Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Anticipated releases of 2016 - I own the first book in the series or the first book is on my wishlist

Hi booklovers

This is part two of my most anticipated releases of 2016.

B) I already own the first book in the series:

#1 Victoria Aveyard: Cruel Crown - Jan 6th
                          Glass Sword - Feb 9th
#2 Claudia Gray: Firebird #3 - 2016 (the first book in this series is 'A Thousand Pieces of You')
There is no cover or exact release date yet.


c) I have the first book of the series on my wishlist: 

#1 Marie Rutkoski: The Winner's Kiss - March 29th 
#2 Rachel Hawkins: Lady Renegades - April 5th

#3 Maggie Stiefvater: The Raven King - April 26th 
#4 Renee Ahdieh: The Rose and the Dagger - May 3rd
#5 Morgan Rhodes: The Darkest Magic - June 28th
#6 Mary E. Pearson: The Beauty of Darkness - August 2nd

#7 Sabaa Tahir: A Torch Against the Night - Aug 30th

 This isn't the final cover
#8 Leigh Bardugo: Crooked Kingdom - Sept 22nd
There hasn't been a cover release yet.


Let me know if you are excited about any of these, or any other releases.

Bye for now

Annelies

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Anticipated releases of 2016 - Continuing series

Hi booklovers

2016 is fast approaching so I thought I'd show you the books I'm looking forward to being released next year. If you want to know more about the books, just click on the title.

I'm dividing this into different categories and splitting it up into different posts:

A) Books that will continue series I've already started:

#1 Marissa Meyer: Stars Above - Feb 2nd
This is a short story collection consisting of nine stories. What more can we ask for? :-)

#2 Katie McGarry: Walk the Edge - March 29th
This is the second one in the Thunder Road series and I'm really looking forward to reading Razor's story.

#3 Sarah J. Maas: A Court of Mist and Fury - May 3rd
This isn't the final cover
I've heard that this is a 'Hades and Persephone' retelling. I liked ACOTAR so I'm curious to see where the story goes.

#4 Morgan Matson: The Unexpected Everything - May 3rd 
I like that Morgan Matson's contemporary stories are cute but not all lovey-dovey.

#5 Marissa Meyer: Heartless - Nov 8th
 This isn't the final cover
An Alice in Wonderland retelling? Yes, please! Written from the Queen of Hearts' POV? Interesting!

#6 Erika Johansen: The Fate of the Tearling - Nov 29th
I enjoyed 'Queen of the Tearling', but I still need to read 'Invasion of the Tearling'. Seeing as this isn't released until the end of the year, I still have time to catch up!

#7 Krista & Becca Ritchie: Damaged Like Us - tentative release date: 2016
Since the 'Addicted and Calloway Sisters' series are my second favourite reads of 2015, it's more than natural that I'm excited to read anything this wonderful duo releases!

#8 Cora Carmack: All Closed Off - 2016
There is no cover or exact release date yet
I really liked the first three books in the 'Rusk University' series and I think this POV will be even more interesting!
#9 Sarah J. Maas: Throne of Glass #5 - 2016
There is no cover or exact release date yet
I know I haven't read 'Queen of Shadows' yet, but I will read it before the next one comes out.

#10 Morgan Rhodes: Falling Kingdoms #5 - 2016
 There is no cover or exact release date yet
Same as with TOG, I haven't read Frozen Tides yet, but I will. There's only the small detail of buying it first! And maybe I should read 'A Book of Spirits and Thieves' first.

#11 Sara Raash: Frost Like Night - 2016
There is no cover or exact release date yet
Even though I'm still reading 'Snow Like Ashes' and I'm not that far in, I think I will enjoy this book, so hopefully I'll be able to catch up by the time the last book in the trilogy is released.


Let me know in the comments what some of your most anticipated releases of 2016 are.

Bye for now

Annelies
 

Monday, 28 December 2015

My top 10 favourite books of 2015

Hi booklovers

Another - reading - year gone by, another top 10 favourite books.

I would like to start by sharing my reading year according to Goodreads:
I've read 54 books. Again, Goodreads doesn't count rereads, so I read 58 books, which is 6 less than last year, but I'm totally okay with that :-)
 
I read a total number of 14 843 pages, averaging at 303 pages. The shortest book I read was 35 pages and the longest book 562 pages.
 
My ratings: 5*: 2
                4.5*: 9
                4*: 25
                3.75*: 3
                3.5: 11
                3: 7
with an average rating of 3.6*

Two sidenotes before I move on to my top 10:
1) The books I read weren't necessarily published in 2015.

2) It was really hard to rank these books, but since they made it to my top 10 I obviously love(d) them all.

#10: Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes
I've only read the first three books in the series so far, but I really enjoyed them. I gave each of them 4 stars. Since I'm a bit behind on reading the sequels in certain series, I haven't ordered Frozen Tides yet. I haven't read nor do I own 'A book of Spirits and Thieves', but I think I want to pick it up.










I only recently jumped on the bandwagon of the Saga graphic novels and I don't know why I waited so long to pick them up. I  gave them both 4 stars. I borrowed them from the library, but unfortunately they don't have the next volumes yet, so I might buy them for myself. These were the first graphic novels I ever read and because they are a bit 'different' it took some getting used to, but once I got into the story it kept me wanting to read more.
 
#8: Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
This is the third book in the 'His Fair Assassin's' trilogy and by far my favourite of the three. I gave it 4.5 stars. This one wasn't as political as the first two and I really loved Annith as a character.

#7: The Violet Blake novella series by Bre Faucheux

I've read a couple of Bre's books this year and I have to say the Violet Blake series was my favourite one, closely followed by The Keeper's Realm. I gave them all 4 stars, except for the first one which I gave 3.75 stars. I have read them as individual novella's but now they are sold as a boxset. This is a really good paranormal story with a lot of character development and some surprising plot twists.

#6: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

I couldn't not include a Katie McGarry book in my top 10. This is the first book in Katie's new Thunder Road series and I loved it - I gave it 4.5 stars. Rachel and Isaiah (Crash Into You) will always be my favourite Katie McGarry couple, but Oz and Emily come in a close second.

#5: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

This was the first Morgan Matson book I read and I really loved it. I have a non-spoiler review of this on my blog. I gave it 4.5 stars.
 

#4: Assissin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
I discovered this book by watching Sam from NovelsAndNonsense rave about these books and this author in a lot of her videos and I'm very glad I picked it up. I also have a non-spoiler review of this book. I gave it 4 stars and I want to continue this series soon.

#3: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

This was my second 5 star read of this year and this book made me ugly cry so much. It was so emotional and well-written, I loved it - even more than Amy & Roger. I have Since You've Been Gone on my TBR pile and I want to pick it up during the spring of next year, because Morgan Matson has another book coming out in May 2016 and I want to read Since You've Been Gone first.

#2: The Addicted series and its spinoff series the Calloway sisters by Becca & Krista Ritchie

This is another series I've picked because of a BookTuber - Jillian of Bookishandnerdy. She was raving about the first book in the series and I decided to pick it up and I'm so happy that I did. I really had to pace myself to read this series because I've had some bad experiences with marathoning series and I wanted to make the series last as long as possible as well. I'm currently reading 'Fuel the Fire' which is the last but one of the Calloway Sisters series and I'm loving it.
I gave Addicted to you 4,5 stars (my first 4,5 stars of the year), Ricochet 4 stars, Addicted for Now 4.5 stars, Kiss the Sky 4,5 stars, Hothouse Flower 4,5 stars, Thrive 4 stars and Addicted After all 4 stars.

Can you tell I really, really like this series :-) I have a non-spoiler review of Addicted to you. Needless to say that Becca & Krista Ritchie have rapidly become my new auto-buy authors.

And now for the best book I've read this year - altough it was really hard to decide whether or not I would put this first or second on my list:


#1: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

This was the first 5 star book of this year and there are no words to explain how much I loved this book. I did a 'while I read' series of posts, but beware, they contain major spoilers! I desperatly want to carry on with the trilogy - I don't own them yet - and then move on to Six of Crows because I've heard a lot of great things about this one as well.

What were (some of) your favourite books of 2015? Tell me in the comments below.

By for now

Annelies

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Talon by Julie Kagawa - non-spoiler review

Hi booklovers

When I went to FACTS convention, HarperCollinsHolland had a booth there and they were advertising that Julie Kagawa was going to be at the Antwerp Bookfair for a workshop on making dragons. (If you follow her on Twitter, she regularly posts picture of the dragons she makes.) I didn't really feel like taking the workshop, but I also found out that she was going to have a signing session.
I (almost) immediately decided I wanted to go, because here in Belgium we don't get to meet American authors that often, so it would be a unique opportunity. 
Unfortunately, I hadn't read a single book by her. I've heard mixed things about her Iron Fey series, so I decided to read the first book in her Talon Saga: Talon. I wasn't able to finish it before the bookfair, but I finished it soon after the fair, so here is my (long overdue) spoiler-free review.

Title: Talon
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: YA, fantasy
Publication date: 2014
Format: Paperback
 
 
*Story:
Talon is about Ember and Dante Hill, 'human' twins who are actually dragons hiding in human forms. Of course, the world is not aware of dragons living amongst them. Except for the Order of St. George, whose only mission is to track down and kill all the dragons.
Talon also tells the story of Garret, St. George's 'perfect soldier', who is sent on a mission to sniff out the possible dragon in Crescent Beach. Ember and Garret get to know each other. They both have their own mission: Ember needs to learn how to blend in with the humans but still maintain her training as a dragon and Garret has to find out who the hidden dragon is. As Garret gets more and more convinced about Ember possibly being the dragon, he also learns that there is more to dragons than meets the eye. Maybe all he has been taught about dragons isn't necesarily true.
Ember also starts to realise that Talon, the organisation responsible for the training of the dragons, isn't what it appears to be. There is Dante, who very much believes everything Talon says and does. And last but not least we have Riley, a rogue dragon who tries to convince Ember that Talon isn't the perfect organisation.


*Characters:
-Ember: She is the female dragon in human form. She has some difficulties fitting in with the young people in Crescent Beach, because this is the first time she has to live amongst humans. She adjusts rather quickly and is able to fit in. However she keeps struggling with all the human emotions that she isn't supposed to feel, both with Garret and Riley (although with Riley it's more her 'dragon' feelings stirring). At the same time she has to keep up her training as a dragon and deal with all the stuff she has to endure from her trainer.
 
-Garret: Garret is St. George's perfect soldier, who is determined to kill all the dragons there are. His motives are mostly based on revenge because both his parents were killed by a dragon. When he is sent to Crescent Beach to sniff out the sleeper dragon, he has to try and fit in with the young people there. As time goes by he starts to realise that dragons aren't necisarrily the bloodthirsty beings that St. George says they are.
 
-Riley: The rogue dragon. His mission in Crescent Beach is to convince Ember and Dante to leave Talon behind, because they are a manipulative bunch of dragons.
 
-Dante: He is Embers twin and he is the complete opposite of Ember. He always follows the rules and believes wholeheartedly in the goodness of Talon. He tries to convince Ember that Riley is bad for her and that he is lying to her.
 
*Plot:
I really liked the fact that dragons can shapeshift into humans in this story. I absolutely love dragons and if they would excist, I would definitely have one as a pet :-) So I really liked the idea of dragons secretly living among humans and trying to fit in. Of course, there will always be people who fear the unknown and so the organisation of St. George thinks they know all there is to know about dragons and wants them exterminated. This is the classic 'good' vs 'evil' part of the story.
The story unfortunately also has the typical YA love triangle - this isn't a spoiler, it's pretty obvious Ember will develop feelings for both boys! - which probably wasn't the best thing for the story. There were some typical YA tropes in this book.
 
