Saturday, April 16, 2016

Introducing "The Prophet's Quest"

Before we get into things, I wanted to take a minute to say a big thank you to all 19 wonderful people who filled out my survey! I appreciate the feedback so much. (And I recognized a number of you without having any names to go on. *wink*) Hopefully I'll be able to start incorporating some of your suggestions in the near future.

One thing that came up a couple times in the survey results was a desire to see more about my writing. Synopses, blurbs, that sort of thing. And while I've talked openly about The Brightest Thread and other smaller projects, my main love has been kept mostly under wraps. I've done a few Beautiful People posts for it, and even shared a few snippets, but that's about it. I mean, I'm still referring to the books as book one, book two, and so forth--not even their real names!

Seeing as I need some practice summing up my book(s) anyway, why not start here? (Querying will be a whole 'nuther thing, but shhh.)

Also, Daniela Ark started a linkup called A Book's Genesis that provided me with another nudge in this direction. You can use the linkup, which runs until the end of 2016, to talk about what inspired your current work-in-progress (WIP). Each month features a new slant, beginning with April's introduction to your story.

Um. Well. This feels a little awkward. You see, this series has been part of my life for eight years. It was the first time I got serious about a long project, the first thing I stuck with beyond a few chapters, and maybe also the first idea to hold any merit. Prior to this, my stories consisted mostly of girls and horses, or talking pets, or mysteries that . . . were so mysterious I can't even make sense of them. So you can see how it might be difficult to sum up something that has been such a long-time fixture in my life. It's just there. How am I supposed to explain something that feels like it's always been around? But I shall certainly make an effort to give you a window into it.

That "book 1" I'm always vaguely mentioning is titled The Prophet's Quest (or TPQ, as I tend to shorten it). It's the first in a four-book YA fantasy series. The second is The Prophet's Key, and is currently being wrangled into a brand new form, so we won't speak of that wild infant thing just now. Books three and four exist only as nebulous ideas in my head, and thus do not yet have titles. The series is called Journeys of the Chosen, though I'm not happy with that name. It's a placeholder until inspiration strikes me with a brilliant replacement.

My badly rendered picture of the Prophet. XD
The Prophet's Quest has evolved massively since I sat down as an overzealous twelve-year-old to begin penciling out a thinly-veiled hybrid of The Chronicles of Narnia and Dragons in Our Midst. In more recent years, I have grown tremendously as a writer--though I still have so very much to learn--and the book has been through fire after fire, being purged of loopholes and spineless characters and bad writing. Not that it's perfect now, but it's a whole heck of a lot closer than it used to be. And considerably more original, I hope. It also went from 68,000 words to 131,000. Not even sorry. According to my rough estimates, it will probably make a 300-400 page book.

Anyway. It's a portal fantasy/high fantasy/contemporary fantasy mash-up. Which basically means it starts on modern Earth, and then moves to another world with a medieval fantasy setting (called Alewar, for those of you who want to know--and that's pronounced Ah-luh-WARR . . . rhymes with car . . . just in case any of you are fantasy pronunciation nerds.)

I feel like I'm blandly describing a piece of real estate or something. Goodness.

Here's an actual blurb to give you a sense of the story:

When visions of suffering begin to plague Aileen and Josiah, they pursue answers, and discover they are the prophesied rescuers of Demetria, a nation in another world. On that world, war hastens. And the very evil threatening Demetria has extended a branch to Earth as well. Transformed into dragons, Aileen and Josiah are propelled into a harrowing journey. Only a mysterious orb called the Prophet guides their way as they embark on a quest to save the Demetrians . . . and their own world as well. But the malevolent dragon Criffel will stop at nothing to keep the prophecy from coming true.

So we have a prophecy, some deliciously evil bad guys of the human and beastly sorts, a transformation into dragon form, talking animals (I can't seem to get away from those), awesome Demetrian people, and a huge new world to explore. And, of course, there's the Prophet--an object of which there is more than meets the eye. There are guardians, lords, warriors, mountains, waterfalls, long flights, battles, fortresses, fire, ice, allies, enemies, betrayals, division, ALL THE EPICNESS. (That's the incoherent synopsis, methinks. The one where my writer side goes all bubbly and excited.)

