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Plymouth Rocks are what my mom wants to get one day

They’re lovely chickens! We have one who disappeared for a while and came back a few weeks ago with thirteen chicks she hatched in a bush somewhere XD She’s somehow managed to keep all of them alive. How she does it is beyond me, we’ve never gotten more than four or five chicks when just leaving the hens to their own devices.

Aaaw!! They both sound lovely! (And funny! ) Oh my word, Djadon sounds like he’s a handful! That’s hilarious though  Flaxen chestnut, by the way, is absolutely gorgeous!!!

*Nods solemnly* A handful is right 😂 Thank you! They’re both lovely but he’s definitely the one who makes everyone go “Oh that’s a beautiful horse!” It’s terrible for his already immense ego XD

I can see why you like writing about Aydin! From a reader’s perspective, I would love reading about him!!! I just love his character arc!! That sounds so cool! Ah! Poor guy!

Thank you! He’s just so fun to watch develop, though writing him is occasionally quite exhausting XD

I’ve never written an “accidental neurodivergent character.” Is that tricky?

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve accidentally written an autistic character, I’d have two pennies, which isn’t a lot but it’s weird that it’s happened twice XD The third guy in Murder of Swans (The mystery I’m planning) doesn’t count because I knew from the start XD

I’ve always found it immensely fun, it’s especially hilarious when it happens late like Aydin was an important character in all three books but it wasn’t until the tail end of book 3 that I realized I’d been writing him as such all along XD It’s just “Avoidance of eye contact, special interests, stimming, overanalyzing social situations, strong sense of justice, occasionally reacting wrong to a situation, sensory issues etc. etc. Yeah no, he’s definitely autistic”

Yes, *Ethan* is always kind of on the receiving end of traumatizing character development as well. I feel bad for him and then at the same time I make pretty much everyone doubt him because of his past and not trust him. So he pretty much retreats into himself for the most part and tries to build a wall around himself.

We always have that one character who is so delightfully fun to torture but who we still love dearly. They’re often the best characters though XD

Oh thank you! He drives me crazy sometimes, but my favorite part of writing him is finding those moments when he lets down his guard – mostly when he’s by himself – and you see how vulnerable he really is.

Yessss!!! That’s one of the BEST PARTS!! I also love driving my characters to the absolute edge of their sanity. Especially Liorah, she’s so fun to drive absolutely desperate 🥰

Oh goodness that sounds ominous! I promise I love them XD

I love the name, Liorah, by the way! All my conflicted characters of that type have been male so far, so a girl like that would be really interesting I think! Oh wow. Since it’s a trilogy, does she commit arson once per book? XD

Thank you! I decided it on a whim and loved it ever since!

Hmm, let me see… Yes, I have it nicely spread out, one per book. I mean, I need to have something to motivate her, and the promise of “You’ll get to commit arson pretty soon” is as good as any! XD Of course I can’t let her do it too often, she’s already so spoiled as a main character XD

Aaaw! Poor Gavril! Is he the king? That must be so hard!! Are he and Liorah conflicted in their relationship since she feels like she has to compare with him?

Yes! He’s coronated at the beginning of the first book, and he spends pretty much the majority of his time appearing outwardly put together and internally screaming. I feel so bad for him. (I say, as the writer who carefully devised the way to torment him as much as possible)

Kind of! It’s very interesting! Both of them envy the other, but neither of them shows it. Liorah is jealous of all the attention and praise Gav attracts, Gavril is jealous of her freedom. However, neither of them takes it out on the other or even lets them know. They’re very close, even though their relationship is so strained by circumstances.

Wow! Ummmm…..it took me about that same time to write just my one book!?! Yeah, I’m a slow writer, I know.

Loll, I write very fast once I get started and honestly struggle with not letting it take up too much time XD Also, that’s just the first drafts of everything, so it’s sloppy and not quite complete.

20K words!?! Wow!! I’m sure from what you said, Aydin has not only undergone a lot of changes, he’s put a lot of changes in the story itself! I think that’s a good thing though because I bet it really has strengthened your plot and your skills as a writer! That, and changing the other character for Liorah XD

Oh he HAS! I practically had to structure the next two books around the redemption he demanded XD It’s definitely taught me a LOT, and I really love that part of it!

Two of my characters – Esther, my MC, and another person – are married in the second book, but I didn’t really plan that in the first book. That is, I knew they’d end up married, but I haven’t tried to write any romance yet.

Ohh, that’s tricky! That’ll be fun though! I’m personally kind of uninterested in romance in most media, it has to be really well done for me to find it compelling, but I found that writing it is actually very fun! It’s a lovely break from all the rest of the dark subjects XD I’ve written two romantic subplots, one with Liorah and her love interest, and one between Aydin and Faye! Theirs was an accident, but a very happy one XD

YES!! I grew up with two sisters so battles aren’t exactly my forte… I kind of knew I needed to have one, but well, I tried to avoid it as much as possible XD Then I got my first draft back from my editor and I had to devise and execute a battle plan XD

Ugghhh they’re SO HARD! I had to rewrite my battles like three or four times to get them right, and they’re still not quite what I wanted! Coming up with the plan is absolutely the hardest part!

No unfortunately I don’t yet! I just really want to write one. I think the symbolism would be so fun to write!

Oh absolutely! Symbolism is just the best thing, I’m honestly guilty of overusing it if anything XD

Aah! My characters!! I love them! And at the same time, I’m terrible to them, you know what I mean? I shoot them, tear them from their families, give them doubts, and clap them in jail.

Yep, yep, that’s how it is! I joke about all the awful things I’ve done to my characters, especially Aydin who hits a new rock bottom approximately three times a book XD Every time they think it can’t get worse YES IT CAN *Evil writer laughter*

I once put two of my characters in prison and I had no idea how to get them out. I knew they wouldn’t starve or die, but other than that, well, they were on their own

That’s HILARIOUS I’ve definitely been guilty of that XD Actually quite literally once… I trapped him (Aydin, coincidentally) in a prison and basically told him to figure it out. Somehow, he did. Still shocked at that one. Sometimes my characters use their shared brain cell (singular) and I’m always shocked XD

I think I’m the opposite sometimes, if I don’t push myself at times, I can stay stuck longer than I want.

Oh I’ve had that happen to me too 😭 It’s so frustrating!

Hmmmm….probably that I when I wrote my first book, I never planned out the whole plot. I just let the story take me where it would. And then in the middle – when my two characters were in jail, by the way – I had no clue what to write.
Oh goodness that does sound like a problem! I run into that problem while plotting way too often XD

Also when I had all my book typed except the last couple of chapters….and I neglected to save it….and then my laptop crashed….  At least I had the handwritten version!

NOOOO That’s every writer’s worst nightmare!!! I’m glad you got it back though!

Is the longsword different from a regular sword? Ringen sounds so cool! I bet it’s a lot of fun!!!

Yes and no! It’s a subcategory of sword since there isn’t really a standard kind of sword. It’s two-handed and pretty big, almost four feet long! It was used without a shield, and mainly on foot. The kind we do was for when you weren’t wearing much armor!

The shorter swords, like you’d use on a horse or with a shield, with one hand, are called arming swords! They’re quite different in use from the longsword. I’ve done a tiny bit with one-handed swords, but really not more than a crash course XD

Did you start HEMA before or after you wrote your battles? I know that it’s easier to write about things you have experienced yourself, so I bet HEMA has added a really neat level of realism to your fight scenes/battles! We just watched Prince Caspian before I wrote my battle so I paid really close attention to how they fought! XD

Both before and after XD After I drafted it for the first time, but before I rewrote it! So I do have a few cool details here and there, plus it really helps me think of cool things to do in fight scenes! Some of the things you do irl are the kind that people think would be unrealistic to include XD

Oh, watching battles would definitely help! It helps you pick up on the rhythm of it all!

I think being able to shoot a bow would be amazing! But aim has never exactly been my strong point….. I can always hope though!

LOlll sameee!! On the other hand, swords require a ton of coordination, which I absolutely do not have either, but here we are XD

I just subscribed the other day! I can’t wait to read what you write!

Awesome, thank you!! Would you like me to send you the latest newsletter? It came out a week or so ago!

Sadly I don’t. Yet. I think someday I might try to do a blog but as of right now I don’t.

Okay! It took a lot of convincing before I finally got up the courage to start a newsletter XD

Well, I think it’s lovely!!! I would put a quote under mine but I can be notoriously undecided at times….

Loll, I get that! Though, you can change it as often as you like! That does help XD

I’m halfway through the writing it. (the first draft) I’ve never worked with a beta writer before. How does that work exactly? My plan is to have it finished by October/November and have it out and published by early 2023.

Oh awesome! That’s pretty close, that must be really exciting!

Okay, so beta reading! Beta readers are people who critique your manuscript between drafts! Often they’re just friends and family, but having a few beta readers who are writers has been an immense help to me! If you socialize around SE, sooner or later someone will volunteer if they like your story (Like I did XD)

They’re like editors, except they’re not professionals and often more subjective, and they’ll usually just read it once. They don’t do as much as an editor, but they’re amazing for pointing out what isn’t working and what is! It often helps you get perspective on a story when you’re too close to it and you have no idea whether it’s trash or a masterpiece (You know that feeling you get while writing XD)

I’ve beta-read for people several times, and I’ve had beta readers go through my manuscript, and both have been overall great experiences!

I love beta reading for other people because A. I get to read cool stories and talk about them to the author directly, which is epic, and B. It helps me with my own revisions. I’ve gotten a LOT better at editing by reading other people’s work and critiquing it!

I love when people read my story because well… it’s amazing to get to share it! Plus it has helped IMMENSELY with revising, often they’ll point out issues I never would have spotted.

Anyway, I’m happy to answer any more questions about it, if it’s something you’re interested in! If it’s something you might consider but you don’t know how to go about it, I’d be happy to tell you more about that too!

Without darkness, there is no light. If there was no nighttime, would the stars be as bright?

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