Friday, July 22, 2016

As Cmdr. Taggart Says...

I'm in the home stretch now. I can see the final chapters so clearly that I can almost taste them. Okay, I may need to work on my imagery here, but you get the point. The last book in my YA Steampunk series is coming to a close...EVER SO SLOWLY!

Its taken a lot to get here. Many tangents that had to be back-tracked. Too many wrong turns to retrace. Closing out a series is difficult. This I knew, but...this last book is such a struggle for some reason.

Perhaps it is because I pre-wrote the synopses for all three books via the publisher's request and so had a hard time just following the characters as they fleshed out.

Maybe my vision changed the deeper I delved into the story so the pre-imagined story line didn't fit anymore?

I am not sure.  I do know that I will not flesh out an entire series so tightly again. I loved knowing where I was going and maybe wrote some scenes ahead of time. That was helpful. I am a die-hard plotter after all. I live for charts and outlines and note cards.

But I also like the freedom of free writing and creative journeys so I need to find a balance there.  It is funny, this realization, that I might do well with some looser parameters and room to play because my critique partner, who is a dyed-in-the-wool pantser, just went to a conference workshop on plotting and is finally starting to embrace that in her process. The timing is cosmic sarcasm...I'm sure of it.

So as I head towards the climax of the story and the series, I will have to find the will to continue to grapple with this story that I have both loved and hated in turns over the past two years.  It is my favorite creation and the most painful to date to produce.

But as my Galaxy Quest Captain would exhort..."Never Give Up! Never Surrender!"

Look for The Tremblers, Book 1 in The Blackburn Chronicles out this fall.

+Raquel Byrnes 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Beauty vs. Sublime

Darling House in The Dreadful Darlings

In doing preliminary research on my next book, I was pondering the difference between beauty and the sublime. Beauty, as you may know, is concerned with symmetry and harmony...order. 

The sublime on the other hand is almost the opposite. It is beauty and wonder in the face of the awesome and terrible and usually chaotic. Much like witnessing a lightning storm while on a mountaintop. 

The Dark Alley by Kimerajam
Frightening, yes. Awe inspiring, indubitably. Able to make you ponder your own mortality....absolutely. Seductive, definitely.

I've always had a fascination with the edgier side of literature. My mother was a huge Poe fan and her favorite poem, The Highwayman, is rife with imagery that would inform a lot of my earlier, amateur writings as a teen.

Angst and dread. Sacrifice and true love. The inevitability of death. The hope of redemption. Ahhh the adolescent goth years. Boy do I have some pictures to prove my love of matte crimson lipstick.

So to find the darling in the darkness. Hope in the horrible. And epiphany in the eerie. That is my goal these next few months as I start to gather the pieces of my next tale. I've been inspired by so many things, but photos by far help me to really get into the dark and dangerous aesthetic of the genre.

More news on my progress as it comes. I'm taking my time with this series. I intend to savor the writing process. Get back in to the love of just spinning a good yarn.

What has fascinated you since your youth? Has it changed or does it still drive your choices?

+Raquel Byrnes 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

How To Get Your Heart Broken

How to Get Your Heart Broken by Rose Fall 
Release Date: March 21st 2016 
Genre: YA Contemporary 

A self-proclaimed cynic, Eli is unsurprised by her boyfriend’s betrayal. Yet, its impact goes beyond what she realizes; a cruel bet, an array of secrets, and a thousand lessons not yet learned teach her how to trust again as an unlikely boy shows her a kind of love she never knew existed. After Eli finds her boyfriend cheating on her, she seeks an escape. She heads to the beach to spend the summer before college with her two best friends. When Eli is unable to move past the betrayal, the girls devise a distraction; a bet about their handsome neighbor. Yet their thoughtless competition goes too far and their friendships are tested as they began to wonder how much they really know about each other and themselves. In the chaos, they manage to learn the truth about love, self-acceptance, and the journey back from rock bottom. 

Buy Links: AmazonPaperback

 About the Author 
Rose Fall was born in New York City to Senegalese immigrant parents. She is currently studying Communication and Global Studies at UNC Chapel Hill. Her debut novel "How to Get Your Heart Broken" is set to be released Spring 2016. You can find her at her blog on 

Author Links: WebsiteGoodreadsTwitter 

Blog Tour Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours