Category: All the Write Stuff

The Mystic Chronicles Website

Hello again, dear readers! I am back after just writing a post yesterday, and this time I come bearing gifts. As you probably remember, I’ve been discussing my upcoming novel, “The Mystic Chronicles: Power Unchained”, and promised to keep you posted. Well, my co-writer and I have created a better way for you to receive updates, and all you have to do is type in your email.

It’s called “The Hall of Elements”, and it is an official fansite for the series. While there’s not much to do yet, you can still join our mailing list and browse the pages we have set up. Not to mention our four forums, where you can question us about the book to your heart’s content (though we can’t guarantee an answer – we must keep some secrets, or the book won’t sell!) Check out “The Hall of Elements” by clicking on this link, and please share our site with anyone and everyone who would be interested.

If you have any further questions about “The Hall of Elements” or the series is general, feel free to ask here or in one of the forums.

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I Am Returned

After months of unplanned hiatus, the Author Dragon H.G. Warrender once more swoops in to take her place at the helm of her blog, The Eccentric Author.

 

In other words, I’m back and both TEA and MH are going to be better than ever! Did you miss me?

 

To celebrate my return, I’m brining you all great news: I have an upcoming book that you should know about! This book is one I’ve co-authored with my cousin, Carynn. It is another the first in another fantasy series, but of a different nature. This series is not High Fantasy or even traditional fantasy with castles and kings (though there are still dragons.) Rather, it is what could be considered “Urban Fantasy”, though it really sticks closer to the style of Harry Potter.

Essentially, this book, which by the way is titled “Power Unchained”, focuses around twenty-five magic users called Mystics. Each is born with a different power. Each power passes into one person every other generation. For a brief period the former Mystic and the current share the power, and then it passes fully over to the new one and the older becomes a mere human. All the powers have finally been gathered into one place after centuries apart, and to ensure that no Mystic is ever untrained as they once were, the current twenty-five have established a home and training ground for the new ones, who are currently between the ages of 14 and 18. For the new twenty-five Mystics, their new life is riddled with mystery, confusion, freedom, romance, exploration, and peril as they learn more about their powers – and about themselves.

Sounds pretty cool, right? Carynn and I certainly think so. We are nearly done with the editing process, and if all goes well, ought to have the book published by the end of summer.

 

Anyway, expect more posts from me, because as I said – I am back, and back to stay!

Onto Book #5

Well, I’m done with “Waterfall”! I was on vacation, and then had to wait four days before I could get to the library, so I know it’s been a little while since you’ve heard from me. I enjoyed the book –  although in the beginning, I found the heroine, Gabi, to be obnoxious and unintelligent. When she and her sister accidentally travel through time to Medieval Italy, they become separated, and Gabi is brought to a nearby castle as a guest. During the opening few chapters, where the stage was being set, it irked me that Gabi seemed more interested in the “hot Italian guys”, as she called them, then on recovering her sister. By the end of the story, she had grown and earned my respect, as well as the love of one said Italian hot guy. I do believe I will continue with the series outside of this challenge.

Now, still no show from “Me Before You”, so it’s on to the fifth challenge.

 

A book you own but haven’t read.
A book that was made into a movie.
A book you pick solely because of the cover.
A book your friend loves.
A book published this year.
A book by an author you’ve never read before.
A book by an author you love.
A book at the bottom of your to-read pile.
A book with a color in the title.
A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit.
A book you started but never finished.
A book with a lion, a witch, or a wardrobe.
A book with a female heroine.
A book set in the summer.
A book of poems.
A book you learned about because of this challenge.
A book that will make you smarter.
A book with a blue cover.
A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t.
A book “everyone” but you has read.
A book with a great first line.
A book with pictures.
A book from the library.
A book you loved – read it again!
A book that is more than ten years old.
A book based on a true story.

A book published this year. After expert research (Google) and consideration based on commentary from other readers (GoodReads reviews) I have chosen the book.

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This is a book of short stories, and it’s highly recommended. As it’s new, I couldn’t find out much about it (although I did try to do that with the fox, only the shadows weren’t working and I didn’t light myself on fire.) So I’m excited for it! I’ll try to make it quick.

