“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!
I’ve finished another round of edits, which is fantastic, however every time I do, I have no idea what I should do with myself. Since my area is back in lock down, I have a lot of free time again.
Prior to this current lock down, I had been reading to keep busy between each of my edits. I find reading and engaging with different texts helps me stay on task. I suppose it’s like studying. I like to see how others go about building their scenes, creating atmosphere, how they break up their chapters…etc.
With all this free time again, I’ll probably jump back into writing since I don’t have anything to edit right now. Thankfully, I can record. I’ve been working on some music and animation projects that I’m very excited about.
I hope to share these projects with you all over the next few months. I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I enjoyed working on them.
I’ve been listening to this track recently, and added it to one of my character playlists.
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.
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.
Roland starts most mornings being forced from his bed either by the children or Tabitha. It takes him a while to get out of bed because he usually struggles to fall asleep.
Breakfast is usually waiting for him. Sometimes it’s even brought upstairs to his bedroom. He’s fairly lazy in the morning and barely attempts to make conversation at the breakfast table. Half the time he tunes everyone out before going to his office to work.
On days when he’s really struggling to wake up, he’ll head outside for a walk after breakfast. The walk allows him to plan out the rest of his day.
Once the children are off at school he tries to get as much work done as possible before lunch, which is also usually waiting for him. Peter usually come by during lunch and the two spend an hour or so chatting.
Later the children come back home and bombard him with all the events of their day, while he tries to catch up on the work he didn’t finish while Peter was visiting. He tries his best to pay attention to them but eventually brushes them off and tells them to go start their homework.
At dinner the family all gets together and enjoy each others company. They usually spend time together until the children get ready for bed.
When he’s not busy he might read to them for a bit, but his niece prefers to read to everyone herself. It’s her favourite part of the day. Sometimes he falls asleep during story time and the children have to wake him up and send him to bed.
For today, there are going to be two blog prompts. The first one is a Character Mood Playlist and the second is Thanksgiving themed.
This mood playlist is a “Sad Vibes” playlist. The goal is for me to go through my character’s playlists and find the sad songs on that list that suit them.
This first song is off Darius’ playlist.
#1: Try to Change
Some of these songs you will definitely recognize from some of my Instagram reels and stories featuring my character’s.
#2: Noboby’s Home
This next song is off Charlotte’s list. Charlotte is an original member of the core four. Haha…makes them sound like superheroes. Anyway, I won’t spoil anything more than that.
#3: Take It All Away
This song is on Nicholas’ playlist (the small bean with the pointy teeth). I think it’s actually the saddest song on there. Nicholas is probably one of my favourites to draw. I like drawing his socks. I haven’t done that yet, but he has some really fun socks….
#4: Lonesome Town
This song is off Roland’s playlist. It’s pretty. I tried to learn it on guitar. I’m not the best guitarist though but maybe I’ll record it sometime haha. I can picture Roland singing this to himself at home.
#5: Man on The Mountaintop
This song is from Dianna’s playlist. It’s more upbeat than the previous but still sad nevertheless. I’ve been drawing to it for maybe 11 years now? Which seems extremely weird…but I remember drawing character’s from a book I was writing when I was 13 to this song. Wow time sure flies.
For this song I’ll be sharing two versions. The original and a translated cover I did a while back, which Ashmute liked. I still can’t believe they came across my cover haha. Anyway, the song is on Rose’s playlist and is absolutely beautiful.
I wish the sound quality on mine was better but I did it 2 years ago before I had a booth built in my basement…so it’s bedroom quality haha.
Roland’s mother’s character playlist probably has the majority of sad songs. I don’t know why or how this happened but it did. Anyway, his mother went through a recent name change so to keep things simple I’ll call her Roland’s Mom. Our next song is from her playlist.
#7: Secret Door
I absolutely adore Amy Lee’s vocals. This song is so beautiful. On Roland’s Mom’s playlist the song is listed as a song that represents the saddest moment in her life. So yah…there’s that. Scene’s with his mom are probably the hardest for me to write. She makes me cry…no wonder her playlist is so sad.
The next song (if you’ve been watching my reels) you’ve probably heard already.
#8: Baby Boy
This song is shared between Vincent, Roland, Roland’s older brother Lawrence’s playlists. I believe I used it on a reel or story involving a drawing I was doing with Roland. I usually listen to it while I draw him.
This song is on Kurtis’ playlist. I enjoy a lot of the songs on his list. It has songs like this and then stuff like My Sharona. Which is weird because Kurtis tends to be very serious.
I’m trying hard to avoid having the same artists on this list but Eloise doesn’t have a lot of sad songs on her list. I’d say this song is more angry than sad…which I think might be a prompt! Oh well.
The next song belongs to her son’s playlist.
#11: My Smile Is Extinct
I love how upbeat this song is despite the lyrics. I honestly feel bad for Thompson sometimes. I really do. Although I occasionally sympathize with all my character’s in some way…even the horrible ones.
