A Second Glance, new interview series

Hello there and Happy 2022! New year, new adventures, and new posts for this blog of mine. As a fellow creative, I’m always up to highlighting other authors. I feel like the debuts get lots of love (which hell yeah because debuting is hard and exciting and scary and everything in between, and new authors should get recognition) but other kinds of authors might not… so I aim to highlight those! The series is called A Second Glance, and I’m accepting authors right now. I’m not going to get genre specific right now, but if I get multiple interview requests from similar genres maybe I’ll make a sub genre celebration out of it. Speculative Fiction Celebration, maybe? Horror Highlights. Adventures in Young Adult! I’ll workshop the categories if that happens.

How will it work?
Basically, you sign up on the form below. I’ll need your name and your email address, plus how many books you have out right now. I’ll send you a list of interview questions, which you’ll answer and return to me. Then, I’ll create a blogpost to highlight you and your books! I don’t know how often I’ll update the series, as that depends on how many replies I get, but it should be fun. I’m really looking forward to it.

So, do you have a second, third, or fourth book out that you want to shout about? I’d love to interview you. {A Second Glance sign up sheet}

Thanks!
Warm regards,
Kellie

CV&CT Honorable Mention in Rainbow Awards!

Curling Vines & Crimson Trades got an honorable mention in the 2020-2021 Rainbow Award! An honorable mention is at least a rate of 36 or more out of 40. Judges had this to say about my story:

This was an interesting book, it offered a solid series with a good and interesting plot, but I feel like it could have been developed a bit better to make the whole world created brighter and a bit more vivid. The characters were well developed and easy to distinguish, even during dialogue parts I didn’t have problems following who is who. Good solid read!

I’m also working on the next installment, Adaris’ story; the setting is really exciting for me (think black sand beaches, rock columns, sun goddess worshippers) so I hope I’ve done it justice. I’m working on revising right the story right now; my critique group has some amazing suggestions and I know the story will be stronger because of it. Annnnnd I have to also think of a title because calling it Adaris’ story just isn’t exactly the vibe I’m looking for, ha!

If you need a last-minute gift for a friend or want to treat yourself, check out Curling Vines & Crimson Trades. This adult fantasy story features a badass swordswoman with broken magic, thieving twins who steal more than trinkets, and friends who try to kill each other. (Quest trope, queer love, magic, action and more!)

Also a HUGE shoutout to all the Desert Palm Press author awards and honorable mentions:

Award-winners:
Lesbian Fantasy: The Road to Kalazad by K.L. Mitchel
Lesbian Mystery runner up: The Crystal Curse by Jane Alden
Lesbian Speculative Fiction runner up: Lucky 8 by Rae D. Magdon
Best Lesbian Book runner up: The Road to Kalazad, Lucky 8, Safe Haven by Ellen Hoil

Honorable mentions:
The Life in Death by Ann & Michelle Modtland
Murder on Leisure Lake by BJ Phillips
Redemption Road by CJ Murphy
Safe Haven by Ellen Hoil
The Crystal Curse by Jane Alden
The Road to Kalazad by K.L. Mitchell
Lucky 8 by Rae D. Magdon
Taming the Wind by S.L. Kassidy
Find Your Heart by Susan Stocker

Happy holidays, everyone!
Warm regards,
Kellie

Series Workshop Success!

A little while ago I put some workshop suggestions in for the Pacific Northwest Writing Conference (PNWA). I participated in PNWA last year, recording three 20-minute workshops, and it was a lot of fun so I wanted to do it again. Well this year PNWA changed the way they were putting the conference on, no longer doing pre-recorded videos instead only live 60-minute ones. The conference organizer floated the ida to me…and I actually said yes!

I had never done this before (organized and put on a live, interactive, virtual workshop) but I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and see what I could do.

So, last month I created a workshop on How to Write a Series. I had to come up with an agenda, a PowerPoint, notes for myself, a handout, do Zoom tech checks, and do some run throughs with my family. It was a lot of work. I figured the first half would be mostly me chatting (what a sequel is, what a series is, tricks on how to write series, and tips on how to make the stakes higher, etc.) with some audience participation sprinkled in in the form of questions they can answer in the chat box or via reactions. The second part would be a chance for the audience members to use what I taught them and think about how to incorporate those aspects into their series. After about 10 minutes, we would share our thoughts with the group and then go into a Q&A. There was also also an additional 30 minutes at the end of the 60-minute workshop where I could do a short reading, so I had to prepare for that too.

Well, PNWA kicked off this past week and my workshop happened just yesterday. And, friends, my Tips for Writing a Series workshop was a resounding success!!

I did it.

I ran a LIVE virtual 60-minute workshop. I was a little worried because I had some tech issues in the very beginning; my internet actually stopped working and dropped the Zoom call during my chat with my fabulous moderator Jen Nielson. That got me panicking slightly but after that there were no more tech hiccups at all. SO MANY PEOPLE CAME TO MY WORKSHOP! I did my presentation portion (running the PowerPoint while also looking at my notes and interacting with the attendees) pretty easily and there were some great interactions throughout the presentation, too, which was wonderful. The brainstorming session went well, and the attendees had such great ideas for their series that they felt comfortable sharing, AND there were some good questions during the Q&A too. I even had that 30 minute optional reading/chat after that some attendees stuck around for so that was fun! 

The attendees said some really kind things after the workshop had ended, so I’m pretty damn proud of myself. And a bunch of attendees said they gleaned a lot of inspiration for their series too so yay! Here are some behind-the-scenes photos of what it looked like on my side of the screen.

I DID IT!

And people actually came and they learned and it was just really, really cool. Come to think of it, I may do another one in the future.

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Until next time,
Kellie

{*shoves a few dust bunnies into the corner and wipes some cobwebs away* As many of you know, I used to be very consistent concerning this whole blogging thing, but it’s not on the top of my ToDo list anymore so thanks for all those who stick around for my random posts!}

Writing Without Distractions

A few weeks ago I attended the Imaginarium Convention 2021. I sat on four virtual panels but unfortunately the very first one called Taming the Squirrel never made it to the audiences’ computer screens. Why? Technological difficulties and some first-day issues. However, the conversation between myself, Valerie Estelle Frankel, and C.L. Polk was so great that I wanted to share some insights.

So how do you write without distractions? Well, first you gotta figure out what your distractions are. Shocking right? I know. So…what distracts you when you’re trying to write… YouTube? Laundry? Kids? Pets? The ever-mounting ToDo List sitting beside your computer? Whatever it is, nail it down.

Use those distractions as motivators instead. You want to watch that funny YouTube video? Write 200 words first. Got a pile of laundry? Write that chapter. Wanna play with your kids? Write a sentence. (Okay, so those with kids, I get that sometimes you can’t just ignore them. Obviously. But you get the idea.)

Another way to reduce distractions is to carve out specific times to actually write. Morning? Afternoon? Evening? Midnight? Whenever it is, set aside that time and…really set it aside. You know what I mean. Shut the door, sit your butt down on the chair, and write. The more often you dedicate time to writing, the easier it is to keep doing it. And it doesn’t have to be hours set aside either, 30 minutes works great!

Turn off the distractions (if you can). Shut off the internet. Close down the social media sites. Stop researching that flyaway thought about bioluminescent fungi. The less distractions you have open on your actual computer screen, the easier it is to write.

Trick yourself. Yup. That’s right. Trick yourself into writing. Tell yourself you’ll only write for 15 minutes. You can stop reading for 15 minutes. You can push that funny movie off for 15 minutes. Hell, even the laundry can wait 15 minutes. You can ignore almost anything for 15 minutes. Once you write for 15 minutes, go back to doing something else.

Dive into that research hole. Got something tugging on your mind? Research is a part of writing so if there’s something that you’re really, really wondering…go ahead and research it. Do a deep dive into the subject so it’ll get out of your head. You might use some of that research in your writing or you might only use a small snippet, but at least you don’t need to wonder about it anymore.

Create a writing routine. It doesn’t have to be extensive, but it does help to wind down and get into the writing mood. Grab a cup of tea, sit on your favorite couch, or put on some music.

Allow yourself to take a break. Writing is a job and sometimes you just gotta go to work. But, just like any job, sometimes you have to take a break, too. Taking some time off from writing isn’t a bad thing. Taking a day or two, or a week or two, or a month or a year or however long you need, doesn’t make you any less of a writer. So take some time off. Read a good book. Play some Minecraft. Hang out with your friends and family. Refill your creative well.

And that’s it! We chatted about some other things during the panel – where the hell the broadcast button was, for example, and laughing about how it was very meta that we were distracted trying to fix the IT issues during the “writing without distractions” panel. The thing is, you’re always going to be distracted. There are so many things going on every single day that it’s hard not to be. Sometimes the distractions win… sometimes you have to go down that research hole or play with your kids or take a damn break. And that’s okay, too. We’re human.

But if you struggle with distractions and need some tips, hopefully the suggestions in this post help! Do you have any tips about writing without distractions? Leave them in the comments.

Have a lovely Sunday!
Warm regards,
Kellie

250 Words a Day in May: Unlocked

I did it.

I decided at the end of April that I wanted to write more during the week but I also knew how hectic my life is and how I’m really not in a ~writing mood~ after work. So, after a brief brainstorming session, I landed on 250 words a day in May. I’m currently working on Book Three of the Broken Chronicles (it’s an adult f/f fantasy about a scribe who gets kidnapped and must face her fears and her past in order to survive the ordeal), and 250 words seemed like a reasonable number to me. One that wasn’t overwhelming. May 1st came around and I hit the ground running on my goal, that whole week I wrote 250 words (or more!). I was feeling really good about myself, to be honest. But then life got even more crazy – my parents got a new puppy who needed SO MUCH ATTENTION, my day job got stressful, and I got a bunch of long edits and a manuscript edit that ate into my evening time.

But guess what?

I still wrote.

Begrudgingly, some days. It would be 9:30 at night after a freelance edit, I’d open the manuscript and gathering words to write down would be like capturing dandelion fluff. Elusive and tiring. I would count every single word and as soon as I’d hit 250, I’d close the computer.

Other times I’d get annoyed that I hadn’t given myself time and space to write more words. After all 250 words isn’t even a scene (not how I write scenes anyway, ha!) and it would be frustrating to stop at a moment I was excited about because I was tired and it was late and I really needed to go to bed.

Most of the time, though, words flowed from me. I penned more than 250 words nearly every day. (Mostly to finish a scene or conversation.)

May was a really, really long month. My dayjob was stressful, my freelance editing took up a few hours every night (and still does), and sometimes I just really didn’t want to write.

But I did it anyway.

And I made my goal of 250 Word a Day in May.

I did it!

And you know what? I actually wrote 23,750 words last month. 23,750 WORDS!

IT’S AMAZING!

I am so damn proud of myself for doing it. And it proved to me that I actually could do it, too, write during the week even with my other jobs.

So what’s my takeaway from this experiment? Set goals for yourself. You never know what you can achieve until you try! Sappy? Yeah. But true? Hell yeah.

QUESTION: Has anyone else tried this type of goal out? If so, how’d it go? Did you reach the word count?

Hope you have a lovely rest of the week!
Warm regards,
Kellie

National Space Day? How about some space books!

Hi everyone,

It’s National Space Day! A day to celebrate the universe we live in and inspire us to pursue knowledge and progress. Originally started in 1997 by the Lockheed Martin Corporation as a one-off, it was late expanded, celebrated, and turned into an annual event. I wanted to celebrate, too!

And what better way is a book nerd to celebrate? BY SHOUTING ABOUT ALL THE SPACE BOOKS, OF COURSE! (Including mine, ahem.)

I’m actually reading a really great space novel right now The Galaxy and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers. She’s one of my favorite authors and this book doesn’t disappoint. I’ve always loved her character building, quiet queerness, and intertwined stories. If you want to dive into Chambers’ work but don’t want to read the whole Wayfarer series, she also has an excellent novella To Be Taught, If Fortunate. I also just finished reading Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir last winter. Late to that party, I know, but snarky characters and lesbian necromancers in space? Hell yeah.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!

