Yes, I am crazy for doing three projects, why do you ask? However, they’re all in different stages:
Arrows is going through a cycle of being split into three right now, with Volume 1 getting all prettied up for betas – the second team, that is. Ended up creating a early team comprised of people I know in real life, haha. But hey, the more the merrier, right? The signup form is still open:
As for the other two volumes, I’m going to be rewriting them for October and November. Probably into December too…
The Woodsman is still going through its second draft.
Gunnar & Mette might be taking its baby steps…again. I’ve started this story at least twice, I think, but after some more brainstorming and adding more inspiration, it is now a trilogy. Book #1 is called Gunnar & Mette: Return of The Snow Queen. I’m not sure how much I’ll be writing for this, but I’ll at least try.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into the questions!
1. What first sparked the idea for this novel?
Arrows: Since Arrows is really just the newest and final version of the Matthews Family, I’ll just direct you to this.
The Woodsman: Again, I will direct you to here.
Gunnar & Mette: Return of The Snow Queen: Frozen. Yes, the Disney movie that is vastly overrated and that I now dislike. However, as time has passed, it has become more of a retelling/sequel to The Snow Queen, with Arthurian and LOTR influence.
2. Share a blurb (or just an overall summary if you’d prefer)!
Arrows: A multi-generational story spanning the course of 33 years, Arrows follows the Matthews Family as they experience marriage, friendship, first love, loss, and reconciliation.
The Woodsman: When Nicki Bennett returns to Marigold Hills, the tiny town where she and her mother lived for two years, she discovers an old friend of hers is now estranged from her older brother and decides to try and help the siblings reconcile.
Gunnar & Mette: Return of The Snow Queen: A retelling/sequel-ish to Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen. the first installment in the GAM trilogy follows Mette, daughter of the retired Captain of the Guard, as she recruits the half-giant and social pariah Gunnar, along with his uncle, a former nobleman, to help her find her missing family. Along the way, the trio will make friends and enemies, discover long-buried secrets, and be changed in ways they never expected.
3. Where does the story take place? What are some of your favorite aspects about the setting?
Arrows: Philadelphia, PA / Belfair, WA, and Silverdale, WA. Favorite aspect about Philadelphia? Not sure. As for Belfair and Silverdale, I’m very familiar with both places, especially the former, so it won’t take much research to immerse myself in the setting.
The Woodsman: Marigold Hills is fictional, but it’s practically hidden in the Cascade Range, about forty minutes away from Leavenworth. My favorite aspect is the Old West-like look it has. Also, Jonathan’s cabin.
Gunnar & Mette: Return of The Snow Queen: It’s fantasy, so I get to do a LOT more worldbuilding than with TW, since that one is still in our world. GAM is going to have mostly Scandinavian influence, probably mostly Danish out of that since HCA was Danish. But since it’s also become its own thing, it’ll likely have influence from other places too. Idk…I really should get to work on the worldbuilding.
4. Tell us about your protagonist(s).
Arrows: Jack & Margaret are the primary protagonists, with their oldest son Connor and his wife Kelly becoming the secondary protagonists as they grow up. Jack is from a prominent Philadelphia family, whereas Margaret is from a small mom-and-pop background. Connor is their oldest son, and Kelly is his childhood best friend/eventual wife.
The Woodsman: Nicki Bennett is an aspiring watercolor artist. Jonathan Gray is the titular character, with his primary interest being woodworking, though he also doubles as the town handyman on occasion.
Gunnar & Mette: Return of The Snow Queen: Mette is the middle daughter of Kaius, the former Captain of the Guard who is now retired. Gunnar is half-giant, a fact he hates for certain reasons. He’s an orphan, having been raised by his Uncle Ragnar since he was a child.
5. Who (or what) is the antagonist?
Arrows: Doris, Judy, Ariel, and Lena. At least are getting redemption arcs, or at least the start of one.
The Woodsman: Jonathan. He too goes on a redemption arc.
Gunnar & Mette: Return of The Snow Queen: Lots of people, including the Snow Queen. Even Gunnar is antagonistic at times. And yep, there’ll probably be a redemption arc somewhere….(Can you tell I love redemption arcs?)
6. What excites you the most about this novel?
Arrows: The themes, the character development…all of it as a whole!
The Woodsman: THE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.
Gunnar & Mette: Return of The Snow Queen: Gunnar & Mette’s interactions, Uncle Ragnar, the character development – ESPECIALLY GUNNAR’S AND METTE’S DEVELOPMENT. (And I love character development too, hehe)
7. Is this going to be a series? standalone? something else?
Arrows: This has bounced from being one book to multiple a lot, but I’ve finally settled on it being a compilation of sorts. Three volumes, each split into two parts, like LOTR.
The Woodsman: It can stand on its own, but I have ideas for at least three other stories set in Marigold Hills, with only one being after TW. Whether the other two will ever happen though…that remains to be seen.
Gunnar & Mette: Return of The Snow Queen: First of a trilogy.
8. Are you plotting? pantsing? plansting?
Arrows: Right now, Volume I is with betas, while
The Woodsman: Writing the second draft.
Gunnar & Mette: Return of The Snow Queen: I’ll probably be brainstorming more than writing.
9. Name a few unique elements about this story.
Arrows: Not sure…
The Woodsman: Jonathan being both the antagonist and love interest.
Gunnar & Mette: Return of The Snow Queen: Hm…maybe the big twisty-twist? But then again, that’ll happen in the second book, so…
10. Share some fun “extras” of the story (a song or full playlist, some aesthetics, a collage, a Pinterest board, a map you’ve made, a special theme you’re going to incorporate, ANYTHING you want to share!).
Links to the storyboards and playlists for these stories can be found on my WIP page.
Well, there you have it! Also, if you have not had the pleasure of meeting Christine, PLEASE. DO SO. RIGHT NOW. She is so bubbly and sweet and encouraging and enthusiastic!
How’s the writing going? Are you participating in any sort of writing thing this year? I’m not…we’re in the throes of moving, so writing for me will probably be sparse. Hence why I’m using the entire autumn season for my own little writing ‘camp.’