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Visions of Zarua Blog Tour | Review & Interview

Happy Thursday everyone 🙂

Hope everyone’s been having a wonderful week! Today, it is my privilege and honour to host Suzanne Rogerson on Day 4 of her Visions of Zarua blog tour!

Today, I have an interview with Suzanne as well as a review of her novel to share! So sit back and enjoy!


First, let me introduce Suzanne to you all:

2015 author photo 2015.jpgSuzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her hugely encouraging husband and two children.

She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.

Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

She collects books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography.

Suzanne is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of she likes to escape with a great film, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book

….

And now a little about her novel…

Visions of Zarua Book Cover.jpgBLURB:

Two wizards, 350 years apart.

Together they must save the realm of Paltria from Zarua’s dark past.

An ancient darkness haunts the realm of Paltria.

Apprentice wizard Paddren is plagued by visions of a city on the brink of annihilation. When his master Kalesh dies in mysterious circumstances, the Royal Order of Wizards refuses to investigate.

Helped by his childhood friend, the skilled tracker Varnia, and her lover Leyoch, Paddren vows to find the killer.

The investigation leads Paddren down a sinister path of assassins, secret sects and creatures conjured by blood magic. But he is guided by a connection with a wizard from centuries ago – a wizard whose history holds the key to the horror at the heart of the abandoned city of Zarua. Can Paddren decipher his visions in time to save the Paltrian people from the dark menace of Zarua’s past?

INTERVIEW:

1. What first inspired you to start writing?

I remember a particular English lesson in junior school when I was about 8 years old. The teacher read the class a scene from a book and asked us to write what could happen next. That really opened up my imagination and from that moment I think I was hooked.

2. You were 12 when you wrote your first novel! What can you tell us about it?

I remember the characters of my first book vividly.

It was about a 15 year old girl who has the shock of her life when her parents tell her they’re relocating to America. She refuses to leave her best friend, her boyfriend and her beloved Alsatian behind. Events spark out of control, and feeling unloved and unwanted, she runs away with her best friend (whose parents are going through divorce).

It deals with many issues still relevant today; love and jealousy, sexual harassment at work (she worked part time at a vets), underage sex, teen pregnancy, sleeping rough, drugs, a tragic death and coming to terms with loss. 

Thinking about it now makes me want to dig out those scribbled notebooks.

3. Was there a particular scene in the novel that you were afraid to write? Excited to write? Surprised by? Tell us about it/them.

I know I was afraid to write the climatic scenes at the end of Visions of Zarua. My beta readers kept pushing me to build up the tension and the drama. The scenes with Morrin, the assassin, were the ones I looked forward to writing most. I loved the complex situation Morrin was forced into and how his story progressed. And I was most surprised by Jago’s scenes; they flowed so naturally they almost wrote themselves.

4. Paddren, Leyoch and Varnia — our three heroes — are such unique characters. Who did you find the hardest to write? The easiest? The most fun? Why?

I found it hardest to write Paddren because he is a very private character and it’s sometimes difficult to get his motivations across. I had to work hardest on him to make him likeable. I love Paddren of course, but it took time for him to grow on my beta readers. 

Varnia is a strong character and just runs around and does what she pleases, whereas Leyoch was the most fun to write. He goes off and has his own adventures and gets to act the hero. He always tries to be the light hearted one and make the best of things. He’s someone I’d want around in a crisis.

5. Do you plan on returning to the land of Paltria in the future?

I wanted to write Visions of Zarua as a single volume. Sometimes I think the fantasy genre needs a break from so many long, drawn out series. It felt right that my debut book would be a standalone.

6. What does your ideal writing session look like?

An ideal writing session is one when I can barely sit still at the computer. I have to keep jumping up and pacing the room because the writing is getting so intense. When I need to keep tearing myself away to gather my nerves, that’s a good days writing!

7. What is your next big aspiration?

My next big aspiration is to finish my next book and publish it ASAP. Then maybe I’ll think about approaching agents. I still want to try publishing from the other side, even if it means I lose the freedom self-publishing has given me.

