Lightporter Cover Reveal!

It is with GREAT delight that I’m here to announce: the long-awaited sequel to Twinepathy by C.B. Cook has not only a title (Lightporter!) and a first-draft written (!!!), but also has a COVER, which I am here to help reveal today!

I’M SO EXCITED! 😀

You may remember my flaily review for Twinepathy… and I’ve been waiting for the sequel ever since!

(Also, if you HAVEN’T read Twinepathy and want to (and of COURSE you want to, because it’s awesome) it’s on sale today for $0.99 on Amazon Kindle, so grab you a copy HERE, or, if you’ve already read it, maybe leave a review. ^_^)

I absolutely NEED to read more about the epic adventures of Blaze and Anvil and Albany and Brooklyn and aaaall the superpower peoples that I love. ❤

So having a cover is one step closer to me being able to read it, and of course makes it more real, so I’m SO HAPPY.

(I’m actually doing two awesome cover reveals today — one here and one on my other blog. ‘Tis a day of cover excitement. :D)

…Yes, I’m stalling.

*cough*

FINE.

Here is the cover! 😀

Isn’t it epic? 😀 I love the Arctic look! I CAN’T WAIT TO READ IIIIT AAAHH! *flailing*

Links

Lightporter on Goodreads • Twinepathy on Goodreads • Twinepathy on Amazon • C.B. Cook’s Blog • C.B. Cook on Pinterest • C.B. Cook on Goodreads • IDIA Group Board on Pinterest

So what do you think? Isn’t the cover cool (in more ways than one? ;))? Did you read Twinepathy and what did you think? ARE YOU AS EXCITED FOR LIGHTPORTER AS I AM?? (And what are you most looking forward to in it? For me, it’s definitely Blaze — and Anvil. :D) Tell me aaaall in the comments! 🙂 Thanks for reading! ^_^

Advertisements

Superpowers, Cookies, & Penguins (Twinepathy Review/Blogtour)

TwinepathyBlogTour2

Today I’m joining in on the Blog Tour for the newly-released book Twinepathy by C.B. Cook! I’m very excited. 😀 SUPERPOWERS AND STUFF, Y’ALL. It’s awesome. ❤ (Okay, maybe there weren’t actual penguins, but there could have been, and they were discussed… *cough*)

I’ll be sharing my review further along in the post…

But firstly, a bit about the author (who’s an awesome person, FYI), the book, and the Book Tour schedule!

The tour will be running this whole week and will have bunches of fun involved, including book reviews, author interviews and even character interviews (YESSS)!

Author Bio:

C.B. Cook is just a girl trying to find out where her King is guiding her, while writing the stories of the people she creates, the worlds she wants to live in, and the adventures she dreams about. Also known as a mysterious creature called an “author”. She’s a Christian and a home school graduate dedicated to changing others’ lives through the power of the written word.

Visit her online at TheWorldOfTheWriter.Wordpress.com

About the Book:

twinepathycoverKINDLE

Albany York has a secret.

Albany and her twin sister, Brooklyn, have spent years successfully hiding their telepathic connection. But when a girl falls unconscious at their doorstep, the girls learn that they might not be the only people in the world with extraordinary powers and that a memory thief is on the loose. As the twins try to help the girl find her memories, they discover that the superhero world might be bigger—and more dangerous—than they ever imagined.

Find Twinepathy here:

Amazon | Goodreads


Tour Schedule

Sunday, July 17th
Depth of my Faith – Character and Author Interview
Beyond the Amethyst – Book Review
Monday, July 18th
Musings of an Elf – Author Interview
The Road of a Writer – Book Review (You are HERE. XD)
Tuesday, July 19th
Light and Shadows – Author Interview
Lilyorphaned – Book Review
Wednesday, July 20th
Breathing in the Pages – Book Review
WritingAnyone – Character Interview and Book Review
Writefury – Character Interview
Thursday, July 21st
Claire M. Banschbach – Author Interview
Sherwood Storyteller – Author Interview
Friday, July 22nd
Elvish Pen’s Fantastical Writings – Author Interview and Book Review
Saturday, July 23rd
Thoughts of a Word Collector – Author Interview
Thriving Hope – Book Review

My Review

twinepathycoverKINDLE

Twinepathy

(Series: IDIA, #1)

by C. B. Cook

YA / Contemporary / Fantasy/Sci-fi / Thriller/Suspense/Mystery / Superheroes/Superpowers

[I received a free Advance Reader e-Copy of this book from the author (thanks muchly, C.B.!) in exchange for my honest review, and these opinions are my own.]

5starrating

Things I don’t often read include contemporary novels, superhero tales (this may be my first? O_O), and first-person-present-tense (which normally I loathe but in this case I quickly got used to and forgot about). But while Twinepathy had all of those things, I greatly enjoyed it! 🙂

A few overall thoughts and then I’ll do the rest of the review in list form (because lists are obviously the best).

It was exciting, gripping, and I couldn’t put it down (I read the whole thing in two days). It’s a fairly quick read, and feels in a way sort of like the pilot episode of a TV show — an awesome, well-put-together intro, with more to come. Its own contained story, but also introducing a lot of things which will continue… I might have wished to get deeper into some of the characters and goings-on, but the quick feeling of the story lines up with the episodic feel, so that just makes me eager for more books. 😉

Okay, lists!

Things I LOVED:

  • Mostly, I really enjoyed how FUN this book was. There are obviously some more exciting/deep bits too, but overall the feel is very lighthearted and just a fun romp. The characters and banter were some of my favorites, and there’s jokes and camaraderie and fun dialog and bickering. I just ENJOYED this book a lot. FUNNN.
  • The superpowers, which were SO cool. Telepathy, teleportation… I won’t give them all away here, since part of the joy of the story is running into all these fun, awesome superpowers, but I really enjoyed all the superpowers. They were soooo enjoyable to read about and felt original and fresh to me. 🙂 (Admittedly I haven’t read anything like this before. But I loved them. :D)
  • The plot. It’s a mystery involving a MEMORY THIEF. Need I say more?
  • ALL THE HINTS. Seriously, I’m soooo curious about so many things! There were so many hints at different plot things and characters and their backstories… I’m just really curious to find out more about all of it! I NEEEED more books ASAP. 😀
  • The settings. America, a touch of London, and Antarctica! I mean, how cool is Antarctica? (Pretty cool, considering the temperature… but I digress.) Popping to a couple different places around the world a time or two was great fun and gave it an extra exciting aura.
  • COOKIES! That is all. (I need the recipe of a certain super-awesome agent’s cookies. *cough*) I mean seriously, it’s so fun that they’re running around doing superhero stuff and take time to make and/or eat cookies. Somebody has their priorities in order. *nods*
  • Real life + superpowers. I appreciate how Albany and Brooklyn had to work in their adventures around school and family and having to get home to eat dinner (props for actual meals happening!). They’re just normal teenagers (haha, okay, so not really; but you know what I mean) and have to fit life and crazy superpower stuff together, and that feels realistic. 😉
  • It felt really vivid and colorful. Like, I could see everything SO clearly. It just has this bright feel that I absolutely loved.
  • It’s clean and enjoyable and lacks the annoyances I have with many contemporary books.
  • The writing. The writing was quick and quippy and occasionally there would be some line that I giggled at the fun of it, or grinned over its cleverness.

Character run-down: (Yay! This cast is a rollick. :D)

  • Albany & Brooklyn are twins, which gives them automatic awesome-points. Albany is the “I” of the story, since she narrates it. She and I did not always get along, but overall I liked her. Brooklyn is so nice and sometimes ended up a little more in the background but I really liked her too. Twins, guys. TWINS. Yesss. These two are fun to read about, especially their telepathic connection. 😀
  • Maddie is cute and such a sweet thing, the poor darling. I love her muchly.
  • Jen is so intriguing… I occasionally felt unsure of her, since some of her authority-figure part of the story brought her dangerously close to the edge where I could have ended up disliking her… but that never happened because she’s super (haha, see what I did there?) interesting and I’m so curious about her! Jen’s basically really cool.
  • Denver was really grumpy at first but he grew on me. XD
  • Ezra‘s name startled me because I’m used to that being a boy’s name. Whoops. But she was neat, and I love seeing a girl hacker! That was new.
  • I’m not sure what I think of Keller… Hmm. She’s a tough cookie, that one.
  • Finch was cool too. I felt kinda bad for him… Poor lad.
  • Anvil. (Saving the best for last here…) ANVIL IS A PRECIOUS BURNT MARSHMALLOW AND THE BEST AND NEEDS HIS OWN BOOK. THAT IS ALL. (Seriously, Anvil is AWESOME and I wish he’d been in it more. I definitely want to see more of him. But I will say no more concerning this possible favorite or at least tying-for-favorite character of mine lest I spoil the story. *nods* I love Anvil though. ❤ )
  • Blaze gets to go last of all because oh boy, he’s going to get a long point on this list! He’s fun and charming and I LOVE his superpowers. As I said while I was reading it, a cocky teleporter bringing donuts? Yep, I like this guy. Not to mention his other superpower… >:D He has a generally cheerful nature, like an excitable puppy, but he also has a secret side which I’m verrry curious about. He’s hilarious and loyal and he seems to try to hide his more serious side and pretend he’s all fun and games but I think there’s more to him. I’m so CURIOUS about this guy — so many questions! *waits anxiously for a sequel or three* I definitely need more of him. 😀 He just brings such charm and mischief to the group, and the way he interacts with the twins (especially Albany) and everyone else was one of my favorite things about the book. Blaze is just awesome. ❤

Things I didn’t like as much: (Minor, unimportant things…)

  • I wish there’d been more with the twins and their telepathy. I liked it and them on the whole, I just felt like there could have been more?
  • There were a few things I wish had been explained better (why they didn’t use their connection much, or in school, for instance), especially when they were trying to “get out of” things and I wanted to see the entire conversation so I could know if it actually worked. XD Sometimes it seemed like there MIGHT be plotholes, but I wasn’t sure since there wasn’t enough info explained.
  • It was slightly irksome that things kept being Albany’s fault; I mean seriously, poor girl. 😛 She didn’t HAVE to be clumsy that time, and she didn’t have to singlehandedly… well… THAT thing near the end. Ahem.
  • They lied to poor Denver a lot, which I understand under the circumstances, but still, poor guy… (Their parents too. Possibly unavoidable under the circumstances, but still unfortunate. :P)
  • There seemed to be a contradiction where they acted like it was okay for one character to manipulate another’s emotions to get him to do what they wanted . . . and then a little later they got furious at another character for manipulating a couple of people’s minds to . . . also get what they wanted? It seemed really similar to me. I’m just confused, is all. 😛

As always with superpowers etc., ESPECIALLY with mind-reading ones, there were probably plot things that could have been solved quicker than the characters actually did… but if there was anything of the sort I ignored it and just had fun with the story. Because SUPERPOWERS, come on! 😀 All in all, it really only had minor problems (and they’re probably just my own opinion anyway!) and I don’t really care because I just enjoyed the book so much. ^_^

Overall, aside from a couple minor points, it was awesome and I loved it! It’s exciting and cool and fun and just a great light read. I’m verrry much looking forward to book 2 and I highly recommend this one! 🙂

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the book tour going on this week! 🙂

What do you think, readers mine? Sound like fun? (It IS.) Have you read any superpower books? (Recommendations, anyone?) What superpower is your favorite? 😀 Thanks for reading! ^_^

Top 15 Favorite Reads of 2015

TopReads2015icon

As is traditional (last year’s is here) it’s time for a list of the best books I read in 2015! YAY! Because lists and books and favorites are all the best things ever. ❤

I read some gems this year, and though it was super painful trying to pick favorites, these (especially the ones near the top) make my heart explode in happiness just from looking at the titles, so I think they’re some good ones! My list is roughly in order of amount of loving them, and doesn’t include rereads. So here we go! (Prepare for much squealing…)

