Before we start, I have to apologize.
This was supposed to be a vlog, I said it was going to be a vlog, it WAS going to be a vlog.
Unfortunately, there was an oversight on my part. I thought I could use a really lousy editing program to cut edit my video.
Well, it took TWO HOURS to edit two minutes of film.
Not even kidding.
I should have filmed a vlog of me trying to edit the vlog.
Then I tried getting another editing program in a hurry and that crashed and a bunch of other things came up and basically I WAS COMPLETELY FOILED.
So I AM REALLY SORRY THAT I PROMISED A VLOG AND YOU’RE GETTING A REGULAR BLOG POST INSTEAD. You’re also getting this a day LATE, since this was supposed to be a Valentine’s Day post.
But, hey, at least you get to see my AMAZING GIF-ING ABILITIES. You can’t use gifs in a vlog! I know that would have been sadly missed.
ANYWAY – onto the blog post!
I have been planning this giveaway for MONTHS, people. Over half a year, I’m sure. Thinking about this giveaway kept me going in so many ways.
I previously talked about how much my younger readers mean to me (this post) and revealed how I wanted to put together a special giveaway just for these young ladies – and I am CRAZY EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE THE WINNERS TODAY.
There is a dearth of good fiction for children these days, and I’m very passionate about trying to fill that dearth. I truly hope that my stories can light a candle and provide young readers with good, clean fun. It is this passion, and these young readers, who have inspired me to writing even when it was hard!
Several young readers (Annabeth, Lake and Mary) inspired me so much they are in the dedication of A Royal Masquerade. Having these girls read my book is such an honor and it brings such joy to my heart to think of them as my fans! They’re such special and precious souls and to have them enjoy my book is just . . . the best feeling ever.
As it turns out, only two girls entered this giveaway. Which actually makes me happy, because that means EVERYBODY’S GOING TO BE A WINNER TODAY! *SQUEALS* *dolphin squeaking* *flailing*
Note of warning: Just so you know, there are some spoilers ahead for anyone who has not read The Reluctant Godfather or A Royal Masquerade. There are even some vague hints / spoilers for the FUTURE of Ambia!!! EXCITING, RIGHT? I love spoilers. Can’t resist em’.
– THE GIVEAWAY ENTRIES –
First up, we have the lovely . . .
Annabeth – Age 11
Annabeth: I love your books!!!!
Me: AWWWWCK!!!! *GRINS FOOLISHLY* That makes me so happy! Thank you!
Annabeth: How do you write so GOOD?
Me: Knowing your good taste in reading – wow! – that was quite a compliment! Thank you! *beams*
To answer the question . . . well . . . I sense a ramble coming on.
# 1. I’ve been working at it a long time. I’ve been writing for over fifteen years, and (usually) the more you do something the better you’ll do it.
# 2. I’ve worked at it really hard and I haven’t stopped learning. It’s very important that a writer always keeps studying and always takes constructive criticism. I know that my writing can always be improved and honed and its something I work on all the time.
# 3. I have a really great team! You don’t see the messy first draft. My family, my friends, and my editor all make amazing suggestions when they read this draft about how I can improve my story and make it as good as possible and then I polish it vigorously until it becomes the shiny paperback that you have read!
# 4. I’ve read lots of good books ever since I was little. This is essential! Most writers really reflect what they read. It’s like eating healthy food instead of junk food – reading great books will make us better writers because we’re putting so many well-crafted words and stories inside us!
# 5. I actually have an obligation to write as good as I can, because God gave me the gift of writing. Before we were born, God specifically designed both of us to have unique and special gifts. He gave me the gift of words and writing, and when God gives us an ability, we ought to develop that gift as much as we can for His glory.
Thank you so much for your comment and question, Annabeth! I enjoyed answering them so much!
Second, we have the beautiful . . .
Mary – Age 14
Mary: It was really clever of Colin and the troupe to have Burndee dress up as King Gustav.
Me: Aw, thanks, Mary! I had a lot of fun writing A Royal Masquerade and working in the themes of masquerades and disguises into the story!
