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Beautiful Books October 2016

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Beautiful Books is a linkup hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In.

It’s aimed at writers so we can answer the questions about our characters and our books. It’s designed to help you get to know your book better! (And also give your followers a sneak peek of your works-in-progresses.)

Beautiful BOOKS

To get into the spirit of NaNoWriMo 2016, I’ve decided to take part in Beautiful Books.

Cait an Sky say: “Just like every year, we’re giving our monthly link up “Beautiful People” a small rest so we can focus on “Beautiful Books”.”

The Book

My WIP is called Winter’s Wrath and it’s the sequel to 2014’s Winter Witch (yeah I know, I missed 2015 due to personal reasons).

The Questions

  1. What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

I’ve had the idea since 2014 when I finished Winter Witch and knew I wanted it to be a trilogy. As for what inspired me, well, to be truthful it was Sex and the City. In that show, the four women have certain goals they want but other things that also make them happy get in their way. Charlotte wants the perfect family, but gets divorced from her ‘perfect’ husband and adopts a baby with her not-so-perfect-but-true-love husband. Miranda wants to further her career but she falls pregnant and then later marries her baby’s daddy. Samantha wants to remain single and free but falls in love with a young stud who satisfies her sexually. And Carrie just wants to get married to Big, but she has lots of obstacles in her way as well.

This is a long way of explaining that I wanted to give Tally something lots of people would love, but she doesn’t want it this way, and that’s marriage to a prince.

2. Describe what your novel is about!

Tally is being trained to be the perfect princess in her role as Ford’s bodyguard, including a pseudo-wedding everyone thinks is legitimately real. But she’s actually having smexy times with Ford’s best friend/cousin Lennox behind the scenes. Despite that, she’s actually falling in love with Ford, and has to figure out her romantic and sexual feelings for both men. Also, someone is trying to kill her, she needs to investigate more about wraiths, she wants to find her mother, and she wants to end this stupid war with the highlanders before someone does something stupid like betray the royal family and let the highlanders into the palace.

3. What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!

I have no idea what that means. Is this some kind of hipster fad I’m too old for? Does it mean my temporary book cover?

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4. Introduce us to each of your characters!

There’s Tally, the winter witch who found out she’s actually a wraith in the previous book, which means someone with both winter witch and summer witch powers, and also meant as a baby she died in her mother winter witch’s womb but was bought back to life by summer magic (which is supposed to heal, but not revive). Tally’s winter magic gives her the ability to kill with a single touch, and her wraith magic gives her the ability to bring the dead back to life, but connected to her instead of their own soul. Her emerging summer magic gives her the ability to heal. In the last book, Tally’s wraith identity was supposed to be kept a secret, but when someone started murdering palace servants, she revealed herself in an attempt to mass heal in front of a terrified mob that tried to murder her. The king, whom Tally’s gang of friends suspect has destroyed all of the historical documents on wraiths, pardoned her, because what else could he do when half his court was dead, including Lennox, and she was the only one who could bring them back to life?

Lennox is Tally’s sexual awakening. Gorgeous and soulful and thinks he’s god’s gift to women. Tally is not in love with him, but she does care for him. Lennox could have been king if the crown wasn’t passed down to males only – his mother is the king’s elder sister. He is the Crown Prince’s closest confidante, but their feelings for Tally have brought a wedge between them.

Ford is the Crown Prince and is in love with Tally while knowing she’s not quite in love with him. He’s gentle and not terribly good looking and everyone believes his younger brother Bourne would make a better king than him. Tally saved his life from assassins in the previous novel and together they uncovered a conspiracy within the castle walls that could have implicated the king.

Beck, Dover, and Marina make up the rest of Tally’s ‘gang’. Beck and Dover are cousins, cousins of Ford and Lennox, and friendly rivals. Dover, a gentle giant, trains Tally in self-defence and Beck is one of those sly, fox-like ‘fixers’ – he can get you whatever you need. Marina (formerly known as Mitzy so I mihgt accidentally call her the wrong name) was at first Tally’s handmaiden and is a summer witch just coming into her powers, but she quickly became a close confidant.

Ash is Tally’s demonic shapeshifting companion. We last saw him chasing after an escaping villain, but whether it was to stop them or whether he had finally turned on Tally, we don’t know yet. I’m looking forward to finding out.

5. How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)

Normally I do a pretty defined three-act structure to help me outline but with this novel I have my blurb, I have my notes, and I have my daily wordcount. I think I’m mostly going to wing it. It should be interesting. I’ve been thinking and planning in my head for a long time, so I hope it turns out OK.

I mostly do my research on the fly, but sometimes I research stuff I don’t really need to know about. For example, in 2014 I researched ‘how to wear a monocle‘ in case the character who was wearing one had to replace it. I mean, he did, and I totally understand how monocles work now, but I could have written about it without knowing.

No I couldn’t. That’s a lie.

I always need to have chocolate with me. I like M&Ms and Malteasers,

One year I had a stack of new Lego and every 10K words I got to open a new one. I’m not sure I can afford that this year as my stupid power bill is due. #adultingsucks

6. What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

I think it’s horrible to say that I’m most looking forward to writing a scene where Tally’s treason is discovered and something awful happens to Lennox, but that’s the truth. That’s the scene I most was to write.

7. List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

  • It’s pseudo-fantasy-lite, which means no telephones or cars or guns but they do have soap and glass and horses with stirrups on their saddles.
  • It’s set in a southern hemisphere which means, like Australia, it gets colder the further you go south and hotter the further you go north.
  • There are two types of witches that correspond with the seasons: winter and summer. They don’t really have autumn or spring. Up north of Australia you get two seasons: wet (winter) and dry (summer) so I was inspired a bit by that.

8. What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?

Tally wants to find out more about being a wraith, and her mother who possibly abandoned her. She wants to find out what’s happening to the people being sent north to fight the king’s war. And although she no longer wants to escape and find her freedom like in the first novel, she wants to keep her new family safe – which will be hard when one of them turns against her and opens the gates to let the enemy army through.

9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

I haven’t quite figured this out yet. I think at the beginning she’s being quite selfish with by marrying Ford but sleeping with Lennox, so by the end of the novel she makes quite a selfless act to redeem herself.

10. What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

My book’s themes are redemption, romantic love vs sexual awakening, and I might figure out some more when it’s written.

I want readers to feel like I’ve ripped their heart out and stomped all over it when the story is over. I want readers writing to me going “WHYYYYYYYYYYYY” and “I NEED THE NEXT ONE.”

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