Tag Archive | author

Meet the character: Roger Vancouver

So this Monday morning, I met with Vanessa’s and Viviana’s father, Rodger. Although he’s not an alpha, he’s agreed to explain their role to us.

Birthday: January 16th

Favorite Movie TV Show: Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventure (and yes, he’s a Slayer, if you were wondering)  

Favorite Food: Five-alarm Chili

 

Me: Hello Mr. Vancouver. Thanks for coming by!

Rodger: Hello Briana, happy to help.

Me: So tell me what its like for your daughter to be an alpha. You’re obviously proud of her, but is it going to be awkward for your daughter to be giving the orders?

Roger: Of course I’m proud, but with such great responsibility comes danger. Being an alpha is ten times more dangerous than being just a Slayer. Wolves hate alphas, and if they get the chance, will kill them out of spite, sometimes not even during the full moon. Ness has never been a brave girl, and I’m very worried about her. Kenneth will protect her for as long as he can, but the day will come when she’ll be on her own, and part of me wonders if the the strain will break her. There have been stories of alpha who chose unwisely and their successor failed terribly.

Me: Are you saying Kenneth made a mistake of choose Vanessa?

Roger: *looks embarrassed* No, I didn’t mean that. But there are some who’ve mentioned it. There were two girls born the same year as Vanessa, and they’re both strong, dependent women, very capable of upholding pack law, as well as having the ability to kill wolves.     

Me: So my question is, do you regret that she was chosen to be an alpha?

Roger: *Long pause* Yes. She is such a frail girl. I’ve seen how hard it is on her to witness the death of a wolf. If only Kenneth would have chosen Margery or Kate, I could sleep soundly at night knowing my family and my pack is safe.

Me: You doubt her ability, but had you said as much to Kenneth?

Roger: I have. But Kenneth and I are not as close as we once were. He questions my judgement. We had a bit of a falling out years ago because I was a jealous, rebellious youth who’d dreamed of becoming an alpha, and instead, my friend was chosen. I though Kenneth was picked because his grandfather was an alpha. But I see now that I was just disappointed in myself and I lashed out at my friend.  

Me: Does that mean Kenneth hasn’t forgiven you?

Roger: Of course he’s forgiven me. He is my alpha; he cannot be cross with any member of his pack, nor can he show any favoritism, outside of his successors, that is. In a way, we are his children. *grimace* Although, I am two months his elder.

Me: Being a slayer is hard, isn’t it?

Roger: It is.

Me: Well, thank you for stopping by and elaborating for us.

Roger: Don’t mention it.

 

Okay then! Who else has a question for Roger?  

Meet the character: Viviana Vancouver

So for my Friday interview (last one until next week) Viviana Vancouver agreed to meet with me and talk for a bit.

Birthday: October 25th

Favorite Movie: Hunger Games

Favorite Food: Pork sandwiches

 

Me: Hello Viviana! You just became a Slayer and you also found out your big sister in the future alpha of the pack. What was that like for you?

Viviana: Well, being a Slayer is so cool. My whole life I’ve known I was destined for something great, but it seems like Ness is so distant anymore. She keeps forgetting about me. She just hangs out with her slayer/alpha friends and doesn’t have time for me.

Me: Oh I’m so sorry! Well, I’m sure she hasn’t forgotten about you. And as soon as she gets comfortable in her life, I’m sure everything will go back to normal. Now, tell me, what is your favorite weapon to take on hunts?

Viviana: I’ve never been on a hunt. Ness won’t let me come. She says she doesn’t want me to get hurt, but she keeps treating me like a baby. But my trainer says I’m strong, and one of the best archers she’s ever seen.

Me: Ooo, archery sounds like fun. Um, so what else do you do? When you’re not training I mean.

Viviana: I guess I just hang out, you know, I don’t have many friends, so I play everything by ear.

Me: I see. Well, I guess that about wraps up all my questions. Did you have anything else you want to add?

Viviana: Just this: everyone has strength and everyone has weakness. Those without fear are careless. Those without strength are weak. Learning to balance the two is what makes the best kind of Slayer. 

Me: Thanks Viviana! And happy hunting!

