Author Interview, Book Love, canadian authors, writers life, writing

Saturday Check-In: Books I’m Reading, Upcoming Author Interview, and Heading to the Country

Hiya friends,

Short post for today.  The #WriteMentor Agent Showcase went fantastically and Stuart shared that every mentee received an agent request which is super rare and awesome! Woohoo 🙂 You can still read the lovely entries here!

What I’m Reading

I finished The Secret Deep by Lindsay Galvin and it’s definitely a 5 star book in my opinion! I loved the thrilling mystery and the close sisterly bond between Aster and Poppy.

I’m still working on Blinding Night and A Touch of Gold. But I also have a few more on my radar 😀 The life of a booklover! Haha.

Scion of the Fox is written by Canadian writer, editor, and artist, S.M. Beiko. The pitch is American Gods meets Princess Mononoke!

Saving Death was graciously sent to me by Oftomes Publishing to review. Very excited to dive in.

The Bone Roses is such a unique and fantastical story. It’s pitched as a Steampunk Western! I love it so far. Rags is such a spunky and brave main heroine.

This book was published by Parliament House Press. I think they are definitely a publishing house to watch. They have some great books lined up for the fall. My two mentors from #WriteMentor each have a book releasing from them in the next couple of months.

Upcoming Author Interview

I won’t say much about this because I want you to be excited and curious but I have a fantastic author interview going live on Tuesday! They are a bestselling fantasy writer and I cannot wait for you to read the interview ❤

Heading to the Country

I am excited because this weekend I am heading to the country to spend time with family. Hoping for rest and good conversation and inspiration. I also get to read my #cpsoulmate‘ latest draft of her science fiction adventure story, World Leaper! 

Do you have any plans for the weekend? What are you reading at the moment?

Keep your eyes peeled for Tuesday’s interview!

Until next time,

Loie xo

Book Love, Cover Reveals

Dream Keeper by Amber R. Duell Cover Reveal

Hi everyone!
I have the great honor to be part of the book cover reveal for one of my #WriteMentor mentors, Amber R. Duell!
I read Amber’s previous book, Fragile Chaos, and it was fantastic. Lush, romantic, and complex.
I cannot wait to read her newest book, Dream Keeper. I’ve always been fascinated by dreams. It is also about Sandman! Eeee!
Isn’t the cover gorgeous? Keep reading to find out more about the story.
PS: Shoutout to Amber: this cover is stunning!
-Loie xo
writing

#WriteMentor: A Mentee’s Experience

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Hey everyone 🙂 How are you all making out? Did some of you participate in Camp National Novel Writing Month? I started to, but then I got busy with a new job (I’m happy as a clam!) and settled into a new routine.

Also, can you believe it is August 1st? The countdown is on for the Agent Showcase.

Today I want to share my experience with the mentorship program, #WriteMentor. I am beyond blessed to be part of this fantastic group of writers. There is an excellent mix of published authors and aspiring authors.

Without further ado, here is my experience of being part of a mentorship 🙂

1. Writing Community Broadens

I have met so many wonderful writers during #WriteMentor. I am part of the mentees Facebook group. We share how we are doing during revisions or ask writing craft questions.

My Twitterverse has grown as well. It is so fun to login and see what everyone is up to. Sometimes we post silly GIFS about how revisions AREN’T going smoothly, haha, or we just tag each other in fun little writing questionnaires.

I love meeting new writers, and #WriteMentor has brought new writing friends into my life for which I will be forever grateful.

2. Learn More About Writing as a Craft

As a writer, working with two brilliant and funny authors has been amazing. Their level of insight is really awesome. I received my final round of edits around ten days ago. I took a deep breath and cleared my desk, then sat down to read through their notes.

My jaw dropped many times. They were so spot on! They picked up on things that I didn’t even notice. Bringing some of these things to my attention has already shifted something in my writing brain. I find I am looking out for those problematic areas in my writing or noticing passive and filter words more.

I am so grateful for Amber and MB. They are the best. Thank you both for the time you put in this manuscript ❤

3. Grow More Confident as a Writer

My confidence has grown. I think every time you learn something new, you feel more sure of yourself. The ambiguity clears up.

For example, filter words are the worst, HAHA! Also, make sure the weather doesn’t drastically change in a scene without explaining why. Good ol’ continuity 😉

We will always grow and learn more. We can only get better! That is an encouraging thought. Even if I don’t get an agent or a book published in the next year or so, I know I am learning and growing. All of this is important on the journey.

We will get there.

Final Thoughts

A big shout out to Stuart White, who is an awesome, kind, and great encourager in the writing community! He is brilliant. You can tell he has a genuinely good heart and wants to help others. He is the mastermind behind this program.

Also, a big thank you to the rest of the mentors who are giving up their precious time to work with us. You are all amazing ❤

I hope someday if I get enough experience I can give back similarly and mentor a new writer. If you are thinking about applying for a mentorship program, I highly recommend it.

How has your summer been? What are you all working on? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

Loie xo

writing

Creating characters

July 3rd, 2018

Hello, lovelies! I hope you are having a good week so far. Happy Camp NaNoWriMo for those of you who are participating, whether you’re editing, writing, or outlining. I hope to write a novella set in the world of THE LOST SAGES, and explore one of my secondary characters, Tsura. I’m excited to learn more about her 🙂

I’ve decided to start blogging about the craft of writing, with the hope of better understanding it. In my own search to understand various techniques, I’ve found some neat books and informational videos.

The wonderful thing about being part of a writing community is getting to share information and tips with one another. After you read this blog, I would love to hear your own thoughts on how to create compelling and real characters 🙂

Writing video notes 

I stumbled upon Kim Chance’s writing videos on YouTube. I really enjoyed listening to her break down some of the various craft elements. In this video, she shared how she creates well-rounded characters. Kim kindly provides a character profile questionnaire that can be found on her website.

She discussed these key points: cultural influences, mannerisms, occupation and socioeconomic status, family relationships, spirituality, and education. Life experience is a big one. What have the characters gone through or what has happened to them before we meet them on page one.

In my book, THE LOST SAGES, Evren is poor and alone at the beginning. This really influences her decision making when Captain Sa’av, infamous pirate, arrives on Ionoke Island, seeking a navigator to bring him to the sinister Sea Queen’s lair.

Personality, of course, is a huge one. How does a character view themselves and how do other characters see them? I loved these two questions!! Oftentimes, we can see ourselves in a different light than those around us 😉

Growth

To become three dimensional, the character must experience some change over the course of the novel and journey.

What is the character’s goal? What is the motivation behind the goal and what is at stake if the character fails? For example, if Evren does not find the sinister Sea Queen’s lair, then her and Captain Sa’av won’t be able to retrieve an antidote to an epidemic that is claiming the air from thousands of lungs across Tarkais.

Question Time

Do you brainstorm all the details of a character before writing them? Do you have an image of the person or perhaps a feeling or situation they are involved with?

When I received an edit letter from a manuscript critique I won, the editor kindly suggested I begin to think about how Evren moves, talks, and interacts with others.

There were some things I knew from the beginning when I drafted THE LOST SAGES. But as always in revisions and rewriting, I learn MORE about my characters. A bit of backstory sheds new light. It’s amazing, the continual unfolding and learning that goes on.

Building Character 

With the help of the questionnaire and a character profile sheet an editor sent me, I found I had plenty of questions to answer when it came time to brainstorm Evren.

I also like to listen to music and let my brain wander, imagining Evren in certain scenarios and wondering how she would react. Free-writing also helps a ton before drafting a novel. I write a random scene with Evren in it. This allows me to see how she would handle a confrontation with a character or a dangerous situation.

Finding their voice 

I find voice a bit tricky and elusive. However, each draft I write or re-write, brings me that much closer to capturing the voice of the character. I think details in the book revealing how they walk (do they slouch, stride, or saunter) and talk (do they have a lisp, accent, or use certain words repeatedly) for example, help with capturing the unique voice of the character. Everything that makes them unique and different, will stand out.

Captain Sa’av, in the first draft of this book, was ice cold and arrogant. I realized early on that wasn’t really him. In fact, he was more goofy and eccentric. Evren appears to be uptight at the beginning, but she really relaxes once she is around people whom she feels safe with. All of this I discovered as I re-wrote.

What do you do?

How do you create characters? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Until next time,

Loie xo

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Enchanted Conversation Magazine publication and #WriteMentor news

June 4th, 2018

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Good morning, everyone! How was your weekend? I cannot believe it is June but I am happily soaking up the sun as much as I can (After applying sunscreen, lol. Otherwise I’ll turn into a lobster).

The flash fiction I wrote for Enchanted Conversation Magazine’s June edition has gone live. This is the beautiful cover art for my fic, Ladybug Cake. Imagine a whimsical and magical night at a Midsummer’s Night Eve party. I hope you enjoy ❤

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#WriteMentor

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“#WriteMentor has been set up to give unagented writers the chance to work with an agented or published author and help develop their manuscript and their overall craft skills and abilities.

We will hold an agent showcase at the end of the process for those who are selected as mentees and agents will look at the pitches and openings and potentially make requests to those manuscripts that look most exciting to them.”

I found out on Thursday that I was selected as a mentee in the #WriteMentor programme. I am beyond thrilled and excited to revise my seafaring fantasy, THE LOST SAGES, with the lovely and brilliant duo, Amber Duell and MB Dalto.

I’ll blog about my experience in a week or so. They have been so encouraging and kind. I know I am going to learn so much in the next three months.

I am so thankful. Keep writing and journeying, friends! What are you working on at the moment?

Until next time,

Loie xo