Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Character Interview: Lysandra

As stated in a previous blog, I'm featuring another character interview on this blog. This is the second of a series of interviews I've done with more characters than most people would consider healthy. Last week Leopold paid a visit to the blog and this week, it's his twin sister Lysandra from Tale of the Twins Book 1: Gathering and Destruction.

Without any further rambling, here we go:

Basic Information:
About 3,000 years Race: Vampire Occupation: Working to join humans and vampires as one cohesive unit and ferreting out the vampires who want to enslave humans.

What motivated you to join humans and vampires? It is horrendous how some of my kind treat humans as mere fodder as if they are nothing but cattle. Your kind is much more than just my kinds’ sustenance. Without humans there would be no vampires and vampires seem to forget that.

What do you mean by that last statement exactly? What I mean is that if were to merely gorge ourselves until there were no humans left, there would be nothing left for us to eat. My kind also seems to forget that without humans doing all the work, we would not have most of the things we take for granted before the war. It was humans who made the great arts, it was humans who made the technological advancements and it was humans who are willing to do the physical labor of rebuilding the world. We vampires merely watched.

Good point. Moving along, describe yourself in four words: Most people would call me intelligent, aloof yet kind-hearted and deadly.

I was thinking more of you telling me what you thought of yourself. It is the same thing. The ones I trust do not lie to me so I believe in their opinions.

Right, well, what’s it like being Leopold’s twin? Leopold is annoying, loud and obnoxious. He generally likes to play by his own rules and tends to follow the haphazard beat of his own drum. Despite it all, he is caring, a little insane and keeps life interesting. I can honestly say that I have never been bored in all my 3,000 years of life. Even when we were alive, he still had the same ability to be both annoying and lovable at the same time. It is quite the talent.

Does it bother you that he’s more magically inclined? It bothers me at times, yes. Then again, he cannot use the range of weapons I can. We each have our own talents that compliment and complete the other.

Has he ever prevented you from having a relationship with another male? Not intentionally I am certain. I have not been interested in having any kind of relationship with other males. Vampires do not have sexual desires so there is no need to seek out the opposite sex to fulfill certain needs. We are dead after all.

So why do some of the younger vampires seem so crazed? Because they were born in a different time. Some older vampires were born in times that did not focus on sex while the younger breed was bombarded with it.

That makes sense. What’s your favorite part in Tale of the Twins? Minus any spoilers mind you. I have two favorite parts for differing reasons: creating our family and the final fight.

Usually vampires don’t seek companionship, why create the family? Well, Leopold and I needed help to save the world.

Right, any final words to give to the world? Stop repeating the same mistakes over and over again. It can become extremely tedious cleaning up after all of you.

Thanks for the insight. You are quite welcome. Though I do not think many will heed it.

Yes, they are opposite in a lot of respects. If you want to learn more about them, you'll have to check out the book. Next week we'll see what it's like inside a flea's mind and will hopefully survive the maze.

Just a note: I'll be working on a series of more "tips and tricks" posts for both authors and non-authors. Also, I'll be doing an update of sorts of what I'm working on (novel-wise) and how far along I've gotten in my writing goals for this year.

If you have any really important questions for Leopold, Lysandra or anyone else you can think of (including me), feel free to post in the comments. I'll do my best to answer.

Until then I leave you with this quote:
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested."
-Francis Bacon

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Obsession with words

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. I've always wondered who "they" were and what made them think that a photograph was worth 1,000 words. Regardless, I've written 100 photographs worth of words this month. Yes I have written 100,000 words. That's two NaNoWriMo challenges in one month. I'm not trying to brag, honest. I'm just flabbergasted.

As I've said it before, I am a bit crazy. I'm a bit obsessed once I get onto something I really like. For example, the other day I downloaded a new game on my phone and because it's so awesome, I've been playing it all day. Oh, and I've spent money on it, something I swore I'd never do with a phone game.

This obsession translates into my writing. Once I get into a story that I really adore, I just hack away at it until I either collapse from exhaustion or its done. The current work is 14 chapters long in 168 pages. This isn't including the little side-scene I wrote for it which may or may not make it into the main body.

I know someone out there is going to ask "how did you manage that?" I have no idea. Besides lacking a social life, working better under stress and having an insane obsession with things, I have no clue. I wouldn't suggest the first two though. One makes you somewhat anit-social and the other makes you want to jump off a cliff one moment and laugh giddily the next.

Besides that, I did want to mention that because of this insanity I have decided to modify one of my goals for this year. Instead of trying to write 500,000 words, I'm going to 600,000. I know, not much of an increase and technically I'm just over one sixth of the way there.

But who's to say I'll have another 100,000 word month before NaNoWriMo 2012? I might completely die once I finish this story. I kind of hope not, I've still got seven more months of the 12in12 challenge to complete before my final month in November.