Viviana: Thanks. Same to you.

 

Does anyone else have a question for Viviana?  

Meet the character: Kenneth

Today I’m going to be interviewing Kenneth, Alpha of the Montezuma Slayer pack.

Birthday: March 21st

Favorite movie: I am Legend

Favorite Food: Eggrolls

 

Me: Hi Kenneth, I’m so glad you could come talk to me today!

Kenneth: It is my absolute pleasure Briana.

Me: So what is it like being a Slayer?

Kenneth: *laughs* Asking me that question and excepting a decent answer is like me asking you what it is like to be a human.

Me: What?

Kenneth: I was born a Slayer. I don’t know what its like to be anything else.

Me: Oh, well then, let me rephrase my question: what is it like to be an alpha?

Kenneth: Being an alpha is similar to being a parent. Except most parents only have two or three kids. I am an alpha to thirty slayers. So it’s a lot of responsibility. Even more so than you would imagine because almost half of my pack is under twenty-five years of age.

Me: I understand what you mean. Well, when you have any free time, what do you like doing for fun?

Kenneth: I rarely have “free time” thanks to my prodigy Vanessa. She is like a mixture of an infant and a puppy. I can’t leave her alone for more than ten minutes without worrying she’s hurt or in trouble. But, for those ten worry-free minutes, I like to cook and read.

Me: Well sir, it was really great having you here.

Kenneth: Anytime!

So, does anyone have a question for Kenneth? If so, don’t hesitate to ask!

 

Meet the character: Vanessa “Ness” Vancouver

Hi everyone! Today I was motivated to do another kind of interview! But this time, I’m going to be interviewing characters from my book. This idea came from Francesca at http://frannychallenge.wordpress.com/

You should check out her site and ‘meet’ some of her book characters! Maybe you’ll be inspired to do something similar on your own blog!

 

Today I’m interviewing Vanessa Vancouver, main character of Here with the Wolves, as Alpha Successor to the Montezuma Slayer pack.

Birthdate: May 24th

Favorite movie: Black Beauty

Favorite food: Just about anything Kenneth cooks.  

 

Me: Hi Vanessa, so glad you could take time from your busy schedule to visit with me!

Vanessa: Please call me Ness, and it was no problem: its ten days until the full moon, so I’m sort of “off-duty” right now.

Me: Oh that’s great! Well then let’s get to it! So, what is it like to be a werewolf hunter?

Vanessa: Well, in the beginning, I really hated it. But now I’ve come to realize it is just a part of life. By no means am I meaning I enjoy killing, but its for the greater good.

Me: Greater good? What do you mean?

Vanessa: You’re a human, right?

Me: Of course!

Vanessa: It’s my job to kill werewolves before they kill any of you humans.

Me: I see. Well, what do you like to do for fun?

Vanessa: I’ve recently gotten into fencing.  

Me: That’s nice, but I meant your hobbies? You know; something you do when you’re not working?

Vanessa: Um, technically I work 24/7. When I’m not with the other alphas, I’m training. When I’m not training, I’m doing “pack stuff”. And when I’m not doing “pack stuff”, I’m with the other alphas.

Me: Okay, let’s see, hmm, I guess that about wraps it up! Thank you Vanessa!

Vanessa: You’re welcome, and just call me Ness!

 


Well, that was exciting! And I think tomorrow I’ll interview Vanessa’s alpha, Kenneth.

I was also given an idea from Charles at http://legendsofwindemere.com/ to allow the reader (that’s you!) to ask my character a question! So, what do YOU want to know about Vanessa?

Rejection

*sigh*

I just got the first rejection for my modern day werewolf book. The agent said “Your premise is interesting, but your opening pages failed to engage me. You have a ton of back story and set up without anything actually happening.

*another, longer sigh*

I’ve put a few samples of the book here on my blog (links below) and would love it if you could read them and give me your feedback. This was a book I thought would be easy to snag an agent’s attention with, but I guess I’ll have to wait and see.

