April 2016Weaving Pages: April 2016

Sunday, 24 April 2016

World Builiding and Writing Processes: A Q&A with Sara Raasch

Sara Raasch is the author behind young adult fantasy series Snow Like Ashes, who's final instalment Frost Like Night comes out this December. A huge fan of the series myself (you can check out my reviews of the first two books in the series here and here) I was as happy as can be when Sara agreed to do an interview for Weaving Pages; Thank you, Sara, for your lovely answers to all my questions!

Where did the idea for Snow Like Ashes begin?

I wanted to write a book where "winter" was the "good guys" -- usually they're depicted as evil, so I wanted to flip that!

How do you go about creating Meira's world? Does world building take you a long time?

World building is my favorite aspect of writing, so it's the part I tend to spend the most time on. I have a list of questions to get me started (basic things, like country name, type of government, etc) and then add onto the world building through every stage of the story. It's an ever-evolving process!

What's your writing process? Are you a planner or a pantser?

SUCH a planner! I plan for months before I start writing. From world building to characters to plot -- I have notes/outlines for EVERYTHING.

Frost Like Night comes out this December- what do you think readers should expect from the finale? 

Tears, probably. I certainly cried.

What authors and books do you admire, and look to as inspirations?

Sharon Shinn, CS Pacat, and Seth Dickinson are some of my favorite adult fantasy writers. I just kind of stare at their books on my shelf and silently worship them. 

So there you have it: get ready to break out the tissues when Frost Like Night comes out this December, and go pick up those fantasy book gems that Sara recommends! You can also find Sara over on Twitter @SeeSaraWrite or on her Tumblr.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Guest Review: The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Title: The Girl of Ink and Stars
Author: Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Series: N/A
Publisher: Chicken House
Release Date: May 5th 2016
No. of Pages: 288

Forbidden to leave her island, Isabella Riosse dreams of the faraway lands her father once mapped.

When her closest friend disappears into the island’s Forgotten Territories, she volunteers to guide the search. As a cartographer’s daughter, she’s equipped with elaborate ink maps and knowledge of the stars, and is eager to navigate the island’s forgotten heart.
But the world beyond the walls is a monster-filled wasteland – and beneath the dry rivers and smoking mountains, a legendary fire demon is stirring from its sleep. Soon, following her map, her heart and an ancient myth, Isabella discovers the true end of her journey: to save the island itself.  -(Goodreads)
3.5 stars

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Travelling Solo - An Interview with Giorgia Ori

Giorgia Ori is an Italian photographer and storyteller currently in Los Angeles. With a passion for travel, she has backpacked through four continents already, and now is using her experience to teach a four class workshop all about 'How to Travel.'  Ori explains: "A few days ago I came across the letter of Guadalupe, regarding two girls killed while travelling in Ecuador. I felt the need to do something, as woman, and as traveller. I know that on social media you’re bombarded of beautiful images under the hashtag “travel”, and everything looks easy and beautiful. But it’s not.
To travel means much more than a Valencia filtered photo. It requires a lot of pre-planning, mental preparation and physical training."

Ori's classes focus on teaching people how to plan the trip of their dreams, step-by-step, in a four class course. The first class covers planning and budgeting, the second safety, the third is a hands-on photography workshop, and the fourth a writing workshop.

The letter Ori mentions to have been motivated by is one that addresses the victim blaming and sexist culture that women often face, definitely not excluding those who travel. When two Argentinian Girls were killed whilst travelling in Ecuador, people asked, as women, why they were travelling alone? Ori disagrees with this. "I would say that women can do whatever they want. Women can have the same strength, passion and motivation of a man. And most importantly, women should realize that to be a woman is a power and for sure not a fault."

In fact, she is a firm believer travelling solo is a good experience for everyone. "Travelling alone completely changes your perspective of life. It makes you realize there’s no distance between places -which is a very pragmatic way of realizing that there’s no distance between what you want and what you can have. When you travel you understand that everything is possible. Travelling alone gives you fundamental skills -such as a great sense of adaptation: you will come back and be able to adapt to a broad spectrum of environments and people," she explains. It's clear she is very passionate about the seeing the world and what it has to offer.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Giorgia Ori's Top Ten Reasons to Travel

1. Travel to discover yourself
The first thing they teach you in film school is: you get to know a character based on the way he reacts to events. That’s exactly what will happen to you: while travelling you’ll react to a broad spectrum of situations, and this will help you discover who you are!
2. Travel to enjoy your own company
Appreciate the value of your solitude, take time to analyse your present, make peace with your past and be open to your future and its infinite possibilities.
3. Travel for the sake of it.
Connect with nature’s beauty and feel a part of it. Get moved to tears in front of a landscape, and feel the emotions flowing inside of you. 
4. Travel to remind yourself you are alive!
Sometimes the routine of our daily life makes us forget we are alive, and that we don’t have to do what we do if we don’t want to. We were born to lead our life, not to let it go.
5. Travel to meet new people.
Every time I travel my faith in humanity is restored!
No joke! People are so kind! 
6. Travel to practice the “law of attraction”
There’s no better occasion than travelling to notice that whatever you give comes back. Whatever you think, good attracts good. A positive mind will bring magic in your journey. It sounds crazy -but I’m sure other travellers relate.
7. Travel to discover the real meaning of freedom
“Freedom”... An overused word.
At first, the taste of freedom isn’t sweet like they tell you. Freedom is bitter! It’s hard, it implies choices. 
Choices implies responsibilities. And confusion, a sense of being lost in the thousands lives you could live and can’t choose.
But hey -once all that has been handled, the pleasure of travel begins.

8. Travel to improve your skills and develop new ones
You weren’t born a pro. Nor was I. But you know, you learn by getting it wrong. After few years of travelling you’ll be so proud of yourself and the things you can do!
9. Travel to bring stories to the table
Yes! You don’t want to be the one who has nothing to cool to say. You want to have so many stories that people will talk to you for hours. So many stories that you can see them in your eyes and make them sparkle.
10. Travel to give a deeper meaning to your life
I won’t explain this one. I guess each of us knows his own!

Giorgia Ori is an Italian photographer who received her Film production certificate from the New York Film Academy. Currently based in Los Angeles, she has backpacked in the USA, Asia, South America and Europe. Having published a book of poems "AMERICAN DOGS" and published three short films, she now runs a four class workshop in Los Angeles about how to travel. Find out more at giorgiaori.com 

You can also book tickets for Giorgia's workshop here.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

How a Book Got Me Through My Sister's Operation

A year ago, I was sat in a hospital room watching my little sister sleep amongst flickering machine screens and flimsy plastic tubes that weaved from her little hands and into more machines and bags of crystalline liquid. I spent four days with disinfected squares for walls, with identical corridors that swam before my eyes and a red leather chair that I soon adopted as my own.

In those four days, I saw my sister remain steely against throbbing pains, my dad's hand shake as he signed the thin paper of the operation form, my mum's smile remain the only tangible thing to grasp hold of. My little four person family was transplanted into a room that sighed when it let my sister leave for theatre, and sighed once more when she came back. Minus her appendix. For a second, that inescapable feeling that I was submerged under water, unable to hear or breathe a thing even as the days flitted past my eyes, remained fiercely. Then the moment burst. It felt like coming up for air when your lungs sear with the longing to breathe.

Appendicitis and four days are, when I reminisce, probably one of the good outcomes given the situation. Yet it doesn't detract from the furiously vivid memories I have of the bitter tears that too often stained my eyes, or of the bland taste of hospital food that my sister was too ill to eat but I was too hungry not to. Or more importantly, of the warm metal of my e-reader gripped rigidly in my hands, drifting in and out of focus along with the waves of tears that threatened to break through all my lip biting and calm breathing. In my sudden new home in the children's ward on the third floor of the city hospital, I had not forgotten that words are often the only sense of normalcy when everything else is a 96 hour inferno.

So there I would sit in the red leather chair with my e-reader permanently stuck on page 104 of Holly Smale's All That Glitters, carefully fixing my eyes on each inky grey word. Every time I felt my eyes strain or my voice crack, I would bury myself in the words before me and read and read and read. The familiar syllables and vowels were the constant I needed, because like it or not, those four days changed me; they changed everyone.

I ploughed through All That Glitters, and then through my chemistry homework and the Marks & Spencer's last minute shopping that happens when M&S is the closest thing nearby. Yet the memory of that book is glued to my mind; a wisp of a reminder that no matter what anyone else says, the words of a book are the language you never thought you'd need but you'll always have.

If you have a story like mine, where a book or a film or even a person has got you through a difficult time, don't hesitate to share it here on Weaving Pages. Just head on over to the CONTRIBUTE page and click "Be Heard" and then you will be well on your way to spreading your story. 

Monday, 4 April 2016

Winter by Marissa Meyer

I'm back with a series-ender today, and it's from one of my favourite series ever. In short, I'm pretty emotional. In case you haven't read The Lunar Chronicles yet, what are you doing!? Go take a peek at my reviews of the previous books: Cinder, Scarlet and Cress.

25774272Title: Winter
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #4
Source: Bought
Publisher: Puffin
Published: November 12th 2015
No. of Pages: 832

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?


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