Glimpses of Light Blog Tour

Previous Blog Stop

In the last stop on the blog tour, Jo-Anne Berthelsen talks about how she came to write ‘Revelation’ for Glimpses of Light. It is a beautiful story, all the more special as it drawn from real events. Jo-Anne loves communicating through both the written and spoken word. She is the author of six published novels and one non-fiction work, Soul Friend: The story of a shared spiritual journey.

Glimpses of Light

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Glimpses of Light started with a flash of inspiration – why not write a collaborative charity anthology to celebrate the 2015 International Year of Light. It has been exciting watching that small kernel blossom into a book. Both Nola and I were thrilled at the number and quality of entries we received, the enthusiasm of our contributors and the willingness to work with us during the different stages of editing, proofing and publishing. I love each of the stories, poems and reflective pieces.

My fantasy story was fun to write – it follows the adventures of a young woman, Ruhanna, who is expecting her father’s visit for her name-day when things begin to go very wrong. Here’s an excerpt:

Ruhanna sighed and began to step backwards when the carving of an albatross on a box, half covered by a goatshair scarf, caught the honey-hued rays of sunlight. She picked it up and slid open the beautifully fitted lid. Inside, on soft fabric, was an intricately carved pen of whale bone, inking stone and fine metal nibs.

‘This is perfect. How much?’

The old woman’s eyes brightened ‘Twenty Royals.’

‘Oh, no, far too much.’

They spent the next few minutes haggling. Ruhanna shook her head, regretting her impulsive enthusiasm. Favula was hard to beat down.

‘As you wish, fifteen Royals, but you drive a hard bargain. That’s most of my savings.’ But it was for her father. It was worth it. Her feet felt like dancing. He was coming from the Big Island tomorrow.

‘That’s a good choice, gentle lass.’ The old woman brushed her dark hands against Ruhanna’s silvery-white skin. ‘They say a sacred albatross guided our people across the ocean wastes after the Sundering, back in the mists of time when the old world ended.’

Ruhanna curved her lips in a polite smile, as she ran her hands over the soft toromo wood of the box and the bright green gems for the bird’s eyes. Mariam told the same far-fetched tale. ‘Why would a speechless bird do that?’

Favula’s hands stilled in packing away her treasures. ‘Some say the Maker sent it, others that the first Flame King himself took the shape of the bird and led the way to the Lonely Isles. Of twenty ships that set out only seven arrived at the Big Island, three wrecking on the chancy Twin Heads.’ She waved in the direction of the narrow entrance to Safety Bay beyond which lay the harbour town of White Havens. It could be tricky sailing, which is one reason the lighthouse had been built. Favula caught Ruhanna’s wrist in a tight grip, her voice low. ‘Some say your mother had the blood of the old kings and queens. Though your hair be brown, with your sea-green eyes, I reckon it could be true.’

Ruhanna’s heart began to thump. She moistened her suddenly dry mouth. ‘I don’t know what you mean. Father is Royal Minister of Shipping and Mines and a loyal subject to the Sea Dragon Throne.’ She tried to pull her arm free, but the old woman’s grip was surprisingly strong.

‘The winds are changing. Best be careful, child.’ Favula laid a roughened finger beside her nose, her mouth stretched wide in a gap-toothed smile. She released Ruhanna’s arm and chuckled.

The old woman’s hulking grandson, Benin, appeared behind her. ‘Hush Gramma, the Royal Guards will hear. Take no heed, Gentle. We are loyal subjects of King Nebunar.’

Zobar strode from where he had been standing, talking to the chandler, his brows furrowed over his mist-grey eyes. He took her arm. ‘Come Miss Ruhanna, we best be going. It will be dark soon.’

The sun had already disappeared behind the hump in the middle of the island, bleeding the sky with oranges, reds and purples. Beyond the dock the waves of the strait stretched out in a bloody reflection of the sky. The guards were looking her way.

Ruhanna drew her cloak around her, thankful for its warmth against a sudden gust of the wind. She gripped the gift she had selected for Baba and followed Zobar, ignoring the intense gaze of the Royal Guards.

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Glimpses of Light is available through Amazon.com  ($12 US plus postage for print book or $3.50 US for kindle)

Giveaway

I’m offering a chance to win a print copy of Like a Girl anthology to the best answer on what’s your favourite genre and why.  And one extra chance to win your choice of either Another Time Another Place OR Let the Sea Roar if you sign up to my email Newsletter – to keep in touch with future publications and news.

3anthologies

Anthologies on Amazon Central

Next Stop Blog Tour

Sci-fi author, Adam Colling’s is hosting the next stop on the blog tour. Adam has recently published his novella ‘Lynessa’s Curse’ – set in a futuristic medieval Mars. He draws inspiration from his over-active imagination, life experiences and faith and is currently writing a space opera series set in the same universe as his GOL story, ‘A Light To My Path’. Adam discusses books, movies and computer games on his YouTube show: Stories with Adam Collings.

Adam will be posting on 12 January. In the meantime, you can check out his blog at www.adamdavidcollings.com

Jeanette

Less than three days before the Goodreads Giveaway of Glimpses of Light ends.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Glimpses of Light by Jeanette O'Hagan

Glimpses of Light

by Jeanette O’Hagan

Giveaway ends January 10, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

Highlights of 2015

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and fantastic New Year in 2016

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2015 has been a whirlwind of a year for me. Here are some of the highlights.

Writing:

In January I did the Month of Poetry (writing over 30 poems), in July I wrote 30,000 words on Mannok’s Betrayal in Camp NaNo and 50,000 words on Jared’s Choice in November. In addition, I wrote 4 or 5 short stories.

NaNoWinner2015

Study:

I was thrilled to finish the Masters of Arts (Writing) through Swinburne University of Technology in July, attending the graduation ceremony last week. I have since enrolled in Year of the Edit.

Publication:

The publication of my story ‘The Herbalist’s Daughter’ in Tied in Pink seems to have broken the drought on publication. Since then I’ve had poems and short stories published in six other anthologies.  (Five of the seven anthologies are listed on my Amazon Central page.)

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‘Thunderstorm’ and ‘Floating’ in Poetica Christi’s Inner Child anthology

‘The Real Thing’ (second prize) and ‘Tree Dreaming’ in FAWQ’s Brio anthology (SVS Concepts)

‘Broken Promises’ in Another Time, Another Place anthology (Swinburne Students)

‘Lighthouse’ (poem) and ‘Sandy – Perfect Plans’ in Let the Sea Roar (By the Light Books)

‘Ruhanna’s Flight’ in Glimpses of Light (By the Light Books)

‘A Long Time Ago’ and ‘Brisbane Summer ABCs’ (poems) and ‘Lakwi’s Lament’ in Like a Girl (Far Horizons)

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I’m working on publishing a longish short story Heart of the Mountain (11,000 words) in January 2016.  More on that soon 🙂

Jeanette O’Hagan

Giveaway:

For the chance to win one of two copies of Glimpses of Light – enter the Goodreads giveaway.

During 2015, the International Year of Light, twenty-one authors from Australia and the United States have come together to explore the theme of ‘glimpses of light’ through short stories, poems, flash fiction and creative non-fiction.

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Glimpses of Light by Jeanette O'Hagan

Glimpses of Light

by Jeanette O’Hagan

Giveaway ends January 10, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

Blog Award Tour

 HeartSunrisex300 c Jeanette O'Hagan July 2012 All rights reserved.

My co-editor in Glimpses of Light anthology, editor at The Write Flourish, poet and writer, Nola Passmore tagged me for the Blog Award Tour. Nola has over 150 short pieces (short stories, flash fiction, poems, and devotions) published and is currently writing her first novel, with parallel modern and historical narratives which intersect on Nova Scotia, Canada. It all sounds intriguing and I’m looking forward to reading it. You can read more about her current writing projects here.

Nola has asked me to answer the following four questions as part of the blog tour.

1. WHAT YOU’RE WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?

I’m got a few things going at the moment. I’ve in the middle of co-editing an anthology Glimpses of Light, I am doing final edits of my story that has been accepted for another anthology (Like a Girl) and I am in the middle of Camp NaNo racing to complete Mannok’s Betrayal – editing and filling in the gaps. This is the third manuscript of my Akrad Children’s trilogy – a secondary world YA fantasy with romantic elements, adventure and courtly intrigue.  My short story ‘The Herbalist’s Daughter’ (published in Tied in Pink anthology in December last year) is set in the same story world.

2. HOW DOES YOUR WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS IN YOUR GENRE?

My novels are not typical Young Adult (YA) in that they are multi-protagonist and generally cover more than a year though the point of view characters are teens to early twenties with themes of loss, relationships, identity, belonging, and coming of age. Because it is secondary world fantasy courtly intrigue with multiple points of view, it does have some co-incidental correspondences with Game of Thrones (though without the level of violence and graphic sex).  It differs from a lot of other fantasy is that it is not set in a obviously European medieval society but uses the Southern Hemisphere for inspiration and has, I believe, strong female characters who aren’t necessarily ‘kick-ass’ warriors.

3. WHY DO YOU WRITE OR CREATE WHAT YOU DO?

I write because it is exhilarating and my stories entertain me. I write because the stories are there, inside of me, and they want to get out. I have had the idea of the Akrad cycle or series (which may end up about 14 books) since the 1980s and the fictional world of Nardva since I began imagining it at the age of nine. The stories have grown and flourished over time. I want to see these stories to take shape beyond my imagination. I also hope, that my stories can inspire a sense of hope and meaning, the value of human life, the beauty and complexity of our world as well as its challenges and horrors, and also as sense of the One who spoke it into being and seeks to renew and restore all things.

4. HOW DOES YOUR WRITING/CREATIVE PROCESS WORK?

Once I have an idea for a story, I think through a rough outline or work out major plot points, usually including the beginning and the end. I might write this outline done (in bullet points).  I spend a lot of time allowing the story to incubate, and spend time daydreaming, allowing the characters to inhabit the scenes, to speak and act and to do surprising things. These days – as I am at this stage with three or four novels ahead of those I am currently working on, I write these ideas down in notebooks to refer to later. I also draw maps, model buildings, draw out family trees etc. Then I sit down and write, often adapting the imagined scenes so they fit into chapters and the (rather rigid) structure of a novel. I might have to leave things out or change things as I go, solving plot problems or issues of pacing or characterisation. I will research issues as they arise in writing the narrative (to ensure verisimilitude) and also make sure that the novel fits in with the others in terms of timeline, family and political relationships and the realities of my fictional world. Once the first draft is finished,  the editing process begins. Though often, I prefer to move on to the next book as the ideas and stories continue to percolate.

 

Thanks, Nola, for giving me the opportunity to share some thoughts about my current projects and writing process.

I’d now like to tag three friends and fellow authors Lynne Stringer, Adele Jones and Alison Stegert:

Lynne Stringer is an editor and author. She has published her popular Verindon trilogy (The Heir, The Crown, The Reign) and has another contemporary novel ready to publish. She’ll be answering these four questions on her blog on Monday 27th July. In the meantime, you can check out her writing at her website http://www.lynnestringer.com/

Adele Jones has published a fast paced, YA thriller Integrate. The sequel Replicate will be published later this year and she also has a historical romance on the cusp of publication. She’ll be answering the same questions on her blog on Monday 3rd August. You can check out her writing at her website http://www.adelejonesauthor.com/blog/

Alison Stegert has a blog looking at internet safety (e-Quipped) and writes fantastic middle grade adventures. She’ll be answering these four questions on her blog on Monday 10th August. In the meantime, you can check out her writing at her website http://ali-stegert.com/

Thanks for taking the time to follow my current writing adventures 🙂

Jeanette

Writing Milestones

Hoping you have all had a wonderful holiday season. Apart from contemplating taking our Christmas Tree down – the last several weeks have been crammed with holidays, family, celebrations and some exciting writing milestones. I’ve been a bit slack keeping you up to date – so my apologies.

November

Writing Retreat

WritersRetreat2014x200In the last week of November, I joined eight other lovely writers for a Writing Retreat.  It was a hoot – with lots of laughter, talking, food, encouragement, inspiration – and even some writing done.  It was a great idea. A particular highlight was my writing friends cheering me on as I crossed the finishing line for NaNoWriMo (once I got over the writer’s block induced by having such an expectant audience 😀 ).

 

 

NaNoWriMo

NaNoWinner2014Logo2x200Which brings me to my second news – completing NaNoWriMo again this year. The aim of NaNo (or National Writing Month in November) is to complete 50,000 words on a novel. I started writing Jared’s Choice (the forth book in the series) and was happy to get a good chunk of this work completed. In the meantime, I’ve asked a professional editor to a good look at Akrad’s Children.

 

December

Tied in Pink Anthology

TiedinPinkx200December has been particularly exciting for me, as on the 14th December (the day before my birthday) Tied in Pink anthology was released. Tied in Pink is a romance anthology with 15 stories by 14 different authors, with all profits going to breast cancer research. My short story, ‘The Herbalist’s Daughter’ carries on Anna’s story. Anna, if you remember, is the protagonist of Fever.  The anthology has some beautiful, heartwarming, gripping and/or funny stories from both veteran and aspiring authors. Here’s my Good Reads review :). Both print and e-books are available from Amazon.

With the publication of Tied in Pink – I now have an author’s page on Good Reads and Amazon. I would love you to follow me there – and, if you haven’t already, on my author’s page on Facebook or on Twitter. I will shortly be starting an email subscription list to notify when I post blogs and other news.

January

Month of Poetry

I am currently participating in Month of Poetry once again. The aim is to write a poem a day in the month of January. So far I’m on track and have been posting my attempts on my Facebook page.

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I was particularly thrilled to receive an email yesterday informing me that one of my poems that I wrote last year has been accepted for publication in an anthology. Only 25 poems are accepted each year. More news on this later.

So, as you can see, it’s been a busy and exciting time. I do plan to write a story on Haka, Rokkan, Martal or Naetok as requested by Nicky, the winner of the Scavenger Hunt and will post it on the website for you all to read.

Jeanette O’Hagan

11 January 2015

October Happenings

BirdandSunx400A quick catch-up with recent events:

  • I’ve written a few short stories set in the world of Nardva, one of which I’m hoping will appear in the Tied in Pink Anthology. The profits of this romance anthology will go to Breast Cancer research. I’ll keep you posted on details. If you want to help towards this project you can purchase some beautiful T-Shirts and other merchandise here.
  • Flight (a short story I wrote) placed second in the Intermediate category of FaithWriters. You can read it here.
  • I have a fabulous time attending a Writers Conference in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria (Australia) last weekend, attending workshops and catching up with old and new friends.
  • I’m signing up for NaNoWriMo again this November – to work on Jared’s Choice.
  • I’ve now started a related Instagram site
  • And finally, I’m publishing on Jeanette O’Hagan Writes (and a new Tumblr site By the Light of Two Moons) some Tamrin Tales – stories that fill in some background of the characters of my books in the Akrad’s Legacy series. The installment of the first story Fever is due tonight.
  • Clues for a Scavenger Hunt will be scattered through out the stories. Details, including prizes, will be announced by Monday 10th November.

Jeanette O’Hagan

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With Adele Jones (author of YA thriller Integrate) and Jo Wanmer (author of Though the Bud Be Bruised), Bachus Marsh 2014

With Nola (from the Write  Flourish editing services) and Pamela, with Adele in background

With Nola Passmore (from the Write Flourish editing services) and Pamela (with Adele in background) Bacchus Marsh, 2014

Following where Imagination Leads

It’s been about a month and a half since I posted. This isn’t because I haven’t been busy.

