Thursday, September 10, 2015

DEAR WRITERS: Archery

I have been the worst blogger ever lately... LIKE EVER!!!  I have finally got back into my school routine (and getting up early *headdesk*).  So, after almost two months of no posts, I have some advice for writers.



You know those times when you are reading a book (or watching a movie), and you think to yourself, or scream at the book, THAT. IS. UNREALISTIC.  Like a guy falls off a cliff and miraculous gets up and walks away without a scratch or broken bone.  I mean, really?

Now, let's talk about archery in stories.  I love to write and read stories about a heroine who shoots archery.  I can relate to them really well, I am an archer myself, and it gives them a kind of self-defense.

1. Archery takes practice... A ton of practice.  No one can just pick up a bow and expect to shoot someone or something with accuracy.  It just isn't that simple.  First of all, your character has to be pretty strong.  I have to pull about 40 pounds every time I shoot.  No one can just pick up a bow and pull back that much weight right off the bat.

Also, consistent form is one of the most important things to archery.  It is probably the hardest as well.  When your character pulls back the bow string, it must "anchor" at the same point on your face every time they shoot, otherwise the arrow will not hit where you are aiming.

2. Shooting a bow can be tiring.  Eventually, no matter how strong you are, archery will get tiring.  Shooting for a long time get very exhausting, and you start to get less accurate.  Your arms begin to shake much more. 

3. Holding the bow string back for a long period of time is unrealistic.  Especially with a traditional bow, it is very difficult to hold the string back for very long.  I would say for a traditional, 10-15 seconds is the maximum.  If it is much longer than that, you will most likely miss.

4. Shooting much farther than 30 yards accurately with a traditional bow is very difficult.  Make sure that your characters aren't shooting really far.  Otherwise, they will likely miss their target. 

5. Moving targets are much harder to hit.  So, next time your character is shooting at a galloping horsemen, think twice about where they will hit the target.

6. Once in a while, have your archers miss or run out of arrows.  A perfect shooter in a story is completely unrealistic.  They need to miss once in a while, or at least hit where they weren't aiming.  Also, their quiver doesn't miraculously make arrows reappear in the quiver. 

One more thing I would like to note before I wrap up this post.  When shooting traditional, you pull and release the string with your fingers.  If you use your bare fingers, they will become soar and get blisters.  Many traditional archers use a piece of leather that wraps around their shooting fingers for protection.

So, next time you go and write a story with an archer, think twice about making the character and their hobby/talent realistic.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Half-Blood Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway

HFBlogTourBanner

Jaye L. Knight’s new novella, Half-Blood, has been released! Learn more about this prequel story to Ilyon Chronicles and make sure you also enter the tour giveaway at the bottom

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About the Book
The gasps and murmuring grew. Though some were hardly more than whispers, clear words reached Jace’s ears—dangerous, monster, animal, soulless. He tried to back away from their accusing eyes, but the collar pulled hard against his throat and held him in place.
For all his years as a slave, Jace has known nothing but the hatred people hold for his mixed blood—one half human, the other half the blood of a race considered monsters. Always, he is the outsider and quickly learns it is better to keep to himself. But, when his volatile ryrik blood leads him to do the unthinkable, he is thrown into a world of violence and bloodshed.
Forced to become a gladiator, Jace finds more and more of his heart dying as his master works to break down his will not to become the monster everyone believes he is. When a stranger interferes with his master’s harsh punishment, Jace’s world is upended yet again. But with it comes the possibility of hope that has long since died. Could the man possibly hold the key to escaping the hopeless darkness that is Jace’s life? Is there such a thing as life beyond the cruelty of slavery?
See where Jace’s story all began . . .

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 goodreads

Haven’t discovered the world of Ilyon yet? Find out more at the official Ilyon Chronicles website!

IlyonChronicles

My Review
Overall: This. Book. Was. Great.  Every book I have read by Jaye L. Knight was not a disappointment.  Half-Blood is right up there with her other books.  I will warn you that it was quite sad (Yes, tears were shed.), but at least I knew the "ending" from reading Resistance and The King's Scrolls.

The Plot: It really kept me on my toes, but at the same time, the plot was a little different than most.  It is more of telling a story of a person's life than having a problem that the main character has to solve by the end of the book.  It is a story of Jace's suffering and heartache, which isn't completely resolved at the end.  One specific thing that I want to compliment Jaye on, is how she ties the end of Half-Blood to the beginning of Resistence. 

The Characters: Jace is such a realistic character.  He isn't perfect... not even close.  He has so many weaknesses and struggles, which are specifically emphasized in this book.  He doesn't like when his ryrik blood takes over.  On the outside to many people, he may look like a threat, but inside, he has a warm heart.  I just think that Jaye really describes him well, making him so tangible.

This book was just fantastic, keep them coming, Jaye!!!


About the Author

JayeAuthor2015Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.
You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Etsy, and on her new fiction forum where you can interact with other readers of the series.



Giveaway
Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed giveaway pack! Prizes include an autographed copy of Half-Blood, a blue feather bookmark hand crafted by Jaye, a bronze sword pendant, and a $5 Amazon gift card! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)

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Tour Schedule
Tuesday, July 14


Wednesday, July 15


Thursday, July 16


Friday, July 17


Saturday, July 18


Sunday, July 19


Monday, July 20

Tuesday, July 21


Wednesday, July 22




Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Writerly Reading List

In the past year or so, I have gotten serious about writing.  Since then, I have also started reading more. I have met new people (mostly over the internet), and I have learned a lot.  My life has been very different.  A lot more hours go into reading and writing, blogging, and chatting with my internet buddies.

I have mentioned before that one of the keys to becoming a better writer is reading.  It really is.  You are admiring the work of someone like you who has experience.  You learn from them.  So, in this post, I thought I would give a list of books that writers should read.  Books where their authors have nearly mastered the complicated art of writing.  A Writerly Reading List.

1. Out of Time Series by Nadine Brandes

A Time to Die


2. The Ilyon Chronicles by Jaye L. Knight

Resistance

The King's Scrolls

3. The Makilien Trilogy by Molly Evangeline

Truth

 Courage

 Trust

4. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit

Lord of the Rings

8. Tales of Goldstone Wood by Anne Elizabeth Stengl
Heartless
Veiled Rose
Moonblood
Starflower
Dragonwitch
Goddess Tithe
Shadowhand
Golden Daughter
Dragon's Light
I haven't actually read these, but I have heard great things from my other friends who have! (I am not going attach all the covers for Tales of Goldstone Wood because the series is so long.)

A Time to Die Book Review

I just finished reading this awesome book today!  I thought I would review on it... to share it's awesomeness with you all.  Don't worry, no spoilers! xD  (I have never written a review before, so bare with me...)

About the Book:


How would you live if you knew the day you’d die? 

Parvin Blackwater believes she has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government’s crooked justice system. But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence. What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her Clock is running out.

My Review:

Overall - This book was a definite must read.  It involves dystopian government, Christianity, and finding your purpose through a supensful plot.  This story keeps you on your toes, and is very unpredictable.  I adore Nadine Brandes style, and she does a fantastic job at writing the main character from a first person perspective (which can be difficult).  Nadine's voice really does speak through this novel.

I have to say, Nadine, I am dying to read the second book, A Time to Speak.  Can it come soon enough???

Plot - Since I am being completely honest in this review, I have to say it was a little slow to start.  She got into the story pretty quick, but it didn't get really suspensful until about 50 pages in.  After getting to that point, it took me two days to finish it.  Enough said?

There were some plot twists throughout the story, which kept it very exciting.  The plot was also realistic.  When I say that, I mean it could really happen in that world.  So based on that world it was realistic.

There were also small subplots that had to do with the other characters.  But, they were connected to the main plot in some distinct way.

Nadine also left questions that weren't answered until the end.  This left me guessing, and wanting to keep reading to find out more.

Characters - YES! YES! YES!  The main character felt so real... so human.  She was a perfect example of human nature and their relationship with God.  The book was written in first person (as I have already mentioned), so you really need to have character development down.  You need to be able to know this character almost as well as you know yourself.  The author clearly knew this character like the palm of her hand.  

About the Author:

Nadine Brandes learned to write her alphabet with a fountain pen.
In Kindergarten.

Cool, right? She dealt with ink splotches before even knowing how to spell. She never decided to become a writer. Her brain simply classified it as a necessity to life -- like bathing, eating, and sleeping.

Nadine is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She writes stories about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination.

When she's not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, Nadine is out traveling, finding new music, and pursuing active life.

Her debut dystopian novel, A Time to Die, released Fall 2014 from Enclave Publishing.

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Writing Process: On Each Step

The writing process is very familiar to every writer.  There are three basic steps: planning, drafting, and editing.  Today, I am going to talk about the steps and what I do when.  You may do it differently, and that is fine, I am just sharing how I take the process.  Remember, every writer is unique!

1. Planning.  Okay, let's talk planning.  I would say it is one of my favorite parts of the whole writing process.  This is where your plot idea really comes into shape.  It finally gets out of your head and onto paper. 

I usually do two stages of planning.  On before starting the first draft, and another before editing.  First, I will talk about the planning before writing the first draft.

