Their Rigid Rules
The Chemical Attraction Series, Prequel, Christina Thompson
Holly M. Campbell
New York Dolls
Catherine L. Hensley
The Duchess Quest
Fire of the Sea
From the Embers
The Born in Flames Trilogy Book III Candace Knoebel
The Just Beyond
The Beyond Trilogy Book I Mark Tucker
The Chemical Attraction Series, Book II, Christina Thompson
Embracing the Flames
The Born in Flames Trilogy Book II Candace Knoebel
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Foreshadowed, The Near Deaths Series, Book I, by Holly M. Campbell
Hope Murdoch was born dead. She took a breath two minutes later and now is an almost-normal sixteen-year-old. Normal: a hopeless crush on the boy next door, a negative body image, and a (mis)diagnosis of ADHD. Not-so-normal: an exhausting and distracting ability to read minds… Read More
I mostly write about things that scare me. Ghosts. Murderers. Death in general. I try to lighten the mood with some humor, and with quirky characters who don’t always say or do the right thing, but who have good hearts and good intentions… Read More
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Chemical Attraction’s Springtime Book Tour
Chemical Attraction’s Springtime Book Tour Stop by for a chance to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card. Don’t forget to pick up your copies of the series on SALE for $0.99/each (reg. $4.99/each). Chemical Attraction’s Springtime Tour with Sage
Jordinia: A Reintroduction to the 5 Main Players
With the release of The Duchess Inheritance right around the corner (hopefully!), I thought it might be fun to refresh readers’ memories of the five main players in The Duchess Quest. For those who haven’t yet read the book, this may be a good primer to introduce you to the characters, and maybe entice you to learn more about them by reading the story. There are no spoilers in the following text, and most of the back story included takes place before the novel begins (or is revealed/implied in the opening chapters). So, with that – enjoy! Eludaine “Dainy” Ducelle Age: 18 Birthday: May 5 BACK STORY: Dainy is the eighteen-year-old lost Duchess of Jordinia. At age three, she was rescued from the royal family’s assassination by a rebel soldier who took pity on her. She was raised by her two foster “aunts,” Priya and Paxi, on the coast of Beili in a country called Heppestoni, where she helped them manage their ramshackle seaside inn. Neither of her caretakers were married, nor did Dainy have any marriage prospects while standing out as the only short, curvy white woman in a land of predominantly dark-skinned natives, so it was assumed that the girl would follow in her aunts’ footsteps as a spinstress and innkeeper. That is, until, her blood uncle learned of her survival and sent a brood of men to find her, offering her marriage hand as part of the reward! PERSONALITY: Readers have described Dainy as equal parts spunky/feisty and innocent/naive. At heart, she is sensitive, nurturing, sweet and upbeat, adventurous and playful. On the other hand, she has a tendency to be jealous, willful/stubborn and listless, especially when it comes to a certain someone she admires. She is not afraid to express her emotions and to love unconditionally. She is also a talented singer and hard worker. AUTHOR INSIGHTS: Dainy was raised by innkeepers because I have a dear friend who dreams of owning a bed-and-breakfast. This friend has always been a motherly figure towards me, so I wanted Dainy to be raised and mothered by a pair of women at an inn. When writing her as my heroine, it was important to me that I could relate to her strong emotions and self-expression. I am seldom interested in reading or writing about hard-edged, stoic heroines. Marley “Mac” Macmillan Age: 21 Birthday: October 11 BACK STORY: Marley Macmillan was raised alone with his mother, Marlena, in their secluded cabin the Knights’ Forest. His mother was reclusive, but also a very dynamic woman who taught him how to survive in the woods, read, write, play the strummer and sing. However, the young man longed to explore the world and discover adventure, as well as perhaps love, beyond the forest. When he saw the bulletin from Hessian Gatspierre enlisting men to search for his lost royal niece, Macmillan leapt at the opportunity. PERSONALITY: Mac is often the unsung sweetheart of the story, and the voice of reason. He is a goodhearted, upright boy, though can be a bit of a hothead. At his best, he’s loyal, supportive, sensible and unbelievably brave; at worst, he’s bitter, temper-prone and judgmental. He holds others to as high of an ethical standard as he holds himself. His age also affords him a degree of inexperience and boyishness, causing him to get carried away with unrealistic expectations of other people and the world. AUTHOR INSIGHTS: I’ve often said that, if I could hang out with just one of my characters for a week, I’d choose Mac. He’s easy to get along with, has a great sense of humor (if he likes the person joking with him), and is an overall nice guy. Jonwal “Jon” Cosmith Age: 27 Birthday: December 2 BACK STORY: Jon Cosmith grew up a troubled youth in the capitol of Jordinia when the New Republic recruited and trained him to work for Intelligence. He served as an agent in espionage for a time, until becoming disillusioned with his government’s financial corruption. Since abandoning his post, the man was not above stealing and lying to meet his needs. Due to his shamelessness and good looks, he has a long line of conquests and a formidable reputation among women. When he discovered Hessian Gatspierre’s bulletin, he was certain he possessed every wile it took to find the lost Duchess, woo her and, as such, get his well-practiced hands on her uncle’s gold (if not on her). PERSONALITY: Rogue, rake, Casanova… Jon Cosmith is as slimy as he is smooth, and so obnoxious, it’s charming. Coupled with a shrewd intellect, the man makes for a deadly enemy… or a surprisingly resourceful friend. The question is: which is he? I was once told by an interviewer that Cosmith made him want to throw his Kindle against the wall. But don’t be fooled by the relentless opportunism, sarcasm and unabashed innuendo… deep down, he has his reasons for being the way he is. And a heart – though perhaps hardened – still beats in that finely corded chest. AUTHOR INSIGHTS: Until my fifth manuscript (currently being penned), Jon Cosmith was my favorite character I’d ever written. Most readers are surprised by the degree to which I identify with him. The truth is, Jon and I think the same – the only difference is how we act! He does/says the things I think, but would never do/say. Writing a character with such a blatant lack of self-control was hilariously refreshing. The pronunciation of his full given name, Jonwal, is “Jon-vahl,” after Jean Valjean, as “Les Miserables” inspired much of my writing for the Jordinia duology – particularly Book 2. Boslon “Bos” Visigoth Age: 30 Birthday: August 15 BACK STORY: Boslon Visigoth was born in Dekantor, northern Jordinia, to a woodworking family. At age twelve, his parents, uncle and cousins were participating in a peaceful royalist rally when they were slain by invading rebels. Having been abandoned by his elder brother in addition, Bos was taken under the care of his widowed Aunt Fjelda. Like most in the north, he was disgusted by the rebels’ actions and remained loyal to the royal family, even after they were executed and the New Republic was instated. His happiest moment was discovering the little Duchess to be alive, and he would stop at nothing to find her, seeking no reward in return. PERSONALITY: Honor, loyalty and nobility are Bos’s prime concerns. One reviewer accurately described him as a “big brother type.” He will take the moral high road in any circumstance; as a result, he and Macmillan get along fairly well, while the pair cannot stand the likes of Cosmith. Bos is also a “gentle giant;” though powerfully built at 7 feet tall, he is slow to anger and avoids violence at most costs. AUTHOR INSIGHTS: Bos’s character is based off of my husband, who is 6 foot 9. Although my husband has a much better sense of humor than Bos, and isn’t as perpetually serious, they are both big, protective guys with blond hair and blue eyes. One thing I found interesting was that, while reading the books, my husband reacted to Cosmith’s character in much the same manner that the character of Bos did. Seluna “Selu” Campagna Age: 29 Birthday: July 4 BACK STORY: With her lithe gait and long violet hair, Selu wasn’t always a vagabond. But when her family was persecuted during the rebellion, she had to do what she had to do. When she was released from incarceration, she stole to survive, in hopes that the lifestyle wouldn’t last forever. Yet, things in Jordinia only seemed to get worse. When she came upon Gatspierre’s request to seek his royal niece, she was intrigued. The bulletin called for men only, but what was to stop Selu from disguising herself as one and seeking the fortune for herself? PERSONALITY: Selu is tough, self-sufficient and confident. She knows when to be witty, mysterious and seductive…so that she can then turn around and kick butt. As well, she is fiercely loyal and intuitive. She’s been through a lot and may surprise the reader. AUTHOR INSIGHTS: My sister calls Selu the “bad-ass” (funny, because some aspects of Selu are based off of my sister! Like the fact that they’re both strong, independent women). Where Dainy can tend to be a bit youthful and naive, Selu counterbalances it with her experience and a certain degree of jadedness. What I love most about Selu is her conviction and the fact that she’s not afraid to confront others. *** I hope you enjoyed reading this overview as much as I enjoyed writing it! Stay tuned for more with the release of Book 2.
