers ranging from eXtasy to Phase. She also has work with Melange, Breathless and Mocha Memoirs. Her favorite thing to do is to take a fairy tale and add a bit of spice. She has adapted the Irish tale The Cunning Thief for Melange, and the Chinese tale The River God's Bride for Mocha Memoirs, as well as writing some of her own for Phase.

But she also likes to dabble in other genres, from the contemporary—like Jacqueline and the Giant—to fantasy—like To Catch a Thief. She has also self-published a historical piece called Seducing Sadie. Her latest offering is Thomas in Fairyland from Mocha Memoirs Press.

Tysche loves to tell a tale, and hopes to do so for a long, long time.

Autumn Thoughts

I love fall. It's probably my favorite season, and it never lasts long enough for my taste. Besides Halloween, there's just something nice about the gradual progression of the changing weather, the changing scenery, the changing attitudes. The full stress of the holidays isn't upon us yet (unless you pay attention to store displays), and the full drag of winter isn't upon us, either. Fall is almost more of a New Year for me than Jan 1. There's something to be said of shedding away the old before the barren season begins to make way for spring. It's the perfect time to embrace getting older, to appreciate all that's around you, all that you've gained and lost.

Weights and measures, balances and scales. Gain and loss. Harvest and reaping.

I could ramble about the crisp weather and how I love walking through it, my love of Halloween, my new appreciation of Thanksgiving as I get older and know I won't see every face around the table for one reason or another with each passing year. I could talk about the leaves and the impending holidays and sweaters and spices and all the usual stuff. And they're all great, don't get me wrong, but I think there's a deeper reason why I connect with autumn.

I'm a fairly emotion-based person, though I try to temper that down in my daily life. For me, autumn is a swirl of feelings as much as it is the rattling of leaves on the whispering winds. It's one of those seasons that I'm so glad to experience because it brings to mind all that happened over the summer, all that needs to happen before the winter, and all that I'm lucky enough to have in my life, whether it's people, things, experiences, responsibilities. But it also brings to mind those that I've watched leave within this past year, and those that are a memory from long ago. And while I miss them, there's gratitude there too, a thankfulness even for the disappointment and loss and shadows. How would I be the person I am if it wasn't for those experiences? How would I write what I do if I didn't have them? It's a season of emotional warmth and chilliness, but it's one I welcome.

Maybe it's morbid, but one of the reasons why Halloween and Thanksgiving are so great for me is that they're similar in an odd way. With Halloween you're remembering in a backwards way that you're still here, still safe, still able to see the sun come back around, even though the shadows are out there. And Thanksgiving you embrace all that you have around you, no matter what your situation. It's a getting ready time, and those times are always really exciting for me. Things may not be fully developed, but to know there's potential waiting under the piles of leaves, that's awesome. Although I find the season relaxing, I always start getting a little twitchy in the fall, and the sensation meanders around through the spring, because that's usually the idea formulating time for me, the percolating time, the fermenting thoughts time. It's frustrating that things don't always go quickly enough, whether it's a writing project or something else, but I always, always trust the ideas I get in the autumn. Things happen in the shadows, under the leaves, down under the ground, and they grow into beautiful things later on. I love that early anticipation.

Because what's thankfulness and memory without a sense of something happening and something to look forward to?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Dark & Twisty

So. I've always thought that what I wrote was a little... fluffy. Mostly the bright side of the fiction barrel. Anything dark and twisty in my writing must be an abberation, or at the very least the result of something in my life. Right? Right!

I am basically a "Look on the bright side" kind of person. I've been called Pollyanna while at work. But as I've told my boss, just because I'm cheerful or putting a positive spin on something does not mean that I'm living in lala land. Oh no.


I don't like to share dark and twisty Wyn so much. When I do, it is perversely more personal than any bright and happy story I could ever share. Dark and twisty is where the artist in me has created her lair... She hides in there sometimes, waiting, watching. Others, she comes roaring out spinning webs of darkness and beauty wherever she might go.

Because that's what I really like. I don't like horror. Not anymore. Grew out of most of it rather quickly. But if you can spin me a web of darkness and beauty, oh.


I write the two different types of stories differently, too. Happy, funny stories I write in discovery mode-- finding out what's gonna happen next. It's great, it's fun for me as a writer. The other comes out of my brain fully crystalized and it's a marathon to get it out. And get it out correctly.

So.. I guess what I'm saying is this:

I might have a split personality.

But that's ok. We're all doing just fine in here :)
Do you have any story abberations? Or stick to one style/type?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Evil in Modern Myth

Classic fantasy contains formulized images of good and evil; heroes and villains, both clearly defined.  Fantasy has given us creatures that embody evil:  The dark witch, the vampire, the werewolf, the dragon.  The evil presents itself, and the hero braves danger to destroy it.

So, what’s happened to the classic role of evil in modern fantasy?  It seems that characters traditionally relegated to the realm of evil are taking on a decidedly more sympathetic role.  The vampire perhaps most of all has become a romanticized figure embraced rather than condemned.  There was always a subconscious underlying sexual theme to vampirism; that’s primal.  But, lately, the vampire has evolved from the villainy and horror of Dracula to the sympathetic, romantic leads of “Twilight” and “Vampire Diaries.”  When did this begin, exactly?  Most credit Anne Rice for giving the point of view to the formerly reviled undead back in the 70’s.  Personally, I think it started earlier with Jonathan Frid’s portrayal of lonely, tormented vampire Barnabus Collins on “Dark Shadows” in the 60’s.  Whatever the reason, the vampire, though just as blood hungry and homicidal as ever, is now an appealing fairytale creature with skin that sparkles like diamonds in daylight, instead of sizzling and burning.  Now, vampires can walk in daylight, plan school dances, go to college, attend outdoor barbecues in the bright sunlight.  (What’s happened to standards?)  Even the dark prince Dracula himself has been re-invented as a 15th century superhero in the modern prequel “Dracula:  Untold.”  (Was that Bram Stoker turning in his grave?)

The re-definition of evil isn’t limited to vampire fiction, though.  Fairytales, the very things that shaped our mindsets as children are being stood on their heads.  Angelina Jolie turned Maleficent from villainess to heroine on the big screen, delightfully mangling the all-time classic fairytale of the Sleeping Beauty.  The king is the villain who used and abandoned Maleficent, abused her trust and stole her power of flight (an obvious feminist metaphor.)  The handsome prince means well, but he’s weak and ineffectual, so his kiss fails to revive the sleeping princess, since his love is childish and still needs time to mature.  Maleficent reclaims her power and overcomes her bitterness with love, slays the evil king and wakes the sleeping beauty not with a lover’s kiss, but with a mother’s.  “No truer love,” we’re told.

Every fairytale ever written is being turned inside-out in the television series “Once Upon a Time” (my personal favorite.)  In the course of the show’s storylines, Peter Pan is cast as villain and Captain Hook as hero, and classic villains like Rumpelstiltskin and the wicked queen who poisoned Snow White are more dysfunctional and misunderstood than evil.  Mainly, they just want what everyone else wants:  a happy ending.  The classic rules of fairytale morals are upheld:  Henry, the youngest character on the show reaffirms the classic rule that good always triumphs over evil and that happy endings always come only to the heroes, not the villains.  But, Henry still loves his adoptive mom, Regina, even though she was the wicked queen.  He never gives up hope that she can be redeemed, and she’s desperately trying to change.  Regina’s nemesis, Emma Swan, daughter of her sworn enemy Snow White is going through changes as well as she struggles with her unpredictable life and the cruel twists of fate.  Emma and Regina started out as enemies, but they’ve become allies of necessity, their opposites of dark and light magic combining against common enemies for the sake of Henry, whom they both love.  And, Emma even hopes she and Regina might someday become friends because, though on opposite sides, they understand each other; They’re both lonely and unlucky at love.

