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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Confessions of a Writer Tag

This tag is brilliant. Thank you for coming up with this, Nicolette Elzie of A Little Bookish, A Little Writerly!! 

So what is it, you ask? A fantastic 20-question tag to help us get to know more about other writers in the blogdom! Woot. You can check out her post and the guidelines here

Breeanna Pierce kindly nominated/tagged me (thank you ^^!), and I'm excited to share with everyone! :)

1) When did you first start writing? Was being a writer something you always aspired to be?

I started writing when I was really young, but it wasn't prose—it was poetry! Looking back now, it doesn't really surprise me; I love poetry. Sadly, I don't think I'm going to go the publication route with it. Poetry is a difficult market to break into! :sulks in corner: 

In a way, I did always want to be a writer, but I wasn't sure what kind: singer/songwriter? Author? Poet? At the time I was only certain I wanted to change the world. When I received an award for creative writing in fifth grade and was acknowledged again by my L.A. teacher in sixth grade I realized hey, maybe creative writing is my thing. Of course I still dreamed of being a singer/songwriter (I mean, hey, who doesn't?! >.>). 

Another shift in my thinking occurred in ninth grade, when I suddenly decided that I wanted to write Fantasy. Awkward truth: I have NO IDEA where I got this idea from. Yeah, I liked reading—a lot. Maybe it was Harry Potter (*_*), or Eragon (pssh, I could've written this!) that spurred me on, but I don't have a specific, piercing—or, apparently, memorable—experience that awoke the desire to write a novel. I was kind of like Luffy from One Piece: I've decided! And that was that. 
Luffy: We're going to be nakama! Zoro: It doesn't work that way! Luffy: Nakama, nakama~
So I started penning what is now SPHERES...except, as you likely suspected, it SUCKED. (SO. BAD.) I went through a phase where I questioned whether or not it was worth reviving after I trashed it, and a couple years later, I started re-envisioning the series. Pretty much the only thing that survived was the characters and the world, and even those have evolved drastically since that time.  

2) What genre do you write?

I still pen lyrics and poetry (check out my stuff from April's Poem a Day challenge here! Yes, this is a shameless plug ;-), but as a novelist I spend most of my time in YA Fantasy. I intend to branch into MG Fantasy after making some headway. I also hope to write some children's books....and I have an idea for a NA book...yeah, I'm pretty much all over the place haha.

3) Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress? When did you start working on this project?

Oh boy. And you thought I was verbose with the first question....Ehh, I'm really sorry lol ^_^' 

It's called SPHERES, and it's an 8-book YA SF/F series that features a GoT-style POV shift in each book. If that hurts your brain or just fails to compute: there are 8 main characters in the series, and each of the main characters is featured as a protagonist in their own installment of the series. 

I'm currently working on the first book, Whispers and Murmurs, which is Nikaiya's story.  

Whispers and Murmurs is written in a stream-of-consciousness style similar to Mafi's Shatter Me series. (If you must know, it's really more of a combination of Shatter Me, Atlantia, and Chime....) 

Protagonist: newly-17-yr-old Nikaiya, a clever, selfish girl fated to become Kiran (queen) of a small island country known as Erevfaüna–a role she's loathe to play because she has no interest in politics and considers herself unworthy of the honor. Add the fact that she's taller than every man around, has reflective eyes (kind of like Riddick) that tend to leave people either starstruck or anxious, and possesses all the grace of a dead starfish, and she concludes everyone else must share her sentiments: she is unfit to be Kiran. Unfortunately, she doesn't have a choice; she's sole heir to the Light of Stars. She can't remain Karun forever.

To complicate matters, Nikaiya isn't "normal"; she can breathe underwater, hear things ordinary people can't, and has no trouble seeing in the dark–a secret she's kept hidden from everyone around her (or so she thinks) because, let's face it, she's already odd enough and would prefer to avoid drawing any more attention to herself…but because the pull toward the sea has become much stronger lately, she fears her secret will be exposed. As if that isn't worrisome enough, on the day the story opens, she experiences three separate, yet clearly connected, mfirenar (dreams that are like visions)–all of which feature a creature of myth: a monstrous irekarn (sea dragon). 

