Category Archives: Shadowlands: The Guardian

You Are What You Read

The thought has crossed my mind a few times lately. Being pregnant, I’ve never been more aware of how the food I eat directly impacts my body and the little (girl!) growing inside of me, and I can’t help but notice a similar trend when it comes to what I read, and watch.

People have compared my writing to CS Lewis’ “Chronicles of Narnia”. Well guess what? I grew up on the stuff. My parents read the entire series to me several times over when I was a kid. These books are so ingrained into my skull that I have to fight to eradicate the kindly English accent in my head that pops up whenever I write.

After that came Madeline L’Éngles’ books and by the time I hit grade three, I tackled Lord of the Rings for the very first time (took me a few years but I did it in the end). While living in Germany, the first English books I encountered were the Harry Potter series. At the time I the Shadowlands books were nothing more than a vague dream but the experience of wandering the German countryside (I read as I walk) with a book of magic in my hand stuck to me more than I’d like to admit.

I picked up a darker satirical edge from Simon R Green. Throw in a pinch of that great TV series ‘Firefly’, and you come out with an adventure fantasy series primarily aimed at pre-teens and teen boys.

The second Shadowlands book does feel different. Probably because it reflects a different time of life. I’ve been married and settled back in my home town for a few years, and I’ve got a baby in the oven. My life experiences revolve less around globetrotting and more around the relational complexities of family. Tavin’s shares a large part of the story with his sister Moreanna. Family loyalty seems to be a major theme in this second book…

But back to reading and eating. I still have to claim my initial influences (Lewis, LÉngle and Tolkien), but I’ve been reading a lot more Anne Rice lately, as well as some other more ‘grown up’ fantasy books. I’m not sure if I should admit it, but I’ve also been hooked on the TV series ‘Supernatural’ lately. The influence on my writing is probably slightly more than subconscious. 😛 If you ever read my next book ‘The Hand of Darkness’ see if you can spot it. Heh heh.

But what about dessert? My guilty pleasure has always been westerns. I know. It seems a little out of left field. But when it’s cold and rainy and I’m feeling down Louie L’Amour is who I reach for. Which is why… against the the strong objections of my husband (who thinks it’s a horrible idea), I’ve begun writing a western. 🙂 The best part is the reactions I get when I tell people. I get these blank looks as they try and process the idea. The conversation usually goes something like this:

“…so… it’s a time travel book?” “Nope. It’s a western.”

“So how do your characters get there?”

“In the west? They are born there.”

“Are there aliens or something?”

“Nope. It’s a western.”

“Do they have superpowers?”

“It’s a western. They shoot guns.”

… you get the idea. Personally, I’ve never had more fun writing a book then when I write this one. I can hardly wait to share it! Vampires? What vampires? Trust me, I’ve decided the market’s ripe: westerns are the new ‘it’. If you’re smart, you’ll write one too. 😛

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ReadUP TweetUp! Come meet me and other great local authors!

ReadUP TweetUP is Nanaimo’s 5th Tweetup designed to bring Nanaimo’s social media community together in support of Family Literacy Day.

The ReadUP TweetUP is a KID FRIENDLY event and will be held at the Nanaimo Museum on Thursday, January 27, 2011. Special thanks to the Nanaimo Museum for providing the venue.

Artwork inspired by Shadowlands: The Guardian, by CJ Gosling

 

More information coming soon!

ReadUP TweetUP


My Very First Book Signing!

My very first book signing!

Where: Alberni Outpost in Country Club Mall

8-3200 North Island Hwy. Nanaimo, BC

When: 1-3:30pm

Come out and meet me! Pick up your copy of Shadowlands: The Guardian and get it signed.

Tell me your stories and I’ll tell you mine. See you there 🙂 🙂


Buy A Preview Copy of Shadowlands: The Guardian!

Preview copies of my book are available (at last) online! Technically, the book isn’t due to be released until Feb. 2011 but if you buy it now from me, you get a signed copy! 🙂

Click here to purchase a copy.

Click here for a summary of my book.

Click here to read a sample chapter.

Happy Holidays!


Sneak Peak at My New Book!

Click here to view a sample chapter from my book Shadowlands: The Guardian, to be released in February 2011 by Brighter Books. Let me know what you think!


My first book: In print!

After a very busy week, it is my great pleasure to let you all know: the baby’s come home! 🙂

I’m referring to the first printed copy of my book! Yeah!!! I tend to wrap it up in scarves and try not to let greasy fingers touch it. In the next couple weeks my publisher (Brighter Books) will be running off a couple hundred copies to send to reviewers ect… they need time to read it so the release date of my book has been pushed back to Feb. 2011.

But I now hold in my hands a real book. Written by me. The very first one. My husband (J) and I got together with my publisher (Angela) and her husband (Dean) for a very special dinner. (From left to right: Dean, Angela, J and me, Charity! ahm… CJ )We got some funny looks with the baby so proudly propped up on display but ahhh… it was a wonderful night.

Now onto book two! work work work 🙂


Don’t look!

Oops. I’ve sprung a leak. I couldn’t help it! This is way too cool. It’s the working cover of my Nov. 2010 book. (No, I didn’t do it). Angela and I are looking for feedback. If you have any helpful thoughts/ criticism let me know!

Ahhhh! I can hardly wait!


Lucky and Stubborn

What a perfect rainy, I-want-to-stay-inside-and-write day! I’m looking forward to it.

I’ve been working hard these last few weeks. My publisher wanted me to do quite a few revisions on my Shadowlands manuscript. Now that I’ve finished, I’ve going to spend the next few days working on the next book in the series: The Hand of Darkness. My goal is to write 20,000 words for this new manuscript this month. I’m pretty sure I can do it…

On another note. Last night I hung out with my writer’s group and we practised pitching to one another. Pitching is when you summarize the project you’re working on in about 3 minutes, with the intention to sell the idea/book. After hearing some of the amazing stories that other writers in my group are working on, I drove home feeling very pensive and quite humbled.

After hearing such great story ideas… I’m starting to think that the key to getting published isn’t necessarily a brilliant manuscript. With the odds stacked so high against us (a single agent may receive 150 queries from authors a week), I think that the ones who get published have a good manuscript, are very very stubborn, and well, in the end they’re just darn lucky.

Of course the more persistent you are, the more opportunities you create to get noticed by the right person, but whew! I really think there’s a lot of great stuff out there that never really goes anywhere because an author might give up on it too soon.

So I guess if you’re a writer like me, I’m just saying: dig in your heels and be prepared to be really really stubborn. You don’t know where your big break will come from so keep yourself open to all possibilities. And don’t ever give up. I sure won’t.


New things in spring!

Do you ever feel the need to rearrange all the furniture? Cut your hair? Or maybe just redesign your blog? I sure do.

Everything felt new around me today. I frequently walk the train tracks to work but today was special. The world around me glistened with rain drops, the sky was heavy and bright. The air felt so sweet and fresh I found it easy to imagine that I was swimming through a mountain stream… and the birds- bright feathers, brown feathers, soft and fluffy feathers- they all came out in twos.

🙂

Did I mention I’m signed? I guess changing my blog was a bit in the way of celebration. Well- to be totally honest there’s a few small details to wrinkle out to make it all formal and legal, but Angela (my publisher) told me to go ahead and tell everyone I’m hers. We’ve got some big plans but there’s a chance my first published book will be released in time for Christmas!

What a beautiful day!


Finished! …something

Finished! Finished revisions, finished query letters and plot synopsis… what does this all mean? That the first book of my Shadowlands series is back out in the agent/publishing world (fly free you sweet young thing!) and I’m back to doing what I love best. Good old-fashioned story writing! 😀