Beautiful People #26

Hello, folks! It’s time yet again for Beautiful People, and *gasps* it’s not about my characters.

It’s about me.

Hey, hey, calm down. Don’t run screaming into the sunset yet. This wasn’t my idea. It was *ahem* these people (Cait and Sky, I’m looking at you). So don’t get mad at me, okay? Okay.

Now that we’re not so furious about not being able to see into my characters’ lives (you have calmed down, right?… Right??), let’s look at the questions.

How do you decide which project to work on?

Hahaha. I don’t. An idea pops into my head and nags me until I write it down. So, my projects generally decide to work on me.

I usually work on something until 1) a new, shiny idea starts nagging me, or 2) the story thing just isn’t working. Recently, though, I’ve really been trying to focus and actually finish.

I’m currently working on a MG novel, a Snow White retelling, and a couple of pieces of flash fiction.

How long does it usually take you to finish a project?

Honestly, I haven’t finished that many projects. I mean, I’ve written some short stories and some flash fiction and one short MG thing (novel? novella?? It doesn’t matter, no one’s ever seeing it), but I never really kept track of how long it took to write them.

Do you have any routines to put you in the writing mood?

Ehh, usually not. Sometimes I’ll listen to music. But, for the most part, I just need to make myself sit down and write.

What time of day do you write best?

Anytime after breakfast. Usually after lunch.

 

Are there any authors you think you have a similar style to?

Not really. When I first started writing, I basically copied the style of whatever series I was obsessed with at the moment. It was mostly C.S. Lewis-ish fantasy and positively dreadful fairy tales in the style of the Brothers Grimm (hahaha I tried).

Now, I can’t think of anyone I’m similar to. I mean, I’m sure there’s someone, but it’s the middle of Nano. My brain is shot. Sorry.

Why did you start writing, and why do you keep writing?

I can’t remember the exact reason I started writing, but I think it was probably because, from a very young age, I was immersed in stories. I loved them.

So, yeah.

The short answer is, I keep writing because I love it.

I don’t know what the long answer is.

😉

What’s the hardest thing you’ve written?

The Snow White retelling I’m writing right now. Just getting from one point to another is… just… *headdesk*

I don’t know if that’s the hardest thing I’ve ever written, but it’s been a stinker.

Is there a project you want to tackle someday but you don’t feel ready yet?

I’d have to say no. I haven’t had any big, scary ideas lately, and I started tackling a pretty major project a few months back.

What writing goals did you make for 2017 and how are they going?

I didn’t… actually… make writing goals. O.o I know. I’m positively dreadful.

But my current writing goals for the year are:

Win Camp Nano and finish my Snow White project.

Enter the Rooglewood Press contest.

Work on Project Supernova.

Aaand… that’s it.

Describe your writing process in three words or a gif!

Painful.

Exhilarating.

Insane.

Are you doing Beautiful People this month? If you are, be sure to leave your link in the comments!

Can any of you relate to my writing process?

 

<3, Zane

camp nano update // week two

I’m back, with another Nano update! Sorry this was a day late, but the weekend was busy. This week was fairly good for writing, and I upped my goal (again) to 16,000 words.

My current word count is 6,786 words and according to the Nanowrimo website I’m right on track to finish by the end of July. Here’s my daily word counts.

Saturday, July 8: 571 words.

Sunday, July 9: 519 words.

Monday, July 10: 838 words!!! The most words I’ve written in one day so far! 😀

Tuesday, July 11: 540 words. Went a bit over my word count goal, but it was harder to write because it was Cow Day at Chik-Fil-A. If you don’t know what this is, it’s where you dress up like a cow and get free food – hurrah! We went for breakfast and dinner, so I did a lot of writing in the car.

Wednesday, July 12: 501 words. Barely made my word count. Went to our grandmother’s house in the morning and had a movie night with our youth group in the evening.

Thursday, July 13: 286 words. Ugh. My lowest day, partially because I was procrastinating and partially because we had a library program and then spent the evening with friends playing whiffle ball. 

Friday, July 14: 718 words. Baaarely.

Although most of the week writing was easy, these past few days I’ve been in a bit of a slump. I hit the midpoint and… it’s not pretty, let me tell you. Seriously. Nobody is seeing this first draft. *headdesk* I just can’t figure out how to get from one point to another!

And it’s way past bedtime and I still haven’t finished my daily word count. *runs off frantically*

I decided not to do a tag with this post, but hopefully there will be lots of tags and fun things for the rest of July! I may try to post twice a week, but don’t hold me to it.

I’ve been making small changes on the blog. What do you think of them? I’ve also been thinking about purchasing a theme. Do any of you WordPress users have any advice?

How is Nano going, for those of you who are doing it? And don’t you dare say “It’s going.” 😀

 

<3 <3 <3

Zane

 

 

The #VoicesOfYA Tag

Hello everyone! Hope you’re having a wonderful week. I was tagged by Lisa at Inkwell for the Voices of YA Tag (thanks Lisa!), which was created by Caitlin Lambert. You can find her original post here.

~RULES~

  • Thank the person who tagged you
  • Link to the original creator

  • Answer the ten questions

  • Tag at LEAST two other YA writers/bloggers

  • Share with the hashtag #VoicesofYA

Which I won’t be following all of because I am a #rebel. I’m using a hashtag… that counts, right? Right???

Anyway, here are the questions!

 

What draws you to YA?

In all honesty, I’ve only recently discovered YA. There are some things I like about middle grade (MG) a lot better, but I’ve really been enjoying YA lately since there are more characters my age and I can somewhat relate to them. I think I still prefer writing MG fiction, though. (And I’m not absolutely sure what is considered YA – I looked at a list on Goodreads and some of my childhood favorites were on there. So…)

 

Describe your writing process. Do you like outlines and structure, or seeing where the story takes you?

Answer 1: I don’t like excessive outlining. Answer 2: I like having a plan. So I guess I’d call myself a mix between the two… a plantser?? ;D I usually have a pretty well-written-out idea of where I’m going with my story, but I don’t have a Very Specific Outline™ that has every single scene written out. I like some surprises.

 

How long have you been writing? Where are you in your journey?

Well, I’ve been writing since somewhere between age ten and twelve. And as for the second question, not as far along as I’d like to be. 😉

 

What do you need to write? Coffee? Music?

I absolutely must have a piece of paper and/or pen. That’s pretty much it. Although I prefer writing on my Kindle and Bluetooth keyboard. And I do like some music on occasion.

Also, it helps if my brain is working properly.

 

If you could offer one piece of advice to another writer (OTHER THAN “don’t give up”), what would it be?

The one thing I would tell any young writer (or any writer at all, really) is READ, READ, READ, READ. Seriously! If you read a lot, you’ll have an inner sense of what works in a story and what doesn’t. It even improves your spelling. No joke.

 

What book still has you reeling from its plot twist? (*no spoilers please*)

Umm. Well. I usually don’t reel from plot twists because I *cough cough* usually predict them… So honestly, I can’t remember the last book that shocked me with a plot twist. Sorry!

 

What books are you most anticipating for this year?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a bit of a rant about this one. I read the first four books in the series around three years ago, and stopped because I didn’t have the last book and it wouldn’t be coming out for a year and it ended in the most horrible place ever… Anyway. Suffice to say, I wasn’t happy.  Then I kind of forgot about the series and figured I’d keep an eye out for it at the library.

Finally I found a copy of the fifth book at a library. I read it. Enjoyed it. THEN I REALIZED THAT OH NO, #5 WAS NOT THE LAST BOOK IN THE SERIES. #6 WAS. AND #6 WOULD NOT BE OUT UNTIL THE END OF THIS YEAR. ALSO THERE WERE NOT ENOUGH PAGES FOR IT TO BE PROPERLY RESOLVED. Help.

Can we all just acknowledge what a horrible, horrible place Ms. Wood left off at??? Anyone? Anyone?

I know this is more of a MG novel, but I’m still looking forward to it. RANT OVER. Apologies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This one, obviously, since I recently read Ms. Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles and enjoyed them very much. AND IT HAS SUPERHEROES. *dies* I want to love this one so bad.

 

In your opinion, which YA book/series has the most unique premise?

Cinder is a science fiction retelling of Cinderella. Dreamlander explores the concept “What if our dreams are real?” Both pretty unique! 🙂

Although I’m pretty sure Dreamlander isn’t a young adult novel, I thought it deserved to be included here anyway.

 

What is your all-time favorite quote from YA lit (I know, I’m cruel)?

Honestly, I don’t really keep track of quotes from books. *blushes* But the one quote that has stuck with me the longest is this.

Courage, dear heart.

It’s from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis, and I really love it.

What book do you most hope will have a movie adaptation?

Probably the Lunar Chronicles, although I’m sure there are dozens of others that I would love to see made into movies. Although whoever made it would probably blow it and leave out parts. Obviously there would have to be at least four movies in the series. 😛

 

And I tag… nobody, because I’m a rule-breaker. If you’re reading this and want to do it, consider yourself tagged. You can even say that I tagged you. 😉

 

Did you enjoy reading this tag? What do you think about my answers? What’s your favorite quote from a fictional book?

camp nano update // week one

Hello all! Today I’m bring you an update on my Camp Nano progress. It’s been interesting so far, and I was lucky enough to be invited to a great cabin. I actually am making progress on my Snow White retelling, so that’s good.

