Lightbulb Moments: Space Enough to Contain a Universe

Inspired Journal Cover 12, frontAs you may by now have heard, I’ve crossed a dream off my bucket list and designed a journal, inspired by (appropriately enough) “Inspired”, and its sequel, “Out of My Head” – all three released to the world, two weeks ago!

(Ordered your copies, yet?? You can find them here:

Book 1 = Amazon, paperback ~ Amazon, ebook ~ Barnes & Noble, ebook

Book 2 = Amazon, paperback ~ Amazon, ebook ~ Barnes & Noble, ebook

Journal = Amazon, paperback)

Because, c’mon. “Inspired” co-protagonist Annabelle lives for her scribble-filled notebooks. And gosh knows she came by that honestly, because I too am a sucker for a gorgeous journal, as “Lightbulb Moments” most definitely is – filled with quotes from both “Inspired” novels, done up so fancy-like that you better believe I’m using some of them as designs in the Ever On Word shop on Society6. For example, a page taken from this little snippet of “Inspired”:

“For heaven’s sake,” Luc said, his voice an almost Abishan-like growl. “Is she planning to write her first novel on the family history of a notebook?”

Wilbur smiled absently, attention captured by his and Luc’s singularly strange position: Sitting unobserved behind another’s eyes, staring out through the soul’s windows to the world as seen by Annabelle Gray.

An almost incomprehensible thing, to think of it as being inside her head; there was little enough room for two men within the confines of a young woman’s skull. “But we’re not in her head,” Luc had said when first they’d come. “We’re in her mind. And a mind has space enough to contain a universe.” His eyes glimmered with laughter. “Even you and I are not so vast as that.”

S6_Contain a Universe, travel mug

As of now, the above design is available for purchase on tote bags and travel mugs, stickers and greeting cards… even its very own notebook. ;D

Society6 tryptich_Contain a Universe

As for “Lightbulb Moments” in its full glory, I’ll be giving one lucky somebody a free copy on April 17th. Why then? One, it’s a good friend’s birthday, so I’ve got better odds of remembering the date. Two, it’s a good month after the release of “Inspired” and “Out of My Head”, meaning it’ll give everybody a decent chunk of time to read and review one or both of the books on Amazon, which is – you guessed it! – exactly how you get an entry in the giveaway. Just link me to your review before the April deadline (review both books for double your chances of winning! Copy the review on the Barnes & Noble site for even more points), and a free “Lightbulb Moments” journal could be yours.

Stick around throughout the giveaway’s run, because more peeks into the journal / new Ever On Word shop designs will be coming your way. ‘Til then, my friends…

~ Happy Writing

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Lightbulb Moments: I Plead the Wordsmith’s Prerogative

Inspired Journal Cover 12, frontAs you may by now have heard, I’ve crossed a dream off my bucket list and designed a journal, inspired by (appropriately enough) “Inspired”, and its sequel, “Out of My Head” – all three released to the world just last week!

(Ordered your copies, yet?? You can find them here:

Book 1 = Amazon, paperback ~ Amazon, ebook ~ Barnes & Noble, ebook

Book 2 = Amazon, paperback ~ Amazon, ebook ~ Barnes & Noble, ebook

Journal = Amazon, paperback )

Because, c’mon. “Inspired” co-protagonist Annabelle lives for her scribble-filled notebooks. And gosh knows she came by that honestly, because I too am a sucker for a gorgeous journal, as “Lightbulb Moments” most definitely is – filled with quotes from both “Inspired” novels, done up so fancy-like that you better believe I’m using some of them as designs in the Ever On Word shop on Society6. For example, a page taken from this little snippet of “Out of My Head”:

“Thinking of spending more time with the abishan’s backstory, are you?”

Annabelle pursed her lips. “I was actually hoping I could find a way to work her into his frontstory.”

Luc’s brows drew down. “But Annabelle…”

“I know, I know, ‘frontstory’s not a word. I plead the wordsmith’s prerogative, as precedented by Shakespeare, Seuss, ‘n’ such. Pretend ‘precedented’ is likewise a word.”

S6_Wordsmith's Prerogative, travel mug

As of now, the above design is available for purchase on tote bags and travel mugs, stickers and greeting cards… even its very own notebook. ;D

Society6 tryptich_Wordsmith's Prerogative

As for “Lightbulb Moments” in its full glory, I’ll be giving one lucky somebody a free copy on April 17th. Why then? One, it’s a good friend’s birthday, so I’ve got better odds of remembering the date. Two, it’s a good month after the release of “Inspired” and “Out of My Head”, meaning it’ll give everybody a decent chunk of time to read and review one or both of the books on Amazon, which is – you guessed it! – exactly how you get an entry in the giveaway. Just link me to your review before the April deadline (review both books for double your chances of winning! Copy the review on the Barnes & Noble site for even more points), and a free “Lightbulb Moments” journal could be yours.

Stick around throughout the giveaway’s run, because more peeks into the journal / new Ever On Word shop designs will be coming your way. ‘Til then, my friends…

~ Happy Writing

The [Re]view from Release Day

Hey, everybody! Annabelle, here – unofficial author of today’s brand new releases: “Inspired” (available here and here, “Out of My Head” (available here and here, and “Lightbulb Moments: An INSPIRED Journal” (right here, folks)!

Covers 1, 2, and Journal

I say “unofficial” because, y’know, I’m technically a character (an AUTHOR character, but still), so it’s Danielle’s name that gets pride of place on the cover and copyright documentation and promo. Her plane of reality = her bragging rights, apparently.

But I was still very involved in the making of these books, meaning it’s only right I likewise be very involved in their Release Day blog post. My role in the latter (apart from the intro, obvs)? Rounding up my muse and character friends and assigning them perhaps the most underrated of all reader-related tasks: Sharing their book reviews.

Certainly, book reviews shared from actual, “real-world” readers would be twice as legit and thrice as thrilling for Danielle, but she has 0% control about if or when those get written and posted on Amazon/B&N.com/Goodreads, etc. That’s what’s great about having characters in your head: You’ve got maybe 11% control of them. ;D

So, time to hear it straight from The Guys. What thought ye all of the “Inspired” novels? ^^

<<<>>>

An Enlightening Work for Wordsmiths (5 stars)

“A unique and colorful exploration of not only the world of writing, but the multitude of worlds behind it. Recommended (if not required) reading for any who wish to more intimately engage with their own acts of creation.”

– Lucianíel, elemental muse

Outstanding! Phenomenal! And Super Fun, Too! (ALL THE STARS)

“I love stories! And this one’s really good! (And by ‘this one’, I mean ‘these two’, because duology. But that’s just a fancy name for a single story broken into halves, right?) My favorite thing about its structure is how it moves around between people and perspectives and planes; no staying still and sitting stuck, no sirree! Comes with a great variety of voice, too. And a lot of the chapters are pretty short, so you can speed right through ‘em, which is good if your attention span is kinda … nonexistent. Things that are existant, in spades: This story’s humor and heart. If you’re not laughing and crying, then wow, what even are you? Gimme your story; I’d love to know it.”

– Mach Jenius, brainstorm

Feline Sidelined, But Otherwise Fine (3 stars)

“If you like stories split up among an ensemble cast, good for you; these books do this. But my main investment was in the extraordinary cat character, and he wasn’t given nearly enough page time. What comes of letting humans do the authoring, I suppose. Aside from the mishandling of [what ought to have been] the main plot, though, the story was interesting enough.”

– Abishan, god of all cats

What a Journey! (5 stars)

“I very much enjoyed watching the characters develop over the course of the duology’s arc. From small and scared, to unafraid of taking rightful space. From hard and closed, to open enough that others might come in. From forlorn and isolated, to joined with loved ones in joy. My heart ached along with each of them upon their varied journeys, and by the end, I simply wanted to squeeze the entire company in a hug! (Fortunately, I believe most of them will let me.)”

– Wilbur Lamb, fantasy knight

Has Its High Points (4 stars)

“Skillfully written. Diverse cast. Ridiculous premise, but arguably in an avant-garde kinda way. Personally, I’d have preferred more action, less philosophizing on art and its making; when plot happened, though, it was cool. And I guess there were worthwhile messages, too, for those willing to receive them. Semi-biblical, in that way. … in a number of ways, come to think of it. But yeah, no, do not treat this as scripture. It’s edutainment at most.”

– Uri, heavenly warrior

An Important Gift (5 stars)

“The first word to mind to describe this story of stories is: Important. And different readers, I expect, will find it so for different reasons. For some, it may prove itself a helpful guide in becoming the writer they wish to be. For others, the emotions will resonate; the grief, the fear, the longing, the loneliness… love and laughter and tastes of euphoria. The second description these stories inspire: A gift. For those who made them, those who lived them… and, one may hope, for you.”

– Avelaine (that is all, and enough)

<<<>>>

Thanks, Guys! And thanks in advance to any and all purchasers, readers, reviewers, and fans of the “Inspired” novels (and its companion journal). Don’t hesitate to let us all know what you think of our art! (And, I mean, if you wanna make fan art, probably only a couple of us would actually die of gratitude, so it’s all good.)

Oh! And about the journal: Don’t forget that Danielle’s got a giveaway going on! One lucky somebody is getting a free copy of “Lightbulb Moments”. When? Winner name selected on April 17th. How do you enter? Pertinently enough, by writing reviews! Just link Danielle to your Amazon review of an “Inspired” novel before the April deadline (review both books for double your chances of winning! Copy the review on the Barnes & Noble site for even more points), and a free “Lightbulb Moments” journal could be yours.

Is that it? Did I cover everything I was supposed to? Gads, this blogging thing isn’t as easy as she makes it look… Lemme check my notes… Um, ‘kay, looks like you should know there are gonna be read-aloud novel excerpt videos hitting the authorial Facebook page throughout today, so keep your eyes and ears open for those. That’s it! That’s all! Happy Release Day to us!

Much love from a plane apart,

~ Annabelle Iole Gray (on behalf of Danielle E. Shipley)

Mini Muses: Behind the Brainstorm

Covers 1 and 2, side by side

Fun fact! All of the main characters in my novel, “Inspired” – (coming in all its awesome re-release glory on March 13th!) – and it’s all-new sequel, “Out of My Head”, were deliberately based off of someone else. Annabelle Gray is totally me. Her parents and sisters are essentially mine. And her characters? Well, a couple of them have yet to attain final-form stories of their own. (Sorry, guys behind Uri and Abishan! Maybe someday. I shall try.) But as for the rest, if you’ve been keeping up with the Deshipley bibliography, you’ve met them before.

And just how do these inspiration characters feel about what I made of them in the “Inspired” novels? According to Annabelle, there’d be only one surefire way to find out: A character questionnaire. So everybody give it up for my featured museling of the day!

Name and Occupation: Will Scarlet – swordsman, entertainer, legendary rogue

As Featured In…: The Outlaws of Avalon

“Inspired” Counterpart*: Mach Jenius, brainstorm

*(…Though he doesn’t actually show up until “Out of My Head”)

Mini Muses_Will and Mach

How Do You Feel You and Mach Are Most Similar?: “Easy,” Will declares. “We’re both ideas guys with, like, pretty much no ‘off’ button. We’ll try anything once – twice, if it’s the fun thing to do. If there’s a Lute/Luc character, they’ve got problems with us. And we’re cute as hell, and super supportive of our little artist friends.”

Most Different?: “Lucky son of an art attack can shapeshift. You don’t see me with any such cool superpowers – although I have proven impressively difficult to kill and keep dead.”

Favorite Part of the Book?: “Ooooh, tough call. Part of me wants to say the chapter where Mach and Annabelle go for a moonwalk, because watching them together just gets me right in the feels. But I gotta give it to the early scenes where The Guys fly out of Annabelle’s head and have to navigate not only her plane of reality, but her family.” Will cracks up laughing at the remembrance. “The whole thing is gold – this bit especially.”

“Can I get you guys something to drink?”

“Thank you, but we don’t wish to be a bother,” Wilbur said.

“Hmm,” said Dallas, stating clearly enough how much of a bother she viewed the whole world as being, at the moment.

“I’ll take a lemonade, if you’ve got some,” Uri volunteered.

“Fries with that?” Dallas asked flatly.

“If you’ve got those.”

Her soft mouth’s hard line at a downward slant, Dallas turned to go back upstairs. “I’m not making fries,” she tossed behind her.

“Somebody making fries?” Callie’s voice blared from above.

“No one is making fries,” Dallas bellowed back.

“Girl, you better make me some fries! My sister’s in the hospital! I’m too mad, right now!”

“I just…” a still-sniggering Will wipes his eyes. “It’s terrible your sisters will probably never read the novel, because their caricatures are everything.”

Favorite Character Besides “Yourself”?: “Oh, rude. I was gonna say me. But since I can’t, it’ll be Annabelle. Don’t look surprised, author! You know what you mean to me, and what it by extension has to mean to share a story with you, even if neither of us is exactly us. It’s magic. We’re magic. Go team.”

<<<>>>

Thanks for your time, Will! And readers, stay tuned for the release of the “Inspired” novels … one week from today*!

*…Although you can totally preorder the ebooks right now!

Book 1 = Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

Book 2 = Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

Got any more questions for Will Scarlet or his author regarding “Inspired”? Ask away in the comments!

Lightbulb Moments: Tonight’s is a Muse’s Work

Inspired Journal Cover 12, frontAs lately announced, I have crossed a dream off my bucket list and designed a journal, inspired by (appropriately enough) “Inspired”, and its sequel, “Out of My Head”  – all three to be released on March 13th (just two weeks to go! Though you can preorder the novels in ebook format via Amazon and Barnes & Noble right now! See the end of this post for links).

Because, c’mon. “Inspired” co-protagonist Annabelle lives for her scribble-filled notebooks. And gosh knows she came by that honestly, because I too am a sucker for a gorgeous journal, as “Lightbulb Moments” will definitely be – filled with quotes from both “Inspired” novels, done up so fancy-like that you better believe I’m using some of them as designs in the Ever On Word shop on Society6. For example, a page taken from this little snippet of “Inspired”:

“Why can’t we come with you?” Uri asked.

“Because you are not yet needed.” Luc’s eyes widened and brightened with anticipation. “Tonight’s is a muse’s work.”

S6_Tonight's a Muse's Work, pillow, tote

As of now, the above design is available for purchase on tote bags and travel mugs, stickers and greeting cards… even its very own notebook. ;D

Society6 tryptich_Muse's Work

As for “Lightbulb Moments” in its full glory, I’ll be giving one lucky somebody a free copy on April 17th. Why then? One, it’s a good friend’s birthday, so I’ve got better odds of remembering the date. Two, it’s a good month after the release of “Inspired” and “Out of My Head”, meaning it’ll give everybody a decent chunk of time to read and review one or both of the books on Amazon, which is – you guessed it! – exactly how you get an entry in the giveaway. Just link me to your review before the April deadline (review both books for double your chances of winning!), and a free “Lightbulb Moments” journal could be yours.

“But wait!” you may cry. “What if I’m a slower reader who needs a little extra time to get through and review a book?” Good news: Advance review PDFs of the “Inspired” novels ARE available! Ask in good faith, and ye shall receive.

Stick around throughout the giveaway’s run, because more peeks into the journal / new Ever On Word shop designs will be coming your way. ‘Til then, my friends…

~ Happy Writing

<<<>>>

P.S. – Y’all may have thought I forgot about those preorder links, but NOPE! Here they are:

Book 1 = Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

Book 2 = Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

Mini Muses: Behind the Mystery

Covers 1 and 2, side by side

Fun fact! All of the main characters in my novel, “Inspired” – (coming in all its awesome re-release glory on March 13th!) – and it’s all-new sequel, “Out of My Head” (both newly available for preorder on Kindle, here and here!), were deliberately based off of someone else. Annabelle Gray is totally me. Her parents and sisters are essentially mine. And her characters? Well, a couple of them have yet to attain final-form stories of their own. (Sorry, guys behind Uri and Abishan! Maybe someday. I shall try.) But as for the rest, if you’ve been keeping up with the Deshipley bibliography, you’ve met them before.

And just how do these inspiration characters feel about what I made of them in the “Inspired” novels? According to Annabelle, there’d be only one surefire way to find out: A character questionnaire. So everybody give it up for my featured museling of the day!

Name and Occupation: Allyn-a-Dale, minstrel to Robin Hood’s Merry Men

As Featured In…: “The Story’s End” (The Wilderhark Tales, Book 7), The Outlaws of Avalon

“Inspired” Counterpart: Yves / Avelaine, the boy who dances with death*

*(Which is… not actually how I’ve ever described him, but Allyn just slipped that in there on his own reconnaissance, and I mean, sure, that works)

Mini Muses_Allyn and Yves

How Do You Feel You and Avelaine Are Most Similar?: Allyn stares aesthetically into the distance. “I, too, dance with death… Rather, death’s shadow has loomed large over my life since before my first breath, so I’ve developed some psychoses around it. Additionally, Avelaine and I are both greatly withdrawn and artistically gifted, thanks in part to our childhoods, which were hell. And we’re both small, which may not be hell’s fault, and speak with charming accents.”

Most Different?: “Avelaine dances, and harbors a fear of heights. I, canonically, am almost never seen dancing, and I mostly fear social situations, or my dearest loved ones dying violently before my eyes.”

Favorite Part of the Book?: “Literarily speaking, I best like the ‘Manta and the Mask’ short story embedded in Book 1. Otherwise, it’s this snippet from Book 2.”

“Dur-hur,” said Uri. “I suppose next you’ll tell me how when you were sixteen, you had to run a mile in full armor to meet the lances of your enemies, uphill both ways in the snow.”

Wilbur’s voice hinted at laughter. “Not ‘til I entered the knighthood at twenty, no. The uphill runs in the snow at sixteen were to chase down wayward sheep.”

“I was suffering child abuse,” Avelaine put in from a step behind them. “Uphill. Both ways.”

“’Twould seem Avelaine and I share a similar sense of humor.”

Favorite Character Besides “Yourself”?: “First off, I dislike choosing favorites, so how dare you. Second, I suppose I’ll say Wilbur, because he’s the nearest thing Avelaine has to his own personal Will Scarlet – in the ‘band brother’ sense, not the ‘high-key maniac’ one. You’ve developed another character for that…”

<<<>>>

Thanks for your time, Allyn! And readers, stay tuned – both for the continuation of this questionnaire series, and the release of the “Inspired” novels!

Got any more questions for Allyn-a-Dale or his author regarding “Inspired”? Ask away in the comments!

Lightbulb Moments: Art Doesn’t Need a Box

Inspired Journal Cover 12, frontAs lately announced, I have crossed a dream off my bucket list and designed a journal, inspired by (appropriately enough) “Inspired”, and its sequel, “Out of My Head” – all three to be released on March 13th (just one month from now, holy moo!).

Because, c’mon. “Inspired” co-protagonist Annabelle lives for her scribble-filled notebooks. And gosh knows she came by that honestly, because I too am a sucker for a gorgeous journal, as “Lightbulb Moments” will definitely be – filled with quotes from both “Inspired” novels, done up so fancy-like that you better believe I’m using some of them as designs in the Ever On Word shop on Society6. For example, a page taken from this little snippet of “Out of My Head”:

“I’m magic!” Mach howls happily. “And that’s what had Luc in a bother. The man’s allergic to wonder and whimsy. He wants art kept neat and tidy between the lines. […] Our story drew its own lines. Some people can’t handle anything outside their little box. But that’s okay! ‘Cause why? ‘Cause art doesn’t need a box to be fantastic!

 

S6_Doesn't Need a Box, travel mug

As of now, the above design is available for purchase on tote bags and travel mugs, stickers and greeting cards… even its very own notebook. ;D

Society6 tryptich_Doesn't Need a Box

As for “Lightbulb Moments” in its full glory, I’ll be giving one lucky somebody a free copy on April 17th. Why then? One, it’s a good friend’s birthday, so I’ve got better odds of remembering the date. Two, it’s a good month after the release of “Inspired” and “Out of My Head”, meaning it’ll give everybody a decent chunk of time to read and review one or both of the books on Amazon, which is – you guessed it! – exactly how you get an entry in the giveaway. Just link me to your review before the April deadline (review both books for double your chances of winning!), and a free “Lightbulb Moments” journal could be yours.

“But wait!” you may cry. “What if I’m a slower reader who needs a little extra time to get through and review a book?” Good news: Advance review PDFs of the “Inspired” novels ARE available! Ask in good faith, and ye shall receive.

Covers 1 and 2, side by side

Stick around throughout the next weeks leading up to Release Day, because more peeks into the journal / new Ever On Word shop designs will be coming your way. ‘Til then, my friends…

~ Happy Writing