Fidelyon: ‘D’ 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.

There is only one obvious word to go with ‘D’…Drexin, of course. One of my best friends, Drexin and I ran messages from the same outpost for over four years together. Under Ard’s observation we learned swordsmanship and all manner of fighting techniques, both with and without weapons. Away from Ard’s sharp gaze, we sometimes fell into all manner of mischief. Generally it was Drexin’s fault, whatever he may claim, but together we always worked our way back out again. Normally without anyone being the wiser.

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Drexin (picture from Pinterest)

Drexin comes from a long line of messengers, and his father runs a nearby outpost while his mother and sister live in Almathea. But Drexin himself is determined to travel and explore…in both Elentisa and Voland if possible. Right now he has his eyes set on being a merchant and occasionally interrogates Cedric on what business entails. But that won’t be until after the war, if we’re not able to talk him out of it. Until then, he’s managed to get himself a position as a Kingsguard where at least I can keep an occasional eye on him.

 

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Archeress and My First Poll

Firstly, I’d like to thank you all for your fairy tale suggestions last week. I got more great ideas than I have stories to write. At first I wanted to retell The Twelve Dancing Princesses for my next novella, but the theme and story wasn’t working.

*sighs*

So I settled for Hansel and Gretel. (Rest assured, I’m not giving up on The Twelve Dancing Princesses…I’m going to do that for novella number seven, I believe.) But Hansel and Gretel, while far from my favorite fairy tale, will fit my theme much better. Actually, I don’t really care for Hansel and Gretel that much. But that’s all the more reason to retell the fairy tale. I’d love to hear about your favorite retelling or things that always irritate you about the story.

Secondly, archeress photos. My brother, Noah, took them last week and here are a few of my favorites. Which one do you like best?

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In Crab-Apple Woods

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My ‘Silvara’ pose *winks*

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Aiming (but not shooting) two arrows at once, per my brother’s suggestion

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One of my favorite shots

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Another Silvara pose

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Queen of the realms; authoress extraordinare

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Out of the woods…or into the woods?

And that’s only some of them. You may see others crop up on my blog in future months. Or…I’ve another costume I might taking photos with. But that probably won’t be until fall since it’s long-sleeve.

And now for the poll. I’m trying to make this site tighter and more focused, though I’m still wavering between it leaning towards Christian fantasy readers or Christian fantasy writers. But I can’t do fantasy and writing articles and book reviews and everything else out there, much as I’d love to. So I’m begging your help. In the form below, you can grade how much you like various aspects of the site. Try to keep your grades in relation to the other items. A row of fives won’t help, however nice it looks. *winks slyly*

So, if you filled out that form, thank you so much. *sends you an electronic bar of chocolate* If not, then I fear I’ll have to…have to…I’m not sure. I may turn over your name to Kirin and Elena, sending them to drop you into the middle of another realm. They’re getting bored with me working on formatting Song of the Sword, adding vectors, and writing blurbs. No, wait. Blurbs for Song of the Sword are next week. So much to look forward to.

*grimaces*

But enough rambling.

As a last announcement, some of you may have noticed I’ve changed my domain name to authorhopeann. Right now, the writinginthelightpublishing site redirects to this site, so if you have my former link, you’ll still get here. However, next week, I’m going to transfer that domain name to my weebly site. Once that happens, you’ll land on my Writing in the Light Publishing page. There will be a link to my blog from there, but if the writinginthelight link, or a few of my other links, aren’t working for a bit later next week, that’s the reason why.

Prompt Book and Risen Review

Picture prompts on Pinterest are all very well and good, and I love them, but there’s something about having a hard copy of about anything. That’s why, when I got a coupon for a free photo book from Shutterfly, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. I collected my favorite prompts and organized them together into my very own writing prompt book.

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I love the photo book and hope to make more in the future, focusing on settings, quotes, random pictures…the possibilities are nearly endless.

Secondly, I went and saw Risen at the theaters last week. The movie is about the events surrounding Jesus’s death and resurrection. The main character, Roman Tribune, it tasked with finding the body of Jesus which has vanished, and with quelling the unrest which could be caused by those who claim Jesus has risen.

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Things I liked:

It was very well made; the setting, acting and costuming were excellent.

When touching on things recounted in the Bible, the movie was very accurate; there are a few minor details which aren’t quite exact, but it follows very well.

Things I didn’t care for:

 The first part of the movie was excellent but, about 2/3s though, I felt the story dropped slightly. And the ending, while not bad, didn’t have the power which it could have had.

No one ever goes into why Jesus died. He’s just risen from the dead; considering the topic of the movie, they could have added much more of the salvation message just as a matter of history.

I didn’t care for the actor who played Jesus (though this is more of my own opinion than anything against him). His acting was good, but it seemed like the directors were trying to make him look like a normal man of that age (with a beard and all) but also softer or more pretty…and the two didn’t go well together.

Other:

Though not gruesome in detail, due to the thematic material I’d suggest paternal opinion before showing this movie to young children.

Conclusion:

I loved the first part of the movie, and I loved the main character. I think the ending could have been much better, but it wasn’t bad and I’d give this movie 4 stars out of 5. I’d recommend it as a cool idea of what could have happened, but don’t expect to be drawing strong religious inspiration from this movie.

Interview: Serena Chase

I had the privilege of interviewing Serena Chase, author of the awesome Eyes of E’veria series. If you haven’t checked out her epic giveaway here.

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Where did you get the inspiration for the Eyes of E’veria series?

Serena: I’ve always loved fairy tales, and after re-reading Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine about a decade ago, I wondered, “Could I re-imagine a fairy tale like that?” and I just started writing. Seven years later, I published the story that began with that question—and what I intended to be a little book, turned into a two-big-books epic fantasy, The Ryn and The Remedy.

 

Who has been your favorite character in the Eyes of E’veria to write?

Serena: Probably Cazien, because he is just too much fun to hang out with. Never a dull moment with that pirate! Not to sound totally crazy, but the things that come out his mouth and thought processes—honestly, he kind of takes over my head, to the point that, when I’m writing, most of the time I feel more like a transcriptionist than an author!

 

How long have you been writing and when did you know you wanted to be an author?

Serena: I’ve always been a storyteller of some sort. For the first thirty or so years of my life, I thought that storytelling desire would be aimed toward a career in the music industry—as a lyricist and songwriter. But dreams shift as we grow and . . . I know I’m doing the thing I’m meant to do now.

 

Have you started writing the fifth book in the series yet (any hints about it 😉 )?

Serena: At this point, the Eyes of E’veria series is complete. If there are any more books in the world of E’veria, they will either be labeled “a novella of E’veria” or “a novel of the Seahorse Pirates” — something like that — but nothing concrete on that end yet. I’ve been living in E’veria and its surrounding seas for ten years now and I need a break from that world.

 

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Serena: C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, A. G. Howard, Lisa T. Bergren, Sarah J. Maas, James Rubart, Kristen Heitzmann, Tosca Lee… so many!

 

What is your normal day to day writing schedule, and how long does it normally take you to finish a book?

 

Serena: That’s a difficult question. I’ve yet to figure out a “normal” schedule. I’m either a total mess, writing like a madwoman for 14-18 hours a day, or a total mess, writing one paragraph in three hours, only to delete it and go fold laundry or something. Basically, I’m a total mess and about as far from “normal” as anyone can get. The Ryn and The Remedy (together) took 7 years from conception to birth (publication.) The Seahorse Legacy took about 12 months, and The Sunken Realm took 16 months.

 

Do you have any writing plans or ideas beyond Eyes of E’veria?

 

Serena: I think I mentioned already that I’m a total mess? That’s kind of where I’m at right now. I’m all over the place. My agent is shopping a completed contemporary Christian YA romance to publishers. I’m developing a YA contemporary paranormal series and I’ve started rewriting the first book of an adult contemporary paranormal series. I’ve also started a massive rewrite of a New Adult contemporary romance novel that takes place within the music industry—one I wrote while working on The Ryn and The Remedy. I’ve also started plotting out a series of contemporary romance novellas. See? A total mess. At the moment, however, I have no looming deadlines and all the freedom in the world, which makes the mess somewhat acceptable. Maybe.

 

 

Official Author Photo Serena Chase 2015SERENA CHASE lives in Iowa with her husband, two teen daughters, and a big white dog named Albus. A frequent contributor to USA Today‘s Happy Ever After blog, Serena is an avid reader of young adult fiction and inspirational romance and has become a respected influencer within those communities. When not engaged in her varied roles within the publishing industry, Serena can be found watching action movies and dreaming about someday living in a cottage by the sea. Connect with Serena Chase on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter (@Serena_Chase) and visit www.serenachase.com to subscribe to her newsletter and gain access to exclusive, subscriber-only content.

Names of E’veria: The Ryn

I’m participating in a blog tour for Serena Chase, who wrote the awesome Eyes of E’veria Series! Below you’ll find her article with the ‘behind the scenes’ story of some of the names and a few pronunciations…names that I’ve been saying completely different since I read the first story and now I don’t know if I’ll be able to think of them the right way. And stick around after the article because there’s a a free book and giveaway at the end you won’t want to miss. So, without further ado…
EofE Banner Caz&Erielle
The Stories Behind the Names: the Eyes of E’veria Series
by Serena Chase
Across genres, there are often interesting stories about how authors choose names for the characters in their books, but in speculative fiction (fantasy, sci fi, dystopian, steam punk, etc.) those behind-the-scenes naming stories extend to places, objects, processes, abilities, and terminology—sometimes entire languages are even created! In this series of posts, which will be spread over time, as well as several blogs, my Facebook page, my newsletter—and eventually videos in which I will share pronunciations, as well—I will attempt to unveil the stories behind the names populating the epic fantasy novels The Ryn, The Remedy, The Seahorse Legacy, and The Sunken Realm, a few at a time.
 
For this post, I am focusing on names from Eyes of E’veria, book 1: The Ryn. Shall we dive in?
 
E’veria: This was not the original name of the world in this series. The first draft was nearly completed when I came across another work with the same world name I was using. So I changed it, did a Google search… and learned… that one was taken, too! And it went on like this for a LONG time. You would not believe the number of made-up names I went through before deciding to try… an apostrophe… to make the spelling of my world unique. Finally… ta-da! I found a name that was as-of-yet-unknown to Google, and—BONUS!—I sincerely liked how the word “E’veria” looked both interesting and a little romantic on the page.
And speaking of E’veria, readers know it is made up of nine provinces. Not all of the provinces have stories behind their names—some just “felt right” for whatever reason—but I’ll share a few of the ones that do.
Mynissbyr: Don’t laugh, but if you say it slowly in the way I pronounce it in my head (MINN-iss-beer) leaving room for creativity, it sounds a little like “man is bear” which works very well with the legends of that province concerning “The Bear-Men of Mynissbyr.”
Veetri: Since Veetri is loosely based on my idea of what Ireland might be like (unfortunately I’ve yet to visit and prove my suppositions—as well as hours and hours of travel shows—correct!) I wanted to get across the feeling of “green.” Words like “verdant” and “verde” (the Spanish word for green) came to mind… simple, perhaps, but those are thoughts behind naming “Veetri.”
Shireya: There is a classic Amy Grant song called “Sharayah” that has nothing to do with anything in E’veria, it’s not even one of my favorite Amy Grant songs, but for whatever reason, it was in my head when I was naming things in the world, so… twist the phonetic spelling a little bit and… there ya have it.
The Ryn: I wanted the heir to the throne to have a word that loosely sounded like (and “meant”) the word “reign.” It just made sense.  (And by the way… I pronounce it like “tin”—I wonder how many of you have been saying Ryn like “Rhine” all these years…? Don’t worry… until it’s a movie, you can say it however you want, because reading is the theater of the mind!) The same reader pronunciation issue can arise with the character of…
 
Princess Rynnaia. Do you say rinn-NAY-uh, or Rinn-NIE-Uh? Or something else? I say Rinn-NAY-uh) Also, not to seem narcissistic, but my middle name is Renee, so … if you think “Renee” when you pronounce it, that’s how it is in my head. But you do what you want.)
Lord Whittier: In the first draft of The Ryn, this character played a much larger role. And he was… umm.. witty, so… *cringe* But I liked the name, it suited him, so… I kept it.
One synonym for the word “caprice” is “whimsy”—and being as Veetri is the home of Storytellers, and that “capriccio” is a musical term for “a short, lively piece of music”, I felt that since Lady Capricia was a musician (and petite!) it fit her.
Each of Lord Whittier and Lady Capricia’s sons were named in homage to some of my favorite authors of fantasy: Kinley (for Robin McKinley, author of The Blue Sword), Lewys (for C.S. Lewis, author of the Chronicles of Narnia), and Rowlen(for J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series.)
Drinius: I originally spelled his name in a more complicated way… something like Drinaeus, except probably worse, I don’t recall. At an early editor’s suggested, I simplified it, making it more phonetically friendly for readers.
Lily: Since The Rynand The Remedy are an epic reimagining of the Grimm fairy tale, Snow White & Rose Red (and Rose/Rynnaia is obviously the “Rose Red”), I wanted to find a name that portrayed purity, like snow. Lily is very pale, with white-blonde hair, porcelain skin, and I think of Easter lilies as having that sort of symbolism, so Lily worked for her name from the start.
Cobelds: I borrowed and adapted the German word for goblin, “kobold” for these nasty little old men.
Edru: since he is a scholar, I first named this character “Erud,” a shortened version of the word erudite, but I kept stumbling over the dull sound of that name, and although the reserved Andoven fellow comes off as dull when we first meet him, he has a deeper core… so I moved the letters around and was much happier with Edru, which was much friendlier-sounding to me. (And in case you were wondering, Edru was created and named long before Veronica Roth’s Divergent was published, so there is no connection to a faction.)
Lindsor: I wanted to give this wizened old man a name that was solid, and yet exuded comfort. I happened to have some Lindor AssortedTrufflessitting on my desk (go figure.) So… Lindsor? Yep. Apart from the addition of an “s” to his name, he is named after chocolate, the ultimate comfort food.
What names and words of E’veria are you curious about? Tell me in the comments, and make sure to watch my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter for news of when and where the next “Names of E’veria” post will appear!

 

 
SERENA CHASE lives in Iowa with her husband Dave, teen daughters Delaney and Ellerie, and a big white dog named Albus (yes, he was named after thatAlbus.) A frequent contributor to USA Today‘s Happy Ever After blog, Serena is an avid reader of young adult fiction and inspirational romance and has become a respected influencer within those communities. When not engaged in her varied roles within the publishing industry, Serena can be found watching action movies and dreaming about someday living in a cottage by the sea. Connect with Serena Chase on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter (@Serena_Chase) and visit www.serenachase.com to subscribe to her newsletter and gain access to exclusive, subscriber-only content.
  
For today only! Download the third book of the Eyes of E’veria series for free at Smashwords!
  
REVISED TSL ad 216 Smashwords
  
And now for the Giveaway!
  
Revised Blog Hop Giveaway Feb 2016

Click here to enter the giveaway!

And be sure to visit my blog this coming Tuesday for a special interview with Serena Chase!

Top 10 Villains

So, Writefury tagged me to list my top ten favorite villains. Who can resist. But apparently there are some rules:

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  1. Post the button
  2. Thank and link the blogger who tagged you. (Thanks, Writefury!)
  3. Post a list of your top ten villains (along with honorable mentions if you want to go that far)
  4. Tag ten other bloggers (this is one rule I fear I’ll break. Ten bloggers? More like three…)

 

Anyway, on to the list.

10. Pecksniff from Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens. A slimy, despicable, cowardly villain of the kind you absolutely despise.

 

9. The Sheriff of Nottingham. I actually have pictures of two different sheriffs here, the one is Alen Rickman from the Robin Hood movie, and the other is the sheriff from the BBC Robin Hood show. They are both so bad and yet so funny.

 

8. Chauvelin from the Scarlet Pimpernel books. The villain who can never win, try though he might.

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7. Mirza from Prince Caspian. I loved his facial expressions and acting in the movie; he’s a villain you love to hate.

 

6. Moriarty in the BBC Sherlock. What other villain is so insane, so smart, so funny, and so creepy…and all at one time.

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5. Ultron in The Age of Ultron. He’s hilarious and a doesn’t fall into any of the common cliches of many villains. But there’s also no doubt he’s bad.

 

4. Cythraul from the Dark Sea Annuals by Thomas Wayne Batson. For treachery and sheer black evilness, he has very few equals.

 

3. Rumpelstiltskin from Once Upon A Time. A villain who you love and feel sorry for, despite his history of dark deeds.

 

2. Saruman. What villain list would be complete with this villainous traitor?

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1. Loki. The smooth villain from Asgard who everyone loves and feels bad for despite his obvious failings.

 

And that is that, my list of ten villains. Hope you enjoyed it. Now for my nominees; and no, I’m not even going to try to find ten. I tag Joy, Daniel Thomson, and Rebbecca. And if you want to do this, please consider yourself tagged and go ahead.

Liebster Award

Firstly, before I do anything else, I’d like to thank Abigail, Anna, Ivy Rose, and Olivia K. R. Fisher for promoting my novella, Rose of Prophecy, on their blogs. Currently the novella has slightly over 200 downloads and I’ve received several good reviews, which is properly exciting.

Secondly, a big thanks to Annie Louise Twitchell for nominating me for the Liebster Award.

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Here are the rules:

– Thank the blog who nominated you and link back to them.

