the get to know me tag {writer’s edition}

Kinsey at Over the Withers graciously opened up this tag for anyone and I’m totally down for it.

Rules:

  • link back to the person who created the tag: Savannah
  • thank the person who tagged you: completed above
  • share the tag graphic below
  • tag 11 bloggers

fullsizeoutput_b5e

THE QUESTIONS

Appearances!

Name: Eva-Joy “Eva” Ruth Schönhaar.

Nicknames: Well, pretty much everyone online calls me ‘Eva’.  And my dad had a nickname for me, but I don’t feel like sharing it here for various reasons.

Birthday: September 3rd!  Less than a month until I turn twenty!!!  I share my birthday with a lot of people (duh), but my three favorites are Alan Ladd, Mort Walker (creator of ‘Beetle Bailey’, one of my favorite comic strips), and Garrett Hedlund.  Also, WWII began on my birthday (several decades ago, obviously).  I don’t know if that’s cool or not.

Image result for alan ladd this gun for hire

The handsomeness!

Hair color and length: My hair is brunette and a little shorter than chin-length.

Eye Color: Blue.

Braces/Piercings/tattoos: I did have braces once upon a time, but now I just have two tiny wire retainers behind my top and bottom teeth.  I’d like to get my ears pierced.  And I don’t have any tattoos.

Righty or lefty: Righty.

Ethnicity: Caucasian.  British, German, and American roots.

First…

Novel Written: Well, I wrote several novellas (probably more like long short stories, tbh) but I believe the first novel-length work I finished was a dystopian novel (first in a trilogy, of course).

Novel Completed: That dystopian thing and as to when it was completed, I’m not entirely sure.  I believe it was some time in 2012 or 2013.

Award for Writing: I won a short story contest at the local library several years ago.  It wasn’t an award exactly, but it’s something anyway.

Image result for quotes about publishing

Publication: I have nothing to say about this at the present time. (Though the aforementioned short story was published on the library website.)

Conference: No. 😦

Query/Pitch: *shrugs*  I won’t think about that now…I’ll think about that tomorrow.  After all, tomorrow is another day! *music swells*

Favorites!

Novel (that you wrote): The one I’m currently working on – The Resistance of Lili Verre – has my heart, obviously.  I’m also partial to my next NaNoWriMo project, a Christian dystopian based on the life of the Apostle Paul.  But I think my favorite novel I’ve written so far is The Bounty Hunter.  It’s a western.  Very first draft, but the characters are the literal best.

Genre: Westerns!  I’m also very partial to sci-fi and most historicals.

Author: Soooooo many.  Jane Austen, Harper Lee, Nadine Brandes, Suzanne Collins, Marissa Meyer, Baroness Orczy, Louis L’Amour, Rachel Kovaciny, Markus Zusak…and on and on and on.

Image result for quotes about authors

Writing Music: Movie soundtracks!  My Spotify playlist for The Resistance of Lili Verre includes music from ‘The Book Thief’, ‘Hugo’, ‘Ratatouille’, and ‘Cinderella’ (2015).  Or sometimes I’ll just go and pull up someone else’s random playlist and write to that.  Love.

Time to write: That’s something I’ve been working out in my head, as I want to take my writing a lot more seriously and devote more time to it.  Right now, I mainly write between eleven and twelve in the morning, scattered throughout the afternoon, and sometimes in the evening.  I need to get a firm schedule though.

Writing snack/drink: Coffee.  That’s pretty much it.  I don’t like eating as I write, because it tends to get my keyboard sticky or crumby.

Movie: ‘The Magnificent Seven’ (original).  And tons of others.

Related image

Writing Memory: I remember having a lot of fun with a western story about a bank examiner that I wrote a few years ago.  Lots of coffee and early mornings and Jerry Goldsmith music.

Childhood Book: Again, there’s many.  Little Men would be up there, along with A Little Princess.

Currently…

Reading: Gone With the Wind and The Wendy.

Writing: This blog post, my Rogue One WWII AU, and The Resistance of Lili Verre.

Listening to: My little brothers talking.

Watching: My Gmail inbox.

Learning: Nothing much at the moment.

Future!

Want to be published: Before I’m twenty-five.

Indie or traditional: Traditional is my goal right now.

Wildest goal: To have as loyal and devoted a fan-base as Nadine Brandes does.

Image result for nadine's ninjas

_____________________________________

Like Kinsey, I’m going to leave this tag open for whoever wants to do it. 🙂

Eva

Advertisements

follow-up to my rant

Ugggh.  I just want this whole thing to be over.

But since posting my rant about being asked to take down a negative review of an indie book, I’ve since been messaged by the author’s friend.  She explained that she, personally, believes that reviews shouldn’t be taken down just because they aren’t good.  It’s the author that asked her to message me about taking down my review (why the author didn’t message me herself, I have no idea).  So I’m just writing this quick post to clarify things and apologize to the author’s friend.  I had no idea her views and the author’s views didn’t align when I posted my original rant.

And so, goodnight.

Eva

time for a rant

A couple weeks ago, I requested – and received – a book for review.  (I’m not going to give you the title of the book or the name of the author because my rant centers around the author and I’d rather not draw attention to her.)

So anyway, I read the book and wrote a review on Goodreads (it was also published on Amazon).  It was a two star review, mainly because the book was pure romance (something I didn’t know going into the story) and I don’t much like romance novels.  However, I said very clearly – and more than once – that fans of fluffy romance would really enjoy the book. (And when I say ‘fluffy romance’ I don’t mean it as a put-down.)

All was well and good, I thought.  Until this evening when I arrived home from church to find a long message from the author’s representative in my Goodreads inbox, asking me  (but it was ask-ordering, I felt) to take down my review.  To quote her:

“…if you don’t enjoy the book and you’ve received it in exchange for a review, it’s better to just not review it. The reason the author gives out copies is to help their book get more and higher ratings, and getting a low one really beats the purpose of having reviewers read it. There’s kind of a general rule in the indie author world that if you get a book to review and your rating is 2 stars or lower, just don’t review it…you got a copy ( the author giving it to you so her rating could go up ) but instead it went down which beats the whole purpose of it.”

I took down my review from Goodreads and Amazon but my two-star rating still stands.  So now when people check out this book on GR, they’ll see my two-star rating but not my review which clearly stated that fans of romance would dig the book (it just wasn’t my cup of tea).

It strikes me as really unethical and bordering on dishonest to delete reviews that aren’t three stars or more simply because it lowers the book’s overall rating on Goodreads.  Personally, I’m very suspicious of books that have only four or five star reviews (which is pretty much what the book in question has right now).  And what’s up with that ‘general rule’ thing?  I’ve never heard of it and I know indie authors and…yeah.  It’s messed up, IMO.

What happened to “I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my HONEST review”?

If you’re an indie author (or a writer in general), I’d love to get your thoughts on this!  Do you hold to that particular rule of reviews?  What do you have to say about this issue?

Eva

P.S. Nine times out of ten, I don’t think authors should respond to reviews of their work.  Thoughts?

li’l self-promo here…

20180607_115455

Okay, so I had a ‘Friday Finds’ post all written and ready to go…and WordPress ate it.  Obviously, I didn’t feel like re-typing everything and chasing down the links, so instead I’m just going to direct you to one thing.  I’ve been writing a WWII AU (alternate universe) retelling of ‘Rogue One’ and publishing the chapters on FanFiction.net.  If you’re a fan of the movie, you can check it out here. 🙂  I’ve only published three chapters, so there won’t be too much to catch up on.  Anyway, please let me know what you think if you get the chance!  Thanks in advance.

*awkward wave*

Eva

‘shoes & spies’: my current WIP

Fairytale retellings are the bomb.  I love them.  Can’t get enough of them.  So, of course, I had to write one.  I started writing Shoes & Spies for NaNoWriMo 2017 but only got about 25,000 words written during that month.  Just this morning I finished my first draft of about 48,000 words.  I know it’s pathetic that it took me that long to finish it, but I’m not the most consistent writer and for the longest time I had no idea how the story would end (so, obviously, I couldn’t write toward an ending).

But, yes, the first draft is now finished.  I’ve still got sooooo much work to do before the story is anywhere near presentable, but I can work with what I’ve got.  First drafts are supposed to be messy, right?  I love this quote from Shannon Hale, because it so perfectly sums up the process of writing a first draft.

So.  The actual story.  I don’t have a blurb or back cover copy yet, so I’m making this up as I go along.

Resistance worker (are they called workers or what?), Lili Verre longs to do something more than simple courier work.  When she finds an invitation to a German party, she knows she has to go, even when her guardian forbids it.  With the help of her best friend, Lili goes to the party anyway.  But when she loses her shoe, one with secret information hidden in its hollow heel, and a German officer finds it, her life takes a dramatic turn for the worse.

That’s the gist of it, anyway.

Then there are all my lovely characters:

  • Lili Verre, my protag. (‘Lili’ because Lily James.  Of course.)  She has a Tragic Past and a professor father who taught her how to speak German.  Basically, she wants to get back at the Nazis for all they took from her and she also wants to keep her little family together.  She’s terrified of losing them, which isn’t the greatest thing when you’re in the middle of a war and your whole adopted family is part of the Resistance.
  • Gard and Marc and Marianne Granger.  One family.  Gard is Marc and Marianne’s dad (they’re twins).  He was super close friends with Lili’s dad and took her in after her parents died.  He’s pretty strict, but that’s because he doesn’t want his children (or Lili) to take unnecessary risks.  Marc has daddy issues.  Marianne loves Gone With the Wind and her brother.
  • Walter (I’m sure I gave him a last name but I can’t remember it right now).  German officer.  A Christian.  Has genuine struggles with reconciling his loyalty to his country (and the “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers…” verse) with where he sees the war and Nazism and Germany headed.  Quiet, but a strong personality.
  • Monsieur Ducard.  Owner of the shoe shop where Lili works.  Elderly and very awesome.

