Beautiful Books: Let Me Share My Book With You


It’s time for another edition of Beautiful Books, the three month long link-up designed to help writers share and discover things about their books. It’s run by Cait from Notebook Sisters, and Sky from Further Up and Further In. If you want to join this month’s link up, click HERE.

This month, I’m working on Siren my sci-fi superhero retelling of The Little Mermaid, which is the third book in a series of retellings. I’m writing it for NaNoWriMo and having great fun while doing so. In case you’re interested, here is the synopsis:

Since his last defeat, Hector, leader of the mutant rebellion, has vanished. But when mutant berserkers start attacking the city, the team knows only he could be behind this. Meanwhile, Eric is dying. Despite all efforts to find a cure for him, every attempt has failed. Frustrated, Nicola strikes out on her own, determined to find a cure, and a way to stop Hector’s evil plans, before it is too late.

1. Be honest: how is your writing going?
If I’m honest, pretty well actually. I’m enjoying myself, the book is making some sort of sense, and I love working with this group of characters again. That’s one of the great things about writing a book in a series. Writing the book is like going to visit a group of old friends. I’m pretty much on target to him my planned word goal of 60k for the draft too, which is amazing.

2. What’s your first sentence/paragraph?

I am the first to admit that beginnings are not my strongpoint. It always takes me several to really get into the swing of the book. So while I’m willing to share my first paragraph, I will warn you, it’s not particularly interesting, and definitely not very well written.

Life in the mutant team was a weird mix of overly exciting and busy times, and really, really boring ordinary ones. Right now it seemed that they were stuck in one of the ordinary ones, and Nicola couldn’t stand it. Even her morning swims in the lap pool couldn’t make up for the fact that nothing was happening at all. No investigations. No mutants to go and arrest. Even Hector, who was leading a rebellion against the government and their proposed laws against mutants hadn’t done anything in a while to cause trouble for them. Yep, Nicola was thoroughly fed up. If only something would happen. Now, in the cool waters of her swimming pool, she pounded her frustrations out with violent pumps of her muscular, mutant tail.

3. Do you have a book cover, and/or pictures that reflect your book?

Having an artistic sister is awesome because it means that someone will draw pictures and covers for me in return for chocolate. (Plus she seems inexplicably interested in my series, so she drew me a lot of pictures for fun). So, here is the amazing cover she designed. Is it not a beauty?

4. Do you have pictures of each of your characters? If not, describe them for us! (Be as descriptive as you can.)
The artistic sister strikes again. As well as drawing me a beautiful cover, she also gave me a picture of every single one of the major characters for the entire series, including some characters I haven’t even introduced yet. The main characters for Siren are the girl with blue hair, Nicola, and the boy in the black hoodie, Eric.

5. What scene are you most excited to write?
My book is a retelling of The Little Mermaid, with Nicola as said mermaid, so the scene I’m particularly looking forward to writing at this point in time is probably the one where Nicola makes a deal with the Sea Witch. The Sea Witch herself is rather a tricksy character who tries to fool Nicola while making the bargain, so that should be a very interesting and fun scene to write.

6. Share a snippet or a scene that you really enjoyed writing.

This is a first draft, so the writing's not epically good, but I really enjoyed writing the similies in this little excerpt.

Losing control of his powers frankly scared Eric. Not in the I-might-fail-a-maths-test kind of way. More like the kind of scared when you’re standing in front of an oncoming train and your feet are glued to the ground. The idea of turning his friends into human icy-pops didn’t really appeal to him. Most of the time he felt he was doing pretty well, but then he’d have an episode like this, and he’d feel like he was right back at the beginning again.

Controlling his power enough to shut it off was the hard part. It was like trying to catch a waterfall in a thimble. A futile task. Ever since he’d nearly burnt his power out and fried his brain when fighting against Hector, he’d been pretty ill. Still, everyone was pretty hopeful that he was getting better, and who was he to say anything against that?

7. Now that you're writing, have any of the plot details, or the process itself, turned out different from what you planned or imagined?
My plots always change a lot as I write them, so it’s no surprise that a lot of the plot points have shifted round for this book. Nothing is drastically different at the moment, but some plot points have been omitted, some have been rearranged, and other bits have been added. It all makes sense to me at the moment, so I must be doing something right.

8. Is there a character or aspect of your plot that's difficult to write?
I’m finding it hard to write a part in my plot where one of the characters is supposed to be dying. The emotion is hard to portray, and it’s difficult to work that into the plot without making the character become weak and unable to take much part in the story at all. As he’s rather an important character, this is a delicate balance. I can tell it’s going to need a lot of editing later on.

9. What’s your favorite aspect of this novel so far? Favorite character?
My favourite aspect of this book so far is actually all the sciency stuff that’ll never make it into the final draft. I’m really bad at working out how the science works in a sci-fi novel, so I’m really pleased with myself for making my sciency stuff actually follow some sort of logic. I don’t think I can pick a favourite character at this point though. (It’s kind of like favouritism anyway).

10. Have you drawn off of any life experiences or people you know to create your novel and your characters?
I draw off parts of life for little things for my characters. One character hates paperwork, like me, or enjoys running, or hates stairs. I base a lot of their likes, dislikes, and little traits like that off things I’ve seen in real life. But I don’t normally made a conscious decision to use anything from my real life in my book. I’m sure little things creep in while I’m not looking though.

11. Do you have a playlist or certain song for your novel and/or characters?

Sadly not. I’ve always wanted to be one of those writers that is able to find the perfect song to match a book or a character, but I’ve never been able to do that. Instead I just listen to whatever sounds most appealing at that point. One of these day’s I’ll manage it.

12. Let’s have some fun for a moment: imagine you are somehow transported into your book’s world. Which character are you most likely to be found hanging out with?
I would love to hang out with Nicola for a while, but I think she might end up being a bit too energetic for me. I’d probably enjoy a bit of quiet time with Jonathon, the genius, and all his interesting gadgets, and I’d probably get on quite well with Bethany, the empath, who basically runs the household. Introverts unite!

13. How do you keep yourself motivated to finish your daily wordcount? (Pinterest? Internet breaks? Chocolate?)
Sheer determination most of the time, and copious amounts of tea. No writing session is complete without many, many cups of tea. And it’s NaNowriMo, which always motivates me to write more. I hate to finish my day without writing all my daily word count.

Did I mention the tea?

14. What your favourite writing quote or piece of writing advice?

I have lots of writing quotes I love (I may or may not have a 12 page document of them), but the one that is my favourite for NaNoWriMo is this one:


15. How does this book make you feel so far? Are you laughing? Crying? Frustrated?
I feel differently about this book every time I start a writing session. Sometimes it makes me laugh. Sometimes I’m excited at the way the adventure is turning out. Sometimes I’m gleeful about it (mostly when I’m doing mean things to my characters). It’s been a great journey so far.

Now it's your turn. Tell me about your book. Are you doing NaNoWriMo? How's it going? What's your favourite writing quote?

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  1. That's an awesome quote, and your story sounds so cool! The Little Mermaid is totally one of my favorite stories, so I think it's always cool to hear about new versions. :) I also think the little idiosyncrasies you share with your characters are sweet in an authory kind of way. Lol. Thanks for sharing your story!

    1. Aw, thanks. I love to give my characters little bits of my own personality. I try to keep them as separate from me as possible so it doesn't sound like they're just a copy of me, but sneaking those little traits in is just too much fun! Thanks for stopping by to share my book.

  2. Siren sounds so amazing! I love you're beginning. It's so much better than mine.
    A 12 page document of quotes? That's impressive. *off I go to start storing quotes*. (You might have noticed I'm a thief.)

    1. You're more than welcome to share the idea. I borrowed it off another friend myself. Her collection of quotes is fantastically amazing. I'm a bit of a hoarder, so I collect all kinds of things.

      You do? Thanks! I wasn't really happy with it, but as I was just trying to get something down to launch me into NaNo, I didn't stress too much about it.

  3. For a retelling of the little mermaid, it's taken a completely different path to what I'd expect! I'm impressed, what a wonderful idea. (Other books I've come across for fairytale retellings really haven't been all that great...) You're right, the cover is striking. It's like the style of the new Hunger Games and Divergent black series covers. Oooo Bethany sounds cool! (I like empaths. :3 ) I drank SO many cup of tea yesterday, and I was working on my novel a lot. Is it POSSIBLE to work without tea?!?!!?

    I loved your answer to number 8. I feel like Maintaining A Delicate Balance is the essence of my difficulty with my novel!! Anyway, the absolute best of luck with your work. =D


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