– Nominate up to 11 other bloggers to receive the award.  To be eligible, they need to have 200 followers or less.

– Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.

– Tell your readers 11 random facts about yourself.

– Give your nominees 11 questions to answer on their blog when they post their nomination.

 

My Nominees:

Lydia Carns

Ivy Rose

Olivia K. R. Fisher

 

My Eleven questions from Annie:

#1 – What’s the ‘outdated’ phrase that you use the most?

I’ve no idea…but I like the word ‘botheration’.

#2 – What was the name of your first character you created?

That’s been so long ago, that I can’t be exact…but probably Cleve, the small crab in a story my brother and I wrote.

 
#3 – About how many books do you read a week?

I tend to read several at a time, but probably one or two.

 
#4 – If you were a dragon rider, what color would your dragon be?

Dark green.

 
#5 – You’re in a fight. What’s your weapon of choice?

A bow, if I knew how to shoot it.

 
#6 – How many times a week do you use sticky notes?

More like a few times a month if that. I use my whiteboard for quick notes instead.

 
#7 – When was the last time you hand-wrote a letter to someone?

Hmm…last week?

 
#8 – How many story ideas have you come up with in the two and a half minutes before falling asleep?

Have no idea; quite a few though.

 
#9  – Text or phone call?

Phone call.

 
#10 – Do your characters have conversations with you?

No, not normally. I just have conversations with myself.

 
#11 – Stars or hearts?

Stars.

 

Eleven Random Facts About Myself:

#1 – I’m listening to Celtic ballads while I write up this post.

#2 – I love wearing vests and newsboys caps.

#3 – My shelf is overflowing with books; I’ve one (soon to be two) shelves with a double row of books. I also have books on top of the shelf as well as three boxes of books under my bed…and other books scattered in a number of other places.

#4 – I love salt like, a lot. Especially if it is with something like French fries.

#5 – I just got several more stones I’m hoping to wire wrap in the next week or two.

#6 – I really want a good sized treasure box where I can store all my scattered treasures of polished stones, beads, buttons, and shiny things of all descriptions.

#7 – I love climbing to the tops of trees on windy days.

#8 – My love of scarlet rose is almost entirely due to working on a trilogy where the symbol of the main character is a Scarlet Rose.

#9 – The title of the Scarlet Rose is inspired by the Scarlet Pimpernel…I love those books!

#10 – I want to paint some watercolor bookmarks sometime. It just takes so long to get everything out and I’d rather read…

#11 – I love the Percy Jackson books. I hate the Percy Jackson movies. The quip ‘don’t judge a book by its movie couldn’t be more true for any other series’.

 

Eleven Questions for My Nominees:

#1 – Sword or bow?
#2 – Favorite jewel?
#3 – What book are you reading right now?
#4 – Dragon or griffin?
#5 – When did you start writing?
#6 – What is your current favorite fiction book?
#7 – Would you like to go back in time or forward in time?
#8 – Snow or rain?
#9  – Name of a favorite character in a story you are writing?
#10 – Do you talk to yourself?
#11 – Fly or breath underwater?

Hope you enjoyed this. 😉

Black Friday

Question and Answer Wednesday: do you go Black Friday shopping? Mom and some of us older ones normally go shopping, but mainly for fun. We get up early, but reach stores after they’ve been open for a little bit and the first insane rush is over. Sometimes there’s a deal we’re mildly interested in and want to look at, but normally we go just to look around and enjoy ourselves. 

Stranger Than Fiction

As a writer, I try to make my stories somewhat realistic and avoid easy ways out, like coincidences. History doesn’t have that problem. I’ve read spy stories that run like a cheesy movie, except the tactics actually worked and the event really happened. It’s really annoying…things happen in real life that I can’t put in a story because it will sound fake. But there are other events filled with possibilities and ideas. I’ve decided that I read fiction to get a view of different writing styles, but I read history to give me ideas of what to write. 
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What are your favorite periods of history? I like Ancient Greece, Rome, the American Revolution, and WWII.

Tolkien

I love Tolkien’s works, especially Lord of the Rings, not only for the story but also because of the strength, courage, and hope portrayed in it. The determination of so many characters to fight against darkness and evil, even if there is no hope of winning…it is inspiring. Here are a few of my favorite Tolkien quotes (all the pictures except the last one are from Pinterest). 

My edit; photos of a younger and older Tolkien

And (since it is supposed to be Question and Answer Wednesday) what is your favorite Tolkien quote?