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: Unique Wildlife | EelKat's Guide To Worldbuilding For Fantasy Authors - The Squidoo Series

Your World: Unique Wildlife | EelKat's Guide To Worldbuilding For Fantasy Authors - The Squidoo Series

When creating fantasy wild life, remember not to go too far overboard in making them too different from things your readers can identify with.

Usually I use the same basic animals only different; say the horses are shades of blue and pink instead of tan and browns.

Cats with wings.

Small things are big: say slugs grew to 20 feet instead of 5 inches. Little stuff like that.

My reason for it is simple: readers can identify the animal, as being enough like something that they can see and touch, and therefore can paste an image of in their head, while at the same time being just different enough, so as to be fantasy, but not so different that the reader has trouble imagining it in their head.

For example, most people know what a Unicorn is, And also a Pegasus, and a few might know Phookas and Kelpies, maybe, but how many know the Each-Usty?

What do Unicorns, Pegasus, Phookas, Kelpies, and Each-Usty all have in common. All are evil tricker Faeries whom spend most of their days in the form of a horse...each is from a different culture: Irish, Welsh, Cornish, Scottish, Shetland, Roman, and Greek, but all are nearly identical creatures, and so each can be described as "mythical horses"... descriptions include: "winged horse", "one-horned pony", "water horse", "magical pony", etc.

I use this example of various Faerie Horses from various cultures, because it shows you how Unique Fantasy Creatures were created by other authors. In the case of Unicorns, Pegasus, Phookas, Kelpies, and Each-Usty, each author based the fictional animal off a real world animal: a horse. By using a real world animal to base your fictional animal on, you make it easier for your readers to envision the new creature. 

You always want to make things easier for your reader.

Think about the last time YOU read a Fantasy novel that featured unfamiliar creatures the author had created. Most cases you'll remember that the author said things like: "snake like" or "similar to a dolphin" or "like a jaguar" or "had fur like a wolf" or "a small cat like body" or looked similar to a horse", or "reminded her of a squirrel"...they are always short, simple descriptions, that give vivid imagery of real world animals.

The goal is to keep the reader reading: NEVER MAKE THE READER PUT DOWN THE BOOK! If they have to think too hard about what something looks like, it takes away from the plot of the story and the reader puts the book down. Keep your readers AND you fantasy creatures at the same time, by not going overboard in making them too different, too alien.

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