Saturday, 22 December 2012

Write what you know: Fact or Fiction?

I can still see her:
Wrinkled face framed by grey sausage curls.
Our grade four teacher's blue piercing eyes dared us to disobey.
"Remember class, only write what you know."

The whole class started scribbling furiously:
"Sally gets a puppy." or  "Billy's Worst Day."
...they were all riveting works of art taken from our life experiences...
but none of them were ever published. :)

So how important is it that you write what you know?
I think in this case a writer has to follow the spirit of the law and not the letter.

I have never seen an actual dragon,
nor have I visited a royal court.
Yet my WIP involves both.
In fact, most fantasy and sci-fi fiction takes great liberties with reality.

My theory?
Even if your characters have blue skin,
or are part of a crew that visits galaxies far, far away,
there is still a core of what you know buried deep inside of them:

So yes, write what you know:
Jealousy, Rage, Love, Fear,
all the emotions from your everyday life.

Use them all:
-the butterflies before your first kiss.
-the anger that coursed through your veins when you found your brother reading your diary.
-the peace from camping nights under star filled skies.

Analyze those emotions,
and use them to make your writing come alive.

How about you? How do you make the emotions of your characters real for your readers?

Image courtesy of stockimages at

Monday, 17 December 2012

The Next Big Thing...

So, there is a blog hop going around where you get to talk about your Work In Progress.
Parched will be the NEXT BIG THING!! :) :)
This opportunity was given to my by Precarious Yates.
Thank you!!

What is the working title of your book?

Where did the idea for the book come from?
The idea came when I asked "In a world where people only rely on science how could a young girl explain away a miracle?" And the story blossomed from there.

What genre does your book fall under?
Christian young adult fantasy

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I'm not good with actors and actresses names but here are some pictures to give you some ideas:

Rosa the shepherdess

Alida the fallen angel


Lady Selena 

Tomas (I would lighten his hair)

Torin the blacksmith

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
An orphaned shepherdess, armed with a book of empty pages, fights to save the world and her soul from an ancient darkness.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I hope to go through an agency.

How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?
30 days! I did it for National Novel Writing Month during the month of November. It took me two years to tweak and polish.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
My voice is similar to Jill Williamson in her Blood of Kings trilogy.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My desire to write an entertaining book which also had a strong moral theme.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
There are shape shifters, dragons, demon wolves, and fallen angels. :)

I can't wait to share my world with you. :)
Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Running Shoes and Writing Blues

Photo from courtesy of luiginter

"Try it you'll like it."

"It makes me feel alive."

"I get such a rush."

These are phrases my running friends use when describing their first marathon.
They are broken.
Running is not natural,
unless it is from a threat,
like more running a bear.

I. don't. run.
But thousands of people do,
enduring the pain and agony,
to gain a sense of accomplishment.

you want to write a novel.
Perhaps you've committed yourself to the Nano beast.
I won't lie.
It hurts.

Writing a novel is some of the hardest writing you have ever done in your entire life.
(Editing is whole other kettle of fish which we will deal with later).

There will be low points,
when you feel like you are writing with your own blood.
And then there'll be those high points  where you feel like you are King of the World.
(At either point check out this gif version of the Publishing Process to get a good laugh).

But you'll know if it's your passion if you're able to say:

"I love it."

"It makes me feel alive."

"I'd do it again."

What is your passion? Is the writing siren calling you?
Check back for more posts about writing.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Book review: The New Recruit by Jill Williamson

I had the pleasure of reading Jill Williamson's award winning Blood of Kings trilogy and thorougly enjoyed her characters and her writing style.

When I stepped into the world she had designed in The New Recruit it was a bit of a jolt from medieval to present day. :)

The New Recruit: Mission 1: Moscow (The Mission League)

The YA novel follows skeptic Spencer Garmon who is forced to choose between military school and a Christian spy organization. He signs on with the Bible geeks. But before he even boards the plane for Moscow, Spencer realizes this is no Bible club.

These guys mean business.

Stumbling onto a case involving a gang of homeless boys, a chilling tattoo, and the always beautiful Anya Vseveloda, Spencer struggles to find the faith needed to save the Mission League from enemy infiltration.

Jill Williamson has done it again with The New Recruit,  book 1 of 4 in The Mission League series. Her voice is wonderful and her characters believable. Her plot is well woven and held my interest right until the very end.

I identified with Spencer and appreciated that his transition to belief wasn't an easy one. I also enjoyed the fact that all the Christians were unique and had flaws of their own. Very refreshing!

With each page turn I became more engrossed with the storyline and the plight of the characters--despite their failings.

I highly recommend this novel and I'm looking forward to the next installment!
I give it:


Which means drop your danish and shower another year! Pick up this book (Amazon) and you won't be disappointed.

Check out Jill Williamson's beautiful blog at
You can also check out the website The Mission League serie

Jill Williamson is an author of all things weird. She grew up in Alaska with no electricity, an outhouse, and a lot of mosquitoes. Her Blood of Kings trilogy won two Christy Awards, and she recently released Replication, a science fiction teen novel from Zonderkidz. Jill lives in Oregon with her husband and two children and a whole lot of deer.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

A Conspiracy Theory

This week has been crazy,
as I attempt to juggle a bunch of things.

Beyond that I was hoping to have my whole book edited by the end of January,
I'm averaging at about 5 chapters a week,
which is wonderful,
but not enough.

I'm about half way through my manuscript,
and I wanted to enter a contest at the end of March,
(giving myself a month away from my WIP to let it simmer in its own juices),
so I do have some buffer.
Drinking my Jolt Cola

Here is a ROW80 run down of my week so far.

1. Doing well in this regard. Not surfing the net nearly as often. :)
2. Yup, recording my writing hours pretty much faithfully.
3. Yup, 500 words at least a day.

1. Signing in for ROW80 for the first time.
2. No blogs visited yet this week...but the week is still young. :)
3. Hope to get my extra blog post in at the end of this week.

Hope to get out visiting more this week. It's been crazy with all my appliances in my house conspiring to break down at the same time. :(
...I can hear them whispering...

I hope to get out and visit other blogs and see how you're making out in your ROW80 goals. Is anything in your life conspiring against you (an oven or a fridge perhaps)? Let me might make me feel

Sunday, 22 January 2012

A Good Week - ROW80 Check-in

Just a quick check in as I want to get back to my writing...
such a wonderful feeling to say that. :)
But it's so true!
ROW80 has really worked to help me commit to my writing goals.
I am very happy with the progress I am making.

1. I still find myself struggling once in awhile but my attention span for my writing has gotten much better!
2. Recording my writing times. Sometimes I forget but I'm trying to remember to do it every day.
3. Yup, got my 500 words a day.

1. Signed in for ROW80 both days.
2. I was able to visit eight blogs so I was only two short.
3. Did not manage to get to my extra blog post this week. Perhaps I will do one tonight.

All in all a good week, especially considering I am using some of my "spare time" (ha ha) to help my dear husband (who is awesome) to finish an extra bedroom in the basement. Always busy. :D

How are your goals going? Are you managing to put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) everyday? Drop me a line and I will take a chance to drop by your blog to check out your progress. Happy writing. :)

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

A Stumble and a Save

Had a rough chapter that took me a couple days of stewing before I got through it.
I just had to think it through a bit so I did:
over dishes, while driving the kids around, before falling asleep at night.
Until I found the right thread to pull to release the knot. :)
Yesterday, however, I recovered and was able to edit a chapter and rewrite two more.
I'm rolling right along in my writing. :)

So here it goes:
1. I'm getting better at focusing and not going to the social media. Not even tempted anymore. Definitely worth doing! It has paid me back with interest.
2. Faithfully recorded all my writing hours.
3. Yup, got in my 500 words a day.

1. Signing in for ROW80 today. :)
2. Visited two blogs so far. Hope to visit some more tonight.
3. Will do my extra blog post on Saturday.

How are my fellow writers doing? What gets you stuck and unstuck in your writing? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

ROW80 check in: On a Roll. :)

I had a wonderful week!!
After a long time of short stints in my writing,
I am finally making some substantial headway!
And man, does it feel good. :)

So here it goes:
1. I don't know that I got three consecutive hours some nights but I have been able to avoid the social media during my writing time. I managed to get one chapter edited an evening during the week this way. Yesterday I was able to edit four chapters, help my husband with some work on the house and clean up the house a bit. Man, being productive never felt soooo good. :)
2.I kept a record of my writing this week for pretty much each day. I love doing this as I find that I'm more productive because I have to be accountable for the time I'm using. Very nice!
3.Yes, I did get at least 500 words in. Much more once I got started.

1. This is my second sign in for ROW80 this week. :)
2. I visited six blogs which is up from before but still not the ten I want to get to. Oh well, a new week is coming up. :)
3. I was able to do an extra book review blog post yesterday.

This week went very smoothly for me thanks to some productivity tricks and some good old fashion elbow grease. It makes going into the next week even more exciting!!

How's it going with the rest of my fellow ROW80ers? Each one of you that have visited my blog have successfully encouraged me closer to my goal. Thank you!! I hope you are also taking baby steps towards your goals. Drop me a line to let me know how it's going--I'd love to hear!!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

The Dopple Ganger Chronicles: The Secret Escape

The First Escape & The Secret of the Indigo Moon - by G.P. Taylor (Book 1 & 2 in The Dopple Ganger Chronicles).
Artwork by Daniel Boultwood, Joseph Sapulich, and Tony Lee.
Graphic Novel or Illustranovella
278 and 291 pages

Back cover of The First Escape: At Isambard Dunstan's School for Wayward Children, life is trouble for fourteen-year-old identical twins Sadie and Saskia Dopple and their friend, former thief Erik Morrissey Ganger. But what starts out as a perfectly normal day of food fights, rioting classmates, and (yawn) threats of expulsion goes suddenly and horribly wrong when a mysterious, wealthy woman appears at the school and adopts Saskia...without her sister.

So begins the adventures of Sadie, Saskia and Erik. Touted by the Heaven and Earth show on the BBC as "The new C.S. Lewis" I was a little disappointed after finishing the first book. Not to be deterred I decided to read the second book before doing my review. Here are my findings.

As a Writer...when I saw these books on the shelf I was immediately intrigued. Still being a kid at heart I loved the mixture of writing and pictures that Taylor had done. His writing has many tangible phrases in it which draw the reader into the book. The art work is fantastic and really draws you into the story. This is a wonderful hybrid for kids and adults as well to read.

As a Christian...I was excited to see something so innovative and new on the shelves for Christians. That being said, the story line is a little dark. It paints evil as well, evil. Although not gory or over explicit it does put the main characters in scary situations. I was a little disappointed after reading the first book as it seemed to have very little Christian themes in it. Not to be deterred I decided to give the second book a chance. I am glad that I did! In the first book there is very little to like about the mischievous protagonists, Sadie and Saskia. They go beyond the boundary of being merely naughty children. But the second book has exciting character development. Not to mention it contains much more of the Christian theme. So, if you are a brave reader looking for something new you may want to take a look. My only warning is not to stop at the first book. There are many more redeeming qualities in the second book.

As a Mother... I barely got through the first book before it was taken by my oldest child! I would recommend these books for older children due to frightening scenes. These books would appeal to those children who struggle to read as the excitement and artwork help them to make it through the books. Probably why the London Times calls it "Hotter than Potter."

I give this book   .

You can check out the Dopple Ganger Chronicles website here. 
G.P. Taylor's website is here.
I hope to read the final book shortly,
and I will review it on the blog as well.