Mid-Series Cover Changes

Let’s talk about this topic that every bookworm ever either hates or doesn’t mind.

I mainly want to talk about this because of the recent blow up over Renee Ahdieh‘s duology of Flame in the Mist because it’s getting a mid-series cover change to have covers with people on it. Of course a huge part of the discussion was because it was a POC that was added to it, but… I honestly don’t know how to respond to that other than the book is literally a retelling of Mulan. A Chinese woman. A person of color. What else is she supposed to look like, a fish? (Also, yes I’m aware that this is based in Japanese culture, but I’m just saying.)

Anyway.

Okay, first of all let’s discuss these covers aesthetically speaking.

In my 100% honest opinion? I really like these covers. Not only do they feature a female POC who (I believe) is the main character of the story (I haven’t read it yet), but the colors and details around the cover are very aesthetically pleasing to the eye. The cherry blossoms around the edges are representative of east Asian culture, which this story is inspired by. And then the twin dragons on the second cover in the shape of a heart? Dragons are also a large part of east Asian cultures.

But again, I want to state that I have NOT YET read the first book in this duology. I do not know the significance of the dragons, but I am assuming it has to do with a love interest in the story.

I also want to state that I don’t know the whole story as to the backlash that these particular covers are getting because I haven’t been very up to date with book Twitter lately (which is largely where I get my bookish news), so I apologize in advance for that.

My one caveat with the cover is her expression that she uses. I get she’s supposed to be all serious and stuff, but I kind of wish there was a different expression on each cover, which could bring more life to it. Other than that, I’m fine with it.

I would also like to point out that I am very glad that they’re changing BOTH covers of the duology SO THEY MATCH. That doesn’t happen often with mid-series changes. It could also be for the release of the paperback, I’m sure.

Now let’s discuss cover changes.

I think a large part of the backlash for these covers above is because of the face added and a lot of people – including myself – generally don’t like people on the covers of our books unless it’s significant to the book itself. I mostly say this because I personally find that when people are on the cover they look cheesy as hell and it just kind of makes me cringe. But I can look past that if 1) the synopsis captures my attention, and 2) if I enjoy the book when I read it.

That being said, cover changes mid-series is a very frustrating thing for many readers. The main reason is because, with a cover change, the new cover won’t match the aesthetic of the original cover and therefore can make it look less aesthetically pleasing to the eye when looking at it on a shelf or for pictures or what have you. There have been many examples of this exact thing happening over time and now with social media being such a huge thing in the everyday lives of many people, it’s very easy to understand why people are so vocal about it.

One example I can think about is the Across the Universe trilogy by Beth Revis. The last book in this series had a cover change when it was being released in hardcover and thus didn’t match the same aesthetic as the other two books in the trilogy. And I have to say: I am not a fan of the change. It’s clunky. It’s very ridged, with many defined edges and just a look that isn’t very… nice.

As you can see, the first two covers are highly aesthetically pleasing. At least to me they are. The first two covers tell me a bit about what the story is about (and no, I haven’t read them yet but they’re definitely on my TBR as my husband has read them and loved them). They tell me that they’re about two teens, a boy and a girl, who are most likely facing dangerous circumstances and manage to find love among it all. It probably has some type of harrowing journey along with it, too. But the Shade of Earth cover? Yes, while it is aesthetically pleasing in its own right, it is just very… different from the original two. This one tells me that it’s like the Earth is trying to break through what mankind made. (Who knows? Maybe I’m right?)

Eventually the first two covers were remade to match the third cover. (And yes, the first book did have a cover change BEFORE matching it with the third cover, and that cover was… okay.)

But that is just one of the frustrating things about mid-series cover changes. My main question, especially with the example above, is: Why do you have to change to flow of the covers like that, especially when its the last book in the series?

Now I’ve seen many authors over the last couple of years talk about this very issue. They don’t have control over their covers. 99% of them don’t have control, especially in traditional publishing. So when mid-series cover changes happen it’s because the company or marketing department of that company thinks that it will be appealing to more readers to change the covers now to boost book sales.

Sometimes the books are selling very well, though, even without the cover change. Sometimes book sales drop after the cover change. It really all depends and no one can really determine what may or may not happen when this change does happen.

With that said, though, I’m not talking about when standalones get cover changes or when an entire series gets multiple cover changes over time because that’s an entirely different subject matter. (For example, the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo just got new covers and btw they’re gorgeousssss~)

Like this? This is fine. The original trilogy with the original covers were all released and have the same very aesthetically pleasing style, which is great! And to now have the trilogy repackaged in equally stunning covers is just simply breathtaking. As the books were already released and received a lot of love, this kind of change only fuels readers to want to buy these versions of the books for collectability purposes if they already own the books with the original covers.

But when covers are suddenly changed mid-series, it can be very disheartening for readers who love to decorate or show off their shelves. Some readers don’t care either way because they want the book to have the book and continue reading the series – which is totally fine!

And then you also get books that are different sizes when as they continue along in a series. Like, why? What purpose does that serve? Why are you keeping the cover aesthetic but now changing the size? When they’re on a shelf they’re no longer even and THAT can drive readers mad.

I think that mid-series cover changes can help some book sales, though. Sometimes a cover change can make a difference and a new cover design can be a good thing. Honestly, it really depends on personal preference.

Let’s Chat! ^w^

Tell me what you guys think of cover changes mid-series. Do you mind? Do you hate them? What’s one example of a GOOD mid-series cover change? What’s your least favorite mid-series cover change? Let’s talk about it!

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New Years Book Tag

Hello beautiful people! Today I’m coming at you with a book tag~ I figured I haven’t done one of these in a while, and this one’s a fun one since it focuses on the new year and stuff, so here we go!

I saw this on Super Space Chick’s channel, so check out the video here!

1. How many books are you planning to read in 2018?

I did this last year with my Goodreads goal and I’m also doing it this year: setting my goal to ONE book. That’s right. One book. I want to have zero pressure as my life is crazy and with a lot of planning and other things that are going on this year, I don’t want to focus on reaching a number, especially with how I’m mainly been reading comics and I can’t exactly keep track of those on Goodreads. But I will be reading novels this year because where I feel like last year was the “year of comics and manga,” this year will still be that, but I’m definitely feeling like reading regular novels, too.

But for a more “serious” goal, I want to aim for 10 novels. Again, little pressure, but I’m very busy with a lot of things this year.

2. Name 5 books that you didn’t get to this year but want to make a priority in 2018.

Okay, I know I listed six books instead of five, BUT I didn’t get to any of these in 2017 and I REALLY WANTED TO, so I’m going to try to read all of them sometime between now and summer. At least, that’s my goal.

3. What genre do you want to read more of?

I’m always up for fantasy as it’s my all time favorite genre, BUT I’d love love love to read more Science Fiction this year, whether adult or YA, or even comics! If you have any awesome sci-fi recommendations for me, please let me know!

4. Name 3 non book related goals for 2018.

  • To complete my course to become TEFL certified (teach English as a second language) and teach English in South Korea by the fall/winter of this year!
  • Which includes getting all of the paperwork done. All… of… the paperwork… *cries*
  • Learn at least one new dance every month, whether it be from a Kpop band or a cover dance or whatever! I need to get more active and start really thinking about my health more. So this is the generic “health” goal lol

5. What’s a book you’ve had forever that you still need to read?

*stares at shelves*

I don’t know which to choose.

6. One word that your hoping 2018 will be:

Adventurous!

7. Tag a friend!

I’ll tag all of you peeps because, well, I never know who to tag in these sections lol


Let’s Chat! ^w^

What’s one non-book related goal you have for this year? I’d love to hear about it!

Favorite Reads of 2017

Happy New Year beautiful people!

Well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? Wow, I almost forgot how to do this thing it’s been so long lol

Well, today I wanted to share with you my favorite reads of 2017! I read a lot (A LOT) of comics this past year and so this is all pretty much comics except for a couple exceptions. Let’s just jump into it! P.S. this list is in no particular order.

Comics

kingsmaker

King’s Maker by Haga and art by Kang Jiyoung. Oh. My. GOD I LOVE THIS SERIES. Season 1 just ended and I need Season 2, like, now please. Please? This series is so good and it deals with different themes like love, hate, political turmoil, death, life, ahhhhhh it’s so good. And THE ART!? The art is beyond gorgeous! Please go read it over on Lezhin if you haven’t already.

somethingaboutus

Something About Us by Lee Yunji. This comic series was incredibly cute and realistic and I just loved reading it. There was angst and there was romance and there was friendship and it’s just so good read iiiiiiit. It’s actually completed so you’ll be able to read it from beginning to end if you want.

hadomae

Hadomae by Choenamsae. This is more 18+ for the reading spectrum, but it’s a comic series about a man with a foot fetish, and I never in my life thought I’d read something about that, but here we are. It’s a pretty addicting series and it’s still ongoing, which is awesome. The main character is kind of ditzy and there are times when I’m like, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!?!” But, now she’s kind of taking control and I’m like, “Yaaaaassss~” So, yeah. And things are getting steamy. >>

Webtoons

iloveyoo

I Love Yoo by Quimchee. Guys. Please. Go read this series. It’s still ongoing and it’s SO GOOD! It’s funny and witty, but there’s also a lot of serious moments, and I’m still trying to figure out the mysteries of some of the characters’ pasts and it’s just so good. It’s updated weekly, and you can read it for free, so check it out!

mydearcoldbloodedking

My Dear Cold-Blooded King by lifelight. This is such an interesting historical series with romance, blood, assassins, royal court drama, humor, and more. It’s also very beautifully drawn, especially the landscapes. If you haven’t checked this one out, you really should. It’s so good!

sirenslament

Siren’s Lament by instantmiso. Season 1 just ended and glremgwgnkrnrt is it February yet, because that’s when Season 2 starts and I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NOW. It left at such a huge plot point that I’m just like, “HNNNNNGGG GIVE MEEEEE” so yeah. But it’s a story about sirens and how one girl, Lyra, was kissed but didn’t fully turn siren and there’s a lot of humor and romance and a love triangle kind of and it’s so good!

mygiantnerdboyfriend

My Giant Nerd Boyfriend by fishball. This slice-of-life webtoon is sooo funny and sooooo relatable and it’s just awesome. Go read it. Like, I keep seeing myself and my husband in all of these and I’m just like, “HOW ARE YOU WRITING ABOUT US!?” It’s so funny.

crushed

Crushed!! by Himalyaa. This is a more mature webtoon, but it’s a BL one that I’ve been really enjoying. It’s still ongoing and it’s got a love triangle, drama, lots of swearing, a bunch of sex, and just a lot going on. It’s really good though!

For complete thoughts on the comics and webtoons I’ve read, check out my review!

Books

I’m still slightly in denial that I read actual books this year. I think it was around three books? lol Anyway.

adsom

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. This high fantasy novel is set in an alternate London with multiple alternate Londons and it’s a very good, very addicting read. At least it was for me. I thought that the world still has so much to be explored and explained, so I’m really glad there’s sequels in the series. (I mean, obviously there’s sequels, Rayna, it’s a trilogy.) But yeah, if you want more of my thoughts, check out my review!

radiance

Radiance by Grace Draven. I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did, but it’s seriously really good! It’s about a mixed species marriage and how each species thinks the other is ugly and everything the other does is horrible, but by the marriage of these two individuals who start out as friends and then lovers, it was seriously so addicting and good! I love the super slow burn romance and how there’s political intrigue and how there’s also a lot of cultural things in both the societies. I really liked it. If you want my complete thoughts, check out my review!

