The ULTIMATE Twinepathy Q/A | The Characters Answer Your Questions!

Hello, everyone, my name is Anvil, and I’m “guiding” you through this post. Jen was supposed to do it, but she’s pretty busy at the moment, so she asked me to take over. C.B. says to tell you: Be forewarned that there may be SPOILERS in this post… most of them will be in white text, which you can highlight to read if you wish. Whatever that means. So let’s get on to the questions.

Albany

Sarahtps: What’s the best thing about being twins? The worst? Same with the mind connection thing? Being twins: Having someone who knows you really well and who’s with you all the time. That’s the best and the worst thing. Mind connection… there are a lot of good things, but I know the worst thing is having trouble keeping a secret, even if it’s just like a surprise party or something.

What’s your favorite board game? I’m not a big fan of board games. I prefer Solitaire. But if I had to pick one… Sorry, maybe?

Madeline: How did you find out about your telepathic abilities? It was a very traumatic moment when we were three. Not my favorite memory to recount…

Sarah: What is your favorite season? I like winter, mostly because it’s a great time to curl up with a book. And winter break.

Brooklyn

Sarahtps: What’s the best thing about being twins? The worst? Same with the mind connection thing? I love being able to know Albany really well, but sometimes she gets annoyed with me. Our mind connection is fun… it’s nice to be able to talk silently. The worst thing is when our nightmares spill over into each other’s heads. Not fun.

What’s your favorite board game? Monopoly! It provides lots of time for talking and hanging out, and I usually win.

Madeline: How did you find out about your telepathic abilities? It’s always been hard for me to remember, Albany says I blocked out the memory. But I know it was when we were about three, and it was really weird.

Sarah: What is your favorite season? Definitely spring! I love when everything is new and fresh, especially with happily chirping birds and bright flowers!

Jen/Data

Deborah: What is your favorite color? Probably a silvery gray. Pretty but kind of practical.

What is your opinion on penguins? The only penguin I actually like is Finch as a penguin.

If you could have a different superpower, what would it be? Something more useful in a fight, like energy manipulation. I’m particularly fond of metal manipulation. It has quite a few practical applications.

Sarahtps: If you could go back in time and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would you tell her? There are a few places in time I’d like to go just to watch again… but I’d tell my younger self to please, please stay away from computers. Never touch.

Sarah: What situation, event, or person has shaped you and your personality the most? My power. I’d be a completely different person without all of the knowledge I’ve gathered, much less the experiences and situations my power has gotten me into.

Blaze

Deborah: Do you live on caffeine, sugar, and donuts? I’d like to say yes, but then I’d be lying. I have to have pizza, too.

What was Canberra and why wasn’t it your fault? That was… a mission that went wrong. Badly wrong. And it was my fault, I just prefer to pretend it’s not. Can we move on?

Which of your two superpowers do you like more? Light manipulation. Teleporting is fun, but honestly, light manipulation is really useful. And good for pranking.

How can you always tell Albany and Brooklyn apart? I’m a light manipulator. I can put nametags on them that only I can see, or I can find something that’s different about them just by making the light reflect differently. Besides, their personalities are way different.

Can you give us a HINT about your name like a letter or something? My name? Oh, that’s easy. John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith.

Sarahtps: What’s your real name? Billy Bob Joe. Or not.

What’s your favorite food? You’re asking me to decide what my favorite food is? How could you be so cruel! Let’s just go with donuts.

If you could be a character in the Star Wars universe, either a canon one or one you made up, who would you want to be? Totally Han. I mean, he has a wookie friend and an awesome ship.

Jemma: What is the best prank you’ve ever pulled? Ah, it was at school. The prank involved three chickens, a container of silly string, a water gun filled with grape juice, and the math teacher’s toupee. They never saw it coming.

Madeline: How did you get into IDIA? Recruited by Jen when I was a lot younger… but that’s a really long story for another time.

Sarah: What superpower do you wish you could have? Honestly, I love the superpower I have now. But any other one… maybe telekinesis. It’s really useful, and I could fly.

Hann: Who was your first crush/love interest? Cynthia Rogers in kindergarten. It didn’t last long.

Maddie

Sarahtps: What was your first thought on waking up without your memories? I’m pretty sure I was wondering where I was, and why my head felt kind of funny. But that was a crazy moment, so it’s all really mixed up in my head.

Also, can I hug you? Um… yes?

If you were a color, what color would you be? Red! It’s my favorite color. I love how bright and bold it is.

Anvil

Deborah: Can I have your cookie recipe? Possibly. Only if I think you can do it justice, though. How well can you cook?

How are you so awesome? Umm… I’m not? If you think I am, I can give you the recipe: a dash of childhood trauma, a few cups of bad influences, and a sprinkle of saving grace and second chances.

May I please hug you? *stands there stiffly while you hug him*

What is your opinion on Blaze? He’s okay. He could be taken down a few pegs, though, and sometimes his mouth gets him into trouble.

Alyssa: What is your favorite type of cookie? I love most cookies, but I really enjoy a good white chocolate macadamia nut. Classic Snickerdoodles are good, too.

Ezra

Sarahtps: What’s your ideal date night? Ooooh, uhhm. Movie marathon, I’m a sucker for any excuse to eat junk food.

Are you and Denver getting married someday? We’re still pretty young, but I’m certainly not opposed to the idea for the future. My parents married young as well.

SPOILER: Are you ever going to tell Denver about your involvement in IDIA? You should know that I’m a terrible liar in the first place, and I absolutely hate doing it. So, I would really really like to tell him, but Data won’t let me. I’m not sure how much longer I can keep it from him…

Madeline: What is your favorite thing about Denver? You’re killing me here, just one thing? I guess, his intelligence. I love being able to goof off with him in one moment, and then being able to discuss all sorts of things the next, just to hear his opinion on something. Okay, and his smile can make me melt. Don’tmakemepickone.


Powergirl: What’s your favorite thing about IDIA? Knowing I’m not alone. I mean, I’ve still yet to make any close friends…but it’s nice being among people like me! And I’ve always wanted to help people, so that’s probably on the same level for me.

Denver

Sarahtps: What’s your ideal date night? Movie and pizza, with a walk in the park afterwards. Or, if it’s winter, going ice skating. We haven’t gotten to do that yet.

Are you and Ezra getting married someday? Um… Maybe? I don’t know… that’s… awkward… why would you ask that?

Random

Sarahtps: You (Albany, Brooklyn, Jen, Blaze, and Maddie) are, as a group, spontaneously transported to an unknown fantasy world. What do you do? (Blaze’s powers don’t work to teleport you all back, for the record, though he can teleport you anywhere within that world.) (Jen wishes to answer this question:) I would be in charge, of course. Albany and Brooklyn would help Maddie build a shelter and gather fruit, while Blaze and I explore the island, and Blaze uses his powers to frighten animals away. We would survive long enough to build a raft or contact someone for help. Or build something sturdy that Maddie could use to fly us away.

And that is all for the Q&A, finally. I hope you enjoyed it, and if you did, please consider buying the book on Amazon, as a paperback or Kindle copy, or buy it in the CreateSpace estore. And add it on Goodreads if you’d like. Have fun. Anvil out.

Advertisements

Big News (Alaska-Sized) and Twinepathy Part 38

Hullo, everyone!!! As the title says, I have HUGE news for today!

I HAVE FINISHED WRITING TWINEPATHY!!!!!!!!

lotrpartygif

I think that’s worthy of some dancing and celebration, don’t you? 😀 It’s been about five or six months since I started, and I’ve found that I really enjoyed writing this story! Now comes the hard part – the editing. We’ll see how that goes! 😉

In the meantime, enjoy a special extra part for today! (See part one if you’re new!)

———

Jen frowns at me. “Volt?”

I nod. “Yeah, you know, pretty, tall, purple hair…” Jen gives me a look and I clamp my mouth shut.

“She’s on a little mission. Why?” Jen asks, almost suspiciously.

“She was on a date with our brother and had to cancel,” I explain, tilting my head.

Jen nods. “This is more important than a date. And speaking of that mission…” She gives Blaze a pointed look, and he leaps to his feet.

“All right, let’s head back out to the lobby.” He begins herding us toward the door, motioning for Keller and The Finch to follow. We pile out of the office, leaving Jen alone at her desk. Blaze shuts the door behind us. Com glances at us disinterestedly, and Blaze leads us down a side hall that we haven’t been down before. The Finch and Keller follow us, Keller because she has no choice and Finch probably because he doesn’t have anything more exciting to do.

Blaze holds open a door, and we step into a large room with a bunch of circular tables with chairs around them. Quite a few people are in the room, talking, working, or just hanging out. Blaze has us sit down at a table and then teleports to who knows where, leaving us in awkward silence.

I glance at Brooklyn as she scoots her chair around to sit next to Keller. She starts by introducing herself, and before I know it, they’re having a casual, friendly conversation. Who knew? I look around for Maddie and notice that she’s talking to Finch. You’d never put the two of them together if not for their similar amnesia experiences.

Blaze reappears suddenly, a huge grin on his face and two boxes of donuts in his arms. He sets them on the table and slides into the chair next to me. “I hope you guys like donuts. You’d better get what you want before everyone else catches the scent.” He winks and plops two chocolate-glazed donuts on a napkin.

Brooklyn reluctantly takes a donut, probably thinking about how guilty she’ll feel later. Keller refuses, and Maddie takes a plain one. Finch grabs a couple, and I take a chocolate one, too. Might as well.

The other two conversations resume and Blaze turns to me. “So, how are you?” he asks in a conversational tone.

“Oh, I’m doing just wonderful,” I reply sarcastically – my go-to response when anyone asks me how I’m doing. “My sister is stressed out and keeps having monster headaches, there’s a serial amnesia-causer on the loose, and I’m…” I trail off grumpily.

“You’re not doing so hot, either, but no one’s really asked about that,” Blaze finishes, lifting an eyebrow.

“No,” I retort. “I’m frustrated with everything and all I want to do is hit something. Hard. Preferably whoever messed up my wonderful life.”

“So… Data, then?” Blaze says skeptically.

I pause. “Well, no. More like this amnesia-causing person.”

“Serial memory killer,” Blaze offers with a grin.

I glare at him. “This isn’t a joke, you know. It’s serious.”

“Well…” he says slowly. “Not all jokes have punch lines.” I groan, and he leans forward earnestly. “Really, Albany, when’s the last time you let loose and had a little fun?”

I shrug. “The last time it was appropriate.”

Blaze sighs, but then gets a twinkle in his eye. “If I take you to where Ezra is, will you promise to do something fun soon?”

I narrow my eyes at him as his question sinks in. “Are you asking me out?”

His face darkens suddenly. “No. I’m not. I don’t date.”

I give him a skeptical look that turns to curiosity as I see the hardness and distance that has taken over his expression. “What? Why not?”

Blaze shakes his head, and his expression nearly returns to normal, but it lacks its usual spunky, mischievous look. “Never mind. But will you?”

I pause, curiosity heightened, but I stuff it down. “Sure.”

He grabs my arm, and we teleport.

—Note: This is not the final part. Just so you know. ;)—

Writing About Writing: Cover Design – Part Two

Hi, everyone! This is my official post for the cover design for Paralyzed Dreams. If you missed my last post with cover design tips, go check it out! This post will give you a sort-of template for designing a cover, using the cover for Paralyzed Dreams as an example. I used Photoshop for my cover, so some parts may be different for you. Note: I am not an expert… and this might not work for every book. This is just a basic outline.

1: Find a picture. If you don’t know what picture you’re going to use, make a list of important items in your story. See Cover Design – Part One for more details on this. For Paralyzed Dreams, the main elements were volleyball, the wheelchair, and Pam. After a lot of searching, I decided on the wheelchair and found this picture:

wheelchair5

Look familiar? 😀

2: Next, find out what size your cover needs to be. Amazon KDP recommends that your cover be about 1000 pixels by 1600 pixels. If you’re going to put your cover on other sites, check to see what size they recommend. You may have to make several different covers, and you’ll have to make a separate cover for print books as well.

3: After you’ve figured out what size your cover needs to be, open a file in your cover-making program that is that size. This should be fairly self-explanatory.

4: Extra tip: Don’t mess with your background layer; leave it as is. This applies to all projects. Now that you’ve got your file, place the photo onto it. Move it around until you like how it looks. You can always move it some more later. (If you’re using more than one picture, this is where you would combine them. Maybe I’ll post on that sometime.) After this step, mine looked like this:

paralyzeddreamskindlestep4

5: Add effects so your cover doesn’t look just like a plain old picture. I added a black gradient to the top so my white text would stand out and some swirls just for a nice touch. 😉

Gradient

Gradient

Swirls

Swirls

6: Add your text. To make your cover look more professional, try using different fonts within the title if it’s two or more words. Also, change the size around. Always try to use at least two fonts. I used three: Print Clearly for “paralyzed”, Alex Brush for “Dreams”, and Portmanteau for my name. Try to use a font for your name that you can use on all of your books to create an author brand. That way, everyone can recognize your books and name.

The Final Product:

The Final Product!

I’ll probably do more posts on cover design at some point. There’s so much to cover! (Pun not originally intended…) What do you think of the cover? Like this post? Anything you want to know more about? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!

Writing About Writing: Cover Design – Part One

Hi, everyone!

So after my big news post on Monday, I’ve had several people mention that they’d like to hear more about the self-publishing process. I’ve noticed that there’s a scarcity of blog posts out there about self-publishing… the details, at least. One of the things I’ve recently been looking for – and haven’t found – are posts on creating professional-looking covers. And since that’s my favorite part, that’s where I’ve decided to start. 😉 This first post will focus on general tips, and the next one will provide a sort of process to help you design a professional cover.

First, decide whether you should design your cover yourself or hire a professional cover designer. There are actually some fairly inexpensive cover designers out there, and there are also places where you can buy a pre-made book cover. If you don’t have a lot of time and patience, this might be a better idea. Also, if you don’t have access to a photo manipulation program (Photoshop is what I use), getting a cover designer might be the better choice. (I believe there are also online programs you can use, but I can’t be sure). There are tutorials out there for creating covers in Word, but all the ones I’ve tried… *cough* I’m sticking with Photoshop. Just keep in mind that there are alternatives to making your own cover.

Your cover is the first thing readers will see, whether it’s in print format or ebook. Your cover needs to pique readers’ interest, while still being important to your story. If you’re writing a historical romance, your cover shouldn’t look like it’s for a zombie book or a murder mystery. That’s why the pictures you choose are so important, along with the fonts.

Before I go any further, I need to point out some things about copyrights. *sigh* If you use pictures from Google images, then there’s a high chance that you’ll be infringing on someone’s copyright. You have to make sure that you have the rights to both images and fonts. You have several choices. You can either buy your own images (and fonts) from websites that sell royalty free images (like iStock and Shutterstock). Make sure that you’re buying a commercial license for the picture, not just a non-commercial license. You can also use the stock fonts on your computer and pictures you take yourself. The fonts that come on your computer are usually unprofessional and easily recognizable… don’t use Papyrus, please. Honestly, the most over used font. 😀 If you’re a good photographer, or if you know a good photographer, doing your own photo shoot is the best idea. Finally, there’s a huge selection of free for commercial use fonts and images. You may not be able to find exactly what you’re looking for, but there are plenty of options. Always, always, always check the license on fonts and images before using them. If the creator/photographer does not specifically say that you can use it for commercial use, ask them. It’s always best to be safe. And let people know when you use their fonts/images. If they’re offering them for free, the least you can do is let them see what you’re using their creations for. Best advice? Unless stated otherwise, always assume that content is copyrighted.

If you made it through that paragraph, you deserve a reward. 😉 So here are some of the sites I use for photo and font finding. Pixabay is great. When you click on an image, the profile tells you whether it can be used for commercial use and if you need to give credit to the photographer. There’s also Unsplash. If you subscribe, they’ll send you ten pictures every ten days that are free for commercial use. They also have a new search feature, too.

For fonts, I use dafont.com and Font Squirrel. Both sites have fonts that are for non-commercial use only and commercial-use. Font Squirrel has a page for each font where you can see the license. On dafont.com, things are a little less clear cut. Just make sure to check with the creator, and read all read-me documents included with the font.

Now that we’ve got all of that stuff out of the way, here’s the best way to figure out what picture to put on your cover. First, make a list of all items and people that are important in your story… as in “cover worthy” important. Don’t choose something or someone that is important for a plot twist. You want your reader to be drawn in by the cover, but you really don’t want to give too much away. That’s why the cover is one of the most important aspects of self-publishing. Of any book, for that matter.

One last bit of advice before I end this post. Study other covers in your genre. You want yours to stand out, but you don’t want it to be too drastically different. Ashlee Willis has an awesome cover for her book The Word Changers.

And those are my tips for helping you design your covers. Hope you don’t mind how long this post was! 😀 Got a cover you’ve made that you would like opinions on? Post the link in the comments below! I can guarantee that at least one person will check it out. *cough*me*cough* I’d love to see them!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this, and that it’ll help you with designing your cover. Questions? Comments? Anything you want to see in future posts about self-publishing? Comment below!

Thanks to all of you, Paralyzed Dreams has gotten up to #37 in its category! Read it? I’d love to hear what you think! Haven’t? Go ahead! 😀 Stay tuned for updates on the upcoming Paralyzed Dreams virtual book tour!

Book Review: Our Intrepid Heroine by Ness Kingsley

I believe this is the first fantasy book I’ve read since Ashlee Willis’s The Word Changers… which, yes, I will be reviewing soon. I need to reread it first, though, since it’s been so long, and I might as well review this book while it’s fresh in my memory. 🙂

ourintrepidheroinecover

 This book was awesome. The prologue was wonderful… I’m not the type who skips over prologues, and I certainly would not skip over this one. I really liked Ness’s writing style.

When I began to read the first chapter, I was a little annoyed because the narrator kept interrupting the story, which made it take a while for the story to get started. But I really got to like the narrator and didn’t mind so much. She – I assume it’s a she – added some awesome irony and just helped add some extra zing to the story. Zing. What a fun word. Just like the story. 😀

Back on track. Our Intrepid Heroine (which is how I must refer to her) was a really good character. All of the characters were nice. “The Female” was appropriately annoying, I must say. 😉 But somehow I still liked her a little.

This plot… *sigh* Just the idea behind it was enough to pull me in. A girl going to kill a dragon… which she’s never done before. I could tell the story was going to be funny just by reading the summary. “And a frog” is now going to be my go-to funny line when listing things off. 😉 I was definitely not disappointed. Ness Kingsley has a wonderful sense of humor. The situations, the characters, the narrator, and Our Intrepid Heroine’s dragon-killing instruction book… all just wonderfully crafted. (And I’ve found myself referring to her book as the How To Kill Your Dragon book since I can’t remember the title. 😛 )

I can’t wait for the sequel to this book to come out! Go check out Ness’s blog, and go get Our Intrepid Heroine! You’ll love it, and it’s totally worth it! 🙂

Big News, Y’all (Texas-Sized)

*deep calming breath*

It may be hard for me to get through this post with using too many exclamation points/italics/all caps, but I’ll try to tone it down.

First off, the least exciting of the two pieces of news… I finished the first draft of my WIP… which is not a work in progress anymore. 🙂 I’m so glad to have finished it. My reaction was a combination of relief and…

Tom Hiddleston excited

That pretty much sums it up. Thank you, Tom Hiddleston.

Now for the second piece of super exciting news… the really, really big one.

I am officially a published author.

paralyzeddreamskindle

She lost everything she’d ever dreamed of.

Fourteen-year-old Pam Wilson’s life is going perfectly. She and her best friend, Lauren, are becoming an amazing volleyball duo, and her dreams of playing in the Olympics are coming along wonderfully. Then a car accident paralyzes Pam from the waist down, and her dreams for her life are shattered. No more volleyball, no more walking, no more future. The only thing she has left is her faith in God… if she would only turn there.

Eeek!!! I’m so excited! Please go check it out! I’ll probably be posting more about self-publishing through Kindle Direct Publishing at some point, and possibly on cover design, since I love how this one turned out. I’d love to hear what you have to say!

And now, some memes/gifs to attempt to describe how I’m feeling…

ihazexcitement

hiddlestonexcited2

Funny how similar he and that cat look…

excitedjeremyrenner

tom hiddleston excited

Thank you, guys, and go check out the book! 🙂