Thursday, November 29, 2012

Prism Book Tours

My dear readers, it has been a little while! I am excitedly getting things ready for the big Christmas Read-along, and sadly haven't had a moment to turn to other blogging. But it will all be worth it in the end!

In the meanwhile, I want to take a moment to enthuse about another fun event coming up in December . . .

The wonderful, exuberant, lovely Laura of Colorimetry has just started a new Blog Tour service, Prism Book Tours.  And Starflower has the wonderful good fortune of being the first novel to enjoy one of her tours! Starting December 3rd, you're going to want to visit Colorimetry and begin the epic adventure this tour is sure to be.

What will it include?

Interviews and guest posts written by yours truly.

Exciting snippets from the novel itself with titles such as, "The Kiss By the River," and "Bring Her To Me Alive."

And, most fun of all, some really fun sneak peeks of things to come in Dragonwitch next summer!

I've been working with Laura back and forth this week getting things finalized, and it's going to be so much fun!!!

So mark your blog-reading calendars for December 3rd. And tell your friends!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Christmas Read-Along!

Now that the Fan Fiction contest is over, and all the submissions have been featured (and enjoyed!), it's time to start looking toward new things for this blog. Some of you may have noticed the advertisement on the sidebar, but for those of you who haven't  . . . here's what's coming up next!


So grab your copy of Heartless and get ready to join me for a fun time this holiday season! If you haven't read it yet, Heartless is available for FREE as an e-book at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, so all of you e-readers out there should snatch it up. There will be opportunities throughout the month to win copies of Veiled Rose, Moonblood, and Starflower as well, so you definitely want to keep checking back every day.
If you are a blogger, feel free to share this poster around and alert your friends to this upcoming event. Everyone is welcome! The more the merrier!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fan Fiction Contest

Note from the Judges: "Some clever rhymes and a nice storytelling flow here!"

When Una Came of Age

By: Molly


When Una came of age,

Suitors came on her life’s stage,

Among them a dreaded prince.


That dreaded prince

(Whom Felix fenced)

Was the Prince Aethelbald.


That lovelorn prince

She had hated since

The day that she had met him.


Princess Una said

“I refuse to wed

That odd Prince Aethelbald.”


Her loathing grew 

After quite a few

Restless, hot nights.


During those nights,

Una’s ring became tight

And singed her finger.


Prince Aethelbald tried

To help her fried

And aching dainty hands.


But Una did not relent

To this poor kind gent

And instead walked away.


She soon fell in a trance

Of sighing romance

Swooning for the king’s jester.


The jester, she found out

Though people thought him a lout

Was Prince Lionheart in disguise.


She gave him her ring

(And inside, it made him sing!)

And joyfully, he departed.


But he soon betrayed

Una, that fair maid

And gave her ring away.


Una finally became

No longer quite so tame

When she became a dragon.


But lo and behold,

That prince so bold

Rescued Princess Una.

By the prince’s arts,

He changed her heart

Formed it like his own.


Una relented,

Formally repented

And gave up her hardness of heart.


So Una finally married

And then she got carried

To Aethelbald’s kingdom.


And so it ends

All become friends

And live Happily Ever After.

And with that "Happily Ever After" we come to the end of the Fan Fiction submissions. It's been so much fun to share in all this wonderful writing talent. I hope you, dear readers, have enjoyed it half as much as I. Thank you again to all of the participants. May you be blessed and encouraged in your endeavors!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Les contes de la Forêt de la pierre dorée

I am so pleased to be able to introduce the French language editions of Heartless and Veiled Rose! Allow me to present: Coeur perdu and Rose voilée.

Aren't they gorgeous? I love these new covers, so elegant and fairy tale! I've created two new pages for these books, one for Coeur perdu here, and one for Rose voilée here. Be sure to check them out.
Une fantaisie intemporelle qui vous enchantera!
I happened to have a handy Frenchman available to model the books for me . . .


Rohan grew the mustache for Halloween, and I thought it was adorable, so he kept it for a few more weeks. Just long enough for a French-edition photo shoot.
(He doesn't really smoke. The cigarette holder is merely a prop.)
Be sure to tell any of your French-speaking friends about these books. If you're studying French in school, you might want to pick up a copy for yourself! (It's been a while since college French for me, but I've been enjoying picking my way through a paragraph or two . . .) Enjoy!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fan Fiction Contest

A Note from the Judges: "This charming story made me smile and laugh—it is sweet and so very fairytale! I love the beautifully detailed illustrations."


na’s hands worked quickly as she braided her hair. She sat gracefully on a golden throne in the middle of a court room, every eye was on her, but she was not conscious for her thoughts darted from place to place, trailing through majestic wood and fairy-tale castles, when an idea struck her. Smiling, Una inquired of her husband, "May we travel through the faire lands and see its wonders? It would be a wonderful way to celebrate our wedding."