Without Curtains Cover Reveal!
Here it is! The beautiful cover for my upcoming novel, Without Curtains. What do you think? WITHOUT CURTAINS Against her better judgment, eighteen-year-old Rebecca Douglas returns home to Clayton Creek. To the house where her mother was murdered. Where the Shadow—a monster with gleaming red eyes—haunted her dreams every night. All for the funeral of a man she stopped calling “Dad” a long time ago. To Rebecca’s surprise, her father left her a box of “personal items.” At first glance, it’s filled with old journals, family photos, and a dozen letters addressed to her that her father never sent. But things aren’t always what they seem. Rebecca has just inherited a few family secrets…and one murder mystery. As Rebecca seeks answers, she confides in an old friend—the handsome, complicated, unattainable, and…handsome Troy Adams. As the two grow closer to uncovering the truth, they also grow closer to one another, making the trip to Clayton Creek almost worth it. Almost… The Shadow has been waiting for Rebecca’s return. And he’s haunting more than her dreams. NOTE: This book is not the sequel to Foreshadowed.
The Light Side of Moon Update
As you can see from the title, this post is just to give folks a The Light Side of the Moon update. I originally published this over at my ZB’s Blog of Awesomeness. I know people are curious–I just received another message from a fan. This is what I can say: last Saturday, I awoke to a message in my email with my edited manuscript! Yesterday I finished going through all the comments and answered everything. Mostly, I like her suggestions. In the three editing passes of Other Systems, I was told over and over again to add more detail, I think this time, I might’ve added a bit too much. As I like to say, “On to new and better mistakes.” Maybe my next book will be just right. Today I accomplished two more steps During this edit, my editor suggested a short prologue. I’m still not sure about that, but I wrote it and she sent back corrections today. So I spiffied that up. And I received my French edits back. While the book is in American English, there are some colorful British, French, and German phrases too. It’s been ten years since I used French in actual conversation, but I didn’t do too bad. There was a few mis-conjegated verbs, a vous when tu would have been preferable, and one phrase that was a bit too young for the character, so I’m glad I had a pro look at the lines. (No matter what the language, I believe in accurate slang and had an expert look at each language.) My next step is to read the entire manuscript aloud, because that is how I find mistakes or things that just sound odd. Then I will send it back. Once I finish this edit, I will finish scheduling my summer events. While I can’t tell anyone exactly when the book is coming out yet, I received one question I can answer: The Light Side of the Moon will be released in multiple E-book formats and paperback and yes I will be doing some awesome science fiction drawing workshops over the summer at various King County Libraries. I will also be at World Con.
What’s in a pen name?
