Friday, June 29, 2012

Thank YOU --Who do you owe it to?

As I sat here this morning debating on what to write about to start my day, I thought it'd be a nice touch if I first visited here.  I'm trying to get into the habit of posting something on the blog before actually getting to work.

For many writers, they like to find someone they can contribute their success to.  Whether they are published or not, they often search in their mind for who it is that they really owe it to.  From the book idea, to the characters, to being able to finish the book, to being published, there's always someone--often times, many--who helped along the way.
But first and foremost I want to draw attention to the readers.  For as long as I can remember, I have always worked on a written piece with the belief in mind that so long as people continued writing there will always be someone to read the work.  At the time when I first came up with this theory, I had no idea how true it really is.
Often times I feel the readers are never truly thanked enough for all that they do, whether they realize it or not.  I remember reading the last Harry Potter book, and in Rowling's dedication she mentioned her readers, and for me that meant everything.
So today, if you don't mind, I'd like to thank each and every one of you who have helped all along.
My readers have always been here to support me, regardless of whether I was published or not.  From the days on Inkpop all the way up till Wattpad, I would look back at comments from readers and remember that there were people out there who cared.  The amazing thing about them is that they have followed me in this journey, and I honestly don't think I could have wished to accomplish all of this without them--without you.

As much as I'd love to go on, I'd probably star repeating my acknowledgments --which I don't want to reveal just yet!  But I want everyone to know that they have had an impact on my work.  It's often said that people think they have little influence on a writer, but in truth we take in every detail, every part of us you allow us to know about and we work it into our characters, our plot, our stories.  
Before I end this all too soon, though, I do owe a huge thank you to all of my followers here on the blog.  I've always wanted a place where I can share the important aspects (or what I think is important?) of my life and work with people.  It took me a while to actually realize such a place existed, but I am glad to say that this blog has been and will continue to be a wonderful outlet.  Thanks to Blogger, I met all of these wonderful writers with the same dreams as me.  For years I watched as many of you got your books published, while others of you continued working hard to find a home for your book.  I look back on that now, realizing that I too once wondered if I would ever make it there.  Often times I don't like saying a lot about myself; it's easier to talk about my work.  To be honest, though, if you're feeling like everyone around you is being published except for you, just wait.  I know it's hard, I know you don't believe it now (I didn't either), but your time will come.
I owe it all to you guys!  Thank you for supporting me regardless, and I am so thrilled that we continue on as more exciting adventures come our way.  Publishing was only the beginning, after all!
Lindsey R. Sablowski  

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fallen Heart

A heart fell in the middle of the night.
It fell peacefully, soundlessly, and carefree.
Before it reached the ground a man's hand reached up in a desperate attempt to catch it.
He caught the heart and claimed it his, and in that moment the heart finally found a home.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wednesday Night Plans

About to watch some Gossip Girl (I'm late on finishing season 5), and then I'll be returning to edits.  I'm two chapters behind my schedule, but I just edited through the longest chapters of my book.  It'll be nice to take a break for a bit.
Hopefully, I'll have something more detailed to post later on once I'm through with edits.
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Friday, June 22, 2012

New design!

If you're here and you've noticed the new design, please thank Laura Toeniskoetter.  This remodeling definitely wouldn't have been possible without her.  Hope you like the new changes, and again be sure to tell Laura thank you!

I'll be back later on for a real post.  For now, I have a deadline to meet!
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Currently reading: Her Highness, The Traitor

I've been talking about this book ever since I returned from Ocean City (probably before that too), so I've finally set aside everything else just to give my opinion of the book so far.  Since I don't do book reviews on my blog often, when I do find the time to do them they're different from most you'll probably read on other blogs.  (I don't really have a set stage for all of this; it's off the top of my head!)
A daughter can be a dangerous weapon in the battle for the throne of England

Frances Grey harbored no dream of her children taking the throne. Cousin of the king, she knew the pitfalls of royalty and privilege. Better to marry them off, marry them well, perhaps to a clan like the Dudleys.

Jane Dudley knew her husband was creeping closer to the throne, but someone had to take charge, for the good of the country. She couldn't see the twisted path they all would follow.

