Posted: March 18, 2015 in Uncategorized


Have you ever written or drawn something completely when you weren’t ready but more of on a whim when you happened to find a piece of scratch paper or a Notes app in your phone, and it ended up turning out great? I’ve found that drawing this way (usually during math, may I add :P) or drawing with
some kind of distraction like listening to a tape or story CD or watching a show can help with my focus on the drawing. I personally love messy pencil/pen sketches where I feel as if I can mess up alot and scribble away until it’s roughly the right shape. I’m more pleased with the end result and the overall look of sketches not drawn to perfection than I am with most things that take me hours upon hours to do. I find it more relaxing, and it takes away from the pressure I feel whenever I take to a piece of art. Although I don’t end up with a perfect drawing, I’m usually happier and have had fewer temper tantrums otherwise. ;)

Do you have any drawing or writing quirks that work for you?



“It was mid-morning by the time that I managed to pull away from our duties at the castle. My skirts swished along the floor as I rapidly made my way down the corridor. Guards had been more alert along the hallways ever since the Konigin’s stroke. As my footsteps clicked along the floor, I soon heard an answering quiet thud fall in step with mine. The familiar blue vest swam into my peripheral, alerting me of my constant stalker. The hair on the back of my neck stood up. Panic always overwhelmed me whenever I was around him. My palms would go slightly dry, my tongue curling up inside my mouth as if unsure what to say. It was the task of being Freya that scared me. I wasn’t used to it, even if the people around me were. Dream Dani would definitely make a fool out of herself.

“I apologize for coming up so unexpectantly,” Simon offered, that husky voice sending that familiar shiver down my spine.

I watched him closely out of the corner of my eye, careful not to turn my head to make it obvious that I was staring at him. He had a strong profile and blond eyelashes framed his dark blue eyes. They flickered over to me now, causing me to jerk my gaze back in front of me, self-conscious of being caught. I let my gaze slide past to his face once more when he returned his gaze back to the floor in front of us. His thick lips parted, his dusky freckles filling out his angular face.

When I didn’t offer any words to satisfy his conversation, he sighed and continued.

“I didn’t-didn’t want to push you to marry me. It was all Sebastian’s idea once he-well, once he knew what my intentions were of you.”

I hastily turned my full attention to a wandering thread threatening to come loose from the bodice of my dress. Hopefully he was ignoring the flush that had risen to my cheeks.

“Why-why would I need to get married right now?”

This question threw him off, I could tell. He blinked rapidly at me as if unsure whether or not I was joking or as if that had never once occurred to him.

“Why wouldn’t you?”

“I have other, more important things to attend to.”

“As in?” he replied sharply, his eyes flashing a little but the light dimmed in them almost immediately as he bit his lip at the outburst.

“Pardon me, Freya, but I always thought I knew you better than that. You always liked a little bit of romance and-and-“

He stammered too much.

It was beginning to wear on my nerves when it struck me as this man-more like overgrown boy-was flustered at knowing someone so intimately as he thought he did would surprise him so drastically in the past two days.

I was not acting very Freya-like, but at the same time, I wished that she had stuck up for herself just a little bit more than this. Whoever my dream had placed me in the shoes of, did not often speak her own mind about herself.

Chewing on my lip, I briefly looked back over my life. Dream Dani had no really much imagined a much different Freya to be honest. I took forever figuring out my own life, preferring to rule over Jaz’s-or in my dream-Dahlia’s much more than I liked to take authority of mine own.

I crossed my arms and rubbed the sides of my biceps while deep in thought. Simon was ever quick to notice any slight body language that I had, immediately began demanding that I should have brought a wrap.

“I’m not cold,” I admitted, wondering why I had gotten so used to the drafty castle as I had.

The dresses offered a thick protection against it, the rooms often heated by a fire anyway.

“I’m just not sure.”

I wasn’t entirely sure why I had admitted this to him, someone I barely even knew.

Freya knew him.

But I wasn’t Freya.

 Was I?

“Not sure about marrying me?”

He sounded wounded now, his voice cracking slightly at the end.

My eyes raked over his, his expression a pitiful mixture of his perplexed confusion and hurt.

My chest burned coldly, a touch of guilt.

“Not sure about anything, Simon. Not just marrying you. I don’t wish it. Even Mother Silva-“

My mouth had gotten too far ahead of me; I watched his eyes change from confusion to something much darker, almost sinister. I recoiled from his side, this side frightening me.

He must have noticed my withdrawl, the fire dimming again in his eyes as he gripped my elbow apologetically.

“Mother Silva?” he prompted, the sorrow filling his voice, making it very difficult for me not to throw my arms around his shoulders and hug him and confess that it wouldn’t be so bad marrying him. He was kind of a hottie and obviously cared about me.

Why had I said no?

“It has nothing to do with her. My commitment is to helping Dahlia and Mother Silva as long as I possibly can. My duty isn’t unto myself. The clever thing to do is marry for an intent at a peaceful reconstruction between the Houses.”

I was not entirely certain where that had come from my mind. I was perhaps trying a little too desperately to get his attention away from Mother Silva. I did not want to let him know that she entirely opposed it just as much as I did. I was not a bargaining chip but even as I spoke to him, I realized that I just didn’t want to marry him. The bargaining chip was only one part of it. If Dahlia genuinely had to have me marry someone, I realized that I would do it without hesitation. It was my duty, and I really did not care one way or another. My heart was squashed underneath a slight rebellion inside me whispering that I wanted more than that.

What about my Prince Charming like what Cinderella got or at least, true love like one of the Disney princesses?

The question I needed an answer to that my brain would not offer was this; why was I refusing Simon so strongly? Was it just because he vaguely reminded me of someone I once knew?


But Simon wasn’t an evil jerk. He was a lovable flirt that took too much for granted from me.

Wasn’t that what Josiah did? Just a little more modern about who he made out with in the backseat of his car…

I blinked.

Where had that come from?

I could not even remember the guy’s face.

“But I’m part of the Houses and we grew up together.”

He leaned forward, his eyes darting to the guards farther down the corridor.

I hadn’t realized that we had stopped in the middle of the hallway, nearly at the Dragon’s doorstep. There was no way that they could possibly overhear what we were saying. Most words drifted up into the vaulted ceilings and never strayed more than a few feet at a time. It made eavesdropping very difficult. I wasn’t quite certain whether I liked that or not.

“Remember, you said once when we were little that you would always-always- stay true to who you were. If you have any doubts against this decision, we can make it happen. Dahlia even wanted it. I’m part of the Houses; I’m part of the world that you need to get into.”

These words stung bitterly against my heart, my mind whirling with what he said.

I could sense that he was just trying to convince me-albeit poorly-to accept it. He obviously wanted to marry me, but I could not bring myself to agree. I pulled my arm abruptly out of his grasp, his fingers holding on too tightly for just a few moments. I rubbed my bruised arm, my eyebrow furrowing together. I could see my own hurt eyes mirrored back in his wide irises.

“I already am in this world,” I replied, trying to keep the tremors from my voice. I was on a dangerous path to almost crying in front of him.  “I don’t need you to complete me, Simon.”

Hurrying away down the hall towards the Dragon’s wing, I ignored the burning in my eyes and attempted to steel my jaw. Clenching my fists, I resisted turning around to slap him when he finally called out his own reply.

“But you need an alliance with a bitter rival, don’t you? Go away to your Dragon, Freya, and see who you really want to complete you and draw you into their world. Mine’s not good enough. I get that.”

– all rights go to me, my original work as I attempt to finish out my Adventure Novel for school this year.

Question: have y’all ever had the issue of having chapters that turned out way longer than they should be to align with the proportions of the other chapters but you cannot leave anything out so they just end up looking weird and out of place?  That is my predicament I’m afraid :(

I’m afraid that I haven’t been posting nearly as much, not for a lack of anything to write but I’ve been ridiculously busy with finishing senior year and finishing out my last year of basketball. Nationals is next week and I’ve been neglecting all sorts of writing and drawing that I’ve been meaning to get around to but haven’t yet. I plan on updating my DeviantArt page soon with my drawings and paintings and some writing soon to keep myself diverse in something other than just my novel for school. I’ve recently gotten back into writing The Honor Code, a story about a pirate that I wrote last year for NaNoWriMo. I’ve needed to rewrite it and get it back out there for possible publishing since I want to experiment with my work and see what it takes to become a published author. Also, I’ve begun planning for either my 2015 NaNoWriMo or just a project about a spy that I hope will take off once I get more inspired and fleshed it out more. My graphic novel needs work, and my next art projects will include multiple drawings of these characters and most likely a post asking anyone and everyone’s help in the art of graphic novels which I know very little, if anything, about.



Hey, y’all! Blog post for the first time since I wrote either a In the Works or an interview. I still plan on posting a few more interviews every now and then but nothing like the theme that we just went through.

My newest projects, school, basketball, ballet and social life have kept me extremely busy-too busy to even come up with something entirely decent for this blog and all of you amazing followers.

I’ve been improving drastically ( I think and hope :P) my writing with a new school curriculum One Year Adventure Novel and have been learning all sorts of necessary plotline and goals and such that I’ve needed to map out for my books for years. I know this sucks to hear but for some of you writers who are actually pleased with your writing, you probably still have a great deal more to learn. There is never anything that you can possibly know everything to, and writing is a difficult path to take. There are just so many ways that one can improve and become a better author that it can get discouraging sometimes that you (and I) are still in the beginning stages of writing.

But don’t give up!

What I wanted to talk about today was something that I know I struggle with.

During my school curriculum, it speaks about not using anything other than “he/she said” because it can distract the reader’s attention if you continue to embellish absolutely every sentence with different verbs for describing how one said something.

While I admit that it is distracting and absolutely unnecessary to flower the words “he/she said” into “he/she annunciated” or something more elaborate, I do think that one needs to break the repetition of always using the exact same phrase after each sentence spoken.

“He/she replied,” “he/she asked,” “he/she remarked,” “he/she yelled,” can add a layer of explanation and bring life to how the character said it if the sentence itself is lacking the meaning that you wish to portray. This can be fixed with a simple verb change and/or rewriting the dialogue to further express their meaning.

That being said, I was reading an English writing book about the basic rules of correct English, and I came across a passage.

“11. Do not explain too much.

It is seldom advisable to tell all. Be sparing, for instance, in the use of adverbs after “he said,” “she replied,” and the like: “he said consolingly”; “she replied grumblingly.”  Let the conversation itself disclose the speaker’s manner or condition. Dialogue heavily weighted with adverbs after the attributive verb is cluttery and annoying. Inexperienced writers not only overwork their adverbs but load their attributives with explanatory verbs: “he consoled,” “she congratulated.” They do this, apparently, in the belief that the word said is always in need of support, or because they have been told to do it by experts in the art of bad writing.”

(The Elements of Style: Fourth Edition. Strunk, Willaim. White, E.B. 2000, 1979, Allyn & Bacon, A Pearson Education Company. 75 pg.)

All of these opinions stated, it may even be better to leave off the entire “he/she said” every sentence if the dialogue is understood as to who is speaking. For example, in my newest project, the two bantering back and forth are my main character and her best friend. It is obvious how each indented paragraph enclosed within their own set of parentheses and the words and thought patterns shown who is speaking to whom. Thus, I left off the obvious who is speaking and continued the dialogue uninterrupted by these minor details.

“You’ve got the worst timing in the world.” I replied, still not able to keep an amused smile from creeping over my face.

“If a boy liking you just makes you happy instead of going after him too, Dani, you’ve got an issue that needs more action than a-“

Here I cut her off of one of her bizarre comparisons that never made much sense except to her.

“Jasmine Goulding, if you so much as breathe a word of this to anyone outside of this little circle of trust we have going on here-“

I held up a finger.

Jaz gave me a wicked smile.

“Oh, well if you don’t want me to say anything after this, then I won’t but I cannot promise that I haven’t already said something of the sort to another.”

“Who? Hollis?”

I rolled my eyes. I swear that the walk to my locker was becoming longer by the minute of Jaz’s torture.

“Well, duh, I tell him almost everything. I’m not talking about him though.”

“Then who?” I groaned, unable to keep my curiosity at bay.

“Well, I might have spoken a little to that new kid who may or may not have broken up with said girlfriend of another high school last week and is totally available.”

I glared at her for a full minute.

None of which seemed to kill her ridiculous grin that she got whenever she got something that she wanted.

“You didn’t.”

If Josiah had wandered out aimlessly of whatever stupid class he was taking, I would have fully smacked him in the face despite my anger being more directed toward Jaz.

“I did.”

“So about this mall trip-“

I had just unlocked my locker and was gearing up to haul around my next heavy load of textbooks when she spoke.

I whirled around and dropped my book bag. The contents were scattered from one side of the hallway to the other.

“No, you didn’t!”

Jaz beamed at me.

I was going to murder her.”



p.S. If you agree or don’t agree, please tell me why down below in the comments!

When did you get your start?:
I think the first thing I ever really wrote was in grade 5. It had to do with kids at a camp and a unicorn and that’s all I can remember, haha. That’s actually only a year or two after I started reading Harry Potter, so I guess you could say that’s what made me want to write!

How many books have you written?:
I’ve finished a total of 4 books. One when I was seventeen, which I shall never ever mention ever again because it was bad. It was so, so bad. A couple years later I wrote another one and last year I sent it out to a butt-load of agents, but alas. No one was interested. I actually wrote the sequel to that one, too. My most recent is the one I’m most proud of, at the moment. It’s the longest one I’ve written and I’m going to attempt publishing with that one as well.

What kind of experience have you had in writing?:
I guess…not a whole lot? I didn’t really do much online with it until a couple years ago, so I’m still pretty new to a lot of the stuff happening with writing on the internet. Back in 2011, I took a Creative Writing course offered at the college in my city. It was taught by a published author and gave me huge insight into the publishing world, which I will be forever grateful for.

Do you participate in any challenges?:
Depends on the challenge, haha. I’ve never done NaNoWriMo, and I don’t think I ever will, simply because I know that it’s just something I wouldn’t be able to complete. I did just take part in #PitchWars, which is run by Brenda Drake! And back in January she also ran #PitMad on Twitter. Both of those are good ways to start getting your work out there.

What kinds of writing do you do? What kind of themes do you use?:
Most—if not all—of the writing I do, would be considered YA Urban/Contemporary Fantasy. As for themes, I don’t really….write specifically to have a theme? If that makes any sense, haha. Basically, I just sit down and write and if a theme appears, that’s awesome! Although I suppose, I do usually have one theme, and that’s simply the loyalty of friends. I love writing characters with bonds of friendship so strong they’d do anything for each other. Like the Golden Trio, or Scott and Stiles, or Allison and Lydia.

What is your method?:
Honestly, I just sit down and write. I’ll know how I want the story to end, and I’ll have certain big impact scenes thought out, but I’ve never been one to sit down and outline a story. I just write on the go and hope it all makes sense when I’m done, haha.

What’s the latest project you’ve been working on?:
Into That Darkness! It’s a YA Contemporary Fantasy set mostly in Rome. It has to do with dreams and nightmares and there’s a little sprinkle of Greco-Roman mythology in there, as well. The main character, Atlanta, is biracial and another one of the leads is a POC as well. There’s also a disabled character and a queer character who get some major page time. It’s definitely the proudest I’ve been of my writing so far.

