Tare & Steampunk Little Merman: In Which I Go Rebel For NaNo 2018 (Know the Novel Intro Linkup)

(Just to clarify on that silly post title: Tare and the Steampunk Little Merman are not in the SAME story. XD)

Today I’m joining in on Christine Smith’s fun new noveling linkup to share about my 2018 NaNo project!

But first, a little about my plans.

I’m officially going all-out Rebel for NaNo this year.

There, I said it. 😛

Fun facts in list form (because lists!):

  • We’ll see if it goes according to plan, but I’m currently hoping to work on two different books I’ve started before.
  • So I’m… like… a double Rebel. XD (Since you’re “supposed to” start a new work and only write one thing.)
  • This will be my 9th NaNo. (Whaaat?? Where did time go?)
  • PLUS, this is really my first purposeful time of going Rebel for NaNo!
  • I’ve rebelled two other times, but both were by accident. 😛
  • One year I got halfway into the month and totally scrapped the book, realizing I’d need to rewrite it, and so worked on two other things.
  • And then last year I wrote a short story as well as starting a new novel but that was kind of a last-minute decision.

At the moment my goal is to FINISH (or at least get quite close to their endings) TWO novels I’ve been working on:

1) The Siren and the Skyship (steampunk-fantasy YA Little Mermaid — I mean Merman — retelling) — I started this for NaNo last year, got 40-some thousand words written (because of said short story which filled in the rest of the 50K) and have been working on it all year since. It’s now up to 73K and I’m hoping that I can finish it next month.

2) The Secret of Kedran’s Wood (YA contemporary fantasy, book 2 in a series, featuring Tare — my favorite character. Shh, don’t tell anyone else. …Eh, never mind. They know already. 😛 ) — I’ve been writing this since… erm… 2014. *cough* It’s currently a monstrous mess of about 86K words, including snippets and bits all over the place and I really want to get those sewn together and the book finished up finally.

I have in my mind about how long I’d like them both to be, and to fill that up for each would be a combined total of about 50K. (I’m 10000% aware that my novels love to laugh in my face and be way longer than I planned. But at least I can make SOME progress??)

SO YEAH. No exciting new novel to announce this year — sorry! Just continuing on two old favorites of mine. Which, honestly, has me super excited because I love them. ^_^

Usually, I spend NaNo starting new books and not finishing them, so this year I figured I’d try something new.

But also, endings are scary and hard and whyamIdoingthistomyselfhalp, so… wish me luck. *bites nails*

SO. I’m going to do Christine Smith’s exciting new novel linkup, Know the Novel, to talk a little about both of these! I know I’ve rambled about both books before, but I’m excited about these questions so I’m going to talk more about my precious book brainchilds — so there. 😛 Hopefully y’all won’t mind. 😉


Giveaway Winner

OH! And last week I shared some NaNo writing tips and ran a giveaway for a copy of “No Plot? No Problem!” by NaNo founder Chris Baty, and today I’m excited to announce that the winner is…

Lilian S.!

Congrats, Lilian! I’ll be contacting you shortly. 🙂

Thanks so much for entering, everyone! ^_^


Now, onward to the Official Linkup Questions!

If you want to know more Tare things or stuff about my steampunk Little Mermaid book (including NEW AND IMPROVED BLURBS — YAY! — for both books), then read on!

Know the Novel, a writers linkup by Christine @ Musings of an Elf! Image from her post.

(Abbreviations: The Secret of Kedran’s Wood = KW2. The Siren and the Skyship: S&S.)

1. What first sparked the idea for this novel?

S&S: The idea of a Little Mermaid retelling in the sky instead of in the sea, with a wind/cloud siren instead of a merperson — and the siren being a guy, while the heroine is a princess and a skyship captain… because steampunk. >:D So yeah.

KW2: After writing the first book (which was supposed to be a standalone — hahahaHAHAHA — ahem), I still had adventures to explore with Tare and the Chess Club. I loved them too much to stop writing them. Originally there was going to be one sequel (which is now book 3) but then I had an idea for a fun little wintry/Christmassy short story or novella between the two, since I had some fun winter scenes in mind. So I started writing that. Then it became book 2 and is currently a monstrously long novel. Figures. 😉

2. Share a blurb!

The Siren and the Skyship (Sky Voyages Ever After, #1)

Searching for his father’s killer, Prince Auren the Cloud Siren needs to be more substantial than a wind spirit. But to become human he must make a trade. Who needs a voice, anyway?

Princess Tasmania Peckham-Archley of the Royal Skynavy finds her life thrown into chaos when assassins strike. She’ll do anything to stop a war from erupting between the sky city states and tearing apart what’s left of her family.

Fighting to forge a new life for himself in the skynavy after everything he holds dear is ripped away, Stirling Rook holds the most dangerous secret of all—one the Sorcerer of the Mist will be happy to take off his hands.

Assassins prowl cloud city rooftops, the pirate king terrorizes the skies, unknown death lurks down the misty ravines where no one goes, and the Sorcerer of the Mist keeps collecting things that don’t belong to him . . .

Tasmania, Auren, and the Star Dreamer’s crew may soar through the clouds on skyships and clockwork dragons, but have they traded away the only thing that can defeat the darkness?

One thing’s for sure: they’ll need all the magic, tea, and true love they can find.

***

The Secret of Kedran’s Wood (Kedran’s Wood, #2)

All that monster stuff the Chess Club of Kedran’s Wood went through in the summer is absolutely and completely over. Totally. Isn’t it?

There are mysteries afoot in the town by Kedran’s Wood. Mr. Larch’s sister is visiting, but the rest of the Chess Club haven’t actually seen her. What is the connection between the Wildlings and the new guy around town and his goons? And why are they looking for Tare?

Speaking of which . . . the resident leather-clad stranger (no longer so strange) returns from his absence one snowy December day. Tare does some investigating of his own into the people looking for him, but he’s haunted by nightmares and the approach of a night that might make his worst fears a reality.

Harold Starrford and his step-father aren’t going to stop until they know the information Tare possesses, and they don’t care who gets caught in the crossfire. Tare’s not going to have that — not in his town. Throw in a mysterious dog that keeps popping up around town, and a legend of a dark faerie (which might not be so legendary), and it’s business as usual around Kedran’s Wood for the Chess Club and Tare these days.

And, oh yeah, Christmas is coming. How is the Chess Club going to find time for gingerbread house making contests? And what on earth are they going to do for Tare for Christmas? If all of them can make it that long, that is . . .

3. Where does the story take place? What are some of your favorite aspects about the setting?

S&S: IN THE SKY in a fantasy world. I absolutely love having floating cities, skyships soaring through clouds (and clockwork dragons to ride instead of boats/shuttles/helicopters/whatever), and mysterious pillars of rock all over the place hiding in the mist that skyships have to sail through. Plus creepy ravines nobody goes down because you… kinda die if you go down there. *cough* And I also love the steampunk-flavored touch to this fantasy world, with cool old-fashioned clothes and coats and ball dances and clocks and gears and steam-rifles and the occasional magical gadgetry and especially skyships. The skyships are my favorite. 😀

KW2: In a small town in modern-day America, next to a wood. Kedran’s Wood itself has to be my favorite part of the setting (it’s kind of mysterious and just so neat), but I’m also partial to using abandoned warehouses etc. for the villains to lurk in. And Tare lives in the deserted side of town in his own cozy “lair” as the Chess Club have named it. I kind of want to live there…

4. Tell us about your protagonist.

S&S: *nervous laughter* Which one? XD I kind of have three. 😛

Auren is a cloud-siren prince (okay, so he’s the seventh son, so not that important) which means he’s an insubstantial air spirit. Or, he was. Now he’s human, and he’s not at all used to it. XD He’s got white hair and he’s seventeen and super cool. I actually need to rewrite his entire plotline, and his personality also just changed, so I’m going to move to somebody else here. (But it’s his story, pretty much. He’s the “little mermaid” er… merman… er… siren. I mean, he’s neither little, nor mer, nor a maid, but it’s still a Little Mermaid retelling, I promise. *cough*)

Princess/Captain Tasmania is the princess of a city in the clouds, but since she has two older brothers in line for the throne (twins, actually; one the crown prince, one in charge of the sky navy — they’re awesome, by the way), she’s free to captain her own beloved skyship, the Star Dreamer, in the Royal Sky Navy. She flies around with her motley crew she’s put together (including Auren and Rook now… bwahaha), doing various missions. And she’s like seventeen too, and has curly red hair.

If I tell you about Rook I’ll be here all day because he’s my favorite and keeps stealing the show, but he’s in the Royal Sky Navy and is really cool, and if you ask him he’ll let you know that his author is super mean. *cough*

(Me: Stop stealing the spotlight in this book already, won’t you? I already promised you a sequel!

Rook: And then you made it book 3 instead of book 2. I’m only saying.

Me: Blame Keller! He’s a sky pirate! Of course he stole your book!)

KW2:

The Chess Club are kind of the protagonists, but, again, it would take awhile to introduce them all… Briefly, there’s shy Lavender, rambunctious Baz (the pun-master), fiery Ivy, confident Adrian (who clashes with Tare sometimes), and the siblings, solid Marie and cautious Jake. There’s also wry Mr. Larch (the only one who’s not a teen), and Small Occasion the little fluffy white dog. 😉

Tare is honestly the real protagonist, though. He’s my favorite character I’ve ever written, so… I can’t really sum him up in a paragraph. *cough* I can start, though. He’s 19 (ish… it’s complicated), has black hair and always wears a black leather jacket (usually carting a fair number of weapons in it to deal with any… situations that might arise, though his fists would work just as well). He’s a little mysterious and shady-seeming, with a dark past (like… Khazad-dum dark… Don’t even think of going there.) but honestly he has a heart of gold and you want him on your side in a pinch. Just don’t expect him to be social.

I will direct you to previous interviews and such if you would like more of a glimpse at what Tare is like. XD Here, here, and here to start with.

5. Who (or what) is the antagonist?

S&S: The Sorcerer of the Mist, who’s… kind of like the stand-in for the Sea Witch of the original tale, but is actually a tall, thin man in a long coat who’s kind of elegant and totally creepy. He’s the main antagonist, but there are also sky pirates and assassins and a traitor sky navy captain (who is a total jerk, ugh) and some danger lurking down the misty ravines which makes no one ever return… There’s a lot of antagonistic forces in this one. I like to keep things interesting for my characters. *cough*

KW2: There’s more than one antagonist in this as well, and… er… awkwardly, one of them is Harold “Mr. Perfect-Teeth” Starrford (the nickname is what the Chess Club called him before learning his name. XD), the guy who’s dating Mr. Larch’s sister Robin. So yeah. But the other one is Harold’s kinda-shady/ominous secretary-slash-step-father, Greg Nobody-really-remembers-his-last-name. (Aaand there may be an evil faerie involved. I’m just sayin’.)

6. What excites you the most about this novel?

S&S: ALL THE THINGS. Literally. The characters (I love them all so much, okay?), the world, the complicated plot now spilling into three books, the fairytale retelling aspect, the steampunkery and fantasyness… I LOVE IT ALL. I’m absurdly in love with all of the things in this book. And writing this blog post is making me even MORE excited! Like… can it be NaNo already? (I’m not ready, honest, but still.)

KW2: My favorite character, Tare, being awesome… as well as getting to meet A NEW CHARACTER I’m rather excited about. But really I love continuing this series. And at the moment, I’m just really ready for this second book to be DONE! (…So that I can hasten onward and write book 3 which has been attacking my brain lately. Not that I’ll complain. ;))

7. Is this going to be a series? Standalone? Something else?

They were both SUPPOSED to be standalones and are now series. XD Go figure.

S&S: This is the first in a fairytale retelling trilogy. Originally they were going to be standalones, just with a few recurring characters… but now they’re an awesome tangled mess of plot threads following all my favorite characters and being all interconnected and I’m so excited. Currently book 2 is a Jack and the Beanstalk/Snow White/Rapunzel book about a sky pirate by the name of Keller. Book 3 is about my fave character Rook (YAS!) and will feature The Snow Queen… and possibly Beauty and the Beast or East of the Sun, West of the Moon? I’m not sure yet. It’s being stubborn. They’re a bit more “inspired by” fairytales than straight-up retellings, but still fun. (Oh, and book 2 and 3 recently swapped places so MY BRAIN IS CONFUSED but don’t mind me.)

KW2: This is book 2 in a contemporary fantasy trilogy… with extras on the side. I’ve written book 1. Book 3 is going to feature the Chess Club and Tare on summer vacation, and scary agents and new characters and more secrets about Tare’s past and stuff. I’m excited. Then I have a smattering of short stories and novellas with the same characters, so yeah. Lots to write with this one! But it’s so much fun, I have no complaints. 😛 (There’s also the fact that Tare and another side character in the series recently teamed up in my head with some other side characters from two other books of mine to make me promise I’ll write a crossover Urban Fantasy heisty novel about all of them together. So there’s that. *cough*)

8. Are you plotting? Pantsing? Plansting?

Er… some of both, for both. I have a lot of scenes in my head, and a fair amount of notes, but I’m not nearly as plotted as I’d like to be for an actual NaNo month. I do have a rough idea of where things are going, though. And I technically have a list of the rest of the scenes in each, all divided up into 30 days of writing, so in THEORY I should be okay… until it all falls apart. XD I’m just hoping both of them will listen to me and let me get to the end. *sound of both books laughing at me in the background* (Me: Stop it, guys.)

9. Name a few things that makes this story unique.

S&S: Hopefully it’s a unique take on The Little Mermaid, and I like to think the setting is unique too. 🙂

KW2: This one’s unique because it’s about modern teenagers but WITHOUT THE TEENAGED DRAMA/ANGST/LOVE-TRIANGLES yay! XD Um. I’m sure there’s other unique things too. *cough*

10. Share a fun “extra” of the story (a song or full playlist, some aesthetics, a collage, a Pinterest board, a map you’ve made, a special theme you’re going to incorporate, ANYTHING you want to share!).

Well, for both, here’s a handy pinboard I always set up for NaNo, with various inspiration and stuff.

S&S: Drop by my Pinterest board for a look at the sort of “feel” of it! 🙂

And imagine a kind of Lindsey Stirling esque soundtrack going on. XD

KW2: And then I also have an inspiration board for this one.


SO. There you have a look at the two stories I’ll hopefully be immersed in for the following month!

And thanks to the ever-awesome Christine for the splendid linkup with the great questions! I’m extra looking forward to NaNo now, ready or not. 😀

Talk to me! What do you think about my NaNo plan? Learn anything new about my WIPs? Are YOU doing NaNo this year? (I’m HERE if you’d like to be buddies!) If you’re not NaNo-ing, I half-envy your sanity and hope you won’t mind a smidge of NaNo flailing going on this time of year — sorry. *cough* How is NaNo almost HERE?? :O HALP. #cuepanic

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Tare + Teague Beautiful People: Appearances {Aug 2016}

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*creeps out of hiatus briefly*

*whispers:* Sooo… I kinda-sorta-almost-maybe-perhaps-possibly might have accidentally seen that Beautiful People was up for this month and that it was on Appearances and been unable to resist doing it.

I also kinda-sorta-almost-maybe-perhaps-possibly might have been unable to decide whether to do Tare from my Kedran’s Wood series or Teague from The Other Half of Everything for it.

So I’m doing both of them.

Behold, Beautiful People!

*tosses thing at you and creeps away again*

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Monthly character questions for writers, hosted by Sky @ Further Up & Further In and Cait @ Paper Fury — join the linkup!

1. Give a brief overview of their looks. (Include a photo if you want!)

Tare: Nineteen years old, tall, black hair pushed back, dark blue eyes, chiseled face, black leather jacket, black shirt, black pants, black lace-up boots. (Okay, yes, you get the picture: face and hands pale, eyes dark blue; otherwise, lots and lots of black.)

tarecollage

Tare-ish things

Teague: Twenty-five years old, tall, sandy hair tousled and falling down over his forehead, uncertainly-colored sea-like eyes, vague face, grey jeans, casual t-shirt/buttoned long-sleeved shirt in muted colors of light grey, pale brown, or white.

teaguecollage

Teague-ish things

2. Share a snippet that involves description of their appearance.

Danger zone. Don’t invite me to share snippets of when we first meet two of my favorite characters– Whoops, too late. You were warned. I’ve been unleashed… Here we go.

Snippet of the first time Meridian sees Teague:

OHEcoverA faint padding sound came, then finally the door opened. I braced myself for a crazy old man with a white beard. I did not brace myself for a twenty-something-year-old young man with sandy hair, which was unfortunate, since that meant I was unprepared for this.

He couldn’t have seen my extreme surprise, though, since he wasn’t looking at me at all, but at a book he held open in one hand. He was also rather more good-looking (in a vague sort of way) than he had any right to be, considering I had expected an 80-year-old guy. He wore faded grey jeans which might once have been black, and a tan-ish vest over a button-down white shirt with sleeves rolled up to the elbow and a slightly crooked collar. The white socks on his shoeless feet provided the reason for the padding sound in place of ordinary footsteps.

Aaaand a snippet of the first time Teague sees Meridian, since he didn’t look up at the time. XD

A pair of uncertainly-colored eyes—blue? Grey? Green? Brown? Dust? Ice?—glanced briefly up at me from under sandy-colored hair-tips spilling down to his eyebrows. His focus returned to the book briefly and then flickered back up to me again and stayed there this time, sudden mild surprise in his face.

Snippet of Tare from The Owl of Kedran’s Wood (the first in the series), the first time we get a good look at him:

KWcoverHe was young, maybe nineteen—Lavender wasn’t sure, not being real good with ages—tall, and still clad entirely in black. He had a hard, chiseled face, without expression, somewhat pale in contrast with his black hair slicked back. His eyes were a very dark blue that Lavender had never seen the like of before, and they looked steadily back at her for about three seconds—not so long that it became awkward, but long enough to show that he knew she knew he was watching, and that he didn’t care. Then he moved away from the window and walked on down the street at an easy stride, his hands thrust into the pockets of his long black leather jacket.

Snippet of Tare from The Owl of Kedran’s Wood when he really shows up for real:

Presently the metal door of the warehouse creaked and the sound of metal grating together filled the air. The Wildlings rose and stood, watching the door, which swung open.

A figure stood in the doorway for a long moment before stepping forward into the pale florescent light. It was the young man who Lavender had seen now on two occasions. The light glinted dully off his long black leather jacket and dark hair, highlighting his expressionless face. His black boots were planted firmly apart on the concrete as he stood his ground opposite the half-dozen creatures.

It seemed he was not who they had expected.

“Who are you?” one of them asked.

His voice was quiet and low, half careless yet with a slight edge to it. “No one you want to mess with.” His eyes turned toward the caged Chess Club, taking in their situation in a glance. “So . . .” He looked back at the monsters, linking his fingers and flexing them outward, like one readying for a fight. “How do you want to do this?”

They stared at him in silence for several moments. Then one turned away, jerking his head toward the intruder in a sign to his companions, saying only, “Kill him.”

3. What is the first thing people might notice about them?

For Tare… his formidable-ness. Overall shadowy-ness and commanding presence, combined with his leather jacket.

I imagine most people wouldn’t have a “first thing” they would notice about Teague because he’s so vague and unassuming on first acquaintance they might not even notice him at all. XD

4. What are their unique features? (Ex: freckles, big ears, birthmark, scars, etc.)

Tare’s unnaturally dark blue eyes and his expressive dark eyebrows. He does also have scars, but they’re not normally visible.

Teague has grey-green-blue-something, uncertainly-colored eyes, and also a vague, rather dreamy and absent expression as if he’s not really paying attention to anything in this world.

5. How tall are they? What is their build (Ex: stocky, slender, petite, etc.)

Tare’s around 6’1″ I think; tall, lean, thin but not skinny.

Teague is 6′, rather thin, but a bit more muscular than you would think at first.

6. What is their posture like? How do they usually carry themselves?

In a nutshell: Tare is like a large tense black panther who’s permanently slightly peeved with the world; cool and removed in a catlike way, but clearly dangerous. Teague is like a lanky, lazy ginger cat who couldn’t care less about the world, not because he’s coldhearted, but because he never remembers the world exists. …Our world, anyway.

Tare has an upright posture and decisive manner of carrying himself — confident but slightly wary and calculated, with very precise movements and an acute awareness of his surroundings. He’s constantly paying attention to what’s going on around him. His movements have three speeds: casual, stealthy, or quick, depending on his mood/circumstances. Be nervous around all three.

Teague slouches a little, normally with his head bent to look at a book or notepad while he walks, and tends to move slowly and a little dreamily, as if he’s not fully awake or moving through molasses. There are times, however, like when he’s worried or angry, when he can liven up more than you would think. And we won’t get into what he’s like in… erm… other places, since that’s another story entirely.

7. Your character has been seen on a “lazy day” (free from usual routine/expectations): what are they wearing and how do they look?

Tare’s wearing black jeans, black socks, and a black button-up shirt. His hair might be more mussed than usual, instead of sleeked-back. In this scenario, he’s hanging out in his very neat “lair” (a.k.a. his small, dark, paneled apartment in the long string of abandoned buildings), probably reading a book, or carving some wood with one of his knives, or cleaning his weapons, as close to relaxing as he gets, which isn’t usually very close…

Teague is wearing his usual casual jeans, probably grey, and either a t-shirt or a button-up shirt and white socks, or else is barefoot. In fact… he looks as he always does because all his days are lazy days. 😉 He’s lounging around in his rather messy rooms at the top of the old house, either reading or scribbling away, and likely absentmindedly burning his dinner unless Meridian’s there (if he even remembered anything about dinner anyway).

8. Do they wear glasses, accessories, or jewelry on a regular basis? Do they have any article of clothing or accessory that could be considered their trademark?

Tare DEFINITELY has a trademark, namely his black leather jacket. It’s notorious. XD As for accessories, do a lot of guns, knives, and other weapons count? He also has dark sunglasses he wears occasionally.

Teague doesn’t seem to have a trademark, unless you count that he wears vests sometimes. Oh! He does have a dark blue wool coat, kind of like the style Sherlock wears. *nods* He also wears a certain key on a chain around his neck.

9. Have they ever been bullied or shamed because of their looks? Explain!

Um… no? There mayyy or may not (*cough*spoilers*cough*) have been an occasion when Tare’s leather jacket and “scary” attitude got him some mockery when he was younger, but it would have been from a slightly nervous distance, and regardless, he never paid any heed or cared at all. Also when his change of eye color was noticed by someone, it kind of bothered him a little.

Teague never paid attention if anyone said anything so he doesn’t know. XD

10. Are they happy with how they look? If they could change anything about their appearance, what would it be?

Neither of them is the sort to think much about their looks at all. So methinks they’re content. They are both rather laid-back in that regard and don’t care about their appearance, so whatever they are is their casual, natural look.

So there you have it. What think ye? Also, remember that old saying, “Appearances can be deceiving”? Well… although some things about their appearances do reveal their character, the saying does apply to Teague and Tare. 😉 Just sayin’.

Beautiful People: Teague’s Childhood

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Beautiful People is here again!

(Er… that is… it’s been here for three weeks already and is about to close for the month. I never said I was punctual… *cough*)

This month’s theme for the questions is Childhood! YAY! So I’m doing Teague from The Other Half of Everything. Because.

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Beautiful People, the monthly character-questions linkup for writers hosted by Sky @ Further Up and Further In & Cait @ Paper Fury. Join the fun and link up!

I’ve noticed that whenever I answer the questions about the characters, it’s more informative, buuut when the characters answer the questions themselves, it may be way less informative but more fun.

I feel like fun, so I’ve tweaked the questions from “their” to “your”, directed at him, and talked Teague into answering because I told him he could answer in between reading. …I now see that may have been a bad idea.

Anyhow, on with the show!

Teague-ish

Beautiful People: Childhood Edition (June 2016) with Teague

(I’m in bold; Teague is in regular type.)

1. What is your first childhood memory?

*looks up from behind book* *directs a vague stare my way from under eyelids drooped halfway down* Meridian would tell you that I can’t remember what I had for breakfast this morning — which I must admit is entirely true. (Did I have breakfast today? I certainly wouldn’t know.) And you’re asking me about my earliest childhood memory? Well, someone is obviously in for a surprise.

Because you don’t remember?

Because I do, as a matter of fact. *goes back to reading* *looks up again* Right, yes… I distinctly recall, at the age of two or so, falling flat on my face when I tripped over a tussock of grass. Fascinating, I know.

2. What were your best and worst childhood experiences?

*mild sigh* Are we really doing this?

Yes.

Mmm… Best: that really good book I read, the one with the . . .

*gives him a look*

*pauses* What does that look mean? Is it a hint?

It means actual experiences, specifically outside of pages.

A bit picky . . . but all right, adventures with my siblings, then. Worst: Probably the time I got eaten. Nearly. Dragon incident. Not my fault, by the way . . . *trails off because is already reading again*

3. What was your childhood home like?

*long, long pause while Teague continues to read*

Ahem.

*longer pause*

Finally: *Teague glances up* Oh, we’re still doing this, are we? Well. I suppose you could say it was a house. In fact, it was… house-like. Wooden. Painted white. Like Lulin’s hair. *shrug*

4. What’s something that scared you as child?

Oh, the usual, you know: dragons or paper cuts or something. Moving on, then.

Author’s note: His worst fears: losing one of his siblings, and losing his imagination. Um. Let’s just say he doesn’t like to talk about this… >.>

5. Who did you look up to most?

My father, I suspect. And my favorite authors.

6. Favourite and least favourite childhood foods?

This question sounds suspiciously like it came from Meridian… always badgering me about food. I can’t fathom it, exactly. I never have been very into food, to be honest. It’s not something I think about. But I do remember rather disliking cauliflower cheese, and I recall some quite good meat pasties with some sort of grey-ish mushroom-y gravy, as well as being moderately fond of lemon meringue pie.

7. If you had your childhood again, would you change anything?

Nothing. And everything. *tilts head sideways* Would you?

8. What kind of child were you? Curious? Wild? Quiet? Devious?

Definitely more on the quiet side, with a touch of curiosity, perhaps… I left the wild and devious side of things to Ivan and… others. I never went in for that kind of thing. Of course not. Absurd, really. I don’t know why in the world you would think it, honestly. *sticks nose firmly back in book*

9. What was your relationship to your parents and siblings like?

It was fine, thank you. You said there were ten questions, so what’s the last one? *goes back to reading*

All right, I’ll answer this. When he says “fine” he does mean it — he got along rather well with his whole family. It’s just a complicated question to ask NOW because his relationships “now” are far from “fine”, so it’s not a subject he dwells on.

Teague was always rather independent, if reserved (usually), but his relationship with his parents was a good one… but they’re dead now. He always had a good relationship with his little sister Lulin (not so little now), and that has not changed. She has a mischievous side like Ivan’s, but also a streak of quietness, which means she and Teague often understood each other when the wilder brothers didn’t.

Teague’s relationship with his two brothers is more complicated.

Teague was the quiet leader type role, but his next brother, Errol, of-whom-we-do-not-speak, was very much the dashing charismatic ringleader. Ivan was the reckless mischievous type, and would have followed Errol anywhere, and often did. Teague got along well with Errol — they all did; he was the center of their group, the heart, if you will — but Teague also often tried to temper Errol’s daring schemes with more wisdom.

Teague and Ivan got along okay, usually, though truthfully neither of them paid a ton of attention to each other since there was always Errol between them. Ivan always found Teague a little too cautious, which was boring and stuffy. Teague always thought Ivan was a little too reckless, but it never mattered much because between Errol and Teague’s dual leadership, they all always got out of their scrapes and adventures well enough. Until they didn’t.

Now Errol is dead, and Ivan and Teague are very much not on speaking terms. Lulin’s still on good terms with both of them, but angry with them for the split. Things are a bit… strained, you might say. So as you can imagine, Teague does not like to discuss his relationships to his siblings because they used to be fine, and now they’re… not.

…I told you it was more informative (and longer) but less fun when I answer questions. >.> Back to Teague, now.

10. What did you want to be when you grew up, and what did you actually become?

*arches eyebrows and stares over book at questioner* I beg your pardon, Miss Interviewer, but that is not the correct way to ask things at all. People never grow up. I do wish people would understand this. “What do you want to be when you grow up”, “what are you now that you’re grown up” — nonsense, all of it. *stares vaguely into the middle-distance* It’s not like people hit some magical threshold and floof, they’re “grown up” —

(“Floof”? Really?)

*waves hand slightly* It was the sound that wanted to be made. At any rate, grown-up-ness is never achieved, and we do not “become” something suddenly… it has to happen which is a process… And all that “when” you grow up and “now that” you’re grown up… where does it really get us? It doesn’t, because you must admit those are definite statements of past or future, and all we really have, ever, for a certainty, is the present, the now . . .

*face-palm* Just answer the question.

*blinks mildly* Excuse me?

Fine then. Please.

*little absent shrug of uncaring* If you want to be that way. Don’t blame me if it doesn’t turn out the sort of answer you wanted, with a ludicrous question like that. But I don’t know why you can ask about what I am when I’m grown up, at my age.

You’re twenty-five.

Precisely my point. I’m nobody’s grandfather, exactly. Still a bit young, don’t you think? But all right. *turns an absent dreamy look apparently through his nearest bookcase* Well. I wanted to be a writer and a hero. I’m a little of both, you could say, so I suppose that turned out fairly all right, if you put it in those terms. There’s always room for improvement, though, on both counts.

(I take it back about the “longer” thing.)

***

This concludes Beautiful People June 2016.

Thank you for reading!

*look of minor surprise* Why, you’re welcome. I suppose it is rather rare to find readers these days…

…I was talking to the blog readers, thanking them for reading your rabbit-trail-y answers.

Oh. Well, they’re welcome, too. And I thank them as well. *smiles faintly* *a pause* I am not rabbit-trail-y, by the way. In fact, everything I said was entirely related–

*hastily wraps up post before he can get rabbit-trail-y again*

*yawns* I heard that, you know. And I may very well get offended. *goes back to reading* *adds:* Someday.

Meridian calls from the background: “Unlikely!” *pause* “Now come eat your breakfast, Teague!”

The End.

P.S. Don’t forget that that lovely fan-voted Fantasy Oscar thing the Silmarillion Awards are still underway! Nominations end on July 1st, so if a) you haven’t nominated anyone yet, b) you haven’t nosed around the comments lately to see if there are gems of characters others have nominated who you must second, or c) if you have a friend or three who might enjoy sharing their two cents on favorite fantasy characters, do gallop on over to the posts and join in the fun! Remember that Teague approves of this, because, ya know, Fantasy. 😉

Beautiful People – Author Edition

Today I’m linking up with Sky @Further Up and Further In, and Cait @ Paper Fury (formerly Notebook Sisters) to participate in their lovely interview thingy, Beautiful People!

I did a post for Beautiful Books back in November, but I’ve yet to do an actual Beautiful People post for interviewing characters.

…And it would seem I still won’t have done that, since this month is an Author Edition!

Which means it’s interviewing me instead of my characters.

I know. What a disappointment.

Still… on with the show, shall we?

Beautiful People: Author Edition

1. How many years have you been writing? When did you officially consider yourself a ‘writer’?

I’ve been writing stories for 12-ish years (yes, I was young!) but I officially decided to be a writer nearly 8 years ago. I did a post about that beginning — I decided I was going to finish my first book and go on to be a writer… And here I am.

2. How/why did you start writing?

I’ve always been, really. Nearly as long as I can remember. There was no specific how/why. It’s a thing that happened once I could use a pencil. And then a computer. It’s just… me. I assume it’s because I read so much (and started reading so early) and was homeschooled and always had stories going on in my head.

3. What’s your favorite part of writing?

I DON’T EVEN KNOW. Maybe when I’m deep in the midst of writing a first draft and am totally in the zone and don’t notice anything else (rare). Or, more likely, the “discovery” moments of my plotting, when I find out how something fits together or suddenly “see” something new for the story. I don’t understand writers who talk about “creating” or “making up” their stories. I discover mine. It’s like they’re already there, on the Tree of Tales (as Tolkien would say), and I just happen to catch glimpses of the leaves and then write down the story that was already there. (Naturally, there’s SOME element of creativity and tweaking and putting everything together. But it feels like discovering, not making up.)

4. What’s your biggest writing struggle?

Finishing things. It’s so hard to actually FINISH a book. (Well, that and sitting down to write, sometimes…) I have a million ideas, and I’ve started copious stories, and gotten fairly far into several of those, but… they just don’t finish. I usually get distracted by another shiny idea, or just… lose focus.

5. Do you write best at night or day?

At night. I’m afraid I’m a bit of a night owl… despite my attempts to get on a better schedule. My writerly brain just seems to get working more at night, and some of my best scenes are brainstormed and/or written at 2 a.m.

6. What does your writing space look like? (Feel free to show us pictures!)

I posted a picture of my writing area/desk once in this post… (It still looks like that, just not as tidy…) But actually, although I do work at my desk a lot, I might do my actual writing more often while sitting in my big comfy chair where I read.

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a cozy place to read or type

7. How long does it typically take you to write a complete draft?

There’s not really a typically… 18 months. 28 days. Just shy of a year. Those are the stats so far. (Yes, the 28 days was a NaNo; the 18 months was my first; the year-long, I was working on other stuff too.) Of course, that’s novels. I tend to write short stories in a day. *innocent grin*

8. How many projects do you work on at once?

Haaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahaha. *falls on floor laughing* …Ahem. Well. I have so many stories flying around in my brain… I guess I’m usually actively working on at least a couple, but I can’t be too active on more than four-ish… Usually there’s one or two that are most prominently being written, but there’s always plotting and snippets from several others going on.

9. Do you prefer writing happy endings, sad ones, or somewhere in between?

HAPPY. HAPPY. Do not give me tragedy; and only bittersweet under verrry special cases, people. I like my happily ever afters! And hope. And good things like that. Reading sad endings often makes me want to throw things. Like the book. At the author. Ahem.

10. List a few authors who’ve influenced your writing journey.

Lloyd Alexander–probably the most. George MacDonald and C.S. Lewis. (They were the three who started me writing fantasy.) J.R.R. Tolkien, naturally. And Eleanor Cameron. And probably Mirriam Neal.

11. Do you let people read your writing? Why or why not?

Um …yessss? Sometimes. My sister always gets to see my latest writing, because she loves my stories and/or because I languish away without feedback. But I’m often nervous about sharing my writing with people besides her. WHAT WILL THESE PEOPLE DO WITH THE WORDS OF MY SOUL? *cowers behind a tapestry* But, on the other hand, I do sort of love it a ton when people read my things. Because when they like them and actually remember to reply/send feedback, there’s no feeling like it in the world. ^_^

12. What’s your ultimate writing goal or dream?

Getting all my story ideas written the way I want them to be. (Yeah. Probably not going to happen…) Being published in some dream-mix of all the benefits of Traditional-, Self- and Small Press-publishing would not go amiss either. And I naturally wouldn’t object to becoming fabulously rich. (No fame, though, please. I’m an introvert.)

But to be honest, I’ll settle for actually finishing the stories I’m writing right now, and getting to some of my special projects, sometime in the next few years, WITHOUT going crazy.

13. If you didn’t write, what would you want to do?

My goodness. What a question. WHAT ELSE IS THERE? Um. Probably draw beautifully. Or be verrrrry musically talented! …Or both. (I’d still like to!)

14. Do you have a book you’d like to write one day but don’t feel you’re ready to attempt it yet?

Yes. Six specific ones, in fact.

SomedayNovels

  • The climax of my epic fantasy series.
  • A novella that I can’t even describe in words, so I don’t have the skill to convey yet.
  • My time-travel story because it needs a lot of research and is deepish.
  • Both my sci-fi novels–they need experience, and again, deep things.
  • And another book that has a lot of deep/dark stuff going that I’m not ready for.

Basically the ones with deep themes or difficult content. These are the stories that I not only have to be a better writer for, but need to be older. I don’t want to attempt them till I’m ready because I don’t want to mess them up. (And goodness knows I have enough to keep me writing for years in the meantime.)

For all you young authors who tackle big stuff in your books right away — good for you. But I’m not going to try doing certain things till I know it’s the right time for me to try.

15. Which story has your heart and won’t let go?

KW2coverPWell, all of them in their way, naturally.

But lately, my contemporary-fantasy Kedran’s Wood series — that was recent, sudden, and I was not expecting it to get my heart like that!

But it used to be (and is still in the background, waiting…) my epic fantasy series, the Starrellian Saga. They were my original stories, and they’ll always be nearest and dearest my heart in their way. Because while the characters of Kedran’s Wood may have become some of my very best friends… Starrellia is my HOME. My original, old home that I discovered first in my writing. I’m letting that series simmer quietly on the back burner while I finish some other things. But I look forward to the time when I can return to it, and give it my full attention again . . .

. . . and return home.

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