Now that we’ve finalized the design for the cover, I’m also excited to announce that there will be ARC’s available very soon.
I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has followed my updates and shown support during each stage of this book. Your encouragement helped me push through and I’m incredibly grateful for all of it.
Over the next week I will be releasing more information about the ARC’s, for those interested in reviewing, but for now I will be sharing that little teaser image and letting you know that the ARC’s provided will be in ebook format.
We’ve now reached the cover process for my novel and I’ve been finding that this stage has my thoughts going in ever direction, which is why I’ve been making notes and taking my time to really work through what it is I want. Not to my surprise, sitting around staring at images all day doesn’t seem to help me make a decision faster. I contemplate each element of the piece, and try to make a list of questions I have. I’m starting to realize that I don’t just want it to be right, I want it to be perfect. I want whatever I choose to feel like it belongs on my book. I want this cover to be something I’d pull off the shelf myself, something that peaks my interest and makes me want to take it home. I want to be confident when I make that final decision, that this is exactly what I want. I don’t want to be in that state of contemplation, of indecision, of unease…so I’m going over the images again and again, debating on if it really does feel right.
I wonder if this is what it’s like when you’re choosing a wedding dress? Was I this obsessed with picking the perfect prom dress years ago? I had a certain criteria sure, but I think at a certain point I put one on and it was the perfect fit and perhaps that’s the exact feeling I’m waiting for? I’m waiting for that perfect fit.
Still, at this moment in time I’m not sure what I want to do, which frustrates me because I like to give prompt responses. I don’t like to leave anyone hanging. I guess this blog post is also me figuring things out.
I hope I get to the point where I do. Where I can picture holding that book in my hand and go “This is the one.” Until then, I’ll be staring off into space, eating banana bread and enjoying a cup of tea.
It’s been a while since I’ve post a writing update vlog/blog. Today I spent the afternoon writing, after watching Netflix for an hour. I binged two different shows in January and am pretty bummed out that I’ve finished them. I’ll probably check out a few different shows on Netflix until I find something new.
I’ve been going back and forth between two different writing projects, the first is the sequel to my debut and the other a novel that I’ve been working on since last summer.
I wouldn’t recommend working on several projects at once. It can get kind of hectic…then again I find that multi-writing occasionally works for me. If I’m stuck on a scene in one book, I’m able to work on something else while I brainstorm. As long as I’m still writing I don’t get writing block, which prevents me from feeling stressed or burned out.
This was something a professor of mine recommended and it’s probably some of the best writing advice I’ve ever received.
Anyway, I’ve made good progress on my sequel so far. I’m currently on chapter six. As for my other project, I’ve been editing and rewriting a few scenes. That’s actually been going fairly well. I definitely want to set a completion deadline for both. Setting a deadline is a good habit. It keeps me on top of my work, while also managing my other jobs.
I ordered pizza for dinner, which I’m definitely looking forward to. I ended up moving my laptop onto my vanity since the mirror isn’t finished yet, and am going to try writing from here for a bit today while I wait for my laundry to finish. I figured I’d be less distracted sitting on a stool versus laying on bed, wrapped in my fluffy red Indigo blanket. I’ve also got some stuff in my sketchbook to finish colouring…so I think I’ll do that after I post this.
I’m pleased with how my writing has evolved since going through the editing process. It’s kind of weird writing after doing so many edits…and editing for others. I can’t stop thinking “Oh this words one of your crutch words. Change it!” or thinking about better ways to have my characters interact with their surroundings. I’m applying so many different things that I’ve learned from reading and writing and studying the craft all these years, which feels…really nice. It’s just nice to see my own growth. It’s not something I usually pay much attention to unless I decide to revisit my older work.
I’m hoping to post a writing vlog sometime this month. I’ve got a lot of books to read on top of work, so I’m praying I can get to that soon. In the meantime, I’d best get back to work. I want to start colouring before my pizza arrives!
All the chapters for The 5th Grade Challenge are up on YouTube! I had so much fun recording this audio book for Jamaal Fridge. He’s created a fun cast of character’s, I definitely recommend checking out his work!
I think my favourite scenes were between Amber and James, but I loved voicing everyone equally.
Stories like this are fun, exciting, and filled with a wave of emotions! Working on The 5th Grade Challenge reminded me of why I love to read so much! Voicing these characters rekindled that initial joy books used to bring me!
I decided to request an ARC copy of a book I auditioned for earlier this month and was accepted. I loved the passages for the little sister that I got to read for my audition.
