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Friday, December 27, 2013

The Grimm Diaries Blog Tour

Title: The Grimm Diaries Prequels 1-6
Author: Cameron Jace
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairy-tale Retelling
Published: November 19, 2012

The Grimm Diaries are pages written in a Book of Sand, where each fairy tale character confessed the true stories once altered by the Brothers Grimm two centuries ago. To keep the truth about fairy tales hidden, the Brothers Grimm buried the characters in their dreams to never wake up again. But the curse is broken now, and the characters are allowed to wake up every one hundred years. They intend to tell the truth about really happened, and about an untold cosmic conflict between fairy tale characters.

Free on Amazon!

The Grimm Diaries Prequels 1-6 recently made the Top 100 Kids & Teens Kindle Books of 2013 on Amazon, along with prequels 7-10, and Cameron Jace's Snow White Sorrow

About Cameron

Things you might want to know:

Cameron writes books that he can't find elsewhere, basically to amuse himself. Everything Cameron does is for fun, so don't take him seriously. Never call him a writer. He hates that. He prefers the word: Storyteller, or the boy next door who claims he can tell stories.

If you like his books, horaaaay! He loves ya too. If ya don't, hoooray! Now we know in advance that this relationship isn't going to work.

Although his books are ordinary on the surface, they hold many secrets that he might reveal one day. What matters the most to him are characters struggling to find their identities and place in the world.

Things you don't need to know:

He celebrates his birthday twice a year, the day he was born and Friday the 13th. He wants to live in a bubble house. He is a damn good guitar player. He is damn good architecture college drop out. He likes boats, beaches, bears, beards, bananas, bars, barfights, beans, bikes, bones, butter, babes, bakery, blizzards, and pirates (he thought it was spelled Birates when he was a kid.)

And honestly, writing in third person sucks! It's so fake. 

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Book Teaser

From Ladle Rat Rotten Hut:
Once upon a time, there were wolves outside my bedroom window. They were knock-knock-knocking, and sniff-sniff-sniffing while I cringed under my white blanket, my teeth chat-chat-chattering.
Alone in bed in the ramshackle and vulnerable house, cocooning myself under my blanket, I didn't know how to escape them. I kept trying to push my head against the bed sheets, wanting to bury it into the mattress like an Ostrich buries its head in the sand.
The clock kept tick-tick-ticking. It was midnight.
Hiding in the fog outside, the wolves howled in the still of the night, sending shivers through my spine. I wet my pillow with my drool, listening to them scratching the glass on my window.
Scratch, scrrrratch, scratching.
What an awful noise. It sounded like a slow, long “crrrreeeeee” that would end with the letter P.

Blog Tour hosted by Good Choice Reading Blog Tours

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Introducing Little Steps by Ryan Hipp!

Thanks to SCBWI, I met Ryan Hipp. We attended several conferences together. I ordered a sketch from him. We both made comments on the SCBWI listserv. Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da. He always came across as being a super cool guy, but I didn't really know him.

Teen librarian, Ryan Hipp, Me
This all changed earlier this year, when I saw he was booking for Summer Reading programs. I told the teen librarian at my library that Ryan would do a fantastic presentation. She booked him, and I was right. He does a phenomenal presentation. (You won't regret booking him for your school or library.) After successfully engaging the kids in one of our best attended teen programs, I got the chance to hang out with him and finally get to know him. What did I find out? Ryan doesn't just seem like a super cool guy, he really is one! He's also wildly talented. He's the 2012 Gwen Frostic Award Winner. (That's a pretty big deal.) But he has a longer list of credentials than that.

Because Ryan is so awesome, he agreed to be interviewed here, for your reading pleasure. So, without further ado, I present to you, The Ryan Hipp Experience.

The Restless Writer (RW): What came first for you, writing or drawing?

Ryan Hipp (RH): My drawings were the result at an early age to tell the story that was in my brain. And to do it faster. at age 6 writing out words was boring for me and i could tell the story much more effectively by drawing it out on 60 sheets of paper and laying it in sequence across the living room floor.
A beautifully illustrated book about overcoming adversity.
RW: You have illustrated books before, but this is the first written and illustrated by you. How did you come to the decision to publish it on your own?
RH: I am carrying this story more 'close to my chest', so I knew that publishing it on my own was the only way to tell it exactly the way I needed to. Sometimes certain work is too personal to let go. 

RW: Who are some of your greatest influences, literary and artistic? 
RH: Pendleton Ward, James Kochalka, Stan Sakai, Carl Barks, Charles Schultz, Peyo, Rodney Alan Greenblat, Richard Scarry.

RW: When you were developing the idea of Little Steps, what came to you first, words or images? 
RH: I looked at a rough caterpillar sketch I did...and then after that, the story appeared to me in my head and everything was clear. The words just came to me. I didn't originally plan on telling this story this way, but once I knew, I just knew.

RW: What draws you to the children's book genre? 
RH: For me, I have always felt an affinity for cute whimsical endearing things, and children's books quantify that. I (try to) write stories that have that same whimsy that I had when I was a kid...so, thus, my audience has remained the same.

RW: Authors are often told to find their own voice. Artists, to find their own style. How difficult was it for you to do these things? 
RH: VERY difficult. I have always felt that people won't get me, or that I have to model my writing after something safe. It wasn't til after I adopted the mantra that "the right people will get me" that I stopped worrying about apologizing for the way I write and just write what I think is clever or heartfelt and trust that others will see what I am trying to accomplish. As for drawing - the same thing. I have been so jealous of other artists my whole life, one day I gave up on trying to be others and the next thing I know, folks are recognizing my artwork in galleries and magazine covers and it hit me that the best compliment you can give an artist is when their work becomes as recognizable as their handwriting or face.

RW: What do you love most about what you do? 
RH: I love drawing and writing and spending time being creative...but what I love more is going to schools and libraries and talking to students and families and educators and inspiring others. I guess I really do like being in the limelight, but it's very rewarding to feel like people appreciate what you have to say. I love that part. Oh, and getting hugs from kids. It's pretty cool when you know your fans like you lots.

RW: Authors often write stories that are never shown to anyone, or that fizzle before 'the end'. How did you know that Little Steps was a story that needed to be told? 
RH: This story evolved. It started as a very literal story about something bad I experienced, told thru a "clever" metaphor with a cat. When I realized I was way more obvious than clever, I decided I should play it safe and dial it back. Then the story became a story about a robot that was malfunctioning...again...way too obvious. I did tons of work on both of these projects before coming to this epiphany that I was way over-the-top. The story that became Little Steps was really ideal because this way I could tell my story in a universal way that was applicable to anyone's life or specific situation. If I did my job right, the message will come through for people and they can apply the feelings they get from it to their own personal journey.

RW: Where can Little Steps be purchased? 
RH: Hipphop.com is the most direct route because then you can get them personalized, but I will soon have Little Steps available thru the same distribution channels that the big boxes use so it can be ordered from any bookstore.

RW: Can you tell us what you're working on now? 
RH: Seriously? I'm just trying to unlock all the achievements on Batman: Arkham City. I also write dorky ukulele covers of songs from the show Adventure Time. I'm on a very structured schedule.

Thanks for stopping by, Ryan! I wish you crazy success with Little Steps!

*In case you missed it, Little Steps can be purchased here. 

My Personal Endorsement of Little Steps

I am the proud owner of a brand new, shiny, and perfect Little Steps. And lookie here, if you order from Ryan, you even get a nifty personalization! You'll be the envy of all your friends, plus you'll have a beautiful book of your very own. Honestly, even though there is a very positive message in this story, it's the illustrations that just plain make me happy. I want a signed print of the "Hatch!" page. (cough cough, are you seeing this, Ryan?) It is delightful and exuberant and you'll have to see it for yourself. Besides the "Hatch!" page that I'm in love with, I'm also a huge fan of the overall color palette for this book. Bright greens, vibrant pink, purple and turquoise. Dee-licious! I hope you'll check it out.
That cool personalization I was talking about.


Friday, October 18, 2013

I'm pleased to announce that I'm participating in the blog tour for Jamie Magee's Rivulet. As part of the tour, there's a giveaway listed at the bottom of this post. (Who doesn't love that?) Also, I have a top ten list for Jamie.  It's one of my favorite kinds, music! (If it isn't for books, it's gotta be for music. So, here it is!

Top Ten Music Artists

1)       Breaking Benjamin
2)       Florence + Machine
3)       Perfect Circle
4)       Mumford & Sons
5)       Ellie Goulding
6)       Gin Wigmore
7)       Elvis
8)       Chevelle
9)       Adele
10)    Nickelback 

 * I must admit that I'm a huge fan of Mumford & Sons and Elvis too. I've also been known to turn up Adele when I hear her on the radio. :)

Rivulet by Jamie Magee
Expected publication: October 7, 2013

Unfathomable forces have always contested Genevieve Indiana Falcon, known as Indie. The curse of her cold touch entraps her just as the grief ignited in her past torments her. Yet, her mysterious ability to dream while awake saturates her in the belief that she was not always anguished. There is hope that one day a true peace in her soul can be found. 

Foolishly, Indie assumes she has contained her life in an odd balance, and she cherishes the visions she sees of the enigmatic boy that held her in a lost time, but can never reach. She grieves for a life she fears she'll never possess, and that grief is a weapon she uses against her aunt who stands between her and her inheritance. 

Weeks away from her twenty-first birthday, the date where she would assume control over her family legacy, a night terror robs Indie of the balance she was clinging to. Like the dream she had before she lost her family, it predicts a fatal catastrophe on the horizon. The fight between life and death, good and evil, began the moment her thundering heart awoke her. 

Everything changed after that dream. The one thing that keeps her curse at bay is stolen, and then the enigmatic boy arrives in the flesh. Face to face with her fiery born-again lover Indie realizes that the only way she can prevent the tragedy before her is to surrender everything she was, is, and could be. 

Can she bend the laws of nature and fight the improbability that fire and ice could ever be one? As far as Indie is concerned, there is not a myth, spoken fate, or curse that is stronger than her stubborn desire to have it all ... including him.


About Jamie

Jamie Magee has always believed that each of us have a defining gift that sets us apart from the rest of the world, she has always envied those who have known from their first breath what their gift was. Not knowing hers, she began a career in the fast paced world of business. Raising a young family, and competing to rise higher in that field would drive some to the point of insanity, but she always found a moment of escape in a passing daydream. Her imagination would take her to places she’d never been, introduce her to people she’s never known. Insight, her debuting novel, is a result of that powerful imagination. Today, she is grateful that not knowing what defined her, led her on a path of discovery that would always be a part of her.



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Second Giveaway:

One random commenter will win an eCopy of Rivulet! To enter comment here with your preferred ebook format and a way for us to contact you.

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Journey of Books Blog Hop

I decided to join the A Journey of Books blog hop because it looked like good fun. So, if you're new here, welcome! Before I get on with anything else, I wanted to mention that my publisher is running a flash fiction contest. The deadline is Oct. 31, so there's plenty of time to polish up a great submission. Details are here

Any good blog hop will introduce you to other awesome blogs out there so here are five for you to check out. 

As part of the hop, we are all expected to feature a giveaway of some sort, so here is my giveaway, a copy of my debut YA novel. Win it before you can buy it! (Release date is November 12, 2013 from Scribe Publishing.) Good luck! And thanks for stopping by. 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Dream Girl by S.J. Lomas

Dream Girl

by S.J. Lomas

Giveaway ends October 25, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Friday, September 6, 2013

Dream Girl release progress

Molleen Zwiker, Paul Flower, Barbara Pietron, S.J. Lomas, and Jody Lamb
So many wonderful things going on! I have to fill you in. First, August had a fantastic event, the Buy Michigan Now Festival in Northville, MI. My YA publisher, Scribe Publishing, had a booth for all of their wonderful books, current and forthcoming. I got to hang out with my Scribe family and we had a fantastic time! But don't take my word for it. See for yourself! Planning is in the works for us to possibly do another event later this year. I'll keep you posted.

Next, I'm crazy busy preparing for the official launch of Dream Girl. It takes an unbelievable amount of work to get a book launch off the ground. Naturally, I hope it will be a smashing success, but we won't know that until later.  Here are the important details.
Thank you to my sister-in-law for designing this fab flyer!
  1. Dream Girl officially releases November 12, 2013
  2. There will be a launch event at Barnes and Noble, Green Oak Village Place, in Brighton, MI on Sat. November 16, 2013. 3pm.  
 In addition to this launch, I am delighted to be working on another fun project with Scribe, the inaugural flash fiction contest! If you're a writer or you're interested in writing at all, please enter our contest. I am serving as one of the judges and I can't wait to see the submissions! All the info. is here.

Lots of exciting things going on here! If you want in on the excitement too, I hope to see you at the book launch. Regardless of whether you can make it, there are other ways to support the launch. I found this great article by Chuck Sambuchino titled How to Support an Author's New Book: 11 Ideas for You.  As much effort as I, and my publisher, put into marketing and event planning, we can't make the book be a success. That only happens if readers respond. I am so humbled by all the support and encouragement I've received from my family, friends, co-workers, and fellow writers. I sincerely hope you'll browse Mr. Sambuchino's article and see if there's anything you'd be comfortable doing to help Dream Girl. (Bonus: most of the ideas do not involve money leaving your wallet. Hooray!) I couldn't have made it this far without you and I can't be successful without you either. Thank you for all you've done already. I hope I can thank you in person at the launch.

- S.J.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Welcome to the Entangled Teen ember, a division of Entangled Teen August 26th launch party! Today, we're celebrating the release of DARKER DAYS  by Jus Accardo CHAOS by Christine O’Neil!

DARKER DAYS by Jus Accardo

Jessie Darker goes to high school during the day, but at night she helps with the family investigation business. Cheating husbands and stolen inheritances? They’re your girls—but their specialty is a bit darker. Zombie in your garage? Pesky Poltergeist living in your pool? They’ll have the problem solved in a magical minute. For a nominal fee, of course...

When gorgeous new client, Lukas Scott, saunters into the office requesting their help to find a stolen box, it sounds like a simple case—until the truth comes out. The box is full of Sin.

Seven deadly ones, in fact.

They’ve got five days to recapture the Sins before they're recalled by the box, taking seven hijacked human bodies with them. Easy peasy—except for one thing...

There’s a spell that will allow the Sins to remain free, causing chaos forever. When the key ingredient threatens the life of someone she knows, Jessie must make the ultimate choice between love and family—or lose everything.

Jus Accardo: Website/Twitter/Facebook

CHAOS by Christine O’Neil

My name is Maggie Raynard. After sixteen years being just plain me, suddenly I can kill people when I lose my temper. Turns out I'm a semi-god, descended from Aphrodite. Sounds cool in theory, but when I accidentally put my ex-boyfriend in a coma, things go downhill pretty fast.

Now some new guy named Mac Finnegan has made it his mission in life to continually piss me off. I'm stuck learning how to use my new powers while also dealing with regular high school problems, and with this---annoying and super-hot---guy all up in my business, I'm about to flip out.

But it gets worse. I just learned there's this council for semis that wants me dead. They think I'm bad to the bone and when my ex suddenly dies, it's like everyone is determined to take me out. Mac might turn out to be my only salvation, but he's got secrets of his own---that may just kill us both.

Christine O’Neil: Website/Twitter/ Goodreads

To celebrate, Entangled is giving away a Nook Simple Touch US Only and 2 copies of each book International! Check out the Rafflecopter below to enter.
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Monday, June 24, 2013

News and an ARC giveaway. My ARC!

 You see I've been silent lately. Well, if you even noticed, I appreciate it. If you haven't, no hard feelings. I wouldn't have noticed either if I were you.

But I've been very busy putting the final touches on my manuscript and gearing up for the launch. Final proofs are set to come back this week for a last chance review before it goes to the printer. Once my editor and I sign off on the proofs, a limited number of review copies will be printed. How would you like to win one of those review copies? (I thought you might be interested.)

Here's the deal. The official release of DREAM GIRL is in November. In order to give everyone a sample of S.J. while you're waiting, I'm making my YA short story, KISS OF DEATH, free from Amazon this Friday and Saturday, June 28-29. Click here to get your copy.

Below, you will find a lovely little Rafflecopter that shows what you can do for your chance to win the DREAM GIRL ARC. (advance reader copy)

For 10 chances to win, you must write an honest review of KISS OF DEATH on Amazon and/or GoodReads.

For a bonus entry, you can 'like' my YA writing persona on Facebook. And for another bonus entry, you can 'like' my publisher's FB page.

The giveaway will run from Friday, June 28-Saturday July 6, 2013.  DREAM GIRL ARCs should be available around mid-July. I'll coordinate with the winner when their book is ready. I'll even autograph it, if you'd like. 

Ridiculously easy, don't you think?

While we're at it, I can finally reveal the DREAM GIRL cover! This is what you'll be winning. I think it's absolutely gorgeous. My thanks to the wonderfully talented Phatpuppy Art on the cover design. I LOVE it!

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Léna Roy Interview

The synopsis, from Goodreads: Seventeen-year-old Luke lives and works at the Moonflower Motel in Moab, having fled New York City where his father Frank drowns his sorrows after the death of Luke’s mother. Back in New York, eighteen-year-old Ava meets Frank at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. When these lost souls converge in Moab, what happens transforms them all.

I confess, it sounded like a huge downer to me. I figured it would be dark, possibly too high on the grit factor for me, so I put off reading it. Finally, I decided Léna was so cool that I needed to interview her. (I've been keeping up with her on Facebook for awhile, she has a really interesting blog and she's Madeleine L'Engle's granddaughter. How awesome is that?) To do a proper interview, I needed to read her book too. The lesson I learned? Don't judge a book by its blurb! Yes, the book deals with dark topics: death, alcoholism, mental illness, drug use, but the book itself is hopeful. Pair that with the amazingly unique characters and it's a story well worth reading. Try it for yourself!

 The Restless Writer (RW): What came to you first, the plot, the characters, the setting or something else?

Léna Roy (LR): Great question! I think it would have to be the setting, and then the characters. I had gone to Moab on vacation 17 years ago and was so stuck by it I decided to move there for a year. I was a therapist for troubled teens at the local mental health center. I knew that someday I would write about it. Then, back in the city, one day I had a vision of Luke moving into his trailer and hanging a painting. It haunted me for so long that I had to write his story. Why was he there? What was the painting?

RW: I loved the setting for Edges, since I have no personal experience with it. How did you decide to tell Luke's story in Moab?

LR: It had to be Moab!

RW: The recurring bear elements in the story were fascinating to me. Is this something you had to research specifically for the book?

LR: Ah, the bear. When I was writing, the bear (Ursula) came from somewhere deep inside my sub-conscious and had to be part of the story. It was one of the most fun and magical moments I have had  with writing, because I didn't think of her - she just appeared. I had to rewrite those parts a LOT.  Some people see her, and some don't. It is supposed to illustrate that there are many levels of reality, and that there are different truths for each person. Tangerine doesn't see the bear - she doesn't need to. She has her own faith. Ava catches a glimpse of something outside of herself, something her higher power could be. Hank - well, his grip on reality isn't so reliable. And Luke doesn't know what to believe. That's why Cin askes him: "Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?"

RW: How do you write? Extensive outlines or more by the seat of your pants?

 LR: Both! I have to write a really crappy first draft first though, so I'm a panther at first. Then for the rewrites, I really think about plot, structure and character development that makes sense.

RW: The story tackles a lot of heavy issues: alcoholism, drug use, runaways, mental illness, family estrangement and death. However, the story doesn't get bogged down in darkness. To me, the story had the perfect balance between the serious subjects, reality and hope. Was it easy to find this balance or did you have to work through various drafts to get to that?

LR: Thank you!!!  There were many drafts! But I primarily wanted this to be about healing - there are so many books out there that deal with the descent into addiction and the dark stuff, with no hope. I mean, I can write about all of that, but others have done it better!

RW: What audience did you have in mind while you were writing this book?

LR: I did not really have an audience in mind. My first draft had altering points of view between some of the adults and Luke, Ava and Tangerine.

RW: Do you visit Moab frequently?
LR: I haven't been back there in 16 years! But this summer, at the end of August, we are finally going! My husband and I met there - we have three children together, so we have been waiting until the youngest was old enough to do all of the hikes we love. She will be 8 this May! (And we have two boys - ages 11 and 13.)

RW: There are a lot of fascinating characters in this book. Which of them became particular favorites of yours? Will we see any more about them from you?

LR: Hal is very close to be heart as is Cin. I have a companion book to Edges already written called The Land of the Lost and Found. Bruno, a minor character in Edges becomes the focus, and I introduce some more characters too.

RW: What are you working on next?  

LR: I am still writing a rough draft of something so I can't talk about it, but I just finished India Flips - a story about a girl who follows a friend onto a Reality TV show.

RW: You are the granddaughter of one of the most beloved children's authors ever, Madeleine L'Engle. Have you ever felt daunted by her legend or just inspired?

LR: I could write a whole book about this! There is no simple answer. It is definitely both! I couldn't take myself seriously enough as a writer (even though I always wrote) because I could never be like her. And then publishing! I think that people expect me to be like her whether they are aware of that or no - I have a lot of fans who are also Madeleine fans, but I also know that some people were disappointed that I wasn't MORE like her. But my grandmother HAS informed my world view and inspired me - we were very close, and I wouldn't be myself without her! She lives on in my heart . . .

Thank you so much, Léna for a great interview and for writing a great book!

Monday, March 25, 2013

A long time coming...

If you can wade through the rambling in this 3 minute (one take) video, it'll be worth your while. Or worth my while. One or the other. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Historical Research, for the less-than-inclined

Today, I am especially excited to interview Chloe Massarello of Imagines Historiarum. For one thing, Imagines Historiarum is a very valuable research company for writers who might need some assistance with heavy duty research. (Even lighter research.)

And how, exactly, did I discover Imagines Historiarum? I am so proud to be related to its brilliant founder! Ms. Massarello is my cousin, so, her work comes with my personal quality guarantee. Check out her website. Her credentials are impressive. So, I decided to ask her some questions in case some of you fine readers and writers wish you had your own personal researcher. 

Welcome to The Restless Writer, Chloe! 

The Restless Writer (RW): What sparked your decision to start Imagines Historiarum?

Chloe Massarello (CM): I have always expressed my interest in history through a variety of creative outlets, from painting and writing to reenacting. The more I thought about what I would like to do with my degree, the more I realized that I would enjoy working with others who engage with the past creatively. For most people, finding a professional historian can be quite difficult. Academic historians affiliated with institutions are often too busy to assist with research and answer questions posed to them by community members, and most historians who operate historical research consulting firms work with governments, institutions, and businesses as opposed to private individuals. I want to reach out to authors and others who need historical knowledge for their work and projects and serve as a resource for them.

RW: What are you favorite historical fiction books?

CM: Three books spring to mind that I feel achieved great success as works of historical fiction: Doomsday Book by Connie Willis, The Greenlanders by Jane Smiley, and Doc by Mary Doria Russell. The first is not strictly historical fiction because it deals with time travel, but Willis’s account of the plague’s effects on a small village and the ways in which her time-traveling main character confronts difficulties, including a significant language barrier, is empathetic to an unusual degree. Willis has a knack for placing the reader in the comfort zone of her characters, revealing details that differ from our own time yet orient the reader within the time that she is visiting. I think the most powerfully evocative devices that Willis uses in the book are church bells, ringing the canonical hours. In the isolated village of Doomsday Book, the bells punctuate the passage of the day and serve to connect the village with surrounding habitations, because the ringing can be heard far away. As the plague advances across the landscape, the bells of other habitations begin to fall silent until the bell in the village church is the single voice for miles. The effect within the story is both eerie and tragic and all the more significant because Willis successfully communicates the importance of the bells to the reader. When they fall silent, it is disorienting and ominous and believably authentic.
From Jane Smiley’s work I took away an appreciation for the hard-bitten reality of life in medieval Greenland. Smiley’s prose is terse and unemotional, reflective of the toughness of her characters surviving in a time and place where nothing can be taken for granted. Her writing brings to mind the spare style of the sagas.
Lastly, Russell’s book doesn’t spare the reader from discomfort either; she throws Latin, French and German onto the page. Her story follows Doc Holliday from childhood through young adulthood as he learns to cope with tuberculosis, and the dialogue in the book often reflects the nineteenth-century upper-class education appropriate to the main character.
In summation, I found all of these books convincing as historical fiction because they required me to look at the past being related on the page as separate and uncomfortable, in a good way. Part of being a historian is learning to think in a manner that is empathetic to the time being researched, to understand that a historical actor’s thoughts and actions were formed in a very different context than our own and that our rules often don’t apply. Successful historical fiction borrows from this dynamic; it should challenge you as it presents you with something timeless.

RW: What time period would you most like to visit and why?

CM: The future, when the warp drive has been invented and I can travel to wherever and whenever I please! Honestly, the answer depends on what I am studying. The more I research the more questions I have. Since I have been sitting with the early Plantagenets and their contemporaries for so long, I suppose it would be remiss of me not to visit them first.

RW: What kind of historical research projects have you already done?

CM: The largest sustained project I have undertaken is my own thesis, which represents two years of research, writing, and translation work based on primary sources. Most of the research I have done as a student, volunteer, and professional has been geared towards addressing specific questions, whether the questions are about a time period, a person, or a particular object (a document, a Roman oil lamp, items uncovered at Fort Vancouver, etc.). On my own time I have engaged in everything from genealogical investigations to baking hard tack.

RW: What kind of projects do you hope to get?

CM: I am open to and enjoy a wide variety of projects and research topics, and I encourage anyone who has any questions or ideas to send me an email. Whether you want research assistance or editorial support for a work of fiction or nonfiction, from books to articles, or an entirely different project, I can lend you a hand.

RW: Do you like to write historical fiction?

CM: I loved writing historical fiction when I was younger and plan to start working on it seriously in the near future. Right now I have two ideas gelling in my mind. One is based on my thesis research and the other will probably end up closer to the fantasy genre but is heavily influenced by historical themes that interest me.

RW: What can clients expect to receive from you? (a line edit of their work? a report on relevant info. for their chosen time period?)

CM: The answer to this question really depends on the needs of the client. I can track down answers to specific queries and provide a narrative with sources for future reference; locate sources for the client’s own research, providing a bibliography with or without annotation; provide guidance on the challenges of source-reliability, interpretation, and conflicting information; copyedit and line edit the client’s work (either in hardcopy or as a Word document, although hardcopy is preferred); fact-check a client’s work and produce a list of suggested corrections; and more.

Oxford, England. Because I love it. 
RW: What did you write your Master's thesis on?

CM: My thesis is centered on the commissioning of a thirteenth-century work known as the History of William Marshal. I am particularly interested in the political use of historical texts in the Middle Ages. The History recounts the (mostly political) life story of William Marshal (c.1147-1219), the first earl of Pembroke and regent of England following King John’s demise in 1216. Marshal’s son, also named, unhelpfully for purposes of clarity, William Marshal, commissioned the History after his father’s death. After reading the History, I wanted to know why the younger Marshal commissioned it. My curiosity was sparked by the defensive tone of the History and the lack of substantial work by historians on the subject of the Marshal son and his connection to the document. It’s quite difficult to use a source when you don’t know why it was created. I’ll just say that my thesis involves war, political machinations and maneuvering, and an unprecedented marriage. Pretty good stuff, no? I plan to upload my thesis to my website soon.

RW: Many people hate research. What do you find most compelling about it?

CM: The moment of discovery when a piece of information causes everything to fall into place is addictive! There’s nothing quite like the evil-genius (or benevolent-genius) feeling that you get when something you’ve uncovered creates sudden insight. I love that conducting research constantly demands that I think in new ways and try new angles of approach. It’s exhilarating! 

Thank you so much, Chloe! Best of luck with Imagines Historiarum. (PS. We absolutely need to talk more because you're a genius!!)