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In the month of July I signed up for the NaNoWriMo July Camp – with the goal of writing 30,000 words in the month on Mannok’s Betrayal (the third book in the Akrad’s Legacy Trilogy) – it was touch and go but I made it 🙂

All together, I was as able to piece together a connected narrative for the first 40,000 words of MB. I have other major scenes written but have a couple of points which I need to write the transitions. Slowly it is coming together.

20,000 words for Master of Arts (Writing)

I also submitted the first 20,000 words of MB for my current Master of Arts (Writing) unit.

Following the Imagination Trail

At the beginning of Augustn YA Sci-Fi author Lynne Stringer asked me how I started writing my first book (Adelphi). Lynne is author of the Verindon Trilogy (The Heir, The Crown, The Reign).

Here is my reply:

Thanks Lynne, for having me on your blog. I’ve enjoyed reading the other blogs in this series. It is fascinating learning about the different journeys of other writers.

My passion is writing faith-inspired fantasy, poetry and memoir/biography. I am a few thousand words away from completing the first draft of my fourth full manuscript in the fantasy series Akrad’s Children. I also love to blog on life and faith, books and films, and the writing journey.

You asked me how I came to write my first book.

It started with a dream I had in my early twenties and when I say dream, I mean that literally. I dreamt about a young girl standing by a fountain and holding up a lamp in the night. She was calling for a wild creature to come to her and was surprised by what happened next. It was such a vivid dream that I kept the story going even after I had woken up and over the next several months I followed the trail of imagination. The story became part of the world I had begun creating at the age of ten. I began to write the story down – in notepads, on spare pieces of paper, in gaps of time until one day I had a first draft. I even devised a sequel.

Some years later, I revised it and a friend typed it out for me.  …

Read more

Fictional worlds, Series and more

The last couple of months I’ve been flat out with 2 units of study in the Masters of Arts (Writing). This has left little time for writing. However, I will be using Mannok’s Betrayal for my major project in my current unit The Creative Artefact.

In the meantime, I’ve written a couple of guest posts.

Multiplying the Magic

(on writing and reading series)

A good series is a delight to the reader, author and publisher. How many of us remember those series we loved and avidly followed as children – Anne of Green Gables, Biggles, Enid Blyton’s Famous Five or the Faraway Tree, Narnia, Sherlock Holmes – the list goes on. And as we got older maybe we moved on to Agatha Christie, Georgette Heyer, Isaac Asimov, Janette Oke, Karen Kingsley or perhaps Stephen Lawhead. Well, you fill in the blanks with your favourite series author.
Series come in different guises depending on authorial choice, genre and reader expectations.

Read more

Creating Worlds

(on building fictional worlds)

One Hundred Acre Woods, Never Land, Avonlea, Narnia, Hogwarts, Middlearth … these are all places that have delighted countless children – and let’s admit it – adults, filling them with wonder and whimsy.
For me one of the joys of reading is being transported to another place and time.  It might be across the universe in a FTL spaceship or a Blue Police box. It might be back in time to encounter ancient or not so ancient societies and cultures (Victorian, Medieval, Roman, Chinese or Incan) or perhaps to a strange technological or dystopic future. Or it might be the streets of New York or Sydney, the vast Australian Outback or the green hills of England. Books have whisked me away to all these places – and more, many more.

Read more

Jeanette O’Hagan

Blogging about Fantasy

At the end of April I was thrilled to  guest blog on Dyane Forde’s Writing Blog Dropped Pebbles.  I wrote a two part series on Fantasy:

Fantasy and Faith: Part One

“Some day yfantasy1ou will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” C. S. Lewis

Not everyone loves fantasy, not everyone gets it. ‘I prefer reality,’ they say as they look at you slightly askance. The implication, whether stated aloud or not, is that fantasy is escapist entertainment for the childish and less enlightened among us. Even so, I don’t mind admitting that I have not lost my love for fantasy since the day I was introduced to C. S. Lewis’ Narnia series at age 7. In fact, I spend a large part of my days reading fantasy or writing it. So what can we say to the naysayers? Despite the critics, Spec-Fic including fantasy continues to dominate the bestsellers and movie blockbusters. In fact, many people read or watch  fantasy without realising it – Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol or Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, for instance, or Disney’s Fantasia. Moreover, fantasy comes in a wide variety of guises – so chances are there is something for everyone.  Read More.

 

 

 

Fantasy and Faith: Part Two

BirdMany skeptics relegated fantasy to the dusty attics of their childhood. In their minds, it is at best escapist entertainment empty of real meaning or at worst mind numbing wish fulfillment that leaves one out of touch with reality. And to be honest, fantasy does explore and extend our most fantastical dreams and plumbs our worst nightmares. But is it escapist? And is that a bad thing? Read More .

My Writing Process – Blog Tour #mywritingprocess

I was asked to join in with this blog tour on My Writing Process by Melissa Gijsbers Khalinsky. You can read her post here.

And here are my answers to the questions given.

1) What am I working on?

I’m working on a few of projects at the moment. My main passion is for my YA/NA fantasy fiction Akrad series. I’ve written three of the books (Book 1, 2 & 4) and am correctly close to finishing Book 3 Mannok’s Betrayal. Pulling all the threads together has been a challenge but one I enjoy. I have started sending out Book 1 Akrad’s Children to publishers and will be soon sending Book 2 Rasel’s Song to my faithful beta-readers.

I am also doing a Masters of Arts (Writing) – two units this term – which involve major writing tasks. Fortunately, I can use what I’m doing with Mannok’s Betrayal as part of my assessment for one of the units.

I participated in Month of Poetry (MoP) in January (the challenge of writing one poem a day) and have continued writing poems as the whim takes me. And I blog both for my own blogs and for a couple of group blogs.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My Akrad series is secondary world fantasy aimed at Young Adult to New Adult (ages 15-24) audiences. The books are set in an imaginary world of Nardva with complex societies, history, geography, literature, mythologies – but they are not high or epic fantasy (i.e. hero saves the universe from total destruction plot). Nevertheless, they are still full of suspense, danger, adventure, intrigue, romance and mystery. The stories are from the point of view of the younger characters (teens to early twenties) but they continue to interact with other generations. Each book can be read on its own but is also part of an overarching plot. There is also a slow reveal of magical elements with ongoing mystery throughout the series.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I love fantasy and I love writing. Fantasy was my favourite genre as a child (and still is). At about 9 I began daydreaming my own fantasy world with lots of characters and stories. This became the world of Nardva. The Five Lands (where the Akrad Series is set) is a part of this world. Writing my own books fires my imagination and keeps me entertained.

4) How does your writing process work?

Well, it starts with day dreaming. Sometimes I compose the whole story  in my head before beginning to write (often a few times with changes and usually with far more than I can use in the book). However, these days I do start the writing process earlier. I usually have a basic structure – the beginning, the climax and turning points and a good idea of the end as well as the main characters in mind before I start writing. Then I fill in the gaps – and I am often surprised at what comes out in the process. It’s definitely a lot of fun.

Here are two of my friends who will be posting the “My Writing Process” blog tour posts on Monday March 17th. Please check out their blogs next week.  

Lynne Stringer –  Lynne has been passionate about writing all her life. She was the editor of a small newspaper (later magazine) for seven years, and currently works as a professional editor and proof reader. Lynne wrote her YA sci-fi romance novel, The Heir, in 2010. The Heir is the first book in the Verindon trilogy. This book was followed by The Crown. The final book, The Reign, will be released in May 2014. You can find Lynne online at  www.lynnestringer.com

Alison Stegert – Ali Stegert is a daytime school counsellor, night time word wrangler. Her first novel, Summer of the Silk Dragon, is making the rounds of publishers, looking for the right home. Ali blogs about books and writing on Spilling Ink, her personal blog, and about cyber-parenting on e-Quipped. (www.e-quipped.com.au) The link to Ali’s personal blog is www.ali-stegert.com

Enjoy!

Jeanette O’Hagan

You can read a hyptertext teaser for Akrad’s Children – called My Sister – here.

Or join me on Facebook here.