*Overall rating:
I gave this book 3.5 stars, but now I'm actually leaning more towards 3 stars.
The book isn't bad. Like I said, I liked the idea of shapeshifting dragons living amongst people. What I didn't quite enjoy was the love triangle and Ember's personality. She's a bit too indecisive for my liking.
I do plan on continuing with the story, because I hope the story will become better, but I won't pick it up straight away. Maybe I'll pick up the first book in one of her other series first, I just don't know yet.

I have to admit that meeting Julie Kagawa was really nice, it's really cool to have an autographed book :-)

  















Have you read Talon or any other book by Julie Kagawa. What did you think of it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Bye for now

Annelies

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Anti Bully Reads: Eleanor & Park - spoiler free review.

Hi booklovers

Today is day 6 of the #AntiBullyReads readathon and this morning I was able to finish 'Eleanor and Park'.
I'm so happy that I chose to reread this book and it was just as good, if not better, the second time around.
I was also surprised about how much I had already forgotten :-(
Since I didn't have this blog yet when I read it the first time, I never wrote a review of it, so that's what I'm going to do right now.

This is a non-spoiler review, btw.

Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: YA contemporary
Publication date: 2012
Format: Paperback

*Story:
The book is about Eleanor, a 16-year old girl, who is totally different from your typical high school girl: Her clothes and hair both look crazy and all she wants is to be left alone. Unfortunately, having very red hair and wearing clothes that look different, means that she is stared at a lot. She is also the new kid at school and she has a very complicated family situation.
Then we have Park, a 16-year Asian boy, who hates taking the bus to school because all he wants is to be invisible. Unfortunately, he is regularly picked on by the popular kids.
On her first day Eleanor sits down on the bus next to Park and from there the story takes off.

*Characters:
-Eleanor: she is not your typical 16-year old girl. She looks different, she dresses in a 'weird' way and doesn't seem to care about what other people think of her. She gets picked on a lot by Tina and her gang. Eleanor comes from a broken home and she only recently moved back home with her mum and stepdad after he had kicked her out a year earlier.
From the first moment we meet Eleanor, we get sucked into her miserable family situation and I immediately felt bad for her. She lives in these very difficult conditions: she has to share her room with her brothers and sisters, there's no bathroom door, only a curtain, they sometimes don't have enough food, her stepdad is an alcoholic...
And yet, she still manages to keep going and be herself. At first, when she starts talking to Park, she doesn't want to tell him anything about her situation, but as the story progresses, she starts to trust him more and shares some things about her life.

-Park: being half Asian, he also gets picked on quite a lot at school. At first he seems like a bit of nerd - and maybe he is, with his comic books - but there is so much more to him than first meets the eye. He is sweet and sensitive and fascinated by Eleanor. He's also the kind of guy who doesn't really care about looks - at least not at the beginning of the book - or what Eleanor looks like, as long as he gets to be with her. We really see him grow throughout the story.

*Plot:
This book is set in the 80's and this makes the story even more special. I realise this might put some younger readers off, but since I grew up in the 80's it was quite nice to read about cassettes and walkmans :-)
The story revolves about being young, being different, attending high school and being in love. But it's not just a lovey dovy story. The reason I decided to pick this up for the #AntiBullyRead readathon is of course that it also deals with bullying. It's not just about bullying in school, but there are also other sorts of bullying involved. I'm not going to say more because I don't want to spoil you.
 
*Overall rating:
Just like the first time I read it, I gave this story 5 stars. It's heartwrenching and heartwarming at the same time. It's a story about acceptence and coming to terms with who you are and how people look at you. The story deals with bullying and the topic is handled really well. But above all it's a story about first love and how overwhelming and at the same sweet it can be. This book made me feel all the feels: I laughed at the funny parts, I swooned over their love and cried when things got sad (even though I knew what was coming)!

I've heard people say this story contains some major clich├ęs about being young, being bullied and being in love, but I don't agree.
I like how the story is divided into chapters and every chapter contains both Eleanors and Parks POV's. The different lengths of the POV's make for a fast paced story and a rollercoaster of emotions - especially the last part of the book is packed with emotions. The ending is a bit sudden, but also very fitting, I think. No wonder 'Eleanor & Park' was my second favourite read of 2014!

Lastly, I want to share one of my favourite quotes from this book:
Have you read this book? Are you curious to pick it up? Let me know in the comments.

And now on to my second read of the readathon, the first story in 'Auggie & me', the companion stories to Wonder.

Happy reading everyone!

Annelies

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Anti Bully Reads Readathon update: day 1 - 2.

Hi booklovers

In one of my previous posts I showed you my TBR for the #AntiBullyReads Readathon and one of the books I want to (re)read was Eleanor & Park. On Monday morning, the first day of the readathon I picked this up on my way to school. From the first page onwards I was immediately pulled back into the story, but I also realised I had already forgotten quite a few things. That's why a reread is sometimes a good thing :-)

On the first day I only read 20 or so pages and yesterday I read 30 pages. I know this might not seem like a lot, but since my pupils have a report card, I have a lot of marking to do, so that is taking up a lot of my time. I know some people have already read multiple books, but I just don't have the time. I'm hoping to finish this book by Friday, so I can go on to reading the smaller companion stories of Wonder. We'll see how it goes.

Sarah Churchill does daily updates on her YouTube channel and every day you can win books, so it's well worth your time to go check out her channel!

That's it for my short update on how the readathon is going.

Are you participating in the readathon or do you have any recommendations for books about bullying, let me know in the comments.

Bye for now and happy reading

Annelies

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Author interview - Bre Faucheux part 3.

Hi booklovers

This is the final part of my author interview with Bre Faucheux. If you haven't read part 1 or 2, just click on the numbers to go to them. 

Be warned, this does contain some mild spoilers about her books, because the questions deal with the stories in particular.

Hope you enjoy!
  • Tell us a bit about your different series.
The first book I ever wrote was ‘The Elder Origins’. It was the first idea I had that I thought to myself: ‘I could write that.’ I wanted to write something with a bit of history and something paranormal. Then one day I was watching a tv show with vampires in it. It showed a possible “origin” story of vampires. I didn’t like it. I thought to myself that it could have been told better in a different way. So that’s what I did. I wrote an origin story for vampires that appealed to me. So in ‘The Elder Origins’, the origins of vampires was in pre-discovered North America with the Native Americans. It was always said that certain tribes foretold of the coming of the white men. And I thought to myself, what if they had tried to stop it? And that was the birth of ‘The Elder Origins’.
 
‘The Keeper’s Realm’ was my second book. I started writing it in pieces while I was working a dead end job overseas. I had hours to kill at my desk and no one realized I wasn’t working. I wanted to write another story with elements of history and ghosts. I saw a documentary online about Gettysburg and how haunted it was.  People have been said to walk around at night and come across troops walking in formation as though the American Civil War was still going on. I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be interesting if they weren’t ghosts there, but actual portals to the past? What if ghosts are souls that think the past isn’t over and don’t realize they have died? And what if someone could witness the past as though it was happening around them. So I created a YA story of a girl who could do exactly that. See the past as though it was happening for real all around her.

‘Violet Blake’ was an interesting project. It started as a high fantasy and evolved into a supernatural contemporary kind of … thing. I still don’t always know how to describe it. I’ve always heard tales of people walking among us who can heal people with their touch. Those who have the touch of God here on Earth. And I thought to myself, if people like that did actually exist, they would have to stay under the radar. The government would want to experiment on them and harness their abilities. So I told a story around that concept. A young girl who has the ability to heal people with her touch. Only her ability is a little more enhanced than that of the average healer.
  • Who is your favourite character from your books / series?
I’ve had a soft spot for Jayden from ‘The Elder Origins’ since I first started writing him. He’s such a gnarly bastard, but when it comes to Madison, he’s very protective. I like that he has this one thing in the world that he wants to protect. Screw the rest of it. I really like Liam from ‘Violet Blake’ as well. He is so ancient, has seen all kinds of horrors, but he still has a heart of gold.

As far as series, I’m really proud of 'Violet Blake'. I feel like that is a series that just came together the right way. It was slow and it tortured the back of my mind while I was trying to finish it, but it all came together in the end.
  • How about your least favourite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
I don’t really have a least favourite character. They are all fun to write on some level. I figure if there is a character I hate writing, then I’m not doing my job properly. 

These questions are specifically about Violet Blake: 
(These contain minor spoilers!!)
  • What made you decide to give your characters healing / resurrection powers?
I didn’t really decide to write a story about healers. It just kinda happened. I started the series as a fantasy with a whole separate dimension involving faeries and screaming banshees. Then I decided I was biting off more than I could chew and I condensed it. After I had done that, a girl with healing abilities was all that was left. All the fantasy elements were gone, then it turned into a paranormal story. I decided to run with it. Then I thought to myself, how do I make it different? Because healers have been written about before. And that was when I decided to make Shawn’s ability a little more enhanced.
  • Why did Rebekah turn out to be so bad to the bone?
Because it was fun. *evil laugh* I plan on going into that a little more if I write more to the series. But she was a product of being born to a time when life wasn’t valued as much as it is now. She stayed stuck in that mentality because it was all she ever knew.
  • How can people contact you or find out more about your books?
You can find my books on Amazon and most other eBook retailers online. You can email me at: brefaucheux@gmail.com. I answer every email I receive, so don’t hesitate to send me a message.

This was the final part of my interview with Bre. This was so much fun to do and I'm really greatful to Bre for agreeing to do this.


I hope you enjoyed it and that you feel inclined to check out Bre's channel and/or her books :-)

Bye for now

Annelies

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Author interview - Bre Faucheux part 2.

Hi booklovers

This is the second part of my interview with Bre. If you haven't read part 1, you can find it here.
These questions are about her writing in general. Hope you enjoy!

  • What genre are your books?
Most of my books are paranormal and fantasy. I dabbled in romance for a while, but I realized recently that I want to write paranormal full time instead. It’s what makes me truly happy and satisfied at the end of the day. 

  • What draws you to this genre?
I’ve always had a healthy fascination for anything paranormal and occult-ish. Magic, faeries, vampires, ghosts, etc. Real life is depressing and hard. I like the idea of escaping into a realm of things that others don’t find realistic. I don’t read to get a lecture on how hard life is from a book that’s considered a literary masterpiece. I read to be drawn into a story and taken away from the daily grind of life. Vampires, witches, ghosts, and magic have always done that for me.

  • Do you write full-time or part-time?
I’m currently trying to be a full-time writer. To me that doesn’t mean that I write from dawn 'till dusk. It just means that I’m not pursuing any other career at the moment. I write every day until I reach a certain word count, then I do whatever editing or marketing I need to do when I’m done. Being a full-time self-published writer means you are your own writer, editor, cover designer, marketer, formatter, etc. It’s definitely a full time job even when you’re not actually writing.

  • Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Currently, I wake up between 6 – 7 am. I work out, have breakfast and coffee. I get to writing around 9 or so. I usually finish around noon. I take a break, eat lunch, and then I do whatever editing I need to do that afternoon. I sometimes do this at cafes, but lately I’ve found myself more productive at home. I need a strict schedule and a goal for each day, otherwise I don’t get things done. But it’s usually writing in the morning, editing and marketing in the afternoon. Anything more than that and I get the brain drain.