8. What advice can you share with fellow writers, both new to the craft and old?

Every serious writer should consider giving self-publishing a try. It’s really not as hard as you think. Use professionals where it counts though – editing, proofreading and the front cover. Make your book the best it can be and start working on your social media presence today.

9. Is there a particular castle that you feel drawn to? Inspired by? 

Picking my favourite castle is tricky. I love Warwick Castle with its re-enactments and its ability to show you what life was like back then, but I also love visiting the ruins of castles like Bodiam in East Sussex. To touch the weathered, broken stones and image the past for myself is inspiring.

One thing I hate about castles though are the steep, narrow and winding staircases, they make me very nervous.

10. If you could travel to and live in any time period, where would you go? Why?

I’m drawn to the medieval period of history. There is a romantic notion of living the simple life with heroes, love and death going hand in hand. However, I don’t think I’m cut out for that kind of life, I certainly wouldn’t last very long.

11. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, which would it be? Why?

If I could only read one book for the rest of my life I’d have to cheat and pick a trilogy. I love David Gemmell’s Troy trilogy – the last books he wrote. He was a true master storyteller and created characters that came alive to the reader and stayed with you long after you’d finished reading about them. I always loved how Gemmell took history and retold it in his fantastical way. As soon as I get the time, I shall be revisiting those Troy books.

Thank you Suzanne for taking the time to answer my questions! Your answers are insightful and inspiring 🙂

REVIEW:

Told through four unique perspectives, Visions of Zarua is an epic fantasy that follows three friends as they struggle to fight demons of the past threatening their homeland of Paltria. Moving between the past and present, the narrative unfolds at a brisk speed, never losing momentum, introducing an intricate world full of magic, intrigue and danger.

In Suzanne’s deft hands, the premise transcends the normal stereotypes of fantasy. Her characters are flawed human beings whose sense of duty does not make them infallible to error. Paddren’s visions of the past are core to the plot and, while disjointed in his scenes, are more clearly brought to the fore in those chapters that unfold in the past through Jago’s POV. These are meant to assist Paddren in his quest, marking him as the ultimate hero.

And yet, Paddren is useless without his friends. Leyoch and Varnia share a past with him and their bond is a necessity to the success of their mission. Each comes with dark baggage that threatens their sanity and morality. Their growth throughout the narrative is part of what enhances the story as they struggle not only with an outside threat, but their own inner demons as well.

One of the most interesting and memorable characters is a minor one: Morrin. I don’t want to say too much for risk of spoilers, but his role in the story was one of the highlights for me.

Another refreshing fact: this is a standalone fantasy novel. While the ending does leave the sense that there is more story, the plot of this specific novel  reaches its conclusion satisfyingly.

Intriguing characters, strong structure, high stakes, memorable world. The Visions of Zarua packs a punch in delivering all of these. A superb story that fantasy readers will definitely enjoy!

RATING:    quills

Interested yet in buying your own copy of Visions of Zarua, take a look here:

Amazon UK OR Amazon US OR Smashwords OR Kobo

Want to connect with the amazing Suzanne, what are you waiting for?

Website OR Twitter OR Facebook OR Goodreads


Have a question for Suzanne? Leave a comment! And thanks as ever for stopping by 🙂

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith  quill-ink

Rise of the Sparrow – Sarina Langer | Interview & Giveaway!

Hi Everyone!

Today is an exciting day! Today is an exciting week!

It marks the debut of my good friend Sarina Langer’s novel: Rise of the Sparrows!

I am fortunate enough to be hosting her today on the first day of her blog tour. I’ve also had the pleasure to beta read her novel and I assure you it is a superb fantasy novel. I hope the following interview can convince you of the same 🙂

And don’t forget, at the bottom of the page is the chance to win 1 of 5 copies of Sarina’s book!

(note: formatting is weird for some reason, still trying to fix that…)

Now, without further ado, may I present Sarina and her novel Rise of the Sparrows!

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Growing up homeless and orphaned in a town that hates her, Rachael must assassinate the king of Rifarne to become queen to a people who once wanted her dead.

Rifarne is a country opposed to magic. When its people demand harsh action, King Aeric sees himself with no other choice but to outlaw those with the gift. Rachael, who possesses the rare gift of a Seer, soon finds herself with visions of her own violent death. When her escape goes wrong and she ends up in the clutches of a vicious Mist Woman lusting for her blood, she finds she is the only person who can stop the war against people like her – and assassinating the king to take his throne may well be the only way to do just that.

Hi Sarina. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I studied Photography at university, and to the great disappointment of my tutors I work part time in my university’s library now, while writing my books the rest of the time. I have a huge addiction to stationery, and am a momma to one cat – my Sellybean, who has become the mascot to my blog and my writing.
I read a lot of fantasy across all sub genres, but I’m trying to bring in some scifi, too. Besides writing, I play video games of the same genres, I read psychology books for fun, and I neglect my garden a lot more than I should.
 
You also have a blog. Tell us a bit about what you do there.
 
My blog is all about my writing. I do have a schedule, but I expect it’ll change a little soon to leave more time for writing.
I share writing prompts and my interpretations, word counts, progress I’ve made (or failed to make), insights into what I do such as my research, my experience with my beta readers, and more recently I’ve also started offering guest posts and interviews.
Rise of the Sparrows is a fantasy novel. Are there any authors in the fantasy genre who particularly influenced your writing?
 
There are! I’ve been drawn to writing since I was very young, and I’ve always been drawn to books, too. I read a lot of thrillers or mystery novels in my teens, but then stopped reading for a while – say, a year or two. When I finally missed it enough to go looking for a new book to read I found the Godspeaker series by Karen Miller. I loved the cover and I liked that it was a series (more to read if I enjoy it!), so I read the first chapter and was hooked after the first paragraph. I bought the whole series, and it made me want to write.
I’m sure it would have happened sooner or later anyway, but it was her books that made me want to try writing again.
Since then I’ve discovered many amazing fantasy writers, but to list them all would take a while. As a basic rule, I admire all writers whose characters make me feel something, or who inspire me to write.
This is your debut as a published author. Congratulations! How long have you been pursuing this goal for? How does it feel to have achieved it?

Hard to say. My Mum would tell you that I’ve always wanted to write since before I knew the alphabet, but I don’t remember that. She showed me the scribbles I made on the walls when I was a toddler, but I don’t think I can count those 🙂 Which toddler doesn’t try to improve the wallpaper that way?

The first time I took writing seriously I was nine years old, I think (or as seriously as you can when you’re as young as I was). Give or take one, two years. I wrote the whole thing in a notebook, and it was about a girl who had to travel to a magical country (through the base of this huge tree in her garden, naturally) to save her sister from… something. I don’t think I thought that far ahead, but I did go to a lot of effort otherwise. I invented an alphabet – I knew my Mum was very impressed that Tolkien had done it, but she merely smiled (and probably thought ‘aww, there there!’) when I proudly showed her mine – and made sure to describe the garden in great detail for when Hollywood bought it for a huge amount of money. That’s the first time I remember taking it seriously, but I didn’t put much thought into writing for several years after that. I did write a bit here and there, and tried writing thrillers for a while but they never progressed past the first page.

I tried again years later. I was very proud of my first draft, too, but naive kid that I was I thought the first draft was perfect. Apologies to the two agencies who have probably black-listed me. Rest assured, I  burnt it. (Okay, so I didn’t burn it, but I have no idea what I’ve done with the thing.)

I was somewhat disheartened after that, and it took a couple of years before I started writing Rise of the Sparrows. I had to set it aside for a while because I was studying for my degree at the time, but I came back to it and now I’m here! 🙂

So, I guess, this is my third attempt. The amount I’ve learnt since the first try is insane, and I’m not backing down this time.

 
If you had to define Rise of the Sparrows as a this story meets that one, what would you say? 
 
I’m terribly bad at these things! You were a beta reader, Faith – what do you think? 🙂
Faith: I’m equally terrible at these things, but I know that Rachael always reminded me of Katniss from Hunger Games — fierce, brave and independent!
What first inspired you to write Rise of the Sparrows?
 
I don’t know 🙂 When I started writing it I was reading a lot of books where magic was a central, integrated part of people’s lives. I think I wanted to write a book where the opposite was the case – a world where magic is feared, and people who have the gift are outlawed. Originally magic was to be hated and hunted everywhere, but once I came back to it and started writing again I realised that this wouldn’t make any sense. It’s a big world, and it seemed only natural that there would be some corners of the world where magic was accepted, even embraced. My main character had the misfortune of being born in a country where the gifted are hated, but not all countries think that way. To the South, for example, magic has been accepted for a long time, and to the West there are some places where magic is a different thing entirely. But of course it’s not as clear-cut as that. Not everyone in Rifarne hates magic. Many do, but there are always exceptions. Equally, not everyone in the South loves it. It’s complicated 🙂
So, as you can see, my original idea has changed a lot since I first had it, but I’d like to think that it’s still in there somewhere.
 
Tell us a bit about the process of writing it.
 
It was definitely a learning curve. It was the first book I wanted to take seriously and do right, but getting into a habit took a while. Writing the first draft was one of my favourite parts, and then the edit was enjoyable and frustrating in equal measures. I wasn’t sure how to feel about the edit – a lot of writers will tell you that they loathe it, so I went in with mixed feelings. Editing was harder than writing the first draft but it’s where the magic happens. It’s where you turn an okay draft into a good one.
I brought in my betas once the words no longer made sense. I know I have a habit of over-editing, and didn’t want to make that mistake here. My betas – you included! – really went to town on it, and changed it in so many wonderful ways. Your own edit turns your draft into something good, but with the right betas you can turn it into something wonderful. I still added chapters to it this late in the process, and I’m really glad I did. My betas had fantastic ideas!
 
There are so many amazing characters in Rise of the Sparrows. Who is your favourite? Tell us more about them.
 
Oh, a mother shouldn’t… Kiana and Kaida! Neither have had many appearances in the first book – especially Kaida, who we only get a glimpse of at the very end – but I adore them both a lot. Neither were originally in the book but they’ve forced their way in part-way through. Who doesn’t love a kickass redhead female character? Well, I give you two! 😉
 
Without running the risk of spoilers, tell us about a scene that you really enjoyed writing and what makes it special to you.
 
I knew for a while that one of my characters would be afflicted by a certain curse (I really want to tell you more… But I don’t want to spoil it!), and I knew exactly how it would happen. It’s a scene which is late in the book, so I was dying to write it for a while and once I got to it I couldn’t stop. It was so much fun, and the feedback from my betas tells me that I did well. I’m quite proud of that scene, and the way it ended the chapter.
There’s another scene I added in a later edit. Rachael goes to the market in the capital city for the first time, and – having been a homeless orphan her entire life – she’s overwhelmed by the colours, scents and sights. It’s a very vibrant scene, and I love how it turned out.
 
Rise of the Sparrows is the first in a planned series. Can you tease anything of what to expect in the following books?
 
More demons, more cliffhangers, and new sights 🙂 Things really turn dark in the sequel, and I’m almost certain that it won’t end on a happy note.
 
With Rise of the Sparrows done, what are you working on at the moment?
 
I’ve been focusing on the sequel, but I’ve also taken notes for Book 3 and a prequel. I love prequels, and I think Relics of Ar’Zac has the perfect set-up for one. Plotting it happened naturally while I wrote Rise of the Sparrows, and it gives me the chance to give you some answers I can’t give you in the trilogy.
I’ve also been working on a scifi novel. I’ve always been drawn to that genre, but for some reason I’ve never written it. When I play video games I love the genre – often more than fantasy – and I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to try it. I’ve never read many sci-fi books, though, so for all I know I’ve been doing this all wrong! There are several sci-fi novels on my bookshelf now, and I’m looking forward to them.
 
