Stock Up on Summer Reading – $.99 sale from Ravenswood Publishing #yalit #LegendsOfGreenIsle #BookSale

JULY 4TH WEEK LONG PROMO CELEBRATION Legends of Green Isle’s book one “The Forgotten Spell” will be part of a July 4th celebration sale. The Ravenswood Publishing Sale features not only the first volume of the series but other great titles from Ravenswood Publishing. Visit Amazon from July 1st to July 8th to catch this fantastic deal on “The Forgotten Spell.” Book two ” The Mirror Sliver” will be released November 2016. Join the Adventure!

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#LegendsOfGreenIsle Author Interview: Books and Banter

Many thanks to LocGlin at Books and Banter for the wonderful interview of #LegendsOfGreenIsle and book one “The Forgotten Spell.” Please take a few moments to visit the blog. LocGlin has highlighted many wonderful authors and new releases.


Editing and Rewriting: profiling your characters.

Chapter OneWriting and editing seems to be a never ending cycle of creation and destruction. I say it this way because when I first wrote “The Forgotten Spell,” the first book of the series, it was over six years ago. Since then I’ve completed undergraduate work and am now in graduate studies at Clemson University, and my writing has improved. I didn’t realize until I got back the first round of edits from my wonderful editor Lisanne, how really horrible the book was. One of the main complaints from Lisanne was characterization and of course mid-book slump – no action. Thus, much of what I created has to be destroyed in order to renew the story. Stories evolve too. You may find that first initiation draft does quite get the point across. Yes, my characters did sound all alike in the first book. Lisanne was right. They were individuals in my head, talking to me, but on paper their personalities didn’t come through. I have to destroy their sameness and create them all over again.

Here was some great advice from a good friend: Have you profiled the characters? Start with name, short physical description, likes and dislikes, family, personal history. Make a sheet for each main character, and maybe make a drawing. You can use images that embody your characters: Garfield, WOW, Marvel, Barbie, friends, etc. Profiles can help you position characters and round out scenes. Why does X carry a broken watch? He set the watch to the hour she died and smashed it to preserve the memory, never to forget the goal of his quest.” Mark Wilkinson was a wonderful friend who I knew at University of Alaska way back when. He is also a fantastic writer. Great advice. It has helped me quite a bit. Thanks Mark!



The Next Chapter…

Chapter One

It has been an exciting week for us here in Green Isle land. The series has been added to the GMTA Publishing family, all nine books, and the contract was signed and delivered yesterday. (Six books in Legends of Green Isle and three others, which will feature a prequel story of Green Isle’s beginnings.) Our wonderful cover artist, Sandip, will be hard at work helping with a revision of book one’s cover, along with creating book three’s design.

What a blessing to have met Kitty Bullard and her publishing firm. Everyone in Green Isle is doing a happy dance. After the celebration, we’ll be back at work on book three – “Revenge of the Salamander King.”  Join the adventure by following us on Twitter @GreenIsleAuthor or our Facebook Fan Page at

Happy Friday everyone!

Help! How do I Name my Characters in a Young Adult Fantasy Story?

May 6th, 2011 @ 23:14:38When I was creating the series of Legends of Green Isle, one of the biggest obstacles I came across was naming characters. I didn’t want them to sound silly. (I could see them frowning at times when I posed a name that was reminiscent of a comic book hero).

Fantasy characters like my dragons, elves, fairies and the like were dependent upon me to get something that was easy to say.  As a youngster I’ve read many fantasy books with long character names that seemed unpronounceable, and it would confuse and frustrate me to no end because I just ended up nicknaming the book’s character.  I’m sure that it took away from the character’s ‘soul’ and depth, not knowing the true pronunciation of its name, and the writer’s extension of that character. I didn’t want any of my readers to feel the same emotion I did.

Most of my Earthly characters have names which are old family names. My grandmother on my mom’s side passed away during the first beginnings of Legends of Green Isle and out of respect for her, the last names are from her heritage.  One character who shows up briefly has her given name (Martha Gay). Green Isle characters were a different story.  They were the fantasy characters, and thus needed other worldly names.

You may not believe this, but sometimes they just gave me their name. Take for instance, Lamfada, the leprechaun who forged the Sword of Balorn.  He actually had a different name before this one.  It didn’t read well with the story though, and he knew it.  One day, while proof reading, I could hear the Irish tilt of his scorn as the name Lamfada popped into my head; “don’t ye think that ya be namin’ me some fruity name with this one wee lass? Why don’t ya try Lamfada? That be my name and I’m stickin’ to it!”

Some names were derived from research I did on the Scottish and Irish folklore, and delving into the mythology of Atlantis. Elvish names were a little difficult.  I hunted around the web looking for some help with this one.  One website I found, included several tables of prefixes and suffixes of elf names.  I was able to create things which had some meaning for the elf characters and elf places within the book.  I also used some of the names for the Nuada Findi people and the Shadow people of Murias Donn (Druids). You can find these tables HERE.

All in all, I would suggest reading your story out loud to yourself.  Listen to your characters’ voices. (If you’re like me, they are always up there in the attic of your mind hanging around waiting for the next scene.) Does the name fit their personality? Does their name amplify or take away from who they are in the story? Is their name something the readers will be able to pronounce when reading?  Getting the right names are important.  They help create a believable story  around the characters themself.

Happy writing all!  Enjoy some time in your imagination today.

Feeling your characters’ emotions: Writing a great Young Adult story.

fantasy_elvin_country_017009_If there is one thing I could suggest to people who want to be great writers, I would say, “feel your characters’ emotions.”

Everyone can tell a good joke, but there are just some people who are better at it than others. It’s usually the individuals who are able to convey emotion along with their words that can get the punchline out there in a perfect way. Being able to feel your characters’ emotions doesn’t come easy, and like telling a great joke, you’ve got to “feel” it in order to write it and make those who are your audience “feel” it too.

When I was writing the first book in the series, I think I was more intent to get the base story down for the others in the series, that I forgot to connect with my characters. Book two is written entirely different. I wanted to explore and open up for the readers the persona of these people who were running around Green isle, saving that world and Earth. Each chapter is written from the viewpoint of a different character, allowing the reader to see into the emotion and thought processes of several key players. In one of the chapters, I found myself so intertwined with this little guy, Ned Neely, that I started crying along with him at a pivot point in the story. I connected with him, and the others in Book Two, “The Mirror Sliver.” Finding this emotion connection has also brought a deeper clarity of where I want the story line to go.

So happy writing all, and don’t forget, your characters are just as alive as you want them to be.

Finishing Strong in a YA Fantasy Series (Concluding book two “The Mirror Sliver.”)

As any writer knows, its finishing that last sentence of the story which is the trophy of any writing. When writing a series, books can be spaced apart as many as three years, and it can be difficult remembering certain points or plots which you constructed in a previous book. So how do you finish up strong towards the end when there is an apparent space of time between the books?

First of all, giving yourself a good outline for each book is a healthy way to organize your thoughts. Put together a binder, separate each book by a tab, place notes and things you’ve jotted down within each tab so you have a reference point to go back to when writing the next part of your series. If you make a change in the book, note it in your outline. Have some small notecards with characters names from each volume. This can help you with remembering who is who. When finishing a part of the series, attempt to write some lingering questions that will have the reader anxious to find out the answer. If you’re like me, you may write a cliff hanger into the last chapter. This is  going to happen in book two – “The Mirror Sliver.” Not only is the story line gathering strength through each individual book, but it is also gathering momentum towards the last book itself, climaxing in the last few chapters of the last book.

Book two is ten chapters away from its conclusion.  I’m finding that as I write these last chapters, the story itself is somewhat deciding on its lingering questions.  The Mirror Sliver will finish strong with a cliff hanger that only book three will be able to answer.  I’m getting excited about this book’s ending. (Mainly because the next book’s characters are already clamoring for their time in the story.)

Happy Writing all!writing