Thursday, 28 March 2013

Interview Links

Hello all

I recently had the opportunity to do an interview with the lovely Catherine Gardiner over at Books and Bites. Here's the link so you can check it out, make sure you show Catherine some love:

This is my first interview for Rebirth, so go check it out!

Friday, 22 March 2013

A Bit of Everything

Hello everyone!

As I'm sure some of you have already seen, there is a review of Rebirth on Amazon and Goodreads, and on the Young Adult and Teen Readers facebook page (one of the good people there were kind enough to review it for me). If you haven't seen it already go check it out!

I'm hard at work on a lot of things right now so I've been neglecting this blog a bit, and I apologize! When you put your book out yourself you wear a lot of hats, and some of these hats are new and exciting but very different from anything I have ever done so it's a new experience.
I am working on new material and getting things together to try to bring Ikon (Book 2) along. I am in a happy place with it, and I'm excited for people to read it. I also have to wear my cover designer hat when I am sitting with it, and that is a process that is quite outside of my box. The ideas are there but I don't always have the skills to execute them so its an interesting process for me (I heard a quote once that if you see in pictures you should write, and if you seen in words you should paint, and I totally agree).
The cover for Rebirth ended up coming together like I had visualized so I have high hopes.

And I am also borderline addicted to Game of Thrones. After watching the second season in a marathon with my fiance I went out and finally bought hard copies of the first four books (I have them in ebook but I had a hard time getting into them) and I am ankle deep in the first one and loving it. I wish there was 45 hours in a day so I could spend more time reading! I highly recommend it, but it does take a bit to get into so keep at it, it's totally worth it!

I am in the process of arranging some blog interviews and other fun stuff so I will keep you posted.

 But that's all for now. I'll be sure to write more soon. 

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Calling ALL Veronica Mars fans!!

I'm guessing you already know about this, and those who don't I will explain.
Series creator Rob Thomas and star Kristen Bell started a Kickstarter campaign to try to raise $2M dollars in 30 days to make the Veronica Mars movie. If they pull it off, Warner Bros has agreed to help with distribution.

WELL, in literally a day, they have raised almost it. As of 8:47 pm in Toronto Ontario, they have  $1,969,505.

No, I'm not kidding. This is really going to happen! I am so excited I don't have the words.

Veronica Mars has been a huge inspiration in my work since I saw the first episode many moons ago. Since then I've wanted to write a good crime book with a kick ass girl at the helm.
It hasn't happened yet, but it might.

Anyways, if you don't know what Veronica Mars is, here's the wikipedia link.

And an article about all the action by the CBC

I always believed that Veronica Mars would change the world.

Here's the Kickstarter link:

And just in time for first ebook review!!

As most authors in my position know, you spend a certain amount of your day maintaining and looking at your various web presences. Today I happily found my first ebook review on Amazon!
Of course I was pleasantly surprised. There is nothing like the feeling that you have done something right and you have achieved something that you set out to achieve, and that someone else has enjoyed it!

So, I have to send a big thank you to Heather....I appreciate your kind words.

Here's the link:

And I am hoping that by posting this it'll push my counter over 1750...which is another big hooray! Thanks for coming by, and thanks for coming back!

And if you haven't picked up your copy of Rebirth, it's now available on Barnes and Noble and Kobo as well as Kindle and Smashwords.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Now available at Barnes and Noble!

Hi folks!

Look what I just found on Barnes and Noble's website!

Movie Review: Oz the Great and Powerful

I really did not know what to expect from this movie.
Before I get into it I should say, I did not see it in 3D...yet.

Here's the synopsis from IMdb :
A small-time magician arrives in an enchanted land and is forced to decide if he will be a good man or a great one. (short and sweet, huh?)

I really wanted to see this movie for a variety of reason. I've become a bit of a special effects junkie, and I have to say that on that note, this movie did not disappoint. The China Doll is all I really feel like I need to say. And The Wizard of Oz brings me a lot of happy memories of my Mother, who loved Judy Garland.
In terms of the story, James Franco was good as Oscar, the man who would become Oz. In the beginning we see him, in black and white, as a magician in a traveling circus whose womanizing ways finally catch up with him. He gets into a hot air balloon and is sucked into a tornado, which transports him to Oz. The scenes in Kansas are in black and white and Oz is in glorious color, much like the original.
Michelle Williams makes a brief appearance in the black and white portion of the movie as Emma, a woman preparing to marry John Gale who as come to tell Oscar that she is moving on. Her appearance, I believe, is a nod to the original. I won't give it away, but Oz fans will get a kick out of it.
Once Oscar gets to Oz he meets Theodora, played by Mila Kunis. I have to say when Kunis came on the screen I was quite taken aback...she was so beautiful I was completely overwhelmed. I think it was a combo of the right makeup and how the director dealt with the transition into color (not that Kunis wasn't attractive to begin with) that created this absolutely stunning woman. Theodora decides Oscar is the wizard from a prophecy, and that she is in love with him, and the story really begins.

