A: I’m not usually a big quote person. There are quotes that I love from many sources, especially books which make a book memorable for me. But, I think you’re looking to know if I live by any of these quotes. So, in that vein, a Chinese fortune cookie was my daily motivation to keep going on Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest. It said, “You should be able to undertake and complete anything.”
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: 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: 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.
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
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