I’m not sure what should be in a synopsis, so for any of you dear readers, could you tell me what should be included in a good, strong synopsis?

https://whenibecameanauthor.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/here-with-the-wolves/ https://whenibecameanauthor.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/here-with-the-wolves-part-2/

Book Update

So today I talked to my Book Product Manager, Mandy. One of the things that I really love about Tate Publishing and Enterprises LLC. is the fact that everyone is so friendly and eager to help and answer my many questions (believe me, there have been lots of questions). Today I found out that I get to keep my original book title: Me and Billy the Kid. I’m so happy! So for the next month, the editors are going to be ‘polishing’ my manuscript, then I’ll get a copy of all the changes/suggestions and I either have to ‘okay’ them or make changes. At any rate, editing should be done in the next two months, and layout will start in June. Exciting! I feel like my book is actually become a book! I cannot wait until I’m holding the finished, paperback copy. Ah, now if only I knew it would sell well. It fits in the YA, western, historical fiction, and YA romance categories. Hopefully there are lots of people currently seeking such titles! (My fingers are crossed!)     

Box Canyon

 Here’s a sample of the first chapter of my upcoming YA western book, “Box Canyon”.

 

Even in the confines of the barn, their ears weren’t safe from the shouts echoing from the kitchen. Two men and their sister looked at each other solemnly. This wasn’t the first night this week their parents had argued. Seventeen year old Noel ‘Button’ McMasters turned back to the cow she’d been milking and pressed her face against its warm side, trying to hide her tears.

Her oldest brother, Dunn, let out an oath too soft for Noel to hear, but the second boy, Tack, turning to frown disapprovingly at him. Dunn spread his hands innocently. Tack shook his head and went back to laying down a thick bed of straw for the new lambs.

Getting to her feet, Noel asked, “Why do they always have to fight, Tack?”

“I suppose that’s just what happens when folks get married.”

“Then I don’t ever want to get married!”

“Ah, Button, it isn’t that bad. Ma and Pa get along sometimes.”

“They fight more often than they agree.” Dunn muttered into his armload of musty cornstalks.

After the chores were finished, Tack put his arm around Noel’s shoulders and promised, “Everything’s going to be fine.”

Dunn seconded, “And just as long as they ain’t mad at us, we’ll make it through dinner unscathed!”

Noel didn’t even have the heart to smile at her brothers’ attempts to lighten the mood.

Sitting around the table in the dusky twilight, Noel was finding it hard to stomach her food. The steak got caught in her throat, the bread tasted like sawdust, and even the sweet pickles weren’t appealing. Looking up, she found her brothers were also disturbed and unable to eat. Ma just sat in her chair, glancing out the window ever now and then, and Pa’s usually twinkling blue eyes started dully at her uneaten peas.

The silence was too much to bear. Noel cleared her throat. Ma jumped in her seat and turned to look sternly at her. Noel looked to her brothers for help. Dunn laid down his fork and leaned forward in his chair, “Pa, one of the mares is getting close to foaling.”

Pa looked up with interest, but one sideways look at his wife dampened his mood all over again.

Noel pushed back her chair and escaped to the empty kitchen. She scraped her food into the pigs’ slope bucket and then hastened up the stairs to her room in the attic. She shared the room with her brothers. There was a blanket stretched across the middle of the room to give Noel some privacy. But tonight, instead of going straight to bed, she waited up, hoping her brothers wouldn’t be long in coming.

Not ten minutes had passed before Tack and Dunn came trooping up the stairs. Noel scooted closer to the blanket and whispered to them.

Tack answered her, face close to the blanket, “Ma’s mad that we don’t have enough money to pay the bank notes. She wants Pa to get a job in town. But he says he can’t because there wouldn’t be anyone to take care of the livestock. So Ma told him to sell off part of the herd. But then Pa said if he did that, then the paycheck in the fall from selling the yearlings would be smaller than ever and they still wouldn’t be able to make ends meet.”

Noel groaned. Her parents found about money several times a year. And for the past two weeks, there had nary been a day gone by that they weren’t squawking about something. “Why are there so many people who are rich and have more than they need, when there are so many poor families who don’t have as much as they should?”

“I don’t know, Button, I guess that’s just the way life works.”

