Heidi C. Vlach

Biography

Heidi C. Vlach is a chef training graduate from Ontario, Canada. Since she was a teenager, she has been working on fantasy worlds populated by non-humans, believing that this niche is capable of more than just "talking animals".

Smashwords Interview

What is your e-reading device of choice?
My iPhone or, failing that, my laptop. I like the way multitasking devices can just happen to also have books in them — in case I feel like reading long-form fiction but didn't plan ahead enough to bring a paperback.
What do you read for pleasure?
A varied diet. Discussion blogs, original fiction, fan fiction, random science and culture trivia — all sorts of stuff I find online. When I read a "real book", it's usually something unusual or nichey. Ideally a fantasy work but I'm very, very picky about what I read to the end.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Heidi C. Vlach online


Books

Serpents of Sky: Nine Stories Of Dragons
By
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 34,340. Language: English. Published: May 19, 2014. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
(4.00 from 1 review)
Dragons can be monsters, deities, or even beloved friends. This short story collection explores dragons in their many roles, across fantasy and science fiction. Contains 9 original short stories, including Raise, a novelette set in the Stories of Aligare world.
Render (A story of Aligare)
By
Series: Stories of Aligare. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 101,240. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: May 6, 2013. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » General
Rue is a young woman coming of age in a struggling mountain village. Her race, the insect-like aemets, are passive folk who fear the strangely aggressive forest wolves. But Rue is through praying and hoping for luck. She resolves to search out a solution in the forest — and she'll need help from Felixi, a reclusive dragon who knows more about the wolf attacks than he's willing to share.
Ravel (A story of Aligare)
By
Series: Stories of Aligare. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 14,930. Language: English. Published: December 16, 2011. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » General
Aster has a new family of her own, rooted in the small town her insect people have lived in for generations. Then, on wandering winds, comes the merry avian bard, Llarez. Perhaps he's too merry, since he sparks the thoughts of freedom Aster has never known what to do with.
Remedy (A story of Aligare)
By
Series: Stories of Aligare. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 94,970. Language: English. Published: February 14, 2011. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » General
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
Peregrine, a deaf and aging dragon, wishes he could set Tillian free. He needs his keen-eared adoptive daughter to relay the world to him. But when plague strikes a neighbouring village, there is no time for a gradual change. Peregrine must fly for supplies on weakened wings and Tillian must nurse critically ill strangers -- separating the two for the first time in Tillian's life.

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Heidi C. Vlach's favorite authors on Smashwords


Smashwords book reviews by Heidi C. Vlach

  • Half Brains, Sacred Water book 1 on Nov. 15, 2010

    I was distracted from Sacred Water's story by its amateurish writing. Nearly every sentence is in simple subject-verb-object formation. "Daniel does this. Daniel does that. He then started doing something else". This repetitive structure makes the writing sound clunky. Description is often skipped over in favour of stark "telling" (ie. "The royal physicians were obviously becoming concerned", instead of noting their facial expressions or other indicators of concern). Tired cliches such as "limp as a rag doll" are used. Because of the simplistic writing style and distant POV, the characters don't seem have any emotions -- they're just doing tasks and speaking words. It's a shame, because the vocabulary and customs are mostly believeable in their setting. The ailing royals and their medical drama has the potential for an interesting plot, with the mystery and drama established early on. But I felt like I was reading a synopsis instead of a finished piece of prose. Development of the characters and refinement of the writing style would improve this story greatly.
  • Homeless on Feb. 14, 2011

    This story has a staged, deliberately theatrical quality that I thought fit very well with the ancient Greek subject matter. Interesting follow-up to the classical myths.
  • Eyes Like Sky And Coal And Moonlight on Aug. 12, 2013

    Like any short story collection, some offerings are stronger than others. I found a few of the stories too bleak, so focused on their uniquely awful situations that they didn't manage much development or meaning. But overall, the collection is an interesting read covering several different flavours of fantasy. I found a lot of the stories really charming. A wide variety of fantasy beings populate the stories, with many takes on how they would interact with humans. I'll Gnaw Your Bones, the Manticore Said was my favourite for its touching take on which creatures are worthy of being considered people. The well-imagined details of each fantasy scenario match well with the literary style used throughout -- because, hey, if you're going to use a showy turn of phrase, why not use it to paint another world in bold strokes? I picked at this collection whenever I had just a few minutes to read, and it filled the gaps nicely.
  • Till Human Voices Wake Us on May 13, 2014

    Many human cultures and races appear in this collection, represented by lots of resilient female characters. Always nice to see in speculative fiction! The stories tend to start with numerous small details about the setting and the culture, which is probably helpful if you’re the type of reader who likes a crisp sense of place. Out of all the stories, I really liked Crawlies (pretty much entirely for the Teutheids, squid-like aliens who are commendably patient with the frustratingly ignorant human POV) and No Gift Of Word (a story of an African woman overcoming a curse, predictable in the good way where the characters got what I was rooting for). I also thought the two stories involving rusalka were particularly well done. Throughout the collection, I saw some minor niggles — a few homophone and tense errors; an occasional description or detail that didn’t seem to fit no matter how I considered it; endings that fit thematically but seemed abrupt, prose-wise. But these things weren’t numerous or grievous enough to keep me from enjoying all the stories. For the sheer variety of influences, and the presence of things sci-fi/fantasy could use more of, I’d say this short story collection is definitely worth reading. I received this book for free from LibraryThing's Member Giveaway program, in exchange for an honest review.