The following is a cross-post from my WordPress blog: I’ve recently been asked if C.K. Brooke is my real name, and/or why I use my initials instead of my first name (Caity). Answers: Yes and no; and because of J.K. Rowling, duh! Haha – just kidding. ‘C.K.’ are the initials of my first and last (married, not maiden) name. Not the result of a fondness for Calvin Klein (although I do love their perfume). And Brooke is my middle name (yes, after Brooke Shields). As you can see above, my first name has an unusual spelling that is not intuitive. As for my married surname, it is a 10-letter Polish name with ‘c’s and ‘z’s and ‘w’s and no one can say it, let alone spell it. So, ‘C.K. Brooke’ is a variation of my real name, and I use it not for privacy/secrecy reasons, but for plain old marketability. After all, it would be that much harder to promote a book if people struggled with pronouncing, writing and remembering the author’s name. At first, I wondered if I would regret not seeing my ‘real’ name printed on the cover of my books. But over the last several months, I’ve gotten so used to embracing C.K. Brooke as my professional identity, I don’t think twice about it anymore. I think it would be harder if I chose a fictitious name entirely, but because my pen name still includes elements of my given name, it’s still ‘me’ enough. In addition, no one else had it. Do you use your pen name or your real, legal name? What reasons do you have for doing so, either way? If you use a pen name, how did you create it? Have you tried both – and which do you prefer?
Revisiting old work
This is a response I posted to RL King’s 48fourteen blog. It’s an interesting chain. Read the entire conversation by clicking here. Jonathan Franzen, and I’m paraphrasing here, once said that he simply couldn’t read over his published work since he found so many things he wanted to change. Personally, like everyone else on this chain, I have a very difficult time reviewing my previously published fiction. My debut novel, for example, was printed before it was done in a very raw form. It was, essentially, a rough draft, and there are many, many mistakes throughout, including a first chapter that is slow, confusing, and simply too dark to draw readers in. After winning back the rights, I’ve cut the first chapter completely and have begun revising it to make it more marketable for a wider audience. I hope to publish it again under a new title. I made countless mistakes with that first book, but they all made me into a better writer. Currently, I’m working through edits on my follow-up with the 48fourteen editors, and I’m catching all sorts of missteps that I went right over my head the first time around. And I’ve learned that mistakes are not just okay but necessary. All we can do is write more to hone our craft in the hopes of one day becoming master storytellers. Writing does not have a clearly defined endpoint. It’s a lifelong process in which authors struggle to illustrate their outlooks on the world. And how does one perfectly encapsulate his philosophy through a creative narrative? By trying, again and again, until one day he gets it right.
Who do you write for?
When I was trying to publish The Duchess Quest as it originally stood, one of my best friends asked me what my purpose was: to write the book I wanted to write, regardless of all else, or to write something marketable that would get published? Of course, my answer was ideally both. But in time, I started to lean towards the latter. Especially because the market often reflects the desires of readers… including myself. Sure, I had written the initial 165,000 word draft to satisfy my writer-self… but as a reader, was it something I’d have wanted to read? I don’t have patience for long, dragging openings and endless chapters of expo and backstories. As the mother of an active two-year-old, my time and attention span is limited. I realized it was time to butcher the manuscript, not just to cater to agents and publishers, but to readers… including myself. Because at the end of the day, it’s really about providing quality and exciting material for readers – and of course, as writers, we are first and foremost readers ourselves. Of course, I think any writer at heart will still write, even if no one’s reading (or publishing). I’ve mentioned elsewhere that writing is as essential to me as eating or breathing. It’s a cathartic reflex and is how I make sense of the world. I primarily write because it’s just how I’m wired; I couldn’t stop if I tried. But the question of an audience and how (or if) to share a finished product inevitably arises. When you write, who do you write for? Yourself, the characters in your head who are bursting to come alive and the story within that’s begging to be told? The market or your publisher? Your fans and readers? I suppose my honest answer would be a solid blend of all of the above.
Quick thought: remembering an old fantasy series
When I was a kid, one of my favorite fantasy books was The Legend of Huma, a spinoff of the popular Dragon Lance series. In many ways, the novel served as a catalyst for my love of the fantasy genre, and I’m betting that there are many readers and writers out there who feel the same way. So when I stumbled upon Tor/Forge Book’s (an imprint of Macmillan) website and found a blogpost devoted to re-reading the original Dragon Lance series, I felt compelled to share it. Check out the full post by clicking here. Enjoy!
If I could go back…
I admit it. I read my own book. Not as a writer, but simply as a reader. I thought it would be weird, at least uncomfortable, but it wasn’t. But it did get me thinking, now that I read it as a reader, what did I think? I’m not going to review my own book, but if I could go back and change something, what would it be? My first response it that I would have my book start with chapter two and make the first chapter the prologue. And the people who were kind enough to leave a review would agree. I would not get rid of the first chapter, I felt it necessary, but as a reader, I felt the obvious starting point was chapter two. It is funny how I could not see that through all the countless edits, but I see it now. Maybe I would have changed the ending a little to allow for a sequel or trilogy, (a question pondered since the first draft), although I already know the route I will take if that ever happens. Also, I think I would have tried to add more romance. I read somewhere that a book is never finished, it is abandoned by the writer. The more I think about it, the more I disagree. I believed it once, however, now that I am older and wiser, I think that it is never abandoned, it is waiting for the writer to be ready. So I leave you with this question. If you are a writer, what would you change? -R.L. King Also, Happy Birthday to my mom!
aka Sylvia’s Bed & Breakfast
aka Sylvia’s B&B from The Chemical Attraction Series Yesterday I filmed snippets at The DeLano Mansion Inn (aka Sylvia’s B & B) for an excerpt video for Chemical Attraction. What a romantic place! Joe and Madeline from The Chemical Attraction Series fell in love there. I love using Allegan and its businesses as the settings to my series. To learn more about Allegan’s DeLano Inn, visit their Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/DeLano-Mansion-Inn-Bed-and-Breakfast/446848575413
10 Facts You Didn’t Know About The Duchess Quest
Itching for more material while you wait for the sequel? Take a peek at some extra trivia about the making and inner-workings of The Duchess Quest. 1. The name “Dainy” was created when I misheard someone saying the name “Janie.” “Ducelle” is a reference to DuSalle, a family name (on my mother’s side). 2. The working title for the novel was originally The Search Party. Once I’d finished, I knew I needed to come up with something far less boring! 3. The first draft took less than three months to complete – including many sleepless nights and every weekend locked in my grandmother’s old bedroom – and was almost 700 pages long. From there, it required nearly a year of editing to become suitable for publication. 4. The original outline had Dainy romantically linking with a different character (I won’t say who, but you’re welcome to guess). One-third of the way into writing, however, my (and as a result, Dainy’s!) heart was unexpectedly stolen, and the whole story changed. 5. The first word in Chapter 1, “Inconceivable,” is a reference to The Princess Bride, one of the great fantasy/adventure films that very much affected the writing of this story. 6. Jon Cosmith was originally called Rex Harrington, in honor of my childhood crush on Rex Harrison in the classic film, My Fair Lady. When conceptualizing his character, I wanted him to possess the same sort of grating charm as Harrison, but with the moral ambiguity of a character like Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. The name “Jon Cosmith” popped into my head while writing the initial chapters, and he ended up being even more delightfully obnoxious than expected. 7. All of the characters speak with British accents. No idea why; it’s just how I hear them in my head. 8. I’m often asked about my “dream cast”. While I try not to write with celebrity appearances in mind, Jim Sturgess fits the bill for Mac, and Christoph Waltz would make a killer Gatspierre. 9. If the main characters were sorted into Hogwarts houses, Bos and Dainy would be in Hufflepuff, Selu in Ravenclaw, Macmillan in Gryffindor, and Cosmith (no surprise) in Slytherin. 10. On my 24th birthday (August 19, 2013), I was one week into writing The Duchess Quest, and made a wish on my birthday candles that, by the same time the following year, the novel would be complete and contracted for publication. Exactly one year later, when I turned 25, I had two novels complete and contracted for publication! Wishes really do come true if you work hard and find a kick-butt publisher.
Foreshadowed Word Puzzles
I suffer from something called “procrastination.” So yesterday, after dropping my daughter off at school, instead of cleaning my house (it wasn’t that messy…I eventually got to it) or working on my novel (I’ll write today), I created word puzzles for Foreshadowed. Is that ridiculous? Or fun? Maybe ridiculously fun? Okay…probably closer to ridiculous. But, anyway, if you enjoy word puzzles and procrastinating, enjoy this Foreshadowed word search, and this Foreshadowed crossword. If you get stuck on the crossword, the answers are in the book.
When Lightning Strikes
A lot of my ideas for my stories actually come during small mental breaks in my daily routine. I will be scraping ice off my car window, doing the dishes, or grading science tests and suddenly zone out because I am hit by what will happen next in my newest story. Then comes the hard part…having to wait all day to get home and write it down when I have my hour of free time in the evening. I find that inspiration often comes when I least expect it, in little spits and spurts.
Writing from life
I have a pretty good imagination. And I don’t believe writers should restrict themselves to, “Write what you know.” Obviously, you should have a handle on the subject matter. You should draw from personal experience as well as thorough research. But it’s not like I’ve ever seen a ghost, fought off an attacker, and (using my novel Foreshadowed as an example), I don’t know what it’s like to hear/see other people’s thoughts. I write fiction. I make things up. And that’s okay. More than okay. But I definitely use my personal experiences to add some authenticity to my stories. Here are some examples, from Foreshadowed: 1) Gaming Hope, my main character, likes to play first-person shooting games. I am terrible at those. My husband likes those games and is pretty good at them. I’ve observed him, observed how the games work, and used what I’ve observed in the novel. That scene where Hope and Bryce are teaching Claire how to play, but she can’t figure out how to raise the gun, and her avatar just keeps spinning in circles? Yeah, that was based on the first time I tried to play Call of Duty. Personal experience. 2) Setting Foreshadowed takes place in the Tri-Cities, Washington. This is an actual place. Richland, Kennewick, and Pasco are three cities in eastern Washington near the Columbia River. I grew up in Kennewick, and now I live in Richland. I made up a few places (like the restaurant where Bryce works), but the high school, the Hanford site, and the alphabet houses are real. I know the setting, so it’s a lot easier to describe. 3) Headaches Lance gets headaches and sometimes migraines because of the accident. Hope gets headaches when there are too many thoughts around her and when she tries to read minds from a great distance. I haven’t been in as traumatic an accident as Lance, and again, I don’t read minds, but I am no stranger to headaches. They have been a part of my life since elementary school. I don’t have any proof (yet), but I believe they’re connected to a horse kicking me in the head when I was four years old. I get a lot of headaches, and frequent migraines. So I know how to describe them, I know how debilitating they can be, and I know how they affect moods. 4) Romance You don’t have to be in love to write about love, but it helps. It certainly helps me. There is a moment in the book when Hope says: His smirk turns into a grin, and it transforms his face. I bite down on my bottom lip as a wave of affection suddenly hits me—hits and drowns me. How did I not realize how much I cared about him before? This was sort of based on my real-life romance. On the outside, it looks like my husband and I had a whirlwind romance. We dated for a week before we started talking about marriage. A few weeks later, he officially popped the question. A few months after that, we were married. Yes, it was quick, but I still feel like the relationship sneaked up on me–and that’s what I tried to do with Hope and Lance. I didn’t want them to look at each other and know. I wanted her to slowly realize, little by little, that she truly, deeply cared for this boy. I was always aware of Chris. I was always happier when he was around. But I didn’t think I was interested in him. I was interested in someone else. Slowly, little by little, I started to realize I liked him. Then we started dating. The scene from above? It’s based on the moment I realized I was falling in love. We were sitting in the back of his sister’s car, driving to Sunday dinner at his parents’ house. It was my first time meeting his family. We hadn’t been dating very long. He had his arm around me. His sister had a mixed CD playing, and we were singing along and sort of dancing to the music. Waves of affection kept washing over me. I would look at him and think, “Wow.” And that was the moment I realized I was probably going to marry this man. It was good timing…because that was the night he told me he loved me.
What is your mountain?
