Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Yorien's Hand Interview: Yole

Have I mentioned Jenelle Leanne Schmidt before? I've been over to her blog for cover reveals and blog tours ...

Author Biography:

Jenelle Schmidt grew up in the northern-Midwest. She now resides with her husband and their three adorable children in the wilds of Wisconsin. Jenelle fell in love with reading at a young age during family story-times when her father would read out loud to her and her siblings each night before bed. Her imagination was captured by authors such as Madeleine L’Engle, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Lloyd Alexander. It wasn’t long before she began making up her own stories and sharing them with her family. To this day she enjoys creating exciting adventure tales filled with poignant themes and compelling characters in the fantasy and sci-fi genres.

Speaking of which, she just released the third volume of her fantasy series. The first two books are awesome (I love the worldbuilding), and while I haven't had a chance to read this one yet, I'm thoroughly looking forward to doing so at some point.

The years of Oraeyn’s short rule have been peaceful, but now ominous nightmares plague his sleep and cling to him during his waking hours. When two of his most trusted advisors disappear without a trace and not even the power of dragons can locate them, the fell promise of the king’s nightmares becomes reality.

From the furthest reaches of the world, an ancient enemy stirs. Stretching beyond his crumbling prison walls, this foe seeks to bring life to the darkest of shadows. His army marches towards Aom-igh with deadly intent, threatening all Oraeyn holds dear.

Aided by dragons, and with the warrior Brant and Princess Kamarie at his side, Oraeyn must journey into the wilds of a forgotten realm. Trusting in the wisdom and skill of the enigmatic minstrel, Kiernan Kane, the companions race against time in search of Yorien’s Hand, a relic that may hold the power to save them all.

And I get to interview one of the characters: Yole. Spoilers if you haven't read the first book of the series, though!

  1. You're a dragon, and you've known you're one for about three years now. How has it gone?
It’s been amazing! I love being a dragon. I have learned so much. The only downside is that all of the older dragons treat me like a little kid - a “youngling” is their term for it. The thing is, I’m so used to fending for myself and being on my own, that it is difficult for me to adjust to them telling me what I am and am not allowed to do. Also, some of the dragons give me funny looks when I talk or Sometimes I volunteer to take Brant back and forth to Llycaelon just to get away from that, because it is so annoying. There really aren’t any other dragons my age - though I guess part of the problem is that nobody is really sure what my actual age is - there are the full-adult dragons, the elders, and the newborn hatchlings, but no other “younglings.” There weren’t any young dragons hatched during their time in Krayghentaliss.

  1. Who would you call your best friend?
Amongst the dragons, my best friend is Thorayenak. He’s one of the elder dragons, but he’s one of the only ones who doesn’t treat me like a baby. He’s extremely wise and he’s taught me a lot of history and lore. I guess you could say he kind of got saddled with my education, but he doesn’t seem to mind, and he never makes me feel like I’m a burden.

Shentallyia is another dragon I’ve become friends with. She’s quite a bit older than me, but is probably the only dragon even close to my own age.

The people I would consider my best friends, however, are not dragons, but the humans who accepted me as their own before I even knew who I was: Oraeyn and Kamarie. They are my family.

3. What's the best part of being a dragon?

There are so many wonderful things about being a dragon. Flying is one of my favorite things. But I think the best part is really that I can be of use now. I have a role, abilities that make me useful to the ones I care about. I spent so much of my early life wandering from village to village, less than worthless to everyone I met, with no expectations of anything more, no purpose. I feel that being a dragon has filled a void in my heart and given me a greater purpose to strive towards.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Hello 2016

My calendar tells me that we just entered a new year. I wasn't done with the last one yet. Give it back!!!!

This last year has been a mixed bag. On one hand, I did publish My Kingdom for a Quest and Water Princess, Fire Prince, which have been my best books thus far, but on the other hand, I didn't accomplish that much else.

I'm going to first link up with the Beautiful People link up that Cait and Skye have issued, themed on my writing goals for 2016.

What were your writing achievements last year?
I published two books! I believe I mentioned that before. I didn't get a whole lot of writing done, apart from parts 1-3 of Lady Dragon, Tela Du, but I'm mostly satisfied with that. I also had a job. Jobs steal your time.

Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year?

Finishing Lady Dragon, Tela Du and getting it published sometime in October. This means that I need to finish writing it by my birthday next month. Can I do this? If I focus. I'm also going to try to have the Beta Reader call up by that point, and part 1 mostly edited. 

List 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year.

1. Focusing - Dug from Up is my spirit animal. I am SO easily distracted. This year, I'm going to to work on staying on task.
2. Multitasking smarter - As extension of being easily distracted, I love piling projects on top of myself and subsequently drowning. I'm going to try to smarter about this in 2016 so that I don't drown.
3. Meeting Goals - I'm a published author with a fanbase clamoring for sequels. This means I need to get them their sequels in a timely fashion. 
4. Staying accountable - I don't like admitting the real truth about why I don't meet my goals. "I'm sorry this post didn't go up ... work ... brain broke ..." while in honesty, it didn't get done because I was goofing off playing a computer game. I played a really fun Hidden Object Adventure based on Snow White the other week. That was fun.
5. Promotion. I doubled - nearly tripled my fanbase last year, but if I'm going to become independent off of my writing, I need a larger fanbase. So this year, I'm going to get serious and actually shell out money to promote myself. I'm also going to get serious contacting reviewers to see if they want to read Water Princess, Fire Prince.

Are you participating in any writing challenges?

NaNo for certain - I've already nearly settled on Sing, Aling for this year, my Sci-fi retelling of Peter Pan. I'm not sure whether or not I'm going to do Camp NaNo. If I do, it will be with either book 3 or The New Division.
Five Something Something. I didn't get Poison Kiss done in time this year, so I'm going to try again this year. If they do Little Mermaid (which is my #1 guess ... either that or Rapunzel), I have something picked out. Otherwise, we'll see what I come up with when I see the cover. 

What's your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?

I have a few girls who are reading LDTD by the part as I write it, but I'll be issuing a call for betas sometime next month, hopefully. Beta readers of book 1 will be contacted directly. It'll be a bit more tricky for newcomers, but not impossible.

Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research?

Not really. Well, I have a small slew of writing/publishing/promotion how-to books on my kindle. Maybe I should read them.

Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this?

Aling of Sing, Aling. She's the Tinkerbell character, and is half-elf and half-fairy, and loves tinkering. I'm going to write her book. It will be awesome.

Do you plan to edit or query, and what’s your plan of attack?

I'm going to edit. You'd better bet I'm going to edit. Querying isn't in my plans, though, not until I have a book ready that I'd be willing to let a publishing company control.

Plan of attack ... uh ... same as I always edit. Without mercy.

Toni Morrison once said, “If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world?

There is a severe shortage of books by Kendra E. Ardnek. Only SEVEN!! I need to rectify that.

What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016?

LDTD published, Poison Kiss published. New Division written and ready for revision and publication 2017, Sing, Aling written, and put together a series of children's books about essential oils. This is a new project that I was discussing with my aunt the other week, but basically ... I'm going to personify the various oils, and write stories that will help kids learn about their various uses.

I would also like to get the Bookania collection finished ... but I'm not sure that's going to happen. Maybe next year. I don't want to abandon Bookania, but right now, Rizkaland and its surrounding novels have me captured, heart and soul. It might not be until I have RL Book 3 out before I can focus on the Bookanian characters again. I need to prioritize, after all.

Also, I'm coming up on Sew's fifth birthday this summer, as well as my 7th blogoversary. There will be a party. It's too soon for me to know the details, but it will be awesome. I do know that this is when I plan to publish Poison Kiss.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Some Winsome Winners!

So, did everyone have a fun time last week? I certainly did (apart from the running around like a chicken with a head chopped off because I hadn't had sufficient time to prepare).

Of course, I'm sure of you are wondering who won everything. Well ... without further ado.

There was no fanfiction contest, and the Goodreads Group didn't make it to 50 members, so no one will be receiving a physical copy. 

However, for the fanart contest, we have three lovely winners, who will each receive $5 gift card for Amazon and Part 1 of book 2.


Hannah Rogers is the unrivaled winner of the first category (Well, one person voted for my bro, but that doesn't count). 

Alyssa won Creativity, and I won't argue. I love this picture.

We had a tie for Interpretation, so I called in my mom and sister to break it - making the winner Tom Wildrose, whose mock cover is almost exactly what I'd always pictured as the cover when I was first brainstorming it.

You all did lovely work.

Now, for the fanart grand prize which, admittedly, is more of an "author's choice" than anything else.

Reuben and Petra. Their relationship summed up in one picture. I opened this up when Hannah sent it to me and I might have let out a fangirl squeal of my own. She'll be winning a read of part 2 as well, and a boxed set of the BBC Narnia DVDs.

I'll be contacting all of the fanart winners shortly.

And now ... for the grand prize of the full alpha read of book 2 ... the winner is ...


Despite having only one entry (A speculation on Amber of "I bet she's gonna die"), he managed to score the prize. Sierra, since you're his older sister, you can go ahead and just slip him the files, since you won the alpha read in a previous giveaway.

Guess he's going to find out if Amber dies or not!

(Unfortunately, I didn't make it to 100 followers here on my blog, so he'll be the only one.)

Are we good, good!

Now I'm going to go and pin all of the fanart to my pinterest board, because that's what pinterest is for, right?

(Also, comment moderation is back on so I can keep an eye on my comments again)

Friday, January 1, 2016

Character Dress-Up Exhibit

This is going to be the last post for the party. I'm leaving things open until Sunday night, however, and will be posting winners sometime on Monday.

Amanda B. as Clara

Since Amanda was the only one who sent in a pic, I'm adding a picture of me and the friend who inspired Summer. She's the one with dimples.

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