Amy Sterling Casil: About Like Fire

Like Fire is not yet published and I am offering a beta read version to the Magical Words community, in love and trust. I’ve done a number of collaborative projects over the years, and these were always the best, most rewarding things I’ve done. I will be publishing this book later this year – with all the improvements and changes suggested by beta readers taken into full consideration, with full acknowledgement. So it is your care, love and consideration as those who love fantasy literature, to help make this the best venture possible.

Here’s the story of the book. The basic concept is, what if a leader at a critical juncture – overseeing the survival of all, with capacity to stop killing and violence, or to continue it – was a woman, not a man? What if King Arthur had been a woman? Abraham Lincoln?


Well, the […]

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Amy Sterling Casil: The Writing Life For a Workaholic

Oh gosh. People laugh at my laptop because most of the keys are worn down to nubs and the majority of the letters are invisible. I am a lucky person, because most of the time, I can work at home. I can now literally work anywhere in the world where I have internet access, and I’ve put that to the test several times in the past few months.

I write about 5,000 words a day, every day. Most of these words have been nonfiction over the past ten years. However, in the past year, I’ve been writing at least 1,000 words of fiction a day, every day. Add that up! It amazed me – I am very glad of this.

When my daughter (age21) was young, I used to get up at 5:00 a.m. and write from 5:00 to 7:00 each morning. Then she would wake and our […]

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Amy Sterling Casil on Plot: WTF is Going On?

OK, sit back and enjoy the ride. Here’s some plot advice from someone who had to teach herself how to plot with a sledgehammer and crowbar.

I went to the Clarion Science Fiction Writers Workshop at age 21 and didn’t know what a story was. I estimate it took me another 10 years to finally comprehend plot in the form of a short story. I then wrote 3 novels (2 “for hire”) and finally began to slightly comprehend plot at longer lengths. By working on scripts I began to understand “A” story and “B” story. I finally began to “get” how the skeins of plot come together to form a cohesive whole.

Plot is what happens in the story because of who the characters are and what their context is – time, place, and above all, circumstance.

Just as in real life, we all have choices. […]

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Amy Sterling Casil on Character: Who is in the Story and Why?

Inspired by a lifelong love of nature, endless curiosity, and a belief in wonderful things, Amy Sterling Casil is a 2002 Nebula Award nominee and recipient of other awards and recognition for her short science fiction and fantasy, which has appeared in publications ranging from The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction to Zoetrope. She is the author of 26 nonfiction books, over a hundred short stories, primarily science fiction and fantasy, two fiction and poetry collections, and three novels. She lives in Aliso Viejo, California with her daughter Meredith and a Jack Russell Terrier named Gambit. Amy is the founder of Pacific Human Capital, a founding member and treasurer of Book View Café author cooperative and former treasurer of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, and teaches writing and composition at Saddleback College, after receiving her MFA from Chapman University in 1999. She is currently engaged in […]

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