I love audio book auditions because I get a sneak peak at new books before they’re even offered as ARCs and before I unbox them at work. One of my favourite things to do at my part-time job is unbox the new releases. It’s so exciting seeing that final cover design, and…the new book smell. It is a thing! It is so comforting. Old book smell is its own comfort, but to me the most comforting thing about an old book is the bends in the spine, the gently crumbled pages and the slight browning of the paper.
I’m so excited to read this book. I was actually going to buy it when it released and review it anyway! It was already on my TBR.
I was also accepted for a bunch of other ARCs, but I’m currently reading the one and am hoping to finish it by the end of the week so that I can post the review. I’m going to be reviewing the Anne of Green Gables manga sometime this month as well, since I was accepted for that.
Fun fact: I’m that typical Canadian who loves L.M Montgomery. Anne, Emily. My favourite adaptation of Emily was the anime actually! I liked the live action show and I’d actually love if Netflix picked it up and revamped it…but they should definitely do it the way the anime was done because it followed the books. No one was turning into a kelpie. I mean, yah I’m Scottish on my Dad’s side but like…the random Scottish folklore being thrown in during those later seasons was…out of genre for how the series started. If they’d always talked about her having second sight and such earlier on, it wouldn’t have been so random. I liked it, but the genre switch was completely random.
Anne with an E was definitely well done in my opinion. I know of a handful of people who didn’t like it because it wasn’t as light and cheery as the previous adaptations (I own a bunch of those on VHS). I have yet to see a version of Anne that I can say I absolutely hate. The films and Anne with an E in my personal opinion, captured Anne, Diana and Gilbert well. Actually, I’ve found that the show versions of Diana truly grasp how important her friendship is to Anne in a way that the films (mainly because of the time length) aren’t able to capture.
Well, that’s enough about Anne.
I’m looking forward to reading these ARCs! I have high hopes for several of these books, but I’m also a bit nervous. I’m always open to reading new authors but I’m not always open to delving into new genres. I read a fair amount of different ones and will read anything ranging from Middle Grade to General Fiction. I love comics. If I’m being 100% honest, I adore them. Still, for me its all about the authors writing style and how quickly I connect with the characters. The plot draws me in and entices me to read but the character’s are what keep me invested.
Fingers crossed I like them all! I’ve already had one disappointing review for this year and I definitely need to read something to make up for it!
Howdy there friends! I’m answering questions from the Writer’s Edition of For Every Like I’ll Answer! Woo!
In this post I’ll be answering questions 7 to 10. If you’re interested in doing this on your own blog, Twitter, YouTube etc…there will be a link below. Also feel free to answer the questions yourself in the comments!
7. What’s your favourite tense to write in?
I usually write in past tense, however I did attempt to go outside of my comfort zone and write in present tense. You can check out that post here! Honestly, it made me feel as though I was going cross eyed. I think I’ll try it again someday. I like to play around with different styles and genres. It definitely didn’t go well but at least I gave it the good old fashioned try!
8. Do you write romance in your projects? What kind?
I hate to admit it but yes. I don’t intend for it to happen but alas, my character’s sometimes end up in relationships. On rare occasions my character’s have a love interest while I’m planning the book but normally it happens during the actual writing process. I personally blame my shojo manga obsession. It’s all romance. It’s the only romance I intentionally read. Sad huh?
The type of romance that I write tends to be on the milder side. It depends on the ages of the character’s their personalities and how important their relationship is in comparison to the plot. For example, if two character’s being together will ultimately save the world from devastation, then they’ll obviously confess their feelings and end up together at some point.
Most of the time my character’s have crushes on people. It’s awkward and I wish them the best as they navigate through their feelings.
9. What inspired your recent project?
It all started when I was in the 12th grade. I needed to write a piece for my creative writing class. One night I went to bed and had a dream about a little girl with a red dress named Rose who lived in a large old house with her uncle. She told me a really sad story of her best friend Nicholas, who had grown up. I woke up and ended up writing the story for class.
The story I wrote for class turned into a novel series.
I have not had a dream about Rose or Nicholas since though. Isn’t that odd?
10. Is it hard for you to kill your darlings?
Yes but no. It depends on the character. Sadly, I get attached to all of them. Even the ones I hate! Have you ever loved to hate a character? That’s what happens to me. I’ve cried after killing off a character. It wasn’t hard to do or anything–which sounds creepy–I used to kill character’s off all the time when I was a kid. It’s just that after I really miss them. It’s almost like having a close friend move away.
As promised, you can find the link to the original post with all of the questions here.
I am once again on break from work because of the pandemic, but I’m trying to make the most of it. It snowed just in time for Christmas and I got to snuggle up in my nice new blanket. I luckily got some books for Christmas so I’ll be reading those during the lock down and working on book 2 until I get word about the next step for my debut novel.
I may create another list of blog prompts during this time too so that I can entertain myself. Perhaps I’ll share my favourite reads of the year?
Over the years I’ve picked up different tips and tricks to help make drafting my novels a bit easier. When I first started writing novels, I would draw out what my character’s looked like, along with say their bedrooms or parts of their house but for some reason I stopped as I got older. Personally, I think it was because of how much time I had. As a thirteen-year-old I had more time to work on my stories and was completing a novel every one to three months…which I’m still astonished by because it took me seven years to complete my last one. Can you imagine doing NANOWRIMO every month?
Having a visual was fantastic. I of course still draw all my character’s, but I stopped drawing where they lived which at first, I didn’t think was such a huge deal but now I’m realizing not having those visuals can become extremely frustrating. Sometimes while drafting you might forget the colour of a particular character’s bedroom, and perhaps this colour is significant throughout the story. Let’s imagine that this bedroom will ultimately become this character’s tomb, so recalling the colour, the smells and the overall atmosphere of the room should be brought up multiple times throughout the text. If you however have no clear idea of that or even say you step away from writing for a week and jump back into the story, you might miss something. Like I mentioned earlier, you could forget that this character’s bedroom has an apricot colour and that it smells of a certain perfume, let’s say a deep floral. A few chapter’s later, if you aren’t careful this entire image could change. It’s as bad as when you’re watching a movie and the main character is dragging their right leg because they’re injured but then in the following scene they’re hobbling along with their left. Being consistent with these types of details is equally as important as remembering the colour and texture of your main character’s hair.
Something that I decided to do was do description exercises, where I would write up what each character’s home looked like, taking the time to describe the individual rooms and overall property. Not just the important ones, but all of them, as if I were taking a tour. I found that in doing this I was less likely to forget the characteristics of a room. Instead it allowed me to give stronger descriptions later on. Personally, I wish I had been doing this all along.
Another thing that I tried was creating my character’s homes on The Sims, which again works well but only if you can constantly go back to look at it. It did however help me realize some issues with how I chose to layout certain houses. For example, the top floor having what seemed like an endless number of bedrooms and the main not having enough space to compensate that. Little peculiarities like that. If you have access to the game (or something similar) I would recommend it, as you get a great visual. This may not help with everything, but it can definitely be a good starting point. You might want to build your character’s world within the game before trying to describe it.
One other thing that I want to recommend, since we’re on the topic of descriptions is to include character’s when doing these types of exercises. This is to avoid using the same words over and over to talk about a character’s hair. Let’s pretend they have thick curls. Are you going to say “Philip ran a hand through his thick curls” every time you want to reference his hair? Are the curls tidy or messy? What colour do they have? Does the colour change depending on the lighting? Something else that’s important to a character is how they choose to dress themselves. Does this character take great pride in how they look, or could they care less? This is not to say that you spend pages upon pages telling us about what Nadya wore to school that morning, but you should have some idea of how your character likes to dress and if the clothing is significant to a scene keep track of it. It’s important that Cinderella is wearing glass slippers, is it not? Dorothy’s she’s are also significant to her story. We aren’t to forget that these shoes have magical properties!
Perhaps you want to assign your character a particular style? This is something I did as a kid, especially when my younger sister was playing games like Style Savvy. It was incredibly helpful. I had some character’s who preferred to dress in comfortable layers and others that preferred goth and alternative fashions. It may not seem as significant as a character’s overall voice and personality, but what they wear can help contribute to that. Do we not cultivate clothing to add to our collection (well, some of us do) or decorate our personal spaces with things that reflect who we are?
I personally wouldn’t have soccer trophies in my bedroom if I didn’t play soccer growing up.
Something that you could do as a warm-up is to describe a room in your house (even a desk if you wanted to try something small scale). For instance, by mentioning the soccer trophies in my room, the reader might then infer that I have an interest in sports. If I add that the trophies are dusty, that would indicate that I haven’t played sports in some time or that I don’t take pride in it. If I go on to add that the trophies were all participation trophies that would give off another hint about what type of person I am.
By doing these exercises with your own characters and settings you’ll have an easier time catching inconsistencies down the line (or avoid them altogether).
Back in June, while waiting for my editor to get back to me with her feedback on my debut, I started working on a new novel outside of my debut series universe.
I initially had a goal of completing the entire thing in under a month, but it had to be put on hold as I had other projects that required my attention.
Now, I know I just finished editing my debut but I’m happiest when I’m writing and I want to finish off the year strong. I want to complete this novel before the year ends!
That is why I’ve decided to go back and edit the first half of the book, up until where I left off. It shouldn’t take me too long. I just want to familiarize myself with the characters again and flesh things out. I did a good job plotting this novel out. I left things off a few scenes before the climax.
I know that it seems a little silly to be giving myself all this extra work to do versus taking time to relax but now that I’m finished editing my debut, and recording my first audiobook I need something creative to do.
I’m hoping to finish editing these pages as soon as possible. Oh and don’t worry I’m still working on the draft for book two with Nicholas, Roland and friends. I just don’t like leaving projects incomplete and need a challenge.
When building my character’s personalities and backstories I like to include as many details as possible. I’ve created character profile pages like the ones in manga, which usually include a list of things like favourite foods, blood type, star sign etc. Not only is it fun but it also allows me to spend quality time with each individual character.
I love watching my characters go from being an idea to a fully fleshed out being…well fully fleshed out on paper (haha).
Each of these types of questions gives me a chance to think about who my characters are. What makes them happy? What frustrates them? Do they have trouble sleeping at night?
I may never use this information, but I find knowing it allows the story to progress naturally. I don’t have to think hard about how each character would respond because I’ve taken the time to get to know them as if they were a close friend.
So…do my character’s have any special hobbies or interests?
Nicholas likes to draw. Many of the things he’s good at he considers hobbies as they were things he used to do with his grandmother. He’s always done them, so he hasn’t acknowledged that he might actually have a talent for them. He can also play music by ear, something that he picked up as a little kid. These are things that actually come up in the novel.
He also loves to explore and make friends with small animals. Mainly frogs or rabbits. He’s known in his family for bringing home new “pets” every once in a while.
Rose likes to read. She’s the type of person who can’t go into a library or a bookstore without walking out with a book. She’ll reread her favourites over and over and will even come up with her own stories to share with her family. Aside from that, Rose collects ribbons that she uses to accessorize with her outfits.
I’m not exactly sure why I always associated her character with ribbons but from day one that’s how I pictured her. I like that she’s a talkative, fashionable bookworm. Even when she reads, likes to read with or to someone. She’s what my Nana would call a little chatterbox…but it’s one of my favourite thing about her character.
Roland plays the piano. He can also play the guitar but it isn’t his favourite instrument. He just likes how portable it is. He quit playing before he reached his twenties and gave up on the idea of being a professional musician. Prior to that he dabbled in writing his own music and was forced by his teacher to sing solos at the school’s Frost pageant. Before that he was shy about playing or singing in public but after he gained a lot of confidence. Performing made him really happy. Now he claims not to have time for it but every so often he’ll sit down and play something.
He doesn’t look anything like Soul when he plays…I thought I should add that. Although it would be funny if he hunched over like that and smiled at the keys.
Dianna likes to travel. She did a lot of it while she was in college, especially between semesters. She’s very adventurous and loves meeting new people, which is mentioned in the first book. She even does some travelling in it! She doesn’t have her own car but if she did, she’d probably spend most of her time on the road. A lot of the time she travels by train. She also learned a new language while she was in university, which comes in handy (but no spoilers!).
I’m not sure if anyone other than Peter would consider this a hobby…but he really likes hanging out at the pub. He likes the food, the people and the music. I don’t believe he’s actually shown hanging out there in the first book but it does mention it a few times. A lot of the time he’ll go there to catch up with old classmates or to kill time. Unlike some of the other character’s Peter has a lot of time on his hands, so he spends it either doing something stupid with Roland (like most bored people), going on the odd date or hanging out at the pub.
Well, I’d say it’s time to get back to work! I’ve been back and forth between recording, work and catching up on my TBR list (which never stops growing!).
I really want to see how much of the sequel I can knock out before the end of the month. If you’d like to see some of my process, I posted some writing vlogs on my YouTube channel.
This one features me painting my home studio, a portion of my manga collection and my sister’s Persona 5 posters haha. The sparkly guy in the thumbnail was made by my niece. He’s a love bug.