Sunday, November 29, 2015

Self-Interview Author Challenge

Challenge: So here's the jest of this little challenge I thought up (of course, when I should've been writing): Interview yourself. Talk about anything you like! Answer a few, simple questions, and maybe talk about a book you're writing, or books you've published. Just have fun with it! :)

Okay, so here goes mine.

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A cover concept for my current novel-in-progress, When the Sky Cries:

The above image is a cover concept created by the author -- it is not official!

And a novel summary:

There is a thin line between rejection and royalty...

Princess Radha cannot stand her brother's fiancé, the Lady Adrianna. Pretty, proper, and absolutely perfect, she is everything Radha has strived to be... but better.

Even worse than the friction between her and the soon-to-be-sister, Radha has learned that suitors are practically lining up at the castle gates, begging for her hand in marriage. An amazing sister-in-law and a string of handsome suitors. Could things get any worse?

Adrianna -- whether by choice or by accident -- has begun to lead the young nobles against the princess. When a gathering is called for, no one is there: they are all out in the town with Adrianna. Radha will not stand for this, but matters can only go farther from what she wants.

When an assassin comes to light with his true identity unknown, Radha becomes his apprentice-puppet, carrying out the tasks he finds himself unable to perform. Why? The reason is simple. Either she risks the lives of everyone around her... or she and all the king's loyalists will die.

With strings entwined in the hands of her assassin, the whole of the castle turned against her, and her suitors turning away, Radha begins to believe that the odds will never be in her favour. She is lost. She will never be saved, will she?

...Or will an enemy's uprising, an assassin's plotting, and a loved one's death bring Radha all she's ever wanted?

To learn more about When the Sky Cries, you can head over to its page on my author website, or check out the board it has on Pinterest.

INTERVIEW

Tell a little bit about yourself. Introvert or extrovert? Cats or dogs? Rain or shine? Indoors or outdoors? Anything you like!

O: I suppose I'm an introvert, though I'd like to think I can be a bit of an extrovert on the web (ha ha). I tend to prefer dogs, though I must admit that it cats are lovely. Rain over shine, and my opinion on indoors versus outdoors changes from time to time. :)

When did you first realize that you wanted to write?

O: Oh, I would probably say I was about four or five! I remember having this Dr. Seuss blanket on my bed, with the letters from the phrase "cat in the hat" on it. I remember lying in bed one night, looking at those letters, and thinking, "I do to something with words."

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?

O: I don't remember much about it, other than the plot being about a ballerina who had a birthday party. I think I was about to go into Kindergarten when I wrote it. It was a picture book, and I remember shouting across the house different words, and asking my mum how to spell them.

What was the first big accomplishment you made in your writing? Was it a short story, novel, or such?

O: Hmm... It's hard to say. There was one story I wrote on paper when I was ten; it was basically a retelling of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, called Nara Li Jojo: Jordan's Ambush. Naturally, I forced it down the throats of nearly everyone I could get my hands on.

But I think the biggest accomplishment for me and my writing was a trilogy I started called SOUL. It was about a dystopian society in the year of 2015 (I was twelve when I wrote it, mind you). It was a bit like Harry Potter, as to the classes and everything. I eventually got to somewhere around a hundred pages, but eventually ended it, deciding that there was far too much weirdness to be dealing with.

What has been a big motivation for you and your writing?

O: Probably a deal I made with my cousin when I was nine. We struck a bargain that if I ever published a book, he would have to dress up in a bunny suit, and advertise it on the corner of an intersection. So that's been a huge motivation for me. ;)

Was there a particular book or author that helped you get a firm grasp on what your work?

O: Yes! When I was twelve or thirteen, I read Anne Elisabeth Stengl's Heartless, and it had a GINORMOUS impact on me! Not long after reading it, I found her blog, and immediately started following it, as well as her Facebook page. She was very encouraging, and always had something kind to say. Eventually, I came up with a story I loved, and began writing it. I feel as if Anne Elisabeth Stengl has been a huge contributor to that.

What are some of your favourite books?

O: John Flanagan's The Ranger's Apprentice (even though I'm only on book two), J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter, Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Anne Elisabeth Stengl's Tales of Goldstone Wood, Robin Hardy's The Annals of Lystra and The Latter Annals of Lystra... Oh, I could go on and on about all this! I suppose I'll stop there, for now.

What is a one-sentence overview of your manuscript-in-progress?

O: A beautiful knight and princess must step up to save those who betrayed her.

Who's your favourite character in your current manuscript? Why?

O: Hmm... Even though I'm just now starting draft two, and so I need a refresh with the characters, at the moment, I would have to choose my top three. (Ha ha! ...Sorry.) ;)

First in no particular order would be my main character, Radha. Though she was kind of an emotional wreck in draft one (here's to hoping that's not happening again!), she was very fun to write (and hopefully, she still is). A knight and a princess, she deals with the everyday threats to royalty: You know, assassins and all that nonsense. But since she's one of the king's knights, she has to do her best in preventing those sort of things from happening. And she has a lot of friends in her trade. Yes, she's extremely fun to write.

Second would be my knights' commander, Sir Gilmore. He's an incredible amount of fun! In a way, he's a bit of a flirt, but at the same time, he keeps to his senses, and does his job well. He can be stern when he needs to be, but also let loose and have some fun.

And last but not least is my assassin, who... Well, I can't exactly name him, at the moment. He's currently kind of a secret. But he's VERY complicated, and (in my opinion) is totally awesome. He's clever, deceitful, shows little mercy... (My mum hates it when I say things like that, ha ha.) But, yeah, he's great.

Would you like to share the first few lines from your manuscript's current draft?

O: I would love to!


OPENING LINES
TO DRAFT II
OF WHEN THE SKY CRIES,
A MANUSCRIPT-IN-PROGRESS


I fell against the ground with a thud. Why now? On the day I'd taken such a chance?

Picking up the sword I'd just dropped, I leapt to my feet as fast as I could, escaping my opponent's blow just in time.


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So that's my challenge! And yes: I challenge each of you to do the same!

Have fun!!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Some Happy News, Indeed!

Well, I must confess that I have quite the exciting news to share:

I Once Dreamed is nearly finished! Just a little editing, the send-off of the letter, the email exchange, and then I'm done!

Another thing, too:

I am about to begin draft two of When the Sky Cries! And I am extremely nervous (seeing as how chaotic the first draft was... whew!), but I am planning to muscle through it. Since working on I Once Dreamed, I've found myself able to create more realistic characters.

So, please pray for me. I wish you all well upon your writings! :)

See you soon (hopefully)!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just wanted to drop in with a quick post to wish everyone a fun and happy Thanksgiving! May you all have a blessed day with family and friends!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Book Review: FIVE ENCHANTED ROSES

A couple of months ago, a good friend was kind enough to lend me Five Enchanted Roses to help me with a little bit of "research" (as we like to call it) for my Five Magic Spindles entry.

Seeing as I'm on Thanksgiving break, I thought that now would be a good time to type up a quick review on Rooglewood Press's Beauty & the Beast collection.

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Esprit de la Rose by Kaycee Browning

Esprit de la Rose tells the story of an educated young woman called Cecilia, her father a privateer who quickly becomes indebted to the magical merfolk known as the Fee. In a hasty attempt to save her father, Cecilia is hurled into a grim underworld filled with ghostly pirates, each of them with their own curse. In a world so utterly terrifying, is it possible for the privateer's daughter to find love even among the harshest of souls?


I had a BLAST reading this tale! I all-too-instantly fell in love with the mysterious Captain Pepin, and was very much intrigued by Miss Cecilia Lester. Many of the characters were dangerous and bewitching, allowing for Esprit de la Rose to be a true page-turner.

Overall, I believe this novella deserves five stars!

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Wither by Savannah Jezowski

In Wither, a merchant's stubborn daughter named Lilybet crosses a land filled with the dreadful undead in an attempt to reach a beast's castle to save her sister. Lilybet receives much more than she bargained for, however. The beast lives a half-life as stone, and the palace in which he dwells is known as Briarstone Abbey. Cold and mystical, Briarstone stands as a barrier between the mortal world and the realm of the dead. It is only a matter of time before the wraiths behind it begin to seep free...


Wither was, I believe, my least-favourite novella in the Five Enchanted Roses collection. Though the writing was excellent and the characters very well developed, I found myself unable to relate to them. I did, however, find the setting dark and intriguing, causing the description of Wither's world to be clearly etched into my mind.

Still, I think this story should earn three or four stars.

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Stone Curse by Jenelle Schmidt

What if the beast's curse was an accident? Jenelle Schmidt's Stone Curse tells the story of Karyna, a young handmaiden living in a dreary castle with a court full of haunting statues, a fellow servant, and none other than the beast -- Prince Barend, himself. When rumors of a sorceress reach Karyna's ears, she is determined to set out and find the woman, in hopes of finding a way to free the prince from his curse. But surprises are in store for Karyna, along her journey. And is this tale of the sorceress just a myth? Or is there someone really lurking behind the shadows of that powerful title?


Stone Curse was a rather unexpected read, in such a darling way! Appreciating the characters was all-too easy! And the plot was such fun, too. It didn't take long for me to imagine gallivanting across the kingdom with Karyna and Barend, as well as their lovely friend Ritter.

Four stars!

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Rosara & the Jungle King by Dorian Tsukioka

Written in the style of Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games, Rosara & the Jungle King is the story of the beautiful Rosara, the daughter of her tribe's chief. Attempting to avoid a vicious suitor, she meets and quickly befriends the enchanted jaguar Tupa. But it is only a matter of time before a spell befalls Rosara, transforming her into a form like that of her new companion. Can the spell be broken? Or will Rosara and Tupa remain forever beasts?


I did not expect to like Rosara & the Jungle King, but I was in for quite the surprise. I was the princess of the jungle, racing through the vines with my new friend, the Jungle King. Rosara was incredibly easy and fun to relate to, and I felt as if Tupa and I had been friends for years.

Five stars!

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The Wulver's Rose by Hayden Wand

In The Wulver's Rose, the young Bonnie ventures to a castle perched in the Highlands of Scotland to repay a debt to her family. But there is more to this castle than meets the eye: it is inhabited by a werewolf of sorts -- a creature called the Wulver, who is half-man, half-wolf. Not to mention there's the trapped child, a young girl who visits Bonnie in her dreams. When a wicked sorceress comes calling, Bonnie must save the Wulver, as well as this mysterious child. But what if it is Bonnie who must pay the price?


I absolutely adored Hayden Wand's The Wulver's Rose! It was probably my favourite in the Five Enchanted Roses collection, by far. The setting was beautiful, the characters were outstanding, and the plot itself was altogether stunning! I am afraid there is little more I can say on the matter, except that The Wulver's Rose deserves five stars (or more, if such a thing is possible).

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So what do you think? Maybe you'll give Five Enchanted Roses a read? If you're still a little unsure, you can download the free ebook of Hayden Wand's novella at this link. And you can pick up all five novellas here!

Have an excellent read!

Progress on I ONCE DREAMED

Yes. I should be working on it. Or am I?

I am glad to say that I've gone past the word count minimum for Five Magic Spindles! I'm slightly over seven-thousand, at the moment, with a grand total of fifteen pages and eight chapters!

Not that I've reached the ending, yet, of course. No, that is in the (hopefully) not-so-distant future. My goal is to have finished I Once Dreamed by the end of Thanksgiving break, so I might send in my submission form, edit my tale, and then finally (stomach churning at the very thought of it) email the document in.

So I thought it might be time to provide a little information on the story. :)

As you may know, Five Magic Spindles's editor Anne Elisabeth Stengl held a show-and-tell on her blog back in September. The three main information segments the writers provided included their plot in a few short sentences, their opening lines, and their author bio.

My two-sentence plot is this:

Far off in the countryside of the kingdom of Ashindust lies the charming estate and castle of Hazelbend. Little do passers-by know that terrified servants, a lonely lady, and a treacherous butler are trapped inside...

Okay, so the plot's still the same. But there has been a wee change to the story.