Manga

I’ve also read more manga this past year than I have in a very long time, so yay for that!

asilentvoice1

A Silent Voice by Yoshitoki Oima. I read this complete series (7 volumes) earlier in 2017 and it’s one of my favorite manga series of all time. It’s about a deaf girl and her struggles with being bullied, and about the bully, who ends up getting bullied himself and becomes very lonely. It’s about their lives and his trying to make up for what he did to her and it’s just so good. I seriously enjoyed it and I really recommend it. Check out my review for all my thoughts.

tokyoghoul1

Tokyo Ghoul by Sui Ishida. Guys. GUYS. Go read this series. I still haven’t read the last volume because I’m in denial that it’s over, but it is SO. GOOD. And bloody. Very bloody. But it’s a dark series about ghouls and how they live among humans and how one boy is a half-ghoul and it’s just so. Good. Ahhhhhh. Check out my Spring Reading Wrap-Up for more thoughts.

noragami1

Noragami by Adachitoka. THIS. SERIES. IS. AMAZING. I know I keep saying this, but seriously, I love this series! It’s about a god named Yato and how he’s not really a big god, but there’s Hiyori who can see him after an accident happens and there’s lots of humor, very subtle romance (JUST CONFESS ALREADY), and lots of drama between the gods and stuff. If you want more of my thoughts, check out my Spring Reading Wrap-Up.

imadoki1

Imadoki! Nowadays! by Yuu Watase. As Yuu Watase is my favorite manga author, I’m probably biased, but as this was also a reread for me I knew what to expect and I still love this series. It’s a high school drama that follows a group of five people teens just trying to go through life, together or not. It’s really good. Check out my review for more thoughts.

blueexorcist

Blue Exorcist by Kazue Kato. This series is one that I’ve followed the anime before reading, but it’s still an awesome manga series! It follows twins Rin and Yukio who are the sons of Satan. Rin has outward appearances of a demon and also the blood, while Yukio is more like their human mother and doesn’t show any traits and doesn’t really have the trace in his blood. It’s a manga about Rin’s struggles to become an exorcist (which demons can’t do because, well, yeah), and it’s a very epic action/fantasy manga series. The anime is really good, too!


Alright, I think that’s everything! I’ve read the equivalent of probably 100 books in 2017. It’s crazy to think that I read that amount, but it’s mostly in comics and webtoons (which I also never thought I’d be so into lol). According to Goodreads, I’ve read 68 novels in 2017. Of course it can’t count the amount of comics I’ve read, so yeah. It was my best reading year thus far, so let’s see what 2018 brings.

Let’s Chat! ^w^

What were your top three favorite reads of 2017? Has many novels did you read? How about comics or manga? Let me know!

End of Year Survey 2017

2017-book-survey

Oh hi, long time no see! I’ve been wicked busy these days, what with the end of the year and big life plans that I’m trying to see through to the end, so I haven’t had much time for blogging and stuff. But here we are with Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner’s 8th Annual End of Year Survey! I’ve done this survey the last few years, and in keeping with tradition, I’m doing it again! So let’s jump in.

P.S. All the banners are from her blog because I’m #lazy.

reading-stats-2017

Number Of Books You Read: 60+ (I’m counting all the chapters of comics, plus manga, plus novels I’ve read.)
Number of Re-Reads: 5
Genre You Read The Most From: Comics! Specifically web comics.

best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2017?

I picked up the Tokyo Ghoul series which is a SUPER awesome manga series! I still have the last two volumes to finish, though, as of this survey being posted lol

Oh, also Noragami. And King’s Maker. And I Love Yoo. So many good things. I can’t choose just one.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Deathnote. Okay, I still liked it, don’t get me wrong, but I just felt like there was SO much dialogue! Like… way more than I’m used to in manga.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

Hadome! I mean, it’s a series about a man who has a wicked foot fetish, and a girl who falls for that guy. Okay, that’s really oversimplified, but that’s the basics of what it is lol But it’s one of my favorite ongoing webcomics!

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

I recommend King’s Maker all the time because OMG IT’S SO GOOD. Blood and stabbing and betray and subtle boys’ love, and the ARTWORK? I can’t even.

