Scene Stealing: Making Sure Women in Fiction Aren’t Robbed of Awesome Moments

Note: Includes spoilers for Rogue One, Moana, Wonder Woman, and Snow White (if it’s possible to spoil an 80-year old movie)

As someone who primarily features women as my protagonists, I try to be conscious of how I represent my characters in stories. I also strive to learn lessons from other stories and to see what they do well or not so well.

Something that is unfortunately too common in fiction featuring a woman as the protagonist is a male supporting character who “steals” important moments from the lead character. Many Disney films, especially the early ones, are examples of this. In Snow White, the title character is rendered unconscious by a poisoned apple, then is uninvolved in the entire climax of the film. Instead of Snow White getting to have a final confrontation with the Queen, the villain dies after being pursued by the dwarves and she relies on a prince to revive her from her poisoned state. I realize that the story is somewhat beholden to the source material, but I would much rather see Snow White get the chance to defeat the Queen by herself. Another far more recent movie that is guilty of this is Rogue One. In the final moments of the movie, the protagonist Jyn Erso is confronted by the main antagonist. However, instead of letting Jyn figure out how to resolve the conflict on her own, Cassian gets the kill for himself. In either of these cases, it would be much more satisfying if the main protagonist had the opportunity to deal with their antagonist once and for all.

Two recent films that have handled this well are Wonder Woman and Moana. In each of those movies, there is a male sidekick who gets his own moments of awesome, but he never takes anything away from the lead. Wonder Woman faces Ares, the main antagonist, while Steve Trevor deals with a secondary protagonist in his own heroic way. In Moana, while Maui helps Moana get to Te Fiti’s island, Moana is the one who confronts Te Ka, then resolves the conflict with kindness rather than violence.  In both of these examples, while the sidekick still has the opportunity to shine, the protagonist is the character who resolves the climax. This creates a much more satisfying ending since the lead is directly responsible for ending the main conflict in the story.

What are some example of stories where a woman protagonist hasn’t gotten the final confrontation she deserved? Do you have any favorite examples of stories that have done this well? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Book Review – In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce

In the Hand of the Goddess is the second book in the Song of the Lioness series. You can read my review of the first book, Alanna: The First Adventure, here.

Spoiler-Free Synopsis

Still disguised as a boy, Alanna becomes a squire to none other than the prince of the realm. Prince Jonathan is not only Alanna’s liege lord, he is also her best friend—and one of the few who knows the secret of her true identity. But when a mysterious sorcerer threatens the prince’s life, it will take all of Alanna’s skill, strength, and magical power to protect him—even at the risk of revealing who she really is…

What I Liked

As the second book in the Song of the Lionness series, In the Hand of the Goddess does a great job of moving the story and the character of Alanna forward. On her way to becoming a knight, she continues her growth into a capable young woman. From going into battle alongside Prince Jonathan to the final confrontation with the antagonist, Alanna is constantly challenged to push herself to face new threats. One area where I think this book is better than the first is that the overall antagonist is clear from the beginning and is an ever-present force in the book. This helps make the climax of the central conflict of the book more satisfying than in the first novel.

Tamora Pierce also continues to touch on themes that I think young people will find relatable. Alanna is faced with stirring romantic feelings that complicate her relationships with two of her male friends. While both of them are aware that she is a woman, she struggles with how to manage her private feelings while maintaining the public image of a young man. Alanna sees romantic attachment as a barrier to her dream of being a knight, yet she finds it difficult to repress her feelings. She also does not want to push her friends away. This inner character conflict provides a good parallel arc to the central conflict against the antagonist

As before, the writing is fast and light. It was the perfect book to settle into after a long day.

What I Didn’t Like

I don’t really have any complaints about this entry in the series. In the previous entry, I found the writing to be a bit simplistic, but it has matured in this second entry. I appreciate that the writing ages along with Alanna.

Verdict

If you’ve read and enjoyed Alanna: The First Adventure, I highly recommend picking up In the Hand of the Goddess. This second book improves upon the first and carries both the story and Alanna forward in interesting directions.

You can find In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce here on Amazon.

Book Review – Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

Over the holiday break, I was looking for a fantasy novel that was a bit on the lighter side and my fiancee suggested that I check out Tamora Pierce’s books. I started with Alanna: The First Adventure and am quite glad that I gave it a shot.

