A: Getting into the habit of writing a little every day. The first few chapters will be your toughest chapters to write. You will probably question your sanity for starting the project in the first place. You’ll doubt yourself and wonder if it is possibly any good. You will wonder who would read it. Why would anybody care? Trust me when I say don’t give up and keep going. Once you get past these bumpy chapters the rest is smooth sailing by comparison. Writing will be easier because after the first few chapters you have a narrative and a world that is being crafted. It’s easy to add to a world, a lot harder to think one up. You can modify the world as you go to adapt to the characters and situations.
A: Starting before you’re ready to start. If you wait to be ready you might never start. If you wait until you know your story and all its nuts and bolts you might never start. Don’t worry if your idea isn’t fully mapped out because you don’t need a perfect outline. Nobody reads that except you. If you wait until all the research is done and you’re a subject matter expert (SME) you might never start. It is better to start and have to redo something than to not start. A blank page is scary, but a page with words on it already is not. You can tackle it a lot easier because the creative pressure is almost fully gone. Starting was the hardest part for me. I had a couple of false starts, but you know what? A false start is still a start. If it doesn’t work figure out why and try again.
A: Depends on where I am at in the writing process. For instance for the book Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest I took a lot of time in the beginning to research Norway – climate, locations, photos, maps, things to do, etc. It’s not as good as being able to experience Norway in person, which I do hope to do one day soon, but it’s a good start. The key to writing is giving yourself permission to not be a subject matter expert (SME.) I started using the research immediately and took whichever elements suited my purposes (i.e. – artistic license.) If I waited to use the research until I was positive I could distribute the information like an SME or a native of Norway, the story would never have been started and it certainly wouldn’t have been finished. Sometimes you have to put the research away and just write.
The third and final draft of Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest is finished. Grammar, formatting, and style checks complete.
Word count: 36,120
Total Writing Time: 4 Days, 9 Hours, 37 Minutes
A: I love to eat Thai red curry. I didn’t always love it. In fact when I was first introduced at the tender age of 11 I thought the vegetables were strange. Being naturally suspicious of my mom’s intentions in ordering and sharing healthy food, I ate just the chicken out of it. Nowadays my favorite part is the vegetables! I love to eat red curry so much I learned how to make it. Here’s the recipe:
- Red Curry Paste – as much as you’re comfortable using (it’s spicy)
- Chicken – cut into bite size pieces, pan fry in butter, salt, and flour
- Pineapple – bites of these are amazing as they soak up the curry flavors 🙂
- Zucchini – cut in rounds to desired thickness, thin rounds will melt into the curry, everything else is a bit meatier
- Asparagus – bend and snap them, use the parts next to the head, toss the rest
- Snow peas – because they’re prettier than normal peas
- Green Bell pepper – tasty and traditional, slice long and medium thickness
- Red Bell pepper – tasty and traditional, slice long and medium thickness
- Basil – I put in very little, but that’s my personal preference
- Coconut milk – lots of it, at least three cans, the more you use the creamier it is (and less spicy)
- Bamboo shoots – I try to get the thin strips like the ones restaurants use
Cut, chop, toss in a pot, bring to a boil, stir it up, taste test and add anything to make it perfect.
Make some jasmine rice and pour curry on top. Perfection!
A: So far, it was hearing from my sister who doesn’t really like to read that she loved the first book in the Zaria Fierce Trilogy and couldn’t stop thinking about it. That gave me warm fuzzies.
A: Check out my Goodreads profile to see what books I’ve read and am reading now.
A: My mother would read Half Magic once a year for a while when I was young. I loved it. I read nearly every Animoph book to come out while I was in middle school and discovered Ella Enchanted around the same time. I read that book aloud twice to my younger sisters. We loved it. I also love Harry Potter, Twilight, Artemis Fowl, Iron Fey, Goddess Test, Selection Trilogy, Percy Jackson, and Hunger Games to name a few series.
John Bauer (1882-1912) is a Swedish painter known for his work in an annual compilation of Swedish fairy tales. His artwork is magical and earthy. Each panel tells a story with rich and exquisite imagery. Below are some examples of his work that influenced Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest.
Visit the Jönköpings läns museum to see John Bauer’s work in person.
A: Zaria is too obvious so I’ll say Hector. He would have stories and anecdotes to tell and would be wicked cool to hang out with. Plus I picture him as Chris Hemsworth as he appeared in various Thor movies. He would have a fuller beard and be ever so slightly more scruffy. Give the man some golden antlers, a white fur cloak, and a winter-wyvern and we’re set to go!
There’s another actor I like too who I think would also be perfect. Learn more at Carole Finds Her Wings where I do character casting for the non-humans in Zaria Fierce.
I finished the second draft of Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest today. I’m so excited. Publication is that much closer. Pre-order and get your copy of Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest.
Word count: 35,723
Total Writing Time: 3 Days, 19 Hours, 32 Minutes