 5. Best series you started in 2017? Best Sequel of 2017? Best Series Ender of 2017?

Best series: Noragami

Sequel: Um. I have no idea, honestly.

Ender: Something About Us

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2017?

Go check out this post where I talk about a crap ton of my online reads because I love all of these people.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Hmm… I feel like I’ve read all things I’d want to read, so…

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Tokyo Ghoul! So action packed and so good. Also Blue Exorcist and Noragami.

 9. Book You Read In 2017 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Probably any of the manga I’ve read this year lol

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2017?

IMG_4714

11. Most memorable character of 2017?

Ren from Blue Exorcist. I love him.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2017?

I looooooved A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab! So goooood!

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2017?

The Sun is Also a Star had a lot of topics I haven’t read about before. Also A Silent Voice manga!

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read? 

A Darker Shade of Magic, let’s be real.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2017?

“I’m not going to die,” she said. “Not till I’ve seen it.”
“Seen what?”
Her smile widened. “Everything.”
― V.E. SchwabA Darker Shade of Magic

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2017?

Shortest: Probably some webcomic I’ve read lol It would take too long to look through them all, and a lot are still ongoing.

Longest: A Dark Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

I’m trying to think of which one did but I’m not sure…

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

LET ME COUNT THE WAYS BECAUSE THERE’S SO MANY.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Yuki and Yato from Noragami

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2017 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

The Sun is Also a Star

21. Best Book You Read In 2017 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

*shows long list of webcomics* Thank you, Internet.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2017?

Hmm… I don’t know that I have one.

23. Best 2017 debut you read?

I Love Yoo, Siren, My Dear Cold-Blooded King, King’s Maker, Crushed

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

I mean, I can literally see the worlds in the comics I read, and so many of them are incredible in their detail and color. My favorite is King’s Maker.

As for novel, I’m going with ADSOM.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Star x Fanboy IS THE CUTEST WEBCOMIC EVER AND YOU NEED TO READ IT NOW.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2017?

None.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Out of Control

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Hmm…. this one’s hard. I don’t think I can actually pick anything for this one.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2017?

A Guy Like You

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

At the End of the Road had a stupid ending. That’s all.

book-blogging-900x244

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2017?

I don’t think I’ve actually seen any new ones this year.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2017?

Well, I think my Summer Reading one is because it took me a million years to write with how much I put in it lol

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

Finally Fall Book Tag

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

Love-a-thon 2017 – Get to Know Me

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2017?

I discovered my love for comics and manga again, which has been amazing.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Psh, what blogging life? I’ve barely blogged this year at all because I just haven’t had the motivation to and I just haven’t been able to read “books” to review and I just haven’t had anything to talk about. Plus I’ve distanced myself from the book community, so yeah.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Finally Fall Book Tag

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Eh, I’m fine with everything I think.

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Not really a discovery, but I love going to Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, MA because it’s the only independent book store I know of in my state and it’s lovely.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Nope lol

looking-ahead-books-2015-900x244

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2017 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2018?

Probably A Court of Wings and Ruin.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2018 (non-debut)?

Umm… I’m not sure. Again, I haven’t been keeping up with book news much. OH. Maybe Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi.

3. 2018 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Not sure.

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2018?

I’m looking forward to the next book in the An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2018?

I’m not sure. I’m debating stopping blogging because this year I just haven’t been into it. So… TBD.

6. A 2018 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

N/A

Beautiful Books 2017 | Introduce the Novel

beautifulbooks

Hey peeps and welcome to Beautiful Books, hosted by the lovely Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up & Further In. What is Beautiful Books? It’s very similar to the monthly link up of Beautiful People, but this month it focuses on NaNoWriMo writing projects rather than specific characters in the novels. You obviously don’t have to be participating in NaNo in order to join; it can be any writing project. Click here or the picture to be taken back to the most recent Beautiful Books linkup page!

