An Exciting New Novella

I have exciting news for you today; Stephanie Ricker is releasing a new novella! If you enjoyed the world of A Cinder’s Tale in the Five Glass Slippers anthology, explore that universe further in The Cendrillon Cycle, a series of novellas recounting the past and future adventures of Elsa, Karl, Bruno, and the rest of the cinder crew.

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Volume I, The Battle of Castle Nebula, makes worldfall TODAY!

She has nothing left, not even her dreams. But Elsa Vogel still has her duty, and she will do it, no matter the peril, no matter the anguish in her heart as she leaves her ravaged home planet, perhaps never to return.

And the same tragedy that tore Elsa’s life to pieces also transformed the lives of others. Others who may need a reason to go on living, after the cataclysmic Battle of Castle Nebula…

The Battle of Castle Nebula ebook is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Don’t have an e-reader? Not a problem. Amazon offers a free Kindle app for almost every device.
Find out more by following Stephanie Ricker at her blog, Goodreads, Facebook, or Twitter.

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Author Bio:
Stephanie Ricker is a writer, editor, and tree-climber. She adores the cold and the snow but lives in North Carolina anyway, where she enjoys archery, hiking, and exploring with friends.
Stephanie’s first novella set in the Cendrillon universe, A Cinder’s Tale, was published in Five Glass Slippers, an anthology of Cinderella-themed stories. Stephanie’s fiction has also been published in Bull-Spec, a magazine of speculative fiction, and in four consecutive editions of The Lyricist, Campbell University’s annual literary magazine. Her senior thesis on Tolkien was published in the 2009 issue of Explorations: The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity for the State of North Carolina.

Beautiful Books: Corroded Thorns

 

I missed out on the second set of questions, cause I wasn’t writing any books at the time, but since I’m editing Corroded Thorns, I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon again.

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On a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best), how well do you think this book turned out?

Pretty well.  I’ve already finished one round of edits and now I’ve just got to clean up my writing.
Have you ever rewritten or edited one of your books before? If so, what do you do to prepare yourself? If not, what’s your plan?

Haha, the only thing I’ve edited was Broken Glass…and it was surprisingly easy.  There was only one scene that needed a lot of work.  What do I do to prepare myself?  Put in ear buds.  Turn on good music.  And…stare at my screen for a few minutes.
What’s your final word count? Do you plan to lengthen or trim your book? 

18,500 words–ish.  I have around 1,500 words to spare, which is awesome.  I was getting really worried I’d run out of words (there’s a 20,000 word limit for the Beauty and the Beast story contest), but thankfully I didn’t.
What are you most proud of? Plot, characters, or pacing?

Plot and characters.  Right now, I’m feeling pretty good about them.
What’s your favorite bit of prose or line from this novel?

“It was a fact that Darcy disliked people; they had a habit of being stupid or getting in his way.  ”
What aspect of your book needs the most work? 

The description/setting.  I always have trouble with that; I’m not a detail person, so when it comes to descriptions I’m just like…”they were in a…place.  With things.  Yeah.” *continues writing copious amounts of dialogue*
What aspect of your book is your favourite?

Well, I get to write a sequel about Darcy.  That makes me happy.
How are your characters? Well-rounded, or do they still need to be fleshed out?

They may need a little fleshing out, but not much.   I think my first round of edits nailed Darcy’s personality a little better and Madeline’s too.
If you had to do it over again, what would you change about the whole process?

Actually…nothing.  It took a little while for me to start the story, but I’m glad I kept starting over and scrapping the beginning.  It made the writing process easier later on.
Did anything happen in the book that completely surprised you? Have any scenes or characters turned out differently to what you planned? Good or bad?

Yeah, there was a scene where Madeline got strangely  violent and just attacked this one evil person. She had a good reason though.  I was like, “What?  You go girl!”
What was the theme and message? Do you think they came across? If not, is there anything you could do to bring them out more?

Um…Beauty and the Beast?   I think it’s pretty clear.  😛
Do you like writing with a deadline (like NaNoWriMo) or do you prefer to write-as-it-comes?

Well, this story has a definite deadline and a word limit, which are nice.  It means I actually have to get my act together and write this thing.  No floundering around.
Comparative title time! What published books, movies, or TV shows are like your book? (Ex: Inkheart meets X-Men.)

Um…it’s a bit like Howl’s Moving Castle, maybe,  only with Lydia from Pride and Prejudice instead of Sophie.
How do you celebrate a finished novel?!

I prepared for a  Latin Convention.  :/  But after my first round of edits, I took a couple days off to blog and read.  That was nice.
When people are done reading your book, what feeling do you want them to come away with?

The sort of happy, mushy feelings you get after finishing a good book.  Isn’t that what any author wants?  I’m a happy endings type of gal, so I really hope my readers never walk away wailing and weeping and depressed.  That’s not my intention.

Book Review: The Underland Chronicles

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I got the first book of this series for free after doing my library’s summer reading program; I didn’t want any of the other books on the free book cart, and my sister said, “Oh, that’s by Suzanne Collins. I’ve heard it’s pretty good.” I read the back cover and expected a stereotypical adventure of a chosen-one type character, evil rats and good mice, and an annoying, rebellious warrior princess to boot.

Overall, it didn’t sound to great.

