Due to the murder of my family and the resulting court cases, police investigations, and FBI investigations, I no longer have time to daily update this website.

Likewise ALL novel, short story, and article writing projects are on hiatus.

All book releases, book signings, workshops, and convention appearances for 2015 (and unknown amount of time after) are on hold while the murder investigation of my family is ongoing.

Writing advice for the worldbuilding, character creation, and other writing how to articles are on hold.

From now on, the bulk of updates here will be about the investigation into the murder of my family.

No, NOT just THIS author website, not JUST the EelKat pename, not just self published books: ALL 15 (fifteen) of my penames are on hiatus, that includes traditional published books as well, newspaper reporting jobs, editing jobs, my work for Harlequin Romance Novels, my work for Disney... EVERYTHING is on hiatus. Every publishing house I work for, every series I write, every penname I write under: they are ALL on hiatus, ALL projects.

There is NOTHING being published under ANY penname, not for ANY series, not for ANY publisher, from 2015 onward. EVERYTHING is on hold due to the murder of my family. I do not know when or even if, any of the projects will be restarted or finished.

Yes, BOTH the magazines I owned are indefinitely shut down because of this as well, with no plans for either magazine to return. The publishing house I own is also closed to submissions from now on, we will no longer be publishing anything. It is unlikely we will reopen the publishing house either.

All book signing tours, workshops, letures, PAX events, ComicCon events, carnival/festival/state fair/car show events are also canceled. I will not be attending ANY of them. If a venue still has my name listed as a guest/speaker/etc it is because they've not yet removed it. I WILL NOT be there, no matter where it is! 


The ONLY thing continuing from this point on, is THIS website, where I'll post updates on the murder investigation, hopefully every week, but, you know how it is when 10 members of your family are beheaded, it's kind of difficult to have a schedule for anything anymore.

Your World: Reptiles & Amphibians| EelKat's Guide To World Building - The Squidoo Series

Your World: Reptiles & Amphibians| EelKat's Guide To World Building - The Squidoo Series

Picking up where we left off with mammals and birds, we now move on to reptiles and amphibians.

Remember, like mammals and birds, your world would not be complete without reptiles and amphibians. If you've read the rest of this series up to this point you are probably wondering if you have to include all of these things.


You don't.

You don't have to turn your novel into a zoo.

You don't have to list every single type of animal in your world.

None of that is the point.

The point is to pepper enough of those things into the story, that the reader feels the world is a real place that they can visit.

Reptiles and amphibians are one you see less often then birds or mammals, as they are found n fewer places in the real world, and where they are found, they tend to hide. Thus they do not become as important of an impact on the every day life of every day characters.

This however does not mean they do not, like birds and mammals, cease to fill your novel with the flavours of life.

What would a spring evening be, without Spring Peepers (tiny 1/4 inch long frogs) croaking from the treetops?

What tells the reader it's a hot summer night, better then bullfrogs booming throating bellows booming across the lake?

What hot tropic river would be complete without a croc slowly drifting by?

Snapping turtles didn't start crossing roads with the invention of motor-cars. They crossed roads in front of wagons and horses too. And a big enough snapper will survive the crash, while the wagon wheel is splintered beyond repair, leaving your characters stranded beside the road in the middle of a Faerie infested swamp, just as sunset approaches...

Never underestimate the power of a turtle.

Snakes fall out of trees, or jump out of boxes, or get found in shoes.

Did your characters camp in a strange woods for the night? Did they take off their shoes? If so, you can be certain the first thing they doin the morning is grab a long stick and ram it in their shoe, to chase out any snakes, before they dare slip their foot back inside.

These things may not be plot important and many not have any effect on the end result of the story, but they will certainly draw your reader into your world and help them feel a sympathetic connection to your characters.

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