What tips/advice do you have for those of us still working towards our writing dreams?
 
Keep writing. Whether you get great feedback or disheartening feedback, keep writing – you won’t improve if you don’t. And please, pleasedon’t think that you can edit this on your own. You can’t. You’ve written it, which means that the cliffhangers no longer work for you, the secrets aren’t secrets any more, and the characters say and do all the right things in your head – but do they do the same thing on paper? You simply won’t know unless you bring in other people. I can’t stress that enough. Beta readers are a blessing! The writing community is awesome (I can’t stress that enough, either) and we love to help a fellow writer out!
Oh, and keep a list of all the feedback that made your day. It can make your day again when you get a negative review.
 
What is your next great goal for the future?
 
Well, I wasn’t going to say anything yet, but since you’ve asked so nicely I’ll tell you first 😉 Over the next three years, I’ll push to make writing my full-time job. I can’t leave my day job just yet (I’m fortunate to work in a place I love, with people I love) but I’ll work my butt off to be able to afford a living as a full time writer. There’s one other thing I’d like to try, too – I admit, it’s not something I’ve ever tried before – not to this extend, that is – but I think I’d enjoy it and I think I could be good at it. Between that and writing I hope that I’d be able to pay the bills.
I don’t know if three years is realistic or not – it’s not like I’ve ever done this before – but it’s a good goal to start with. I’ll adjust as I go 🙂
Thanks Sarina for taking the time to answer these questions and congratulations again on your debut novel! You’ve been an inspiration for me!

Why not connect with Sarina on her blog, or on Twitter, or even on Facebook!

And you can find Rise of the Sparrows on Amazon or here on Goodreads!


NOW TO THE GIVEAWAY!

It’s being hosted on Rafflecopter, but I can’t post the actual widget here, so you’ll find all the instructions over HERE! 

The giveaway ends Saturday so be quick about you and may the force be with you… er, the odds be ever in your favour… er, best of luck 😉

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

Faith’s Friday Facts | Tagged

Hi everyone,

I know that today was supposed to be the first day of Faith’s Friday Fiction, but I’ve been postponing posting this writer Q & A that Mollie at Mollie’s Musings ( you can check out her post HERE) had tagged me in a while back, so I decided to focus on that today & start the fiction next week.

It took longer to do this questionnaire than I expected, but I loved every moment of it 🙂

When did you first start writing? Was being a writer something you always aspired to?

I always remember loving books. My parents read to me from a young age and it just snowballed from there. I started writing when I was in elementary school. Grade 2 or 3. The decision to become a writer was something I only really took seriously after reading the 1st Harry Potter and The Westing Game.

 What genre do you write?

Mostly fantasy when it comes to novels, though I do have some historical fictions lined up. When it comes to scripts, I tend towards family dramas, thrillers and fairy tale adaptations.

Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress? When did you start working on this project?

My current WIP is something I’ve been calling the Divided Draft. It’s a story I started working on over ten years ago when I was in High School. The prologue was something I wrote for an assignment. I was so invested in it that I continued to write it throughout the year and finished a rough draft in six months. I’ve been editing ever since. It’s a fantasy novel about a pirate named Keira who discovers that she is at the heart of a prophecy foretelling the end of the evil threatening her ocean home.

What was your first piece that you can remember writing? What was it about?

The first piece I can remember writing is a short story about an orphan girl wanting to be adopted. I wrote it in Grade 3 and it was published in my school’s anthology. I’m actually hoping to publish it this year too, after the Divided Draft.

What’s the best part about writing?

 

The escape it offers to new lands beyond the pettiness and challenges of real life and the opportunity it presents to meet new characters.

 

What’s the worst part about writing?

I don’t want to believe that there is one. Not even editing or revising. Perhaps the worst thing is the withdrawal symptoms that follow when you’re pulled rudely away from your work.

What’s the name of your favourite character and why?

