Sunday, January 30, 2011

Coming of an end:: Chapter 29

To my readers,
At last I have come to writing the last chapter of Cursed with Power.  It truly shocks me how far this book has gotten over the past eight months.  Something that started out as an idea ended up turning into an exciting and mysterious adventure.  The journey is one I have enjoyed, but even this close to the end of the book I can say that I know it is far from over.
Whether you realized it or not, the version on inkpop was a second draft.  The first draft was originally up inkpop, but no one --thankfully--read the original ending.  So much has changed in the book since the first version.  Not only dialog or scenes, but there has also been a lot of material added in.  New characters, events, scenes, plot twists, secrets, relationships, fights... Pretty much everything  you've read was either altered from how it was originally written or altogether added in as something entirely new.
I could bore you with telling you about the three journals I have already filled up with notes, outlining, chapter drafts, and etc. but there are more pressing matters I need to address.
At this point I leave it to you to decide if you want to hear when the last chapter will be posted.  If you have not been all that interested in the book, I don't expect you'll care much about anything I address.  However, if you've been a fan then I hope this will reassure you that you will read the end of Cursed with Power in time to come.  Now I am going to address questions I expect you'll have.

  • When will the last chapter be posted?
Chapter 29 (30 by inkpop standards) will not be posted the moment it is finished, as I have done in the past with previous chapters.  I am doing this simply because I want to read through the entire book and make sure nothing has been forgotten or left out.  Also, I need work with the final chapter and feel confident about it because this is the end of the book and if it's not done the right way there may be no one interested in the sequel.
The ending will be posted as soon as I feel it is ready.  Most likely it will definitely be up before the book comes near to reaching the top five.
  • How can I [the reader] stay updated with Cursed with Power after it is finished?
If you like the book enough to want to stay updated, you can contact me and we'll work out something.  Whether it be messages via email, blogger, inkpop, etc, I am open to whatever would work best for you.  Since I am getting Cursed with Power ready to be sent to agencies, it may be simply that you want to be updated when I hear responses --good or bad--from different agents.  Again, this entirely up to you.
  • When will editing begin?  Will edits be posted on inkpop?
Obviously while reading through the book again I will do basic editing, but once I write out the ending and post it then I will begin in depth editing.  Any edits I make will be posted on inkpop.
  • So... about the summary for New Life... how much longer do we [the readers] have to wait in suspense?
The official summary and another fresh premier of New Life will be released in February.  As of this time, I don't know an exact date, but rest assured that it is going public soon.  I will be posting the summary and premier on both of my blogs.
  • Do you plan to start on New Life soon?
My main priority right now is to fix Cursed with Power and get to a point where I can send it to agents.  Once I'm doing that, then I can start to play around with ideas for the sequel.  Until then, I will try to post ideas, character posts, and etc. on the blog.
  • Hey, um, about Leal....
When you read the ending of Cursed with Power, I am hoping you'll be that much more excited about New Life.  I know it will require you to be patient, but I understand that during that time you may need to send me hate mail about how you "need" to read New Life.
  • What should I do if one of my questions haven't been answered in this post?
If you don't see an answer to your question, please leave a comment in the "Ask a Question" section of the blog or email me.  I will gladly answer any additional questions you may have.

I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts once you read the end.  Until then, there's 29 chapters up (including the prologue) and now there's time for you to catch up from where you last left off.

Thank you for continually supporting the book.  

"There's a lot that I want." He said. He smirked as he said it like he knew he was pushing my patience.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chapter 28: Pressure of the Blade

A knife, a dagger, a sword... All three are used with the same intention.  In the magical world, however, nothing is quite as easy as fighting with a sword.  A battle does not end when a blade sinks into skin.
Before too much is given away, here is the excerpt you have been patiently waiting for...

I took a step back and tried to see what was happening with them, but I hit something and felt a knife against my neck. One too many times I had been in this exact position. Before he spoke, I knew Aldemund was my opponent. He had been since the day he heard news of me.
“I could do it, Celestria,” he said.
I shivered. “Go ahead.”