After I have the idea semi-formulated in my head, I bring it out on paper.  I basically write down a paragraph about basic plot and what is going to happen.  I just use MC for Main Character and villain at this stage.  Then, I take it to the next level.  I make a basic outline.  I use the Three-Act Structure, which I read about from Go Teen Writers (If you want to know more, go here).  For Galaxy Connectors, I even went as far to make a graph of it (This part isn't necessary,, I just did it for the visual aid).  I evaluate what I have done so far, and make appropriate changes.  There are still "holes" in the outline, where I can let my imagination run wild in the 1st draft.  This also keep me more into the story while I am writing. 

Now, that I have an outline, I do world-building and character development.  I won't go too much into detail on these.  Maybe in another post.

After that, I say I am pretty much done with the first planning stage.

2. Drafting.  In drafting, I would follow my basic outline.  As I mentioned earlier, I would fill in the holes in the outline.  The most important thing to remember when drafting is that it doesn't have to be perfect.  It is just the backbone of the story.  There will be flaws, chinks, and mistakes.  I look at drafting as a 50,000 word outline.  A very detailed outline. 

3. Editing.  This is where the real writing happens.  Although, this is the step that a lot of writers dread.  So, first I would read through your story first draft once or twice and take notes as you go.  This will help you know what major things to address.  This isn't for grammar or spelling.  I am talking about plot issues.  Maybe your MC does something totally out of character, or something happens that just doesn't work with the plot.  Then, you want to go back and fix those changes.  Also, if your world needs more detail or something, you can plan a little more.  Then, you can go back and fix grammar errors and perfect (or almost) your book. XD

Please vote in my poll on the right and tell my how you like this post!

 - Mickayla <3


Saturday, June 6, 2015

6 Tips to Make Your Reader Not Put Your Book Down - Part 2

...Now for Part 2 of the my 6 tips.  Enjoy!
 

4. Introduce unanswered questions at the beginning of the story, but don't answer them until the end.  The questions can be connected to your main plot or a side plot, you just want to make the reader want to find the answers to the questions.  Try to keep bringing them up throughout the book, and even give clues for the reader to piece together.  You want the reader to have little mysteries to think about when they aren't reading the book.  That will make them want to come back and read the book ASAP.

5. Step back and look at your book from the reader's point of view.  This can help you know what you still need to put in your book to make it more exciting.  If you haven't noticed, I have written both of my posts from mostly this perspective.  Ask yourself these questions:
         - Does it have a strong grabber?
         - Does it have a good cliffhanger at the end of most chapters?
         - Is it unpredictable?
         - Does it have questions that make you want to finish the book?
         - Would this book stand out to me in the library or at a bookstore?
         - Would I stay into this book?

6. Read other books that you don't want to put down.  A lot of writers tell you to read, read, and read.  You can add me to that list.  I think that you can get so much advice from other published authors and their books.  Analyze the book using the same questions.  Learn from authors who have already mastered the craft of writing.

Well, that's all!  I hope you enjoyed the 2 part post!  Tell me how you liked it in the poll to the right!  Thank you XD

- Mickayla
 


 


 

Friday, June 5, 2015

6 Tips to Making Your Readers Not Want to Put Your Book Down - Part 1

When I read, I like a book that I don't want to put down (although I don't really think my family does XD).  If it doesn't keep me in the story, I often won't even finish the book.  So, as a writer, I have made it a priority to keep my story interesting, so the reader wants to keep reading your book.

1. Start you story with a good grabber.  I would say this is one of the most important parts of writing your book.  I usually don't worry about it too much in writing my first draft, but address it more in editing.  Creating a good grabber can make your reader want to buy your book from the bookstore, or rent it from the library. 

When I am at the library (for example), I look at three things before I check out the book.  I look at the cover (I admit that I do judge a book by it's cover.), the synopsis, and the first couple pages.  I do it in that exact order.  If it passes the first test (the cover), then I move on the synopsis.  If it passes that, I read the first couple pages.

So, as you can see, a grabber is really important.  It can be as little as a strange sound to start out the story, or more of a preclude that leaves the reader with aching questions that need to be answered.

Also, don't take forever to get into the story.  In a typical story, it starts out with the main character's normal day life.  I have made the mistake of trying to draw out my beginning.  The faster you get into the chunk of the plot, the better.

2. Make a cliffhanger at the end of each chapter.  Some readers, will read a chapter, then put the book down and do something else.  Mostly, it is because the reader doesn't have time to sit around all day and read.  When people do that, you want to leave them with an aching feeling to read the next chapter. 

When I read a good book, I just read chapter after chapter.  I could stay up all night reading a book that has cliffhangers at the end of each chapter. 

You can end it with a villain laughing in his evil way over a trap he set for your MC (this is one of my favorites XD), or something jumping out at your characters, or new information that has just been shared.

When I write my first draft, however, I don't really worry about chapters.  I just write.  So, setting cliffhangers will fall in editing.  But, whatever stage of the writing process you do it in, the most important thing is to leave the reader wanting to flip the page and read the next chapter.

3. Keep your plot unpredictable.  This is really important when I read a book.  If the plot is too predictable, then the story seems boring.  In planning, I try to make at least one major plot twist, and a couple small ones.  Even though, I may know how the story will end, I leave space for me to add twists that even I wasn't expecting.  This keeps me on my toes as a writer.  This effect can then rub off on your reader.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Please vote on my poll on the right to tell me how you liked the post!  Notice how I am leaving you hanging for Part 2?  Come back tomorrow for the last 3 tips!

- Mickayla

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Liebster Award

I have been awarded by Alea at Elvish Pens, Fantastical Writings and Katie at A Writer's Faith!  Thank you both very much!



Rules for the Liebster Award:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
2. Give your readers 11 random facts about yourself.
3. Answer the 11 questions from the blog who nominated you.
4. Nominate 11 bloggers to receive this award.
5. Come up with 11 questions for your nominees.


11 Random Facts about Myself:

1. I am horse-crazy!
2. I am a sponsored archer.
3. I remember my first time "hunting" when I was 2. (Hunting is in quotes because I wasn't really hunting, I was just sitting with my Dad watching for deer.  I guess the correct term would be scouting.)
4. I am currently reading Every Tear by Molly Evangeline.  (This book is amazing and definitely a must-read!)
5. My favorite board game is Scotland Yard.  (If you haven't heard of this game, you should look it up.  It is super fun and a great family game!)
6. My desk is covered in Bible versus and encouraging sayings.
7. I am an extrovert.  Definitely.
8. I get obsessed over one word sentences.  (Really random, right? Notice the reference above...)
9. I am pretty random.  (Do you think that I am running out of ideas yet?)
10. This year I am doing a Lord of the Rings English curriculum, which I am super excited about!
11. I have been to Night of Joy (A huge Christian concert at Disney World) for the past 2 years.  I hope to go this year as well!  (If you are thinking about going, it is so worth it!)

*wipes sweat from forehead* Boy, am I glad that's over.


11 Questions from Alea:

1. Why did you name your blog what you did?
Oh, good question.  Well, first of all, I wanted something unique.  I also was looking for something that involved both writing and drawing.  So, I came up with Pencils Can Change the World.  I knew it was perfect.  It sounded intriguing, and unique.
 
2. Do you have a posting schedule?
I wish.  Yeah, I tried that and it didn't work out too well.  Although, I do try and set a goal to post once a week.  Lately, that hasn't been going over too well, but I am hoping extra spare time in the summer will help me out with that.
 
3. Do you like pizza?
I LOVE PIZZA!!!  (I mean, who doesn't?)
 
4. What is your favorite book (or book series)?
That is a tough one.  I would probably have to go with the Ilyon Chronicles by Jaye L. Knight.  Although, the book series is not complete, the first two books have proven the book series is my favorite!
 
5. Have you ever fangirled about your own writing?
I have.  And it was actually just yesterday.  I was shipping two of my characters. XD
 
6. Are you on Pinterest?
Yes.  I don't pin a whole lot, but it can be really helpful when planning for your book.
 
7. Do you play a musical instrument?  If so, what do you play?
Yes, I play guitar. (I am not very good, but YouTube is helping me with it XD)
 
8. What kind of music do you like?
Mostly Contemporary Christian.
 
9. Have you ever tried a tutorial from the Internet and had it backfire or not work?  (If so please share the story!)
Yes.  My sister and I found this homemade DIY projecter, with a shoebox and an iPod.  After a couple hours of changing the size of the hole and the distance of the device to the hole, we gave up.  My Dad felt really bad about how frustrated we were, so he ended up getting us a projector for Christmas that year. 
 
10. Do you like to swim?
I do!  I just recently moved to a house with a pool, and now that it is summer, I have been swimming a lot. 
 
11. If any fictional character could be your best friend, who would it be?
Either my MC from my WIP, or Jace from Ilyon Chronicles by Jaye L. Knight.  But, I wouldn't want them to replace my awesome best friend!

 
11 Questions from Katie:
 
1. Why do you write?
Hmm... I write because it let's me build my own world and my own story.  I wouldn't say it is out of self-pity, but the life I create for my characters is often more interesting than my own life.  Also, I want to write something that I could turn around and read.
 
2. If any fictional character could be your best friend, who would it be?
I already answered the question above, but I will copy the answer in again.  Either my MC from my WIP, or Jace from Ilyon Chronicles by Jaye L. Knight.  But, I wouldn't want them to replace my awesome best friend!
 
3. What's one really weird dream you've had?
All my friend's were littlest pet shops. XD (Trust me, I was really little.)
 
4. If you found a portal that could transport you to any fictional world of your choice, where would you go?
Can I mention more than one? Hehe.  My top would probably be Middle Earth, but I would also like to go to Narnia, Ilyon, and my own world.
 
5. Paperback or Kindle? Why?
I like paperback better.  Although, price-wise, I would prefer Kindle.  I really like to hold the pages in my hand and it is easier to look for a certain part in the book.
 
6. What's one post you've written that you're most proud of? 
Probably, Erasers: An Artist Best Friend.  You can read it here.
 
7. What's an interesting quirk that you have?
When I am really hyper, I talk in this really annoying and cute voice.  I drive my family crazy. XD
 
8. Can you share a picture of your bookshelf? (More commonly known as: a #shelfie.)
On the left are my pleasure books (don't worry, there are more behind) and on the right are my schoolbooks.
 
9. What are three things on your bucketlist? Or do you even have a bucketlist?
Three things on my bucketlist are go to a midnight movie premiere, see the hobbit houses in New Zealand, and live on a ranch.  You can look at the rest of my bucketlist on Pinterest here.
 
10. How old were you when you started writing?
Well, I started writing when I started school, but I started writing seriously at 11.
 
11. Share the last sentence of your WIP with us!
*cough* Do I have to? *cough*  Fine, here it is: How could I lose her now?  After all we have been through? (Yes, I realize that there are two sentences, but they fit together.)


My 11 Questions for You:

1. What inspired you to write?
2. What is your favorite Bible verse?
3. What is your favorite season of the year and why?
4. If you draw, paint, or do any form of art, can you share of picture of your favorite?
5. What book are you currently reading?
6. Do you listen to music while you write?  If so, what is your favorite?
7. Have you ever taken a fandom quiz?  If so, what was it for?  What were your results?
8. When you write, do you prefer to type it or hand-write it?
9. What is your favorite part of the writing process? (Ex. Planning, 1st Draft, Editing)
10. What is your favorite form of exercise?
11. What is one word that describes you?


I nominate:

T.W. Wright at Indonesia Around Me
Annabeth at Crumpled into a Blog
Laura at Laura's Sweet Treats
Tessa at Christ is Write

I can't think of 11 bloggers who have not already been nominated, so anyone else who wants to do this award is welcome!

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Key to Writing Faster

Today is my blogiversary!!!  Pencils Can Change the World is 1 year old.  Happy Birthday!

Okay, so I know I haven't posted very much lately, but I have a good excuse.  School.  I have been working hard to finish up the year and now I am finally done.  Hopefully, the extra spare time will help me post and write more.

Real quick, before I get into writing faster, I want to say, that I did win Camp NaNoWriMo (Super delayed results, right?).  Yes, I do realize it is June and camp was in April, but I just haven't gotten to say it until now.  Also, I am planning on doing another Camp NaNo in June, just on my own, since I will be on vacation half of July.

Now, on to my post.  Writing faster can be super helpful.  Your can get more words in a word war, which lengthens your story, which makes you finish yoru first draft faster.  Quite a plus, right?



Well, to be honest, I used to be a very slow writer.  In 10 minutes, I could write 150 words.  I couldn't set a really high word goal for NaNo because I didn't have that much time to spend.  That is when I read a post on another blog somewhere (I forget which blog this was).  Here are a couple tips I used for doubling my word count from 150 words to 300+ words in just ten minutes.

1. If you don't type "correctly", I would definetely suggest learning to type without looking at your keys.  This not only saves lots of time, but can help you with my second tip.

2. When you are typing out yor story, don't worry about typos.  Don't even look at your computer-screen or keys.  Look off into the distance.  Whether out a window, at a painting, or even closing your eyes.  After much practice, this can help you focus more on the scene (or even feel like you are in the scene) than the actual typing of it.  Tip: I usually go back after the word war and change the typos I may have done after each word war.

3. Don't worry about how cheesy the sentence may sound.  All of those dumb lines or cheesy, unexplained, dreadful sentences can be changed in editing. 

4. Another thing that helps me is planning out my scene in my head before writing it out.  This gives me a general idea before I start the word war, so I don't have to pause in the middle to figure out what happens next.

I really hope this helps!  I am also going to put a poll up so you can tell me how much these techniques helped you.  

One more thing before I close this post.  Jill Williamson, a published author, is looking for youth artists to enter into a contest.  The prize is one of your illustrations in her new published book, RoboTales: Tinker.  For more information, visit http://jillwilliamson.com/robotales-tinker-contest/.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Half-Blood Cover Reveal


*screams* This is SO exciting!!!  After reading the Resistance and The King Scrolls, I was dying to know  more about Jace.  Now, Jaye L. Knight has written his backstory in a novella.  Well, with no further adue, I present to you the cover!



