NaNoWriMo + Giveaway Announcement

Saturday, November 7, 2015

   So it begins...

   All of the crazed writer-folk are bricked up in their various hideouts, scribbling away the hours and days. It is most likely that these poor people are living off of bread crumbs, chocolate, & copious amounts of coffee. Their friends and family probably don't quite comprehend the illness their loved one is experiencing... They might not understand the large sign on the door that says, "KEEP OUT! (Or I'll create a character off of you & kill them off...)" And needless to say, they might find it odd that the said invalid is speaking to his or herself & unable to concentrate on normal, everyday things.

   It is National Novel Writing Month, people. 

    Hello, lovely people! I am currently freaking out because NaNoWriMo has finally begun!! *squeeeeee* I'm really excited & sort of completely unprepared, but it's all good. All is fair is love and & writing... Or something like that?
   So, to help keep my little writing-motor warm, I decided to join Cait & Sky's linkup: Beautiful Books! Please forgive me for not having a lot of sneaky details on my NaNo Novel at this time... I intended on having a fully-developed plot & a plethora of character sketches by now, but alas! I am still exploring the possibilities. (Yep... I'm at 10.5K & still exploring.) Maybe this linkup will help me?? Who knows... Weirder things have happened!

   Anywho... To start this post off, here is the cover-art for this year's novel!

   Do you like it?? The Time-Keeper's Apprentice is going to be the first book of (hopefully) a trilogy! It is a slightly steampunkish fantasy, focusing on a 15-year-old boy named Oliver, who, as you might have guessed, is the Time-Keeper's Apprentice. 
   The entire trilogy, however, is the Gathering Place Trilogy. This is because all of the stories will revolve around a central meeting/gathering at a specific place and time of the year. It's gonna be cool! Just saying...

   Now for the questions! 

1. How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

   Umm... I've had the idea for a week? Yeah, not long. It was one of those mind-bomb moments & I said, "Hey, I could totally make a trilogy from this!"
   The very very very beginning of the idea started several months ago, when my dad saw a sign for a local house to rent for tea-parties or socials. It was called "The Gathering Place." He told me that it would make an awesome name for a story someday. And then the wheels began to turn. How would I use that?
   Finally, it came to me during my family's morning Bible-study last week! We were reading about Paul visiting Athens, and how all of the Greeks would meet in a central place to share wisdom, solve problems, and discuss new things. If you do much study on Athens, you quickly realize that the people were known for their wisdom & intelligence. Ahaaa!! Bingo! The Gathering Place is a central city where the people meet to solve problems in a council! Maybe the council sends someone on a journey? To do something cool, and maybe save the world??
   From there, my brain wandered & added fantasy/steampunk to the mix. Okay... What three books titles could I do with this mixture? Hmmm... Well, steampunk = cogs, wheels, springs... Oh, clocks! I like clocks! Clocks are cool! Clocks + Adventure + Young Protagonist + Old Mentor = Time. 

   Then The Time-Keeper's Apprentice happened.

   The way my brain works is strange.

2. Why are you excited to write this novel?

   I am excited about this because it is the first fantasy story I have attempted in years. Years. I had a major fail with a allegorical-fantasy several years ago that crashed & burned. I have not opened that Word document in forever, because... Ew... 
   To make a long story short, there were too many characters, too little plot, not enough conflict, far too preachy, and just not fresh & interesting because it was basically a precise retelling of the death & resurrection of Jesus. 

   The characters just had different names. 

   And it was a medieval-fantasy. 

   Yeah... Not my best attempt. Although, it was one of my first attempts, so I give myself points for effort! The issue was it just wasn't an original way to tell the story & I didn't know a lot of the things I know now about the importance of plot & being subtle with my undertones. 
   Sharing a message is great!! I always look for good messages in the books I read. But you have to share the message gently & not be so obvious that the tale isn't interesting. If you can predict what is coming next, it's not original. 

   That being said, I am excited to give Fantasy another chance. Plus, steampunk is cool!

3. What is your novel about, and what is the title?

   I sorta gave some of that away already, but the basic idea is about a 15-year-old apprentice named Oliver. He proves himself ready for joining his Master & mentor at the Gathering that year, to listen to the discussions & help solve problems. After several events, it is decided that Oliver will go on a long journey with some companions to........ Do something really important. (I haven't figured it all out yet, okay? But it's coming! I still have time! *procrastinates a week in*)

4. Sum up your characters in one word each. (Feel free to add pictures!)

(I'm breaking the rules & giving more than a word!! Hehehe... I'm such a rebel.) 

Oliver Widdlesworth, (the protagonist,) is curious, determined, and trustworthy. As I am writing him, he is turning into a little fireball of attitude and temper? But he desperately wants to better himself, so I forgive him for that. He wants to learn all of the things! His primary role model is his teacher, Master Kearney, whom he hopes to make proud one day. While he enjoys fixing/building clocks, he discovers that he can enjoy reading his Master's library of ancient books and scrolls on the world's history. 

       Master Elias Kearney, (the mentor,) is wise, warm, and young at heart. He is referred to, (by an old friend,) to be the greatest man in the world. But he is too humble to believe it. He brings out the best in Oliver and is in constant teacher-mode. He believes that there is some good in everyone, and he is in his element when he is helping them bring it out. He has a deep friendship with Captain Crane, and they hold many secrets between them.

   Captain Thaddeus Crane, (the secretive,) is a high-spirited, generous, quick-tempered fellow. He is the captain of an Airship and the father of an 18-year-old boy named Westly, whom he affectionately calls, "West." His kindness and fondness for his family & friends is obvious, but deep down he has many hidden secrets and wounds. He is Master Kearney's long-lost friend from the NewHaven Academy of Future Leaders, and they meet for the first time in 15 years near the beginning of the story. He constantly worries for his son, who has not had a polished education & known anything other than sailing, but he sometimes shows it in rough ways.

  Westly Cannon Crane, (the muscle,) is courageous, lonely, and stubborn. He is the son of a Sky Sailor, and his dream is to sail along with him forever. He has little formal education, because he traveled with his father after his mother died. In the beginning, he and Oliver do not get along with each other at all. Oliver finds him too rude & blunt, while Westly finds Oliver narrow-minded & proud. Because his father worries about him, he ends up being stuck with Oliver & Kearney for a time, and the two boys have to learn to get along. While he is angry at the situation, he does love his father, but he has difficulty showing how he feels.

   Talitha Gwyndel Breen, (the voice of reason,) is gentle, wise for her age, and sisterly. She naturally fits into a sisterly figure for Oliver, being older than him, and ends up being a voice of reason when Master Kearney is away. While she is willing to help and be useful, she can seem rather stiff and uncomfortable around people at first. She tends to think more than she acts, and is a major planner. She gets irritated by people who rush headfirst into situations, and has an unearthly fear of spiders. 

   Marie Derrit, (the nurturer,) is motherly, honest, and fretful. She practically raised Oliver, along with Kearney, & works as their housekeeper and cook. She is almost overly affectionate when it comes to Oliver, as she forgets that he is not a little child anymore. She accidentally embarrasses him nearly every day, but he forgives her for it. She cannot stand to lose sight of her precious charges, but she has to learn to part with boy & Master at the beginning of the story. Besides being loving & a good cook, she cannot stand illness. She keeps a cupboard full of medicines and cure-alls for Kearney and Oliver. She habitually frets over them, but the two men find that she is the mother that they both need.

(*These are the only ones I am positive of at the moment more soon to come!!*)

5. Which character(s) do you think will be your favorite to write? Tell us about them!

   Mmm... I have throughly enjoyed writing Marie. Sadly, she only has a small part, but she is so adorably precious! And cheerful! And hilarious!

6. What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?

   ...I am thinking that the plot is going to go in the way of a high-stakes journey. Probably in search of a cure, an answer, or help. I have several ideas for it, and I'm trying to sort out which ones I want in which book.
   He will probably be dealing with personal issues as well as a full-fledged antagonist.

7. Where is your novel set? (Show us pictures if you have them!)

   It's set in a fictional world, which is divided into separate regions, guided by Elders. There are soooo many settings, so I will just share a few...

 Kearney's Cottage

 Master Kearney's Study/Workshop

 The Central City/Capitol City

8. What is the most important relationship your character has?

   I think Oliver's most important relationship is with Master Kearney. He looks up to him so much, and all of his instinct for good things is derived from him. I think of his teacher as a moral compass for Oliver, as well as a fatherly figure.
   One of Kearney's biggest lessons he tries to teach Oliver, (both in the form of metaphor & in practical use for fixing clocks.)

"It's not the outside that is so important. A beautiful casing for a clock is fine and well, but if the inside is in bad condition, you have nothing but a useless & pretty thing. The inside is what matters most. Tend to the insides first, and the outside will come later.

9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

   Hopefully, he will truly take to heart the lessons his Master has taught him. While he understands the metaphor, he has to put the knowledge to action. He will learn that the heart of a person means more than their casing, and that mercy is strength.

10. What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?

   Friendship, family, mercy, understanding... I want people to feel that this story was meant for them! Like, if Oliver & them could have swapped places, the same outcome would have occurred. I want them to understand that we all have problems, but mercy, grace, and repentance are the answers. And that just like clocks, our heart is more important than our casing.

11. NaNoWriMo BONUS: Tell us your 3 best pieces of advice for others trying to write a book in a month.

   Keep a consistent writing schedule. It doesn't matter if it's only for five minutes before bed, you need to write something EVERYDAY. It keeps those creative juices flowing, and makes you feel like you accomplished something. 

   Participate in Word Wars/Writing Sprints. This is my first year to do it, but I have found that my word count SOARS when I do. It motivates you & gives a little friendly competitive edge. (Plus--WORDS!)

   Don't Edit. My inward Editor is screaming as I write this, but DO NOT STOP TO EDIT. You will become discouraged, bored, & feel like quitting. Also, you will lose precious time. Just wait until your 50K is done! You can do it. I believe in you.

    Well, peeps!! That's all for this linkup! Also, if you participated in my Blogiversary Giveaway, THANK YOU!!! The winner is Anne Marie Schlueter @ AM Station, & she has already been notified. (I apologize for the late announcement. I had strep-throat & a novel to write! lol! Forgive me?) 

   So what have all of you been up to?? Any NoNo-ers out there? What is your novel about? When should I host another giveaway? Lemme know all the things in the comments. 

Currently Reading: Silas Marner by George Eliot
Just Finished: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Listening to: "Take to the Sky" by Owl City


  1. Oh I love your book idea. Time traveling and clocks! The premise and the settings are really cool. Definitely would read this!
    Oliver Widdlesworth is a great name.

    1. hey, Skye! :) Oh, thank you!! I am sort of fond of the idea too... That would be great! I'll try to post some snippets soon! <3

  2. Your book sounds sooo good! I want to read it... ;D Good luck on NaNo! (And Oliver is a fun name.)

    I'm looking forward to more info on your novel. :)


    1. Hi, Micaiah! :) THANK YOU! Who knows... Some sneaky snippets might make their way onto the blog?? ;)


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