I don’t have a Pinterest board for this story (yet), so I don’t have any collages or casting or anything for this story. (Except that Gard is older Glenn Ford.  Like, so much.)  And, like I mentioned before, there’s still a ton of work that needs to be done with plot and characterization and all that.  But I’m ready for it.

Hope you enjoyed this little peek into my WIP! (Also, I don’t think the title Shoes & Spies quite fits.  Because there aren’t really any spies in the book?  Suggestions?)

Eva

authors that have influenced my writing

First there was Jane Austen. (Isn’t that such a delicious sentence?)

I read Northanger Abbey when I was thirteen or fourteen – it was the shortest of her books and as I sped through it, I fell more and more in love with the world of Austen.  I believe I’d already seen ‘Sense & Sensibility’ (1995), but Northanger Abbey is what really made me an Austenite.  I was, to put it lightly, obsessed.  And since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I decided to write some Regency-era novellas myself.  They were mostly thinly plotted, poorly written imitations of Jane Austen’s writings, but they were mine and I loved them and I loved writing them and I had so much fun with them, not knowing anything about characterization or proper dialogue or points of view.

Before, I’d written a few stories, but my adoration of all things Austen was what set my feet on the path to writing seriously.  And I’ve never really looked back.

Note: Feel free to check out bits of my horrid writing from this time period here.  I have grown so much in six years and it’s rather encouraging.

After I grew up a little and stopped writing Regency-esque stories, a new author captured my interest.  She was a teenage writer who frequently posted about her writing online. (I just checked and her old blog – the one I’m most familiar with – is still online!  So cool!)  I loved her storyworld – Selkin, a non-magical fantasy kingdom that had EPIC world-building – and her characters.  I read three or four of her unpublished novels and though there were grammatical errors galore, they didn’t bother me.  The rich emotions, characters that lived and breathed on the page, and Christian message throughout fascinated me.  I would pay good money to see the Selkin series in print.

Anyway, because of her, I wanted to write books with massive casts, grand locales, and sweeping emotional moments…so I wrote a dystopian trilogy.  And it wasn’t great.  But I wrote some 250,00 words of it in record time and finished it and it was good practice.  I’m still hoping to revisit that world some day.

And then lastly (and most recently) there’s Louis L’Amour.  It was jessica prescott (who recommended To Tame a Land) and my brother (who owns almost all of L’Amour’s books) who roped me into the wonderful world of Last Stand at Papago Wells, Brionne, The Daybreakers, etc.  Reading Louis L’Amour’s books made me want to write westerns in the worst way possible – so I did.  I vowed that all I’d write from then on would be westerns ’cause I loved them so much (which didn’t turn out to be the case, but STILL).  Awesomeness.

So there you have it!  Three authors who have been a great influence on my life and my journey as a writer.  Who are some authors who have impacted you?

Eva

fanfiction: the underground genre

fanfiction.png

I have a unique relationship with fanfiction.  I’ll go for months without writing any (as I have to have a fandom I’m totally obsessed with and a great story idea – most of the time, anyway) and then write a bit, or more than a bit, and read some as well.  And then I go back to ignoring fanfiction for the longest time.

See, ninety-five percent of the fanfiction out there is sludge: poorly written, poorly plotted, and poorly executed in pretty much every other way possible.  When I find a good piece of fanfiction, I treasure it, but they are so hard to find and I dislike wading through all the swearing, slash shipping, and sloppy editing (or no editing) to find the gems.

en-akademisk-kvart-fanfiction-english-language-learning-2-6381-e1461261807713.jpg

With all that being said, fanfiction is tons and tons of fun and I don’t want to dissuade anyone from writing it.  It’s just that I’m a writer so I get more triggered over grammatical errors and poor dialogue and all the rest than the average fanfiction reader – it’s a gift and a curse.  Anyway, I thought I’d share some tips and tricks I’ve discovered whilst writing several fanfictions, as well as some pitfalls to avoid.  Like all writing advice, however, this is mostly subjective and the main goal of fanfiction is to write/read fun stories and (sometimes) unbearable fluffy feels.  So read this post, sure, but keep in mind that I’m only one person.  And not a perfect writer either. 🙂

Fanfiction Tip #1 – The Correct Spelling

1 THFVaCrOiE7CuEEHc8XAiQ.png

It’s ‘fanfiction’, apparently.  Not ‘fan fiction’ or ‘fan-fiction’.  I dunno why.  Just go with it.