My top 15 reads of 2015

1. Broken Glass – Emma Clifton (in Five Glass Slippers)

brokenglasscoverSo… I spontaneously reviewed this awhile back. And it’s made it to the very top of my list this year. IT’S JUST SO PERFECT AND MY FIRST STEAMPUNK FANTASY AND ALL THE CHARACTERRRRRRRRRRRS!!!! Ahem. I just really really love this story! I want to read it again (and I’ve already read it twice). It’s just perfection and bursting with humor and snark and great dialog and plots and sooo many characters I love, especially Marius and Darcy and Henry, and it’s FUN but then it gets epic at the end and it’s so British AND I JUST LOVE IIIIIIIT! ❤ It makes me grin and keep grinning and unable to STOP grinning, whenever I think of it. GAAAHH! *tackle-hugs story* ALL OF THE LOVE! *gives Darcy and Marius an extra hug*

2. Archer’s Goon – Diana Wynne Jones

HOW. DO. I. DESCRIBE. THIS. BOOK. Ummm… I can’t! *flails around* It was Diana Wynne Jones which means it was pure distilled BRILLIANCE mixed up with total uniqueness, absolutely FANTASTIC humor, and just ALL OF THE PLOT TWISTS. Mind. Blown. I can’t get over it and it’s amazing and I think I need to read it again right now. I still love Howl’s Moving Castle the best of Diana Wynne Jones’ books (I mean… it’s my favorite book EVER besides The Lord of the Rings) BUT I THINK ARCHER’S GOON MIGHT BE SECOND. Maybe. Ahem. All of the characters are fantastic and the dialog and the humor and it’s timey-wimey and sci-fi and fantasy and modern and super confusing and I just love it a lot. Ack. ❤

3. The Ordinary Princess – M. M. Kaye

This was, in a word, PERFECT. ^_^ It just makes me so happy. I can’t. *beams and huggles book* It’s a sort of original fairytale type of thing, feeling like it has some hints of Sleeping Beauty and maybe a couple others, but mostly its own thing. It was just a quick read that was ADORABLE and sweet and perfect, and I loved the illustrations, and the character of the Ordinary Princess herself was awesome, and Peregrine who I loved a ton, and they were so cute together and just alskdjljlsjk it makes me happy and is a perfect little book. ^_^ ❤

4. Illusionarium – Heather Dixon

I’ve been dying to read this ever since reading Entwined. Needless to say, I pounced on it. The internet is probably still reeling with the incoherent fangirling babbles I shared on this blog about Illusionarium… Ahem. So suffice it to say, despite the creepiness, that I LOVED THIS BOOK AND THE DIALOG AND HUMOR AND EPIC STEAMPUNKNESS AND ESPECIALLY LOCKWOOD. LOCKWOOOOD!!!!! *flails around forever and a day* Basically, Lockwood. ❤ I just can’t get over that indescribable airguardsman snarky fiery epic trigger-happy roguish awesome Lieutenant Lockwood. (And he and Jonathan are a great pair. XD I love themmm.) (BUT LOCKWOOD. SO MUCH. ❤ ❤ ❤ )

5. The Pinhoe Egg – Diana Wynne Jones

Diana Wynne Jones books are always wonderful, but this one’s one of my top, like… four? of hers? (Howl’s Moving Castle, Archer’s Goon, The Crown of Dalemark, and this, are my favorites.) This was the conclusion to the Chrestomanci series, which I started late in 2014, and read most of this year. AAAHHH I LOVED THIS BOOK. It returned to the hero of the first book, Cat (who is great), and there were shenanigans and it had sooo much more of Chrestomanci himself than a lot of the others (which is pretty much my one complaint usually, since he usually only shows up a little in the midst of other people’s adventures). THERE WAS ALSO A GRIFFIN. AND CHRESTOMANCI AND AND AND ASLKDJFLK I just really really really love Chrestomanci and I need some fancy dressing gowns to wear around the house like he does. Except he has a castle… BASICALLY I WANT TO LIVE AT CHRESTOMANCI CASTLE AND READ ABOUT CHRESTOMANCI FOREVER. Because CHRESTOMANCI!!!!! ❤ ❤ Ahem.

6. Frederica – Georgette Heyer

After reading and loving The Grand Sophy in 2014, I wanted to try another Georgette Heyer, so this happened. I LOVED IT. The characters, just… aaagh! I loved them. LORD ALVERSTOKE. He’s one of those kind of awful fellows who’s sort of vain/spoiled, a lot like Howl actually, and yet he ends up being all noble too and just alskdjflklaskdj I love Alverstoke, he’s wonderful. And his relationship with the heroine and with her younger brothers — just YES! I don’t actually read a lot of regency historical romance sorts of things but this one was great. There’s also an airballoon and a crash and all of the DIALOG, my goodness it’s wonderful.

7. The Penderwicks in Spring – Jeanne Birdsall

AAAAHHHHH. I’ve been waiting for this ever since I read the first three Penderwick books (I even reread them this year!) and it was amazing. I was actually surprised because in a way it was so SAD but also the usual hilarious and just… I love the Penderwicks, okay. I LOVE THEMMMM. This family. Just. THEY ARE PRECIOUS. *gathers them in a hug* It was a little strange because it’s years after the previous ones and the three older girls are like TEENS and Batty’s 11 and… yes. o.o And I should have been upset, especially with all the sad, but I just LOVED. IT. SO. MUCH. Also there were like ten billion characters and the author juggled them all SO well and the writing is golden and ALL OF THE FEELS. I wish I could write like that. Basically I waited a long time for it and it did NOT disappoint. ❤

8. Conrad’s Fate – Diana Wynne Jones

This was a sort of Chrestomanci prequel because it involves him (Christopher) when he was a teen. LET ME FLAIL. Like Illusionarium, it was a great buddy-movie story (as I call them; even when they’re not movies… *cough*) and… Chrestomanci and the hero are so much fun together and I DON’T EVEN KNOW. But it was Diana Wynne Jones and I remember having so much fun and just really ENJOYING this! *flail* Chrestomanci as a youngster is just fabulous to read about, so sneaky but refined but clever and just brilliant and the dialog and I just loved it. ❤

9. Power of Three – Diana Wynne Jones

How. I. What. It. SOMETHING! *flailing* This was totally not what I was expecting and it was so DIFFERENT (something Diana Wynne Jones excels at) and PLOT TWIST! Wow. Also I loved all of the characters, especially the two who were like the hero (you’ll understand if you’ve read it), and it just had a lot of brilliance going on! It was epic. It felt rather different than her other stuff–a bit more like the Dalemark books than her “fun” ones… But I still adored it. Plus, the flashback where the fellows were drunk and met Titch was sheer gold. *dies of laughter*

10. Plenilune – Jennifer Freitag

This is here basically because DAMMERUNG!!!!! It was EXHAUSTING to read and took me from Christmas till August to read… like really heavy chocolate cake. Or the ocean. It was a little much, kind of too rich if you know what I mean, but it was totally worth it for Dammerung. He’s, like, possibly my favorite character this year. Possibly one of my top favorite characters of EVER. Like… HE’S UP THERE WITH HOWL, OKAY? Dammerung is just AMAZING and this monster of a 600+ page book of exhaustingly gorgeous poetical prose is totally worth it just for him. (And Rupert was amazing too. I have very complex feels about Rupert. Which makes me super glad that Dammerung is there to cancel those out because he just blows everything away with his amazingness). Like… he’s funny and powerful and heroic and epic and just… HE’S LIKE THE COOLEST EVER. Dammerung has a very special place in my heart. ^____^ ❤ ❤ ❤

11. The Skin Map – Stephen R. Lawhead

This was an AMAZING book. Contemporary/time-travel/fantasy/sci-fi-ish/historical… it has a little bit of everything. The writing and setting and just the entire thing is STUNNINGLY well done, not to mention the cast of characters, each of whom I love to bits! Arthur, Cosimo, Kit, Etzel, Wilhemina! (I even love the heroine!) Just. Gaaahh. It was a fantastic book, and would have been much higher up the list if it weren’t for something that happened in the last twenty pages… *cough cough* But I’ve actually gotten over that (mostly) and all I can think of is how amazing this book was and how much I want to read the sequels! *huggles all the characters* It was just a DELIGHT to read!

stonecurse12. Stone Curse – Jenelle Schmidt (in Five Enchanted Roses)

I reviewed this one on the blog and just YES. Beauty and the Beast retelling, which I ALWAYS love… And RITTER! ❤ Ritter and his heroicness and humor and just aaaahh I love him so much! And the setting and the fairytale feel and BAREND the Beast, down to loving the heroine, Karyna, a ton as well. I just… Gaaah. ^_^ *huggles all of them* The whole cast of characters and their relationships… just fantastic. SUCH A GREAT READ! ❤

13. Corroded Thorns – Emma Clifton

Aaand I also reviewed this one (more Beauty and the Beast, yay!) and it’s the sequel to my top favorite of the year, Broken Glass, and I sort of consider them one book because it’s so interconnected, sooo I couldn’t resist putting this on the list too! DARCY!!! Eeep. I just looooved this story and the characters AND THE ENDING WAS PERFECTION OH MY GOODNESS SO MUCH LOVE FOR THAT. ❤

14. Tahn – L. A. Kelly

This was the VERY first book I read in 2015, so it’s possibly a little hazy in my memory… But I know it was an exciting adventuresome read, with some good stuff, and was a little grittier than I usually like but still fabulous. And, like with Plenilune, it’s mostly here for one of my favorite characters of the year, namely the title character himself, Tahn. Tahn is the absolute epitome of my favorite archetype of characters, what I call the “dark guy”. (I’ve heard “anti-hero” used as well.) But I really really love him and his story and it was awesome.

15. The Book of Sight – Deborah Dunlevy

This book… I don’t know. It just made me happy. It was one of my first “random” ebooks I tried, since it was free on Kindle at the time and sounded interesting. I got so addicted that I’ve since bought all three of the sequels which are currently out (looking forward to reading The Poisoned Cure soon!) and already hoping the fifth/final book will come out soon! It’s a modern fantasy story, and it just… somehow kind of reminds me of the sort of stories I’m writing with my Kedran’s Wood series. I just enjoy it and it’s about these kids, a group of friends, in a little modern town, and their dealings with fantastical stuff that they start running into. Also, I really love Dominic. But it’s just a fun read, so… yes. It makes me think of sunshine. 🙂

***

You mayyy notice a trend*, which is that books are much likelier to be extremely loved/high on my list when there’s a particular character I really like in the story… What can I say. I’m evidently extremely attached to fictional people. But I’d say that Dammerung, Lockwood, and Chrestomanci are my favorite characters this year. THEY’RE THE BESSST!

(*Whaaat, you thought I was going to say that the trend was Howl? HAHAHA. Fooled you. XD Ahem. Sorry. Howl does whatever he likes, and apparently that includes stealing the show in a blogpost that doesn’t even involve him… *cough*)

So there’s my list! Have you read any of these? (You totally should!) Do you have any favorite reads of 2015? TELL ALL IN THE COMMENTS! ^_^

Hopefully this next year of 2016 will hold some wonderful reads in it for all of us! ❤

Happy New Year, everyone!

February Ishness

My doings of February…

Was sick almost all month. A flu and then a cold a week later. Which as you might imagine did not do much for my wanting to be productive…

Went to a library sale…

LibSaleFeb15

Read (mostly contemporary books). Which is weird for me…

Feb2015books

Wrote nearly 6,500 words. Which may not sound like much but it’s more than I usually do in a month. I worked on a few different things, but mostly Tare (who is now vaguely mad at me because he hates nightmares).

  • A bit of progress on Heartseeker.
  • A (very long) chapter of The Secret of Kedran’s Wood, which hit 40k words.
  • Hawkeye fanfiction.
  • Some random snippets, including some for my new idea I mentioned in my last summarizing post.

Made progress on editing my friend’s lovely book. But am not finished yet. (Finished the first round, though.)

Punctuation

EDIT: Oh! And I discovered “Leverage”. Thanks to Christine and Cait for getting me into it. I have seen two seasons and it is awesome (Robin-Hood-like con artists hurray!). Eliot is the best ever. Just sayin’.

leverage

So there’s another round of monthly Ishness.

A Look Into My Mind: The Writing Process Blog Tour

The wonderful Elizabeth Kaiser of E. Kaiser Writes-a-Blog tagged me with the Writing Process Blog Tour. Thanks Elizabeth!

I’d seen it going around the blogosphere and it looked like fun, so I’m excited to finally get to do it! I can babble about my writing, but say that somebody ASKED me to, and therefore I can annoy everyone in the name of being useful. 😉 Hee. That being said, I hope you’ll find it interesting!

So here we go: a look at my writing.

1. What are you working on?

KW2coverPOh, lots of things. But I think I’ll go with the recentest thing I’ve actively started working on.

The Secret of Kedran’s Wood is book two in a contemporary fantasy series I’m writing. (It’s theoretically a trilogy at the moment, but I hesitate to call it that, lest out of spite it decides there’s another five books or so…) I may have mentioned it before on the blog, but if so it would have been under the title “Snowfall at Kedran’s Wood”, because I recently changed the title… Just so you know, in case you’re getting confused. 😉

It’s about a group of friends (the “Chess Club” of their little town) and how they’re trying to make sense of various mysteries that seem to tie back to the adventurous happenings in the first book, while the still-mysterious Tare has returned and thinks he’s going mad due to a succession of nightmares. There’s some winter fun as they get ready for Christmas, some suspicious villains who are up to suspicious villainous things, and a surprise or two that nobody expected, which includes something going on in the wood . . .

2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?

WarehouseThe Owl of Kedran’s Wood and The Secret of Kedran’s Wood (books 1 and 2, the latter of which I’m writing) are contemporary fantasy, i.e. they take place in a modern but unspecified American town, and have fantasy elements (in the first, some villainous creatures from another world; in the second… well… stuff. *cough*spoilers*cough*). My answers here mainly apply to the first, but, by extension, to the second as well.

I’ve only come across a tiny handful of contemporary fantasy books that I liked at all, so I think I started writing this series to fill an empty slot in the genre. For some reason, I tend to find modern fantasy books to be “icky”. Well, most modern things I find icky, and when they add fantasy it just seems to make it worse.

I feel like most authors, presented with these ingredients: fantasy, modern small-town, group of friends, female MC, dark mysterious guy, monsters — would construct it roughly as: girl falls in love with dark guy because he’s off-limits, while having problems with her friends, amid ickness at school; monsters are a big part and very creepy, and the fantasy element is blown out of proportion with lots of special effects and probably dark magic.

ChessDoorstepThese stories of mine are about modern teens, but being set during vacations I don’t have to deal with them “at school”, which I think accounts for a large percentage of why I don’t like modern YA books. The friends are actually *gasp* nice people, and get along (for the most part). There also isn’t a large focus on romance, and although there are some “couples” it’s not a big thing and it’s more focused on the group and how they’re friends and what they’re doing together. The main girl isn’t even the “main” character–we’re just in her head the most because she’s the newcomer–and she starts liking the happy-go-lucky guy; while the cool dark guy, who is very much a loner and at first they’re not certain he’s even good, lurks on the fringe and slowly becomes a part of their group, almost. But he’s dark and dangerous at times, and this makes them wary of him (instead of the girls falling head over heels in love with him). The monsters I tried not to make too disturbing or gross, and the fantasy element is only that there are monsters who have arrived from another world, that the main characters need to deal with.

In short, it differs from others in the genre because I write contemporary fantasy that I would actually be willing to read and recommend to others, whereas most books in that genre I wouldn’t.

3. Why do you write what you write?

Well, the reason why I write contemporary fantasy is found above. But it’s not my main/favorite thing to write. And that is fantasy adventure set in other worlds, generally without too many fantastical things, and generally with a medieval-esque feel.

I write medieval fantasy-world adventure because it’s my favorite type of genre and I feel at home with it, both in reading and in writing. Since some of my earliest favorite books I read were medieval-esque fantasy in other worlds, or at least places that feel otherworldly (gadrillions of fairy tales; The Princess and the Goblin; The Gammage Cup; the Prydain Chronicles; Narnia; Middle-earth, etc.), I just naturally fall back on that genre. It is HOME to me. The forests, hills and glens, mountains, moors, castles, swords and bows and arrows and cloaks and horses, knights, princesses, kings and kings-in-exile and just everything! I like the FEEL of it, the refreshing sort of green feel, and the possibility of wonder around every corner.

BridgeRoad2In my writing, I love the freedom that comes with inventing your own kingdoms/lands and all their intricacies and relations and cultures. Especially if there can be a slight fantastical bent to the things in the story, just to spice it up . . . A clan of talking bears, or enormous bats blacker than the night; a stone that glows with moonlight; invented trees or berries; pirate captains who tame the seas with their singing; a different race of people with special abilities. Or you can go the whole way, and have a fairytale kingdom (especially with a fairytale retelling inside it!) with creatures like unicorns or dragons, selkies, birds who turn into people and back, mind reading abilities, fairies . . . The possibilities are endless! (Basically all of these find their way into one story or another of mine, in case you were wondering.)

Fantasy gives me the freedom to write whatever I want, and I am just so very at home in my medieval fantasy worlds, where I feel myself and my characters can go out into the vast green and leafy forests, wandering amidst the tall mysterious trees, and meet fascinating people, mythical creatures, and wild sweeping adventures of any and every kind imaginable.

4. How does your writing process work?

I keep a journal of all my writing ideas, which is generally where my first ideas go. When I have a particular story idea in mind, I keep making notes on it whenever I have ideas, either in my journal or in a file for it, and just let it simmer on the back burner. When it’s ready, it attacks me and makes me start writing it.

I generally have to have a title and a one-paragraph summary of what it’s about before I can officially start a story. That’s the bare minimum, but I usually prefer to have something of a plot outline. I’m a plotter and feel most comfortable when I at least have a list of the main events. I often cut those up into parts–like acts, if you will–and it depends on the story whether I have just a list of events or a full-out outline that’s like a long summary.

When I actually get to writing the story, I often plot each scene before I write, including a rough idea of some of the dialog. It depends on the story whether I feel most comfortable mapping it out so minutely, or whether I let it come as I write. And invariably, there’s always new things that pop up when I’m writing that I hadn’t plotted. That’s one of the best feelings. I also sometimes act out scenes to myself, which can help.

KWplaylistPicThen I write. Usually in my room with music on. For the most part I write in order, but occasionally a scene from later demands to be written, and I often comply. And I write some more. And make a cover for fun, and make lists of characters, and find songs to play in playlists, and procrastinate, and get stuck. And get distracted into working on something else for awhile. Then I get stuck on that one and go back to the original (or a third). Unless it’s really flowing, in which case I just type madly away and suddenly it’s finished and I don’t know what to do with myself because I’ve been living in it…

And after I finish… I let it sit. And then I edit it. And then I let people read it. And then I edit it again. And that’s… currently as far as I’ve ever gotten with a story. Don’t ask about what comes next–the dreaded Publishing with a capital P–because I’m not sure about that yet. Shhh…

***

And there you have some of my writing process and thoughts on writerly things! If you actually read it, in which case you deserve a cookie for your patience!

I think I’m supposed to tag people now but most people seem to have done the tag already… But I tag Lauriloth and Ashlee Willis because they’re both awesome people who I would like to hear talk about how they write!