Tagged Post: Questions and Answers

This week, thanks to Layla Messner, I will be answering some questions about my writing. I understand this is a blog hop, and that I’ll be answering questions on a current book or upcoming release. As I have neither really, I’ll answer this about the book I have in beta (hopefully my readers will get back to me soon).

Q: What is the working title of your book?
A: Everlasting Balance

Q: Where did the idea come from for the book?
A: I’ve had the idea for this book for a long time. This started out as a novel I attempted in high school I believe. I’m guessing freshman or sophomore year. One night, the character of Celeste would not let me sleep until I had read the entire old manuscript and started planning the current one.

Q: What genre does your book fall under?
A: I would say it is Fantasy, and because it’s “old world” it’s probably considered High Fantasy. I’ll leave genre up to the publisher for now.

Q: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
A: I have no idea. I’m not big on casting my characters. I think that Liv Tyler might be able to play Celeste. She has the right coloring for the part. Other than that, I don’t know.

Q: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A: Everlasting Balance follows an unwilling transgender who must restore the world’s magical equilibrium at any cost, or life will vanish forever.

Q: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
A: Right now, neither. I may go for an agent, though I will try to publish this novel directly through a small press.

Q:How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
A: The first draft took me about a year to finish. The second and third drafts took a subsequent year.

Q: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
A: I honestly do now know of any books with a similar take. It could be that I’m not reading the right books. In general, it follows a regular fantasy pattern.

Q: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
A: Nothing in particular other than that the character wanted this book written.

Q: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
A: I would say that Everlasting Balance reaches to all audiences and I feel the lack of confliction about love and gender should feel comfortable to all readers.

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Book Review: Desert Soliloquy

While I finished this book a month ago, I am now sitting to write a review for Desert Soliloquy by Libby Grandy. I wanted to write this sooner, but it seems that so much got in the way. Anyway, Desert Soliloquy follows Caroline Laughery and her ex-husband Charles Laughery. The story starts with Charles in the dark and moves to a scene with Caroline waiting in the ghost town of Odessa, CA for her ex-husband to show up.

Caroline knows something is wrong when Charles does not show up on time to meet her. Though the two have been divorced for some time, she knows he ex-husband well, and being late to meet her isn’t like him. We are then introduced to Kate as she stops along the highway to investigate a wrecked car, and she passes out because she thinks she sees the ghost of her dead husband. Mike picks up the totaled car in the morning after she follows him back to town. Then we are introduced to Josh, the PI who is in town, looking for Charles. Over the course of the story, Kate, Mike, Josh, and Caroline have to unravel the mystery of how and why Charles Laughery disappeared.

Grandy is a good story-teller. I was hooked into the book as soon as I picked it up. There is a lot of tension and mystery that kept me turning the pages wanting to know what happened next. Would they find Charles? How would the budding relationship between Mike and Kate turn out? Would Caroline reciprocate Josh’s feelings, and how would that change if they found Charles? The characters are fleshed out and real. The prose is simple and easy to follow and there are very few mechanical errors in the piece.

I found the intertwining love stories along with the mystery an intriguing combination. There are Kate and Mike are the younger love story, where Caroline, Josh and Charles represent the later-in-life romantics. Grandy brings into the story real emotions and real difficulties people have: self-forgiveness, letting go and self-discovery. The mystery portion is the vehicle for the story and work well in thrusting these individuals together. Without it, I think the story would fall apart. I think some of the transitions between chapters could have been a little cleaner, but nothing that stopped me from reading.

Desert Soliloquy is a great read. I enjoyed the characters and the story, the unravelling of the mystery and the cheering for the characters to get together. The ending was great, and I would have been disappointed had it ended early than it did. Because I wanted two characters to be together at the end, I read all the way through (and I’m glad I didn’t get frustrated with what happened!). I think there are the right hints, but I wanted to shout “Come on!” to the book. Recommended!

High School Reunion

As I mentioned last week, I had my high school reunion. I found the experience rather pleasant. Our class coordinators decided that a chartered cruise around Newport Harbor would be a good idea. I think they were right. No one could really “escape” the boat and leave early. I thought it was nice as most people mixed. I met people I hadn’t know or talked to much in high school, so it was nice. Also I had a chance to catch up with some people I knew in band. As small as the boat was, I still saw people as we all left that I hadn’t noticed on the boat at all.

The crowd, however, was a different story entirely. I knew or recognized a good portion of the people (excluding the spouses/significant others of course) but I think the majority of the people were the “popular” kids back in the day that have probably stayed in touch over the years (though I could be wrong, it is possible). I’m glad that not everyone was popular back then however.

Sunset just before leaving.

I should mention the reaction I got to proclaiming my profession of writing. I’ve been told that the 10 year reunion is a “What do you do for work” type of reunion—with a little bit of marriage/kids thrown in. Everyone that I told I was a writer/poet thought that was awesome. I don’t think anyone thought it was strange. Of course, I could not have predicted where I would be now 10 years ago (perhaps acting, or something like that). I can’t remember exactly what everyone else does, but someone was a chemist, another in media, another in advertising. A good mixed crowd, but I think I win for “coolest profession.” Why not? I think I’ll go to the 20 year reunion. I had a good time!

Have you been to a reunion recently or do you plan on attending one?

School, and then some

Life has been hectic, though I’m glad things have begun to settle down a bit. I can breathe again!

If you haven’t heard, I finished round two of revision in my novel Everlasting Balance that I have been working on last December (though total time has been a almost two years). So glad that these revisions are done. I sent it to two people for beta reviews. I will have to find another person to send it beta I think before it will be ready. Good news that cut down tremendously on my perceived burden (and took out clutter from my room!). I finished this last week, so I’ve been feeling good. I even had time to tinker with another short story!

Me on Saturday

I had scheduled MFA applications for late September, and still I haven’t started. Everything is coming together though, so I will be starting applying this weekend while I’m at work. I will attempt to hit four schools that day, and another four next Wednesday. I’ve got a lot lined up, so eight applications a week until I run out of money and have to wait for a paycheck to finish! 28 schools total. I hope I get most of them done before November.

In other news, I will be attending my 10 year high school reunion tomorrow, and that should provide enough story/poetry/blog material for a while. I’ll let you all know how that goes next week. Hopefully I’ll write it before next Thursday, but I’ll share with you on Thursday. I don’t know how it will go, but it should be “interesting.”

Last, I have put some finishing touches on one outline for a story I’ll be writing for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and I’ll be working on the other outline for a novella I will also write in November (one reason I want to get grad school applications out of the way). If you are interested, I have a class posted on my website (www.kandrewturner.com) titled Writing a Novel In 30 Days detailing a plan that should help you succeed in this endeavor. It is my way of fundraising for attending Night of Writing Dangerously. Check out the class here.

I hope you all have an excellent week!