That gives you a sense of the plot, but what about the characters? If you're like me, an awesome storyline is well appreciated . . . but if it's not populated by vibrant characters, my interest level severely drops.

Main Characters

Note: I'm terrible at finding accurate character pictures. The ones that follow are rough representations of how I picture these people.

Aileen McKay - Sixteen years old. Brown hair, brown eyes. Introverted, intense personality, makes thoughtful decisions. Turns into a white dragon with ice breath. Read more about her HERE.

Josiah Williams - Sixteen years old. Blond-ish hair, grey eyes. Bold, self-assured, makes snap decisions. Turns into a red dragon with fiery breath. Read more about him HERE.

The POV switches back and forth between these two. It's fun to get both of their perspectives and see the storyworld through two different lenses.

Secondary Characters

(Alas, I have next to no pictures for these guys. One of these days I might just cave and make a Pinterest account. Google images is almost useless for good character pics.)

Mr. Hawkins - Aileen and Josiah's geography teacher. Guardian of the Prophet and all-around epic person.

The Sagire - A group of Criffel's people on Earth, hunting for the Prophet and the chosen ones.

Lord Mauray and Lady Geneva - Benevolent rulers of Demetria.

Captain Dauntless - Fierce leader of the Demetrian dragons. Trains Aileen and Josiah.

Korohan - Centaur. Head of Lord Mauray's security.

This is a bit like how I imagine the lesser cousins of Criffel's species,
which appear in The Prophet's Key (book 2).
Sheena - A female leopard warrior who befriends Aileen.

Leander - A white lion with a broken past. Read more about him HERE.

Fay Blacktail - A spirited crow brimming with opinions.

Criffel - Powerful mith'vel dragon. Main antagonist. Twisted ideals and bloodthirsty methods.

Character who will not be named due to spoilers - Criffel's right hand. Mysterious magical abilities. Skilled in the art of deception.

This is a very brief look at just a few of the important characters. I fear it doesn't do them justice, but I guess you'll have to wait until the book is published to learn more! Because yes, this is the book I plan to start querying this year. (!!!)

Your turn to yammer away!

Do you like portal fantasy? Are you partial to the chosen one trope, as long as it's done in new ways? DO YOU LIKE DRAGONS? (Most important question right there.) Oh, and if you have anything to say about my synopsis--constructive criticism definitely included--please tell me. Not like it's the official synopsis, but you know. I need to make one soon, so if you feel this one was too broad or too specific or something, I want to know.

And do tell me about your work in progress! I love hearing about other people's stories--rejoicing over fabulous ideas or commiserating over stubborn plots/characters/what have you.


  1. *sees title of post* "Is this a new book or something...?" *clicks on post* *scrolls down and sees what it is* *FLAILS AND SCREAMS*

    YES YES YES YES. Ack, I'm just SO thrilled!!! You've kept this hidden from us for sooo long that I didn't think I'd ever see it. *stares pointedly at you* BUT YOU ARE LETTING US SEE IT, AND IT LOOKS GLORIOUS. LIKE, I CAN'T EVEN DO WORDS. WHAT IS HAPPENING.

    (Hehe, am I one of those people you recognized from the survey, perchance? I do tend to be...ahem...recognizable. *cough*)

    Just...just...ALL THE EPIC. Eeep, there are talking animals and dragons and centaurs AND EVERYTHING LOOKS PERFECT. I NEED THIS STORY LIKE I NEED AIR.

    Gah, you just don't even know how happy this has made me. C'mere and let me hug you, will ya? *huggles*

    Ooh, and this is the one you're querying about??? Gah, that is just incredible! So. Much. Happy. *flaiiiils*

    1. New for all you people, but definitely not new for me! XD (And you funny, funny girl. You make me laugh every time.)

      Heh, I guess I've been paranoid about silent internet stalkers snatching my ideas. (Which would be next to impossible, anyway, because aside from names, titles, and the basic premise, no one could replicate my exact story.)

      Did I recognize you in the survey? *blinks innocently* Whatever gave you that idea? XD You ARE delightfully recognizable...

      But...KASJFHASKHF. I'M SO, SO THRILLED YOU LIKE THE SOUND OF TPQ. I do hope you find another source of oxygen in the meantime, though. I hear publishing is a slow business. XD

      *huggles back*

      It is! Or rather, it's the one I'm planning on querying. Those plans are going very slowly right now, as I've been more focused on writing book 2 and on going through that writing course. Y'all keep reminding me to research agents, okay? ^_^

  2. This sounds awesome! I love that you started it at twelve and didn't let it die. I have a similar book series. Love that it's Narnia and Dragon's in our Midst inspired.

    1. Thank you, Skye!! Believe me, I've considered moving on from this story many times. But I keep feeling like I've come too far to give it up. :)

      Gotta love Narnia and DIOM!

    2. *facepalm* I meant to also ask you about that 'similar book series' you mentioned. I don't think I've heard you talk about it--do tell!

  3. Oh, we finally get to see what you're working on! Certainly sounds fun. I love how it's a buffet of fantasy elements. Awesome how your main characters contrast, even in dragon form. Also, the white lion and the un-named right hand man really sound intriguing!
    I must applaud you for sticking to a story you began at twelve! I'm still learning the discipline of dedication.

    1. Thanks, Blue! ^_^ "A buffet of fantasy elements"--love that! Those two characters are particularly fun to write. Leander's just so gruff, yet tender on the inside; and that unnamed charrie is...well. Evil. Smug. Secretive. ;)

      It's been a hard road at times. Seriously, if I'd known at twelve how much WORK this would be, I would've run the other way. XD

  4. ASKDFKJHASDKFJHASDKJFFDSAKH Tracey this is so awesome!! I've been wondering when you'd do an official TPQ-thing on your blog. I love the overexcited writer synopsis, it really captures the story. :D
    ... anyways. I am very happy and excited for you! I hope that querying starts of well. :D

    1. It's been a long time coming, hasn't it? Maybe once The Prophet's Key is further along, I'll have to introduce that capricious thing too. Glad you enjoyed the overexcited synopsis! That was fun to write. XD


  5. (Wait, you could tell who we were in the anonymous survey? o.o Way to put on the pressure! Ahem. Just kidding. ;))

    AAAAAAAAHHH THIS SOUNDS COOL!! Thank you so much for sharing this post -- I LOVED getting to learn a bit about The Prophet's Quest! Portal fantasy can be really cool when it's done well. (Which I'm sure this is! ;) Dragons are fabulous, and I like that each of them are a different kind (ice/fire). EEEK IT'S SO COOL! :D Good luck on your querying too, and your rewriting of book 2! ^_^

    1. (Well, not ALL of you. Just some of you. XD And I have a feeling those who wanted to be known wrote their answers intentionally that way, so... ;))

      EEEP, THANK YOU, GIRL! I'm ecstatic that you enjoyed getting a glimpse of TPQ. Oh ho, the times I've second guessed allll the fantasy elements in this series (portal fantasy, chosen ones, etc.) might rival the wordcount. XD So I HOPE it's done well, but...that remains to be seen. Dragons are such fun! There are also water dragons in Demetria, but being as they don't use their breath in battle (yay, water fights... XD), I didn't give either character that type of dragon form.

      THANK YOU SO MUCH! <333 Your support means a lot!


    3. Really? Awesome! :D It's fun having three different kinds of dragons. Way back in the early days of The Prophet's Quest, there was a stupid song in there about the legendary origins of the three breath types... How the dragons each possessed all three kinds, but the fire melted the ice, the ice froze the water, and the water doused the flames--so they asked some sort of Fate character to separate them. Needless to say, that little ditty didn't survive. (And that was a random bit of trivia you didn't even ask for. XD)

  6. :D

    I've gotten snatches of this story as we talk about it here and there, but it's so great getting a broader scope. Because this story is YOU. It's such a huge part of you.

    And Tracey. TRACEY.

    I love how it's expanded and changed so much through the years. I can tell how special it is to you, which makes it special to me! ^_^


    And the CHARACTERS. Definitely the part of the post I was looking most forward to. These characters!!! They all sound so original and fun! I mean, a female leopard warrior? :O THAT IS EPIC. And Fay Blacktail sounds way too fun! They all just sound so cool and unique!

    I could just fangirl for days and days and days. Seriously, Tracey. I can't even express how amazing this sounds.