The never–before–told story of the women behind the crowning of Jane Grey, this novel is a captivating peek at ambition gone awry, and the damage left in its wake.

That was the summary from Amazon, but feel free to browse around on the internet to find more.
Seeing as I haven't finished this book, I'm going to tell you my thoughts on it from the moment I began up to the very part I'm at currently.
Voice: The author does an amazing job of portraying the characters' voices as those that would have existed in the 1400-1500s.  It's actually so accurate that I've been noting down some of the dialog and narration as "research" for my own book.  (This was suggested by my editor as a historically accurate book.)  What I really love is that the voice of this book never dies down.  There isn't a moment where it's dull and you'll want to stop reading; Susan catches her reader's attention very well.
Characters: This part I've been dying to talk to among other readers.  So far Jane and Frances have been alternating between narration --one chapter is Jane's, then the next may be Frances; you never really know.  While I am not always fond of this in books, it honestly does help this book to understand the depth of all of the characters.  What's even more interesting is that this book follows after King Henry VII's death.  (Don't worry, I'll talk more about that in just a minute)
Jane is the wife of John, the two of whom met as young children and later on married.  Don't be all too surprised when Jane abruptly states that she has given birth to thirteen children, all of which apparently live at home with her and Jane.  Interestingly enough, Jane works for Elizabeth, King Henry's last wife who "survived" his rule.  Jane's a pleasing character for the book; she's smart, loyal (especially to her husband), and she's independent.
Though at this point of the book I can't tell if John is a major character, he also has a very well-thought out role.  He is loving to his wife, and he seems to take on his role as a father quite well.  He too works in the palace with his wife.
Frances, on the other hand, is Jane's mother.  She was the cousin of the King, but she has always married off her children so that they would never have to take on the responsibilities as a ruler.  So far I can't decide on how I feel about her, but she seems to care deeply for her children.
Plot: Immediately when the book begins Jane is writing her will, talking about the wishes she has as a "dead woman."  Shortly after, we are thrown back to a flashback of her as a four year old.  As she is narrating this scene, she suddenly changes her voice and is an adult married to John.  
While Jane is performing her duties around the palace, she steps in to visit her husband (who is also working at the palace).  He informs her that King Henry has been dead for two days, and it was the king's adviser who chose to hid the unfortunate news from Queen Elizabeth.  However, Queen Elizabeth is told soon after this about the King's death and discovers that Henry changed his will privately so that she could not rule the thrown.  Elizabeth, understandably, is outraged to say the least.
Meanwhile Frances narrates the story, explaining how at a time her daughter, Jane, was offered to be Queen.  Frances seems to know that royal life is not all that it seems, but despite her knowledge, Jane may still fall into the wrong hands.  Everyone is stressed over the new king, but all the people may really be seeking is a king who they can truly rely on--something that Henry was not.
History: While this book is a historical fiction novel, it definitely is anything but boring.  It's fascinating to read how Elizabeth reacts to her husband's death; even Henry's daughters seem to mourn not for his lost but for the pain he caused them.  Henry is portrayed accurately as the villain he truly was and the poor husband and father he was to his family at home.
The bloodlines of all of these families was researched amazingly.  (The family tree was the first page I noticed.)  Fortunately all of the characters are attached to the role and family they're involved with at the beginning so that if you ever do get lost, you have reference.  

Final thoughts: I'm most likely breaking a reviewing "law," but I'll just tell you now that I give this book 4/5 stars hands down.  The reading reminds me of the work of Phillipa Gregory, who is one of the greatest historical fiction writers I've read --if you haven't read her work, definitely do it now.  This is a truly amazing story with characters you'll find yourself falling in love with.  The only reason I wouldn't give this book 5/5 stars is because of the fact that sometimes the change in characters or the year can be too abrupt.  In the first chapter I was just getting used to Jane's first, and then suddenly Frances started narrating the book from an entirely different year than Jane's.  
Overall, though, I am so glad I bought this book, and my only regret is that lately I've been slacking on reading it because of the work I have to do.  I highly suggest this to all historical lovers, fantasy lovers, and most of... anyone who enjoys a good book. This is something you'll want to read again.
After all, who doesn't want to know the untold story of the Tudors?
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Publishing news!

Publication is always an exciting time for readers and the writer.  It's a time for change, for new beginnings, and for a whole new journey both the writer and the book must venture on together.

For me, I can't believe that only two years ago I was started Cursed With Power.  Here I am today still staring at the contract, wondering how the time did pass.
Upon request, I've been asked by several fans to post some news about the book and publication details.  Since I've been blogging more and I actually don't have an "official" website yet, it's probably most convenient for me to post it all on here.
For one, I actually have no idea about an official website.  I've heard a lot of people say they'd be interested, but of course buying a domain isn't free these days so let's just say I'm considering it.  I will most likely make an official website with a custom domain after I see how the sales for the book are going.  (You never know, I could fail miserably!  [that's a horrifying thought])
As for contests, I do have several ideas.  Keep in mind that I've been following published author blogs since day one that I joined this site, so I would love to share my ideas.  For starters, though, I've promised that I won't reveal any of my ideas until there are at least 30 likes on Facebook for Cursed With Power.  Your support means everything to me!  If you want to help the cause, go ahead and check it out: here
I will say that these contests will be coming out when the book releasing, giving you opportunities to win signed copies of the book and much more!  Do we like the idea?
Also, I'm working on a bookmark design. I can't actually make anything official since I don't know what the final cover is going to look like.  Just keep in mind that there will be a bookmark, and I'd love to include it with your purchase of the book!  (We'll explain the details of that later on when the book releases)
That brings us to the cover...
That?  Oh no, that will NOT be the official cover.  Believe me, I have become quite fond of it, as well, but it was simply something I redesigned.  The official cover is now in the hands of the designed.  Someone at the publishing company will be working on the cover, and the designer will send it back to me for my approval (they do several so I can decide on the best one) when it's ready.  Sometimes the cover isn't done until we start working on the interior of the book; it all depends on what the designer wants to do.  I leave it to him to come up with something beautiful, and I promise to post pictures of it (on pretty much every social network I have) as soon as I see it.
Other than that, it's already midnight and I have a rough day of editing tomorrow.  I really have to catch up so I can get back on schedule, seeing as I didn't finish a chapter I was supposed to have done tonight.  Let me know if you have any other requests!  I'll post more tomorrow.

Good night everyone!  (hugs)
Lindsey R. Sablowski

A person I never understood

I decided I want to do some different kind of writing tonight, so this piece goes out to a dear friend of mine I lost.  She taught me a lot about friendship, as well as the parts of a person we may never truly understand.

You have to understand, you would have known this girl the moment you walked down the straight.  The way the wind blew in her face, the flash of her smile, those seemingly innocent eyes --you couldn't have missed her.  She was beautiful in every aspect, both physically and mentally.  She was a smart girl, and she knew exactly what she wanted.
To be honest, though, there was a lot she hid behind that smile.  She hid secrets and a world that she didn't share with many --if anyone at all.  She was private in many ways about her life, and there were some parts of her she swore to herself that she would never reveal to anyone.
Despite the secrets that burdened her, you should have seen the smile on that girl's face.  She walked around with the largest smile like nothing in the world could take her down.  You would have thought she was a role model with a smile like that.  Her eyes would glimmer in the sun like she was fearless, and in many ways I believe she was.
The truths she did feel safe enough to talk about were not always happy --then again, the truth isn't always pretty.  She wore scars underneath her smile, but she was strong, whether she knew it or not.  When she would cry while telling a story, you'd want to be sitting there with her crying too.  It was just the way she was.
I don't know where she is these days, and I try not to ask myself anymore.  Someday, though, I'd like to believe that we'll cross paths again.  She probably won't say anything, but that's okay.  I've always seen what she's wanted to say in her eyes, and I think that's something about her that no amount of hurt will change.  A girl like that will someday see the world for what it is, and then she'll finally be able to come to peace with everything.
I'll wish her a safe trip on this voyage.

For tonight you don't have to forgive the people you don't understand.  All I ask that you consider is wishing them a safe trip in their life as they continue on.
One last post before I head to bed!
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Write the story you're scared to write

Today I'm hoping to squeeze in some time to work on the submission I'm submitting to Apex Magazine.  They mostly publish dark fantasy/science fiction kind of work, so it has been a dream of mine to have a piece of work published in their magazine.  (Besides, it would be nice to actually earn money for the work I enjoy.)

He enters the room with a sinful smile wide enough to cover his entire face.  I stagger back, feeling somewhat intimidated by him.  It is our wedding night, a night I have dreamed about all my life, and as expected we will spend the remainder of the night in our bedchamber.  His body is fix and broad, his muscles show as he lifts up his tunic, and his golden hair hangs loosely in his face.  I sit in the bed with a robe covering my corset, but I am fully aware of his intentions.
"Are you pleased, my Lord?" I ask in a quivering voice I do not recognize.
He advances and whispers, "Silence, woman."
My eyes widen, and my heartbeat quickens the moment his body lands on his bed.  Slowly, he begins crawling toward me like a tiger.  His eyes are black and cold, full with hunger and desire.  All the while, I imagine I'm somewhere, anywhere else.

And so begins Hushed by Dawn, a story a young lady trapped in a world where men rule.  When Katarina marries Lyedan she is a young, innocent girl.  She is not accustomed to life as a high-class citizen, nor does she grasp that everything she once owned now belongs to her husband.  It seems all of the women are attracted to Lyedan, but none of them who he really is.  Rumors spread around about his father, an abusive alcoholic, but there might be more to the story than anyone realizes.  Katarina discovers a secret no one knows about the family.  She reassures herself that so long as she hides her husband's secret no harm will fall upon her, but as the pressure from society overwhelms her tension rises.  Confused with emotions of love and fear, she most move quickly to uncover the truth.  If Lyedan suspects she doubts him, will he threaten her?  Might a deadly, dangerous secret be enough to save Katarina's life or end it?

 One of Apex's requests is that you "Write the story you are afraid to write."  So today I'm encouraging all of you to write a story like you've never written before.  We all have our comfort zones and what we prefer to write, but today do something different.  When you get the chance try to write that story that's been in the back of your mind.  Maybe it'll scare you to write it because it's so different, but you never know, it could change everything.
Enjoy your day!  I'll be back in a bit to talk about Cursed With Power, upcoming news and contests and the like!  Be sure to come back!
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Monday, June 18, 2012

How I spend my free time (aka Editing time)

That's right, instead of editing I decided to revise some old covers and remodel them!  This is actually something I've been doing for a while.  While I don't use any fancy software, I really love find images and redesigning them for book covers.  (What's the harm; these aren't official covers anyways.)
This cover actually is very special to me.  The Magic of Light was the first novel I wrote, also being the first book I queried to publishers.  Even though this book has many mistakes, I also learned a lot from it.  From the characters I learned what it's like to struggle, from the plot I realized I loved stories with magic and action, and from the numerous rejections I learned that the publishing world isn't all black and white.  So I figured the least I could do for this book was remodel a the cover so it's presentable; after all, I owe a lot to it.
Here's a few other covers you may have seen floating around that all of which I did design:

Those are just a few!  Thought I would share this while I still have a few free minutes.
I will be posting about Her Highness, The Traitor very soon.  My apologies for not getting to it tonight, but I do have some serious editing to catch up on and I'd like to go to sleep before 12.  That's all for tonight; be sure to stop by tomorrow for more!
Remember, you can always find me on twitter: tweet, tweet
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Inspirational Monday

In order to keep myself in line, I've decided I need little posts to do for every day --or at least two days--of the week.  As for Mondays, I think all we need sometimes is a bit of inspiration to start our day.  (Yes, it's 6pm, but you get the point.)

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

So which are you going to be?  The candle or the mirror?
I'll be stopping in right after I finish this chapter and play with my niece for a bit to talk about some exciting ideas we'll have roaming around the blog.
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Headache Sunday

Whew, after cleaning up this blog and my other one... I am officially worn out!  Who knew this could be tiring?

I'm off to watch The Killing, but I promise to be back later and post more.  (Not tonight, but tomorrow)  Oh, and we'll be joining Mariella's company to save the unicorns.  Come on, unicorns are pretty.  You know you want to.  (lol)

I'll be back soon.  In the mean time, go over to Facebook and like Cursed With Power.  Once we reach 30 likes I'll announce an upcoming contest in which you can win a signed copy of the book!

Good night and happy father's day!
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Friday, June 15, 2012

Red River of Secrets

It took me a while to decide on what this post should be about, so instead I've decided from now on I need to mix things up.  I'll be writing a creative piece as one of my characters.  Enjoy!
It's nearly midnight, but sit outside in the garden with my evening gown on.  The breeze brushes against my skin as the hairs on my arms raise up.  I lean against the wooden chair I'm sitting in and admire the smell of roses.  It is a distinct smell, almost overwhelmingly sweet.
Then suddenly I heard a noise.  Someone is approaching from nearby, but I'm alarmed with it being so late.  I start to stand, but then I realize my husband has arrived.  He has somewhat of an anxious look in his face; the wrinkles show just below his eyes, as if he hasn't slept for days.  He walks over to the chair and kneels down to face me.
"I have a lot on my mind.  If it's all right with you, I'd like to tell you all about it," I say.
He nods.
"Of course, but may I ask why you decided tonight?  And at such an hour like this?  I barely could keep my eyes open for the walk alone," he responds.
"Husband, I fear there are matters I have never spoken of.  I want you to know everything about me, but in order to tell you all of this, I need to confine in you," I stroke his chin as I say all of this.
He seems calm, but his hand taps eagerly on the chair.  
"Speak, wife; you have no need to keep secrets from me.  I would never hide anything from you."
For a moment I hesitation, but then I push forward to say, "There is a river I know of.  It's unlike any river I've seen before, and it flows with water as thick and red as blood.  Somewhere within this river--perhaps at the bottom--there is a pearl, but how can one seek out this peal when the river is so treacherous?  I have gone to this river many times now since our marriage, and it does frighten me.  I want you to promise me, promise me, Lyedan, that such a river will never harm us."
Lyedan is entirely silent.  For the first time he is speechless, saying nothing and offering only a emotionless stare.  As I wait, I wish I hadn't made a metaphor about a river.  I wish that I had told him the truth and admitted that I knew his family's secret, but it is not my duty as his wife to know his business.  
At last he clears his throat, and I stop regretting my decision.
"Tell me where this river is so that I may find it and destroy it.  I won't have anything come in between us and threaten harm us, especially you.  So long as I live you will never be in harm's way again," he says.
I smile, though at the bottom of my troubled heart I'm not certain that I believe him.  Before I can decide on my feelings, he leans forward and his lips brush against mine.  All of my doubts rush away as his kisses linger on my skin and his whispers fill the silent night.  He promises to love me forever, to love me endlessly, and with each kiss and each promise I believe him.

This piece was written in the POV as Katarina, the main character in Hushed by Dawn, a romance/mystery/historical fiction novel.  Fortunately this story is on Wattpad if you're interested in reading more: here.  
Remember to leave behind in the comments your thoughts.  This might be something I do every Friday, if you like it!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Writing from a male's POV as a woman

