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Ummm, who else is going to construct a book headboard tonight? That’s the best thing we could be doing on a Friday night, right?
The trick is not to mind.
Half Bad | Sally Green
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I just love this.
Title: Moth and Spark
Author: Anne Leonard
Publication Date: February 20, 2014
Publisher: Viking Adult
Format: RC provided by publisher
Prince Corin is chosen by the dragons to free them from the Empire’s control. He now has some of the powers that the dragons gave him but he still lacks the knowledge of what holds the dragons in bondage. When Corin’s path crosses with Tam’s at the library he falls head over heels for her. But Corin knows that he could never marry Tam because she is not of noble birth. With a war brewing Tam and Coring decide to give their love a shot and forget about the consequences. But when duty calls Corin and Tam need to figure out how to save the kingdom and the people they love before it’s too late.
Anne Leonard’s Moth and Spark combines action, adventure, and romance flawlessly. From the very beginning readers will be sucked into the world that Leonard has created. Readers will love the magic and secrets that are laced throughout Leonard’s novel. From mysterious deaths to dragons, there is something here for everyone. Moth and Spark is beautifully written; Leonard’s style is very Austen-esque and elegant. This is a great read for lovers of fantasy and adventure.
On First Drafts and Inspiration
One of the questions that I get a lot as a writer is what inspired me to write the book. When I hear this question, I always think about my first draft. First drafts are full of inspiration. Bad inspiration.
It’s fun to see the blooper reels from movies. But no one should ever see the blooper pages from novels. Instead of being funny, they’re just pathetic. They’re full of poorly written sentences, dialogue that goes nowhere, meandering plot-lines, predictability, and any other writerly errors you can imagine. First drafts are pretty much awful for nearly every writer. I am not a novelist who does detailed outlines, but even those writers who do churn out crap on the first round.
The reason for this is pretty simple: the first draft is where you lay out your possibilities. It’s like dumping the box of Legos on the floor. Even if you have the instruction book, you still have to put it together. If you’re just making up your own thing, without instructions, you need to look at the pieces and see what you have. When you have all the Legos on the floor, here are the things that can still happen, depending on what kind of a writer you are:
The published version of MOTH AND SPARK is very different from the sprawling mess that was the first draft. There are different sets of characters, entire subplots which have vanished, different backstories, other bad guys, and so on.
When people ask me how I was inspired to start the novel, or where the ideas came from, or similar questions, I think back to all this junk that spewed out of me early and feel a little bit like I’m lying when I give the condensed, coherent answer. Because the thing about writing, at least for me, is that as soon as I am putting actual words on a page, what I was thinking about changes.
It can be a small shift or tightening of focus, taking a nebulous idea and honing it with words. Or it can be an upheaval. Sometimes I have to write entire scenes that don’t go in the book just because in the act of writing them I figure out something important about a character or what should happen next in the plot. I discover things I didn’t know and answer questions I never asked.
For me, this is a lot of what makes writing fun. I like discovering, like surprising myself. Even though an awful lot of what I write doesn’t go into the finished product, and very little of it is worth recycling into some other piece of fiction, it’s still useful to have written it, for what it teaches me about my fictional world and my story.
It’s in the revisions – the engineering, if you will – that inspiration begins to coalesce with intent. That’s where choices get made, darlings are slain or banished, and what the story is saying becomes discernible through the noise.
All this means that there’s no easy answer to what “inspired” me, aside from a broad generalization that I wanted to write a story about certain things. The inspiration comes from a synchronicity of words that release other words. Inspiration is not a moment, it’s a process.
So when I’m asked what inspired MOTH AND SPARK, the answer that I wind up giving (I wanted to write a love story in a fantasy with a Jane Austen type setting, and I added dragons because they were the most un-Austenlike fantasy thing I could think of) is a reconstruction. I can’t recount the way ideas tumbled against each other like rocks, sometimes shattering and sometimes polishing. At the core, all I can really say is that the book you have is not the book I expected to be, but it is the book I needed to write.
She would rise.
I have an uncontrollable urge to by every single book when I am in a book store…and then I realize that my bank account just can’t handle that
Ruin And Rising official cover
In case you guys missed it!
Hello lovely followers!
I know I have been absent for a while and it’s been close to a moth sine the last review was posted. I’m sorry for the lack of reviews. School and work have been keeping me pretty busy. But on the bright side I will have a review of Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard for you sometime around February 20-24 with a guest post by Anne Leonard. I will also be posting a review of Melissa Eskue Ousley’s The Rabbit and the Raven once we get a little bit closer to march.
In other announcements: I still have a whole bunch of character cards for Ciara Knight’s Neumerian Chronicles. if you would like son feel free to send me a message with your name and mailing address (US only).
Hope you all have a fantastic week!
Something Grisha This Way Comes!
(And that something is the breathtaking cover of RUIN AND RISING)
"Well, that sucks." Leila chewed her bottom lip. "If I don’t do it?"
Edon hesitated before he said, “Her soul will rot inside her body. Do you have any idea what that’s like? She’ll be a living corpse, a shell of a person. She won’t feel anything including love. We as reapers, the undead, feel more than she ever will alive.”
Leila swallowed the lump in her throat. “How do you know that?”
”Because I’ve seen what it does to a person,” Edon said. “That little girl deserves better.”