Mary: Is Poppy enjoying her job as lady-in-waiting?
Me: Yes, she is! And I appreciate you asking about her; I think that’s very kind! Poppy’s enjoying being a lady-in-waiting much more then she enjoyed being a princess. But I think, mostly, she’s relishing this new freedom as she discovers new things about herself.
She still has some choices to make. Poppy won’t be a lady-in-waiting long before more adventures come her way. She has more changes ahead of her – so we’ll just have to see what decisions she makes about her life and career! What do YOU think should happen to Poppy next?
Mary: Will Cynthia’s baby be stolen and replaced when it is born, or will it be stolen by Snell?
Me: First of all, I just have to say, I’m not THAT cruel an author. 😉
BUT, my characters DO suffer and do experience loss so . . . all I can say is – be worried about Cynthia and her baby. The next book in The Tales of Ambia series (a Little Red Riding Hood retelling) DOES feature Cynthia’s pregnancy and the story DOES make me CRY (a lot) nearly every time I work on it so . . . Yep, lots of sorrow and trauma ahead for both of us!
Mary: Will Lucinda Henry get out of jail and catch someone else?
Me: Ooo – good question! I feel like you are one of the few people who remembered Lucinda! That is a tricky question to navigate.
I WILL say this. You and I both know that Lucinda would need lots of help in a jailbreak. She’s certainly not smart enough to manage one herself. She’s also doesn’t have many friends at the moment, so if she did break out – it would take a while.
What do you think? Would you like to see Lucinda escape and return to wreak havoc? Or would you prefer the nasty little baggage to remain in jail for all time? I’d love to hear your opinion!
Mary: What are Portia and Stepmother up to?
Me: You’re probably the only person who has actually remembered the Evil Stepmother and Portia and asked what they’re up to!!! Everyone else seemed to have forgotten them and I was planning the future of Ambia in Evil Author Anonymity, hoping everyone had forgotten about her.
The last time we saw the Evil Stepmother and Portia they were in a tiny little fishing village working for their living and, as far as I know, that’s where they still are . . . currently. However, we all know that someone like Stepmother probably wouldn’t be content to remain there.
Mary: Does Burndee play sports?
Me: I love this question! I’m afraid Burndee thinks sweating and running around after some kind of “ball or something” (yes, he actually said that – sorry, sports lovers) is barbaric. He prefers using his brains (not that he has many – but don’t tell him I said that) or his magic . . . not physical strength!
Burndee not only hates preforming for anyone in any way, shape or form, he’s also leery of sports because, deep down inside, he’s afraid that he would embarrass himself.
*whispers* And he’s probably right.
Burndee’s real sport is baking. As a baker myself, I can testify that it is quite tiring and can be exerting (endless stirring, standing and washing up!).
His other sport is Sarcasm. He probably has awards and trophies on his shelf: Most Obnoxious Fairy Godfather. Biggest Mouth in Ambia. Most Sarcastic Man of the Year.
He does ride horses, on occasion. He might also be wrangled into the occasional game of croquet by Ella or Cynthia, but that is the width and breadth of his sporting abilities.
If you’re looking for a jock, I have a suspicion that Colin is your man. I hear that he plays polo, among other things!
And that wraps up Mary’s fantastic questions! Thank you, Mary!
ALL RIGHT. ARE YOU READY, PEOPLE? I put the two names on pieces of paper into a teacup and mixed and mixed and mixed!
The first prize winner is . . . Mary! And the second prize winner is Annabeth!
*BEAMS AND HUGS* Congratulations, girls! I’m so excited for you and I shall send out your prizes soon! 😘
Can we have a big round of applause, guys? Because I’m applauding and blowing kisses to Mary and Annabeth and I’m going to keep doing it with or without you!
These are the next great readers in our world – and they’re important! Thank you Annabeth, Mary (and Lake!) – your enthusiasm means the world to me! ❤ Happy (late) Valentine’s Day and Happy International Book Giving Day!