But I was so wrong! From the opening page, I found this book very engaging. The first book did have it’s stereotypical moments, and Luxa did start off as a rebellious warrior princess, but over the course of the series she matured greatly. By the end, I loved her character. Gregor was an awesome main character; shy, humble, conscientious. He had to face tough moral choices and accept responsibilities he didn’t want.
But one of the characters that really shined was Ripred, the rat. He was alternately irrating, funny, tragic, and just pure snark. Ares the bat become one of my favorite characters by book 2; and Gregor’s little sister Boots was adorable. I could ramble on and on about the characters. 😛

What about the plot? Very good. There are lots of misinterpreted prophecies and plot twists. Some characters totally flipped around and I was like, “what?!?”

You can tell that Suzanne Collins was already leaning towards the dystopian genre, especially in the third book, Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods. As for iffy content, there’s no swearing/inappropriate romance (this is middle grade, folks). Yay! However, the books were a leetle dark and gory at times, especially considering the target age range. If I were a mom, I wouldn’t want my twelve year-old kids reading this.
These books handled deep stuff: killing, death, disease, right and wrong, and war. They made me think and I appreciated that. If you’re looking for a light, fluffy middle grade, this isn’t a good series for you. It’s not as depressing as the Hunger Games, but it has it’s moments. And that ending…well, Suzanne Collins wrote as happy an ending as she could manage.
So if you’re a Hunger Games fan, or you want a clean, thought-provoking fantasy series to read, you might want to try the Underland Chronicles.

Sequel Woes

I’m currently editing my sequel to Broken Glass, and while writing it, I’ve noticed a few things about writing sequels…

IT’S HARD.

There are so many things to keep track of!  Like, what color eyes did So-and-So have?  And how old was Such-and-Such?  Characters’ personalities should stay consistent with the first book.  I’m beginning to understand why so many books and movies get sequelitis.

And then you start comparing your sequel to the first book.  And those little voices start whispering in your head…The writing in Book 1 was better.  The plot in Book 1 was better.  You had more fun writing Book 1.  People are going to hate Book 2!!!

But guys…I’ve realized that worrying doesn’t make Corroded Thorns any better.  (though it is good to keep track of eye color and names and those little things)  And I also keep reminding myself that at this time last year, I was freaked out cause the first draft wasn’t done yet and considering bailing the whole project.

If your sequel is really stressing you out, take a step back.  Play some wii, read a book, watch a Blimey Cow video.   Or hold a fluffy cat, like Baymax.

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After finishing the rough first draft of Corroded Thorns, I ended up taking almost a month off of writing for school-related reasons.  But it was a nice break.  I was able to stew over some ideas for my revisions, come up with new story ideas and relax (well, sort of.  I had Latin Convention to worry about.)  And when I finally picked up my writing again, I was so excited to start pounding out some words again.

So how do you deal with sequels?  Have you written one?  Was it easy, hard, or just the normal writing experience for you?  Do tell!

 

Paper Fury + Bloggy Fun

There’s a new blog on the block, folks, and it’s called Paper Fury! Well…it’s not exactly new. But it is the new home of The Notebook Sisters blog, run by the fabulous Cait.
To celebrate Paper Fury’s launch, Cait is doing a fun blog party with a fun blog tag.

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1. Why did you start blogging?
I’d been looking for an excuse to get a blog, and because Broken Glass was getting published, I thought that was a good enough excuse.

2. What’s the story behind your blog’s name?
I love pretty much anything containing peppermint (and chocolate!) and I write poetry, not prose. And I thought the name sounded cool. For a while, I considered the name “Wandering in Wonderland” but it was already taken as a blog address.

3. How many designs have you been through since you started blogging? (Pictures! We demand pictures!)
This has been my only design; I’m quite attached to it.

4. Have you ever switched blog platforms? What made you move? If you haven’t ever changed…why?
Peppermint and Prose starte out as a blogger, but the design was…meh. Bloggers can look really cool if you know how to HTML code and all that, but I am NOT tech savvy. WordPress has a lovely, large selection of free themes, so I decided to switch.

5. How long does it take you to write a post? What’s your postly process like?
Um…it depends. This is only my 21st post on this blog, even thought it’s been around for, oh, six/seven months. My posts usually take fifteen minutes to half-hour.

6. Have you ever been super nervous about a post? Why?! What was it?
Maybe I was a little nervous for my firsts blog post…the thought of sticking something on the internet for all world to read is kinda scary.

7. Do you have a blogging schedule?
Haha…no. I should, though. Now that my life is a little less busy, I hope to start posting at least twice a week.

8. Do you tell people In-Real-Life about your blog? Their reactions?
Um, I’ve told a few friends. And my blog address is at the end of Broken Glass; so friends who read my story will find the blog address (eep!). Usually they’re just like, “oh, that’s cool.”

9. Top ten blogs you read/comment on the most! Go! Go!

Notebook Sisters/which is now Paper Fury
Awkwardly Emma
Wishful Thinking
Go Teen Writers
The Writer’s Window
Tales of Goldstone Wood
Further Up and Further In
Musings of an Elf
Dreaming Under the Same Moon
Mochimochiland blog

10. If you could change/improve things about your blog, what would they be?
I’d post more often and maybe stick some pictures/blog buttons on my sidebar. It looks so sad and dejected right now.