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Whose Who – Introduction

I thought it might be fun it introduce the main characters of Orope, to give everyone a chance to meet these people before you invest 335 minutes* to reading my novel.

Over the next five weeks, I’ll post one bio a week. I’m going to do the five POV characters, so if you want a sneak peak about who I’ll be talking about, or come up with a question to ask me about them, check out their pages on Whisperpedia:

I’ll post some biographical information, talk about what inspired me to write said character, and hopefully answer some of your questions that are neither answered in the wiki or in the novel itself**. And just to get us started, let me answer a questions now:

Why did you decide to have five POV characters instead of just one?

I was actually going to have a lot more than five. The first two chapters I wrote (now chapters one and three in the book), focused on characters who were not the three messengers (Tersh, Kareth, and Sha’di) sent out. I thought maybe I would tell the entire store through the eyes of other characters, to keep the Whisperers as this distant etherial force other characters interact with, but never really understand… but that would have been terrible for the reader.

The idea of having three main characters the reader is never allowed to connect with seems laughable now. I stopped writing for about a year while I rejiggered the outline (this is probably also the reason why it went from an idea for one novel into a series).

Have a question for me? Contact me here!

*Based off the ReadTime suggested by my publisher.

**Unless you’re asking questions answered in future novels, in which case I’ll just say something cryptic and giggle into my hands.

Archeoliterature – the Call

Read it Here

(Warning: This story deals with the aftermath of a violent sexual assault.)

I’m not entirely sure where the idea for this one came from. I do remember that I wrote this in one sitting. So basically I had an idea and exorcised it from my mind immediately. Reading it now I think it’s a really good set-up, but it kinda peters out. Even when I wrote it (oh, at least fourteen years ago), I felt like the revelation about the brother wasn’t done as well as it could have been.

Reading it I was strangely aware of the absence of smartphones. When I wrote this (circa 2004), cellphones were definitely a things, but the titular call is answered on a land-line, which is a neat little literary time-capsule.

If I wrote it today: The overall plot and structure is good, but I should have played up some of the more thriller aspects. Amy should have had more to do, obviously. I think she should have tried to escape, thinking she was being held against her will. Colin should have been less concerned over finding out what happened, and more debating with himself if he wanted to call the cops on his best friend.

It’s worth noting that I did one major edit before posting this to AuthorsDen. In the original story the cops have done DNA test by the time Colin gets to the hospital – the same day. At the time I was vaguely aware that DNA testing was a thing but how no knowledge of how it worked. I cut all that stuff out because it would be impossible for the cops to know anything about that that fast.

Review Reply: I’ve gotten some positive feedback on this, but no burning questions. None of my old reviews called me out the DNA thing, which goes to show I’m not alone in not really understanding how DNA testing is done, lol.

PRE-ORDER FOR FREE STUFF

From now until the end of February we are having a pre-order extravaganza!

PRE-ORDER OROPE – THE WHITE SNAKE

Pre-order through the link above and not only save $6 dollars off the cover price and get a signed edition, but…

  • receive a free bookmark!
  • get your copy 3 months early!*
  • be entered into a raffle for a chance to win a digital copy of Big Wreck’s album “In Love Memory Of…”**

Before you buy: Read Chapter One (PDF)

*Bookstores will begin to carry Orope June 5th, online stores will begin mailing copies late May. I will be mailing the pre-orders out on March 1st – a full three months before it hits the store shelves.

**Raffle will be held March 1st. Winner will be notified no later than March 2nd.

Archeoliterature – Chaos

Read it Here

I want to say this is the first short story I ever wrote, but that’s not entirely true. This is probably the first short story I wrote after deciding to become a writer. If I recall correctly, I was in fact planning to enter it in a short story competition – but that never happened.

This story makes me cringe a little, because I can tell I was just getting a handle on narrative flow. I was also following sci-fi tropes I was familiar with. Emotionless technology-dependant society living in a post-apocalyptical earth? Check. A novel symbolizing freedom from oppression? Check. The detective’s partner is, gasp, a secret agent??? Check. But I was 14, so I think those sins are forgivable.

If I wrote it today: I probably wouldn’t change the beginning too much, but as the story progresses I would add more with the detectives, leave more hints about Lars, etc. I would change how Ardis gets injured. It’s very forced and a little awkward.

Review Reply: One person said this story reminded them of Equilibrium and Fahrenheit 451. I’d read Fanhrenheit 451 the year before, so points for that one. Equilibrium came out about two years after I wrote this though.

If nothing else, this is a good story to read to see how my writing has evolved. Sing it, Drake…

Just in Time for the Month After Christmas!

We are just a little over a month away from the eBook release (March 6th) of Orope! I’m sure if you’ve been reading my last few blogs you know I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to get my book out on social media. Well stage two is now complete! I am officially selling exclusive merchandise.

Click here to visit my store!

Currently you can buy bookmarks and stickers – and pre-order Orope! I am selling Orope at a very discounted price ($10.95), because the shipping cost is so high (I just can’t afford those sweet Amazon shipping prices). I adjusted the price so that the total cost of the book plus shipping will still cost less than buying it from a major retailer.

Also, you can buy the gift-sets, which come with bookmarks, stickers and buttons. Great for presents, or as a treat for yourself! Best of all? I will be shipping my books before other online stores, so buying your copy from me ensures you get it first!

In the future I hope to also sell keychains and magnets 🙂

Archeoliterature – A Girl’s Poem

Read it Here

Of all the poems I wrote in high school when I was 16. This is the only poem of mine I sometimes think back to. I wrote a shorter version of it after going through what could only be described as ‘a really messed up time’ in my life. Suffice to say, while this poem can be firmly placed into the fiction category, it bears a great resemblance to events that happened to friends and acquaintances of mine (gee, don’t give too much away, Lee).

The second version was written shortly afterwards. I remember the metre and rhythm was something that had gotten stuck in my head, so while at school I kept playing with the lines. I had never written a poem that told a story before, and I remembered feeling like I had penned quite the epic poem (I had recently read the Iliad. Ah, youth…) afterward.

I think back to this poem a lot because the events which inspired it often come back to me. At the time, writing was the only way I had to deal with some very complex emotions, so I’m naturally drawn back to them as a way to understand my life better.

Review Reply

This poem has gotten a lot of feedback, but no questions. So I don’t really have a reply… All I can say is that I’m glad people connected with this 🙂

Archeoliterature – Introduction

Recently I have been doing a lot of social media. That sounds like I’m doing drugs, and from how wrecked my brain feels by the end of the day, I feel like I am doing drugs. It’s mostly fun, but staring at a screen all day is making me feel batty. ANYWAY!

The site I’m enjoying the most is definitely AuthorsDen. I took it some advice from another user there that the best way to get people to check you out is to post poems or short stories. Makes sense, but I don’t like posting things I intend to publish one day, so I gathered a bunch of things that I’d already posted online before, and have been editing and uploading them to AuthorsDen.

It’s fun to take a look back at my early writing, and I thought I’d explain when and why I wrote what I did, why I think it has some merit and maybe answer some of the reviews I’ve gotten. I don’t know how often I’ll post one of these, but I will title all the blog posts about them ‘Archeoliterature’ (because ‘Fictionology’ was taken).

As a disclaimer: I’ve always known my poems are pretty basic. I write them when an idea strikes, but I’ve never had the urge to nurture my ‘poetic soul’, which is why I don’t mind posting them online. I’m getting that out of the way because a lot of my archeoliterature is poetry, and it’s not because I wrote a lot of poetry. Pretty much every poem I’ve ever written can be found online.

Some of the short stories are really discarded chapters from a novel, or were written when I was quite young (or both!), so I’m posting them more as a curiosity than anything else. I do not feel they reflect my current writing abilities, but I do still think they are entertaining for one reason or another (the merit I mentioned above).

I’ll post the first one tomorrow. So I hope you enjoy these little vignettes into my past and don’t judge them too harshly.

Social Media Frenzy

Since finding Orope listed on Amazon (you can also find it on B&N and Chapters/Indigo) I have started to promote my book through every social  novel/author network that I can find. As I sign up for them, and so it’s easier for readers to find me, I will be sure to make blog updates whenever I join one.

So far you can find me here:

If you think there’s a network or forum I should sign up for/list my book on, please let me know! I am not self-published, so please only suggest places that accept authors and novels from indie publishers.

My Thoughts on these Sites

Goodreads

This is my favourite social networking site, period. I loved it long before I even started trying to publish Orope. I love how it lets you connect with your friends and collect the books you love on digital shelves. By far the most exciting thing to happen so far was getting Orope listed on Goodreads.

AuthorsDen

Since this is a site for self-published/indie authors, I hadn’t spent too much time on it before – so much time wasted! I love this site, I love how most of the writer’s have posted sample chapters. It’s really great to be able to read (for free) and review the books with this new beta program they’re trying out. Right now I’m just having a lot of fun exploring other people’s books. It really reminds me of my days writing FanFiction in high school, where writers could get together and do what they do best. The only downside is that you have to pay to be a listed author (the cheapest package is $1/year, but still…).

WritersNet

So far I’m not in love with this site. There aren’t as many options to get word out about your book. The one benefit is that unlike AuthorsDen (which makes you pay), WritersNet is completely free. But as the saying goes, you get what you pay for…

BookTalk

This is the one I am the least comfortable with, only because I don’t have a lot of experience using forums. So if anyone have some advice or suggestions for me, please let me know!

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Nando’s

I was sitting in Nando’s (a Portuguese chain restaurant) with my father. Nando’s came to Canada while I was in Japan, so this was my first time there. Anyway, this post has nothing to do with Nando’s, I just wanted to say it was really delicious and now you have a setting for the story.

I was telling my father about my book, and he was asking me how to pronounce the title and character names (for the record, it’s oh-row-pay, but I’ve made peace with the fact that everyone will pronounce it oh-rope). He googled ‘Orope’ to see what came up.

“Orope, Venezuela,” he read, his finger scrolling down the results. “Weather in Orope, Venezuela. Thing to do in Orope, Venezuela.”

“I think I should visit Orope, Venezuela,” I said, pouring some more hot sauce on my peri-peri chicken. “Did my wiki show up in the results?”

“Oh, here it is on Amazon.”

“Amazon?” I lean forward, a sudden gut-wrenching fear. Had I somehow, like an utter moron, overseen some other book with the same name as mine? I prepare myself for the news, the spicy sauce burning my throat as I swallow hard.

He turns his phone around and shows me an Amazon page with my book and my cover and – HOLY FUCK – you can pre-order it. It is listed on other Amazon sites, but so far it seems like you can only pre-oder it on the American site.

Wanna read the first chapter before buying the book? Read Chapter One (PDF)

Now that you can actually buy my book, now that it exists in the real world, you can also find and review it on Goodreads!

To both Nando’s and my father, thank you for the best night so far of 2018!

Post NaNoWriMo Thoughts

Oddly enough, the biggest thing I’ve taken away from doing NaNoWriMo this year is understanding a little better how I write. I maybe already knew this on a subconscious level, but it’s become very clear to me that I am really bad at writing on a daily schedule. I’m not just saying that because I couldn’t do 50,000 words this year (or many other years when I participated in the past), or because I have a job and other projects that got in the way of me meeting my goal. The goal wasn’t the problem, but forcing myself to sit down every day and write something was kind of torture…

What follows is going to be a lot of thoughts on writing, so if that’s not your thing you might want to tap out now.

“How do you write a book?” is a question every writer has been asked. Our answers are usually wishy-washy and highly varied, but I’m gonna try and make this comprehensible. I realize that the better I understand my own process, the easier it will be for me to avoid unproductive situations.

I won’t go into where ideas come from because that is unimportant. All that matters is once I have an idea that the writing starts. Usually one of two things will happen: 1) If I can see a beginning, middle, and end I’ll write an outline, or 2) If I get an idea for a world or a character but the story details are fuzzy I’ll write the first chapter to try and flesh it out.

When the idea for the Whisperers of the Gods came to me, instead of a traditional story outline I started writing a history… and kept writing. In one afternoon it turned into 11,000 words (about 50 pages) about cultures, religious uprisings, civil wars. Just like the Group of Seven would paint their canvases before they started a painting*, I write a history before I start a fantasy book.

So why is 11,000 words in an afternoon easy but 1,667 words a day a challenge? I started thinking back to how I’ve written over the years. In the beginning I didn’t know what I was doing and you just write as ideas came. In High School I discovered FanFiction, and I started getting in the habit of uploading a new chapter in a story once a week. Say what you will about FanFiction, but getting weekly feedback, and having a week between chapters to digest what I had written and recalibrate what was coming next was amazingly productive for me.

Apparently I slowly forgot that, because during college and university I stopped doing weekly chapters and went back to writing just whenever (usually whenever I had an essay due soon).

In the four years I lived in Japan, to stave away the loneliness and keep myself busy, I picked two novels I was working on and would go to a cafe and write a new chapter essentially every week. At first it was whenever I felt like it, but then I decided to only focus on WotG and made a chapter by chapter schedule (which I could do because by this point I had done the entire series outline – which is around 11,000 words itself – and knew exactly how many chapters were in every book).

I need space between writing sessions. I need to let what I just wrote sink in. I think it was in Stephen King’s book On Writing where he talks about how if he’s struggling with something he’ll just leave it alone for a time and later when his brain has had enough time to let it percolate, he’ll see how he can improve it, or fix any narrative problems. I agree with this a million times over. If a chapter is pissing me off, I will skip it and move onto the next.

So all this was to help me be more aware of how I write, and if you made it this far maybe you too have thought about how you write and how you can improve your productivity. If I do NaNoWriMo next year I am not going to force myself to sit down every day. I don’t have enough time to internalize what I’ve written, and I run out of steam way too quickly. Giving my all one day a week seems to be the way to move forward.

Now, I need to go work on the next chapter in Inko

*This is something I was taught in elementary school, but couldn’t find a source when I googled it. As I recall they would paint their canvases orange, to keep the bright white from washing out the image (or sneaking into the space between the other colours). I now don’t know if it’s true, but I always thought it was a great idea, and feel the same when it comes to writing. You have to fill the space behind the story, even if no one but yourself is ever going to read it.