I’m still reeling about the fact that my scifi book – Finding Hekate – came out four years ago, and it’s a completed duology with Losing Hold. It’s a high action, character-driven story with a hunted-becomes-the-hunter mentality, featuring broken characters, siblings, a queer romantic relationship, and one of the most fun antiheros I’ve ever written. PLUS, it’s also a SPAAAAACE story!

It’s been a while since I highlighted my scifi books, so I thought today would be the perfect day to celebrate the found family, at-each-other’s-throats, friends-to-lovers crew of the Eclipse. Here are some fast facts about each of them!

Mia Foley
Age: 25
Looks: Short red hair, blue eyes, tan
Function on the Eclipse: Captain
Best Personality Trait: Clever
Worst Personality Trait: Cowardly
Favorite Color: Black
Weapon of Choice: Daggers
Hobby: Crafting

Cassidy Gates
Age: 25
Looks: Brown hair with colorful accents, brown eyes, hella pale skin
Function on the Eclipse: First mate and gunner
Best Personality Trait: Cheerful
Worst Personality Trait: Ignorant
Favorite Color: Orange
Weapon of Choice: Wrist knife
Hobby: Baking

Jeff Dee
Age: 24
Looks: Buzzed dark hair, green eyes, dark skin
Function on the Eclipse: Navigator and engineer
Best Personality Trait: Determined
Worst Personality Trait: Quick to anger
Favorite Color: Dark green
Weapon of Choice: Words
Hobby: Writing

Will Dee
Age: 24
Looks: Shaggy, dark hair, green eyes, dark skin
Function on the Eclipse: Pilot
Best Personality Trait: Loyal
Worst Personality Trait: Speaks without thinking
Favorite Color: Dark blue
Weapon of Choice: Humor
Hobby: Building bombs

That’s my crew! It was a lifetime ago, but I had such an amazing time writing this story. Mia was one of the first characters who really spoke to me, and while her story started as a short story for undergrad, it supernova-ed into the best damn duology this side of the midnight sun. (IMHO, of course.)

The best part is, if you’re wanting to purchase it, it’s ON SALE on the DPP website and so are all the other fabulous books. Use the code 10DPP to get a 10% discount!

So Happy National Space Day, everyone. Now go make this book nerd proud by blasting off with one of these amazing reads.
Warm regards,
Kellie

When Giveaways Fail: Three Lessons Learned

Hi everyone!

When I started writing today’s blog, I was a little depressed. I recently got my author copies of CURLING VINES & CRIMSON TRADES. I was (and still am) super excited about that. The book was published in November 2020 and I’ve been doing a lot of events and promotion and networking to get my book out in the world, and I feel like I’m doing a good job at that. Last week I had announced a giveaway on all my main social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) and each post had asked the participants to do certain things in order to enter the giveaway and meet my goals. I posted the giveaway announcements on the same day (4/3) and gave everyone a week to participate, saying the deadline was 4/9 and announcements would happen on 4/10.

For Facebook, I wanted some more followers so I asked my fans to follow and tag a friend in the comments. I had hoped it would’ve sparked some more followers and engagement.

For Instagram, I also wanted some more followers so I asked my fans to follow and tag a friend in the comments. I had hoped it would’ve sparked some more followers and engagement here too.

For Twitter, I just wanted to expand my reach a little bit on the platform and asked folks to follow and retweet in order to enter.

I reposted the announcement about the giveaway multiple times throughout the week in my feeds and in the Stories feature in hopes to generate more interest, as well as pinning it to the top of my FB and Twitter accounts. I didn’t do this every single day, but I thought I did it enough without being too pushy. The giveaway officially ended yesterday.

Today, as you may have noticed if there’s a calendar nearby, is 4/10.

GIVEAWAY ANNOUNCEMENT DAY!

Super exciting, right?

Well, not as exciting as I had hoped. First, the good news. My Twitter giveaway worked, and I saw an increase of followers and RTs! I just announced the giveaway winner this morning, and I’m really happy with my small uptick.

The bad news…the Facebook and Instagram ones failed, completely. I generated some likes/hearts but no one commented/tagged a friend, so no one officially entered the giveaway.

So…at first I was disappointed. Obviously. Why would people not want to win free books? In both cases, I asked participants to follow my account and tag a friend in the comments. It would take less than a minute to do that probably, so why did folks not do it? Was my post not interesting enough? Was the review hook I chose not gripping? Was the giveaway deadline too short, perhaps?

After some thinking, researching into my last giveaways that were much more successful, and many cups of tea, here’s what I’ve learned.

  1. Giveaways should be a little longer. In the past I’ve always stuck with a two-week long deadline from the moment I post the giveaway announcement. I was SUPER EXCITED about having my books in so I wanted this to go a bit faster because I assumed other people would be more excited about it, too, and participate immediately. Obviously, that didn’t happen. The two weeks would give my post some breathing room, because honestly I probably needed more time to push it out to my social media networks.
  2. Cut down on the participants’ job to enter the giveaway. I feel like because I don’t have many followers, I shouldn’t have made the ask so large. TBH I don’t feel like it was ~that~ large of an ask, but perhaps I could have gotten more engagement if I only asked for one thing, instead of two. (For example, simply “like” this post instead of “follow and comment.”)
  3. My own engagement is lacking on certain platforms. Guess which two that is? This one is a big one that I realized. I’m on Twitter a lot. I like the conversations on there and the hashtag games and the publishing posts. I like to RT my fellow authors and I’m just much more engaged on that platform. So it makes sense that my Twitter post would pull more participants in. On Facebook and Instagram, I’m not! It’s that simple. I post on my Facebook Author page and Instagram every week (multiple times a week usually) but I don’t participate in conversations as much on there. And I think that’s a big reason why those two giveaways failed! It’s because I don’t put in the work to make my social media platforms more engaging, certainly not as much time as I had in the past when I did my other giveaways. It’s been flagging over the years and I know it.

While the avid reader in me is still a bit shocked that my free book giveaway didn’t entirely work, I’m glad to learn these lessons and will keep them in mind for next time. I’ll have to think about my Facebook Author page and Instagram to see how I’d like to beef those two social media profiles up so any future giveaways won’t fail so hard.

Until then, I’ll shout about my book in other ways and will plan for more giveaways in the future! For example, if you missed the giveaway and would like to order my book, you can get a 10% discount of CV&CT over on Desert Palm Press.

Have a lovely Saturday, everyone!
Warm regards,
Kellie

Common Mistakes When Writing Queer Female Protagonists

Hi everyone! I participated in the Rainbow Space Magic 2.0 conference this weekend, and it was fabulous. Bright and early Saturday morning (6AM, Alaska represent!) I sat on a panel about Writing Queer Female Protagonists with Olivia Wylie, Antonia Aquilante, Adrian J. Smith, and Melodie Romeo, and while we chatted about our favorite character archetypes and what kinds of characters we’d like to see (and are actively writing) in the future, one thing we we missed talking about was the mistakes we’ve seen when writing queer female protagonists. It was a question asked in the chat and the 50 minutes we had went by SO FAST that we just didn’t get to it.

But it’s a really good question! And I do want to answer it.

So, here are some common mistakes I’ve seen others make when writing queer female protagonists, and writing queer stories in general.

Writers Who Don’t Break Past the Stereotypes
There are so many stereotypes when it comes to queer characters, especially women. The most prevalent ones I see are all bisexuals are promiscuous, all lesbians are predatory and/or hate men, all lesbians are masculine, and all transgender women are drag queens. It’s…an issue. Because none of those stereotypes are true for everyone! Yes, some bi folk are promiscuous and maybe some lesbians really like being masculine, but not all of them! Putting your main female characters into these stereotypes not only put that wrong idea out there more often but can also hurt the queer community. And it’s boring! To become better writers, break past those stereotypes.

Always Sticking with the Coming Out Story
Coming out is a big deal. It will always be a big deal, and some stories should center around this monumental time in a character’s life. Reading that, especially as a kid or teenager or hell even an adult, might make the experience feel more valid and might give confidence to those who are struggling with telling people. It’s a good thing to write about. But not all queer stories have to be – or should be – about that event. Your queer female protagonist doesn’t have to showcase that in order to be queer. There’s more to queer characters than coming out, there’s more story to their lives than just that occasion, and there’s more queer characters can give to the story than just being queer. So write beyond that. Write queer female protagonists who are confident in themselves and their sexuality, who have adventures and loves and heartbreak. Who have rich and complex backstories.

There’s Only One Queer Person
So having a female queer protagonist is amaaaaazing! But having her/them be the only queer person in the whole book isn’t realistic. Why? Because there’s more than one queer person in our world right now and as a writer, you’d want to make your world as realistic as possible. And because queer people flock together. We like having people around us who understand what we’re going through and will celebrate our successes. Friends like that are important! Having your queer female protagonist have a queer friend (or a group of friends) to bounce ideas off of, to clash with, the spar with is key to writing an authentic queer main character.

Queer Characters Die
Just…stop. Queer characters should have happy endings, okay? This is more so in the general sense of writing queer characters, instead of the more specific queer female protagonist idea, but I had to include it. That’s not to say that queer characters have ~Plot Amor~ or that nothing terrible can happen. Terrible things should happen and the queer female protagonist has to surmount those terrible things. But there’s a long history of queer characters being killed off and we have to move past that as a society. It undermines the idea that queer characters (and queer people) can have happy endings. Sometimes it’s known as “burying your gays.” And just…stop.

Okay, I could probably go on about other common mistakes I’ve seen about writing queer female characters, but I have to stop somewhere. Basically, write those protagonists just as you would write any protagonist. Spend time with them. Give them complex backstories, lovers, motivations, and goals. Give them flaws. If you need inspiration, read stories that have queer female protagonists – any of the Desert Palm Press books, mine, a lot of the Rainbow Space Magic 2.0 novels, and even in the mainstream like Gideon the Ninth, Addie LaRue, The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet.

I want to hear from you, too. What are some mistakes you’ve seen when writing queer female protagonists? Let me know in the comments below.

Have a lovely day!
Warm regards,
Kellie

RSM 2.0 Announcement

Hi there,

I can’t believe it’s already March! Where did the first two months of 2021 go? I hope it’s been treating you well thus far. (As if anything is normal since the pandemic is still raging but at least there are vaccines on the horizon!) As for me, I’ve been busy writing book three of the Broken Chronicles and shouting about my newest release CURLING VINES & CRIMSON TRADES. I had a few literary events—my author event in January and the Evil Expo Online in February—and I have a few more coming up that I wanted to chat about, including one this month!

The next event I’m going to be on is Rainbow Space Magic 2.0! Happening on March 12-14, Rainbow Space Magic (RSM) is a celebration of all things LGBTQIA+ science fiction and fantasy. It’s a virtual conference which allows networking and conversations by and for the queer community. There’s going to be panels and workshops and even a Discord! It should be pretty fun.

RSM 2021 is open for registration, and it’s free Here’s the full schedule!

I’m really looking forward to the panel and the reading/Q&A event. The Writing Queer Female Protagonists panel speaks to my main characters and what I want my impact to be on the literary community. I’m looking forward to connecting with the other panelists, too, and we get to create our own questions so that’ll be fascinating. It’ll be a bright-and-early 6AM panel for me here in Alaska so I’ll definitely be making some tea. For the Reading/Q&A, I’ll read a snippet from CV&CT, probably a quiet scene between Orenda and Noss. I actually have the perfect one in mind, but I haven’t read it out-loud before so I’ll have to prep it ahead of the event.

Here’s that info:
– Writing Queer Female Protagonists panel | Sat. March 13 | 6AM AKT
– Readings & Author Q&A | Sat. March 13 | 3PM AKT

I hope to see you all at RSM. Fuzzy pajamas and tea included. 😊

I have a couple of other panels and conferences down the road—there’s a Queer Identity and Affinity Panel with Ooligan Press and Evil Expo Summer that I’m looking forward to—and I’m waiting to hear back from the Imaginarium Convention 2021, FIYAHCON 2021, and OutWrite 2021.