Book #4

I finished “The Glittering Court” the other day, so it’s time for Book #4! (Really #3). I read the inside cover flap after I finished the book, since I had to go into it knowing nothing except that I liked the cover, and I have to say it was misleading. The book bills itself as a story about a young girl who runs away from her wealthy family to join a boarding school called the “Glittering Court”, where girls will be trained as ladies and taken to find husbands in the new world, a country across the sea. However, the chapter after arriving at the court, eight months had passed and I therefore new next to nothing about the characters but was expected to sympathize with them all the same. The lead character, who is referred to as Adeline for the whole book even though her name is Elizabeth, spends most of the story skipping her duties as a girl of the Court, breaking the law, and chasing after the founder’s son, who just so happens to be involved in an illegal religion. I’m not sure how this author is a #1 bestseller, because I found her story and writing to be lacking in many respects. I do not think I will continue with this series.

Hopefully Book #4 will turn out better – I have high hopes for this one…

A book you own but haven’t read.
A book that was made into a movie.
A book you pick solely because of the cover.
A book your friend loves.
A book published this year.
A book by an author you’ve never read before.
A book by an author you love.
A book at the bottom of your to-read pile.
A book with a color in the title.
A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit.
A book you started but never finished.
A book with a lion, a witch, or a wardrobe.
A book with a female heroine.
A book set in the summer.
A book of poems.
A book you learned about because of this challenge.
A book that will make you smarter.
A book with a blue cover.
A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t.
A book “everyone” but you has read.
A book with a great first line.
A book with pictures.
A book from the library.
A book you loved – read it again!
A book that is more than ten years old.
A book based on a true story.

Book number four (or technically three as “Me Before You” still hasn’t shown up) is going to be…

Waterfall

My friend and editor adores this series, so I decided to read book one for the challenge, “A book that your friend loves.” I have to request it from my library, so it may take a while to come in, but I’ll read it fast and then move on. 🙂

Sneak Peek

Hello, all! I know I have been silent for a while, so I’m not going to make any excuses – I should have written more, and I’m very sorry. 😦 Anyway, in between fan fictions and working on the sequel to The King’s Decree, I’ve been working on another series. This time, I’m co-authoring with my cousin Carynn, a teen scientist and fellow writer, who also runs several blogs. We’ve been playing with the idea for our story for a while, and recently we’ve settled down and gotten to it. Now, we’re planning almost every day and working hard, sketching and designing maps even in spare time.

I can’t reveal to much about the series, but here is what I will tell you. The series focuses around a fantasy school, similar to “Harry Potter”, “A School for Good and Evil”, “Percy Jackson,” “Princess Academy”, etc. Each student has a different power and at the school, they learn how to use them to help the world. You can’t apply to this academy – twenty-five people are born every sixty years with these powers and will use them to help the world. You’re born to come here, or you aren’t.

Students come from all over the world – some from America, some from Europe, from Asia, from the Middle East, all gathered in this academy to learn from the people who had their powers before them. The school is a full academy, with dorms, a cafeteria, and classroom buildings. It’s really cool, and we’re so excited to continue with it!

If anyone loves this so much that you’d like an excerpt, let me know and I’ll talk with Carynn!

Five Traits of a Children’s Book Character

Writing children’s picture books is a fun way to get enough writing done that you don’t feel guilty, and taking a break from your main work. Sometimes your characters (and maybe readers) are so mad at you – you killed the nice boy off, Pretty Blonde kissed the bad boy when she’s supposed to be with Hot Ginger, or you burned a city of innocent people – that maybe it’s best to stay clear of them for a while. Maybe you’d like to try a new genre! Or, maybe children’s books are your full-time writing pursuit.

Whatever the reason, here you are drafting a manuscript that will soon be in the hands of toddlers and kindergarteners across the country (in the best-case scenario). Illustrations and other details aside, one of the most important things about your book is that it has a character who children are going to enjoy reading about. When I was a kid, my mom read me book after book after book, and I can’t remember disliking any. Of course, since I was so young, I can’t really remember any to begin with – it was over ten years ago! But since then I’ve read children’s books to my little brother, to children at our church, and to myself when I was about five or six. Then I decided to try and write one myself, though I never published or even illustrated it. So without further ado, here are five things to keep in mind when developing a character for your children’s book

#1. Consistency

This is more important in children’s books than in real books, in my humble opinion. If you’re writing a full-length novel, maybe you can get away with taking someone OOC (out of character, that is) if you only do it once or twice. But think of how disappointed a kid would be if, say, Amelia Bedelia or whatever her name was, that crazy maid who has a million books written about her, suddenly did something right rather than misinterpret everything. It’s part of her character to make mistakes, because little kids think it’s funny. So always stay consistent!

#2. Quirk.

My children’s story was called “The Adventures of Sir Alfred Vöttenshnooder”. Or maybe it was “The Tale of Sir Alfred Vöttenshnooder.” I can’t really remember. I wrote it when I was twelve. The protagonist was a German strudel maker named, as you may have guessed from the title, Sir Alfred Vöttenshnooder. My 14-year-old, German-student self is cringing at that name, but anyway, I wrote a lot of disconnected stories about Sir Alfred. One of the things I wrote was a little ditty that started out:

“Sir Alfred Vöttenshnooder is a man with female lips.

He makes a decent strudel and he’s given decent tips.”

I know, horrible. But there’s the quirk. Sir Alfred is a man with female lips. So if the book had been illustrated, he would always have been drawn with female lips. (And no, he is not a woman in disguise. He is really a man.) The quirk you give your character can be physical, or it can be in their personality. Maybe they say “Cheerio!” at the end of every sentence, or maybe they always skip up staircases. It can be anything you like, so long as it is something that makes them memorable.

#3. Skip Descriptions.

Since this is a children’s book, you don’t really need a detailed description of the character. There will be a picture of them right above the words you are writing. Also, children usually are not interested in hearing about raven tresses and moonlight skin like young adult readers might be. A quick summary of the appearance, one that matches the drawing, should suffice: “Emily had blue eyes and blonde hair – a very pretty little girl, except that her teeth were the most horrid shade of green you ever saw” is much better than, “Emily’s hair was long; it came down to about her waist. She was dressed in a pink dress, white socks, and black shoes. Her eyes were bluer than the sky, bluer than Elijah Wood’s eyes, so blue that anyone who looked upon them was stricken dumb… until she smiled, and they saw that her teeth were green as moss, green as grass, like a thousand emeralds…”

“Mommy, I don’t like this book.”

#4. Naming

A lot of children’s books will feature characters with names that are sure to stick in your head – names like Amelia Bedelia, the Cat in the Hat, or The Paper Bag Princess – or, of course, Sir Alfred Vöttenshnooder. These sorts of name roll off your tongue due to their rhyming, alliteration, or quick, smart syllables. Other times, you’ll see normal names like Paul or Suzie. If you’re trying to tell a funny story, you might want to consider one of the first kinds of names. If your story is a little more focused and calm – the sort of story you read at bedtime, like Goodnight Moon, then you might want to opt for a name that seems a little more simple.

#5. Working Together

It’s really key to make sure your illustrations match the kind of story you want to tell. If you’re telling a story about a girl who picks up a seashell and uses it to hear the ocean, you’d prefer a beautiful watercolor image on each page than a cartoony one. The way you space out the pages matters a lot, too – pacing is key. If Max from Where the Wild Things Are went from whining and being sent to his room to sailing the ship on the same page, maybe children wouldn’t like it as much. There’s something sort of magical about hearing a page turn, examining the new illustration, and then wondering what will happen next.

So there you have it! Good luck with your children’s story. And who knows? Maybe your character and Sir Alfred will share a shelf someday! If I ever get that idea anywhere, that is…

The King’s Decree Book Signing

I got invited to do a book signing at a local homeschooler group! I’m so excited! The signing will be on April 22nd. I have nine books on the way, and my parents are going to order some more. Thanks to CreateSpace, I get books for reduced cost when I order them, so I can sell them and make back all the money I spend on them. I’ll post my signature soon to give you an idea.