Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes G. Lloyd Helm


Every Wednesday, I feature a writer and his/her workspace.  My aim is to get to know fellow writers better through their workspace and writing habits, and have them  share some of their writing wisdom here.

Today, I am most eager to welcome G. Lloyd Helm, author of the fantasy novels Other Doorsir?t=wwwthewriting 20&l=as2&o=1&a=B003XIIYWM - Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes G. Lloyd Helm & World Without Endir?t=wwwthewriting 20&l=as2&o=1&a=B002ZVPTGM - Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes G. Lloyd Helm.

Welcome, Lloyd!



Author G. Lloyd Helm


Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do for a living?

Depends what you mean by “living” I write and take care of the family, but I don’t make a living. I leave that to my wife and Patron for the last forty four years. She is a Retired Air Force Master Sgt. We traveled all over the world because of that. I raised two sons, took care of the regular family affairs and I wrote. Still works that way except that the family is considerably smaller now.


What genre do you love to write?

That’s another one that is hard to answer. I have written three books that fall into the SF&F genre, but I have also written two in the straight ahead literary genre. Writing Slap-dasher adventure in SF&F is more fun kind of, but straight ahead literature is more satisfying.


What are some of your hobbies or interests?

Of course Reading, but that goes without saying. Any writer worth the powder to blow him up is a voracious reader, but I like to travel, see new places. I like to suddenly find myself in places where I am the only one who speaks English. I bicycle, though not as much as I used to. I’ve had some health problems that has shortened my biking. Music and Theater. I’ve played clubs and done concerts. Did a huge choir concert at Lincoln Center a couple of years ago.


Do you have a hidden talent?

Not really. My talents are mostly right there on the surface, lol.  I’m a pretty good dish washer.



On Workspace


1. Where do you do most of your writing? 

I have and “Office” / library where I work.


2. Where did you get your desk? 

Wish I could say it is some wonderfully exotic place, but it ain’t. I bought it at Staples


3. How did you go about arranging your work area?

It is arranged mostly by “dump” I am very organized but my office looks like an explosion most of the time. Still I can set my hand on anything I want within seconds because I know how deep down in the stack it is. LOL


4. What are some important things on your desk? Are there specific things you need to have around you as you work?

The only really importat things on the desk are the computer and the calendar. I’ve got the usual office stuff—stapler and rolodex and phone, but that’s about it. The things I need around me are my calendar, my bulletin board and my pocket Buddha.


 5. What do you love most about your workspace?

Do you have any favorite objects on your desk, or things you use often? I like my office because it feels safe and cozy and enclosed. I have a window but it mostly stays covered with a shade. My prayer bell. It’s not on my desk but it is here handy in the office. Gets used most every day.


6. What’s your writing beverage? What do you love to drink while you’re writing?

I’m a coffee drinker, but it is easy to tell how my latest work is progressing by how much cold coffee is left in the cup. If it is empty, that’s bad, I’m having to bear down, but if it is full I’m rolling so well that I forget it is there.


On Writing


1. Who is your favorite author? Who inspired you to write?

My favorite author changes depending on what I am reading. Currently my favorite is Paulo Coelho. I just read “The Alchemist” and was very impressed. Who inspired me to write is hard to say I have been a reader for a long time, but ultimately I think John Steinbeck was who kicked me off. I loved his characters and I knew the people from “Grapes of wrath.” My family is from the hills of Arkansas.


2. What’s your typical day as a writer like? Do you have any writing-related rituals or quirks?

Get up, breakfast, coffee, a little TV news just to see that the world is still as screwed up as when I went to bed, then to the office. Rituals are simple. Ring my prayer bell three times with pleas to the universe to conspire with me between each toll.


3. Do you write every day?

I wish I could say I did but I don’t. If I am working on a particular project—finishing a book or a story—I usually am pretty faithful, but if I am between specific projects I mess around rather than write. I have kept a journal for a long time but it isn’t daily by any means.


4. How many hours a day do you spend writing?

I usually don’t measure in hours. I measure in words. When I am working good I get a thousand words a day. If that takes ten minutes (Seldom) I work ten minutes and go on with other business, but if it take’s hours –and sometimes it does—I stay with it until I get my thousand. I may throw them out tomorrow if they were that hard to get. That usually means that they aren’t very good. I would guess I average maybe two hours a day when I am really working.


5. What are some of your worst writing distractions? 

I don’t really have anything specific, just everything. I am ADOS – That means “Attention Deficit OOO Shiny” When I focus nothing distracts me, but when I am not focused everything distracts me.


6. Why do you write?

Because I am compelled to. I tell people it is a sickness I’d like to get well from, but I can’t seem to stop though I have tried several times. It isn’t quite grapho–filia but not far from it.


7. Any writing tips or techniques or words of wisdom you want to share with us? How about a favorite writing quote?

Nothing really. Don’t talk about, just sit down and do it.  And my favorite quote is from Hemingway I believe. He said something like, “Writing is easy, just sit down and open a vein.”



Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your writing life, Lloyd!

Wednesday Writer’s Workspace is an ongoing series, and if you’re interested in being featured here, simply leave me a message in the comment box, and I’ll be sure to email you.

