Friday, October 30, 2015

To See The Stars: Meet the Stars

I introduced the book yesterday, now... meet the characters.
Verena Silvesti
Cold-hearted, logical analyst who lives for one thing- finding the truth behind her father’s death and justice on his killers.  She doesn’t have friends because she refuses to let anyone get that close to her, unwilling to risk being hurt emotionally, seeing it as weakness.  Cannot understand why Liare refuses to be pushed away by her coldness.
Liare Patrick Damian Delaney
As an only child he has always longed for siblings.  Traveled widely for many years with his father’s Irish Dance Troupe.  Tries hard to bring light into the dark, manipulated world of Chun Hee College.  Finds true brotherhood with Rajan, Dong Jun, and Mark, but it is threatened by the Conspiracy. 
Kang Rajan 
Passionate young man with a lonely childhood, who throws his energy into politics and social reform.
Cho Ki Nam
Student president, charismatic strategist, natural leader.  In love with Verena, who enjoys strategy discussions with him, as well as games of chess.
Park Dong Jun
An admirer of the Minister and Vice Minister of Education.  He joins the Conspiracy because he believes that the goal is right, which justifies the means being used to obtain it.  Very close friendship with Rajan and Ki Nam. 
Mark Velasco
Very close friends with Ki Nam, Rajan, Kyung Jae and Liare.  Good strategist and inspirational public speaker.
Yoon Sung Soo
Son of Seo Kyung Ra.  Hates his mother because she sent him away to be raised by her sister, to protect the secret of his birth.  Natural analyst.
Lee Nari
Used to be a warm hearted, caring person but is now jaded, depressed and borderline suicidal.  Has given up on finding anyone who can love her for who she is.
Fujita Mi Hee
Quietly friendly with random bursts of energy.  Caring, impulsive and helpful.  Everyone thinks they know her, but in reality it’s a mask.  Inwardly, she’s very lonely and and searching for someone who truly understands her.

Baek Ho Sung
Popular.  Potential heir to Park Sung Chul; favorite of Kim Chae Mi.  Very clever and good at manipulating people.

Alfred Trevor Smythe
Outgoing introvert.  Less responsible twin- spends most of his time wrapped in his own little world.  Protege of the Minister of Education.  He’s been promised a place on the Minister’s Staff.  Told of the conspiracy and given the task of recruiting other key students.

Archibald Tyler Smythe
Extrovert.  The more responsible twin.  Also a protege of the Minister of Education. 

Min Kyung Jae
Lone wolf type.  Comfortable with standing alone, but smart enough to know that there are times when he needs to stand with others and hopes when that time comes, he can stand with people he at least trusts, if not likes.

Kim Mu Won
Tender-hearted doctor.  Good cook.  Sketches when he’s stressed.  Inseparable with Dae Hoon.

Song Dae Hoon
Studying forensic science.  Level-headed and even-tempered.  Often breaks up fights.  Inseparable with Mu Won.

Sun Tae Yong
Suave, debonair, laughing, ladies’ man.  Excellent sense of style.  Prankster and the terror of the campus, along with Young Ki. 

Choi Young Ki
Goofball prankster.  Cousin of Young Sook but genetically tests as his half brother because their fathers were identical twins.

Choi Young Sook
Lazy technogeek with an insatiable curiosity.  Has hacked into various government systems before, out of sheer curiosity and the urge to prove he could.

Oh Jin Ho
Very insecure about himself- mentally, emotionally and physically.  Regarded by most people as dumb, slow-minded or crazy but is actually brilliant.

Moon Ha Neul
The son of a slave, he and his mother were freed when he was 12.  Was once a trusting child but doesn’t trust anyone now because he’s never sure if they’re lying to him or telling him the truth.

Min Hye Ja
Assigned as Ki Nam’s study partner; she adores him and mentally leans on him a lot.  She is wary of Dong Jun and consistently tries to warn Ki Nam about him and about Verena, but Ki Nam dismisses her worries.

Ahn Bora
Study/class partner of Dong Jun, adores him and is passionately devoted to him, helping him in everything.

Chae Eun Bi 
Study partner of Mark.  Steady, dependable, sensible, very supportive of him.

Hwang Jung Sook
Teacher of martial arts, astronomy and literature.  Can see the behind the scenes manipulation of the students and tries his best to show the students in his club right vs wrong, black vs. white- to give them a better moral code than the school teaches.  A Shakespeare enthusiast.

Seo Kyung Ra
Youngest sister of a family who is renowned for powerful women and sometimes powerful men.  Has mentally, emotionally or physically seduced several influential men, including the President, the Prime Minister and both Deputy Prime Ministers.  Sees potential in Verena and tries to take her on as a protege.

Less than 36 hours, my friends.  ARE YOU READY?

Miss Melody Muffin

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Beautiful Books: To See The Stars

1. How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
I've wanted to write about random orphans united by a crisis and banding together into a family for years.  About two years ago, I don't remember what I was watching, but it inspired me to write it with college-age kids, and it grew in leaps and bounds from there. 

At one point, a Julius Caesar-type conspiracy was added and now it is one of the main plot lines. 

Then, this summer I watched a psycho thriller drama that had a profound impact on the way I thought about this novel and I knew I had to write it for NaNo.

2. Why are you excited to write this novel?
Because I want to show that no matter how dark and bleak things seem, Hope and Love are stronger than anything else.

3. What is your novel about, and what is the title?
To See The Stars
At Chun Hee College, orphans are educated free of charge; in return they must give two years of service to the government of Cheonggu when they are done with their degree.  On the surface, it seems like a brilliant and generous idea, but new students Liare Delaney and Verena Silvesti soon discover there is much more to Chun Hee College than meets the eye.

Corruption and manipulation run deep, with opposing forces pulling at all of the students until they don’t know who they are; making them ripe for molding into the perfect puppets.  But, who is pulling their strings?

Liare must find common ground to rally students to fight the corruption, and the horrifying conspiracy emerging... and Verena must decide whether to stand with him, or ignore the coming storm and walk away from it all.  In the turmoil, the students will discover what truly makes a family.

4. Sum up your characters in one word each. (Feel free to add pictures!)
Liare - sunshine
Verena - indifferent
Rajan - fire
Dong-jun - conflicted
Ki Nam -  charismatic
Nari - lost
Mi Hee - searching

5. Which character(s) do you think will be your favourite to write? Tell us about them! 
Verena - She's a very powerful personality, though it's rather latent at the beginning of the book, and I'm intrigued to play with that.
Rajan - He's a rebel and I love writing those. 
Liare - For a while I've wanted to write a hero who can be cheerful without being perfect or naive; someone who had gone through some rough things in life without becoming a total brooder.

6. What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?
The orphans mostly just want a life that means something.  At first they don't realize that the 'gift' they're being handed comes with strings attached and that they are little more than puppets being used by their teachers and others.

7. Where is your novel set? (Show us pictures if you have them!)
On the planet of Cheonggu, which means 'azure hills'.  There are literal blue hills on the planet, due to the presence of certain minerals.
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8. What is the most important relationship your character has?
Verena's most important relationship is her (eventual) friendship with Liare. 
Liare's most important relationships are the sibling bonds he develops with various students, particularly Verena and Rajan.

9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
Liare has a deeper understanding of what it means to have a family.
Verena... sorry, no spoilers.  :)

10. What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?
That even in the darkest place, when you feel there is no escaping your life, there are still Light, Love and Hope.

NaNoWriMo BONUS: Tell us your 3 best pieces of advice for others trying to write a book in a month.
Do at least some plotting.  Even if you're a panster as opposed to a plotter, do plot a few things, especially an idea of where you're going to end, because otherwise it's really easy to get off track and then lost.

Take breaks.  Seriously, otherwise you will burn out on the novel by the end of the month.  If you have enough extra words to be able to do so, take a day off from writing.  Or write on something else after you have your daily wordcount done. 

Buddy up with others.  I'm part of an amazing a writing group whose support is invaluable, plus my awesome brainstorm partner with whom I can toss ideas around, word war with and in general, enjoy wreaking havoc with writing.

To join Beautiful Books, visit Sky's blog.

Miss Melody Muffin

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Quote Queste: October 2015 ~ Love and War

Aish, I'm late again.  Sorry 'bout that, readers.

Thank you to everyone (Kendra, Keturah and Tom) who participated in September's QQ!  I wrote most of a scene... but didn't actually get it finished.  I'll do that sometime this month.

1. Take the quote below and write a short scene based on it.  It can be a scene for a story you're currently writing, one you plan on writing in the future, or you can make up characters solely for this challenge.
2.  Post your scene on your blog, with the banner from the top of my post and a link to my blog.
3. Come back to this post and leave a link to your post in the comments so the other participants and I can read your scene.
4. Have fun!

Miss Melody Muffin

A Blog You Should Be Reading

Well, one that I highly recommend anyway.  Over a year ago I read and thoroughly enjoyed Marking Time by April White and have been chomping at the bit to read the next two published books in the series. 

Earlier this year, I discovered Ms. White's blog and read a few posts and liked it.  Now I'm going back through her blog archive and loving her posts.  Smart, saavy advice for writing, amusing anecdotes, seriously, she is FUN.

Check it out:

At some point (hopefully while the calendar still reads 2015) I'm going to review Marking Time and introduce you all to it, because IT. IS. A. GOOD. BOOK.

This has been your public service announcement for the day.  Carry on my lovely friends.

Miss Melody Muffin