Check out 5th Grade Challenge on Audible!

“Ted, the 5th grade genius and Veronica, his arch-rival, are constantly pranking each other. When the pranks spill over and ignite a grade-wide war, the teachers organize a girls vs. boys competition.”

This is a project I’ve been working on during 2020 with author Jamaal Fridge! I absolutely loved voicing his characters and discussing his work with him. It was so much fun and such a great learning experience as both an actor and an author!

You can find the audiobook on audible and read along!

The Experiment

Yesterday I decided to try an experiment, where I rewrote the first chapter of a book I’ve been working on in third person P.O.V. I then read it to myself in that P.O.V and then again in the original 1st person to compare them.

I decided after much deliberation that the first person P.O.V works best for this book. It captures the character’s voices better and I feel that in this second draft, I’ve gotten a better idea of who each of these character’s are and how each of them impact the story.

I’m honestly hoping that between reading my current ARC, and my voice over work that I’ll be able to finish reworking and editing the second draft by the end of the month. That would be golden. I want to stay on top of my writing goals this year so for me to get through one of the books on my list within the first month of 2021 would be a great start.

Come up with a tagline for your book (if you don’t already have one).

Haha, I’ve already created a tagline but I thought it would be fun to discuss how difficult it was when I first tried. It might seem silly but there is a lot that goes into the completion of a book. You spend all this time writing, drafting, creating characters, setting etc…and then you move into editing. Even beyond that there’s more to do. Synopsis’ for querying, author biographies and taglines.

When my book was accepted for publication I was thrilled! I’ve learned so much on my journey. I’ve learned my strengths and weaknesses as a writer, learned about being comfortable sharing my work with those outside of my immediate group and have grown to truly understand how much work I’ve put into not only this novel but into learning my craft.

I have learned to appreciate everything I read, every edit I make, the feedback I’m given, the amount of thought that goes into every decision being made. I’m truly grateful for it all. I’m learning and will continue to learn as I go…and to me that is absolutely incredible.

The tagline for this series is “some secrets are best left buried.” I think it fits but this may change closer to publication.

Tomorrow is my character Nicholas’ birthday! It’s also Halloween but he doesn’t care about that he just wants cake.

Nicholas is 14 in the first book but because it took me 7 years to work on he’d technically be 21 now. Ha! I can’t picture it. He’s such a hyper little bean. I call all my character’s beans…I feel like I adopted this from a friend I had in high school although I can’t remember who used to say that all the time?

Roland and Peter would be 31. Damn. I’d better hurry up with this edit so I can go back to editing the sequel!

Last year I spent NANOWRIMO writing book 2 in the series. This year I’ll be completing an 9-12 audiobook written by Jamaal Fridge, which I am very excited about! I’ve had so much fun recording it and I’m honoured that he reached out and asked me to voice his characters! I’ll definitely be sharing the link to that in the near future. Other than that I’ll be editing, working, baking and wrapping gifts.

I wonder what should give Nicholas for his birthday? If he did celebrate Halloween and attended a costume party, I think he’d go as a pirate. Captain Hook or Black Beard maybe?

What would your character dress up as?

Character Outfit Board: Formal

Today’s prompt was to create a collection of formal wear that my character’s might wear. If you’re also following my drawing prompts on Instagram, I’m a few posts behind due to work. I’ll be back to posting regularly this week!

The taffeta skirt being worn by the girl on the right, is worn by one of my character’s in the novel (only in a different colour). I often like to look at images like these when I draw or plan outfits, so that I can create a wardrobe for each of my character’s. This is something that I find helpful to go back to and reference when creating a particular scene or describing something on a person. For example, in the book Rose always has a ribbon in her hair (sometimes more than one!). It’s her favourite accessory and at times even acts as an extension of her personality. I may not spend a lot of time describing her hair but instead the colour of the ribbon and what’s being done to it during a certain scene.

It’s always nice to find certain clothing items in colour. This being from the 1940s film Leave Her to Heaven. The red lipstick is such a pretty shade.

I also love putting Rose in softer shades of blue…almost a robins egg colour. There are many times where she’s not wearing the colour in the novel but she has a few dresses in this colour. I actually think the dress on the right here is absolutely gorgeous.

I could probably spend all day talking about different clothes and which styles my character’s prefer. I’m not a style expert or anything, I just like to dress them up in different outfits. It’s also a lot of fun looking through photos and film archives. I think there are a few pieces here I’d love to add to my wardrobe someday haha.

Projects, Planning & Productivity

The weather’s been weird lately. One minute it’s boiling the next the wind is so strong I can barely open the car door without it slamming back in my face.

Windy days aren’t exactly fun when you decide you want to wear your hair out either. If I wanted a bowl out, I would’ve used a hair dryer! Sigh…of course the heat isn’t always friendly to hair either is it?

One thing that is nice about this bizarre weather is that it’s spontaneity inspires me to be more productive. The unfortunate thing is that with all I have on the go, I probably need to invest in a personal calendar. My phone just won’t cut it. I’d like to try and manage all of my projects effectively, whether that be recording which is currently my #1 priority (I’ve been recording an audio book this summer and it’s been so much fun!), or editing.

I also just started working part-time along with my job as a voice actor and the editing I do occasionally on the side. It’s nice to be working again, since the media industry is still adjusting to the changes happening during the pandemic. I’m eager to get back into the studio but I’m being as patient as possible and I’m making the most of the gigs I’ve been getting here and there during this pandemic. Plus my part-time job is loads of fun! I spend all day surrounded by books!

I do wonder if it’s possible for me to become more productive? Especially on my days off. Of course it’s important to take a break every now and then but when you have goals in mind, it’s good to stay on top of them. I try to set miniature goals for myself, of the things I’d like to accomplish in a week. I have a few set for this coming week. I’d like to get lots done in the next couple of days, but I also try to be realistic in what I can accomplish within a short span of time.

I have a habit of trying to do too many things at once which can at times be overwhelming, so I know that in order to counteract that, I have to make time for myself every so often so that I don’t burn out.

In terms of editing right now, I’m a lot further behind than I would have liked and what’s frustrating about that is the fact that I’ve got 3 chapters and 2 scenes to go. I’m at the end of the race with this 3rd round of edits but I chose to put it aside to complete other things. I think that by planning out my day and getting some sort of routine going for my editing, like I do for my at home recording sessions, I could probably get through these last few chapters more efficiently. Of course I still have to do a full read through before returning my corrections and my approvals back to my editor but I think once I get the last bit of editing done I can relieve some of the weight on my shoulders.

This is my debut. I just want everything to go smoothly.

Speaking of writing, I thought I’d do a little survey out of curiousity. If you’re a writer yourself, what is your writing style?

Book Talk Episode 15: Editing Update and Character Playlists

In today’s blog post, I’m going to be sharing a song from one of my main character’s playlists. I Go Hungry, by Mother Mother is his “morning routine” song. This song really captures his teenage years.

In a strange way, my characters introduced me to this band and many others that I am now in love with. I love making playlists for my characters, some of them even have more than one.

I was reading through my editors comments and squealing because her suggestions are fantastic. I loved this one thing that she added in, where she had one of my characters do the simplest action…it was a three word difference and it made the entire scene perfect! Exactly as I’d imagined.

Actually rereading the scene had me blushing, because it was adorable. It was one of those rare moments where my characters are seen together, just enjoying each others company. They weren’t worried about all the things going on in their lives…they were just having fun.

So far, I’m liking this deep dive editing process. It’s a lot of work. I’ve made colour coded notes for myself so I can keep track of everything. Even so, I like seeing my editors thoughts on each scene, and getting her insight on different aspects of the story. She picks up on things I missed in my earlier edits and I am very grateful for it.

Well, I’d better get back to editing. I think I’ll share another song off one of my character’s playlists.

On her playlist, Poison by Sick Puppies is her “outlook on life” song.