This is the beginning of Una and her husband Aethelbald's holiday... and a very adventurous holiday it was.

he trip was organized and two weeks later Una, Aethelbald and a company of knights set out for their holiday and into the Wood Between. Soon they came to the Haven. As they walked through its halls, its high ceiling drew her up to the sky, the complacent blue stretching far and wide. Majestic trees either side stretching out over to its neighbor.

Una's smile grew when she saw a lady around the corner. As she led Aethelbald on towards the lady of the Haven, she became aware of the stern face the lady carried.
 "What trouble causes you to frown, Imraldera? What news do you have for me?" inquired Aethelbald.
"My prince, I'm afraid Eanrin has got himself into much trouble. He has insulted Ksathral, emperor of Kaardotha, and is going to be hanged!" answered Imraldera.
"We will go to Kaardotha and rescued Eanrin", replied the Prince.
So as soon as they arrived, they left with the good wishes of the Lady of The Haven and a ginger cat to rescue.
hey travelled far through the forests of Goldstone till they came to a clearing in the wood. There they found a dark glimmering pool. As Una stared into her reflection on the glass-like water her husband gently held her hand and said "Jump into the portal." Aethelbald slowly walked to edge of the pool with her. Her hand tightened around his and as she sucked in one last breath of air they jumped and were submerged in water, drowning out all noise from the outside world. As she sank deep into the pool, all feelings were lost to her except the constant hold around her hand and a cloud of blue that surrounded her. Her lungs started to burn as she struggled to get up to the surface. Slowly she saw light from above and as she burst out into the open she saw a marvellous sight.


Where once had been a small pond surrounded by birches was now a laughing water fall; but as she looked more closely she saw it turn into a nymph, it's eyes sparkling with amusement. Above it was an entire village of cat people; amber cats, beige cats, chestnut cats, all kind of browns cats in colourful garments. The sight of a nymph was weird enough but a village of cats quite took her by surprise. Still hand in hand with her husband they slowly climbed out of the river.
Suddenly, a shout from overhead called out, "Intruders, intruders, arrest them immediately!" Soon her, her husband and the knights of farthest-shore were surrounded by cats in red and purple robes. Una's eyes rested on a figure in the middle of the party, his commanding posture singled him out as the leader and before she had time to examine him more, his voice shouted over to them "What business do you have in Kaardotha?"

Her husband replied, "I have to talk to Ksathral, on urgent business."

"Take them to the emperor, he will decide what to do with them," the cat commanded.
na walked through the colourful village, her husband by her side. As they came to the town square they saw a gathering of cats and in the centre was a wooden stage with steps on its left. There, in the middle of the stage, was the emperor and beside him was Eanrin ready to be hanged! Una rushed toward the gathering but was stopped by the mean faces of several guards. She watched in horror as the cord was pulled onto the cat's neck. She stared back to her husband a silent cry slipping through her lips. Then she heard her husband’s voice erupt in anger.
"What right have you to hang one of my knights?" he cried.
The emperor caught by surprise turned around to question the one who opposed him. "Who dares question my authority? This cat has insulted me in front of all my court, by law he is condemned to death!" he shouted.
"He is my knight and all he does is on my forehead. What will appease you to let him go?" Aethelbald retaliated.
"I will think about it." the emperor declared.
Two weeks later Sir Eanrin was out of jail. The emperor, although still mad, let them go and he returned to the Haven, safe and sound for now.

"My tongue was too quick,
for that ancient cat.
He locked me up,
for my poetic words.
But then came my hero,
with his lovely wife.
With a handful of words,
he set that cat right.
So ye old sing with a thankful note,
To my dear old master for the debt I owe."
- Sir Eanrin, a ginger cat if ever there was one.
Of course Eanrin wrote this before he found out that in exchange for his life he had to clean the whole town square of Kaardotha.
Poor ginger cat!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Gift Draconian

In October, our dear friends Kirsten and Lazaro went on an Epic European Tour . . . and while they were away, I got to babysit their fur-babies, Mya and Max. Which was totally fun, because Mya and Max were some of my very first rescue kittens, and I love to go see them all happy, beautiful, and grown-up in their loving home!

