Fast Five Friday strikes again!

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Friday again already? How did this happen? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining – I love me some Fridays! Okay, so here we go. Today’s topic is Top Five Favourite Authors. This one is tricky, folks. Too many years, books, genres, memories… how to decide? So I think for me, the key is just to go with my gut and don’t over think this (as I am often wont to do). Knowing that there are many many many more hiding behind the scenes, here are my top five favourite authors. In no particular order.

1. A.A. Milne. Author of Winnie the Pooh and the House at Pooh Corner. You would think that this is a throwback from childhood influences, but really, these are still some of my favourite books. Not only are they full of wisdom and complex thoughts hidden in simple stories, but A A Milne taught me how to play with language & to not be intimidated by the simplicity of words. (By the way, A A stands for Alan Alexander, in case you wanted a little trivia with your blog reading.)

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2. Stephen R Lawhead. I suppose when you’ve read every book an author has written, it only makes sense to list them among your favourites. The first books I read of his were a trilogy called the Song of Albion (the first book is the Paradise War). They’re a beautiful blend of reality and mythology, magic and religion. Fantastic characters, world-building, they’ve got the works. A few great stand alone books are Byzantium and Patrick. 

paradise war

3. Margaret George. She writes historical fiction in the form of ginormous 1000 page opuses. My personal go-to is Mary, Queen of Scotland and the Isles but a very very close second is the Memoirs of Cleopatra. I love historical fiction as a general rule, but hers are on a whole other level.

mary queen of scots

4. Veronica Roth. This is bound to be a controversial answer, since she only has one trilogy out in the world and no one knows what will be next. But I’m confident. Divergent pulled me in so thoroughly and still, years later, has not released its hold on me. I keep all three books in my desk at work because I loan them out so often. I have the calendar of movie photos over my desk (okay, mainly for pictures of Theo James, but still…). And so, she gets a place in my top five.

divergent book

5. Tamora Pierce. When I was in junior high, I stumbled upon the Alanna series. It changed my life. I’ve read several of her books since then, and always enjoy them. But those books hold a special place in my heart. A girl disguising herself as a boy to join the army, learning to fight with a sword and face her fears and foes head-on… it sounds formulaic today, but at the time, in my little tween brain, it was revolutionary. It started me on a path of seeking out fantasy books and strong female characters. And look at that, [undisclosed number of] years later, here I am writing a light fantasy book with a strong female main character. I’d definitely call that influential.

alanna

Okay, so lots of others I love who didn’t make the list, and through no other reason than I didn’t happen to think of them at the moment. But this is a good sampling, for sure. And there we go! Who are your faves?

Fast Five Friday … a few days late

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Hey! I just discovered a great blog called Cover Girls (found here) with a really fun feature called Fast Five Friday. I love lists, and having a blog hop each week is a great motivation to post something fun! So I really think I need to play.

This week’s Fast Five topic is Five TV Character Crushes. It’s not literary-based for this list, but a lot of the posts coming up will be, so I can totally justify it on a blog about writing right? We’ll consider this part of the “and such.” So here we go. Top five TV crushes coming up…

Number One: Captain Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), Firefly 

Best show ever. Ever, I say! I have much love for Richard Castle, also portrayed by the ruggedly handsome Nathan Fillion, but Mal will always be my number one, so I figured one character per actor was fair.

MalReynoldsFirefly

Number Two: the Doctor (particularly Doctor Ten – David Tennant), Doctor Who

Doctors Nine and Eleven also have their charm, but Ten will always be my Doctor.

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Number Three: Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue), Once Upon a Time

The quintessential “bad guy” with gorgeous eyes and topped with a British accent.

hook

Number Four: Bob Brown (Scott Foley), the Unit

I almost went with Jonas, played by Dennis Haysbert from the same show. They’re both very crush-able, but Bob won out.

