Author Interview, Book Love, national novel writing month, writers life, writing

25 Days of WinterDream: Interview with Author Chantal Gadoury

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About the Book

This Christmas Eve… no creature was stirring…
Except, maybe, a mouse.
At long last, can true love break the Nutcracker’s curse?

For Clara Stahlbaum, this Christmas means the end of her youth. A daughter of the aristocracy, Clara is expected to give up her dreams of adventures and the extraordinary for more normal days as the wife of a cruel Viscount.

But when magical Uncle Drosselmeyer returns with his wondrous, dancing contraptions, and one…special gift for Clara, she is beckoned to the land of Winter Dream, where she is thrust into the greatest adventure of her wildest dreams. But will she be able to break the Nutcracker’s curse?

Uncle Drosselmeyer’s apprentice, Anton, is handsome as he is mysterious. But what is it about him Clara finds so alluring?

Winter Dream is a phenomenal retelling of The Nutcracker from the eyes of Clara Stahlbaum with all the magic of the Holiday season. If you loved S. Jae-Jones’ Wintersong, you’ll fall in love with this stunning tale of love, war, redemption, and Christmas magic.

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Author Interview

I would like to welcome the lovely author, Chantal Gadoury, to the blog today. Chantal is Senior Editor at The Parliament House Press. This is an amazing publishing house releasing some of my favorite books this year: Dream Keeper by Amber R. Duell, Two Thousand Years by M. Dalto, Clouded Envy by Candace Robinson, and Blinding Night by Chantal Gadoury 😊

Check them out if you love fantasy, steampunk, science fiction, and more wonderful tales!

Today, we are celebrating and counting down the days until Chantal’s Nutcracker retelling, WinterDream, releases. Isn’t that cover gorgeous?!

Loie: Without further ado, welcome Chantal!

I love this time of year and am SO excited to read WinterDream. This is the perfect read for me. I know I’ll cozy up with a blanket and a mug of hot chocolate ❤

Can you please share the initial inspiration behind WinterDream? What led you to write a Nutcracker retelling?

Chantal: Loie, first – thanks for having me on your blog today! I can’t help but agree with you whole-heartily about cozying up with a blanket and a mug of hot chocolate. That sounds so perfect.  As to answer your question, Christmas actually inspired my Nutcracker tale. I grew up going to the Nutcracker ballet with my mom, and the story has always been this magical love story that I’ve treasured for years. It was right around the beginning of the holidays last year that I had just finished writing “Between the Sea and Stars,” and I was pondering the question of “What else do I write?” And with a Christmas tree in front of me, it suddenly made sense to write my own version of the story I had grown up with – and loved so much!

Loie: Love it! That’s such a special inspiration ❤ When did you start writing this story and how long did it take to revise?

Chantal: I started writing this mid-November, early December of 2017, and I finished around February of 2018. I really pushed myself to get through the story while it was still winter, and cold (and while I still had an excuse to listen to Christmas music – and the Nutcracker score.) It sat for a while until Parliament took it, and it’s been in the revising process since August! It’s been happening fairly quickly, but I’m definitely excited to share this tale with everyone!

Loie: Awesome! Yes, perfect excuse to listen to Christmas tunes 😉 Did you come across any interesting tidbits of history about the Nutcracker story during your research?

Chantal: Not necessarily history – but cultural differences. So when I began to write the Nutcracker, I had to choose between setting this in Germany or in Russia. While the tale of the Nutcracker is a German tale, we all associate it with Russia because it originally premiered in St. Petersburg back in December 1892. As I researched the way Russia celebrates Christmas, it was vastly different to the way America and/or Germany celebrates the holiday. But for the sake of the tale, and the origins, I chose to go with Russia and tried to adapt around the cultural differences. It’s definitely worth looking up and seeing how we all celebrate the holidays differently around the world!  

Loie: Ooooo, how lovely! I’m going to go and look that up. Thanks for sharing 🙂 Are there any fairy tales you would love to retell in the future?

Chantal: Oh yes! I’d love to retell “Swan Lake” someday – and with a twist! I’m working on retelling the story of “Hansel and Gretel” with a very talented writer, Amanda Wright! I have a few other stories I’d like to tell, but we’ll see where my writing takes me! I still have to revisit Lena and Soren in the sequel to “Between the Sea and Stars,” and return to the Underworld with Darce and Summer in a sequel to “Blinding Night.”

Loie: Oooo Swan Lake 🙂 ! Can’t wait! Can you share a little bit about what 2019 holds in store for you?

Chantal: To be honest, a break! I’m not going to push myself the way I have the past two years. In two years I’ve published six novels! As I mentioned, I need to revisit two worlds that I’ve already established. I’d like to focus on Amanda and I’s retelling of “Hansel and Gretel.” But I plan to take 2019 pretty easy.

Loie: A break sounds perfect. You’ve done a lot in the past two years, wow. What is your favorite thing about the winter season?

Chantal: Christmas trees, lights, and music. Those are the three things that make the holiday the most magical for me. There’s nothing like setting up a beautiful tree, decorating it with beautiful lights (and seeing homes decorated) and blasting Christmas music! (And singing along!)

Loie: Mmmm, same ❤ Are you participating in National Novel Writing Month 😊?

Chantal: Not this year. After writing three novels just within this year, I’m focusing on “WinterDream” and allowing my creative juices to build up again. But I wish everyone luck as they write this year for NaNoWriMo!

Loie: Thank you so much, Chantal, for stopping by the blog! I love your books so much and cannot wait to read WinterDream.

Chantal: Thank you so much Loie! I really appreciate you welcoming me here today! “WinterDream” waltzes onto shelves November 27th! And you can all sorts of information about my books at www.chantalgadoury.com

Book Teaser Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMRGyNtnhZI

You can Pre-Order on Amazon and the Parliament House Publishing Website

About the Author:

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Amazon Best Selling Author, Chantal Gadoury, is a 2011 graduate from Susquehanna University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. Since graduation, she has published “The Songs in Our Hearts” and “The Songs We Remember,” with 48Fourteen Publishing, and “Allerleirauh,” “Between the Sea and Stars,” and “Blinding Night” with Parliament House Press. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues with that love of writing today. Writing novels for Chantal has become a life-long dream come true! When she’s not writing, she enjoys painting, drinking lots of DD Iced Coffee, and watching Disney classics. Chantal lives in Muncy, Pennsylvania with her Mom, Sister and furry-’brother’ Taran.

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Book Love, Country Life, national novel writing month, Nature, writers life, writing

National Novel Writing Month Check-In and Visiting Nova Scotia

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Hey everyone!

How are you all making out? I wanted to check in and see how NaNoWriMo is going. I’ve hit the 12,000 word mark. I should be a little over 17,000 words, so I have a fair bit of catching up to do today.

I’ve been writing with my friend Biljana over Skype a few times this week. We chat for a bit and then sprint for a half hour or so. It’s a great accountability trick, and I’ve managed to finish two chapters. I look forward to our writing sessions a lot 🙂

Sundays tend to be quieter for me, so I think I will have some time today to work on my story for a few hours.

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Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

I’m in Nova Scotia visiting my family. I always feel so nostalgic when I go to Yarmouth. It’s a little maritime town at the end of Nova Scotia. A lot of people lobster fish here. I grew up in Yarmouth for seventeen years until I moved to New Brunswick.

As a teenager, I couldn’t wait to leave. There was a big world out there that I wanted to explore. I wanted to live in a city and meet new people. I have seen some of the world, but I now enjoy living in a quiet village in New Brunswick.

As a writer, I find this place a wonderful spot to live and write in. It’s quiet and relaxing. When I lived in the city, it was chaotic and busy. There’s a certain magic to cities, but there’s a calm peace with living in the country.

I have space to think and breathe and dream. I’m not so preoccupied.

If you are feeling a little discouraged with NaNoWriMo, don’t be! This month is meant to be a great inspiring time, but it can be stressful too. Life happens. Interruptions stop the flow. That’s okay. There’s still December and a whole new year ahead.

Today, I will enjoy time with my family, read from M. Dalto’s TWO THOUSAND YEARS, and hopefully pen a new chapter or two.

Enjoy the day. Go for a walk if you’re stumped. I find walking helps my ideas flow better.

Some fun blog posts are going live this week! I interviewed a lovely fantasy author and can’t wait for you to read!

How is NaNoWriMo going? I’d love to hear below ❤

Until next time,

Loie xo

Book Love, national novel writing month, writers life, writing

Writing Resources for National Novel Writing Month

Hi everyone!

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I hope you’re having a good day so far. For those of you who haven’t heard, today is the first day of a global event called National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

You’re challenged to write 1667 words a day, totaling 50,000 by the end of the month.

It’s a great way to start a new project, complete an older project, or work on short stories. People sometimes choose to revise during this month or outline! There is such infectious energy and excitement online during November.

The first time I participated was November 2012. I wrote a YA paranormal about a mermaid, haha. That hasn’t seen the light of day since, but out of that, a new idea grew. My seafaring fantasy, THE LOST SAGES.

Writing Resources

You never know what you might write! Here are some writing resources that might help you throughout this month.

The Merry Writer

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Here is a great resource. Every day on Twitter, the hosts post a question. You can respond and meet other writers. Click here for the first prompt. Have fun making new writer friends 🙂

Pinterest

If you ever find yourself stuck, why not go on Pinterest and scroll through some images to help your imagination spark again?

I created a storyboard for my current project, THE AUBERGE OF WIZARDRY, and had a blast collecting images of characters, settings, and random items.

I find when I get stuck, I’ll return to the storyboard and look through the pictures. This usually helps me get unstuck.

#RevPit

The fantastic team of editors at #RevPit are doing all kinds of things to keep November interesting. They will be hosting word-sprints (writing for thirty minutes at a time) and WIP games.

Check out their Twitter to find out what’s happening today 🙂 I’ve enjoyed getting to know some writers through #RevPit.

YouTube

I know everyone is different. Just throwing this idea out there. Sometimes, I like to write to music. Other times, I need complete silence. It just depends on what scene I’m working on.

I created a playlist for my NaNoWriMo project. Before I begin writing for the day, I look through my storyboard on Pinterest, and then I go listen to a song. This usually helps me sink into the right head space.

What Are You Working on This Month?

I hope you found some of these tips helpful. I’d love to know what you do during this month or whenever you write. Do you write by hand or on the computer? Do you like to outline or write from scratch?

How do you get unstuck?

Also, share with me what you’re working on this month! I’d love to hear in the comments below ❤

Until next time,

Loie xo