Elizabeth D. Marie Fiction Author

Elizabeth D. Marie Fiction Author
Welcome to my blog—a writer's musings on characters, stories, and life

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Saving Beauty: A new fantasy fairy-tale retellings series!

I have spent the morning and early afternoon editing my Saving Beauty book, the first in a series of fairy-tale retellings that take place in the Kingdom of Asteriae. The first book takes place during the Great War of the land, as the kingdom fights to push back the dark and evil forces of an enemy determined to destroy them.

This story focuses on a Captain and Singer (a fierce archer with enhanced fighting skills)—our Beast in the retelling—who has been fighting in the War for fifteen long years, and on Orabelle—our Beauty—who is violently uprooted from her village home and forced to join the War under his command.

A four chapter excerpt can now be found at the provided link below, giving you—dear readers—the opportunity to get a taste of the story and characters and add your own comments and ratings! It also includes a preview of the official licensed cover as well.

I look forward to your feedback.

READ THE EXCERPT HERE.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Another Dragon Down!

Or, maybe he's just wounded. I still have 2/3rds of the book left to write to actually complete Ella and Alaric's story. Still, despite a bit of floundering and some set-backs in daily word count goals, I got myself across the finish line in one piece with the first 50,000 words!

Now, I let the story set for a bit while I go back to finishing the final edit of Saving Beauty (The book where Alaric is first introduced as the young Boy King). That excerpt should be coming soon.

Chasing Cinders #NaNoWinner2015
No, I don't read my NaNoMail and I confess I don't read the pep talks either. No time! Gotta keep writing.

Onward!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Week Three (Conclusion) : NaNoWriMo 2015

More and more scenes are piling up in my head and I'm working to sort them out and put them in proper order. I've passed 35,000 words as of yesterday. The enemy is closing in and once again, sides are being chosen. A new danger will shape the kingdom of Asteriae for better or worse.

I'm excited to be able to dive into more of the history of the kingdom and to see a character who was hardly more than a boy in Saving Beauty become a man of destiny and purpose in Chasing Cinders through the power of a decades' old vision and promise.

The War may be over, but there are still monsters hiding in the darkness. And they won't hide forever.

I've had days where I've lost my momentum in my word count. Not for lack of ideas. There are always plenty of those. Life has a way of derailing the best of intentions and other times, the words just failed to materialize. Still writing, and so far the word count it holding strong! I'll continue writing this story after November is done, as 50,000 words hardly scratches the surface of all this story has to tell.

Revisiting old friends from Saving Beauty and discovering new ones. Time to go see what they have to tell me today. ;)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Week One (Conclusion) : NaNoWriMo 2015

Well, we are approaching the conclusion of week one of National Novel Writing Month. My Chasing Cinders novel is coming along at just over 16,000 words. I'm hoping to give myself another boost tomorrow at the write-in I am hosting to jump start week two!

I have been writing every chance I get. During breaks at work, in my head when I'm away from the computer or trying to sleep, typing away late into the evening (later than I should be up for a work-day night)....

I woke up this morning with several ideas of where I can go next in the story rolling around in my brain. As you may know, I am not the plot-and-outline kind of writer. I have an idea and I generally know a beginning and ending, but wherever it goes in the middle I won't know until I have written it. And sometimes the ending is altered based on that. Nothing is set in stone until the book is sent off to the printers.

I am discovering the characters just like meeting a stranger and becoming friends. I don't know them and I only get to know them by setting them into the scene and seeing what they do with it. Sometimes they react the way I would expect them to, and other times they surprise me.

As I discover them and get to know them, their conversations and reactions and motives begin to flow with ease through each new chapter, until I know what their response will be before it happens.

The best part about writing is getting to know my characters. It's discovering their deepest hurts and secret hopes; the things that make them smile even when they think they have nothing to smile about.

NaNoWriMo is all about blazing forward into a story and just writing, writing, writing. The editing stage comes later. For any of you fellow writers who have a story begging you to be told but you keep getting bogged down by the details, this is the perfect exercise for you. It's learning to let go of those pesky uncertainties and just push forward and get something down on paper. You can fix it later. You can rewrite it later. Even if you end up hating it as a whole, there is almost always a few gems that can be found inside and that puts you that much closer. When November ends, put it aside for awhile and then go back and read through it. You might surprise yourself!

See a preview of my project here and join me in the challenge if you like—It's not too late to get started! I should get back to writing now.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Day One : NaNoWriMo 2015

Well, it is day one here in NaNoWriMo land of 2015, and I am taking a short novel writing break to write this blog post. No, I will not be including this post in my daily word count. So, I'll keep it brief. Time is money—er, words, in this case.

I have a good start, coming on 4,000 words out of the needed 1,667 for the day.

The clock struck midnight and twenty minutes later I hit my first blockade when a character needed a name and I hadn't chosen one yet. Thankfully, this name didn't take two weeks to decide, unlike my main character who—though came onto the scene in Saving Beauty—only had a title to call him by. If this new character's name was that complicated to decide, I would have gone with Bob just to save myself the time.

No need. Five minutes later, I had a suitable name and continued writing. No more distractions except a few hours of much needed sleep and the time it took to grab breakfast this morning and write this blog post... and a couple rounds of the tile-based game Carcassonne.

Chasing Cinders (takes place a few years after Saving Beauty) is well into chapter five, now. Here is a look at the official front cover work so far (Still have a few finishing touches to add):



If you haven't had a chance and would like to see my daily progress as I work to complete the first 50,000 words of this novel in November, see my profile here and read a synopsis for the book. An excerpt should be posted there later this month, as well.

For now, back to writing.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Another November; A New Series

For the last few years I have been working on a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. The first scene came to my head and was scratched out on paper, not even taking up one single page. I didn't know where the story would go from that scene or even what the book was about. I left it alone for a time, and then picked it up again while out at the fairgrounds one sunny Sunday afternoon. A few more scenes later and I felt I had something to work with and somewhere to go. And "Saving Beauty" was born.

A few months later, I was invited to join a group of writers online who also participated in NaNoWriMo (That's "National Novel Writing Month") to produce 60 handwritten pages in the month of August. Just because. No prizes for the winners except bragging rights and the satisfaction of meeting the goal.

At the time, I was working at a place where most of the time I was standing still with nothing to do. In order to keep my brain from slipping into a fog, I would doodle or write on scraps of paper. Various things. Silly things. But it kept me occupied.

This challenge couldn't have come at a better time! So, I took to taking notebook paper with me and wrote Saving Beauty whenever I could. One handwritten word and sentence and paragraph at a time. 60 pages in one month. Even after the challenge, I kept writing longhand. It was relaxing and stimulating at the same time. You tend to think more decisively penning words on paper rather than typing on a computer. Pen can't be deleted.

A month or two later, I started transferring the pages to the computer.

Over the course of the last couple years, the 60 handwritten pages grew into a several hundred computer typed pages. I gave myself no deadline for completing the story. I wasn't in any rush. It was one of those stories I just enjoyed writing and knew it would get done when it was ready to be done.

Now that the Web of Time series is completed, I'm able to turn my focus to other things and Saving Beauty just begged for my attention. I opened up the document and was surprised by how far I was. It was time to finish. As new characters slipped in between the paragraphs, I knew that there was more to this than one book. There were more retellings to be written.

So a series was born. Stand alone novels, and yet connected by one kingdom and one realm. "Saving Beauty" will be available soon, as I am deep in the editing process now. Next, in November for NaNoWriMo, I'll be sharing the life and struggles of a young man who showed up in Saving Beauty and asked to have his own story told in "Chasing Cinders." How could I say no?

Join me in November when I'll share an excerpt for Saving Beauty and introduce Chasing Cinders!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Web of Time: The Final Installment

These last few months have been a whirlwind for me. I started a new job in March. I was maid-of-honor in a very best friend of mine's beach wedding in May (a chilly, foggy day but the weather held off for the lovely outdoor service). And.... drum roll please.... I have finished writing my Web of Time book series! Celebrate!

For those of you who hoped to read an excerpt, I apologize for the empty link as I have been working on a revised, 2nd Edition to books #1 and #2 (previously published). A new excerpt for Awaiting the Dawn (#1) will be available for your reading pleasure.

And finally, it's time for pre-orders! You can get a Limited Edition Gift Set that includes all 4 books and a themed journal and bookmark book-quote charm (while supplies last!) or pre-order each individual book HERE.

"Time-traveler Kate McKinley travels across time in search of her home and family. What she discovers along her journey is faith, friends, and love. And courage to face the darkness and awaken to her true destiny."

I'm so excited to share Kate's story with you... Check it out! The Final Installment is complete!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

We Are the Heroes of Every Day

I was sitting in the movie theatre the other night with some friends. Opening night.. or pre-opening night? The theatre was packed to capacity. There was excitement and anticipation. The teenagers were hyper and enthusiastic. The popcorn was being eagerly devoured while everyone waited for the screen to light up. And there were cheers when it did and the opening soundtrack began.

I wondered for a moment about how eager people are for adventure. For imagination. To find a place where they can leave reality at the door for a few hours and immerse their minds in a fantasy. In a story that we all know isn't real, and yet affects us and pulls us in anyway.