Later that same day, her parents reveal the truth: she's adopted (which she figured) and is a Seabreather like her birth parents (which she, well, didn't, because she had no idea such a thing existed). According to the Arken (king) and Kiran, Nikaiya was placed in their care to protect and hide her from those seeking to destroy her; apparently she's the supposed catalyst of the Prophecy of the Spheres, which makes her the prime target of a particular group of Seabreathers. 

And it's worked…until now. She's been found.

Nikaiya reluctantly agrees to her parents' plan to smuggle her out of Erevfaüna to Atim (via diplomatic envoy)…but is determined to find a way off ship before reaching the desert nation in order to learn more about the prophecy and her mfirenar, convinced the two–and Atim–are connected. Thus the journey begins…

Nikaiya's story is about finding your own path and embracing the "skin you're in" both physically and spiritually (destiny-wise). 

Yep. My synop is crappy and uber long right now ^^. Sorry lol. 

I started seriously working on the project....2 years ago? I wasn't able to get serious until I graduated (I graduated with 163 credits, people—which is a LOT. And I had a ton of extracurriculars. And I have PTSD. Yeah...I almost died my senior year smh). Before my graduation and reintegration to society ~9 months later, my “work” was really just mental tinkering. 

4) What was your first piece that you can remember writing? What was it about?

I don't even know. My memory is terrible, y'all. Like...I don't know how I function on a daily basis.
Let's just go with that creative writing award I won in fifth grade for poetry. The poem was called (don't judge me) Winter Wonderland. I'm sure you can guess from the title what it was about ;).
5) What’s the best part about writing?

WORDS! Ahh, words....they're wonderful. Their movement and beauty and power is gripping. Invigorating, really; raw and sweet and utterly mesmerizing. I love how words capture the essence of things and beckon us to revel in their revelations.

6) What’s the worst part about writing?

Not being able to write. The frustration of not being able to pluck just the right word from your brain, or capture a moment as fluidly and accurately as it is in your mind. Feeling blocked, and the ensuing sense of hopelessness—and fear of 'maybe this really isn't what I'm meant to do'.  

^ Existential (writer) crisis!

7) What’s the name of your favorite character and why? (This can be from a book by another author or from your own work. Book crushes are perfectly acceptable here as well.)

I love (and yet loathe) the favorite character card! I need, like, favorites of favorites...of favorites. 

Briony from Chime? 
Pia from Origin?
Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone?
Fire from...Fire? (Didn't see THAT coming, did you?) 

One of the only book crushes I've ever had: Morpheus from A.G. Howard's Splintered series. Clearly manga was disregarded when answering this question. (Are there any manga fans out there?! Comment and let me know your faves!)

8) How much time a day/week do you get to write? When is the best time for you to write (morning or night)?

Time varies for me, tragically, and is one of the reasons why I'm so abysmally slow! I get sick a lot, and well, sickness doesn't pop over to ask, “Oh hey, you want to write from 7-11 today, right? I'll come by later.” -____-

But when I'm not sick, I write in the mornings—usually from around 8-12. And I use the term “write” loosely; this is also time dedicated to plotting, organizing, outling, etc.  

9) Did you go to college for writing? Or if you haven’t been to college yet, do you plan to?

Nope. I have a B.S. in Cross-Cultural Studies and minors in Philosophy and Youth Ministry. I would've loved to go on to get my MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at VCFA, but I had to take a year break after graduation and it wasn't financially obtainable.

10) What bothers you more: spelling errors, punctuation errors, or grammar errors?

That's like asking which wing on a plane is more important. 

I have free will! 

11) What is the best writing advice that anyone has given you?

Be yourself. Write the story YOU are passionate about. Also, don't give up. Billingsley inspires me.

12) What advice would you give to another writer?

Work hard. You may not be the most talented writer out there, but talent will not carry you into a lasting career; dedication and effort will. And the more you study and write, the closer your writing will be to what you want it to be. 

Also, stop comparing! Your style/voice is YOURS and yours alone. Who cares if your prose isn't as lyrical as Laini Taylor's (and let's face it, it probably isn't)? Or as detailed and evocative as Jessica Khoury's? Or as punchy as Bethany Crandell's? 

Everyone has their own approach, their own voice. Find yours and revel in it. Voice can be one of your greatest assets! 

13) What are your favorite writing sites or blogs that you turn to for help, tips or encouragement?

K.M. Weiland
C.S. Lakin
Franny Billingsley
Jessica Khoury
A.G. Howard

14) Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies?

Reading, gaming, singing, and daydreaming. I love tackling artsy projects, but sometimes they make me nervous (I know, weird, right?). I don't tend make enough time for them, sadly. 

15) What is the best book you’ve read this year?

Ensnared by A.G. Howard is probably the best, but again, FAVORITES. Kalahari by Jessica Khoury is up there. 

16) What is the best movie you’ve seen this year?

Not really a movie buff, but hands down for War Room. Blew me away!

17) What is your favorite book or series of all time?


Favorite overload! Book: Chime. Series: LoTR or Harry Potter. 

18) Who is your favorite author?

...Oh man. Oh man. Uhhhhh.... Billingsley? Lewis? Rowling? Howard? Tolkien? Khoury??! Yeah, let's go with all those. 

19) What are your plans for the rest of the year in terms of your writing?

Welp, last year I was all set (or so I thought) to tackle W&M, but that didn't happen because LIFE. And it's so complicated :whines but is secretly happy: 

So...this December I hope to have it fleshed out enough to ship to betas. 

I'm also boarding the NaNoWriMo ship this November alongside Breeanna Pierce and plan to dive into Yellow, the second installment of SPHERES. Stoked, guys. S-t-o-k-e-d.

20) Where else can we find you online?

Pinterest, Twitter @lynannecarroll, Facebook (no author page yet, but someday...), Goodreads, Instagram @kasukedo17

Who I'm tagging next:

Jessica @Simple Scribbles 

Please leave a link to your post in the comments :)! Thanks. I'm so excited to see your tags!! *squeals*


  1. AHHHH thank youuu for the tag! <3 I'm not entirely certain I'll do this yet because I did one kind of similar a couple weeks ago, but it means SO much that you though of me! So thank you. :)

    Oh gosh, your synopsis though. I can't even create proper synopsises so I admire you for that. People ask me about my novel and I'm just like "uhhhh. Desert stuff and music. Emotions. Yikes." xD
    Loved reading this!

    1. You're welcome! I obviously didn't realize you'd done a similar tag lol...whatever you choose to do, I'll be looking into it :).

      Thank you for enjoying my synopsis! That sounds strange, but seriously, I thought it was awful and that no one was going to like it!! It isn't even a proper synop hahaha...

      I totally resonate with you about the 'when people ask me about my novel' response :D. It's like my brain stops working, and then I think it through for a few seconds, and then I just respond, "It's complicated." LOL

      This is why I am a writer and not a public speaker. I love your response though! "...Desert stuff and music. Emotions." That's great! :)

  2. Lynanne!!!! You are amazing and I don't even know where to start. Like every single one of your answers resonates with me!!! Like you don't even know how much!!! I'm seriously in awe of you. Your story sounds incredible btw! Thank you for being a part of this tag!

    1. Aww, thank you! As we've discussed on twitter, we were meant to be friends :D. I resonated with so many of your responses and had so much fun reading--about to head over to your blog and post some comments! I'm so glad that I got to be a part of your brilliant tag. So much fun!!

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  4. *Flails*

    First off, why is this the first time I'm seeing this synopsis?! Like I knew Nikaiya's story was epic, but I didn't realize it was THAT EPIC!

    And I'm so excited for NaNoWriMo! Did I mention I'm bringing cookies? 'Cause I'm totally bringing cookies. Somehow we'll have to restrain ourselves from falling down the fandom binge-watch rabbit hole that is One Piece. lol

    Stay awesome!

    1. I almost deleted your comment and nearly gave myself a heart attack. Nuuurrr! LOL

      Thank you!!

      I have the synop up on LWC--somewhat recently added--but thought it wasn't worth sharing. Clearly I was wrong! I'm so glad people like it. I compare my synop with other people's and I'm like...this is trash. *weeps while ripping it to shreds*

      NaNo!! *_* And cookies! Yes, you did mention cookies, and I am very, very excited about said cookies. We must do our best to avoid OP and other addictive shows...otherwise it shall be disastrous. Haha


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