Do you have any undercurrent themes (thematic elements) to your story? If so, explain:
Wow, this is like an English essay type question, haha. In all honesty, I have no idea. Like I said earlier, I don’t sit down to write a story knowing that there are themes I want to get across. It’s never something that really occurs to me. I know that, with the plans I have for the sequels to Into That Darkness, I want to get across that girls can do whatever they want, kiss whomever they want, and it doesn’t make them a slut or a whore or bleh, any of those words. Also, just friendship friendship friendship.

What view do you position your characters in? Ex. First Person, narrative, etc.:
Third person! My first ever book was first person POV, but I’ve realized I’m not a fan of that writing style. So third person POV it is! And actually, I take it one step further and write in 3rd Person Present POV. So things like, “She says” “He moves away” “It catches on fire”. You’d think it would be a bit more challenging, trying to keep the tense right, but it’s pretty easy.

What does your character’s voice sound like in your head?:
You know, I’ve never really thought about it? I know exactly what all my characters look like, but I’ve never really thought about what they would sound like.

What accents do they have? Do they have any speech quirks or characteristics?:
Atlanta has an American one. Others will have different ones, because of where they grew up.

Can you describe their body structure/how they move?:
Atlanta is a tall girl—5’9”—and has a runner’s build, because, well, she’s a runner! So she’s long and lean, a little lanky. I picture her moving like she has a purpose, you know? Again, she’s a runner, so she walks faster and with longer strides, shoulders back.

Do any of them have siblings?:
Atlanta has a sister, although that sister is only mentioned briefly. And the character of Quin has a sister, as well, but she has yet to be mentioned.

How does your character show affection?:
She jokes around with you, makes physical contact (hugs, hand holding etc). She’ll tell you sometimes, too. Things like, “I love you”.

How well do they take criticism? How do they react to others noticing their flaws?:
Atlanta’s pretty mature at receiving criticism. She understands that it’s usually because people are trying to help. As for the second part of that question, she get’s a little defensive when it’s first brought up, and may even tell the person “no, you’re wrong,”, but when’s she’s alone afterwards, she’d probably think about it and try to see where the person was coming from. And she’d probably admit they were right.

Last of all, how much do you work on your books on a weekly basis?:
Depends, really. If I’m feeling really gung-ho about it, I usually write every day, even if it’s just a paragraph or two. But there are other times when I may only write two or three times in a month. And that’s usually because I’ve written myself into a bit of a corner and I can’t figure out how to get out. That’s when I turn to friends to bounce ideas off of.

Do you have any advice for any aspiring writers?:
I mean, technically, I’m still one of those aspiring writers, but I’ll tell you what I’ve been told. Read, read, read! You’ll only grow if you read! And of course, keep writing! Each time you write, you get better, you learn, and it only continues. You’re first attempts will be bad, there’s no way around it. But your second attempts will be better. And your third better yet. And your fourth, and…well, you get the point.
If writing is something you really want to do, just keep doing it. Be brave and start getting your work out there. Enter contests. Post it on writing websites like WattPad and Figment. Accept criticism. Take the criticism you receive and apply it. If you get multiple people telling you something, it probably means you should take a look. I know it’s scary, because that story—that book—is your baby. But that baby has to grow.
Just keep trying, is all I’m saying. Keep reading. Keep writing.

About this wannabe author:
Aged 23, Frannie is a classic case of a Harry Potter-generation child. Always trying to find the magic in everything. She’s got a severe case of sarcastic-little-shit-itis and will agree with you if you call her loud and obnoxious. Because she is. Something about that red hair, maybe?
Frannie, when not serving coffee to rude customers, can be found reading, writing and procrastinating on Tumblr. She’s a fangirl of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, worships at the feet of Pacific Rim, and somehow manages to drag her sorry butt to the gym twice a week.
You can find Frannie on Tumblr or Twitter. If, you know, you wanted to see what the hell she’s up to these days. The great, white north isn’t that terrifying. Just watch out for those geese.


Hey, y’all, I’m going to be posting my work every now and then just to get something out there and get some input from you writers and authors who have already made it and would love to help me critique a few things. (Plus, when is it never not fun to post some of your work that you are super proud of?)


  I am still continuing my interviews-although most of them will be most likely written since the interviewees are either too busy to make time to be socially awkward with me on camera or live in a completely different state/country. (Big shout out to all those who have taken the time to answer my questionnaire and pour their personalities and past over the paper and/or camera!)

  “In the Works” will be a small series based solely upon my projects that are-well, you guessed it- in the works. I’ve been working on a number of stories and switching back and forth whenever I have a particular burst of energy and spurt of ideas to add to the growing plot, characters, and background. 


  My baby right now has to be Freefall. I wanted to delve into some sci-fi while playing around with the perspective of four characters-two girls, two boys. The girls are obvious since I enjoy writing about girls far more than boys. In truth, I understand them better and for obvious reasons. The boys are more of a challenge since it would force me to think like a boy and test my pencil whenever I felt the desire to draw my characters. Each project/story of mine I like to switch up different ideas and various backgrounds solely to test my ability to see if I can pull it off. Most stories will never reach the shelves in publication but the practice is all I need to become what I really want for my future as an author. 

  Freefall is set way into the future when the earth is barely inhabited and the main hub of activity is the Nova Commander S16, an enormous Death Star of the galaxy. Freefall was heavily influenced by Ender’s Game, a book by Orson Scott Card and a pretty fabulous read, IMO. I’m not used to sci-fi, most of it usually creeping me out too much, but this seemed like the right step to take since I’m entirely too caught up in Fantasy and the occasional Romance. These characters are different than any others I have tried to come up with. Most of my girls being total badbutts content on keeping their mouths clean, being in the mid-teen age range, and falling in love with the first boy who happens to look their way. I wanted to switch it up slightly, giving my girls a different outlook. Yes, they still are determined to win every single fight and carry the same morals as every other girl has to do and yes, they do fall in love at some point and time. But not with any of the main four, and in one of my OC’s case, he has been dead for years. The age range of the four have been changed to late teens, early twenties in regards to the jobs aboard the Nova Commander. Both boys have no love interest within the four, and neither do they have any inclination to keep finding attraction elsewhere. Besides the occasional flirtation, they stick mainly to their job and don’t veer off task with pointless drama. They know what is at stake here and they figure out a way to fix it. 

  Or do they? 

  I won’t give you the full on details for that would slightly ruin the book. One day, I hope to make this baby project a part of my collection of published novels. I’m excited to keep working on this and giving you brief updates on my work and daily projects going on. 



  {[my sketch of Ekaterina Bennett, one of the main OC’s in my story Freefall. I am going to continue this short series of drawings for each of my mains long after the final battle when they are most broken and scarred. Her tag is “Almost Human” up in the top right corner]}

  “Apprehension rolled uncomfortably in Katty’s stomach-a feeling that she was not used to. Her fingers twitched against her crossed arms, their itch bothering her. Why should she be so jumpy? It was not as if she could lose to the newbie. Somehow, she had convinced herself that Gypsy was indestructible. There was something so hard about her. She knew what the problem was. She had no idea what she was up against. Rolling her eyes and huffing her exasperation, Katty raked her tongue across the smoothness of her front teeth and sucked in sharply. A quiet, hissing slurp jolted her back into consciousness. Gypsy had gone so quickly up in rankings that she was to face her on the mats. There had been a brief set of rules that banned teammates from fighting against one another in the spirit of dividing the team, but it all depended on how the cadets moved. Their fluidity, styles, and finishing techniques literally matched up perfectly in few teams, narrowing down the results that the doctors and Heads had to make to set the Venture teams together. The rules had been disbanded quickly. This match would assure that the two were paired almost perfectly for a team together. Katty had been watching Gypsy’s performance and absolutely hated her opponent’s tactics. They mirrored hers too well.

  Across the mat, she hoped to catch her opponent’s eye. She doubted that her surefire expression of complete determination would shake her as it had with past opponents but one could always hope. Surprisingly, Gypsy never glanced directly at her. Her gaze was fixed on the mats or roving around the entire training room never once making eye contact with a single person. There was something almost listless about her gaze, her focus solely upon mental capabilities. The alarm rang, ending the match in front of them. A small crowd had gathered around the mat in anticipation for the fight. Ekaterina shuddered internally as her palms began to sweat beneath the wraps bandaging her hands. A few janitors hurried upon the mat, briefly mopping it up and sweeping debris off of the surface. It was the cleanest it would become for their match. Somewhere up above, Ekaterina could make out the faint outline of a box that seemed to materialize from the wall. No one would notice without actually looking for it. It hid itself well. Shaking her bob slightly, Katty blinked several times in rapid succession. What was wrong with her focus?

  She scowled, not able to keep her true feelings underneath the surface anymore. She should have felt sickly satisfied that she could go head to head against Gypsy and win, but this one was different. Katty was sure of it.

  Stepping onto the mat, Katty began a few loosening stretches to get her muscles warm, all the while keeping her eyes trained on the smaller figure ahead of her. Gypsy had bared herself of her jacket, clad only in a black tank that showed off her muscles and copper skin with her prominent collarbone protruding and tight sweatpants drawn closely to her ankles. She left nothing to hang off of or get ahold of during the fight. She was lean and muscled, faint scars etching places on her skin that her random spray of freckles hadn’t covered. What had she been through?

  Bouncing back and forth between her left and right foot, Gypsy rolled her shoulders back to ease her tensions, her muscled shoulders flexing briefly. Her eyes glowed against her darkness, her lips narrowing further in concentration.

  Katty was not aware of the rest of their brief warmup, but the match had begun before her mind could comprehend the bell ringing.

  There was not anyone else besides Gypsy and herself. Bouncing between each foot, Gypsy concentrated on Katty’s middle and lunged before Katty would have anticipated. Attacking first had never been her style, but this time, she seemed to have different tactics at first. She fell back easily into her style once she had landed her first three blows, fully rattling Katty. Scowling darkly, Katty felt her instincts take over. She swiped her legs underneath the quick feet of her gypsied companion, knocking her off of her balance. Slamming down her forearm against Gypsy’s throat, she kneed her in the gut and scrambled to get her right arm restrained before she could land a blow. Gypsy was too quick for her.

  A fist slammed into Katty’s unprotected side, her breath leaving her body with a satisfying whoosh. Sucking wind, Katty was thrown from Gypsy’s tight body and slammed down into the mat. Soot burned into her skin as she scrambled up to her feet. Gypsy was already on her feet but she seemed slowed for some reason. Her attack came like liquid honey. Hurriedly, Katty ducked her punch and head-butted her backwards. She felt something pop within her opponent, and Gypsy let out a pained half scream before staggering backwards. Gypsy’s face turned a sickly white, her freckles standing out sharply, eyes flashing brightly before dulling as her eyelids closed. She fell backwards, clutching her middle where Katty must have broken something or heavily bruised it.

  Heart hammering within her, Katty stared at the figure barely twitching on the floor and let her breath out that she must have been holding the entire time. Oxygen rushed into her system as the nervousness flowed out. She couldn’t help a satisfied smirk. She had won.

  Medics rushed to Gypsy’s motionless body on the mat’s corner, but Katty had already exited. She had won and that was all she cared about. Her legacy was still intact. No losses besides Sholto. With a pang, she realized the hatred that had bubbled up within her at her first and only loss versus her teammate. That had begun the long hatred for the tall, young man although Katty often attributed it to his horrible attitude. No one particularly cared that she hated him or her reasons; but her justification wasn’t that she was bitter that she had lost but that it was his fault for being a smug, know-it-all tag. Wincing slightly, Katty scooped up her belongings and returned quickly to the locker room. Wasn’t that what she was? Her rebuke of herself echoed in her mind. She shook this feeling off as she stripped to get in the showers.

  It didn’t matter. Gypsy was a part of the rest of them and they would all burn. It didn’t matter who she was anyway.

  It didn’t matter who Ekaterina turned into either to get her goals.

  At least, she told herself that.”



  I hope you enjoyed my brief snippet of my newest baby! 

 xoxo, Ella

When did you get your start?:

When I was a wee lass, my father’s uncle’s daughter asked me write a story about her cat. Since I kind of like this obscure relative I obliged, and thus a writing monster was born!

The first two stories I wrote for myself (I started them at the exact same time) were these terrible monstrosities that I posted on my Facebook. One was about a group of kids who could turn into wolves (very heavily inspired by Maximum Ride… shudder…) and the other was about this pair of kids who washed up on this island overrun by mythological creatures. I hated these stories a lot, I hated the characters even more. I think at this point my writing was only fueled by competition and the belief that I liked writing… even though actually I didn’t like writing.

I got my start with character creation while administrating a roleplaying group. I had to kill off somebody’s character (the somebody was breaking the rules or something) and resurrect someone else’s character (who knows why), so I made up this character with one purpose in life: kill one roleplayer, resurrect the other. My character Jake Thomson was born, and after I realized I actually loved making him up, I went on to create some 200+ more.

How many books have you written?:

Two. One I wrote for school when I was like eleven– I never speak of it because I hate it. One I wrote over several NaNoWriMo months– it is called Dreamcaught, is like a bajillion words long, and I never speak of it because I hate it.

What kind of experience have you had in writing?:

A frustrating one, filled with characters that won’t obey me and plot holes you can drive a shoal of giant squid through. There’s definitely a love-hate (but mostly love) relationship between myself and my writing utensils.

Do you participate in any challenges?:

NANOWRIMO, WHOO. That’s pretty much it, except occasionally I enter Figment contests to see how wacky I can get with two hundred words and a lot of rules. I love challenges, because I’m very competitive. Competition makes me write more than anything else. Also, I love finding loopholes in rules.

What kinds of writing do you do?:

Well, I used to only write novels. I would still very much like to finish a whole novel, but I have discovered that my true calling is script writing. My number one project right now is my murder comic, which is in typical graphic novel style, plotted like a novel but in comic form. My procrastination project, my pirate comic, is written in typical webcomic style, which just means that it isn’t plotted much at all and instead just sort of… happens. Next November I’m going to be writing a series of scripts in graphic novel form.

I write about pretty much everything under the sun. High fantasy, urban fantasy, sci-fi, modern young adult lit, superhero stories, murder mysteries, zombie stories, vampire stories… um, folk tales. I also mix genres kind of a lot.

What kind of themes do you use?:

Depressing ones. Murder comic, which is definitely the most thematic thing I’ve ever written, has many, many different themes all rolled together: at its core, it’s about the damage done to your soul if you disobey God. It’s also very theatrical– one of the characters is acting in the play Macbeth, and from it resonates the theme that power, even the seemingly small powers of being friends with a person or being trusted to be home alone, can corrupt you if used wrongly. From one character’s obsession with the musical Les Miserables comes the theme of redemption, which wars with the fact that blood (and blood guilt) cannot be washed from Lady Macbeth’s hands. Plato’s “is a thing good because the gods love it, or do they love it because it is good?” pops up a good bit.

I try to use themes that not only fits the plot, but also fits the characters. All these themes apply to each character in a separate and incredibly important way. Like… like, my depressed and secretive character Lucky Østergaard with the blood of Macbeth kills me every time. And Lucky’s very violent foil, Eliot, with the blood? Totally different effect, still totally exciting. I could write essays about how thrilled I am by themes.

In your first interview, Monica Bond quoted Mark Twain’s opening to Huckleberry Finn: “NOTICE. Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.” She brought it up to illustrate her own no-nonsense thematic story-writing. I am the opposite. I love nonsense. I hope everything I write is over-analyzed by English teachers in the future.

What is your writing method?:

1.) Have a really stupid and crazy idea. (i.e. thousands of years after the zombie apocalypse, myths written during the first years after the outbreak suddenly becomes important to the budding romance of a pair of people who have never met in person.)

2.) Plot like two thirds the book. (Only the interesting stuff, of course. None of the boring in-between stuff.)

3.) Write the book. Probably during NaNoWriMo. (Make up the boring bits as you go along or, even better yet, ignore them completely and just write yourself notes where they belong.)

4. Go back during Camp NaNoWriMo in April and try to write all the boring bits. (Spoiler: always ends in failure.)

5. Consider book finished.

6. Print book out and put it in fancy binder.

7. Never look at book again.

What’s the latest project you’ve been working on?:

Uh… a comic about a team of idiots who form an illegal smuggling company. They live in a world where the President of the United States is more like a Roman Emperor than a democratic leader. I usually call it my “super ridiculous post-apocalyptic pirate comic”. It started as a joke. It’s currently sixty-seven pages long.

Do you have any undercurrent themes (thematic elements) to your story? If so, explain:

In pirate comic? The single most unplanned thing I have ever written in my entire life? Uh… seagulls and engineers do not get along. And you also shouldn’t get an innocent and extremely feisty Scottish redhead sent to prison if you want to have peace after he gets out. I suppose it is mostly about the fact that literally everybody in the entire world is a person separate from every other person… that sounds appropriately professional, I guess.

What view do you position your characters in? Ex. First Person, narrative, etc.:

I’ve written almost everything. For a long time I wrote first person. Both of my novels are third person, with Dreamcaught being third-person omnipresent. (Seriously, Dreamcaught can’t stay focused on the same character for one page.) I’ve written stories in haiku. I’ve written stories with multiple point-of-view characters. I’ve got one that’s a series of myths, lectures about the myths, emails, and news stories, all stitched together. (I get bored really easily and like to have a lot of variety.)

What does your character’s voice sound like in your head?:

They all sound like crazy people. Voices vary a lot. My favorite voices belong to a vampire huntress with a lisp and an inflated opinion of herself and her brother who has a very even toned and logical way of speaking. Her voice is a little bit throaty, and she tends to talk quite loudly. His voice is deep, but he always sounds a little bit like he has a cold. I also have a really sweet teenager who happens to be vegan and usually talks about weird recipes and rescuing spiders and flies and his telepathic baby brother. He has a typical eighteen-year-old guy’s voice– it cracks periodically and is not very articulate– but I always enjoy listening to it.

Is this a creepy paragraph? Why yes, yes it it.

What accents do they have? Do they have any speech quirks or characteristics?:

Ha, depends on which character, of course! I’ve always been the type of person who liked giving my characters “exotic” speech quirks… my gateway drug character, Mr. Jake Thomson, had a strong English (Mancunian, to be precise) accent, and I am convinced that his accent alone saved him from the trash heap of my brain.

Since I’m talking mostly about my pirate and murder comics today (as always), I will point out that most of my stories have at least one character with a distinctive accent: in Pirate Comic, it’s Ginger with his thick Scottish accent, in Murder Comic it’s Lucky with his slight Carolina accent and his mother with her… not so slight one. Usually all the other characters have various nondescript American accents, although I keep a careful book on what kind of nondescript accents they have.

Also, when you’re writing a script of any sort, it’s always important to give all the characters distinctive speech styles– Pirate comic’s Richard Parker is unfailingly polite, Ekat likes to draw out her sentences in dramatic ways, Matt says “uh” kind of a lot.

Besides typical speech patterns which sometimes take a bit of time to pick out, there are also slightly more noticeable speech irregularities that immediately identify the character. Murder comic has the borderline gimmicky quirk of Rawlings’ stutter (which is secretly a plot point, which is why I don’t just go ahead and call it a full-blown gimmick), as well as the far less noticeable quirk of Orwell’s lack of the ability to use contractions. everybody who’s read my murder comic (namely my siblings) have immediately noticed Rawls’ stutttering, but nobody has noticed Orwell yet.

Can you describe their body structure/how they move?:

I have so many characters it would take a lifetime to explain everybody. Similarly to voice, body structure and movement is very important when designing a cast for a comic– I always want everybody to be district.

Pirate Comic’s Richard Parker is very large-boned. He’s very tall, has big hands and feet and tends to be a little on the chubby side, but despite his frame he always moves quietly and indiscreetly, usually in the background. Matt is tall and fairly muscular, his cousin Stanley is average height but gaunt, and yet both of them move in much the same way, with large and violent hand gestures, lots of bravado, and a lack of respect for other people’s private space. Richard Parker would never move with as much force as the cousins, but they’d never be able to be as unassuming as he is.

Murder comic has Lucky, who’s skinny to the point of severe unhealth, but due to his powerful bone structure he doesn’t look as thin as willowy-boned Rawlings. Lucky doesn’t react outwardly to much, but his friend Colette is a total drama queen– his rigid body and her curvaceous one accentuate it.

The reason body structure and language is so important in graphic novels and comics in particular is because most of your character development comes from watching how the characters act, even when they aren’t speaking.

Do any of them have siblings?:

Practically all my characters have siblings. I just really love sibling relationships. In pirate comic, for example, before I’d even come up with actual personalities for any of the characters I was already naming their siblings.

Stanley Yorick is the sole only child in the cast– Ekat had a sister named Natasha, Khan has a brother named Peter. Ginger, who is really named Miles Ambrosias, has two elder siblings named Nelson Aristotelis and Tabitha Octaviana, respectfully called Nelly and Topsy. Richard Parker has two sisters and a brother, all named boring stuff like Mary and David (I can’t remember what their names actually are. Sue me.). Matt has five elder sisters named Constance, Annalise, Tanya, Rebecca, and Megan.

And this is just one cast. Think of all the siblings I have in my other casts! (GASP. THE HORRORS.)

My most challenging/favorite set of siblings is obviously Murder Comic’s Eliot, Rawlings, and Orwell Barns-Myeong. Trust me when I say that playing with family dynamics for a set of three siblings is waaay harder than playing with two siblings.

How does your character show affection?:

Depends very, very strongly on the character. I can’t think of any two of my characters who show their affections the same way… just as they’re all their own separate people, they all react to things differently. Similarly, they all show their affections towards different people in different ways… so, affection takes a long time and a lot of work to write.

For my rambly example, let me talk about Lucky Ostergaard and Colette Baker from Murder Comic. Lucky and Colette are best friends and to the outside observer they’re complete opposites. Lucky is rude, sarcastic, cripplingly introverted, tends to spend his time bundling up in hipster clothing and hiding behind newspapers. Colette is friendly, optimistic, a loud and boisterous extrovert, and likes to follow people around chattering about clothing or set design or how much she loves acting. Writing the very loving, very platonic relationship between these two is a challenge, but it’s a fun challenge.

Lucky tends to show affection very quietly. He’ll pay for her coffee, give her a new set of pencils, texts her at random times telling her that her hair looked nice at school. Colette is very noisy. She screams that she loves him in the middle of the coffee shop. She buys him a set of used books and wraps them all up and then gives them to him at lunch in the cafeteria. She tries to hug him every time she sees him. At the same time, they are veeeerrryy platonic, which means most of the time they’re not showing affection: they’re being rude and picking on each other.

How well do they take criticism? How do they react to others noticing their flaws?:

It depends on the character. (I say that a lot, have you noticed?) In pirate comic, Khan and Ekat don’t really care, Matt gets all high and mighty, Ginger gets frustrated, Richard Parker gets extremely mortified and apologizes profusely and kind of panics, and Stan laughs it off and then later goes and hides in a closet to cry.

I think one of the ways to test how well developed a character is, and certainly the manner I use the most, is to run them through any and all scenarios you can think of– even highly impractical ones– and see if they react in a way that seems natural to them. How they take criticism is one of my favorite scenarios.

Last of all, how much do you work on your books on a weekly basis?:

I would say I work on planning/writing them for perhaps three hours a week, although I think about my books constantly. It’s actually really hard to say because most of my work isn’t writing, it’s drawing. I spend hours and hours and hours drawing my stories and characters every week. Today, so far, I’ve spent half an hour writing character information down but close to two hours drawing (and I haven’t even gone to Starbucks yet, and that’ll be another three or four hours of doodling.)

Do you have any advice for any aspiring writers?:

Writing is hard and stupid and it isn’t always fun, but if you decide to do it anyways you are awesome. Also, don’t spend too much time on Pinterest.

About the interviewee:

Chloe Cunningham was born back in 1792 and promptly began life as a crazy person. Obnoxious, overly enthusiastic about everything, and probably the happiest person on planet Earth, Chloe spends most of her time drawing comics and spouting random facts about her 200+ characters. Things to note: she is friends with a Pomeranian named Beowulf the Hero who can teleport, and is suffering from addiction to chocolate milk. She thinks she’s funny, even though she really isn’t.

Chloe has lived in six different states and nine different houses. She has been a hostess in an Asian restaurant, a docent at a French Colonial historical site, a bed-and-breakfast maid, and was once President of her 4-h group, despite the fact she never ran for president. All this has contributed to her terribly wacky creative nature.

You can read her practice comic about smugglers at it’s website: Rocking Boats and Making Waves. You can also be her friend. You know, if you want.




It’s that time of month again and the most awkward video award of the year goes to…


But seriously, y’all, I’m super awkward at this. Please excuse the terrible audio since our limited time and a busy Starbucks made the video rather spotty. This might be one of the last video interviews I have since my other interviewees are not able to sit down with me and verbally communicate the answers to my questions, but rest assured, I will continue to have them fill out various forms and post them as they come.

S.G. Baker, a Memphis Grizzly and University of Tennessee, Knoxville enthusiast (Whoo, go VOLS!), is an aspiring author and lives in Tennessee, with her mom, dad, and two, younger brothers Dylan and Gunner. She writes novels, and just completed her book series, The Reformation Trilogy, and now is working on her contemplation of short stories, Greetings from New York. She is also experimenting with sports writing and has been featured on the front blog page of Grizzly Bear Blues, (see link below). And she also is the genius behind this blog, http://questforpublishment.wordpress.com/ .