Saturday, June 28, 2014

Exclusive Sneak Peek for Amazon Reviewers

It’s kind of a big day. Exactly three years ago today, I wrote the very first words of Resistance. Kind of crazy to think back to that day and now see the published version of the book sitting on my desk. I had this grand idea of throwing a big blog party to celebrate, but I was so busy writing and trying to accomplish all my other goals this week that it just didn’t happen. Oh well, maybe next year. But I do have something to share today. If you’re a writer, you know how appreciated reviews are, especially on Amazon. And if you are a reader who knows writers, chances are, you’ve heard us say how much they appreciate reviews. As a special thank you to everyone who has and will leave me those awesome reviews on Amazon, I’m offering an exclusive sneak peek at The King’s Scrolls. And I’m not talking about a couple paragraphs, I’m talking a whole chapter. ;) That’s right, if you email me the link to your Resistance Amazon review (or the name it’s posted under), I’ll send you a PDF copy of one of the first chapters in TKS, which sets the whole plot of the book in motion, and happens to be one of my favorite chapters. This applies to anyone who has already reviewed the book. Just contact me for your sneak peek! It’s the least I can do to show my appreciation. :)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Character Spotlight - Kyrin

In my last character spotlight, I delved a bit deeper into my main character Jace. Today’s spotlight goes to my female main character, Kyrin Altair. (Warning! Resistance spoilers ahead!)

via Pinterest
Appearance: Long brown hair (later cut to shoulder/chin length), dusty blue eyes, slim, 5’7” tall.
Age: 17
Race: Human
History: Kyrin and her twin brother Kaden were placed in Tarvin Hall because of their advanced learning capabilities and observation skills when they were seven years old to be raised and trained to provide service to the emperor. Besides her other skills, Kyrin also has a perfect memory of every day since she was four years old.

Kyrin was an interesting character to develop. Actually, difficult might be a better word. I knew Jace from the inside out practically from the beginning. Kyrin I actually had to come to know over a period of time. I’m actually not even sure what inspired her character or storyline. This note is all I have on her from that first day after my initial inspiration for the story.
I think she will come from higher society. I think the government will take children who show special abilities and train them. So this girl is very smart and observant. I’m thinking Patrick Jane type of observant. As a child, she showed incredible learning skills, so they took her from her family to raise her with the other extraordinary children.
As you can see, part of my inspiration came from watching The Mentalist, but other than that, everything else must have just been bits of inspiration I’d already had floating around in my mind. After all, the idea of a corrupt government was something I’d been toying with long before I started writing Ilyon Chronicles.

At this point, I had no idea about Tarvin Hall’s promotion ceremony and that Kyrin was going to end at the palace. That very important piece of the plot didn’t come to me until a couple of days later. There was also another very important aspect missing from the story—Kaden. As hard as it is for even me to believe looking back, Kaden did not even exist until after I had already written the promotion ceremony scenes, which was at the beginning of December 2011 (I started writing in June). Crazy, right? All that trouble I initially had with Kyrin was due to the fact that, all along, she was missing her twin brother!

The problem in the beginning was that Kyrin was too tough. She had to be to survive alone at Tarvin Hall. But then Kaden finally came along and changed everything. With him there to protect her, she didn’t have to be so tough anymore. I could bring out her more vulnerable, feminine side that I think was really lacking in that very first draft of the story. It also made scenes like the goodbye at Tarvin Hall or when Kyrin is on the platform in the square so much more poignant. It’s incredible how God worked that all out.

Another thing missing from Kyrin in those early chapters was her perfect memory. That’s right, Kyrin initially didn’t remember everything about every day of her life. It wasn’t until I saw a commercial for the TV show Unforgettable, which was about a detective with a perfect memory. Seriously, isn’t God amazing? He had me in front of the TV right when that commercial came on and used it to give me inspiration for Kyrin that was critical to the story. Maybe it doesn’t seem so critical in Resistance, but wait until . . . oh, let’s just say book three. ;)

Though I say often how alike I am to Jace, I also share a lot in common with Kyrin. She’s the only girl among her siblings, something I know well. There are multiple scenes throughout the series between her and her brothers that were directly inspired by moments with my own brothers. Though I’m the oldest and don’t have a twin or older brother, I still rely heavily on my middle brother to take care of things when we’re out and about. Kyrin’s trouble with becoming claustrophobic in tight and crowded spaces came from my own experiences. I can get very claustrophobic when I’m closed in.

What I love about how Kyrin ended up is how strong she is when she needs to be, such as when she stands up for her faith and decides to befriend Jace even when no one else will, but she’s still human and relatable. One of my most favorite scenes with her is when she fails to share her faith with Daniel. The emotions of that moment are so real to me because I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to be too scared to take advantage of the perfect opportunity. It’s just such a real moment and makes me love Kyrin all the more.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Fan Art


Today is a fun post. :) I’ve received a couple pieces of fan art for Ilyon Chronicles, which is incredibly fun for me, and I’ve decided to make a page for displaying that art. Just click the banner or the fan art tab above to take a look at what I’ve received so far. And if you would like to have your art included, just send it to me in email. I would love to see it! There’s nothing quite like seeing readers do something creative with my stories, especially when I’m not very good at stuff like drawing.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Character Spotlight - Jace

I’ve been looking forward to doing this since well before Resistance came out. I always thought it would be fun to spotlight the characters from Ilyon Chronicles, and the first spotlight, of course, goes to Jace since he is the heart of Ilyon Chronicles for me. After all, if not him, the series wouldn’t even exist. If you haven’t read Resistance yet, you might not want to read further if you don’t want any spoilers.