The opening lines sent in to Anne Elisabeth Stengl were from some of the first drafts, which did not feel as if they were going well at all. But, thanks to draft four, there's been quite the progress made, along with new opening lines:

"She's having them again, Physician."

"And they're getting worse."

What, I wonder? ;)

There is a verse that has helped to inspire my novella! Psalm 55:22, ESV, reads, "Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved."

Modeled after how one blog introduces its book reviews, here's some of the basic information:

Title: I Once Dreamed

Author: Olivia K. R. Fisher

Main character: Lady Faerydae

Genre: Historical fiction/Christian fantasy

Audience: Young adult

And there you have it!

The time period takes place mainly in November of 1400, in a mighty kingdom called Ashindust, on the continent of Repel (like "reap-ull"), which I would say likes somewhere between Iceland, the UK, Norway, and Denmark. I haven't entirely decided for sure, yet. :)

What about you? How's your novella going? Did you enter the September show-and-tell? Have you sent in your Sleeping Beauty retelling, yet? Do tell!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Events of Nightwind Court -- November 2015

Thanks to some inspiration I received from Anne Elisabeth Stengl's October Doings at Drakenheath, I now have a few ideas to make The Events of Nightwind Court more fun all around. You'll see a little snippet regarding that at the end, here. :)

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FIVE MAGIC SPINDLES Entry


To my dread, my Five Magic Spindles entry I Once Dreamed is very far from being wrapped up! With only two months left to finish writing and drafting it, as well as editing and sending it off, I find the deadline fast approaching. Maybe this wouldn't be so hard if my freshman year of high school wasn't getting in the way...

However, there are some pros to recognize! First, I am starting to better understand what beginnings and endings look like and how to reach them, thanks to my recent reading of Five Enchanted Roses! Secondly, I am liking the beginning of my novella more and more. You see, I've almost always at trouble starting a beginning with a beginning, where as if I start shortly before or after the change in the character's life has happened, the adventure of writing goes a lot smoother.

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NaNoWriMo 2015

Unfortunately, at this point in time, participating in 2015's NaNoWriMo seems a bit impractical. What with my novella, starting of high school, and the play I've been cast in, I think I'll have to wait until next year. Here's hoping for 2016!

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THE SNOW QUEEN Play

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As I mentioned last month in last month's Events, I've been cast in my school's first ever theatrical production, The Snow Queen! And, to my complete and utter joy, I've been cast as the character I wanted! Along with a the parts of three to four extras.

Though I was at first nervous about the amount of stress I would be under while being in a play alongside my freshman year of high school and drafting of I Once Dreamed, I've been having a blast! Our introductory rehearsal -- which was on Monday -- gave a welcome to the sixteen cast members, and produced an overview of what the next several weeks will look like. Wednesday's rehearsal (which was the most recent) was amazing, involving quite an armload of fun practice. Coming home and going to sleep felt like I'd spent the entire day walking at a faire (which feels quite good, in my personal opinion).

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Thanksgiving Break

Oh, how I long for Thanksgiving break to arrive, already! I need only remind myself that it is twenty-six days away.

Though family is coming in from many different places, this year (which I am highly looking forward to), I am still hoping to get most of my work (on my novella, that is) finished during that precious time.

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Blogger Awards

Here's where a bit of the fun comes in (as I mentioned earlier)! I'm considering doing monthly "awards" along with my Events posts, putting the spotlight on a certain song, Bible verse, blog -- whatever! This month, the spotlight goes to the song "Echoes in Rain", by Enya!


This song was selected mainly for two reasons, the first being this song's positive and relaxing tone (which I believe is likely to soothe students' and employees' minds, alike... or pretty much anyone's). The second is (and you better sit down before continuing) this: Enya's releasing her first new album in seven years! Yes, you've read correctly! Her new album, titled Dark Sky Island, is available for pre-order now, and is set to release on November twentieth! You can find more on that subject over here, at this link.

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That's all for this month's Events of Nightwind Manor! What are your plans for November? Have you considered participating in NaNoWriMo? Do share!

Notice

As of September sixteenth, 2015, this blog has been reformatted. However, all posts before that date have not been updated to fit the new format, and may not be as simple to read.

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