I’m still sworn to secrecy by my ultra-secret writing organization (if I told you I’d have to lock you up) not sharing details about my retelling yet, so this may or may not be a dull post.

My writing goal for the month is currently 14,000 words, although I keep changing it. Compulsively. It’s weird. I’ll probably change it to 15,000 after I finish writing this post.

I haven’t been getting up early since I’ve been recovering from sickness, so I keep getting a late start and not writing until late afternoon or evening. 😛 That definitely is going to change.

So! Here’s a day-by-day update on my writing progress for my Snow White retelling.

~~~

Saturday, July 1

First day of Nano, therefore I was understandably excited. 330 words and a whole lot of new ideas.

Sunday, July 2

Second day! 399 words. My word count just kind of kept gradually increasing all week.

Monday, July 3

465 words. I’m pretty sure I upped my word-count-goal from 10,000 to 12,000 somewhere between Monday and Wednesday… But I can’t remember the day. Go figure.

Tuesday, July 4

I managed 531 words, even though it was the Fourth of July.

Wednesday, July 5

651 words. At this point, I haven’t even gotten to the first paragraph on my outline yet. Someone send help and chocolate.

Thursday, July 6

532 words. Upped word-count-goal to 14,000 and the Nano website is still telling me I’m going to finish early. *insert happy dance* Annnnd… no. I still haven’t gotten past the first paragraph yet. WORKING ON IT.

Friday, July 7

Finally getting some action. Wrote 451 words, barely meeting my goal. But we WERE gone a good deal of the day swimming, so I think 451 words is a perfectly reasonable amount. *nods*

~~~

Today I haven’t had a whole lot of time to write. (Except for in the car – with siblings playing ukuleles loudly and waving at random people. The answer to this is play Elvis and Beach Boys music through headphones and turn it up really loud.)

It’s eight o’ clock, I still haven’t met my word count goal, and instead of going directly to my writing when we got home I worked on this blog post. (It was mostly written, I just had to take a picture.) I’ll probably work on it as soon as I publish this post.

