Saturday, March 25, 2017

6 Tips for Writing Movie Reviews





I love movies. I love going to the theaters and experiencing a new film. When I found a Christian ministry called Geeks Under Grace where I review movies for a Christian audience, I totally got on board with that. Now I'm the Head Movie Editor and though my primary position is editing other people, I also write my own reviews on a semi-regular basis. I usually link to them in my Monthly Summaries. One of my readers requested that I write a post on how to write movie reviews and I'm happy to oblige.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Interview with Ioto (Starbloods)!





Me:
It's the first character interview of the year! I'm going to start going these every month where there is a fifth Saturday. There's so much I want to post and so little time haha. Anyway ... Ioto is one of my villains for my work in progress Starbloods which I'm rewriting for Camp NaNo next month (even though I started it this month)! If you want to learn more about him before the interview, check out his bio. *turns interview chair to Ioto who is sitting next to me like on Jimmy Fallon* Hello, Ioto.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

So Your Character is from the Midwest United States ... Featuring Elliana Reickard






This So Your Character is ... is a little different than others. A while back way way during the beginning stages of this whole concept I wrote post called So Your Character is from the South ... because I'm from the Southeast United States and it gets a lot of stigma. I also may revise this since my new way of writing these posts is so much better. Moving on. When Elliana volunteered to do a post on the Midwest United States, I was delighted to have her. The United States is such a huge country, you almost need a post for every region. As with my other posts in this series I'm hoping to encourage international diversity, break stereotypes, and give writers a crash course on how to write a character from these different places on our planet.

I've been to three states in the Midwest: Missouri, Illinois (It was for forty minutes, but it counts!), and Minnesota. Missouri I stayed in the longest because I was there and I learned about their rivalry with Ohio. Minnesota amused me because of their joke about mosquitoes being their state bird, and Illinois was cool cause Chicago and Divergent. I'm happy to know even more about these states from Elliana!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

A Book Review of the Lost Girl on Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill




Buy from Amazon!
Lydia has vanished.

Lydia, who’s never broken any rules, except falling in love with the wrong boy. Lydia, who’s been Piper’s best friend since they were children. Lydia, who never even said good-bye.

Convinced the police are looking in all the wrong places, eighteen-year-old Piper Sail begins her own investigation in an attempt to solve the mystery of Lydia’s disappearance. With the reluctant help of a handsome young detective, Piper goes searching for answers in the dark underbelly of 1924 Chicago, determined to find Lydia at any cost.

When Piper discovers those answers might stem from the corruption strangling the city—and quite possibly lead back to the doors of her affluent neighborhood—she must decide how deep she’s willing to dig, how much she should reveal, and if she’s willing to risk her life of privilege for the sake of the truth.

Genre: YA Historical Mystery
Publisher: Blink (February 7, 2017)
Page Count: 352 pages


This has to be my favorite of Stephanie Morrill's books. I've read Me, Just Different and The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet and I'm just not a huge fan of contemporary. YA Historical Mystery, however, is more my cup of tea. When I found out Stephanie was writing one, I knew I had to read it! I got to be on her launch team and get a copy!

Friday, March 17, 2017

So Your Character is From Ireland ... Featuring Alex (AI) @ Mouthful of Ink





Happy St. Patrick's Day! It's time for this month's So Your Character is From Another Country! This is a monthly or bimonthly segment where I interview lovely volunteers from around the world to give you a firsthand account of being a citizen of their respective country. I'm hoping to encourage international diversity, break stereotypes, and give writers a crash course on how to write a character from these different places on our planet. If you haven't checked out last week's So Your Character is From Papua New Guinea ... be sure to hop on over there and give it a read!

Ireland is one of the many countries I wish to travel to one day. I've known several people who have been and it sounds like a beautiful place. I've also seen Ireland fairly frequently on TV or movies whether it be the Secret of Roan Inish or on BBC. I know a fair amount this country already, but I've always wanted to talk to someone who's lived in the country their whole life. Let's welcome Alex!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

So Your Character is from Papua New Guinea ... Featuring Kara Swanson




It's time for this month's So Your Character is From Another Country! This is a monthly or bimonthly segment where I interview lovely volunteers from around the world to give you a firsthand account of being a citizen of their respective country. I'm hoping to encourage international diversity, break stereotypes, and give writers a crash course on how to write a character from these different places on our planet. If you haven't checked out last week's So Your Character is From Finland ... be sure to hop on over there and give it a read!

I actually knew next to nothing about this country before this post, only its location. This post really shed light on this interesting country!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Writing Lessons from Movies: Patema Inverted





I doubt most of you have heard of this film, but IF YOU GET THE CHANCE WATCH IT! I was browsing on my Amazon Prime one night and I saw this film suggested so I decided to click on it. Mind. Blown. How have I not heard of this?! It apparently came out in 2014. The film is about a world where there are two polarities of gravity and people and objects are affected by either gravity. Thus if someone comes from the other side of the planet if they're not holding onto something they'll "fall into the sky." DOESN'T THAT SOUND SO COOL?! 

This is one of the best anime movies I've seen (and I've seen quite a few at this point by Studio Ghibli and other studios.). It not only has an amazing concept, but it has great writing as well, including endearing characters, a mysterious plot, and a formidable villain. As soon as I finished the movie, I knew I needed to write a whole post about it. Let's go! 

Warning: Some spoilers.


Friday, March 10, 2017

Beautiful People ~ March 2017 Edition: Rouyn





Happy Valentine's Day! It's time for this month's Beautiful People! Yay! This is a link-up hosted by Paperfury and Further Up and Further In where you answer questions about your characters. I participated in Beautiful People  for the last three years every month. Pretty crazy. XD This link-up has been just so helpful with character development. 

I've done Rouyn before in the appearance edition, but I wanted to do a BP with a little bit more depth and I'm starting his books' rewrite this month so I thought it appropriate. He's one of the three protagonists of my high fantasy novel Starbloods. If you'd like to participate in this link-up yourself, check out either Paperfury or Further Up and Further In to see how. Here we go!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A Book Review of Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo




Buy from Amazon!
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life―a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Villain Necrologies & Debacles: Disney Animation Edition





Villains meet their demises in so many different ways. For some this means death, for other this means an unfortunate incapacitating situation. Writers put a lot of thought into how their antagonist finally fails, but which way is best for your villain? That all depends on so many different circumstances, including audience and genre. This is what inspired my new series "Villain Necrologies & Debacles." Over time, I'll be analyzing different animation studios, franchises, and more. These posts are meant to show you what sort of defeats have been done whether common or uncommon, perhaps inspire some villain defeats of your own, or you can just enjoy the morbid humor. 

Warning: Spoilers for basically every Disney movie with an antagonist.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Questions for Ioto (Starbloods)!





The first call for questions of the year is here! This one is with one of Starbloods' villains named Ioto. I'm currently in the editing process of Starbloods and any questions to help develop Ioto would be wonderful! Let me tell you a little bit about him.

Ioto is a 567 year old werewolf and one of the first werewolves ever created. He was at Mordraug's side when the first thirteen werewolves came into being from the power of the god Mwog. 

Before he became a werewolf, he was a Starblood with the power of invisibility who was fascinating with healing and other magical arts. He studied with some of the greatest healers in the world, before tainting his starlight and becoming disgraced. After that he gave up his pursuit of knowledge and tried to have a simple life with a wife and family. However, that sort of life was never meant for him and he joined a criminal underworld then eventually left his family to help this group of bandits with their medicinal needs. 

During his raids, he found Mordraug as a young boy in the rubble of a village. He took pity on him and raised him as a member of the bandit troupe. Years later, while in a severe snowstorm they encountered Mwog and he blessed them with abilities. Since then Ioto has found his true purpose, being able to discover as much knowledge as he wants without having the worry about death. He has concocted many spells and pushed the limits of werewolves. He has recorded all of his finding in his library worth of journals and he constantly keeps a journal with him. 

Ioto isn't a talkative man, but when he does say something his words are never wasted. He is Mordraug's closest friend despite their differences in personalities. Ioto is also ambitious and when he sets his mind nothing will stop him. He refuses to fail and will make anyone who tries to make him fail pay.




Leave your questions in the comments or in the form if you'd wish to remain anonymous or if you're having trouble with the comments. Ioto will answer them on March 24th! Thank you!