Either way, I've written more then I could imagine this month. I want to thank everyone who has given me wonderful comments (even if they didn't know they were) and everyone who's actually reading this blog. Now I'm off to torture my poor (but loyal) fingers and write more.

Maybe one day I will sate this word obsession but the forecast is cloudy with a chance of "ha, yeah right." Until then, I'll amuse myself with writing about bi-polar mages, cowardly dragons, not-for-children fairy tales and whatever else strikes my fancy. Ciao.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Character Interview: Leopold

For those of you who don't know: I keep every idea I've ever had, every note I've ever taken (story wise) and all other paraphernalia having to do with writing in a dresser drawer and a few binders. Actually, I don't think anyone knew that.

Regardless, now that you do I'll forge ahead. Last week (Thursday) I mentioned that I write character interviews. Why did I mention this? Well, I found some. They were hand written, half in and half out of the margins of a notebook at the bottom of my notebook stash. Yes, I'm the strange woman with a notebook stash.

After reading a few, I decided to type them up because ink fades and there's some good stuff there. I spent the weekend reorganizing my dresser drawer and my binders before typing up a few of my old interviews. I realized that instead of interviewing from the third person, I pretended that I was actually speaking with the character in question.

Does that make me a little crazy? Eh, maybe. I don't really mind because at the very least, it keeps me entertained.

Anyway, enough with the rambling. As stated in the title, here's Leopold from Tale of the Twins Book 1: Gathering and Destruction

Basic information:
Age: About 3000 years Race: Vampire Occupation: Saving the world.

What motivated you to save the world? Boredom, actually, Lys wanted to and I just went along with it.

Do you often just go along with what Lysandra says? Most the time, yeah. She is the brains of the group for a reason. I’m just around to look good and provide back-up *laughs*

Okay...describe yourself in four words: Hmm, only four? Damn. Um, hm. Oh! I’m a gun-crazed, magic-wielding, ass-kicking vampire.

You cheated. No I didn’t, I just like double words. A lot. Yeah. Can I say ass-kicking during this? Not that I really care but I figured I’d make sure.

Yes you can. Now, next question: What’s it like being Lysandra’s twin? Lysandra can come off as all cold and distant but she’s really not. She cares a lot about her family, well, namely me and er, the rest of the guys but, um, I lost my train of thought. It kind of like blew off the tracks. Anyway, it’s kind of cool having her as a twin, I mean, we’re connected and all that B.S so I’m never really alone. Actually, that’s a good and bad thing depending on the situation. I kind of wish she’d of been male too because I’d love to totally freak the Hell out of people by just randomly going by my twin’s name. That’d be awesome.

You only want her to be male to screw with people’s heads? Yep. I like messing with people, it’s fun.

Is that why you act so strange? Naw, I just act weird because I am weird. It’s one of those things, you know?

Not really but regardless, what’s your favorite part in Tale of the Twins? Without spoilers mind you. Aww, no spoilers? Damn. Well, I’ll say one word then: Abby.

That’s actually really sweet. Yeah, I’m a sucker for keeping pets.

No pun intended? Pun totally intended.

I should have known. Any final words to give to the world? This is where I should be saying something poetic and thought provoking. Screw it. I’m the best character, love me and enjoy my craziness.

Thanks, I think. No problem, it was my pleasure.

For those of you who don't know who Leopold is, you just met him. Of course if you want to read the story he's in just pick up a copy of Tale of the Twins here.

Who's Lysandra? Well, his twin of course. I'll post her interview sometime next week. Until then I'm going back to writing my fingers off and wandering around in my fantasy worlds. I might tell you about the trip at some point, I'm sure it'll be fun.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

68,000 and counting.

Today I was sitting around staring into space when it hit me. The ceiling fan that is, not the answer to why we're all here. Actually, I'm kidding about the ceiling fan too. Sorry.

What hit me was the fact that without prompting, I have written an astounding 68,603 words in 10 days. When I first heard of the 12in12 challenge I decided to write novellas because I didn't think I could make close to 50K words every month. Now I've basically completed a second NaNoWriMo in five months.

How could I have possibly written so much? Well, for one I have no life. I'm being serious. I work all day from 9AM to 5PM and as luck would have it, my friends work from 3PM to 11PM. The only time I see them is every other weekend when they're off. I know, I suck.

Eventually I get bored of video games (I know, such a horrid statement) and sit down in front of a blank Word document to write. Being perfectly honest, I've played all the games I own and can't find anything interesting.

I've noticed recently though that I tend to write a lot more when I'm stressed. Writing sweeps me up into a different world and I don't have to think about paying bills, buying food or whatever else is making me go crazy.

Though I have to admit, I am pretty mean to my characters the more stressed I am. I get some kind of sick pleasure out of making their lives Hell when mine sucks just as much. Technically my current set of characters is having a lot of good luck recently so I must be in a better mood.

Then again, I did force one of the guys to pretend to be a woman so he could poison and evil Lord. I don't think that would be good luck. But they DID meet the other two members of their growing team while in the Lord's estate so it worked out.

