This is a picture I took of the Rocky Mountains (Southern Alberta – near where I grew up) a few years ago.
THEIR SOULS, REAWAKENED.
When 13-year-old Lilix Morgan is found alive and floating on a bed of ice at sea, everyone counts it a miracle. Kidnapped nearly four weeks earlier, she remembers nothing of her mysterious abduction. When she tries to remember what happened, she hears only a melody – a faint and delicate set of notes, strung together in a tune she doesn’t understand.
THEIR POWER, UNMATCHED.
A year later and desperate to put the lingering nightmares of her past behind her, Lilix crosses the country to enroll at Baelmorte Academy, aiming to become the violinist she once dreamt of. Things seem to be finally going well, and Lilix settles into a routine of sheet music and inspiration among new friends.
Then the dreams start.
There is so much that goes into writing a compelling novel but one of the most important aspects is the characters. It’s one of the most exciting parts of writing, getting to create the people who show up in the story. I mean you get to imagine and then build up this three-dimensional person, how cool is that? I love this aspect of writing. The key to making strong, compelling, likeable characters is knowing them. It doesn’t matter who the character is, the main character who the story is about or a character who only shows up once, the author has to have a really good idea who they are or they’ll fall flat – the characters not the writer.
Something I learned several years ago in writing, was that to be able to really write interesting and engaging characters, the author needs to know them really well. The author needs to know more then they will ever write about – there are the obvious physical things like height, weight/size, eye-color, hair-color, etc. but they also need to know what makes them tick, what makes them who they are. The best advice I was ever given was to interview them - know who they are, where they grew up, what was their home life like, what were they like in school, who was their family, what was the family dynamics like, what did they want to be when they grew up, what jobs did they hold, who was their first love, what were their hobbies, who were or are their friends, etc. I treat them like they’re real people with real lives. The better I know and understand my characters the better I understand what drives them to act the way they do, do the things they do. It will mean that they are more life-like, more real to the reader, who will get a feel for them and be able to connect with them. I think as an author the best gift I can give the reader is a character who is someone they feel they know, they can relate to, they can like or dislike, they are someone they buy into.
In Deceitful Truths, Tarin, is the main character, who this story this really about. She has lived a wealthy but rather sheltered, cold and very structured life, so when she finds herself in a very awful situation, she does what she was taught – she finds a man to look after her and her problem. Only then does she discover what a mistake that was as it only threw her into another nightmare, so then she is forced to step way out of her comfort zone to do that. So first, I had to know all of her history, some of which I share throughout the story but lots I don’t. I had to know what would compel her to finally take charge of her life and go against all that she’d been taught. What would make her do things that were not part of her upbringing or who she was? How would she deal with doing things she wouldn’t normally do? Who would she be once she discovered who’d been screwing with her life?
What really brings a character to life, though, is often the little things – the little quirks they have, the way they talk, how they interact with others, how they dress, what they wear, how they react to things, etc. These are all important aspects that add another dimension to the people in my story. It also helps the reader to identify who the character is, simply from one of these quirks.
So when creating characters, I spend time with them, I figure out who they are. The more I know, the more well-rounded and real my characters are. It takes a little bit of extra work but I find that it helps me to keep my characters in character and my story on track.
What makes a character real for you?
Originally posted: Book Em North Carolina
Benjamin McTish and the Door Through the Grandfather Tree
by June M. Pace
It’s Harry Potter meets the Celestine Prophecy in this magical and thrilling ride! The McTish Series is an explosive adventure through a dimensional Gateway into another world, a world of beauty and magic, Coranim…a land of insight, thought and possibilities, that sits beneath the enchanted Gilley Forest.
There is local legend in the small town of Grandlochcheshire that has been passed down for a 100 years about the mysterious disappearance of the Chickering family, that trails on the coat tails of the equally shocking abduction of the Skeffington Union Rails heirs. The circumstances that follow this notorious tale enter into the modern world of Benjamin and his two best mates.
One day Benjamin watches as a mysterious little woman steps out of a taxi and in one synchronistic moment their eyes lock and a series of visual snippets of unfamiliar events unfold in his mind’s vision. His razor sharp sixth sense allows him the freedom to explore the extrasensory messages coming at him like a derailed freight train. And when Benjamin finds a peculiar relic of a key in his grandmother’s garden shed, he could never know his world was about to change forever.
Annabel and Mathilda, two sisters who have come from America, have become more than mere friends to Benjamin, they have all become the three Muskydeers (Mathilda’s mispronounced version of Musketeers, which was a huge laugh and of course it stuck), as they are plunged head first into this curious journey.
In the Gilley Forest they discover that the path they have chosen is inundated with many obstacles as well as intrigue. Alliances are made with the Forest clan of Gnomes and with the aid of the Vila sisters, Sethina and Morel, as well as some surprising and unexpected allegiances, the three friends take on the test that is the Grandfather Tree. They must stay on the pre ordained Path of Prophecy, whose ancestry comes from the home of the oldest living beings on the planet, the Elves of the Darmon. However, this is no easy task for the Muskydeers as they have the foulest of sorcery hunting their every move, the powerful dark beauty, Tar Vigorn.
This ruthless Queen is not without humor however and loves a good game of cat and mouse, as long as she’s the cat. With her biting sense of sarcasm and calculated taunting, she knows just how to unnerve Benjamin. Her phantom army, the Blunt, are searching for a way into the Grand Tree and will stop at nothing to infiltrate the pristine world beneath his giant roots.
Once in Coranim the children make the acquaintance of the greatest Medicine Elder alive, Esmerelda Fet. A most powerful Light Sorceress with a brazen in your face attitude, who guides the trio on their Path of destiny. However, a Path can change in the blink of an eye…what could alter the overpowering trajectory Benjamin has followed to Coranim? How will it change his life?
Find out as our three heroes delve into the mystic, as well as their own inner character, as you watch from the edge of your seat.
Interview with June M. Pace and her Journey through Reading to Writing:
1. When did you start reading?
I was in my late twenties. I had a great male friend whose brother and I became great friends as well…he read. He introduced me to Dick Francis and I read every single book he wrote. I was into the murder mystery, thriller genre’. That pointed me in the direction of Lawrence Saunders and my favorite literary character, Archie McNally. I even based one of my characters on what I perceived Archie to sound like and think. Then of course it was Stephen King, Anne Rice. Then I started reading some “fringe” kind of stuff, Bringers of the Dawn, Kryon, a lot of Metaphysical work, all those Shirley MacLaine books, loved them, and some “of the day” novels, like the YaYa Sisterhood, Memoirs of a Geisha and tons more. Shifted into loads of science and quantum physics…things about the brain, Dr. Candace Pert, and Graham Hancock. I read a lot about nutrients, food and the body. Then I came back to the fantasy…magic. Love the stuff. Now I’m adding Dystopian into the mix and heading towards Steampunk as well. And ironically enough, my friend ended up opening a book shop…mostly rare books and mysteries!
2. What was the first book you remember reading? What was the first book that had a real ‘wow’ factor for you?
Well, I believe the first book was Reflex, by Dick Francis, unless you count one that I read in elementary school that was terrific about a land called Og, that always somehow stayed with me. I couldn’t tell you anything other than to say it was little green people who lived in this land beneath the trapdoor of a playhouse…and yes, this was in my thoughts when I wanted to write my series. I remember that book charmed me and taught me about fantasy at a time when I needed it and I wanted to do the same. So I took the idea of a world under a tree and went for it.
I know I would sit for hours reading when I had something I liked. I mean if I think back, Stephen King’s The Stand had a major impact. And oddly enough I can’t read that stuff anymore. Anne Rice, it all became so dark and negative, the bloodiness and the demon stuff…which is why I’m not into the Vampire thing today…too dark. I remember sobbing, literally sobbing when I finished the YaYa Sisterhood…which spurred me on to read all of her books. The same with the Geisha…maybe that’s why those two books stick in my head…they were profoundly real to me. Oh, and of course the DaVinci Code..holy cow! I read that in two days…I got it about a month before it started buzzing around. It was amazing and I went back and read all of the others. I just caught up on his last one the summer before..that was a great one too…my husband even took my advice and read it, he doesn’t read too much, he loved it too. So far the best fantasy stuff I’ve read was the Golden Compass…His Dark Material Trilogy…loved them
3. What attracted you to or got you started reading?
I honesty have no clue how to answer this question. I know I’m glad I got past whatever that was that prevented me from reading as a teenager (it was the early seventies, what can I say), I’m probably the only high school student who got away without reading one book in English lit…and I can’t remember why that was other than to say it was a different time and the class was lax, and I was a A/B student and yet I just did not read.
4. What genres (topics) have you read? Was there any progression to the genres you’ve read over the years? Did you start in one genre and then discover others the older you got? i.e. scifi and then romance, then paranormal, then espionage….
Yes, I definitely shifted genre’s as I explained in an earlier answer here.
5. Who are your favorite authors today? What types of books do you like to read today?
I don’t have favorite authors per se. As I mentioned, I read a tremendous amount of science and knowledge books, I studied. I stayed in this for many years. I would throw a “fun” book in between, mostly during the summer when I lay outside and take a small amount of time to just rest in the sun and read. That’s when I would read one of those great dramas. Then writing my own series has taken a lot of that reading time away for me…although I still read in the sun. So this past summer I read three books..and one of them was seriously terrific, called Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes…dystopian. The lead character Clover, is phenomenal…love her. Right now I already have my pile of TBR’s of new author YA Fantasy that I’m super eager to begin reading. I’ll be sticking with this genre’ for some time something tells me.
6. What do you like in a story? What does it have to have to grab you?
It’s usually in the first page, the first sentence hopefully. I want to be taken somewhere right away, whether it’s magic, or mystery…give me the hook right away, and don’t take it away too quickly with too much history, or backstory…I love when I read a book and I’m loving the chapter I’m in and what’s happening and the story is building and then you turn the page and it’s a new chapter and now we’re on to another part of the story…damn! I want to know more about what’s happening here…and inevitably what happens is if it’s a good book, I’ll get into this second side story and I won’t want to leave that one..and of course if it’s a good book it will go back and forth this way…I love when that happens. I hope I’ve done the same in mine.
7. What got you started with writing? And how long have you been writing?
It started with some illustrations I did. I gave them names and was really attempting to let my inner Fairy out, do some whimsey, which is opposite what I usually do. Then about two weeks into it I was looking over the work I was doing and it just hit me like a ton of bricks…hey, this is a story here! This is the book I am finally ready to write.
So I began in Jan. 2010. Then slowed down a bit during the summer into autumn when I moved and stopped writing all together. It took me about five months to get settled into my new life and that’s when I thought…what the heck? I thought I wanted to be a writer? So back to the book and finished it probably six months later, so in late 2011. Then I spent a year promoting and taking care of my life and finally last year I got serious and ended up self-publishing and haven’t looked back since. This is my passion…like nothing I’ve ever experienced in my life. I look forward to writing every single day.
8. What do you like to write about?
Magic. Be it fanciful or intellectual…I love, hope..possibilities….magic!
9. What are you currently working on?
I literally finished the second book in this series this past week…so this one only took me roughly six months total…we had a wedding in the middle of everything, so that took some time away, however, I’m in the throws of publication and today I started making plans for the next book and the one after that. This series will have no less than five books…maybe seven.
10. What inspired the plot for your current novel?
Like I mentioned I only remember the world under the ground and being swept away by that as a kid. Then I used to hike daily up in the mountains where I lived and there was a huge oak tree that was twisty and thick and a piece of the outer bark was gone and it looked like a belly popping through…I called him the Grandpa Buddha tree….put those two together with magic and you have the Benjamin McTish Series. The plot developed as I wrote…it was a little iffy in the beginning, however, it’s crystal clear in my brain now..well, for the most part, ha!
11. Anything else you’d like to share?
Other than to thank you for taking the time to get to know me and for hosting my book, which I really appreciate. I do hope this ignites interest with some of your followers. Here’s something that just happened two days ago…maybe this will help.
A little girl was reading my book in class and on her breaks and her friends started bugging her about the book because she was reading it every chance she got. Finally her teacher asked about it because she was hearing the other students talking about it too. So I gave her teacher the book and she has invited me to come and speak to the class about writing…this is seriously awesome…however, the part I want to share is that the girl gave the book to one of her friends, a boy, who is apparently leaving for a trip this weekend down to DisneyLand….he told her, ‘normally I would never think of taking a book with me but I’m going to take Benjamin, I just can’t put it down.‘ Now THAT’S saying something!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
June spends her days writing and sometimes painting her well known series of Rock n Roll icons. June and Ray own Madrona Rust, a line of unique, hand-made rustic furniture.
This series of work, the McTish characters, are a part of June in every sense of the word. “This work brings a deep sense of joy and passion for me in a very profound way, like nothing else that I do.
June will be awarding an ebook copy of Benjamin McTash to two (2) randomly drawn commenters during the tour and one (1) randomly drawn commenter will receive an autographed print copy of the book (international) during the tour.
Five Corners: The Marked Ones
Growing up in a sleepy village untouched by distant wars and political conflicts, it was easy for Thia, Mina and Kiara to forget such horrors existed in the Five Corners. That is until the dead child is found; a child that bears the same strange birthmark that all three sisters possess. A Mark their mother had always told them was unique to the girls.
Kiara’s suspicions grow as their Inn is soon overrun with outsiders from all walks of life. Strangers, soldiers and Elders who all seem to know more about what is happening than the girls do.
After Mina barely survives an attack in the forest, the sisters are faced with a shattering secret their mother has kept from them for years. As danger closes in around them, the sisters are forced from their home and must put their trust in the hands of strangers. With more questions than answers, Kiara finds herself separated from everyone she loves and reliant on an Outlander who has spent too much time in army. She doesn’t trust Caedmon but she needs him if she has any hope of being reunited with her sisters and learning what the Mark might mean.
Five Corners: The Marked Ones is a really good story. I really liked that this story had a bit of a different story line. Three girls who have grown up as sisters were all adopted as babies. The three, who have believed they were the only marked ones, soon learn that they aren’t. But the other marked children are turning up dead. The three soon team up with others and go off in different directions to hopefully save their own lives and to try to figure out what’s going on.
This story is well written, it had a really good balance of action, dialogue and description. The author did a really good job of letting me see and experience the setting without giving big long descriptions, instead she wrote some and wove the rest into the dialogue and action. The characters were well done – my favorite was Kiara. She had such an attitude and always wanted to prove that she could do what any guy could do. I loved her no-crap attitude. This novel had a bit of everything – fantasy, mystery, romance, suspense – it kept my interest and need to know what was going to happen and where the story was going. I definitely recommend this book
As Mina stepped into the forest she paused and took a deep breath filling her lungs with the fresh scents that always raised her spirits. Despite it being the early part of winter, the land was still green and there hadn’t been any snow yet.
Mina realized that she hadn’t taken the time for her usual wanderings since Brijit had broken the news to them about their origins. She’d missed this place so much. Usually this was her refuge.
Mina let her feet lead her, finding her favorite corners of the forest, places she’d been visiting since she was a little girl. As she began to fill her basket with herbs, roots and bark, she wondered about the Elders. Although no one had come out and said anymore about them, she hadn’t forgotten that Brijit had suggested that Mina’s birth parents were Elders. She wasn’t sure how she felt about that.
Lost in her thoughts, Mina wandered deeper into the forest. She hardly noticed where she was going, as she was so familiar with this part of the wood. But a few minutes later when she knelt to gather some White Pine needles, she suddenly sensed she wasn’t alone.
For some reason Mina found herself wandering forward instead of turning back toward the Inn. Soon her herbal collection was forgotten. Vaguely she realized that she was almost being herded toward the centre of the woods where there was a clearing but she couldn’t stop herself. She began walking faster. Eventually she broke into a run and that’s when the shadow made itself seen.
It swooped at her and she screamed.
Its hands were outstretched as it lunged at her and grabbed her arms. Then she was overcome by light and pain before darkness enveloped her.
Cathi Shaw lives in Summerland, BC with her husband and three children. She is often found wandering around her home, muttering in a seemingly incoherent manner, particularly when her characters have embarked on new adventure. In addition to writing fiction, she teaches rhetoric and professional writing in the Department of Communications at Okanagan College and is the co-author of the textbook Writing Today.
Buy links for book:
Cathi will be giving away a $50 Amazon/B&N Giftcard.
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Knight in the Forest of the Pons
Note: This author has been in a car accident so will not be responding to any posts or the tour at this time.
I wish him a speedy recovery, healing and health.
Prepare yourself for a magnificent journey… Nassor Wickem, leader of the Knights of Sperenza, has been in many battles, with two headed dragons, with beasts that creep and crawl, and with fierce lions who have pierced his flesh in death brawls. But after learning that his beautiful daughter has been stricken by a terrible brain syndrome, his body trembled and his nerves shook like never before. The brave Knight, hell-bent on slaying and saving the day, tries everything he can to cure his daughter. However, with the help of a mysterious Shaman, he quickly comes to terms that in this battle, love, not the sword, is the weapon of choice.
As Lily peacefully slept, deep inside her brain, the shadowy monster from Lake Chandra found itself a comfortable place that was hidden deep within the Pons and nestled quietly and mysteriously with intent. While the neurologist explained further about the port wine stain, the parents listened. A device known as a Pulse Dye Laser had been used, very successfully, to remove the stain, but it could take numerous surgeries to get to that point. “Surgery!” gasped Muriel beginning to cry. “Nassor, please take Lily and put her in her crib.” Muriel said to Nassor. He softly lay Lily down and covered her. She squirmed briefly, made a few squeaks, but fell back into a deep, peaceful sleep. Sitting up in her bed, Muriel looked intently at the doctor and with doe-like eyes said, “Surgery? Doctor, what are you saying?” “The procedure is invasive. Surgery is such a broad term. I didn’t mean to frighten you.” “Well you did.” whispered Muriel reaching for her husband’s hand.
Is a professional chef and a passionate writer. His first work TEAR AVENGER soon went to number one in the thriller genre of the e-book world. Next, a burst of heartfelt poems filled the pages of LOVE, MARRIAGE, FRIENDSHIP, HATE. His latest release, a super novella entitled, KNIGHT IN THE FOREST OF THE PONS is an epic journey into spirituality , oneness and love. In the creative stage is a screenplay, bearing the name NANO TATTOO, a nail-biting sci-fi thriller. It comes to life soon and is currently charming the curators of JUNTOBOX FILMS.
Joshua will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card and a digital copy of the book to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.