You can find out more about the awesome Split tour and where it will be stopping by clicking here.
Good morning, everyone! Today I'd like to introduce you all to C.T. Douglas a very talented young artist and author of The Lore Trilogy: A Pirate's Charm. For those of you who love paranormal romance and pirate stories, you won't want to miss this!
When she flees Barbados in the late 1780s, the last thing Molly Bishop expects is to begin life anew with a criminal -- much less the infamous Captain Thomas Crowe. On the high seas, far from her old life and even farther from England and her Uncle Samuel's farm, Molly learns more than just the way of outcasts. Captain Crowe keeps secrets -- many secrets. His eyes are sometimes deep blue and sometimes yellow. Inhuman noises can be heard from his cabin on moonlit nights. Stranger still, Thomas possesses a ring crafted by Molly's father -- a man she thought to be long gone. Life on the fringes of civilization seems to offer something forbidden and exciting to Molly, and when Thomas's secrets are revealed, she is immersed in a world of fantasy and myth more real and much larger than she could have imagined. (book blurb)
1. How did you get the idea to add vampires and werewolves to a pirate story?
When I was a junior in high school, the excitement surrounding Pirates of the Caribbean just started to die off, and at the same time, Stephanie Meyer hadn't yet released the second installment in the Twilight series. I remember being in a meeting for a club that a friend and I had started, "Creative Writing and Comics", and someone who was talking about Twilight eventually had everyone on the subject of vampires. It was sometime soon after this that I thought, "Why has no one put pirates, werewolves, vampires, and everything else possible into one story?" I've always been a fan of mythology, especially Greek mythology, and I love studying the deeper meanings attached to folklore and legends. At the time I realized that the fan bases for pirates and vampires overlapped and I decided to start writing a story that just made sense to me. Once I began, I kept writing, and finished the series in high school, but didn't pick it back up and consider it seriously until I was already a year into college.
2. Who is your favorite character in A Pirate's Charm and why?
My answer may come as a surprise: the Leviathan. I can't tell you how many times I came back to that chapter. I could never make it quite good enough, and while I was revising A Pirate's Charm, I had several revelations about writing and purpose. I think what upset me about the Leviathan chapter, initially, was that every version of it felt cliche. It was in the early morning one night that, out of exhaustion and frustration, I tore the chapter apart and rewrote it in every way possible. I wanted to evoke a new sense of wonder in the face of this creature, and describing a "dark and stormy night" to set the stage was not going to cut it. The question to be answered here, I thought, is "what is fear made of?" I decided that fear was a reaction to the unnatural and unfamiliar, so I started by making the natural setting (ocean, sky, etc) grotesque and surreal. Then, I decided that the Leviathan should be a deep sea creature and hark on the fear of "alien" things. This fascination I developed for creating a mood and designing a character, or in this case, a creature, to inhabit it led to my love for the Leviathan.
3. What is the hardest thing about writing for you?
The hardest thing about writing is knowing when to set down the work and call it "finished". I was prepared for this by years of art classes in high school. Any kind of artistic work is defined more by its flaws than its successes. When a writer can "finish" a work, and move on, the work will later become a tool for reflection. I think writing is more about progressing than perfecting. I want to make my stories as perfect as possible, but if I waste time on that, I'll never finish them.
4. What do you do when you need inspiration?
Inspiration, for me, is never in short supply. I feel as though a lot of it comes to me each and every day, in little pieces. I never just have tons and tons of ideas, but I build up a few really worthwhile ones over a long period of time. Watching movies, listening to music, and being able to think in quiet or peaceful places certainly helps when I need a little extra creative fuel, though. I do a lot of questioning and thinking on my own, and rarely do I go looking for "examples" to draw from. I laugh when I think of how often I'm asked to name my favorite author, because I don't have one. I rarely read, and often it's because I'd rather be writing, and I'm always afraid of allowing myself to subconsciously mimic other artists' ideas.
5. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I've always been a writer, but I guess it would be more correct to say I've always been a storyteller. I've been a visual artist for longer than I've been a serious writer, and I've also been a musician since early high school. I love stories, for one reason or another, and these various modes of expression allowed me to realize that I had the greatest room for expression in writing, since writing came easiest. I didn't think of myself as a writer until as recently as two years ago. I began college as an Architectural Design major, ditched it in less than a week, and switched to English. At that time, I took up Lore, dusted it off and said, "I'm going to do this from now on."
6. Do you let friends/family read your writing before its done?
I let several people look through my work as I write, which is a new behavior for me. Normally I'm the type of person who would sooner set a manuscript on fire than let someone look at it "naked" haha. Since the first book, I've steadily gathered friends and other connections whose personalities and perspectives make for an excellent gradient of feedback. Often, if I sit with someone who is familiar with the story, and explain a specific concept to them that I'm developing, the bouncing of ideas will produce a thought that wouldn't have occurred to me if I had kept myself locked up in my own little world and shut-out to other idea highways. Allowing for input during the creation process is great. When you pass your ideas through others, it's like looking at a picture you drew through different lenses, and this allows you to see parts of your picture that you may have neglected or not considered thoroughly.
7. Are there any writers you particularily look up to?
Again, I don't really look to other writers for guidance or look up to other artists to evaluate myself by. I consider all the arts to be alternate means of expression, and storytelling is really at the heart of every art form. Having said this, I do look to certain "storytellers" because I find a certain inspiring uniqueness in their work. A few would be directors Hayao Miyazaki and Shinichiro Watanabe; authors and writers Lewis Carroll, Stephen King, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Aldous Huxley and Mary Shelley; animator Don Hertzfeldt; composer Tchaikovsky, and many contemporary bands, mostly in the blues and rock genres and subgenres.
8. Any advice for young writers?
What I always emphasize to aspiring writers is this: "If you love it, that means it's what you're meant to do. If you do it, and don't stop, you'll never regret it."
My review of A Pirate's Charm
Official Lore Trilogy website
A Pirate's Charm on Goodreads
Bloggers Speak Out is a movement sparked by the recent article, "Filthy Books Demeaning to Republic Education" by Dr. Wesley Scroggins that was published in the Springfield, MO News-Leader on September 18th. In this article, Scroggins vehemently advocates the censorship of books in schools, and specifically requests that the following books be removed from the Republic school system: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, and Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. To show our support of these authors and to fight against book banning and censorship, we have decided to take action and speak out.
This project is headed by Natalie at Mindful Musings.
As part of the Bloggers Speak Out tour I will be showing my support for Laurie Halse Anderson and the rest of the YA authors attacked by Dr. Scroggins by giving away a 10th Anniversary Edition paperback copy of Speak. There are no strings tied to this giveaway. I would be thrilled if you became (or already are) a follower, but it isn't necessary to enter. Extra entries will be given for spreading the word about the above article and our stand against censorship.
Must be a US resident.
Must be 13+ years old.
Must enter by Oct. 2
Winner will be announce October 3.
To enter please fill out this form.
As many of you have heard, several popular YA novels have come under attack for being used in high school classrooms by a Dr. Scroggins out of Rupublic, MO. One of those books is Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Speak is the story of a young woman who was raped and chose to stay silent about the things that happened to her. I haven't read the book, but I do plan to. Being a YA blogger, I have heard enough about Laurie Halse Anderson's books to know that they are not meant to 'corrupt' girls in any way. Anderson wrote her books to send us all a picture of reality, harsh as it may be, and to make sure people who have been abused in the same way don't feel quite so alone. I've always found that when reading books or watching a movie, the parts that make you cry, shake with anger, and question the the world around you are the things you remember most. They're the things that make you want to change whatever you can.
I could go on and on about everything he said but it all boils down to this: Does he have any clue what he is talking about? It sounds to me like he's just some self-righteous big-mouthed man who thinks he can dictate what's right and what's wrong for teenagers to read.
My opinion is that censorship is not the answer. Having just finished reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, this really tore me up. I want to know your opinion. Please let me know what you think and also share any links if you've posted about this yourself.
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
This week I'm waiting on I was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison to be released by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on September 28, 2010. The pretty cover caught my eye at first, and lately (okay, its been a while!) I've been absorbed with Victorian novels. I'm not the biggest Jane Austen fan, but this sounds like it will be a cute book and worth the risk.
"When shy Jenny Cooper goes to stay with her cousin Jane Austen, she knows nothing of the world of beautiful dresses, dances, secrets, gossip, and romance that Jane inhabits. At fifteen, Jane is already a sharp observer of the customs of courtship. So when Jenny falls utterly in love with Captain Thomas Williams, who better than Jane to help her win the heart of this dashing man?
But is that even possible? After all, Jenny’s been harboring a most desperate secret. Should it become known, it would bring scandal not only to her, but also to the wonderful Austen family. What’s a poor orphan girl to do?"-Goodreads
To pre-order I was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison from Amazon.com, please click here.
This blog is an Amazon Associates Affiliate. When you buy an item from Amazon.com after following one of our links to the site, we gain a small commission. However, this does NOT effect our opinion of the books. Thank you.
A Pirate's Charm by C.T. Douglas 5 of 5 stars.
First book in The Lore Trilogy.
When she flees Barbados in the late 1780s, the last thing Molly Bishop expects is to begin life anew with a criminal -- much less the infamous Captain Thomas Crowe. On the high seas, far from her old life and even farther from England and her Uncle Samuel's farm, Molly learns more than just the way of outcasts. Captain Crowe keeps secrets -- many secrets. His eyes are sometimes deep blue and sometimes yellow. Inhuman noises can be heard from his cabin on moonlit nights. Stranger still, Thomas possesses a ring crafted by Molly's father -- a man she thought to be long gone. Life on the fringes of civilization seems to offer something forbidden and exciting to Molly, and when Thomas's secrets are revealed, she is immersed in a world of fantasy and myth more real and much larger than she could have imagined. (Book blurb)
Captain Thomas Crowe is handsome, charming, and secretive, he also happens to be Molly's only chance of escaping a past filled with shadows. What Molly didn't know is that Thomas Crowe was a man who could make all of the stories her uncle told her as a child become real. As Molly finds her world inescapably tangled with that of Thomas she must learn to accept fiction as fact while facing an adventure more mystifying and dangerous than she ever dreamed possible.
A Pirate's Charm is a page-turning adventure full of mythical creatures, romance, and magic. The writing is dense and graceful as we follow the characters' unbelievable story. Humor lightens an otherwise dark plot full of surprising twists and unpredictable turns that will leave the reader on the edge of her seat.
Having been obsessed with the Pirates of the Caribbean movies for years (seriously- I could quote all three movies perfectly) and reading To Catch a Pirate by Jade Parker over twenty times before moving on to the more popular genre of paranormal fiction, I couldn't resist reading a book that had both pirates and werewolves. Now, this plot had the possibility to either be positively genius or horribly corny. Thankfully, it was the former.
The mythology C.T. Douglas uses in his debut novel is unique to the modern paranormal world but still carries a more traditional feel. He quite obviously put alot of effort into creating a thorough history for the creatures and magic in his book.
The characters were easily lovable. Molly was the more realistic out of the bunch, while Thomas Crowe was completely swoon-worthy and hilarious. The notorious captain's antics reminded me greatly of Jack Sparrow. The side characters in the novel were just as three-dimensional as the main characters, all adding a piece to the puzzle.
Overall, I think anyone would enjoy A Pirate's Charm. Whether you're into the paranormal scene of vampires and werewolves, a pirate lover, or just a fan of a good adventure novel, you can easily fall in love with this story. I, for one, can't wait to read the next book!
To order a copy of A Pirate's Charm by C.T. Douglas, please click here.
Oh, my! I have to say, I am so glad I went to the Decatur Book Festival. It was a bit overwhelming but completely worth it. I met so many amazing people I would never have seen otherwise and had a great time. I admit that I was totally star-struck when I met Michelle Zink, Jackson Pearce, Robin Benway, Lisa Klein, and Nancy Werlin. They were super nice and I really hope I didn't make too much of a fool of myself. (Being the little bumpkin I am!) ;)
Anyway, I promised you all some pictures so here they are!! :) I strongly encourage you to check out the authors' websites and publications. They're all awesome!
One of my writing idols, Michelle Zink!
(Left to Right) The fabulous Robin Benway; Jackson Pearce, one of my new favorite people; Prophecy of the Sisters author, Michelle Zink.
Impossible author Nancy Werlin at her signing.
Nancy Werlin. Isn't she awesome?!
Lisa Klein who had just finished a speech on girl power or rather the lack thereof during Elizabethan times.
Zarle Williams, a super sweet lady and the author of The Memoirs of Joan of Arc.
The incredibly talented C.T. Douglas author of The Lore Trilogy.
Candace Christina author of the absolutely adorable book Summer of Seven.
Randy Young and Fran Orenstein from Sleepytown Press.
Steampunk author Nick Valentino promoting his book Thomas Riley.
Tyra Denine author of Damaged Goods and advocate against domestic abuse.
Ramona Bridges author of the beautiful book Sweet By and By.
Award-winning novelist Jane Harmon promoting her book Pip.
The mystical Leanna Sain author of the Gate to Nowhere books.
Hi, everyone!! The Decatur Book Festival is absolutely amazing!! I knew it was going to be big, but it still surprised me. I've seen tons of cool authors, and am dying to read some of the books I've picked up. I do have plenty of pictures, but I was too tired to post them last night. However, I promise to post them tonight. Keep an eye on my Twitter page, as I hope to be tweeting more about the festival today.
If you happen to be there, let me know! I'd love to see you!!! :)
All the best,
Posted by (Arya) Paige at 10:34:00 AM