It’s time to talk about what I’m going to be writing this year and frankly… I needed this post because I’m still working out a few kinks in what I want to write and I’m just a mess. Ha.

Here’s the questions!

  1. What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
    • I’ve been wanting to write a character with dark powers since I started working on my NaNo novel last year. I had a character who was able to manipulate shadows and use darkness as a power, but it just didn’t fit right with the character and the world (of course I didn’t realize this until later on). And then… well, I wanted a way to cope with my depression, and so I decided to write about a character that uses darkness as a power, but this power controls her and consumes her (much like depression does with me). So… yeah.
  2. Describe what your novel is about!
    • Mahlia is unknown. She blends in with the crowd as much as possible and tries to just go through her day to day life without bothering anyone. But she has a secret that she can’t make known unless she wants to forfeit not only this life that she’s made, but also her freedom. If she keeps this secret any longer, though, it may just consume her – body and soul.
    • Vex is the third prince in line for the throne, and as such he gets away with pretty much whatever he can. As he was forced to choose between priesthood and the military, he decides to join the royal army alongside his second eldest brother. Fire courses through his veins just as it does through his second brother and his mother, but his magic is stronger, different, and one that could ignite a change he hadn’t expected.
    • In a world where elemental magic is abundant, the threat of war is upon the country of Arkin from their neighbors across the sea – Nyrrin, who craves their lands and their very prosperous resources. But these once comrades of Arkin come with weapons unlike that which Arkin has ever seen, and it could change the outcome of the war for the worse for Arkin.
  3. What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!
  4. Introduce us to each of your characters!
    • Mahlia is a 19 year old apprentice to a weapons maker. She’s been under his care for the last six years and has been learning the ins and outs of how to make weapons suited for the person based on their power: swords that can hold fire for fire wielders so as to not melt the steel; bows and arrows for wind users that are both lithe and powerful and have secrets within them to carry farther than the average arrow; and so on. She has a good sense of humor and is often complimented on her smile. She loves to make others laugh and forget their worries because she knows what it’s like to be so down in darkness that looking for a light is near impossible. Her power is Darkness, a path from Spirit that is very dangerous and unknown to many. She wears gloves often because her hands are tainted with the black mark that signifies a Darkness user. As such, she rarely uses her power because it feels like a living thing, something that will consume her from the inside out – the marks on her hands prove that. She often has depressive episodes as a result, but she doesn’t often speak her mind when she’s in those moods because she doesn’t want to burden others.
    • Vex is a 23 year old prince, the youngest in the line of succession, and is a high spirited young man. He has three elder siblings: two brothers and a sister, and cares for each of them deeply. Family is very important to him and he couldn’t imagine his life without any of them, especially his second eldest brother, Maks, whom is also like a best friend to him. Vex is a Fire user like his brother and mother, and though their flames are strong, his seems to be stronger and he sometimes likes to show it off. He is part of the Royal Army, second to his brother, but he didn’t just earn the spot because of who he is, but he fought and earned his right to be there. He works alongside men and women who have varying powers and he views them as family. He has an easy going smile and attitude, but can be very serious when the situation calls for it.
    • Maks is the second eldest sibling of the four royal siblings at 28 years old. He has a good head on his shoulders and uses logic over emotions in almost all situations. He loves his family dearly and views his little brother as a comrade in arms as well as a friend. He is strong physically and in power, his flames very potent when used. He has a wife, Kema, who is 26 years old, and a two year old daughter named Camile.
    • Tilla is the only daughter of the four siblings and is 25 years old. She is very gracious and loving, but she’s also a fighter. She trained with her brothers with weapons from a young age with both of her parents’ blessings. But she much prefers being in dresses and being a woman of the court than being a soldier. She enjoys shopping and gossip, but she is also an artist and loves to paint and create. She is a Water user and her magic is fairly strong.
