Author Interview with Kellyn Roth // Blog Tour

I had the pleasure of interviewing Kellyn Roth, who is launching the new covers of her novels The Dressmaker’s Secret and Ivy Introspective. She’s a great author and a lot of fun to interview!

 First, a bit about her.

 

Kellyn Roth was born and raised in the country outside a small town in North-Eastern Oregon. Ever since she could talk, she’s had a fascination with words, always coming up with songs, poems, and stories. Now a homeschooled highschooler, she spends her spare time penning historical novels, several of which have been published.

Website · Blog · Newsletter · Facebook · Amazon · Goodreads 

 

 Let’s jump into the interview!

 

Welcome, Kellyn! Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m Kellyn Roth (obviously) – author, blogger, highschool student, country girl, princess, and lover of border collies, horses, books, and especially chocolate. I write historical fiction with dashes of Christianity. My favorite color is pink … like, soft pink, though. I also like red. And blue. And emerald green. *nods*

 

How long have you been writing? Did you want to be published from the start?

 

I started (officially) writing when I was about seven. I didn’t really think about publishing until I was eleven. So … I’ve been writing seriously for four (almost five) years, while I’ve been writing less seriously for eight or nine years.

 

Was there anything in particular that inspired The Dressmaker’s Secret?

 

Not really. To be honest, I came up for the idea when I decided to write a “little” story based on the backstory of one of my characters from a book I never finished writing but still made a lot of plans for.

 

Confused? If not, your comprehension abilities are amazing!

 

Who is your favorite character you’ve ever written?

 

My favorite character has actually yet to appear in a published novel. Though her grandmother has (and no, you won’t be informed who that is).

 

Her name is Ruby Farjon. She was born August 15th, 1925, and she was based after me, though, to be honest, very little of me actually shows up in her. She’s sort of a fantasy of what I’d be like if I was boy-crazy (I hardly think about boys) and extraverted (*hides in a hole*). But she is very fun to write, just because she is spunky and sweet. Also, she has this trait where she is serious when she really needs to be that I like. Although, honestly, her ‘needs to be’ are few and far in between. 😉 She’s really not an amazing character … I don’t know why I like her so much!

 

Where do you go for writing help?

 I have a couple writing groups who I can ask questions of, but generally I turn to Google first. Then my fallback is www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com. K.M. Weiland’s writing help blog is extremely useful, and it usually has what I’m looking for.

 

Do you eat/drink anything while writing?

 

Not usually. However, if I do, I usually get a glass of icewater. Not because I want to be healthy, but because I never drink water and therefore am always thirsty. 😉 But if I had a choice in the matter, I’d be eating all kinds of candy and chocolate and such while I write! (Yes, I am probably going to kill myself with unhealthiness … although I suppose I’m only dreaming about being unhealthy right now …)

 

What will you be working on next? Will you continue writing?

 

My next project is a historical fiction novel set during the 1850s, Once a Stratton. It’s about the Abolition, the Underground Railroad, etc. I’m perhaps 50% through it, and I hope to write the rest in July along with a novella called Interpreting Callie James, which is a sweet romance set in 1910. At some point this summer, I’m also going to begin my edits for The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, Book 3: At Her Fingertips.

 

Any final thoughts?

 

Thanks for interviewing me, Zane! It was wonderful to answer your questions and have you participate in my blog tour. <3

 

So. There will be a giveaway for Kellyn’s books right here, and here’s the rest of the blog tour schedule so you can come along for the ride! Make sure you check it out!

Tuesday the 20th

-Lana @ The Music of Words (book and character spotlight)

Wednesday the 21st

-Faith Blum @ Bookish Orchestrations (author interview)

-Josie @ Josie on the Go (reviews of TDS and IvIn)

Thursday the 22nd

-Tonya @ Literary Musings (reviews of TDS and IvIn)

-Leona @ Great Books for God’s Girls (review of IvIn, author interview)

Friday the 23rd

-Jordy @ Jordy Leigh (author interview)

Saturday the 24th

-May Everly @ Forever and Everly (author interview)

-Zane Jones @ Simple Impossibilities (author interview)

Sunday the 25th

-Dani Eide @ Perspective of a Writer (character interview and spotlight)

Monday the 26th

-Brianna Henderson @ Orthodoxy, Hobbits, and Tea (review of TDS and IvIn)

-Anika Joy @ This Journey Called Life (review of TDS and IvIn)

-Maddy @ Girls Living for God’s Glory (book spotlight)

Tuesday the 27th

-Heather @ Frozen Books Blog (guest post)

-J.C. Buchanan @ Beyond the Amethyst (review of TDS and IvIn)

Wednesday the 28th

-Jesseca Wheaton @ Whimsical Writings for His Glory (author interview, book spotlight)

-Jaylee Morgan @ Jaylee Morgan Writes (character interview and guest post)

Thursday the 29th

-Zielle @ My Homeschool Notebook (review of TDS and IvIn)

-Sarah Briel @ Penumbra Reviews (review of TDS and IvIn, author interview)

-Sel H. @ Hearth (author interview)

Friday the 30th

-Angela R. Watts @ The Peculiar Messenger (author interview)

-Lainey @ Direct My Paths (reviews of TDS, character interview and spotlight)

-Dawn Dagger @ Dawn Dagger’s Official Blog (review of TDS, author interview)

 

Thanks for reading!

-Zane

 

 

I’m Doing Camp Nanowrimo

I wasn’t planning on doing Camp Nanowrimo. (If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically where you set a word count goal for yourself and try to meet it in one month. Mostly. Yup.)

But then I heard about the Five Poisoned Apples writing contest and since fairy tale retellings are like one of my favorite things ever, I came up with a brilliant* idea. So, I’ll be writing my first draft during Camp and hopefully editing the whole mess before December… O_o *cue nervous laughter*

*Brilliancy is in the eye of the beholder. The Association of Brilliant Authors (ABA) has not approved this statement.

So, Jonathan at Fishing for Ideas had this idea to do a Camp Nano Countdown linkup, where a Nano-related question is asked every week. The point of it is, in Jonathan’s words:

To make sure all of us are ready/prepared/not freaking out and to try and get us motivated to write aaalll the words during July.

It’s kinda too late for not freaking out, because I already am…  Anyway, there will be a question each week for the rest of June, and this is the first one.

What will you be writing?

*cackles nervously*

I’ll be working on a Snow White retelling for the Five Poisoned Apples contest. I have a pretty decent idea, and hopefully it’s actually as original as I think. I don’t have a blurb or synopsis yet, since I’m not quite ready to talk about it, but hopefully I will sometime… eventually… maybe… *hides*

Honestly, I have never really focused on word count that much, so I was kind of worried about what to set my word count at. I ended up doing 10,000, since the Five Poisoned Apples contest says in between 5,000 and 20,000.

For now, though, it’s pretty much top-secret. And by top secret I mean no one has even heard my idea. So… pretty secret.

Are you doing Camp Nanowrimo? What will you be writing?

 

 

 

 

The Reluctant Godfather // blog tour

I’m so pleased to be a part of the blog tour for The Reluctant Godfather, a newly released novella by the amazing Allison Tebo! It is my first blog tour ever, so let’s all pretend like I know what I’m doing and jump straight in.

 

About the Book

A humorous and magical re-telling of Cinderella from a unique perspective.

Burndee is a young and cantankerous fairy godfather, who would rather bake cakes than help humans. A disgrace to the fairy order, Burndee has only two wards entrusted to his care… a cinder girl and a charming prince.

A royal ball presents Burndee with the brilliant solution of how to make his wards happy with the least amount of effort. He’ll arrange a meeting and hope the two fall in love.

 

 

 

About the Author

Allison Tebo is a Christian homeschool graduate in her mid-twenties, who works part time as a sales associate for a major transportation company. A graduate of London Art College, Allison pursues avenues in cartooning and illustrating as well as singing and voice acting.

In her spare time she writes and blogs at www.allisonswell.com.

It is her goal to write fiction that appeals to many different kinds of people, by writing clean, classic fun.

Her faith in Christ directly influences all she writes about – or does not write about. Whether the story possesses a strong message or is simply fun and imaginative fiction – her desire is to bring honor to God – and to provide quality stories for everyone to enjoy.

My Review


That was such a sweet story, and not cliché at all (something I don’t like)! I love Burndee and Ella, and I love all the other characters too! Ella is very sweet, thoughtful, and content, which I appreciate. Burndee is hilarious.

One of the major cliché benders is that the fairy godmother… isn’t. There is, however, a sarcastic, hilarious fairy godfather named Burndee.


Burndee’s blunders are the funniest. Making Ella dance a jig at the ball?! I was laughing so hard at that part. There was another vey amusing twist that I won’t share here because of spoilers.

Although the entire story was great, my favorite part was a very spoiler-ish bit that I’m not going to share here but you can see on my Goodreads review.

This is a really sweet, lighthearted, clean read. I was so into it I read it in one sitting! All in all, the Reluctant Godfather was really… neat.

 

The Giveaway

Allison is currently running a giveaway on her blog, so you can go here and check it out if you don’t want to purchase a copy. 😉 She’ll be giving away a signed copy of The Reluctant Godfather along with lots of other things!

You can also buy it here on Amazon if you don’t happen to win! 🙂

Author Interview

Welcome, Allison! Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a Christian, homeschool graduate in my mid-twenties. I work part-time in sales and operations as an agent for a major transportation company. I am a graduate of London Art College – I studied drawing and painting for several years then spent another few years studying cartooning. Aside from writing, I also pursue singing, voice-acting, and baking.

What inspired you to write The Reluctant Godfather?

Nothing in particular! Some of my best and favorite writings are the stories that literally just drop into my head. One night, the concept for The Reluctant Godfather suddenly popped into my head. The entire end finale (Burndee and Colin’s confrontation) including basic dialogue, suddenly sprang into my mind and as I thought about it, the entire story unfurled in my head. So it all came to me in about fifteen minutes, I believe. All I had to do was write it down. I wish all my stories came to me in this way!

When and why did you start writing? Have you always wanted to be published?

I started writing when I was about ten years old, and at the time, the primary motivation was to be just like my big sister, who wrote her own stories – so a combination of hero-worship and wanting my own accolades, I think. Fortunately, my motivations have changed since then and now I write because I am a writer, and I have to capture the stories in my head. I probably wasn’t looking at publishing when I was ten – but probably since I was fifteen or so – I can’t clearly remember a time when I didn’t want to publish. It certainly has been a decade long goal. I still can’t believe that I’m published. It’s very surreal.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what’s your favorite? Are there any songs that gave you ideas for The Reluctant Godfather?

When I was a young teen, I used to listen to music when I wrote, but then I stopped because it started getting too distracting. Oddly enough, during Camp Nano this year I started listening to music again and I liked it! But as far as The Reluctant Godfather, I didn’t have any particular music or songs that I used for inspiration.

Out of all the characters you’ve ever written (not just in The Reluctant Godfather), which is your favorite? Which is your favorite in TRG?

Wow – that is a tough question! Characters are my favorite part of writing and I have a lot of favorites – but one that comes instantly to mind is a character I wrote years ago and hope to resurrect some day – an obnoxious and noble Elf named Adrien, who really has a heart of gold. He didn’t sleep much, secretly read poetry, and possessed an intolerance for stupid people. As far as The Reluctant Godfather – definitely Burndee!

Have you had any training in writing?

I am a self-taught writer – but I would say that I received vigorous training. For over fifteen years, my sisters and I have dissected every movie we have ever watched and most books that we have read. Every look, gesture, tone and action is carefully examined and explored as we ferret out motives, and every plot twist and bit of structure is gone over with a fine-tooth comb as we try to figure out what does and doesn’t make a good character or story. It’s been an incredible learning experience and we have grown so much as writers by this simple but copious rule of thumb.

Do you have anything you do to get ready to write? (drinking tea, listening to music, etc.)

Usually, I have a can of carbonated water – which is my all-time favorite beverage by the way. During NaNo months I might have a piece of chocolate before I start to write – ‘coughs loudly’, or a LOT of chocolate – before I start sprinting for the day. What I really want to do to prepare for my writing, is to pray every day before I get started and ask the Master Storyteller to bless and guide my work.

Where do you go for writing help?

My siblings. We have a writing club that has been meeting every week for ten years to critic and brainstorm for each other. Each of my siblings has a different strength. My brother is the man to go to for brainstorming action, my sister can un-snarl any difficult plot or shine light on a stubborn character, and my twin is fabulous at story structure and flow.

Are there any authors who have been particularly inspiring in your writing journey? Who are your favorite authors?

Definitely Robin McKinley – especially her book, ‘Beauty’ – a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I read that when I was about thirteen and basically pored over every facet of that book. I started writing spoofs of Beauty and retellings of Beauty and the Beast over and over again, exploring every angle of the fairy tale as I sought to emulate Robin McKinley’s dreamy style. That book taught me a lot about writing – how ironic that years later I finally came back to fairy tales again!

I would say that Jeri Massi’s Peabody series was another major influence on my writing – probably for her comical and sweet style – a zaniness balances with heart – influenced my own writing voice a great deal.

I have a lot of favorite authors! But the top ten would be, Constance Savery, Rosemary Sutcliff, M.I. McAllister. Dorothy Gilman. Elizabeth Enright. Helen Macinnes. Mary Stewart. Jan Karon. Jeri Massi and Jeanne Birdsall.

Who would you recommend The Reluctant Godfather to?

I would recommend The Reluctant Godfather to ladies between the ages of 14 and 30.

What’s next for you? Will you be continuing to write?

Absolutely! I hope to be writing until the day I die! I have at least five more books planned for the Tales of Ambia and have already started working on the sequel for The Reluctant Godfather. I also hope to have an illustrated children’s book and a space opera novel completed and published within the next year or two.

Where can people connect with you online?

You can find me at allisontebo.com or my blog Allison’s Well. You can also find me on Goodreads, Pinterest, YouTube, and Facebook.

Any final thoughts?

Yes! I’d like to take this opportunity to thank God for bringing me safe this far and for the warmth, enthusiasm and kindness that so many of you have received me and my book – it is such a gift to share my work and a blessing to get to know so many people through the Reluctant Godfather.

Thank you so much for stopping by, Allison!

Thank you so much for having me, Zane! This was fabulous!

 

Don’t forget to stop by Allison’s blog for the giveaway! Thanks for reading and comment below if you have any questions!

beautiful people // june edition

I’m participating in the Beautiful People linkup again, and you can check it out here. In a nutshell, it’s where two bloggers (Cait from Paper Fury and Sky at Further Up and Further In) ask interview questions to help you get to know your characters better.

It was monstrous fun last time (book reference!!), so I had to do it again, of course. I’ll be answering the questions with my character Ryker Kane from my current WIP Project Supernova.

Ryker is fourteen years old, goes a high school that I haven’t named yet, and has a mostly normal life. He’s an average size, with dark brown hair, probably blue eyes, and pale skin. The features that stand out the most are the scars on his left cheek from the surgery after a car accident. He lives with his older brother Luke and has a fear of riding in cars. You can read my previous Beautiful People post with him here.

Since I’m tired of rambling and I’m dreadful at introductions, let’s get on to the questions! I’ll be doing this in more of an interview format like last time, but today I’ll be interjecting in italics.

1. What’s your favorite place you’ve ever visited?

I don’t do travel. If I can’t walk, I don’t go. My favorite place is home.

His parents died in a car accident. Cough, cough. Poor baby.

Stop pitying me. *scowls*

Sorry.

I did go to Niagara Falls once, though, when I was maybe six or seven, with my family. It was fun.

2. What’s one mistake you made that you learned from?

The biggest mistake I ever made was caring too much.

You gonna expand on that?

No. And you’d better not try.

3. What is your favorite subject in school? Or favorite thing to learn about?

Ehhh, social studies are okay, I guess. I like it when we get to read whatever we want.

Comic books, right?

Stop.

You’re pretty good at drawing cartoons.

Whatever you say, Miss Almighty Creator, ma’am. I guess you get to decide, don’t you? *scowls some more*

I have a name, you know.

4. What’s your favorite flower/growing thing?

I’ve never really thought about it, honestly.

Yes, he has. He won’t ever say it, but he likes watching butterflies and insects. So basically anything butterflies are attracted to.

WILL YOU STOP?

No.

5. Have you ever made someone cry? What happened?

Not answering that! I am not answering that, and you aren’t either, Zane!

Ha ha, you do know my name! And sorry, yes I am. He made a girl he barely knew cry. And it had disastrous consequences on all sides. I’m not going into details because #spoilers.

6. Would you consider yourself a reliable or unreliable narrator?

Reliable. I’m no liar.

Unreliable. You’re biased like everyone else, Ryker.

7. What do you dream about at night?

Who comes up with these questions?

He dreams about-

DON’T. Fine. I have nightmares. A lot. About.. stuff.

About the car accident.

I said don’t!

8. You’ve gone out for a “special meal”. What would you eat?

Homemade pineapple and ham pizza. And my mom’s dark chocolate brownies.

No comment.

9. What’s at least one thing you want to do before you die?

I… I don’t know. I’ve never thought about it. Why am I doing this interview anyway? There’s something for you to think about.

You’re doing it because I say so.

You’re not my mother.

Ah ha… I kind of am. Anyway, he’d like to see his comics published and make it through college, maybe settle down with a family.

I don’t like you.

Yes, you do. You just don’t know it yet.

10. Do you have any distinguishing or unique talents?

No, not really.

You should see the comics he draws. He’s an amazing artist, but he would never tell a soul.

STOP IT. STOP.

Okay, okay! The interview’s over, anyway. You don’t have to talk any more.

Thank goodness. I don’t know why I even agreed to this. Stupid, Ryker, stupid…

C’mon, don’t beat yourself up. It was fun.

If your definition of fun is “probing into other people’s past business that doesn’t concern you”, then sure! It was “fun”. Now this is my definition of fun. *charges Zane with a pillow from the couch and begins smacking her*

Help! Hellllpppp…. *grabs pillow and starts smacking back*

*scene fades*

 

That was really fun! I love doing these interviews, even if my characters find it torture. Hope y’all enjoyed it! As usual, feel free to comment below. 🙂

Beautiful People // Parental Edition

^This picture has nothing whatsoever to do with the post ^

This is a link-up/meme/thing hosted by Paper Fury and Further Up and Further In. I rephrased the questions so it was more of an interview format (I hope that’s okay?), but you can see the original questions here.

I’ll be doing it with two of my characters from my WIP Project Supernova. The main characters are:

Ryker Kane. He’s fourteen years old, goes a high school that I haven’t named yet, and has a mostly normal life. He’s an average size, with dark brown hair, probably blue eyes, and pale skin. The features that stand out the most are the scars on his left cheek from the surgery after a car accident. He lives with his older brother Luke and has a fear of riding in cars.

Katie Bird. She’s fourteen and goes to the same school as Ryker. She’s smallish for her age, has long, golden-brown hair, brown eyes, and a prosthetic leg. Even though she’s very extroverted and loves people, she’s somewhat shunned by her classmates because of her leg and her standoffishness. She has a secret that I can’t tell you and lives with her foster parents Dirk and Chryse.

  1. Overall, how good is your relationship with your parents?

Ryker.

They were killed in a car accident when I was eight. They were the best. *looks away*

Katie.

My parents have fostered me for over two years now. They’re everything I’ve ever wanted, and they’re trying to adopt me.

2. Do you know both your biological parents? If not, how do you cope with this loss/absence and how has it affected your life?

Ryker.

Wow, nosy. I guess I have to answer it, so… after my parents… died… in the car accident, I just kept going. I buried myself in schoolwork. My brother, Luke, took me in. He was barely eighteen and I figure it was pretty hard on him, but I didn’t notice. I was eight, and he always tried to look on the bright side, for me, I guess.

Katie.

I never met my dad. My mom kept me until I was five or six years old, and then she got arrested. I was put in foster care and was shuffled around through different homes until I was about twelve years old, and that’s when I met Chryse and Dirk.

3. How did your parents meet?

Ryker.

They met in college, dated for a few years, and got married.

Katie.

Are we talking biological or foster here? If we’re talking about biological, I don’t know, and honestly don’t want to. My foster parents grew up together and fell in love when they were teenagers.

4. How did you feel if you were told “you’re turning out like your parent(s)”?

Ryker.

My parents were good people. *scowls fiercely and refuses to elaborate*

Katie.

I didn’t know my biological dad, but it wouldn’t be a compliment if someone compared me to my mom.

5. What were your parents doing when they were your age?

Ryker.

Going to school?

Katie.

I don’t know and I don’t want to.

6. Is there something you adamantly disagree on?

Ryker.

We never disagreed, that I remember.

Katie.

*huffs* I haven’t seen her since I was five or six.

7. What did your parents find hardest about raising you?

Ryker.

Ummm… weird question. I was a pretty quiet kid. I never really caused any trouble.

Katie.

Ha ha! My biological mom never “raised” me. She was mostly… not there. I was kind of troublesome the first few years I was in foster care, so my foster parents probably didn’t find me easy to raise.

8. What’s your most vivid memory with your parental figure(s)?

Ryker.

Honestly the most vivid would have to be the car wreck. Everything before that is kind of a blur now. I do remember, when I was about four and Luke was fourteen, us all gathered around Dad, listening to him read The Horse and His Boy aloud.

Katie.

Something that she did a lot was leave me in a library and tell me to sit quietly and look at the books until she got back. I didn’t know how to read, so I just looked at the pictures. She always came back, until one day she didn’t. I sat and looked until it was time for the library to close. The librarians called the police and they couldn’t find my mom. I was put in a foster home after that.

9. What were you like as a baby/toddler?

Ryker.

Mom and Dad told me I was a good baby, that I was quiet and kept to myself. I was the same as a toddler, I guess.

Katie.

I don’t know, but probably trouble.

10. Why and how did your parents choose your name?

 Ryker.

My full name is Ryker Theodore Kane. Ryker was the one name my mom and dad could agree on, because it’s popular but not too popular. Theodore is because of my dad. His personal hero was Teddy Roosevelt.

Katie.

My full name is Katherine Aline Bird, but I go by Katie. Katherine was a family name, I think. My birth mom probably just thought Aline sounded romantic.

Well, that was fun! Thanks for reading! If you have any questions please comment below : )

My Writing Story

I started writing seriously when I was ten or eleven. By seriously, I mean: I had a binder. And I wrote in it. How much more serious can you get?

I had written a few stapled-together booklets (that were very heavily drawn from whatever book I was interested in) and illustrated them, but the urge to write – really write – struck at around age eleven.

I think my writing interest had been sparked by a skinny American Girl book called Writing Smarts that appeared from I-don’t-know-where. (It’s out of print. I don’t really recommend it… If you want a good writing book for children, try this one.)

I especially loved the mini character interview.

And it’s funny. Even then, I wasn’t as interested in reports and poetry. The sections of the book I kept coming back to were always about creative story writing.

Anyhow… In about 2013 I started writing in a large, pink patterned notebook/binder/thing. I scribbled my ideas practically anywhere, but that was where I tried to keep everything.

Then the idea for a time-traveling story hit (don’t even ask), and of course I had to have a binder for it. Complete with title. And hand-illustrated cover. And copyright (mostly warning my brother to stay away from my idea). I was obsessed.

I wrote maybe two or three chapters in it and showed them to a friend. Can you believe that me, the super secretive writer, willingly showed a friend her writing? Ha ha, me neither. That’s funny, Zane!

I didn’t keep on with it for very long, because…

I discovered something amazing.

I discovered that I could write on my computer. And it would look like a real book! (Minus the, you know, paragraph breaks.)

That was when I wrote my first story on my computer, in 2014. It was called “Florence” and I worked on it until it was a whopping 1,757 words long. It was heavily inspired by the current fantasy I was obsessed with: The Castle Corona. (Which, strangely, I don’t love anymore…)

I had a pen name. It was so cool. And don’t even get me started on how excited I was over the fonts.

I was in loooove.

And more stories followed, of course. Many, many more. I progressed as a writer. For example, I made the ground-breaking discovery that there are paragraph breaks between lines of dialogue.

I began outlining and researching my stories, if vaguely. By early 2015, I had started at least 37 stories (on my computer) and finished 14.

(I know this because in early 2015 I took a convenient inventory of my stories, marking them complete and incomplete. I’m too lazy to go count all of them now. Therefore, you will not be getting the numbers up through 2016 and this year.)

Sadly, I did show some of those to people. (Namely family and close friends, but still.) Dear, dear, some of them (who am I kidding, ALL of them) are a bit… cringe-worthy?

Let’s just say I didn’t know what editing was.

But… I kept writing. I kept growing. I kept improving, and I can clearly see that through the tangled mess of my abandoned stories my growth. Luckily, it was just a part of me growing as a writer. I had to go through all that to get where I am today.

My writing still needs improvement and I’m far from done growing (I hope). I’ll keep writing. Keep pushing on.

