Friday, May 28, 2021

Happy One Year...

To my dearest friends and followers,

If you haven't heard, I'm having a book giveaway for my novel, The Story of Hollyhocks, on Twitter (which you can enter by clicking here) in honor of the one year anniversary since publishing it!!
NOTE: only US residents eligible to win.

In a few words, my novel is a fairytale-esk fantasy / historical fiction novel, set in mythological Wales and England at the end of the 15th century. The story follows a young sprite from the "Invisible World" whose curiosity in the human world leads her away from home. She meets and befriends Edward V, a young human child who became a king at just 12 years old.
At its core, Hollyhocks's story is a coming of age story, a story about friendship and love, about facing struggles and overcoming them, about growing up, maybe losing yourself a little along the way and coming to the realization that your childlike perception of the world is not 100% accurate.

To further celebrate, I'm selling my book for 30% off the original price in my Ko-fi shop AND I'm shipping it worldwide for the first time. The sale will run from today to Monday (May 28th-May 31st), so if you've been wanting to grab a copy, I can't think of a better time than now. XD
Click here to pick up a copy of my book at a discounted price!!

Happy one year anniversary to Hollyhocks's story becoming available to the world!!

Yours truly,

Friday, May 21, 2021

One Year Anniversary.

 To my dearest friends and followers,

I can't believe it's already been a year since I published my book with IngramSpark (May 1st), and almost 1 year since my book became available for purchase (May 29th).

It's been a crazy journey, to say the least. I knew I wanted to be a writer since I was around 12 years old (more than 10 years ago). After having written multiple novellas and short stories and achieving that goal, my next goal was to become a published author. 
So I met with a published author in 2015. I had questions on advice for writing, for writing fiction, and what to expect from the world of publishing. It was her who encouraged me to start a blog and begin talking about what I I took her advice and started this blog, having previously no knowledge of what a blog even was.

Several things I'm extremely grateful for since starting my blog, is building a small following of people interested in what I do and what I'm writing about, and just being a part of a writing community. I've made several friends who are fellow writers, I've completely changed my view of independently published authors (and become one myself), I've joined several writing groups, I've gained so much knowledge about different publishing options and writing as a whole (not to mention sharing my own experience and answering people's questions when I can), and I've gotten so much encouragement about my own writing.

Since starting my blog, I have 147 published posts, I've shared 2 short stories and 1 novella I wrote as a kid, I have a regular following of about 100 weekly readers on my blog, a Twitter account with just over 3,000 followers, and 1 published novel.
It still feels a little surreal that I actually did it - I became a published author. I always knew I would, but still, it's weird sometimes to see my book in stores, both online and brick and mortar. It's a little uncomfortable to have people who've known me my entire life read my book. It's weird to think that someone somewhere, someone I've never met, bought my book.

To celebrate the 1 year anniversary of my book, I am hosting a book giveaway on Twitter (for The Story of Hollyhocks) which you can enter and follow the instructions on the post.
The rules are pretty simple. You have to have a Twitter account to enter, you have to be from the US, and you have to like and retweet the post. I'll be choosing the winner on May 29th by DM. If the winner doesn't respond within 24 hours, I'll choose another winner.

I'm also hosting a giveaway on Instagram, which you can enter if you don't have Twitter (it's the same giveaway, so there's no need to enter both). The same rules apply, except you must have an Instagram account, and like and comment on the post to enter.

If you entered the giveaway, thank you!! And as always, thank you for reading. XD

Yours truly,

Friday, May 14, 2021

A Better Way To Read.

 To my dearest friends and followers,

As I stated in my last blogpost, I began writing again in my second novel, The Death of Jack. I am continuing to make progress, slow as it may be.

During NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November 2020, I felt super energized to write and I was part of an online community who was also working on their writing throughout the month. It was super easy to write for me because many of us were writing together in timed sessions. It was a challenge to ourselves, to stay focused and write as much as we possibly could in the allotted time. We encouraged one another and really created a friendly environment for all writers.

Lately, I feel like I've been so tired and unable to write much, but I'm not giving up. I'm determined to finish the first draft of this book in the early summer.

One thing I started doing to keep myself from feeling discouraged is reading. Usually, I try to avoid reading when I am writing my books because I feel like they are a distraction, focusing my mind on someone else's story instead of my own. I also feel guilty when I'm reading during that time, instead of working on my own book.

However, this time is different. Yes, I'm trying to write my novel, but there are also a lot of books I want to read. In order to not get discouraged with my writing and not be deprived of the other books, while also not feeling guilty when I do read them, I decided I will write during the day and read during the evening or just before bed.

I recently discovered a game-changing website called Scribd. I kept pronouncing it like "crib", but with an s at the beginning and a d at the end. And then my husband brought it to my attention that he thinks it's pronounced "scribed", like someone who is a scribe...but I guess they forgot the e, ha. 

It's essentially a website where you can read ebooks, listen to audiobooks, listen to podcasts, find sheet music, and stay up to date on magazines.
I'm still using up my free trial, but I personally like Scribd better than Kindle Unlimited. KU offers a lot of books for free if you pay their monthly fee of $9.99. However, if you want to read something that isn't in the "unlimited library" you still have to pay for that particular book.
I was trying to find certain books to read on KU and saw that none of the titles I wanted were actually available, unless I wanted to pay a combined price of $36.47 for the 3 ebook titles I wanted.
Scribd has way more content than KU offers, but it's the same price of $9.99 a month. I was even able to find all of the titles I wanted.

If you don't mind reading books digitally, Scribd is definitely a better way to read, in my opinion. It's honestly really cheap if you're reading more than even one book a month. I haven't tried out the app yet, but it is available as an app on some devices, so that's cool. XD
Also, I feel like I should add a disclaimer: This is not a sponsorship. I just recently found out about it and it's something I'm enjoying, so I wanted to share it with you. I got you. I take care of my friends. XD
Also, if you can't find something on Scribd, Libby is also great and allows you to connect with your libraries and borrow digital books.

Thank you for reading!!

Yours truly,

Check out my fantasy novel, The Story of Hollyhocks from my shop on Ko-fi.
Read with Scribd.
Check out a book at the library using Libby!!

Friday, May 7, 2021

A Different Genre and Belief System In Book 2...

(As compared to book 1).

To my dearest friends and followers,

I am quite happy to say that I have started writing my novel again this week and I am choosing to celebrate that fact, rather than beating myself up over having started writing much later than I had originally planned to.
I decided to make myself a small goal: write for 1 hour every day, or write a minimum of 500 words a day. I can do that. And I feel better now that I'm writing again. I don't feel the constant nag in my head, "You should be writing.", "Why aren't you writing?", "You know, you could be writing right now." It's amazing what setting a small achievable goal for yourself can do. XD

I am really excited about the second book in the Tales from Beyond the Veil series that I'm writing. It is, however, a bit different from the first book, The Story of Hollyhocks (which you can buy from my Ko-fi shop). The idea in the first book is that a child from the fairy realm is looking "beyond the veil" from her world into the human world. It was a coming of age story, told through the lens of a fantasy setting, while also containing a large historical fiction aspect.
Book 2, The Death of Jack, gets away completely from the historical aspects, and instead invites the reader (from the human world) to take a look into the world beyond the veil (a.k.a., the fairy realm). Really, the world "beyond the veil" can be any world, depending on the one you (or the character) come from.

Book 1 contains Christian values and beliefs, such as good and evil, Michael the archangel and the dragon (or devil), the characters reading the Bible together, and together trying to understand what it says and what they can learn from it.
Book 2, while it contains values that Christians would also agree with, is a lot more focused on magic and mythology than the first book ever came close to. I'm tying in my love for folklore and Greek mythology into many aspects of the story.

In the first book, I used the words "Earth" and "earth" and "world" a lot. To me, the upper case "Earth" referred to a being, someone or something like Mother Nature. The lower case "earth" was talking about the physical earth, such as the ground or the dirt, or the physical place in which they (the characters) lived. When I used the word "world", I was talking about an idea or an unseen force, such as the idea that the earth is a physical place, but the world is what you make of it, or what you do with it. The "earth" is not good or bad, it just is, but some would say that the "world" is a bad place.

In the novel I am currently writing, I am exploring the idea of the "Earth" more and exactly what the fairy realm is like. The Earth, in the time of the second book, is referred to as the Earth Mother. She is possibly the most ancient and powerful of the gods. Asides from her, the only other named major god is Hypnos or Hypnosis, who was responsible for much of how the world as Hollyhocks knows it came to be. Some of the minor gods who appear are Cenarious, the Great White Stag, and even the dryads. It is through these characters, we will learn just exactly where it is that Anlon, the unicorn, came from, as no one in the first book seems to know or remember where he came from originally.
In general, there are a lot more spiritual ideas in the second book, such as the ideas of being in tune with nature and one's surroundings, and the idea of everything being interconnected, represented by the tree of life.
I would say there are definitely good values in this book as well, such as the difference between right and wrong, laying down your life for your home and those you care about, love and family, etc. 

In The Story of Hollyhocks, we, as the reader, got to see Hollyhocks learning about the God of the Bible, since her world has different beliefs, though both are intertwined throughout the story. Since Jack's story does not really take place in the human world, we get to learn more about the belief system of the fairies. I love the idea that, even though both worlds worship different a "God" or "gods" (the "God" that Hollyhocks learns about in the first book, vs. the "gods" and afterlife from the fairy realm), there's the definite possibility that both sides are worshipping the same entity, but have different understandings of it. I think without this thought, the books could be very confusing to the reader when it comes to understanding the world views presented by the fairy realm vs. the human world. One could ask, "Well, how do we know which is correct?" The answer is, both! One doesn't have to be right, making the other one, by default, wrong. They are simply 2 ideas looking to a bigger picture, each understanding it to the best of their ability, each possibly believing that they are right.

I suppose I should clarify something for anyone wondering. I consider myself a Christian author. That does not mean I write "Christian" books, or books about my faith. A lot of the content and inner dialogue of my characters, the doubts they have, the questions they have, and the obstacles they face, are drawn from my own experiences and my own thoughts, and some of those you may not find "suitable" for yourself or someone you know to read, or you may not agree with the ideas presented.  I guess, I hope that you would not think my book will be filled with only "Christian" characters or themes - because it probably will disappoint in that area. My intention in labeling myself the way I do, simply means there will be some values Christians also agree with, and that the book will be "clean" (no sexual content or foul language). You can trust I'll keep my stories clean, and I'll put some of my own beliefs and values into the book. Again I say, some of those things you may not agree with. And that's ok.

Thank you so much for reading!!

Yours truly,

Click here to buy yourself a copy of my novel, The Story of Hollyhocks

- Check out the fairy journals from my Ko-fi shop!!