Saturday, March 28, 2015

Excerpt from The Year of the Elephant

So I've gone digging through that vault that is my computer and I found the original draft for my first novel The Year of the Elephant. Reading it gives me a headache because I think it's terrible. I couldn't stand to read it for too long. However, I wanted to share with you an excerpt from my first attempt at a novel. So here it is!

Taken from Chapter 10: Misery and Crocodiles.

After about another hour of wandering around, Sophia and Emma finally found the downtown area where they were dropped off earlier that morning. They didn’t have much time to enjoy the fact they were no longer lost because it wasn’t long after they returned to the center of town before they heard a blood curling scream from somewhere off in the distance.
“Help! Somebody!” They heard the faint scream of someone somewhere off in the distance. Emma and Sophia froze dead in their tracks. The scream sounded very familiar to them. They both turned to each other.
“Doesn’t that voice sound familiar to you?” Emma asked Sophia worriedly.
“It can’t be.” Sophia responded doubtfully, but she already knew the truth. “Besides, he would be with Drake and we can only hear one voice.” Just then Drake appeared from around the corner.
“Hey guys, I haven’t seen you around much today.” He greeted them. They both shushed him and told him to be quiet.
“What did I do?” He asked confused. They looked at him and were sad to see that Michael wasn’t with him.
“Where’s Michael?” Sophia asked him. “I figured he would be with you?”
“He left to go to the bathroom a while ago but I can’t find him anymore. I was wondering if either of you had seen him?” Drake responded. Just then, they heard another scream off in the distance, but this time further away.
“What was that?” Drake asked. Sophia and Emma looked at him worriedly.
“Well, my suspicions tell me that is Michael.” Emma told him. Drake shook his head.
“That can’t be him, it’s too far away and Michael just left fifteen minutes ago.” They heard another scream and each time the scream became fainter and fainter. They all looked at each other. “Ok, maybe that is Michael.” Drake responded worriedly.
“We just can’t stand around here doing nothing. Michael or not there is someone who is in trouble and needs our help.” Sophia said. Just then Sophia and Emma set off running towards the source of the voice.
“Wait for me!” Drake screamed after them as he tried to run after them. They maneuvered left and right through the back streets of the town trying to find the source of the voice, Drake following behind them trying his best to keep up. A few times he almost lost him. Just when they thought they got close to him, Sophia and Emma were greeted by silence when they called out to the voice. At first they thought they had arrived too late, but they walked two feet further and turned the corner into a dead end street and they were surprised at what they saw.
     Michael was cornered at the end of the street surrounded by three crocodiles trying to fend them off with a stick. Sophia and Emma stopped and slowly backed away three feet. They realized that the crocodiles hadn’t noticed them yet so they did their best to try to communicate to Michael.
“Michael, what happened?” Sophia asked him in barely over a whisper. The crocodiles still paid no attention to them.
“I don’t know. One second I was coming back from the bathroom and the next thing I know I was being chased by crocodiles.”
“They just followed you right through the center of town?” Emma asked him.
“Yeah it was really weird. It was like I was their only target.” A few seconds later Drake emerged from around the corner panting heavily and noisily. He bent over on his knees trying to catch his breath still completely oblivious to the crocodiles.
“You could have waited for me or at least could have slowed down.” He said loudly still out of breath.
“Shut up!” Sophia, Emma, and Michael loudly whispered at him all at the same time. Drake finally looked up and noticed the crocodiles for the first time. He jumped three feet backwards and knocked over a box of old metal parts which made a loud clanging noise on the ground.
“Sorry,” He said quietly trying to pick up the fallen parts, but he just made more commotion. The crocodiles turned around, noticing the other three for the first time.
“Great, now you’ve doomed us all.” Emma told him. The crocodiles angrily stared at them for a few seconds, but then they turned back to Michael. Sophia looked around, trying to think of something to do. She then noticed that there was a large rectangular metal air conditioning unit right about where Michael was standing.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Author Interview with Heather Kirchhoff

In this post I interviewed Heather Kirchhoff, an amazing indie author. She is also an amazing member of my street team.

1. Tell us a little about yourself. What do you enjoy besides writing?

I love spending time with my boyfriend and family, reading, editing, walking, and taking pictures.

2. What are you working on right now? Tell us a little about it/them. 

I’m working on Dawn of the Shooting Star (Magic #4). It continues Meagan’s journey. She discovers what happened to her family and lives in the aftermath of what happened at the end of Lightning Strike. 

3. How long have you been writing?

I’d say about five years.

4. What are your goals for yourself as a writer?

At become at least a little bit of a well-known indie author.

5. What are some of your favorite authors? Books?

Traditionally published authors: Richellle Mead, Alyson Noel and Stephenie Meyer. Indie authors: Kate Marie Robbins, Sandra Love, Bree Vanderland, Nadege Richards, and Genevieve Scholl is getting there.

6. What inspired you to begin writing?
Richelle Mead, Alyson Noel and Stephenie Meyer.

7. What advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Don’t give up with your writing. Just sit down and write.

8. What’s your favorite genre to write?
I haven’t really been writing long enough to say. I’ve only written in two genres so far.

9. Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what kind?
No not really. I can’t focus if I do; not unless it was really quiet.

Where to find Heather Kirchhoff



Lightning Strike:

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Writer Problem #3: I Am My Own Worst Critic

I think this is a problem that many writers face pretty often. It’s the same with artists, singers, musicians, sports players, and basically everyone else in the world. I think a good portion of my writing is terrible and I don’t want people to ever read it.
            My best example here is my first novel The Year of the Elephant. I can’t even read it anymore I think it’s so bad. I spent so little time on editing it, the plot line is everywhere, and that character’s aren’t the great either. It’s easy to tell that I wrote myself into a corner in various places and made up some very unrealistic scenarios in order to get myself out of those corners. It’s a good thing no one can find a copy of it anywhere anymore.
            I think that with writers, we tend to be very critical of ourselves. We know our best writing, so anything slightly less than that we think is awful because we know we can do better. In a way, this makes it very hard to finish a book, and I am going through this process right now.
            I took down The Unusual Isles because I don’t think it’s as good as it could be. I think I published it too early, I didn’t spend enough time editing, and I looked over some stylistic details that I could’ve easily changed. Is it a bad thing I took it down? Well, not really because I just want to make it better. But at the same times, it’s my obsession with perfection that keeps me from getting a lot accomplished. 


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Author Interview - Aaron O'Donoghue

Hey everyone! I'm going to start posting author interview on my blog, so here's my first one with Aaron O'Donoghue. An aspiring author and member of my street team!

1.      Tell us a little about yourself. What do you enjoy besides writing?
Music, video games, reading, art, a lot of things

2.      What are you working on right now? Tell us a little about it/them.
A series of books called the Saturday Club Adventures (S.C.A. for short) (21 books, 19x120 pages and 2x160 pages), which is about a youth club in Cork, Republic of Ireland, and their adventures and journeys and battle against D.P. (stands for Dark Psychos, the villainous group of the series), plus a number of short stories which are separate to the S.C.A.

3.      How long have you been writing?
Since I was 8.

4.      What are your goals for yourself as a writer?
To get my books published, and have my works studied by English students.

5.      What are some of your favorite authors? Books?
My favourite authors include Roald Dahl, Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, Georgia Byng (Molly Moon series), Rick Riordan, Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games), Mark O'Halloran (a friend of mine and fellow writer, we reviews each other's works), Justin Richards (Time Runners), and of course Aaron O'Donoghue.

6.      What inspired you to begin writing?
I'm not actually sure, I just had (and still have) a crazy imagination, and wrote stories on the school computer in primary school (the first one I can remember is 'The Amazing Race'), and somehow, my 8-year-old mind knew the word 'trillion', as I remember seeing it appear in that story. But my friend Mark inspired me to write my current series by starting one and he told me, I got excited and wanted to find out more, and wrote a book for the series (as I assumed it was a group project), and then we teamed up, and I decided to start a series of my own.

7.      What advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
I would say: make the plot believable, original, interesting, make 3-dimensional characters: described physically and personality wise, otherwise, your readers will have mental images of stickmen/stickwomen when reading your books, and describe the settings well, but not to the point of boring the reader. And don't put in useless information.
8.      What’s your favorite genre to write?
Action and adventure especially, and a bit of comedy, sci-fi, thriller too.

9.      Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what kind?
Yes, any kind, rock, pop, original tracks (some made by me and my friends using Songify), remixes, instrumentals
Where to find Aaron
Saturday Club Adventures Wiki:
Wattpad - The Ice Globes: