The Thank You Post

NOTE: the remainder of the interviews will be posted in July when I get back from vacation.

Hello! Just in case you don’t remember me after all of these awesome itnerviews, my name is Natalie Noel. Now that we have this cleared up, I want to tell you a story. A story about a lady who I haven’t met before and will probably never see again, but I think this story just proves that there are still awesome people in the world.

So this story technically starts yesterday. I began working out. And today it hurts so bad to walk that I’ve retired to my bedroom possibly for the rest of the day and it’s only 6. This is coming from a fairly active person who spends half of her time outside and the other half procrasinating on stuff that actually matters.

My mom and I were walking through Walmart, and we had to get cat and dog food so my grandparents can feed the animals while on vacation. Me, being so sore, let my mom grab the dog food (the much bigger bag), and I went to grab the cat food, which was like three or four aisles away. I had to get two cat food bags, and I couldn’t carry them both for the life of me. So here I go through Walmart dropping them, trying to hold on, and laughing (mentally pitcure a girl with her hair in a messy bun and an already crazed look in her eyes from writing all the time.).

I figured people saw me, but who cares, right? I figured, I’m an independent person, I am just going to do this. But then a lady came up to me. First off, I’d like to mention how awesomely dressed she was. Long, floral, exotic looking dress, and a hat she was holding in her hands. She comes rushing up to me and offers her assistance. And just let me tell you, this lady was one of the nicest, friendliest people I have EVER met. But not one of those overly friendly people like “Hello my name is blah blah blah I’m from blah blah blah what’s your name where are you from do you want to be best friends” type of people.

Long story short (Okay, it’s a short story and this post took me longer to type out than the actual event) I really liked this lady, and I think she set an easy example. Because it’s not hard for someone to step out of their way to give someone else 20 seconds of assistance. The person helping may never actually remember what they did, but the person who was helped, will remember it forever.

So I guess that is why this is a “Thank You Post”. I told her thank you in person, but I feel like, even though she’ll most likely never read this, people like her deserve a special shout out. Do you know anyone like this who you think should be mentioned?

Oh, and for those of you who like to laugh at people, I just spilled my coffee all over my face. *clears throat*

Oh! And also thank you to my new followers. Thirty-six now. Once I get to 50, I’m going to do my first random book give away.

Interview with Alex Martin

INTERVIEW FOR SCALEX MARTIN – AKA – S. ALEX MARTIN

About yourself

1.) Hello! Can you go ahead and introduce yourself?

Hey, I’m Alex Martin. I write under the name “S. Alex Martin.” I’m 20 years old and live in Pittsburgh most of the time.

2.) How long have you been writing?

I started writing on June 12, 2004, after I read Eragon, by Christopher Paolini. I started writing because he was so young, and that’s been the biggest influence in my entire life, because now I’ve been writing for nine years and I don’t ever want to stop.

3.) What time of the day do you usually write at?

Any.Morning, afternoon, night. If I settle into a groove, then I won’t be able to write during different periods of the day. This way, I can always shoot down anything I want, whenever I want. I have, however, found that my best writing happens between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.

4.) What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever Googled for a book?

Hmmm…That’s tricky. *sifts through thoughts* I’m coming up blank. I’m sure there is something weird, I just can’t think of it right now. You know, because in my head, it all seems like normal research.

5.) Do you have any writing quirks?

I used to not be able to write without coffee. I seriously wouldn’t be able to think without it. Now I force myself to because I’m too poor to afford coffee daily (I write for about 6-7 hours every single day).

6.) What writing communities are you apart of?

“Go Teen Writers” and “Writing.com.”

7.) What’s your favorite book?

To Kill a Mockingbird is wonderful. All Quiet on the Western Front is now a favorite. AndBrisingr, by Christopher Paolini, is by far the most beautifully-written book I’ve ever read.

8.) What made you decide you want to be a writer?

I got into writing after I read Eragon, by Christopher Paolini in 2004. I’ve written ever since then, and self-published three books in a series between 260-632 pages, but I wrote in bursts, and wasn’t too serious. I became serious in January 2013, when I took a manuscript I had abandoned, wrote 85,000 words in 10 days, and now that book, Embassy, is my pride and joy and I want it to change someone’s life. It certainly changed mine. Except for the time between finishing the first draft and starting the edits, I’ve edited/read/revised Embassy every single day for hours on end since January 5, 2013.

9.) Where can people find you (Blog, twitter, Facebook page, etc)?

Blog/Website: http://www.salexmartin.webs.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SAlexMartinAuthor

About your book

1.) Briefly, what is your book about?

Embassy tells the story of Arman Lance, a 20 year old boy who has emotionally isolated himself due to his depression and the delusion that he can only find happiness in Ladia Purnell, a girl he hasn’t seen in four years who lives on a different planet. In the midst of tragedy, Arman joins the Embassy Program so he can abandon his old life and try to find Ladia, all while a fellow Recruit, Glacia Haverns, helps him cope with his pain.

2.) What genre is your book?

Soft science-fiction adventure. Coming-of-age for a teen audience, but adults can also enjoy it.

