10 Things You Might Not Know About Me

I try to keep my private life just that. Private.

I’m pretty introverted and generally don’t like sharing about myself, but as I get more involved in social media, other authors, and a small yet fun fan base, I decided it’s time to open up. Here are ten things many people don’t know about me in hopes to get to know everyone better.

10. Most of my writing ideas are inspired from sadder parts of my life.

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Dramatic. I know. 

Whether it be the death of a family member, in the case of Flightless, or my rocky relationship with certain family members, most of my writing comes from experiences I don’t talk about very often. I like to work through these events through my writing, and hope that it’ll help people through their problems as well.

9. When I can’t come up with ideas, I draw
For a while, I tried my hand at being an artist. I considered doing a graphic novel for Flightless, and even had some of my work put up at a galleries in Detroit, Michigan, and small towns throughout Texas. When I started writing more often, I didn’t stop making art, and it’s still one of the main ways I get inspiration today.

8. I’ve never been to a concert
Even after living only thirty minutes away from Austin, and forty minutes away from Seattle and Washington D.C., I never made my way to a concert. I went to see authors speak, traveled miles to go to book signings, but when it came to seeing live music, I never had the time or money. Or interest, for that matter. As much as I love music, I never really wanted to go see my favorite bands live.

7. I originally went to school for acting

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When I was a kid, I used to watch my sister rehearse for plays and since I wanted to be just like her, I adopted her goals as my own. I liked telling a story, even if it wasn’t my own, and for a little while, it made me happy. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college did I realize I wasn’t as passionate as other actors out there. I hung up my costumes and switched my major to art. I never was able to finish college. Money got tight, and I’m only a few credits short of graduating.

6. I collect tarot cards
This isn’t something I advertise. When people think of tarot cards, they usually get negative connotations, especially if you grew up in a traditional Southern Christian family like me. I was given my first deck as a gift back in 2008, when someone found out I liked a particular artist, and my collection has grown to about 21 decks by today. Most of them were purchased as a way to support indie artists, and I get a lot of enjoyment out of seeing how much work get put into them.

5. I prefer to write male protagonists
I have no idea why I prefer to write male characters over female. I just do. My husband says I do a decent job, so I figure there’s no harm in it.

4. The only genre I haven’t tried to write is horror
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It’s not that I don’t like horror. It’s just never been a genre I’ve gotten attached to. While I like psychological thrillers such as the works of Tom Harris, or suspenseful sci fi horror, such as Alien or the short film Zygote, I’m not one for writing it. My love of horror has taught me the importance of narrowing your focus to build tension, however.

3. My husband contributes more than people might realize
Whenever I’m looking for inspiration, I just ask my husband what he would do. Most of the time, he provides insight on my plots that I would never have thought of. He’s a more grounded person when it comes to looking at problems, while I can get a little lost in the crowd. He helps remind me that sometimes less is more.

2. I learned how to create characters through role playing forums.
I don’t bring up my role playing past very often, but during my senior year of high school I was introduced to role playing and it improved my writing like crazy. While I admit it gave me a few bad habits I had to break, it also taught me the importance of well rounded characters, avoiding cliches, and how to create backstories to play into the main plot. It also taught me what not to do, which I think is all the more important when it comes to the learning process.

1. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the encouraging of one special person.

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Oh Alaska, you’re not crazy, but our love of Stranger Things makes me happy. 

While there’ve been many people in my life who’ve encouraged me, if it weren’t for my friend, “Alaska” as I’ve been calling her on my blog, I probably would’ve given up writing. After 2012/2013 knocked me down, I was half tempted to throw in the towel and not do anything creative again. She picked me up and dusted me off and reminded me that no matter what happens in my life, I can overcome anything. I owe her a huge debt of gratitude, and I hope to one day be able to repay her for being there for me when I needed her.

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Book Lovers’ Monday – What I’m Reading

Welcome to my first “Book Lovers Monday”, where you can expect to find calls for favorite novels, book reviews, and author interviews.

Today’s Book Lover’s chat is about the books I’m reading and what I currently think of them.

I’m not the type of person who can read one book at a time. I like starting between two to five and then work my way through them like a kid with too many choices of cake, eating a bite of each one before I decide which one to devour completely.

Right now, I’m on a serious high fantasy kick. I’ve been toying with a story that’s like the Dragon Age franchise meets The Last Unicorn, with a sprinkle of Tamora Pierce’s Lioness Rampant series. So, to give me some inspiration, I took the advice of my best friend and one very helpful Barnes and Noble employee and found the following.

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1. The Eye of the World – Robert Jordan

Recommended to me by my best friend, and then a coworker when she found out I was looking for high fantasy novels.

Where am I at? – Page 14
Thoughts so far – As enjoyable as the first 14 pages can be. I like the author’s writing style and his religion and world layout is well built.

 

2. Dreamer’s Pool – Juliet Marillier619nuraf2bll-_sx308_bo1204203200_

Recommended to me by a Barnes and Noble employee I talk with from time to time. While she’s not a writer, she’s a huge fan of the processes, and helping up and coming writers. She suggested I try Dreamer’s Pool after I said I enjoyed Tamora Pierce as a kid.

Where am I at? – Page 6
Thoughts so far – Starts with Blackthorn at the lowest of low, a great place to hook your reader and I’m definitely curious where she plans on taking it.

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3. The Stolen Throne – David Gaider

Recommended to me by no one, just my weird love with the Dragon Age universe. I’ve been hooked on the video games since I first played Dragon Age: Origins, and after playing through Inquisition I needed more of Thedas.

Where am I am? – Page 144

Thoughts so far – It’s a little rough, if I’m being completely honest. It reads like a book by someone who writes video game scripts, not book manuscripts, but I have to admit, I still really love it. It’s probably because I’ve got a soft spot for the games, so if you haven’t played them I’d say you probably could skip putting this one on your reading list.

 

 

What books are you reading right now? Are you a one at a time person or a multiple reader? Have a high fantasy book you can recommend? Comment below and let me know!

Why I Loved Fantastic Beasts

I put off watching the latest instalment to the Harry Potter world up till a few days ago for a number of reasons.

Bad reviews, lack of interest, and no time to go to the movies all contributed to the time gap between release and my viewing. Now that I’ve seen it, I’m kicking myself for not jumping on board sooner.

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I mean, Eddie Redmayne was just so perfect, how did I doubt that I’d like this movie?

Now, I’m going to praise this movie and the actors quite a bit, but that doesn’t mean it’s not without its flaws (No Mag…I mean…). That being said, you can find plenty of negative reviews on this movie. This one is why I enjoyed it.

First off, Newt. Most reviewers complained about this character. He wasn’t outgoing enough, he didn’t look like a “strong male protagonist” and he lacked the extroversion from previous Harry Potter characters.

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He even admits that most people don’t like him, and are even annoyed by him. 

Now, to interrupt my own blog post, as I so often do, I’m not someone who has a problem with overly masculine protagonists. In fact I like a great deal of “traditional strong men” characters.

That being said, it was refreshing to see the portrayal of an introverted male protagonist, and so well done! Newt is shy, doesn’t like looking people in the eye, and closes up when pressed for personal information. He doesn’t give long winded exposition about his past, or try to be some sort of hero. If anything, he’s just trying to get back to writing a book and when the female lead falls for him, she doesn’t do so because he’s physically strong, instead it’s because of how gentle he is.

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Plus, I feel like there’s a lot to be said when it comes to that romantic sublot. They don’t fall into each other’s arms after only knowing each other for three days, which is definitely refreshing. 

Next off, the creatures. I’m a bit of an American Folklore fan. I’m not nearly as well read as I’d like to be, but I’m working on learning more the older I get. When I first read Rowling’s take on American creatures, I was disappointed. For as much research as she put into European folklore, there seemed to be a disconnect when it came to her American studies. One of my main reasons for being so hesitant to watch the movie was because I wasn’t sure if the creatures would turn out, well under written and cheesy. I’m sure someone might say they weren’t up to par with the creatures in the original Harry Potter books, however, I found them extremely enjoyable.

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In fact, the subplot of chasing down these creatures was one of the more enjoyable ones in the films. 

Lastly, the secondary characters. Newt’s best friend, Jacob, wants to be a baker. Gnarlack stole the show with the fantastic raspy voice of Ron Perlman. Porpentina makes bad decisions, ones she has to atone for, and eventually sees the error of, and her sister Goldie gets to be a hero in her own way, even though she’s a fairly typical feminine side character. They all had a chance to be in the spotlight and with such a big cast it was great to see everyone behave so much differently from one another.

As for the complaints people had against the movie. Was the movie racially diverse? No.  Was the plot line completely cohesive? Not exactly, there were a few holes I noticed. And was Newt an “outgoing protagonist”? No, like I already said, he was pretty introverted. But I’m still a fan of this movie. It was well acted and well made, and I hope they continue to make more movies along this timeline, with Newt as lead.

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What did you think of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”? Were you a fan or were you disappointed? Let me know below!