Keeping the flow and excitement through multiple books. Making those characters pop.
Writing a series can be daunting, because there’s always the challenge in making sure readers want to continue along with the journey you’re creating and not get bored and leave the story and its inhabitants behind. So, one of the things I remind myself with each new installment for the series is that my characters have to grow—stagnant characters are of no interest to me or readers. I constantly try to present the cast in my stories with challenging situations that they’re going to grow during, as well as reasons to do so. I don’t like to rehash the same situation repeatedly in multiple books—while a theme can carry over, there has to be enough new material to keep it fresh. Plus, I try to make sure that there are always stopping points within the arc I’m creating throughout each story, so readers can follow the clues all the way to the end.
As for characters, I try to base mine in reality, despite the books being urban fantasy. I am not a big fan of perfect leads or love interests—I like my characters, as I do people in my real life, to be flawed (but not cripplingly so). It’s important for readers to connect with these people, to find reasons to root for them and continue along their journey, so I also try to present the reasons behind why they are the way they are or their actions to make them more relatable. If a reader can make these connections, whether or not they agree with the characters’ actions, their read will become all the more enjoyable.
Heather Lyons has always had a thing for words—She’s been writing stories since she was a kid. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. Heather is a rabid music fan, as evidenced by her (mostly) music-centric blog, and she’s married to an even larger music snob. They’re happily raising three kids who are mini music fiends who love to read and be read to..
You can find her at:
|Link to the book review.|
How author Marianne Spitzer finds inspiration
First of all, I love to write. There isn’t much that is more exciting for me than to sit down at my laptop and see a blank document in front of me. I know that soon the words will flow and the page will be filled. Then a second and a third will be filled and my story is on the run. I love to write. Watching my thoughts turn into a story is exciting.
I find my inspirations in many places and things. I have a folder full of ideas that may become books one day. I wish I could write them faster, but as it is, I have six stories in different phases of completion now.
I can look at a picture of an old abandoned castle or house and see the story within. Since I write supernatural mystery, I will see ghosts in every window and horrors behind each door. It depends on which horror or ghost’s tale I imagine most vividly that becomes the story. I may imagine many ideas and the ones I don’t use immediately are written down in the ever expanding idea folder.
I also pull inspiration from events in my life or an idea that just pops into my mind. My life is not full of ghosts and I don’t live in a haunted mansion, but inspiration can come from an everyday experience. Having an open mind to what might be is where I get ideas. There are times when I have no idea where the inspiration comes from. Personally, I think it’s my muse. I don’t have any other explanation.
As an example, I do live in an apartment building. We have a huge room for special events or our annual Christmas dinner. At night, the doors are left open, but the lights are off. If I forgot to get my mail before dark or am leaving via the front door, I need to walk down the hallway which leads to the meeting room. It looks like a black void. The hall is bright and then you see a huge black hole. My mind can run amok and think of a dozen things that could be going on in that room from a ghost party to the hiding place of an evil spirit.
My family often wonders about how my mind works when I can come up with a story on the spot on any subject they choose. Maybe my mind is wired differently or my imagination is wilder. Whatever it is, I love it and it leads me to write which is my passion.
About the author: Marianne I was born in Milwaukee, and lived there until I was eighteen. Then I spent eight years in Washington state and California before returning to Wisconsin. I love eerie places and books. I began with a love of Nancy Drew books and as I grew I found H.P Lovecraft, Agatha Christie, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle among others. When I am not writing, I am reading or watching sunsets. I have been writing short stories since I was in grade school. Most were in the form of essays relating real life events. Many were purely imaginary trips to magical places and times. I enjoy making up stories about people I meet or see on the street. I can see a story in a picture, especially if the picture is eerie. My imagination runs wild and free. I have self-published a book of essays and a book of children’s stories for my granddaughter, Brittney. Gypsy Spirits is my debut novel and the first in the series of three “spirit” books. I have self-published the second “spirit” book, Annamarie and Magdalena. I also self-published a supernatural mystery, THE LETTER. I plan to have the sequel to THE LETTER out this year and the third “spirit” book available winter 2013/14. From there I am sure my muse will guide me into another story plot.
This book also contains the supernatural/mystery short story “MEGAN’S FEAR.”
a Rafflecopter giveaway
It’s going to be a sweltering July with exciting and fun thing happening. I’m going to be doing give-a-ways, live interviews, I can’t wait for all the great stuff. Stay tuned here on my blog and my youtube channel. And if you haven’t already done so, like me on facebook to stay up to date with everything going on.
**Don’t miss my live interview with Heather Lyons on Sunday July 7th at 11am MST
Goodread links for my to be reads for July 2013.
Glitter by: Mona Darling
Dark Connections by: Rebecca Graf
Uprising by: Dawn Jayne
Shadow and Bone by: Leigh Bardugo
Eleanor and Park by: Rainbow Rowell
Clockwork Angel by: Cassandra Clare
The Immortal Rules by: Julie Kagawa
Shatter Me by: Tahareh Mafi
The Letter by: Marianne Spitzer
Deep Connections by: Rebecca Graf
Links for books I’ll be reading for the July Booktube Read-A-Thon
- Read 150 Pages a day
- Read a classic
- Read a book over 500 pages!
- Re-read a book from your bookcase
- Read a book that has been on your bookshelf the longest
- Listen to a book on tape (audible)
- Complete a series
It’s A Book Thing Book Club
Release day blitz for Heather Lyons and her YA book A Matter of Heart (Fate#2)
A Matter of Heart released today!!!
No longer in high school, Chloe Lilywhite is now living and working in Annar, the Magicals’ city-state plane of existence. Since moving, she’s joined the Council, gone on missions with the Guard, moved into her own apartment, and enrolled at the University of Annar. Plus, she’s happily engaged to be married to Jonah Whitecomb, the literal man from her dreams, not to mention her Connection. While she still struggles with aspects of her craft, Chloe feels like she’s finally coming into her own, especially after a difficult year that had her questioning nearly everything in her life.
After a brutal attack by the Elders, her life is turned upside down once more. Accusations fly throughout the Council and Guard, forcing Chloe to confront her worst fears about what’s she’s capable of as a Creator. And then there’s the matter of Kellan Whitecomb, Jonah’s twin brother and Chloe’s ex, who resurfaces after disappearing months before. Although Chloe chose Jonah, and despite their best efforts, the two find it hard to stay away from one another.
But no matter what Fate throws at her, Chloe is determined to take charge of her life, even as it begins to spiral out of control.
A MATTER OF HEART is book 2 in the Fate Series, a mature Young Adult/New Adult fantasy.
About the author: Heather Lyons
Heather Lyons has always had a thing for words—She’s been writing stories since she was a kid. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. Heather is a rabid music fan, as evidenced by her (mostly) music-centric blog, and she’s married to an even larger music snob. They’re happily raising three kids who are mini music fiends who love to read and be read to.
You can find her at:
Author Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/heatherlyons
A MATTER OF HEART: Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17261347-a-matter-of-heart