My Writers Circle

The Coffee Shop => Members' Bookshelf (Dedicated to the memory of Mairi "Ma100" Edwards) => Topic started by: Skip Slocum on November 27, 2013, 02:00:49 PM

Title: Skip Slocum / Fantasy Adventure
Post by: Skip Slocum on November 27, 2013, 02:00:49 PM
The Keening Fire      /   Fantasy Adventure                                by R.D. Slocum   

Sometime after the year 1260, when battles raged through Middle Ages Europe and sovereigns continued to fight over territorial claims, a Viking boy discovers why his family fled their homelands and hid him away in these war torn lands – giving him an Anglo Saxon name, Matthew.

His father was killed in these new lands. Now on the eve of Matt’s ritual hunt to take his spirit guide and become a warrior, his life becomes even more complicated when Old-Da reveals their family secret. Matthew and his grandfather are the last of Odin’s earthly descendants. With Matt’s coming of age, ‘The Keening’ within him will grow.

The boy’s only inheritance is a small amulet, ‘The Eye of Odin’ – with this amulet the rightful heir finds an even greater power he must learn to control while venturing through the twists and turns life offers a young warrior.

Find your copy at –>
( (
Title: Re: Skip Slocum / Fantasy Adventure
Post by: ma100 on January 18, 2014, 01:54:56 PM
The rules have been relaxed due to the passing of our great friend Skip. This is the one and only interview, Skip, gave about his book and we think it a fitting tribute he tell you about his journey through THE KEENING FIRE. We hope it gives some comfort to his beloved family and friends.

          Interview with Skip Slocum by Biola Otunda

I ‘met’ Skip when I hesitantly joined an online community of writers. I wanted to learn what writers on the other side had. I became a tiny fish in a big ocean as I learnt how to write in a way that would make sense to my other online members. In the process I came across this gentle giant wh I have never seen physically but he became my best friend. Himself and another writer Lisa Suda. We became in a fashion THE CHORD. I learnt a lot from them. We were all writing stories and yes there were two others Liz and Max, but gradually it was just these three.

We shared stories, critiqued for each other and that helped me a great deal. I published my first novel Blood Contract and Skip never seemed satisfied with his and kept knocking it into a shape he felt comfortable with. Finally I had the distinct pleasure to learn a few weeks back that the book Keening Fire is now available for readers.

Keening fire. A beautiful story set in the middle ages when man was close enough to his inner being as to listen to the keening of his spirit and be guided into bravery, learn how to a real man and go through a rite of passage into manhood. It is the story of Matt, who carries on the keening gift and earns his rights through trials, and tested love and loyalty to his king. I am held spell bound by the beauty of the words, the evolution of Matt from teenage to the sense of an ideal upright man. I went through the agonies of his pain and felt light headed with happiness when he finally won his place amongst men.
Skip Slocum has through this book shown a powerful ability to tell a story so well that I can only urgently recommend you to read the interview and buy the book.

Here is the short interview I had with him. Please Enjoy.

1.Please tell us a bit about yourself.

  I’m a retired Diesel Mechanic – Married for 31 years – father of three – grandfather of two. 
2. THE KEENING FIRE hold my interest because it is almost African, what prompted you to write it?

    When my grandson was six years old, he asked me to tell him a story. I started making up this one on the spot. We decided I’d better write it down before I forgot the names of the characters. Over the next six and a half years the story transformed and almost took on a life of its own.
3. Matt seemed to have gone through a crucible of fire, almost like some initiation rite of passage, does that still happen?

   Well, without giving away too much of the story – This young warrior is constantly tested by life’s unforeseen twists and turns. Like with many people, he discovers life’s journey never turns out or takes the path we thought it would.
4. The book though written in another age seem to talk about values that would be relevant in today's world, would you care to explain.

   That was one of my goals. Let me see if I can explain without waxing too philosophical. There comes a time when we as mortal men discover the meaning and cold reality of that awful word, ‘Mortal’. I wanted to leave some advice and values to my grandson and his grandsons – We as good men, fathers, warriors, and or guardians of the innocent are responsible for our actions. 
    –What we do today will shape who we become tomorrow.– 

5. The art of keening has been likened to magic, sorcery or at best something dreaded, but what do you think?

    To answer that question I need to explain what ‘The Keening’ is.  In my story, ‘The Keening’ is an inherited gift passed down through the ages –father to son – The Keening manifests itself from within – a power of insight – some may glimpse the future or commune with nature, some may hear the thoughts of men. The Keening changes with everyone it comes to according to their strength, morphing and changing in every generation. To those who don’t possess this insight The Keening may appear as magic, sorcery or something to fear.
6. What class of people would enjoy the book?

    My hope is everyone. The Keening Fire is a coming of age adventure, a discovery of who we can become, a fantasy, a story of love and loss.

7. If you were asked to classify the book how would you classify it?

    Since our lives are not and cannot be confined to any one genra how could I write this warrior’s life as one bracketed and set within parameters?
8. You are a writer who almost a recluse, please tell us where we can buy copies of your book.

You can find a copy of my book at:
If I may, let me say – I set the price as low as the self-publishing plug-ins would allow. This is a saga not a short novel.

9. Share a writing day with us.

    Being retired and a grandfather, my little ones have grown where I can set my own hours concerning writing. While working on this story I ignored clocks as much as possible and quit following calendars years ago. I am a creature of the night and seem to do my best writing while my wife is safe in bed asleep. Yet let me say, there are many forms of writing. There is the plotting, thinking, scheming, playing out scenes hearing dialogue in one’s head until scenes becomes real and then there is the computer’s keyboard where I try to put on paper what is playing in my world of imagination. 
10. Apart from writing, what other interests do you have?

      Being a third generation mechanic and blue collar worker, I love mechanical devices. I have a passion for tools, gadgets, art of all kinds, movies and asking the question: ‘What if’

Within the nuts and bolts of writing this story I consciously chose not to use Speech-Tags.
Title: Re: Skip Slocum / Fantasy Adventure
Post by: 510bhan on January 18, 2014, 01:56:54 PM
Thanks, Ma and Biola, nice to read it again. ;)
Title: Re: Skip Slocum / Fantasy Adventure
Post by: bri h on January 18, 2014, 04:01:13 PM
Thanks from me too Ma, and Abi. I really enjoyed the reading of this. Bri.
Title: Re: Skip Slocum / Fantasy Adventure
Post by: Biola on January 19, 2014, 02:21:27 AM
I am kind of lost , still groping to accept Skip is gone, but I thank you for this kind permission. It helped.
Title: Re: Skip Slocum / Fantasy Adventure
Post by: Alice, a Country Gal on January 19, 2014, 08:16:24 AM
Biola, thank you for allowing us to post and read your interview with Skip. It's great to hear him talking about his book again.

No matter how many other stories popped into his head and were shared with us here, Matt and Megan's story in The Keening, received his overwhelming attention and he worked hard to make it as good as possible.

I miss him so much, but being able to pick his book up, see the cover he decided on after multiple changes and his name, helps a little.

Title: Re: Skip Slocum / Fantasy Adventure
Post by: Wolfe on February 05, 2014, 11:01:19 PM
I still can't believe he's gone. . . .
Title: Re: Skip Slocum / Fantasy Adventure
Post by: Dawn on February 06, 2014, 05:31:54 AM
Lovely interview and tribute, Biola. Miss you, Skipster xx
Title: Re: Skip Slocum / Fantasy Adventure
Post by: bri h on February 06, 2014, 03:01:47 PM
I remember this. He was concentrating on the realism of a boy playing with a toy sword, against a man with a real weapon. That's what I liked about Skip. Nothing ever seemed 'trivial,' to him. Everything, got his full attention. Including us. B
Title: Re: Skip Slocum / Fantasy Adventure
Post by: Biola on February 06, 2014, 03:13:01 PM
That was the whole point of Skip. laughing, teasing us and cracking us up. I still take a quick look at my online half expecting to see the green dot that indicated he was online. Ah well ..must keep on
Title: Re: Skip Slocum / Fantasy Adventure
Post by: cmb on February 06, 2014, 03:37:22 PM
I still can't believe he's gone. . . .

Neither can I.
MWC is never going to be the same anymore.  :(
Title: Re: Skip Slocum / Fantasy Adventure
Post by: Laura H on February 06, 2014, 04:17:57 PM
But his voice still echoes all over the boards. Almost daily I come across a thread he started or posted in or an old pm  :-[
Title: Re: Skip Slocum / Fantasy Adventure
Post by: LRSuda on February 10, 2014, 04:11:41 PM
Biola just told me about this thread. I'll admit, I was somewhat reluctant to read it because I'm still very raw over his passing. All the hours of conversation, the laughter, the tears, brainstorming and getting under each others skin just for the fun of it... gone in a blink. We talked a lot on gmail and, every time I see his dot gray, it breaks my heart knowing it will never turn green again. Sorry for the self-indulgence. But I miss him more than I can say. 
Title: Re: Skip Slocum / Fantasy Adventure
Post by: bri h on February 10, 2014, 04:17:10 PM
Not self-indulgent. We're all feeling it. But sharing it too. xbx
Title: Re: Skip Slocum / Fantasy Adventure
Post by: cmb on February 10, 2014, 04:43:26 PM
I received his book in the mail today. Picked it up, put it down again. Read a few pages, but it's hard for me to read at the moment. And Skip's book is even harder. In way it's comforting to read his story, but...  :'(