Isn't it amazing?  When I first saw it, I fell in love with it.  Now, all I am waiting for is the actual book to come out. :)

About the Book -

The gasps and murmuring grew. Though some were hardly more than whispers, clear words reached Jace’s ears—dangerous, monster, animal, soulless. He tried to back away from their accusing eyes, but the collar pulled hard against his throat and held him in place.

For all his years as a slave, Jace has known nothing but the hatred people hold for his mixed blood—one half human, the other half the blood of a race considered monsters. Always, he is the outsider and quickly learns it is better to keep to himself. But, when his volatile ryrik blood leads him to do the unthinkable, he is thrown into a world of violence and bloodshed. 

Forced to become a gladiator, Jace finds more and more of his heart dying as his master works to break down his will not to become the monster everyone believes he is. When a stranger interferes with his master’s harsh punishment, Jace’s world is upended yet again. But with it comes the possibility of hope that has long since died. Could the man possibly hold the key to escaping the hopeless darkness that is Jace’s life? Is there such a thing as life beyond the cruelty of slavery?

See where Jace’s story all began . . .

Coming This Summer!!!

About the Author -


Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.


Giveaway -

As part of a month long celebration for the one year publication anniversary of Resistance (Ilyon Chronicles - Book 1), Jaye is giving away several fun prizes! Enter for a chance to win using the form below! U.S. entries only please.


Participating Bloggers - 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Some Notes on Priorities

At church this morning, our pastor was on vacation (which he really deserved), but we had a guest pastor preach today.  He was fantastic.  So, I thought I would share it with you, because it can apply to anyone. 

He began by talking about how your life is split into minutes.  Every minute is precious and a gift from God.  This minute could be your last. 

The introduction not only touched me, but helped me realize that every single minute should be used wisely.  It encouraged me to live every minute like it is my last, and I encourage you to do the same.

Okay, and that was just the introduction.  So, here are the notes that I wrote down from the sermon.

Setting Priorities for 2015

1. God is my first priority.
There are three primary areas where we need to demonstrate that God is our first priority.
*We worship him. (Luke 4:8)
*We obey him. (1 Peter 1:14-16)
*We accept our status as His children.  (John 1:12-13)

2. My family is my second priority.
*To Provide a Christian home/atmosphere. (Joshua 24:15)
*To Live by God's standards. (Ephesians 5:21-26 and 6:1-3)

3. My church is my third priority.
*To find my place of service.
Look at the "Christian's Core Values" through the purpose statement "SERVE".

S = Spiritual Gifts
E = Experiences
R = Relational Style
V = Vocation Skills
E = Enthusiasm

*Learn to depend on other believers.

The sermon showed me there are some things that should always be at the top of your list.  And since this month is April, one of them is not Camp NaNoWriMo... sorry readers!

- Mickayla

PS - Camp is going well!  I have written 16720 words out of my goal of 25,000!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Book Covers 101

Book covers... what do you think when you hear those two words?  I think of two things - one of the most common ways to catch a readers eye and using it to describe your novel. 



I have had someone ask me about how I make my book cover, so I decided to make this post.  Some authors like to create their covers themselves, while other authors have professionals help them out.  If you are just writing for fun and want a picture to show and tell your novel, here are a few ways to help you out.

Figure out what program you will use.  First, things first, you need to try a few different styles and programs.  Here are few questions you might want to ask yourself:  Do you want to draw it out by hand or do it on the computer?  What kind of fonts do you want to use?  Do you want your cover to fit with your genre?  How do you want to express your novel through an image or drawing?

Here are a short list of some programs you could use: Paint, Microsoft Publisher, paper and pencils (this is not a program on the computer :P).

Note: If you are using pictures from the internet, there is copyright and all that.  But, if you are just doing it for fun, I don't think it really matters.

Get creative.  Plan out what you want it to say, what shapes you want to use and make a small rough sketch.  You many have to experiment a little bit with some different styles until you find the one that really fits your story.  

In my cover (which I might end up doing again because I have started my novel over), I used a large black paper for the base, some pictures of galaxies and traced a font from the computer.  Then, I pulled it all together with some glue, and you can look at it on the My Writing page.

I really hope this helps you create your cover!  Remember, the cover is usually the first thing a reader sees in your novel.  Make it stunning... and have fun!!! :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Creating a Great Midpoint Twist

Don't you love when you are reading a book and suddenly the story changes in a way you never thought it would?  If you want to write a good story, a surprising plot twist is one of the many keys to keeping your reader on the edge of their seat.



Midpoint twist are always fun to write, but it takes some tough brainstorming to figure an option that still flows with the story and is surprising to the reader.  

You want to be constantly switching between good things and bad things.  This really applies to your whole novel, but you have to make sure it fits in with the plot twist.  Even if the good things are small, the reader will stay more interested if you switch off.

