Author: Allison Grace

A Silence in the Shadows Book Release! Reviews and Author Interview!

A Silence in the Shadows Book Release! Reviews and Author Interview!

On Monday, Caleb E. King’s debut novel, A Silence in the Shadows, released!

Since I’m on Caleb’s street team, I go to read an ARC (advanced reader copy) before it was published. My younger brother also read it and wrote a review of his own.

Now I have several things to share in this post, so let’s start with the interview! As usual, my questions are in bold and Caleb’s responses are in regular text.

Caleb E. King
Caleb E. King

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Sure! I’m a homeschooled teen and a grateful child of God. I started writing when I was eight and haven’t stopped since. Besides writing I love reading, drawing, and hanging out with my friends.

You’ve been writing much longer than I have! When did you start writing A Silence in the Shadows?

July 23rd, 2016

Wow! It’s impressive you remember the exact date! What inspired it?

Well, I remember wanting to make a story with the main characters cool ninja-like people, and have them infiltrating castles and fighting their enemies. That’s basically what it sparked from, and then the story just unfolded from there!

Do you have a favorite memory from writing A Silence in the Shadows?

Hmm, I actually don’t remember a lot of the writing process of it…some of the dialogue was really fun to write though.

Dialogue is always fun to write! Which authors have inspired you the most?

J. R. R. Tolkien, Chuck Black, and Andrew Peterson!

I’ve read at least one thing by all of those authors! Do you like to listen to music while you write?

I used too, but not so much anymore. I haven’t tried it in a while though…I may try it again.

What is your favorite Bible passage (or verse)?

I don’t think I really have a certain favorite, but I like Psalms 100 and 111 a lot!

I know! It’s so hard to choose! Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?

Yep! I enjoy reading, drawing, making my own comic books, and creating 2-D animations! I also make films with my friends!

That’s awesome! What’s next on your writing journey?

TAKE A BREAK. Then I think I’m going to re-write a couple short stories I wrote a while ago. After that, it’ll be on to the next book!

Enjoy your break, Caleb! Thank you for letting me interview you!

 

Want to know more about Caleb? Follow him on his blog! www.calebeking.wordpress.com

Order A Silence in the Shadows here!

(Keep scrolling for book reviews!)

A Silence In The Shadows

 

Book Review Time!

 

My Thoughts

When the Willii brothers, Jered and Faal, discover a close friend is actually a wizard in disguise, they are thrown into a conflict bigger than they ever imagined. Sure, they knew the tax collectors were evil, but they didn’t know they oppressed more than just the Willii’s village.

They also didn’t know their friend’s ex-apprentice is the man behind it all.

And they are the only two people who can stop him.

After the tax collectors burn the brother’s village, the two boys join the Silents—masters of stealth and hand-to-hand combat—in order to find a way to defeat the tyrannical reign of the rouge wizard.

***

Overall, I thought this was a good story. I haven’t read middle-grade in a while, so please note my comments come from the perspective of a YA author and reader. 😊

I enjoyed the relationship between the two brothers, Jered and Faal. It felt realistic—they neither hated each other nor got along all the time. I can’t decide which brother I like better—serious Jered or mischievous Faal.

My favorite character was actually Belak. He seemed to have an interesting backstory and I would have liked to learn a bit more about him.

I really liked all the fantasy creatures Caleb created. I could picture them really well.

If I could be in this book, I’d be a Silent. They’re basically like ninjas and ninjas are cool. And magical ninjas are even cooler. 🐱‍👤

The ending was really good. I didn’t expect it, but it was awesome!

A few things I didn’t like:

  • There were too many fight scenes. Every few pages it seemed like the characters were fighting the tax collectors.
  • The point-of-view character shifted a bunch. It made it hard to follow, particularly during action scenes.
  • The side characters were a bit hard to tell apart and flat.

 

Content

There was a lot of fighting, but I don’t think there was anything graphic. A few mentions of blood. Lots of bad guys die. (Someone explodes at the end.)

Since Jered and Faal have wizard powers, there is magic. They don’t use it very much and it’s more like “using the Force” than spell and potion magic. It’s not anywhere close to witchcraft. The main villain did cast a spell on his minions, but that’s all.

There was no romance whatsoever, which was nice, so the reader can focus more on the brothers’ relationship.

It was completely free of language!

 

Book Review Two!

This review was written by my brother!

In “A Silence In the Shadows” by Caleb E. King, Jered and Faal Willii are plunged into a desperate battle against the evil rejected wizard apprentice, Ath, after their old friend Flogii tells them that they have the potential to become wizards.

They will meet and receive powers from an old hermit wizard in the mountains, and will discover who the so-called “tax collectors” really are.  When the odds become too great for the two boys, they are rescued by a masked warrior…  and plunged into the world of the resistance fighters, the Silents.

They train hard and become fast friends with members of the Silents such as Crater, Belak, and Angela.  They race in a desperate rush to stop Ath from being able to control everyone with the Melker stone.  It comes down to a final battle between the boys and Ath to determine whether the world is broken or saved.  But you have to read the book to find out who wins!

Personally, my favorite person was Jered.  I thought the relationship between the two boys was interesting, and Flogii being a wizard was very surprising.   My favorite parts were the battles , and that the Silents were basically ninjas (of course, being a boy, I’m more prone to like things like that than others).  Something I really appreciated was that there wasn’t any romance (barf!).  Overall I’d give this a 5-star rating.

 

Want to buy A Silence in the Shadows? Click here! 

Sunshine Blogger Award!

Sunshine Blogger Award!

Here are the rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog. (Thank you for tagging me, Fe! https://theunshaken.blog/)
  2. Answer the questions provided by the blogger who nominated you (11 maximum).
  3. Nominate new bloggers and make up 11 questions for them to answer.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger logo in your post.

 

Fe’s questions are in bold and my answers are in regular text.

 

  1. What’s your favorite book of all time? (Yes, I just went there.)

This is actually an easy question for me. Of course, now that I said that, a million different books flew into my mind declaring they are my favorites.

But my most favorite book is either Resistance or Samara’s Peril both books from Jaye L. Knight’s The Ilyon Chronicles.

 

  1. Do you play sports? If so, which one?

I don’t play any sports, but I love watching baseball.

 

  1. What’s your favorite type of music?

I like soundtracks, almost anything by The Piano Guys, and Casting Crowns. It depends on the day, and what I’m trying to do when I’m listening to it.

 

  1. What is your favorite Bible Verse?

My favorite passage is Romans 8:38-39.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

  1. Do you have any siblings?

Yup! I have one younger brother.

 

  1. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

The ability to work really fast. I tend to commit to too many things, so being able to fly through my projects, while still doing a good job, would be super helpful. 😉

 

  1. What is your favorite joke? (I hope you have one. I love jokes. Especially corny ones with puns.)

It’s more of a riddle, but here you go:

Paul’s parents have four children: Matthew, Mark, and Luke. What is the name of the fourth child?

 

  1. What’s your favorite quote?

I don’t have one, I’m afraid.

 

  1. Do you have any advice for all of us Christian teens?

Yes! I just read something in one of Chapel Library’s “Free Grace Broadcasters” (Thoughts for Young People, Issue 212, page 21) that hit me. “There is not one duty of true godliness binding upon you in future years that does not rest with all its authority upon you [now]. Is youth the season for sinful pleasure then? Is this best and most influential portion of your existence to be deliberately given up to vice? That is a dreadful idea, repugnant alike to reason and revelation.” ~John Angell James

 

  1. If you could go back in time, what would you change?

This is hard. Because there are so many things I’d like to change, but if I changed them, I wouldn’t be who I am today. So I guess I wouldn’t change anything.

 

  1. And now for the MOST PROFOUND QUESTION IN THE BOOK OF SUPER DUPER IMPORTANT QUESTIONS… Drum roll please… what is your favorite color? XD

Blue. Particularly very dark navy blue. =D

 

 

My 11 questions for you!

  1. Christmas candy or Easter candy?
  2. Do you like to read non-fiction or fiction better?
  3. Have you ever seen the ocean? If so, which one(s)?
  4. Ice cream in a bowl or on a cone?
  5. What’s your favorite movie?
  6. Can you whistle?
  7. At an amusement park, are you the cautious type or the reckless type?
  8. Do you like butterflies?
  9. What is your favorite book of the Bible?
  10. Flip-flops, yea or nay?
  11. What is the first thing you remember yourself as a kid wanting “to do when I grow up”?

 

I don’t know very many bloggers, and I just did a blog tag not that long ago, so if you want to do this, consider yourself tagged. 😀

 

Where’s Glendale?

Glendale the troll
Meet Glendale the troll. I hope you don’t have nightmares. ;D

 

 

 

 

English Sonnets and Baseball Games

English Sonnets and Baseball Games

My last semester of high school, I studied Shakespeare’s tragedies (Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear) and various sonnets. One of my assignments was to write my own English sonnet.

I was inspired by the Irish tune “The Foggy Dew.” It’s beautifully haunting and one of my favorite pieces to play on my flute.

 

 

Midsummer’s day looked over war,
And now the soft shadow of night doth fall
Where long grass once rolled with heath of the moor.
Now death’s gentle cry rings out a chill call.
The haunting pipes long since ceased weeping,
Éire’s bold colors no longer sway proud.
And yet the fog comes quietly creeping
As if its dew could become the dead’s shroud.
Some hardly men from mother’s hearts torn,
Young they were, yet this world undeserving,
For many more dark nights their lovers mourn,
For true courage is always unswerving.
The dead have left this trembling jar of clay,
To live, to fight, to face another day.


Next week, I’ll be at a writing conference! When I return, I’ll share some photos and things I learned while there.

 

Allison Grace blogs at allisongracewrites.com

 

Where’s Glendale?

 

Glendale at Progressive Field
Glendale got to attend his first baseball game at Progressive Field (home to the Cleveland Indians) on Wednesday! While we couldn’t stay for the entire game, we watched most of it. The Indians wound up winning! (Hooray!)

 

Popcorn
As we left during the rain delay, we passed this statue. There’s a spider web over the guy’s face. Someone apparently thought it would be a good idea to stick a piece of popcorn in it! I don’t think the spider is too happy about it. XD

 

 

 

The Ultimate Writing Conference Guide: You’re Finally Here–What To Do At The Conference

The Ultimate Writing Conference Guide: You’re Finally Here–What To Do At The Conference

You walk in the door of the conference and are instantly surrounded by the buzz of conversation and clusters of strangers with name tags.

Oh boy. What was I thinking? I can’t do this thing. Maybe I should go back to the car.

But you paid for it, so you decide to stick it out for the afternoon. Maybe you won’t come back tomorrow.

 

Most writers are introverts. (I am!) Conferences are scary. There are a bunch of strangers and most of them seem to know each other, leaving you by yourself.

Going to a writer’s conference gives you the chance to rebel against the stereotype. You get to leave the introvert at home. You finally get to see what it’s like to be your super extroverted character.

In reality, pretending to be extroverted is hard. Exhausting even.

Trust me, you aren’t the only introverted writer wishing the ground would swallow them up. Someone else is lonely and afraid. Your closest writing friend just might be the girl sitting by herself at lunch. You’ll never know if you don’t talk to her.

That brings us to the first point.

 

Don’t skip the meals

It’s tempting, I know, to just eat a cold sandwich in your hotel room instead of coming to the cafeteria for warm bacon and eggs. The food isn’t as good in your room, but there aren’t other people around.

But meals are a wonderful time for you to network. It’s not as intimidating as it might sound. Networking is just meeting other writers and building relationships. And it’s not just meeting other writers, it’s anyone you meet—your family, friends, co-workers, etc. If people know who you are and what you do, they might be able to pass on an opportunity to you. Then you do the same for them. Relationships aren’t just one-sided.

Besides, you might get to eat dinner with a faculty member! Just don’t shove your way to the table where the author is sitting. Don’t be pushy or obnoxious about it.

 

So, I’ve (hopefully) convinced you to join the dinner crowd. Now what?

Ask the Golden question, “What are you writing?”

That is almost guaranteed to get people talking. Everyone here at the conference is a writer. And often you even write the same genre (sci-fi, fantasy, historical, etc.) or category (non-fiction, Christian fiction, secular fiction, etc.). You’re among kindred spirits.

This is when you’ll need to know what you are writing about.

Sometimes, people hesitate to share their ideas, thinking someone is going to steal it. While you certainly don’t want to share every little detail of your work-in-progress, you don’t want to sit there in silence.

Sure, people might steal your idea. But most writers have tons of other ideas that they came up with that they would rather focus on. And if you just share the basic premise or themes, even if they take your idea, the stolen story won’t be the same as your original idea. Besides, they’d have to pour hours into fleshing out your idea and writing it.

 

Don’t forget to exchange contact info!

If you meet someone really interesting over lunch or maybe in line for the bathroom, exchange emails. Be sure to write your name on a slip of paper along with your contact information, particularly if your email is something like ilovecookies@myemail.com. Or if you brought business cards, use those!

It might be a good idea for you to take note where you met the person and if you were supposed to email them something, like your first chapter or links to your blog and social media.

You might find long-lasting writing friendships this way!

(Tip: Contact everyone you exchanged info with as soon as you get home. They’ll have a better chance of remembering you that way. This is a good place to say, “Hey, we sat next to each other during DiAnn Mills’ keynote and talked about YA fantasy.” Just remind them who you are, and include anything you were supposed to. This shows you are responsible and eager to interact with them. Don’t be upset if you don’t get a response. It’s happened to me.)

 

Above all, remember to be kind.

Sit with the lonely people. Talk with the people no one else is.

Show yourself to be a different kind of person.

People remember kind words and actions more than you realize.

 

A final word before I wrap up this series. I’m not saying you have to be friends with everyone at the conference, exchange emails with everyone at your lunch table, or that you have to attend every activity.

What I am saying is that you need to break out of your comfort zone. Set little goals for yourself before you go. For my first conference, I set the goal of “talk to at least two or three people.” You could decide to try and ask a question in at least two sessions.

Having little goals like that can help you to get the most out of your conference experience.

 

Writing conferences are exciting steps in your journey as a writer. Going to one shows you are committed to your craft and that you are eager to learn and make connections.

They are nerve-wracking, and sometimes occasionally horrible experiences. But don’t give up on them. Every time you will learn something new.

Just remember to have fun. Go with the flow and don’t get upset if you make a mistake or miss a session.

Good luck!

 

 

Did you miss the previous posts in this series? Find them here!

How To Pick A Conference

How To Prepare–What To Do Before You Go

What To Pack–The Essential Tools

 

Where’s Glendale?

Glendale with "The Way of Kings"
Glendale with my latest achievement–The Way of Kings. It’s 1258 pages long! And yes, I did accidentally crack the spine. ;D
The Ultimate Guide To Writing Conferences: What To Pack–The Essential Tools You’ll Need at a Writing Conference

The Ultimate Guide To Writing Conferences: What To Pack–The Essential Tools You’ll Need at a Writing Conference

It’s time! The conference is almost upon you and it’s time to start packing. But you freeze, unsure of what to take. You certainly don’t want to forget anything.

Here are some of the essentials:

 

Backpack or other sturdy bag

You’ll want a nice big bag to carry your papers and books around in at the conference. Take something that zips so you don’t dump your stuff all over the floor.

 

Comfortable shoes

Wear some shoes you don’t mind running in. (i.e. not high heels) You’ll often be cutting it close to get to sessions (particularly if they are in different buildings) and you don’t want to be tripping over yourself.

 

Nice clothes

It’s a good idea to dress up a bit for a conference, but it depends on the event. Some are definitely dressier and with others, like Realm Makers, you can get away with being a bit more casual. Generally, you don’t want to wear T-shirts, sweatshirts, leggings, or ratty jeans. The best thing to do is see if there are any pictures on the site of previous conferences. You’ll want to imitate what others are wearing.

If you still aren’t sure, a nice top with jeans is a good middle ground. For girls, a skirt is also a good choice.

You’ll be around authors, agents, editors, and other writers. You want to leave a good impression.

Dress in layers and take a jacket. You never know if the air conditioning will be broken or turned up way too high. Or it might be raining as you run from one building to another. Be prepared for anything.

 

Camera

You’ll want to capture your experiences at the conference. The camera on your phone is a good choice.

 

Paper and Pencils/Pens

I know some people like to take notes on their laptops or tablets, but it’s a good idea to take some paper just in case your battery dies. Or your tech breaks down. (Totally never happens.)

 

Business Cards

If you have business cards, you’ll want to take them. You can exchange them with fellow writers or even with an author!

 

Folder and/or envelope

This will keep all the handouts, flyers, and business cards organized instead of in a scattered pile at the bottom of your bag. (Tip: pick up all the free things. You can sort them when you get home. You’ll never know what you might pick up!)

 

Books you want autographed

If an author you love is going to be there, by all means take their book! They’d be happy to sign it. (Don’t forget to ask if you can get a picture with them!)

 

Money to buy more books

Conferences have tables of books written by the faculty and sometimes by other attendees. Take cash (they might only accept cash or their credit card machine might break) so you don’t spend your entire checking account. Create a budget and stick to it!

 

Take a sample of your writing

It’s a great idea to take the first chapter of your work-in-progress with you. If you don’t have a first chapter, take an article you wrote, a blog post, or even an outline! Then if you’re talking to someone and they say, “Hey, that’s an awesome idea. I’d love to read it someday,” you can reply, “I actually have the first chapter with me. Want to read it?”

Be sure you take at least two hard copies with you. That way if someone forgets to give it back or they write on it, you have another copy.

 

I know that’s a lot to remember, so here is a free, downloadable packing list!

Click the link to download! Writing Conference Packing List

 

Allison Grace blogs at allisongracewrites.com

 

Where’s Glendale?

Glendale with Simon
Simon wasn’t very thrilled to be drafted into posing with Glendale. Particularly as it interrupted his nap.

 

Reese
Reese was jealous of Simon getting all the attention. So I had to take a picture of her too.
The Ultimate Guide to Writing Conferences: How To Prepare–What To Do Before You Go

The Ultimate Guide to Writing Conferences: How To Prepare–What To Do Before You Go

Welcome back! Today we’re talking about preparing for a writing conference. If you missed last week’s post, you can find it here: How to pick a conference

After you have picked the conference you wish to attend and registered, there are a few things you should do before you arrive.

 

Conference Schedule

Print off the conference schedule, which should be easily found on their website and/or social media.

Then, take a highlighter and pick what sessions you want to attend. If you can’t make up your mind yet, don’t worry! Sometimes sessions are moved or canceled, making the choice easier for you.

Looking over the schedule beforehand helps you to be better prepared when you actually arrive. It prevents you from rushing your choices while standing in the lobby, five minutes before the first speaker starts.

Be sure to take your highlighted schedule to the conference. They’ll give you the most recent one when you come in, but this way you can quickly mark your new one with all the sessions you wanted to attend. Always follow the schedule they give you at the door. You don’t want to get caught off guard with canceled or moved sessions.

This is also a good time to schedule your author/agent/editor appointment. Not all conferences have these, but most bigger ones will. You’ll want to grab your spot as soon as possible. Be sure to read the short bios about who you could meet. You certainly don’t want to show up to talk about your YA fantasy to a guy who said he only wanted to talk about devotionals for children. (Tip: a week or two before the conference, check out the sign-up sheet again. You might be able to get a bonus appointment.)

 

Research the Speakers

This is pretty fun to do. On the website, there should be a list of all the professionals attending. They are sometimes called the “faculty.”

You’ll probably want to print this off too.

Study the brief bios and link the headshots with names, so you can recognize the faculty. This will help you feel a bit less nervous. If you know what an agent looks like, you won’t sit down at your appointment and wonder who the strange man sitting across from you is.

Take extra time researching the person you have a one-on-one appointment with. Go to their website. If they’ve written books, read one, or at least study their summaries. Follow them on social media if you can.

Learn as much about them as you can and always remember, they aren’t superheroes. They are human too. If you get a chance to casually talk to them (over a meal, standing in line, before a session) try asking them about their dog or something unrelated to writing. Show a genuine interest in them.

 

Prepare Your Questions

If you have a one-on-one appointment, write out the questions you want to ask before you go. Make a crazy list of every question you can think of, serious or ridiculous. Then, organize them by importance, deleting the really dumb ones (like “Do you like Star Wars?” I wrote that one down once while brainstorming questions.).

Take your list to your appointment. Don’t be upset if you don’t get through all of them or if you get off track. That’s why you put the most important questions at the beginning. If you have follow-up questions, ask them! If you don’t understand something, ask them to clarify. And don’t forget to take notes—write down writing tools they recommend, websites, publications, books, etc.

 

Know What You Are Writing About

When someone asks you what you’re writing about, it’s super easy to freeze, then mumble, “uh, it’s about an elf and a bunch of humans in the woods.” Be prepared, don’t worry about memorizing anything, just be sure to have a good grasp on the gist of your story. For example, with my WIP, I could say, “It’s a YA fantasy about a group of humans and elves trying to put the true king back on the throne after he was ousted from the throne by his younger brother.”

 

I hope these four tips help you to be better prepared when you attend your writing conference! The most important thing to remember is to be confident, no matter how much you prepared. Just because you know a bunch of facts about the faculty doesn’t mean that the conference will go smoothly for you. But being prepared lowers the chances of a bad experience.

 

 

Where’s Glendale?

Glendale listens to music
Glendale would like to inform you of the best way to listen to epic soundtracks. He says you can feel the sound in your entire body, even your feet! I wonder why… ;D

 

The Ultimate Guide to Writing Conferences: Where to Go–How to Pick a Conference

The Ultimate Guide to Writing Conferences: Where to Go–How to Pick a Conference

Summer is writing conference season. I hope this four part series will help you to be able to easily navigate the overwhelming mess conferences can be.

The first thing you need to do is pick the conference you wish to attend. And there are thousands of conferences around the country. There are Christian conferences, secular, fantasy, romance, basically anything you can think of, there’s probably a conference for it.

I told you. It’s overwhelming.

Here are a handful of ideas to help you narrow down your choices.

 

Consider the Geography

Conferences are all over the place. And if you’re like me, you can’t easily get across the country. It’s too expensive for one thing, and you might not be allowed to travel on your own.

When you search for conferences, search by area. A good way to start is your state (if you live in the USA). It’s really easy, just type “writing conferences in Michigan” into your favorite search engine.

 

Consider Your Writing “Level”

When picking a conference to attend, you should keep in mind if you are ready for that level of a conference.

You don’t want to go to the most prestigious conference possible if you are just starting out, even if you have the opportunity.

It might be a good idea for you to start off with a smaller conference. My first conference was a one day event in my state. It was tiny, but it gave me more confidence when I went to my first “big” one.

 

Consider Who Will Go With You

Some conferences require minors to be accompanied by an adult at all times. Or maybe your parents don’t want to you traveling by yourself. Perhaps you have a physical disability that prevents you from traveling solo.

It’s really fun to go to a conference with another person, even if they aren’t a writer. I’ve gone with my mom. Maybe you could convince your parents, a sibling, grandparent, or family friend to go with you.

Taking someone you know prevents you from “sitting by yourself” syndrome. It also means you can possibly split up and go to different sessions and then exchange notes.

 

Consider a Christian Conference

My writing mentor told me to be sure to attend Christian writing conferences. She told me she had a bad experience at a secular conference—people talking about inappropriate things.

Christian conferences certainly aren’t perfect. You have different issues to worry about, such as wacky theology, but you (most likely) won’t run into inappropriate discussions.

 

I hope those tips help you narrow down your choices! Tune in next week for some tips to help you prepare for your conference!

 

Where’s Glendale?

Glendale the Grad
I graduated yesterday! Though the cake topper is a bit to big for Glendale, he enjoyed posing with it.

Glendale the Grad

Glendale the Grad

Pananaw Blog Launch Tour!

Pananaw Blog Launch Tour!

Some of you may know Jo from her old blog, The Lens & The Hard Drive. I found her blog through several other blogs. And she is also part of The Young Writer’s Workshop!

Now, she is launching a new blog, entitled, well, I’ll just show you the graphics.

And this is Jo, the author of Pananaw!

I had the opportunity to interview Jo. (I like interviewing people, okay?) I was warned it probably wouldn’t be interesting, but we both had fun!

My questions are in bold and her answers are in italics.

 

To start things off, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Sure! I’m Jo, and I’m a Christian Filipina writer, photographer, musician, athlete, amateur acting enthusiast, bookdragon, (I refuse to be labelled by a mere worm *sniffs*) and overall crazy.

I’m a lot of things. 😝

Bookdragons for the win!

 

How did you come up with the name Pananaw?

Well, in the beginning I always wanted to change my blog name, and at first settled on the name Viewfinder (after that important part of a camera!). But since that name was already taken, I had to rack my brain for something nobody else would think about. Since I’m Filipino, the word pananaw, which means “the way one sees things” and practically means the same thing as “viewfinder” came to mind. And stuck.

That’s very cool! 

 

Now we’re all wondering, what will you be writing about on Pananaw?

I will be writing about… exactly what I was writing about on my old blog. Everything and anything my mind comes up with. That part will probably never change. XD I might start focusing more on my culture- maybe more about weighty topics, but for the most part, the same randomness that I’ve heard some people know and love won’t change.

I’m looking forward to it!

 

What is your favorite part of blogging?

COMMENTS. I love, love, love writing, reading and answering comments! It’s lots of fun to talk to other bloggers and see what they think, share what I think, and use a lot of “XD” ‘s. Honestly, comments probably are more meaningful than likes, and that’s more than one reason they’re my favorite part.

Same here! Though I haven’t been able to figure out how to get the like button on my site. XD

 

Can you tell us about your current writing project?

Most certainly! The A’s & B’s of Normal (working title) is a story about Ricky, a young girl with ADD who would just like to be normal- but with her dad being a college professor, her mom a researcher and teacher, her brothers autistic, and none of them ever stepping foot into public school, that’s impossible- more so when she finds herself going to college. It’s one of my favorites, writing Ricky’s mind and getting to do a ton of researching about autism and ADD. 😃 And it’s driving me crazy.

Sounds cool! I like doing research. (totally hasn’t spent a whole morning researching what to do if a bear or wolf attacked you)

 

What’s your favorite Bible passage?  

I love this question! Most people just ask about verses- which is torture to answer. XD I really love Romans 8- it has helped me go through a lot of tough times and, probably of all the passages I know, has really helped me grow in my faith, and I just love it.

I love Romans 8 too! 

 

If you could bring any fictional character (your’s or someone else’s, it doesn’t matter) to life for a day, who would it be and why?

For a day? Any character? NO HELP THAT’S HARD WAH- I can’t decide on any of mine, so I would definitely bring   back … um.. Maraly Weaver from The Wingfeather Saga. Because she is really something else.

I haven’t read all of The Wingfeather Saga. *hides under a rock* But I have read the first one! 

 

What are your top three favorite:

Books?

*cries* TORTURE!

  1. Wolf Hollow
  2. Beautiful Blue World
  3. And….. Out Of The Silent Planet

 

Movies?

Clearly, I’m dying by having to pick. XD

  1. Avengers Endgame (which, I haven’t seen yet, but at the time of this release I most definitely will have and honestly, it’s already a favorite 😝 )
  2. The Case for Christ (why haven’t more people seen this?? It’s WONDERFUL!)
  3. The Lord Of The Rings (needs no further explanation for its amazingness.)

 

Snacks?

!!

  1. Bacon crumbles!!
  2. And gummy bears!
  3. And last and most importantly, ice cream. 🙂

 

Thank you so much for interviewing me, Allison! It was fun (and torturous XD) answering these questions!

My pleasure!

 

Don’t Miss a Post on the Blog Tour!

May 5:

Character Interview with Ava @ https://elysianartiste.com

Combo with Jemima Puddleduck @ https://onthewingsofadreamblog.wordpress.com

Interview with Rose @ https://apurposeofwingeddogs.wordpress.com/

 

May 6:

Combo with Grace @ https://www.gracefullyinthemoment.wordpress.com

ZCN News Interview + Spotlight with Emmie @ https://americangirlworld.blog

Interview + Blog Spotlight with Isabel @ https://chasingfantasia.wordpress.com

 

May 7:

Interview (aka squealing) with Tess @ http://steeplechase-blog.com

Charrie Interview + Spotlight with Merie Shen @ https://imperialscribis.wordpress.com/

 

May 8:

Interview with Allison Grace @ https://allisongracewrites.com/ (you are here)

Blog Spotlight with Meredith @ https://artsyarrow.wordpress.com

Combo with Christina @ https://christinaandcamera.wordpress.com

 

May 9:

Character Interview with Chloë Mali @ https://chloemali.wordpress.com/

Blog Spotlight with Maya J.T @ https://mayajt.wordpress.com/

Combo with Amie @ https://crazya.blog

Character Interview + Blog Spotlight! Penny Wood @ https://asouthernbellewithstoriestotell.wordpress.com

Blog Spotlight with Bayance @ https://bayance.wordpress.com

Blog Spotlight with Starling @ https://starling7.wordpress.com

Character Interview + Blog Spotlight with Liz @http://www.homewithhummingbirds.com

 

Book-Lover Blog Tag!

Book-Lover Blog Tag!

Guys! I’m doing a blog tag!

The Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.

Thank you for the tag, Bella! You’re such a sweet friend! https://bellaputt.wordpress.com/2019/04/19/book-lover-blog-tag/

  1. Include the Book-Lover Blog Tag graphic and rules in your post.
  2. Answer the questions.
  3. Nominate at least 5 new bloggers to do the tag.

 

Questions:

  1. What is your favorite thing about reading?

My favorite thing about reading is getting to live in someone else’s world for a while. I love experiencing new things and seeing myself in the characters.

 

  1. Which male character is your favorite?

Hands down, Jace from The Ilyon Chronicles. He’s one of the best crafted characters out there (in my opinion) and those books hold a special place in my heart for inspiring Checkmate.

 

  1. Which female character is your favorite?

I’ve had a lot of favorite female characters over the years, but one of my all time favorites is Felicity Merriman, one of the American Girls.

 

  1. Who is your favorite villain of all time?

I don’t think I have a favorite book villain. I have a favorite TV show villain (Admiral Thrawn from Star Wars Rebels).

 

  1. Who is your least favorite character of all time?

Boromir from Lord of the Rings, I suppose. There are others I like less than him, but I can’t think of any right now. Unless, we’re talking about my book…

 

  1. Which book do you think has the strongest plot?

I’m not that much of a plot person. I’m definitely more character-driven, even while reading.

If I had to say, I’d pick Mark of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse. The characters are amazing, as are the plot twists. And the best thing about it was the ending. It wasn’t contrived at all.

 

  1. What gets on your nerves the most in a story (a boring character, an unrealistic plot, etc.)?

You have asked me the question I can rant about for hours. 😛

I hate deus ex machina, Latin for “god in the machine.” This is when a character suddenly has a special ability (they are a master swordsman for example) and uses said ability to get out of a tight spot. Or someone’s long lost uncle shows up and saves the day. It’s basically cheating.

The origin of the phrase is from Greek plays, when the mortal characters were stuck, an actor portraying a god would be lowered from a pulley system to save the mortals.

 

Another thing that drives me nuts is a predictable plotline or romance. I once read a book all the way through where I knew who was getting married from the first page. The first page, guys!

 

  1. Which book has the best cover (share a picture!)?

The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson

Bitter Winter by Jaye L. Knight

Song of Leira by Gillian Bronte Adams

 

  1. Do you let people borrow your books? If so, are you specific about how they treat them?

I don’t usually let people borrow my books. But if I do, I don’t want to get them back with broken spines or bent covers. Or food between the pages (you know those library books I’m talking about).

 

  1. If a movie could be made based on any book, which book would you choose?

As long as they didn’t mess it up, I’d say Resistance by Jaye L. Knight. I’d love to see my favorite characters come to life!

 

  1. Which author has inspired you most?

Jaye L. Knight. Without her books, I wouldn’t be writing fantasy.

 

  1. What single book would you be unable to live without?

The Bible. You can’t truly be alive without the Word! (John 1:1)

 

 

I Tag:

Grace and Sarah: https://bookwormgj.wixsite.com/storyweaverscorner

Cheyenne: https://thedancingbardess.wordpress.com/

Caleb King: https://calebeking.wordpress.com/

Hope Ann: https://authorhopeann.com/

Bella Putt (we want to hear your answers!): https://bellaputt.wordpress.com/

 

Allison Grace blogs at allisongracewrites.com

Your Turn!

Have you read any of the books I talked about? Who is your favorite female character? What gets on your nerves the most when you are reading? 

 

Where’s Glendale?

Glendale commandeers an Imperial AT-AT
Glendale and his new friends commandeered an Imperial AT-AT in honor of May the Fourth.

 

 

Hope Ann: Author Interview and Giveaway!

Hope Ann: Author Interview and Giveaway!

I have a special treat for you this week! Today I’m interviewing Hope Ann, the author of Healer’s Bane, Shadowkeeper, and the Legends of Light series.

This is part of my 50-email-subscribers-before-I-graduate campaign. You can read more about it in last week’s post.

My questions are in bold and Hope’s answers are in regular text.

 

Hope Ann

About Hope: Hope Ann likes to think herself a dragon-riding, griffin-taming founder of worlds and explorer of legends. Using chocolate, she bribes a wide ring of spies, from the realm leapers of Aslaria to the double agents of Elkbend, for their stories. She thrives on frost, steel, and the tears of her readers which she secretly mixes into iced coffee. Deep in her hobbit hole, her actual life involves staying up too late writing, reading, researching stab wounds, and struggling to remember the difference between ‘effect’ and ‘affect’. Based in Indiana, she is the author of the Legends of Light series. Hope Ann is also the Communications Coordinator for Story Embers and a writing mentor.
Click here to go to her site!

 

Hi, Hope! I’m so happy to have you here on my blog! 

Let’s jump right in with my first question, what inspired Healer’s Bane?

The main driving force behind Healer’s Bane was actually the theme–the idea that no one person can take on the pain of everyone else and fix them, and that being able to isn’t actually a good thing. This theme came from discussions with a friend who cared so much for others that she’d have taken on everything for all of them if she were physically able to. The book was basically for her.

That’s a really good theme! 

 

What was the hardest part of writing Healer’s Bane? (or any of your books for that matter)

It varies from book to book, but one of the hardest things for me, once the story is in place, is figuring out how much to explain and how much to simply show when it comes to backstory and worldbuilding. I have a tendency to under-explain and I don’t want readers confused. Though I also want the powers and world to unfold naturally, not just sit down and explain it all.

I struggle with the same things! Particularly under-describing my story world. I think the powers and world in Healer’s Bane unfolded very naturally. 

 

Now for a fun question: If you could take any of your characters and bring them to life for a day, who would you choose and why?

Probably Ethaniel. He’s from Fidelyon, a work in progress that I’m letting rest for the moment. But he is so sweet and kind and just needs some care. I’d love to spend a day with him.

He sounds like an awesome character! I hope to read that work-in-progress some day. 

 

If you could live in any country (real or imagined) where would it be and why?

I’d live in Lothlorian in Middle Earth. It is so beautiful and peaceful and I could just relax and write.

From my little Lord of the Rings knowledge, I think I would join you there. 

 

I love asking this next question. What authors have influenced you the most in your writing journey?

I feel like Tolkien did some in that he introduced me to fantasy, and I started writing it more after reading and watching Lord of the Rings. Kate Flournoy, my best friend, also influenced me and helped me quite a bit as I was figuring out aspects of prose in writing. And then there’s Brandon Sanderson–his worldbuilding, magic systems, characters, and plots are amazing and I’ve been learning as much as I can from them.

I could have guessed Tolkien. 😉 It seems like everyone but me has read Lord of the Rings. I haven’t read too much Sanderson, but what I have read is awesome. (Confession: I like Sanderson better than Tolkien.) I’ll have to check out Kate’s writing!

Thank you so much for letting me interview you, Hope! This has been so much fun!

Want to read some of Hope’s work? Sign up for her email list and get a free short story! Get it here!

 

Now that the interview is over, I’m going to go back to normal text.

If you remember from last week, I’m doing a giveaway of Hope Ann’s latest book, Healer’s Bane. 

There is still time to enter! If you join my email list by Friday, May 3rd at 11:59 PM, you will be entered! If you are already on my email list, don’t worry, you have automatically been entered!

Join my email list! 

Allison Grace blogs at allisongracewrites.com