Guest Post: SM Blooding – Top Ten Behind-the-Scenes Moments of The Hands of Tarot

Posted on November 24, 2012


One of my newest online friends is SM (Frankie) Blooding. Her bio makes really interesting reading, including her role in paranormal rescue – no, that doesn’t mean she runs around doing the paranormal equivalent of animal rescue.

Looking at the details of her latest book, The Hands of Tarot, it seems quite interesting. Sadly I have not had a chance to review it just yet but hey, it’s steam punk and looks like it has some paranormal in it. Gotta be something there worth going to have a look at. And Frankie has provided me with her peice, Top Ten Behind-theScenes Moments from The Hands of Tarot. And I think this gives a nice insight into how an author’s mind can work so it’s over to Frankie.

The Hands of Tarot
SM Blooding
Format: E-book & Paperback
Genre: YA Steampunk (Mature)
Length: 316 pages in paperback
Review formats: Mobi, E-pub, Smashwords
All available for free download via Dropbox. Paperbacks available for US residents only

 Top Ten Behind-the-Scenes Moments of The Hands of Tarot!

10. Destroy, destroy, DESTROY!

I’m a very anal outliner. Before I write a chapter, I have to craft the outline. Now, granted, there’s still a lot of room to wiggle with and not all my scenes follow the “script”, but it’s there for me anyway, giving me and the characters the direction we need.

However, there was on night during NaNoWriMo when I was pushing out 3,000 words an hour, when Veronica (QueenCalisto on Twitter) leaned over and started laughing. She read my chapter outline for one of my chapters. It was quite simply, “DESTROY! DESTROY! DESTROY!” It was bolded, underlined and in big handwriting. We still laugh about it to this day.

9. How is the word “Sky” a curse word?

Cursing is like breathing for me. I’m a military brat who joined the Army and went into construction. It’s all around me.

But I had to find a way for the characters in this book to curse. They’re on a different world! They’re not going to drop the F-bomb, and they don’t have dams.

In The Hands of Tarot, you can tell where each person originates by how they curse. Joshua is a land dweller, so he praises dirt and curses the sky. Synn is a sky dweller, so he’s the exact opposite. We have such a diverse world, it’s a lot of fun for me to listen to them curse.

And because of that, I now curse using “monkeys”. It’s a lot of fun and gets some strange looks, but people react by laughing! It really is funny. And because of this book, I get emails, Tweets, and texts of people cursing at me with “For the love of Sky, Frankie!” I really get a kick out of it.

8. One thing you would never know about Synn.

His sister, Zara, used to dress him up like a doll until he was four. Apparently, his best color is purple and he looks great in ruffles. It’s because of his eyelashes. They’re very full. Ladies, be prepared to be envious.

7. Not so quick quicksand.

I have never been in quicksand. I’ve seen Indiana Jones and a couple of other Hollywood movies, The Jungle Book, where some nameless dude falls into quicksand and drowns.

I don’t even know how this came up, but I was sitting at the table with my parents and my daughters one night. I’m pretty sure my inside voice escaped because Dad just looked up at me (he was reading a book) and said with a frown, “Most people don’t drown in quicksand. All you have to do is float.”

That reaction, that statement, the whole package was the inspiration for the scene where Synn is leading the sphynktor bugs to the ocean and he falls into the quicksand pit. The part of Synn was inspired by yours truly. The part of Haji, by my dad.

6. The sphynktor bug versus the sea snake.

This scene was inspired by the latest Star Trek movie, which I’ve seen nearly a dozen times. I love it! I was watching Kirk running, screaming like a little girl from this giant snow monster, only to have the giant snow monster taken out by this gigantic red sea monster!

I said to myself, “Self, you have a sphynktor bug problem. This could be the solution!”

Okay. So it wasn’t original, but there you go.

5. Food for the brain…is not just caffeine.

I am addicted to King Soopers’ cranberry orange soft top cookies. They are amazing! I’ll get them as bribery for myself.

“Frankie, if you sit down and write an entire chapter, you can have one cookie.”

“But, Self, I want a cookie now. They’re calling my name. I promise. I’ll eat the cookie now, feed the brain, and then write the chapter.”

“Frankie, we’ve been over this before. You don’t write after the cookie. Your brain goes into sugar overload and you FB and Tweet when you should be writing. Now, be a good author and go write a chapter.”

“Self…you’re a bully!”

4.  Developing technology that…doesn’t quite work.

I think my favorite scenes involve really cool tech that doesn’t work! Like the scene where they’re escaping from Sky City and Synn finds out there’s no landing gear.

“Without—Wait.” I followed Joshua into the belly of the beast. “We won’t be able to land?”

The characters are just so much more…real when they’re thrown pieces like that. Their dialogue sounds more genuine. And I laaaaaaaugh!

3. One thing that would surprise you about Queen Nix.

Her favorite color is pink.

2. The most watched movie, most played soundtrack while writing The Hands of Tarot.

The Prince of Persia. OMW! It’s just such a lovely movie. I deeply enjoy it! Though, I think it’s going to be awhile before I can watch it again. I love the visuals, and the sites, and the sounds. The Hands of Tarot is nothing like it! You can’t tell that movie was playing in the background. At least I can’t, but there it is.

Oh, and Synn speaks with an Adalic (Arabic) accent, not Handish (English).

1. Not the ending I was expecting.

The Hands of Tarot actually had a HEA ending (Happily Ever After). Everything was closed up very nicely. It was tidy. There were no loose ends.

But then Keeley got stuck on Sky City and Synn took over the scene. It’s not because he’s in love with her. This isn’t a love story. He just wasn’t about to leave her behind. I still could have saved it, given the reader and the characters the HEA, but then Queen Dyna (Queen of Swords) stepped in and changed everything!

The reason for the chapter title is because I wasn’t expecting it. However, I think this ending works much better for the book! I’m very pleased with it.

Well, thank you so much for letting me stop by! It’s been wonderful! I hope you enjoyed the Top 10 Behind-the-Scenes Moments of The Hands of Tarot!

Thanks for dropping by, Frankie!

Posted in: Writing