DC Area Storytellers

The DC Area Storytellers are a group of authors of multiple genres residing in or near the Washington, DC area. Published within the fields of romance, science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, fiction and non-fiction, this diverse group of authors offers a wide range of works for readers to savor.

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Pyromancer is available in print!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


One desperate night, a rent boy hot enough to scorch the motel sheets, and Christian is doomed to burn for love.

Christian Ryder is rich and lonely. When the people around him keep dying, Christian forgoes personal attachments. The thought of his Pyromancy hurting anyone else, isn’t something he’s willing to risk.

Tanner O’Bannon is broke and desperate. The recent loss of his father has thrown Tanner into a tailspin of debt he can’t afford to pay. Working as a rent boy allows him to pay the mortgage and his college tuition, but it’s eroding his soul in the process.

Through the machinations of Male Companions — the escort agency for which Tanner works — the men are thrown together. Through a series of startling revelations and danger, Tanner and Christian both face changes. Smoldering embers of desire fan the flames of love, but will it be enough to make Christian overcome his fear of love, or to save Tanner from the fire? Only one thing is certain; both men will burn.

Buy your copy at Amazon now!
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The DragonCon Report, 2009 Edition

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Want to see--and read--more? It's all at Beyond the Veil. Enjoy!
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The Journey and the Fear

Friday, September 11, 2009
Fear can drive people to kill, it can drive people to run, it can be a great motivator to keep a job. Fear can do a lot of things, including making a writer question their ability to write.

Fear and Characters

I find it challenging to write character-driven books. I’ve always thought myself good with plots, but characterizations have always challenged me. So I'm terrified that my characterizations won't hold up. Particularly with reviewers who vary from gentle to scathing. Of course, I’ve never understood reviewers who sneer at misunderstandings in stories. When I read comments from reviewers who lambast writers for issues like misunderstandings, I’m sort of like, huh??? There’s actually nothing truer to life than a misunderstanding. It’s how people operate on a daily basis. People think something based on another’s actions and they get bent out of shape because of that misunderstanding. I think that IS part of characterization. It’s the psychological observations of the human kind. We all deal in misunderstandings on a daily basis. So I’d rather someone say the EXECUTION of a misunderstanding wasn’t done well. And I have to say that there are some books that reviewers rave about that I scratch my head over. I think it’s easier to say that it’s the VOICE of a writer the reviewer doesn’t resonate with as opposed to anything else.

Fear of Opinions

Anyway, because of some comments about "my" misunderstandings, I’ve been thinking that I’m a fluke when it comes to my selling books. So it’s generated this fear that I’m going to fail in my latest endeavor. Because characterization comes so hard to me, blending world building and characterization so a book is a worthwhile read is like putting a rocket together when you’re not a rocket scientist. I don’t know about other writers, but I not only edit as I go, I can always see what’s coming next, that is until this book. Perhaps it’s the complexity of it that terrifies me. I often set up challenges for myself that are too much for me. It’s one of those “set yourself up to fail” things. I’ve done it all my life, and this WIP is no different.

I’ve got three story lines in this WIP, one of which doesn’t hold much characterization at all, because the relationship is already cemented. Another one might possibly have to flow into the third book and then there’s the main relationship. So when I say with all sincerity that I was insane to try and write this book, I am not understating my madness. I had these wonderful delusions about writing a book that would create buzz, and the only thing I can say is that fear is driving me to complete it.

Fear of Obligations

Fear that my editor will hate it. Fear that if she hates it, I will have to rewrite it. Fear that if I rewrite it, I might as well slit my wrists, because I don’t know how I can meet my other obligations AND rewrite a book. I wonder if these fears will ever vanish, or if I’m the only writer who puts themselves into a white jacket like this. I still love what I’m doing, and I love writing, but I can’t remember the last time I ever felt this insecure. Ok, yeah I can. I was in high school.

The Great Motivator

Fear can be a great motivator and it can be paralyzing. When I had my came home from RWA National, I looked at my calendar and I freaked. OMG, I thought, this book is due the 15th of September. So I plowed through the book until I was about 75 pages from the end. I looked at my calendar for something completely different and was thunderstruck to see that the book isn’t due until OCTOBER 15th. *sigh* While I’m not so panic-struck at this point, I’m anxious to put this book to bed, and I was looking forward to getting working on it full speed this weekend, when it happened…the DREADED copyedits (CEs) for Kismet hit the inbox.

Fear and Copy Edits (not so fearsome)

Petrified (there’s that fear again!), I opened the document and was astounded to find that there were hardly ANY changes to the document. The CE who reviewed the document is a GODDESS, I’m going to tell my editor that I want the same CE forever! She totally improved several spots in the book by rewording sentences or removing words. I LUBS her/him! The only two issues were minor rewrites to resolve a minor plot point and a minor issue with the ending. I couldn’t believe I got through the entire document in two nights without any problem. I have to give it one more read through with all changes made and look for any last minute fixes that need to be done. These have to be back in my editor’s box by Friday the 18th (ten days is a pretty short turn around if you ask me, but I’ll manage). The next thing to come will be actual pages in the form of what are called galleys, and there ONLY typos can be corrected. No new stuff added.

Fear and It's Effect On the Body

So, there I was almost done with the CEs and yesterday my body revolted. Bronchitis has set in and I’m sleeping 12 hours a day, lying around for 12 dozing off and on with not much energy to do anything else. This is how I started writing for publication back in 2002. Can I say how many times in the last month I’ve said to myself, “WTF were you thinking to try and do this. Why didn’t you just stick to being a reader.” There’s that fear talking.

Know what I told that little voice of fear a short while ago??? Go F#*$ yourself, I’m doing this because I love it, and don’t you dare try to stop me. I was brilliant, I tell you. BRILLIANT at looking in the mirror and saying that. Now I just have to believe it. *grin

Fear…it can be your best friend or your darkest enemy, but no matter what, I’ve a feeling it’s never going to go away. That’s the hardest lesson of all.
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DragonCon 2009: First Notes

Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Back from DragonCon. I had such a fabulous time I'm way to tired to write coherently about it, but I thought I'd post a few (a very few!) of the highlights as a teaser of things to come--as soon as I finish sorting the 570 photos I took. Until then, this will have to do:

- FINALLY getting to see a panel with James Marsters (with green hair, no less) and Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones in Torchwood).

- Running into an old friend I hadn't seen in years directly afterwards.

- Hanging with friends like artist/writer Marianne Plumridge and her husband, artist Bob Eggleton, Jana Oliver, Teresa Patterson and my roomie Dorie. Also ran into the old Press Room gang--Star, Leigh, Kelly, Dave & Phyl. (Randi couldn't make it, but I did talk to her and the new bambino.)

- Dinner with Crissy Brashear (owner and publisher of Samhain Publishing), Jacob Hammer (Samhain's office manager), Alex Ross (Jacob's girlfriend) and writers Ally Blue and Rosemary Laurey/Georgia Evans and her husband George at Nikolai's on the Roof, the extraordinary restaurant on the top of the Hilton. The company was fabulous and the dinner... Well, let me put it this way, the meal started on plates with gilded images of Faberge eggs and ended with the presentation of a single red rose to all the ladies.

- The amazing historical and Steampunk costumes, and dressing up in my own less amazing Steampunk outfit (see Marianne's great picture of her husband, artist Bob Eggleton). At least the hat, the rose from Nikolai's, and all of Marianne's DragonCon pics were splendid. ;-)

- Sitting back-to-back with William Shatner, Kate Mulgrew and Leonard Nimoy at the DragonCon Awards Banquet. (BTW, they're actually serving meat now--the banquet, I mean, not the stars.)

- The Cruxshadows concert. (Duh!)

- Surviving a four-panel Sunday running from 10 a.m. (after the Cruxshadows concert--ow!) to 11 p.m., after the "sex panel": "Sex in SF/Fantasy--Too Much or Not Enough?"

- The Lost Boys concert at the Pirate Ball followed by costume watching at the Marriott Starbucks, which has replaced The Perk as the ultimate people-watching destination since the Hyatt has gotten pissy about photos in the lobby.

- Sitting next to Rogue on my last panel, "Under Raven's Wings: 200 Years of Poe", listening to three of his dramatic readings, including the awesome "Annabel Lee", and having him autograph this year's Cruxshadows single for Bree and me when the panel was done. And day-um, he smelled good. White musk, I think. (Made me wish I'd packed my favorite Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab scents, but I've been afraid ever since my hand lotion triggered Barbara Hambly's allergies at World Fantasy Con.)

- Drinking 12-year-old Glenlivet single malt in the Green Room at the Hair of the Dog Party (i.e., the clearing of the Green Room after the Dead Dog Party). I didn't even know they had Glenlivet in the Green Room.

- Getting back home to Greg and the Duz. Gotta recover in time for next year, after all. ;-)
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3 New Reviews for D. Renee Bagby

Monday, September 7, 2009
I've gotten three new reviews from two separate review sites.

Seriously Reviewed did A Valentine's Gift for Tori:
"The hot sex rocked!" ~ Read Full Review

She wants a boyfriend for Valentine’s and her husband wants to deliver.

Tori has come to the realization that her marriage lacks the spark it had in the beginning. She and her husband argue more than anything else and she foresees a nasty break-up on the horizon if something doesn’t change. When he asks her what she wants for Valentine’s Day, her answer is scandalous and straightforward—a boyfriend.

Rather than be upset, her husband is intrigued by the idea and sets out to make it happen. Tori has set herself—and him—an impossible goal and her prospects aren’t that promising. But she’s determined to have a boyfriend in time for the most romantic holiday of the year.

Seriously Reviewed also did Serenity:
"I LOVED EVERY BIT OF IT!!!!!!!!!!!! ... VIVID imagery only added to the delightful story-telling and this one will be read again..." ~ Read Full Review

Their uneasy alliance could lead to love—if the demon will allow it.

Melchior, King of the Bhresyas, is quickly growing tired of the war between his kind and the humans who view them as demons. He proposes a peace treaty with the most powerful human kingdom. His only stipulation? Once she comes of age, the human queen’s daughter must be his bride.

Serenity has spent her entire life preparing for her role at Melchior’s side. Other women might be frightened, but she embraces her destiny, knowing in her heart that she and Melchior have been twined together by fate.

While he wants cooperation between their two peoples, his union with Serenity cannot and should not lead to love. The more she tries to bring them together, the harder he pushes her away—until she lands in the arms of those who would do her harm.

Love is the answer. But before Melchior admits to his, it may be too late.

and Vee from Night Owl Romance gave Acknowledging Meirion 4 out of 5 stars:
"...a quick read. The Fey were fun characters and their world was interesting. The premise is fun..." ~ Read Full Review

No acknowledgment—but is true love the exception?

Meirion Flatt is one of a handful of people participating in the human version of a nature show for an alien race known as the Fey. Kiar, one of the three men chosen to film her, has awakened emotions in her she hasn’t felt since her husband died. She can’t tell if the feelings are mutual or one-sided, but she’s willing to find out.

Kiar takes great pride in doing his job correctly and that pride means everything to him. The network he works for has a strict rule of no acknowledgment. He’s meant to observe, not interact—no matter what. When Meirion sets out to seduce him, his job becomes that much harder.

Two of the universe's most stubborn people are about to clash in a new battle of the sexes. This competition has no rules and neither Meirion nor Kiar is willing to lose. It's her heart versus his pride. Will victory lead to joint happiness or both their defeats as Kiar struggles against... Acknowledging Meirion

Definitely a good day. :D

~ Renee
D. Renee Bagby
Building New Realms of Passion...
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