Friday, February 15, 2013

A Rejection Letter That Started A Novel - Guest Post from Tyrean Martinson

Today, I'm happy to host part of Tyrean Martinson's blog tour for her book, Champion in the Darkness! Tyrean is here to talk about how her novel began, so, lovely blog readers, here she is!

A Rejection Letter That Started A Novel
No writer likes to receive a rejection letter. I know I don’t. However, sometimes, rejections can be the beginning of something good.
Originally, Champion in the Darkness was a short story, entitled “The Choice.” I submitted it to three different publications. I received three rejections.
Here’s a section from one of those rejection letters:
“Overall there wasn't much to the story. It was more of a section of a larger story. As a reader, what would seem the truly interesting and conflict-filled parts would be the training, and what was to follow the choosing of the sword. As a reader, I suspect there is much more to this world the author has created, and this slice wasn't enough to provide an adequate stand-alone story.”
I hadn’t thought of “The Choice” as part of a larger story, but the phrase “what was to follow the choosing of the sword” stayed with me, and I spent some time daydreaming about the characters and their world, and eventually this became a series of short vignettes that seemed like the beginning of a novel. However, I couldn’t seem to get it all to come together. I waited for a while, wrote backstory, and then finally for NaNoWriMo 2010, I wrote The Crystal Sword, which I later renamed Champion in the Darkness.
A rejection letter started my novel.
So, to any writer that’s frustrated by rejection letters, I want to encourage you not to look at the closed door, but to look for the window of opportunity that’s open.
Have you ever received a rejection letter that triggered an idea in your imagination?

Tyrean Martinson lives and writes in the Northwest, encouraged by her loving husband and daughters, and reminded to exercise by her dogs and cat. Champion in the Darkness is her first book in the Champion Trilogy, but she has previously published short stories and poetry. She can be found online at Tyrean’s Writing Spot.

Thank you, Tyrean! And now, let's take a look at her book, Champion in the Darkness!
Clara is younger than most trainees, but she is ready to hold a Sword Master's blade. While visions and ancient prophecies stand in her way, they also offer a destiny unlike any other. Clara is aided by a haunted mentor, Stelia, whose knowledge of their enemy Kalidess is both a bane and a blessing. As evil threatens their land, Clara and Stelia must find the strength to overcome the darkness!
Champion in the Darkness is YA Christian Fantasy and is the first book in the Champion Trilogy.    

Where to find the book:
Champion in the Darkness on Amazon
Champion in the Darkness on Smashwords
Champion in the Darkness on Goodreads

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Faith King tagged me in this like two weeks ago, and I completely forgot to post. I have been writing like a madwoman…well, I'm already a madwoman, so like more of a madwoman, and I had forgotten to put it on my "blog post" list, so here we are now.

What is the working title of your book?

Well, I have several books floating around right now. The one I'm almost done with--which will be published, it looks like, at the end of March--is called Rising Book 2: Rebellion. This is the second (and last) book in this series. Rising Book 1: Resistance was published a year ago.

My Latest Novel        Coming Soon: Rising Book 2: Rebellion
      Rising Book 1: Resistance                  Rising Book 2: Rebellion (in-progress cover)

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Several years ago, I had an idea for a rather silly story about an errant knight forced to take up with two squabbling teenagers and an orphaned four-year-old. It was supposed to be full of ridiculousness and fun!

And then somehow, it ended up being focused on the two teenagers, and then they got older than I had expected—one of them wasn't even a teenager anymore; she was twenty—and then suddenly it was an adult book, not a YA book, and all silliness evaporated like water in the desert.

It became the most serious, emotional, painful book I had ever written in my life. It was supposed to be one book, but by the time I hit 100,000 words, I realized I still had too much story left to tell. So Rising became Rising Books 1 and 2.

What genre does your book fall under?

Technically, it's science fiction—but that puts me in mind of spaceships and space operas, which this is definitely not. This is more science fiction with fantastical elements. Vaguely steampunkish. ;) But also fantasyish—people with wings, a king in one country, stuff like that.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Ummm…here's the thing. I don't really associate actors with characters. I just don't. My lovely artist friend, Holly Robbins, does artwork of my characters, and that's much, much more my style when it comes to imagining characters.

First picture: Alphonse and Mairwyn, narrators of Rising Book 1.
Second picture: Lachlan and Brenna, narrators of Rising Book 2.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
With war upon their countries, Lachlan and Brenna cross the border into enemy territory, hunting for assassins who may have been kidnapped as children and conditioned to kill for the very people who abducted them.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I had scheduled this to be self-published to finish off the series before I signed with my lovely agent, so it will be self-published.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

About a year. The first draft was around 185,000 words (final draft is definitely going to be shorter!), and that year of writing also included:

-doing wife/mommy/family stuff

-editing client manuscripts

-finishing another novel with my co-author

-writing a middle grade book, editing it, querying it, signing with an agent, and doing several rounds of revisions

-publishing Rising Book 1



-adopting two cats

-starting Taekwondo and getting to advanced green belt (I have since halted Taekwondo, but darn it, I learned how to side kick)

-travels and other things I'm sure I'm forgetting

Yes, I am either crazy or super motivated or my characters just eat my brain and I can't help writing. Or maybe all three. I'm sure it's at least my characters eating my brain.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I can't really think of any books to compare this to within my genre. It's easier for me to think of anime to find elements in various anime shows. And history. Definitely events in history, given that this story deals with genocide--or attempted genocide.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Probably a combination of watching a lot of anime, being interested in steampunkish stuff, and adoring fantasy. It was a lot of fun with this one because I had to actually invent some technology—I had a mechanic narrator for half of Rising Book 1, and so I had to know how some things would function in this world. And also, a desire to write something fun or silly. Which, of course, I've established did not work out. That's probably why I actually did write a fun, silly book in the middle of writing Rising Book 2's first draft. (I was writing three books at once.) This fun, silly book is in the hands of my wonderful agent.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

If you like speculative fiction, there's probably something for you in this book. If you're not so into speculative fiction, there's probably still something for you in the struggles and dreams of the characters. There are people with wings, nomadic clans with healing abilities, and inventions of new technology. There are battles and struggles against a king intent on genocide. There are knights and assassins. There's feisty mechanic and a bookworm scholar. There's a bounty hunter and there's even a horticulturalist hero. There's romance, friendships, people dealing with grief and finding the light at the end of the tunnel. It's a story about overcoming fears, overcoming odds, and people who they are and who they want to be.

It seems like pretty much everyone has been tagged in this, so instead of tagging, I'm just going to shout out to three lovely people with some lovely blogs. If you don't know/follow them, then you should go say hi!

Tonja Drecker
Wendy Knight
Morgan Shamy