Spoiler-Free Synopsis

Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Disguised as a girl, Thom heads for the convent; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page. But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies. Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna’s first adventure begins—one that will lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and make her a legend in the land.

What I Liked

Alanna is a very compelling young protagonist. She is courageous, clever, and tenacious. I also enjoy the relationships that Alanna develops with the boys who are training alongside her and the people that serve as teachers and mentors. In particular, her friendships with Prince Jonathon and a criminal leader named George are well-developed and seem to set up a possible romantic conflict in later books.

Tamora Pierce also touches on some excellent themes that would likely resonate with the middle-grade target audience. One of the early conflicts centers around Alanna’s experience with a bully and how she deals with him. It’s not a grand battle between epic warriors. Instead, it’s a very real conflict that too many young people face in real life. Along with bullying, Alanna also deals with the challenges of finding her place in the world and doubting herself. At times, she wonders if she can succeed as a knight as a girl. Pierce navigates these themes in a way that I think girls and young women would enjoy.

The writing is also very fast and light. The plot kept moving, never getting bogged down in unnecessary details. I easily blew through it in a couple of hours of total reading time.

What I Didn’t Like

There isn’t much that I don’t like about this book. The only issue I have is that the writing and some of the characterizations are a bit too light and simplistic, even though it made for a quick read. I prefer a bit more complexity and depth to plots and characters. However, that is probably just because I’m older than the target audience. The book seems to be aimed at a middle-grade to young adult audience, so I think a young reader would really enjoy it.

Verdict

I really enjoyed reading Alanna: The First Adventure and definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a fun and fast read. I especially recommend it for younger readers because of the light writing style and the themes that girls and young women would likely relate to. If this sounds like something you or a young reader you know would enjoy, definitely check it out.

You can find Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce here on Amazon.

Author Interview with Rollan Wengert

Today, I present an interview with Rollan Wengert, author of a number of Caveat Ties, Soul Shocked, and the upcoming Zaide.

1. First, tell me a bit about yourself. What would you like readers to know about you?

I live in Tea, SD with my wife, Maria, and three rowdy boys (and a foreign exchange student for much of the year). I currently work at a boys residential treatment facility, but have always been passionate about writing. As a kid, I spent hours in my room typing stories. Stories of all kinds. Stories that were never finished. Then, I grew up. Hints flowed, that maybe, I ought to choose a ‘realistic’ career path. So, I did what any confused teen would do: joined the army. Four Army and another four college years later, he began writing again. I eventually self-published two novels: Caveat Ties and Soul Shocked. And I have another one coming out on January 27th, Zaide Mozart’s Lost Opera. I’ve been getting good reception with this novel, including an endorsement from Isaac Selya, conductor of Queen City Opera in Cincinnati. I’m excited for it to come out.

2. Can you tell me about your current project, Zaide? What drew to the work of Mozart?

Yes. Zaide is an opera Mozart began at a dark place in his life. His mother died, he failed to find employment, and his love dumped him. I was drawn to the opera after hearing a beautiful aria (Ruhe Sanft). When I first heard it, I had to know its context. Then, I learned that is came from an opera he had never finished, and this song was never performed in his lifetime. A bit depressing. It made me wonder how many other works of art have been set aside by their creators, only to never be discovered. Lucky, for us, Mozart’s wife kept the songs from Zaide. And, as I researched it, I discovered this opera speaks perfectly to Young Adults, and I wanted them to discover it. Sure, I could simply tell them to go watch it somewhere, not sure many would actually do it, so I thought, why not turn it into a novel.

What drew me to Mozart in general? When I was first digging deep into my writing, I wanted some background music while I wrote, but I didn’t want anything with words. After the birth of our first son, we’d been given a Mozart CD. I listened to it while writing, as I listened deeply, I began to hear an emotional complexity most songs don’t carry. And, the more songs I discovered, the more I could sense this man was a genius of unspeakable talent… In spite of being kind of an awkward social personality….

3. Your books seem to cover a variety of genres and subjects. What drives your desire to write in these different areas?

I tend to be a man of concepts. I love ideas. I strive to do things different. So many different ideas pop into my head, and I tell myself that would make a great story. In turn, I stew over the best way to tell it (or, the way I believe would be the best way to tell it.) Many times, this incorporates elements from various genres, and often leaves my stories hard to categorize. In addition, I tend to hear the ‘shouldn’t’ rules of storytelling, and say, “How can I make that work?” Whether it works or not… We’ll see if my experimentation has staying power.

4. Where do you find inspiration for the stories you create?

My head is just full of ideas… I don’t really have a good answer as to where they come from.

5. How do you feel you’ve evolved as a writer as you’ve progressed in your career?

Ernest Hemingway once said that most of what he writes is crap (he used a harsher word). I’ve learned to let myself understand that. Yes, sure sometimes I have to write something, because it needs to be done. But, I’ve also learned to be honest with myself, and say “this is no good.” (Perhaps, I’m overly critical…) And, either start over, or go on to a different project. Thus, I’ve got gobs of unfinished novels and shorts stories sitting in my drives. Perhaps, I’ve abandoned some before I should have. Sure, some of these projects I do plan on coming back to, because I think I’ve gained some skills to bring them where they need to be. This is not to say, I’ve somehow arrived, but I do see that I have improved.

6. Do you have a process for developing your characters?

I don’t really have process. Sometimes, I try a bit of method writing, where I act as if I am the character. Or, at times, I try to think of someone I know from real life who is similar to the character, and ask myself what this person would do in certain situations.

7. How did you discover your love of writing?

I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. But hints that I should find a real job, led me to the Army. My writing passion faded, until I went to college, where professors told me I was pretty good at writing. This passion was reinvigorated in me. So, I began striking the keys. All-in-all, I’ve got pretty eclectic interests (which is a good trait to have if one want to be a writer), and could see myself doing a number of jobs as a career, but the only job I’ve ever truly wanted is to be a novelist.

8. What is your favorite part of being a writer?

Exploring ideas. I love ideas. I love seeing where thoughts will take me, and love it when they take me amazing places I hadn’t expected.

9. What is your greatest challenge as a writer?

Discipline. Just hunkering down to knock out the meat of the writing. Sure, it’s fun to quickly spew out ideas, but to fill in every paragraph, and clean up sentence structure… That takes work to get myself to do. In addition, I’m horrid at finding obvious mistakes in my own writing. I keep reading words as they’re supposed to be instead as they actually are.

10. How do you find inspiration and motivation to write when you feel stuck?

From time to time, I’ll slap myself (sort of kidding). Other times, I’ll focus on certain music (usually Mozart). Or, at times I will read a bad book or watch critics tear apart a terrible movie. I don’t know if it is very nice, but sometimes I arrogantly tell myself, “If those writers can be successful doing it, why can’t I?” It kind of makes me want to fight for my writing.

11. What’s your favorite way to take a break from writing?

I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube critics lately, perhaps too many. I also love playing board games. And, good old manly construction and woodworking projects often stir out some good thinking.

12. What’s one piece of advice that you would give to aspiring or new authors?

As I’ve read author upon author, many of whom offer contradictory advice, there is only one piece of consistent information I have gleaned. READ a lot and WRITE a lot. No other bit of advice have I ever found that has been more helpful than these two steps.

To learn more about Rollan and his work, you can check out the places below:

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Twitter: @CaveatTies
Instagram: CaveatTies

Exploring the World of Storm Raven: The Stalsta Federation

As the release date of Storm Raven approaches, I’m continuing a series of short posts on various parts of the world in which the book takes place. This fourth and final entry is about the Stalsta Federation. You can also read the previous one about the Cambisian Empire.

The Stalsta Federation is a rising nation in the world of Storm Raven. Just a few decades before the events of Storm Raven, the Federation did not exist. Instead, there were just a number of island nations, loosely related by a shared ancestry and culture. However, that all changed with the rise of a charismatic and ambitious Foreign Minister within Stalsta, the most powerful of those nations. This minister convinced the other nations that they needed to band together for strength and protection. The Federation invested heavily in developing its industry and reforming its military. Within a few years, newly born Stalsta Federation surged to power and began to rival the nearby Cambisian Empire.

Of course, the rise of a new strong nation did not go unnoticed by the Cambisian Empire. It was not long before the two nations came into conflict. A major war erupted over control of the rich mines on the western edge of the Cambisian mainland. Each side blamed the other for the war. The Staltans claimed that it was the rightful property of a nation that wanted to join the Federation. The Cambisians accused the Stalstans of making an incursion into Cambisian territory and threatening the Empire. While the war ended with the Empire seizing control of the mines, tensions remain high between the two nations and it seems inevitable that war will break out between them again.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you’ve enjoyed these pieces on the world of Storm Raven.

