Friday, May 29, 2015

Atmosphere is Key

Happy Friday all!  I hope each of you have had a productive week and are eagerly awaiting the beginning of the weekend!  For me, there are books calling my name to be read along with other things I'm not even aware of yet.  Always busy here on the weekends!

Anyway, I kind of wanted to ramble a bit about atmosphere today.  And no, not the atmosphere that we all share.  The atmosphere that one needs in order to create.

Some authors are fond of listening to music while they write.  They have particular playlists cued up depending on the type of novel they're currently writing.  As for other authors, they write while watching genre-specific movies or TV shows.  Some authors prefer the bustle of a Panera Bread or Starbucks to help with their writing flow.  And other authors book a few weeks at a specific hotel in order to pound out word count goals.

As for me, I'm a quiet writer.  If there's any sort of chattering or music, I become completely distracted and lose my writing flow very quickly.  My favorite writing place is the living room where I curl up in my favorite recliner chair with my laptop and let the words flow freely across the screen.  I don't have any music on, no TV flashing in the background, and typically nobody around to pester me about something every thirty minutes.

When I'm in this sort of atmosphere, the writing comes to life, my characters take over, and I can happily dance my fingers across the keys for hours on end.  Thousands of words come pouring out and before I know it, I've finished a chapter.  Then another.  And so on.  I am content to live in another world for several hours and when I finally do come back to reality, I'm usually starving!

I guess my point here is that everyone creates differently.  We all need different sorts of stimuli to get the imagination pumping.  We each require a particular atmosphere and sometimes it takes trial and error before we find that perfect blend that helps us to bring our stories to life on the page.

What sort of atmosphere do you create best in?  Feel free to share below and have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Booking Through Thursday #1

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly bookish meme about (mostly) books and reading.
This weeks' BTT is: What book would you love to see turned into a movie?  (Yes, with the understanding that it would be everything you hoped it could be, doing justice to the story, the characters, the writer’s vision, and so on. Not a hatchet-job horror.)

I would love to see the Finishing School series by Gail Carriger turned into movies.  It's a four book series, the last of which is due to release this fall, and it's an incredible mix of wit, adventure, steampunk, mystery, and zaniness!  I really think it would adapt well to the big screen and I'd love to see these characters and this world brought to life.

What book or series would you like to see made into a movie?

Leave me a link below and have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Prophecy Revealed

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm.
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teaser comes from one of my own novels, Prophecy Revealed (The Soul of Arial #1):

Have a teaser you'd like to share?
Leave me a link below and Happy Reading!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Book Beginnings on Friday #1

Book Beginnings on Fridays is a meme hosted by Rose City Reader.  This meme features the first sentence or so of the current book one is reading and thoughts and musings about that sentence or so shared.  Inclusion of the title and author are greatly appreciated!

This week's book beginning comes from The Wrong Girl (The 1st Freak House Trilogy #1) by C. J. Archer:

To say I'd been kept prisoner my entire life in an attic wasn't quite true.  It was only fifteen years out of eighteen, and I was allowed to walk in the gardens for a half-hour some days.  Besides, the attic rooms of Windamere Manor covered the top-most floor of the entire west wing, and Violet and I had the run of them.

The first paragraph of this gothic novel grabbed my attention right away.  I wanted to know why this character had been put up in the attic for all those years, only allowed outside for a half-hour at a time, and I wanted to know who Violet was.  As I read on, I quickly came to some of those answers and they were quite disturbing and had me feeling really sorry for the main character and her friend.

Do you have a book beginning to share?
Leave me a link below and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Game of Thrones Rant

Good morning everyone!

As I'm sure a lot of you have seen, there's been a lot of controversy over the latest episode of HBO's Game of Thrones.  I don't usually get involved in these rantings and ravings because quite honestly, this is a fictional world inhabited by fictional people and there are a lot more worrisome things happening in the real world that deserve louder rantings and ravings.

However, I guess I need to put my two-cents worth out there for anyone interested in reading it.  I've been a fan of GoT since it first aired on HBO four and a half seasons ago.  And I'm still a huge fan today, even more so as the plot continues to thicken and characters come and go.  One of the things I love about what HBO has done with this series is that they have given us fans an alternate storyline that I can easily see GRRM getting behind 100%.  And he does.  Just read his interviews or watch videos of him answering questions about the show.

With that said, there's been this big blow up about Sansa's scene at the end of the latest episode.  Yes it was disturbing and yes I felt completely sorry for her character.  But what did people expect when she was marrying the biggest sadistic psycho of the seven kingdoms?  He wasn't going to be all flowery and romantic with her just because she was Sansa Stark and his newly acquired wife.  Ramsay is a freak and will continue to torture, both mentally and physically, until someone finally kills him off.  I'm just hoping that after what happened to Sansa and Theon being forced to witness it, that those two will make an odd alliance and kill the bastard off before the season ends!

Anyway, I guess the real reason I'm ranting here is that I had a friend on Facebook that I've known for a long time post an article about this episode.  Then he went on to share that if anyone was still willing to watch the show after what some people called a horrific, brutal rape scene, he wanted to know so he could unfriend them.  It kind of pi$$ed me off when I read that.  I find it ludicrous that people will turn their backs on those that get enjoyment out of a FICTIONAL show.  It's not as if any of us watching GoT condone rape or murder or torture and the writers and actors do not condone rape or murder or torture.  They are just writing a scene or acting out a scene in a world that was created to show the harsh realities of that realm.  And again... it's FICTION!  Plus, rape, murder, torture, orgies, and all sorts of insanity have been a part of this series from the beginning, both in the books and in the show.  So why this particular 2-minute scene is getting such a vicious and ludicrous reaction is beyond me.

I say kudos to the writers, actors, and to the author for standing behind this scene 100% and kudos to those fans watching/reading this series and realizing that they're watching a fictional story play out on their screens and reading a fictional story spanning the printed page.  Leave the rantings and ravings for reality where there are plenty of things to rant and rave about.

On a lighter note, I leave you all with my all-time favorite GoT character, Tyrion Lannister.  He's played by Peter Dinklage, a superior actor and apparently an incredible singer as the following video shows:

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: The Wrong Girl

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm.
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This weeks' teaser comes from The Wrong Girl (The 1st Freak House Trilogy #1) by C. J. Archer:

The prospect of meeting him filled me with foreboding. What sort of man inspired a nice girl like Sylvia to fumble nervously with the hooks and eyes on my dress? What sort of man had his niece and nephew kidnap for him? (p. 31)

So far this novel is holding true for a good gothic mystery and I'm looking forward to seeing where this story will go!

Have a teaser? Leave me a link below and Happy Reading!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Book Meme Participation Coming Soon!

As some of you may have known, I was a fairly active participant in the book review blogging world up until about a year or so ago.  Things started getting really crazy with my writing schedule and I had to put my focus on writing instead of reading and reviewing books.  I've really missed that world and have decided to dip my toes back into it just a little bit by participating in some memes I took part in back then.

So, starting Tuesday, I'll be participating in Teaser Tuesday hosted by A Daily Rhythm.  And Friday I should have a post up for Book Beginnings on Friday hosted by Rose City Reader.  We'll see how well I'm able to keep up with these two and maybe I'll add more in the future.  After all, I am still reading, just not reviewing like I once had been.

Hopefully you all will enjoy the upcoming meme posts and I encourage any who wish to join in the fun by leaving comments or links to your own Teasers and Book Beginnings each week!  Until then, happy reading!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Character Challenges

Good morning all and Happy Friday!

Sorry it's been a while since my last post, but I've been hard at work on the latest manuscript and am happy to share that I'm over half-way through the first draft!  13 Chapters have been completed and there's at least 7-10 more to go.  The Galactic Dynasty series is getting more and more interesting as events continue to unfold and I'm loving where this latest book is taking the characters!

Speaking of characters... as you all know, I'm a huge character-driven reader.  If I can't connect with the characters, the story tends to lose my interest quickly.  Same goes for writing.  I've got to be totally into my characters or I rapidly lose my connection with them and therefore am unable to write their stories.  So, as a whole, I find it very easy to slip into the various mindsets of my different characters and love spending time in each of their individual heads.

With that said, I have encountered probably the most difficult character for me to write to date.  This character is in the Galactic Dynasty series and plays pivotal yet vague roles in the development of the story as well as being the supporting character to my main characters.  His name is Daemos and he is actually an it... he's Artificial Intelligence at its most refined and he's extremely complex.  This translates to him being very difficult to grasp in my mind in order for me to write him into various scenes.

On the one hand, he's a computer program.  He's logic and databanks and 1's and 0's.  On the other hand, he's an evolving program and he's beginning to simulate near flawlessly the various human interactions that he has observed and analyzed from the human characters he's encountered.  But he's still just a computer program at the core of it all and he does not actually feel the emotions he tries to simulate.

Anyway, he has been the most challenging character to write because I'm trying to get inside the mindset of a computer that is attempting to evolve to a more human-like state.  And sometimes I get ahead of myself and give him characteristics or actions that make him more human-like.  That's when my co-author has to step in and tone things down to where Daemos actually is in his development or evolution.  You should hear the heated discussions that take place when we're dealing with Daemos in particular and amazingly enough, Daemos is the only character that we tend to have heated discussions about.  And I'm sure it's because Daemos is the most difficult character for me to figure out and portray.

I love the challenge that Daemos continuously presents to me, though.  I feel that because of this challenge, I am able to develop more as an author.  It forces me to step outside my comfort zone and explore unique solutions in order to make Daemos as realistic an AI as possible without losing the fact that he is just a computer when you strip everything else away.  I think that he's actually preparing me for when I begin exploring the other alien species that my human characters have yet to meet in this series and hopefully when I reach that point, I'll be able to come up with some intriguing species that my readers have yet to encounter in other sci-fi/adventure novels.

So, as much as I sometimes want to bang my head against a wall where Daemos is concerned, he is rapidly becoming my favorite character out of all the ones taking up space in my head.  He's unique and fascinating and a complete enigma, even to his creator, and I really look forward to seeing just how far he'll go in his evolution.

For the writers out there, who has been your most challenging character to date?  And what made them so challenging for you?  I'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below and happy writing!

For the readers out there, who has been your favorite fictional character to date?  And what makes them your favorite?  I'd love to hear from you as well, so please leave a comment below and happy reading!