Anyway, back to my crazy word count. I made it my goal this year to write 450,000 words. I just calculated that if I write a mere 12,968 words a month from April to October, I'll complete the goal. This is assuming I make my NaNoWriMO 2012 goal of 200,000.

Technically, I don't even HAVE to complete the 12in12 challenge. I still am though, just because I want a safety net for NaNo. You know, just in case I can't get to 200,000 words. That would be absolutely horrible if I couldn't and didn't have anything backing me up.

Heck, with the pace I'm going at, I might even make it my goal to hit a million words this year. Okay, that's a bit out of my league with my time constraints. I'm not going to shoot myself in the foot with a laser gun just because I'm feeling good about 60K in 10 days.

As for what I'm putting out next: I'll be eventually putting out a 'Fairy Tales Gone Wrong' collection which includes spoofs of Snow White, Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Goldilocks, Rapunzel and a cowardly dragon story. I'm aiming for the end of April but I might still be caught up in my current novel-in-progress. We'll see.

Until then enjoy this little bit of scenery from my current work:

“Nice to meet you Bliant, I’m Archard,” Archard offered a hand to shake.
Bliant took it with a grin and looked vaguely surprised at the powerful grip.
“I’m Noam and the pleasure is all mine, I’m sure,” Noam announced with a wave of his hand.
“Are you a male or female?” Bliant questioned in response.
One of Noam’s slim eyebrows raised and his mouth shifted into a saucy grin. Bliant merely stared at him for a long moment as Archard smirked.
“What do you think?” Noam purred.
“He’s a he, and he can be really weird and perverted, sorry,” Archard interjected before Bliant could respond.
“Aww, cutie-pie, that just took all the fun out of things,” Noam pouted.
Bliant erupted into laughter much to Archard’s surprise and Noam’s pleasure. He clapped the two on the back and grinned.
“I’m a little weird myself, don’t worry,” Bliant explained with a smile.
“How so?” Noam questioned in wonder.
“Ah, well, Bliant means healer in some kind of old language,” Bliant described with a laugh.
“Huh?” Archard voiced in confusion.
Bliant shrugged and tucked his thumbs into the belt he wore. Archard waited somewhat patiently for the reply and wondered if he should ask again. Noam merely looked in interest at their new companion.
“I came from a rich family, more specifically a family of healers. I was the eldest and thus taught to be a healer, not a warrior. I became a warrior after my village was ransacked by bandits. They didn’t live to see the next week. Apparently being a good surgeon translates well to becoming a warrior,” Bliant confessed.
“So, you can hurt someone then stitch them up?” Noam asked for clarification.
“Yeah, something like that,” Bliant agreed with a nod.
Archard grinned and decided he was really enjoying this new adventure. Noam was entertaining in his own respect but having a healer who also happened to be a good warrior on the team would bring something more amusing to the mix. Bliant and Noam laughed when Archard finally spoke:
“Well, the more the merrier,”

Monday, March 5, 2012

Return from outer space

Yes, I am somewhat back from my tumble off the world's edge. Where have I been? I'd like to say exploring lost runes and finding new species of mammals but that would be a lie.

I have been utterly and entirely swamped by life. I have to admit, this has been one of the worst years of my life because of finacial issues, death and other such things I don't want to think about right now. Saddly, I'm not quite on track yet and won't be on track in the near future. Don't expect to hear a lot from me for a little while. But let's crawl out of the bad news pit now, shall we?

The good news is that I have managed to stay on track with three of my writing goals for this year. That is, I'm well on my way to hitting 500,000 words for the year, I'm still hanging in there for the 12in12 challenge and I released another novella in February.

All the other goals (especially the one about promoting) are essentually shot to Hell at the moment. And I probably won't be releasing an anthology in March. Why? I'm just not motivated to write the two stories I want to finish the anthology with.

You're probably wondering how I'm on track for the 12in12 if I'm not writing the two stories I need to, right? Well, my brain decided that in February, it wanted to write scenes for the second book of a triolgy I haven't even started the first book for. This month, my brain choose to start another novel length work that I'm much too immersed in to even think about switching over to anything else.

I do really love my current story and because of it, I've got 44,000 words under my belt for this month's 12in12. Last month I hit 48,000. It's like I'm doing mini-NaNo's and I've never had so much fun.

I stumbled out of the block and barely squeaked by the first two months (December and January for me) but am more than making up for it. If I manage to finish off the challange in November with 200,000 words, I'll hit 500,000 words for this year. Yes, that's a heck of a lot.

I don't think I've ever written this much in one year, even counting my two previous NaNos. And you know what? I'm absolutely loving it. Now, if I can only find a little birdie to help me promote, that would be wonderful. But, one can't have it all so I'll have to chug along until things start looking up.

Until then, keep your chin up and flail your arms crazily when a certain four letter word hits the fan.