Kirsten and Lazaro asked us what they could bring back for us from Europe as a thank-you for watching over the kitties. I thought about it a little bit, but couldn't think of anything particularly fabulous. "Maybe a tea cup?" I suggested. I like collecting tea cups.

And I thought no more about it.

Well, just the other day, Kirsten and Lazaro stopped by and brought us what they picked out instead. And let me tell you, tea cups only wish they could be this awesome!

Dragon Goblets!!!
One for me, one for Rohan . . . with tails that form a heart, because it's more romantic that way!
Aren't these absolutely stunning? Look at the detail!
Rohan says we'll have to drink blood out of them, or something. I'm thinking possibly hot cider (I try to keep my draconian pastimes confined to the written-word).
Thank you so much, Kirsten and Lazaro, for the most fabulous gift ever! This little writer of dragon stories is utterly thrilled. And when my new writing study is finished, I'm going to put these on prominent display!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Fan Fiction Contest

Note from the Judges: "The writer clearly knows how to weave a good story!  The archer’s past is interwoven smoothly into the present events. The archer himself is a highly intriguing character, as we learn a great deal about who he is and what he has been through and yet never find out so much as his name.  It is very difficult to make characters like that come off well, but this writer does it with aplomb."

Silver Arrows

By: Hannah Williams

A placid breeze ever so slightly stirred the silver-feathered shafts of the arrows.  The breeze continued on, passing over the black quiver, and disappearing into the forest.

The young man watched it go, following its path of frolicking leaves with his eyes.  He sat in the fork of a tree, one leg propped against a branch to anchor himself.  A long and slender bow was grasped in one hand.

The rabbits in a nearby clump of grass were not as interested in the arrows as the breeze had been, and they looked at the man himself.  They saw a man of perhaps twenty years, though his forest green eyes told of a greater age.  His hair was dark, if not black, and it hung in long, greasy, unkempt strands around his angular, but handsome, face.  His dress was rugged: a dirty black shirt, over which was a dark brown leather jerkin.  His pants were also black, as were his travel-worn boots.  Other then that, there was very little on him.  A bottle of water and a packet of food strapped to his belt.  And a quiver hung behind his back.

The quiver was simply wrought, but the arrows—the arrows were crafted of great beauty.  Their slim shafts were of a shady wood, strained with veins of gold.  The arrowheads were silver and looked sharp enough to slide through iron.  The feathers balancing the shafts were also silver.  The bow that the man held was of the same wood as the arrows, and a silver thread stretched from tip to tip.

At the rabbits’ first glance, the young man seemed to be in an easy posture, but if they’d looked closer, they would have seen his rigid shoulders, his controlled breathing, his tense jaw, and the white of his knuckles as he gripped the bow.

Somewhere out in the forest, a bird sang. 

The man’s head bobbed up, almost as if he been asleep, and he peered out to the ground below.  In a moment more, he had dropped from the tree onto the leaf-strewn earth.  Then he vanished.

Not simply walked away.  He simply was not there.

The rabbits in the grass darted back to their burrow in fright.


*          *          *


A path like moonlight stretched out before the young man, and he walked on it without reserve.  The song of the bird, a wood thrush, led him on.

There had been a time when he hated the steam-like voice.  A long time ago, in another life.  Or at least it felt like another life.  A life in which everything burned. 

He squeezed his eyes shut, but that did not make the memories evaporate.  The thought of a branding kiss on his forehead made him flinch.

Follow my path, the wood thrush sang.

The silver notes washed the pain of the memory away.  He lifted his head and continued forward, his stride long.

He did not ask where he was going.  He went wherever the path led and was not afraid. 

Once he’d followed another path, a path that had almost destroyed him.  There was a time, centuries and centuries ago, when he had been a Faerie Prince of a long forgotten realm.  Even as a child he had felt the deep sense of insecurity, as his home fell into decay.  The feeling had worsened as he grew older, and he’d spent many sleepless nights listening to the whisperings of his father and mother.  A wood thrush had sung to him in comforting tones, but he’d hated it.  At last, unable to bear the tension, he had run away, hoping to find a place of peace.  But instead of finding peace—the Dragon found him. 

As terrifying as the Dragon had been, he’d offered what the boy was searching for, and deceived, the prince had taken the bait.

There it was again—the memory of the flaming touch of the Dragon.

The young man smoothed a hand across his forehead as though to brush off the remembrance.

Being a dragon…Ha!  That had led to anywhere but peace.  The Dragon’s Path led to Death.  More memories flooded in.  The terror-filled hours in the Dragon’s valley, surrounded by other dragons, other doomed souls.

He had run again, this time vanishing into the expanse of the Red Desert, hoping to die.  To the rest of the world, he had.  No one ever remembered the prince of the soon afterwards fallen Faerie realm.  The entire world forgot him. 

But the dragon boy had not died out in the desert.  The wood thrush had come to him, only it was not a wood thrush.  It was the Prince.  The Prince of Fartherstshore.  The much hated enemy of dragons.  But as close to death as the boy was out in the merciless realm, the once upon a time Faerie prince felt no hate. 

The Prince of Farthestshore had nursed him back to health, and the boy realized that the peace he had always desired was offered to him in the service of this great Prince.  But he was still a dragon.

Another painful memory came to the dark-haired one’s mind.  But this time he did not flinch.  Painful as it was, this one brought with it great joy and freedom.  For he had let the Prince of Farthestshore kill the dragon part of him, leaving the boy behind.  Afterwards he was knighted to continue on in the Prince’s name, and he was given a new path.  A path that led through the Near World, the Far World, the Wood Between, and sometimes even into the Netherworld.  But it was the Prince’s path for him, and he followed it.  Century upon century he’d followed it, flitting in and out of peoples’ stories with none noticing him or any of the good deeds he performed.  But that didn’t matter.  The Prince saw.  The Prince knew.

The boy that was now a man came suddenly out into another patch of trees, and he paused as the path did not go on anymore.  Quick as thought, his hand went up, withdrew an arrow and set it taut on his bow.  In the forest below him was a child.  He knew already this was not his target, but he let his gaze linger on her odd appearance all the same.  She was covered in veils.  She was covered in veils, and she was softly singing.

In that moment he saw the wildcat.  The tawny beast was creeping along a cliff edge toward the unsuspecting girl.  He drew the arrow up to his eye, and aimed along the shaft—but then he paused.  It was spring here; the cougar was gaunt and showed signs of being a mother.  It had kittens to feed.  It did not know right from wrong.  Death was not necessary in this case.  Dropping his bow, he swept up a large stone and flicked it through the air like a missile.  The rock struck the beast in the shoulder, and with a wail of fright, she turned and darted away. 

The little girl jerked up with a cry.  She looked around, and he ducked behind the bush.  Then he heard her tiny voice crying out, “Beana!  Beana!  Where are you?”

The path continued on, and he followed it.  Through woods, and deserts, and cites, he kept on its trail.

Follow my path, the wood thrush sang.


*          *          *


Many years and saved lives had passed, and still the archer went on.  One night the path led him out to a mountain fortress in the dead of night.  He paused on a battlement, looking down in horror.  The stone courtyard below him was cluttered with dead bodies of soldiers, yet this was not what caused him to draw his breath in so suddenly. 

The Dragon had been here.

He had been here very recently, and the leftover sensation of his presence made the man’s stomach lurch in pain.  Blacked stones still glowed from where the Dragon had released fire.  But where was he now, and why had he left?

The man’s eyes scanned the bodies, and the moonlight enabled him to see insignias that he recognized as from the mortal and corrupt land of Shippening.  Then he saw, in one corner of the yard, a Shippening archer rise to his feet and stealthily string an arrow on his bow.  The observer’s gaze darted to the direction the barb of death pointed.  On the far side, another figure stirred, but this one was almost like a shadow, though his eyes, as they blinked open, shone like the sky.  “Rogan…” he moaned.  “Oeric….”  The moon caught the emblem on his armor.

The watcher’s fingers tore into the stone wall on which he crouched.  The shadowy one with the sky eyes was a knight of Farthestshore!  And he was about to be killed!

The enemy’s’ arrow was about to be released—but the silver arrow was much faster.  With a cry the Shippening man fell, the silver feather on the arrow shaft gleaming white underneath the eye of the moon. 

The Farthestshore knight turned with a startled gasp as he heard the cry of death, and he whipped up his sword.  But all was silent.  And save for him, there was no other living creature in the courtyard.

For his unknown rescuer had continued on the path.

Turning, the knight ran back into the fortress, calling for the aid of the men hiding deep within.


*          *          *


Not long after, the green-eyed archer was tested.  The path had sometimes taken him through terrifying places, but one day as he walked along it, he suddenly froze, for in that moment he realized where it would pass through.  It was a place that he had known all too well. 

“No,” he whispered, shaking his head.  “No…don’t have me go back there.  Not there…please.”

Do not be afraid.  I will let no harm come to you.  Follow my path.

He shook his head more violently, and his heart thudded.  “No!  I won’t see that place again.  I’m not going back there!”  In a burst of panic, he spun around to go back the way he had come, but he halted in shock.

There was no path behind him. 

Trembling, he looked over his shoulder.

The path only went forward.  It never went back.

Follow me.

Setting his jaw, he shoved his black hair behind his ears, and took two steps forward. 

The world around him swirled in black and red.

Then he stood in the cavern.

The darkness was overcast in red, as if soaked in blood.  He looked up to see, in a hole in the roof of the colossal cave, the night sky in which hung the moon.  The moon was crimson.

“Orden Hymlume`,” he whispered.  “Moonblood….”

He looked down and saw a dragon, human form, at his feet.

He was in the Village of Dragons again, but to his surprise this dragon slept.  A few feet away another dragon slept as well. 

And then he noticed all the commotion and ruckus that rang out from the center of the cavern.

In the middle of the floor was the Dragon’s throne—how he shivered at seeing it again.

But there was a girl bound to this throne, a girl who was both beautiful and ugly at the same time.  Upon the Throne’s dais, two figures were crumbled, presumably dead.  There was another living person there, a woman in lavender and green, and she was bent over to check the fallen bodies.

All around the expanse goblins fled shrieking, (what were they doing here of all places?) and in a corner was a golden-haired army protected by a dome of light.  Sleeping dragons sprawled out across the floor.  Fire licked up from the ground in various places.

One dragon, at least, was awake.

Then he saw her.

She was across the cavern, a humungous monster of red, and now that he saw her, he could not tear his eyes away.  He remembered her from his time of being a dragon.  She was called the Bane of Corrilond.

Another figure of scarlet dashed ahead of her. 

He narrowed his eyes upon it and saw that it was a man.  The dragon was pursuing him to kill, and she spouted out fire.  The scarlet-clad man rolled to avoid the flame.  He went in the roll as a man…he came out of it as a cat.  As a cat he had greater speed and agility, but that would not aid him, the archer knew, as he saw the Bane of Corrilond gather herself for a flood of fire. 

The young man’s hand flew back to his quiver, and in a blink he was sighting down an arrow.

Flames licking around her teeth, the dragon’s throat dipped inwards as she prepared to let out a fire ball that would consume her prey.

The archer’s fingers released.  The silver arrow flew forward.  It streaked across the room and thudded under the jaw of the dragon.

She roared, jerking her head to the side, and as she did, she released her fire.  The aim was thrown off, and though the fire rolled out like a wave, the man saw the cat leap behind the body of another dragon to safety.

“Eanrin!” a voice shrieked.

After yanking out the arrow, the Bane of Corrilond turned her head towards the Throne from whence the cry had come and saw those upon it.  She roared, and lumbered forward to kill them.

“No,” the archer hissed, and he stepped to the side for proper aiming, not noticing that he stepped off the path to do so.

The bow was bent, the arrow was ready…

Follow my path, the voice sang.

Stunned, he looked to see that the path was once more going forward.  “But…but, my Prince!  I could be of more help here!  I could save them!  They are your people!!! Let me help them!” he protested.

I will care for my people.  I am with them, just as I am with you.  You follow me.

The man hesitated.  But then he stepped back on the path, and went forward.  The cavern and all that happened there faded away and he once more stood in a forest.

The tree branches arched above him like beautiful lattice framework.  A zephyr stirred their leaves like distant chimes.

He breathed deep, inhaling the sweet smell of honeysuckle.

He was no longer afraid for those he’d left behind.  The Prince was faithful, and even if some would come to the shores of the Final Water they would not be left behind.

The moon was shining silver again, and the path went before him.

No one knew of him.  No one knew his name, save for himself, the Prince, and those over the Final Water.  No one knew how he slipped through their lives, saving some, aiding others.  One day, when all who were called crossed over to the Farthestshore, the wonderful deeds of theirs, great and small, would be told.  There people would hear of him and know his name.

But until then, it simply did not matter.

His hand went up, and he slid the silver arrow back into the quiver.

The Prince’s path went before him, and he followed it.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Tidbits

Superman and the Saint

So a few weeks ago I talked about the need to spend time on your secondary characters, giving them real life and personality so that they become as relatable as your protagonists. Amusingly, in many of the comments writers said that they had the opposite struggle . . . they found their secondary characters more interesting to write about than their protagonists!

A fellow author this last week told me the same thing. She was talking about how she had made the alternate-hero (the one who doesn't get the girl) more interesting than the hero, and now she needs to go back through and give her hero some flaws.

And that started me thinking.

What makes for an interesting character--be it hero, heroine, villain, or sidekick? A character who needs to grow. A character who has real internal struggles and flaws they have to surmount as they struggle toward their goals.

Yet many writers feel that a Hero needs to be Superman and a Heroine needs to be a saint. Oh, sometimes they'll give them some little cursory flaws . . . your hero might be a little too devotedly passionate about the heroine, your heroine might be a little clumsy (shades of Edward and Bella, my friends?). But neither of these--unless taken to an extreme that effects the story on shattering levels--are really flaws enough to make for interesting characters.

An interesting character is one you as the writer can relate to. And you, my dear writer, are neither Superman nor a saint. Sorry! It's no wonder you find yourself more drawn to your villain or your less-saintly sidekicks.

So start giving those protagonists of yours some real, besetting flaws. Flaws that effect the story on a profound level. Flaws that you relate to, even if you wish you didn't. You'll find yourself much more drawn to your characters, much more eager to see them triumph!

Because suddenly their story has become your story.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Abigail Hartman - The Soldier's Cross

As the second part in my feature of our favorite historical author sisterly duo, I give you teen authoress, Abigail Hartman!

 About Abigail
Abigail J. Hartman writes historical fiction and fantasy from her home in South Carolina. Being taught at home for all her schooling years, she has had ample opportunity to branch out into the subjects she enjoys most: history and literature. The Soldier's Cross is her first novel.

About the Novel
A.D. 1415
Fiona's world is a carefully built castle in the air, made up of the fancies, wishes, and memories of her childhood. It begins to crumble as she watches her brother march away to join in the English invasion of France. It falls to pieces when he is brought home dead. Robbed of the one dearest to her and alone in the world, Fiona turns to her brother's silver cross in search of the peace he said it would bring. But when she finds it missing, she swears she will have it and sets out on a journey across the Channel and war-ravaged France to regain it and find the peace it carries.
I know many of you readers are aspiring authors yourselves. So, for your sakes, I asked Abigail to answer this question:
I'm sure you get this a lot, but I know it's what everyone is wondering, so I'm going to ask it anyway! How did you, a busy young high school girl, find the time, gumption, and drive to write and polish a manuscript? And what steps did you take to prepare it for publication?
Well, the true answer is that my name is actually Loki and I found myself burdened with glorious purpose.
Glory and joking aside: a lot of people do ask how I manage to juggle schoolwork and writing without totally dropping either. When I began writing The Soldier’s Cross, I had just begun high school and courses were getting more difficult; plus it was my first year of competing in November’s National Novel Writing Month, or at least my first year competing with a plot. There were a number of things that I couldn’t ignore (no teacher is really interested in hearing that your essay is late because you’re trying to write a novel) and that had to be balanced. Now I’m in my senior year of high school and the case is the same.
The truth of the matter, however, is that there will always be other areas of life that require a writer’s attention: schoolwork, housework, jobs, family, reading and exercising and a hundred other things.  If we spent all our time actively writing, we would no longer have anything to write about. We have to recognize the importance, and the level of importance, in everything that we do and operate accordingly. For me, this means that I discipline myself to do schoolwork and also to carve out time to write, because while one is significantly more enjoyable than the other, both are important. I don’t expect there will ever be a time when I will stop the juggling act; but writing will always be a part of it, because writing is part of me.
As far as preparing The Soldier’s Cross for publication goes, I have to confess I was pretty ignorant about the whole thing when I began. The first thing I did was to go through the story and iron out the crinkles in the plot; I knew enough to do that!  I also did some rewriting after a personal “line edit,” composed primarily of weaving in a romantic subplot. After that, the major thing was trawling through a massive copy of Writer’s Market Guide, choosing a number of prospective publishers, and querying them. When I signed with Ambassador Intl., they had another editor go through the manuscript and suggest alterations. It turned out to be a significantly more laidback process than the mad dash of writing the story was! 
But I know better now than to expect that to ever be the case again.
 Thank you so much for sharing with us, Abigail! I know your story will be inspiring to other young aspiring writers out there.
If you would like to follow along with the Birthday Book Party, hop on over to Abigail's blog, Scribbles and Inkstains, for more writing-related articles and tidbits on the authorial life. And be sure to get yourself a copy of the novel!