    • Berol is the eldest son of Arkin at 30 years old and is a Wood user. He is strong physically and in power and he has a good head on his shoulders. As he is the first heir to the throne, he has been trained in politics, military tactics, and general ruling of the country. He is married to his childhood friend, Sera, and they have three children ages 6, 4, and 1, two daughters and a son.
    • Geron is the king of Arkin and is a Water user who is incredibly strong in power and physically. He is a kind and generous king who truly cares for his people and family. His wife is Queen Sephie who is a Fire user, very powerful, and incredibly warm hearted. She is very family oriented and cares much for the people.
    • Serath is the master weapons maker that Mahlia has been training under and his bark is worse than his bite. He looks like a very bedraggled man in his late fifties, but there are hints of love and tenderness under his skin, especially when it comes to children and those close to him, like Mahlia. In public, though, he is all business and rarely smiles. He is a Metal user (surprise surprise).
    • Jaqar is the king of Nyrrin and a very strict ruler. He believes that power and money are the two things he needs most in life and because of this his view of the world has become warped in ways that have slowly been hurting his people more than helping them. He is an Ice user and is fairly strong in his power, but not strong enough.
    • Lucmer is the eldest son of Nyrrin at 27 years old and is much like his father, but crueler. He was trained under the sword from a very early age, and his power as an Ice user is one that would impress even the tribes living in the northern mountains. He is one that uses strategy and logic in many situations, but he also relies a lot on his power and brute force to get what he wants. He’s short tempered and one not to be crossed.
  5. How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)
    • Cry a little. I’ve been trying to outline to make sure I have a loose plot that I want to follow. Once I figure out the main point of the story the rest should hopefully fall into place. Other than that, I get inspiration from other writers when they talk about their own work, and I read in the genre I want to write in to really get a grasp on how other writers write their stories and how I want mine to be, too.
  6. What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
    • Just seeing where it goes. I want the story to be about how Mahlia will conquer the darkness eventually, but it’s going to take a lot of trials and heartache to get there, and I don’t know if I’m ready for it. (Also the romance because I’m a super romantic at heart.)
  7. List 3 things about your novel’s setting.
    • Two countries are going to be at war with one another: Arkin, a prosperous country with lush fields, forests, and distant mountains with many homes and villages nestled together, where people come to start over; Nyrrin, a strong country with a thirst for gold and greed and power, with tall, stark buildings, crowded streets, and advancing weaponry.
    • Magic is abundant in both lands and across the world, and it’s elemental magic. As such, there are varying “branches” to the elemental magic, such as “Ice” is a branch under “Water.”
    • Many secrets to unlock (for me, too, let’s be real).
  8. What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?
    • Mahlia’s ultimate goal is to conquer her own power from consuming her. She is what stands in her own way.
    • Vex’s ultimate goal is to make sure his country remains safe. Jaqar and Lucmer stand in his way.
  9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
    • Mahlia will most likely conquer her demons and feel like she can finally breathe again. But will she still have her freedom? That is the question.
    • Vex will go through a lot in the course of the story, and he might change a bit from what he was at the beginning, but one thing is certain: he won’t take life for granted anymore.
  10. What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?
    • One theme is going to cover depression, and I’m going to do my best to make it #ownvoices because I’ve had depression for over 10 years now and I want to show what my depression is like through Mahlia. The Darkness is a symbol of that, but she’ll also have it.
    • Sacrifice is going to be another theme and one that I hope readers will understand that tough choices happen in life, especially in unforeseen circumstances.
    • Redemption is also going to be poignant because I want Mahlia to be able to overcome the Darkness and how strong of a hold it has on her.
    • Love is another theme, but not just romantic love. I want to also feature familial love because I just don’t see enough of it in books.
    • When the story is over I hope my readers feel a sense of connection with more than one character and that they, too, will find themselves in one of them.

That’s it for this month’s Beautiful Books! I’m very excited and nervous to start NaNoWriMo, but I honestly hope that it goes well and that this story is what I’ve been needing to write this whole time.

Let’s Chat! ^w^

Are you going to be participating in NaNoWriMo this year? How many characters do you have? What are three points about your setting? How do you want readers to think about your story at the end?