3.) How long have your been writing it?

Technically since March 13, 2012…but I stopped in May 2012 and didn’t pick it up again until January 5, 2013. I chugged through 4 drafts in five months. This started as a 151,000-word first draft, and now it’s 118,000 words.

4.) Is it finished or are you still writing? Have you started querying yet?

I need to rewrite the end because I changed it in my head because everything ties together better this new way. So technically still writing.But I’m HEAVY into edits/revisions. I used to do a chapter every one or two days (33 chapters, hand-edits by pen, then type it up) but as I write the fourth draft, my speed depends on how much rewriting I have to do. Some chapters take a few hours, some take four days.

5.) Where do you see this book in five years?

Being the optimist that I am, on the bestseller list. Trust me, once this gets published, I will market in any way possible. Building a readership is important. I won’t sit down and hope for the best, I will be out there telling people about it, hosting book events, and getting this book into people’s hands. No excuses.

I truly believe that this is a story a lot of people will relate to. I truly believe these are characters people will love. This isn’t necessarily a happy book. I want people to cry when they read this. I want this story to impact someone’s life, even if it’s just one person. I genuinely this is a story people will fall in love with, as some Beta Readers and other people who’ve read most of the story have told me.

6.) Are there any songs that kind of show what your book is about or how you feel about it?

Um…I sorta slipped in Radioactive, by Imagine Dragons. That’s how I would describe Glacia’s side of the story (she the female main character. The whole story is told through Arman’s eyes, though).

A song that would describe the whole tone of this book would be “Bloodbuzz Ohio,” by Julia Stone. Sad, mellow, and full of heart. Like I said, this book has it’s happy points…and then it has it’s sad points. Embassy is primarily about a guy overcoming a huge emotional barrier and forgiving/accepting himself.

7.) What is your favorite line or paragraph for this book?

I love a lot of things that Glacia says. But if I had to choose one line from the entire book, I think it would be this one:

“I didn’t run because I loved her. I ran because I loved her too late.”

8.) What are you trying to get across with this book? Is there some emotional lesson you are trying to teach people or is this book more of something you’d expect to see on a best sellers list?

I think the two parts of this question can go together. I’m writing in a genre that is notorious for being over-the-top and action-packed and not something that a lot of people want to read. So I took my own path and bent science-fiction so it worked for ME. Yes, I’m trying to tell an emotional story, but it’s also a story that has the potential to make it on the bestseller list. It’s set in a relatable world with relatable characters.

That being said, I want people to come away knowing that things happen for a reason. Life goes on. You can change your life, but it will be a struggle. Love the people who help you, and get rid of the people who don’t. If you beat yourself up, let someone in who wants to help. Surround yourself with friends you love who love you back. And always forgive yourself. Not everything is under your control

9.) What was/is going to be the hardest scene to write?

Phew…yeah. Okay. In the middle of the book, there are 50 pages of nothing but narrative. As in, dialogue is almost nonexistent. Yes, it serves a purpose, but it took FOREVER to write because I had to show the emotional fluctuation and internal dialogue more than anywhere else. Arman reaches a low point so it’s very negative, but it shows what isolation does to you and why he struggles to love himself.

10.) Could you ever see your book being turned into a movie?

It would HAVE to be done right. I wrote this book for entertainment, yes, but most importantly to spread a message. This isn’t going to be some action-packed Avengers movie. Think something more like Titanic, I guess. I don’t rely on explosions and gunfights, I rely on emotion. Yes, there are some cool action scenes, like Hologis (think laser tag mixed with holographic dodgeball), the gun range, the Molter test flight, and some scenes in space and an asteroid field. All the elements are there, but weighed differently.

11.) Is this just a lone novel or will it be made into a series?

Read the book and find out, because this debate will definitely come up. There is an answer, but it’s hidden inside the words I chose to use.

About your characters (choose one character to talk about here)

1.) Introduce us to your character?

Arman Lance. 20 years old.Lives on the planet Undil.(OON-dill).Son of an ambassador in the Embassy Program. He has grown depressed and out-of-touch with the world, and thinks he can’t find happiness in anyone but Ladia Purnell, a girl he hasn’t seen in four years.

2.) What is the physical thing your character is trying to reach? Emotional?

Ladia Purnell is his ultimate goal because he thinks she is the only one for him. Emotionally, his greatest fear is that he will die alone.

3.) If your character could only see one person for the rest of his/hers life, who would they choose?

Ladia, he has been obsessed with her for years, and though that has ruined many of his personal relationships, he would rather be happy with her and gain friends from there.

4.) Describe your character in three words.

Desperate, delusional, depressed.

5.) What do other characters think of this character?

At home, his family loves him and they all share the struggle of a father not always being there. His classmates think he needs to see there’s more to life than this girl.

At the Embassy, everyone thinks he’s one of the best Recruits because his father was so prominent, and they have high expectations for him.

Glacia Haverns, pretty much the last person who will talk to him at home, wants to get closer and help him stabilize his life.

6.) If your character was going to die tomorrow, what are three things they would want to do?

Tell Ladia he loves her, see another planet, and make sure his Mother and sisters are financially secure.

7.) If your characters memories were going to be erased, what is the one memory they would want to keep?

Seeing his father after he was away for two years.

8.) What is the hardest thing your character has ever had to do?

Waking up every morning. Not because he is stubborn and young, but because he genuinely doesn’t want to face his pain.

9.) What is this character’s best memory?

The summer with Ladia four years ago.

10.) If this character was put in the Hunger Games Arena (haha ;D) would they be a victor? If not how soon would they die?

Arman would definitely fight, but if the other person got the advantage, he would give up.

11.) Now let’s let the character answer. What do YOU think of the author?

“I trust him. He struggled to make a decision in my story, and the choice is probably for the best.”

TCWT Blog Chain Post!

This month’s blog hop on http://www.teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com is this:

“How have both the people in your life and your own personal experiences impacted your writing? Do you ever base characters off of people you know?”

Well this question has me thinking, because I haven’t actually thought about this much before. I’ve been told before that I need to still live, even though I’m a dedicated writer. Which in my mind, totally makes sense. If you don’t live, how can you write a novel about living (in most cases) breathing characters? If you spend your days sitting in your room staring at your Facebook account and at a blank WordPress screen, you’re not going to be able to write a novel.

If you don’t watch people and live yourself, you won’t know how it works, so you won’t be able to write about it, it’s as simple as that (although readers may get VERY close to being accurate).

If you hide yourself you won’t experience happiness and pain. Joy and sorrow. Excitement and Disappointment.

So I guess my answer to the first question, is that I’ve been affected greatly by experiences in my life. My main ideas come from life and dreams. Having and interacting with friends and family makes it easier to have fuller characters. I find a lot of character quirks from watching people. One of my biggest “people watching” stage was when I worked at a concession stand. Young children would run in and out. Some would help (although some were a HELP and some weren’t). I got ran into and dropped food. There were some people with quirks that I loved, that I will always remember. Like the lady who always asked for warm pop and the guy who always asked for a mix or hot chocolate and coffee.

Another thing that I’ll always remember, is that on two different occasions I was swarmed with customers and alone. The first time, my “boss’s” mother in law came back and simply asked, “What do you need me to do?” Another time, I was back working and was SWARMED. A guy came on over and started to help make hot dogs.
Working there for those few months helped me to see how people worked, the good and the bad.

Do you ever base characters off of people you know?”

Occasionally. In my work in progress TEN PROMISES, each of Chrissi’s (My main character) three youngest siblings is based on my siblings.

Eli is based on my brother Zachary. Eli has the same, mellow, cool personality as my brother (even though my brother has been getting more out there in the recent years.
Azure is based on Bethany. They have the same clothing style and parts of the same personality.
Joab is based on Joshua. Both are crazy. Enough said.
I have other characters who have bits and pieces of me and other people, but nothing as major as that.

Do you do things like that? Let me know in the comments. 

Interview with Emily Rachelle

Thanks for joining us, Emily!

About yourself

1. Hello! Can you go ahead and introduce yourself? Hi! My name is Emily Rachelle. I’m a writer, teen girl, chocoholic and blogger (among other things) sharing pieces of my life at my blog, Emily Rachelle Writes (http://emilyrachellewrites.blogspot.com/)

2. How long have you been writing? I discovered a love of reading before I can even remember. I wrote a poem for my homeschool group’s special fall “book” in second or third grade, but my love for writing didn’t really take hold until fourth grade. I went to public school that year. My teacher actually liked math best, but we did several special writing units. Poetry, letters, short stories… I was awful at it, but I was hooked!

3. What time of the day do you usually write? I don’t really have a specific time, although I gravitate more towards late afternoon and early evening.

4. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever Googled for a book? Hmm… that’s a good one! Haha, I don’t have weird things I google. For different stories, I’ve googled things related to teen pregnancy, traditional fairy tales, medieval life in France, best surfing beaches in Hawaii, richest neighborhoods in America…

5. Do you have any writing quirks? Not that I’m aware of! I’m a killer word war knight and love my chocolate, and I have two cats… not a coffee person though (or tea). That bit of the writing stereotype definitely doesn’t fit me.

6. What writing communities are you a part of? Well, as you know, I love the Go Teen Writers site and Facebook group. I’ve also started to talk to my local NaNoWriMo group. Other than that, I’m not really in any groups or communities.

7. What’s your favorite book? Oh my! You had to ask. A fellow bookworm ought to know better than to ask me to choose just one! It’s like asking a grandmother which grandchild is her favorite.

8. What made you decide you want to be a writer? It’s being a chocoholic. You discover how amazing it is, how much you love it, how it’s totally worth all the agony it gives you… and from then on, you just can’t stay away!

9. Where can people find you (Blog, twitter, Facebook page, etc)? My blog is http://emilyrachellewrites.blogspot.com/. On Facebook, you can like my blog’s page at https://www.facebook.com/EmilyRachelleWrites (it would be greatly appreciated, as I lost all my fans when I changed my blog address and name.) My Twitter handle is @EmilyRachelle15; I’m also on GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8818047-emily-rachelle (just put where you found me in the message for the friend request). And, finally, LibraryThing! http://www.librarything.com/profile/writergirl15

About your book

1. Briefly, what is your book about? Sixteen is a Christian coming-of-age novella in which a teenage rebel without a cause (Nikki) – but with parent problems – finds herself pregnant by her adult boyfriend. (Matt)

2. What genre is your book? Young Adult coming-of-age, with a big whiff of romance!

3. How long have you been writing it? The first draft took me less than a month, but I didn’t come back to it for almost a year. After that, it took me a few months to rewrite it. Now it’s being edited.

4. Is it finished or are you still writing? Have you started querying yet? I queried back before I paid for professional edits, but when nobody picked it up, I decided to self-publish. Hence the professional edits.

5. Where do you see this book in five years? Hopefully doing well on Amazon Kindle and Smashwords!

6. Are there any songs that kind of show what your book is about or how you feel about it? Well, there are a lot of songs that describe specific scenes or characters. For example, Matt’s feelings toward Nikki are well summed up in “Crazy Girl” by Eli Young Band. And some main parts of their relationship in the middle of the book could fall under “I Knew You Were Trouble” by Taylor Swift. “They Try” by Rascal Flatts fits the ending. I would probably say the whole book overall matches “The Best Day” by Taylor Swift, “Happily Ever After” by He Is We, and “Faith to Fall Back On” by Hunter Hayes.

7. What is your favorite line or paragraph for this book? I have a few, but nothing spectacular, really. There’s this one: “You make it sound like it was all rainbows and daisies.” It’s actually something my volleyball coach’s husband once said that I never forgot, so I decided to work it into one of my stories! One from the more romantic scenes: He made her feel like melting chocolate. That one kind of speaks for itself. And finally, from a conversation between Nikki and her best friend: “…you are not fine.” “Whatever. What do you want me to do, stand on my head and crack jokes?” “If that’s what it takes.”

8. What are you trying to get across with this book? Is there some emotional lesson you are trying to teach people or is this book more of something you’d expect to see on a best sellers list? There’s several mini lessons (and, probably, areas where I might come across preachy) in this story. The Christian message is more of the clearly-Christian-book tone than an ‘inspirational’ or ‘uplifting’ sort of thing. Certain parts, obviously, deal specifically with relationship problems and teen pregnancy. I try to have one verse that goes with each of my stories – those that are Christian genre and those that aren’t – and, for this one, I chose Romans 8:28a “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God…”

9. What was/is going to be the hardest scene to write? Emotionally, probably the scene when Nikki told her parents about the pregnancy. Just based on writing logistics, probably the scene where Nikki and Christy (the best friend) are talking about God and the Bible.

10. Could you ever see your book being turned into a movie? Maybe. I mean, it fits perfectly with the tone of a Hallmark movie, so I’d love to see something like that. But a big Hollywood movie? Definitely not.

11. Is this just a lone novel or will it be made into a series? This novella is on its own. I considered giving Claire, a minor character, or Christy their own stories, but eventually decided against it. If there’s ever any reader requests, I might do a short freebie for one or both of them on my blog, but nothing beyond that.

About your characters (choose one character to talk about here)

1. Introduce us to your character? Nikki is, as I said earlier, “a teenage rebel without a cause.” She’s blond, a bit tall, and an only child. In her free time, she can often be found hanging out with Christy from across the street or helping teach a kindergarten ballet class at the community center.

2. What is the physical thing your character is trying to reach? Emotional? I’m not sure if I know – she certainly doesn’t! Her life is really just drifting, with no definite direction other than away from her parents. Anything that goes against her mother’s desires, especially, fits easily with what Nikki wants at any particular moment.

3. If your character could only see one person for the rest of his/hers life, who would they chose? At the beginning of the book, definitely Christy – the best friend since middle school who’s always been there.

4. Describe your character in three words. Rebel secretly softie.

5. What do other characters think of this character? Christy doesn’t always understand Nikki or Nikki’s relationship with her mother, but she’s very supportive and accepts Nikki’s and her differences. Matt thinks she’s sweet, beautiful, and pretty much perfect. Her father doesn’t really know her well enough to say, and the little time he spends with her, he’s not sure what to do with her. Nikki’s mother’s convinced that Nikki’s ruining her life and destroying any future she might have.

6. If your character was going to die tomorrow, what are three things they would want to do? Probably anything crazy she can think of – dye her hair, run away to the nearest city, get a tattoo…

7. If your character’s memories were going to be erased, what is the one memory they would want to keep? Before she met Matt, she’d keep the memory of one of the days she spent in the kitchen with her mother as a kid (before teenhood and the relationship problems – this is her favorite memories) or the day she and Christy became friends (because, if she’s not going to remember anything, she’ll need Christy to help get her through). After meeting Matt, she’d probably choose her favorite memory of him – their first date, most likely, or the first “I love you.”

8. What is the hardest thing your character has ever had to do? Tell people – Christy, her parents, Matt – about the pregnancy.

9. What is this character’s best memory? Either one of those days when her family was happy, working in the kitchen together and just having fun, or one of those memories of Matt.

10. If this character was put in the Hunger Games Arena (haha ;D) would they be a victor? If not how soon would they die? Haha, love this one! Nikki would probably last about midway. She’d be good at playing the rebel, the tough girl, maybe making an alliance or two. But her life hasn’t really prepared her for any life-and-death or fighting situations.

11. Now let’s let the character answer. What do YOU think of the author? Emily? She’s too much of a softie, a sucker for happy endings. She needs to get a backbone, make people work to be her friend. She always assumes the best of people. She idealizes her mom too much too. (Hey! In my defence, my mom is way cooler than yours. But you could do with a better attitude.) This is my turn. Shut up. Anyway, I do like her. She’s a lot like Christy, and of course I’d be a lot worse off without that girl. But for a writer, you’d think she’d be less of a people person, not to mention more inclined to throw heartwrenching twists or crazy family scenarios into her stories. Not that I’m complaining – Mom’s bad enough, I don’t need a deceased sister or anything – but still, she’s too nice to a lot of her other characters. (Always comparing, you. At least your mother is alive.) Whatever.

Interview With Alyson Schroll

I’m happy to host Alyson Schroll on Reading, Writing, and Somewhat Profound Thoughts today. :) Thanks, Alyson!

About yourself

1.) Hello! Can you go ahead and introduce yourself?

– My name is Alyson Schroll. I live in New Jersey with my large family. Since I could hold a crayon, I have been writing stories and drawing illustrations. This has developed into a love for blogging and a passion for painting. I am inspired by God’s continual and creative work in the lives of His children. I enjoy book store cafes, warm sunny days, and books with fascination imagery. You can read more about me at alysonschroll.blogspot.com

2.) How long have you been writing?
– My love for coloring was pretty evident at a very young age, so my mom used pieces of paper that were lined at the bottom and blank at the top. For school projects, I would write a story on the bottom and draw a picture at the top. That’s pretty much where it all started.

3.) What time of the day do you usually write at?
– I can focus the best at night after my younger siblings go to bed. After 8:30, I can really get into my story, but unfortunately, I have to get up at a decent hour the next morning.

4.) What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever Googled for a book?For my secondary work in progress, I had to look up how to skin a squirrel. It was so disgusting that I spent most of my time trying to figure out a way I didn’t have to put into my story : )

5.) Do you have any writing quirks?
– I can never remember the difference between “sense” and “since,” I overuse the word “that,” and I love “—“ : )

6.) What writing communities are you apart of?
– The main one I am a part of is Go Teen Writers. I am attending a conference this summer, some of my closest friends write, and I just got my Dad to finish his first book, but other than that, I’m on my own.

7.) What’s your favorite book?
– I love a lot of books, but my absolute favorite has to be The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis. There are just so many aspects to that story that a little kid won’t understand. C. S. Lewis’ writing is amazing, and it I wanted to model my writing after anyone, it would be him.

8.) What made you decide you want to be a writer?
– God did. He gave me the skills and abilities to form words in a talented way. He gave me bizarre life experiences that I could intertwine into my stories. And, he also gave me my parents who have provided me with the tools I needed to succeed. All I did was choose to use those gifts.

9.) Where can people find you (Blog, twitter, Facebook page, etc)?
– My blog is alysonschroll.blogspot.com. There I write not only about my writing but also about life and what God’s doing in it.

About your book

1.) Briefly, what is your book about?
– Taylor Peterson decided to take off from work for the summer to spend time with her six year old daughter and make up for their past dreadful summers. But when her daughter lands in coma from an accident, she puts a wall in front of her eyes and refuses to see what God could possibly have in store. But, with her husband coming home from the air force, she is forced to make a decision.
God has given Jessica Hawkins incredible strength with dealing with an invisible illness that is stealing her breath. She has long sense barricaded her heart against other people in fear of hurting them. Her life is shaken when her cousin comes to live with them, and pressure builds.

2.) What genre is your book?
– “Brick Walls” is a Christian Contemporary Novel.

3.) How long have your been writing it?
– I started brainstorming this story less than a year ago and started writing around the beginning of the school year I believe.

4.) Is it finished or are you still writing? Have you started querying yet?
– I am nearly done my second draft. I have worked on proposals and letters for a conference I will be attending this summer with the intent of pitching to agents.

5.) Where do you see this book in five years?
– Hopefully, on a book shelf in Barnes and Noble. But, God has His own time table and I have learned that it’s always better than mine.

6.) Are there any songs that kind of show what your book is about or how you feel about it?
– I have not found a song that really captures what this book is about, but I will keep my ears open though.

7.) What is your favorite line or paragraph for this book?
– This constantly changes only because I am a dialogue nut and will study the same line for an hour before I’m happy with it. Right now it’s: “The world doesn’t need more heart breaking stories. They need more heart surrendering people.”

8.) What are you trying to get across with this book? Is there some emotional lesson you are trying to teach people or is this book more of something you’d expect to see on a best sellers list?
– Most of what I write comes from things I have learned in my own life. This book is mostly about looking for what God can do with the hurt in your life instead of putting up a wall.

9.) What was/is going to be the hardest scene to write?
– It was probably a scene I wrote the other day. My main character writes a sad letter to her husband in the air force, and I had a hard time forming the right words.

10.) Could you ever see your book being turned into a movie?
– I don’t think it would happen, but I think it would turn well into a movie. I am a very visual writer so most of what I write, I can see in my head. A family in my story goes on vacation to Lake George, New York which is an absolutely breathtaking place.

11.) Is this just a lone novel or will it be made into a series?
– Right now, I feel it best to leave it as a lone novel.
About your character-

1.) Introduce us to your character?
– Taylor Peterson is a young mother of six year old, Kaylee. Her husband is in the air force. Taylor followed her dream of becoming a ballet instructor, but this summer she takes off so she can make up for the past horrible summers her daughter has had.

2.) What is the physical thing your character is trying to reach? Emotional?
– She wants to become the best mother she can be.

3.) If your character could only see one person for the rest of his/hers life, who would they chose?
– As much as she loves her daughter, she would probably choose her husband.

4.) Describe your character in three words.
– Teacher—caring—stubborn

5.) What do other characters think of this character?
– They feel sorry for her, but sometimes they want to slap her in the face. But, mostly they like her : ) Many of the characters see her as a second mother.

6.) If your character was going to die tomorrow, what are three things they would want to do?
– Get a hug from her daughter, see her husband, and say goodbye to her ballet girls.

7.) If your characters memories were going to be erased, what is the one memory they would want to keep?
– Her family being together before her husband left and her daughter fell into a coma.

8.) What is the hardest thing your character has ever had to do?
– Admit she was wrong about dealing with her daughter’s predicament.

9.) What is this character’s best memory?
– Summer dance productions with her ballet girls.

10.) If this character was put in the Hunger Games Arena (haha ;D) would they be a victor? If not how soon would they die?
– I have never read or seen hunger games, but I know enough to know that Taylor would not last long : )

11.) Now let’s let the character answer. What do YOU think of the author?
– “I hate her. She puts me through so much, but I do love how my story ends.”

Chrissi Crawford Talks Today…My Character!

Chrissi Crawford (model Reese Witherspoon)Today, I’m going to let my character Chrissi Mae Crawford take over and write the blog post! I hope you like it, and this way you’ll get to learn a little bit about my book. I’m not too scared to let her take over. She’s pretty nice. ;D This is actually a snippet from my work in Progress.

Chrissi1 Chrissi Crawford (model Reese Witherspoon)

Chrissandra “Chrissi” Mae Crawford is a teenager who lives in Florida with her parents, four younger siblings, and best friend. Chrissi has gone to a boarding school, but is now attending Washington High School for the last semester of her senior year. After high school and college, Chrissi hopes to become a counselor, get married, and have a daughter.

My Story
By Chrissi M. Crawford

Hi, guys! First of all, I’d like to thank Natalie for letting me get out of that scene to talk to you guys. I’d also like to thank all of you for reading this post. Natalie asked me to share the most important thing that I’ve learned since I’ve come back to America (I used to go to a boarding school in England) and to try to challenge you. Well there’s a few things I could say. I’ve learned that no one is as perfect as they seem. I’ve learned that it’s extremely important to trust God through everything. But I think this would have to be my most important lesson. Let me start at the beginning.
This was the sermon preached the night that I first attended youth group after coming back to America permanently.

Somebody came running up onto the middle of the stage. “Good evening, everyone! How are you?”
“Good!” most of the room said.
“Well for those of you who don’t know, I am Pastor Allen.” A few kids laughed at that, kids who I guessed to have gone to this youth group for most of their teenage life. “Welcome! Do we have any visitors?” He scanned the large crowd and his eyes landed on me. “Hi!” His booming voice made me jump. A few kids behind me snickered. “Would you like to introduce yourself?”
I looked at Sabrina having no idea what to do. She shrugged good-naturedly.
Pastor Allen laughed. “Don’t worry about it, kid. We won’t embarrass you.” He looked to Sabrina next to me. “Sabrina, do you know her name?”
Sabrina messed with a little microphone that was connected to the top of her shirt. She patted it a couple of times to test that it was on. “Chrissi Crawford. DeaEnna’s older sister.”
She shut off the mike.
Pastor searched the room, looking for who knows who. He found his “victim”. “DeaEnna, I’m shocked!” His tone mocked sternness. Pastor shook his head. “Leaving your sister all the way across the room, all by herself! And with Sabrina of all people.”
A few people laughed. Across the room I saw DeaEnna, trying to show oblivion. The tips of her ears were a shade of pink.
“Okay, people. Well teenagers. Listen closely to this. On Saturday what are we doing?”
A groan went through the room and Sabrina’s mouth lifted in a slight smile.
“It’s going to be fun!” He acted like he was angry, and I tried to decide if I liked him or if I thought he was a total joke. “At the Greg’s house, we are having our teen festival. It’ll be fun. Come, you’ll enjoy it! It’s from one in the afternoon to eight in the evening. They’ll be games, food,” someone cheered, “contests, and for all you girls….” He rolled his eyes. “You can sit in the house and catch up on gossip while stitching pillows.” Pastor grimaced. “But please don’t gossip. It’s wrong, not cool. It will get you nowhere in life, except for a lonely hole where you will be living. There you will make the decision to be a monk or a nun.” I laughed softly at that. I had learned too much about those types of people in England, and I knew his facts were so off.
After a few other announcements, like who would be helping in the nursery on Sunday, and who was in charge of bringing snacks for the preschool class, we sung a few songs. I didn’t recognize most of them, but I guess that they were what my school had called “Contemporary hymns”, but thankfully the music was on a sheet of paper in the pocket of the chair in front of us. We sung something titled “Awesome God”, “You are my All in All”, and “Lord I Lift Your Name on High.” I had heard that last one before in America last time I had come to visit. We finished out with “How Great Thou Art”.
Two hundred voices blended together making a beautiful sound (minus the girl in front of me who couldn’t hit a note after a B to save her life).
Pastor then started his sermon by saying “Today we are going to talk about forgiveness”. I smirked and thought of DeaEnna. She could so use this sermon. Sabrina looked at me and saw my expression. She looked amused herself.
I listened to it half-heartedly until the end when he said, “So far we have only talked about forgiving others the way Jesus has forgiven us. But guys, listen closely. If you can’t forgive yourself, how can you forgive others? If you can’t forgive yourself, how can you live for God?” His voice raised as he really got into the sermon. “God DIED for you. That was to cover ALL of your sins, not just the small things, but the big things too. God didn’t make you so you could live in regret. God didn’t make you so you could just live through the motions and wait for the day when this can all be over. I’ve talked to enough of you to know that no one in this room is near perfect. We all have our own problems and our struggles.
“But hear me out, friends. God died for you. You’re already forgiven. You’re forgiven and loved.” Pastor Allen looked down at the floor, seeming to almost get emotional over this matter. “I know some things you just can’t do on yourself, and this might be one of them, but what does Philippians 4:13 say?” He paused waiting for us to answer, and when no one did, he said, “Come on, all together.”
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthenth me.” The words echoed across the room. It was a verse I was familiar with from my personal Bible reading.”
Pastor Allen nodded in approval. “Exactly. That verse doesn’t tell you that you can do some things. It tells you ALL things. I can do ALL things. Tonight, pray to God and ask him to help you forgive yourself. Friends, let God’s hand work in your life. Let Him heal you. Let Him love you.” Pastor Allen walked back to the center of the stage. “Bow your heads and close your eyes.”
Heads went down all over the room.
“God, you know these people. I consider them friends, you consider them your children. Lord, you know their hearts. You know if they’re right with You or not. You know if they are going to heaven or if they haven’t made that decision yet. I pray that if anybody doesn’t know one-hundred and fifty percent sure that they are going to heaven, that they will come to you tonight.
“I pray for those who need to forgive somebody tonight. Whether it be a friend, a family member, or anyone who has hurt them in any way. Let these kids see the need of that, and let them put it all in your hands tonight.”
“I pray for the teenagers who need to learn how to forgive themselves. I pray that they’d come to you and ask you to help them. I pray that they’ll realize this is a sad, dangerous road they’re on.”
“Lord, be with each and every one of the teenagers here. Help the ones who struggle with gossiping. Help those who struggle with things much worse than that, even though all sin is the same in Your eyes.”
“Thank you for allowing us all to be here and bless this invitation time. Amen.”

To make a long story short, that night my sister forgave me for something I did, and I forgave myself. I guess this would have to be the most important thing that has happened to me since I came to America, and here the challenge: today, forgive somebody (maybe yourself).

Thanks for having me, Natalie!

Note From Natalie: I now have a Facebook page for both the blog and the book. http://Www.facebook.com/NatalieNoelTruittBlog and http://www.facebook.com/TenPromises
Coming up soon! I’m going to be hosting a writing contest. Details on that soon.

Interview with Katelyn Whitely

Today I am excited to host writer Katelyn Whitley. In the month of June, I will be interviewing writers, who you may see on the best sellers list in the next few years. Hope you enjoy! Thanks Katelyn.

About Yourself:
1.) Hello! Can you go ahead and introduce yourself?

Hi! My name is Katelyn, I’m fourteen, and I’m a Freshman in high school.

2.) How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing little short stories since I could read, but since I got serious about it? Hmm… about two years ago.

3.) What time of the day do you usually write at?

Afternoon or night. Whenever I’m most inspired.

4.) What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever Googled for a book?

Oh, wow. There’s been so many weird things I’ve googled. Uh, probably “How to easily poison without leaving traces of chemicals behind.” I’m probably on the FBI watch list.

5.) Do you have any writing quirks?

I make the faces my characters make as I write, and I tend to read aloud as I write.

6.) What writing communities are you apart of?

Go Teen Writers is the only one. I seriously love it.

7.) What’s your favorite book?

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. The whole trilogy, really. It has such terrific messages and teaches so much.

8.) What made you decide you want to be a writer?

I was bored. I had nothing to do and it was really hot outside and I was miserable, so I just picked up a notebook and started writing the worst story ever. I grew to love it, as I watched it change and evolve into something greater. Writing became like breathing.

9.) Where can people find you (Blog, twitter, Facebook page, etc)?

They can find me on my blogs, The Life of a Teenage Writer (katelynthekreative.blogspot.com), A Pinch of Classy (apinchofclassy.blogspot.com). Twitter (@KatelynMWhitley), and Tumblr (Peeta-Mellark-was-here.tumblr.com) if you don’t mind overbearing fandom posts.

About Your Book:
1.) Briefly, what is your book about?

Brittany, a high school senior who learns about friendship and pain and loss. That’s a very bad summary, but I have no clue how to describe it with less gruesome words.

2.) What genre is your book?

Contemporary Young Adult. I do have a Guardian Angel who makes an appearance quite often, so that may put it in the Supernatural genre.

3.) How long have you been writing it?

Since April. So, almost two months.

4.) Is it finished or are you still writing? Have you started querying yet? I’m still writing it. It’s very tough for me to write, since it deals with a lot of topics that I don’t normally read about.

5.) Where do you see this book in five years? Published, being made into a movie, that sort of thing. At least, that’s kinda what I’m hoping for.

6.) Are there any songs that kind of show what your book is about or how you feel about it?

Control by JJ Heller, I think, describes one of my characters. Except the character is not as Christian as the song is.

7.) What is your favorite line or paragraph for this book?

Ooh, that’s a tough one. My characters tend to have great lines. Probably this: “Well, that’s the way you humans are. When something goes wrong, and you feel you’re to blame, you do whatever you can to justify it. It normally helps too, if your Guardian approves of it. If not, then . . . well, you still feel guilty. Good thing I approve, though!”

8.) What are you trying to get across with this book? Is there some emotional lesson you are trying to teach people or is this book more of something you’d expect to see on a best sellers list?

It’s both, really. I want to teach people that words hurt, and that people hurt. That people are fragile, and you can crush them with a single sentence. And that people do things, not because they’re seeking attention, but because they want to feel better and they want to be happy.

9.) What was/is going to be the hardest scene to write?

Well, I can’t tell you exactly, or it’ll spoil the book. But I can say that it’s near the end, and my heart will be crushed then. I’ll probably be in an emotional coma after writing it.

10.) Could you ever see your book being turned into a movie?

Yeah, I could. I really could. I think it’ll have enough impact to be a movie someday. Maybe not, though.

11.) Is this just a lone novel or will it be made into a series?

I was planning for it to be just one novel, but I think it’s going to need a sequel. Just one though. I can’t take on another series.

About Your Characters

1.) Introduce us to your character?

This is Meghan. She doesn’t have a last name because I’m too lazy to give her one and she won’t tell me her real one.

2.) What is the physical thing your character is trying to reach? Emotional?

Freedom from her past and her mind and her flaws. Happiness.

3.) If your character could only see one person for the rest of his/hers life, who would they chose?

Herself. She strongly dislikes people.

4.) Describe your character in three words. Hurting. Sarcastic. Alone.

5.) What do other characters think of this character?

At first glance, they think she’s obnoxious and attention-seeking. After getting to know her, they realize she’s just vulnerable and scared.

6.) If your character was going to die tomorrow, what are three things they would want to do?

Confront the person who made her become the way she is. Go out to the ocean and swim. Draw one last drawing.

7.) If your characters memories were going to be erased, what is the one memory they would want to keep?

The memory of Dirk. While he caused her a lot of pain, she needs those memories to give her a speck of hope, which is all she allows herself.

8.) What is the hardest thing your character has ever had to do?

Her whole life has been nothing but hard. But . . . probably to let go of everything (No, I’m not saying anything else, unless I give it away).

9.) What is this character’s best memory?

It’s subject to change, obviously, but probably her first time at the ocean with her dad.

10.) If this character was put in the Hunger Games Arena (haha ;D) would they be a victor? If not how soon would they die?

OHMYFANDOMS HUNGER GAMES *fangirls* Uh, she would not– (Meghan: That is not true!) Shut up, Meg, and go back to where I left you. *cough* She would make it to the final two, kill the last guy, and then kill herself, just to spite the Capitol. She’s also just that contrary. She’d most likely go out with a sarcastic comment along the lines of “Well, this has been fun, but I’d rather die than party with all you Capitol mutants.”

11.) Now let’s let the character answer. What do YOU think of the author?

(Katelyn: Wait, what?) YUS. Finally! I get to say something. Ugh, I’ve been stuck in that scene for weeks. I’m out, finally. Okay, let’s see. Well, she’s so sweet and so awesome. Can you hear the sarcasm? Okay, let’s be real. She’s awful. She spills all my secrets to you without thinking about what I think? Excuse me, I didn’t have to tell her anything. You can be sure I won’t talk to her for a long time now. And did you know she plans to have me—(Katelyn: Okaaaaaaay, I think your time is over, Meg. Back in the scene.) Ugh, whatever. Byyyyyye.

Thanks for having me here, Natalie!