If you’d like to learn more about Storm Raven or pre-order it, you can do that here.

Exploring the World of Storm Raven: The Cambisian Empire

As the release date of Storm Raven approaches, I’m continuing a series of short posts on various parts of the world in which the book takes place. This third entry is about the mighty Cambisian Empire. You can also read the previous one about the Shattered Sea.

The Cambisian Empire is the dominant nation in the world of Storm Raven. It occupies the northern half of its continent, separated from the southern nations by the expansive Bosarazi Desert. With a large population and access to a wealth of resources, the Empire has a prosperous economy. However, the size of the nation presents a challenge when it comes to keeping order and defending from foreign threats. Internally, society is highly stratified. The nobility and wealthy merchants enjoy an opulent lifestyle, while most of the population labors in the fields and factories with little hope of moving to something better. In the capital of Manisa, there is a literal wall between the upper class and the rest of the city. Those at the top enjoy their luxury but have no interest in knowing the human cost.

The Empire’s main rival in the region is the Stalsta Confederation. That nation is the focus of the next piece, so I won’t go too much into detail about it. However, several years before the events of Storm Raven, there was a very bloody war between the two nations. Each side claims the other caused it and it is difficult for historians to determine the true cause. The end result was that the Empire claimed a valuable mining complex in the western portion of the continent and expelled the Confederation from the continent entirely. The Empire has turned this mine into a large prison facility where they send most criminals, deserters, and prisoners of war. The resources from this mine have helped fuel an economic boom in the Empire, as they invest in building up their cities and expand the military. This growth has left those at the bottom in the dust and the peasants and workers are growing resentful of those that are exploiting them. Nobody has dared rise up yet, but there are rumors that something is brewing.

Thanks for stopping by! Next time, we’ll take a look at the Stalsta Confederation.

If you’d like to learn more about Storm Raven or pre-order it, you can do that here.

Exploring the World of Storm Raven: The Shattered Sea

As the release date of Storm Raven approaches, I’m continuing a series of short posts on various parts of the world in which the book takes place. This second entry is about the Shattered Sea. You can also read that previous one about Freyport.

The Shattered Sea an expanse of thousands of islands north of the main continent.  These islands are broken up by narrow and treacherous channels that only a skilled crew can handle. The islands themselves look like shards of glass from a window that’s been smashed. As dangerous as the Shattered Sea might be, there are still those who call it home. The islands are dotted with villages populated by hardy and self-reliant people. However, the Cambisian Empire has taken an interest in the area, and those who defend themselves earn the label of “marauder.” Due to the hazardous sailing conditions and the hostile local population, sailors and soldiers are sent on missions to the Shattered Sea as punishment for various offenses, though they can also volunteer to earn favor with their superiors.

There are many stories and legends about how the Shattered Sea came to be. Some believe that a massive volcano erupted and created all of the islands. Other traditions say that a giant smashed his fist onto the world, breaking a continent that had been there. The most common belief is that it came from the wrath of the gods. Many years ago, humans had been gifted with some of the power that the gods had enjoyed. However, they squandered the gift and greedily pursued more and more. Due to humanity’s inability to restrain itself, the gods punished the world by taking back their gift and smashing half of a continent as an eternal reminder.

For one version of the story of how the sea was created, you can read The Legend of Corina and the Shattered Sea.

Also, if you’d like to learn more about Storm Raven or pre-order it, you can do that here.

Thanks for stopping by! Next time, we’ll take a look at the Cambisian Empire.

Exploring the World of Storm Raven: Freyport

As the release date of Storm Raven approaches, I’m launching a series of short posts on various parts of the world in which the book takes place. This first entry is about the island city of Freyport.

Freyport is in a unique political situation. It is located roughly equidistant from the Stalsta Federation and the Cambisian Empire. Because of that position, both nations lay claim to the city and the island that it occupies. Both the Empire and the Federation demand that Freyport pay its fair share of taxes. However, the council that runs the city manages to keep each of them satisfied with just half of the requested amount. Neither nation wants to risk war with the other by showing up in force to collect the full tax amount or to enforce any other laws.

Because of this hands-off approach by the two large nations, Freyport has become a haven for pirates and other outlaws. As long as the governing council gets their cut, they don’t much care where the money comes from. While the Storm Raven is Nereyda’s true home, Freyport is the closest she has to a stationary home. It’s the place she and her crew go to offload whatever they take in raids, restock for the next trip, and rest after an adventure. It’s also a place where rivalries with other pirates ships sometimes create conflict.

For an example of how that conflict plays out, you can check out a short story from earlier this year, where Nereyda prevents another pirate crew from kidnapping a girl. You can read it here!

Also, if you’d like to learn more about Storm Raven or pre-order it, you can do that here.

Thanks for stopping by! Next week, we’ll take a look at the Shattered Sea.

Author Interview with Sarah J. Pepper

Today, I present an interview with Sarah J. Pepper, author of a number of books including the Twisted Fairytale Confessions series, the Never Ever series, and the Fate Trilogy.

1. First, tell me a bit about yourself. What would you like readers to know about you?

Well, I’m an unforgiveable coffee junkie. My favorite time is best spent in a bubble bath with a good book or Netflix. I have a serious addiction to Amazon “one click.” I’m hopelessly in love with my high-school sweetheart. Oh, and I plot your death if you p*ss me off 😉 So yeah, did I mention I have a bit of a dark side?

2. Can you tell me about your current project?

Right now I’m getting ready to release Forever Cursed, book #2 of the Never Ever Series. It is a spin-off of your favorite fairytale Peter Pan. But in my series, the Captain and Miss Bell demand the attention.

3. What drew you to writing in the fantasy genre?

I’ve always been a bit of a weirdo. I nerded out watching Star Trek and Disney movies when I was a wee lady. Now that I’m grown when I am trying to do the adulting, I find myself in alternate realities. #badatadulting

4. Where do you find inspiration for the stories you create?

Unmmm. In my head. Leave me alone for any amount of time and I’m plotting. The great burden of a short attention-span.

5. Your books include some modernized takes on fairy tales. How do you pick which stories to use? What do you like most about putting a twist on a classic story?

The stories pick me. I really wanted to write a Beauty and Beast spinoff this fall but my dear sweet and ever sassy Miss Bell demanded my attention.

6. How do you feel you’ve evolved as a writer as you’ve progressed in your career?

I’m known for dark and twisted scenes… but I personally think I am simply writing hot romance. So maybe that says more about my perception of life.

7. Do you have a process for developing your characters?

I focus more on character realistic reaction. The attitude and personality tend to follow. Though, I never expected Snow White in my Snow White Lies to be a drug dealer. See, even I am surprised with how my stories play out.

8. How did you discover your love of writing?

Honestly? My hate for shoveling the driveway. My hubby was working and Mother N dumped on us big time. So when I couldn’t take the dropping temps anymore, I decided to get the feeling back in my fingertips by writing…

9. What is your favorite part of being a writer?

Falling in love. I am an absolute hopeless romantic. And I love to take the feels (both good and bad) that my real life Prince charming gives me and put that to paper.

10. What is your greatest challenge as a writer?

Spelling. Yeah, it’s terrible.

11. How do you find inspiration and motivation to write when you feel stuck?

I do anything else. Forcing it has never worked for me so I simply do something else I love. And I get into a lot of things. Snowboarding. Gardening. Biking. Pinterest projects. Eating cookie dough. Or getting in some much needed time with Amazon One Click.

12. What’s your favorite way to take a break from writing?

Marathons on Netflix.

13. What’s one piece of advice that you would give to aspiring or new authors?

Don’t let your shortcomings be your destiny. I’m a terrible speller and the grammar isn’t so good either. But that’s what editors are for, right?

To learn more about Sarah and her work, you can check out these links:
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Interview with Author Kale Lawrence

 

Today, I present an interview with Kale Lawrence, author of the Alex in Wunderstrande series. She also created the cover for my novel, Storm Raven.

1. First, tell me a bit about yourself. What would you like readers to know about you?

That I’m weird. 😛 But in all reality, I have quite a diverse career background, spanning from working at Disney World to working in the broadcasting industry to marketing, and even as a receptionist at a rock and roll academy. One thing has remained constant, though, and that is my love of telling a good story.

2. Can you tell me about your current project?

Currently, I’m working on writing the Alex in Wunderstrande series. Book one, Alex in Wunderstrande: The Clairvoyance Clock, is published, but I’m working through book 2, which is called Alex in Wunderstrande: The Pulsar Collective. The series as a whole can be described as a steampunk-infused science fiction adventure, inspired by the classical works of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells. It’s definitely something I’ve never read before, so I’m hoping steampunk fans, as well as those unfamiliar with the genre, are intrigued by it.

3. You’ve described your Alex in Wunderstande series as Steampunk. What drew you to that genre?

I’m totally captivated by the idea of an “alternative history” driven by industrial imagery and motifs. There’s just something about the Victorian era that’s beautiful, yet raw and gritty. Steampunk is all about going against the grain of traditionalism, and in modern literature, has become something of a hybrid-genre as it often collides with others like fantasy, horror, and so on. I’m also totally obsessed–to the point of absurdity–with gears and airships.

4. Where do you find inspiration for the stories you create?

Inspiration for this story in particular came from a concoction of things, a perfect mix of elements in the right moment of my life. I had been listening to “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap and “This is War” by 30 Seconds to Mars on repeat. The messages and feelings those songs evoked really inspired the “feel” of the story, where the happenings were crafted by where I was emotionally at that time of my life. I didn’t even realize I had such terrible trust issues until after I finished the book. Writing is therapy, right?

5. How do you feel you’ve evolved as a writer as you’ve progressed in your career?

I’ve been through a lot of careers, each one pushing my writing abilities to the next level. Much growth has come out of the last couple years in the marketing industry. I write for a variety of companies across a large spectrum of verticals, meaning I have to shift my perspective and voice a lot. Another perk is being impactful in a short time span in order to catch the attention of consumers. So, to those points, I’ve refined my writing.

6. Do you have a process for developing your characters?

Not really; they sort of come to me, sometimes even as I’m writing. I do have a method of mapping out their traits, though, because once you start adding in a whole horde of them, it’s easy to get confused.
Sometimes, people will ask me if I write them into my stories. Simple answer: no. More complicated answer: I take aspects of people I know or meet and incorporate them into a character. Some characters are vaguely inspired by certain people, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say they are entirely based off someone.

7. How did you discover your love of writing?

I’ve been writing since I first learned how to write. I remember asking my mom how to spell “tomorrow” when I was 5 because I needed that in the little booklet I was writing. My first story consisted of a “big, big fly” that took over a house. A few years later, I really wanted an American Girl doll, but didn’t have enough allowance saved up. So, I wrote my own stories about my un-American Girl doll and made her a star in her own right.

8. What is your favorite part of being a writer?

I get to be evil to fictional characters. Mwhaha! All joking aside, I love being able to creatively unwind from a stressful day and fall into the dreamworld of my imagination. To me, there’s nothing more refreshing. Except swimming. Or a Coke Zero. Okay, for real, though. Writing is pretty refreshing.

9. What is your greatest challenge as a writer?

Writer’s block is frustrating, but even more than that is how many times you have to edit and perfect your work. No story is perfectly told the first time, so editing is a must. Just because you have edited your story and read through it 20 times over does not mean you caught everything. Believe me, I’m living proof.

10. How do you find inspiration and motivation to write when you feel stuck?

Sometimes, just the ability to step away from a project for a bit and come back to it is the break you need. For me, I love putting on an inspiring musical playlist and walk in the woods. Doing this mentally unlocks the writer’s block, and I’m able to explore creativity once more.

11. What’s your favorite way to take a break from writing?

I love swimming and dancing. Incorporating physical activity into a routine can get those endorphins flowing and put you in the right mindset to write. Aside from working out, going to movies and theatre shows are another pastime of mine. I think my love of theatre arts shines through in Alex in Wunderstrande.

12. What’s one piece of advice that you would give to aspiring or new authors?

Don’t let a couple negative reviews or mean comments on social media get you down. Your work is going to make a difference in someone’s life someday. Don’t ever be moved by someone unable to move themselves. Essentially, let the words of the fool fall on deaf ears.

13. Aside from being an author, you’re also an outstanding cover artist. What do you enjoy most about doing covers? How does being an author complement your talent as an artist and vice versa?

Why, thank you! I quite enjoy being able to paint pictures with words and graphic art. Between the two mediums, there are similarities in that you’re trying to get a point across as well as leave the reader/viewer with a lasting impression.

To learn more about Kale and her work, you can check out these links:

Website
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Alex in Wunderstrande: The Clairvoyance Clock on Amazon