Camryn has kindly agreed to share a little of herself and her work with us today. She's also offering a fun giveaway, so be certain to check that out at the end of this post! But now, the lady herself . . .
Camryn Lockhart lives in Maryland with her parents, five little brothers, little sister, and a Great Dane. She likes to sing around the house and draws in her spare time. Writing is her passion among all her interests. She strives to put God first and implement her faith in all she does, including writing.
And now a little information on the wonderful story Camryn has been working on with my mentoring program! Presenting . . . .
“Starting at sunset, the banishment is in place. No longer shall this pestilence plague us. No longer will they implement laws that we do not wish to follow. No longer will we have to tolerate . . . the Falcon Masters.”
With a ban against their very existence, the Falcon Masters are forced into hiding or risk losing their lives. In the ensuing chaos, twins are born—a girl and a boy—who are swiftly separated, growing up with two different lives. After the daughter, Saige, turns seventeen, a hurtful comment about her heritage sends her running into the woods, but she unknowingly runs into a spellbound faerie portal and falls into the clutches of a Wild Hunter
In the whirlwind of events that follow, Saige learns about her long lost brother and that her father might still be alive. More than that, according to an ancient prophecy, the civil war afflicting the land of Muireach can be stopped by her alone. Will she be up to the challenge? Or will she fall in the face of evil? Can Saige learn in time the value of family and how strong faith can be?
Doesn't that make you want to dive into the adventure right away? Camryn is here with us today for an interview, so you can learn more about her and her work. Happy reading!
Hi, Camryn! First of all, why don't you tell us a little about yourself. Are you an extrovert or an introvert? Do you like tea or coffee? Cats or dogs? Indoors or outdoors? Sports or crafts? Anything you want to tell us!
Camryn: Wow, where to start? I am the eldest of seven children, five boys and two girls. I am homeschooled, in my senior year of high school and hoping to make writing my career.
I think of myself as an introvert since I like time alone. Although, I can be pretty outgoing when the time calls for it, such as making friends after I’ve moved into a new area.
I don’t like tea or coffee, but I like hot cocoa and sweet tea! I love cats (they make me laugh with their antics!), but I prefer to only visit them, not take care of them. I love dogs (again, antics, laughing, etc.), but I absolutely adore wolves. If I could have one as a pet and not be concerned about my well-being, I would do it in a heartbeat!
I like being indoors and outdoors, depending on the weather. Reading inside while it rains or reading outside sitting in a blooming tree makes no difference to me! I dislike intense summer heat or intense cold and autumn is my favorite season.
Sports aren’t my thing, but only because I’m not as good at them as everyone else is (I’m a bit vertically challenged, so any tall guys at my youth group would trounce me at Ultimate Frisbee). I enjoy them, otherwise!
I am into crafts! I like to knit, crochet, make friendship bracelets; and drawing (that counts right?). Anything that piques my interest, I learn how to do. But I doubt I’ll ever be a professional in those things.
I play piano and guitar and dabble in a few woodwinds like the penny whistle, but for the life of me I can’t figure out the flute. I love to sing and my dream role on Broadway is Eponine from Les Misérables. And, of course, I like to write!
When did you first decide you wanted to be a novelist?
Camryn: When I was 11, I saved enough money to buy my own laptop. On it, I discovered a Word Pad. I asked my mom if I could write a story on it and, with her permission, proceeded to do just that…it wasn’t very good. Then again, I was eleven! I have been writing ever since then, whether little short stories, fanfictions or novels in the making.
What was the first story you can remember writing down? Did you ever finish it?
Camryn: The story I started writing on my laptop at 11 years old was actually the first story I remember writing. It was about a girl named Penny (short for Penelope) who went on a journey visiting strange creatures and people. There was some sort of intrigue with this masked man following her, and I think he was a bounty hunter sent by her father, but I never finished it so I can’t remember and I lost it in cyberspace long ago.
What are some of your favorite books? Have they influenced your own writing?
Camryn: The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan was and is one of my favorites! It inspired the story I am currently working on. Touches of his work might influence the costume of my characters.
Robin McKinley’s The Blue Sword and The Outlaws of Sherwood were my also some of my favorite adventures in my early teens and I still hold them dear now. My inspiration for adventure stories most likely came from her; or maybe my own thirst for adventure spurred me on to write about such things.
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo is a recent favorite of mine due to a friend a year ago doing a play adaption his senior year. I read it and fell in love with Hugo’s style of writing. I found that after I read a chapter or two from Les Miserables, my writing followed after Hugo’s long descriptions and explanations. He definitely motivated me to aspire for beautiful descriptions that make people cry! Well, perhaps not cry. Tearing up will do.
And then of course, Anne Elisabeth’s wonderful Tales of Goldstone Wood! Her books showed me that I can write something exciting and write about my faith in Christ.
All in all, I think these authors influenced me toward the fantasy genre that I have stuck with the past few years.
What is a one-sentence summary of the manuscript you are currently writing?
Camryn: When civil war breaks out the Falcon Masters are caught in between—their leader captured, his newborn twins are split at birth—and when the eldest daughter, Saige, grows up, she has to come to terms with who she is and stop the civil war that has plagued her country her whole life, learning that a little faith goes a long way.
What is the most important lesson you've learned in your first few weeks of mentoring?
Camryn: Location, location, location! In my writings, I sometimes focus too much on situations and the emotional turmoil, and then lose sight of the setting itself. It’s actually something that I struggle with a lot. I’m a very visual person, so when I have to describe a place I’ve never seen, I run into quite a few challenges.
What tricks do you try when you face writer's block?
Camryn: Usually when I am stuck with a scene or a story, I step back and ask myself, ‘Where do I want to go with this? What do I hope to accomplish by the end of this scene/story?’ Once my main goal is back in perspective, I forge ahead with my writing. But what do I do when I have a case of writer’s block and I don’t know what I am going to do next? Then I turn off my computer or shut my notebook and go play video games with my brothers or help my mom cook. Sometimes your brain simply needs a break!
Who is your favorite character in your current manuscript and why?
Camryn: I haven’t been attached to one yet, but if I had to pick it would be Caedmon. He is a part of a small group that originated as pranksters but became mercenaries during the civil war. Caedmon is a gentle and strong man who has only loved one girl his whole life. He has internal struggles that I have in my own life and I find that I like him for how he is able to handle them.
Would you share an excerpt from your current work-in-progress?
The Falcon Master
Saige cried but didn't want to admit it. She hadn’t cried since she was fifteen. Why should she start now? Angrily, she wiped her tears away with the back of her hand. She couldn’t see through the rain and her tears and had absolutely no idea where she was going. Arrowynd, her mount, trotted along at her leisure. Eventually, Saige had the good sense to rein her horse in and take account of her surroundings. Her mouth fell open in surprise. They were much closer to her village of Kething than she thought.
The woods she had grown up playing by loomed before her in the cold mist. Though the sight of her childhood playground should have comforted her, a chill was gradually working up her spine to the nape of her neck. She shivered and rubbed the reins between her fingers in thought.
After the day her best friend, Jareth, disappeared into the woods, her foster parents forbade her from ever going near Sparevan Wood again. Her freedom was further restricted when reports reached the village of disappearances similar to Jareth’s all over Kilfatar and Muireach. One hundred and thirty children in total had vanished into the woods, all around the same age. They were not seen again. Saige was kept close to home until it was ingrained in her to never approach the forest.
And she hadn’t. Saige had been a good, obedient child, listening to what her elders said, doing as they told her. She was stubborn for sure, but good-hearted, which was why the fact that she still stood before the forest and hadn’t turned back yet baffled her.
Long after that day, when she would look back and try to explain what happened next, Saige would blame her rampant emotions, or say that she missed Jareth. Truthfully, however, she could not pinpoint quite why she went into the woods. Perhaps she did not see the floating lanterns of the will-o’-the-wisps dancing around inside the tree line, or perhaps she did not feel their magic draw her into the enchantment they spun.
For on that day, Saige decided to enter the imposing forest. She did so bravely, riding in with her head held high, her horse prancing in excitement. The trees hidden by the curtain of rain moved aside silently at the will-o’-the-wisps bidding and welcomed the long-awaited girl into its enveloping arms.
A man descended a steep incline. The rain blew in his hooded face, eradicating the purpose of his thick, fur cloak altogether. Regardless, he pulled the edges of the cloak further around himself, attempting to keep warm. The ground leveled out into a flat forest floor.
He glanced back up the mountain and saw the silhouette of a village in the rainy mist. The reason he had been summoned there was obscure, to say the least. A messenger bird had come to his cabin two days ago with a note saying to come to the Twin Summits as soon as possible.
When he arrived, he made his way directly to the Nest, the council room of the Falcon Masters. The falconer captains and generals sat in their crescent of seats with him at the center as he waited for their explanation. He sat there for nearly an hour before one of them spoke. It was an older man with long silvery hair.
“Bowen,” his rough voice said, “Travel to the border of the forest where the villages Keld and Kething are one. Wait there until you see the White Falcon fly.”
Then they dismissed him.
So now he stood at the mountain base in cold weather that chilled him to his bones, heading somewhere with only a vague clue as to why he was there. Bowen sighed and turned his face up to the weeping sky.
“Why me?” he muttered. There was no answer. He sighed and resumed his muddy trek downward. It was going to be a long, wretched day.
Saige peered at the trees around her as she passed them. The bark was as black as pitch, but looked as smooth as marble. A moment ago, she could have sworn the bark had been brown. The leaves that she could see hanging from the lower branches looked like teardrops of emerald dangling from the boughs. But it was autumn and the leaves she had seen before entering the wood were orange and gold. She had never seen trees like these before.
There was no more wind; not even a breath of a breeze existed, and yet the air was not stale. It wasn’t raining anymore either. In fact, it was as if it had never rained in the first place. Saige looked up to the sky, but the branches of the trees interwove to make a tightly-knit canopy, blotting out the sky and any rain that might fall through.
"That must be what is blocking out the rain,” she muttered, as if to reassure herself. But even she, deep down inside, could tell that she was not in the Sparevan wood of her childhood.
The trees were mere handbreadths away from each other, but parted wherever she went. Clawed branches stuck out like they were trying to catch her hair. Saige slowly became unsettled. She felt like something--or someone--was watching her. Regretting her hasty decision to enter the wood, Saige sat back in her saddle and pulled Arrowynd to a stop.
“Something isn’t right. Maybe we should go back…”
Suddenly, an owl came screeching down. It stretched its sharp talons out and began scratching the horse’s face. Arrowynd neighed shrilly and reared, lashing out her hooves at the bird. Saige gasped and tried to keep her seat.
“Whoa, girl! Steady!”
Her soothing was in vain. The large owl kept attacking and the mare kept rearing. Then the powerful beast lunged several feet in one stride. Saige screamed and clung desperately to the saddle horn. The great-horned bird pursued.
Bowen huddled between the roots of a giant tree, his fur cloak wrapped around him to keep him warm. He had been waiting there for a day and a half now, with no sign of the White Falcon. He ground his teeth and crossly readjusted himself in his uncomfortable niche.
Before he settled, he heard an inhuman shriek. Bowen leapt to his feet, ready for anything. He listened intently to the silence of the Ebony Weald looming to his left. That sounded like a horse. The tall man peered into the dark trees and listened. Another scream rang out; this one decidedly human and female.
A whooshing sounded above him and when he looked up, he saw the pale belly of a white bird flying into the depths of the ebony trees. The White Falcon… he thought. With a deep breath, Bowen dove into the thick trees, following the pale bird and the echoes of the feminine cries.
What an exciting selection! Thank you so much for sharing, Camryn.
And now, Camryn has offered a lovely work of original art as a giveaway to one lucky winner! Here it is:
If you would like to win this Falcon Master poster, enter your name in the drawing below. And be certain to thank Camryn for sharing with us today. I'm sure we will all be eager to read the final product as soon as Falcon Master is complete!
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0cd5244/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway