Saturday, August 10, 2013

My First Piece of Fan-Art!

The lovely illustrator LL Tisdel has been offering character sketches for authors over on the WriteOnCon forums. You can check out the thread here if you want to try to get a sketch of your own character, and I'd encourage you to check out LL's gorgeous illustrations on her website.

Below is the drawing she did for me of Sirith- the main character in The Goblins' Price. She said she loves that Sirith has to rescue the prince, not the other way around; that's one of my favorite aspects of the story, too. :) Oh, and the background is Sirith in the wintry goblin pass. Too cool!

WIPMarathon Check-In #1!

Current word count:

I’m currently at 60,520 words, working off a detailed outline! I estimate the book will be a little over 80K when done, but I edit so extensively when I’m writing that it just feels like it’s taking ages to get there!

WIP issues this week:

‘Fear’, as I call it for short, is the most romance-heavy book I’ve written so far! The chapter I worked on this week is quite emotionally charged, with things going from blissful to disastrous for my MC and her sweetheart. He might not have been entirely honest with her about some things, and she hates lying, so… ;) Anyway, my progress was slow as I concentrated on making sure their emotions and reactions were conveyed properly, that I stayed true to their characters, and that the scenes had the impact I wanted.

What I learned this week in writing:

I learned that I had snuck a few too many adverbs into my first chapter—yuck! (They’re gone now. ;)) Enough said!

What distracted me this week while writing:

My mother in law is visiting. She’s from Michigan, and we’re in Virginia, so we really don’t get to see her much. I do wish I’d had more time to write this week, like I’d planned, but family comes first and we’ve been having a great visit! We went antiquing yesterday, and finding old treasures makes me really happy.

Oh, and one of my greyhounds wasn’t eating for days (poor, sweet Khaleesi!). There was a lot of time devoted to tempting her to get back on her kibble, even some bribing with treats, after the vet couldn’t find anything wrong.

Last 200 words:

Well, here goes. I don’t normally share my work, especially not excerpts (shy!), but I hope this is fun to read. In this scene, my MC, Bridey, is confronting the self-proclaimed 'witch', Morag:

“Come inside already, won’t you?” Morag snapped, drawing me out of my frenzied thoughts. “If you carry on watering the ground like that, I’ll have weeds cropping up all over the yard. And then you’ll have to pull them.”
Caught between another sob and a bubble of laughter, I hiccupped. “Thank you, but I should be going. I need to look for—”
“I heard you shouting through the door. I was under the impression you wanted to learn the true story of how my leg was ruined. And I have a tea that’ll calm your nerves.” Morag stepped aside, gesturing toward the dim interior of the cottage. “You don’t want to confront the boy while you’ve got a face like a boiled lobster.”
“Excuse me?” I rubbed one of my cheeks, which was warm to the touch.
“You heard me, lobster-girl. Come on in. If he cares a whit about you, he won’t have gone anywhere.”
I didn’t want to admit that Morag had a point, so I said nothing, and followed her inside.
She puttered around her kitchen, clinking dirty dishes together as she searched for clean mugs for tea.

*For more information about WIPMarathon, please go here. 
*To see other WIPMarathoner updates, go here.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Finding Inspiration: Swannanoa Mansion

As I've worked toward my weekly goal for the WIPMarathon, I've been thinking a lot about where I find inspiration for my books. One thing that really inspires me is visiting places so unique that I find myself making up characters who might have lived there, and pondering what their was. I love to read (and write) books with vivid, memorable settings.

This leads me to last weekend, when my husband and I joined my mom and sister for a little outing in Afton, VA. We spent the afternoon exploring Swannanoa Mansion, a beautiful old estate which, sadly, is falling into ruin. It's also supposedly haunted, another thing that fascinates and inspires me. You can read about the supposed haunting and explore evidence from a local paranormal group here. Despite some boisterous tourists, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and I was able to take some awesome photos. I hope you enjoy them!

Oh, and be assured that some of the features of this lovely place will show up in a future ghost story of mine... :)

From the front

Around the side- courtyard

Ghost in the hall! Or, you know, me ;)
One of the many gorgeous fireplaces inside

View from an upper window
As you can see, some parts were in complete disrepair

But overall...
The place is still stunning!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

WIPMarathon Intro

Hey everyone!

I'm so excited to be participating in the WIP Marathon happening on blogs/Twitter this month!  I know some of the other participants already, and they are wonderful writers-- in other words, I know I'm in great company!  August where I live is so hot and sticky, it's the perfect time to hide inside and get my lovely little WIP ready for my agent's eyes. :)

Marathon Goal:

Write the remaining chapters of my YA historical fantasy novel- nicknamed "Fear" for short- and make sure everything is as polished as can be before I send it to Christa!

Stage of Writing:

Writing the last 6 chapters from a detailed outline, plus start revising with CP and Beta feedback!  This book is first person POV, and I got a little-- okay, maybe more than a little-- filter-happy while writing! (I felt/I saw/I heard- ugh!)  They've all gotta go!!

What Inspired My Current Project:  

Fear the Drowning Deep is a YA historical fantasy novel that takes place at the turn of the last century- the year 1913, just after the first anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. 

This book started out with just my love of the ocean.  I looked at my husband one day and said, "I want to write something about the water!  And sea monsters!"  I sat down at my keyboard, and wrote the opening line that inspired the rest of the story.  The book's setting is the Isle of Man, which is a fascinating place steeped in folklore and tradition.  I've never been there, so this required a great deal of research, but I've been having a blast with it. 

My MC is terrified of the water, despite living on an island, and I understand where she's coming from- to an extent ;)  I hate how I can't see what's around me when I'm swimming in the Atlantic (will never forget the time a large crab got hold of my big toe...ouch!) and much prefer the crystal-clear waters in the Caribbean, where my family and I have traveled extensively!

What Might Slow Down My Marathon Goal:

Instead of words, how about a picture? ;)

 Enough said!  Happy writing, friends!