I won't give too much away in regards to plot for those who want to see it, but I will say that the story sticks true to Oz as I know it, adding a few interesting tidbits along the way. Rachel Weisz is stellar as Theodora's sister Evanora, in a way I felt like she was in fact too good. The other actors were good but once you put them in a scene with Weisz there was no comparison....except when it came to Mila Kunis. She is really the star of this movie. Her transition from good to wicked is remarkable, and she is just stunning.
Don't get me wrong, I like Michelle Williams. I think she was well cast as Glinda. I have to admit though, when I first heard her voice and she sounded like she was doing the Marilyn voice (the fluffy Jessica Rabbit-esque nonsense she did in My Week With Marilyn) I got really upset. Luckily she didn't, and she carried on in true Glinda fashion with smiles and sunshine and riding in a bubble. Not that she wasn't good, she just wasn't as good as Weisz and Kunis, in my opinion. Franco has proved himself time and time again, but he also suffered the same fate of being good, but not quite as good as the sisters.

The story tries to give some reasons why things are the way they are in the original, and I thought it all rang rather true to the original story, and was also a nod to Gregory Maguire's Wicked. I'm curious to see where Disney decides to take Oz after this.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Character Discussion: Building the Backdrop

Victorie, Mathilde, Morgana, Josephine, William: Building the Backdrop.

Every story has background characters. Some always stay in the background, others come to the forefront eventually, some aren't as far in the background as others.

When I decided I wanted The Afflicted to become a series, I knew that I was going to have to place some interesting characters into the story that I could bring forward later to create potential other 'afflicted'. So when I started building them, I had to keep many things in mind.

While they were details that were common things one would use while building a character, I had to keep certain elements in mind for what I wanted to do later.

In the case of Morgana, what happened in her past plays a big part of who she is now. She talks a little about what happened to her family back in Scotland, but we don't know the true horrors of the situation. She is a complex little person, and I thought that, considering the time period and what had been happening to those accused of witchcraft, that there is a certain way that I believed she would be, whether she was actually a witch or not. Someone who has seen the things that she's seen, lived what she's lived, was a reality in many places at the time. Its unfortunate but its true, women were burned without much question. I wanted that to be obvious in the way that Morgana behaves, her demeanor and her reactions to other people. She's guarded, and she's scary if she really needs to be. Its about so much more then her being traumatized or damaged.

And yes, I use those Character Profile worksheets - the ones that they suggest you use in almost every how-to writing book, but I've tailored it to suit my needs. Some are more elaborate than others, and some are not totally complete. In the case of Morgana, because of how her past has shaped her, her character profile is almost entirely complete. That seems to be the way that the character building works, the more information you need about the character from the beginning, the more you fill in, and if not other things get filled when they come to you.

In the case of Victorie, the idea I had for her did not come till much later, so her original character profile is very basic. But now that I've had this idea, which will probably begin in Book 4, I've started filling in more things. This does not mean that I have not and will not use her till then, it just means that she is still more in the background until what I have planned can be pulled out. The same thing happened with Mathilde once I got into writing the second draft of Ikon, and I'm excited to see what happens.

And then there's William. Originally when I had envisioned the series I had not thought I would make one of the men a narrator, but my fiance has lobbied for William from the beginning so I decided to explore the idea, and it is a real possibility. It would be new territory for me, I've never wrote anything with a male narrator before so it might be fun.

Who these people are, and who they were, is very important. In the supernatural realm of things I had to give them certain abilities, or powers in some cases, for what I intended later, and that would further their own story as well as the overall plot when needed. The supporting cast is always important and should never be overlooked.

It'll be an interesting ride, but that's what happens when you're one of The Afflicted.

Did you enjoy these posts? I sure enjoyed writing them! 
So, I thought I'd run a little contest. Here are the rules: 
Be the first person to comment on each Character Discussion post. You can comment on each post, but you will only win one copy if you are first. In a case of multiple firsts, the next comment will be a winner. 
In the comment, includes something about what you think makes great characters, following along with the theme of the character discussion. And if you've read the book and want to include something about the characters, you can do that too!
Post One: Memorable Main Characters
Post Two: Iconic Characters
Post Three: Dynamic Male Leads
Post Four: Villians
Post Five: Background Characters
I look forward to reading your comments.  
Contest ends March 16....or when someone leaves a comment!! 

Monday, 4 March 2013

Another Happy Milestone

Hello dear readers,

I have a very happy thing to share with you all. Rebirth is available through Kobo on!

Fellow Canadians will understand why this makes me so happy. Chapters and Indigo are really our local chain bookstores, and where most of the people I know buy their books from. It means a lot to me to be able to say to people I know, if they ask, that they can order the book off the Chapters website!

Here's the links for those who are interested:

I have to say, this is a very happy moment for me. I really officially feel like I have arrived!

Friday, 1 March 2013

Book Reviews....?

Hi everyone!

Wondering why I don't have very many book reviews on this blog? Well, the simple answer is that they are all on Goodreads! So, if you want something more in depth then my recommended reading section, I suggest you head over to my Goodreads page.

Now, on occasion I post a book review here, and I will continue to do that. But, if you really feel the need for something right now, please go over to Goodreads and take a look around.
At this time, I have not received books strictly for the purpose of reviewing. Anything that I have reviewed is something that I picked and read on my own. Why is that, you're wondering? No one has asked me to review their book!

But, in some cases I would consider it. If that ever comes up.

   I am also hunting for reviewers to read Rebirth. Are you interested? Leave me your info here or on facebook, and I will get in touch with you as soon as I possibly can.

Character Discussion: The Villain

Klara Von Dores: or one lab accident from becoming a super villain.

(I'm sorry about the title, but when someone says 'villain' that line from the television series called 'The Big Bang Theory' immediately comes to mind)

Oh Klara. My villain. I have to say, early on it was hard for me to come up with an idea for a villain that would seem appropriate for Katrine. But, then I had this brilliant idea when I thought of what goes on with girls of that age, meaning mid teens. And jealousy popped into my head, among other things.

I strongly believe that there are universal truths that would translate into any time period, and the same problems and issues that affect teenagers in this day and age would come up, on some level, in the past. The same problems, only evolving as the world does, but the same problems nonetheless.

I decided that Katrine needed a villain that was similar in some ways, such as age, but total opposite ends of the spectrum in others. Where Katrine was from a small village who lives a very sheltered life, her villain needed to come from a life of privilege. The villain needed to be an absolute spoiled brat who had everything handed to her on a silver platter, but it was never enough. And when she didn't get what she wanted she tore the world down around her.

Klara Von Dores is the only child of Baron Von Dores, and she is banished from her parents court for reasons that I will not discuss because, well, when you read the book you'll find out. She is used to having things fitting her station, and when they're taken away from her and someone who see perceives to be inferior to her getting things she wants it would drive her insane. Especially the attentions of men. She's controlled and makes her judgments based on her own overpowering emotions, something very common for teenage girls. Maybe her reactions are not the same, but what can I say? Teenage girls are what they are - nuts. I used to be one, so I can say that quite confidently. And to me, someone who wasn't so different then the main character made the perfect villain, which would be the way it would work at any time I think.

Of course Klara will not be the only villain of the series, but I think she is the most dynamic. What drives her are such basic human emotions and it makes her so complex that a vampire would be driven by such human emotions. But, like I said about teenage girls, and it translates across the board.

I had fun writing her because of her extreme emotions and reactions, and her indifference to how people feel about her. Getting to explore her more as a character was interesting, and its been a challenge as a writer to get into that head space. She's the girl you love to hate, and that was another of my early thoughts when I first went into creating her.

And I hope, as readers, that you enjoy her.

Klara was another character that I went on to explore further in the second book. I did not think I would be able to really get into her perspective, but once I did I really had a lot of fun, and I feel that her part in Ikon is one of the strongest so far. It's different in many ways but I like it. 

I hope you enjoying these posts, I know I am! And don't forget to check out Rebirth, available now on Kindle and Smashwords. And come visit me on facebook!