***

The next morning, Ma put Noel to work cleaning. Noel hated to clean. She’d rather be out with her brothers, rounding up horses and chasing cattle. But Ma, who’d been raised in a prosperous southern home, said that the women’s domain was the home, and shouldn’t ever be out riding the range like an ordinary cowpoke.

And so, Noel scrubbed the floor, wiped away cobwebs and dust, and scoured the kettles and cookware with sand. Then she rolled up the sleeves on the sprigged calico dress she was wearing and started washing the breakfast dishes. Out the window, she saw Tack lead a horse out of the barn and tie him to the hitching rail. Dunn followed with two more horses and proceeded to curry and saddle them. They were going for a ride!

Noel stood on tiptoe to watch her brothers, forgetting all about the wash water and suds. Ma appeared, carrying an armload of laundry and snapped, “For heaven’s sake Noel! Stop dallying and finish the dishes, then you can come out and help me hang up these clothes.”

“Yes Ma.” Noel’s heart sank. Ma just didn’t understand that Noel didn’t like this kind of work. Noel was an eagle and she needed to be free to fly, but she was stuck here, in this cage, suffocating.

Just then, Tack appeared in the doorway and called, “Got a minute Button?”

She ran to meet him. “We need some help, we’re missing three hundred or so head off the back forty, and Pa thinks they ventured into the box canyon.”

“I’ll go change!” Noel turned and ran right into Ma. “What’s the rush?”

Tack explained, “We’re short on help. May Noel come with us to the box canyon?”

Ma sighed dramatically, “Oh I suppose so.” Ma shook her head, muttering about how humiliating it was for a mother to have to let her daughter do man’s work because there wasn’t enough money to hire workers.

Noel dashed upstairs and changed into a pair of trousers, a long-sleeved shirt and her flat brimmed Stetson hat. By the time she made it outside, Tack had her little mare, Star, saddled and waiting.

“We almost had to leave without you.” Dunn teased from the back of his tall gelding.

As giddy as a lark, Noel climbed into the saddle and let Star prance around in a happy little circle.

Pa heaved himself onto his own horse, firmly saying, “You do need to learn your place, Button. A woman belongs in a kitchen.”

“But Pa: times have changed! A woman should be free to do as she likes. Besides, I would rather do this than anything else in the whole world!”   

He didn’t reply, but by the crinkles at the corners of his eyes, Noel could tell he was pleased and wasn’t going to force her to do anything she didn’t want to do.

Tack hollered, “Hey Dunn, race you!” and he touched his spur to his horse’s side and shot off down the path and out the gate.

Dunn and Noel raced after him, whooping and hollering like wild Indians.

Small but spirited, Star soon edged past her long-legged neighbors and stayed in the lead until they reached the mouth of the canyon. Here, Noel waited for her family. She’d never have said it aloud, but she was afraid of this place and had been since she was a child and had stumbled upon the carcass of a lion kill. Now she wished she’d thought to bring along Pa’s spare rifle.

Tack understood, and he slid his own rifle out of the scabbard and passed it to her. “Keep your eyes open.” Noel nodded, holding the rifle securely. Tack took the lead from here, and Button followed. Pa and Dunn trailed behind. Noel’s eyes revolved around as she watched for movement of any kind. The hair on the back of her neck stood on end when a crash came from behind them. All four riders turned to look.

There was nothing out of the ordinary, but they could hear bawling cattle and gunfire. “That’s coming from the house!” Dunn declared.

But before they could make it out of the canyon, three men appeared, blocking their only way out. Several more men appeared on the sandstone ledges above, and they could hear more men on the canyon rim. The three men began to advance, pushing Noel and her family further into the canyon. Suddenly, one of the men rushed at them.

Pa took a hasty shot at them before baling off his panicked horse. “Hide!” he ordered, scrambling out of view.

Tack rolled out of the saddle and disappeared behind a log. Dunn grabbed a low hanging tree branch and pulled himself into a tree. Noel dove off Star’s back, twisting her ankle and skinning her cheek on a rock before she managed to squeeze into a little hollow behind a slab of sandstone. She cocked her rifle and peeked out just in time to see a man armed with a bowie knife sneaking up behind Tack.
*to be continued*

Book name change

Hello everyone! As most of you know, I have a book available for sale through amazon.com called: The Untold Story of Margaret Hearst, Alias Maugrim Valletta. Well, I’m currently re-writing the book to make it longer and a little bit more informative. I am also thinking I ought to change the name. I’ve been thinking something like: The Ballad of Margaret Hearst. What do you think? For any of you who’ve read the book, I’d love to know your opinion! Should I change the name? Should I make an ‘extended cut’ that goes a little deeper into the characters’ back stories? If you haven’t read the book, here’s the link for your convenience! The Kindle edition is .99 cents and the paperback at $4.75

http://www.amazon.com/Untold-Margaret-Maugrim-Valletta-ebook/dp/B00BBY3LLE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1363221295&sr=8-2&keywords=the+untold+story+of+margaret+hearst

It is a short story, and eventually I may just sell it as part of a collection of stories, but for now, I’d really like to expand, but its up to you! Several people I’ve spoken to liked the book as-is. Others thought it was rather brief. So let me know! Your opinion is very valuable to me.

Thank you in advance for your purchase and I’m excited to hear back from you!   

 

Caught in the Moment

For any of you writers out there, I’m sure you’ll understand when I say that I’ve been caught in the moment. It might be just a normal day, you’re at work, you’re at home, or maybe you’re at the county fair, and then all of a sudden, an idea hits you! It is the perfect ending to that book you’ve been working on, the one you’d come to a stand-still with because you were lacking incentive or inspiration  to go on. And just like that, an idea presents itself. Or maybe you’re given the sudden urge to begin a new book. Most of the time, I search for ideas, either to complete or continue the book I’ve been slaving over for what seems like an eternity. But the funny this is, that rarely am I able to come up with an idea on my own. It seems like the harder I dig into my brain for something usable, the more unusable my ideas become. Only once I’ve put the book out of my mind and go on about my business, will I find the answer that’s been eluding me.

Let the atmosphere capture your imagination! Maybe on that boring drive to work you’ll see a breathtaking sunrise that just makes you freeze (hopefully in a mental, not physical way, or else you might be in danger of driving off a cliff or something equally as unpleasant) as the plot of your story pieces its-self together in your mind, and all you have left to do is remember the details until you can make it to a notebook or keyboard. I’ve had these sudden bursts of mental creativity while weeding the garden, chasing after a calf, readjusting the sideroll wheels, or just sitting on the porch drinking a cup of coffee. Perhaps there is a certain song or movie that gives you ideas, or perhaps there is a perfume or potpourri that can awaken your imagination. Whatever it takes; always be on the lookout for the moment of creativity to find you. You’ll be surprised to discover how much you can do when you’re focused on doing something else.

March is here!

This month I officially begin working on my book, unofficially titled “Me and Billy the Kid” which was accepted for publication last November by Tate Publishing and Enterprises LLC. I’m so excited, and just a wee bit nervous…okay, a LOT nervous! I’m anticipating being contacted by a senior editor tomorrow. I’ve been told the editing stag lasts about four months. And knowing me, I’m sure my book will be no exception, see that grammar isn’t one of my strongest suits and my manuscript is probably full of errors. Just hopefully I’m not going to be going crazy and tearing out my hair while working through all the editing. Another thing is, I’m worried about having to re-write a lot of my manuscript, try to figure out/agree on a name, writing a bio (I’m not good describing myself), as well as the teaser for the back cover. Hopefully, my book will be complete by November. I know, I know, that’s eight months from now, but I was told that this is going to take a l-o-n-g time. I’ll just have to grit my teeth and keep telling myself this is what I want: this is going to get me known, its going to make me money, and now maybe I’ll have a shot at finding an agent and being able to publish traditionally, with a major publishing house. I’ve only just realized how busy I’m going to be! And on top of everything else, I’m still going to be farming and ranching, writing new manuscripts, keeping up with the housework, gardening, weed eradication, etc. My word! I truly hope all this will be worth it in the end. Because after all, if I’m going to be a writer for the rest of my life, I’ll have to get use to dealing with this chaos. Well, wish me luck everyone, I’m going to need it!