Getting to know Vatren Martoka

Back in January, my friend and fellow author, Sam Dogra, tagged me in a character development challenge.  I started working on my answers before her post went live, but it’s taken me till now to finally finish them.  I’ve spent ten years getting to know this character, yet there were things I didn’t know about him till I filled out this questionnaire.  It was quite a lot of fun, and I’m thinking about turning this into a series of posts about each of my main characters.

I’ve done this as an interview.  I hope you enjoy learning about Vatren as much as I did! :)

Vatren Artwork by Hazel Butler

Vatren
Artwork by Hazel Butler

What position do you sleep in? ( i.e; stomach, side, back, etc.) Why?

I sleep on my back, propped up a bit so that I appear awake from a distance.  I used to sleep flat on my back, but these are dangerous times.

Do you have any noteworthy features? Freckles? Dimples? A scar somewhere unusual?

I’m afraid not.  I’m perfectly ordinary, except for the prince bit.

Do you have an accent? What does it sound like?

An accent?  Of course not.  I speak normally.  Well, as normally as any other noble Lokani citizen.  Accents belong to the poor and uneducated.  But not to me.

Do you have any verbal tics? Do you have trouble pronouncing certain words or getting your thoughts across clearly?

Verbal what?  Well…

Getting acquainted with Harriet Goodchild

I know I’ve mentioned that I love being part of the writing community and helping out fellow authors before, but I have to say it again: The writing community rocks.  It rocks so hard.  Know why?

This is why:

If you haven’t heard of Harriet Goodchild yet, you should have.  And you’re in luck!  Because today, she’s going to chat with me about writing, fantasy, and her latest book, After the Ruin.

KK: Hi, Harriet.  Tell us about yourself.

HG: I live in Edinburgh now but I was born in the west of Scotland and go back there whenever I can. Lest that sound a narrow life, I’ll say I’ve lived in a few other places as well, including the United States and Australia, and spent twelve years in Oxford. Life in Oxford is rather like living in a fantasy novel: pretty soon you start meeting seneschals or quaffing from an aurochs horn after dinner.

I share my flat with two pets: a Bengal cat called Talisker and a very large goldfish called, imaginatively, Big Fish. Big Fish is outgrowing her third tank and soon I’m going to have to find a safe pond in which to rehome her. Until then, Talisker enjoys sitting nearby her tank to keep her company. Or at least I think that’s her reason. Never assume nefarious intent, even in cats!

KK: Have you always written?

HG: In my teens I wrote a lot. Short stories and poetry, mostly, and a novel that rambled on and on through several college notebooks, acquiring characters along the way. It wasn’t good – and I hope it never surfaces – but I enjoyed writing it hugely and that’s all that matters. Some of the ideas in those stories, in fact, laid the groundwork for all that I’ve written since, although I think my writing has improved since my teenage years. After that, reading a lot and writing a bit was enough, although I published some non-fiction along the way. Then, about five years ago…

It’s a sale!

TD-SWASFAS-EcoverHey, everybody! It’s a beautiful Thursday afternoon and I woke up to some amazing news this morning, so I’ve decided to put my books on sale. From now until April 1, 2015, you can pick up Tuesday Daydreams and A Song for All Seasons for just $1.99! Find them on Smashwords and enter coupon code WN73K for Tuesday Daydreams or coupon code JR38E for A Song for All Seasons.

Enjoy, and have a great day! :)

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

Photo 365 #231: Trials and tribulations

After months of only creeping, inching progress on my rewrite, I’ve finally managed to stitch together two parts of my book with all-new material.  Writing the all-new stuff was like pulling teeth; the words often flat-out refused to come.

I hate when writing is like that.

Nevertheless, I pushed through it.  I’m fairly certain that most of what I wrote is rubbish, but that’s what revising is for, right?  Polishing up the parts you don’t like?

At long last, I’m back to the polishing part.  The writing is going much more smoothly now that I’m in full-on polishing mode.  Still, part of me can’t believe how bad some of what I’d written is.  There are parts that are positively purple; they remind me of the steady diet of soap operas I consumed as a teenager.  There are parts that just don’t read quite right, for some reason; they have me in agony as I can’t quite figure out what’s wrong, never mind how to fix them.

And then there are the parts that just make me cringe, like whole-body, might-possibly-be-mistaken-for-a-seizure-type cringing.  People’s Exhibit A: the two-paragraph section where I started four consecutive sentences with the word he.  Talk about an epic facepalm moment.

 

Ch23Excerpt

*cringe*

 

*groans*

*cries*

For the most part, I love writing.  I love the act of writing, the sheer physical quality of my pencil scratching out worlds across the paper; I love rewriting and making things shine.  But at the moment, I seem mired in the depths of suck, where everything is hard and it’s not looking to improve any time soon.  Maybe it’s because I’m exhausted and stressed about things other than writing; maybe it’s because I’ve been working on this story for ten years and I don’t feel any closer to finishing it now than I did when I started it.

Whatever the reason, I’m ready to be overwhelmed by the joy of writing again.  It’s been a long while since I’ve experienced the euphoria of having written something that you know in the marrow of your bones is good.  It’s addicting, that feeling.

I know I’ll find it again, but when everything else is so gray, too, it’s hard to bear that in mind.  In the meantime, thank goodness for things like this:

If you’re worried about not being good enough? Hey, let’s remember, I wasn’t good enough for 17 years. (If you read some of my negative reviews, then ha ha ha, oops, I’m still not good enough.) … Keep at it. Eventually you’ll knock over that brick wall if you commit to the vigorous act of endless headbutting.  -Chuck Wendig

Check out the whole article here.  It’s well worth the read.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to the vigorous act of endless headbutting.

*grabs economy-size bottle of ibuprofen*

*scampers off to writing cave*

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

After the Fall cover reveal!

CR Banner

After the Fall Ebook CoverToday I’m happy to share in the cover reveal festivities for Abby Cavenaugh’s newest book, After the Fall!  A follow-up to her debut, Going Home Again, this book follows Tina as she adjusts to life after divorce:

It’s been six months since her high-profile divorce, and Tina is desperate to get her life in order beyond the spotlight of her ex-husband, pop singer Michael Day. But when she meets a sexy bartender who happens to be ten years her junior, Tina’s first fling after her divorce might become something more. Tina can’t resist Josh’s charms, but she needs something more in her life than another wannabe singer. Tina wants to focus on herself, to finally find a place in the world that didn’t come from marrying a celebrity. If Tina ends her fling and focuses on a career, she might lose her heart in the process. However, her second chance at love might also be her first chance to live.

After the Fall will be published by Swoon Romance this May.

Abby CavenaughAbby Cavenaugh is a writer of romantic women’s fiction for Swoon Romance, with her debut novel, GOING HOME AGAIN, out now. She is also currently seeking representation for her YA paranormal manuscript, DEAD TALKER. She lives in North Carolina with her twin sister, Amy, also a writer, her niece, Adeline, and their cat, Gus. She loves chocolate, Diet Coke, the beach, New Kids on the Block, and most of all, writing.

You can connect with Abby on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

Award season continues…again!

liebsterYes, it’s another award post.  Apparently, ’tis the season.  This time, I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award by Fantasy Angel of the Avid Reader Blog.  I get to answer eleven questions about myself before asking eleven more of my nominees.  Fun, huh?

I’ve been nominated for this one once before, and if you care to read my answers from a couple years ago, you can find that post here.

Now then, let’s begin:

Which fictional character are you most like?

I think I’m a lot like Hermione Granger.  We’re both bookish, and I always feel like I don’t quite fit in, which Hermione definitely didn’t at the start of the series.

Also?

Photo 365 #214

It’s not much, but it took me all weekend:
image
Of course, that’s probably because we cleaned all day Saturday in advance of my in-laws visiting, and then it was off to a neighboring town for the Army Field Band concert, and then there was volleyball practice and a trip to the doctor and general recovery from the lack of sleep inflicted by Daylight Savings Time.

I’m ready to fall back now. No need to wait till October – let’s do it tonight! Who’s with me? :D

(c) 2015. All rights reserved.