But telling a story is more than that. At least, it is to me.

I reached a point growing up where I grew tired of the same stories recycled over and over again. I got tired of those fake worlds with ideas written in the sky; in places where we don't live. We lose ourselves in that world only to come back down to earth afterward and wonder what it was all for. A momentary thrill of "if only" and "what if"? I searched for something different.

Do you know what I love about a story? It's the truth inside the lie. It's discovering meaning inside the struggle.

Our battles aren't nearly so elaborate as the screen depicts. They aren't so epic and rarely does the world watch us as if the whole universe hangs in the balance and we are its heroes. Rarely does the world see or care about our real battles. The ones inside us. The mundane battles we face in our daily lives. But I have to believe they are just as meaningful.

Because of the Master Storyteller behind our reality. It's where the fabric for our stories come from. Stories of good and evil. Stories of courage and hope. That somehow, no matter how bad things look, it will all be good in the end. It will be worth it.

We all experience loss and thunder storms in life. We all experience the long awaited Summer sun after a long Winter.

I hope we can remember not to get so lost in someone else's daydream—in the fictional heroes—that we forget the importance of our own heroic life's journey. That we can be heroes every day. There IS a story going on that we are a part of and it is an important one.

I believe a writer isn't just a dreamer. I believe the writer sees the unseen—the inner hero, the battles in the soul—and we take that and tell a story in hopes of revealing that truth to others. The ones who can tell that, and tell it well, are the stories I want to see. The ones that encourage and uplift. To remind someone to be brave. To never give up. And that we are never truly alone. That life has purpose.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Edits!

Well, I've done it at last. Completed my first edit of Web of Time: When Shadows Gather, the third book in the Web of Time series. Now, I turn my attention back to book four, pulling up the manuscript from the NaNoWriMo clutter of this past November.

Editing isn't always the worst thing to being a writer. Some people enjoy it, some people don't. I fall somewhere in the middle. Despite its challenges, I do find it strangely therapeutic to mark up the manuscript pages with a red (or blue, or whatever color I can find at the time) pen. I don't enjoy fixing grammar or punctuation. If I could leave that to someone else and ignore that aspect entirely, I would do it gladly. However, I *do* enjoy rearranging scenes and dialogue to make it better.

These next couple months will be busy ones for me as I prepare to release the new Web of Time book cover series along with the final two books of the series. I will be sure to post when and where you can preorder your copies, so keep an eye out!


Friday, January 9, 2015

Captain's Toy Box

I hope everyone is having a good start to the New Year. I thought I'd take a break from my writing/author posts to share a little about life with my Captain buddy.

My Bengal-mix cat, picked up as a stray by my cousin in the dead of winter after nearly being run over by a truck at 8 weeks, has an (perhaps) unhealthy obsession with hairbands.

He can sniff out one of my hairbands from a mile away like a well-trained bloodhound and I have too often caught him digging through my shower bag or my suitcase or investigating my bathroom shelf or bedside table in search of yet another hairband. No matter where I have one, even if it's a top shelf out of his reach, he knows and he dedicates all his effort to reaching it. I don't know where he stashes them once he has them, but by this point I am certain he has more hairbands than I do.

He has a few other toys, as all pets must. A "mousy" (also missing wherever the hairbands went) has been his favorite choice since kitten-hood. I could call it by name and he'd go running to fetch it and bring it to me—picking it out of all his other toys. And so, when he was a kitten (He is now just over 1 year old) I took an empty cardboard produce box to hold all his treasures.

Among these: A stuffed turtle (technically a dog toy, but he likes the squeaker inside), a small stuffed horse (tossed it out of a box to put in a "get rid of pile" while sorting one day and Captain grabbed it up and declared it "his" ... so it stayed), a few hairbands he's managed not to lose...yet, a stretchy rubber ball with "tentacles" on it for easy carrying, and a small plastic spoon (yeah, he was quite captivated by that one, believe it or not).

But, alas, his favorite game is "fetch" with a hairband.

"Where's your hairband? Go get your hairband and I'll play with you."

He absolutely lights up. His eyes go wide and he perks up with excitement.

Yes, I sometimes suffer some battle wounds while playing this game… but his joy is worth the occasional blood loss when he forgets and grabs my hand instead of the hairband—and I've neglected to trim his claws. Ouch.

He's always in motion, so it's difficult to get a good photo of his games, but I managed tonight (unfortunately in poor lighting as well) to get a little preview of his antics:

"Here you go, Mom... Time to play fetch"

Now... back to writing.