To the wandering eye, my friends and family, and those who Google at 2 a.m., welcome. My name is Grace and what is to follow is the inspiration, information, and publication of tales which have long since captivated me from the chilled, dewy morning to the darkest hours of the night. I look forward to sharing with you. The journey has begun.
Today my blog is part of something bigger than usual.A few weeks ago, Karen Malena invited me to
be a part of the blog hop called The Next Big Thing, something I’d never heard
of but is apparently a sensation. The nice thing about this, though, is that it
gives me the opportunity to be a blessing to other authors, while also learning
about different styles and genres. So, here it is: my Blog Hop. The purpose is
to help readers discover the next great book or author; i.e. the one they will
be compelled to read or the author whose work they simply can’t put down.
Her work might just be the next big thing, or perhaps mine
I was asked to answer
the following ten questions in my next blog post:
is the working title of your book? The Woman in Scarlet.
did you get the idea for your book? It kind of came completely out of
nowhere. I was sitting on the porch with my older brother a few months before
our first niece was to be born. He had already written several stories for her
and was trying to think of titles for all of them. I just started listing off
random titles like, “The Spider and the Flea”; “The Bright-Eyed Girl”; “The
Woman in Scarlet.” You know. Grimm’s Fairy Tales kind of titles. Anyway, as
soon as I said “The Woman in Scarlet,” I started thinking what a cool title
that is and wondered what kind of story would go with it. My brother said that
wasn’t one of his stories, so I decided to make it my own. It was really fun,
actually, because I almost had to work backwards, thinking, “Okay, how can I
write this in such a way that it would make sense to use this title?” For
whatever reason, Russia came to mind. I’ve always loved the Russian language,
culture, history. Then one of those spontaneous thoughts just hit me: What if
the Woman in Scarlet was a genie? It was completely random, but it was just
what I needed, or rather, what the story was. Have you ever watched “Aladdin”
or “Arabian Nights” and wondered if there were girl genies? I kind of spawned
the idea from that. But she wasn’t going to be Arabian; she would be exquisite,
with curly brown hair and a gorgeous red dress. After that, everything just
seemed to fall into place.
genre does your book fall under?Fantasy,
actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?The boy playing Sacha would have to have that
wide-eyed curiosity, as well as be able to interpret stubbornness without
words, innocence, but also maturity. One thing I wanted to distinguish in my
first story is the difference in maturity between minors growing up in Europe
versus those raised in the U.S. Honestly, the first person who comes to mind is
Asa Butterfield (“Nanny McFee Returns,” “Hugo”). I think he would make an
excellent Sacha! For Grigori, it would have to be someone who can play that
strong, protective, wise-beyond-his-years character. When I was researching
names for Sacha’s older brother, I was looking more at the meanings, figuring
if I found a meaning which fit him characteristically, it might be an effective
strategy for the future. (I had already decided I wanted to be a writer by this
time.) In short, “Grigori” means “vigilant, watchful, protector.” Can you say
perfect? As for the Woman in Scarlet, I purposefully didn’t base her off of
someone real. But I tried to describe her in a way that the reader could
picture her perfectly. You know how Michelle Pfeiffer hasn’t aged a wrinkle in
ten years? That would be my only requirement when picking an actress. She would
need that timelessness, else it wouldn’t feel right to me. Of course, I highly
suspect I would not have a say in casting even if my story was turned into a
movie, but it’s fun to dream.
is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Be careful what you wish for;
you just might receive it.
your book be self-published or represented by an agency?My story is represented by Trestle Press.
long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Probably
about three months; it’s a short story. Not sure if that says more about the
quality or the speed of my writing. From rough draft to finished product, quite
a few years since I was constantly tweaking it, having the writer’s group I
attend critique it, getting outside input, etc.
other books would you compare this story to within your genre? At first I
would say “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” I know that’s reaching a
bit, but to me, there wasn’t anything that felt completely ordinary as I wrote
this story, from the way the snow fell to the swell of light which is the Woman
in Scarlet’s signature. Just as with “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,”
you never have that real-ordinary-life feeling, even when they are being
reprimanded by Mrs. McCreedy. If I had to pick a different book, I would say
“Grimm’s Fairy Tales” merely for the fact that in some of the stories, you have
that magical factor in a seemingly-mundane world. Of course most of their
stories are quite gruesome and they live in lands filled with magic, but I’m
just giving an example here.
or what inspired you to write this book?My brothers and sister, my parents… but I mostly wrote it for me. I was
my audience. I will never write something I wouldn’t want to read.
else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Did I mention it
was in Russia? That would pique my
interest. And somehow, the vision of scarlet and snow against each other is
Next week, please take the
opportunity to hop on over to the blog listed below.
William Tasch on
Goodreads. He has a blog there that’ll tell you more about his books.
I love those little epiphanies you get when you encountered a problem months ago, stored it away in your brain, and then suddenly you find an answer! Ain't it grand? This particular little problem occurred a couple of years ago when I was writing a scene between the protagonist's father and the Governor, who happens to be the father's best friend. They are on friendly terms, but there is some severe tension when the governor mentions his wife. He makes an off-handed comment, completely friendly, but the father reacts adversely to it and ends their conversation abruptly. At the time I was thinking, "Huh. I wonder what happened to make the father so defensive." I figured I would figure it out eventually, when I needed to. And as I was washing dishes today, a possible answer came to me. But the more I consider it, the more I love it. So as I said, you gotta love those little epiphanies. It makes me wonder, does this mean I need to go back and start tweaking that story, and possibly move on to the sequel? I wouldn't say no to it; my mom certainly wouldn't, either. Hmmm.... Much to ponder. :-)
PS: On Wednesday I'll be doing that Blog Hop thing I mentioned a while back. It should be fun!
So today has not been the most thrilling day of my life, but I feel it was exactly what I needed. Today I realized, after a rude awakening, that if I don't write for the passion of it, I shouldn't be writing at all. And why else should I write? It definitely ain't for the pay. My aunt visited us a few months ago, and she and my mom were talking about college education. My aunt, who teaches French and Spanish and is one of the funniest women I know, told my mom that she had to work all through to earn her education and she'll be paying for it for years to come. But you know what she said? She said she's happy about it, because her education is something no one can take away from her. I think the same can be said of my writing or any skill set. My writing is something that is mine, I do it for me, and no one can take that away. Even if we have a "Revolution" circumstance, I'm talking world-wide black-out where power and technology completely disappear, no warning, I would still write. Oh sure, I'd be ticked I never printed off my stories, but there is an easy solution to that: paper and pencil. I guess my point is that even if your favorite hobby, whether it's dancing or singing or carpentry or, I don't know... taxidermy, if it makes you happy then just do it for you. And if God plans on using your voice, birdhouse, or stuffed weasel to influence someone or even to show you one facet of why you're special in His eyes, He'll do it.
Have a great week, everyone. Hope you all do something to make yourselves happy. Night.
Hello, hello, hello! I've some exciting news for anyone who's willing to check out other great authors. Two of my good writing friends, Dana Arcuri (author of "Harvest of Hope: Living Victoriously Through Adversity") and Karen Malena (author of the "Son of Mine" and "My Mother's Kitchen" series) are participating in this Blog Hop trend that has gained quite a bit of popularity. At any rate, Dana will basically interview Karen, post it on her blog, and then Karen will interview another author, post it on her blog, that author will find another writer, interview them, post it, and so on. So everyone who is interviewed finds some other writer and that helps get their name out as well as allows them to answer some interesting questions about their writing/style/inspiration, etc. And guess what? Karen asked me to be her interview-ee! Ahh!!! I'll definitely be posting more concerning the subject, but I just wanted to get it out of my system.
If you want, you can check out both of their websites for more info and to kind of get a feel for their writing.
Dana's blog is: