Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Jackal being Jackal

Welcome back to another Teaser Tuesday.  We're not far from the release of The Forever Song, AND the very cool Forever Song blog tour is also fast approaching.  Hope you'll stick around for that, it's going to be amazing.

Anyway, back to the teaser.  On Twitter, I asked who everyone would like to see this week: Allie, Jackal, or Kanin, and the answer came back almost unanimously Jackal.  So without further ado, here is a teaser of Jackal....being Jackal.


"Hey old man," Jackal called in a mocking voice, "you forgot to say 'if you kids don't stop I'm going to turn this car right around and then no one will go to Eden.'"


And, if you haven't yet, be sure to enter the Forever Song/chibi dragon giveaway for last week's Teaser Tuesday.  You still have about a week to enter.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday Musings: The white clay lament

Changing Mondays up a little, I think.  Because of scheduling conflicts, I don't think I can do long Monday posts anymore.  Ask Me Mondays will now be Monday Musings, in which I will post whatever fun, random thing comes to mind.  Like today, I will do a small rant on the obnoxiousness of working with white clay.  Cue rant, now:

I keep asking myself why I continue to make white dragons. White clay is SUCH A PAIN to work with. Every teeny tiny speck of dust gets on it and its SO hard to keep clean. I have to stop every ten seconds to wash my hands, and clean the clay, and pick off the lint that sticks to it like a magnet. UGH. It's so obnoxious!  Why do I keep making white things?

But then, I end up with something like this.

And then I remembered something else.

This is a character from a story I wrote as a kid, long looooooooong ago.  I don't remember much, but there was a floating island that was a school for dragon riders--think Harry Potter with dragons--and a kitchen boy who was accidentally "chosen" to be the partner of a little white dragon.  I didn't even realize I was making the dragon in the story until he was nearly done.

And, like all characters, this little guy has a name.  Wanna guess what it is?  Bonus points if you get it right; its not a normal dragon-y name.  I'll tell you his name next Monday and see if anyone managed to guess.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Teaser Tuesday/Forever Song giveaway

A box of shiny Forever Songs arrived on my doorstep the other day.

So, of course, you know what that means.


But first, here's a short teaser for today's Teaser Tuesday, taken from The Forever Song of course.


I slumped in relief, then turned...to face a squadron of suspicious, hard-eyed soldiers, their assult rifles already trained on us all.


And before I get to the giveaway, I want to show you the image under the dust jacket. The book itself is gorgeous, but if you take of the cover, you get this:

Isn't she absolutely stunning?  I love her, I have a total girl crush on her right now.  Anyway, GIVEAWAY time!  See below for the cool things up for grabs.

Yep, that is a dragon on The Forever Song reading The Forever Song.  And here is a closer look at the dragon.

So that's it! A signed book and a dragon reading a book.  You know what to do with the Rafflecopter thingie.

And yes, it is international.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 17, 2014

Ask Me Monday: How is writing like a dragon?

So I was sick last week and got nothing done, no Ask Me Monday, no Teaser Tuesday, nothing. But I'm back, and today's Ask Me Monday is going to be a little different.  Instead of answering a question, I want to talk a little bit about writing, practice, and why it's so important to not give up.

One year ago, I began sculpting.  I hadn't taken any classes, I didn't really know what I was doing, I just knew I wanted to sculpt.  So I got some clay, watched a tutorial video online, and then proceeded to sculpt a dragon.

This is my very first dragon.

Back then, I was really proud of him.  I'm still really proud of him.  I know that, at the time, I couldn't have done better.  But I wasn't experienced enough to see the flaws that I do now.  He's terribly uneven.  His limbs are stuck on, and he's a bit smooshed in places.  There are dings, scratches, and fingerprints everywhere, and the orange parts are dirty and mixed with black.  But I didn't know this, couldn't even see it, because I had no experience to draw on.  One year ago, I thought he was almost perfect.

And then, I started making more.  I practiced.  I learned new techniques: blending the limbs to the body so they no longer looked stuck on.  Smoothing the clay so no fingerprints were left behind.  Keeping the different colored clay parts separate so they wouldn't bleed into each other.  Skills that only came with time and practice, with doing something over and over and learning how to get better.

Last month, I recreated my first dragon.  I tried to make him about the same as my first attempt, only I used all the skills I'd learned since then.  This is what a year's worth of practice looks like.

It might not look like a huge difference, but there is no doubt that this dragon is the more refined one.  You can't really see it in the pictures, but the first dragon is lumpy, squashed, bulky, and uneven, with scratches and fingerprints everywhere.  The second one is much more polished and clean.

Put them side by side, and you can really tell the difference.


So, why am I showing you this?  What point am I trying to make?

It is this: the art of writing is very much the same.  When we first start out, we think our writing is awesome. Its perfect. It doesn't need work, its ready to be published right now.  We don't see the flaws, the dings and bumps and uneven parts, because we simply have no past experience to draw upon.  Like sculpting, like ANY skill, the only way to get better is to practice.

I can take out my first dragon and smile at his goofy imperfections, because I know this is where I started, and I've come a long way since then.  I know I still have a ways to go, things I still need to learn, but he is proof that I have gotten decidedly better, and will only continue to improve.  And, if you're a writer, maybe one who is trying to get published, it will be the same for you.  One day, you'll look back at your first story and see the flaws, but also realize how much you've grown.  So don't give up.  Keep striving, keep practicing. You can only get better from here.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Teaser Tuesday (plus giveaway!)

Only a few more weeks till The Forever Song is out!

And, since it is Tuesday once again, I have a lovely teaser for you.  See if you can guess who this is.  (Its not very difficult.)


I didn't answer, walking faster to get away from him, and he quickened his pace to keep up.

“Come on, sister, where’s that obnoxious morality you kept throwing in my face every two seconds? You’re making it very difficult to take any sort of pleasure in mocking it relentlessly.”


Okay, so that one is pretty obvious.  But, anyway, to prepare for the release of The Forever Song on April 15th, I have a giveaway for you!

A signed (paperback) set of The Immortal Rules and The Eternity Cure!

You know how it works.  :)  Just enter the Rafflecopter thingie below for a chance to win.  And yes, this will be international.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! -Julie

Monday, March 3, 2014

Ask me Monday: Character gender and sexuality

Hi everyone!

So, today's question is an interesting one.  Normally I don't talk about potentially political or controversial issues, but this question has come up more than once now, and I feel it should be addressed.

  1. Um, so, I know you probably won't answer this one, but for the sanity of the Iron Fey fandom, would you please just tell us straight out the sexuality of all the characters? And... yep. That's all. I'm going to sit in the corner with all my gay ships now.
And also:

2.  Oooh, interesting question!! Characters I'm particularly interested in about their sexuality would be Kenzie, Glitch, Mab, Anwyl, Leanansidhe, Ethan, Ash, Puck, Meghan, Keirran and Rowan. PLS answer this one Julie!! :D

Okay.  I can tell you right now that the main human characters (Meghan, Ethan, Kenzie) are all straight.  It works for them, and it works for their personal stories in the series.  However, the faeries, the court fey especially, are a little different.  In the Iron Fey world, I based my faeries off the old mythology, where the fey are ancient, primal, non-human creatures who see mortals--all mortals--as toys and playthings.  Fey by their very nature are quite promiscuous, and to them, all humans are the same.  They are attracted to youth and beauty, regardless of gender, so they are just as likely to go after a pretty young boy as a girl, and vice versa.  To say that they are gay, bi, straight, etc. is to attach very human terms to the fey, when they are simply not human and don't understand such things.

Yes, some fey--Puck, Ash, Annwyl--fall in love.  But in this world, it is a very rare occurrence, and the faeries that do fall for a mortal still see only a human, not a male/female.  They just don't care about that.    

So hopefully that answers some questions.  If you have any comments or questions for future Ask Me Mondays, I'd love to hear them.  However, any rude, snarky, or trollish comments will be eaten by the gremlins.