I find it helpful to set the mood before I write. Especially when writing in seasons opposite the one I’m living. So, here are some tips for getting in the writing mindset.
Music, Candle, & Snack/Drink.
I always choose a candle, playlist, and drink that fits the aesthetic of the wip. These not only help me get in the mood to write, they also help me visualize the scene I’m working on and incorporate sensory descriptions.
Now, some people just can’t write with music, and I get that. I actually can’t listen to anything with lyrics or I get distracted. So I keep two separate playlists, an instrumental one for writing and one with all the moving lyrics for use when doing chores or for promotion later. I’ve also found ambient nature tracks to be a great choice when focus is key. They’re also pretty to watch when your eyes need a break from the page 😉
Just as dressing up for a job interview gives you confidence and focus, having a designated outfit or accessory can give your writing a boost. I tend to prioritize comfort, a favorite geeky item, and something that ties into my wip. For example, To Slay a Curse got my hobbit t-shirt while my current project is a red hoodie (it’s a Little Red retelling).
Moodboards & Props
Ok, this isn’t one I utilize that often. Given the chance, I would spend all my time on Pinterest and none of it writing 😅 But I do find it helpful to both my writing and mental health to take breaks for those little, fun things. Making moodboards to reference or post online. Finding items my characters might have used. Researching and acting out scenes. Plus, it’s good to get out of the chair on a regular basis.
Take Some, Leave the Rest
So, there you have what works for me. But keep in mind there’s no one right way to do this job. Don’t push yourself to do something you dislike because you think you’re supposed to. Your physical and mental wellbeing is paramount! Take what works for you and leave the rest. We all get to the same place in the end.
Have some mood setting tips of your own? I’d love to hear them! Leave a comment below.
Well, aren’t y’all just spoiled? Two posts in a row and another character interview with Emily! Don’t get used to it ;P
Seriously, though, I am so happy to welcome my good friend Emily Hayse back in honor of her most recent book release, The Rivers Lead Home, which is a collection of short stories for the award winning Seventh City. And today, she’s interviewing one of my favorite characters, Willow Tam! Any other Willow fans out there?
What is the strangest place that you have been? On one campaign, our transport ships stopped in a strange port for supplies and to ship on fresh water. I was one of six footsoldiers allowed to go ashore, and we went to this ale-house to eat. The drinks were strange, the food tasted bitter and the people watched us closely. The proprietor had this two-headed rat and a bird that sang the strangest song in a woman’s voice. I didn’t finish my food. I got out of there.
What did you do before you joined the army? I grew up in farm country, in one of those small shepherd’s cottages with my mother and younger brother. We didn’t own any land but what the cottage was situated on, but we worked for the farm nearest us as my father had while he lived.
What made you join the army? I had lost both my father and my brother to farming accidents, and I needed to get away.
What was your fondest childhood memory? I remember going out to the hayfield where my father was working to bring him ginger water. I was too young to work then, but he allowed me to follow behind him, and I remember watching him cut through the green hay with his scythe as if it were water. I treasure that memory, as he died just a couple years later.
What’s the greatest aspiration you’ve had in your life? Well, I don’t think I have had many aspirations, really. Right before my father died, I wanted a dog. The farm had young pups, and I played with them often, but it wasn’t like having one yourself. But after he passed, I rather gave up on that. I was trying to make sure the rest of us had enough to eat, and a dog needs feeding. Maybe I’ll get one yet.
Proudest moment of your life? I reckon it was when I overheard the farmer I worked for say I was the best hay cutter he’d seen in ten years. For me, that meant he’d let me go last of all the seasonal workers, and we needed that bad.
What do you think you are the most skilled at? Most skilled, I do not know, but I can carve decently, I think. I work hard at it of nights, and I can do a fine recreation of a horse or a dog.
I think everyone wants to know what you intend to do in Uniap’nik. Can you share any of that? I figure I’ll raise a house with my own hands and live where it’s quiet and wild. Maybe live close enough to hail some neighbors.
Any other plans? None yet.
Want more Willow? Or Maki and Tsanu? Check out The Rivers Lead Home!
