Hi I’m Scarlett Van Dijk author of the Sky Stone series and I’m your host for this stop in the tour.
This is your post for the ACOA Scavenger Hunt and I am pleased to be hosting AUDEN JOHNSON. In her post you will find a number, not in written text, but as a numerical number. Write it down and collect them all as you visit every post along the way. Good Luck!
Family, Relationships & the Sciell
Themes are sneaky. They somehow find their way into my stories. I go into a new project wanting to write about powerful non-humans in a dark world. Themes like finding a place to belong, family and relationships slip in. I never go into a story thinking I want to deal with a certain issue. The different faces relationship wears is fascinating. I enjoy exploring them in my stories, especially in The Merging Worlds Series.
Vayle Slaughter and Shade Harrelite
Vayle “adopted” Shade as his little sister. In Book One: The Sciell, his entire life revolved around her. He protected and trained her. Shade, in turn, “adopted” Vayle as her older brother. But, Vayle’s parents see Shade as a mangy pet their son keeps trying to dragging home. To Shade’s parents, Vayle is the person that keeps their daughter from getting beat up. They like him. They don’t treat him as family. Shade and Vayle don’t care what anyone thinks of their relationship. They have their problems but their loyalty to each other is unwavering…until Book Two: Chains of the Sciell.
Bel Styne, Josephine Royal and Blae Carlton
They’re siblings. Why they all have different last names is a complicated story. Josephine and Blae are full blood siblings while Bel, the oldest, is from their father’s previous…let’s call it a relationship. Bel neither liked nor disliked his younger siblings. They didn’t exist to him. Josephine and Blae pretended it didn’t bother them. They stop pretending in Book Three: The Lost Sciell (Working Title). They start to form a relationship with their older brother. Bel is surprised. He assumed Josephine and Blae were happy with the way things were.
Josephine Royal and Divine Mathews
Josephine and Divine were born with a deep supernatural connection. They’re like one person in two bodies. They can read each other’s mind, explore each other’s memories and control each other’s powers. They hated this deep connection growing up and took pleasure in making the other suffer.
They actually like each other. If they weren’t connected, they’d be friends. This mix of emotions led to possessiveness. They never dated but they acted as if they were in a relationship, a twisted, unhealthy relationship. In Books Two and Three, they dump the animosity and learn to live with their connection. They become friends and then something more.
(From Book Three of The Merging Worlds Series Coming June 2016)
A hand rolled Divine on his back. Josephine straddled his waist. She lost her mind. Divine clenched his fist by his side. He went to bed in thin shorts, Josephine her underwear. Too much of Josephine’s skin was touching his.
“What do you want?” he asked.
“I spent almost 67 year asleep. My body seems sick of it.”
“And you had to sit on me to tell me that?”
Josephine shook her hips.
“First time I straddled a man and received no reaction. It’s a little liberating.”
The image of Josephine on top of another man made him want to kill someone. Divine backed away from that anger. They were no longer two people who saw each other as objects to control.
“You want to have sex?” he asked.
He wouldn’t give her what she wanted if she said yes.
Josephine snorted. “Baby steps. How about we get used to touching? I’ve had time to examine my memories. I like you Divine Mathews. I don’t think I ever hated you. You’re infuriating but not so loathsome I can’t stand the sight of you.” Josephine poked his chest. “I’m going to make you mine.”
Divine felt hot, uncomfortably so. His heart wouldn’t calm down.
“I’m not a possession.” He couldn’t think of a better response to her confession.
“I studied your memories and feelings as well, from those times our minds merged. You like me too.”
Divine’s thoughts stumbled. He wanted to say something clever. He wanted to change the subject. All he could do was stare at her with his mouth open. This wasn’t Josephine speaking. Their repaired connection and a year’s worth of loneliness was making her think she liked him. Divine’s chest tightened. When she settled in, their relationship would return to normal.
Scavenger Hunt Hint:
The number for your clue will not be written in text, but it will be numeral. Tally all the numbers you find during the hunt and tally them together. This final number will be an entry in the Rafflecopter on the ENTER HERE page on the official website - http://acoascavengerhunt.weebly.com/enter-here.html
If you get stuck along the way because you of a broken link, please visit the
AUTHORS LINK page http://acoascavengerhunt.weebly.com/authors-links.html
Did you find the number? If you did, then click this author's link (AUDEN JOHNSON) to continue the Scavenger Hunt.
It may seem strange that, as writers, we put down words on paper, but then are told we need to ‘show’ what we mean. Isn’t the use of words telling the story? How on earth do we ‘show’ our stories to our readers? We’re not painters. Well here is one tip for showing, not telling.
Think about this: the weather was terrible.
Now all you need to do is ask yourself: Why? Why is the weather terrible? What makes that weather terrible?
The sky was filled with dark clouds which let down an unceasing rainstorm. Lighting cracked through the darkness occasionally, lighting up the sky as if creatures of light fought a ferocious battle above. I shivered under an awning, a freezing raindrop occasionally falling on to my shoulder.
Now that is how you show the story while writing. Stating that the weather is terrible, is just telling the reader something. But who cares? Weather can be terrible but it doesn’t mean anything… right? By showing the reader how bad the weather is, will make them will feel the cold, sense the forlorn dampness surrounding the character. This is how you pull in your readers and keep them.
Of course, there are times when telling is perfectly alright. Showing should be used on ideas that you want to capture your reader’s attention. Use this approach on ideas you want them to dwell on and that help them immerse themselves in the story. At other times, there are ideas that are not so important and you can tell them, without forcing the reader to spend time contemplating it.
For example: I hate the cold. This is likely not a massively important detail and doesn’t need to be thought about much.
Even though I understand the concept of showing, this is still something I need to work on myself. I need to go back over my work, find those times when I am telling the story, and instead needing to show.
Here are some examples that you should try. These examples are being told. Show them instead:
Scarlett Van Dijk
Hi everyone, and thanks so much for inviting me to your blog, Scarlett.
I’ve been spinning stories in my head for most of my life but it’s only in the last few years that I’ve attempted to set any of them down for others to read.
Time travel, magic, fantasy, and ancient history are the things that fire my imagination. Give me a book or a TV show with all of those elements and I’ll be in seventh heaven.
This passion led to the realisation of a dream a few years ago when I was invited by a lovely friend to be a VIP guest on the Bridge Studio sets of Stargate SG1 and Stargate Atlantis in Vancouver, Canada. How many times had I watched those shows and wished I could be a fly on the wall as they filmed it? I’m here to tell you dreams do come true!
We spent a blissful day watching the cast and crew create their magic. I took away lots of fodder for stories that day!
The experience fired my imagination to write my own stories with an Egyptian twist. I wrote the first draft of my ‘The God’s Apprentice’ series in three months, mostly during my lunch hours and in the evenings.
I eventually completed 3 books that took me in directions I never dreamed of when I carefully sketched ideas for this story.
It grew from a relatively simple story of a young boy who becomes mixed up in a feud between 3 ancient Egyptian gods, to one that traversed different realms and times and brought together a cast of fascinating characters from a shape-shifting Sphinx, talking animal spirit guides, to the man who should have been the last king of France if Napoleon hadn’t executed him – or did he?
Of course, having no formal writing training, I thought that first draft was marvellous. It was a great personal achievement and any of you who set out to write a book and manage to finish it should be justly proud of yourselves.
My self-congratulation suffered a reality check when I joined a local critique group – the Novelists Circle, run by bubbly Adelaide author, Sandy Vaile. It took a lot of courage on my part to go back after the group’s (as it seemed to me at the time) brutal dissection of my first chapter, but I persevered and learned a lot from those far wiser heads. I would highly recommend that all aspiring authors join such a group.
One of the first things I learnt as a fledgling author was that as writers we are too close to our work and other, impartial opinions, are vital.
From the critique group I went on to do Fiona McIntosh’s Masterclass for Commercial Fiction where I learned the finer points of crafting a story, and after several rewrites, submissions and rejections, I’m happy to say my story has found a home with Whistling Book Press in Colorado, USA http://www.whistlingbookpress.com/.
So far I’ve set up an author page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaggieBestAuthor/ a Twitter account: https://twitter.com/AuthorMbest a website, which is a bit of a work in progress as I’ve been waiting for my publishing contract to go through: www.maggiebest.com and Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maggie_best_author/ where I’ve posted some of my pencil sketches – another hobby of mine.
Twitter and Instagram seem to be where most interest is to be found if you’re looking for visibility as an author. I’ve just about got the hang of Twitter but Instagram is a whole new world and yet another challenge. There’s never a dull moment when you decide to become an author.
About Maggie Best
Name: Maggie Best (aka Margret Best)
Lives: Adelaide, South Australia with hubby of 36 years, son #3, 2 dogs and 3 chooks.
Work: Retired now – I prefer that description to “retrenched” which happened at the end of 2014 when the company I worked for was bought and then broken up by a bigger corporate fish. All the time I’d been writing I’d been wishing I had more time to devote to it: The universe heard me and wham! Suddenly I had all the time in the world. Lesson: be careful what you wish for.
Study: Psychology and linguistics at ANU but I didn’t finish my degree as the kids decided to come along and I became a full-time mum for a few years.
I’ve travelled extensively through Britain, Europe and Asia and love using those experiences in my writing.
Member of: The SA Writers Centre, Romance Writers of Australia.
A Writer's Tale
Scarlett Van Dijk
Writer of young adult, fantasy series, the Sky Stone series, poetry and short stories.
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