Category Archives: iníonaofa chronicles

Mothers in Literature | Top Ten Tuesday

Happy Tuesday friends 🙂

I’m working on a few blog posts for the next few weeks, updates on my progress and for my Crafting the Series posts that I’ve neglected utterly in the wake of too many writerly goals and personal issues.

But I’ve been seeing a few TTT posts around and thought it might be fun to add this to my weekly blog lineup as I try to create a semblance of order here.

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, it’s a weekly meme that’s all about books and lists based on a theme.

This week’s theme is a mother’s day related freebie! All you have to do is link back to their page. VOILÀ

As many of you may know, the main character in my debut novella is a single mother named Eléonore who fights demons by night while caring for her six-year old son, Étienne.

So my interpretation today is ten fictional mothers who inspired Eléonore!

Ready? Here we go 🙂


 

3LILY EVANS

 Harry Potter as a series defined much of my childhood and inspired a lot of my writing when I was younger. So it seems natural that some of that would rub off on Eléonore’s journey.

Though Lily’s role in the series is limited to flashbacks, it is her initial sacrifice that sets the plot in motion. And that act of sacrificing oneself for one’s child, that selfless drive to give up one’s life for another, is a quality that Eléonore is imbued with and guides most of her actions throughout the novella.

 


15881MOLLY WEASLEY

Of course, another mother from the Harry Potter series, and one who is far more prominent is dear Mrs. Weasley. A firecracker of a character, she has so much heart to her and yet is stern towards her children and husband. Her fierce nature though makes her a protective maternal figure and she, pardon my French, kicks ass when the ones she loves are in peril.

That spitfire spirit is one Eléonore owns… in my humble opinion 😉

 

 


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MARMEE

The strong maternal figure raising four daughters, Marmee is a gentle and compassionate woman who performs her motherly duties while her husband is away at war and, for a good part of the book, is the figurehead of the family. She also acts as a moral compass for the girls in their lives.

While Eléonore herself might lack a proper moral code, she does her utmost to impress upon Étienne the need to follow a steadier path than she.


409207CATELYN STARK

There are plenty of mothers in the A Song of Ice and Fire series by good ol’ George RR Martin, from the ruthless Cersei to Mhysa Dany, Mother of Dragons. But I am prone to think back on Catelyn, a woman who loved her children to the point that she was willing to cut a deal with the Lannisters to save her daughters.

It’s that unflinching, uncompromising attitude that inspired certain actions on Eléonore’s part.


41329LEAH, RACHEL, ZILPAH, & BILHAH

This retelling of the story of Dinah as found in the Bible is one about women primarily and the bond between mothers and daughters. But the spirituality between these women and the relationship that they embody is one I tried to capture in a similar way between Eléonore, Sinéand Rosalie–though this is something that grows in the books that follow.

It also inspired the sense that it takes more than one person to raise a child – that old ‘it takes a whole village’ idea that we’ve sorely lost on.


1885MRS. BENNETT

Mrs. Bennett might be one of the funniest mothers in literature, her satirical caricature set around arranging the best marriages for her child. It’s nothing that Eléonore has to work with, but there is a certain frenzy with which Eléonore acts and speaks and that’s in large part inspired by the rather frantically inclined Mrs. Bennett.


30253864LORELAI GILMORE

Not a mother from literature, I’m aware, but a fictional character that I would be remiss to not mention here. Anyone familiar with Gilmore Girls will recognize it for its central mother-daughter relationship and witty banter. It’s that banter that I really tried to hone with Eléonore, trying for dialogue that was sharp and witty, banter that flowed without feeling forced.

From reviews, it seems I’ve done this rather well. So thank you Amy Sherman-Palladino for inspiring me with rapid fire dialogue and cultural references!


Well, that’s less than ten, but anymore would be forcing the truth. Which mothers in literature have left an impact on you? For good or for bad.

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

This Month in Review | April 2017

Hi friends,

April hasn’t been an easy month as you all know, but I’ve been managing to get some things done.

