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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Blog Tour - The Christmas Dragon & Strings by Ruthanne Reid | Guest Post, Spreading the Word, & Gift Card Giveaway

Today I'm turning my blog over to Ruthanne Reid, who is talking about her process to getting her characters just right.

ALSO -- Be sure to check out Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post to be able to sign up for this blog stop's GIVEAWAY!! [Blog Tour & Giveaway will run from February 4 - May 20, 2015]



How I Make My Characters Believable

Oh, my friend, you are asking the wrong person (or possibly the very best one) to answer this. Why? Because I cut my literary teeth on Tolkien.

Understand, I love Tolkien. His adventures remain the primary spark that lit my burning love of stories (if you’ll pardon the painful metaphor). But there was a downside: Tolkien came from a grand and stolid tradition involving flat characters, grand histories, and almost no women.

I should make a pun about ashes here, but no.

It’s really no shock that when I started writing my first stories, I also had flat characters, grand histories, and no women. That doesn’t work so well in today’s reading market. So how did I break out of that? Anime and fanfiction.

Tolkien gave me vast landscapes and enormous palettes to create, but anime gave me something I desperately needed: fleshed-out characters. Japanese artists have really mastered Vonnegut’s principle that every character must want something, even if it’s just a glass of water. From anime, I learned how to weave cute characters, dark characters, and complicated souls into plots both mystical and mundane. Creating fanfiction, I finally grasped what might be the most important aspect of character development: you have to love your character.

Even if those characters are despicable, hideous, heinous and rude, on some level, you have to love them. That means understanding the way they work; what drives them; what they love and hate; and the reasons why they do the things they do.

This transformed my writing, and my characters went from cardboard cutouts to full-fledged people. Of course, there is a risk to that, too. Fully-fledged characters tend to have a mind of their own. I’ve learned part of making them believable is to listen to them - even if that means the story I had plotted out has to change. This can be panic-inducing, but it’s always worthwhile. "Strings" certainly didn’t end the way I wanted it to, but Grey and Barry refused to act the way I’d plotted. I’m deeply glad I listened to them. Their plotline was better than mine.

So, in sum: I love my characters,I listen to them, and before I know it, they blossom into three-dimensional people whose problems are worth solving.



"The Christmas Dragon"
[Among the Mythos Series, Book 2] by Ruthanne Reid

Author's Book Description :
    All Katie Lin wants is to get away from her family: from the magic, from the mayhem, and from the never-ending war.

    Unfortunately, someone has other ideas, and sends her a box. A box that jumps.

    The tiny fire hazard inside may just force her back to Wales – and right into the path of a dragon war, the Crow King, and at least one reluctant elf prince. Sometimes, running away just doesn’t work as planned.

My Book Review :
    4.5 out of 5 stars!! Katie--a descendant of "Merlin"--just wants a normal life. However, the "normal" life she carved out for herself will never be the same when her "Uncle Merlin" leaves a mystical white baby dragon on her front porch. After that, all bets are off...

    WOW!! I loved Katie and her quirky ways. This intense novella hooks you and keeps you asking for more! [READ MY FULL REVIEW & TWO TEASERS]

This book is available to order on :

Amazon.com (e-Book) | Amazon.com (Paperback) | IndieBound (Paperback) | Smashwords (e-Book)

** Be sure to add it to your TBR pile on Goodreads! **



Book Excerpt : "The Christmas Dragon"

The box jumped.

Boxes are not supposed to jump. It’s a law somewhere, I think. Maybe Guyana. Apparently not in New Hampshire, because the box kept jumping.

I sat in my idling car, puffs of exhaust rising in my rear-view mirror, and stared at the uncoordinated box-dance. It was wrapped in the loveliest paper, too, which was a shame, because bouncing on my boot-scraper had roughened all the corners and torn one edge. The bow was big and purple and covered in small green somethings. I wasn’t close enough to make them out.

I didn’t want to be close enough to make them out.

If I didn’t do something soon, the neighbors would notice. The box probably hadn’t been jumping all morning, or there’d be a crowd. Or maybe it was already on YouTube. I didn’t know.

So much for a safe, boring life among the Ever-Dying. New Hampshire, you have failed me.

I turned off the car. Time to go see what invaded my (mostly) magic-free space.



"Strings"
[Among the Mythos Series, Book 3] by Ruthanne Reid

Author's Book Description :
    Need help? You probably shouldn’t ask Grey.

    He’s a runaway Fey prince in New York City. He feeds on love like some kind of vampire. He really doesn’t like people.

    Then a monster hunts him down in late-night Manhattan, ruins his vacation, and forces him into the fight of his life.

    He’s marked, and monsters are coming for him. Grey had no plans to be a hero, but that doesn’t matter. Sometimes, no matter what you do, you aren’t the one pulling the strings.

My Book Review :
    4 out of 5 stars! Three months after “The Christmas Dragon,” book 2 in this series, we now follow John Grey, who’s an Unseelie Fey Prince, while he sates his needs in Manhattan. However, at the end of one of his “sets” Grey finds himself hunted by something to be thought of as a myth with only the “help” of humans to save him. Will his “help” be enough?

    This interesting look into Grey, really sets the tone for the series and makes me wonder as to where all of these “personal stories” will lead. [READ MY FULL REVIEW & TWO TEASERS]

This book is available to order on :

Amazon.com (e-Book) | Amazon.com (Paperback) | IndieBound (Paperback) | Smashwords (e-Book)

** Be sure to add it to your TBR pile on Goodreads! **


STRINGS by Among the Mythos, Fantasy Series by Ruthanne Reid -- REVIEW TO COME #teaser #meme-- CONTEST LINK TO COME SOON!
Posted by From Me to You - Video, Photography, & Book Reviews on Friday, April 17, 2015



About the Author :

Indie author Ruthanne Reid writes about elves, aliens, vampires, and space-travel with equal abandon. She is the author of the series Among the Mythos, and believes good stories should be shared. Subscribe to her free email newsletter for free books and more at http://amongthemythos.com. You can connect with her on Twitter (http://twitter.com/ruthannereid), Facebook (http://facebook.com/mythos), or Tumblr (http://twitter.com/ruthannereid), where she looks at too many kittens and Avengers blogs.

Ruthanne’s love of magic, urban environments, and deep space birthed a strange world with undercurrents of faith, magic, villainy, and heroism (along with swords and lasers, on occasion). Among the Mythos showcases aliens with all-too-human feelings, entire societies on the decline due to greed and fear, protagonists who might actually be the bad guys (or vice-versa), and endings every bit as messy as the world that creates them.

Ruthanne knows from experience that endings are messy. No matter how exotic the setting, how many limbs the characters have or what (if any) genders, the problems and questions addressed by a good story are very real, and that’s why they have power. If she has a theme, it is this: keep fighting, and keep pushing toward hope, because the struggle is worth the finish-line.




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6 comments :

  1. What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I loved your comments. Both reviews were great.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I enjoyed the article How I Make My Characters Believable. I always like to hear the thought process behind the author's writing.

    ReplyDelete

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