I will read his story. I will. I just need more time.
Title: Re: Skip Slocum / Fantasy Adventure
Post by: LRSuda on February 10, 2014, 04:48:17 PM
I received a copy, too, three days after he died. I couldn't open the package for days but then I did. I got as far as the first paragraph. As you say, in a way it's comforting to read, but...
Title: Re: Skip Slocum / Fantasy Adventure
Post by: Biola on February 11, 2014, 05:14:35 AM
I get the odd feeling that Skip is pretty surprised and touched by the response his passing has generated. You don't get to read his rich belly laugh,,nor be brought to tears by his uncanny ability to make you smile
Title: Re: Skip Slocum / Fantasy Adventure
Post by: irallan on February 11, 2014, 09:59:10 PM
so sorry to hear of Skips passing...i never knew...he made me feel so welcome...and was never above any of us...even humoring me on my critiques of his works accepting my naive criticisms with great tolerance...will definitely be buying his book...god bless you Skip...
Title: Re: Skip Slocum / Fantasy Adventure
Post by: DGSquared on February 25, 2014, 06:06:16 AM
Thank you, Nick and Ma, for relaxing the rules a bit to let us read Biola's interview with Skip.

 Thank you for the interview Biola, and for sharing it with us.

I remember when Skip posted the announcement looking for members interested in joining a writing group to exchange pages for suggestions and critiques to help each other grow as writers. It's a great idea. I wanted in but the group was filled. It needed to be a manageable, small sized group. I think it was four or five. Skip told me he'd let me know when a spot came available but as far as I know, the group held fast for the most part, and I think we are seeing the rewards of that collaboration of group feedback and page swaps.

The accountability to keep moving forward so that the reading exchange did not stagnate was the draw for me. I wonder if this group has managed to continue working together through the years. I suspect that this may have helped Skip move forward with his book and I'm curious as to how far it took the rest of you in that circle. I'm not sure anymore who was in the group. I seem to recall, LRSuda and maybe Ma but I'm not certain. Anyway, I'd love to hear how that all transpired or evolved, or if it fizzled out, how that was handled.

Sorry, it's not intended to hijack this thread but the writer's exchange was something that Skip started and I wonder how far the collaboration carried everyone else in the group. Perhaps another thread could be started for a discussion.

Again, thanks to Nick, Ma, Biola, and of course, Skip.

Title: Re: Skip Slocum / Fantasy Adventure
Post by: Biola on February 25, 2014, 03:07:38 PM
Hello DGSquared,
Thought I should fill you in about the reading group Skip started. Yes there was quite a lot of benefits to be experienced about that group. We started out as five thinking being small and compact we would be able to quickly read each others pages and critique. We however gradually dropped to just three. Me, LRSUDA (Lisa) and Skip. Liz dropped out can't recollect now what was the reason and Max was in school then. It is a very beautiful idea which we maintained for as long as Skip was with us. We became quite close as we chatted, teased and helped each other with our stories. Skip helped me with ideas about covers and critiqued as well. It is why his passing knocked me for six. I hope somehow that idea will grow as I found the fact that I could receive honest advice and support from these two friends I met here made me an author and I learnt a great deal too. Thanks for asking.
Title: Re: Skip Slocum / Fantasy Adventure
Post by: DGSquared on February 25, 2014, 10:29:14 PM
Thanks for replying Biola. Glad it worked out.

There's more (naturally) but I'm in a rush to get out the door.

I'll be back.   Soon. Really.
Title: Re: Skip Slocum / Fantasy Adventure
Post by: Combedslow on February 27, 2014, 08:54:04 PM
To all concerned and listed,
I am seriously sorry to hear about Skip's passing. The last time I was on this forum, before my account got lost, he and I had talked about the possibility of my husband and he being related. He assured that we most likely were not. I was going to tell him hello again and say that I hoped all was well with him. My absence marked more time than I was able to attend, and as such I have missed this sad event. Again, I am sorry and I hope his family finds great solace in their time of sorrow.
May God bless his souls and care for him always.
I will keep my eyes open for this book. I'm sure it will be a great read.
Title: Re: Skip Slocum / Fantasy Adventure
Post by: herron on May 21, 2014, 04:19:31 PM
I've been woefully absent from the board for months now, so this is the first I've heard of Skip's passing. It's hit me like the loss of a good friend. I never actually met him...our experieces were virtual, thanks to the Circle...but I feel the loss of his passing.

My belated thanks to Biola for the interview, and prayers to his family.  :'(