I tend to use writing as a vacation as well as a vocation, and in my downtime, I’ve been exploring other genres. I’ll never leave sci-fi, but part of me will always believe in magic, and that part of me has been playing in a high-fantasy world (and I swear to you it’s NOT my old college D&D campaign novelized. My college DM remains to this day an evil, evil Dungeon Master who loved nothing more than devising creative ways for adventuring parties to die). Writing is not exactly the most social business. Even though we’re all over social media (or the experts say we have to be all over social media), the writing part can be just you, the walls, and a blinking cursor with no end in sight. So when you find a crew of people who understand the world in the same weird filters you do, group up with them for as much time as you can stand–those long stretches of solitude will thank you for it later. In the middle of pushing so hard to move forward through my regularly-scheduled space opera, I’ve never strayed far from straying far–last week I mentioned that I’m branching out into some new territory, just to explore the possibilities. But I’m not going it alone. I’m traveling with a great group of fellow authors who are also trying this new territory. I’mma tell you about some of ’em right now, and in the posts that follow. Jolie Mason writes sci-fi and fantasy with heart and shares her love for space opera, love, and ‘splosions. She’s got an exciting list of Radish Reads in paranormal and sci-fi romance. Check out her Southern Gothic series, or if you’re a fan of the giant robots, the 47th Lancers are waiting for you. …more than a little addicted to fairy tales and romance novels… Eden’s first Radish Read is “Gideon’s Revelation” – a “Knights of Hell” prequel. The thing I love best about these two ladies is that neither one of them is afraid to try something a little off the beaten path because it’s where their hearts lead them. In the business of writing, it’s always a bit of a risk to try something new and different, or off-trend. As a reader, I have my trope-catnip, same as everybody else, but there’s another reason I read, and it’s not just to satisfy the inner trope-monster. Something special happens when you can feel an author’s love for the story leak out between the words. You get caught up in that magic, too. And I know I’m not alone–I bet every one of you can tell me a story about a story that hooked you by the bottom lip and pulled you inside of it, and filled you with magic that stayed behind long after the words “The End.” In fact, if you feel like sharing, drop a note in the comments.