Well, that’s my update. I’ll (probably) be back with another update next week, maybe paired with a tag. I don’t know, I just feel like this wasn’t a very interesting post. (Also kind of [really] short.) Also, there will probably be lots of writing updates, tags, and a Beautiful People meme in the very near future. I keep seeing these awesome tags and I must do them allllll.

~~~

What did you think of this post? Was it interesting? Would you like to read a tag along with it next time? Do you even want another writing update? Tell me everrrrrythiiiiing in the comments.

Also, do you want me to stop asking questions? Tooooooo bad.

Do you like chocolate?

How about candy? Do you like candy or chocolate better?

I’ve been making graphics for my blog featured image thing. What do y’all think?
Okay, I’m stopping now. Farewell!

 

June // featuring assorted memories

June was kind of a strange month. I had a lot of plans, but some of them didn’t happen due to unforeseen illness – almost all month. And some of us still have it… So basically, we’ve hardly gone anywhere for three weeks. *sighs*

I had a bunch of spare time at home until I got sick, so I was extremely productive for two weeks or so, and then I didn’t quite feel like it. Luckily I’m feeling better now, and hopefully back to my normal, productive self. You should see my to-do-list for today. I ran out of room. 😉

Anyway, I’m not in the mood to do an ordinary recap today and they take forever to do, and Camp Nano started today, so… I’m just going to write down some of the good things that happened this month. *nods*

~ trying to learn a new English Country Dance with four girls ages ten and under and people painting our house and staring at us – yup that was fun~

~starting bullet journaling~

~more dancing with friends~

~watching about a million zillion bullet journaling videos~

~reading and writing practically nothing~

~plotting/outlining for camp nano~

~fun with the youth group (until we got sick and couldn’t do anything)~
~being pushed down the driveway in an old cart made with skate wheels~

~running outside in the middle of a rainstorm just because we could and coming in cold and soaking wet~

 

Well, folks, that’s all I’ve got. This month blogging may be a bit sporadic due to Camp Nano (!!!) (I’m panicking here!!), so please bear with me. Hopefully I’ll be posting some Nano updates throughout the month, and also I have at least one post prewritten in case of emergency. 😉 Also, I’m really hoping to just enjoy the remainder of summer while it’s still here.

 

What did you do this month? Have you ever tried English Country Dancing? How about bullet journaling? How’s your summer going?

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!

My summer reading list + 6 books that should be on yours

Hello everyone! Today I’m going to share some of the books on my summer reading list (obviously not counting the endless library books) and books that should be on yours. I got this idea from a picture my friend Emma Grace sent me. (She recently started a blog! You can check it out here.)

We’ll start off with my reading list..
The Scarlet Pimpernel has been on my to-read list for a little too long, and I’ve heard really good things about it. It sounds fantastic and I can’t wait to read it.
I found Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life at our thrift store, brand new and gorgeous. I got it because I read The Candymakers by the same author and enjoyed it. However, I’m not completely sure about it because Mom said it might have some humanism in it… We shall see.
This 1920s book was also a find from the thrift store. It looks very, very cheesy, but I thought it would be a fun read since I enjoy vintage books.

I disliked A Wrinkle in Time (a LOT) the first time I read it, but one of my good friends really enjoyed it, so… I’m giving it another try.

I used to love this series, and I haven’t read it in forever. So this is one of my rereads.
Every Soul a Star (yup, another Wendy Mass book!) was another thrift store find. I’m not really sure about it, but I’m trying it. The cover is really pretty and that may or may not be one of the reasons I was so attracted to it…
Believe it or not, I have never read The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Even though I enjoy fantasy. I’ve read the Hobbit, and it was pretty decent, but honestly I haven’t been that impressed by J.R.R. Tolkien. *hides* Anyway, I’m going to try to read this one…

Y’all. The Viking Quest series was one of my all-time favorites a couple years ago. I haven’t reread any of them in quite some time, so I’m going to be reading Raiders from the Sea again.
Finally! The Mystery Off Glen Road was a late birthday present and the only Trixie Belden book by Julie Campbell (the original author, before other authors took over) that I haven’t read!! I am so excited for this one.

I’ve read a few things by Mark Twain, but not the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I plan to remedy that this summer…
I remember really liking The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, but I hardly remember it. :O So I’m rereading.
Sorry for the blurry image. Amazon wasn’t cooperating. Anyway, this is the fourth book in the Orphan Train Adventures. I really enjoyed the first one, but the rest haven’t been quite as good…
Nanny Piggins and the Wicked Plan is the sequel to another book I found very amusing. I hope this one is as good as the first.
Pride and Prejudice is, so far, my very favorite Jane Austen novel. Seriously, I loved it. And it’s due for a reread!

I’ve been meaning to read Treasure Island. I just haven’t gotten around to it…
I started reading Beginnings, Middles, & Ends a while back, but stopped because it wasn’t that interesting. I’m going to try it again this summer.

A Woman’s Wartime Journal is a compilation of entries from a Southern woman’s diary during the Civil War. It’s really interesting to see the Civil War from a different perspective. Seriously, I almost cried. It’s that good.
I found The Autobiography of George Muller on one of our bookshelves and it looked really interesting. So I quickly added it to my summer reading.
This book about John Bunyan and the biography below I found on a bookshelf as well. There’s a whole series, but I decided to start with these.


I seem to be very interested in men named John.

And now, for the books I highly recommend for your summer reading list! (As if it weren’t big enough already…)

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, by Shannon Hale, was hilarious. I really enjoyed it, and recommended it to my brother… and then my younger sister wanted to read it! I wasn’t expecting her to like it, but she did. There were a couple of annoying things in there that bothered me, but for the most part it was a funny superhero story.
This. Book. I read Cinder for the first time recently, and you can read my full review here. Although I wouldn’t recommend this for younger kids, it’s such a great Cinderella retelling with some really unique twists.
I can’t remember the first time I read The Pushcart War, but this book is hysterical. It’s about how one little incident exploded into a full-blown war between the pushcart peddlers and the trucks. One of my favorites!
Give Me Liberty is such a great look at life at the time of the American Revolution. Seriously, I loved the fatherly(ish) relationship between Basil and Nathaniel. The one problem I had with it is that occasionally it got bogged down in details, but other than that it’s a great book.

Possibly one of my all-time favorite fantasy books. K.M. Weiland is a fantastic writer, and Dreamlander might be my favorite book of hers, although her others are definitely worth checking out.
If you haven’t read The Mysterious Benedict Society already, you must do so at once! Secret(ish) societies, conundrums, and cranky people named Constance are only a few of the delightful charms of The Mysterious Benedict Society.

That’s it, folks! Hope you enjoyed a peek at what I’m reading during summer break!

What are you reading this summer? Comment below!

 

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. 🙂