And keep sleeping. No one likes a cranky writer. 😉

 

What are some books that have influenced you in your writing? What’s your writing story?  And does anyone else find it hard to write a blog post when siblings are singing the Mexican Hat Dance in the background? (Yes, this really happened while I was trying to write. Oh well…)

 

 

 

 

 

Beginnings

I’ve decided to do a post of first lines from my numerous stories/story beginnings/story stuff. A few warnings before we start…

  • When I first began writing, I had a “thing” for fairy tale endings, beginnings, and everything in between. “Once upon a time”, “they lived happily ever after”, etc. Later, I had an obsession with high fantasy (C.S. Lewis, Lloyd Alexander, etc.) and heavy accents that I knew nothing about (mostly influenced by Redwall books).
  • Also, I was heavily under the influence of a… um… a writing program that was… less than desirable? And it told me to use lots of modifiers! Lots and lots and lots! And never use the word said! So I didn’t. And my writing suffered.
  • Of course the fact that I was a beginning writer should not be forgotten. But I still shan’t put any of the really bad beginnings.
  • Oh. And I forgot to mention. I didn’t know what “editing” was until circa 2016. So prepare yourself.
  • Most of them technically don’t have names. When that happens, I just use the main character’s name as the document title, so that’s basically what I’ll do here.

These beginnings were written from 2014-2017.

 

 “Once upon a time, there was a small, white cottage by a waterfall, and in it, there lived a girl named Raziela and her large dog, Jock.”

Raziela’s Story, finished, 2014

 

 “Once there was a raindrop. Her name was Rae. She slipped down a window, unaware that she was spoiling some child’s picnic. She slid on, not knowing that two little boys were watching her.”

Raindrop Rae, finished, 2014 

 

“It’s not very pleasant knowing that your grandfather was a deserter from the army.”

Dragon Tales, finished, 2014

 

 “It was midday. As a hammer clanged in the forge, Eliot of Darsville pulled up a bucket of water from the well.”

The Seven Simons, finished, 2015 (this is actually the second version of this story I wrote.)

 

 “My story begins, I suppose, on the day I was born, but since I don’t remember that, I’ll start with my accidental (and unfortunate, I might add) meeting with Prince Wilmet.”

Elwyn and Harlan, finished, 2015, second version (again)

 

 “Calix stumbled over a stone in the rough road.

“Come back ‘ere, you young scoundrel!” A voice echoed through the streets.

 Calix ducked into an alley and watched his pursuers run by. Safe, he thought.”

Calix, unfinished, 2015

 

 “As Ardyth Forsyth raced down the road to Bushra, her skirt whipping around her legs and her braids catching in the wind, she bumped into a man and knocked him over. He was a strange man, his eyes wide, his hair mussed, his clothing disheveled.

 ‘Turn around, little missy,’ he said fearfully. ‘Believe me, you don’t want to go to Bushra, not right now.’

 ‘Why not?” Ardyth asked. ‘I’m on my way to see my aunt.’

 ‘She’s very likely dead,’ said the man, ‘if she lived in Bushra.'”

Ardyth, unfinished, 2015

 

 “Bowan didn’t do anything. To be in jail, I mean. He was just a gawky, ungainly boy, too small for his fifteen years and scrawny as a rabbit in midwinter.”

Bowan and Eliana, unfinished, 2015

 

 “Evian O’Raleigh was running away again. He ducked under a low-hanging branch and leaned against a tree, catching his breath.”

Evian, unfinished, 2015

 

 “Fifteen-year-old Colin Timblin sat underneath the old oak tree whittling and thinking about the rumors around his village. The popular one was that the kingdom was being invaded by cats. He didn’t really care who ruled; to a farm boy, one king was as bad as the other. He and his mother would still live in poverty anyway, so what was the difference?”

Colin, unfinished, 2015

 

 “Skye Ransom envisioned herself hurling a knife and it hitting dead center every time. This was her favorite fantasy, the one she most often hid in during the long, boring classes.”

Taratung, unfinished, 2015

 

 “Sixteen-year-old Jorel Slyte woke up to the sound of gunshots and a pounding on the door.”

Jorel Slyte, unfinished, 2015

 

 “The young girl looked around at her miserable surroundings, and clutched the tiny baby close to her chest. It was Christmas Eve, and nine-year-old Mary Fairfax had no place to spend the night.”

The Perfect Christmas, finished, 2015

 

 “Rosie slipped away from the small crowd of people wearing their Sunday best. She didn’t want to talk to them. She wouldn’t talk to them. Their intentions were surely kind and good, but she wanted to cry, and she didn’t want anyone to see her doing it.”

Unnamed pioneer story, unfinished, 2016

 

 “I slipped into an alley, clutching my satchel. As I knew all too well, the city of Ezei was infested with thieves, beggars, and pickpockets.”

Elle, finished, 2016

 

 “My old violin sang the last notes of “Ave Maria”. I let the sound linger, then put down my bow. It needed an accompaniment, and the notes were twangy, but other than those tiny details, I thought my father’s violin sounded beautiful.”

Imaginary, unfinished, 2016

 

Oswell’s heart sank as he got the report card. The F’s stood out like sore thumbs. In a few of his worst subjects, like Maiden-Scaring and Fire-Breathing, he had F minuses.”

Oswell, finished, 2017

 

 “I stood on the edge of the mountain, hopeless. The smoldering, water-drenched ruins of my once village hurt every particle of my pathetic being.”

Hanna’s Hope, finished, 2017 (coming soon!)

 

“It was my fault entirely, so that’s what I told the police.”

Ryker, unfinished, 2017

 

 Did y’all like them? Which was your favorite? Do you think I’ve progressed in my writing? Tell me in the comments!

And yes… I’m a day late.  On the first week I had a scheduled “publishing date” too. Tsk, tsk. Sorry ’bout that.

What I Think Of Emma Woodhouse

A poem in the style of Doctor Suess // Expressing my righteous indignation at Emma Woodhouse from Jane Austen’s Emma

 

I do not like her in a book

I do not like her in a nook

I do not like her personality

She would not win Miss Congeniality.

 

I do not like her here and there

I do not like her in her lair

If people heard the things she said

Behind their backs, they’d flush red.

 

Perhaps I’d like her with some kindness

Her biggest fault might be her blindness

Her prejudice could be much less

She’s worse than Miss Elizabeth*.

 

I do not like her matchmaking

It leaves my miserable head aching

From the times I’ve banged it against the wall

I do not like her, she makes me bawl.

 

Perhaps later in the story

She’ll fall in a different category

But until time can tell,

I do not like her. All is well.

 

*Bennet

 

I hope you were amused by my mini-poetical-rant. Seriously, am I the only person in the world who doesn’t like Emma Woodhouse? Pride and Prejudice was sooooo much better.

 

 

 

When Inspiration Fails…

When I first get a spark of an idea for a story, it’s wonderful. The characters are fantastic. The plot is flawless. I write in a frenzy, trying to get it all down. But when I look at it a few days later, suddenly this alien Cinderella story doesn’t sound so good. (Spoiler: I am not writing, nor do I plan to write, anything like this.) Every word I put down is an effort. Every scene I put down is a nightmare. And guess what? My perfect plot is full of holes.

And I find that, suddenly, I’m not inspired to write this story anymore.

What I do when I lack inspiration (usually) helps me, but I’m not a professional. I have never been published. Most of my writing efforts are feeble at best. But I’ve been writing for about three years and learned a few things along the way, including what helps me overcome writers’ block.

The most important thing I do is take a break. If I can’t write another word, then I can’t write another word – at least temporarily. And sometimes the best thing I can do is distance myself from my story. Sometimes my break will last a day, a week, or even a month.

And I generally use that break to:

 Read. A lot. I read books that have positively nothing to do with my story and books that have everything to do with my story. Nonfiction, fiction, whatever works.

 Write. A journal entry. A blog post. Random scribblings on a piece of paper. I’ve gotten to where I can’t not write, and sometimes it’ll spark my creativity.

Do things completely unrelated to writing or reading. Like English Country Dancing. Lots of it.

But sometimes, after taking a break, I still lack inspiration. Some things that I find help me are:

Try writing the story from another person’s perspective or another point of view. This has completely reinvigorated my stories before.

Write a scene from the middle of my story and think about just how my characters got there. This really works. For me, at least.

Go through magazines and clip pictures of people who look like your main characters. Weird, I know, but I actually do this.

And if all else fails… dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is always an answer.

I hope somewhere in my rambling there was something remotely useful! Hope everyone has a great weekend!