31 October 2013

The Easy Way Out

Okay, so the title for this might make a few people upset, but I’m going to keep it anyway.

Last time I typed about a character’s past coming back to haunt them.  This time I’d like to talk about a very common theme in stories—Redemption.

We’re not going to delve. Just a quick example and you’ll be on your way.

Star Wars.
Anakin Skywalker.
The entire Star Wars story is really about Anakin. I hate to admit it, because half of it is so badly told that I hated Anakin. Anyway, it’s really his story.

So in the end, when he turns away from being a Sith, and goes back to being a Jedi (Return of the Jedi, get it?) he throws off his past.

But he can’t redeem himself. Not really. And he knows he’s dying, so he grabs the Emperor—the person who caused this whole big mess—and tosses him down a shaft into some sort of energy source that fries him.

Poof.  Gone.

Then Anakin turns the rest of the Star Wars universe over to Luke.

This redemption while, or in the act of, dying (which may be the same thing) is a pretty common trope. It works, which is why I’m bringing it up. And it can be very powerful when executed well.

But if this is your main character, be very, very careful. I say that because you just gave them the easy way out. They did what they could in the end, but then left everyone else to clean up the mess.

I’ll leave more on how to use that one up to you.


Carry on.

29 October 2013

The Lovely Ladies of Cinderskella

Hey all,
We have guests today. I expect you to treat them nice. Don't point and laugh where they can see you. We need them to like us. :)

Meet Amie and Bethany and their awesome new book Cinderskella.

<>  If you could eat anything for breakfast, what would it be?

Anything I want? And there would be no consequences? No acne, no fat around the middle? Well then…that’s easy! CHOCOLATE!

<>  Do you prefer leather or cloth seats in cars? Why?

Leather all the way. When my kids were little cloth seats were an invitation for dirt. The leather was easy to wipe clean. Now I just prefer the leather for the heated seats in the winter J

<>  If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Who would you take with you?

I’d love to go to Ireland. And New Zealand. I’d take my family, no questions about it!

<>  What is the most interesting job you've ever had to this point?

Oh, that’s a good one! I’ve had lots of fun and rewarding jobs but the most interesting one you can read about over at Janet Jensen’s blog! http://janetkayjensen.blogspot.com/2013/10/book-review-and-guest-post-cinderskella.html

<>  Tell us about a strange writing habit that you have.

Strange? Is eating chocolate strange? If so, then that’s it!

I do like to light candles, put on my headphones and chew an entire pack of gum (it keeps me from eating too much chocolate!).

<>  What is your favorite quote/saying about writing? What does it mean to you?

Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.  ~Anton Chekhov

I am notorious for telling instead of showing. So I try to remember this quote whenever I work on a scene. How can I show my reader that my main character is sad, angry, bitter, scared? Showing it provides more emotion than telling and brings the reader closer to the story.


<>  What scene of this novel proved to be the most difficult for you to write?

I don’t want to give away too much, but chapter two was really emotional. Perhaps because I really poured my heart into it, using pieces of life experience. Bethanie added the humor to lighten the mood J

<>  What scene turned out exactly as you imagined it?

I would like to say all of them did. Hopefully they convey well to the readers!

<>  What aspect of your life has most influenced your writing?

My children and family. And mean people. Definitely mean people. They die painfully in my novels!

<>  Why should people read your book? What does it have to offer them?  (This is the part where you brag it up!)

I hope kids will pick it up based on the awesome cover art by artist Rachael Caringella. But I hope that the blurb will entice them enough to buy it! My hope is that the kids who read Cinderskella will come away from it feeling better about themselves, learning to accept themselves for their differences and realize that everyone is dealing with some sort of battle. Mostly, I hope they laugh a lot.

<>  If you could write a spin-off novel about a side character, who would you choose?

Well, according to the character interview I just had on Rose Cooper’s blog (http://rosecooperwriter.blogspot.com/ ), Cheddar would insist that Bethanie and I write his story. But, given a choice, I think I’d chose Ethan McCallister.

<>  Tell us why you love this story.

I love this story because it has heart, humor and a little bit of creepiness. It’s like the perfect blend of Tim Burton, Edward Gorey and Diary of a Wimpy Kid!

Thanks for stopping by, ladies!

Check out Cinderskella today.

Cindy is just a normal eleven and three-quarter year-old. At least until she wakes up one night and finds out she’s dead. Well, she isn't technically dead—she just doesn't have any hair . . . or a nose . . . or skin. Yep—all bones, no body.  

Human by day and skeleton by night, Cindy is definitely cursed. And because her mother recently died, Cindy has no one to turn to except a father who’s now scared of her and an evil stepmother who makes her do the housecleaning with a toothbrush. To make matters worse, the Spring Fling dance is approaching, and Ethan, the cutest boy in sixth grade, doesn’t seem to know Cindy exists. Of course, Cindy doesn’t think letting Ethan find out she’s part skeleton is the best way to introduce herself.

While facing such perils as pickled pig’s feet, a wacky fortune teller, and a few quick trips to the Underworld, Cindy’s determined to break the curse—even for a single night.

You can purchase Cinderskella at:
Add it to your to-read shelf on Goodreads! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18311564-cinderskella

Amie and Bethanie bio’s
Amie Borst still believes in unicorns, uses glitter whenever possible and accessorizes in pink. She enjoys eating chocolate while writing and keeps a well-stocked stash hidden away from her family. A native New Yorker she currently resides in Northern Virginia with her husband, three children and a cute dog named Lily. She wishes she had a hot-pink elevator with carnival lights to travel the world. But for now, her minivan will have to do.
Bethanie Borst is a spunky 13-year-old who is an avid archer with Olympic dreams, enjoys the outdoors, loves reading and is quick to make lasting friendships. When she is not writing, she swings on a star.

Stalk them here:

You can follow Amie and Bethanie on facebook at www.facebook.com/AmieAndBethanieBorst
You can find Amie at her blog www.amieborst.com, twitter, www.twitter.com/AmieBorst and pinterest www.pinterest.com/AmieBorst