  • What is the hardest thing about writing? What is the easiest?
The hardest thing to me is knowing that I might be doing all this work for nothing. There is a chance that I won’t succeed as a writer and that my stories will never be truly discovered by anyone. But I keep doing it because it’s my job. And I enjoy the high from a good work day.

The easiest thing, or the thing I most enjoy, is being able to get up and have that cup of coffee at home, ease into my day, and get to work on my own schedule. I hate working for others and being told what to do with my time. So being able to dictate how I organize my day is very relaxing to me.

  • How do you come up with plots, characters and settings?
I literally see everything in my mind like a movie. I see the characters like actors in a film. I see a set/setting as though I was watching it unfold before me in a movie theatre. As far as the plot, I come up with it a day at a time. Some people call my style of writing “pantsing.” Because I fly by the seat of my pants and write the story as it comes. I generally plan my story a day ahead of time so I know what scene I’m writing the following day. I can’t plan a whole novel to save my life. But I can come up with one scene. And if I can do that for a few months in row, I have an entire plot. Scene to scene, and then eventually I have a whole story.

As far as characters, I find that most novels have three essential people. The leader of the story, the villain, and the ally to the leader of the story. You can change up the formula, but most stories have those three essentials. Keep it the same, but give those three people different characteristics and you have a cast for your book.

Setting, I draw from what I know. I set a story in England because I lived there. I set a story in New Orleans because I was born there. I set a story in Colorado because I lived there. I draw from what I know then roll with the rest of it.

  • How much research do you do?
It completely depends on the story I’m writing. For ‘The Elder Origins’ and ‘The Keeper’s Realm’ I did a lot of research. They both had lots of history woven in them, so it was necessary. For ‘Violet Blake’ I was creating my own world within the real world, so there wasn’t as much research. When writing a story involving lots of research, I’ll usually spend about 1-2 hours a day checking on various facts or just doing some reading about the time period so I can portray it accurately. Doing my major in history helped with that a lot too. Many things I wrote about in ‘The Keeper’s Realm’ were based off case studies I read in college.

  • How do you come up with a title for your book(s) / series?
I try to draw from the story for this. For the 'Elder Origins' the original tribe of vampires referred to their vampires as the ‘Elders’. And it was a vampire origin story. Therefore, 'Elder Origins'.

For 'Keeper’s Realm' the main characters in the story were all Keepers to another realm, the realm of the dead. They were beings from another dimension. So it made sense to me.

Violet Blake was originally called 'The Resurgence of Violet Blake'. I was inspired by the title of the popular novel 'The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer'. But I decided later that it was too long and chunky. Even so, the subtitles of each novella in that series have names beginning of “R’s” in that same way. I tried picking a word that embodied what happened in the plot of each individual novella.

Overall my titles are drawn from what happens in the story. The title has to tell the reader a small detail that entices them to know more. It should be mysterious, kind of like the genre of paranormal.

  • Which type of characters are easier to write, the good or the bad ones?
The bad ones. Hands down. I find the really flawed characters are the most fun. As long as they think their motives are legit, you can make them interesting.
 
  • Do you get inspiration from your personal life / experiences?
All the time. I draw from things I’ve read, places I’ve been to, things I’ve seen, conversations I’ve had, friendships I’ve experienced and emotions I’ve felt. Anything a writer sees or feels can and will end up in a story. Many conversations I’ve had with my dad ended up in ‘Keeper’s Realm’. And Violet Blake’s experiences in high school mirrored mine in so many ways. I even included a few of the bullies who gave me a hard time over the years. My own personal revenge.

  • What are you working on at the moment?
Right now I’m working on the middle book to a trilogy I have planned. The first book is near completion. I’m determined not to publish the first book until the entire trilogy has at least been through one entire revision, so as to avoid continuity errors. I’m finding it very challenging and unlike anything I’ve ever done or written. I will be very excited to release the first one hopefully in January or February (at the latest).


That's all for part 2, look out for part 3!

Bye

Annelies

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Author interview - Bre Faucheux part 1.

Hi booklovers

I think it was about two years ago I started watching BookTube videos and I stumbled across a channel called Bre Faucheux.

I really liked Bre's videos, so I started following her on Twitter and we started talking and we got along really well. We still do, btw :-)
I soon found out that Bre is a self-published author and I was curious to read some of her books. I've already read 'The Elder Origins', 'The Keeper's Realm' and the 'Violet Blake' series and I have to say I've thoroughly enjoyed them.

Since I wanted to do something a bit different on my blog, I asked Bre if I could interview her. She agreed, so I asked her some question about herself, her writing and some of her books. I'm so happy that she agreed to do this, because it was really cool to come up with the different questions. Bre was really kind to answer my questions very thoroughly, so I decided to split the interview into three parts. The first part is about who Bre is. The second part will be about writing in general, what her life as a writer looks like, etc. The third part will be about her books in particular.

I hope you enjoy this interview and please go and check out Bre's channel! :-)

  • Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
I was born in Louisiana. I moved over twenty times over the course of my life, lived in over twenty-five different houses, went to three universities, and started pursuing writing full-time about a year ago. I majored in history with an emphasis on medieval Europe and the World Wars. Then I received a graduate degree in Museum Studies abroad. After all those studies, I realized I was disenchanted with academia and having a 9-5 job. I moved home to be with my family and decided I would rather pursue a career of my own making rather than work in an office.
 

I started writing before I knew how to spell out the words I was thinking. I’ve had a journal since I was in single digits. And I wrote my first story in the first grade. I knew I wanted to be a writer before I ever had dreams of doing other things. Even when I studied for other professions through the years, being a writer was the one constant that never changed.  
  • What were you like at school?
A fashionable nerd. One of the few who liked to dress up and wear make-up. But still a nerd to the core. I had one group of friends and we stuck by one another and avoided the cheerleaders at all cost.  
  • What do you like to read?
I’ve always had an obsession with anything paranormal and occult. Anything with an element of history as well. I sometimes go for psychology, philosophy or spiritual books.  
  • Do you have any (unique) hobbies or talents?
I was quite the gymnast in my youth. Then I went on to figure skating. Then I went on to belly dance. Then I went on to swing dancing. I’ve always been physical in my hobbies outside of writing. Right now I’m into Zumba. As far as other talents, I can cook lots of southern dishes handed down by my grandmother. I sew, and I did some makeup artistry in college.  
  • Why do you write?
I started writing mostly because there weren’t any books out there about the topics I loved reading. When I was a kid, there wasn’t any material about the paranormal for kids unless you reached for a Goosebumps book. So I started writing the stories I wished were on the bookshelves for kids at the library. Even today I find myself writing what I wish I saw more often.  
  •  When did you know you wanted to be an author?
Since I was in single digits. I don’t recall the exact age. I must have been maybe seven or eight.
  • Why are you a self-published author?
I started querying agents for my books about three years ago. Not a single bite. I would often get rejection emails in return the same day I sent out my query letter. I think I sent over three hundred. No one wanted to even look at my work. I was face to face with the reality of being a writer in an age that is more concerned with what will sell rather than what is a good story. So I took matters into my own hands. I read about how other writers were making 70% of their royalties by publishing online. And then I read about how traditionally published writers were getting cheated by publishing companies. I quickly realized that having complete control over my books was something I really wanted.
  • How did you come up with your pen name?
Bre is my family nickname. Faucheux was my great grandmother’s maiden name. Done and done. My actual name is boring and there were four people with my name at my university for undergrad. I wanted people to be able to Google me and actually find my books. Currently if you Google my real name, you get over 9.4 million results. It seemed like a good idea to have a unique name.

This was part 1 of the interview. Look out for parts 2 and 3.

Bye for now

Annelies