What's the one thing you wished someone had told you before you wrote your first book that would have changed how you went about writing it.
Thank you so much for having me today.
To begin answering your question, I'd like to ask one in turn: If you could go back and do it all over again, as in write your first novel from scratch with the knowledge you now have, would you?
My answer: No. I wouldn't.
The thing about writing is that the best, most efficient way to grow and improve is to write. This is true with practically everything. Learning to ride a bike. Learning to draw. Learning a language. The advice of 'try, try, again' may be dull, but it's true.
Writing The Unicorn Girl was my 'learn how to ride a bike' moment. I had written short poems (which I look back on with awkward fondness) and one short story (which wasn't too bad). I had never written a novel. This isn't something you're taught in school. Yes, there are tips, guides, tutorials, but they still don't teach you how to write a story that is engaging. They don't teach you how to make your readers care about your characters. They don’t teach you how to write in a captivating manner. These are skills that are unique to each and every writer and they are skills that we all must find on our own, through our work.
I've been writing books now for eleven years (wow, that sounds longer than it feels) and I am a far wiser writer than I was when I first started, all because of experience. I know by continuing to write I will continue to improve. If I did decide to rewrite my first novel it would be a totally different piece of work. It would sound different. It would feel different. And it would lose its unique voice … a voice that I had when I was starting out that has now changed, matured. Grown. The Unicorn Girl is the novel that told me, 'you can do this!' I cherish its energy and exuberance as well as its youthful, awkward passages. My first book marks my starting line and I would never want to erase that.
So my answer to your question is more of the adventurous sort: Dive in and get your hands dirty! The rest will come.
When Mally Biddle agreed to spy upon the King of Lenzar and his overbearing knights she knew she was heading into danger. She didn’t know she’d find a family unlike any other.
Posing as a servant in Bosc Castle, Mally serves tea and tends fires for the most dangerous men in the kingdom. Her goal is to learn the truth of what happened sixteen years ago, when the infant princess met her death … a death that is surrounded by more questions than answers.
Along her search for the truth, Mally meets the energized Lita Stump, the strict and matriarchal Meriyal Boyd, and the opinionated Archibald Diggleby. Then of course there are the knights: Leon Gibbs who is slicker than a greased hog, Adrian Bayard, hot tempered and violent, and the worst of the lot: Sir Illius Molick, Captain of the Knights. And then there is Maud, a mysterious woman who just might know everything…
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