Before you become upset with how brief this update is, read my post following this and then you'll understand the shortness of this update.  Find out what happens when you read the book.
"There's a lot that I want." He said. He smirked as he said it like he knew he was pushing my patience.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chapter 26 & 27


I waited for words I would never hear.  I cried into the night for the love that would never return.  If you think I'm the man you once loved, you are blindly mistaken. --Alaire
Since the update for chapter 26 hasn't been posted yet, I decided to combine the update for chapter 26 and 27 into one post.  This will be a longer post than usual, but I'll split up the excerpts and whatnot from the chapters.
It's ironic how quickly strangers can enter into one's life and become all too familiar.  For Celestria, though,  it is more bothersome that people she never knew before are now the ones who hold truths she must bear listening to.  What's more, now is the time she must fight for what she has believed in.  Either she fights against her enemies, or they overwhelm her and everything is lost.  Two choices but only one decision can be made.
What madness are you speaking? I thought to myself.
“Do you remember me? Jacquette, Alaire's partner? We once had been a team...” She stared off into the distance. I choked on my words, barely being able to believe it myself. The woman who Alaire had been engaged to was in Belsgar, standing in front of me?
“You... You're Jacquette? You worked with Alaire, and you were the one who called off the wedding?” I said.

Darkness.  All her life, Celestria has been dependent on the darkness, whether she wants to admit it or no.  During the minutes when she needs to depend on it again, the shadows, the blackness, and the cold will become overwhelming.  The dark cannot physically hurt her, but it also gives an unexplainable advantage to someone else.

A gasp escaped from Aldemund's lips, but then Japhet ran from out of the audience. Once again he held a ghostly white knife. Though I did not know what his magic was, I cast a spell and he dropped and fell into the water. I grabbed him by his tunic as he chocked, yet even while he struggled he was tempted to stab me. I rapidly spoke words I knew would suffocate him. As I did so I felt a sharp pain in my arm. Glancing down, I saw he had cut me and was aiming the knife at my neck. The blood from my arm dripped down onto his tunic.

Aldemund?  Japhet?  How much more can Celestria take?  In the next chapter the heat is going to be intense, the fighting will be brutal, and the truth opens up old wounds.  It's not a matter of who to trust; now it's how to survive.  In all honesty, when you're out of the battle field there is only you, magic, and your opponent.
"There's a lot that I want." He said. He smirked as he said it like he knew he was pushing my patience.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Leal, why do we love you?

Léal became a favorite of mine the day I began writing a dialog scene with him.  It was the first time he and I became familiar with each other, and I think it was also what convinced me that he had a sense of humor.  While he has a dark humor in the Magicians series, it is somewhat a relief compared to how most of the other characters are serious with only several funny moments.  Working with Léal from the beginning was something I enjoyed and his first conversation with a character from another one of my books went like this:
Léal: My name is Léal.  I am traveling through these woods to meet a friend.
Hunter: Your name is Lea?
Léal (annoyed): Léal.
Hunter: What kind of name is that?
Originally in the first draft of Cursed with Power there actually were several instances when characters would make strange remarks toward Léal's name.  Currently I have removed those scenes because the fact that almost everyone would make fun of his name seems a bit peculiar and ironic anyways.
Somehow, this handsome, striking, funny, mysterious man walked into Celestria's life and won over our hearts.  I never expected anyone to fall head over heels for him --so to speak--but it turns out I'm not the only one who found positive qualities in him.  Isn't it somewhat ironic we love him, though?  He, like Celestria, is a Dark magician.  Like Alaire said, he has also gotten involved in fighting...sometimes more than he should have.  How was it that Léal came about into the story to win over readers like this?  How did he have this effect?  Well I can't speak for the readers, but I can tell you a thing or two...
Like I have probably said a thousand times, Léal wasn't originally supposed to be in Cursed with Power at all.  His appearance was meant to come in the sequel, New Life.  Of course, as we all know this was not how everything turned out because after three chapters Léal was apologizing to Celestria for nearly having walked into her.
If it wasn't for Celestria, though, I cannot say for sure how readers would have felt toward him.  I purposely gave Celestria an interesting way to think of Léal.  When they talked she acted like he was the worst person she knew.  While when she was thinking to herself, she showed signs of having deeper feelings for him than she cared to admit.  Their relationship went from heated up to settled down, but when they parted and went their own ways it was not only the main character who felt the sadness in Léal's departure.  Readers as well seemed to notice the grief that entered into Celestria's mind after he walked away.
Despite whatever readers may think of him, I have always tried to keep Léal the way he is.  He can be serious but humorous; he is handsome yet dark and mysterious.  When at last he said his final goodbye and walked away into the distance, we were left to remember that he looked back.  For me this was something he had to do.  Celestria and I both connected there when she talked about how she had never had anybody look back at her.  With Léal doing that he became a man I myself could respect, and in return Celestria gained an ounce of respect and admiration toward him.
Several readers have asked me, "When is Léal coming back?" My response has always been the same, which is primarily saying that if he returns it will be unexpected.  We all know Léal is returning in New Life, but if he comes into Cursed with Power again it will be a surprise for everyone... perhaps even myself.  Léal has been a great character to work with and I would love nothing more than to bring him back into the book.  For now, though, he is missing and if you must make up some bizarre story to reassure yourself that at any minute he'll come running in to save Celestria...then do as you must.
Until his return we may continue to wonder...
Why do we love you, Léal?

"There's a lot that I want." He said. He smirked as he said it like he knew he was pushing my patience.

The worst character yet

It shouldn't come as any surprise that even writers create characters in their stories that they dislike...perhaps even hate.  I hadn't hated anyone in Cursed with Power yet until Japhet came into the story.  I'll admit before I suppose the character I hated most was Aldemund, but Japhet... He is far worst.
The main reason I feel like killing him off in the book so often is because in chapter 25 he screwed up how the chapter went along.  Or rather I screwed up, but I blamed him.  (Yes, we writers are a bit crazy and we accuse fictional characters for our own mistakes.)  His character isn't complex or even all that involved in the storyline, but after I finished chapter 25 it became evident that he and I would continue to have problems until the end of the book.  He's not even a major lead character, but it's what he and I went through before I could start on chapter 26 that has bothered me to no end.  Of course I'm not going to kill off Japhet for my own bias reasons, but rest assured knowing that the thought is always in the back of my mind.
I suppose what I mean is just that I surprised myself with finding this burning hatred toward a character who I haven't written that much about.
"There's a lot that I want." He said. He smirked as he said it like he knew he was pushing my patience.

Chapter 25: Unlocked Secrets

Did you ever have a secret you felt you couldn't tell anyone but that one person?  It was so dark and powerful that if you told anybody else they would have thought you mad?
I never had that kind of secret either. --Leal
In chapter 25 of Cursed with Power, new answers are brought forth that Celestria never imagined she would discover.  In the middle of the night she must ask what she does not want to know, she must hear the response she dreads the most, and in the morning there is one man she knows she must "meet" with.


Fayth interrupted me and jumped up to point. “That ring! Christopher, I've seen that ring!”
I stared down at Alaire's ring, which I regretted having kept. Fayth ran over to me and grabbed my hand without thinking twice. My eyes grew wide as she studied my ring finger, and Christopher looked as confused and horrified as me. We waited in silence for her to explain the reason behind her outburst. When at last she dropped my hand, she did not return to sit beside Christopher. She knelt beside me, grimacing.
“Magicians who worked for Esmour wore those rings…” Her voice quivered and then she turned to glower at me.
 In the next chapter, Celestria will need to rely on blind faith to walk through a field of shadows.  In the darkness, who can she trust?
"You died; you were dead without any life left in your body."
Yet what Celestria has said in the past will come to haunt her in the present.  Alaire has been reported to have only gotten worst, and there is no way of her finding Leal without him.  Perhaps Leal had left her never to return?
You like him more than you care to admit.
While she needs to come to terms with her emotions and the feelings in her heart, time is running short.  Surviving is what is essential, not what is wrong and right.  
The battle Celestria Hale was never prepared for is only approaching closer with each passing day.  The nights are becoming dark and not by coincidence.  Faces are unfamiliar, memories are slipping away, blood is soon to be shed.  Welcome to the magical world.  There is no turning back now.

"There's a lot that I want." He said. He smirked as he said it like he knew he was pushing my patience.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Chapter 24: Drip of Blood

Now tell me, when have you ever seen a 'drip' of blood?  Every time I've been involved in a fight --and I assure you that's been quite often-- I have seen more than what one might say was a mere 'drop'.  --Léal

In chapter 24 of Cursed with Power there are major significant events that occur.  These events begin to foreshadow and shape the coming end of the first book in the Magicians series.  What can Celestria hold onto during these times she will doubt herself?  How can she prepare herself for battles she never imagined getting involved in?  Celestria must find confidence in herself if she is to be ready for what will come next, but the truth of the matter remains: The future holds many secrets.
During a time when Celestria is scared, confused, and lost, there are new people who come into her life.  These people, however, are ones she knows --from the start--she will not be able to trust.  What's more, there is a new danger that threatens the lives of Celestria and Emeria.

“Emeria?” I whispered. I debated whether to approach her or no. She was curled up into a ball, shaking like a baby. Having never seen anyone act in such a manner, I continued to stare.
There was no response that came from Emeria. She whimpered and the moment I decided I needed to comfort her, she began wailing. Despite how many times I continued asking her to hush, she would not listen to a word I spoke. I stepped forward and then felt something hit me in the back. I fell down, rolled over, and gazed up to see the man who I thought had given up on pursuing us. There was a serious yet hungry look on his face. Hungry…like he desired to kill us for pure pleasure.

Now there is a man they must run from.  Soon there are enemies they must face.  Celestria's life is in the hands of people who hate her.  The ending you have been waiting for is coming closer with the arrival of each new chapter.  Find out what happens when you read Cursed with Power.

"There's a lot that I want." He said. He smirked as he said it like he knew he was pushing my patience.

Answering a question: "What was the..."

Question: What was the very first thing that you thought of for CWP? 
Asked by: Tessa Faith

I think the very first thought I had for Cursed with Power was finding a way that all five of the Dark magicians could be connected to one another.
By this I mean that I wanted the magicians to relate with one another in a way that no one would expect.  It wasn't simply "Celestria meets Leal and she likes him"; it was more like "Celestria meets Leal and has feelings for him, but she's going to push him away and his return will be unknown by the reader."  The main bond between all five Dark magicians in this series altogether has always been very complicated.  From the very start I spent hours upon hours writing out different ideas and theories on how the main five magicians were evil, how their pasts related to one another, and how ultimately in the end everyone would actually be concerned about them.
Now mind you Celestria has not interacted with with all of the other four Dark magicians, there is still hope she might.  Originally in Cursed with Power, Celestria was not supposed to meet Leal or Alaire.  However, since she met Alaire she found out that he had connections with Leal.  Once again there we are left to wonder who was this Esmour character that Leal and Alaire worked for, and why he was evidently such a cold and heartless man.
Relationships are not just only an aspect of this book that I work on because it adds reality and emotion to the characters.  It is something I keep working on because it has always been essential to the way the plot works out.  Without interaction amongst the main characters, I imagine the readers would lose any respect they gained for Celestria and the person she is.
"There's a lot that I want." He said. He smirked as he said it like he knew he was pushing my patience.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chapter 23: How He Sees Me

There is very few matters that I let take over my patient.  Love, I suppose, is one of the few because it keeps me up all night and drives me mad.  Sounds like something you would want to wake up to, does it not? --L
In chapter 23, Celestria is taken to a place she has never seen or heard of before.  Left alone to discover the wonders and mysteries of this place, she finds there is more for her to uncover than land.  She is to remember the men in her life and why now she has every right to question them, and she also must come to terms with the feelings she has.
Miles away from where she is, Alaire lays in a bed.  He remains stricken with poor health, but Celestria is not given enough time to worry about his failing conditions.
Somewhere --though it is not clear where--Celestria wants to believe Léal is not too far away.  Perhaps he is nearby, and then again perhaps Celestria will never have another chance to see him.  Were her promises a waste of time, or could there be hope for her?  A man she barely had the chance to know could be dead for all she is aware, but she wants to believe there is hope.  Maybe, just maybe, Léal is alive and searching for her.
In a whisper every memory of him returns to her.  With one word she recollects how she felt toward him when they first met.

Then in a whisper, “Hello?”
Léal stood up and came toward me, and I was unable to back away. He approached me and stared me in the eyes. I raised my brow, for no one else before had been able to see me. Why did Léal take notice of my presence? How could he notice me when I was incapable of seeing myself? The questions ran through my mind as he stood before me, breathing and waiting for a response that would never come. He extended his hand to me and…

Now is the time when decisions must be made, feelings must be spoken, and patience must be tested.  Fear will be taken to another level, danger will be thrown into the faces of good and bad, and beauty and innocence will be meaningless.
Celestria has only one life...
"His eyes rolled back into his head. I had done this."
"There's a lot that I want." He said. He smirked as he said it like he knew he was pushing my patience.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Where has the author been?

*If you already read my "Lindsey MIA" post on Fictional Writer I'll just let you know now that this is the exact same post because honestly there's no way I'm going to try and explain this a thousand different ways.*
Yes, I realize I've been missing in action for the last few days and I want to apologize.  However, this post is to reassure you that I am alive, I am feeling fine, and yes I will return to blogging as often as possible.  I will upload chapter 23 as soon as I have it titled.

The reason I was unable to make any connection to the online community was because our internet was down and we had to wait to get a new router.  Now that it's here I can read my 30 new emails, godknows how many PMs, and return to the normal schedule of posting new material of my book.  So I apologize, but I'm back and alive and that's what matters.

"There's a lot that I want." He said. He smirked as he said it like he knew he was pushing my patience.

Friday, January 7, 2011

22: Push Away Fear

Once fear tried to climb into bed with me.  I told her that even if she wore a disguise I would not let her any closer... Besides, I need sleep to look like I do every day. --Leal

Welcome to the one place you never knew about, never imagined, and thought was unreal.
When Celestria enters into such a place, she is barely able to grasp everything and everyone who surrounds her.  Despite specific words haunting her thoughts, she is in awe of the new world she is introduced to.

Some places where we stepped were darker than others, but the fairies' glowing wings kept everything bright. Birds chirped from large, wide trees and a family of deer walked past us without a second glance. An owl flew from one tree to the next, and nearby one magician was a squirrel who was digging a hole for a nut. There were campfires, giving off heat, yet there was also a fresh and refreshing breeze that brushed through the trees.
Emeria suggested first we should find a place to sleep, since we did not know how long we would be there. My stomach grumbled, but I ignored it and agreed with her. I had eaten more than I usually would consume for breakfast. How was I hungry? I did not bother to question it, hence I looked around with Emeria for a empty place. There were people everywhere we went, and with the way they huddled together it did not appear they would let us stay with them. Then, after all, we could not depend on making friends here. While Emeria was among people she could trust, I was surrounded by enemies.
Could ever such a place have danger enter into it?  A place of unimaginable beauty and magic... but with Celestria's presence there may be a change in the mood of such a place.  There could be hope for the magician as she walks through the magical setting, and at the same time there can be evils lurking.  Fear must be pushed away during these moments when truths are spoken.
"There's a lot that I want." He said. He smirked as he said it like he knew he was pushing my patience.

Chapter 21: Scuze, Revedere

English translation: "Sorry, Goodbye"
Chapter 21 was a chapter I finished over winter break, but if it had not been for Tessa I probably would have forgotten that I needed to upload this chapter.  I apologize, and just in case you were worried I am alive and did not disappear as Leal did in the book.  Anyways, onto the chapter....

This chapter I found a lot of inspiration for from "Sorry for everything" by Dead by April.  The song became influential for what Alaire said in this part of the book.
Without giving away too much more, here is the excerpt.

