Week 16: The Writers Who Shape Me

Interview collab

Last week I talked about how Parental figures in our stories shape the characters we create, this week I’m veering away from Character Development to talk about how I have been influenced as a writer over the last few months. Back in October I took Jenna Moreci’s Skillshare class and through it I determined to blog weekly and meet new Authors, something my introvert brain wanted to run from. So to thank the writers I’ve met I’d like to introduce them to you and share the projects they’re working on!


img_3068Only Dee Brave

Youtube | Twitter | Instagram

A Ghanaian Brit who resides in London Town with his wife and two children. Dee Brave loves words, reading, travelling, dancing and decided mid 2017 to not only write his first book but also to do so in 52 Weeks. His book is about his real life adventures of travelling Japan in 52 Weeks. This will involve his loves of Words and reading (this time in Japanese) traveling (of course) dancing, as well as the places he visits, the people he meets along the way and the events he encounters.

Where are you in this book’s production?

in the writing process I have finished my first draft and currently editing. I’m also looking at other things in the book writing process as in self promotion, creating a website, different publishing routes available to me and beta readers

How long did it take you to write your first draft?

It took around 4 months, NaNoWriMo really helped me push it out so quick

Do you have any editing insights?

I actually did a YouTube video about how I approached editing. I would say plan how you are going to edit before you start. It may add an extra hour but it makes it easier knowing how you will tackle your manuscript . Also set a due date to finish edit. You could edit and refine your work for years so you need to set an end date so you can move on to the next stages of the book. One last thing I found was that you can get your computer to read out your manuscript! It makes such a difference hearing another voice reading your work out aloud

Who is your all-time favorite author?

After all the books I’ve read as a child and an adult I thinks It has to be J. R. R. Tolkien. The fantasy world he created was epic


img_3066 Alison Haines

Twitter | Website

Alison Haines is an aspiring author of Young Adult/New Adult (NA/YA) fiction. Outside of writing, she isa mom, wife, and Registered Nurse. she loves hiking, cooking, and all things crafty; but truly writing is her passion. She also has a growing love for twitter writing games like Thurstale and Saidsun

What is your book about?

I’m writing a series, the first book is called:  Guardians of Enlightenment: Discovered. It’s about 21 year-old Alex, whose life plan veers off course when her cousin, Seth goes missing. She soon discovers that his disappearance is linked to a family secret that is about to change her world forever. It’s a New Adult fiction adventure that I am SUPER excited to share with the world! (if you want you can link to this post for anyone who is interested in a longer summary: https://alisonhaines.ca/posts/about-my-book/)

Where are you in this book’s production?

Currently, I am in the critique partner/ self-edit phase. I’m polishing it up for the professional edit, in the hopes I can release by this December, or the first quarter of 2019.

What is the biggest thing you learned while writing?

Wow, so many things to choose from! Most recently, I have learned the amazing magic of critique partners. It can be a painful process to find CPs who are a good match, but when you find some that mesh well, your manuscript will be SO much better.

Do you have any editing insights?

Find a good CP, hehe. But seriously, do. It will rock your writing world. That, and no matter how much of a grammar-wiz you are, hire a professional editor. Fresh eyes are necessary when you are dealing with something as big as a book. Bonus tip: look on sites like Goodreads if you are looking for a budget-friendly editor. Just like you are a new author looking to spread your little author wings, there are new editors looking to do the same. They will give you a deal to help get some books on their resume, and you can bet they will be meticulous about your manuscript! Reputation is everything in that industry.

Who is your all-time favorite author?

AH! Just one? Okay, I guess I have to pick JK Rowling because Harry Potter had the most profound impact on my young reading and writing life. If I can sneak in a few others, I will add Nicole Luiken, John Green, and Jenna Moreci (because her writing advice is good and hilarious)

img_3100Rowan Liddel

Twitter | Instagram | Website

Rowan Liddell has been writing several projects for over 10 years. During the day she is a full-time IT person who graduated undergrad with two majors and minors, her focus being improving her writing throughout her college years. Any chance she gets, day or night, she’s working on her manuscripts.

What is your book about?

I plan to release two novels this year, my first being The Blood of the Enemy. It’s the first novel in the Legacy of the White Dragon Saga, a high fantasy series focusing on the descendants of an evil king Valdigo Inimica, known better as the White Dragon. The Blood of the Enemy focuses on the seventh generation of his descendents Ria and Drystan. Once close, the curse on all members of Inimica divided the brother and sister violently. The brother grew into Drystan, who sought to outdo the legend of the White Dragon and quietly reclaim the throne. For years he thought he had succeeded in killing his younger sister, but discovers her living freely in the wild land of Ellery under the name Ria. Now that he has an agenda and wants no heirs to interrupt him, he begins his hunt for her. Ria feels it is her duty to protect the family who saved her from him, and survive his onslaught at all costs. Ria is the primary narrator of the story, a hard-headed young woman with the dual personality of being protective of her loved ones and too stubborn to listen to anyone who suggests that she can’t do something. Though determined, she struggles not only with keeping her family safe, but with facing her own demons as well.

Where are you in this book’s production?

I’m working with my critique partners, friends, and readers to get the script fighting fit. Once I am satisfied with it and receive chapters of it from my readers with little to no notes on it aside from a thumbs up, I will post it on my Gumroad for sale.

What is the biggest thing you learned while writing?

The Blood of the Enemy has undergone many changes since its first draft, which I wrote when I was 11. I am now 25 and I think the most important thing I’ve learned is that things change. The book I’m releasing is nothing like the original. I’ve matured, as have my characters. Relationships, interests, appearances, names have all changed since 11 year old me fell in love with the idea of a cluster of mixed race friends trying to survive one cruel villain. The one thing that hasn’t changed, and this is important too, is the desire to feel satisfied with my genre. The fantasy genre has come under fire for its lack of diversity over the years, as everyone has tried repeatedly to duplicate our forefather J.R.R. Tolkien to the point of redundancy. In The Blood of the Enemy, I wanted to give people the diverse high fantasy adventure many of us have wanted. So the biggest thing I’ve learned? Embrace change. More often than not, embracing it works out for the better.

Do you have any editing insights?

For those of you who started young like me, it’s okay if what you thought would be funny as a preteen turned out not to be. It’s okay if your hero was too powerful, your love interest was too perfect, or your villain was too cartoony. You had to start somewhere. My general insight though is that, in the editing process you will figure out what is working and what is not. Take a break after you write that first draft. Come back to it as though it is not yours and you’re reading it for the first time. Maybe outline your next book in between edits. Read a book. Have another story in mind so that when you go to edit, your story feels new again.

Who is your all-time favorite author?

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, my inspiration since middle school and high school. She is a modern fantasy writer and published her first book when she was 13. I’ve been following her since her release of Snakecharm and it is astounding how her writing started off so mature and yet she continued to grow ever after.

 img_3067Scarlett Oliver

Twitter | Tumblr | YouTube

Scarlett Olivier is a 23 year old writer and mother of one. Writing is one of her greatest passions in life.

What is your book about?

Something Wicked (working title) is about Nimue Catrais, a woman struggling to survive and recover from the trauma of her childhood that has caused the locals to label her as a Cursed One, or a harbinger of misfortune. When rumors of a monster tearing through the countryside make their way to her town, Nimue initially brushes it off, until she starts being stalked by some creature as she is walking home one night. This marks the beginning of Nimue’s struggle for her life, and the discovery of her past. Along the way several people offer to help her out, but she soon discovers each is hiding a secret of their own. A potentially dangerous secret. How can Nimue trust anyone when one of them may be the monster hunting her down?

Where are you in the production of this book?

Currently, I’m in the self editing phase, hopefully soon I’ll be in the professional editing phase. I think I’m working on draft bazillion at the moment (lol).

What’s the biggest thing you learned while writing?

Let’s see… This one’s actually a pretty difficult thing to answer. I’ve learned so many things through writing, it’s hard to choose just one thing. If I’m only able to choose one thing, it would have to be the fact that writing taught me just how complex people are. People always have a motivation for doing even the most trivial of things, and to portray a true to life character you have to know them as a person. You have to know why they do what they do, and those reasons can be vastly different based on the character in question. In fact, most often times they have a multitude, a full spectrum, of reasons for doing something. It’s fascinating to watch them grow and develop.

Do you have any writing or editing insights?

This is going to be a bit odd and contrary, but please hear me out before you go leaping towards those pitchforks and torches. My biggest editing insight is to edit as you go. Truly, I mean it. Now I’m not saying that you should stop and reread every single paragraph as you write them down, not at all. What I’m proposing is more of a midway between waiting until you’ve got it all down and editing while you write. The biggest thing that has helped me as a writer, and actually love editing (gasp, what?), is this method. Just save your editing for when you get writers block. Anytime you feel like you’ve lost the ideas, just sit down and edit your WIP. Not only does this provide a cleaner, more cohesive first draft, but it also allows you to gain ideas about where you want your work to go. However, just save it for those writers block moments. Don’t impede your progress by trying to backtrack edit while you have ideas flowing. Just get those ideas on paper, and when you’re low on steam take a minute to reread and get that ball rolling again. Granted, this is just what works for me. I think the best editing advice I can give is to find what process works for you. What makes you the most productive, and doesn’t hinder your forward momentum.

Who is your all-time favorite author?

Oh no! Please don’t ask me to choose a favorite! I couldn’t possibly. I can’t pick a favorite author, because each one produces work that I enjoy for a variety of different reasons. Books, and by default their authors, have helped shape me into the person I am today. Without them, I don’t think I would even be here. They saved my life, literally, a number of times. However, I would like to take this opportunity to spotlight a little lesser known author, who I think deserves more credit than she’s gotten, and that author is Cecelia Dart-Thornton. She’s produced a wonderful set of books, called The Bitterbynde series, that just captured my imagination as a teen in ways that few books have since. Even now, over eight years later, I continue to go back to this series over and over again. It’s simply delightful.

Shadows Banner

Thank you so much to all the writers who were willing to take part in this little project! It was my honor to shine a spotlight on your projects!

These are just a few of the writer’s I’ve met and been influenced by, and I’m so grateful to these people for sharing their journey. I assure you I’ll be there when your books come to fruition! Most of these writers are also at about the same stage in the writing process I am, where their first draft is finished and they’re working on editing and getting feedback. There’s only two weeks left until my self-edit of Fire’s Hope is finished, when then I’ll be sending my baby off for the professional edit! Just two more weeks!

On February 14, Valentine’s day, I’ll be sending out FH to my critique partners, and announcing the start of Beta Reading for Fire’s Hope. Sign up is still open if you’re interested: Beta Readers Please sign up, I still need more readers~

I’m so excited for this part of the publishing journey! And while I can’t give any accurate projections yet, I’m aiming to release FH by November 2018. I wish all you writers the best of luck in your publishing journey! Here’s to a great year!

One thought on “Week 16: The Writers Who Shape Me

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s