Monday, June 25, 2018

The Witch of Belle Isle {upcoming release}



AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Okay, so now that's over with...

I have some news.

Rebekah DeVall and I are doing a project.

Two separate projects, actually, but we're doing them together.

Last winter we wrote short stories for the Rooglewood Fairy Tale Contest, themed on/inspired by Snow White.

Click here to learn about her half, a story called Death's Mirror, and read on to hear a little about mine -- I'm borrowing the same tag she used, to describe my story, The Witch of Belle Isle.


{Pitch your story with an aesthetic}



A Snow White inspired historical fantasy set towards the end of the American Civil War.



{Introduce the main character with a line} 



The door of the long barracks, the hastily constructed building in which we lived, was open and a ray of sunlight trickled pale fingers inside. The rain had stopped, finally. I dragged myself to my feet and trudged for the door, following the other ghost-like men. This was hell. Hundreds of men wasting in filthy barracks, starving for food, starving for light. Hope seemed too far away, even as I stumbled into the sunshine. 

{If The Witch of Belle Isle wasn't mine, why would I want to read it?}


Okay, I hate answering questions like these. And right now I'm sick with a cold. Here goes:


  • Historical Fantasy. I love it. Taking something old and familiar, making something new out of it? DUDE. 
  • Fairy tale from the male's POV. I don't meet many of these, but I love reading the different perspectives. 
  • The main character, Henry. He's been sucked into this war between brothers, and now he's trapped in a Confederate prison camp, and all he wants now is to go home where it's safe, and warm, and quiet.

{If the antagonist were the main character, how would the story open?}


I did not ask for this, you know. All I wanted was to be safe, and loved, and desired. I did not ask for this. But now that power is within my grasp, I find I am loathe to give it up. 



{What am I doing in Belle Isle that is new for me, as a writer?}


Using a real historical place that I've had to research myself. The Christmas Ladder is a historical piece, but it's based on my own family history, and there wasn't a lot of research involved for it. Spinner of Secrets is only a loose historical fantasy. But The Witch of Belle Isle is a historical fantasy set in a very real place. I'm so used to making things up as I go that sitting down, researching, fitting my story into the boundaries presented by my research--it was a fun and exciting challenge. I'm not a historian, I won't promise that it's 100% accurate--but if you're looking for that in a historical fantasy, then my friend, that's a different problem.



{What does the main character want to change in their lives/world?}


Henry is a Union soldier in a Confederate prison camp. He's tired of the fighting, the killing, the death. He wants to go home. He also wants his country to be at peace, but he hasn't figured out how to make that happen, and in fact he's kind of given up on it for now.


{Share a newly written line}



“Keep hope,” Reverend Morris had told me, day after day. “You’re young and strong. You can beat them still. Wouldn’t that be the greatest triumph, to defeat them by living?”
Reverend Morris hadn’t been particularly old, but he was one of the men whom we were burying. 

{You're stranded in The Witch of Belle Isle~! Who do you go to for help?}


Definitely Faith. She's full of determination and love and yes, faith. Here's one of my favorite lines from her so far: 


“We should win the war because of the strength of our convictions, not because of magicks and charms. That is no true victory.”


The Witch of Belle Isle and Death's Mirror are coming out on July 20th, 2018, so be looking for them! You can pre-order Belle Isle on Amazon, here.

Oh, and here's the link to Rebekah's post again: Death's Mirror

~Annie

Copyright 2018 by Annie Louise Twitchell
Images from Pixabay, Pexels, Unsplash 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

I'm Going... On A Vacation!




Well, kind of.

I've had an interesting relationship with summer vacation for a ridiculously long time, but one thing has been true for the last several years: I never stick to my blogging schedule during the summer.

I mean, it's not like I stick to my schedule anyway; my schedule says I post once a week on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday (but not usually Wednesday) and I still don't manage to be super consistent with that. I've learned to loosen up a lot and just let it be what it is, and if I don't post this week, so be it! I'm okay with that.

Anyway, as I sit here in my chair at 9pm trying to decide what to do this evening, I decided to go look at my blog set up, and hey look! I have no scheduled posts, no drafts, and no ideas.

And I'm okay with that.

As of right now, I'm offically giving myself the summer off. If I have something that really merits a blog post, I'll make one up and schedule it for one of the days in my terribly ambiguous schedule. If not, I'm not going to worry about it.

In other words, see you in August!

But I'll be on my social media accounts on my usual semi-daily basis and sending my newsletter every month, so I won't be vanishing entirely. It's just that I spend so much time outside during the summer and I'm trying to get out of the habit of 6am to 11pm work days, so I think removing this stresser for the summer months will be a huge benefit for my overall sanity. (People tell me it's questionable at best.)

I plan to spend the summer reading, swimming, gardening, not dying while my family does a plethora of projects, star gazing and mosquito swatting, avoiding moose flies (ask me sometime about being used a moose fly bait when I was nine), writing, and hanging out with a popsicle. I had planned to hike a mountain in July until the weather got to a roasting 72 degrees Fahrenheit last week and I remembered why I like hiking in September: less bugs and less heat. So the hiking trip might be postponed. We'll see.

See you in August if not before!

-Annie

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Summer Reading {and why I need some lemonade}



As you may know, I read a lot of books. My Goodreads count so far for 2018 is thirty-two, which is lower than I'd expected, but it's because I haven't really read much in the last couple weeks even though I have three or four books I'm currently reading through.

In the last couple of days, I've identified the "reading block" I've been experiencing. It helped once I realized this is something that happens every year. You see, I read a lot of fantasy stories during the year. And every year for the last... six years or so, when the weather here turns hot, I stop being able to read fantasy.

Now, why this happens, I have no idea. But it happens. And to some extent it affects my ability to write fantasy.

So today I have a favor to ask:

Recommend your favorite contemporary, romance, chick lit, mystery, etc, and I'll check it out. I might not read it--depending on how many I get and which ones I'm interested in--but I need some more contemporary lit!

Bonus points if it's an Indie author. Because the Indie book club I'm in focuses on Indie Fantasy, I haven't met many contemporary Indies.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need some lemonade to make up for forcing my head to read fantasy when it's too hot to handle it.

~Annie