Monday, August 5, 2019

Upcoming Book

It's not titled yet, but I am writing a book I consider a YA and NA because the protagonist is 16 when the book begins, but closer to 20 when it ends. Right away, readers will find out, Josette Hansen, is battling leukemia. The book follows Jo's life, her ups and downs, and her mistakes.

This book is also a LGBT read because Jo figures out she's bisexual when a young woman comes into her life. It's a drama. Just a drama. Some might say contemporary. It's not set in the future (maybe a year or two). It's not fantasy where faeries come and heal her. Not paranormal where a bite from a vampire will heal her.

It's just drama. I hope that someone out there will read it. I hope someone will enjoy it. It started as a dream and developed into a long novel. I'm not done yet and it's at 108k words. Will that matter at the end? Will people shun the book because it's "too long?" I, personally, don't care how long a book is as long as it's good and holds my attention.

Anyway, I just wanted to update y'all about this book. I hope you will get to know Jo, Maverick, Ellie, Selena, Breeze, and all the supporting characters.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Unrealistic Future?

I recently read a review on one of my books in the Beyond Earth series. I take all reviews serious. Any tips I get I try to address in the next book or use the critique to become a better author. The compliments always make me smile. Some with stories of how it helped their lives.
This particular reviewer said it was unrealistic to have a planet have so few people on it. I challenge that with: why? 

Let's go over some points in the series:

  1. In book two, I wrote how the government on Earth worried about overcrowding and released a sterility spray in some public areas. 
  2. In book one, I wrote that Earth was almost completely destroyed by the year 2507.  Earth wasn’t safe to live on anymore. Billions of people on Earth died. 
  3. By the year 2800 only about 100,000 people lived on Earth. Half those people stayed on Earth to try and fix things. Half went to space.
  4. Let's say there were 50 ships that launched into space. Those fifty ships might have carried 1,000 people each on them. Again, that’s 50,000 people. 
  5. Now, fast forward a few hundred years. Let’s say for fun sake that the number of people doubled, so now there are 100,000 humans. There are thousands, maybe millions of planets and moons in the universe that could be hospitable. 
  6. The ship, Valinor, landed on a planet which took on its name. The 1,000 people on that ship became the people of Valinor. 
  7. Valinor is a small Earth-like planet that Valinor has 3 continents, 2 of which are uninhabited (so far). Years later, there’s about 3,000 people on Valinor. It’s a peaceful planet, not as big as Earth, but big enough. They have a small army because originally they are not in a war and the way they protect their planet is by technology…mostly done from computers and a command center.
  8. In book two Akacia sends 20 people in her military to Terronda to help. That wasn't all of her military/army. 
  9. They have more people who come and help them. The Splicer families, a few of Terronda's army, people in the universe who hate Caspar. Plus they have Tegar and his ship/crew helping to protect Valinor.
  10. In Googling, I seem to find that 0.4% of the American population are active in the military and 7.3% of all living Americans have served in the military at some point.
  11. Let's compare that to Valinor's military. Let's go with the first statistic and let's even round it up to 1%. What is 1% of 3,000? 30. If there are approximately 100 people of Valinor in their military, that's more than 3% active military. More than the United States of America.
  12. Earth's population (as of January 2018) was 7.6 billion people. In the past 75 years, it has grown 1-2% per year. Applied to the people who left Earth (50,000) this would be 500-1,000 per year. It's been just over 200 years since Akacia was born, that means the population of the universe (not including aliens) would be approximately 150,000-350,000. Seems like a lot of people, but spread over the planets, moons, and space stations, the population of Valinor seems pretty average. 
  13. Let's take #12 and apply it to Valinor. The ship, Valinor, had about 1,000 people to begin with. With a 1% increase in population every year for 200 years, that brings the total to 3,000. That's just births. There would have been deaths and some people who weren't on the ship were granted permission to live on the planet, so it would roughly still be about 3,000. 
As you can see, it is very plausible and believable to have these numbers. If all 3,000 people were to spread around Valinor, well, there wouldn't be a community would there? Eventually I could see expanding. Maybe allowing some other alien races to settle down? You never know. For now, it's a possible and believable future.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Character Traits

People, especially reviewers, like to tear authors apart for overused traits. For example when we write about our characters biting on their lips or twirling their hair, readers say it’s overdone or boring or whatever. BUT… when I look at myself and other people in real life, what do I see? I bite on my lip when I’m nervous all the time. I see others twirling their hair or biting their nails. So maybe characters are written with those traits because authors themselves have them or know people who have them. If I wrote a character who always hopped up and down on one foot when nervousjust so she would have a more unique traitwould anyone believe that? Or would the character be more believable if they bit on their lip or twirled their hair? 
It's might be overused or overdone, but I'm going to keep writing characters who twirl their hair, bit on their lip, shuffle their weight, or tap their fingers because that's what people do. You don't have to like it, but please think about how odd it would be to read about a character who did absurd things just so readers wouldn't gripe about the same old character traits.
My writing tip? Don't worry about character traits or faults being overdone. Readers should focus on the character overall and the storyline. If it's a good storyline, then who cares if a character twirls her hair or pulls it? Bites on her lip or jumps on her feet? Let the author be and just enjoy the story.