She's tiny with tight blonde curls that hug her pink, round cheeks, and she's petite, wearing a flowing white summer dress. Peach lipped, curt at times, with moods that change faster than Southern weather. She bounces between admiration and cursing. She's fiery like a dragon one minute and prim as a mint julep the next. I don't know what to make of her. I'm almost scared to be in her presence. I don't talk much for fear that she'll use something I say against me. What if she decides not to come back? How will I finish the next scene?
There she is, flitting through the room, her teeny wings beating so fast they're invisible.
I turn away and keep my eyes directed to the computer screen, trying desperately to never make eye contact.
She's silent, probably still brewing from our last encounter when I demanded too much, or so she said. I only wanted a few hundred more words. Was that too much to ask from the ONE who's supposed to give them?
My fingers hover over the keyboard, anticipating her words before they ever touch the air.
"Any day now," I sass, without thought and instantly regret it. I glance up, half expecting her to not be there and having left again before giving me anything. But she's sitting on my desk, her porcelain legs swinging daintily off the edge.
I hate when she's like this.
She lets out a long sigh and glances at me from the corner of her eye.
"What's in it for me?" she finally says, breaking the silence and my patience.
"This is your job. I'm starting to wonder what's in it for me!" I push the keyboard away and fold my arms across my chest. This is war. She knows it; I know it.
"Don't squish your face like that. You're getting hideous wrinkles," she says in a condescending, motherly tone.
I feel the anger rise and flush my cheeks. I imagine her spontaneously combusting. POOF.
"We don't have time for this, Poppy. I need to work. Now where were we? Maggie makes her way to the store where the shopkeeper tells her an intriguing bit of information that's pivotal to the plot..." I prompt, deciding to push away my frustration in hopes of salvaging the day.
"Tisk. Tisk. Tisk." A wicked smile stretches across her doll face. "I think, I'm tired. I'll be back later...sometime." She stands up, smooths the wrinkles from her dress, and prepares to fly off.
"Like when? Midnight? When I'm driving down the street? O, how about when I'm sleeping at 3am? No, no, no. You're not going anywhere, missy." Overwhelmed with animosity, I grab her tiny body in my fist.
"What are you doing?" she demands.
I'd never touched her before. I've always found her intimidating and domineering, but now, with her teeny body in my hand, I feel strong. I squeeze a little and feel her squirm in my fingers.
"Ow! You're hurting me!"
Now I am the one wickedly smiling. Something like rage creeps its way into my heart and wraps its evil intentions around the arteries, pumping it through my veins and into my mind.
"I don't need you," I tell her, finally realizing the truth that'd been there all along.
"Yes, you do. You can't write without me! You don't know what happens next!" Her pretty face turns desperate.
"Actually, I think I do." Scenes flash before me like a movie reel. My characters act out the elusive plot. I squeeze tighter. "I think we're done, Poppy."
"We're not! You can't!" she pleads.
I close my eyes and squeeze until I feel her go limp, and then squeeze even more until I feel nothing. I open my palm to see that it's empty. No trace of the the being who had taunted my life for all these years.
I focus on the scenes again. Maggie and the shopkeeper, the action, the dialogue. Without intention, my fingers dance across the keyboard forming words, sentences, paragraphs, PAGES without her!
When I think of Poppy now, I still find myself smiling. I'd believed a lie. I never needed to wait on her to give me the story. It was in me all along. All I needed to do was sit and type.
I'm glad I killed the imposter.
A couple of months ago, I announced that my debut novel FABLED would be published in May. There have been many long nights since working out the details, and the day is quickly approaching when my precious (insert Gollum-like voice here) will be available. But I'll save the publication details for later because we both know why you're here -- THE COVER!
Many thanks to the lovely Carrie Butler fromForward Authority for all her attention to detail and for making this a very fun experience. Psst... if you need a cover, I highly recommend her. ;)
Not all fairy tales are friendly.
Rowena thinks the Grimm’s infamous podcasts are simply another teen fad until she finds herself trapped in a land of nightmarish storybook characters. She tries desperately to flee Mezzanine and return home, but Dresdem, Mezzanine’s wicked monarch, plans to use Rowena’s access to her world to bring dark magic and absolute rule into Georgia and beyond.