Give your readers something they wouldn't expect.  As I have already said many times, making a novel unpredictable will keep the reader into your story.  But, creating a good midpoint twist is not always easy.  In my book, something bad happens to my protagonist (I am not sharing the details, because I don't want to give it away), then something good happens.  But this thing that all the readers thought was good is actually really bad.  

The hardest part is coming up with your twist.  I usually like to invent it when I am in my planning mode - suspensful music playing, brain thinking faster than my hands can type.  But, if you don't have time to wait for that wonderful and inspirational moment, then what I suggest is do some research and read other book's midpoint twist (probably a book that you have already read).

Think about what happens after the midpoint twist.  After your midpoint twist, usually things seem hopeless for your protagonist.  The antagonist seems to think of every option the protagonist has to win and blocks it.  The midpoint twist is usually the start of your novel's "turn for the worst".  Think about the best way to start what comes ahead.  Will your protagonist be captured and beaten?  Or will he/she be hindered in some other way?

By the way, I probably won't be posting a lot during the month of April because of Camp NaNoWriMo. But whenever I get the chance, I will definitely post! :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Camp NaNoWriMo and Updates

Okay, so tomorrow is April 1, which means... CAMP NANOWRIMO!!!  It is time to dive into chaotic days of racking my brain just to put words on the page.  Am I ready for this?  Defenitely not!
I still have no idea how I am going to reach 25,000 words in 30 days, but at least I have a fresh(ish) story awaiting me. 



So what happened to Galaxy Connectors?  It is Galaxy Connectors.

As I began writing Galaxy Connectors, I didn't know a whole lot about writing.  I barely planned, which caused me to have undeveloped characters and a weak plot.  My villain didn't have a motive and the world was created while I was writing.  The list could go on and on of things I did wrong.  As the book progressed, it became harder and harder to stay interested writing and I finally became stuck.

That is when I consulted with my sister, who happens to be one of the best writers I know.  She read through what I had on my first draft (this was quite painful for me, knowing how terrible it was).

She told me that I should re-do my story.  I stripped it of almost everything, but still kept the general idea (so that I could keep the name).  After that, I went into deep planning and did lots of research.  Now, I have almost finished my planning!

...And Camp NaNo is rapidly approaching...

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Book Lover's Questionnaire

I have been tagged for "The Book Lover's Questionnaire by Jessica over at Through the Realm of Dreams: throughtherealmofdreams.blogspot.com.  Thanks, Jessica... I am so excited for this post :)



First, I want to say that I have not always been a big reader, but since I have been writing... I have found some pretty awesome books :).  Now, here come the questions.

Do you have a specific place for reading?
Not particularly, but I do like a comfortable, peaceful and quiet place to read (usually with lots of pillows) *hugs pillow tightly*.  I know some people can read while a millions of distractions are going on around them, but I just cannot do it.  I have to have a relatively quiet area, so I can focus.  I just love my pillows :)

Bookmark or random piece of paper?
Umm... well... I prefer a nice bookmark with a Bible verse or something, but (You knew that was coming, right?) that usually never happens.  I usually end up with a random piece of paper, though!

Can you stop anywhere in a book or do you have to finish the chapter?
It really depends on the book.  If it is a boring school-book, I want to stop anywhere.  But if it is any book by Jaye L. Knight... I can't just finish the chapter, I have to finish the entire book! :)

Music or TV while reading?
Music... totally!  TV... no way!  I love listening to my writing music while I read, it often gets me in the writing mood *grins*.  TV would be way to distracting, too much noise and movement.

Do you eat or drink while reading?
Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  Nothing is like reading while sipping on a mocha or hot chocolate!  Although, if I am reading a really good book that I just can't put down, eating can be difficult because I have to turn my attention to my food.

One book at a time or several?
Okay... to be honest, I usually finish book before I have time to start another one.  So, usually I only read one "free-read" book at a time. :)

Reading at home or elsewhere?
Usually at home.  If I am not at home, it means I am spending time with family, friends, etc., so I don't really read anywhere else.  Plus, I like my bean bag chair...

Read ou loud or silently?
For free-reads, silently.  When I am reading all that confusing school stuff, I prefer to read out loud.

Do you read ahead or skip pages?
Sometimes I read ahead a couple of paragraphs if something catched my eye, but never more than one page.  I like surprises in books, not spoilers!

Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?
I like to keep a book as nice as possible, but I don't read with a book open 2 or 3 inches so that I don't hurt it. :)

Do you write in your books?
NO, NO, NO, NO, NEVER!!!  The only exception is highlighting or underlining in my Bible or schoolbook.

I tag:

Tessa at Christ is Write: christiswrite.blogspot.com
Abrielle at Indonesia Around Me: indonesiaaroundme.blogspot.com










Monday, February 23, 2015

The Kings Scrolls Blog Tour + Giveaway


This is my first blog tour, and I am super excited to be part of the blog tour for The King Scrolls by Jaye L. Knight!  This is the second book in the Ilyon Chronicles, a fantasy six-book series :).  So, without further ado, I present to you, Jaye L. Knight!!!


Thank you for joining me on my blog, Jaye! What was your favorite part about writing The Kings Scrolls?

This is actually a very tough question because there are quite a few parts I loved about this book in particular. I got to introduce cretes and dragons into the series for the first time, which was awesome because they’re both so much fun to write about. And there are a few new characters introduced who I really love. But if I had to narrow it down, I think my favorite part was the sibling interaction in the story. Kyrin and Kaden’s brothers have a much bigger part in this book than in the first one. I loved getting to know them better and seeing how they all interacted with each other.

With the second book in the Ilyon Chronicles out for your readers, are you excited or nervous at their responses?

Both. It’s incredibly exciting to release a new book, but, even after all these years I’ve been writing, it’s still scary. I don’t think I’m quite as nervous as I was for Resistance though. It helps to have an established fan base for this release. But then, of course, that gives you the fear of wondering if the book will live up to expectations and be as good as the first. So there will always be nerves with every release. :)

What inspired you to become a publishing author?

J.R.R. Tolkien. I have been writing since  was eight years old, but it was just after I discovered The Lord of the Rings at thirteen that I realized I actually wanted to be an author. I loved LOTR so much that I wanted to share my own stories like that.

What was your favorite childhood book?

I can’t pick a specific book, but I absolutely adored the Pony Pals series by Jeanne Betancourt. I can’t think of anything at that time that I loved more. I was pretty horse crazy during my early years. Actually, the very first story I ever finished writing was my own version of one of the Pony Pals books.

What is your favorite thing to do when you aren't writing?

Probably watching movies or TV shows with my family. I really love good movies. The visual inspiration really gets my imagination working. Even more than reading, I think. So it’s actually a very important part of my writing as well.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
About the Author
My Photo

Jaye L. Knight is a 26 year old independent author with a passion for writing Christian fantasy and clean new adult fiction. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God's love shines as a light to offer hope. She is a homeschool graduate and has been penning stories since the age of eight.
~Ps. 46:10~

Visit her blog: http://jayelknight.blogspot.com/
Website: http://www.jayelknight.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jayelknight
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jayelknight
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jayelknight/

Ilyon Chronicles: Resistance: Buy HERE
Ilyon Chronicles: The King Scrolls: Buy HERE

Enter this awesome giveaway to receive a copy of The King's Scrolls, as well as some other great stuff for readers and writers!  I cannot quite figure out how to add a giveaway (not much of a tech person), so HERE is the link to Jaye's blog where you can sign up.

TKSPrizePackItems for giveaway

Haven't visited Ilyon yet or just another epic copy?  Get Resistance for 99 cents during this special occasion!

ResistanceEbookSale

To see the rest of the blog tour for The King's Scrolls release, visit Jaye's blog to see the schedule.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Keep Calm...It's Only the 1st Draft

Think about it, you are halfway through your first draft and you keep staring at you work saying, "If only I had planned more, if only I had thought more about the climax."  If only, if only, if only...

You regret the way wrote this scene, you start to doubt if your story is even very good.  Then, you set your story aside for a little while and think it over, but you only think about more downsides.  You start to get bored of writing your book and lose interest in it.  You start to think about throwing it away, you start to consider giving up.

But, keep calm...it's only the first draft.

The truth is, this was your first time writing this plot, this idea.  It is like when you play a game for the first time.  Can you guarantee that you play every move perfectly?  Can you guarantee that you will win?  It is just like writing a story.  When you are fairly new to a plot (although you may have done lots of planning), you can't write everything perfect; you cannot win in your first draft.

That is why rewriting and editing was created.  Although you might cringe every time you look back at your book, just keep writing.  You can clean up your work after you get your messiness blotted out on paper.

Finish that first draft.  No matter how hard it is, how bad it sounds, you can always clean it up.  You are not alone in the fight to finish your first draft.  Keep calm and just keep writing.  One. Word. At. A. Time.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

In Remembrance of Middle Earth

On December 17, 2014, the last Middle Earth movie came out. I was so excited, but at the same time, I didn't want it all to end.  If any of you have listened to the song, "The Last Goodbye", it brought me to tears, and I am sure you can guess why.  As a fellow member of this awesome fandom, I want to share my favorite moments from both movies.  So, sit back relax and be prepared to cry.

 
One of the greatest quotes of all time.

This is one of my New Year Resolutions...to have the marathon of the ages.
 




 


One ring to rule them all.

*tears* This post is so depressing...  On January 2, in honor of J.R.R. Tolkien's birthday, my family and I watched the Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the beginning of it all.
 
 
-Mickayla