Beautiful Books: “Aesthetic”, This Year’s NaNoWriMo Novel

Note: A little bit in this post, but mostly in future posts, we’ll be playing with the post formats a little.  So don’t be alarmed if anything seems bizarre or different or if there’s a little bit of “Morgan, are you sure you slept last night? Because I’m not sure you did”.  We’re just experimenting, trying to find something more interesting and fun, so anything you see isn’t a guarantee, and we’ll happily listen to any feedback you may have.

“Kivessa here, hi.  Beautiful People this month has a focus on, instead of a character, a book, which makes it quite nice to use for NaNoWriMo.  So today, you get to see a brand-new character you’ve never met—the protagonist of this year’s NaNoWriMo novel.

“Without further ado, here’s Percy Arrington.”

Hi, I’m Percival—Per—er, Percy, the, um, p—protagonist in this year’s Nn…NaNoWriMo novel.

I guess you knew that.  This is a little odd.

Kivessa interrupts Percy’s awkward stuttering. “Don’t worry, Percy.  The author-lingo gets easier the more you use it.”

I see.

What inspired the idea for this novel, and how long have you (er, your author) had the idea?

Well, I don’t know a d—date, but it has been a while since Morgan had the idea for my novel.  I do know that she put the story together using several images and writing prompts she found on P—Pinterest.  She found a d—dozen or so, and found a connection between them all that resulted in my story.

This image is what actually inspired my character:

Describe what your novel is about!


In a world of black and white, he grew up in color.  Almost since birth, Percy Arrington has had the unique ability to draw in colors no one has seen before, especially for a world where color is only seen when linked with emotion.  He’s become a celebrity, the single most famous artist alive, and still at the young age of nineteen.

When Percy decides he’s tired of living under his parents’ watchful, even tyrannical thumbs, he attempts to strike it out on his own.  His parents are unwilling to let go of him, and the media follows him.  He ends up near-penniless with only one skill he can call his own—painting.  No life survival skills to speak of.

As if this isn’t bad enough, Percy starts to find odd drawings—childlike doodles that are eerily similar to a few of his own childhood drawings.  He dismisses them, but the drawings appear again and again—until he starts to get the sensation that they’re followinghim.  But how could drawings be following him?

“That’s the summary?” Dazant asks, raising an eyebrow.

“Nobody ever accused Morgan of being good at writing book blurbs, that’s for sure,” Kivessa says.  “She doesn’t even mention any real conflict!”

Percy seems to be blushing.

W—well, there’s not so much a—any plot yet.

“Typical of Morgan,” Dazant mutters.

What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!

The closest the story has to an aesthetic at the moment is its Pinterest board, which…is lacking.

Introduce us to each of your characters!

There’s…me, and J—Jolana and Saidra.

You already know my name, and sort of a little about me.  I’m an artist.  Jolana is a girl living in the apartment above me, and Saidra is her roommate.  Saidra’s quiet, always reading a book, and I s—suppose Jolana is quiet, too, in a way; she likes to talk mostly when she has something to say.

I’m not very good at talking about other people.

How does [the author] prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)

I…don’t know.  I’m still not sure how this…breaking the fourth wall…thing works.

”I know this,” Kivessa says, peeking in over Percy’s shoulder.  “Morgan in fact does hoard chocolate.  She never researches—we scold her for this on a regular basis—and she doesn’t so much outline as babble incessantly to her writing buddies.”

What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

Not really anything?  I don’t know.

Possibly drawing something, or maybe meeting J—Jolana.

List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

It’s a variation of modern-day Earth, with a few alterations.  As far as most people are concerned, it’s a low-magic world, with the exception of myself.  What you all call synesthesia is very common on my world.

Most people (meaning everyone but me, as far as I know) see things in black and white, until they feel some kind of emotion, and then it sort of sparks a little color in their vision.

I’m not sure if that’s three things, but that’s the extent of the world-building so far.

What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?

My goal is to be m—myself, and destroy the perfect mask I was forced to wear for so many years.  Everything that made me create it in the first place stands in my way.

That sounds cheesy.

Ceveth snickers in the background; Kivessa rolls her eyes and says, “Authors like cheesy things.  Ours does, anyway.”

My goal is to figure out who I’m supposed to be, I guess.

How does the protagonist change by the end of the novel?

I…hope I reach my goal?  But there’s also… Jolana… and… well.  Things change because of her.

Ereinne, who’s supposed to be staying out of this blog post, jumps in, flailing and squealing something about a ship.  Percy looks very concerned, and Kivessa leans over, whispering, “Don’t ask, don’t encourage her, don’t say anything at all.

What are the book’s themes? How are the readers theoretically going to feel when the story is over?

Well, there seems to be a theme of exploration and adventure?  Theoretically, I don’t know, some kind of satisfaction, I h—hope. 

Kivessa eyes the post over, frowning her little frown.  “Percy,” she says, “you didn’t give much information, you know.  You didn’t even mention that your drawings talk to you.”

Percy’s face is decidedly pinker than normal.  “I—I don’t like to talk about th—that.”

“You also didn’t tell anybody what you or the two girls look like.”  Kivessa pauses.  “Wait, Morgan hasn’t even figured out what you look like, has she?”

“Not yet.”

Kivessa sighs.  “She’ll get to that, I promise.”


Book Spotlight: Lady of the Vineyard (plus an interview)

Somehow, somebody decided Ereinne wasn’t allowed to write this post, so today, it’s me, Meriela.  Hi.  I haven’t written a whole post yet.

So one of Morgan’s fellow bloggers, Kellyn Roth, published a novella a few days ago!  Exciting, isn’t it?  I can barely write my own name (and before you ask, Raethl’s transcribing this for me, because sometimes he is nice like that, all you skeptics), so I can hardly imagine writing anything even as big as a novella.  But Kellyn did it, so now we’re here to talk about it.

TLOTV cover.png

Judy has lived with her egocentric mother since her parents divorced when she was a baby. When her father, Troy Kee, shows up at her sixth birthday party and whisks her away to his vineyard in France, Judy is more than happy to go with him. But Adele, Judy’s mother, isn’t quite ready to give up her daughter. Can Judy forgive Adele? More importantly, can Troy?

Sounds awesome, right?  Just in case you’re already so excited by that synopsis, here’s the link so you can go buy it right now.  We’ll wait for you to finish reading it.

Well?  Did you read it?  I didn’t (obviously, can’t read), but maybe I’ll get Raethl to read it to me later.  Until then, the rest of this post is an interview (by Ereinne, of course, because she always gets the cool things like that) of both Kellyn Roth herself, and two of her characters, Troy Kee and Adele Collier.

Okay, it’s me, Ereinne.  Does anybody know what’s better than an author interview or a character interview?  Both at the same time!  So I alternate questions—one to Kellyn, the author, and one to her characters.

Ereinne: What inspired The Lady of the Vineyard?

Kellyn: To be honest, The Dressmaker’s Secret! The Lady of the Vineyard was the original title of TDS. At that point, it was the story of a little girl (Alicia) who visited her French father who owned a vineyard on the French Riviera. It wasn’t a ton like the current TLOTV (and it certain is nothing at all like TDS is now!), but it was the same general idea. Sorta. Kinda. Hardly at all. XD

Ereinne: How do you feel about your story?

Adele: Okay, I’m taking this one.
Troy: Fine. Take all the amusing questions. I’ll just answer the ones that are left over. *deep sigh of abusement* (And, yes, that’s a word …)
Adele: Anyway, I don’t really like it. I find it humiliating for me. Why must Kellyn drag us in the dirt all the time? I hardly think it’s fair.
Troy: Drag you in the dirt? Della! Kellyn changed the ending so you’d be satisfied!
Adele: No more than I deserved!
Troy: You deserved?! I’m the victim here!
Adele: And you call me dramatic!?!?!
Kellyn: They aren’t really on their best behavior right now … please excuse them.
Troy: Well, I’m not on my best behavior …

Ereinne: Oh, that’s interesting.  What made you realize that Dressmaker’s Secret and Lady of the Vineyard were two different stories?

Kellyn: I wrote a (long, rambly) blog post (Where do all these ideas come from, anyway?) about how the plot for The Dressmaker’s Secret had changed over the years of outlining, writing, rewriting, revising, and editing. I summarized the earlier plot and realized there was something to be had there!

Ereinne: I know the dragged-in-the-dirt feeling.  My author’s planning a few humiliating scenes for me in her next draft.  What would have made the story better for you?  (Keeping in mind that conflict makes stories interesting; nobody wants to read about a perpetual happy ending with no drama.  Or so I’m told.)

Troy: All right, it’s my turn.
Adele: Wait a minute! It’s mine.
Troy: Um … no it’s not. You did the last one.
Adele: Yes. But I’m doing two-out-of-three.
Troy: Oh, okay. No, wait! We’re not!
Kellyn: Yes, give Troy a turn, Adele.
Adele: Fine …
Troy: So, I think possibly the story would have been better if it had been briefer. As in, Della stopped being an idiot sooner. Otherwise, it’s a great book.
Adele: Now, wait a minute, Troy Ebenezer Kee!
Troy: SHHHHH!!!
Adele: What? That is your middle name, isn’t it?
Troy: Yes, but … some things need to go unspoken.
Adele: Like ‘Della?’
Troy: Ah, c’mon, Dell, it’s cute!
Adele: *deep sigh*

Ereinne: What’s your favorite part of the writing process?

Kellyn: Based on my track record, I’d say starting novels, but I really like the feeling of finishing them … especially if for some reason the last sentence strikes me as cool and I’m like, “Aaaah, I’m sooo awesome!” Of course, later is just looks weird …

Ereinne: What’s the best breed of dog?

Adele: There is no best kind of dog.
Troy: Ah, c’mon, Della! Sure there is!
Adele: All right, then. What is it?
Troy: Mutt! Like Holt.
Adele: That evil creature doesn’t deserve to live. No dogs deserve to live.
Troy: Why am I speaking to you again, person-who-I-no-longer-know?
Adele: Oh, for heaven’s sake!

So there we are!  And in case any of you didn’t want to click Meriela’s link, here’s another one.  (This one goes to Goodreads instead of Amazon, in case that matters.)

Oh also, we have an Excerpt Critique coming up soon, with an excerpt from this very story!

Character Studies (August)—Family, Part I

Character studies is a monthly interview (often broken into several parts).  For more info, see here.image

Interested in participating?  Copy/paste the following questions, pick a character to answer them, and then share the link back here so we can go check it out!

Okay, okay, so you guys have been waiting like all month for this post.  Well, half the month, because it’s only halfway into August.  (If you were waiting for the second half of July for August’s Character Studies, then you’re just plain silly.)

Anyway, so the theme!  Anyone know what’s the best thing in the whole world?


Well, so I’m told, because I don’t know my family.  But you do! (I hope.)  So this month’s theme is all about family.

  1. Who’s your biological family?
  2. Do you have any family members that aren’t biological (or married into the family)? How did they become part of your family?
  3. What’s your idea of a perfect family? How does yours fall short of that ideal?
  4. Where would you place your family on a scale of one to ten (one being very estranged, ten being very close)?
  5. What do you think would make your family closer to each other?
  6. What keeps your family from becoming closer?
  7. What is your family like, compared to any other families in your story? (And if there are none, compare yours to your idea of what other families are like.)
  8. What kind of a role do you play in your family? Are you satisfied with that?
  9. Is there any one family member you wish you could know better? What stops you from becoming so?
  10. Bonus: What’s your preferred level of ripeness for fruit?

Part 1: TBP

Beautiful People #5: Saelas

10928109_595959117172101_1450331761_nGuess who’s turn it is for this month’s Beautiful People!  Go on, guess.

…you cheated and looked at the title of this post, didn’t you?  Cheater.

Well, the others didn’t let me change the title of the post to a random character to trick you, so in this case, you’re right.  It’s Saelas’s turn.

Give a brief overview of your looks. (Include a photo if you want!)

I…am taller than most people.  My eyes are brown, and my hair has some faint blond highlights.

[That is the most boring description ever, Saelas. Tiri, you can describe him better, can’t you?]

[Well, he’s got the basics. He really is taller than everybody else. He’s also one of the lankiest people I’ve ever seen—he looks almost like a strong wind would knock him over, almost. He needs a haircut, so his hair is kind of poofy on the top. It’s adorable.]



Share a snippet that involves description of your appearance.

“Look at me,” she said.

He did. His eyes were a perfectly boring shade of brown. He had high, sharp cheekbones—the kind that Tiri realized she associated with someone intimidating or scary. Not someone who looked annoyed for being called a wall decoration, then stared at the floor and did nothing. Not someone who winced when she apologized for her snapping.

Saelas dropped his gaze again, and Tiri sighed.

[Well, that’s one way of describing him.]

[Saelas, are you blushing?]

[What I want to know is how we go from Tiri calling his hair adorable to her describing him as…this.  Or is it the other way around?]


What is the first thing people might notice about you?

Often, they don’t notice me.  Then they seem startled to realize I’m there.

[I hate to say that I’ve fallen into that category.  But you sneak up on everybody, Saelas!]

[He perfected the art of blending into the background.  Our siblings used to accuse him of being made of wallpaper.]

What are your unique features? (Ex: freckles, big ears, birthmark, scars, etc.)

I don’t want to say height again, but…my height.

[Wait, I know what his unique feature is!  Sorta.  Because he doesn’t talk much, he relies on his body language to convey what he’s feeling, and if he wants somebody to talk, he has this stare that he gives you that just makes you feel like you need to start filling the silence.]

[I tried resisting that look once.  I lasted about forty seconds.]

It’s not a glare.  I’m not glaring.

[No, it’s definitely a stare, and it’s not really intimidating—Saelas doesn’t do intimidating.  It’s just kind of… like, he’s just patiently waiting for you to say something, so patiently and silently that you feel awkward and just start babbling.]

How tall are you? What is your build (Ex: stocky, slender, petite, etc.)

[I am laughing so hard right now.  Has anybody picked up on the fact that Saelas is really tall yet?]

I have a lanky build, as Tiri points out.

What is your posture like? How do you usually carry yourself?

When we first met, Tiri snapped at me for not standing up straight.

[Oh that’s right, I did… but seriously, you slouch so much.]

You have been seen on a “lazy day” (free from usual routine/expectations): what are you wearing and how do you look?


[Unkempt. Maybe a little frazzled.  His hair is a mess, his clothes are rumpled, and his posture is probably a little worse.]

Do you wear glasses, accessories, or jewelry on a regular basis? Do you have any article of clothing or accessory that could be considered your trademark?

Nothing like that.

[I am now visualizing Saelas with glasses.  Thing is, though, he has like perfect vision.  I don’t think he’d ever need glasses.  I would probably have more use for glasses and…Saelas, why are you smirking?]

The idea of you in glasses amuses me.


[Thanks a lot, guys.]

[Um, you all, this is about Saelas, not Tiri.]

[Okay, this isn’t clothing, but seriously, if Saelas had a trademark, it would be his shrugging.  Because he does it all the time.]

Have you ever been bullied or shamed because of your looks? Explain!

My older sister Zadelae bullied me about anything she could think of, appearance included.


The door closed. Tiri scowled. “I have nothing left to be manipulated.”

Saelas said nothing.

His silence annoyed her. She thrust the grapes in his face, and snapped, “Oh for goodness sake, at least stand up straight when we’re in front of people! And don’t say anything unless you plan to explain yourself.”

He took the grapes and straightened his spine so subtly that Tiri wasn’t sure if she imagined it or not. She huffed at him and stormed down the steps, back out onto the street. Saelas followed, quietly eating the grapes.

[Wow, Tiri.  You were mean.]

[I was…]

Are you happy with how you look? If you could change anything about your appearance, what would it be?

I don’t really care either way.

[Yes you do!  Don’t be so modest, Saelas.]

I am not being dishonest.  I could probably use a haircut.

[So much for adorable hair.]

[You know what’s really sad about this whole post?  We talk about Saelas more than he talks about himself, and this post is supposed to be about him answering questions!]

Beautiful People #4: Cimizelle

Yay, it’s time for Beautiful People again!  We wanted to try to get around to everybody, but since there’s so many of us, that’s hard.  Morgan decided that Cimizelle will answer this month’s questions.

10928109_595959117172101_1450331761_nDo you want to get married and/or have children? Why or why not?

Yes, I’d like to get married, but I’m an Oracle, and all Oracles are barren, so I’ll never have the chance to have kids.

Unless I adopt, of course, and that is a possibility.

What is your weapon of choice? (It doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical weapon.)

I’m a very tiny person, and so even if I could use one, me and physical weapons would not go well together.  Words, I guess.

What’s the nicest thing you’ve done for someone else, and why did you do it?

This is an awkward question to answer modestly.


Have you ever been physically violent with someone, and what instigated it?

No!  Absolutely not.

Are you a rule-follower or a rebel?

It…depends?  I like rules.  They keep things in order and make sure people do the proper things.  But some rules are…complicated.

Are you organized or messy?

I try to be organized, but pretty messy.

What makes you feel loved, and who was the last person to make you feel that way?

I guess when people do nice things for me.  Or, even better, when they notice how I’m feeling.  And…I don’t know, Kalvias has been kind of observant of my feelings lately.  To an extent.

What do you eat for breakfast?

Depends on what’s available…although Morgan’s worldbuilding in regards to food is still rather lacking, so I can’t really answer that with anything specific.

Have you ever lost someone close to you? What happened?

No, thank goodness.

What’s your treat of choice? (Or, if not food, how else do your reward yourself?)

The ideal gift, whether from myself or someone else, would be a book.  Or a new dress.  Or both.

Beautiful People #3: Dazant

Who’s ready for another Beautiful People post?

Since we have a few characters who are resistant to participating in the blog, we I decided to make them do the Beautiful People posts.  So today is Dazant. (Don’t ask me how to pronounce that, because I have no idea. I know, that’s crazy, Morgan loves weird names, so I should know her patterns to them; I mean, she named me Ereinne and how do you pronounce that? (Air-een, actually. So there.) Anyway. Still no idea how to pronounce it.)

So here’s Dazant.


What is your first childhood memory?

My parents, I suppose.  I don’t remember anything in particular, just little moments.  My mother tucking into bed.  My father telling me that as the oldest boy, it was my responsibility to look after my sister and brother.  Things like that.

What were your best and worst childhood experiences?

My entire childhood ranked pretty much on the “worse” side of the scale.  The best experiences, I suppose, were those with my parents, before they died.

The worst of the worst were probably the first few years that we spent on the streets.  They were hard, and I was always afraid something would happen to us.  And we were always hungry.  I hated it, but I didn’t know what else we could do.

What was your childhood home like?

Before my parents’ death… I don’t know, I don’t really remember it.  After that, we spent a few years at the orphanage.  That was crowded, but Izioth was already putting funding into things like that, so it wasn’t terrible.

We were only there a short while, though, and then we stayed on the streets.

I’m not sure there ever was a “home”.

What’s something that scared you as child?

At first, probably normal childhood fears.  The dark, and so on.  For a while, I think I was afraid of death, because of my parents, but I didn’t hold onto that fear for long.  The biggest fear I had, and the one I still fight with, is not being enough to keep Kivessa and Ceveth safe.  Or, and I felt this especially after Ceveth nearly got adopted without us, of losing them.

Who did you look up to most?

I didn’t have anybody to look up to.  All there was was me and my siblings, and I was the oldest.

Favorite and least favorite childhood foods?

I could never be so picky.  Orphanage food isn’t great, and on the streets, you ate what you could find and it didn’t matter if it was your least favorite or not.

If you had your childhood again, would you change anything?

You mean, would I do anything differently?  No.  I did what I could to keep us together and alive, and we did survive.  Would I want things to go differently?  Well, it would have been nice if our parents were still alive, but that kind of wishing gets nobody anywhere.

What kind of child were you? Curious? Wild? Quiet? Devious?

Curious, I’d say.  Especially at the orphanage, I was pretty impressionable.  Considering Kivessa and I used to make games out of stealing candies and treats from the kitchen, I was certainly no angel, but I suspect some of that was because I wanted to fit in, and there were a number of other orphans who banded together to play pranks or steal from the orphanage staff.  I didn’t have my parents anymore, and I wanted—needed—a friend.

All I ended up with was what I always had to begin with—my siblings.  That’s all I need, though.

What was your relationship to your parents and siblings like?

I think this question has been answered pretty well.  I only have faint memories of my parents, and I would do anything to keep Kivessa and Ceveth safe.

What did you want to be when you grew up, and what did you actually become?

I didn’t really have time to dream.  I have no idea what I would have wanted to be if I’d had the chance to think about it.

As for what I am now… I’m a thief.  Fugitive of the law, unable to even earn a normal life,  unless I want to spend almost my entire life in prison.


Interview—Alice Chattoway

 [Today we’re here for a character interview with Alice Knight! She requested to be interviewed by our very own Ceveth.]

[That’s the cue for the applause, guys.]

About Alice:

Alice Chattoway was born in Yorkshire, England, January 1st, 1862. Shortly after her birth, her mother, formerly an upper-class young lady of no little standing, was forced to move to London and take up a job as a dressmaker to avoid the tyranny of her domineering, slightly evil father. So Alice grew up, rarely seeing her busy, work-obsessed mother and never knowing her father.

[And, while we wait for Ceveth to stop being nervous about social interactions (told you you should get him out more, Daz), here’s a little about Alice’s author!]

[I don’t take advice from you, Ereinne, and it’s Dazant to you.]

[Oh, fine. Ignore the wise old Oracle.]

[You’re hardly wise, Ereinne.]

[Um, author bio, anyone?]


Kellyn Roth:

Kellyn Roth lives with her parents, two little brothers, incredibly needy cat, and faithful border collie Gidget on a ranch in the country. She has been reading obsessively since she was seven, writing poetry and short stories since she was eight, and writing novels since she was ten. Her goal is to write historical fiction novels (with slight branches out into other genres) with Christian themes. Her debut novel, The Dressmaker’s Secret, can be bought on

Kellyn Roth’s blog:
The Dressmaker’s Secret:…

Alice’s Interview

Ceveth: It’s nice to meet you, Alice.  You have a pretty name.

Alice: Thank you. Ceveth is an interesting name. I’ve never heard anything like it before.

Ceveth:  No?  I like my name.  So I grew up without knowing either of my parents.  My older siblings kind of raised me.  So what’s it like for you, having only your mother?

Alice: It’s not that I don’t like it; it’s just that it’s different.
Not having a father isn’t very nice. Especially since I know my mother isn’t happy. And it just isn’t right! I know it isn’t! I really should have a father!

Ceveth: So what do you think it would be like if you did have a father?

Alice: What would it be like? Perfect happiness, of course! I’d have a father; my mother would have a husband; we’d have a nice, normal family … who could ask for anything more!

Ceveth: Huh.  I wonder if it’d be like that if I had parents.  So, you have any siblings?

Alice: Yes, I have a little sister named Ivy. Well, I call her my “little” sister; she’s really only about thirty minutes younger than me, but Ivy was born simple, so I always think of her as years younger than me. I have to take care of her. I’m responsible for a lot of things around here, you know.

Ceveth: Ah.  Do you ever wish you weren’t the oldest, or that you had another sibling?

Alice: If I wasn’t the oldest, I wouldn’t be in charge, silly! But it might not be bad to have a couple more sisters and a brother or two. And, no, not just because I want to boss them around.

Ceveth: Oh.  Do you like bossing them around, though?  Daz bosses me and Ki around a lot; I think he enjoys it a little.

Alice: I don’t really think about it. I mean, I’ve been taking care of Ivy for so long that it comes kind of naturally. Mummy’s never here, and all we have to watch us is Nettie … and even Nettie has to rest sometimes.

Ceveth: Makes sense.  Do you ever want a break?

Alice: No. Life was meant to be lived, not to be slept through.

Ceveth: Good point. So how do you want to live your life?

Alice: So far … not doing much, unfortunately! I try to do everything I do with as much enthusiasm as I can … but it’s hard to negotiate miles of copywork cheerfully. And the same goes for all the school I do. It’s pretty dull. Life here is pretty dull, actually.

Ceveth: What’s something you could do to spruce up your life, then?

Alice: Horses! Horses would make my life better?

Ceveth: Why horses?

Alice: It’d be something to do, anyway. I think I’d like riding. And it’s one of the few entertaining things that’s ladylike.

Ceveth: Riding sounds nice. If you couldn’t have a horse to make your life more interesting, though, what’s something else you could do?

Alice: Hmm … I wish I had a good friend beside my sister to play with. That’d be nice. Or a dog. Mother hates dogs.

[There we have it.  Nice to have met you, Alice.  (And your interviewing was fine, Cev, so relax.]