Fan Art!

I officially have my first piece of fan art! One of my fans on Tumblr heard about a certain character, new to draft two of the novel, who goes by the name of Addom. He heard about it mainly because it’s the character he asked me to make for him, but that’s not the point. The point is that I feel super awesome because I have FAN ART!

I’m not putting this up on any other network, just to you WordPress followers. That’s because I want the main audience to see my illustrator’s stuff, and the fan art later. But now that I’ve whet your appetites, here is Addom, done by theangelstarot on Tumblr.

Not quite what I imagined for the character, but it is, after all, up to the reader’s imagination. The things that are described in the book are the spiked mohawk-like hair, the freckles, the scarring on the side of the face, and the moon tattoo below Addom’s neck, as shown in the upper left. Another characteristic not seen in the image is that Addom is a redhead. That’s all for today, folks!

That’s all for today, folks! For illustrator images and writing updates, be sure to follow us on the novel’s Facebook page, the author’s Facebook page, and on Twitter!

Sneak Peek of Dark Soldier

We are similar – we were molded by the night around us. I love the night. But you and I, we feel it differently. I feel the moon’s power pulling the ocean sands. I feel vibrations in the dirt and the grass growing in the moonlight. I feel the trees swaying in the wind and the earth rolling under our feet. Everything is moving. And now I want you to move with me.
Dark Soldier: the Novel


The Young Elites by Marie Lu

5 Star Review

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever.
A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the
infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left
with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes
went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once
was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination,
ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their
fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more
than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts,
and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called
the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king.
As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young
Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the
Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may
possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society.
This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the
Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover
someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to
believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the
lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a
very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all
certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A
vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to
cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.   

I would just like to begin by
declaring my love for Marie Lu. This woman and I should get married and I would
watch her write and make her chicken. Okay creeping aside this book is

This is the first Marie Lu book
I’ve read. The thing that I noticed right away is that Adelina, her main
character, is FLAWED. I mean flawed in that wonderful way that makes us all
human and keeps certain people loving us no matter what. Adelina is physically
flawed (She only has one eye) and also emotionally flawed. There is a darkness
within her that manifests itself in cruelty towards her younger sister and
powers that she can barely control.

Marie Lu does not shy away from any
sensitive topics either. All her characters (who are all under the age of 20)
go through harrowing experiences. Adelina’s father tries to sell her within the
first few pages, Raffaele is a male prostitute, and Enzo is in perpetual pain
from his burned hands. An author who does not write as though her audiences are
delicate little snowflakes is my favorite kind of author.

All her characters immediately take
you in, even the ones you are supposed to hate. Marie Lu has created a world so
precise that there is no doubt as to its possible existence. The beginning of
each chapter begins with a poem, folktale or essay from various authors from
this world. The religion is fascinating and I hope that more is explored in the
subsequent novels.

No one is safe in Kenettra. Every
page is a new danger for everyone in the book. You want everyone to like
Adelina because only you as the reader can truly see her pain but alas the
world is not like that.

Marie Lu writes in her
acknowledgements that she set out to write a hero’s story and ended up writing
the journey of a villain. I have never rooted for a villain as much as I
cheered for Adelina throughout this story. I will be pre-ordering the next book
(something else I never do). Do me a favor. Put down whatever you’re reading
and get your hands on a copy of this novel. You won’t regret it.


For more check out Goodreads and the Author

Mapmaking and Podcasting

The mapmaking continues to go well. I spent a night on Skype discussing with the illustrator how we want to go about that. We may stray from the regular old-style, and we may not. It’s not quite determined, but we are looking at Lord of the Rings and Eragon for ideas. We also found out that the country in question is, as it turns out, a peninsula. It also turns out I’m an idiot at night. I somehow got East and West mixed up, jumbling up the entire map until the very end of the Skype call. I’m trying to write a book for gosh sakes, and I can’t even get East and West figured out. Goodness. I need to get my life together.

But the map is coming along, and looking better than ever. We have decided to measure it by kilos for now. Most of the world measures things that way… except the USA. Oh, ‘Murica – so determined to do your own thing you ignore everyone else on the planet.

Finally, the podcast. What do you guys want to see in the future of it? I could always use some changes, some additions, a template, fan questions, etc. Also, would it be easier if I made a different blog for the podcast itself? Be sure to let me know, and check out the podcast that is already there!! See the thing below and comment ‘fer sher.

Run For The Hills!

I decided to follow up on a New Years resolution. I have officially started running again. And let me tell you… it is NOT fun like some people may claim. (I have actually met people who say such things. I am determined they are liars or have done it so long their brain is confused.) It is absolutely awful. I don’t ever want to do it again, but I know I have to if I want to be fit by the end of the year like I said I would be. However, I do remember having a good feeling after working out, and maybe that’s what people mean by that statement. I specifically find that it goes better if I start chanting Spartan war cries – whispering to myself of course; I’m not going to let people realize I’m completely insane.

In recent writing news, the podcast went decently well. Eighteen plays within a couple days, not terrible for my first time. And, better yet, we are officially on iTunes! However, you won’t be able to find it by a podcast search until around Wednesday or Thursday. And speaking of such things, fellow blogger/writer David Brennan and I will be working together for the next one, recording tomorrow and arriving this Sunday or early Monday morning. Perhaps that will brighten up the way to work! We’ll talk about writing genres, specifically contrasting those in our novels. And with how we interact when we’re together… this one is going to be fun.

Also, after a whole long time of waiting, we may be getting closer to getting the book teaser trailer finished (yes, book trailers exist). We finally decided to toss the live-action idea, as no actors came around, but we will definitely be doing some animation. You may even get a glimpse of the map in the beginning couple seconds. And the voice for the trailer – it’s going to be fun. Let’s just say we somehow got a semi-popular Vine maker to help us out, and I think he’s flawless for the job. But no more spoilers, I’ll let you guys see it when it gets here. Until then, fair travels, and may phoenix fire forever guide and light your way!

Podcast Names?

It’s official. We are going to be doing a weekly podcast, talking about all things writing, updates, recent reads, etc. But now I am in the awkward moment of naming this podcast. It would be easy to give it the same name as my own blog, but what would be the fun in that?

So, some more suggestion time! Help me out by giving your idea in the comment section!
The current one is “The Open Book”.

Spring, Come Quickly

The reason for this blog is really one giant bunny trail that started from discussions on the book and eventually came to this thought. So this entire blog is completely devoted to the journey of thought that only took about two minutes in actuality.

It all started out with me and a fellow author discussing our work. His draft that he is working on, “Blood Crystal”, is set in a alternate Earth, in which humans gain gems that grant magical abilities to those who possess them. There are also alternate races for humans which appear, for which I was helping him flesh out the characteristics.

But while I was helping him create realistic versions of these subhuman races, I discussed with him my own races in the upcoming Dark Soldier novel. We discussed the gnomes of my series, whom I have as of yet not sculpted into perfection yet. I haven’t even gotten a surefire look for them. So we discussed, and it came down to him saying something along the lines of “How would nature do it?” And so we began looking into underground creatures. One that we settled upon was a mole, and so decided to mix some mole characteristics with human and elves and make the gnomes. It’s a large process and we’re not totally done.

This is why you should always be friends with writers if you are one yourself.

But when he first suggested it, I was like, “Mole people? Like, what kind of mole people are we talking about? Like Mole from Beatrix Potter or Mr. Mole from Wind in the Willows?” And of course he said, “No, just some characteristics.” But I still thought it might be good to look at both of them for some ideas. After all, they are slightly humanoid in nature, so it would give me an idea as to how these gnomes would stand. And indeed, I found what I was looking for, and much more.

I found out that my childhood book series was indeed once a television series. Yes, Wind in the Willows. While many of you may have been aware of this, it was a shock to me. But while looking at images, I saw something I have not seen for some time.


Grass, and rabbits, and non-frozen water rushing down a stream. And the sun! Oh, I have missed the sun actually being warm! As I cannot ski or snowboard this winter, I rue the day I heard eight more weeks of winter to be predicted. Not that a groundhog is that great at predicting these things. Spring is perhaps one of the most pleasant of seasons, regardless the of dirty snow. It hit the lowest temperature it has ever been in Virginia (which, honestly, doesn’t have anything on New York.)

Who else can’t wait for some sun?

Spring, come quickly!

A Rebuttal

Just a moment ago, I made a very depressing blog post about how I have become distressed over the very thing I want to enjoy. While it is true, I would like to make a rebuttal.

I love writing. I love my book, and I love all my followers – every single one! I have no need to have more twitter followers than I already do. I have no need to have thousands of people liking my things every second. I have no need of more Facebook fans or more views per week. I don’t need any of that.

Depression will get to me at times. It’s true, and it’s something I can’t ignore. There will definitely be times when I don’t want to write, I don’t want to talk about writing and times when I most certainly don’t want to blog about how awesome it is and how to do it better. But neither the highs or the lows define me.

But regardless of whether I want to do it or not, the muse stands beside me and waits. Because the simple fact is that writing is a part of my life. Through writing I have gained friends I could never have gained otherwise, many not even from my own country. I strive to write, day in, day out. Sometimes its great, sometimes its awful. Sometimes its depressing and sometimes it makes me feel more alive than I have ever felt.

And what can I do to keep me going? What can I do to make it better? I can answer this question for myself. The only thing I can do to keep me going is to keep on doing it.

To my fellow writers, I say this:
Write when you are happy. Write when you are sad. Write when it embraces and when it crushes. The world is not always sunshine and roses, and your writing doesn’t need to be either. Write when it hurts to write. Write when your pen flows easy. Be sure to take a break on the occasion. Drink some tea and lay back in your comfy armchair. But when you are done, write again! One day you may look back, and you will say that you are glad that you did it even when it was hard, because beauty was made in the midst of rubble.

Just write. And I assure you, you will feel better for it.