6,109 total views, no views today

find the cost of your paper

Sep 13, Grand Remembrances

Today is Grandparents Day in the United States. Being a Grand is a special honor. I feel very blessed that my wife and I have two grandchildren. We were able to visit them today. Yes, we are still being cautious with the coronavirus, but we also find it very difficult to not see them when they live so close. So today we did drop by to visit Jacob (age 10) and Sophia (age 7) along with their parents. We brought donuts and caught up with them. Our grandchildren are still pretty young and this is a precious time in their lives – and ours!

I wish I had known my grandparents better. We never lived in the same place. Dad was a career Air Force pilot, so we moved around a lot. But we did get to see them once in a while when they would visit us, or we them.

A Plague of Giants

There are five known magical ‘kennings’ or types: air, water, fire, earth, and plants. Each nation specializes in of these kennings, and the magic influences the society. There’s a big pitfall with this diversity of ability and locale–not everyone gets along.

Enter the Hathrim giants, or ‘lavaborn’ whose kenning is fire. Where they live the trees that fuel their fire are long gone, but the giants are definitely not welcome anywhere else. They’re big, they’re violent, and they’re ruthless. When a volcano erupts and they are forced to evacuate, they take the opportunity to relocate. They don’t care that it’s in a place where they aren’t wanted.

I first read Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid books and loved them (also the quirky The Tales of Pell), so was curious about this new venture, starting with A PLAGUE OF GIANTS. Think Avatar: The Last Airbender meets Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series. Elemental magic, a variety of races, different lands. And it’s all thrown at you from page one.

But this story is told a little differently. It starts at the end of the war, after a difficult victory, and a bard with earth kenning uses his magic to re-tell the story of the war to a city of refugees. And it’s this movement back and forth in time and between key players in this war that we get a singularly grand view of the war as a whole. Hearne uses this method to great effect.

There are so many interesting characters in this book that I can’t cover them all here. Often in books like this such a large cast of ‘main’ character can make the storytelling suffer, especially since they don’t have a lot of interaction with each other for the first 3/4 of the book–but it doesn’t suffer, thankfully. And the characterization is good enough, despite these short bursts, that by the end we understand these people and care about what happens to them.

If there were a main character it would be Dervan, a historian who is assigned to record (also spy on?) the bard’s stories. He finds himself caught up in machinations he feels unfit to survive. Fintan is the bard from another country, who at first is rather mysterious and his true personality is hidden by the stories he tells; it takes a while to understand him. Gorin Mogen is the leader of the Hathrim giants who decide to find a new land to settle. He’s hard to like, but as far as villains go, you understand his motivations and he can be even a little convincing. There’s Abhi, the son of hunters, who decides hunting isn’t the life for him–and unexpectedly finds himself on a quest for the sixth kenning. And Gondel Vedd, a scholar of linguistics who finds himself tasked with finding a way to communicate with a race of giants never seen before (definitely not Hathrim) and stumbles onto a mystery no one could have guessed: there may be a seventh kenning.

There are other characters, but what makes them all interesting is that they’re regular people (well, maybe not Gorin Mogen or the viceroy–he’s a piece of work) who become heroes in their own little ways, whether it’s the teenage girl who isn’t afraid to share vital information, to the scholars who suddenly find how crucial their minds are to the survival of a nation, to the humble public servants who find bravery when they need it most. This is a story of loss, love, redemption, courage, unity, and overcoming despair to not give up. All very human experiences by simple people who do extraordinary things.

Hearne’s worldbuilding is engaging. He doesn’t bottle feed you, at first it feels like drinking from a hydrant, but then you settle in and pick up things along the way. Then he shows you stuff with a punch to the gut. This is no fluffy world with simple magic without price. All the magic has a price, and more often than not it leads you straight to death’s door. For most people just the seeking of the magic will kill you. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with Ahbi and his discovery of the sixth kenning and everything associated with it. But giants? I mean, really? It isn’t bad enough fighting people who can control fire that you have to add that they’re twice the size of normal people? For Hearne if it’s war, the stakes are pretty high, and it gets ugly.

The benefit of the storytelling style is that the book, despite its length, moves along steadily (Hearne is no novice, here). The bits of story lead you along without annoying cliffhangers (mostly), and I never got bored with the switch between characters. It was easy to move between them, and they were recognizable enough that I got lost or confused. The end of the novel felt a little abrupt, but I guess that has more to do with I was ready for the story to continue, despite the exiting climax.

If you’re looking for epic fantasy with fun storytelling and clever worldbuilding, check out A PLAGUE OF GIANTS.

The post A Plague of Giants appeared first on Elitist Book Reviews.

The Artwork Of Gary Choo

Gary Choo is a concept artist/illustrator based in Singapore. I’ve know Gary for a good many years ( 17, actually ), working together in animation studios in Singapore like Silicon Illusions and Lucasfilm. Gary currently runs an art team at Mighty Bear Games, but when time allows he also draws covers for Marvel comics, and they’re amazing –

The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo

To see more of Gary’s work or to engage him for freelance work, head down to his ArtStation.

The post The Art Of Gary Choo appeared first on Halcyon Realms – Art Book Reviews – Anime, Manga, Film, Photography.