Monday, May 1, 2017

#InkRipples~Fairy Tales




This month's topic seems like it was made just for me! I love twisting fairy tales and have looked to them for inspiration for at least two of my books. (While Charmed Memories appears to be based on a well-known fairy tale, it happened by accident as I was working on it. I actually based it on a retelling of The Prince and the Pauper.)

Fairy tales were often used to teach morality and safety lessons to children. Take Little Red Riding Hood  for instance. It's a warning about talking to strangers or wandering from home and the safety of parental supervision.


Many of the tales we know that have been made into animated movies have been changed to reflect the social customs of the day. [Spoiler: In Hans Christian Anderson's Little Mermaid, the mermaid doesn't get the prince...she's turned into sea foam.) These changes are often to make the movies more appealing to a wider audience. After all, who wants to see Arielle turn into sea foam? [If you want to read the original, you can find it here. And more of Anderson's works can be found here.]



As an author, the fun with getting inspiration from fairy tales is in how you can switch things up. Most everyone will know the original tale you are basing your story on (take Quest of the Hart- it's based on Sleeping Beauty), unless you choose an obscure or tale from another nation that isn't as well know (which is a great way to get someone to check out those unknown stories!) This give you the opportunity to play with so many things. Should the princess be the damsel in distress or the rescuer? Is the hero actually the hero or the villain? Is the villain actually evil, or just misunderstood? The twists are only limited by your imagination.

So, take your favorite fairy tale and create a new story! Share your favorite fairy tale retelling in the comments below (if you're the author, include a link to your website/buy page/etc.)




#InkRipples is a themed meme hosted by Katie L. CarrollKai Strand, and me, Mary Waibel. We post on the first Monday of every month. If you would like to participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, include any of the images displayed on the #InkRipples tab above, and link back to our three blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #InkRipples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation.

This year's topics are:

June: Blurbs
July: Heroes/Villains
August: Author Options in Publishing
September: World Building
October: Career vs Hobby
November: Finishing that Book!
December: Goals


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Pirate Island by Katie Carroll

Today, Katie Carroll is here to share the cover for her new MG tale. Take it away, Katie!!!



PIRATE ISLAND
by Katie L. Carroll (katielcarroll.com)
Cover Illustration by Susan Tait Porcaro (susantaitporcaro.com)
Coming October 2017!

Goodreads badge add plus

PIRATE ISLAND blurb:
A thrice cursed island, a legendary pirate treasure, and one not-so-brave boy. What could possibly go wrong?

For centuries, the whereabouts of Captain William Kidd’s lost pirate treasure has remained a mystery. When Billy’s best friend, Andy, proposes they look for it on nearby Pirate Island, Billy thinks it’s just another one of their crazy adventures. It’s usually Billy who ends up in trouble as a result, but he goes along for the ride…like always. The more he delves into the life and death of Kidd, the more he thinks the treasure is real and that it might be buried on the small island in Long Island Sound. Billy—nope, call him William—becomes obsessed with the captain of the same first name. He even believes he’s possessed by Kidd’s restless soul. Now he and the spirit of a long-dead pirate are leading the crazy adventure on Pirate Island. And what they find is far bigger than the treasure they imagined.







About the Author:
Katie L. Carroll always says she began writing at a very sad time her life after her sister Kylene unexpectedly passed away. The truth is Katie has been writing her whole life, and it was only after Kylene’s death that she realized she wanted to pursue writing for kids and teens as a career. Since then writing has taken her to many wonderful places, real and imagined. She has had many jobs in her lifetime, including newspaper deliverer, hardware store cashier, physical therapy assistant, and puzzle magazine editor. She works from her home in Connecticut that is filled with the love and laughter of her sons and husband.

In addition to PIRATE ISLAND, Katie is the author of the YA fantasy ELIXIR BOUND. Find Katie on her websiteTwitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

#InkRipples~Revision


I am so behind this month!!! But I got it done. Here’s this month’s #InkRipples post!

Revision. For some authors, this is the best part of writing. For others, it’s worse than a trip to the dentist. But what is it?

I like to think of revision as the art of taking the lump of stone and polishing and cutting it until it reveal the gem that it truly is.

So, what does that look like?



Remember in school, when you had to write a first draft, then a second draft, and maybe a few more drafts before creating the final copy? Well, writing a book is a little like that.

You start with a first draft. Mine used to meander all over the place, as I didn't do much plotting before hand. It was fun, as I got to get a story down pretty quick, but the revision part became a nightmare. Huge sections would be removed completely as they didn’t fit with where the story ended up. In fact, some of my first drafts barely resemble the final product at all. Names changed, descriptions changed. The entire plot changed.

Anyway, once you have your first draft, you go back through it and see what it needs. I usually need to add in descriptions and emotions. Once I’ve added what it needs, I go through again and see what it doesn’t need. What can I take out to make it stronger? Then I look for overused words and phrases. Then I look at my word usage to see if I’ve used the best word choices. Then I send it out to my beta readers* for their thoughts. Then I repeat the process until I think it’s ready to submit for my publisher, or ready to publish on my own, depending on what series I’ve written for.

*[I also send to my betas as I am writing, not so much for feedback, but to make sure I get my pages written. And yes, my betas, I know I owe you all pages. Hoping to have them for you next week!]

Readers: Did you know all that went into revisions?

Authors: Do you enjoy revisions?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.





#InkRipples is a themed meme hosted by Katie L. CarrollKai Strand, and me, Mary Waibel. We post on the first Monday of every month. If you would like to participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, include any of the images displayed on the #InkRipples tab above, and link back to our three blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #InkRipples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation.

This year's topics are:

May: Fairy Tales
June: Blurbs
July: Heroes/Villains
August: Author Options in Publishing
September: World Building
October: Career vs Hobby
November: Finishing that Book!
December: Goals


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

#InkRipples~ Tropes



This month we’re taking tropes. A trope is 
a significant or recurrent theme; a motif. For purposes of this post, it means a recurrent theme found in a genre of books.

The romance genre is full of tropes. Billionaire romance. Shifter romance. Step-sibling romance. I'm sure you've picked up at least one of these tropes in your reads.

While every story in a trope is, and should be different, they all carry specific expectations. Billionaire romance contains a a rich guy or girl and someone barely making by on their paycheck. Shifter romances have creatures that appear human but change into something else (wolf, tiger, cheetah, bear, etc.) and the normal human (or sometime unaware shifter) that falls in love with them.



One of my favorite tropes it the best-friend turned lover (or romantic interest.) I've used this trope in The Boyfriend Project as well as the Lightning Quick Reads posts:  Goals, The Best Valentine's Day EverOne Last Camping Trip and The Price of Freedom

I'd love to know, what are your favorite tropes?



#InkRipples is a themed meme hosted by Katie L. CarrollKai Strand, and me, Mary Waibel. We post on the first Monday of every month. If you would like to participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, include any of the images displayed on the #InkRipples tab above, and link back to our three blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #InkRipples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation.

This year's topics are:

March: Tropes
April: Revision
May: Fairy Tales
June: Blurbs
July: Heroes/Villains
August: Author Options in Publishing
September: World Building
October: Career vs Hobby
November: Finishing that Book!
December: Goals

The Best Valentine's Day Ever!

Can a letter from the past change the worst Valentine's Day into the Best Valentine's Day Ever?

***



My breath puffed out and hung in the air ahead of me as I trudged up the walk to the Airensen house. The heart-shaped box of chocolates I carried under my coat dug me in the ribs, but I didn’t mind. The look of surprise and appreciation that would flow across Ainsley’s face when I gave them to her would be well worth the momentary discomfort.

I shoved a hand through my curls, oddly nervous. Ainsley and I hung out together all the time. In fact, most Saturdays we’d be heading to the movies about now. But today was Valentine’s Day. And Ainsley’s date with Chase Wainwright.

At least it wasn’t that asshat Keith. Of all the guys she could add to her list of potentials she had to go and pick a real dick of one there. And, whether she liked it or not, I was having a say in this one. He was not coming anywhere near her.

Fortunately, he was still dating Samantha Jones, so I didn’t have to worry too much. Yet. But, once he was free, which rumor had it would be soon, I’d be paying him a visit and offering him some physical encouragement to stay away from Ains.

I rapped my knuckles against the wood door, turning the knob when I heard a muffled, “Come in.”

A wave of heat enveloped me as I stepped inside, and beads of sweat broke out on my forehead. A fire roared in the fireplace, making the room a sweltering eighty-something degrees, a shocking change from the ten degree air I’d been walking in.

I undid my jacket, tucking the chocolates out of sight, and wandered over to Ainsley. She looked so cute sitting on the loveseat angled as close to the table lamp as she could get. As I watched her, she reached up and tucked a lock of her honey-blond hair behind her ear. My gaze drifted over her face, taking in the deep blue eyes that were damp and swollen, and the cheeks that held blotchy streaks of red.

“What happened?” I clenched my fists, wanting to slam them in to whoever had hurt her. When I found them, they were going to regret making her cry.

Ainsley jumped and the yellowed paper she’d held in her hand fluttered to the floor.

“God, Jesse,” she set a hand to her chest, “you scared the crap out of me.”

I crouched down in front of her, picked up the paper, and handed it back to her. “Sorry. I thought you heard me knock.”

She gave me a watery grin. “I did.” She sniffled. “I just didn’t hear you come in, is all.”

I arched a brow. “What happened?”

“Nothing.” Ains wiped the sleeve of her sweatshirt across her nose.

“Come on, Ains. You’re sitting here crying. Something happened.” I reached out and played with the string dangling from the hood. “Wait. Why aren’t you dressed up? You’re supposed to be going out with Chase.”

She gave a weak laugh. “Yeah. About that. He cancelled. Said he was really sorry, but a game or practice or something got scheduled and he had to be there.”

“See, I told you hockey was his one and only love.” Ains punched me in the arm and I smiled. “Is that what the tears are about?”

“No.” She let out a long sigh. “Chase is a nice guy, but after talking to him this week I realized that we really don’t have that much in common.”

I grunted. I’d known that when she first mentioned his name. Ainsley wasn’t one to sit in the stands and cheer her guy on. She wanted to be at his side, competing with him. Like she did with me every time we entered a 5K.

“So, why the tears?” I tugged the string I still held.

“Oh, Mom and I found these old letters from Grandma and Grandpa up in the attic. I’ve been reading them, and…well, reading about how they fell in love during the war made me cry.”

I tugged the fragile paper from her fingers and looked at the faded writing. Squinting, I read a few of the lines.



         My Dearest Love,

         All day I thought of you, fearing I might never see you again. Never touch your

        silky hair. Never stare into your sapphire eyes. Never feel the joy seeing your

        smile brings me. I thank God for every minute we had before I left. I thank Him

        for every memory that carries me through the day. And, I thank Him that I made

        it through today and am one day closer to seeing you again.



“Isn’t that the most lovely thing you’ve ever read?” Ains asked, her words coated with emotion.

“Yeah.” I cleared my throat, surprised by how gravelly my voice sounded. Her Grandfather had captured my very thoughts about Ainsley. When I left for college in the fall, those were the words I want to write to her. The things I want to tell her. The things I haven’t found the way to say. Yet.

“So,” Ains poked me in the shoulder, “if you thought I’d be out with Chase, why’d you come over?”

I reached into my jacket and pulled out the chocolates. “To give you your Valentine’s gift.”

She took the box, a mixture of surprise and something I couldn’t define racing across her face. “Thank you.” She jumped to her feet. “Wait here a sec, okay?”

I nodded and she ran from the room. A minute later she returned and handed me a familiar, rectangular shaped box wrapped in heart paper.

“What’s this?” I shook it gently, hearing a quiet rattle.

“Duh. Your Valentine’s Day gift.”

I lifted the paper and smiled. She’d found the war game I’d been looking for. I held up the box and arched a brow. “Wanna play?”

She grabbed it from my hands and headed toward television. “You really have to ask?”

I shrugged out of my jacket and sat on the loveseat, marveling at the twist my night had taken. When I left my house earlier I thought this would be the worst Valentine’s Day ever. But now, with Ainsley at my side, I found myself enjoying the best Valentine’s Day ever.

***

Twisting tales one story at a time.

YA author Mary Waibel’s love for fairytales and happy-ever fill the pages of her works. Whether penning stories in a medieval setting or a modern day school, magic and romance weave their way inside every tale. Strong female characters use both brain and brawn to save the day and win the heart of their men. Mary enjoys connecting with her readers through her website: marywaibel.blogspot.com

***