Monday, December 19, 2016

Author Interview: Hope Ann

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, this is a fun interview of an author offering one of her books. If you want to enter the giveaway, please go to the post linked to here. And now let's meet Hope Ann!

Good morning and welcome to the Bookish Orchestrations blog! I’m excited to have you here and hope you have some fun with these questions. Since this blog is about and for writers, most of the questions will be about writing with a few optional, fun questions at the end.

1. What is your writing process? Do you outline before you start?
Oh yes, I always outline. Well, almost always. I tried to write without an outline once, and the story dissolved after a few chapters. I even had to outline the serial story I’m working on after a few instalments, because I couldn’t stand not having a goal I was aiming towards.

Generally, after coming up with an idea, I start developing characters and writing up a basic outline. From there, I write a short chapter by chapter outline before I settle down to writing the book itself.

2. How do you develop your characters? Do you use images found online, a Pinterest board, character sketches, or develop them as you write?
Pictures from Pinterest help me develop my characters quite a bit. There’s just something about seeing them which helps me form them better. Most characters come to be with particular traits already, and others reveal themselves as I write. I do have questionnaires I sometimes fill out for characters, but then I generally forget about them and let the character act as he or she pleases.

3. What is your best advice for getting rid of writer’s block?
Find an empty place to mutter to yourself and pace. That’s generally what I resort to. I sometimes shift to other characters in my book (such as the villain or a servant) and picture the story through their eyes to try to figure out how a plot hole would logically be filled if I were there. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But eventually, in the end, I know I’ll always figure it out if I don’t give up.

4. If you could share one piece of advice that you wish someone else had told
Song of the Sword: A Rapunzel Novella (Legends of Light Book 2) by [Ann, Hope]you to an aspiring writer, what would it be?
Don’t give up. Writing is exhilarating. It is also exhausting. But it is so worth it. It just takes lots of patience and dogged determined work. Don’t be afraid to share your work with others to get feedback. Beta readers have so many insights on our work that we miss. Speaking for myself, I know I’d never have gotten to where I was without the help of a number of friends. 

5. What is your favorite genre?
Fantasy, hands down. I love fantasy. There is so much freedom to create and shape however you want. The allegorical aspect and depth one can delve into while writing fantasy is so exciting as well. A close second is futuristic fiction, which really isn’t all that different from fantasy.

Pizza or Pasta?
Pizza! How is that even a question?

Favorite movie?
There are too many to pick from. It generally depends on what I’ve seen last. Lord of the Rings, National Treasure, Princess Bride, Inkheart, Narnia, the list could go on and on.

Favorite Bible verse?
Psalm 33:9-10
For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.
The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: He maketh the devices of the people to none effect.

Coffee, tea, or water?
Water. Pink lemonade. Hot chocolate.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Review: Garden of Her Heart

USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield joins us with her latest release, a sweet World War II romance. I'm also including the review I wrote of her book and an excerpt!

Can forbidden love blossom amid the constraints of war?
The moment the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, life shifted for Miko Nishimura. Desperate to reach the Portland Assembly Center for Japanese-Americans, she’s kicked off the bus miles from town. Every tick of the clock pushes her closer to becoming a fugitive in the land of her birth. Exhausted, she stumbles to her grandparents’ abandoned farm only to find a dying soldier sprawled across the step. Unable to leave him, she forsakes all else to keep him alive.
After crashing his plane in the Battle of the Atlantic, the doctors condemn Captain Rock Laroux to die. Determined to meet his maker beneath a blue sky at his family home, he sneaks out of the hospital. Weary and half out of his mind, he makes it as far as a produce stand he remembers from his youth. Rather than surrender to death, Rock fights a battle of the heart as he falls in love with the beautiful Japanese woman who saves his life.
A poignant, sweet romance, Garden of Her Heart proves love can bloom in unlikely places even under the most challenging circumstances.

Saturday, December 3, 2016



Who's ready for some free books?
Maybe you just happen to be looking for another book to read this winter. Perhaps you have a sister who really loves fantasy or historical fiction. It might even be that you've never read a book in your life and would like to try one to see what it's like... who knows? Whatever your situation, you'll be happy to know that I and some author friends of mine are giving away seven free eBooks this Christmas, and you have a chance of winning one of them.


If you want to win one of these lovely thingies, choose one of the entry options and follow the instructions to gain a point. (Hint: you can enter with as many options as you like to increase your chances of winning.) The giveaway starts December 3rd [blogger note: liable to change] and ends on the 20th, so you'll have plenty of time to enter. We'll pick eight winners at random and contact them before Christmas so you can have your ebook delivered whenever you like.