Now for those of you male writers out there, I'm sure this is the least of your concerns.  However, for us ladies we may often struggle when it comes to writing a story from a man's point of view.  Whether you write in first person or third person, when it comes to writing the man's story or his views it sometimes can be very challenging.  
Over the course of writing a historical fantasy fiction book, I've learned a lot about male characters.  If there's one thing you want to be certain of, it's this: Make sure you male's characters have unique voices.  I cannot stress this enough.  (And I say that to you because I told myself the same advice.)  Imagine how frightening it would be if your male characters ended up sounding like the women in your book.  This especially can be a problem when your main character is a woman, but her sidekick or best friend is perhaps a man.
So then how do writers do it?  Numerous authors have written about The Tudors, focusing on the man Henry was --both as a ruler and a husband.  Or better yet, how did Mary Stewart write the Arthurian saga from the perspective of Merlin?
Don't fret, don't worry, though.  It isn't impossible.
Lynn Rush, the author of Wasteland (told from a male's POV), said her success came from research. Watching people, reading, the internet --all of these are sources that can help you in your writing.  
So here's some suggestions (both from me and from other authors that I read up on):
  • Remember that men aren't always as open about their feelings as women are.  It doesn't mean they won't necessarily share their feelings, but keep in mind it may take them more time to be open about it then it may take a woman.
  • Men connect more physically than emotionally.  This might not matter that much to you if you're not writing a romance novel, but it's definitely something to keep in mind.
  • Men can be very logical and sometimes brutally honest.  They want to fix things, which you might have noticed when you went to a guy friend/boyfriend/husband and broke down crying over something, hoping for a hug, when in the end they're just trying to figure out how they can solve the situation.  Also, no matter how you're feeling, sometimes men will be entirely honest with you no matter how brutal it may sound.  They might say something like "You're being overdramatic;" we've all heard it before, and it's just a matter we may never understand.
  • Women are more quick to realize anger than men.  This might seem like something you'd only read in a psychology textbook, but this actually does play an important role when it comes to writing for your character.  Perhaps someone is angry or upset at him for something he's said and instead of realizing the person is mad, he would ask, "What's the matter?"
Now I'm sure I could go on for days with the ways men act and how this can affect your male POV.  At the end of the day, though, I think the most important thing to do is observe the men in your life.  Friends, a boyfriend/husband, relatives, even a stranger... All of them act differently, but you may notice some similarities.  I can't tell you how many times I've had words from a conversation flood my head while trying to write a male character's dialog.  Hold onto those conversations you had, the emotions you had, and the emotions you noticed them feeling.  There's a lot you can notice about a man, even if he isn't speaking.  And don't be afraid to peek around in books for those male characters you fell in love with (Tristan from Song of the Sparrow happens to be one of my favorite).  Note down quotes and body posture; anything at all that may help.  Maybe even write down how (if told from a woman's POV) the woman saw him/felt about him.
Good luck!  
Coming up next: I'll be talking about Her Highness, The Traitor --a new book I'm currently read.  Also, I'm going to start watching The Tudors sometime this week, so I plan on writing about my first reactions.  (Slightly excited because I've heard the show is great!)
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A writer cannot be his own hero

"A writer... He could write your story, everybody’s story, any story but never his story. That is the irony of being a writer. He can never be the hero of his own life, where there is no “Once upon a time” nor “They lived happily ever after.” Maybe that is the dreadful reason why a writer is a writer. He dreams of a chronicle where every tale is not his reality. His surreal mind dictates to his hand, what his heart desires. His yearning will only be feasible in papers, because only in papers he can barely feel happiness."

This is not my quote, but I read it on Tumblr and thought I would share. Very moving.... And absolutely true.

Now where did I leave off?

Afternoon, everyone!I can't tell you how many times I swore I would stay on track with updating the blog, but honestly I am trying to get back into the flow.
I decided now would be as good of a time as any to catch you up on everything.

Old Line Publishing
Since signing my contract with Old Line Publishing, I've been spending a majority of my free time self-editing the book.  It's a long and sometimes weary process, but as any writer knows, it's a part of our career we cannot avoid.  To be entirely honest, sometimes I find the editing refreshing.  This will be my last chance to make any changes to the book --except for minor ones once it goes into publication, of course.
The next couple of months are very essential in the publishing process.  Once self-edits are done, I'll be sending the final manuscript over to Old Line.  We're working to release the book in September of this year, but again there is nothing set in stone until the edits are in and the process begins.

Once the book is published, I will have a contest most likely offering ARCs or something of the like.  Remember you can check in on Twitter and Facebook for more daily updates.

As for my blogs, I've been trying to update this one and The Magicians series.  I know there's some information outdated, so bare with me as I try to get it all up to date for you.  Also, the cover you see on the side for Cursed With Power isn't the official one --I'll be posting that as soon as the company sends me over my options to choose.

I apologize I'm jumping from place to place here, but I want to gather it all into a quick past.  I'll come back tomorrow or later on tonight and think of something else.  I'd love to do more posts aiming toward aspiring authors or authors who are searching for a publisher.  If you have any requests, I am always willing to fulfill them.
It's a lovely Wednesday afternoon, hopefully it won't rain, and it's just the right weather to edit until other plans are determined.  Enjoy your day, and don't forget to stop in again!
Lindsey R. Sablowski