If you know of any writing/literary/geeky conferences in 2021 I should be a part of OR if you’re running a conference I should be a part of, let me know in the comments!

Have a lovely rest of your day!
Warm regards,
Kellie

Meet My Traveling Group!

Happy 2021, everyone! I hope this year is going well thus far and you’re safe and happy. For the first blogpost of the new year, I’ve decided to dive into my fantasy world once again and introduce the main characters of Curling Vines & Crimson Trades!

<><><>

ORENDA SILVERSTONE

Orenda Silverstone is my main character and whose journey we’re following in this novel. She’s a rare-good trader and has a stellar reputation.

Here’s a closeup of the commission I got from Jhoanne Castro of Orenda!

Weapon of Choice: Gorgeous sword, hand-made by her parents. Burnt orange, paper-thin blade etched with Elu runes, the pommel wrapped around her hand in an intricate way, a blue-black crystal inset in the pommel.
Race + Crafting Color: Elu + Blue
Fun Fact: Her job takes her to many locations and cities across the lands and she enjoys being on the move, but home is where her heart is. She loves and worships two things: her goddess and her wife. The moon goddess Aluriah speaks to her, which was fun to showcase throughout the story. You’ll also meet Noss, Orenda’s wife!
Looks: She has really dark skin and is super short. She’s thick, has bushy curly black hair and pale green eyes. She normally wears scaled black armor, a blue shirt that peeks through and dark pants underneath, as well as super thick boots to protect her feet from all the walking her job as a trader demands.

LAN & LYRA PYER

Lan and Lyra Pyer are twin thieves in my world who steal more than trinkets. Orenda meets them in Chapter Three.


Lan Pyer
Weapon of Choice: He doesn’t really like fighting, though if he does snap, he uses his hands and his crafting.
Race + Crafting Color: Divus + White
Fun Fact: He’s a woodturner! He’s proud of his wood shop –Lan’s Luxurious Lumber—and he uses a pole-lathe to turn the wooden pieces, as well as carving tools for smaller details. Both enjoy SUPER sour fruits from their islands.
Looks: They look pretty similar—long thin blond hair, bright glowing golden eyes, thin near translucent skin, white blood, thin bodies, sharp smiles—and wear common Divus clothing—tight-fitting layered clothing of dark blue and gray colors, scarves—but they also wear fitted liquid-like scaled armor.

Lyra Pyer
Weapon of Choice: Daggers. All the daggers.
Race + Crafting Color: Divus + White
Fun Fact: She fell into the shop-keeping business but discovered she enjoyed the shadows more so she’s mostly in charge of the under-the-counter smuggling/thieving business. Both enjoy SUPER sour fruits from their islands.
Looks: They look pretty similar—long thin blond hair, bright glowing golden eyes, thin near translucent skin, white blood, thin bodies, sharp smiles—and wear common Divus clothing—tight-fitting layered clothing of dark blue and gray colors, scarves—but they also wear fitted liquid-like scaled armor.

Jax’ehra Nalinine

Jax is Orenda’s best friend and a trader herself, specializing in large game and hunting. It’s not uncommon to see Jax hauling live dragons through Marion proper.

Weapon of Choice: Metallic staff
Race + Crafting Color: Elu + Blue
Fun Fact: She knows sign language because her younger brother, Jimael, is deaf. It’s something she taught to Orenda during their childhood so Orenda and Jimael can chat. Not many people know this silent language though, so Jax likes how special it makes them.
Looks: She’s got lighter skinned and tiny ears, as well as super curly white hair and orange eyes. She’s short and thicccc (note all the c’s). She wears soft brown clothing with green wyvern scaled armor on top.

<><><>

And there you go! I had a great time creating these characters and they clash beautifully within the story—especially Orenda and Lyra. I’m always curious about this so if you’ve read CV&CT or any of my novels, which character is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!

And if you want your very own ~Character Card of Orenda Silverstone~ send proof of purchase of CV&CT and your mailing address to this email, and I’ll send you one in the mail. The card is on high quality glossy paper, and I’ll write a personalized message on the back!

Hope you have a lovely rest of the week!
Warm regards,
Kellie