Given the downfall of one of my (five) favorite characters, this was perhaps the hardest book to write so far. The quote on the image there is from Patricia, who senses something isn't quite right in the Fairn household - but this is a family that keeps things "in the family", so nobody is talking about it.
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Monday, April 19, 2021
My number one peeve is when Word loses italicized words. More specifically, it can change entire italicized paragraphs into regular font while you're busy formatting your document.
My workaround is laid out below in easy-to-follow steps along with screencaps to make everything clear.
Friday, March 26, 2021
Wouldn't it be great if readers could click on your books directly from your profile page, without having to scroll down or scan all the other busy sections on the page?
So, how can you add clickable book covers to your author profile on Goodreads?
Read on for step-by-step instructions, along with a downloadable template for the HTML code.
Thursday, March 25, 2021
With over half a million Wattpad reads on my stories, nine books published and one more to go, I have loads of stories and ideas still to share. I've created a Patreon account where you can find the latest news on both the Wynter Wild series and my future projects (some of which will be set in the same "world" with crossover characters).
To "follow" me is free! After clicking the button, you'll end up on a payment page where you have the option of making a monthly pledge, but you can ignore that page. Just following me will put my posts in your Patreon feed, and for now all my posts are open to all readers.
I'll be adding content as fast as I can over the coming weeks while I finish up writing book 10. After that I'll be sharing cover reveals for my relaunch of the series, excerpts from my WIPs, Q&As, behind-the-scenes stuff about my writing process including cut scenes, and lots more.
See you there!
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
If you've been collecting the paperbacks and want a matching set, grab this one quick. In a few months I'll be relaunching the series with new covers.
It's been well over a year since I finished this book, and at least three years since I wrote some of the chapters. Looking back, I have to say it includes some of my favorite scenes to write.
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Following on from this post where I described a few family entanglements revealed in the Wynter Wild books (ones I hadn't plotted out from the start), in this post I'll present increasingly spoilerific family trees as a visual aid. To avoid spoilers, you can stop when you get to the latest book you've read...
Note: The series starts in January 2013, two months before Wynter's 15th birthday.
02 Out of Tune
Thursday, February 18, 2021
I've made my Rule212 playlist public on Spotify - take a listen below. You can also follow me on Spotify to find other playlists related to the books:
I've resisted being too specific in the books about Rule212's sound, beyond a vague "indie rock" (which could mean anything these days) and a lot of electric guitars, which moves them more into the hard rock category. Or nu-metal, post-grunge... whatever new-fangled label seems applicable. So this list is "representative" of their sound but don't take it too literally.
I'll add more songs when I think of them, as there's definitely not enough riff-based music, and too many ballads...
Sunday, February 14, 2021
I started the Wynter Wild series with five characters in mind - the three Fairn boys, the two sisters - along with a few adults in their sphere. As their world expanded across ten books, I ended it with 365 named characters (admittedly, that does include the chickens). Somewhere along the way, a few of those characters became entangled in ways I hadn't envisioned when I set out.
A primary example is Xay. I created his character at the same time as I created Wynter's past in the cult - an Aussie boy she secretly befriends who leaves her behind. But making him Harry's son was an idea that came later (although before I started writing in earnest). Other ideas came when some of the books were already complete, and it's no easy task to weave revealed secrets into the plot when you didn't even know those secrets yourself!
As an insight into my writing process, I thought I'd lay out how some of my decisions evolved.
Friday, February 12, 2021
When I started writing the Wynter Wild books, a stream-of-consciousness half-million words covering several years of her life and written out of order, I knew early on that it would be a long series. So the necessity of naming the books in some sort of coherent manner was an issue I dealt with early on.
I wanted titles that played on a single theme, but I hadn't decided what that theme would be. I jotted down endless ideas using themes from the story - not only music, but also "threads" (a recurring theme relating to broken or frayed threads, and of course braiding of hair and bracelets), lines from classic folk songs, matching words relating to family, and others.
Having decided on music, I brainstormed phrases and then matched them up with the relevant books. The later titles weren't finalized until the earlier ones were already published, since those plots weren't fully developed yet, but I had a list to select from.
Here's my reasoning for each title - and a trip down memory lane for those readers who have stuck with the series until book 10.
Monday, February 1, 2021
Here are the four Palermo cousins from Vermont: Alyssa (an art student), Jessica (who claims to look like Jesse), Paige (Jesse's favorite, because of her inquisitive mind), and little Daisy:
Sunday, January 31, 2021
Here are Caleb's girlfriends and dates from the series... and whew, I didn't realize there were so many until I put them all together like this. (I omitted the mystery Canadian girlfriend because we never actually met her.) Bea was the harried single mother with dreams of marriage. Nicole was the colleague from Florida who raised Wynter's hopes, but only had one date with Caleb. Anita was Caleb's high school girlfriend for a few months, became Wynter's down-to-earth counselor, and went with Caleb on the trip to Arizona. Olivia was "sunshine", according to Wynter, but Caleb nipped it in the bud after a few weeks. And Kim... well, there's still hope...
Saturday, January 30, 2021
One use for Artbreeder is to "breed" any two images together (such as a cat and an octopus, which was the first thing my daughter did). So you could upload "parent" faces and create "children" - but in my case I just wanted to visualize my book characters.
Creating faces is not entirely under the user's control - you can't tweak a nose exactly the way you want because you're mostly adding or subtracting "genes" from different parts of the world. But you can easily get photorealistic portraits with a few twists of the dials.
So, here are my results - just my impression of how the characters look, for my own amusement. Most of these characters are related to each other one way or another, so for many I started with the same "base" and fiddled with the age, gender, hair and eye color, etc.
[Mild spoilers ahead for the later books in the Wynter Wild series.]