December 20, 2016

A Look into the Creative "Process"

Classes are done, subbing is done, and I don’t work at the library until New Year’s Eve (did I mention I work part-time at a library? I shall have to post about it sometime). As such, I can devote my full attention to book preparation and, if everything goes swimmingly, writing a little series of serials about Delilah’s parents.

But on to the matter at hand:

December 12, 2016

World of Outcast Shadows: Chiaroscurans

Chiaroscurans physically resemble humans in most ways, except for having long, pointed ears and completely different coloration. All Chiaroscurans have snow white hair that runs the gamut from straight to curly to kinky. Due to their dark blue blood, their black and white skin has a slight blueish tint that becomes especially pronounced when they blush. The only color other than this to be found on their bodies is in the eyes, which can be shades of blue or yellow.

December 7, 2016

Meet Sebastian (Again)

This post concerns Sebastian in his true form. It contains some spoilers if you haven't finished Miscast Spells, but if you have, feel free to click the "Read More" link.

November 29, 2016

SNEAK PEEK: Oucast Shadows Prologue

The editing for Outcast Shadows is done, as is a sketch of the front cover! Next comes formatting the text, setting up the ISBNs, and coloring the cover. I’m hoping to have this all finished by the end of December so people can pre-order the book. The book will be out in March, but in the meantime, here is a sneak peak of the prologue (under the break)!

November 22, 2016

Rose Corcoran Writes... an Essay

I'm in the throws of essay writing today, with less than thirty hours to finish the first big paper of my graduate career. All of my future blog posts need editing or drawings that don't exist yet, so I have nothing to offer you this week. Except some pictures. I feel that this blog has a decided lack of graphics, which I'm hoping to do something about over Christmas break, aided by a lovely little site called Canva that I found out about at a library convention (we librarian-types have such things).

November 15, 2016

World of Outcast Shadows: Styx Castle and the Styx Royal Family

The land bridge between the northern continent of Ataxia and the southern continent of the Empire (formerly known as Astasia) has been inhabited by the royal family of Styx for as long as anyone can remember. Disparaging tongues claim that Styxians are actually of mixed human and goblin blood, evidenced by the fact that Styxians can use more than one type of magic, just as humans can, to say nothing of the fact that Styx goblins look almost exactly like humans. The Styxians themselves claim to be fully goblin, but were forced to live close to the human Nomansland due to other goblins’ jealousy of their superior magical abilities. Either way, these human-looking goblins set up a country for themselves in “the sticks”, which they eventually assigned the more goblinical spelling of “Styx”.

November 12, 2016

Meet Alcea

Appearance: She has typical Chiaroscuran skin, with a white face and black diamond-shaped marking over one eye. She generally wears her long, white hair loose, but has been known to tie it up when the mood strikes her. Though she is petite, her sultry voice and domineering personality ensure that few people underestimate her.
Likes: Sebastian, lounging around, scheming, overly complicated machinery, art
Dislikes: Being lied to, not being in control, misplaced sentimentality
Favorite Food: Scones with jam
Spirit Animal: Gray fox
Spirit Vegetable Fruit: Grape
Little Known Fact: She actually likes children a lot, but would be abysmal at taking care of them.

October 31, 2016

Three Haiku and a Limerick

My friend was reading through the NaNoWriMo forums and came across the idea of writing one’s novel synopsis as a haiku, which involves distilling all 50,000+ words down to seventeen syllables. Read hers here. I tried it myself, coming up with one haiku for each book in my series:

October 25, 2016

Three Short Poems

Here are three short poems for October, concerning Octobery things like emo poetry, spider webs, and blackbirds.

October 18, 2016

Dust Witch

Dust to dust, you call my name.
Summer's gone and turned to ashes
Now our train is pulling in.
Dandelions blowin' in the wind...

Mini Placeholder Post

Sorry for the lack of post last week. I came down with a head cold and was pretty out of it and also started working a second job. I was going to post a spooky poem last Monday, but I’m still putting the finishing touches on it, so I’ll post that tomorrow (and will perhaps move my permanent post day to Tuesday? I’ll consider it…).

September 27, 2016

Behind the Scenes: How I Chose My Titles

The following was originally posted on my Tumblr several months back, and I've adapted it for this blog. Several people have asked how I chose my titles. The exciting secret is finally revealed! 

I had decided on all three of the titles for my trilogy before the release of the first book, but they certainly aren’t the titles I started with. 

September 19, 2016

Meet Inez, Jurek, and Alistair

Meet Inez!

Appearance: Inez has a slight build and boyish haircut, but her graceful movements make her come across as more pixie-ish than tomboy. A native of the Noplali Desert, she has copper-colored skin, brown eyes, and dark brown hair.
Likes: Magic, philosophy, books, the smell of creosote, beauty, contemplating the eternal verities, Styx goblins
Dislikes: People who talk over her, people who act like school is boring, vinegaroons
Occupation: Student at Melieh's Academy of Magic
Favorite Food:  Empanadas
Spirit Animal: Squirrel
Spirit Vegetable: Lemon
Little Known Fact: Growing up in the desert, Inez heard stories about snow in the north, and was excited to finally be able to see some as a student. Unfortunately for her, the Capital has been going through a warm spell, and it hasn’t once snowed in all of her three years at the Academy.

September 12, 2016

Ode to a Pair of Sneakers

Today is a throw-back poetry day... way, way back. I wrote this poem in middle school, in either 6th or 7th grade, so that would be around fifteen years ago! I wrote strange poetry even then. Anyway, it's a cute little poem about a pair of sneakers and their typical day at school. Seeing as my soul has been consumed by graduate classes and substitute teaching, I've been feeling in a particularly back-to-school mood. Next week will be more scholastic goodness, as you'll meet three of the students who attend Melieh's Academy of Magic, but for now, enjoy my poem:

September 5, 2016

World of Outcast Shadows: Chiaroscuro

Chiaroscuro (pronounced cure-ah-scure-o) is a small city built of black and white stone and occupied by a similarly monochromatic populace. Most of the citizens are hatched, live, and die without ever leaving, but because they depend entirely on materials and comestibles from “outside”, there are select individuals who are allowed out into the world. These include farmers, miners, procurers of technology, engineers, and memory merchants.

August 21, 2016

The End of Summer: Life Update

Summer has come and gone, and despite the fact that school is here again, I'm super excited for fall! Since I was semi-absent from blogging over the summer, I thought it would be nice to let you all know what I spent my summer doing.

August 9, 2016

Meet Dolly and Balder

Meet Dolly!

Full Name: Thistle Dolores Inanity of the K’nic-k’nack Tribe
Appearance: K’nic-k’nack goblins somewhat resemble goats. Thus, Dolly’s ears are long and floppy, her feet are cloven hooves, and she is covered in very fine honey-colored hair. Her best feature, she has been told, is her eyes, which are yellow with sideways, bean-shaped pupils.
Likes: History, tea, pottery, herbalism, animals
Dislikes: Being clumsy all the time, thieves, people who think history is boring, violence
Occupation: Guardian of Pandemonium's reposeum (it's like a cross between a repository and a museum) 
Favorite Food: Kyo cheese
Spirit Animal: Fainting goat
Spirit Vegetable: Turnip
Little Known Fact: In her youth, she caused a giant dodo stampede. Before then, the K’nic-k’nack Tribe didn’t know that giant dodos could stampede.

July 25, 2016


The leaves begin to fall

and lay frozen on the ground
in heaps of brown and gray.

Feet crush them flat,
shatter their hard, rigid forms,
destroy their delicate beauty.

July 8, 2016

Mini-post: Another book giveaway!

I'm participating in the Tumblr Hop, which is a multi-author book giveaway open to anyone with a Tumblr account. Learn about how you can win a free copy of Miscast Spells by visiting this link, and learn about the other authors and the books you could win by going here.

And be sure to check this website Monday for a Meet the Characters post about Clarence and Misha!

June 27, 2016

Creating Character for Miscast Spells

A lot of people ask me about how I come up with characters, or their names, or how I keep them all straight. It’s not as exciting as some might assume, but it’s probably stranger, and thus (perhaps) more interesting. The origins of my characters, at least for Miscast Spells, are also the origin of the story, so I thought it might be a fun idea to do a little post on how The Styx Trilogy all began.

June 13, 2016

Outcast Shadows Teaser!

Things look a little different around here, don't they? The dazzling blue is in honor of Outcast Shadows: Styx Trilogy Book Two! It's due out in March, 2017, but like I did with Miscast Spells, I want to give you little glimpses of the book's plot and characters before the release. This week is the back-of-the-book teaser. Also, shout-out to M. Weaver, who helped me with one particularly sticky sentence (She's also a writer. Check out the novel she's working on here). Anyway, without further ado, here is your first look at Outcast Shadows:

May 30, 2016

Blogiversary and Summer Vacation!

Next Thursday, June 2nd, will be this website's one year anniversary! It's been an exciting and eventful year, what with a book release, signing and selling events, and the Goodreads giveaway (which is still going on; click the link above this post to enter). 

