Monthly Highlights - February

Saturday, February 28, 2015

- I was the only one in my family who escaped the dreaded stomach flu. (And I realize that this isn't a highlight for the rest of my family members, but it's a highlight for me. xD)
- I like to doodle. Or zentangle, whatever you might call it. And I got new pens for that! Thank you to my grandparents for the Christmas money so I could get them. :D 
- My sister got braces.
- I didn't finish my first draft in February. I made a bit of progress, but not nearly as much as I would've liked. Maybe I'll finish it in March. *big sigh* If only editing went faster. (Yeah, I know. This wasn't a highlight, but I'm putting it in anyway.)
- I watched Big Hero 6. Oh my goodness. I loved it so much. :D
- The King's Scrolls released! You have no idea how happy this makes me.
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- Heather guest posted at Imogen's blog and compared editing to dragon slaying. I completely approve of this analogy:
- Athelas wrote about creating a fantasy culture. Worldbuilding, peoples. Everyone needs it:
- Anne Elizabeth Stengl is holding another fan-art contest for the Tales of Goldstone Woods. One of the prizes include Eanrin's wonderful hat...
 - To those lovely book bloggers out there: Ana wrote a post on why you should try creative writing:
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Here is what my ramblings this month have included. Clicking on the line will lead you to the post:
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 My 'read' list for this month is pitiful. Pitiful, I tell you.
THREE books.
Dragonwitch, Shadowhand, and Golden Daughter. Yes. They're all by Anne Elizabeth Stengl. And they're awesome, so you should go read them.
I was the first person to read Golden Daughter from the library. It makes me insanely happy for some reason.
But I have been slowly making my way through the 1007 page The Way of the Kings by Brandon Sanderson. I'm so close to finishing.
And I got The King's Scrolls. *huge grin* It's so gorgeous. 
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- Katie Grace
So. Now it's your turn to tell me. What were the highlights of your month?

Writing with Music

Thursday, February 26, 2015
I've been playing the piano for nine years.
I play music while I work on school.
I hum when I'm bored.
I sing when I'm happy.
 I help with worship at our Church.
My mom plays the piano.
My sister plays the guitar.
Music plays a rather large role in my life. There is rarely a time when there is not something musical going on at our house. Though, despite all the musical influence in my life, when I first started writing, I never even thought of turning on a movie soundtrack in the background. I wrote thousands of endless words, all with no sound. (Besides the occasional conversation in the background.)
And then, one day, I'm not exactly sure what led me to do this, but I turned on some music, and started to type, and type, and type. The music inspired me. I was in my story, connecting with my characters, and the epic music I played raised the tension in the scene. In a way, it helped me to write better. 
Now it has become such a vital part of my writing process, that it's hard for me to write without music.
And here are three reasons why I think playing music while writing is important.
1. It can help set the emotion of the scene. 
To put it bluntly, without emotion in a story, the story is very boring. You can kill off characters and torture your darlings all you want, but without emotion, the reader won't feel anything. They won't care.
Emotion can be hard to write, especially if you aren't particularly excited or 'into' writing that scene. But when I put the headphones into my ear and put on the music, it helps immensely. Just like when the hero confronts the villain for that final battle in a movie, tense music plays and increases the suspense. If happy and bouncy music played... It would be a lot different.
Music is easy to find, but what about finding the right music for a certain scene?
I've mentioned it before, (in this post specifically) but it deserves another post. Soundfuel is a blog compiling hundreds of different songs into various albums mixed by genres/scenes/settings/etc. Below are just a few of the categories it offers:
The picture should bring you to the page, but otherwise here is the link for the directory:
2. Music is totally inspiring.
Unless you're listening to depressing music. But that's besides the point. It's incredible what the power of music can do. Before you start writing, turn on the music and listen. Picture the scene you're going to write. Get excited about it. Get motivated. Music is a huge help with that.
3. Music can help you focus.
Music takes away the background noises. You won't be tempted by the TV with headphones in your ear. You won't be distracted by other conversations in the house while you're typing away. Music brings you one step closer to that fantasy world of imagination and one step out of reality.
But that being said, music can also distract you. I don't listen to music with words. I become too caught up with the lyrics. I sing along and drum my fingers on the keys to the beat. I'm miles away from the writing zone.
Know what will distract you, and know what will keep you working. Adjust the volume. Try out different soundtracks. Find some songs with words, and then some without. Use music to your advantage.
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tcwt (3)This post is part of the Teens can Write Too blog chain for February, the topic being, "How does music relate to your writing?"
- Katie Grace
How does music play a role in your writing? Do you have some favorite soundtracks to share? Comment below!

The King's Scrolls Blog Tour - Character Interview and Giveaway!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Today on A Writer's Faith we have a special character interview and an awesome giveaway.
But first, about the epic story.
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Following the harrowing events that brought them to Landale Forest, Jace and Kyrin have settled comfortably into their new lives and the mission of protecting those under the emperor’s persecution. The fast approach of winter brings with it the anticipation of a quiet few months ahead. That is until the arrival of four mysterious, dragon-riding cretes who seek aid in a mission of great importance—not only to their own people, but to all followers of Elôm.                            
Hidden in the vast mining valley north of Valcré, a faithful crete has spent years sharing his knowledge with the destitute miners and their families and is known to possess what may be Arcacia’s last surviving copies of the King’s Scrolls—the Word of Elôm.
Joining the cretes, those in Landale must find the crete teacher and bring him to safety, but it is a race against time. Should Daican’s men find him first, execution and the destruction of the Scrolls is certain.   
When disaster strikes, all seems lost. Could Elôm have a plan even in the enemy’s triumph?
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(And I had the honor of interviewing one of the characters from The King's Scrolls: Leetra. My questions are in black, and Leetra's are in blue.))
Hi, Leetra! I am so delighted to meet you, and I can only hope that the feeling is mutual. *glances at Leetra's face for any reaction*
*she sits stoically*
Ah.. * fumble through my notecards, a bit nervous* Your author gave me permission to ask you a few questions. Is that okay with you?
I suppose. It's not like we characters are given much choice in such matters. But she did warn me to be polite since most people are not accustomed to the cretes' way of stating things bluntly, so I will do my best.
*I smile half-heartedly* Thanks. First question: Upon first meeting people, what would you like them to know about you?
Apparently, I've gained a somewhat... unflattering reputation for being rude and prickly. I don't apologize for who I am since it's very common amount my people, though we don't see it as rude. I'm just not very open to strangers and those I am not comfortable with. I guess I would like them to know that I'm not as... cold as I might appear. At least not all the time. I do have feelings, I just tend to keep them well guarded.
*I try to flash her an encouraging smile* Then I thank you for being so open with me. How are cretes different from other races in Ilyon? And what do you like about being a crete?
Our culture I very different---more... rustic. We're closer to nature than most races, except for ryriks possibly. We are very proud of who we are and don't like much outside influence. We can seem unfriendly or suspicious to outsiders. I like that among my people women aren't discouraged from some of the more masculine pursuits like they are in Arcacia, for instance. It is perfectly acceptable for a crete woman to learn how to use weapons and ride dragons in combat if the occasion calls for it.
*my face lights up, especially at the dragon part* I have to say, I'm a jealous of your dragons, but I'd be a bit uneasy with riding one, though I'd probably go for it anyways. Was there ever a time when you were scared of riding a dragon?
No. Cretes aren't scared of dragons. It's something we're introduced to as infants. By the time we even understand what flying is, we've already been doing it with our parents many times. It's really not any different from walking.
*my eyebrows raise* Impressive. From different assorted sources, I'm aware that you know a man by the name of Falcor and are rather close to him. He's a crete, right? How did you two come to meet each other?
Yes, he is a crete and he is my fiancé. Our families have been friends since before I was born, so I knew him growing up. We were always fond of each other and make a good match, so when he asked me to marry him, it was an easy decision to accept.
That's such a lovely relationship you have. It's nice that you grew up together so you can really know and trust one another. What can you tell us about your family?
I am the oldest and have six younger siblings, the youngest being four years old. Family is very important to the cretes, so I'm very close to them. It's a pretty hectic and loud environment sometimes, but that is also something cretes are used to and like. Most crete children are very rambunctious and adventurous. I'm also very close to my cousin Talas. He's kind of like the older brother I don't have.
*I nod and offer a smile* What does a typical day look like for you?
I serve under Captain Darq, which usually involves going on patrols or searching the mountains for dragons. Though we usually get enough eggs from the dragons in our possession, sometimes it is good to bring in some new ones from wild dragons. Gathering wild eggs is a dangerous undertaking, and we never take more than one egg from a nest, but it's been part of our lifestyle from the beginning. If I'm not need for patrols, I usually work with one the physicians in my city.
Ooh, that sounds exciting. When you're not working, what do you like to do?
Painting. Not picture painting like most people would think, but painting designs such as the ones we use for our tattoos. It's a good way to relax if it's been a stressful day.
*I raise my eyebrows* I, as well, love to create small designs, though they probably differ much from yours. If we meet again someday, you'll have to show me some of your artwork. If you could get away for a day and do whatever you want, what would you do?
I don't have a lot of time for it, but sometimes I like to go up to the mountains and climb. Cretes enjoy climbing almost as much as flying. As I said, my house gets kind of loud, so it's nice to go out on my own and just enjoy the mountains and think.
Climbing, too? *I grin* Sounds like you have many things to fill your days with. What do you remember best about your childhood?
I had a habit  of following Talas and his brothers around and joining them in their adventures. Those days are some of my fondest memories. And it was Talas who taught me the most about flying. He worked with me a lot on my different skills growing up. Besides playing with my siblings, those are the times I remember best.
*I nod* If you could change anything about your life, what would you change?
I'm perfectly happy with my life. I don't think I'd change anything. But, since you asked and my author would want me to be more conversational, I might change how I interact with outsiders. Talas is very friendly and gets along well with everyone. While I don't envy him, I suppose it would be nice to be a bit more that way.
That's understandable. I have one more question for you. What do you think about Emperor Daican?
He represents everything that is the reason my people left Arcacia. He's an arrogant tyrant who won't listen to reason.
*I smirk* And that, Leetra, is a perfect way to describe that man. Thank you so much for chatting with me. I appreciate your willingness!
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Picture Jaye L. Knight is a homeschool graduated indie author with a passion for writing Christian fantasy and clean new adult fiction. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.
 You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Etsy.
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Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed Epic Winter giveaway! Prize pack includes an autographed copy of The King’s Scrolls, a CD by Future World Music (some of Jaye’s favorite writing music), a dragon bookmark, a stone hawk pendant (much like the ones mentioned in the book), and a few packages of Twining’s Winter Spice tea to sip while you read! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)
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     Make sure to check out all the stops!
Tuesday, February 17
·         Tour Introduction at Jaye L. Knight
·         Author Interview at Crafty Booksheeps
·         Review at Musings of a Middle Age Author
·         Author Interview at Seasons of Humility
·         Author Interview and Book Spotlight at A Brighter Destiny
·         Review and Author Interview at A Writer’s Heart
Wednesday, February 18
·         Review at To Be A Person
·         Author Interview at Leah’s Bookshelf
·         Review at The Destiny of One
·         Author Interview and Book Spotlight at Reflection
·         Author Interview and Character Spotlight (Liam) at Thilly Little Nothings
·         Author Interview at Dreams and Dragons
·         Book Spotlight at One Servant's Heart
·         Book Spotlight at Venturing to Other Worlds
Thursday, February 19
·         Q&A Session at Ilyon Chronicles - Behind the Scenes
·         Review and Author Interview at Crumpets 'n' Cream
·         Character Interview (Marcus) at Morgan Elizabeth Huneke
·         Review and Author Interview at Spreading the Word
·         Character Spotlight (Marcus) at Reflection
·         Author Interview at Rivershore Books
·         Review and Author Interview at Red Lettering
·         Review at Written Rest
Friday, February 20
·         Q&A Session at Ilyon Chronicles - Behind the Scenes
·         Review at Melody Jackson, Author
·         Review at Anything, Everything
·         Author Interview at Guns and Roses
·         Character Interview (Talas) at The Writer’s Window
·         Review at O. Scarlett! Reviews
·         Review and Author Interview at Zerina Blossom
·         Review at Leah’s Bookshelf
Saturday, February 21
·         Q&A Session at Ilyon Chronicles - Behind the Scenes
·         Review at The American Anglophile
·         Review and Book Spotlight at Vic's Media Room
·         Author Interview at Butterflies of the Imagination
·         Review and Author Interview at Tialla’s Tellings
·         Review and Character Interview (Liam) at Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections
·         Character Spotlight and Character Interview (Timothy) at Written Rest
Sunday, February 22
·         Review and Author Interview at Claire M. Banschbach- Thoughts and Rants
·         Character Spotlight (Aaron) at The Art of Storytelling
·         Book and Character Spotlight (General Veshiron) at Tell Tale Book Reviews
·         Review at Reality Calling
·         Character Spotlight (Leetra) at Zerina Blossom
Monday, February 23
·         Q&A Session at Ilyon Chronicles - Behind the Scenes
·         Character Interview (Captain Darq) at Knitted By God's Plan
·         Review at Backing Books
·         Realm Explorers post at Letters from Annie Douglass Lima
·         Character Interview (Aaron) at However Improbable
·         Character Spotlight (Daniel) at Finding the True Fairy Tale
·         Author Interview at Pencils Can Change the World
Tuesday, February 24
·         Q&A Session at Ilyon Chronicles - Behind the Scenes
·         Review at Shire Reviews
·         Review and Author Interview at Elvish Pens, Fantastical Writings
·         Review and Author Interview at The Pen of a Ready Writer
·         Character Interview (Leetra) at A Writer’s Faith
Wednesday, February 25
·         Tour Conclusion at Jaye L. Knight
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- Katie Grace