“Goodbye?” The word squeaked from my lips. He made it sound as if Alaire would die tonight, and there seemed to be constant dwelling on death. I, of course, thought on the subject much too often as it was, but Grefin was a doctor and an educated man. When it was him suggesting the worst, there was not much left to hope for.
“Da, because it is possible that he may not recover,” Grefin said. When I frowned he added, “Make no mistake, there is hope that he will live, yet I must be blunt with you. He does not act like a man who wishes to fight off death.”

While the excerpt is short, there is much more that occurs in the chapter that is significant --as always--to the rest that is to happen in the book.  However, can Celestria live with the difficult decisions she has made?  Why is Alaire giving up, and can anyone change the feelings he has?
Goodbye... the word we speak last but never use for its actual purpose.  Sorry... a word we can say over and over again for everything we have done...
Yet how can Celestria forgive herself?
"There's a lot that I want." He said. He smirked as he said it like he knew he was pushing my patience.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A new year, a new cover

The title explains it all.  The madness returns, and a new cover comes...
The black and white with the font I wasn't going to do to begin with, but then I did and it ended up adding in a nice affect to it.  Anyone like it?
"There's a lot that I want." He said. He smirked as he said it like he knew he was pushing my patience.

Answering a question: "How do..."

Question: How do you think of such wonderful chapter titles? Does it take you a long time?

Asked by: Tessa Faith at WittyWriter

Chapter titles are always the most difficult because I feel they need to be appropriate for everything that occurs in the chapter.  It is rare for me to name chapters before I finish a chapter, and as of recently I can't think of when I did name a chapter before I finished it first.
Coming up with chapter titles can take anywhere from 2-15 minutes, depending on what the chapter was on and what I can think of.  Sometimes I have to look through lyrics of songs to find inspiration, and then I take those words and change them to fit within the context.  Other times it's simply picking out the most significant words a character said in the chapter and using those as the title.  Then there is of course just one word titles, but those are often the most difficult.  One word for a whole chapter... It is not very easy.
Songs that have become influential for what titles the chapter has been anything from Avenged Sevenfold to Christina Perri to Thousand Foot Krutch to HURTS.  I listen to a variety of music while writing Cursed with Power, and often I try to find songs with a deep meaning and mood to properly set the context. 
I do spend a lot of time with coming up with chapter titles.  Probably more time then most would bother, but I feel the title of the chapter is just as important as everything within the chapter.  That is why I work hard toward making the titles interesting --if that be possible--because I hope it can intrigue the reader more.

Great question; glad someone finally asked.
"There's a lot that I want." He said. He smirked as he said it like he knew he was pushing my patience.

Chapter 20: Pleasure and Pain

Chapter 20 of Cursed with Power was uploaded last night, but it was not until today that I had the time to write up the update.  Enjoy.

In the newest chapter Celestria has a moment of pure happiness and pleasure, which as the reader knows by now is rare to occur.    However, when Celestria seems something that she cannot fully explain or comprehend, there is pain that re-enters into her life.  Someone who she had not dreamed about for a while comes back into her life as never before.

Perhaps you took Daciana's warning too lightly. That place is not for Dark magicians; as she said, the best of good magicians go there.” Grefin replied.
Emeria proposed, “I could go with her. After all, who would question her if we said that the great Grefin de Villy had sent us?”
Before Grefin could open his mouth, I countered with, “Wait a minute! I never said I needed a twelve year old girl with me so I could have an easier way to get in.”
“I am fourteen, thank you very much,” Emeria said.
“Whether you like it or not, the truth of the matter is you cannot enter Belsgar on your own. There are magicians who guard at all hours of the day...and night. To enter without any name for yourself... We would soon have only four Dark magicians alive,” Grefin said.
Celestria faces a difficult decision, harsh memories, and a painful truth that she has come to realize but not yet accept.  In time she must choose... a life of pleasure or a life with pain.  Find out what happens when next you read Cursed with Power.
Coming next is an answer to a question from a reader, and later an update on chapter 21.

*The images in this post are not those of my own.  The first picture is from and the second is from  I do not own these images.**

"There's a lot that I want." He said. He smirked as he said it like he knew he was pushing my patience.