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Number Five: Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch), Sherlock

I wonder how telling it is that three of my five have British accents? Hmmm…

sherlock

This was actually harder than I thought it would be! I’m not sure if using characters from mostly cancelled tv shows was cheating or not, but I can’t help it. I love them! 🙂 So who are your TV crushes? Any you’d care to share?

Planning & Organdizing for a Book Birthday

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When Winnie the Pooh and crew head off on an “expotition” to the North Pole, Pooh and Rabbit “organdize” the search and secure provisions. With my book birthday steadily approaching, I feel a bit like Pooh Bear (more than usual even). There are so many bits and pieces that need to be lined up and orchestrated and put in their Proper Places. It can become a bit overwhelming and on more than one occasion I’ve wanted to throw my hands up and declare “Oh bother!”

But every day, things are happening. My notes are getting less daunting as I weed through them. My list of “to-do”s is getting crossed off item by item. And slowly but surely, there is Progress. I’m happy to report that I have half of my blog tour dates filled up (yay! And I’m still on the lookout for filling a few more dates, so if you’re interested, message me or leave a comment!)

As part of my blog tour, I’m arranging for giveaways. One of these giveaways will be an annotated copy of my book. I’ve always wanted to win one of those, so I figure the next best thing is to do one myself to give away! So here’s my question for you… if you won a novel with notes from the author, what sorts of things would you be most excited about finding in the margins?

The author’s favourite passages?

Subtext of characters?

Hints at the next book?

Things that got cut or changed along the way?

Background on real places within the story?

What would YOU most like to find hidden there just for you?

Cover Reveal!!!!

This is it! Are you ready? (Drum roll, please…)

DRAWN IN cover

Ta-da! I hope it shows up okay so you can see it in all its glory.

This was created by my wonderfully talented friend Leslie Willis. She hasn’t (yet!) created a site for cover art, but you can see some of her work on DeviantArt here and see some of her other artistry on her Etsy page here (it’s a little sparse right now, but she has AMAZING work… you should definitely follow her!).

So yes, this is my cover for Drawn In! Meet Rennie, my MC. I think you’ll like her. The words she’s walking on are actually text from my book (part of a story told to her during a dream), and even blown up an turned upside down, you won’t really be able to read them (by design, of course), but now you’re in the know. I’m not sure how the image will show up on this site, so if you can’t read the tag line above the title, it says, “Who says having all your dreams come true is a good thing?”

So what do you think?? I hope you love it as much as I do.

Please feel free to share, get the word out, spread the loooooove! I’m on track for a release in early March. So exciting!

Y’all ready for this?

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It’s almost ready!

This Monday… stay tuned for my cover reveal for Drawn In!!!

I’m so excited to share my cover with the world, you don’t even know. It’s in its final stages tonight and it will be ready to share with YOU on Monday! So mark your calendars, spread the word, hold your breath (well, don’t do that. Might be dangerous.) and check back here on Monday January 12th! It’s gorgeous, folks. You don’t want to miss this. 🙂

Terrible Titles Are Fun!

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Happy 2015 everybody! I skipped over the traditional posts of looking back and looking ahead and all of that. I’ve never been one to make traditional resolutions anyway, so I figured I’d spare you.

But! I did find a super fun idea on the always wonderful blog of Leandra. (Thanks for the tag!!) Here’s how it works. You bring up your current manuscript and scroll through. Stop in eight random locations and wherever your cursor is pointing, those word or phrase are your eight terrible titles.

So here goes!

1.  A Renegade Tear

2.  Wishful Thinking

3.  Maximum Capacity

4.  Right Here, Right Now

5.  Mostly Nice

6.  Liquid Empathy

7.  the Steps of the Mission

8.  A Big Chunk of Bark

So what do you think? Potential for inspiration in any of those? Ha! I think my favourite has to be number five.

I don’t usually tag folks to these things, but this is just too much fun. I’m tagging Beth Ellyn Summer and Karyne Norton (who both have great blogs you should totally check out if you don’t already follow them).

And the end. Now go write something!