May 23, 2016

Review Round-Up and an Author's Plea

Jennifer Minicus from MercatorNet's Reading Matters was kind enough to write the first official review of Miscast Spells, which you can read here. Bear in mind that Reading Matters is geared more towards parents who are looking for books for their kids than for teens themselves, thus the mention of the elevated vocabulary.

May 16, 2016

Goodreads Giveaway!

Looking for some light summer reading? Been wanting to read Miscast Spells, but haven't gotten around to buying it? Well, you're in luck! I'm hosting a giveaway on Goodreads! You can enter to win one of two signed copies of my book by clicking on the link above this post.

May 9, 2016

SNEAK PEEK: Miscast Spells Prologue!


One Year and Two Months Ago


The golden afternoon sunlight streamed through the trees and onto the table, and the tea inspector’s steady voice rose and fell as he told his tale. Everything was as peaceful and pleasant as could be—for Emmaline, at least. She could not say the same for Bostwick, whom she had last seen sulking around the halls of the palace, looking despondently into his empty top hat. She’d been tempted to invite him to lunch with them, but thought that Mr. Charles’s lessons about some of the more obscure aspects of the tea trade might not be the best way to cheer someone up.
“…and that’s where Dragon Well tea gets its name,” Mr. Charles was saying. “But I wonder if you’ve ever heard of the Drink of the Immortals?”
“Is that supposed to be some kind of elixir of life?” Emmaline asked.
“It’s actually just a particularly earthy variety of pu-erh. Never touch the stuff myself. Anyway, the interesting part is not the tea, but the creature it’s named for: immortal beasts.”
“What are they?”
“Mmm, it’s hard to say,” he said unctuously. He often used this tone of voice when negotiating with a client. “Are they goblins, or something else? No one knows. Long ago, humans and goblins alike told stories of strange beings, shape-shifters who never died and who, in no one’s memory, were ever born. Some said they were doppelgangers who imitated mortal beings and took their places, influencing the powers and politics of countries across the globe.”
“Why would they do that?” Emmaline asked, wide eyed.
Mr. Charles shrugged. “I guess if you live forever, you need a hobby. Anyway, humans stopped believing in such things long ago, but goblins still tell the tale of these mysterious people who may still walk the earth.”
He took another sip of tea, then began to spread cream on one of the scones.
“So…?” Emmaline asked, wondering where he was going with all this. She enjoyed Mr. Charles’s stories, but there were times when his point was opaque.
“That’s all, really. I’m no expert on such things. I just thought it was an interesting story. But I’m sure a thirteen-year-old doesn’t want to hear about some long dead creatures.”
“If they’re immortal, how can they be long dead?”
“Just checking to see if you were paying attention. You were, of course, but something else is on your mind. You were staring very seriously into your teacup a moment ago.”
“I was just thinking about Bostwick.”
“Ah, yes, the new court magician.”
“He seems so gloomy all the time, and he’s always thinking about that one spell.”
“Well, some people like brooding over things they’ll never be able to do,” the tea inspector said, pouring his fourth cup of tea.
“It doesn’t seem like he likes doing it at all. I just wish there was some way we could take his mind off it, but I’m not really sure what he’s interested in. I haven’t been able to talk to him very much, so—”
“It looks like this might be your chance,” Mr. Charles said, waving at someone behind her. She turned to see a brown-haired boy in a tailcoat coming towards them. He looked vaguely annoyed at life in general, far too world-weary for his sixteen years.
“Hello, von Dogsbody,” Mr. Charles said, though Emmaline knew Bostwick hated being referred to by his last name. “You seem peachy today. What’s up?”
“You’re late for some meeting about Earl Grey.”
Mr. Charles looked confused for a moment, as if he was desperately trying to remember who Earl Grey was. Then he snapped his fingers, rose, and clapped Bostwick on his shoulder.
“That’s right. I forgot all about it. Thanks for the tip, Dogsbody.”
 “Why can’t you just call me Bostwick?” he asked in exasperation.
“‘Dogsbody’ is so much easier to remember. Anyway, since you’re already out here, why don’t you stay and tell the princess about the history of magic? You’ll find she’s quite bright,” he added when Bostwick cast a skeptical glance her way. “Besides, it’s your job to entertain the royal family.”
 “With spells, not history,” Bostwick mumbled, taking Mr. Charles’s seat as the tea inspector whisked away through the garden.
“I like history,” Emmaline said, pushing the plate of scones over to him. He took one and began munching on it. This seemed to mollify him, so she continued. “I already know about how the invasion of goblins from Ataxia is what forced the human nations to join forces. It actually benefited humanity in the long run, because now everyone in the Empire has access to things like chocolate and lemons. We never would have been able to get those in Camellia originally, and we can trade our tea to other countries without worrying about bandits or tariffs or—”