So, what does this re-examining of the classic myths say about the evolving mindset of our society?  Does this changing of points of view, seeing the story through the eyes of former antagonists, this new emphasis on change and compromise indicate a coming of age, a maturing?  Let’s hope.  God knows we don’t see enough of it in real life.  We think of our enemies (foreign and domestic) as the “bad guys”, the embodiment of pure evil.  We’re always swift to judgment and eager for revenge.  Even our elected officials are regarded as less than human.  We seem to embrace hatred and darkness, while seeing it only in others, never ourselves.

In “Black Goddess,” the protagonist is a young man whose life has fallen apart.  Through his eyes, nothing makes any sense.  Life seems like random configurations of cosmic dust without meaning.  Ironically, he seeks meaning and ultimate truth by seeking ultimate evil.   Pure, unadulterated evil born at the very moment of creation.

Since evil is the mainstay of all classic myth, it seems we need irredeemable evil to justify our existence, to give it meaning.  But, does it truly exist, or is evil just how the other guy looks from where you happen to be standing?   Given a history so littered with dead bodies, it’s hard to believe true evil doesn’t exist.  But, in looking for it elsewhere, we often feed it in ourselves.  Maybe our upcoming generation will benefit from fairytales that teach them to look through another’s eyes.


Monday, November 3, 2014

One, Two, Three...Write!

It's that time again -- Halloween has come and gone, Christmas is still around the corner, and in between? National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo.

November is officially a time for writing, even if you never have done so before in your life. Thirty days, fifty thousand words. It comes out to 1667 a day. They don't even have to be good words. The point of the exercise is to get yourself used to the idea of everyday commitment to writing something on paper.

I have been participating since 2000 or so. No, I don't always manage to finish, but when I do, it is a feeling of amazing accomplishment. And it can also lead to something actually publishable. One of my NaNo projects was published several years ago. Another took two years of trying, but is now in edits.A third led to the start of a series--and this year's project is Book Two.

So, even though the month has started, it isn't too late to sign up and join us! It is easy to catch up this early in the game; just a few extra words every day will easily bring you back to the necessary total.

And don't forget--we are still accepting submissions for the Avast Ye, Airships anthology through the end of the year.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Autumn: A Time of Change

Judging by the dreary, rainy, lovely (and I write that with no sarcasm what so ever) weather out side, it is fall. The transition time between two of my favorite seasons, summer and winter. A lot of changes take place during the fall season: leaves change color, it gets colder and daylight savings time ends. 

You don't look like your picture!
 Halloween is the highlight of fall, where people, young and old, dress up in costumes and enjoy themselves. I dressed up at Nick Fury, much to the delight of my children’s friends. I wore a Nick Fury badge around my neck and as I was signing in to the school, the security guard remarks “You don’t look like your picture,” to which I replied “Look at it with one eye.” Rimshot!!

I must say, however, my most favorite part of fall is watching the leaves change from green to gold and red during the season in New Jersey. It is such a beautiful display that makes up for the wacky hurricane weather: some days are 70 degrees, other days are cold, wet and rainy.

Enjoy fall - it’s your wonderfully temperate walk into winter…depending of course, on where you live.

Now, a word from our sponsor…..

Reluctant Magic - A Short Story
Not only does “Reluctant Magic” take place during the fall season, it is also a book about transition. Kami is a gifted witch who shuns her gifts because of the reputation of her mother, who was a not-so-good witch. Her story opens after the mysterious death of her abusive husband. Kami has come to terms with her solitary existence, busying herself with running her yarn shop and taking of her two cats. (Of course, a proper witch has cats, right?). However, she didn’t bet on a bull on the run changing her quiet life. I don’t want to write anymore, but check out the short story, if you’ve a mind to.

Interested in anything else I have to say?  You can check me out at The Sultry Scribe or here: