Week 7 | Favourite relationship in The Elder Throne

Part of the Acres of Ink 52 Week Writing Challenge >>

Week 7

I’ve been mulling this question over since Week 1 because the answer keeps changing. Relationships are an important part of The Elder Throne and subsequent books, so it’s difficult to settle on just one dynamic when a few have their own unique merits. The top three contenders I considered were:

  • Anna Squires and Grandfather Abe
  • Grandfather Abe and Holly
  • Burr and Spindle Larkspur

I finally decided on Burr and Spindle Larkspur. Continue reading

Week 6 | An interview with your protagonist

Part of the Acres of Ink 52 Week Writing Challenge >>

Week 6

This week’s question is all about my protagonist, Anna Squires. I used the basic questions suggested in a previous post of mine – Hot Seating – which is a theatrical method of getting into character. To avoid the particularly juicy plot spoilers, I’ve tried to take the interview from a time about half-way through the events of The Elder Throne, where Things Have Happened but hell hasn’t broken loose just yet. Continue reading

Week 5 | Chapter 5, Line 5… share 5 lines of your WIP and then invite 5 writers to do the same.

Part of the Acres of Ink 52 Week Writing Challenge >>

Week 5

The Elder Throne has gone through quite a few drafts, so Chapter Five, Line Five has changed significantly during the writing process (and will probably change again before I declare my book finally complete). In its current state, it is a short description from Anna’s tour of the Seelie Court, which she is shown by the Changeling, Priya Dhawan.

In the extended scene, Anna gets an eye-opening look at the kingdom she has fallen into, including meeting some of its residents – both pleasant and decidedly unpleasant. She also catches a glimpse of the entrance to the Unseen Road – a pathway that many faeries travel upon, but from which not all return.

The Seelie Court stretched for miles, surrounded by dense forest in every direction. At the very edge of the forest, a line of warriors in blue stood, swords by their side. Faeries clustered in the middle of the line, at a gap in the trees that rippled in the sunlight like a  bubble trapped underwater. Some of the faeries held banners, strongly reminding Anna of families waiting at airport gates. A blue Pixie with rattling spines on her shoulders gestured wildly at a blonde soldier, who was shaking his head apologetically.

And now, the five authors I’d like to invite to share their lines:

Week 4 | Your favourite thing that DIDN’T make it into the book (such as a background story, description or an erased character)

Part of the Acres of Ink 52 Week Writing Challenge >>

Week 4

There are a few things that didn’t make it into The Elder Throne’s final draft, including a character called Bumble who shall never be spoken of again. My favourite thing that didn’t make it, however, is Blossom Valerian’s (nee Blackwood) backstory. Continue reading

Week 3 | Who is the book for and why will they love it?

Part of the Acres of Ink 52 Week Writing Challenge >>

Week 3

The demographic of The Elder Throne is 9-12 year-old children of both genders. Despite this, I’m a distinctly aware that my readership might lean towards girls, because my protagonist is a girl and, stereotypically, it’s hard to get male children to read about female lead characters. I don’t know how true this stereotype is, but I hope boys will also read and enjoy it because, at its heart, it’s an adventure book.

Why will they love it?

I mean, what’s not to love? An unsuspecting girl gets thrown into a world of high-stakes, deadly mythical creatures and magic. The Elder Throne has mystery, sword fights, man-eating waterhorses, magical prank wars and attempted murder, plus a whole host of characters who thrive in a world where ‘human rules’ don’t apply. You have your grim-faced but stalwart knights, sweet-toned snobby lords, loyal but blunt friends plus a delinquent dreamer or two. Oh, and obviously, a set of villains you’ll love to hate. Or simply just hate, as S.E. Berrow does, with a fierce and vehement passion. Maybe it won’t be the next great classic, but it should be an enjoyable ride for anyone willing to give it a chance.

Week 2 | Write a paragraph pitching your book and then distil it into no more than 3 sentences (basically, a blurb). Show both.

Part of the Acres of Ink 52 Week Writing Challenge >>

Week 2

I have gone through so many drafts and redrafts of my ‘pitch’ over the last four years and I’m still not 100% happy with the one I’ve currently settled on. In fact, even as I write this blog post, I’m thinking of ways to change it. It’s a very difficult skill to master and I wish you all luck with it (and, if anyone can give me pointers, I am listening). Here we go…

The paragraph:

When her grandfather’s house explodes, 11-year-old Anna Squires is thrown into a hidden world of magic, myth and legend. The Seelie Court – home of the proud and vicious Sidhe – isn’t just a place from her grandfather’s bedtime stories. It’s real; filled with wicked faeries, stolen children and deadly kelpies. Far from home, Anna discovers a family secret: her grandfather is King of the Fair Folk, and wants to name her as his heir. Yet, not everyone agrees with the king’s decision. Some, in fact, would kill to change his mind…

And the distilled three sentences:

When her grandfather’s house explodes, 11-year-old Anna Squires discovers she’s the heir to a hidden kingdom of myth and legend: the Seelie Court. Surrounded by the proud Sidhe, vicious goblins and deadly kelpies, she must prove herself worthy of the Elder Throne or lose her grandfather forever. But someone else wants the Throne for themselves; in fact, they’d kill for it…

phewPitching is the hardest thing about writing, in my opinion.

I suppose, like any form of writing, a lot of practice is required!

What’s in a name? Identity vs. Marital Tradition

garden-rose-red-pink-56866Four days ago, I became engaged to The Boy. There were fireworks (literal fireworks, because it was New Years Eve, at midnight) and glasses of champagne leftover cider from Christmas because that was all we had in the house. It was a great time.

Then the wedding planning started, bringing with it a lot of questions and – who are we kidding here? – judgements from relatives.

The Boy and I aren’t your most traditional couple by nature. Oh sure, he wants a church wedding and I want a pretty white dress. I want my father to walk me down the aisle and he wants a stag night to remember (or forget, depending on how much he has to drink).

scroll3Where we differ from blind tradition is deciding which surname to take after we marry. Continue reading