Thursday, June 27, 2013

Q & A with Amber Gilchrist, author of Into Darkness Peering, a YA Urban Fantasy

I was super excited to have Amber Gilchrist, author of Into Darkness Peering, answer a few questions about her YA Urban Fantasy. 

Check out this blurb:

*When her father died, leaving behind nothing but chaos and a secluded Gothic inn, seventeen-year-old Voirey Cruz lost control of her life and her faith in anything.  Her search for answers about her father’s mysterious behavior and sudden death thrusts her into a world of evil doppelgangers intent on destroying everything she has left.

If she believed in magic, she’d bring her father back from the dead.  If she believed in heroes, they wouldn’t be punk boys with guyliner, tattoos, and a lip piercing.  But if she doesn’t start believing in demons, she might not make it to eighteen. *

Q:   Where did the inspiration for Into Darkness Peering come from?

A:   My best friend reads nothing but YA and traditional regencies, the kind where waltzing twice is risque behavior and holding hands is super racy, and she bugged me for literally years to write a YA.  I wanted nothing to do with that.  But she wouldn’t stop bothering me.  So basically, I decided to write a YA to get my best friend to shut her pie hole. haha.  I decided that I hadn’t seen a lot of wizard books outside of Harry Potter, this was years ago, and that I would just write a wizard hero and a typical everyday girl.  However, once I started actually thinking about the story that’s not how it worked out.  The heroine informed me she was the wizard and the hero had his own story to tell.  I started the process cynical and it turned out these characters were amazing and their story was so cool.  So I guess I'm glad my bff pushed me into it ;)


Q:  Is there anything specific you would like your readers to know about this story? 

A:   I think this is the kind of story that would appeal to urban fantasy readers and to people who care about a good romance.  I do know that I had several male beta readers and they liked it a lot, so it isn’t just for girls.  Although the main character is female.  However, that does not remain true in subsequent books where there are multiple POV’s including Griffin’s and Cutter’s.  Another item of potential interest to some readers in the multicultural heroine.  Voirey is Mexican and her culture is discussed at different times in the book. 

Q:  How many books are in the Soul Guard series?

A:  There are 5 books all together.  I’m considering some spin off books in the worlds created for some of the characters you all haven’t met yet that come in at the end of the series.  They fight their own supernatural enemies like vampires, werewolves and ghosts. 

Q:  Do you have a release date for the second installment?

A:   I hope to see it out by the fall.  I have several other things on my plate right now, so I’m trying to fit it all in.  The book is already written but I need to edit and I first have to finish the second book in the ABQ.LDS.YSA series.  I have another project I can’t yet talk about that needs to be finished by September.  So it’s just a matter of performing my balancing act, but it’s my hope that by September or October it will be out.


Q:  Loved the cover of this book.  Who should I send my compliments to?

A:  The cover artist is named Lucinda Whitney.  She’s a photographer and author from Utah who will have her own book coming out later this year.  She also did the cover for “Glitch {A Comedy of Errors}”.  I love her work and love to have her do my covers whenever possible.

Q:  Are there other projects you’re working on now?

A:   I’m working on the next book after “Glitch” another religious rom com.  It’s tentatively titled “Eat, Drink, and Get Married.”  I also have that secret project mentioned above that I’m working on.  And then it’s off to edit book two of the Soulguard Series!


Q:  Which books have you read that have had the most impact on your writing career?

A:  I don’t think I can mention many specific books because I've read sooooooo many books and the ones that really influenced me were read when I was a child.  But I was very influenced by Lois Duncan, I know that for sure.  Also “Something Wicked This Way Comes” by Ray Bradbury.  I was really into horror when I was a preteen and a young teenager and I do think a lot of that bled over into all of my writing. 

Q: What book are you reading right now?

A:  Well, I’m obsessed with downloading free books for my Kindle haha.  And sometimes I definitely find new writers that I want to buy more from.  But most of the time I end up reading about three chapters and moving on.  At the moment I’m reading “Ordained Irreverence” by McMillian Moody and I’m actually really enjoying it.  So that will probably be one that makes the distance. 

Q:  Do you have any advice for other writers?

A:  Just keep writing.  I don’t think there’s any class you can take, or seminar that you can attend, or degree you can get that will do as much for you as sitting your butt in a chair and just writing. 

A huge thanks to Amber Gilchrist for taking time to do this Q and A.

Friday, March 1, 2013

WriteOnCon is perfecting pitches

You can learn so much from other writers.  Read critique forums even if you haven't posted your query, synopsis, or one-line pitch in them.  Even if you're not ready for that part yet.  It's beneficial to read what others have pitched to see what is working, what isn't, and why.  You can apply the basics to yours when you are. 

WriteOnCon is a valuable writing resource.  The forums are full of rich information and views from industry professionals and fellow writers.

I'm posting the link below:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How do you get the right Critique Partner?

This question was recently posed in a chat room I was in.  Because of the limited response it got, I decided a more in depth explanation was required.

First thing's first.  Do you want to be published?  If so, you have to develop a tough skin.  You have to be able to take as much constructive criticism as you're willing to put out. 

Many people are at different stages with their writing, so you may need to test drive a few critique partners before finding a good match.

Start out with a few basics.  Communicate your goal, your genre, what draft you are on, and what you hope to gain from your critique partner.  Exchange a small amount of work- the first page or two.   With this type of preliminary run through, you can get a good idea of your potential CP's style and feel out your compatibility level.  Do not commit to exchanging chapters until you've established this.

You put a lot of trust and value into your CP's feedback, so it is well worth the trial and error to find the right one/ones.

A few qualities that are helpful in a CP:

      - Honesty- yes you can give/receive honest feedback without being cruel
      - Attention to detail- your MC's eye color changed from ch 1- ch 5...they need to recognize this
      - Good grammar-
      - Promptness- if you agree on a chapter a week- stick to it
      - Personality-
      - equivalent goals-
      - same stage in your WIP
      - write in the same genre as you- if not- make sure it is a genre that they actually 'like' reading
Good luck and as always...happy writing!

Saturday, March 31, 2012


Need help eliminating cliche actions, descriptions, or diaglogue?  The following links will take you to a series of creative checklists:   This is a blog with numerous how to's along with writing prompts.  You'll find info on free writing courses, free journal courses and a wealth of knowledge from other industry professionals.  These are great prompts to use when polishing your manuscript.  There is a list of ideas to utilize when you don't feel the creative vibe.  This link takes you to 3 exercises that will, at the very least, assist you on some level.  These are great exercises on description and character.  This a great resource to bookmark.  Filled with basics on grammar, sentence structure, and writing; this site also has free powerpoints on persuasive, technical, expository, narrative, and descriptive writing.  It's worth a look.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

So, You Want to be a Writer?

Welcome, friends and compatriots alike.

So, you have chosen to embark on the path that has inspired equal parts culture and criticism: You're going to write.

Have no fear, you've come to a friendly and supportive little corner of the 'net in your quest for literary greatness.

So, you want to be a writer?

We do, too.

This is a place where we, you, and any the others just starting out on this journey can come together sharing both success and failure as we grow and perfect our craft.

So, climb aboard. It's fun here.

Friday, February 10, 2012

How important are sensory details? Part 5... SIGHT



White- antique white, vanilla, cream, ivory, frost, snow, beige, pearl, eggshell, champagne, linen, platinum
Pink- fuchsia, rose, magenta, peach, salmon, opal, blush, bubblegum, coral
Red-crimson, burgundy, chestnut, brick, ruby, scarlet, vermilion, wine, strawberry, cherry, blood, tomato, maroon, apple
Orange-amber, apricot, tangerine, carrot, flame, mahogany, rust, papaya
Brown- auburn, beige, bronzed, camel, chestnut, chocolate, coffee, copper, sand, fawn, khaki, rust, tawny, umber, sienna, sepia, wheat, taupe, tan, buckskin, brandy, tawny, walnut, topaz, brunette, antiqued
Yellow- amber, cream, gold, khaki, lemon, maize, school bus, sun, vanilla, chiffon, honey, blonde
Gray- ash, charcoal, silver, slate, steel, smoke, soot, graphite
Green- honeydew, jungle, lime, mint, hunter, olive, pine, sage, seaweed, forest, emerald, leaf/grass, hazel
Blue- aqua, cerulean, cyan, teal, turquoise, baby blue, powder, sky, cobalt, midnight, royal, periwinkle, sapphire, ultramarine, navy, denim,
Violet- amethyst, eggplant, lavendar, lilac, purple, plum, orchid, wisteria, indigo, grape
Black- ebony, charcoal, tar, onyx, jet, obsidian, midnight


Saturday, January 21, 2012

How important are sensory details? Part 4...TOUCH

Sensory details can make the difference between reading a story and experiencing it.  Using the correct identifiers for descriptions, can make words burst off the pages.
This post is divided into five parts, allowing each of the senses to take center stage.

blunt, braided, bristly, brittle, bubbly, bumpy, burning
chalky, cloth, clumpy, coarse, cold, cool, cottony, cushiony,
damp, dull, dusty, dry
feathery, foamy, frayed, frosty, frothy, furry, fuzzy
gelled, glassy, gnarled, gooey, greasy, gritty, grooved
hairy, hard, hot
jagged, jellied
knobby, knotted
lacey, leathery, limp, lumpy
pleated, plush, pointy, porous, powdery, prickly, puffy, pulpy
raised, ribbed, ripped, rippled, rocky, rough, rubbery
sandy, satiny, sharp, shredded, silky, slick, slimy, slippery, slivered, smooth, soggy, splintered, spongy, sticky, stitched, stiff, stubbly, suede, sudsy, swollen
tacky, tarry, tattered, thick, thin, treaded, torn
velvety, vinyl
warm, watery, waxy, wet, wiry, wooly, woven, wrinkly

resources include: