How do you decide which project to work on?
I always write the thing that I want to read most. Usually this is the project that I’ve thought out the most and at least somewhat outlined, but sometimes it’s a completely new project that I know very little about but already love.
How long does it usually take you to finish a project?
That depends on the project… I can usually do a short story in a month. Novels take about a year, (with three months of drafting and nine months of cleaning up the mess that I call a draft).
Do you have any routines to put you in the writing mood?
I always diffuse peppermint oil when I’m writing because it helps me focus, and I usually listen to either my project playlist or nature sounds.
What time of day do you write best?
Either really late at night or really early in the morning… what is sleep?
Are there any authors you think you have a similar style to?
Ummm… no. My style is my own, just like every other author’s style is their own. I honestly think that you could give three different authors the same prompt and ask them to write a story, and they would come up with completely different stories because everybody’s brain works differently!
Why did you start writing, and why do you keep writing?
I started writing because I loved reading and telling stories, and I just never stopped. It’s so much of a habit to write every day now that it feels weird to not write in a day! I’ll keep writing as long as I have stories to tell, and I’ll probably cry if I ever run out of stories!
What’s the hardest thing you’ve written?
Definitely my Shaman Novel! The number one piece of advice that you’ll hear as a writer is, “Write what you know”. I personally think that this “rule” is idiotic and hardly ever follow it, but it does have a tiny bit of value. When I started writing my Shaman Novel, I stepped off a cliff into the deep blue unknown, and that was the most terrifying moment of my writerly life! It’s one thing to create a magic system, world, characters, plot, and fantastical creatures out of your imagination, but it’s a completely different thing to combine fantasy and psychology when you know absolutely nothing about the psychological disorders at hand! Speaking from hours of experience here… Google is a writer’s best friend!
Is there a project you want to tackle someday but you don’t feel ready yet?
Nope! Now that I’ve written two drafts of my Shaman Novel, I can write anything!
What writing goals did you make for 2017 and how are they going?
Uhhhh… I’ll just skip this question! Just kidding… My main goal for 2017 was to have my Shaman Novel ready for beta readers by June, and clearly that did not happen! I have world building woes, ok?! Cut me some slack here! I still gotta name some fictional countries!
Describe your writing process in 3 words or a gif!
I absolutely positively despise gifs because gif + screen reader = BAD! So… here are my three words: messy, incoherent, somewhat insane. That turned into four words, but I’m calling it good!
Beautiful People is a writing link-up created by Cait @ Paper Fury in which you share a bit about your characters. This month’s topic is parental relationships! I’ll be answering the following questions for Niko Deverow, (The main character of my Shaman Novel.)
Overall, how good is their relationship with their parents?
Niko’s biological parents mysteriously disappeared when he was three years old. His Aunt Zelda and Uncle Quinn are his legal guardians, but they don’t really care what he does as long as it doesn’t ruin their chance at a spot on the royal counsel. The closest thing he has to a real parent is his shaman mentor, Archer Cross. She was like a sister to Niko’s mother, and now she’s made it her mission to save him from the royal lifestyle as his mother would’ve wanted.
Do they know both their biological parents? If not, how do they cope with this loss/absence, and how has it affected their life?
I already answered the first part of this question above… Sophia and Gidian Deverow disappeared when Niko was only three, so he never got a chance to know them. Niko inherited his Mom’s shaman gift: the ability to see spirits and residual energetic imprints. For example, he could see the blurred image of a violent murder that played out 50 years in the past because of the energetic imprint it left behind. This made it super hard for him when his Aunt and Uncle got guardianship. His dad basically ruined the Deverow name when he married a shaman, and now Zelda and Quinn care about nothing beyond fixing their reputation and reclaiming their spot on the royal counsel. From a VERY young age, Niko has been taught to hide his abilities. He wears a flawless mask to keep up his royal pretence, but beneath it he is filled with scars and secrets that can never be revealed. Because he’s holding so much inside, he finds ways to numb the world. He becomes addicted to Bliss, (a made-up drug), and turns to self-injury as a form of release.
How did their parents meet?
Every year, the Counsel and the Shaman Court meet under a peace flag. Gidian Deverow and Sophia Murser met at one such meeting. Sophie saw that something was off in Gidian’s aura. He didn’t quite fit with the other royals, and that intrigued her. She struck up a conversation at the peace banquet, and after several months of secret meetings, Gidian made plans to desert the counsel which would throw his family name into exile.
How would they feel if they were told, “you’re turning out like your parent(s)”?
Niko would be overjoyed to get ANY kind of information about his parents! He’s spent most of his life trying to find out what happened to them, which is difficult because he has no access to shaman records, and the counsel doesn’t keep information on traitors. Even though he sees the spirits of the dead, he’s never seen his parents. He can’t decide if this makes him scared or happy because it either means they’re not dead, they’re in some kind of afterlife, or they’re alive and somewhere worse than death.
What were your character’s parents doing when they were your character’s age?
Sophia was training to become a spy for ISA, (the International Shaman Alliance). Gidian was being groomed to carry on his family name and one day inherit the Deverow’s counsel seat.
Is there something they adamantly disagreed on?
Considering they never new each other, they didn’t have a chance to disagree on anything.
What did the parent(s) find hardest about raising your character?
It was very difficult for Sophie to find out that Niko had her abilities. Sight and Empathy are two of the most difficult shaman gifts to master, and when they’re combined, they usually result in madness.
What’s their most vivid memory with their parental figure(s)?
Niko has a vague memory of his mother singing him to sleep in a foreign language that sounds a lot like Hawaiian. However, he can’t decide if it really happened, or if he just made it up to feel some connection to his life before the counsel.
What was your character like as a baby/toddler?
Niko was a very quiet child. He was always watching, listing, and absorbing the world around him.
Why and how did the parent(s) choose your character’s name?
The name Niko means, “victory,” or, “warrior”. Gidian and Sophie named him Niko because they knew the world was a harsh place, and they wanted it to remind him that he was strong enough to fight and win.
Beautiful People is a monthly writing meme created by Cait @ Paper Fury. It is designed to help writers get to know their characters, and this week the theme is character couples. Now… Romance actually does not enter my story until the very end because… Well… My MC is kinda struggling with life at the beginning, and lots of people are trying not to die, and I’m sorry but I simply cannot stand that trope where two characters fall in love and it’s all like “We might die if we’re not successful in this mission but I’m gonna stop and kiss you before we do whatever it is that might be our only chance to save the world from disaster!” There’s probably a name for that trope, but obviously I don’t know it, and I don’t wanna google it right now… Anyway… The romance comes in very close to the end of my story, and it’s a kinda major plot point, so I’m not going to actually say the names of the characters involved in order to avoid spoilers. I’ll just code name them Character X and Character Y for now. BTW… These characters come from my “shaman novel” that is currently code named Flawless Cracked and Broken. That title will probably change approximately 52 more times before publication, but tell me what you think of it pretty please? Now, without further rambling, I shall answer these questions!
- How and why did they meet?
Character X and Character Y met after several traumatic events unfolded and they ended up helping each other out. Vague, I know, but so many spoilers abound!
- What were their first impressions of each other?
Character Y thought Character X was just an annoying cheerleader who asked too many questions and smiled too much. Character X thought Character Y was cute but too quiet and probably had just as many secrets as she did herself.
How would they prove their love for each other?
AAAAAH! You people ask too many loaded questions! Struggles to think of an answer that won’t spoil something big Ok… Here’s another vague answer for ya:
Something big happens to cause Character Y to face a bunch of ridicule from Character X’s sister, and Character X tells Character Y that she’s sorry about her sister and that she knows what it’s like to have lies spread about you behind your back.
What would be an ideal date?
Ok so the majority of this is set at Blackthorn Hall, which is a school for shamans. The school is surrounded by woods, and there’s this trail that goes up to the top of a waterfall, and the place above the waterfall kind of becomes their place.
Is there something they emphatically disagree on?
They absolutely cannot stand each other’s musical tastes! I have this thing where I match my characters with songs, so I’ll share an example from each character’s playlist…
- List 5 “food quirks” they know about each other. (Ex: how they take their coffee, if they’re allergic to something, etc….and feel free to mention other non-food quirks!)
◦Character X does not function until she’s had her sugar-filled coffee.
◦Character Y won’t drink anything containing caffeine or an excessive amount of sugar because it makes him jittery, and he’s jittery enough because of his shaman gift.
◦Character X has a strange love for red candy.
◦Orange Juice is Character Y’s comfort drink.
◦Character Y usually eats yogurt or fruit for breakfast.
What’s one thing they know about each other that no one else does?
They know all about each other’s family issues and past drug addictions because that’s partially what brought them together.
What’s one thing that they keep a secret from each other?
Ummm… I can’t answer that… The secret between them is kind of a major turning point in the book, and I want you guys to still have a reason to read this when it gets published, so… Pass!
How would their lives be different without each other?
They both showed each other that it’s okay to trust, and had they not met, they would both still be hiding their true selves under the mask of their royal bloodlines.
Where do they each see this relationship going?
Honestly, they aren’t sure at this point. Right now they’re just there for each other, and they’re both willing to see where it goes.
I really hope my answers weren’t annoyingly vague, but I was trying to preserve some mystery because this story is in the edit stages and hopefully will be headed for beta readers soon! Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check out the other posts in the link-up!