Guest Post: The Inside Joke Technique

Today we have an amazing guest post from the great Kate Flournoy herself. Get used to hearing her name, because whenever she starts publishing her book I’ll be ranting about them all the time.

They’re amazing.

Oh, and for those of you who keep asking, she’s also the one who’s made my book covers.

But I’ll not embarrass her too much today because she’s sprung to the rescue of my own insane schedule and saved us all with her guest post about the power of parallels in writing.

The parallels that make your story come alive

Writing is like magic. Tremendous power that can only be harnessed through the tricks and tactics of the system.

Some of us (the truly ancient magicians) have many of these powerful tricks memorized by now.

But for the younger generation of trainees, most of us have yet to even discover them.

Fellow magicians, gather round.

I’m going to share one of the most powerful tactics I’ve learned in my own training. The one. The only. The INFAMOUS. INSIDE. JOKE.

*cue ominous drums*

Okay, that may have been slightly overdone.

Seriously though, this is one of my favorite tricks, because it’s so incredibly simple but wields a ton of power at the same time.

The first thing any writer needs to understand about their craft when it comes to writing a book that engages the reader is that half of any story is always written in the reader’s heart. Without a reader, your story is just strings of words on a page, and every person brings a different perspective to it.

Your job is not to force them to see everything as you see it in every detail, but to guide the eyes of their heart in the direction of what you saw and trust them to put the pieces together as they belong.

Inside jokes are one of the best ways to do that. Essentially, the I.J.T consists of parallels. Create an association, and then repeat the outer characteristics of that association elsewhere to evoke the same emotions.

Think of it as an ordinary object that you fill with magic to use later. You find a stone, endow it with the ability to give light, and then the next time you want light all you have to do is pull out the stone.

For instance, what if your hero is a brooding, emotionally unstable assassin who spends his days in hiding and his nights on assassinations. We open with him perched atop the very highest pinnacle of his dark tower, staring down over the city and half-playfully daring himself to jump and discover what ‘too late’ feels like.

But then, say his life takes a turn for the better. He falls in love with a woman he was sent to assassinate, and goes on a quest to remake his life and become worthy of her so he can ask her hand in marriage. He goes to the pinnacle of his tower less and less often. He takes to wearing brighter colored cloaks over his black clothes, and stops playing with his knives in public.

Finally he gets to the point where he feels he can approach her, and with high expectations he slips into her palace and obtains an audience… only to find her surrounded by maids of honor and decked out in flowers and a white dress, in preparation for her wedding with one of the highest men in the city… that’s happening in precisely twenty minutes.

The assassin’s life is shattered. We could go to great lengths to describe his agony; send him all over the city on a wild killing spree and spend chapters worth of anguish taking him all the way back to the place he started.

But we don’t really need to. All we have to do is take our magic stone and whisper ‘let there be light’… and we find him back on the very pinnacle of his tower as he was in the beginning, with his bright cloak in tatters and his black clothes showing through as though it never changed.

This works on every level of storytelling, from prose to subtext to character arcs to theme. Parallels are amazing tools, and the I.J.T. is only a very small part of a very large and powerful collection of spells.

So? What are you waiting for? Your reader wants to be trusted with piecing the story together; they want to invest in it by catching your hints and responding to your subtle pokes. Not to mention, casting these kinds of spells is just plain old fun for you. What’s holding you back, aspiring magicians? Go forth and conquer!

Thank you so much, Kate, for hopping over here for the day. As for you others, you can (and should) find out more about Kate and her work at The Inky Notebook.

Like what you read? Take a moment to share it with your friends!

Song of Leira Cover Reveal

Any of you been sucked into Leira and the world of the Songkeeper Chronicles yet? If you haven’t, then you need to get ahold of them. If you have been, then guess what?

*lowers voice to whisper*

I have something for you today.

A cover. A blurb. Preorder links and a release date.

But mainly the cover. Because it is beautiful and I love it so much.

Continue reading

Like what you read? Take a moment to share it with your friends!

Forged Alliance

Long ago, in another age (like… last year?) I wrote a collection of stories about two realm leapers who help me in my writing. Some of you have seen these already, but for the first time I am going to share these events publicly. So today, meet Kirin, Stealthmaster and resident researcher of all dangerous topics.

Continue reading

Like what you read? Take a moment to share it with your friends!

Batteries, Movies, and Songs

November Highlights


Okay, so maybe that doesn’t seem like a huge thing. But when one’s computer dies if unplugged for more than a minute, being able to move it around, charged and cord-free for several hours on end, is one of the most marvelous things ever.

OH! And have any of you seen The Man Who Invented Christmas? I saw it on Thanksgiving with my mom. I have no words.

Continue reading

Like what you read? Take a moment to share it with your friends!

Fidelyon: ‘X’ with Ethaniel

Ethaniel, the main character in my novel, Fidelyon, has taken it upon himself to introduce you to his world by going through an alphabet of terms and names.


Yeah… X. That letter that no one actually uses to start a word with. So we’re just going to pretend that X stands for ‘random fun facts’. Because why can’t it stand for that, after all?

Fidelyon has gone through a number of titles, the first one being Legend of the Shield and one of the most recent titles being The Shield and the Spear. Yes, I like Fidelyon better too. Why do you think we went with it?

Fidelyon was founded in the summer of 2012 and started off as a 20-minute movie that was partly cool and partly horrible and only a few elements remain. The hero’s name was Artos and his companion was Tristin. I do believe Dartagnah and Silvara are the only two names that survived.

Continue reading

Like what you read? Take a moment to share it with your friends!

It’s Black Friday & Free Shipping

Books, books, and more books. I love Black Friday.  Barnes & Nobles is one of my favorite places to shop at, though I might not make it there this year because of work and such. But I like shopping about anywhere I can get books. Or knives. Or diaries. But mainly books, whether they are for myself or for Christmas gifts.


Burning Rose is on sale!!!

Lots of books are on sale, actually, but I’m mentioning mine first, just cause.

Want an autographed copy for yourself or a friend for only $12.99 instead of $15.99 with FREE SHIPPING?


A war, founded in ancient legends, changes the lives of those it touches forever.

Elissa, a villager from the northern mountains, attempts to save her brother and ends up trapped in a hidden valley with a strange host and a treacherous enemy.

Evrard, the Wingmaster of the Prince’s army, races against his own weakening powers to discover the location of his twin and save her from deadly mistbenders.

Haydn, a pardoned rebel from Tauscher’s army, confronts shadows of myth and former comrades in his struggle to keep his sister safe and find the stolen Stormestone.


Before the war, before the legends, before the Separation, there was a man who started it all. There was a curse, a promise, and a sacrifice. There was the Oathkeeper.

Fairy tales retold as you have never heard them before.

Now, the site this sale is on doesn’t sell out of the USA. I can’t afford free shipping out of the US in any case. If you live outside the US and want to buy a book for the sale price, send me a message and I’ll calculate the cost of shipping and take care of you.

Finding Burning Rose and dozens of other Indy books on sale here!

Like what you read? Take a moment to share it with your friends!

Save Money by Spending It

Kinda. I mean, money and exchange for books. It’s a good trade. Especially when the authors can use that money to get you more books. Anyway, I just want to tell you about a cool sale coming up.

Thanksgiving is about being grateful. Black Friday makes up for it. But one can be thankful and still buy stuff without trampling people in lines. I love online shopping. I stay up to midnight more often than I should anyways.

Enough of that.

Yes, there is a sale coming up.

There’s also Facebook party going on over this next week, from the 24th to the 30th. There will be meet and greets with authors. Giveaways. Cool things. Check it out!

Find the Facebook Party here

And yes, Buring Rose will be on sale too. More details in two days. 😀

Follow my newsletter to get the details as they happen

Like what you read? Take a moment to share it with your friends!

They said WHAT? 21 things non-writers say or ask

As writers, we suffer (or laugh) our way through a number of questions, comments, and looks.

So I decided to grace a number of questions with my own sarcastic answers.

Things I’ve been asked (in various ways):

Continue reading

Like what you read? Take a moment to share it with your friends!

A Favorite Author + New book = Happiness

I was lucky. When I first discovered Nadine Brandes her first to Out of Time books were published and I only had to wait a short time for the third book. That series is great and relatable and all the things, but this post isn’t about them. Instead…


Guess what?

Nadine Brandes is writing a new book!!!

Well, to be clear, she has written it. And signed contracts. And got a cover. So yeah, it’s a bit a long in the process. And today she is revealing the cover for this new book.

And letting me and a few other bloggers help. But before that, here’s the part that had me as excited as the cover itself:

Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.

Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared, but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.

But what if death finds him first?

Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did it. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.

The plan: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King James.

The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.

No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back.

And it’s coming out July 10th! In 2018, of course.

Oh, right. You want to see the cover.


*internal screaming* I love this cover, okay? And the whole book idea? And why can’t it be 2018 right now? Scrach that. I’ve too many things to do for it to be 2018. But still… ISN’T IT GLORIOUS? I can’t wait for it to be on my self. Also, check out Nadinesoffical post about her cover reveal, as well as the preorder links and all that cool stuff, by clicking here.

Or you can head straight to Amazon and preorder it here.

Oh yes, and one last thing. THERE IS AN ADVANCED READER’S COPY GIVEAWAY! How cool is that? Make sure to sign up for that.


And Nadine Brandes? She’s really cool too. I’m quite jealous of her blog and I’d sign up to her newsletter simply because it’s so much fun to read.






Check her out on her website, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Like what you read? Take a moment to share it with your friends!

Fidelyon: Shadows of the Palace

Many of you have heard me talk about Fidelyon, my longest work to date. On occasion, while writing the novel, I also take time to write backstory or extra scenes. Here’s the rough, unedited (kinda…I’ve gone over it once or twice but I’m sure there are still typos) draft of one such scene.

It takes place three years before Fidelyon and recounts the first time two of my secondary character, Jagger and Seamus, meet. Jagger is 15, Seamus is 9, and Jagger has just arrived at the palace to live with his uncle after the death of his family at the hands of Volandum Raiders.


Continue reading

Like what you read? Take a moment to share it with your friends!
  • Click HERE to sign up to my newsletter and claim your free novelette, Rose of the Night