If I had a Boat

Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Is For Felines

It would seem that you can't be a fantasy author and not have cats. Nearly every book I read has a cat as at least a minor character in it, and practically all authors have a cat as a pet for "inspiration" and cuddles. Their felines sprawl adorably on the keyboards of their computers, and make for excellent character models and facebook posts.  
I don't have a cat. 
What's worse is that I've never even owned a cat. Is this a bad omen? I hope not.
The only hope I have is that I do like cats...does that mean that I have at least a shot at becoming a successful fantasy author?
Really, though, when you think about it there are always kitties in different shapes and forms throughout fantasy novels. I hope that one day can come up with some characters as memorable as these...even if I do have a cat deficiency.
Take the mysterious feline from The Little White Horse.


Zachariah is the prophetic kitty who helps the heroine by drawing different signs and shapes in the ash from the fire of the night before. He's an adorable character (don't let him hear me say that) and adds so much to the story!

~Patricia C. Wrede's Felines~

I can't pick out just one cat from the Enchanted Forest Chroicles! They're all too hilarious!
“Four of us,' said Morwen. The cats yowled. 'Yes, I know, and of course you're coming, but you can't carry a bucket of soapy water, so for the purposes of this discussion it doesn't matter,' she told them.
The cats gave her an affronted look, turned their backs, and began making indignant little noises at each other.”
Haha! I couldn't resist posting that quote.
And of course everyone knows of the great Cat -- The Bard of Goldstone Wood himself!

~Sir Eanrin of Rudiobus~

 Sir Eanrin has stolen the hearts of many fantasy readers, mine included. He's dashing, he's shape-shifting, he's confident but shy all the same. And most of all he's a hopeless romantic! (Don't let him hear me say that either!)
There are many more fantastic felines out there in the literary world, but these are just a few of my favorites. Tell me, did you recognize any of these kitties?
I'm going to try and write about a cat now...

Monday, April 21, 2014

Something New Out of Nothing New

What I've noticed lately with new books coming out is that everyone is trying so hard to be completely new and different than the other person who just had their story published. They're all trying to up one another.
Everyone wants to be the latest phenomenon. Who can come up with the strangest, most addictive new story? But what I think -- and you might think this as well -- is that the older stories are the better stories.
I like merry-go-rounds. And Ferris wheels and hot air balloons.
There's nothing original about them, is there?
Oh, but there is. If you choose to write about a hot air balloon, or at least where a hot air balloon
 is a vital point in the story, then you are making something small and ordinary that someone probably didn't ever think about writing into a whole new story. Who would've thought that a hot air balloon could save a prince living deep beneath a magical castle? (Crazy idea, I know. I'm thinking off the top of my head here.)
The prince under the magical castle isn't original at all. It's an older story.

But it's an older story that I like very much.

Why do you think fairy tales are so popular? Why do you think the ideas of vampires (as foul as those stories are now) are so popular? Because they're old stories.
So don't try to write something overly clever because, in reality, people -- I -- love the old stories. The timeless ones. The truly clever stories that will make a mark on the writing world! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

On the Subject of Quotes

I don't know about you bunch, but one of my favorite pastimes is reading quotes of favorite authors. Funny quotes, sad quotes, quotes that make you think: they're all terribly entertaining! So I thought I'd share a few of my favorite comedic quotes with you today, and if you all like, I'll share some more thoughtful quotes on another post.
I hope your bacon burns.
~ Howl
from Diana Wynne Jone's Howl's Moving Castle
 If you haven't read the book, this probably didn't make much sense to you, but those who have read the classic are most likely laughing! I'm chuckling right now just thinking of the scene where this line is said. Ha ha!
"Honestly," she sighed. "I have no idea what kind of life we'll have together, with me always flying off in one direction and you in the other."
I smiled. "It's a good thing the world's round."
from Kenneth Oppel's Starclimber
Do you enjoy witty dialogue, airships, pirates, and story lines that resemble Jules Verne's classic adventures? Then read the Airborn series. Truly, they'll have you laughing one minute and biting your nails the next. They're clean, funny, and incredibly clever. You won't regret picking this one up! Plus the romance is so sweet. And there's nothing like good romance in a book :)
See! See, she's gone and put her foot in her mouth again! Right in, heel and all.
~Princess Una
from Anne Elisabeth Stengl's Heartless
And you all know everything there is to know of this book. It's delightful, it's frightening, it's humorous and adventurous. Again, Anne Elisabeth drops little hilarious quotes like these all through her series. And if you haven't read Heartless, do so now! You won't regret reading this tale of redemption and grace.
Even now, Dickon was upstairs, writing sonnets to his new love, while back at Seadown House, Marianne was writing 'Ella' on scraps of paper and then burning them.  
~from Jessica Day George's Princess of Glass
Every one of Jessica Day George's books somehow manages to have a Jane Austen-ish feel to it. They're magical, funny, frightening, romantic tales that I absolutely adore! I always get quite a few laughs from her writing!
"Are you badly hurt?"
"Hideously," said the king, without sounding injured at all. "I am disemboweled. My insides may in an instant become my outsides as I stand here before you.”
from Megan Whalen Turner's The King of Attolia
All right, if you haven't read this series, your life is very, very sad. When I first started this series, I didn't know what to think of it. But by the end of the first book, it became apparent to me that this series would be one that I would read and love over and over again! And you should read it too. :)
There are some, a few, of my favorite, comedic quotes!
Tell me: have you read any of these books? Which quote was your favorite?

Monday, April 14, 2014

FIVE GLASS SLIPPERS Release Date and More!

 As I checked my e-mail this morning, I found a nice little bold-print note from Anne Elisabeth in my inbox.  (Don't you love seeing that bold-print message when you open up your mail?) She told me what the official release date would be for Five Glass Slippers and gave me the galley proof of my story.
But before I start working on proof-reading my story one last time before sending it out to the world, I wanted to share the news of the release date with you!
Five Glass Slippers will be released:
June 14th
However, the book is available now for pre-order here on Amazon
So, if you want to go ahead and order Five Glass Slippers, you are free to do so! Trust me, I've taken a little glimpse at each of the other four stories and found them all superb. (No surprise there!) Plus, the page design is stunning! 
One thing that is for certain, this is going to be a one-of-a-kind book. Between romance, comedy, sci-fi, mystery, and magic, there's a genre for everyone!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

To Find a Title

Something has been bugging me of late.
It's easy to come up with a story and plan it out and get excited over the potentials, but the hard part is coming up with a title for it. The story I'm working on has been nameless for a little while, and that drives me crazy! Before I wrote The Moon Master's Ball, I had come up with the title for it.
And still my story, my main story that really should have a title remains nameless.
So I thought. And I thought some more. 
I asked my Mom what I should call it and then she thought a little bit. It didn't take her nearly as long as me to come up with an answer.
"Clara," she said, "What about 'To Find a Castle'? I know that's the name of your blog, but it's a good title for your story, too."
Yes! Yes it is! DUH!
Of course To Find a Castle is perfect for my story because, well, all the characters are searching for a castle. So there you have it. The official title of my story is now To Find a Castle!
Thank you Mom for being a genius!

Monday, April 7, 2014

If Only the World Would Slow Down!

Life's been a bit insane lately, hence the lack of posts. Hopefully I'll get back on a normal schedule now!

Some exciting things have happened since I've been absent. Anne Elisabeth sending me the title cover for The Moon Master's Ball is one of them! Here it is!
Don't you love the moon and the little Tilly Higgins in her ankle-length maid's dress, high-heeled lace-up boots and the note in her hand...what does that note say, I wonder? :P As you can tell, I am absolutely thrilled with it!
Also, if some of you don't know all ready, the Five Glass Slippers blog is up and running! Rachel Heffington, Stephanie Ricker and I have all written a little something about our Cinderellas. Be certain to check out the posts here. I'm super excited about everyone's stories! The book will be out before too much longer!