She stopped, noticing that Bostwick’s look of irritation had returned. As she suspected, Mr. Charles’s brand of history—one that focused on trade—was a very acquired taste, and not one the magician seemed to enjoy.
“Um, anyway, Mr. Charles said that even when they formed the Empire, humans were still no match for goblins, so that’s why Melieh had to find a way for humans to do magic.”
“Sounds like you already know a lot about this,” Bostwick said, with the air of a mechanic who had been called out to fix a perfectly functioning machine.
“But what I don’t understand is how Melieh learned to do spells in the first place.”
“Technically, he always could. Magicians are born with the potential to perform magic, but without training, it’s too unpredictable and dangerous. That’s probably why goblins like it so much—though I hear they can control their magic without even trying… Anyway, Melieh was just the first human who learned how to do specific spells and tricks.”
“But how?”
“I don’t know… practice? Look, goblins liked casting spells on humans, humans learned to cast their own spells, and goblins were so offended by that fact that they left the Empire for good. That’s pretty much all you need to know about magic, as far as history is concerned.”
Emmaline was not entirely satisfied with this paltry explanation, most of which she knew already, but was glad that Bostwick seemed to be in slightly better spirits… at least until he tried to pour himself a cup of tea; Mr. Charles had emptied the pot earlier.
“Um, we can re-steep it,” Emmaline said, pulling the teapot over to the samovar. “While we wait, do you want to see the tea fields?”
“No, thanks.” He stared at his empty cup like it had rendered him a personal insult, and Emmaline decided that she had had enough of his gloominess for one afternoon.
“You know, Bostwick, things could be worse,” she said, standing and brushing some scone crumbs off her dress. “You could have to deal with an army of marauding goblins.”
“Or an immortal beast.”
“Never mind.”
She strolled away from the tea table and followed a stone path past red and orange rose bushes until it sloped down to a low stone wall that looked out over the Principality of Camellia. The hills across from her were green with row upon row of well kept tea bushes. Emmaline breathed in, smelling flowers blended with the scent of fresh-cut foliage.
I wish Bostwick would focus on this sort of thing, she thought, but I guess I can at least have one cup of tea with him, even if he won’t cheer up.
She spun around to return to the table, and felt something strange underfoot. Looking down, she saw that she was standing on what resembled a rat tail, though it was at least three feet long and continued into the bushes. She stepped off and followed it through the garden where it twisted around trees and flowerbeds until it finally connected to the backside of a short, furry creature with huge ears. At first Emmaline thought it was some sort of possum, until it turned to her and revealed a squashed, flat face with a malevolent expression. Though she had never seen one before, she knew immediately that it must be a goblin.
“Oh, um, is this your tail?” she said.
“Yeah,” said the goblin. “And you just stepped on it.”
Before Emmaline could apologize, the goblin snapped his stubby fingers, grinned at her, and ran toward the edge of the garden with his tail trailing behind him. Not wanting to lose sight of the first goblin she had ever seen, Emmaline started after him but tripped on the hem of her skirt—despite the fact that a moment ago it had been just below her knees. It felt like her entire dress was trying to swallow her, and soon her collar covered her face so that she couldn’t see a thing. What was more, the fabric had become so heavy that she had difficulty fighting her way out.
“Bostwick!” she called, hoping that he hadn’t left the garden.
My first encounter with a goblin, she thought, finally managing to get her head out of one of the sleeves, and he turns my dress enormous. No wonder the Empire expelled them.
“Emmaline?” Bostwick said, coming down the path. “Did you ca—ahh!”
He cringed away from her as she looked up at him—very far up. He towered over her, then knelt down, appearing huge.
“Oh no!” she said. “Bostwick, don’t tell me that thing shrank me. It shrank me, didn’t it?”
“Um, not exactly,” he said.
“What happened then? Why is everything so, so…”

May 2, 2016

Meet the Illustrator!

Emmaline learning to turn pages with her little paws. It's quite a chore!

April 26, 2016

National Poetry Month: Ode to Turnabout

The following is a fanfiction poem based loosely off the Ace Attorney franchise, with Prosecutor Edgeworth on the right, and Defense Attorney Phoenix Wright on the left. There's more of an explanation under the poem.


The Short-Sighted Turnabout

September 14th, Twelve o'clock,
Inside Courtroom 2