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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Guest Post: Lindsey Sablowski!

Hi, my name is Lindsey Sablowski, and I am the author of the young adult fantasy book Cursed With Power and the upcoming sequel, Shadows and Embers (releasing July 26th!). Today I've been asked to talk about how I write my novels and develop the characters.

A novel is honestly like your child. It's special, it's unique, and you know it from beginning to end. You're there with it from the moment it's "born" to the day it "spreads its wings." That's the wonderful part of being an author -you get to bring something into this world that you can be proud of. 

I realize every author has a different way of writing their novel. For me, it changes with each book.  For Cursed With Power I didn't do any outlining for the first draft, and then it wasn't until revisions that I really started to outline what would happen in each chapter.  For my upcoming book, Shadows and Embers, I outlined a lot because I didn't want to skip over anything important. Whether you want to outline or not, I do think it helps a lot to have some kind of organization of ideas for your book. It's so easy to start writing a chapter, think up an idea, and then forget it in the next five minutes. You're a writer, have some fun with your ideas, get creative and have a organized and working system to keep them all together.

As for development with characters, I think a lot of this relies on focusing on people in your everyday life. I write fictional stories, but the characters in my books are created because of people I have met in my life.  Some are more strongly based on individuals than others. This especially goes along with relationships as well. I know what it's like to lose people and to find someone you thought you had lost again, and those kind of experiences can really help when it comes to developing your characters into relationships with one another. People fall in love with characters because they can relate to them or because they have feelings for them. All throughout a book you have chances to show what each character means to the other, and that's how authors like John Green and Stephen King really get to people... They can either scare them or make them cry all because they took something people know and put it into words.

I think another great point to remember with characters is that every character deserves to have their own voice. You know the saying "walk in someone else's shoes?" That is exactly what you need to do for your characters. You need to walk in their shoes, walk with them, talk with them, everything possible until you know exactly who they are. Know them so well that when another character comes along you can clearly tell the difference between the two people talking.

I hope I shared some news tips with everyone that can help, and whenever in doubt remember there are hundreds of books and websites that go into greater detail about all of this.  Enjoy your days, and thanks for having me!

Lindsey Sablowski
Published YA author of Cursed with Power

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cover Reveal: Shadows & Embers by Lindsey Sablowski

Welcome to you all, fellow readers! I'm glad to see that you decided to show up today to take a peek at a lovely cover reveal from Lindsey Sablowski and her new novel Shadows and Embers! It sounds interesting enough to me, and if I ever find some loose change around the house I might just go and buy it. 

Without further ado...

It's 1569 in Transylvania; Léal Irvine has committed to a powerful man all for the sake of revenge. Handsome, young Irvine is a high-ranking magician working for Esmour's organization, Destin, which is composed of Dark magicians from around the local areas. However, one by one magicians vanish or die, and suddenly the world of magic is not as safe as it once was. One of the members and Léal's best friend, Nicia, betrays the organization before the downfall. Unfortunately no one realizes the act of treason might have saved her life.

A year later Destin has fallen, and Léal sees the world through icy blue eyes. With only five Dark magicians alive his survival is constantly threatened, and he has no great leader or trusted allies to turn to. After infiltrating Belsgar and killing a member of the Magic Council, the war between darkness and light is no longer something anyone can walk away from. A new villain rises with a secret that could be deadly; meanwhile Nicia works to prove her loyalty to Léal while trying to revive their friendship.

Sides will be chosen, relationships will be at stake, and in the end the balance of the magical world will depend on the outcome of the war. When you're walking on a thin line between revenge and forgiveness how do you choose the right path without stepping too far over the crack?

Sablowski's even given us the chance to check out her book jacket, and I can certainly say that it is beautiful! Wah! I want my book to be published, too!

That's all! Isn't it lovely, though? Ah, the joys of being an author. 

Looks like I've best get going. I mean, having a job is not the funnest thing anymore, but I have to get to work eventually to win my bread, eh?

Write on!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

To write or not to write?

That is the question. Is it not? I mean, I've been sitting at my computer and have begun to put off my novel writing. I know I shouldn't be doing it but some people just lack a bit of inspiration after vomiting their first 18,779 words. Seriously, though, I'm wondering what should happen next. At the moment I feel like I'm writing John Watson's perspective of Reichenbach Falls (if you haven't watched that episode yet then please do!). 

Ah, the reason why I posted today was because my good friend and fellow Inkie (more on that later) has made me a novel cover for my NaNo project. I adore it! 

What do you think? Awesome, eh? 

In fact, it's inspired another half of the story. But I'm limited to what kind of awesomeness I can include, seeing as in the 1800s there wasn't a huge technology boom like there is now. So we'll see how far I can take my dearest Evans and will he break with the death of all of his family and friends? We'll see.

I wonder if I should mention this? I'm going to be posting my lovely novel cover up on a seperate page and I'll add a wordcount bar to show you my progress on how it's going. That should keep you interested, eh?

Write on! 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Welcome to Camp!

Summer has come and it is here to stay - at least for a little while. 

Let's have a show of hands as to who has entered Camp NaNo this summer? I sure have! I'll be participating this July, so I'll only be there for a month. I'm not very spirited to move on to August. That's just too much "word vomit" for me! 

My novel - Watcher - is quite the piece of work let me tell you, but there are always times when I struggle to get through it. I'm always itching to rewrite and erase but I refuse to allow myself such a measly means of escape.

Instead, I power through! It's a tough job but someone's got to do it.

I'm always doubting, but then I'll write a wonderful scene that has even me in tears and I'll realize that this is what I want. I want these tears because they signifie my hardwork and eventually they'll be the readers' tears!

I can't say much more than this, but it's going well. I've got 15,000 words so far and I'm trekking onwards on this long road to finishing my novel. So how have I managed to get through the first week of NaNo? Let me tell you this:

  1. Be brave. You can't freeze in the face of danger, you must move forward no matter how daunting the cliffside may be.
  2. Don't murder your friends and family (figuratively speaking). Of course, you might be extremely irritated because of the fact that they keep banging on your door and telling you that you should do something with your life and not be sitting at the computer writing a novel that could possibly change the course of history itself but don't let that deter you.
  3. Think positive. This is the hardest of them all. I mean, there were times when I just looked at my novel and immediately though: what the hell is this? Some kind of gibberish fit only for trash! but I pushed on. That's the immediate thing. Just tell yourself "When I finish this novel, I might be as famous as J.K. Rowling or it might be as awesome as Stephen King's novels!
  4. Don't look back. This is another of the hard ones. You must always move forward. To look into the previous words that you've written or the previous chapter leads to your untimely demise. I swear it. If you can't handle the pressure of looking forward, go ahead and look back but remind yourself that if you stop there this is all you'll be getting. There won't be another word after that last sentence.
  5. Listen to music! That is my salvation. I swear that music has helped me get through the toughest of scenes and the roughest of roller coasters. It's all that I care about when I'm writing.
  6. WARS! A lot of you might not understand the concept of a Word War but (if you happen to be a former Inkie then you won't need this explanation) if you have a bunch of writer friends then gather 'em up. Set a time (:45 to :55) and then you explode into action! You Write! In the given time frame you are to write as many words as you possibly can. At the end, you post your total wordcount (you can try an online site if you don't have Microsoft, like: and then post up the snippets that you've written. Of course, if there are spoilers then you don't really have to. It's completely and entirely up to you. 
  7. Goodluck charms. This is the last one of my little tricks. I use my goodluck charm - being a notebook and a pen - which always inspires me and reminds me that I have to write no matter what. 
You know, there are multiple ways to encourage yourself to write. Some people reward themselves after having reached a certain goal - either with cookies, dinner, lunch, breakfast or just candies. I suppose that's one way to do it, eh?

Anyway, I've got to get back to my own writing, so I'll wish you luck with yours. I'll get back to you next week and see if I can give you a little info on my own project so for now I'm going to drink the wine of literature and spew it up on paper! 

Until next time.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Q&A With Author Nicola S. Dorrington

Seventeen-year-old Cara Page Knows what mark she's going to get on her English test next week. She knows in three days her history teacher is going to be late because his car broke down. She knows she's going to give the new boy a nose bleed on his first day. 

