Pieces of Me


This post by H.N. Sieverding about Resembling Your Characters got me thinking about the pieces of me, both the obvious and not so obvious, sprinkled throughout the Reborn series.

There’s the saying to “write what you know” – and in many ways I definitely did that in Reborn. Siobhan and I have several superficial similarities and differences. At one time, we were both blonde. Although, as I was just joking about with Ms. Sieverding, my highlights have grown out during the pandemic, so my natural brown hair is showing now. My hubby likes to tease me about it, but he says he loves my hair/me either way. (Good answer.) Siobhan is short, whereas I’m on the taller side.

Our backgrounds are probably the most similar thing. Like Siobhan, I grew up in a small town in western Pennsylvania (and Shadesburg is my fictional version of Pittsburgh). She also loves science, but I made her a biology major instead of chemistry. We were both in sororities. Luckily, my sorority’s president and adviser were not capricious Greek goddesses (as far as I know). Probably the biggest difference, personality-wise, is that I made Siobhan way more outgoing than I am. She also tends to blurt things out without thinking, whereas I am more cautious about what I want to say (or at least try to be).

That being said, although I was writing what I knew, I wouldn’t say Siobhan is me. She doesn’t make the same decisions I would. At the end of the day, I am trying to explore a character who isn’t you or me. I think sometimes, the author is purposefully doing this so you as the reader can insert yourself in the action or fantasy. (And, not to drag this series or anything, but Ana in Fifty Shades of Gray is sort of like that.) Not that there wouldn’t be aspects you can/can’t relate to with Siobhan or my other characters, but they go through their own changes as the series goes on.

Well, that was already a bit of a tangent. So, what other pieces of me have I inserted into the books? Personality-wise, I am probably more like Carly. I think at one point in the third book she mentions living in her head a lot – as a writer, that is definitely me, haha. I made her a math major because heroines with STEM-related interests are still not something I see a lot of in young adult books. Her obsession with 80s music and movies is also 100% me, lol. As is her close relationship to her grandmother when she was younger.

That’s where the similarities end, I think. It’s difficult for pieces of yourself to not end up in your work, whether it’s intentional or not. And while I think it can be important for authors to put themselves in shoes that are not their own (otherwise, you’re going to write about the same character/story over and over again), we also need to be cognizant of whether you are/aren’t the right person to do a certain storyline justice. Especially when you’re coming from a point-of-view that’s typically the majority or more privileged perspective. That’s another aside that could be an entire post of its own, but I just wanted to qualify that here.

I was also trying to decide if there is a male character in Reborn most like me? Jimmy is the punk rocker among the group, and I do love a lot of the music I have him reference (The Velvet Underground, The Stooges, David Bowie). Like, every book I write always has to have some not-so-subtle Bowie reference, bahaha. I guess Dolos and I have the whole vivid imagination thing in common, although he takes it to a whole new level (and I am not a trickster god, that I am aware of).

So, there you have it! Probably more information than you ever wanted to know about what parts of me ended up in the Reborn series. But I hope you enjoyed it!

Relapse Playlist


Just for fun, here’s a playlist of the songs I was listening to while I was writing Relapse. Links take you to YouTube.

I guess I really like Placebo…

1. “My Sweet Prince” by Placebo

2. “G.U.Y.” by Lady Gaga

3. “Oh! You Pretty Things” by David Bowie

4. “Cars” by Gary Numan

5. “Bad” by U2

6. “Shout” by Tears for Fears

7. “In the Cold Light of Morning” by Placebo

8. “Shady” by Adam Lambert

9. “Meds” by Placebo

10. “Goodness Gracious” by Ellie Goulding

11. “Blind” by Placebo

12. “Pretty When You Cry” by VAST

13. “Devil Inside” by INXS

WIP Wednesday


The purpose of WIP (Work-In-Progress) Wednesdays is so I can set personal writing goals. It also serves as a way to let you all know what I’m working on. I hope you’ll join me and link back to your own or share in the comments!

To play, just fill in the following:

1. What are you currently writing?

2. Inspirations:

3. Plan for the upcoming week:

*****

1. What are you currently writing?

I finished it! Part One of the Reborn sequel, that is. Teehee. 😉 Part One sits at about 37K, and I’m excited to keep going–I’m on sort of a roll right now (my muse has crappy timing). The sequel will have plenty of twists and turns, juicy college drama and epic romance (or maybe lust is a better word for it…). Some people have asked me about a release date–and I still don’t want to commit to an exact date yet–but it will (hopefully) be in late fall 2014. But I’m excited you’re excited. 🙂 I’ll choose an excerpt to post on here sometime soon.

2. Inspirations:

I really love describing clothes in my stories, especially fancy clothes, and I’m gearing up to write a dance scene. I want my main character Siobhan, who’s normally a pink-loving blonde, to wear a sophisticated, black cocktail dress, so I’ve been looking at dresses on Google Images. A change in her taste in fashion throughout the book is going to mirror her transformation in the book as she gives in more and more to her dark side. (I know, I’m so deep.) I was inspired by this scene in Legend (I also posted this video to the Facebook page last weekend) in which Princess Lily is dancing with this black dress, transforming from a fresh-faced innocent to a gothic princess in three minutes. By the way, 80s fantasy movies are the BEST.

3. Plan for the upcoming week:

Well, this might take me longer than a week, but at some point I really need to get Reborn up on Smashwords so it reaches more distributors. I’ll call it one of my April goals. That, and just to keep on writing…

Here are some possible dresses for Siobhan:

WIP Wednesday


It’s update time!

And it’s about time, too! My plan was to write one of these every Wednesday, but I think it’s been a little over a month since my last one. Although it’s not like it was ever an official New Year’s resolution or anything, so I don’t feel that guilty…

Anywho, the purpose of WIP (Work-In-Progress) Wednesdays is so I can set personal writing goals. It also serves as a way to let you all know what I’m working on. I hope you’ll join me and link back to your own.

To play, just fill in the following:

1. What are you currently writing?

2. Inspirations:

3. Plan for the upcoming week:

*****

1. What are you currently writing?

I’ve mentioned this in other blog posts, but I am still working on Relapse (the sequel to Reborn). I mean, it’s definitely a work in progress. I didn’t really touch it at all over my holiday break, and then I had a pretty annoying case of writer’s block for about a month. I had written the first few chapters, but I didn’t like much of  it. I knew where the story was going but was stuck transitioning from the very beginning to those other things. Sometimes I jump ahead and write whatever comes to me, even if it belongs later in the story, but in this case I really felt like the beginning had to be ironed out more before I could go on. (How do you write? Do you go in a particular order, or write whatever comes to you and piece it all together later? Or some other way?)

The good news is, I’m on a bit of a roll now. I fixed the part I hated, and I’m really excited about it again. In the past week or so I’ve written 3200 words. My word count goal for the whole book is 70K, so we’ll see how that goes.

2. Inspirations:

Those of you who have followed The Urge to Write may have noticed my small tendency to obsess over things. One of my obsessions is the 80s, particularly 80s music and fantasy/sci-fi films. There’s just something magical about the combination of 80s fashion, hair and music with fantastical elements like vampires (think The Lost Boys) and, er, goblin kings. So as tokens of my current obsessions, I leave you with a picture of young Billy Idol and the music video of Gary Numan’s Cars. (I love this song. Gary has about as much charisma as a sea bass, but that actually kind of seems to work for him here.)

3. Plan for the upcoming week:

To write at least 1500 more words of Relapse. I also have some fun blog posts in mind. The first is Part 2 of my Reborn dream cast. The other is a post dedicated to one of my other ongoing obsessions: misunderstood fictional characters.

What Music Inspires You?


Heidi asked this question on her blog last week, and I’d like to hear from you all, too: What kind of music inspires your writing? Music Video Monday was originally supposed to be all about what music was inspiring my writing at the time -and it mostly has been, although I also include music that fits my mood and new old music discoveries. (Yes, you read that right: new old music.)

So watch this video from one of my favorite British duos, Erasure, and then let me know your musical inspiration in the comments!

Erasure: “Ship of Fools”