Tag Archive | Writing

Book Cover Reveal and Updates

Good morning, dear readers – I have some exciting news to share!

Heir of Vengeance officially has a cover! I’m so happy with how it turned out. I hope you like it, too!

Please note that the Books-The Ripple Affair page has been updated with the cover info and back cover blurb to let you know what the story is about. Be warned, though – there are spoilers from Heart of Deceit in the blurb, so if you want to stay spoiler-free and haven’t read Heart of Deceit yet, just check out the cover and not the blurb. 😉

I’ve put in a request for a proof copy just to double check and make sure everything looks ready to go. After that is approved, it’s publication time! As always, I will update the website to let you know when it is published.

Thank you so much for all your patience. I know with all the things happening this year and last, it’s been a struggle for me to get things out fast, but I promise it’s worth the wait! This is the biggest book yet (over 400 pages!) and I want to make sure it’s ready before I put it out there.

As for Captain Patty and Whalebone’s War, I’m still writing it and it’s about a third of the way completed. I think you’re going to really enjoy Reuben in this book. He teams up with an unexpected friend and the results are hilarious!

Once again, thank you for all your patience, dear readers! Have a wonderful day!

-Erin

Books That Change Lives

A friend of mine posted on Facebook today about books that change your life. It’s no secret that we all have that special something that awakens a spark in us, and books are often the match that starts the flame. Her post got me thinking of the books I’ve read over the years and whether any of them have had an impact on me. It didn’t take long to think of which one did it, and it brought back a very fine memory.

When I was in my senior year of high school, I was loaded down with AP classes, student government, and prepping for university. There wasn’t much leisure time, and I was one of those teens that insisted on doing everything I could to make my transition to college easier. At the beginning of the school year, I was at the mall and heading out to go home, when I walked past a book store. There, on the front display, was a small shelf of copies of The Lord of the Rings with a cardboard advertisement from the upcoming movie.

It was 2001, so at the time, I hadn’t seen the movies yet. I knew nothing of The Lord of the Rings– in fact, I had never even heard of it! Despite reading tons of books growing up, my fiction was typically revolved around historical stories.

I stopped in my tracks, somehow drawn to the copy of The Fellowship of the Ring that was on display at the window. I can’t really tell you what drew me to it. The cover wasn’t anything fancy. But I felt like I had to see it. As strange as it sounds, I felt like I was meant to read that book.

I’m not one to do things on the whim, and when it comes to money, I don’t like to spend it on something I know I won’t use. But I knew I had to have it. I bought the book, went home, and started to read.

Now, I confess that I didn’t quite read a lot of it at first because homework took priority. Taking four AP classes, alongside a full high school schedule and volunteering, doesn’t leave you with much free time. Also, I may or may not have been going on a Sailor Moon binge at the time, lol! But when Christmas came and I got to see The Fellowship of the Ring movie, I was blown away. Immediately after seeing the film, I picked up the book and read it in a few days.

What followed was a thorough read-through of the trilogy, The Hobbit, and The Chronicles of Narnia (because you can’t read Tolkien without some C.S. Lewis in there, right?) But after reading The Fellowship of the Ring, a spark lit up inside me.

I wanted to write a story like Tolkien.

Characters like Frodo, Faramir, Eowyn, and Aragorn really resonated with me. All my years of reading books never transported me to a faraway world that made me want to live in it. To say that the stories changed my life and inspired me to be brave and kind is putting it mildly. I wanted to be just like the Hobbits and Elves and Dwarves and Men that I read about. And one day, I wanted to inspire other readers like Tolkien inspired me.

Grant it, my stories are nowhere near the level of Tolkien’s, and probably never will be, but there’s a special something about having your life impacted by such a small thing. Like the One Ring impacting Frodo’s life, Frodo’s story impacted mine (but in a good way). And now that I’m a writer, I hope my stories impact the lives of my readers as well.

Think about your favorite books or stories. What are the ones that have impacted your life?

I’m Still Here

Wow…a lot of time has gone by since I last posted, hasn’t it? I really must apologize for the empty gap of information. I know I get frustrated waiting to hear from authors on book releases after a month, so I can only imagine how you feel!

2018 has been a year full of hospitals, doctor visits, and general busyness. As you remember back in January, my grandpa had surgery for melanoma (cancer) and had undergone a diagnosis. He was at a somewhat advanced stage of the disease, but thankfully qualified for treatment. The cancer was caught just before it was able to spread through the rest of his organs. After treatments, he is now officially in remission! He continues immunotherapy to keep it that way, and thankfully the side effects have been minimal.

As for myself, I’ve had my own adventures with doctors. After a long bout of neurological symptoms and headaches, I was finally sent to a neurologist to see what was causing my debilitating symptoms. I’m sorry to say this is the main reason my writing has slowed a bit, as there were some days I was so ill I could not get out of bed. After an MRI and EEG, the neurologist diagnosed me with chronic migraines. Even though it sounds simple, I was both relieved and disappointed with the diagnosis – relieved in the sense that I finally knew why I was getting so many strange symptoms of auras and headaches, but disappointed because it meant having to deal with a chronic health condition I did not want to deal with. Such is life, I suppose, but on the bright side it has taught me some valuable lessons in self-care and what to prioritize in my life so I can get my work done at a healthier pace.

Now that the holidays are here, I’m happy to say that things are finally starting to return to normal, and though my migraines still bother me, I’ve learned enough of my triggers and what treatments work to better manage my symptoms. And what happens when symptoms are managed? Writing!

Heir of Vengeance has one more chapter to go before the book is finished (I plan on writing it tomorrow, so here’s to finally getting it done!) It is (as of right now) the longest book in The Ripple Affair Series and begins the setup for the ending of the series. There will definitely be a Book Six, and possibly a Book Seven depending on how well my characters behave, and then the series will be finished. It’s hard to believe it’s almost done.

This will leave Heir of Vengeance with a 2019 release date. I’m hoping it will be available for purchase in the Spring. As always, I will keep you posted on my news page.

As for The Adventures of Captain Patty, fear not! Work has already begun on the fourth and final book of the series, Captain Patty and Whalebone’s War. I’m also aiming for a 2019 release, though once I get further into the story, I will have a better idea of when in 2019. And even though it’s the last book, don’t worry- I have a spin-off story planned! We’ll get to see what happens to the characters after the war with Willy Whalebone. More details will come on that later!

With 2018 coming to close, I want to thank all of you for your continued support, encouragement, and prayers. My goal for 2019 is to make up for the time lost in 2018- to publish more books, blog more, and branch out into more activities related to writing and story. I am so thankful that you all are continuing this writing journey with me; I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

May you all have a wonderful holiday season!

How to Name Your Character

Let’s be honest…we’ve all been there.

Whether it’s being stuck on a character creation screen or agonizing over what your new book hero is going to be called, naming a character is one of the hardest things about creation. Do you go for something simple, or elaborate? What if the name you want doesn’t sound right or no one likes it? Just how many baby naming websites do you have to look up before you know you’ve found the perfect name?

Naming characters is hard, but it doesn’t have to stress you out. If you ever find yourself in a naming pickle, try some of these strategies to see if it makes things easier:

  1. Match your character’s name with his/her personality. When I was looking to name my main character, Edward, from The Ripple Affair, I sought out a name that would reflect the type of person he was. Edward is a guardian of the people he cares about, doing anything for them, and the meaning of his name (guardian or protector) fits that.
  2. Match your character’s name to his/her destiny or surroundings. Jacob Ichabod in The Ripple Affair is a knight destined to be ignored for his talents by the monarchy, which leads him to eventually betray his king. The meaning of his surname is “no glory”, and this reflects the struggles he’s going to have in the story.
  3. Match your character’s name to his/her culture or background. When developing the Recu people in The Ripple Affair, I knew I wanted their culture to be based on a Slavic naming system, so their names (such as Bohden, or Bohdan, as the original spelling is) reflects that.
  4. Match your character’s name to his/her time period. The 18th century popularized character traits and virtues for girls’ names. Being a woman of 18th century America, Charity from Captain Patty and the Boston Buccaneer needed to have a name that reflected the time period she was a part of.
  5. Go with your gut. Sometimes a character name just pops in your head and you know it’s the right fit. It might happen quickly or it might happen years down the road. When I was working on Captain Patty and the Nameless Navigator, I had no idea that Bateau was going to be a character until around 7 years after beginning the story. Before then, he didn’t exist. When I decided to add him, I had no clue what his name was, but in the back of my mind, the word “Bateau” kept repeating itself, like it sounded right. Keep in mind I spoke hardly any French at the time. After a few weeks, I decided to look up what Bateau meant. Sure enough, after looking up the meaning, I knew it was the right pick.

Whether you’re creating a game character or writing a story, naming a character can be tricky! What are some ways you come up with character names?

What an Author Show is Like

Hey, everyone! Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve updated the blog. Things have been busy lately, but thankfully, Spring is here!

Yesterday, I had my first author show of the year. It was pretty busy (despite the cold weather), and I got to meet a lot of awesome people! This is my third time at this specific author show, and every year it seems like it gets better.

But what is an author show like? I can tell you from experience that each show is different. Some are successful, some aren’t, and some, well…it just depends on the day and who shows up. But after a few years of attending, there’s some things that I notice pretty regularly that happen…

1. Be prepared to network!

Some of the most helpful people I’ve met have been fellow authors who’ve attended these shows with me. Through these shows, I’ve gotten to make new friends, join author groups, and get a general feel for how the market is doing in other genres. Author shows are a great way to keep up with the times and meet new people, so don’t be afraid to say hello to the tables next to you!

2. You may be asked a lot of questions on how you became an author.

Yesterday was kind of funny. I hardly got any visitors who were readers! In fact, many of the people who said hello were inspiring authors themselves who were looking for advice on how to publish.

3. You might be disappointed if sales are low, but that doesn’t mean the show was a flop.

Every show is different. As said before, some shows do well while others don’t. But just because you might not sell well doesn’t mean the show isn’t a success. I once went to a show where I sold nothing, but I did get to meet a lady who liked my books…and eventually put me in a local magazine.

4. You might actually have fun.

Let the fans get to know you, but don’t be so worried about impressing people that you forget to have fun. Whether it’s through conversation, meeting new people, or posing your puppet parrot in different spots to see if they noticed (I might have done that yesterday), you can have a lot of fun!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

January Happenings

Greetings, fellow readers!

I’m so sorry that I’ve been slow on updating.  Things have been a bit busy lately.  Between my grandpa’s cancer surgery/treatment, extra hours working, and getting in a car accident (me + icy roads = hello, ditch), it’s been hard to even find time to write.  The good news is I have gotten some writing done, and I’m happy to say that Heir of Vengeance is over half-way through!

I’ll admit that writing it has been a bit bittersweet, though.  Both Captain Patty and The Ripple Affair are nearing their series’ ends.  (So far it’s one more book for the former and about two more books for the latter.)  It’s hard to believe that these two projects, started over a decade ago, are almost complete!  I’m happy to say that there are more stories (and series) on the way, though.  Once these two are complete, I’m hoping to get a Captain Patty spin-off story and a sequel series to The Ripple Affair.   I’m also planning some separate fiction that will involve different worlds, different characters, and even different planets (what can I say?  I like sci-fi), so I’m excited for the days to come!

I hope you all are doing well.  Keep watching the site for updates on Heir of Vengeance and any news on upcoming promos for my already-published books.

Have a happy week!

 

Weekly Update – Finding Callida

I’m in the middle of writing Heir of Vengeance, and that means I have to start working on a new character: Callida Serus, Malina’s older sister.

When I first started planning The Ripple Affair over a decade ago, Callida didn’t exist. In fact, though Malina mentioned having a sister, she was never supposed to appear, remaining a blurb in a sentence for the entire series.

But you know how writing goes. Plans get thrown out the window and characters tend to surprise you.

Callida came about as I was writing the ending for Heart of Deceit. And now that she’s arrived, that means I have to figure out her character – her motivations, her wants, her strengths and weakness, her future. Let me tell you…that’s not easy when the character didn’t even exist until the fourth book was finished.

So this week (as I’ve been recovering from another flu bug), I’ve been spending some time figuring her out. I can’t say I completely know her as well as I do Edward, Bernie, or Malina yet, but she is getting there, and she’s already proving to be a nice contrast to her younger sister. I’m excited for you all to meet her when Heir of Vengeance is complete!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American readers! Have a great week! 🙂