She knows because every night she dreams of the future, and every day those dreams come true.

Now she's dreaming of a boy, and a future that can't be real. Because if it is, then everything she thought was myth and legend is actually true, and there is an evil coming that will tear the country apart.

Lance Filwer is a boy with secrets of his own, and a past full of mistakes he can't undo. Cara is his second chance, his chance to succeed where he failed before - if only she'll trust him enough to let him help her.

Cara needs to know what's happening, but the answer lies in a long forgotten past, and an ancient legend. To find it Cara will have to travel into the depths of Wales, and the heart of ancient Britain. 

With Wraiths, creatures from the darkest of myths, dogging her every move, Cara knows it's only a matter of time before they catch up with her. And myth or not, they will kill her.

Her only hope is Lance, and the birth right she must claim, if she is to prevent the future she has foreseen.

You can buy THE LAST KNIGHT on Amazon.
You can add THE LAST KNIGHT to Goodreads

About the author
Nicola S. Dorrington is a 29 year-old writer from England, currently living in the Cayman Islands,

where she procrastinates by staring at the ocean. THE LAST KNIGHT is her first novel, set in a wet and mythical version of the country she left behind. She fully expects to one day be a crazy old cat lady - only with dogs.

You can find out more about Nicola on her blog, on Facebook and on Twitter at @NSDorrington. 

I asked Nicola a few questions and here is what she had to say!

When did you begin writing and what prompted you to try it? 

I started writing properly when I was about fourteen or fifteen. I’d always carried on stories in my head when I read books I particularly enjoyed (I suppose it was fan-fiction in its own way) and I just decided to try writing some of them down. I moved quite quickly onto writing my first novel. It was about 20,000 words long and I was so proud of it. I think I still have it somewhere!

Where did the idea for The Last Knight come from? And how long did it take you to finish writing the first draft?

I think I always knew that I would write a book about King Arthur, but for a long time I had no idea how to make it different and original. After all, the legends of King Arthur have been re-told so many times. Then one day I had this idea about a girl having memories of a life that wasn’t her own. It seemed like a cool concept but I didn’t really want to do reincarnation, I wanted something different, and so The Last Knight was born. To begin with all I knew was that she had these visions and that they were somehow connected to King Arthur – it was a long while before the plot as it is now really came into its own.

As for how long it took for the first draft – not that long. I think I finished the very first, rough, long-hand draft in about 7 weeks. It was one of those ideas that just takes hold. Of course, I almost immediately went back and re-wrote about 90% of it, and then it got put away for a few months before I went in for the next re-write. I’ve now been working on it for about 3 years.

The Last Knight is full of myths and all sorts of fantasy creatures. What is your favorite fantasy or mythological creature? 

Oh, now that’s a tricky question, because I love a lot of them. But I would probably have to say dragons. There is something majestic and beautiful about dragons.

Is your main character, Cara, based on yourself?

I wish! About the only thing we share is blond hair. I don’t think I could go through the things she goes through and come out as strong as she does. But she is based on a few people I know.

When you were writing The Last Knight, where there any books that you read as inspiration?

I read a lot of books on King Arthur the whole time I was writing. T.H White’s books, snippets of Malory and Geoffrey of Monmouth. And I read a lot of books on British mythology and folklore.

Are there plans for a sequel in the future? 

The second book, The Last Pendragon, is currently in the first draft stages. I’ve had to put it to one side to focus on the release of The Last Knight, but I’m hoping it won’t take me three years to get this one finished!

What book are you currently reading? 

The Long War by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. It’s an adult sci-fi, so a bit different to what I write, but Terry Pratchett is one of my all-time favourite authors!

Right before you sit down to write a book, is there anything that you do to prepare yourself and get those creative juices flowing?
Well, I always write long-hand in spiral bound notebooks and I like to have a fresh, clean new notepad when starting something new. I almost never work at a desk, I prefer to write curled up on the couch, but I have to be comfy and I have to have the TV or something on in the background because I actually find silence too distracting. I’ve normally let the ideas stew in my head for a while before I put pen to paper so by the time I sit down to write the words are pretty much leaping onto the page.

Be sure to pick up your copy of this shiny new book!