Exploring Faith Through Fantasy

Posts tagged “getting published

Mikelyn Bolden Dishes About Her New Book

Fellow Dothan author, Mikelyn Bolden, just released Flight To Facilis, the second book in The Waiz Chronicles. MIkelyn talking

So I asked her to come give us a little insight into why she has to be so sickeningly industrious as to write ANOTHER book, have a baby, travel the world, and still maintain her sanity. Amazingly, she stuck around to answer the questions anyway.

BUT FIRST…Newsletter image

Now, on to Flight!

FlightToFacilis-Cover-F-2

Summary: Joel’s achieved the impossible. He’s escaped from The Temple of Differe School, twice. His actions are seen as a scandalous crime in Differe, but on his second flight he discovers a city in the West End has the power to pardon his offense. He can be free of the headmaster forever . . . if only he can get there.

Disguised as a temple guard, Joel races to the capital city of Facilis with a band of rogue Differian soldiers. The group wreaks havoc along the way, as Joel learns Differe’s power stretches well beyond its borders and is controlling many of the villages in the West End.

As he nears Facilis, he begins to realize his quest for freedom will impact more than himself. That is, until the city falls under siege to Differe, and he gets caught. (more…)

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Aside

Book Release Party Poll

I featured the picture of our cat because, seriously, everyone loves kittens. But now that you’re here, I’d be much obliged if you could answer three questions for me. You can select up to three answers for each.



 

Totoro


The Literary Fellowship on YOUTUBE

interview photos

In case you were unable to see me be a nerd live, the video from the September 20th Literary Fellowship is now on Youtube.

GO WATCH IT!

Diana T. Benson, Bill Pottle, Rochelle Carter, and I all discuss the writing process, getting published, and book marketing.

Click on the box below to be taken to the video.

Enjoy!

The Literary Fellowship JPEG


Join Me On the Literary Fellowship This Saturday at 10:00 A.M.

Join me this Saturday (September 20th) at 10:00 A.M. CST on The Literary Fellowship, a place where Christian authors gather to share their passion for writing.  We meet the third Saturday of each month on Google Hangouts on Air. I, my publisher, and two other Ellechor authors will be guests and will be discussing what it means to be an authorpreneur.

What’s an authorpreneur you ask? Come on over on Saturday and you’ll find out.

Hope to see you all there!

Click on the box below to be taken the promo video.

Google Hangout


Author Ashlee Willis Gets Grilled…And Survives

I know I just did an author interview earlier this month, but I keep meeting really cool writers. Young Adult author Ashlee Willis is one of them. See?

 AshleeWillisAuthorPic

Doesn’t she look cool? Well, it just so happens that her first published book is also cool. And she stopped by to tell me just how awesome it is.

Word Changers

Synopsis

Escaping from the turmoil of her home, fifteen-year-old Posy finds herself at her usual haunt … the library. When she chooses an unfamiliar book from the shelf, she does not devour its words as she usually does…

Its words devour her.

Posy is pulled into the pages of a fairy tale in turmoil. Characters whisper of rebellion against their Plot. And Posy must find a lost princess whose role in the story is crucial, before her own role in the book comes to a horrible end.

With the haughty but handsome Prince Kyran as a reluctant companion, Posy ventures past the Borders of the Plot, into the depths of the treacherous Wild Land forest that lies beyond. Secrets are buried there, dangerous and deadly.

Yet the darkest secret of all is the one Posy carries within herself.

Soon it’s clear that finding the lost princess is the least of Posy’s concerns. The Author of the book must be found. His Plot must be put to rights again, his characters reminded of who they were first created to be. Only then will the True Story be written, both for Posy, and for the tale she has now become a part of.

What was the main inspiration for The Word Changers?

It began with a childhood wish to visit the worlds in some of my favorite books, and it grew in my imagination over the years until one day I knew I had a story I had to write!

Who’s your favorite character in your book and why?

I admire Kyran a lot. He has lived a life within the Plot for many years, a Plot which has gotten worse and worse. He has had to watch his beloved sister suffer at the hands of his parents. And yet through his anger and bitterness he manages to open himself to love and forgiveness.

How similar are you to your main character? Or was she fashioned after someone else you know?

Posy is much like I was at her age, although I was possibly even more shy and unsure of myself than she is. She comes from a broken home, like me, and she is, at 15, ready for adventures into danger and forgiveness (which feel very similar sometimes …). Despite our similarities, though, Posy is her own person – she is not me, nor is she anyone else I know. She is bits and pieces of many things, some real, some from my imagination, some from within myself and some from without.

Your bio says that you enjoy hiking. How much of the scenery/landscape in The Word Changers was inspired by places you’ve been and things you’ve seen?

A lot of it, actually! I love walking in the woods and by streams and rivers, and my love of all things outdoors flows over into almost everything I write, including The Word Changers.

What are the most important metaphors in your plot—the ones you hope inspire people to pursue God?

One of the themes of The Word Changers is of forgiveness, and the fulfillment we can find through it, no matter how painful it may be. There were metaphors for God as the author of our lives, and that, though He can, He won’t take control of our stories until we ask Him to. I also explored the silence of God, and how most times such a silence is on our end, not His.

Have you written your entire life?

Yes, just about! I started writing short stories and poems and songs when I was a small child. I wrote a children’s book (a fairy tale called The Moon’s Test) when I was 12, and then my first full-length chapter book when I was 15. Most of my early stuff was pretty horrible – my sister was my partner in crime for much of it, and we still like to get it out sometimes and laugh over it.

How do you balance homeschooling your son, being a wife, and writing?

Most days I don’t really feel like I do balance it, to tell the truth!  I’m constantly wishing I had a “schedule,” but it never seems to happen. This past year when I was homeschooling, we did schoolwork in the morning, and now and then I’d get an hour or two of writing done in the afternoon while my son was playing or at a friend’s. I plan to get strict with myself this coming school year, though (my son will be attending a local Christian school), and hope that I will get much more writing done because of it!

Why do you write? Is it something you’ve always done? Or wanted to do?

I think God put the desire to write in me. It’s hard for me to explain it any other way. It gives me a happiness and fulfillment in a way that nothing else in my life does. Don’t get me wrong – it’s by no means a better fulfillment than God or family. But writing helps me understand those things, and myself, better. Writing complements the rest of my life – helps me value even more the things that have eternal worth.

What is your work in progress?

I’m working on two books (the first one is finished and the sequel is at the halfway point). They are as yet untitled and until my agent sees them I probably won’t be able to talk about them in much detail. But they are Christian young adult fantasy, as is The Word Changers. I’ve always written standalones before, so this is a new and different challenge for me!

Where did you grow up? How did your hometown (or other places you have lived) inspire your writing?

I grew up in a little town called Moberly, right in the center of Missouri. The library that Posy visits in The Word Changers is, in my mind at least, the very library that I lived less than a block away from in my own hometown. It has changed some over the years – they’ve built on, etc. – but the little poky, dusky library of my childhood is the one I wrote into my book. I also grew up down the street from a children’s writer, Daniel Schantz, who happened to also be a good friend of our family. His writing inspired me, and his friendship and kind critiques of my childish scrawls encouraged me and gave me the faith to keep following my dream through the years.

Best book you’ve read?

Impossible to answer, really! The Chronicles of Narnia are definitely top of my list, though.

Give five random facts about yourself.

  1. I am ambidextrous.

  2. I am notorious in my family for having horrible aim, as well as being quite clumsy (great combination, huh?).

  3. I’m a half-hearted vegetarian.

  4. I hate cooking, but love baking.

  5. I’m a sucker for British comedy.

When not writing, how do you spend your time?

Gardening, walking, reading, photographing, hunting for used books, blogging, spending time with friends, spending time with family, watching period mini-series.

If you had 3 genie wishes, what would they be?

Well, I think I would only really need one wish:  For all the people I care about to know, pursue and love God.  But if I get two freebies, I’ll take them! My second wish would be to live in a cottage in the woods, near the sea. My third would be to, like Posy, fall into a fairy tale and become a part of it for a while … although, unlike Posy, I’d like to be able to choose which one I fall into!

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

To keep writing, even (especially!) when it gets tough! That’s when the really good stuff starts happening! Inspiration is great, and all stories start with it – but hard work is what will get you to “the end.”

Thanks, Ashlee, for stopping by.

If anyone reading would like to get to know Ashlee better (or BUY HER BOOK!!!!!), and you’re a weirdo, then schedule a visit to Missouri where she lives with her husband and young son. But don’t expect much attention because she’s pretty busy writing, reading, enjoying tea with friends, hiking, taking pictures, and practicing the piano.

If, on the other hand, you’re a normal person, then just check out her websites below.

Websites

Blog:  http://ashleewillisauthor.wordpress.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AshleeWillisAuthor

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7849640.Ashlee_Willis

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BookishAshlee

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Word-Changers-Ashlee-Willis-ebook/dp/B00K5HZ4M2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406065755&sr=8-1&keywords=the+word+changers

Word Changers


Corrected Post / Writing Contest College Winner: The Truth Will Set Your Free, by Emily Butler

flannery o'connor

 

The Truth Will Set You Free

William Blake once wrote, “When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do.” In Flannery’ O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” O’Connor strives to communicate truth to her readers in a much more directed and intentional way. Her truth-telling comes from an intention to convince, or inform, the ignorant. O’Connor’s religious beliefs led her to do so; she spread the truth to others just as Jesus did—through parables. Stories touch the heart, while overt direction tends to offend. Nevertheless, Flannery O’Connor writes to convince the ignorant and apathetic using a robust and sometimes hard-to-swallow theme of hypocrisy throughout “A Good Man is Hard to Find.”

The very names of O’Connor’s characters demonstrate her theme of hypocrisy. O’Connor intentionally names two of the antagonists, June Star and John Wesley, symbolically. With further analysis, it becomes evident that “June Star” is a name symbolic of astrology and horoscopes, practices which are prevalent in pagan religions such as Hinduism, Wicca, Buddhism, and Shintoism. At the same time, the name “John Wesley” is symbolic of Christianity— the religion that O’Connor practices herself. The real life John Wesley was a revivalist and the founder of the Methodist church. In “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” the two children act horribly on a car ride to Florida  After the car accident occurred, both June Star and John Wesley screamed, “We’ve had an ACCIDENT!” but were disappointed that no one was killed. To the reader, there is no difference in their behaviors (O’Connor 185; O’Connor 189). Evidently, O’Connor wants her readers to analyze the symbolism she provides through these two characters. Her apparent intent in developing June Star and John Wesley as practically the same person is to cause offense by demonstrating their hypocrisy regardless of their religious affiliation . This consistency of awful behavior displays one of many clues into O’Connor’s theme of hypocrisy.

The character of Grandmother is similarly oblivious to her hypocritical behavior. She tells June Star to be ashamed of herself in public, yet does not say a single word to her in terms of discipline once the family returned to the car (186). Grandmother does this because she truly does not care about the actions of June Star; she only cares about how June Star’s rude behavior may reflect upon her as a “lady.” Grandmother also wears white gloves and elegant clothes in public so that she would be recognized as a lady (O’Connor 184). It could be said, therefore, that her attire provides the reader with a concrete symbol of hypocrisy: white for an outward display of purity and class juxtaposed against her manipulative and uppity behavior. Grandmother’s character proves to be the most effective example of hypocrisy—O’Connor writes her to be like a normal person a reader would see in 2014.

Not only do O’Connor’s name choices and character development confront the reader with the various guises of hypocrisy, but she also further emphasizes the shallow piety of her characters by juxtaposing them with the character The Misfit, who is the embodiment of the opposite evil: one who is perfectly aware of his own sins, but who is nonchalant and apathetic toward them. The Misfit very clearly states, “Nome, I ain’t a good man,” and continues to provide examples of why and how this is true (191). With this comparison, O’Connor is provoking internal conflict within her readers. As my English class discussed this story, the general consensus was that this character is a terrible person deserving no mercy. But I began to think, “Is it worse to do bad things, know it, and not hide it than to do bad things, know it, but act like you have it all together?” One could say that they are equally bad. After acknowledging this internal conflict within myself, it became clear that O’Connor is challenging her readers to question their own choices, and to examine their attitude toward their mistakes.

To put it simply, Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” is a literary slap in the face. O’Connor’s underlying, yet overwhelming, theme of hypocrisy throughout the story provides convincing, and somewhat forceful, truth to readers. From my perspective, O’Connor’s purpose for this parable is to provoke her audience to reflect upon their own lives and choices. She simply painted a literary picture of various common expressions of hypocrisy so that readers will become aware of the darkness around, and within, themselves. O’Connor’s ideal world would not necessarily be made of all faultless people, but comprised of people who are aware of their sins, and deal with them appropriately.

 

 

Work Cited

O’Connor, Flannery. “A Good Man Is Hard to Find.” Literature and the Writing Process. Eds. Elizabeth McMahan, et. al. Boston: Longman, 2014. 183-93. Print.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Writing Contest College Winner: The Truth Will Set You Free, by Emily Butler

flannery o'connor

 

“The Truth Will Set You Free”

William Blake once wrote, “When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do.” In Flannery’ O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” O’Connor strives to communicate truth to her readers in a much more directed and intentional way. Her truth-telling comes from an intention to convince, or inform, the ignorant. O’Connor’s religious beliefs led her to do so; she spread the truth to others just as Jesus did—through parables. Stories touch the heart, while overt direction tends to offend. Nevertheless, Flannery O’Connor writes to convince the ignorant and apathetic using a robust and sometimes hard-to-swallow theme of hypocrisy throughout “A Good Man is Hard to Find.”

The very names of O’Connor’s characters demonstrate her theme of hypocrisy. O’Connor intentionally names two of the antagonists, June Star and John Wesley, symbolically. With further analysis, it becomes evident that “June Star” is a name symbolic of astrology and horoscopes, practices which are prevalent in pagan religions such as Hinduism, Wicca, Buddhism, and Shintoism. At the same time, the name “John Wesley” is symbolic of Christianity— the religion that O’Connor practices herself. The real life John Wesley was a revivalist and the founder of the Methodist church. In “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” the two children act horribly on a car ride to Florida  After the car accident occurred, both June Star and John Wesley screamed, “We’ve had an ACCIDENT!” but were disappointed that no one was killed. To the reader, there is no difference in their behaviors (185; 189). Evidently, O’Connor wants her readers to analyze the symbolism she provides through these two characters. Her apparent intent in developing June Star and John Wesley as practically the same person is to cause offense by demonstrating their hypocrisy regardless of their religious affiliation. This consistency of awful behavior displays one of many clues into O’Connor’s theme of hypocrisy.

The character of Grandmother is similarly oblivious to her hypocritical behavior. She tells June Star to be ashamed of herself in public, yet does not say a single word to her in terms of discipline once the family returned to the car (186). Grandmother does this because she truly does not care about the actions of June Star; she only cares about how June Star’s rude behavior may reflect upon her as a “lady.” Grandmother also wears white gloves and elegant clothes in public so that she would be recognized as a lady (184). It could be said, therefore, that her attire provides the reader with a concrete symbol of hypocrisy: white for an outward display of purity and class juxtaposed against her manipulative and uppity behavior. Grandmother’s character proves to be the most effective example of hypocrisy—O’Connor writes her to be like a normal person a reader would see in 2014.

Not only do O’Connor’s name choices and character development confront the reader with the various guises of hypocrisy, but she also further emphasizes the shallow piety of her characters by juxtaposing them with the character The Misfit, who is the embodiment of the opposite evil: one who is perfectly aware of his own sins, but who is nonchalant and apathetic toward them. The Misfit very clearly states, “Nome, I ain’t a good man,” and continues to provide examples of why and how this is true (191). With this comparison, O’Connor is provoking internal conflict within her readers. As my English class discussed this story, the general consensus was that this character is a terrible person deserving no mercy. But I began to think, “Is it worse to do bad things, know it, and not hide it than to do bad things, know it, but act like you have it all together?” One could say that they are equally bad. After acknowledging this internal conflict within myself, it became clear that O’Connor is challenging her readers to question their own choices, and to examine their attitude toward their mistakes.

To put it simply, Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” is a literary slap in the face. O’Connor’s underlying, yet overwhelming, theme of hypocrisy provides convincing, and somewhat forceful, truth to readers. From my perspective, O’Connor’s purpose for this parable is to provoke her audience to reflect upon their own lives and choices. She simply painted a literary picture of various common expressions of hypocrisy so that readers will become aware of the darkness around, and within, themselves. O’Connor’s ideal world would not necessarily be made of all faultless people, but comprised of people who are aware of their sins, and who deal with them appropriately.

 

Work Cited

O’Connor, Flannery. “A Good Man Is Hard to Find.” Literature and the Writing Process. Eds. Elizabeth McMahan, et. al. Boston: Longman, 2014. 183-93. Print.