#12: I Don’t Care
This song comes from Micah’s playlist. I drew him the other day with his sister and brother. His playlist isn’t very cheery either.
The next song is another repeat artist…apologies.
This song is on Zana’s playlist. It’s the same vibe as Micah’s and directed at the same person…however they have different songs for the same incident in their lives because each matches the character’s voices. Micah tends to be more expressive and upfront about his emotions. Zana on the other hand keeps a lot things to herself.
Now, Peter doesn’t have any sad songs on his list at all. I’m baffled by this. Actually no I’m not. He’s a pretty happy guy most of the time (as long as he’s not stressed out). So…I guess to put a break in this sad fest, I’ll share his cheer up song.
#14: Old Friends
I wanted to use this song in my reel the other day of Peter and Roland…because it describes their friendship perfectly. It may not seem like it but…Roland is Francis. Gosh those two make me laugh sometimes.
#15: White Sparrows
This song is on Lawrence’s playlist. T’is a sorrowful ditty. A mournful tune. It’s…well yah. It’s sad.
#16: Under A Black Sky
This is from Wendy’s playlist (she’s Rose’s mother and Lawrence’s wife). I absolutely adored this song when the album came out and whenever I’d listen to it, I thought of her. I guess because of the contrast between the chorus and versus along with the lyrics.
#17: Confessions Of A Broken Heart
I think it’s kind of fun that I did these playlists for nearly all of my character’s in this series. Both the major and minor. This one is for Wendy’s aunt. I’ve always loved this song. It gives me chills.
#18: You Are My Sunshine
This song is from Caspian’s playlist. He’s in the pumpkin picture. It’s not exactly a sad song but it is…that is if you actually listen to all the words. This cover captures the feelings of it. The song is a favourite of my grandparents. They used to sing it when washing the dishes every night. Which was really sweet…
This version song kinda ruins that vibe for me but it definitely captures Caspian.
This song is on sweet little Julius’ playlist. It makes me a little sad that it’s on his but being little is tough sometimes. Don’t worry the rest of his list is happy. I swear!
#20: Hurts Like Hell
This song is from Theodore’s playlist. I haven’t drawn him yet…or ever actually, which is super weird! I like him though, he’s a good guy.
He’s Micah and Zana’s father.
The next set of songs are bonus songs from my MC’s playlist because these character’s have more than one. I’m skipping a handful of character’s because they don’t appear in book 1 and their songs are kind of spoilers.
Roland has a few on his list so I’ll pick 3 from his, Dianna’s and try to get 3 of Nicholas’. These songs are also from different periods in these character’s lives. For Roland and Dianna these are more of their teen years playlists.
#1: I Am In Great Pain, Please Help Me
#2: The Grey
#1: Little Pistol
This song is listed as a song representing Nicholas’ childhood. I think it might be one of the saddest he has, although there are a handful of them.
#2: Ein Liebeslied
#3: Hate Me
Nicholas and Roland both have this song on their lists under different categories.
#1: A Soulmate Who Wasn’t Meant to Be
#2: Break My Broken Heart
Well, I hope this list of song didn’t make you cry and instead introduced you to a new favourite song haha!
I believe I have another prompt for music. Yes the next music related one is Romantic Vibes. Yikes…that’s gonna be hard. I’ll try not to do any repeats. I notice that a lot of sad songs are also romantic.
I think I’ll do one final bonus song. I’ll pick from Roland’s list I think.
What’s your favourite song?
If you’re a writer, which song fits your character’s current mood?
I love, love, love to read. If I wasn’t writing right now I’d be reading. Technically writing lets you read and write at the same time…but anyway, authors that inspire me.
I’ll have to start with Charles Dickens. I’ve read a lot of his work. My favourites are Great Expectation’s, Oliver Twist and A Tale of Two Cities. I like how descriptive his writing is…although I won’t lie there are times I’ve skimmed through it to get back to the main story. Still, I admire it because he really does paint a picture for the reader. I’ve attempted to put that level of detail into my writing in the past but stopped out of fear that I might bore my readers. I actually prefer to write dialogue.
Io Sakisaka is also someone I admire. I still can’t grasp how she can so expertly express relationships through her work. I don’t think I’ve read a manga that had me blushing and crying within a few panels of each other. Since romance is her genre of focus, it’s very interesting how she goes about playing with concepts and ideas surrounding love, friendship and family.
When I first read, S.E. Hinton, I think that was when I told myself I wanted my work to be published one day. I wanted people to love my character’s as much as I loved hers. I also considered using a pen name at the time versus my own. I liked how she managed to weave her stories together and I’m glad that she had Ponyboy show up in one of her other novels.
If I’m being honest, I feel like every author I’ve ever read has inspired me in some way. Whether it’s through their use of descriptions, their pacing, their character’s. Whatever it was that drew me to their work, has also inspired my own writing over the years.
I love the different ways we writers weave our words. How those words lift off the page, creating images, mustering emotions and forming even the faintest of smells. How a single sentence can capture so much…it’s always fascinated me. I think that’s what I love about books. You can open one up and be transported.
Question 1: Where is your favourite place to be alone and why?
My favourite place to be alone? I’m not sure I even like being alone–wait! My bed. My bed is my favourite place to be alone. Sleep is precious and shouldn’t be interrupted…but mine is. Constantly. I just want to sleep in till noon. I haven’t been able to do that in forever.
Question 2: What is your favourite holiday?
All Holiday’s that include large meals. Especially if I get desert. It’s important to have a good meal. I wish there was a holiday where all you had to do was eat.
Question 3: Describe your family in 8 words.
Eight? You’re kidding me right? That’s way too many. Okay! Fine, I’ll answer. Um…can I do it per relative? Certain words I reserve for certain people and I’d rather not accidentally associate them with undeserving people. What? I am not complicating this…okay I might be just a little.
Rose, Caspian and Julius are funny, smart and tiring…comforting but I seriously can’t keep up with them anymore. I hate getting older.
Lawrence is imaginative and insane. Mostly insane but in a good way.
My parents? I can’t really use those words here…their not family friendly. How about stiff and strict? That’s all you get. I prefer not to speak to ill of my mother. I haven’t been the easiest…person to deal with. Next question.
Question 4: What is something that people make fun of you for?
A few things. My niece thinks I’m boring…which I’m not. I’m definitely the most interesting person alive. Haha…she’s probably right. I don’t get out much, nor do I want to these days.
I’m also banned from the local pub for a poorly made decision that I’d prefer to never mention aloud…as I barely remember doing this. Okay I do remember. I just don’t want to tell you. Fair?
Question 5: What is the most memorable untrue rumour that has ever been spread about you?
You should hear some of them! Some little girl said I stabbed my parents to death in our parlour. I made sure to let her know that my mother is alive, and that my father wasn’t stabbed he was shot. Next question?
Question 6: Do you have any nicknames? If so which is your favourite and which ones do you hate?
My best friend started calling me Rolly after he had dinner with my family and I and heard my brother say it. I don’t hate it. I prefer that than when he calls me an idiot. We both know I’m the smartest between the two of us. I’m a bad liar…we’re both stupid and impulsive. That’s why we’re friends.
My other nicknames are murderer, handsome devil and a few others I again can’t say with children present.
Oh and my father just called me “boy” all the time. I don’t think he really cared what my name was? I’m named after him too…prick.
Question 7: What are 3 things that you would never do?
Give up sugar, leave Peter in charge of my children for more than an hour, kill people.
No one ever believes the last one…so I don’t blame you if you want to end this interview early. You don’t? Oh. Well okay but I have somewhere to be in about twenty-minutes so let’s keep this short.
Question 8: What’s been on your mind lately?
Money. See, I’m broke and I really don’t know how I’m going to be able to afford buying all of these clothes and toys and books and things for the kids. I just realized that I called the kids, my children earlier…I’m not a parent. I’m their uncle. They’re basically mine…but I don’t–I’m single. So if you don’t mind a family of four, living with a rumoured murderer and have some cash on hand to lend me, I’d be willing to change my relationship status.
No really, do you have $30? I want to buy this hat I saw in the window of the dress shop. It’s got a ribbon in the back and I think Rose would like it.
Question 9: What is your favourite season and why?
I used to like Summer. I didn’t have to stay indoors all the time. My friends and I had bonfires by the lake and I’d bring my guitar with me. I’m a lot better at piano but guitars are portable.
Dianna used to try to get me to go swimming…but I don’t know how. I almost drowned as a kid and my parents never let me back in the water.
Nowadays, I surprisingly like the Fall. Food tastes better in the Fall and I love the rain. I hate getting caught in it but there’s just something pretty about colourful leaves against a grey sky.
Question 10: What do you want to be remembered for?
What’s the sense in being remembered for anything? We die and are forgotten after a few generations. Do you honestly think I give a damn about those dead people we learned about in school? If I had to choose I’d rather not be remembered. I can’t think of one reason why anyone would want to remember me….
Well actually…it would be nice to be remembered for something. I just don’t want to be remembered as a jerk or a murderer or as stubborn but people only remember the things they think are interesting about you and honestly I’m not that interesting.
Doing this interview was fun but also very difficult. Roland doesn’t cooperate well when he’s hungry or tired…and I think he’s both today. Today I’m going to be drawing him and his best friend. I try to record my drawing process and post that to my Instagram story. If you ever miss a day, I save the stories to my drawing highlights.
Anyway, I hope you liked meeting Roland. I debated interviewing him first but I answer most of the Twitter character questions with him so it made the most sense.