Thanks for visiting Sophia Tallon's blog! We review books, audio books, screenplays, films, web series, plus much more! We also do interviews, spotlights, and guest posts! Please see our Contact/FAQ's page! Make sure you follow us on Bloglovin' or by email! Posts go live daily at 12 a.m. Central Daylight Time.
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Monday, 29 February 2016

(REVIEW) OZ Naturals Super Youth Eye Gel!

Hey, guys! Today I will be reviewing OZ Naturals Super Youth Eye Gel! I already tried their Ultra Ageless Eye Creme which I loved so I was excited to try this one! You can use it simply as an eye gel or an all over face treatment. I figured I would try it as a face treatment and I loved it. It didn't bother my skin or cause breakouts which is great since I do have sensitive skin. I don't usually like gels but this one was nice with a light fresh scent that I loved! It also gave my face a nice glow that lasted all day! I love that OZ Natural products are cruelty free, vegan, and natural! I can't wait to try more of their products!


If you'd like to buy some, follow this link: http://amzn.to/1NBlqy7

Keep reading to learn about the product and brand!

About the Product:

ALLURE MAGAZINE'S Best In Beauty Eye Gel - It's considered to be the most effective anti aging, eye cream treatment available- designed to treat every major eye concern & is hands down the best eye gel for dark circles, puffiness & wrinkles.
CRUELTY FREE & vegan formula - This eye gel treatment is not to be underestimated as it's highly effective at reducing dark circles, puffiness and wrinkles.
SAFE FOR ALL SKIN Types - Non-comedogenic, does not contain parabens, sulfates or alcohol.
THIS EYE GEL (not eye cream) is specifically formulated for the delicate skin around your eyes to reverse the signs of aging.
THIS EYE GEL is 100% natural & 75% organic - OZ Naturals formulates the most effective anti aging products on the market - OZ Naturals products work & they work extremely well - We guarantee you'll get results!

About the Brand:

OZ Naturals is a top seller on amazon.com and its easy to understand why.

Co-Founder and Certified Esthetician, Angela Irish launched OZ Naturals as a company that embodies everything she's passionate about -- healthy skin, anti-aging, natural ingredients, and utilizing the latest technology to formulate the highest quality skin care products on the market.

Utilizing her personal experience of skin issues, that she understands that when your skin is unhealthy it can negatively affect your self-esteem. After try tons of products over the years she was always left with the same skin issues as before. Sometimes even worse than before. Angela knows how disheartening this can be, especially when so many skin care products make huge claims, and simply do not deliver. It's especially frustrating when the cost of those products are hardly affordable, and you realize once again that you've wasted your money.

While it's true that beautiful skin is also hereditary, healthy skin comes from taking care of the inside and outside of our bodies. However, finding the right products for your skin can be the toughest part of the equation. This is why OZ Naturals was founded, to create healthy, premium skin care products to help those who weren't naturally born with perfect skin, to obtain more perfect skin. The kind of skin that everyone deserves to have.



Special thanks to OZ Naturals and Brand Backer for letting me try this!

Saturday, 27 February 2016

(REVIEW) Valentia True Glow Eye Creme and Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask!

I was excited to try these Valentia products since they're cruelty free, vegan, natural, organic, and made using sustainable energy! I really liked this eye cream. It's an orangey colour and a very creamy formula that really hydrates my eye area. I hasn't irritated my sensitive skin or caused any breakouts which is great! I would totally recommend this!

If you want to try this, check out these links:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014DH4FTC
I love this mask! It feels almost like one of my favourite florapy masks! It really does hydrate your face and I didn't even feel the need to put on moisturizer after using it. It has a faint scent that I didn't love but it wasn't really a strong smell so it didn't bother me too much. It goes on smoothly so you can either put it on with your fingers or with a makeup brush which I like to do with gel-like masks. I've used it quite a few times now but there's still tons of it left so it is very worth it for the way it lasts. I would definitely recommend this!

If you want to try this, check out these links:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014PJSYRM

Keep reading to find out more about the product and brand!



About the Product:

GREAT NEWS from VALENTIA!!!

We are incredibly proud to finally present TWO of our newest products.

For those who have loved our Even Glow Serum, you can now try our True Glow Eye Cream and Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask.

True Glow Eye Cream - A luxurious antioxidant rich eye cream that helps lock in moisture, repair and tighten skin for a youthful looking glow around the eye area.

AND

Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask - A blend of amino acids and hyaluronic acid work together to flood the skin with moisture providing intense hydration and nourishment.

Specially selected ingredients work together to achieve optimum results.

TRUE GLOW EYE CREAM
- Astaxanthin: A powerful antioxidant that increases moisture levels, smooths fine line and wrinkles, and restores elasticity to the skin.

- Resistem: Natural Plant Stem Cells repair and protect the skin from harsh environmental pollutants and stress related aging.

- Vitamin C: Leaves the skin smooth and visibly brighter for a well-rested and bright eyed look.

- Organic Rosehip Oil: Provides intense hydration to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

- Arnica: A key anti-inflammatory agent to the restorative process that works to diminish the appearance of dark circles.

ULTRA PLUMPING HYDRATION MASK
- Silk Protein Amino Acid Blend:These natural miracles increase moisture content and help in the production of collagen and elastin which decreases the appearance of visible lines.

- Botanical Hyaluronic Acid:Penetrates deep into the skin to secure moisture and plump skin from within.

- Organic Sea Buckthorn Oil:An anti-aging wonder berry that results in fewer fine lines, diminished sun spots, more even skin tone, and firmer more supple skin.

- Japanese Green Tea:Contains catechins that provide anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and anti-irritant effects to the skin.

- Aloe Vera:This botanical moisturizers skin and fight aging by improving skin firmness.


Learn About the Brand:

The Roman Goddess of healing, Valentia, relied on nature’s gifts to heal the citizens of Umbria. Whether matriarchs seeking to maintain their youthful look or farmers seeking help for sun damaged skin, Valentia used berries, herbs, barks and other natural ingredients. We also rely on all natural ingredients due to their protective, preventative and corrective powers.

Just like our namesake, Valentia Skin Care products have been formulated with natural and organic cosmetic ingredients that will repair and protect the skin.

After performing extensive research into what skin care customers find most important, we found an overwhelming demand for skin care that is natural, free of toxins and paraben-free. Natural ingredients with an organic base have proven most effective at repairing skin damaged by sun or wind, preventing signs of aging such as wrinkles, dark spots, and reversing the effects of oxidative stress on the skin.



Special thanks to Valentia and Brand Backer for letting me try these!

Saturday, 20 February 2016

(AUTHOR INTERVIEW) Amie Irene Winters

Today I will be interviewing Amie Irene Winters! Enjoy, and remember if you ever want to be interviewed Contact Me

First of all, tell us a little about yourself?

I’m the author of the Strange Luck series. Writing YA Fantasy books never entered my mind until I completed by bachelors in anthropology and religious studies, masters in environmental leadership, and an eight-day wilderness solo in the Rocky Mountains. After having tried a variety of unique jobs - from park ranger, grant writer, natural history curator, to archaeologist - did I start experimenting with writing fiction. A few moves around the country, and some long international trips later, I published my debut novel, Strange Luck.

What inspired you to become an author?


This quote by R.A. Salvatore perfectly encapsulates it: “If you can quit, then quit, if you can’t quit, you’re a writer.” I can’t think of any other job that is more perfect for me.

What was the main inspiration for your most recent book?


I was inspired to write Strange Luck while passing a cemetery one day. I started thinking about memories, regrets, life, and experiences. Having as many experiences/memories as possible has always been a personal goal of mine (don’t even get me started on my mile-long bucket list). Anyway, my mind wandered to the idea of collecting our most cherished memories and I thought it would be a unique concept for a book. And, because I’m a huge fantasy and magical realism fan, I decided to weave in lots of supernatural elements, too.

Who influenced you the most in life?


It’s a toss-up between Simone de Beauvoir (an incredible feminist philosopher) and Henry David Thoreau (the author and naturalist). I have read and re-read everything they’ve ever written. They are both endless inspirational to me. My favorite Thoreau quote, which has motivated me never to give up writing is pinned to my bulletin board right next to my computer. It reads: “Do not part with your dreams or aspirations for when they are gone you will still exist, but you have ceased to live.”

What is the kindest thing someone has ever said and or done for you?


One of the best compliments I’ve ever received is that my dad (who is not a fiction reader at all, nor a reader of books in general) actually read my book! Not only that, he kept calling me for weeks after he finished it asking questions about the story and how I got my ideas.

Do you have a favourite author? (Or name a few)

H.P Lovecraft immediately comes to mind. He was not only a genius with creating a complex pantheon of gods, but his style of writing has a way of getting in your head. Lovecraft never really tells or shows you anything to evoke fear; instead, it subtly creeps into the story on its own. I also adore J.K Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Michael Ende, and Joanne Harris.

What is the best writing advice you have ever received?


Don’t ever give up! It's going to be difficult, it's going to be trying, but in the end, it will be worth it when you finally hold your book in your hands.

Did you always want to be a writer and if not what did was the first thing you wanted to be or do?

Yes. My favorite thing to do in school was write creative stories. I still have a lot of the ones I wrote in elementary school, which I post periodically as a Throw Back Thursday laugh on my blog (aiwinters.blogspot.com). Just last month, I shared my very first horror story I wrote when I was nine. It was freakin’ hilarious!

Do you like to listen to music while you write? If so, who are your favourite artists?


I prefer silence when writing. If there’s noise or music around, I tend to focus on that instead of my writing.

What helps you write when you're stuck and or have writer's block?

I’ll go for a walk, talk with a friend, or go see a movie. Studies show that distractions can actually be good for creative thinking. I also carry around a notebook with me at all times so if I do get an idea, I won’t lose it.

After a long day of writing etc, do you have a favourite tv show you like to watch?

I’m totally addicted to True Blood right now. It has every supernatural element you can think of (vampires, fairies, witches, werewolves), and they always leave you with a cliffhanger. I’m gearing up for the next season of Game of Thrones, Vikings, and Downton Abbey next. Whoohoo!

What are you working on currently?

Book II in the Strange Luck series called The Nightmare Birds. It will be very H.P Lovecraft meets The Night Circus. Muhahaha! It’ll be a little darker than Strange Luck and have more philosophical components. Look for it this autumn 2016.

When you're not writing, or working, what do you like to do?

I love everything outdoorsy like camping, hiking, and kayaking. When inside, I play keyboards, paint, and bake sinfully sweet desserts.

What are some of your most favourite books of all time?


Although I didn’t actually read The Neverending Story by Michael Ende until very recently, it is definitely one of my favorite books of all time (and it’s so much better than the movie). Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Chocolat, and Frankenstein are some of my other favorites.

Which of your characters do you love the most and why?

I tend to always root for the villain. Even when I watched Disney movies growing up I always wondered about the villain, why they were so vengeful, and why they didn’t deserve sympathy (Maleficent was by favorite by the way). That said, the entity in Strange Luck is my favorite character. Since he is a dark wizard, his powers are limitless, so it was a lot of fun coming up with magical, evil, and strange things that he could do.

Which of your books are you most proud of?

I actually wrote three books before I wrote Strange Luck. At the time, I thought they were great, but I was just being na├»ve. It wasn’t until years later that I came to realize that I was still finding my voice and they were in a sense “practice books.” I approached Strange Luck much differently by taking more time to develop and write the story, share it people for feedback, and follow my editor’s excellent advice. I’ve never put so much blood, sweat, and tears into anything in my life, and that’s why Strange Luck will always hold a special place in my heart.

What is the title of the last book you read/was it good or bad?

The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters (no relation.) The gorgeous cover is what initially drew me to this book. Something about the picture was just so irresistibly strange and creepy. My favorite J The Cure for Dreaming is a peculiar Gothic love story, seamlessly weaving in the complexity of gender roles in Victorian life. Cat writes so simplistically, yet her words carry deep purpose and beauty. I also love the old pictures and quotes scattered throughout the book (very Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children). The parallels with Dracula are also a nice touch. I’ll definitely be reading more of Cat’s books in the future.

Is there anything specific you'd like to try writing about in the future?

Perhaps a children’s book about my mischievous pug puppy appropriately named Loki.

What is an interesting or hidden talent you have?


I’m a classically trained pianist. I’ve been playing ever since I was five, and for a brief stint, I taught piano lessons to children. Currently, I play keyboards in a metal band with my husband.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why would you choose it?

Ohhh, that’s good question. Definitely to fly! How awesome would it be to fly to the top of a mountain, or just go for a nice glide in the sky when the weather’s nice? I think this comes from my obsession with wings. I’ve always adored mystical creatures with wings.

Is there anything else you'd like my readers to know?


I’d love for you to check out Strange Luck and let me know what you think. Comment on my blog (I always respond), or connect with me on social media (see below). Thanks so much!

Where can we find you on social media?

Official Website: www.amieirenewinters.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/aiwinters

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomamieiwinters

Twitter: @AmieIWinters

Google+: http://google.com/+AmieIreneWinters

Check back later this year as I will be reviewing Amie's book Strange Luck!

Thursday, 18 February 2016

(GUEST BLOG) Five Big Distractions From Writing and How to Defeat Them by Ben Starling

Today, the lovely author, Ben Starling will be taking over and doing a guest blog post! Enjoy, and remember if you ever want to do a guest blog post Contact Me

Five Big Distractions From Writing and How to Defeat Them
By Ben Starling


There can’t be many endeavors that lend themselves to distraction quite like writing.

Here I am, two thousand words short of my daily writing target, and I’m working on a guest post—which is much more fun that churning on with my latest short story! Distractions come easily to me. But I’m sure I’m not alone.

How do to defeat distractions and stay on top of targets? Some times I don’t. But I’ve found a few plans for conquering my distractions that work well for me most of the time. Perhaps they will work for you too.

I choose here my top five from a list of hundreds. In no particular order:



Cabin Fever

Writing is a lonely activity and the room I write in is quite sparse. My desk doesn’t fit under the window so, when I need a break from a blank screen, I look up and revel in the tones and textures of a blank wall.

This doesn’t exactly flood me with enthusiasm and when the ideas aren’t flowing, a huge temptation builds to get out of here: to go for a walk in the park or beside the canal.... I convince myself my plot needs refining, my characters need de-lumping. But in truth, I just need some open space and fresh air…and a view. Which is fine to do once a day. What I’m talking about here, is the every-hour-on-the-hour urge to wander by the side of the canal. Most of the time, one really needs to be putting fingers to keyboard.

There is, of course an alternative. Cover the walls and ceiling with mirrors or appealing artwork. That would make the room bigger, brighter, more interesting. For now, I have chosen a favorite landscape to pin up. So far it’s keeping me at my desk longer, and getting more words on the page sooner.



The Urgency of the Tiny To-Do 

Oscar Wilde must have had me in mind when he said he never puts off until tomorrow what he can possibly do—the day after. The corpses of life’s missed opportunities clutter my past as delay by delay, I earned my black belt in this deadly (for writers) art. And the truth is, it came effortlessly.

Is it time to pay that bill? Return that call? Rearrange the furniture? Check my spam inbox to confirm that that life-changing email (Anne Hathaway—the part in my screenplay’s yours if you want it!) isn’t about to be deleted?

The procedure I use to overcome procrastination in this case goes through four phases: identification, recognition, confrontation, victory. It’s important to allow yourself about thirty minutes on each phase, to be sure you haven’t misidentified them…

Alternatively, you can employ the famous Sausage Technique. Break your problem down into small pieces, and tackle them one (manageable-sized) piece at a time.

Dreading that phone call to CreateSpace for help getting your manuscript through their file review requirements? Step One: Write down the problem. Step Two: Prepare your questions and a list of what you have already tried. Step Three: Anticipate the response and how you will deal with it. Step Four: Find the phone number. Step Five: Practice dialling… By the time you actually make the call, much of the anxiety will have gone. And you’ll be prepared.



Planning

It’s helpful to plan what you are about to write in order to feel the dip and climb of character arcs, to imagine how extra conflict can be inserted into a scene, how dialog can be made more humorous…. All of this can be done on a spreadsheet, or using multi-colored Post-it notes that can be moved up, down and sideways on the wall (note to self: If I stick them on the wall behind my computer, I’ll have something interesting to look at!).
I am adept at stretching this phase out…indefinitely. But the point finally comes when it’s time to start writing. It’s quite easy to over-plan a scene because until it’s actually written, you can’t tell if it really works and how well it relates to adjacent scenes. Planning is a tool by which one can put off forever the Moment of Truth: If I’m still planning, then I don’t have to look and see if the scene I wrote actually works.

So I try to limit the amount of time I spend planning to the mornings. I design a scene, get some writing done, study it, then throw the plan away. In the afternoon, I begin to write in earnest…



Food

It’s amazing how hunger develops in proportion to the severity of the latest episode of writer’s block: the worse the plot hole, the hungrier I get. So it’s off to the kitchen to inspect the contents of the fridge while convincing myself that my glucose levels are so low that I can’t think (Editor’s Note: Ben, you must be permanently hungry, then).

My first attempt at a solution to this one seemed to be obvious: Only attempt writing after a large meal. Unfortunately, this gave rise to Writing Distraction #6: Falling Asleep.
Then I noticed how hunger pangs disappear and meals are easily missed when my writing is going well. Eureka, I had hit upon a new solution—I resolved to ensure that my writing was always going superlatively well! That way, I would be both productive and aerodynamically slim at the same time. (Well, you can guess how that went…)

In the end, I found that gentle grazing—many little healthy snacks-size nibbles through out the day—keeps me going in a steady state.

Alternatively, try applying extract of bladderwort to the instep of your naked feet. I’m told this appetite suppressant really works.