“You see, Maki, that’s the thing about the rivers. They’re like the blood-lines in your hands…. If you lose your way, follow the river downstream and you’ll always find your way back.”
In The Rivers Lead Home, Emily Hayse explores new frontiers, digging deeper into the land and the characters first introduced in her award-winning novel Seventh City. This collection of twelve short stories features beloved characters like Maki, Tsanu, Willow, Ransom, Laramie, Rutter, and Jeremiah, as well as introducing new characters like Spruce Norman, Mollie at Heart’s End, and the mysteriously lucky dog-driver Epirvikk Heft. From lazy nights at the Pick and Collarbone to dog races on the frozen tundra to the adventures of a young mapmaker in the jungles of Havast, these stories are full of laughter, surprises, brushes with glory, and heartwarmingly ordinary humanity.
Welcome back, Adventurers! Have I got a treat for you today! Not only am I interviewing the boy who never grew up, but I’ve also got the inside scoop on a Treasure Hunt hosted by his lovely author, Kara Swanson! Are you ready to join the Lost Boys and fight Hook for some awesome bookish swag? Here’s how!
Treasure Hunt Rules
There are a total of 36 posts throughout the month of June with hidden keywords. Collect them all and arrange them to find the message, which you will then submit on the Post-Tour Stop to win a pirate’s chest of awesome prizes! And if you’re the first to solve and submit your answer, your treasure will contain an extra special gold piece: a signed and annotated Advanced Reader Copy of Dust! What are you waiting for? You can start the adventure here: https://gracebought.wordpress.com/2020/05/31/dust-blog-tour-kickoff/
Sorry, what’d you say? Oh, you want my clue? Well, you’ll just have to wait till the end for that 😉 We’ve got an interview to do! Everyone, please welcome, PETER PAN!
‘Ello there, mates!
Hello, Peter! We’re so glad to have you with us today. Let’s start with some easy questions, shall we? What is your favorite season?
Summer! All play and fun and sunshine!
What about your favorite food?
CHOCOLATE CAKE! With loads of icing.
Great choice! You can never go wrong with chocolate.
Now we’re getting into some of the deep questions. What is your greatest fear?
Fear? Me? *Peter smirks* Ha! Nothing.
…except maybe growing up. And snakes in my bed. Both are rather beastly.
That would be terrible! And along that train of though, what is your biggest regret?
*Peter shuffles uncomfortably* Probably Claire’s brother, Connor. I said some…things to that lad I wish I hadn’t. *crosses arms stubbornly* But I’m not saying a word more on that!
Ok, let’s change track and talk about something happy! What’s your best childhood memory?
All of it? So many grand adventures and getting out of scrapes with the Lost Boys. We also played a lot of jolly pranks on the pirates and that codfish!
Who do you admire the most and why? I’m guessing it’s not the codfish 😉
Myself! Because I’m pretty bloody awesome!
*Kara smacks a hand over Peter’s mouth and mutters apologies for his swearing. He’s spent way too much time with pirates.*
Well, all right then, mister ‘pretty awesome’, if you could only keep three things you currently possess, what would they be?
Tink…my blade…and maybe a bit of gold I stole from Hook? Could always come in handy.
Smart boy! As for how it might come in handy, what is one secret dream that you have?
*Peter rubs a hand over his face, groaning dramatically* Do I REALLY have to answer this?
*Kara pokes at him.* Yes, you do.
*Peter groans again*
*Kara tells him to stop being a baby.*
*Peter rolls his eyes* Alright. Whatever. I’d secretly like to…see a play someday. Like the stories Wendy would tell–but with real blokes acting it out. Might be kind of fantastic.
*Kara grins* That’s actually sweet!
*Peter snorts* Better not tell anyone I said that!
Then you’re really going to hate this next question. What is one thing that makes you cry?
*Peter groans loudly, starting to walk away.* What am I? A bloomin’ flower? I’m not answering that.
*Kara grabs him and drags him back* C’mon. I know you can do it. I’ll give you a slice of cake if you just finish the interview…
*Peter raises an eyebrow at her* …the whole cake?
*Kara snorts* Fine, just do it, please.
*Peter grins and gives a dramatic bow* For cake, I’d do most anything. Alright, last thing that made me cry… losing Tink. That hurt a bloody lot.
I’m sure it did. Now, hang in there. I promise this is the last question. What is one hope that you have for the future?
To eat some chocolate cake! And maybe take some of you readers to Neverland with me. We’d have a jolly old time.
And I’m sure they would love to come! Thank you, so much, Peter. You’ve done a splendid job. Now go have some cake!
The rest of you jolly adventurers, join in! Grab yourself a slice of your favorite dessert and read on to take Peter up on his offer!
The truth about Neverland is far more dangerous than a fairy tale.
Claire Kenton believes the world is too dark for magic to be real–since her twin brother was stolen away as a child. Now Claire’s desperate search points to London… and a boy who shouldn’t exist.
Peter Pan is having a beastly time getting back to Neverland. Grounded in London and hunted by his own Lost Boys, Peter searches for the last hope of restoring his crumbling island: a lass with magic in her veins.
The girl who fears her own destiny is on a collision course with the boy who never wanted to grow up. The truth behind this fairy tale is about to unravel everything Claire thought she knew about Peter Pan–and herself.
And you can also follow Kara on Amazon to stay tuned for all her new releases! Don’t know Kara yet? It’s high time you met her!
As the daughter of missionaries, KARA SWANSON spent her childhood in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped into a unique new world, she fell in love with the Fantasy genre and was soon penning stories herself. She is the author of the 2018 INSPY Award Finalist, The Girl Who Could See and the upcoming Enclave release, Dust.
Follow Kara on Facebook or join her Starchasers group where we have loads of fun getting to know one another and nerding out on all things bookish! And, lastly, you can find all things Kara on her website and even sign up on her newsletter to receive a free short story!
And at long last, we come to what you’ve all been waiting for. My clue! Please note it is capitalized with no punctuation.
I’m thrilled to welcome Emily Hayse back to the blog today with her tour for The Last Atlantean! Emily is a lover of log cabins, strong coffee, and the smell of old books. Her writing is fueled by good characters and a lifelong passion for storytelling. When she is not busy turning words into worlds, she can often be found baking, singing, or caring for one of the many dogs and horses in her life. She lives with her family in Michigan.
Welcome Back, Emily!
What have you got for us today?
Thanks Rae, it’s good to be back! Today I’m interviewing Taurus Lamnidae, a cousin of Isurus Lamnidae and second in line to the throne. His hobbies include swimming, dangerous sports involving sharks, and eating.
Favorite season? The summer, for it is hot and it gives me a great reason to swim. I practice a great deal then in the runs. Favorite weapon? What is it with asking a violent question? A knife, to be sure. I wear one when I swim, for safety, and I am well-practiced in its use. What is your greatest fear? Can’t tell you that. If you could have any life, what would it be? I have it. Friends and companions I have grown up with, a rich life and no kingship, sharks and runs and the time and strength to pursue what I love—how could I ask for more than I have? Best childhood memory? I remember my father used to take me out in his boat, along with my cousins and the king. We would go out until we were in the middle of the sea in the beautiful sun and we would swim and dive and race in the water until it was nearly dark. I wish there had been more of those days. If there was one food you could eat for the rest of your life, what would it be? Sea urchin. Biggest accomplishment? Me? I am not accomplished. I want to be, understand, but my fate in life is simply the ability to enjoy it—I can do that, to be sure—not to be good at it. What do you hate the most in your life? A foul question again? Can you not ask nice ones? I don’t think I hate anything…coral scrapes, or shark hide burns, those hurt. I will choose that. Who do you admire the most? Galeio Triakidae. Have you met the man? Best at lai-ilith-re that ever was. There was no man like him in his day, nor is there now. If I could ever be as good at the sport as he was, I’d die happy. If you could only keep three things you currently possess, what would they be? Now you will laugh at me, because I’m going to choose my knife! But it is not wise to swim in the sea without it. So, my knife, my strength (is that an acceptable choice?), and my honor. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? I have never seen snow. I should like to go somewhere where I can see something different—like snow. What is one secret dream that you have? That would be telling, wouldn’t it? I’ll give you this—to be as good at the lai-ilith-re as Galeio was. But it is no more than a dream, for certain. What is one thing that makes you cry? Whenever I think of a hound I once had, the first my father gave me. She was a two-year-old mako, and she had the manners of a queen. But she sickened with a tumor before she was even five. When she was very sick I would go in the water with her some nights and swim beside her to help her when she was tired. Then the Shark Kind took her, to put her out of her pain. You just—don’t forget your first hound. What is one hope that you have for the future? A long life and good health to my cousin, Isurus Lamnidae, and many sons for him. His mantle is not one I wish to take up.
Are you ready to read more about Taurus and his friends? I know I am! Here’s a little more info on The Last Atlantean.
“Watch, ye sons of the sea, your doom is at hand. With soundless storm rises the fate of Atlantis.”
As a lighthouse keeper’s daughter, Hattie has always been able to handle anything the Atlantic throws at her. But when a stranger washes ashore in a storm, she finds herself unraveling a mystery that will change her life.
Caught up in a high-stakes game of intrigue and hidden loyalties, Hattie watches legends take shape before her eyes. But as kings and pawns prepare for a showdown that will determine the fate of an ancient world, she wonders whether she has thrown in her lot with the hero or the villain.
Today, I get the wonderful privilege to take part in R.M. Archer’s blog tour for her short story collection! R.M. Archer has been an avid reader since the time she could first make out words, and has always been a lover of story. That interest developed into a love of writing when she was seven (though those first attempts have long-since been incinerated), and she’s been pursuing a career as an author ever since. Archer combines her love for writing with a passion for her fellow youth and aims to write YA speculative fiction that shows teens that even their deepest-seated struggles can be overcome.
Caithan/Rahim Character Interview
Hello, Caithan! So nice to meet you.
It’s nice to meet you, too.
Let’s start with an easy, get to know you, question. What’s your favorite season and why?
Teraco doesn’t have much by way of seasons; at least not near Pruyid. Toward the beginning of dry season, though, there’s an international festival hosted in central Teraco that my meuma allows me to attend, so I suppose that would be my favorite time of year.
You visit Tramat quite often. What is your favorite thing to do there?
I love the music. *grins* There’s a group that plays just off the main street, and often I’ll sit and listen to them, or even dance.
Now, I know you’re not big on tradition, but there must be some you enjoy. Which Virilen tradition is your favorite and why?
Hm… Around the seventh full moon of the year, there’s a three-day festival to celebrate the introduction of music into the world. It’s taught that the world was originally lacking in any sound but speech, but the gods could hear the music of the stars, so the god Amak took compassion on man and introduced birdsong, waves crashing, wind through the trees… all the natural music of the world, which man adapted into music. The celebration isn’t as widespread in Pruyid as Meuma tells me it is in Virilia, but those of us who celebrate make music with whatever we can and appreciate the natural music of the world.
Ok, now I’ll give you a chance to rant. 😉 Which is your least favorite tradition?
*rolls eyes* Ugh. The coming-of-age ceremony. There’s no purpose to it, unless you buy into the myth that Virilen adults are granted gifts–gifts I’ve never seen in any of my Virilen neighbors–and I have no interest in all of my relatives coming to see me just because I’m now an adult according to Virilen standards. Those standards are arbitrary, anyway; in Virilia you only have to be seventeen to be considered an adult, but the Virilens brought to Teraco had to be better than everyone else and raise it to twenty-five just to seem wiser. *snorts* Instead, it just makes those of us born in Teraco more miserable.
Your turn, Rahim! You know how this goes.
What is your favorite color and why?
Blue. Everything in Tramat is warm-toned and blends together, but blue stands out, and all you have to do is look up at the sky to see it. *smiles*
I take it you are a bit of a foodie. What is your favorite dish?
Hm… There are so many choices. *chuckles* But, if I had to choose… Naan topped with spicy sauce, chickpeas, onions, tomatoes, olives… I could go on. You can pile a lot on naan, and it’s delicious.
What did you like best about your visit to Pruyid? Do you think you’ll visit again?
*looks up thoughtfully* Though I wouldn’t have guessed it… the people. I had meaningful conversations with many of the Virilen I met, and they were surprisingly welcoming of me. I learned a lot from my visit. I’d love to go back. *smiles*
And finally, as I asked Caithan this, I find it only fair to ask you. What is your favorite Tramati tradition and why?
Igrew up not keeping a lot of traditions, though my friends did, so my favorite that I was able to participate in is the annual Dujalemin festival in central Teraco. People come from all over the continent to compete in athletic competitions, to show their wares, to simply see Teraco… If you enjoy crowds and excitement, it’s the place to be. My favorite of those I simply heard about was the tradition of children pooling their money to gift their mami a new dress on her birthday. I never had the money to carry on the tradition–and I had no siblings–but every year I wished I could.
That’s all we’ve got time for today. Are there any parting remarks you’d like to make?
Caithan: *shakes her head*
Rahim: Thank you for having us. *smiles*
Thank you so much for coming, it was a great pleasure to host you!
This collection features four stories from a range of select genres. Including Contemporary, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy. Here’s a little info on each:
Fiona Wildman was born with powers she doesn’t understand. Powers a scientific mega-corporation will stop at nothing to exploit.
Ethan is amazed when his withdrawn friend Jasmine invites him to the abandoned amusement park for fun, but instead of the slightly-wacky tour he expects, he finds the opportunity to see a different side of Jas.
Four teens wake in a dark room. Faced with puzzles they must solve to escape, they uncover a sinister secret.
Caithan is tired of her mother’s strict traditionalism, but when she runs away from her own coming-of-age party, she runs into someone who teaches her to appreciate what she’s been given.
Wow, November has been a crazy month! Even with my social media hiatus I was completely overwhelmed. Part of me wants to take life hiatus and do nothing at all this December 😛 But the rest of me really missed it. So I’ll probably just be on limited usage for a while 😉
Why was I so overwhelmed? I’ll give you a quick run down of my month and a little look ahead at some great things coming up. To start, the main event!
I had a lot of fun with my first attempt at NaNo! I joined the virtual write-in for my area once, but found I really work best alone. LOL! However, I checked in with friends a lot and motivated myself by posting fun updates when I hit milestones. As for finishing, if you just look at word count I didn’t do too well. I went in knowing it was highly unlikely I would make 50k. So, I mentally set a goal of 40 with a minimum of 20…and I hit just over 11.
Really, I’m ok with it. My brain very insistently switched tracks to research half way through the month, making it really hard to concentrate. But I still wrote more in a month than ever before and made solid progress on a new project! And hey, I know a lot more about indie publishing now 😉
I’ve also had a lot going on in my personal life. First off, I had a birthday! I celebrated turning 26 with some of my very favorite things: A bonfire, Turkish food, reading, writing, and awesome people. We also had a great Thanksgiving with my Grandma. And wonderful news: I found out I’m getting published! More on that in at the end.
Unfortunately, not everything has been good news. My health went through a few major swings this month. Nothing too bad. I’ve just been really tired and it’s made productivity much harder.
There has also been some unpleasant stuff going on at work. Can’t say too much here. But essentially, my amazing boss had to resign suddenly due to a very serious health problem. Not only are we worried about her, but it has been very rough managing the workload. If you believe in prayer, I would ask that you pray for everyone involved as we try to figure our way through the rest of the school year.
So, it’s been a lot. But over all, things are truly looking up as we go into December and Christmas!
As mentioned previously, I’m getting published! I found out a couple weeks ago that a story I submitted to Havok was accepted. For those who don’t know, Havok is a publisher of Speculative Flash Fiction (aka Sci-fi and Fantasy stories under 1,000 words). They post a free story to their website every day. And mine will be going up January 3! It will be my first published work and I am so incredibly excited!