Big news today: Random House will publish a newly discovered Dr. Seuss book, What Pet Should I Get. Last night, I read my very favorite Dr. Seuss book to my little ones: Oh, the Places You’ll Go! This book has always been a favorite of mine. I’ve always been a dreamer, and always believed I was destined to do great things. I still believe that (I believe everyone is), but after years of working toward my goals, fame and fortune still elude me, and I’ve come to appreciate some of the (harsher) doses of reality found in Oh, the Places You’ll Go! 1) You have the power to choose Life is not fair. It never has been and it never will be. Some people are born into wealth and some into poverty. Some people are born into loving, healthy families, while others are abandoned as infants. Why? Why is there so much inequality? I don’t know. There is definitely a sense of randomness, and of luck, in life, but there is also choice. Everyone has the power to choose, and those choices affect not only themselves but all of us. One small choice can create a ripple effect through the ages. It isn’t fair, but it is true nonetheless. However, no matter what choices were made before you and how they rippled down to affect your life, YOU still have your OWN choices to make. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” You can take the power back. You just have to admit that you are in control of your own destiny. Some will have to work harder than others to get where they want to be–that’s where the unfairness comes in. But everybody still has a choice. Everybody can decide which way to go. 2) There will be setbacks Even with your power to choose, and even with your destiny for greatness, there will be low moments. Maybe even rock bottom moments. “I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.” No matter how clever, talented, or privileged you are, you’re going to hit set-backs. Seuss describes this as a “Slump.” “And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.” No, it isn’t. And some people never manage to “un-slump” themselves, finding a way to be content with mediocrity. Don’t do that. 3) We waste too much time waiting Seuss writes about The Waiting Place. It is a “most useless place.” “Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.” How often do we just wait for life to happen for us? Wait for that big break? Wait for love to find us? Wait for something good to come on TV, or for something important to show up in our Facebook news feed (there must be a reason we keep checking it, right?)? Good things usually don’t just happen. And remember that “slump”? Spending all your time waiting to get out a slump won’t accomplish anything. “NO! That’s not for you!” Stop waiting. 4) Life is full of lonely moments “I’m afraid that some times you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win ’cause you’ll play against you.” Actually, this quote teaches two lessons: 1) we’re all going to have lonely moments in life, where we are left mostly on our own (I don’t believe you are ever totally on your own); 2) sometimes you are your own worst enemy, or at least your biggest obstacle. Laziness, self-doubt, fear, ridiculous expectations, perfectionism–these can all get in the way of success. 5) You can move mountains (but nothing is guaranteed) “And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.) “KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!” You’ll move mountains…maybe. First you have to overcome yourself. You have to accept that it will take work, time, and maybe even all you have. It must be worth it to you. Worth it to sometimes be alone. Worth it to give up on other, less important endeavors. And even then–after you’ve worked as hard as you possibly can–life may still get in your way. I started taking a self-defense class, and last week the instructor told us (and I’m paraphrasing), “You don’t want to be a victim. You want to turn this into a fight. The odds might still be against you, but they’re better than if you do nothing.” Life lesson. Some things in life are guaranteed, and this is one of them: if you do nothing, you will accomplish nothing. And that is not for you. Move that mountain. (Source: Seuss. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! New York: Random House, 1990. Print.)
Quick thought: the importance of world building
A few months ago, I finished Neil Gaiman’s novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. In terms of its language and themes, I thought it was fairly similar to Coraline, another novel with a YA hero.Each story was successful not only for including rich characters, compelling plots, fluid prose, and accessible language, but Gaiman was also able to build immersive worlds. In each work, the protagonists cross over into a different realm. Gaiman maintains the reader’s interest by establishing rules in each world as well as consequences for breaking these rules. I’ve found this to be the most important aspect of world building. How does the world work? What are the boundaries? What happens to a character who goes beyond those boundaries? Are the rules and the consequences established, consistent, organic, and sensible? Even if an author successfully answers these questions prior to writing a novel, ensuring consistency throughout the piece is difficult and can only be ensured through meticulous editing. Once those rules start breaking down, the narrative dream every author so desperately tries to create for his or her readers will crumble, and the story simply becomes unenjoyable. It’s not enough to simply think of an alternate universe a character can occupy. It’s about creating a world a reader can believe in.
The problem with finishing up a book is that I often grow very attached to the characters. I miss them! While I am reading a great book, the characters immerse themselves into my life like good friends. Closing a book always has a touch of sadness because I have to say goodbye. This bittersweet connection is magnified to an even greater extent when I finish writing a book. I am almost finished with the sequel to “The Human Cure,” and I am really going to miss my characters when I am done. I will have to begin reading or writing a new book right away! Character love is strong, but it is also fickle, as I easily find myself falling in love with someone new time and time again.
Going through the editing process, I’m finding that there are more words I want to add. There are also many that I see I need to change. It’s so interesting to look at my words again, now that I know the ending…kind of like reexamining the pieces once I have seen the whole puzzle.
48fourteen Website Launch Giveaway!
Welcome to the new 48fourteen! When we launched 48fourteen during the summer of 2011, one of our many goals, in addition to having an incredible selection of novels, was to have an awesome social community of authors and readers. With the launch of this new website, we are doing just that – we are getting social! Books and reading has never been this much fun! THANK YOU for being such a huge part of 48fourteen! Stick around, sign up for our newsletter, check out our events, author blogs, chat it up with authors and other readers, check out our current giveaways, have fun, and get social! To celebrate the launch of our new website, we are having a massive giveaway! Here are the prizes up for grabs: 1st Prize: 1 48fourteen mug 2nd Prize: 1 48fourteen notebook & pen 3rd Prize: 1 48fourteen print book of your choice & bookmark 4th Prize: 2 48fourteen eBooks of your choice & bookmark 5th Prize: 2 $10.00 Amazon gift cards (one for each winner) To win: 1. Check out our Facebook post with this giveaway announcement and click “LIKE” (www.facebook.com/48fourteen); 2. COMMENT what you think about our new website; AND 3. TAG a friend! Winners will be announced on Saturday, February 28, 2015. Every ten completed entries unlocks the next prize level. For example, ten completed entries unlocks the first prize, twenty completed entries unlocks the second prize… Good luck and have fun! As always, thank you for being a part of #Team48fourteen!
Welcome to 48fourteen!
Welcome to the new 48fourteen! When we launched 48fourteen during the summer of 2011, one of our many goals, in addition to having an incredible selection of novels, was to have an awesome social community of authors and readers. With the launch of this new website, we are doing just that – we are getting social! Books and reading has never been this much fun! THANK YOU for being such a huge part of 48fourteen! Stick around, sign up for our newsletter, check out our events, author blogs, chat it up with authors and other readers, check out our current giveaways, have fun, and get social! This is a quick guide to our social community. Join us! Author Profile: You can access the authors page by clicking “Author” on the menu bar. To view the author’s profile page, click on the author’s name. Community Directory: Click on “Community” in the main menu to view the directory of 48fourteen authors and readers. Here you can select profiles to view, request friendships, etc. Your Profile: Here is where you get to gush about yourself. Tell us a little something about you! On this page you will be able to do several things. Click on the “Get Social” tab to post messages. You can select who you want to view your messages: Authors, All Friends, Select Friends. Click on the “All Activity” tab to see all posts. You can leave a comment, and even like or dislike posts. This is where you get social! Click on “My Friends” to view all of your current friends. The “Friendships” tab allows you to view recently active users. Edit Profile: To edit your profile, on the main menu, click on “Community” –> “Profile” –> “Edit Profile”. Change Avatar: To change your profile image, click on “Community”–> “Profile”–> “Change Avatar”. Alerts: To view alerts of activity: “Community” –> “My Profile”–> “Alerts”. Have fun! If you need help, e-mail support(at)48fourteen(dot)com.
Check out what our readers are saying about our novels!
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