Tuesday, July 02, 2013

"Wait here. Pull up a nice tombstone."

 Well, that secret NaNo story I was debating revealing or not, will not be revealed. I started it today, sat back, and went, "Well, that was depressing," and shoved it aside for The Broken Blade. I guess the plot still has a lot of holes which need to be worked out. Hopefully, though, someday, I can get it written.

 For now though, I plan to complete The Broken Blade for my Camp NaNo. It will be nice to get the first draft done - and besides, the more I write with one of the characters the more fun I find him. 
 But, I will save all of that for after my book party. For today, I have an interview from a very good friend of mine! Her name is Abbey and if you would like to find her blogs you can find the writing one HERE!!! and her everyday one HERE!!! I'd recommend following them, they are a lot of fun to read.

 And now....Abbey.

 Welcome! You have a book coming out soon which is based on a Shakespeare play. Did you find it easier or harder to start with an already an already laid out plot line?

After the Twelfth Night is more of a continuation of Shakespeare’s play Twelfth’s Night. So, while some of the characters are the same, the plotline is entirely different. But, of course, I had to keep continuity with Twelfth Night….
In Twelfth Night we’re told that Sebastian (and his twin Viola)’s father died when he was thirteen. But in After the Twelfth Night I get to make up how Sebastian’s father died. It’s kind of like Twelfth Night lay down the foundation of the house and I get to put in the furnishings. In a way that makes it a bit harder…. But it also made it a bit easier – some of the story was already put out for me. I just had to expand on it.

What is your favourite part of writing: the plot or the characters?

The plot, definitely. I can come up with some pretty complex plots… but when it comes to characters… That’s where you, my dear Jack, reign supreme.

 I've learned from personal experience that complex plots can be a lot of fun and very hard at the same time.

What first interested you in Shakespeare and his plays?

This is actually kind of a funny story. I had never had any interest in dusty, old, hard-to-understand Shakespeare. Until 2008, when my mom signed me up for a Shakespeare class (with about 14 other homeschoolers). I thought it was going to be this boring class where we would have to memorize plays that didn’t make any sense.
Oh, I was so wrong! Most of our class time was spent playing acting games to get us out of our comfort bubbles.
The other part of class was spent studying a play. We were also encouraged to write weekly opinion papers (on a topic provided by the curriculum) and to read/watch other Shakespeare plays. But none of it was required.
Of course, if you did happen to read/watch 17 Shakespeare plays you would be crowned king/queen and you would get to sit on a chair instead of on the floor.
Also, when it came to the second semester of class – the semester where we put on our own Shakespeare production – you would get a bigger role if you had done more in class (read/watched lots of plays… take part in discussions…. write the weekly paper… do a presentation… stuff like that).
Now I love Shakespeare! He is far, far, far from dusty and boring.

 I thought the same as you until I read A Midsummer's Night's Dream. It was far funnier than I thought possible.

Some authors find it easier to write if they put their own characteristics into some of their characters. Are there any personality traits that you have that you gave to one of your characters?

I think that all my characters have a small part of me in them. Daniel, a character from a different project, plays piano. I do too. Only he’s much better than I am.
A lot of my characters have my humor (especially Antony!) and love of reading.

What kind of music do you listen to while you write? Or do you prefer silence?

It depends on what I’m writing, I think. My first year doing NaNoWriMo (in 2011) I had just discovered The Beatles. I listened to a LOT of them while writing Parts Two and Three of After the Twelfth Night. You can tell…. I have a number of references to their songs in various parts of the novel (though my mom made me take out “Let It Be.”).
Lately, during revision, I’ve been listened to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Tchaikovsky’s Slavonic March. I think that those two classical pieces really capture the mood of After the Twelfth Night.
But when I’m writing about Daniel and Varina, my two spy characters from a different series, I always have to have something fun and bouncy. Like my Music To Spy By CD or George Gershwin.

 Now I want to listen to Beatles' songs so I can spot the references. 

When you find yourself facing writer's block, what is the best way you've found to get over it?

Usually I have to stop writing and think about the problem for a bit. Sometimes I got to my parents (my dad has helped me resolve a bunch of stuff). Most often, when I’m taking a shower, I get a flash of inspiration. Then I know just how to continue.
So, if you have writer’s block, you should go and take a shower! It really helps!

I know from experience that you are very good when it comes to editing. While writing, do you find yourself wanting to fix the mistakes you find right away? (As opposed to coming back to them after the first draft is done?)

Not usually… and I think that NaNoWriMo has helped with this. With NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) you have to write 50,000 words in 30 days… In order to do that, you have to keep up on your word count (writing something like 1,600 words a day). You don’t have time to go back and edit.

 The best month of the year to throw your inner editor down the basement stairs and lock the door.

You've mentioned before that writing is more of a hobby for you. Do you suffer some of the same author quirks, such as forgetting to eat and sleep?

Not really…. Sometimes I stay up too late but that’s my own fault. And if it came between food and writing, I’d pick food.
But I am a lot more creative than your average Jill. I think that is an author quirk.

Do you have a favourite line from your book you wouldn't mind sharing with us?

There are lots! It’s hard to choose. Mostly anything that Antony says is bound to be hilarious…. He’s the one with my sense of humor.
This one is one of my favorites:

   “Great,” whispered Antony when they passed a pile of very human-looking bones for the third time. “We’re going in circles!”

 That part in the book was so funny, I loved it.

And lastly, do you find you write better in summer or winter?

Hmmm…. I don’t know. I would say winter because that’s when NaNoWriMo is and that’s usually when I do all my writing…. But in the (good old’) summertime I’m inspired by absolutely EVERYTHING imaginable. I write down a lot of ideas…. And I have more time to write. But, while I have a lot of ideas, most of them need tons of thinking out before they go anywhere. It’s also harder to find motivation in the summertime… because of the hot sun that makes me into a lazy bum.

Author profile:
Hello! My name is Abbey, author-to-be. I haven’t decided which name to publish under so you don’t get a last name, sorry.
I am a busy homeschooled highschooler who loves to learn and study.
Music is one of my passions. I play piano. Also, I sing on my church’s worship team, on choir, and for my voice teacher.
In my free time I enjoy reading, blogging, keeping up with my friends, and watching movies and television.
Writing and telling stories have always been a part of my life but my first novel, After the Twelfth Night, wasn’t written until 2011. Right now I’m working on editing that novel which has really grown over the past two years!
The most important thing to know about me is that I am a passionate follower of Jesus Christ. He loves me – and all of you. Though I am by no means perfect, I strive to do everything for the glory of God.
You can find out more about Abbey on her personal blog (Dolls, Books, and Things That Matter)
Or on her writing blog (The World of Pure Imagination) where she will have lots of updates on her book After the Twelfth Night and also posts on her writing and publishing journey!

Book bio:
Antonio was a pirate. And he’s in jail for that long ago sea fight with the Duke. Sebastian, his “friend,” was supposed to bail him out of jail… but Sebastian’s been kidnapped! Sebastian’s wife Olivia comes to beg Antonio to rescue her husband but Antonio refuses (after all, he is behind bars). But then the city is attacked by pirates who blow a hole in the jail. Antonio is able to escape and he promises Olivia that he will find Sebastian.
But many dangers lurk in front of Antonio. Pirates! Storms! Slave traders! And an annoying boy named Antony, who isn’t so much of a danger, as a nuisance.
What started out as a rescue mission turns into a full blown treasure hunt when a large fortune is thrown into the mix….
Will Antonio and Antony find Sebastian? Will they find the treasure? And, most importantly, will Antony stop going in circles, or will he be doomed to spend the rest of his life with a pile of very human-looking bones???!!
Find out in After the Twelfth Night by Abbey. Coming November 1st 2013.

 Thank you for coming by, Abbey! It was great having you!

 And a P.S. to everyone reading this. I've had the honour of being one of Abbey's editors for After the Twelfth Night. I shan't say too much as it is getting a review later on, but this is one book I think everyone should look into. A wonderful story. More along the lines of a lighthearted adventure - in fact, it kind of reminded me of the Tintin books. A lot of fun! *Grin*

Quote is from Arsenic and Old Lace, a movie I got to see on Saturday which I will be reviewing sometime. (It is the reason I'm now going to yell "CHARGE!" every time I have to climb stairs.)




  1. "Hopefully, though, someday, I can get it written."

    As they say on the internet, I know dat feel. I've got a verifiable stable of heroes whose stories I want to get written down someday...and, you know, given to actual people. But one step at a time.

    Well, it can't be helped, I guess. In any case, good to hear that you're making progress. And I'll have to give those other blogs a look one day.

    Or right now, as long as I'm here. Voltech, pressing onward!

  2. Aw, sorry your other story didn't work. I'm glad that the Broken Blade is being written, though, I'm curious about that one!

    P.S. The bear movie is actually a TV show - Kendra found it! It's called Old Bear Stories.
    What you might be thinking of is an animation movie called Teddy's Bear's Picnic... or something like that. That's what the song is called. My dad used to sing it to me all the time too.

  3. I found NaNo cured me of editing while I wrote as well. I'm such a slow typist, if I pause for any reason, I'm doomed.

  4. *Offers some tic tacs* I understand when it comes to your first story, my own story always laughs at me whenever I try to write it. But I noticed that you raided my pinterest boards for pictures for the Broken Blade. So it has Elves and Dragons ...? I'm intrigued!

    I need to finish editing your book Abby. My schedule has been rather busy of late ... but I'll really try to get it done! I've found it rather interesting so far!

  5. Wonderful interview, Abbey! And I must admit, Antony's got some of the better lines so far. (And I am so close to finishing part one!)


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