Saturday, February 2, 2013

Interview with author Laura-louise Slattery!

Today,  will be having an interview with the author of Flame-girl! I hope you enjoy, and read the novel!

1. First of all, thank you for letting me interview you! We’ll start off with all the basics! So, what’s your age, country, personality, dreams and anything else you’d like us to know?

Hello Sarah! Glad to be here! Well, I just turned nineteen in January and I'm from Ireland(You'll never beat the Irish!). I consider myself to be quite shy and collected. You know, I like to keep to myself and I rarely go out, only on occasion. Believe it or not, for an Irish person, I don't drink alcohol or play Hurling(a popular Irish sport).
Like most aspiring writers, I've always dreamt of getting a book published and I still can't believe its all come true. (Don't pinch me!)

2. Thanks for that! When did you begin to write, and what inspired, or gave you that urge, to write?
 
I began writing when I was about eight or nine. My mother bought this password diary which activated by the sound of your voice. Everyday I wrote in the diary about events that happened during that day and I wrote about how I felt each day. This is when I really got a knack for writing and grew a love for it. When I turned ten, that's when I started writing fictional stories of my own and I soon began writing book-length fiction. When I write, I usually listen to music, mostly movie scores, to keep me there in the writing zone.

3.Did you always want to be an author?
 
 Actually, no. I didn't always want to be an author. At first, I wanted to work in comic books as I loved drawing, but I gave up that dream to pursue writing because I felt I was stronger at writing stories than drawing pictures.

4.Who’s your favourite author of all time, and why?
 
 My favourite author of all time would have to be C.S Lewis. I love the guy! I am a massive fan of the Narnia Series. In fact, the Chronicles of Narnia were the first books, next to Charlotte's Web, I ever read as a child. I grew up with them and I always get nostalgic! He is also a christian like me, so I feel connected to him and his work.

5. C.S Lewis is truly an amazing author!Now, tell us a bit about your debut novel, Flame-girl.
 
 Well, my debut novel, Flame-Girl, is a young-adult superhero-action novel that was released on the 26 September, 2012. It details the story of a teenage girl named Sunny Andrews who obtains pyrokinetic superpowers and becomes a superhero called 'Flame-Girl' to fight crime in her town and soon comes face-to-face with her very first villain.

6.Where did the name Flame-girlcome from? Was it automatic, or did it gradually come to you? Is there another secret message behind the name?
 
 The name 'Flame-Girl' came to me as I first wrote the original story back in my sixth year of Primary School. I was twelve at the time. The story of Flame-Girl came to me when my teacher told the class to write a short story called 'Superhero for a Day'. So, I started brainstorming and made up this story about a young girl who finds this rock and obtains superpowers from it. She then uses these amazing powers to fight crime. My teacher read it and told me that it was a good story and she encouraged me to send it off to a publisher. After I completed Secondary school, I finally did that.
The name, Flame-Girl, automatic came to me before I began writing it. A girl with powers over fire, heat and flame=Flame-Girl. It was that easy.

7.Wow! Your so lucky it came to you like [clicks] that! What were some things that helped you get through writing Flame-girl? Family? Chocolate? Coffee? 
 
 Music helped me a lot when I was writing Flame-Girl. The music I usually listened to when I was writing were soundtracks from superhero movies because that keep me going. Those soundtracks helped create the superhero character and her personal story that I wanted people to know about.

8. Music really is a great motivation! What was it that made you feel the need to tell Sunny’s story? What made you inspired to write this novel?
 
 I felt I needed to tell people about Sunny so they could see a different perspective. Nearly every young-adult novel out there now are about vampires and werewolves. There aren't many superhero novels out there. I wanted people to get to know the superhero genre and see how amazing and exciting it is. You know, to get them away from the vampire craze.
What inspired me to write this novel was obviously my idols, Stan Lee and Bob Kane, who helped me craft the character. I grew up reading the DC\Marvel comics and they inspired me to make up my own superhero story.

9. Who is your favourite character in your novel, and why?
 
I have many favourites! But, if I only had to pick one, I'd probably pick Grace McKinley, the police chief. I think every superhero has an ally without them being called a sidekick. These allies are usually part of the police. Batman had Commissioner Gordon and Spider-Man had Captain George Stacy. In this case, Flame-Girl has Chief Grace McKinley. I spent a lot of time crafting this character and what part she had to play in the story. Grace is probably the only character in the novel who learns to accept things the way they are. She grows a lot during the novel and that's what I found to be most surprising about her. That is why she is my favourite.

10. Are you planning on making a sequel? If you are, could you maybe give us a hint of what’s coming next for Sunny?
 
 Yes, there will be a sequel. In fact, it is going to be a trilogy. I always intended it to be a series of five books, but I decided to cut out the last two books and turn into a trilogy instead. The second book which is called 'Flame-Girl: Mask Of Ice', is by far the darkest in the series, but nonetheless it was by far my favourite novel to write. The third and final book will be called 'Flame-Girl: Uprising' and I think its the one novel with the most action scenes in it. I do not yet know the exact date the next two books will out, but I have a hunch it will be close to 2014 or 2015.

11. Being a Flame-girl fan myself, I cannot wait to get my hands on it! Do you have any future plans for other series/singular books?
 
My new fantasy novel will be released next summer of 2014. I'm not ready to share the name just yet. Its a long wait, but its worth it all the same. It is the longest book I have ever written and I am excited what people will think of it because I loved writing it and it is set in the fantasy genre. I loved creating my very own mythical fantasy creatures and locations. It is a stand-along book.

12. Oooh! Sounds exciting, I will definitely try and get it when it comes out! What was the hardest part of writing your book? Could you give us tips that helped you pull-through it, if there was a particularly hard part?
 
 The hardest parts of writing the novel were definitely the action scenes. Action scenes are so tedious to write that sometimes you want to avoid them, but you know you can't. And since, my novel is about a superhero, action scenes are a must. J.K Rowling had trouble writing the Quittitch scenes in Harry Potter and they are the most exciting scenes in the series. So, I knew if I put my all in the fighting scenes, I'll make it a worth while story to read.

13. I agree! Which authors influence, or inspire, you? 
 
 Like I said before, C.S Lewis is up there with Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett and J.R.R Tolkien. Most of my favourite authors are fantasy authors. I love reading fantasy and they definitely inspire me to best writer I can be.

14. All of them are very inspiring! If Flame-girl became a movie, what would you do, and who would you like to act in it and which characters?
 
 If Flame-Girl was made into a movie(which I highly doubt it will), I'd probably cast Saoirse Ronan(who's Irish!) as Sunny. I always pictured her as the character ever since I saw her in 'Hanna'. I'd cast Billy Zane as the Face Thief and I'd probably cast Jodie Foster as Chief Grace McKinley. The other characters I still have to think about.

15. Great picks for actors! Any last words, tips, and thanks you’d like to give before we end?
 
Well, that's really all I have to say. Thank you, Sarah for interviewing me and I wish you the best with your blog. If anyone is interested in purchasing Flame-Girl, it is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. You can also find me on Twitter. My username is @LauraLSlattery.
 
And there we have it! Thanks for reading and be sure to contact either Laura about her book, if you're interested.
 
 

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Fourth Perspective?

Sorry for being a bad little blogger, and not posting for awhile, but here's our next post- A Fourth Perspective?

So, quite recently, I have been reading a few writing tip books, and some of them say there are four perspectives-

"The first-person point of view can be an exciting way of telling a story. When you say 'I did this' or "I saw that," it's much easier to persuade the reader that everything you say is true. But it is no longer possible to know what the other characters are thinking, except when they are talking." - Quote from Write Your Own Fantasy Story

"The second person point of view is by far the most difficult point of view to write. As when you may say 'Susan jumped up and down in a circle before running over to her mother' you would say 'You jumped up and down in a circle before running over to your mother'. It does help to make your reader feel involved, but can get very confusing at times and only very experienced writers should attempt this in my opinion." - Quote by Serena Jannice/Me

"The third person point of view is another way to tell the story is from your hero's point of view. This is usually written in the past tense. You can write it from the viewpoints of different characters, too. Many stories are told from two viewpoints, set down in alternating chapters, and this can add suspense, especially if one character's viewpoint breaks off at a critical moment or cliff-hanger." -Quote from Write Your Own Fantasy Story

"Most fantasy stories and fairy tales are written using the omniscient- or all-seeing- view. This means you can tell readers how the hero feels when he is locked up in the dungeon, what his jailer thinks as he snaps the chains shut, and describe the blast of dragon's breath is burning down the East Tower, which neither jailer or hero can see, but you, the author, can." -Quote from Write Your Own Fantasy Story

So, what do you think of a fourth Point of View? Feel free to post your opinions here :D

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy Very Late New Year!

Man, I have been a bad little blogger :3

But Happy New Year everyone! Even if it is a bit...late!

I'm sure lots of writing opportunities will come to you all, and you're going to fulfill all writing goals you have :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Taking in the Bad News :(

Well, a few weeks ago, I heard back from a publishing company that I sent my finished book, An Orang-utan's Story to. Sadly, it didn't get published.

They said some nice things about the manuscript though, and they told me to keep on writing and keep on trying to get published.

So how have I taken this all in?

I've taken it in as a practice. A practice for when it might happen again. I've used this opportunity as a reminder that being an author isn't easy, and the answer won't always be yes! It gives you a chance to try again! Sure, it's a big and pretty discouraging thing, but it's what happens when you're an author.

But I'm going to keep on writing, and writing and writing, as that's what I enjoy doing!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tuesday Teaser!

Tuesday has come and I'm being a very good little blogger! Today is Tuesday (In NZ anyways!) and I reckoned I'd post a little teaser of my Novelette, An Orang-utan's Story. It is set in the Borneo Rainforest, where the world's dwindling population of orang-utan's lives (They do live in Sumatra as well though). I wrote this novelette to raise awareness of deforestation, orang-utan's and Borneo in trouble. I hope you enjoy this little teaser, and leave a comment! Here is the Prologue and Chapter One of my story-




 

Prologue- At the Sanctuary

The moon shone gently through the bars of a cage, casting shadows all over the floor. In the corner of one of the cages sat a wise old orang-utan, his face a picture of sorrow and wisdom. Next to his cage, was another barred cage, but inside it moved a restless young orang-utan, his eyes darting everywhere uneasily, and his fur twitching.

“Naru?” he asked through the bars of his cage, trying to poke his head through.

“Yes, Kuasi,” the wise old orang-utan answered, shifting himself so he faced Kuasi.

“There’s been a certain question that’s been nagging at me all day,” the young orang-utan said, sitting down. “Why are we, and all the other orang-utans here?”

Naru just shook his head sadly. “There are many different reasons, all of them pointing out the Two-legs, or as you know them, the humans.”

Kuasi looked in confusion at him. “What do you mean?”

“I think the easiest way to tell you, is a story of my life, and how I am known as ‘The Wise One’. Would you like to hear it?” Naru sighed, his eyes sparkling as the moon shone on them.

“Yes please!” Kuasi said eagerly, nodding his head.

“Well, we’ll start with my up-bringing...”



Chapter One- The Very Beginning

“Menoa! You can’t catch me!” a little orang-utan baby called to another one, racing behind his mother and climbing up her back. The mother sighed and shook him off.

“He’s too tired to play today, Naru,” she spoke quietly to him, cradling another sickly looking baby orang-utan.

“But he hasn’t been able to play for like...forever!” protested Naru, his face looking sad.

“I’m sorry, Naru, but he just won’t be able to ever play, most likely,” apologised the mother, Rutha.

Naru growled under his breath and stormed off onto his favourite branch and pulled a leaf off, munching on it concerned.

Why won’t he be able to play? He thought, annoyed. His little brother, Menoa, had seemed to be sick from birth and got all the attention from his mother. He climbed back off his branch, swallowing his leaf, and crawled into a leafy nest.

“Good-night, mother,” he said sleepily to his Rutha. “See you in the morning.”

“Good-night, my little baby,” replied Rutha, her broad grey face softening.

 

“Naru, why couldn’t he play with you?” interrupted Kuasi, his face filled with confusion.

“Because orang-utan twins are extremely rare, and they almost never survive. Also, if they both manage to live, one of them will always be weaker and find life harsh,” replied Naru, his face showing nothing of the emotions writhing inside of him.

Kuasi just nodded, processing the information through his mind. “Just another question,” Kuasi said, shifting. “Why does your mother love Menoa more than you?”

Naru’s eyes suddenly blazed with anger and he bared his fangs, which were still sharp and intact.

“Why would you say that?” he growled to Kuasi, whose eyes were wide with fright as he took a step back from the bars that separated their cages.

Naru’s fur started to lie flat again, and his eyes went back to their previous dull look.

“Because…because…you said that she was always looking after Menoa, and…and normally ignored you,” stuttered Kuasi creeping forward again.

“Well, Menoa was always sickly, since he was the weaker of the two of us, and mother tried to keep him alive by giving him that little bit of extra love, but I think she knew that she would never succeed, as he was just so little and frail,” answered Naru, seemingly calm again after his little outburst of rage. “But should we get back to the story now?”

Kuasi nodded, starting to gain his confidence again. “Good idea.”

 

 

The next morning, Naru woke up to the sun’s rays on his face, meaning that it was dawn. He got up and shook out his auburn fur sleepily, before crawling over his mother and towards his little brother.

“Hey, Menoa,” whispered Naru, leaning to close to his brother’s ear. “Want to sneak out with me before mother wakes up?”

His only reply was a weak groan and a twitch of the fingers. When Naru saw his brother’s face, he saw that it was paler than usual.

“Are you alright?” asked Naru urgently; shaking his brother gently, worry clear in his little eyes.

“Good-bye, Naru,” whispered Menoa, closing his eyes heavily. “I’m up in the stars now.”

Naru shook his head and started shaking him more firmly.

“No! Menoa! You can’t go yet. You promised me that you would one day play with me!” said Naru sadly, watching the light die from his eyes.

When Naru touched him, he could feel his poor little body going cold. Suddenly, he was pushed out of the way by his mother, who was frantically trying to make him warm again. Naru tried to ask what was happening, but his mother wasn’t listening, just cradling her dead baby softly, grief clear in her eyes.

“I knew he wouldn’t make it,” she said to herself softly. “I knew that twins were so rare.”

Naru tried to ask again, but his mother wouldn’t listen to him. He sighed and climbed up the tree to his favourite branch, and grabbed a leaf like always, and started chewing thoughtfully on it.

Why isn’t Rutha listening to me? He thought sadly to himself.

Suddenly, an idea hit him. What if he could prove his bravery to his mother? He would go down the tree, which she had forbidden, then go out and explore where his mother would sometimes go, to a banana tree, bring her a banana, and maybe she’ll love him again!

Naru swallowed his leaf, and hopped down his branch to the secret entrance that he’d found. He turned around and started climbing slowly down the tree, as it was still a bit new to him. Once he hit the bottom, he started going towards the banana tree. All of a sudden, the bushes in front of him started rustling, and foot-steps from something huge were making the ground shudder. Then, a foot appeared, then another and another, until there were six feet. He looked up into the eyes of three men. One had a massive black beard with a strange sort of black stick that shone and looked deadly, in the middle was a bald man with a pair of brown stuff on his hands that looked like nothing was able penetrate them, and the last one was an evil looking man with a black moustache and was holding a cage in his hands.

“We could probably sell this one for a few thousand,” muttered the man with the gun. “Make sure you look for its mother.”

Naru was frightened to death! He started trembling as the one with gloves leant forward and extended his arms, hands coming closer. Naru could feel his blood bubbling, wanting him to call out for Rutha.

“Mother!” he finally screeched, scrabbling away.

But he was too late, as the thug with gloves grabbed his hind leg, and started hauling him back towards him. All of a sudden, a massive auburn coloured ape leaped on top of the man with gloves and delivered a massive bite to his arm. The one with the shiny stick thing that looked dangerous shouted to the man with gloves, and raised his stick to his shoulder, aiming his mother up.

“Run, Naru,” called his mother. “And never look back!”

Naru nodded in fright, and then scurried back towards his tree. Once he was in his cosy little leaf nest, he heard an ear-splitting bang that made him curl up even tighter than before, and he felt as if something just died in his heart, as he had when Bveno had died just a few hours ago.
One day, thought Naru, hardening his gaze, the two-legs will pay for what they’ve done.




Enjoy and please leave a comment/like! Also no plagiarising, as that is for losers and this manuscript is rightfully mine!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Finding your Writers Voice

Well, hello again everybody! I'm going to try and be a good little blogger and post frequently (Like at least once a week) and share my opinions and writing with you!

But here's what today's topic is all about- Finding your Writers Voice.

Your writers voice is that pull you feel when writing novels and stories. It tells you who the characters should be, and tells you what your protagonist(s) and antagonist(s). It also helps you decide whether to use first person, second person or third person! It helps with the style you write in, fast-paced and straight to the point, about a walking-pace and catching some description, or slow-paced and getting all the description absorbed into your novel.

I believe that I have found my writers voice, which is probably a walking-pace one, as I'm not speeding ahead to the next scene, but then I'm not slowly going and putting every little thing into my novel. I put in a short description of the surroundings, but then it's straight back to what the characters are doing. I've also noticed as I look back on my work, that I've never written a first-person novel. But that's okay, because it isn't what my writers voice is telling me to do.

Finding your writers voice is not at all easy! You have to experiment. Try a young-adult book, then maybe an adult book, then maybe a first-starters chapter book until you've found what you're best at! Then, you try all the styles and genres you can think of! At the end, your writers voice should of ignited, giving you an advantage over all the other writers that haven't found their writers voice.

Your writers voice is what makes you a writer! It is vital in becoming a novelist!



But yeah, I hope this article sums up why it's important to find your writers voice as soon as you can if you want to be a novelist!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Very BIG Hello!

Hello to everyone who is reading this blog of mine! I'm Sarah (or Serena Jannice as you may know me on other sites, as that is my penname). I am eleven years old and have a strong passion for writing! I write all sorts of fiction, ranging from fantasy to realistic. I loved making up stories as soon as I could write, and have never stopped! A bit more about me is-

I love writing, reading, animals, friends, music, piano, singing, tap, jazz and ballet dancing, athletics and probably a whole lot more that I can't think of! I also have a dog and 2 sisters :)

Well anyways, I hope you enjoy reading my blog about my works, writing issues and awesomeness!