Here’s a quick look at what I’ve accomplished (or not) and what my plans are for May.


GOALS OF APRIL

  1. Final Edit of Pirate Eyes
  2. Finish Edit of Heritage
  3. Submit Walking Blind (a thriller script) to competitions
  4. Read 4-5 books:
  5. Watch 4 movies
  6. Outline a few stories – I have five new ones that I’m especially inspired by and want to use this relatively quiet month to tackle them.
  7. Post 2 entries of Crafting the Series
  8. Participate in #WIPjoy on Twitter and #danaf7wordstory & #shayverlee6wordstory on Instagram
  9. Create a month of prompts for May.

ACHIEVED IN APRIL

  1. When it comes to Pirate Eyes, I managed to finish editing a hard copy but I’m still in the middle of typing up those changes. That should be done this week and I’ll be opening a call for beta readers soon.
  2. I did manage to finish editing Heritage and it’s in the hands of my sister. I decided I really want her opinion before I send it out to betas. And I’m not rushing to get her out, either. I have other priorities first.
  3. I did a readthrough of my Walking Blind and while it’s pretty good, I need to add a few scenes to allow for some stronger character development. So I’m putting her on hold for the moment.
  4. I read EIGHT BOOKS this month: Stolen Ink (Holly Evans), Everything Everything (Nicola Yoon), The Drowned Tomb (James Fahy), On Writing (Stephen King), A Shining in the Shadows (Beverley Lee), Shadowy Horses (Susanna Kearsley), The Dark Tower (Stephen King) & The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas). And they were all excellent!
  5. I watched FIVE MOVIES: Managed to watch the remake of The Jungle Book twice and I cannot begin to tell you how amazing the animation was! Also watched the new Beauty and the Beast two more times, and though I enjoyed it more the second time, the third viewing was definitely overkill. It’s okay, though because I made up for it by watching the 1991 version again to remind myself of how beautiful and perfect that version was. Watched Jurassic World just last night and was thoroughly underwhelmed. Too much violence. Too little character development. Annie Hall was my favourite watch this month. Diane and Woody were absolutely brilliant! I also went to see The Book of Mormons with my sister and loved it. Definitely not for the faint of heart, but if you’re willing to accept its satirical nature and crass language it’s brilliant!
  6. I started well with this one, but I got so hooked on one of the new stories – a fairy tale adaptation – and I started to write it by hand. It’s been liberating.
  7. Didn’t have the mindfulness or the passion to pull it off this month, but I’m hoping May will prove more fortuitous.
  8. I started off well with this, but I couldn’t keep it up this month.
  9. It is well done 🙂 More on that below…

MAY GOALS

  1. Edit Heralding to second draft.
  2. Finish writing my fairy tale adaptation
  3. Outline Hollow Vows (sequel to Pirate Eyes) – I had most of this done, but after edits of Pirate Eyes, I have a new idea for the rest of the series.
  4. Host #FictMAYhem on Twitter/Instagram.I’m really excited to be hosting this again and helping people develop their characters! You’re more than welcome to join us 🙂
  5. Read 5-6 books. This includes Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, which I didn’t get to last month, Nevernight by Jay Kristoff because Sarina convinced me to, and Eon by Alison Goodman.
  6. Watch 4-5 movies. There are so many great ones coming out this month: Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2, Pirates of the Caribbean (Dead Men Tell no Tales), Everything Everything and King Arthur (Legend of the Sword).
  7. Post 2 entries for Crafting the Series.
  8. Special project – I would say more, but it’s a secret for the moment. Just know that something exciting is coming in June and I’m excited to share it with you 🙂
  9. Outline a novella idea. I had started to write out an outline in April and I’m hoping to get more of it worked out this month.

How was your April, friends? What are your plans for May? Let me know about in the comments. Wishing you all the best, always!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith   quill-ink

This Month in Review | March 2017

Hi friends,

I hope you are all doing well, that you are happy and surrounded with love.

