Just like every year, we’re giving our monthly link up “Beautiful People” a small rest so we can focus on “Beautiful Books” [and] our NaNoWriMo projects. The format is the same as Beautiful People. We’ll post 10 questions to answer about your WiP — aka your beautiful book. Answer the questions in a blog post of your own and then come back here to link up!
I enjoyed taking part in the Beautiful People meme, that one time in August, and I’ve enjoyed participating in National Novel Writing Month several times, though not this year. Fortunately, you don’t need a NaNo project to take part in Beautiful Books. Any story in progress will do. So I’m jumping in with my debut novel, scheduled to re-release in a brand new edition, March of next year – “Inspired”!
What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
I’ve got brainstorming notes on the earliest iterations of “Inspired” going back to May 2011, and the first draft came out over the following December. The spark behind it all started around the NaNo before, when my (brand new, at the time!) best friend and I created the Stranger Than Truth club. Originally, the novel was going to feature not just one author navigating the fictional realm, but two, imagining in tandem. And there’s still room for that to happen, if I ever get around to a sequel centering on that. I just felt there was a lot of groundwork to lay down first.
Describe what your novel is about!
Happy days – I’ve got a blurb ready. ^o^
For a muse like Lucianíel, one story’s end is another’s beginning.
In the wake of his author’s sudden death, Luc takes ownership of her surviving creations—four fantastical characters with tales yet to be told—saving them from unwritten lives crumbling around them and giving them a second chance at a literary future.
Luc finds that chance in the unsuspecting mind of Annabelle Iole Gray, a quirky teen with her head in the clouds, nose in a book, and imagination ripe for a brilliant muse’s inspiration.
Or so he hopes.
Neither Luc nor Annabelle, however, realize all they’ve undertaken. Even with a to-write list including accounts of a shape-shifting cat creature, gentle knight-in-training, vigilante skater girl, and a mystery boy smothering in unspoken fear, the most remarkable saga created between author and muse just may turn out to be one stranger than fiction.
What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!
Oh, the “Inspired” gallery on my website may have a few applicable images…
Introduce us to each of your characters!
Whoof, there’s a lot, so let’s restrict it to three words each:
Lucianíel = That lightbulb moment
Abishan = Just… total cat
Wilbur = Chivalrous sweetie pie
Uri = Entirely judging you
Yves= Smol, with secrets
Annabelle = Danielle E. Shipley
How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)
Step 1 = Talk to myself in a Word document until I’ve got a fairly solid idea of the book’s shape.
Step 2 = Outline chapter by chapter, to ensure every puzzle piece gets slotted in somewhere.
Sometimes, Step 3 (or 1-and-a-half, or at whatever point on the list I feel thus compelled) = Ask the characters questions so that I can begin to hear their voices in the answers.
What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
Since it’s already been written and published once, at this point I’m just eager to have it back on the market again – and with such a beautiful new face! Plus this time, it comes out with a sequel. I’m always excited to give the world something brand new to read. ^o^
List 3 things about your novel’s setting.
Oh, perfect, ‘cause there are three different settings.
1 = The Material Plane – aka, the real world. Like Annabelle’s home, inspired by the house where Childhood Me used to visit my dad’s family over Thanksgiving.
2 = The Immaterial Plane – aka, the world of imagination. Where muses live, and where some characters may choose to hang out, if they’re self-aware enough to know they’ve got an author’s mind to roam.
3 = Book Worlds. The intersection of material and immaterial. Fictional, yes, but no less real to the people who inhabit the story. One of “Inspired”s special charms is that it offers a glimpse into several.
What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?
Boiled down to one word, Luc’s main goal = security. In this, Annabelle is both a tool and an obstacle, because while she’s willing to be the author for Luc and his loved ones, she’s basically just in it for the fun. Clash of motivations. Expect fireworks.
How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
Nothing like putting in the time on the craft to mature an artist! Not that Annabelle doesn’t still have plenty of growing up to do by novel’s end, but you can see she’s getting there.
What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?
Themes… How ideas are planted… How stories grow… How people can blossom, with a little help from their friends – real, imaginary, and in between… As for how I want readers to feel at novel’s end, how else? Of course I want them to walk away inspired.
And that is that! Related note: I am currently seeking folks interested in providing an early read ‘n’ review of “Inspired”. Is that you? Talk to me!
Over, out, and good luck to any o’ y’all doing NaNo this year. ^o^