Gloria Piper


When working in biology, I missed art. When working in art, I missed biology. It took a bout of multiple chemical sensitivities to limit me to writing. At last here was a niche in which I felt old-clothes comfortable. At last I could indulge all my interests, from art and science to nature and spirituality, from reality to fantasy. My most recent awards range from honorable mention to editor's choice for my science fiction and fantasy writing.

I live in Northern California with my husband of late years who thinks I'm the most beautiful lady he's ever met and tells me a hundred times a day in a hundred ways how much he loves me.

Smashwords Interview

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on a farm in Northern California and attended a country school for my first six years. The country is in my blood, in my thoughts, in my soul. Nature is my jewel. And part of nature is the spiritual. Toss some nature and the spiritual into a book, a movie, a painting, and I'm connected. My love of nature and feel for the spiritual spills into my writing because that's what I love to read.
When did you first start writing?
At first I spun stories to entertain my siblings. Then I wrote drawer stuffers, nothing worth showing, nothing serious. As a young adult, I wrote silly stories. They served more as teaching exercises. If it was all frivolous, why did I bother to write it? Passion. And an urge for a shy person to express herself. Eventually, when maturity drove the fluff out, I felt that I could pen something worth reading. However, I didn't get serious about my writing until illness forced me to narrow my focus--from biology and art to writing. And I discovered that writing can include my other interests. Here is where I belong.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Gloria Piper online

Where to buy in print


Grounded, a Dragon's Tale
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 88,700. Language: English. Published: December 1, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
(4.75 from 4 reviews)
Crippled in a horrible accident, young Rumplewing must leave her dragon clan and seek death. When she discovers that outworlders are harvesting her planet's inhabitants, she vows to save her species from extinction. But first she must save herself.
Water Pearl
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 130,100. Language: English. Published: August 12, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
(5.00 from 1 review)
Skye didn’t mean to steal the magical pearl from the wood sprite, his only friend. Perhaps his mixed blood made him do it. Above all else, Skye wants to return it, but it’s the only thing that protects him from the soul-sipping king he is forced to entertain. And the king is getting bored.
Emperor's Hostages
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 120,720. Language: English. Published: November 22, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
(3.67 from 3 reviews)
Wren, a shape shifter with flawed magic, must become hostage of an emperor before he can find freedom for himself and his captive king. However his struggle embroils a nation in conflict, and he must save a little girl's life or die.
That Other Kind
Price: Free! Words: 11,740. Language: English. Published: July 18, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » General
The questions begin when Seagren first notices her difference. "Are these overpowering hulks really my parents?" Later when she flees those who would surgically alter her, to destroy her craving for the sea, she wonders, "Why do they call me dangerous?"
Long Pig
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 20,810. Language: English. Published: November 6, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Horror, Fiction » Horror » General
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
Sister Angelina ranked with the lowest in her commune, despite being the priest's wife. After all, the position of priestess was already filled by a woman of great power. Angelina never questioned this. She never questioned the thrall in which her husband held her. She had no questions at all, until the brothers brought in a child whose spirit was too bright and who asked too many questions.
Train to Nowhere
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 97,190. Language: English. Published: October 20, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
(4.45 from 11 reviews)
A train--the Orphan world--glides across mountains. Destination? Nowhere. The illegally-born must live inside, for Admin wills it. But young Garland, Orphan musician, seeks a different destination. Freedom. To find it, he struggles against Admin's mind control. His only escape may lie with a mysterious woman who is led by a strange spirit to which he must connect. If he can figure out how.
Finnegan's Quest
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 67,160. Language: English. Published: October 13, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
(4.80 from 5 reviews)
Finnegan, a young fox, seeks a guru. He encounters guides and misguides who warn: Don’t cross the bear, the terror of the woods, and shun the crow with the evil foot. Not listening, Finnegan barges into adventures, ridiculous and dangerous. This story parodies social, political, and commercial manipulation while taking the reader on the archetypal search for one's purpose in life.
Where the Sky Ends
Price: Free! Words: 2,960. Language: English. Published: October 9, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Every dragon, at least on our planet, has a personal groombug--a globular little critter that earns its keep by grooming its host dragon and providing companionship. I called my groombug Tweekie. Together, Tweekie and I tried our best to teach a crippled sister dragon to fly--until we ran out of sky.

Gloria Piper's tag cloud

Smashwords book reviews by Gloria Piper

  • The Order of the Four Sons: Book I on Aug. 01, 2013

    An occult thriller. From the title, I visualized a quasi-medieval fantasy of four brothers, like knights, riding forth to engage the enemy. The Order, instead, is an organization of many men and women of various talents and expertise whose teams, aided by the gods, fight to contain The Thing that brought evil to the world. Some readers don’t like prologues, but I was immediately caught up and found the book hard to put down. The prologue tells how evil appeared and gave rise to the Starry Wisdom, worshipers of this evil. Priests founded the Order of the Four Sons to fight the Starry Wisdom. The adventure begins in a shroud of mystery that grips the reader, like a Dan Brown religious thriller. Someone cries out for help. In the softness of time we see the evil’s effects, down to the present. Children disappear and so do teams of the Order of the Four Sons. As the crisis grows, we get a lot of names thrown at us, but most of these resolve into unique characters with memorable personalities—a retired marine, a burnt out ex detective, an old man, two technology geeks, and a trainee of unknown but surprising talents. Garnette, Murphy, Doug, Cecil, Bill, and Kate comprise the last team to be formed, incomplete and ill prepared. And we love them, for the writers manage them like a master. Without delving into character backgrounds, we quickly sense that they are solidly human. And we delight in their witty exchanges, a gallows humor that helps them maintain a mental balance throughout the demonic warfare. They battle Lady Bathory, more monster than lady, and her cohorts, who seek a magic wand that will stabilize a gate between worlds so she can expand her territory. The team of the Order must find the wand first. The quest becomes a spiritual treasure hunt as one clue leads to another. Much of the writing is impeccable, but questions arise, not all of which are answered to the reader’s satisfaction. Sure, I can figure out some. But I suspect that some answers won’t be forthcoming in Book Two. For example, a federal organization called MJ-12 gets involved, and I’m wondering, Who are these guys? Why are they attacking the team? Also, more names than necessary are mentioned. The characters have more than one name; some have several. Ordinarily this caused the reader no problem, but I suffered some confusion, particularly over who the Blood Lady is and belatedly realized she is imprisoned in a bubble. The story ends in a cliff hanger. Questions dangle. We can expect answers to most in Book Two of the series. But not all—and that’s what bothers me. In essence the Oracle tells us to stay tuned for the further adventures of our team. The read is entertaining, so grab your next copy.
  • Well Water Woman on May 29, 2014

    Well Water Woman Gloria Ng Think of Well as depth. Think of Water as the female principle, in all its aspects. Having been born in Hong Kong, Ng is the daughter in a traditional family who settled in San Francisco. From early in life, she chafes at their double standard that favors boys over girls. Girls are supposed to be weak, good only for producing sons. With that in mind, she determines to think of herself as a man, strong and independent. She clashes with her parents, particularly her mother. The paternal grandmother she’s never seen holds importance for her. Certain discoveries about Grandma startle Ng and influence her outlook, even as she seeks her own identity. Eventually Ng realizes she must change herself if she is to find fulfillment. Spiritual practice helps her on a path toward her goal, which involves learning to embrace the Well and the Water of self. By the book’s end, we see the long journey she has taken. Hers is the journey of overcoming the cultural clashes of a child born to immigrants. The implications, however, can apply to anyone in search of self. We identify with her because, despite our differing backgrounds, in her, we can see our own struggle toward self-acceptance and fulfillment. The read is fast and simply written but with depth of meaning and emotion. A fascinating memoir.
  • Similar Differences on July 06, 2014

    This collection of anecdotes, vignettes, or skits, usually begin with the heroine at a tipping point. What pushed her to this crisis? The explanation comes, sometimes narrated through her thoughts or a conversation. She must choose to step beyond the point of no return. To remain is to stagnate or suffer misery. To step out is to risk all on the promise of fulfillment. Without exception, each short story involves layers of meaning, where we see similarities and differences between characters. 1. For Better, For Worse. Louise must decide whether to stay a servant to her husband and grown children or declare her independence. Emotionally she is wounded, and she reveals the back story through her mental lamentation. Her reasoning seems valid, but we need proof of what she's gone through. Here we have the wounded as the result of an offstage battle. We need the action of enough scenes to show us the story. Howard's writing is so good that I feel this story is an experiment in minimalism. But does it engage the reader? Not this one. Too much “woe is me.” While thought is desirable, it lacks the balance of action that initiates the thought. Without balance, the read becomes tedious. 2. Maman Here is my favorite, a deceptively simple story, sweet and elegantly told. An artist finds meaning and love in a subject that has always terrified another woman. It is the other woman who feels compelled to face her phobia and embrace a new life. The story is well organized, and the description is luscious. That and the action bring us into the mood. 3. The Inheritance This is more a vignette than a story. A granddaughter is staggered to learn she inherited a vast estate. She feels so unlikely a recipient that she delves into the whys of it and what the future can bring. 4. Popping the Cherry Howard tells us an amusing anecdote about what happens when two young children play dress-up and how their game differs from the game their parents play. It is lovingly told as we see the children at play. 5. Moon River A mother, single for seven years, must take a chance on reviving an old dream that had ended in betrayal. The same characteristics she loves in her little son are the same she sees in her returned husband. Can she risk forgiving him and accepting the bright future he promises? 6. A Nice Cup of Tea In this vignette, Laura visits an old flame and sees how he has become like his father. Should she become like his mother? 7. The Scent of Autumn We see a contrast of religion and science, and we look at the survival of the fittest relationships. 8. Tomorrow is Another Life To save her unborn baby from abortion, Daphne runs away from her unfaithful husband after guaranteeing her safety. How she does it is impressively narrated. Over the years she rejoices that her daughter is one female he can never use. 9. Decimal Point Martha risks investing in a dream with money mistakenly sent to her account. We get a detailed list of what could be called info dump in this story, but I found it interesting and compelling. The stories are uneven. Some are barely developed—which makes it hard to care—while others have greater depth, enabling us to identify more easily with the heroine. Through it all, we see an example of fine writing.
  • The Adventure of Stan and the Emerald of Foundation on Nov. 14, 2015

    Walsh plunges us into adventure with twelve-year-old Stan, his best friend Marvin, and older brother who are driven to steal gold from a dragon. As a result, Stan's brother is killed, and Stan and Marvin are banished from town for inciting the dragon to burn it. With the help of the mayor's daughter, a wizard, a thief, and others, the boys find themselves not only hoping for redemption but striving to find a magical emerald before an evil wizard finds and uses it for world domination. There are booby traps, an army of goblins, and a curse to overcome before our heroes can attain victory. A strong entry and exit from chapters keeps the reader engaged. Characters are interesting and distinct from one another. This is clearly a children's novel with youthful and energetic writing. The descriptions of emotion and action are vivid. Nevertheless the story is published too soon. Problems abound with punctuation, grammar, redundancy, inappropriate words, logic, and typos. The writing is often naive. With proof reading and editing, however, this entertaining story can become outstanding. A satisfying ending leaves an opening for a sequel.