But when Rowena’s dear friend Madeline falls into Dresdem’s grasp, her battle with him becomes war, and all hopes of home are temporarily thwarted. With the help of an invisible hero, a beast, and an owl, she sets out to free Madeline from a deadening sleep. But Rowena must become her own hero when she finds herself bound by the kingdom’s darkest family. She must make the ultimate choice – align herself with her enemies or live on the run forever.
FABLED is available for pre-order on Kindle here. Paperback and hardback copies will be available May, 5th 2015. Follow on Facebook and/or Twitter for updates. Until then, feel free to add it to your "to-read" list on Goodreads.
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I've waited an entire lifetime to write this one sentence:
My novel will be published.
One thing I've learned is that everyone's path is different, and there's not one yellow brick road that will lead you to the successful land of Oz.
It's been five years and just as many novels, but it's finally happening. I can hardly believe it. There have been lots of ups and downs and endless hours of researching, plotting, writing, and revising.
No amount of magic will bleed words on a page or make anything about the publishing journey any easier. The only key to success in anything is persistence. When you feel like giving up, try again and harder. Never accept no for an answer. There is always a way where there is a will.
I was tagged by the lovely S.J. Henderson to participate in the Liebster Award Blog Hop about my current WIP. I'm working on two novels right now. One is a sequel to my fairy tale (YAY), and the other is a southern gothic that I am having O so much fun with. I chose the gothic.
What is your WIP about?
Sixteen-year-old Ophelia Fisk is an orphan with severe emotional issues. The novel opens with her contemplating committing suicide, but decides against it when she finds that the new town she lives in is much more unique than expected. There are unexplained things happening, and as the mystery unravels, so too does her purpose.
What is your main character's greatest strength?
She's strong. Crazy strong, despite her depression. She faces challenges with a bravery, even I look up to.
What is your main character's greatest flaw?
The world has been cruel to Ophelia and being an orphan in a small town, where outsiders
are always looked at strangely doesn't make it easier. She has a tendency to be bitter and build impenetrable walls.
Name your character's favorite food and drink?
Pizza and coffee. Though, not at the same time.
What animal would your main character be and why?
She'd probably be a stray dog. She's distrusting, takes a while to let people in, and has a tendency to bite with her words. But if you can ever get through to her, she's the most loyal friend one can have.
If you and your main character were in a coffee shop, what would you discuss?
Easy. The utter weirdness of small, southern towns. It's one of her and my most favorite topics.
Who would you main character like to date/marry and why?
Someone who feels like her family. Someone who handles her insecurities delicately and who is strong enough not to be hurt by her sometimes thoughtless tongue.
What superhero does your protagonist act like? Why?
Can I pick a guy? Batman. She wants to save the world, but she struggles heavily with her inner demons.
If you made a music video starring your antagonist, what would be his or her song?
"Demons" by Imagine Dragons. She's afraid to trust or hurt anyone, so she just pushes them away.
What fictional character do you like the most and why?
If you mean ever, I'd have to say Jo March from The Little Women. I wanted to be her when I grew up. Still do. If you mean in my own stories, I'd have to say Rowena from my fairy tale. She's starts off being passive and shy, but by Book 2 she's the firecracker I've always wanted to be.
Now that you know what my WIP is about, it's your turn! :D I tag two fellow writer friends, Tammy Theriault and Sarah Ahiers. Here are your ten questions:
1 Where did you find the inspiration for your WIP?
2 What is the setting and how important is it to the story?
3 What is your MC's most likable quality?
4 Does your MC prefer coffee or tea?
5 If you met your villain in real life, would you run away, slap him (or her), stop for a chat, or ask for his autograph?
6 What are three words that best describe your MC?
7 If your MC could have anything in the world, what would it be?
8 What's your favorite line in the WIP so far?
9 What's the overall tone of the novel?
10 If you had to compare your novel to any fairy tale, what would it be and why? (Because you know I love fairy tales!)
If you decide to take on the challenge too, be sure to leave a link in the comments. I want to read about your WIP too!
Vanessa K. Eccles
Sharing wisdom on living a creative life.
Author of FABLED (2015) / Founder of The Faithful Creative Magazine / Executive Editor of Belle Reve Literary Journal
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