The Search for Perfection

This distraction’s close ally is the fear of failure. It’s so easy to rewrite again and again, each time convincing oneself that the book is improving. This is because I worry that when it’s finally published, it may fail to sell, because it wasn’t quite good enough.

It’s important to be able to step back and know when the pudding is being over-egged. Otherwise weeks become months, and months become years. By then the people who showed interest when they first heard about your latest writing project have wandered away.

Remember that the search for perfection can be costly. Is it worth taking a week re-reading the entire manuscript to find one more typo? Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Art is never completed, only abandoned”. So my rule of thumb is to stop writing and editing just before my concerned friends and family abandon me.



Five Big Distractions From Writing – Off to Defeat Them!

Recognizing and conquering distractions is a must for achieving targets: I know meeting my daily word quota is something I must do. And I have a two thousand word target still to tackle for today.

Before I get started though, I just need to check the fridge. I’m sure there’s some cold pizza in there. Oh, look—the sun is shining and the park’s looking lovely. Maybe I’ll just…


About Ben: 

Ben Starling is passionate about marine conservation and boxing, both central themes in his work. His interest in marine life has taken him across three continents over the past three decades. He boxed competitively until recently and continues to coach. Ben graduated from Oxford University with a Master of Arts and a Master of Philosophy. www.ben-starling.com
Ben recently released Something in the Water, An Ocean Romance, available now on Amazon. http://bit.ly/SITWbtour2am
The sealed box Teal finds in the street contains more than a mystery…  What if to be with the man of your dreams… you had to give up your life?  On the verge of losing her job, a side-lined journalist is forced to travel to the South Pacific to untangle a mystery where she meets a reclusive ex-boxer with a message. When a syndicate of corporate criminals invades paradise, she must either accept the plum promotion that will save her career or defend the island with her life.


Tuesday, 16 February 2016

(Release Party) Darkly, Deeply, Beautifully by Megan Tayte



Blurb


DARKNESS HAS FALLEN, AND SHE ALONE WILL SEE THE LIGHT.

With her mother’s life hanging in the balance, Scarlett is devastated – and done with being in the dark. She wants answers, all of them.

But when was her pursuit of the truth ever straightforward?

Pulling a single thread impels a great unravelling. And each revelation will force Scarlett to rethink what she thought she knew about the Ceruleans, the Fallen, her family – herself.

All that came before was a mere prelude to this, the last journey. From London to Twycombe to Hollythwaite to Cerulea, Scarlett will be stalked by the ghosts of what has been, what may have been and what may come to pass. Until she reaches the place where it all began, and it all must end.

But in the final reckoning, none will survive unscathed. And some will not survive at all.

In this explosive conclusion to The Ceruleans series, all must be defined by their actions: sinner, saint… or something more beautiful entirely? 


Excerpt


I kissed Luke then. I kissed him. Like I hadn’t kissed him in more than a week – since before London, since before Hollythwaite, since Barcelona: when we’d been just a regular couple on a city break, wrapped up in each other. Through the kiss I heard his sigh, the release of emotion. And then he pulled me to him, onto his lap, and I kissed his lips, his jaw, his collarbone, his shoulder, and he kissed my lips, my earlobe, my neck, my –
‘No!’
My robe had slipped, exposing my back, and I struggled off him and wrestled with the fabric entangled at my waist.
He stood up. Put his hands on my shoulders. Said my name with so much tenderness that I had to stop. Had to look at him. The room was steamy, the glass doors occluded. No one could see. Only him.
‘Trust me,’ he said.
I did.
Slowly, he turned me. I steeled myself as he took it in, the brand I now wore. Non Serviam. I will not serve. Emblazoned on my back in the form of angry, jagged scar tissue.
When I felt his lips on the nape of my neck, I jerked in shock. But his hands on my hips held me still as he traced the path of the scar, one kiss at a time, from its very top to its termination just above my bikini bottoms.
‘Beautiful,’ he said.
I turned to him. He smiled up at me.
Sinking down so that we were both kneeling, I said, ‘How could you…?’
‘How could I not?’ was his answer. ‘I was there, Scarlett. I saw what you did for your mother. That scar: it’s beautiful.’
‘But it’s a punishment, Luke. Because I sinned. That’s not beautiful. It’s dark. Wrong.’
‘No! Don’t you say that. Trying to save your mother – that could never be wrong. If I’d had the chance, I’d have done it. My mum, my dad, Cara… I’d have saved them all. And you. I would always save you.’
His eyes were glistening, and I lunged for him and hugged him hard.
‘So stop hiding it from me,’ he finished, his voice muffled in my hair. ‘Please. Because I love that scar on you so goddam much.’
I nodded into his shoulder and he squeezed me.
It was calm in our little haven. Still. Warm. Nothing existed but Luke and me. We held each other for a long time, drifting in the haze.
And then Luke sat back and said, ‘So, you and me. We’re good?’
‘We’re good,’ I told him. Then I frowned and added: ‘For now. You know, Gabe, the Fallen: I have no idea what we’re getting into.’
‘Me either.’ He reached out a finger and drew, in the condensation on the glass door, a little lightbulb. ‘But whatever lies ahead,’ he said, ‘it has to be better than living in the dark.’

 



Buy links


Megan Tayte bio


Once upon a time a little girl told her grandmother that when she grew up she wanted to be a writer. Or a lollipop lady. Or a fairy princess fireman. ‘Write, Megan,’ her grandmother advised. So that’s what she did.

Thirty-odd years later, Megan is a professional writer and published author by day, and an indie novelist by night. Her fiction – young adult romance with soul – recently earned her the SPR’s Independent Woman Author of the Year award.

Megan grew up in the Royal County, a hop, skip and a (very long) jump from Windsor Castle, but these days she makes her home in a village of Greater Manchester. She lives with her husband, a proud Scot who occasionally kicks back in a kilt; her son, a budding artist with the soul of a palaeontologist; and her baby daughter, a keen pan-and-spoon drummer who sings in her sleep. When she's not writing, you'll find her walking someplace green, reading by the fire, or creating carnage in the kitchen as she pursues her impossible dream: of baking something edible.

You can find Megan online at:
http://megantayte.com/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13478850.Megan_Tayte
https://www.facebook.com/megantayte
https://twitter.com/megantayte
https://www.instagram.com/megantayte/


Rafflecopter code[C1] 





Monday, 15 February 2016

(GUEST BLOG) 10 Worst Characters to Avoid in Your Self-Publishing by Lillia Fabry

Today, the lovely author, Lillia Fabry will be taking over and doing a guest blog post! Enjoy, and remember if you ever want to do a guest blog post Contact Me

They make you wrinkle your nose and want to throw the book across the room. They get you to regret ever taking up reading. These are the characters you hate, mostly because they are the predictable, one-dimensional wastes of ink who will probably live throughout the entire series. These aren’t to be confused with characters you love to hate and have you salivating to see if they get their comeuppance. These are the characters who your potential agents and/or publishers will reject you for and your readers will blame you for either because of bad writing or all-around douchery. What do they have in common? Check out the below.



1. Too Cool for School (and everything else) – This type of character is great if you are officially hired to write the next James Bond novel or are the next Tom Clancy. However, most readers want to see some flaws, rather than the “no hair out of place” types whose sole existence is to look cool and never rise to a challenge because they are already perfect.



2. The Invulnerable - These characters are as mentally invulnerable as Superman and having their heart broken or one true love die early so they can fall in love later in the story does not count. As does getting unjustly fired by a greedy boss, having a one sided argument with a significant other, having a substance abuse problem that doesn’t result in a humiliating/disgusting scenario, etc. These characters may even be physically invulnerable to a bullet proof level (when not super-powered) and can recover from what should be a crippling or fatal injury with an overnight stay at a hospital and/or kiss from a pretty girl.



3. Damsel in Distress – Mila Kunis in “Jupiter Ascending” anyone? Or Bella Swan, if you need a book reference. These are the women who are sold as strong, female types, yet they seem to be unable to go a chapter, scene, etc. without being rescued, almost always by the male interest. It’s enough to deflate each and every scene she is put in danger, not to mention the entire book, as well as have us wishing the both of them would just be killed.



4. Obligatory Ethnic – This is not to say that diversity in story-telling isn’t a good thing, but no one thinks that a thinly veiled attempt to add a character for the sake of diversity does any good to the story or the ethnicity the character represents. Characters should be well rounded with their own set of goals and desires, virtues and flaws, courage and cowardice, and not a pathological need to dispel stereotypes or presume to think they solely represent an entire race, sexual preference, etc.



5. Over the Top Villain – The villains of today don’t necessarily twirl moustaches, tie women to railroad tracks to pass the time, nor constantly shift their gaze. The over the top villains of today still employ the maniacal laugh, unreasonably blame the hero for their woes, or hate the female heroine because she’s prettier. In short, an over the top villain has motivations few to no one could understand and exists only to give the hero someone to fight.



6. Sex-Obsessed – This particular character jumped the shark as late as Samantha from “Sex in the City,” but I remember being bored with it since Mona from “Who’s the Boss?” These characters love to tell everyone how much they love sex, how great it is, and how uptight you are for disagreeing about the merits of sleeping with strangers. In real life, these characters (both male and female) would be suffering from a parade of children, each parented by a different partner, as well as at least one form of permanent STD.



7. The Kids Who Knows Everything – Ever meet a child in real life who was as wise as some of these kids in books? They know what the main character is really thinking as well as the right thing to do about it. They know who the main character should spend the rest of their life with, although they know absolutely nothing about what both parties must have to make a relationship successful. They even know how to fix their own broken families while they obviously play with a toy to remind us they are kids. This is as big a fantasy as a kid who is ready to hold down a job, pay bills, and raise kids of their own – if such exists, I’m available for adoption.



8. The Kids Who Exist Just to Irk Their Parents – On the opposite end of the spectrum is the children who exist merely as plot tools for their parents. They whine, they cry, they throw tantrums at absolutely the wrong time to tell us how stressful the parents’ lives are. They sneak their boyfriends in just to tell us that dad has a temper or engage in promiscuity to show how cool their parents can be about it along with the realization that the parents at that age were no different. Drugs, sex, rock and roll? Only if it gives the parent something useless to do rather than establish the child as a human being with a personality of their own.



9. Conveniently Crazy – Insanity in a character is absolutely wonderful whether it be an extreme case of OCD to having voices tell them to burn stuff. However in many of these cases, too many characters have convenient bouts of crazy that serve to remind they are only characters on a book. For example, the crazy may serve to keep the main character from catching the bad guy at first, yet conveniently change right at the end to aid in the villain’s capture. In the case of a crazy side kick, the crazy has a tendency to make them ask questions that are terribly relevant to the plot or to give anyone the chance to pontificate on their situation. In short, keep it consistently crazy.



10. My Problems are Bigger Than Everyone Else’s – Ah, the past and current traumas that keep main characters in a perpetual state of whininess. I remember reading a Dean Koontz novel in which the main character lost a bunch of platoon-mates in Vietnam, lost a child in a car accident he survived, and lost his wife to cancer. I hated this guy. Yes, in real life his problems may be bigger than everyone else’s, but most people’s are not nor do they even know anyone like this. While past trauma can be a legit character trait, being a whiny ass about it and talking down to other characters is a sure fire way to get us to hate them. Might be good for a villain, though.



About L. Fabry:

L. Fabry attended the University of Houston where she was overwhelmed by the talent of her faculty and peers. She now indulges her need for creative outlets including novels and screenplays.

In her new novel, Ordinance 93 a law prevents births without government permission, and four people are about to break it. Find out more about it and her on http://www.lfabry.com" title="lfabry" target="_blank"> the official site.



Where to find the author:

Amazon

https://twitter.com/lfabry93" title="Twitter" target="_blank"> Twitter

http://www.goodreads.com/lfabry " title="Goodreads" target="_blank"> Goodreads

http://www.facebook.com/Ordinance93" title="Facebook" target="_blank"> Facebook

Saturday, 13 February 2016

(AUTHOR INTERVIEW) Lillia Fabry

Today I will be interviewing Lillia Fabry! Enjoy, and remember if you ever want to be interviewed Contact Me





First of all, tell us a little about yourself?

I’m from Houston and a sports fan, which makes it fairly difficult, since all three of our teams are good enough to get into the playoffs but nothing good ever comes of it. I’m fairly random, i.e. I’m a member of a writers’ group and ping pong league, I have Sarah Brightman and Slipknot on my workout playlist, I can make crusted salmon with a honey glaze and imitation Big Macs, and some of my most prized possessions are signed copies of “Astonishing X-men” (Joss Whedon) and “Adios, America” (Ann Coulter), who are probably as far apart politically as two can get.

What inspired you to become an author?

It wasn’t so much an inspiration as a mental need, much like a bodily function. If I don’t write and write often, the stories inside my head get jumbled and become intertwined making it difficult to separate them from the “real” world.

What was the main inspiration for your most recent book?
It stemmed from a blog post on abortion in which I had to write about the topic while offending as few people as possible, which led to the idea of “what if there were circumstances in which abortion was mandatory even if the parents didn’t want to?”

Who influenced you the most in life?

Is it wrong to say Me? Mostly because I’m with Me all of the time, and Me gives me lots of ideas to write on, as well as loses her temper if I don’t do it with the quality and quantity of her liking.

What is the kindest thing someone has ever said and or done for you? 

Writing wise, I truly appreciate the people who take the time to both read my ramblings and give me feedback on it, even if it is unfavorable. Can’t think of a better way to improve as a writer. I also love when someone randomly compliments my writing – or is full of pimp juice as I like to call it - because it helps gives confidence after unfavorable feedback.

Do you have a favourite author? (Or name a few)

Including the aforementioned ones who were kind enough to scribble their names for me, there is also Margaret Atwood, Ayn Rand, Terry Goodkind keeps me reading even though I can’t quite put my finger on why, and there’s a pooh-ton of screenwriters worth checking out, even if it’s not your area, see Jane Espenson, Jeanne Veillette Bowerman, Tim Minear, John J. Gray, and others.

What is the best writing advice you have ever received?

Speaking of Tim Minear, he once gave some advice I’ll never forget and do my best to paraphrase: “there’s a difference between a story and a bunch of stuff that happens.”

Did you always want to be a writer and if not what did was the first thing you wanted to be or do?
Yes! I also applied to be an FBI agent but think I failed the character test, which probably helps as a writer.

Do you like to listen to music while you write? If so, who are your favourite artists?
Yes! I listen to music that captures the mood of whatever scene I’m working on. For example, for my latest work, I used “All Together” by Stars in Stereo in a scene, so I listen to it whenever I write, rewrite, or edit it. “Lost and Found” by Katie Herzig is good for writing optimistic conclusions to stories, and “Face to Face” by Downfall 2012 is just damn good pump-up music.

What helps you write when you're stuck and or have writer's block?
Oh, how I wish there was a trick to getting unstuck. I usually write when my scheduled blocks are and just back track a few pages to remind myself where I was to go from there.

After a long day of writing etc, do you have a favourite tv show you like to watch?

Right now I’m very into “Reign,” I use “Agent Carter” and “Supergirl” as platforms for “if I were going to write this, how would I?” and I love the cowardice the main character showed in the first episode of “The Shanarra Chronicles” and plan to emulate it in the future.

What are you working on currently?

Limited local screenplay with a logline of: The women known only as Allure, Cerebellum, Dominance, and Divinity are held in an underground compound by a morally ambiguous man to atone for their flaws with the promise that all four must work together to leave – or only one will.

When you're not writing, or working, what do you like to do?

A mix of ping pong, beer, pelting my nephews with dodgeballs, blackjack, weight lifting, and still waiting on fulfilling my New Year’s resolution of assembling the bike I bought on Black Friday and riding it.

What are some of your most favourite books of all time?

The Handmaid’s Tale, Watchmen (comic books count!), Confessions, Godless, and the Aurian series by Maggie Furey had me turning the pages and turning off my phone. Awesome lesser known books are “Prisoner of Trebekistan” by Bob Harris (and I don’t even like Jeopardy) and “Keeping my Balance” by Stephanie Torreno.

Which of your characters do you love the most and why?
The Fall character in “Ordinance 93” is one of those voices that once you awaken in your imagination it’s hard to shut up afterwards, especially for her dollar savvy and unwillingness to take any kind of crap.

Which of your books are you most proud of?

I only have the one (see above). More to come soon! However, I also have short stories published in Tides of Possibility (Skipjack Publishing) and The Collection (Houston Writers House).

What is the title of the last book you read/was it good or bad?

I’m currently reading “The Art of the Deal” by Trump. What? It’s literally about making deals and has very little politics in it. Also good for writers because it teaches you to negotiate from a position of strength and confidence, which you will need to become a huge success.

Is there anything specific you'd like to try writing about in the future?
I always liked the idea of someone who sees dead people making money off of it…until it goes horribly wrong.

What is an interesting or hidden talent you have?
I can do six pull ups and am aiming for ten because that’s what Hilary Swank said she could do when she was filming “Million Dollar Baby.”

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why would you choose it?

To cure disease, but if I’m being selfish, to fly.

Is there anything else you'd like my readers to know?

Sophia is super cool when it comes to helping hopefuls like myself. We also share a love of filmmaking. My short films are available for viewing on lfabry.com and I’d love to know where I can see Sophia’s.

Where can we find you on social media?(please provide links)

Ordinance 93 on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Ordinance-93-L-Fabry-ebook/dp/B019SM31OC/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8


Twitter: @lfabry93


Facebook: http://facebook.com/ordinance93


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7553660.L_Fabry


Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+LFabry/posts


Official site: http://www.lfabry.com/


Make sure to check out Lillia's book Ordinance 93!