Fanfiction Tip #2 – Do Your Research

6360181731426675142065064097_bookmoviefanfiction2.jpeg

Fanmade wikias are your new best friend.  You can check out character backstories from the Canon, find out if that one location was north or south of the hero’s secret lab, dive deep into relationships between different characters, and so much more.  The wikias don’t tell you everything – and some fandoms don’t have them – but they’ve been an invaluable help to me several times.

Fanfiction Tip #3 – Don’t Write Slash Fanfiction

benedict-cumberbatch-and-martin-freeman-as-sherlock-holmes-wearing-deerstalker-and-dr-john-watson-outside-221-b-baker-street-in-bbc-sherlock-season-3.jpg

They are friends.  In a completely PLATONIC relationship.  Nothing more, nothing less.

Just…don’t.  Please.

Fanfiction Tip #4 – Show, Don’t Tell

359815247404fa851b345215ea486d2e--nerd-girl-problems-nerd-girls.jpg

What I mean by that is this: don’t feel the need to document in excruciating detail everything that happened to the characters before your fanfiction begins.  If someone’s reading your fanfiction, they almost certainly know all that info already and it’s annoying.

Example: “Katniss Everdeen, the eighteen-year-old brunette archer who had successfully defeated the Capitol a year ago, drew the bow that Cinna had made for her, and shot the deer just like she used to when she and Gale hunted in the woods before she left for the first Hunger Games.”

Obviously, that’s an exaggeration.  But not by much.  A better way would be:

Example: “The deer moves into the clearing.  I raise my bow and take careful aim before shooting the arrow that ends its life.”

Okay, that’s still not great.  But it’s an improvement?  I hope?

Fanfiction Tip #5 – Friendships are Golden

Hiccup_and_Toothless_with_their_heads_touching.jpg

It’s not all about the romance, people.  I know how awesome it is to have favorite ships.  I really do.  But there are great epics of alternate universe fanfictions waiting to be written!  Friendship/Angst one-shots!  Crossovers galore!  Not every fanfiction has to be three or four chapters of romanticalness that goes nowhere.  I understand the appeal, and I think it’s fine to indulge in writing and reading such fanfiction, but it doesn’t hurt to switch things up a little every now and then.

Fanfiction Tip #6 – Distance Yourself from the Characters

tumblr_lzpqgxBhPC1rp0na3o1_250.jpg

No self-insert characters.  Please.  I’m begging you.  And if you must write such fanfiction, please keep it on your computer’s hard drive and not published all over fanfiction websites.  By self-insert character, I mean this: you write a fanfiction centered around one of your beloved fandoms and its most beloved characters.  Only, you stick yourself in there as another fictional character who interacts with your favorites, usually as a little sister or love interest.  And it’s obvious.  And it’s Not Fun to Read.

(There seems to be a lot of self-insert characters in fanfiction for The Outsiders.  No idea why… *fantasizes about meeting the Curtises and hanging out with the gang and basking in the awesomeness and giving Johnny a million hugs because he deserves them all*  Sorry.  Where was I?)

I know that one of my friends has written some self-insert fanfiction, but I had to say it ’cause this is one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to fanfiction. (And hers are more for crazy fun than wish fulfillment.)

Fanfiction Tip #7 – Write, Edit, Repeat

320d7519c499095c8d7b214867009a73.jpg

My last tip is this: treat your fanfiction like Real, Serious Writing.  Because it kind of is.  Even if you’re writing about someone else’s characters and using someone else’s worldbuilding and even trying to copy someone else’s writing style (#guilty), you’re still honing your craft, your writing abilities.  And it’s awesome.  So proofread.  Get Grammerly if you have to.  Edit.  Send your fanfiction off to beta readers if possible (trust me, it helps so much).  And when it’s about as perfect as it can be, post it online or circulate it among your family, and wait for the fangirling/boying to begin.

Bonus Fanfiction Tip – The Most Important Thing of All

DrSuess-itisfuntohavefun.jpg

Have fun!  Lots of fun!  Loads of fun!  Dr. Seuss-esque amounts of fun!  I’ve written serious fanfiction that I’ve worked on and slaved over for months.  But I’ve also dashed off Angst fanfiction because I needed to vent and I changed up the ending to a classic movie (something I normally dislike when other people do it), and there’s fluffy, mostly-for-no-purpose fanfiction sitting in my files (like Sodapop giving Ponyboy a haircut, which is *heart eyes*).  So even I ignore my own rules at times (except for the slash shipping one and the self-insert character one – because reasons).  Fanfiction is written by fans for the fans and you really can’t go wrong with whatever you write – you’ll always have an intensely loyal audience.

Unless you don’t ship Jo and Laurie.  Then you’d better hide.

Eva