In other news, I’m very seriously considering going indie for my books. As I have never had a business course, this really scares me. But I’ve been doing extensive research and my dad is an accountant. That’s got to count for something, right 😉 My current goal is to get this all up and running by the end of 2020.
So, that’s been my whirlwind of a month! Whew, made me tired just writing about it. How was yours? Anything exciting happen? Is there any way I can pray for you as we close out the year? Drop a line in the comments below or send me a message!
I’ve been hearing about NaNo for years, and was always so daunted by the idea of writing 50K in a month that I never tried. But this year, I’m finally joining in, and I’m so excited! However, in order to give this thing my best effort, I’ll be taking a short hiatus from social media. Look for me in December with all the updates!
For those of you who don’t know about NaNo. It’s officially called National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and is a great community building program to assist writers in completing a book of 50,000 words in one month. I’ve been exploring the new site and there are tons of cool features! From pep talks by well known authors, to forums where you can ask questions or just geek out, to buddies who encourage each other and share work, writers of every level can find something to love. And don’t forget your personalized page for each WIP! They even have a special Young Writer’s Program. If you’re a student or teacher of writing, definitely check this out!
I’ve been doing a ton of prep work through the month of October as I want to be sure I can give this thing my best shot! Though I won’t be too worried about winning 😉 I’m just looking to have a good time and find some motivation to get started on a new project.
What’s this project, you ask? Well, if you read my Red Warnings story from Sunday, you’ve got a pretty good idea! I’m so proud of that story, I’ve decided to build off it and bring to you a Norse inspired Little Red re-imagining 🙂
Intrigued yet? Let me whet your appetite with a rough blurb!
A Shieldmaiden of the Drake Clan sworn to protect her people, Svenja finds herself inadvertently in possession of a dangerous magical cloak. She knows to use the cloak will be to unleash an ancient curse. But when her little sister is taken by the dread Warg Clan, the soul-sucking cloak’s power may be the only thing capable of saving her.
Need more? Lets top it off with a pretty aesthetic!
And that’s all I can say right now 😉 Have a lovely Thanksgiving and I’ll see you in December!
It’s my first guest post and I’m so excited to introduce you to my friend and fellow Realmie, Emily Hayse! She’s a lover of log cabins, strong coffee, and the smell of old books. Her writing is fueled by good characters and a lifelong passion for storytelling. When she is not busy turning words into worlds, she can often be found baking, singing, or caring for one of the many dogs and horses in her life. She lives with her family in Michigan and has just released her Sophmore novel! Seventh City is an Alaskan Fantasy about a brave young girl intent on rescuing her brother from captivity.
And now, I’ll turn it over to her as she introduces us to Maki!
Thank’s so much, Rae! For my character interview I chose my protagonist, Maki, and for sake of spoilers I interviewed her prior to the events of the book. By way of introduction: Maki is thirteen, dark-haired, short, and stubbornly loyal. Favorite season? I like autumn, when the salmon run upstream and the animals are fat and carrying good fur. Weapon of choice? A spear. Tsanu taught me to throw when I was six. When I was eight, I had my first large kill. What is your greatest fear? That I will lose those who I love most—Tsanu, Kavik, Iki—and that I could have saved them. If you could have any life, what would it be? To live in peace and plenty with Tsanu. Perhaps I will marry, but I doubt it. I am contented with taking care of Tsanu, since he does not always take care of himself. And I would be a very good hunter with many spears. Best childhood memory? Once, Tsanu took me on a hunting trip a full cycle of moons away, and we camped with a handful of others on the coast, by the sea ice, and hunted seals. Every night we ate well, told stories, and kept each other warm. It was a good journey. If there was one food you could eat for the rest of your life, what would it be? Berries and fruit, because I have never had my fill before, though dried pantak or seal oil would be more practical. Biggest accomplishment? I took down a male tuttik at thirty strides, which takes a great deal of strength. And Kavik, who leads the young warriors and is the best hunter besides Tsanu saw it. I was very proud of that. What do you hate the most in your life? The Invaders. Especially the captain. After that, mosquitoes. Who do you admire the most? Tsanu or Kavik. I want to be as strong and brave as they are and have been when I grow up. Tsanu raised me from the time he was twelve, and Kavik, coming back from the wars, refused to give up but trained the young warriors of our village at great risk to himself. If you could only keep three things you currently possess, what would they be? Iki my wolf dog, my best fishing spear, and a flint for fire. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? I would travel to the Jade Mountains because I have never been there and their strange green peaks have fascinated me ever since I was young. What is one secret dream that you have? To ride one of the hornless beasts with the many-colored coats and the leather on their backs and metal in their teeth. They are so swift and strong, though I hate their riders, I do envy them. What is one thing that makes you cry? I do not cry often, but sometimes when we sing a great song, or the sun strikes the peak of a distant mountain just so, or Tsanu speaks of my father, who he remembers a little. Sometimes then I cry.
What is one hope that you have for the future? That the Invaders will leave and that Tsanu and I and our village live in peace in our village for the rest of our lives.
Well, that’s got my interest! Here’s a little more info on Seventh City.
“Let me tell you a story that happened so long ago that only the hills and rivers can remember the time . . . .”
All her life, thirteen-year-old Maki has heard tales of the legendary city of gold, buried deep in the northern frontier. But when her village is burned and her brother captured by cruel invaders, the legend becomes desperately real.
Armed with a wolf-dog and a heart of courage, Maki sets out on a journey that will demand all her strength and cunning. She is determined to bring her brother home at all costs. Yet as her quest leads her deep into a wilderness of ancient dangers, Maki realizes that even for her, some prices are too high to pay.
It’s commonly acknowledged that the book is always better. Our first reaction when hearing about a new movie is generally, “They better not screw this up!” We go into the cinema with a preconceived number of allowances to give the filmmakers before writing them off. But sometimes, you get the pleasant surprise of finding a movie so well done you end up liking it better than the book. So today, I’m proud to brag on five movies that meet this phenomenon!
First up, Princess Bride: It could just be that I grew up on the movie and didn’t know a book existed till recently. But I found it far too full of meta humor. Pro tip (stolen from a friend): If you have to read it, skip everything in italics or parenthesis and call it ‘the good bits of the good bits version’. But in my opinion, you’re not missing any ‘good bits’ with the movie.
Phantom of the Opera: It was mostly the choice of narration style that did me in on this one. I also felt the focus could have been better placed on a more central character. I’m also in love with the visuals and music of the movie that you just can’t get from words on a page!
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: Overall, this was a close run thing. However, I felt like the movie did a better job with pacing, and the love interest was far more likable in the movie. Characters are everything for me and will make or break a good plot. So I’ve got to go with the movie on this one.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: Before you grab the pitchforks, let me just say that this is really a tie! I love the book immensely, but I also think they did a superb job with the movie. And once again I love the visuals. Also, please note this is specifically The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and not the entirety of Narnia. The movies went down hill pretty fast!
And lastly, we have another tie with Inkheart: I mention this one mostly because I’ve always been on the fence about the rest of the trilogy. Therefore, I appreciate how the movie tied everything up with a happy ending. And the casting was perfect.
Have you encountered this rare experience? Share your answer in the comments!
I just spent an amazing weekend at the Realm Makers Conference! For the uninitiated, Realm Makers is a community for spec-fic writers of faith. The Realm Makers Conference has more the feeling of a con or family reunion of epic proportions than your typical professional conference. And I basically live for it!
A Few Highlights
The Awards Banquet: The banquet is always awesome and a perfect excuse for geeking out with costumes! Pretty much every fandom in existence can be found at some point in the night. I went as Katara from Avatar and happened to meet a Toph 😀
The Swag: I stocked up on all the things! Came home with some great new reads, specialty tea, and a handcrafted mug. I always spend way too much money at these things! But the books are all signed, so it’s worth it 😉
The Pitch: I pitched To Slay a Curse! It wasn’t nearly as scary as I was expecting. In fact it went really well, and a full manuscript was requested! I know it’s a long process and still might not work out, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. More info forthcoming 🙂