A NaNouncement + Beautiful Books

by - 12:16 AM

So I have an announcement to make. Or rather, a NaNouncement (ha, I'm so clever. XD)...


I'm pretty sure that's not news to most of you since I've basically told everyone individually in blog comments that I'm doing it. *coughs* #fail

But I decided it was such a momentous decision that it deserved being officially announced on my blog. I'm like 98.93% certain that all my sanity is gone for good. BECAUSE GOSH, MARY, HOW WILL YOU HAVE TIME TO WRITE 50K??? Fall is literally one of the worst times of year for me to commit to doing this. (Because college classes. And the SAT. AND EVERYTHING BASICALLY.) However, I'm pretty sure that almost everyone who does NaNo doesn't have the time? They're just crazier than other people. :P

Because I still haven't finished my WIP from Camp NaNo, I'm being a rebel and attempting to add 50k to it in November. I'm not sure whether that will officially finish it, but I am hoping to have it completely done by the end of the year. And then...who knows? I miiiiight be letting beta readers at it in spring. *mysteriously waggles eyebrows* (Don't hold me to that, though. I am very apt to change my mind. XP)

Once again, I have no outline. I didn't have the time to construct one before Camp NaNo, so I ended up completely pantsing it. Turns out I actually had a ton of fun doing that, which means I'm going to do the same thing during NaNo. And yes, that makes me even more insane than normal human beans who actually plan out their novels. But hey, I never claimed to be normal. ;D

I've rambled on long enough. You guys are probably curious what I'm actually writing (and if you're not, well, pretend you are) so I will also be introducing you to my novel today.

The wizards Sky and Cait have returned once again with Beautiful Books! Usually, they do Beautiful People (wherein we get to rave about our characters), but whenever NaNo begins to creep out of the shadows, they bring out Beautiful Books. That means that you guys get to hear alllllllll about my WIP. Lucky you.

// Moonlit Mirror //

1.) What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

A little over a year ago, I sat down in my "reading chair" with a journal and began writing a synopsis for a pirate story. I jotted down a few plot points, as well as brief character descriptions, and wrote the first scene in a different journal. 

I had just seen the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie before this so I have a feeling it was originally inspired by that. *coughs* However, my plot has changed drastically in the past four months. I completely scrapped the original plot--only leaving some of the same characters and the pirates--and converted the book into a whimsical fantasy story. Honestly have no clue what inspired my current plot...probably just the pressure to write words during Camp NaNo. XD

So I've had the basic idea for Moonlit Mirror for about a year. ^_^

2.) Describe what your novel is about!

I wrote my first official blurb a couple weeks ago! Here it is:

Charlotte Davidson has spent her whole life wishing to be free of her scheming uncle's clutches. So when she is invited by his Regency Aleck Theodus III to a masquerade ball, she jumps at the chance to make her escape. However, the bizarre Royal City seems to be full of lunatics. The only partially sane person there is the dashing (yet irksome) Alexander Bradshaw, a lieutenant in charge of a mission to reclaim Ile de la Phantome from a group of rogue pirates. As annoying as the Lieutenant is, she begins to think her only chance of freedom is stowing away on his ship. After all, what could be worse: a controlling uncle or deadly pirates?

James Sawyer, the apprentice to an exiled magician, only wishes to be in and out of the Royal City as fast as he can. Unfortunately, his annual trip to the mainland (on official "wizard business") goes every wrong way imaginable. He soon finds himself aboard a ship to Ile de la Phantome...with a man who wants him dead.

(Yes, it is awesome. Thank you for noticing. ;D)

3.) What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!

(Thanks, Cait. I just spent like an hour on Pinterest looking for pictures. :P)

If you want more pictures for my WIP, you can check out my Pinterest board.

4.) Introduce us to each of your characters!

I'll just introduce you to a few of them since I don't want to drown you guys in names. XD

Charlotte Davidson // The 18-year-old niece of a power-hungry uncle. She has brown hair and blue eyes and is known to say whatever pops in her head. She's secretive about her past, and because of that, tends to read into things more than necessary. She also has a very logical mind, which makes her reluctant to accept the insanity of the Royal City. (But don't let her logical mind fool you: she's also extremely impulsive. :P)

James Sawyer // The 19-year-old apprentice of an exiled wizard. He has brown hair, brown eyes, and a withdrawn demeanor. He's very protective of his family and sensitive to other people's emotions. However, he can get aggravated when you push the right buttons. Namely, saying anything to offend his loved ones.

Lieutenant Alexander Bradshaw // A 20-something lieutenant in charge of a mission to reclaim an island from rogue pirates. He has tawny hair and penetrating grey eyes. He thinks a little too much of himself and has the innate ability to aggravate Charlotte. (I mean, James kind of does, too. But Lieutenant Bradshaw does it on purpose. XD) His moral compass doesn't exactly work very well, but he does have a shred of decency...somewhere. *coughs*

Tom (ha, no last name) // The 18-year-old son of the aforementioned wizard. He has curly red hair and blue eyes. He's annoyingly happy and basically lives for food. He's James's close friend and is very people-oriented...which is tricky because he lives in exile on an island. Eheh. >.>

5.) How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)

Um...well, I don't. XD Unless you count stressing over the fact that I haven't prepared. ;)

Like I mentioned earlier, I'm pantsing this novel, which also happens to be my first "official" novel. That means I haven't prepared much at all. I did write up character profiles for a couple characters a while back, and I have an idea of the basic plot, but that's about it.

6.) What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

Probably all the glitter. *nods seriously* Really though, the amount of glitter in this book is mind-blowing. (Oh, and also, there's a scene that takes place in a cake shop. So that's fun. :D)

I'm also really looking forward to writing about the pirates. I haven't gotten to that part of the story yet, but I think it will be a blast. ^_^

7.) List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

Well, the Royal City is where the beginning of the book takes place. It's the capital of the fantasy world and home to his Regency (who's basically mad, by the by). The whole city is so bizarre and fun, and I'm honestly so pumped to write more about it.

I don't have the whole world planned out (I'm a pantser, remember?), but there is an island that disappears, a city paved with glitter roads, and a squirrel village somewhere in the mix.

8.) What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?

Charlotte's main goal (in the beginning) is to attain freedom from her uncle. She's been tied to him for as long as she can remember, and all she wishes to do is escape his control. The main thing standing in her way is James Sawyer, who just so happened to fill in the last spot on the ship she wanted to board.

James desperately wishes to free his younger sister, who was captured by a band of pirates years ago. His primary obstacle is his employer's lack of expertise in magic. James's father sent him to work for the wizard so he could learn spells to be used against the pirates, but the old magician seems to have lost his knowledge over the years.

Their goals will probably change as the characters themselves change, but that's what I have at the moment.

9.) How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

I haven't exactly figured that out yet. #oops One of the joys of being a pantser. -_-

(But even if I knew, I wouldn't tell you. A writer's gotta keep her secrets, you know. *cackles evilly*)

10.) What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

As you've probably gathered, my book isn't exactly a deep, inspirational read. But I would like to communicate themes of hope, determination, and friendship. Also, letting go of the past is one theme I want to weave into my story.


Before you guys scramble down to the comments section, I wanted to let you know about something my friend Abi is doing. She's holding an event called 5k1day, which is essentially just writing 5k of your WIP in...well, one day. Pretty straightforward. You can join the Facebook event or the Google Hangout. (If you want to join the hangout, just let me know in the comments.) Either way, you'll be surrounded with like-minded, crazy people who are endeavoring to write 5,000 words on November 1st. And nope, you don't have to be doing NaNo to participate.

Well then. Did you enjoy "meeting" my book? AND ARE YOU AS TERRIFIED AS I AM OF THE FACT THAT NANO IS ALMOST 10 DAYS AWAY??? I'm obviously completely prepared. *cough, cough* 

P.S. You can stalk my NaNo profile right here. ;) 

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  1. This sounds awesome, Mary! I AM SO EXCITED FOR NANO.

    Ooh, I'm glad you like pantsing! It's so fun seeing how every writer is so different. For example, I'm a hardcore plotter. ;) I'm almost at the climax of my outline so I'm kind of freaking out. o.o


    *ahem* *cough* *folds hands dignifiedly*

    Seriously though this looks super great! I've got a thing for glitter myself lol. And your cover concept <3

  3. Eeep, I had so much fun reading this post and hearing about your novel! :D *continues staring at cover*

    "I'm not completely useless--I can be used as a bad example" <-- OH MY WORD I LOVE THIS. XD

    "His moral compass doesn't exactly work very well, but he does have a shred of decency...somewhere. *coughs*" <--THIS. I'm dying. XD

    Glitter + cake + pirates. Yup.

    I... actually know where that gif is from because I finally saw The Emperor's New Groove. O_O *feels so in the know*

    Anyways, you're very brave to attempt it with all the busyness and PANTSING, and I applaud you. *applauds* I was hoping to have mine plotted by now but have still barely started and it's beginning to be terrifying... I MUST PLOT. *flails around* But I'll be doing my Beautiful Books post on Monday, so yay. :D

    Also... erm... coincidentally, I was already unofficially planning to try for 5K on the first day of NaNo... hmm... I may end up trying the Google Hangouts (though I've never used it before) since I don't have FB. Thanks for the heads up about it!! :)

    So all that to say, I'm SO EXCITED FOR YOU FOR YOUR FIRST OFFICIAL NANO AND I KNOW YOU'LL DO GREAT! Lemme know anytime you need some encouragement or anything. :D Although, even though this will be my 7th NaNo, I still don't have everything figured out. XD

    10 DAYS TILL THE MADNESS. *hyperventilating*

  4. ME LIKEY!!! Pirates are, like, THE BEST THING, BASICALLY.

    Also - you will probably have no idea what I'm talking about - but in the TV show Lost there is a character named James Ford, but goes by Sawyer - so your character just kinda reminded me of that and I'm such a nerd that I had to point it out. Unfortunately the show is old (like it aired ten years ago maybe??? I don't even know) so you probably haven't seen it. I am making zero sense right now.

    I'm a little confused??? I thought NaNo was about trying to write 150k???? Maybe I got it wrong (it would be SUCH a relief to know that it was less than I thought...)? I'm new at this!!

    It boggles my mind that people can not have an outline!!! Like, WHUT. My brain just exploded. So I guess I'm like, what is that like for you??? You genuinely don't know how the story is gonna go...? Just kind of have an idea in your head and nothing else (oh my gosh that sounded SO MEAN, but I didn't mean it that way, I swear!)?

    Also you have a writing chair??? That is the coolest thing ever! Can I get one???

    Sorry about this long, messy comment! :p

  5. HAHAHAHA! "human beans" XD I lived under that delusion for a long time :')

    Oh my word, I love this all so much. You're first offical blurb is totally AWESOME! I cannot wait to read this. I WILL BE YOUR BETA! Or your editor, either way ;) I cannot tell you how excited I am for this. It's all the happy and thrilling things in life in one gigantic slice of cake and I want it all now.

    Aw, you mentioned my event! <3 Thank you so much ^.^ You're the bestest!

  6. NANOUNCEMENT. I love it! XDDD

    I know I've already flailed (probably multiple times) buuuut MY MARY IS DOING NANO AND I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!

    "However, I'm pretty sure that almost everyone who does NaNo doesn't have the time? They're just crazier than other people." <--- The most accurate statement EVER. XD

    YOUR NOVEL, MARY. Every time I hear about it I just love it more and more. And that cover is gorgeoussss. *drools* Also the blurb IS awesome. It sounds so funnn! And and and all the pwetty pictures. *pets them*

    Your characters just sound like the most delightful things. Lieutenant Bradshaw is one of my most favorite types of characters. Cocky, enjoys aggravating people, has a muddled moral compass but a heart somewhere in there. XD And he's a PIRATE. I LOVE HIM ALREADY!!! And of course Tom is amazing and EVERYONE IS AMAZING OKAY.

    This whole STORY sounds amazing. GLITTER. GLITTER EVERYWHERE. That is one of the greatest things I've ever heard. You can NEVER go wrong with glitter! :D :D :D

    This NaNo is gonna be EPIC. BUT HOW IS IT ONLY 10 DAYS AWAY HALP.

  7. Best of luck! Your novel sounds sooo fun, and I hope you have fun writing it! <3

  8. Fun! I love hearing about novels in the works!
    I've always wanted to write a pirate story. I'm going to at some point, but all the attempts so far haven't gone so well. . .

  9. MARY IS DOING NANOWRIMO, HURRAH! *tosses confetti*

    Basically, this post was the best. I loved it. I WANT TO READ YOUR STORY AND DANCE IN THE GLITTER, OH YES. And there is a scene in a CAKE SHOP. This book can't get any better! *wishes to read it very badly*

    I can't wait for NaNo to start XD. WE WILL ROCK THIS *fistbump*.

    ~ Savannah

  10. Your story sounds so good! I really want to read it now. :) Good luck!

  11. I can't believe I've never checked out your blog until now...anyway, here I am, and I followed btw. ;)

    And I am in total awe of your book's title and cover and aesthetic and EVERYTHING LOOKS SO LOVELY

    Seriously sounds like a book I'd read.

  12. Ahhhh, MARY! Firstly, Nano. You're doing it. That is awesome. Don't die. XD

    Secondly, MOONLIT MIRROR SOUNDS AMAZING! Glitter roads and a city of crazy people and an exiled wizard and pirates! I love it!

    All the best, Mary girl! (Unfortunately I don't think I'll be able to join the 5k1day. *sniffles*)


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