Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Next Big Thing (My Blog Hop)

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. 


Check out Karen’s series, which you can read about on her blog at



Her work might just be the next big thing, or perhaps mine will be.


I was asked to answer the following ten questions in my next blog post:


1.         What is the working title of your book? The Woman in Scarlet.


2.         Where 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.


3.         What genre does your book fall under?  Fantasy, most emphatically.


4.         Which 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.


5.         What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Be careful what you wish for; you just might receive it.


6.         Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?  My story is represented by Trestle Press.


7.         How 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.


8.         What 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.


9.         Who 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.


10.       What 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 highly alluring.


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.

or visit

to view his Amazon Author Page.
Good stuff!


Monday, January 21, 2013

Much to Ponder

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!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wake Up Call

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.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Blog Hopping

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:
Karen's is:
Adios mi amigos!