Many of you know that I lost a dear friend this past week. I have been blessed by such kind words and thoughts from you all and I thank you profoundly for all of it. You cannot know how deeply grateful I am for your support and love! May you never doubt that I am here for you, that I am thinking about you, and wishing you all the best.

With what’s gone on, I’ve drawn back from social media but I’ll be making a steady return this week because I miss interacting with you. And because closing myself off won’t help me grieve any more.

So here is a look at what I have been up to in March and what I will be up to in April.


GOALS OF MARCH

  1. Read 4-5 books.
  2. Read 1 nonfiction
  3. Watch 5 movies (I’m upping the challenge this month)
  4. Polish draft of Heritage (my 2015 NaNoWriMo which is currently entered in #PitchMadness and I’m just making sure she’s absolutely ready for agents round — in case I make it to that round)
  5. Polish draft of The Glass Slippers (there are quite a few script competitions coming up and I really want to have this Cinderella adaptation ready to circulate!)
  6. Finish first draft of Heralding (if I crank out about 15k a week, I should be there – it’ll put her above 80k and right now that seems like a good length for a first draft)
  7. Practice the violin – I’m serious about this one this month and I’ve set time for practice!
  8. Start final edits on Pirate Eyes – because she needs to be in at least an agent’s hand before this year is done!

ACHIEVED IN MARCH

  1. Read 8 books! My top three are: Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett, The Manningtree Account by Becky Wright & Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King
  2. Read 2 nonfiction books – What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dicken Knew was a brilliant book that covered the time period with quirky language. And Writing Young Adult Fiction which reads as an excellent starter’s guide, but failed to add anything for me.
  3. Watched 8 movies – This included three version of Beauty and the Beast (a highlight was the original 1940s black & white version directed by Jean Cocteau).
  4. I am just a few chapters away from a good polish of Heritage. It should be done by the end of this weekend.
  5. I didn’t touch The Glass Slippers, but I did write a short story that I’m really proud of and have plans to expand it into a novella.
  6. I finished the first draft of Heralding two days ago. In the wake of the tragic news, I withdrew to my books & writing for solace and poured a lot of myself into her. She’s complete now at 78, 721 words after writing 55,587 words this month.
  7. Didn’t touch the violin at all despite best intentions. Oh well…
  8. I didn’t touch Pirate Eyes either, but she’s printed and ready for April. Which leads me to…

APRIL GOALS

Of which there are many…

  1. Final Edit of Pirate Eyes – I want her in the hands of beta readers by the end of the month.
  2. Finish Edit of HeritageAnd have her in beta readers hands before April 15th
  3. Submit Walking Blind (a thriller script) to competitions – a few years back I made it into the quarter finals with this script and I hope that she’ll go further this year.
  4. Read 4-5 books: this list includes some of my most anticipated releases this year: A Shining in the Shadows by Beverley Lee, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas & Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.
  5. Watch 4 movies: Hopefully this will include Logan.
  6. Outline a few stories – I have five new ones that I’m especially inspired by and want to use this relatively quiet month to tackle them.
  7. Post 2 entries of Crafting the Series – you might remember that I had started to post on my experiences writing Eléonore and I’ve let that slip away from me, but I’m intent on continuing it. Sorry for the slowness.
  8. Participate in #WIPjoy on Twitter and #danaf7wordstory & #shayverlee6wordstory on Instagram
  9. Create a month of prompts for May. I have a few ideas running around for the successor to #FictFBFeb17 that I hosted on Twitter. Hopefully I can make it as much fun as the last.

Well, that was more than I expected to write. Again, I am wishing you all so much happiness and love! Stay well, friends, be kind to one another and to yourself.

Let me know what you have planned for April in the comments.

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

March IG Author Hop!

Hi everyone!

I hope that you’re well.

Over the next few days, I’m participating in an author hop on Instagram to help generate buzz for our books and to spread the word of other amazing authors out there!

If you’re on Instagram you should go check it out because part of the hop includes the chance to win amazing prizes! You can find me another the handle @faith_therivens.

And I’m giving away a copy of my debut urban fantasy novella, Eléonore!

33113796Eléonore Dormant’s life is a precarious balancing act: librarian by day, demon hunter by night and single mother around the clock. Each day brings its challenges and she brings her A-game. It helps that coffee and a bottle of painkillers are always in supply.

For six years, she’s protected the streets of Montreal from all manner of demons and the consequent evil that they would wreak on her city. But even a resumé like hers isn’t enough to prepare her for the unforeseen night when she becomes the hunted.

A sorcerer, an enigmatic Elder, has placed a hefty bounty on her head and the demons are eager to claim the reward for her capture. They bear down on her, disrupting her mode de vie and endangering her son’s life all in one fell swoop. But Eléonore is ready to fight whatever Hell deigns to send her way to save him. The path she pursues will lead her to new places and old faces.

One thing is certain, Eléonore’s about to get into a whole hellhole of trouble.

If you’re interested in winning a copy, make sure you check out my March IG Author hop post to complete all the steps to be entered: HERE!!!

If you found your way here from Instagram, and have already completed the other steps, just drop a comment below to let me know what you love most about Spring and leave your Instagram handle so I can know you completed your entry!

Best of luck, friends! I’ll announce the winner on March 22nd!


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

This Week in Review | 27.02.17 – 06.03.17

Happy Monday Friends,

I’m glad to be back with  TWiR after awhile without posts. But first, an apology:

I’ve been struggling a little lately with balancing life and my writing and my social media feeds, but I think this week things might start looking up. I’ve already started catching up on comments and posts that I’ve let slip away from me and I should be up to date today and I’ll be sure to try to keep up with them more consistently going forward!

That being said, let’s take a look at what I’ve been able to accomplish this week!


Posts on My Blog

Game of Shadows Review

This Month in Review

My Writing Projects

For the first time in a while, I’ve actually made decent progress on two of my projects. I’ve changed mentalities since February, making sure to prioritize my writing, which hadn’t been the case at all last month.

I’ve set goals for each week in March to help me accomplish my monthly goals. For HERALDING, the first full length novel in the Iníonaofa Chronicles, I’ve set a writing word count of 15k for Wednesday, March 8th — the MS word count stands at 34k. Right now I’m sitting on just a little over 11k of words written since March 1st. Which means that all I need to do is write 2k a day to get there. Absolutely feasible!

91f5138b-5bb7-4499-b81c-f96e4af09122.gif

Some of you might have seen that I submitted HERITAGE, my 2015 NaNoWriMo novel, to #PitchMadness at the end of February. Well, the choices were made yesterday and I wasn’t one of them. But that’s okay. There were 60 of 1300 that went on to the agent round, and the judges remarked that over 300 made it into the first round ‘love’ pile. Those names weren’t released, but who knows, I might have been one of them — I like to think I was 😉

In any case, I’m editing through Heritage right now. This is the second draft I’m working with. My goal is to get halfway through the MS by Wednesday. This one’s a bit lofty and I’m ready to not make it. So far, one of the biggest change involved combining two chapters that were far too similar and moving up the action, which is always better.When I started, my MS was 84,856 words in length. I’ve cut 413 words in the first eleven chapters. And I’m pleased with the pacing so far. But I’ll definitely be looking for beta readers come the end of the month.

77450083-a0db-48ff-9bbb-0f8ade986d5a.gif

So if anyone’s interested in a YA fantasy novel about a timid fiddler who embarks on an adventure with her grandmother to destroy the rising Shadows threatening to steal the light and happiness from their homeland, let me know 😉

EXCERPTS

I thought I’d share a small excerpt for each of my WIPs from what I’ve written/edited recently:

HERALDING  –  a bit of dialogue between two characters that I’m rather fond of

“I already told him to go.”
“Obviously, he didn’t listen.”
“Obviously, I have no sway over him.”
“Obviously, you didn’t try hard enough. He likes sex with you. You should use that.”

HERITAGE –  perfecting Peggie’s voice is one of the highlights of this novel for me.

My bow descended with a far more spritely attitude than it had before, evoking a light-hearted melody that honoured the night and the white light that graced the land of Adramache. Images of couples dancing and children laughing played through my mind. Happiness, joy, hope: those were the emotions that guided the song. The moon gifted me with them, and I could do little else but bring them to life through my fiddle’s wooden form, expressing through music what I saw inside. Without words, the moon sent me inspiration and I heeded his creative call.


Well, that’s it from me. Let me know how your week has been friends! Any accomplishments? Any happy occurrences? Anything you’re struggling with? Here’s a safe space. So feel free to share 🙂

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

Crafting the Series | Part One – In Pursuit of Creativity

Hello friends!

Happy Thursday to you and welcome to this the first in a planned biweekly (i.e. posting every second week) blog series that will focus on my writing process with my debut urban fantasy, Eléonore.

Today’s post is just an introduction more than anything, an explanation of sorts as to what I plan to explore, and what I hope to accomplish with it.

If you’re ready to embark on this journey with me – and I hope you are – then grab yourself a nice dark roast coffee and a Pouding Chômeur (that’s what Eléonore would recommend anyway 😊) and let’s get started.


In the long run…

What is the purpose of this series? Well, there might be a few purposes actually, but I’ll stick to the three main ones, shall I?

  1. To share with you the writing process that took me from idea to publication and beyond.
  2. To help inspire you on your own writing journey.
  3. To give back to the writing community that encouraged and supported me.

The craft of writing is a personal one. I believe that everyone has a method that works best for them and that, while those methods may coincide with the methods of others, no two people have the exact same process.

Why then am I sharing my writing habits with you?

Not so that you’ll make the exact same journey that I did. But so that you might find inspiration as you embark on and travel along your own writing path. Whether you’re on the final edit of your draft or just starting out with a new idea, I hope that my adventure might give you new insight or resonate with you in a way that can help you as you shape your own story.

And if nothing else, perhaps I will amuse you with these behind the scene anecdotes. 😉

Unfurl the blueprints…

I’ve been planning this series for quite some time. In mid-December, the idea came to me. As I mentioned already, I wanted to give back to a community that helped me when I was trapped in a rut. Sharing insight seemed like the best way I could do it. So I devised a plan, choosing which facets of writing I would want to focus on. Believe me when I say it’s extensive…

Here are just some of the topics I’ll be touching on…

  1. But which idea do I choose?
  2. Playing Sims on paper – building your world
  3. Silencing your Inner Editor… it’s the first draft after all
  4. The Novella – a short film for writers
  5. Beta Readers – let go that ego
  6. Inevitably, they will judge it by your cover
  7. Etc., etc., etc.

I think you get the idea. But here’s the thing friends. As much as I have this blueprint, I am a plantser in life as much as I am in writing. So if there’s any specific topic you want me to cover, you let me know and I’ll throw it in where I can. This is for you, after all – maybe a bit for me – and I want YOU to get the most out of this as you can.

Formatting with Style

So now you know what I’ll be covering. But how will I be covering it? Here’s what I’m hoping it will look like from week to week.

I’ll start with my process, the steps I took with Eléonore, the experience that I had, whatever little anecdotes and stories I can share with you that relate to the week’s topic.

Then I’ll look at the topic from a more general point of view. Looking at how it fits into the larger process. Looking at how you might want to tackle it.

For example, our topic in two weeks will be Choosing an Idea. How I chose to write Eléonore is actually a long story that starts with a girl making a vow to herself five years ago and ends with a girl realizing she only has four months left to keep a promise to herself. I’ll share the story of it with you, a story that’s unique to me and then I’ll explore with you the different ways you might stumble across that idea that sparks a passion in you, the story your ready to create, the story you need to create.

And then there will be a PDF for you to use. Somewhere you can build your ideas, if you so choose. Some will bear more pointed questions. Some will be geared more towards helping you develop character histories, plot structures, etc. It’ll depend on the topic.

As with the above, if there’s something you’d like me to focus on in a PDF, let me know, and I’ll arrange to include it.

