Writing News & Questions For Both Of Us

Writing News Tidbits

The good news is; I’ve reached over 20,000 words on my work in progress, The Frog Prince, Tales of Ambia Book 2.

And here’s the bad news.

The Reluctant Godfather was between 24 and 25 thousands word so you’re probably thinking:  “Oh, she’s almost half way done.”

Breaking News:  Nope.  The Frog Prince is going to be novel length.  I’m thinking between 40,000 and 50,000 words.

I tried, I really did, but the cast is twice as big, the plot is twice as complicated and when I’m floundering in my writing I get twice as long-winded.  Not only will The Frog Prince be longer, I foresee a lot more revisions.

Plus, I’m just plain worried.  Are my characters unlikable?  Is this darker?  Does the plot make any sense?  Does it drag?  AM I GOING TO FAIL?


And this brings me to the question I have for YOU, dear readers.  An urgent question that will shape the future of Ambia.

Should people die in The Tales of Ambia?

The Reluctant Godfather is a pretty light story and I’m wondering if I might have written myself into a hole.  Is Ambia the story of series or the sort of world where characters can die and it doesn’t seem drastically out of place?  Before anybody starts to panic, let’s just say it’s villains.  Should villains die in Ambia?  Even if I go the route of Disney-Deaths (off-screen falls from great heights) is it too much for Ambia?

And what do you think of explosions and sword fights and things like that?

So, I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback and they would be greatly appreciated and earn you a place in the acknowledgements of The Frog Prince (if you aren’t already there) AND if I ever finish writing the thing.  ‘lowers head to keyboard’

i am trying, hoping and praying that the first draft of The Frog Prince will be finished by the end of the month (crazed laughter).  #sendhelp


Would my readers like to see me blog about anything in particular on future posts?  No, I have not run out of ideas already – I have at least ten posts I’m working on now and I’m bursting at the seams with new ideas but as always, I’m interested in reader participation and I wanted to know if there is anything YOU would like to see on here!


Some of you might know that one of my favorite authors is Frank Baum (author of the Wizard of Oz).  One of the things that fascinated me about Frank Baum was the ‘reader participation’ in his writing.  Readers would write in with suggestions for Oz and all the things they wanted to see and Frank Baum would take their ideas and work them into the next Oz book – thanking all the readers in the acknowledgements of each new installment.

I have been kicking around the idea of (sometime in the future) posting a story to my blog a chapter at a time.  I would post the opening chapter or two with the premise and then based on the comments of readers feedback the story would be written from there.  If it was any good – I would look at publishing it at an even LATER date – with all of you in the acknowledgements.

This is just a nutty idea – not sure if it would work – but I was curious what you guys would think about doing an ode to Frank Baum’s unique style!

And Now The Questions For Moi.

Several months ago, I opened the floor to questions from my subscribers with the intention of a Q&A post.  While I got some terrific questions – I have also gotten a lot more subscribers since then (very lovely ones, too) and I wanted to give you all a chance to ask some questions as well.


Here are the questions from the previous post that have already been asked, so you know what’s already going to be answered and maybe to jump start your own questions.


1. What is the worst thing you’ve ever eaten.
2. If you had a dog, what would you name him/her?
3. Who is your favorite author?
4. If you could travel to any country in the world, where would you go and why?
5. If you could travel to any state, which state would you choose and why?
6. What was your favorite age that you’ve ever been? Why?
7. What was the best day of your life (so far)?
8. What’s the most scared you’ve ever been (excepting situations that didn’t end well and wouldn’t be fun to talk about)?
9. If you were going to be marooned on an island for a year, and could only have 3 books (other than the Bible) what would they be?
10.  Are you more of an extrovert or introvert? Mixture of both?
11.  How old were you when you first started writing (I’m thinking of stories here)?
12.  Favorite book of all time?
13.  What is your current desktop wallpaper?
14.  Do you have a favorite Disney movie?
15.  Do you have pets? If so, how many, what kind, etc.?
16. Do you ever make up stories in your head and talk out loud with the characters? Just wondering if you’re as crazy as I am!
17.  The character development in your published and soon-to-be-published works is amazing, and your characters’ personalities and actions simply leap off the page. What tips would you give other writers for developing vivid, believable, realistic, and endearing characters?


Topic Ideas:

Publishing, Life, Books, Movies, Music, Family, Day to day routine, habits, Food, Schooling, Dreams. . . etc.



So go ahead!  Hit me!  Um . . . .not a literal hit, just throw your questions at me.  As long as they’re not too heavy.  😀

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21 thoughts on “Writing News & Questions For Both Of Us

  1. Hm.

    About the Ambia question: I think you definitely shouldn’t limit yourself. I loved–LOVED–The Reluctant Godfather, but I think that if you made all your stories exactly like The Reluctant Godfather in terms of tone, plot, subject matter, I would personally find that a tiny bit boring. I think deaths and explosions and swordfights and such might be fun!

    And I don’t think you should worry that they will “clash” with The Reluctant Godfather, because lots of other authors create stories in the same universe with vastly differing emotional emphases. (for example, Dickens’ earlier works like Pickwick vs. his later works like Bleak House or Hard Times. They all take place in London, the SAME London, but sometimes it’s a happy London and sometimes it’s a grimmer London, and that’s okay.)

    1. Aww, thanks, Jessica! I appreciate your thoughtful feedback and your vote of confidence! And very good point about things changing through out an author’s works. ‘nods’

  2. Allison, I would completely second Jessica. I can completely trust you to portray evil as evil and not glorify it, and those are my only two limitations on authors writing violence and deaths in their books.

    I don’t think that it will ruin the tune of the Ambia books either.

    And, what! A full-length novel! I was not expecting that.

    I do like you idea of mimicking Frank Baum’s unique connection with his readers. I LOVE his books. I should really re-read them again, but I have read all of his Oz books and just love them so much.

    1. Aww – thank you, Karis! I appreciate that.

      Whew – okay. 😀

      HAHAHA – yeah, I wasn’t expecting it either! I’m pretty sure (or hope) that not all of the future Ambia books will be novels, though. As I’ve begun sketching out and outlining Ambia’s future I have the idea that it will be kind of alternating novels and novellas….that’s the plan, anyway! 🙂

      Aww, thanks! Yes – wasn’t that wonderful that he did that? Frank Baum was such a unique person and storyteller and approached writing in such a special way.

      ‘HIGH FIVES’ I only discovered Oz in the last five years or so but I love them!! They are so fun!

  3. (For some reason your blog never lets me post long comments, so I’m splitting my comment in two and seeing if that works…)

    I’m actually excited to hear The Frog Prince will be longer! I much prefer long stories over short, and more Allison brilliance makes me alllll the excited!

    NOW, as far as your question, I 100% think it’s absolutely and completely fine to make this one a bit darker than The Reluctant Godfather! Authors grow and change, and their books grow and change with them. That’s just part of the authors’ life I believe. Don’t force yourself to write a specific way because of one book. Just write the story that NEEDS to be written. If it’s darker, that’s okay. The story always knows best.

    1. (Pt. 2)

      Plus, with pretty much ALL series, each book gets a bit darker and deeper as the series goes on. The first books do tend to be more lighthearted, but then things just get more complex and deeper and dangerous. And I like that. I love how series has rising action.

      So allll this babbling to say. Yes, I think it’s perfectly fine if there are deaths and explosions and things. I’m all for sword fights and explosions! 😀 I think the most important thing is to write the story that needs to be written. If this story is calling for deaths and things, I’d absolutely do it.

      Also, I think writing a readers’ participation story would be SO fun! I love this idea! 😀

      1. Thank you so much for you’re feedback, Christine! Those are great points and HIGH FIVE to sword fights and explosions! 😀

        Aww – thank you! I have a few ideas for a ‘interactive blog story’ and it’s definitely something I would love to do with all of you!

    2. WELL PHOOEY! I don’t know why it’s doing that to you – I’m sorry! ‘glares at blog’

      Awww, thank you, Christine! That’s so sweet! <3

      'nods' That's true!

  4. I honestly think it would be awesome if you added sword fighting, death, doom, and DESTRUCTIOOOON!!!!

    Wow, I sound so gleeful.

    Okay, I was exaggerating. But I have no problem with you adding elements like death and fights – I think it would make it more interesting, actually! I definitely don’t think you’ve written yourself into a hole. All the books in a series don’t have to be the same – it might get boring if they were! I’m looking forward to seeing what the future has for the Tales of Ambia. 🙂

    I think a serial story with reader feedback would be really interesting!

    And here are my questions:
    1. Have you read any L.M. Montgomery books? If so, which is your favorite?
    2. Your favorite character of all time.
    3. Your favorite brand of chocolate. (This is obviously very important.)
    4. Tell us about one of your early writings. (Ha… ha… ha.)
    5. What’s the most dreadful thing you’ve ever written?
    6. How would you describe yourself in ten words or less?
    7. Have you read any Jane Austen? Do you enjoy her books? Which is your favorite?
    8. How many siblings do you have?

    Aaaand… that’s all, because I’m rambling now. Byeee!

    <3, Zane

    1. LOL!!! I literally grinned ear to ear at that first statement, Zane – LOL!!

      I usually sound gleeful when I talk about stuff like that too – haha!

      Aww – thanks, Zane – I appreciate the great feedback and your interest in Ambia! <3

      I'm really interesting in the serial idea and I trying to see if I can pull something together - thank you!

      Wow, those are awesome questions! And the one about my early writing - HAR-HAR! 😀 That is a good one! 'wink' Thank you SO MUCH, Zane! I love questions and can't wait to answer these!

      <3 Alli

  5. *bounces in* AAAHHM BACCCK!!!!!

    Okay, okay. First of all, calm down. I know you’re excited to see me and all, but combined with this extreme and unseemly amount of stress about the destruction descending on Ambia….. it may send you over the edge. Here. *pulls mask over face* maybe this’ll help.

    Soooo………Darkness, destruction, death and doom descend on our dear, darling D’Ambia? (man, just couldn’t make that alliteration work!) SuperSeneca to the rescue!!!!! *spasm of coughing*

    First of all, it depends on your goal for this series. If you want to keep it on the level for kids, with enjoyment for the adult reading it built in, you’re already there- you currently have a concise, witty, intelligent fairy-tale retelling. aimed at an audience from 5 to 105.. IF this is the case…. time to chop up that poor froggie prince. Keep the villains at a my-sister-is-such-a-meanie level and, y’know, limit explosions to laughter.

    BUT THEN- you could also take this series to an entirely different level. Lengthier novels, Deeper villainy=deeper philosophy. Friendships and betrayals, love and heartache, and, best of all…. SWORDFIGHTS!!!!!! Ahem, I mean, yeah. Deeper meaning. Whatever. Note: I believe this would require an eventual re-write of TRG, probably combining it with another book.


    So what you should really be doing is evaluating what YOU think of your novel-in-the-works, and where YOU want it to go. It’s tough to be a future bestselling author, I know. But you’ll make it. 🙂

    You now have permission to get out of that ridiculous therapy chair. It doesn’t seem to be helping, based on the saucers that have replaced your poor, confused eyes. XD

    P.S…. I love your new idea. It’s the Baum. *snickers at own punniness*

    1. SENECCA’S BACK – YAAAAAAAAY!!!! ‘bounces’

      ‘breathes hard’ I’m trying to calm down, I really am….ah, yes the mask helps immensely! And I love the false mustache on it! ‘assumes calm face’

      Hahahaha!! That was a mighty fine attempt though, Seneca!!! ‘applauds’ Love it!

      ‘literally howling with laughter but nodding’ That’s very good advice, Seneca. <3

      LOOOL! Well, I’m not sure about a bestseller author! (wouldn’t that be nice?) but I am wondering about all the younger siblings of my friends who have been reading my book – which I absolutely love – so I’m just wondering how to balance things.

      HAHAHA – yes, thank you, can I? I hate uncomfortable chairs, but I assure you my eyes feel fine.

      ‘snickers loudly at Seneca’s puniness and has to applaud again’

      THANKS, SENECA – YOU THE BAUM! <3 I appreciate the feedback!

  6. About Ambia. Sword fights … YES!!!!! A well written sword fight/battle is one of my all time favorite things!! Death, yes. I loved the Reluctant Godfather, but to keep the series interesting, I think that you need to vary the style/content. And, knowing you, it won’t ever get too dark for the series. Remember, most people’s ‘darkness tolerance’ is a lot more than yours, so as long as you’re comfortable with it, I’d say it’s good. And I love the idea of varying the lengths of the books. That’s awesome!

    Ok. As a reader and not a writer, having an idea of yours being well written into a book would be a dream come true. Literally. I have all these ‘bright ideas’ and nothing to do with them. So please!!!! Do it!!

    I can’t wait for The Frog Prince. And if ever you need an Ambia fan to beta read it to tell you if it fits in the series, you know where to find me!

    1. THANKS, ELSIE! ‘high fives’ – one of my favorite things is a good sword fight too. 🙂

      ‘nods’ Thank you for that! Yeah, that’s true . . . as you said I’m more sensitive than most people, so there’s that . .


      Aww – thanks!! ‘claps’ I’m so excited to see everyone else excited about it!!!

      AWW – thanks, Elsie! I do indeed no where to find you and I hope to come a’looking for you very soon! ‘glares at Frog Prince’ For thee shall be conquered 🙂

  7. ALLISON *grins sheepishly* I didn’t realize this was the post for the Q&A. hahaha… Yep. XD WOW. That’s a tough question about The Frog Prince… The Reluctant Godfather was so cute and sweet – I understand your struggle with this situation. It’s SO hard to say! I think the idea of villains and sword fights (niceeee) and even death would definitely deepen the story – it wouldn’t be so lighthearted, but you could still leave it “light” enough that kids could read it. I also think it depends on where YOU want the series to go – do you want it stay very lighthearted like TRG, or do you want to spice things up and throw some action and adventure in there? Of course, I would be up for action and sword fights, but, again, it’s such a hard question to answer… In my opinion it’s almost either/or – but the series is growing, so added depth would probably just make it BETTER. *hugs* KEEP GOING, girl! YOU CAN DO THIS. (*whispers* I’ll be praying for you!! <3) (not sure if that helped AT ALL, but I hope it did XD)

    OMW, the idea of a story using the idea of blog readers is intriguing (I'd never thought of that!!). BUT, as a writer myself, that thought is also *nervous laughter* a tad bit scary. XD Honestly, though, it's super cool! *thumbs up*


    What is your favorite type of food (i.e. Italian, Chinese, Mexican, etc…)?
    Would you rather cook or bake? (I think I know the answer to this one. XD)
    Would you rather go skydiving, jump off of a 50ft cliff into the ocean, or walk across a tightrope at the circus?
    What is your go-to movie on a rainy day? (sorta using the question you asked me, but HAHA no one will know XDD maybe)
    Do you have a favorite store? Which is it?
    Would you rather live in the Amazon jungle or the wilds of Africa? (yep, I'm throwing some crazy weird ones at you)
    Do you prefer fictional characters to be lively and humorous, or serious and thoughtful?
    North and South or Pride and Prejudice?
    A lake or the ocean?
    East or West coast of America?
    Your favorite meal (or dessert) to prepare?
    What is your #1 tip for other writers?

    I HOPE YOU HAVE FUN WITH THESE!! <33 *anticipating the video*

    1. Eek! Sorry! I kind of made this post confusing! ‘face palm’

      Thanks, Micaiah – I truly appreciate the feedback and support!! AND YES – it did help! 🙂

      THANK YOU MICAIAH! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate them!! <3 ‘hugs and tears up’ - thank you so much!!!

      HAHAHA! I KNR? It’s a TERRIFYING idea – putting my writing ‘out there’ in such a piecemeal higgledy-piggledly way and just winging it but, gosh, I think it would be fun! 🙂

      OOO – I LOVE THESE QUESTIONS – RANDOMNESS AND AWESOMENESS, these are going to be such fun – thank you Micaiah!!! <3

      1. DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. I thought there was a different post, so I came to your blog and was like “WHEREEE?” XD

        It helped?! Okay, good! XD I’m glad. <33 YOU'RE WELCOME, ALLISON! *hugs you too*

        HAHA, yeeep, terrifying! But also yes again – it would probably be fun! 😀 Lemme know what you decide to do!!


        1. HAHA – SORRY!! But thanks! 🙂

          YES, IT DID!! ‘gratefully hugs back’ <3

          Will do!! 🙂

          YES - THEY ARE FANTASTIC, THANK YOU, Micaiah!!! <3 <3

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