    Also, I adore your synopsis. I would so buy a book if I read that blurb on the back. I actually love the chosen one trope. I think we all want to be a "chosen one", so we can satisfy that need reading books about underdogs becoming great heroes. I also LOVE portal fantasy, it's so fun. Like I said, this series has basically every element I want in a story. And I think you know my opinion on dragons. ;)

    I JUST LOVE THIS POST SO MUCH. AND THIS STORY. *hugs it forever and a day* <33333

    1. I guess this should've come about a lot sooner, huh? Considering how central it is to my writing life and all. XD


      I adore alternate dimensions and world-hopping and talking animals and fights and scenery and dragons and ALL THE HIGH FANTASY GOODNESS. So it makes me so happy to know you love it too. ^_^

      Sheena was quite fun to write because...reasons. >.> *whistles innocently* And FAY. He about killed my face, I was grinning so hard every time he came up. XD

      *I* can hardly express how blessed and excited you're making me!

      Whew! I've played around with a bunch of different synopses of varying lengths and whatnot, so I just sort of flung this new version out to see if it worked. XD
      And yes! Yes yes yes! That's exactly why I love the chosen one trope too. You explained it perfectly.

      But for real! Comments like this inspire me to keep writing/querying/pressing onwards! So thank you. <3

  7. First.. Thanks for participating in ABG! I find that summing up my work is hard too so I'm very glad you did Tracey! I loved learning about Journeys of the Chosen, book 1 TPQ. I know you are not happy with the title but to me it sounds epically awesome! :)

    I must be a great feeling that after so much work you are closer to what you want TPQ to be. It seems it will epic!

    I love that it starts on modern Earth! and that even though Aileen and Josiah are supposed to save Demetria they would be saving Earth as well. That'll make the transition to a whole new world easier for me when I read it. Such a reach world with so many elements. Exciting! I like dual POVs! that way I'll get to know what both Aileen and Josiah think. MY WIP has it too! Can't wait to learn more about TPQ and then TPK :)

    1. Hey, thanks for hosting! I'm thinking about joining up for some of the other months too. ^_^ Yes, writing summaries and blurbs and whatnot can be so haaaard. Glad you like the title! I keep changing my opinion on it. XD

      It's come a long way, that's for sure. Thank you so much! :D

      I hadn't thought of that aspect making the transition easier for readers, but I'm super happy you pointed that out. Yay for dual POVs! Who are your POV characters?

  8. Sounds fabulous!!! Dragons and portals and talking animals, oh my! :)

    Happy sigh. I love knowing that awesome books are being written and worked on and will someday be available to read!

    1. LOL, thank you, Jenelle! :) That just makes my day. (I, too, look forward to the day this book will be available. XD)

  9. Yippeekiyah!!!!...on second thought, I probably spelled that wrong. *shrug*

    Oh Tracey, I'm so happy for you!!! This sounds AWESOME!!! I've heard snippets about your characters over the years but never got a close look at TPQ!

    I'm personally a lover of dragon fantasy (like SERIOUSLY...googling 'top 100 dragon fantasy novels' several times a year is totally normal), but I've kind of gotten bored with the whole 'chosen one' theme...when it's not original.
    I am SO sick of the teen girl fantasy stuff where it's completely centered on a drop-dead-gorgeous girl between the ages of sixteen and eighteen who figures out her 'destiny' of being super special exactly when the book starts, travels to a fantasy world, falls in love with the enemy prince (who happens to be ridiculously handsome, mysterious, brooding, and overprotective) and, with no past experience with the antagonist, magic, or this realm, single-handedly brings down the antagonist who has absolutely no reason to be evil.
    But do not fear my ire, Tracey, for your book sounds ORIGINAL. For in all my years of scouring the YA section at the library, snarling at books about chosen ones and weeping with gratitude when I find a realistic novel (usually found in Adult Fantasy, as it happens), I have NEVER come across a novel where the protagonists turn into dragons!
    Usually they're the 'dragon whisperers' if the cookie-cutter novel has dragons at all.
    But yours is different, and I can sincerely say I LOVE THAT IDEA!!! If I was naughty I'd probably steal it! That is actually SO AWESOME!!! I'm so excited to read it!

    As for my own WIP, this post has reminded me of my own dragon fantasy novel that I started when I was about ten...thank Rinma it's gotten a lot better over the years, but it still needs some work!
    It's roughly about a cursed prince (as opposed to a cursed princess) who's the brother of the female antognist, who happens to have reasons for being evil. Her story is actually heartbreaking...I could cry. And I have cried for emotional writing as a youngster reminds me of the depth of the Tales of Goldstone Wood, except with mine a lot worse written. But you know what I mean, right? So beautifully painful...I just finished one of the books last night, and I was absolutely SOBBING for all I was worth so hard that I had to put down the book because I couldn't see or think anyways...oh man, I wept. I LOVE THOSE BOOKS!!! This is my informal thanks for introducing me to that epic series!!!

    Ahem. Anyways...the WIP I was just speaking of is called The Four Moons of Elephria. Don't know if I'll change the name yet or not. It too was inspired by DIOM and Narnia, as well as Donita K. Paul's fantasy. :)
    Oh yes, good times. That book was going to have someone from another world (a teen girl, probably) but then I changed it when I was older to make it more unique. :) Now it features a teen girl who already lives in that world and isn't supposed to exist, to put it bluntly.

    I like your whole coed 'chosen ones'thing because although it is popular, it's not nearly as overdone as the teen girl stuff and, honestly, I've rarely read either way done well, so since yours will be AMAZING, it'll be unique in that aspect as well!

    It sounds great, Tracey! Keep going!

    1. Ps. I LOVE the names. Actually. They're gorgeous. Like Demetria and beautiful! When I first read the name Criffel I was so happy, because it's neither too gaudy nor too 'I'm-the-bad-guy'. It actually sounds pretty cute in my mind, but all your years of writing him as an antagonist has probably changed your mindset of the name. :)

    2. AMY, OH MY GOODNESS, YOUR COMMENT. You're making me grin like a fool at my laptop screen.

      Huzzah for dragons! I have DIOM to thank for my abiding love for those winged wonders. ;)

      I'm tired of the chosen one trope too, and yet I'm not...? It really depends on how it's done. I've read some that are so predictable and melodramatic and old-hat, that it makes me want the book to be over already--and others that are somehow new, different, and engaging. (Glad you think mine looks original. Originality is something I worry about too much.)

      Haha, my brain couldn't help checking things off your "what not to write" list. 16 years old, check (but not drop-dead gorgeous; and there's a boy too). 'Destiny' and traveling to a fantasy world, check. No romance, though. And the protagonists work together with a lot of other characters, so none of this single-handed stuff. And my villain has reasons and motives, so yay! XD (Although that was sorely lacking until not too long ago.)

      But anyway, I'm really glad you like the sound of TPQ! :D

      Ooh, your dragon fantasy sure sounds fun. I love gender-swapped roles, especially in fairytale-ish stories, so a cursed prince is awesome. It's a good sign when your characters make you want to cry! I've heard it said that if the author cries, the readers will cry.

      TALES OF GOLDSTONE WOOD. MY LOVE FOR THAT SERIES KEEPS GROWING. Which book are you on?? I have yet to read Draven's Light (or Goddess Tithe, come to think of it), but I've read all the full-length novels that are out so far. Have you heard about Stengl's new book, "A Branch of Silver, a Branch of Gold?" It's loosely based on the 12 Dancing Princesses, and it's set in Goldstone Wood. :)

      Donita K. Paul has some great stuff. Wizard Fenworth will always be my favorite character of hers. (He actually inspired someone in The Prophet's Key, though in my redraft I plan to make that inspiration less obvious. XD)
      I've thought about switching things so the MCs start off living in the fantasy realm, but liked my current storyline too much to change it. But that would clear up SO many problems! "Isn't supposed to exist?" Amy, now I'm intrigued.

      P.S. LKJASLFKSJ THANK YOU! Name creating is the best AND the worst when it comes to writing fantasy. Haha, your perspective on Criffel's name is hilarious! I never thought about it being cutesy, but...I can see it from your angle, and it's so incongruous to his character that I choked back a laugh when I read that.

    3. :D Oh Tracey...
      I LOVE Tales of Goldstone Wood so much!!!! I've read all the full length novels, but I too haven't yet read Draven's Light or Goddess Tithe...For the last few years I've been asking for the novels for Christmas, so the only one I don't own is Golden Daughter. :) I'm currently, as of yesterday, in Starflower. It's my absolute favorite!
      Like, skies, Eanrin is THE BEST. Yeah, he's a jerk. Yeah, he has some arrogance issues...but seriously. How can the reader not love him?!
      And Imraldera is just incredibly sassy, yet totally compassionate and never complains. That book (well, really any book with Eanrin in it) has so many hilarious conversations. Sometimes I'm crying, huddled up in my bed, unable to breathe because I'm laughing so hard.
      Anne Elisabeth is so talented at creating deep, flesh-and-blood characters! She's the best.
      Yes, Fenworth is incredible. He too made me laugh far more than I should have.
      As for the cliche thing, I think you're doing great. :) After all, no story can be completely original. I think yours is great, because it has the chosen one thingy to make the reader feel special, but it has a lot of little (and big, I bet) differences that set it apart from other chosen one fantasy the fact that they turn into dragons.
      Like actually. That's brilliant.


    4. You're farther ahead in collecting the series than I am! I'm not next to my bookshelf right now, but I think I have books 1, 2, 4, and 6 so far. Starflower is one of my favorites too, though it's so hard to pick. :)

      Eanrin FOREVER. <3 I love Imraldera as well--she's amazing. Just wait until you get to the end of Starflower. ;)

      Thanks! I like to remember that there's "nothing new under the sun." Just new ways of telling the same stories.

  10. This sounds cool! I still like the chosen one trope. It's fun to me. I think I'll be doing this link-up too since BP seems to have disappeared this month. I need a post for Friday. XD Best wishes writing this!

    1. I think deep down, a lot of us still like the chosen one concept, because we all want to know we're special too. Yeah, I wonder what happened to BP. Maybe it'll appear yet? But if you do join A Book's Genesis, I look forward to seeing your post! :)

      Thank you, Tori! ^_^

  11. *squeals* TRACEY, YOU POSTED ABOUT YOUR WIP!!! *flails* *proceeds to read post*

    Oh my word, I LOVE THIS! *speaks sternly* Tracey Dyck, unless you get this published soon, I will ... I will ... uh ... steal all your cookies. And pizza. *crosses arms* So THERE. Get it published soon, because I MUST READ IT. Kay? Kay.

    I am in awe of how long you have stuck to this story. I don't think I would EVER be able to keep writing one series for so long! But this sounds awesome enough that I can see why you've stuck with it so long :D. Yay for you, Tracey! *gives you cake*

    Also, I have one things to point out about your blurb for the story. I normally don't like blurbs that end with 'and so-and-so will stop at nothing to do this-and-that', so I just thought I would mention that I saw your blurb had that in it :).

    YES I love dragons, what kind of question is that? And I do like the chosen one trope, as long as it is done in new ways, or otherwise done very well.

    Uh ... I have a lot of WIPs right now :D. One of them is a sci-fi (at least I think it's sci-fi, it could be steampunk too. Lots of strange inventions and things of that sort. Also, airship pirates) retelling of Rapunzel, and it's very fun! I got the inspiration for a drawing my eight-year-old brother did, and I think he's kinda proud :D.


    1. I did, and it was a little scary putting it out here, but apparently I had no reason worry. ;D

      Steal my cookies? AND my pizza? (Side note: when my brother heard of your threat, he said, "There are replacements for cookies, but pizza is irreplaceable.") I'D BETTER HOP TO IT, THEN.

      I've written other things in between. Mainly my three fairy tale retellings that I entered in the Rooglewood contests, but I also drafted The Prophet's Key and part of the third book a few years ago. (That book 3 is possibly one of the worst things I've written in my teenage years, though. Talk about a wandering plot. XD) *gladly accepts cake*

      Ahh, you make a very good point. It is a bit of a clich├ęd line, isn't it? I'll be sure to word it differently when I'm sending queries or proposals to agents. Thanks for pointing that out! :)

      Dragons are awesome, obviously. I agree with you on the chosen one trope too.

      Sci-fi steampunk inventions airship pirates Rapunzel retelling--*deep breath*--THAT SOUNDS DELICIOUS. I'LL HAVE A SLICE OF THAT, THANK YOU. And that's so sweet how it was inspired by your little brother's drawing! Definitely some bragging rights for him. ^_^

      Thanks muchly, Savannah! Your enthusiasm is making me grin so hard.

    2. No reason to worry at all!

      YEAH, you better hop to it :D. Pizza is most definitely irreplaceable. *nods*

      You wrote a novella for each of the Rooglewood contests? Wow, that's pretty neat! Are you planning on writing one for this year's contest ( ... did I already ask you that? I'm very forgetful XD)?

      Glad you like it! :D It's my first time writing anything like that, and it's been REALLY fun so far!

    3. You guys are such great motivation. ^_^

      I did! "The Glass Girl," "Blood Rose," and "The Brightest Thread." It's been a lot of fun writing one each year. I certainly hope to write another one for the upcoming contest! In my 2016 writing plans, I blocked off two months to work on it. (I'm hoping that I can be more efficient with this year's entry, seeing as the last two have taken me close to half a year each. :P) I don't recall if you've asked about this already, so it's all good.

      Isn't it great to try something outside your usual genres of writing? Definitely fun to experiment. I hope that story goes well for you!!

  12. "Just in case any of you are fantasy pronunciation nerds." Ha, what I think you mean is, *here* is the pronunciation and just in case any of you AREN'T fantasy pronunciation nerds, *there* is the door.

    BUT THIS SOUNDS SO COOL! I love shapeshifting! (Really want to write a shapeshifting book.) And talking animals! Getting a nice Narnia vibe <3 I've never heard of "portal fantasy" but it makes perfect sense, esp when I don't know how to classify Narnia because it's set both on Earth and is a high fantasy. I don't think I've read many other books besides Narnia which are portal fantasy, at least, not exactly. I really want to write a book involving parallel dimensions.

    I love your characters' names. Are we shipping Aileen/Josiah?

    1. *smirks*
      *tries to compose expression into one of innocence*
      Maaaybe that's what I meant. "THERE is the door" made me laugh out loud, so perhaps there's a small measure of truth to it? XD

      So glad you like it! It's more of a transformation than shapeshifting, as they can't do it at will, but YEEESSSS it's super fun. The talking animals showed up from draft 1 (the embarrassing version I wrote as a youngster), and through all the edits they just never left. Gotta love some Narnia inspiration. ;)

      As for portal fantasy... It's one of those things I feel has been done a lot, and yet when I stop to think up a list, I can't remember very many. XD Parallel dimensions are a blast to write about, but I'll warn you that things can get very complicated very quickly. This when worldbuilding AHEAD of time comes in handy. ;D XD

      Thanks! Oh boy, now isn't that the question. I confess, I have thought about it many times. But every time I end up looping back to "maybe" and "not now." Like if they were to become shippable, I feel it would be far into the future. A part of me doesn't want to mix romance into a solid guy-girl FRIENDSHIP, if that makes sense. There's so few of those in the literary world!

    2. Laugh out loud?! I feel so honoured! :3

      OK, that sounds like it could get awkward. "Yup I'll have the spaghetti carbona-- ROAAAAARRR!!!" ~waitress falls over as restaurant goes on fire~

      Narnia is for life. As for parallel dimensions, I can imagine. Do you speak from (bitter) experience? There would be NO TIME TRAVEL INVOLVED, instead what I want is falling in and out of books' worlds, as in a book is a portal to another world, but in that world the characters from the book in our world are reading about the people in our world as characters in a fantasy novel ... does that make sense? So in the end, who even knows which world is real?

      A nice friendship is very very good and should be stuck up for! (I have that in TCATT those two characters are the best ever, I love them and their relationship so much I can't tell you.) But who knows? The characters will work it out between them, you don't need to worry.

    3. There I go laughing again... Your burning restaurant idea makes me think of Anger from Inside Out, and trying to blend that mental image with my character Josiah is quite amusing.

      I do speak from experience, yes. >.< One of the biggest problems was the time difference, since Alewar time is three times as fast as ours. So one day here = three days there. Then try to sync up the current events of both worlds, never mind their HISTORIES. Yeah. I'm very grateful to have my rough timeline all figured out now.

      OH MY GOODNESS. I NEED YOU TO WRITE THAT BOOK. That's twice as cool as Inkheart. Which world is real, indeed? I like this idea tremendously.

      That's right, I remember that TCATT friendship! *high fives* I too am quite content to let the charries work things out. There's far too much on their minds right now for a romance, anyway. :P

    4. I've actually not seen Inside Out! But I feel so honoured to be makign you laugh <3

      Three times as fast??? Wow! So is that people are actually, uh, moving faster, or that days are eight hours long rather than twenty four and so it's getting dark three times in 24 hours rather than once? But that sounds so complicated. I spent many years vaguely knowing the TCATT history with no timeline (I can't tell you how many times I needed to know a date and I just had to leave a space, with "WRITE A TIMELINE U FOOL" scrawled in the margin), and I thought it was a relief to finally figure it all out, but that sounds so much worse for you! Wow! I'm very impressed.

      Yes, there is an Inkheart vibe ... I really need to reread Inkheart though, it's been far to long! But I love the idea, and I'm glad you're onboard :D

      THEY'RE THE BEST! And yes, as we know, they can't kiss if they're saving the world ;)

    5. You should! It's such a great movie.

      Oh goodness, it's not as complicated as that! Those are nifty ideas, though. :) I guess the best way to explain it is that the two worlds are in different streams of time? Alewar is in its own stream. They still have 24 hr. days, but because they're in a different dimension, their whole world is aging faster than Earth. (Hopefully that makes sense.) It's a bit like how the Pevensies spend years and years in Narnia, but when they come back, almost no time as passed.
      Historical timelines for fantasy worlds are VASTLY IMPORTANT. And vastly pesky as well. I'm glad you've got it all sorted out! (And LOL, I put comments in the margins too, and they are often sarcastic. XD)

      It's been forever since I read it too. Though for the record, your idea DOES sound twice as epic. ^_^ I'm getting an Inkheart meets Inception sort of feel. (And I loooooove Inception, so yay!)


    6. I'd like to!

      OK, makes sense. So for Aileen and Josiah time feels normal in Alewar, because there it is normal, but when they come home they're older than they should be by earth time. That'll be awkward to explain! (And really sad? I'm imagining, like, when an immortal falls in love with an mortal and has to watch their love grow old while they stay the same. Imagine A and J coming back and finding their parents had died and all their friends had grown old ...)

      My comments in the margins are just like a massive series of in jokes with myself. (Who said writers can't have fun?!)

      I tried to watch Inception once but I really wasn't feeling it, I was watching it on a plane trying to distract myself from Skulduggery Pleasant 9 which I was trying to savour and didn't want to read all at once, hence putting a film on when I only wanted to read the book. It was a flight to/from Dubai (I can't remember) so it had Arabic subtitles so I started identifying the words the characters where saying w words onscreen and taught myself how to write a few words like "yes", "no", "dream", "father" etc etc. But in the end I put the film off ... So yeah, I should probably go back it to one day! XD

    7. Pretty much! So far it hasn't been much of a problem--they haven't been in Alewar for more than a few weeks at a time. But it could potentially become an issue. >:) I haven't really plotted out much behind book 2... (BTW, it's funny you referred to Aileen and Josiah by their first initials, because that's how I refer to them in my notes and in my thoughts ALL THE TIME. XD)

      Exactly! And joking with oneself is totally normal. ;D

      It's a complicated movie, and I can totally see how one wouldn't always be in the mood for it. Especially if it's a distraction from a really good book. Ha, that's so neat how you started picking up some words! That might actually be a good technique for learning another language, huh?

    8. "It could potentially become an issue. >:)" Tracey says. Authors the world over laugh at the pain we inflict on our characters. HA! HA! HA!

      Ha, of course! It's just completely natural to me, all my notes are like "C + F + J go to SH w/ D to meet TP, MP is rude to them". It becomes like a code, esp when characters have the same initials and it's all "M tells F about M" and only I can make any sense of it XD

      Totally ...


    9. That's all we authors do, folks. Laugh while inflicting pain.

      Same! I shorten most names to initials too, though I try to keep things somewhat clear so that I understand things when I come back to them. Pretty sure I've left indecipherable notes before and regretted it. XD