Like picking a favourite child—or so I imagine. I’m going to have to say Keira, the protagonist of the Divided Draft, if only because I’ve been devoted to telling her story for the past ten years and she’s become like a sister to me and a best friend.

How much time a day/week do you get to write? When is the best time for you to write (morning or night)?

Most days, I steal time. I always try to give myself at least a good 2-3 hours a day, but it depends on my work schedule. Weekends, I get in a bit more time. Night tends to be the best time for me, only because I’m out of the house for work at 6:30am 😛

Did you go to college for writing?

I went to University. I graduated with a BA in History and Education.

I guess that’s a no 😉

What bothers you more: speeling errors; punctuation, errors, or errors for grammar?

For grammar errors say I is most bothersome. Ask you why the question is. Response incomprehensible is mine.

What is the best writing advice that anyone has given you?

I’ve gotten a lot of good advice from people over the years. It’s hard to narrow down to the best. When it comes to my own stories, though, the best advice I got was to divide my book in two. It took me nine years to accept it, but now that’s it done, I know my story will be better for it!

What advice would you give to another writer?

Believe in your writing. Believe in your talent. You’ll meet enough people along the way who will try to break your resolve. Don’t be one of them! If you have a story in your heart, share it with the world.

What are your favourite writing sites or blogs that you turn to for help, tips or encouragement?

For help and tips: ShesNovel, WriterologyHelpingWritersBecomeAuthors.

For encouragement: I turn to my fellow bloggers!

Twitter is always a great place for both 🙂

Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies?

Reading is at the top of that list. Other hobbies include playing the guitar & singing (I’ve tried my hands a few times at composing music and lyrics for songs),

playing Risk (I tend to mutate into a bloodthirsty conqueror when I do), drinking coffee (that’s a hobby, right? Or is it a lifestyle?), watching movies & tv shows (currently loving Jane Austen adaptations, The Sopranos, The West Wing. Can’t wait for the return of Agent Carter, House of Cards, Game of Thrones, Daredevil and The Americans)

What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

I’ll look back to 2015 for this one, I think. I read a lot of great books, but I’ll stick to three favourites:

    1. The Darkest Road by Gavrial Guy Kay. The last in the Fionavar Trilogy, Kay is a Canadian fantasy author whose writing is the most beautiful thing I have ever beheld. Like a dance, flowing and graceful, his words are an art. If you have never read Kay, please, please do!
    2. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. This book stole my heart and broke it a couple of times. Diamant takes a very small Biblical character named Dinah and gives her a voice. Truly mesmerizing.
    3. Discworld by Terry Pratchett. I’m cheating with this one, but this series is unlike anything I have ever read before. Fantasy and oh so funny, yet also thought-provoking. If you haven’t read Pratchett…well, what are you waiting for?

What’s the best movie you’ve seen this year? Again, I’ll stick to 2015 for this one. Definitely Citizen Kane (1941). I shudder to think that it took me so long to watch it. What a stunning and gripping film. A definite classic.

Honourable Mentions: Fargo (1996), Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) & Beauty and the Beast (1991…classic ;))

What is your favourite book or series of all time?

I’m sorry. Do you really thing I can pick just one? That’s cute 😉

I’ll narrow top three series: Harry Potter by JK Rowling, Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein, Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

Same for books: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Who is your favourite author?

Too many…. JK Rowling, Gavrial Guy Kay, Jane Austen, Jasper Fforde, JRR Tolkein, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Robin Hobb, Stephen King, Diana Gabaldon, Mary Stewart, Margaret Atwood, etc, etc, etc…

What are your plans for the rest of the year in terms of your writing?

Publishing my debut novel (aka The Divided Draft). Otherwise starting writing/edits of book 2 in the series. Also finishing edits on some scripts and perhaps working on a novella that I started a while back.

Where else can we find you online?

On Twitter, you can find me at: faith_therivens

On Pinterest, you can find me as: Faith Rivens

On Goodreads, you can me find me at: Faith Rivens

If you haven’t been tagged in this yet and would like to try your hand at it, please do and post a link in the comments so I can check it out 🙂

Here are the questions for you to answer:
When did you first start writing? Was being a writer something you always aspired to?
What genre do you write?
Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress? When did you start working on this project?
What was your first piece that you can remember writing? What was it about?
What’s the best part about writing?
What’s the worst part about writing?
What’s the name of your favourite character and why?
How much time a day/week do you get to write? When is the best time for you to write (morning or night)?
Did you go to college for writing?
What bothers you more: speeling errors; punctuation, errors, or errors for grammar?
What is the best writing advice that anyone has given you?
What advice would you give to another writer?
What are your favourite writing sites or blogs that you turn to for help, tips or encouragement?
Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies?
What’s the best book you’ve read this year?
What’s the best movie you’ve seen this year?
What is your favourite book or series of all time?
Who is your favourite author?
What are your plans for the rest of the year in terms of your writing?
Where else can we find you online?

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith    quill-ink

NaNoWriMo: The Characters – An Interview

Hello all on this very special day, the 23rd of October of the year 2015!

Only a little over a week left before NaNoWriMo begins in earnest. Are you feeling the pressure? Or are you counting the seconds till it begins? I think I fall somewhere in-between. I’m desperately excited for NaNoWriMo to begin, but I would also love to be able to finish a decent outline before, to ease the writing experience. I have a pretty solid idea of my beginning and ending, and a little more mapping of key scenes is all I really need. The rest will come naturally, as it always does when an idea impassions you!

Today’s post is a good chance to introduce you to the two main characters of my story. If you haven’t already, you can check out the premise for my story here! As important as plot and conflict is to a story, my priority in any narrative is my protagonist and the people who surround him/her. Heritage is no different.

At the heart of the action are a grandmother and her granddaughter with a shared tragedy and a bond defined by fear as much as by love.

Peggie, thirteen (13) lost her parents six years earlier to an illness that nearly wiped out her home village of Terrihan. From that moment on, she was taken under the wing of her maternal grandmother Terrie, fifty-eight (58), a storyteller living in the nearby village of Caraliel.

I recently sat down with Peggie and Terrie to interview them about their lives prior to the book’s start. What follows below for those who are interested, is a small excerpt from our conversation:

Faith: Good morning, Peggie. Terrie.

Terrie: Good Morning, Faith.

Peggie: Hello.

F: I am very glad that you both agreed to join me. I have a lot of questions for you.

T: I am sure we have a lot of answers to offer.

F: With that enthusiasm Terrie, let’s start with you. Now, you’re a storyteller by trade.

T: I am. Would you like me to explain?

F: You read my mind.

P: She does that a lot.

T: Well, to put it as simply as I can, a storyteller is someone who records the lives of those who have left this world, to preserve their memories for posterity.

F: A beautiful idea. And how do you record someone’s life?

T: Normally, a person can sense when their end is coming. When they do, I attend to them and listen to their stories. Only after, when I am at home, do I become the scribe and write them down.

F: And you remember them all?

P: She remembers everything.

T: I remember what is important. And I believe that every life is one to be treasured.

F: You must be greatly respected in your community.

T: I have many friends.

P: She’s being modest. She’s beloved.

F: And you, Peggie? Do you have many friends?

P: I know people I go to school with.

F: And do you want to be a storyteller like your grandmother.

P: No.

F: Is there something else you want to be? Some dream you have?

P: shrugs

F: You’re still young. There’s time to decide.

P: Not really. At the end of next season, I have to choose a trade, become an apprentice to someone. I only have another six months to decide what I want to do with my life.

T: It’s difficult to know what you want at any age. I’ve told Peggie that she has to listen to her heart…

P: And I think that it would be grand if my heart would actually speak up and not give me the silent treatment.

Our discussion continued long past this, with many emotions coming out. If there’s enough interest, I’ll post another excerpt from the interview in a few days. Let me know if you’d like to hear more? And how is your NaNoPrep going?

Until next time…

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith  quill-ink