Saturday, April 11, 2015

Beautiful Siblings - Riley and Roxanne

Beautiful People time again, hosted by Cait and Skye.

This month's theme is siblings, which should be easy because I love writing about siblings ... but as I scanned though my current focus WIP's ... I realized that there are actually pretty few. For instance, in Water Princess, Fire Prince, siblings are either non-existent, absent, or spoilers. So, instead, I'm going to do the twins in book one of HaV Academy. Roxanne (the titular ROCKS) and her brother Riley (Or, as he's better known, the Plant Master.)

1. What is the first memory they have of each other?

They're twins, so they've pretty much always been in each other's lives. However, a specific early memory would be the day Riley's powers surfaced. They were about four years old, playing in their backyard when he got mad about not getting his own way (you know how kids are) in the game they were playing (they can't remember exactly what it was) and suddenly the grass started growing really fast and they were quickly lost in what was to them a jungle of weeds.

Their mom found them quickly enough, and soon after that, their dad kidnapped them for the first time and took them to his lair where they focused on control training for about a week (and her rock abilities surfaced when she started causing earthquakes.)

2. Describe their relationship in 3 words.

A common secret.

3. What kind of things do they like to do together?

Build. She loves designing and creating buildings, and he likes to fill in the details where she needs him to and watch her vision come to life. For the most part, her skills are limited to the building of lairs, especially her own, and as kids, their dad's. (She redesigned it about fifteen times before they were summoned by the academy.

As kids, they also enjoyed practice fighting each other. However, as they've gotten older, and the fights are now mandatory, they don't enjoy it as much.

4. What was their biggest fight?

Do you mean their stated fights as superhero and supervillain, or verbal fights over an actual issue? Do you mean one that takes place prior to the book, or during? Because like most twins who have everything and nothing in common, they've always had friction between them. As kids, most of their relationship was petty bickering over unimportant things, which neither of them actually took seriously. Once in a while, one would go too far and the other wouldn't talk to them for a week (or a month sometimes in Roxanne's case, since she's better at holding grudges), but for the most part, they got along, under their teasing. In fact, it's the absence of their bickering (and the fact that Roxanne's smile is now completely gone) that disturbs William when they get home from the Academy after graduation.

However, in book, I would say that their biggest fight is when Roxanne starts playing matchmaker for him (part of a villain's job - find a love interest for the hero, and then start kidnapping her, or in rare cases, him, as often as you can without completely breaking the victim). It's not so much that he minds the girl, because she really is perfect for him, but it's the principle of the thing, you know? Also, he wants her to loosen up and entertain the idea of romance for herself, which is something she's completely closed down (because it is rare for villains to marry, and even rarer if they're girls.)

And ... on that note, I'm having trouble deciding what to name the girl Roxanne picks out. Initially, I was going to do Rose, but that's now a different character in book 3. For a long time, it was Willow, but it's a bit too close to William for me to be comfortable with it. Other ideas: Fern, Iris, Ivy, and ... there was another one, but I'm not calling it off the top of my head. I want something to do with plants, but that's about all I know.

5. How far would they go to save each other?

If the other was truly in danger, they would risk everything, including revealing their true identities as hero/villain. Which is, for attendees of HaV Academy, a fate worse than death, because its grounds for getting your power removed. (And it's not a pretty sight. Depending on the power, it leaves the former super either dead, physically disabled, or mentally retarded.)

6. What are their pet peeves about each other?

Mostly little things. His constant teasing frequently gets on her nerves, while it annoys him how much she always takes things so seriously. That sort of thing.

7. What are their favorite things about each other?

She likes the fact that he'll usually do anything she suggests (because she really is the better planner of the two), And he loves the intricacy of her imagination.

8. What traits do they share? Mannerisms, clothing, quirks, looks, etc?

Parents ... they both have a superpower ...

But, really, they're polar opposites. She's an intense INTJ, while he's an outgoing, somewhat laid-back ESFP. She has black hair, gray eyes, and pale skin, and wears a lot of metallic colors, and sometimes jewelry. He had brown hair, green eyes, darker skin, and wears brighter colors, especially greens. He laughs a lot and is the life of the party, she rarely smiles (unless it's a carefully practiced diabolical grin as ROCKS), and usually just sits in the corner judging people. He has a lot of good friends, she has two or three best friends. (Riley, William, and she can't quite decide on Myr, her roommate at the acadamy, and sorta-kinda sidekick.)

9. Who has the strongest personality?

Roxanne, hands down. Maybe he's the more outgowing and loud, but she's far more intense than she is. She very much dominates the relationship/

10. How does their relationship change throughout your story?

They're never the closest of siblings. Indeed, if it weren't for the shared secret of their superpowers and the fact that they must keep them hidden, I don't know if they'd even be friends. In the beginning, they have their bickering, which is what leads to the Academy pairing them together as hero and villain, and then their lives going dual where they save all of their issues for when they're in mask and costume and get along almost perfectly in their normal clothes because they can't stand to be fighting if they don't have to be, then to emotions rising as the whole romance issue boils to the surface.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

About Andrew

I realized I needed a Fire Prince as soon as though the thought "Love Interest" floated through my head in connection with my Water Princess. And as a romance-obsessed young teenager (though I'd never admit it) it floated through pretty soon after the Water Princess appeared.

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I chose the name Andrew because it's my dad's middle name, and I really like it. It felt like a good name for a young leader, as it means manly. I then decided that he lost his mom, was the youngest of three brothers, was a boy scout, and did all the cooking for the family.

And I just wasn't connecting to his character. He was, perhaps, the first male character I ever attempted any real writing with, and since I had no brothers myself, and very few guy friends in my acquaintance anymore, and I just couldn't get into his head. I had no common ground with him, and, let's face it, he was a bit of a wimp. Not "manly" at all.

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So one day, having suffered though a most of the first draft, and thrown away a couple other attempts at second drafts, and trying to figure out WHY he was the one to take over for his mom after her death when he was the youngest and I realized ... he wasn't the youngest. He was the eldest.

And with that realization, every bit of his character fell into place, and I finally clicked with him. I could identify with his role as eldest, could sympathize with the responsibility he takes on after his mother's death. Even though I still have my parents, I've come close to loosing both of them, and there have been times that V. and I have filled in and "been" mom.

Also, he's one of my few characters that I have a specific actor picked out.

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Eddie Redmayne ... most of you know him better as Marius from Les Miz, but he also acted in a medieval ... I'm not sure whether it was a movie or TV series, but it was called "Pillars of Earth," and in it he was a redhead, and the first time I saw one of those pictures, I knew I had found my Andrew.

Red hair, freckles, (I'm not sure if his eyes are green or not), and that level of awkwardness that is Andrew's trademark. Pretty much the only drawback is that Eddie's love interest in PoE looks more like Jill Anna and that's ... kind of weird.

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Andrew, as I've already stated, is the oldest of four. Their dad is the absentminded professor, incredibly brilliant, but frequently forgets he has kids, and since they lost their mom in a car accident four years before. Andrew, therefore, was the one who picked up her slack and became mom to his younger brothers. I think it would be safe to say that he pretty much wraps up his identity in his family. Sure, he sees to his own needs and education, but his brothers always come first.

Like Clara, when you cut down to the core of his character, he has an intense fear of failure, but it's a very different failure that intimidates him. She's afraid of failing other's expectations of her, he of not living up to the responsibility thrust upon him.

While Clara accepts being in Klarand rather quickly, because Andrew's identity is wrapped up in his brothers, and he's afraid of failing in his responsibility, he flips out, and quite vehemently demands to be sent back to his own world (something that the men would gladly do, if they could.)

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Clara was found in Upper Klarand and taken to a castle where she spent the majority of part 1. They were willing to take any Water Princess who was sent to them, and while they found her unexpected, they did approve. Andrew? He gets found by a hunting party in Lower Klarand. There are exactly two people who approve of him, and Andrew isn't interested in winning friends and influencing people.

I'm not sure if Andrew would have ever accepted Klarand if it weren't for Karlos, the young son of Lord Abraham. I had created this character for the cousin-who-inspired-Chris-in-The-Ankulen, but he didn't show up until what is now part 3. However, as soon as I realized that Andrew was the oldest, I knew that the key to his character would be a younger brother in Klarand who would look up to him as a hero, and create an anchor to which Andrew could fall in love with the world.

And ... that's Andrew. I'm not sure if this post made any sense, but I'm tired and need to get to bed so I can go to work in the morning (I'm scheduling this post.)

So ... Enjoy some more pictures of Eddie. And Gifs, if they'll load.

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Friday, April 3, 2015

Character Encounters - April 2015

Alrighty, I have finally determined where we will be encountering our characters this month. However, before I get around to telling you where this brilliant location is, I have a bit of an announcement.

I'm going to put Character Encounters on Hiatus.

My reason for this is two-fold: first, I'm not seeing a lot of participation. Maybe one or two people, and usually that's me. And while it is good character development, and I enjoy doing them, I don't see the point in creating the link-up if I'm the only one who's going to use it.

Second, I'm kinda running out of good ideas. I've come up with now 27 places so far, and while I know there are more locations available, my brain's empty.

So ... if you wish to protest my decision, you have two options. First, actually do a character encounter and link it below - prove to me that I'm not just doing this for my own creative exploration. Second, comment below with ideas for future encounter locations. I'm open to to pretty much anywhere (provided it's G rated - no bars, or other stuff like that, though I don't think any of you would want your characters there any more than I would), and if you want to see the locations I've already done, see the link in the previous paragraph.

Now, onto this month's Encounter Information. This month, you get to meet your characters ...

In Your Character's Own World

That's right folks, instead of bringing your character here for the encounter, you get to go to them. Sounds like fun, right? (And ... if you need help with world hopping, feel free to borrow Laura, she doesn't mind.)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

777 Challenge

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I've been kinda busy with my life. What time I've been able to spare from work has been given to editing Water Princess, Fire Prince and writing the sequel.

But I was tagged by Jenelle Schmidt and Robyn Hoode for the 777 Challenge, which basically means that one goes to the seventh page of their current WIP, counts down seven lines, and then posts the next seven.

Should be fun ... and I had intentions of sharing it from WP,FP, but when I looked it up, it proved to be something I think I've already shared ... so you guys are getting a snippet from book 2 instead.

  “Is – is she a friend of Laura’s?”
  The man considered a moment. “I don’t know that she is,” he admitted. “But there’s a lot about our mother’s past that we don’t know. She speaks of Laura as fact, though, where most others believe her to be only a story.”
  “Oh.” Petra didn’t like the thought of going alone with this strange man, but it wasn’t as though she knew anyone else here. “In that case, I’d love to meet your mother.”

And there you go. For a wee bit of context, Petra has just arrived in Rizkaland, and Laura (the Doorkeeper) has informed her that she needs to go talk to a friend of hers who would lead her to some answers. She has just met up with a young man who says that his mother may be able to help her. It was a fun scene to write.

Now, I'm also supposed to tag seven people ... but frankly, I believe that everyone know has already been tagged or even have already done this. So, if you haven't done this yet, and want to, consider yourself tagged. I don't know who you are, but I suspect you do. It's not a hard challenge. Have fun!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Book Spotlight - Midnight Captive

And I am back, yet again, for a blog tour. Next month, I shall try to have some more interesting things to post - such as stuff about Rizkaland. I really need to post more about Rizkaland. You guys just aren't excited enough yet!

Anyways, the blog tour post thingie. I'm spotlighting a book most of you probably haven't heard of yet - but you need to, because this is the next new thing in Fairy Tale retellings, a brilliant blend of Sleeping Beauty, the Twelve Dancing Princesses, and the Pied Piper. After putting off reading it for a month (partially because of my computer troubles, partially because I've had some bad experiences with Sleeping Beauty retellings) but once I picked it up, I read it in three sittings - and I only put it down because I had to go to bed/get ready to go.

Hurry over to Amazon as FAST as you can and buy it - it's only $2.99

Phaedra is cursed to sleep until true love wakes her. Hermione has a dark secret. 

When Prince Sheridan discovers the two princesses wandering the woods outside the castle at night, he begins to wonder if there is more to Phaedra's curse than is readily apparent. 

With the help of a minstrel out to prove a point, they must discover the secret before the princesses are trapped forever in the night.

5-Star Review Excerpt:
"Truly a spellbinding tale. I cannot recommend it more, and look forward to any future books that E.D. Phillips may write." - By SilverRose on Amazon

Supposedly, the rest of the stops on the blog tour will be listed here, thought link wasn't live last night when I checked.

But, honestly, while this wasn't the BEST retelling I've ever read, it has earned first for Sleeping Beauty retellings. (Mostly because, as I mentioned already, I've had bad experience with Sleeping Beauty retellings.) I'll be posting my review later today, some time after I get home from work.
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