Beautiful People: June 2016

Beautiful People for Writers

Beautiful People is a monthly meme hosted by Cait @Paper Fury and Sky @Further up and Further In in which writers answer questions about their characters.

This month I’ve chosen Glenda, a major side character in my current work in progress. Glenda is the half sister of the main character and a crown princess.

What is their first childhood memory?

Glenda’s first childhood memory is of being extremely dressed up for a holiday in her culture that celebrates the end of the rainy season. (Flooding is common there, and the people are happy to see the rain go.)

What were their best and worst childhood experiences?

Glenda’s best childhood experience was one time when she was alone in the palace gardens and many of the flowers were in full bloom and she fell asleep. Glenda loves flowers, and rarely gets to be alone. This particular time was one when she really needed a break from being royalty, and she was thrilled by the fact she’d managed to evade her guards for so long.

Glenda’s worst childhood experience that isn’t a spoiler is her father’s death in the first chapter. Sometimes the relationship between Glenda and her father could be tense, but she loved him and was devastated by his death.

What was their childhood home like?

Glenda lives in a palace. It is quite large and extravagant. She grew up being able to easily obtain almost anything she desired unless that thing was privacy.

What’s something that scared them as child?

The fact that she always knew her mother was hiding a huge secret, but wasn’t told for years. She was scared of what that secret might be and imagined something far worse than it actually was.

Who did they look up to most?

Glenda looked up to her mother because she respected her mother’s leadership skills. (Her mother is a queen.)

Favourite and least favourite childhood foods?

Glenda’s favorite food is a type of pastry that isn’t made in our world, but that exists in this one. Glenda really does not like tomatoes.

If they had their childhood again, would they change anything?

She’s only about twelve in the story, so still a child, but Glenda’d probably change the way she treated her half-sister, the main character, who she didn’t realize was related to her, and so treated poorly most of the time.

What kind of child were they? Curious? Wild? Quiet? Devious?

Glenda could be devious at times, but when it came time to look professional for her future subjects she would look professional.

What was their relationship to their parents and siblings like?

Glenda’s relationship with her half-sister Yuliana, the story’s protagonist, is a complicated one. Glenda didn’t know Yuliana was related to her for many years. Before then she’d only known Yuliana as a palace servant and had treated her as such.

Glenda’s relationship with her mother is much better than her relationship with her sister. She has great respect for the way her mother has led her country, but resents the fact that the queen keeps so much a secret from her.

Glenda loves her father as well, though she has some resentment for the fact that her mother was essentially forced to marry him to save her country. She’ll also occasionally get into some heated arguments with him, and rebel against his wishes significantly more often than those of her mother.

What did they want to be when they grew up, and what did they actually become?

This question cannot be answered due to major spoilers.

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May 2016 Wrap-up

Monthly Wrap-Up (1)

In the month of May I read a total of eight books. Some of these I really liked, and some I thought were just okay.

Reading

25106755Short Synopsis: When a faerie wakes up from a long slumber it’s up to a teenage girl to save everyone.

Thoughts: My favorite aspect of this book is its atmosphere. The thought of this small town in modern times where they’re the only ones who know faeries exist was such an interesting concept.

What kept me from loving this book is that I had a hard time connecting to the main character, who I felt was too much like many other heroines I’ve read about, and thought the pacing was a little too slow at the beginning.

Rating: 3 blue jays

23308084

Short Synopsis: Sequel to a retelling of 1001 and One Nights.

Thoughts: I have a hard time deciding how I feel about this book.

On one hand, I liked how we were shown more of the magic system, and it departed more from what I know of the original story it’s retelling of. (Though I have not read the book it’s a retelling of, so someone who has read it should feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.)

What makes me so conflicted is that I didn’t care about what was happening as I read it. This distance I felt from the story surprises me because I don’t remember feeling this way about the first book. Maybe it has something to do with when I was reading it?

Rating: 3.5 blue jays

25746699Short Synopsis: A young woman named Hope is unable to be remembered for more than a minute.

Note: Advanced copy provided by the publisher, but opinions are my own.

Thoughts: I’ve written a full review of this one. There were things I really liked and things that fell short.

Rating: 

3.5 blue jays

26252859Short Synopsis: The god Apollo is cast out of Olympus and turned into an ordinary teenage boy.

Thoughts: This book was hilarious! I liked it a lot. I might write a full review, but am having trouble putting my thoughts on this book into words.

Rating: 4 blue jays

26864835Short Synopsis: The sequel to Wolf By Wolf. An alternate history World War II novel.

Note: Advanced copy provided by publisher, but thoughts are my own.

Thoughts: Really liked it. One chapter left me close to tears. Full review to come closer to the release date.

Rating: 

4.5 blue jays

24876258Short Synopsis: In a world where people live in spires and cats are intelligent a group of unlikely heroes must defend their home from invaders.

Thoughts: It took me a long time to read this book. Part of this is that I was traveling, and another part is that the book is over 600 pages long. The main reason, however, is that this book has so many elements it takes a while to understand what is happening.

The book was a lot of fun, but I’m not sure I’ve come to care about the characters enough to read the next one.

Rating: 

3.5 blue jays

227658Short Synopsis: Girl from a frontier town in Indiana must leave to find help to save the children in her town from a diphtheria epidemic.

Thoughts: This was such a fun concept, but I felt it was hard at times to care about the kids dying back at the village because the reader didn’t know them very well.

The main character, Jessie, leaves her town at the beginning of the story and their aren’t any strong side characters accompanying Jessie.

Rating: 3.5 blue jays

16131489Short Synopsis: The third book in the 5th Wave Trilogy.

Thoughts: Around half-way through I stopped reading and started skimming this book. Normally, I wouldn’t bother finishing, but since I’d already gotten so far in this trilogy I decided to see it through.

There were a lot of gaps in logic, I stopped caring about most of the characters, and the writing, particularly from Cassie’s perspective, sometimes made me cringe.

I will give it this though: the book is very addictive, and I finished it very quickly.

Rating: 

2.5 blue jays

Writing

I didn’t meet my goal of finishing my rewrite of my epic fantasy work in progress this month, but wrote around 10,000 words. I have around 20,000 words left before it is complete making it so that I estimate it is going to be around 10,000 words longer than I thought. Meaning it will be about 90,000 words in total. It’s currently 73,000 words long.

Traveling

In May I attended Bookexpo America in Chicago. You can read about my experiences in parts one and two of my blog posts.