PURSUING YOUR CREATIVITY

Phew! Still with me 😅

I had originally planned to start today on building an idea, but I recently started reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, which inspired me to start on a topic that precedes even the conception of an idea… That is…

DECIDING TO WRITE!

The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.
Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

The first part of Gilbert’s book on creative living is devoted to courage. In it, she discusses the anxieties that hold us back from pursuing the creativity, those that are innate within us. Things like fear of failure, fear of being rejected, fear of being unoriginal, fear of judgement for the choice of writing… And the list goes on.

This section resonated with me, because I recognized that these were the chains that had held me back before Eléonore. I had been writing for fifteen years before the idea even came to me, but I was never able to share any of my stories with anyone and kept it close to my chest because I was afraid of how I would be received as an author. When I released this anxiety, I was able to devote myself to my writing. Not that the fear was gone. It was still there. But I decided that I had the courage to pursue my creativity despite it.

And you need to find that courage to. Whether you’re in the process of writing a book, published and working on your next one, or just starting out for the first time, chances are those anxieties are weighing on you. Maybe you’ve already discovered how brave you can be. Maybe you’re still looking for that bravery, that a-ha moment when you realize that you deserve better than to set limits for yourself.

Here’s what I’ve learned from my own experience. Life isn’t worth living in fear. If we let our anxieties hold us back, we’ll never experience the true wonders that life has to offer us. A leap of faith is sometimes demanded. And that goes for your writing as well. Trust in yourself in a bit, and be brave to pursue what makes you passionate.

You’ll be rewarded in the long run for it. Because you’ll have discovered just how brave you are. And that’s a lesson to take with you through life.

And once you decide that you’re brave enough to pursue your creativity, you can move on to finding that idea that motivates and inspires you and write the story in your heart.


Thanks for joining me on this first part of the journey, friends. What has your experience been with finding the courage to write? What are you hoping to gain from this series? Share in the comments 🙂

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith  quill-ink

The Iníonaofa Chronicles | Title Reveal & Other Tidbits

Happy Thursday friends!

Today, I’m excited to share some news about my urban fantasy series: The Iníonaofa Chronicles.

First, let me highlight some tidbits about the series that you might not yet be aware of…

PRONUNCIATION:

I’ve gotten a few questions about this one, so I figured it would be a good idea to share the trick of it with you.

Iníonaofa combines two Irish words: Iníon and Naofa.

Iníon means daughter or girl and Naofa means holy or sacred. For the purpose of this story, the word Iníonaofa means Sacred Daughters. The purpose of that, well… you’ll have to read to find out.

Now, how do you pronounce it? As such: In – een – nay – fa.

The Series Structure:

I have a total of twelve novels/novellas planned for this series. I can’t go into too much detail for some of them because it will spoil a major arc. At the moment, four full length novels will make up the core of the series with the novellas working as companion pieces. In this large system, Eléonore works as a prequel of sorts, but an essential one, as the character of Eléonore is at the heart of the series. I would recommend reading her before leaping into the series…

And speaking about leaping into the series, now seems like the perfect time to present the title reveal for Book One of the Iníonaofa Chronicles…………………………………

…..

…..

TITLE REVEAL

3 …..

2 …..

1 …..

 

Harkening (1).png

 

That’s right. HERALDING.

I don’t have a blurb to share with you right now, mainly because I haven’t written one yet, but also because any blurb would hold some spoilers for Eléonore, but I can share a small premise (if you really don’t want spoilers, just skip the purple bit)…

Eléonore scratched only the surface of a grander plot in Quebec City. Demons and sorcerers are conspiring, a new force is awakening, and all of it heralds an entirely more sinister hellhole of trouble for Eléonore to get sucked into.

CRAFTING THE SERIES

This is just a reminder that for the next few months every second Thursday will be dedicated to a new blog series – CRAFTING THE SERIES – that will explore my journey with Eléonore. I’ll start with conceiving of the idea. If everything goes well, I’ll be providing PDFs to accompany each step to help you take your story from creation to publication too!

Exciting times are coming 🙂


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith  quill-ink