6

N is for Names, Characters and Otherwise

Hey guys!

For today’s A to Z challenge post, I thought I’d talk to you guys about something that I find really, really important in both my own writing and in reading others’: character names. 

For me, at least, characters play a really big part in stories. If I don’t like a book’s character, no way am I going to finish the book. (Actually, if I’m being really harsh and/or I picked up the book because I thought it would be amazing but then it turned out the characters sucked and as a result I’m pissed off at the universe, I probably won’t get further than 30 pages in.) Pathetic, I know. :P

Within the characters themselves, I can be really picky when it comes to names. Sometimes I’m a bit biased – for example, currently I’m reading Anna Dressed in Blood (which is AMAZING so far, by the way!), and the main character’s name is Cas… which happens to be the same nickname of a certain character on a television show I tend to fangirl over a lot. ;) So that name, of course, is pretty awesome. But if there’s a character with an absolutely ridiculous name that I can hardly say without bursting into laugher and/or tears, you can bet I’m not reading a page further. I mean,  I’m going to be spending 300 pages with them, give or take. If the character has a name that I absolutely hate, then I have other books with awesome character names I could be reading instead! ;)

I’m probably even choosier when it comes to writing. Ever noticed that in almost all of my short stories, the main characters are unnamed? Yep, there’s a reason for that. :P I tend to spend hours scouring baby name sites (which, just to clear up any confusion, were made solely for the use of writers, not expecting couples!), and even then I can hardly ever find a name that I believe perfectly fits the characters in the story. So I’ve just stuck with leaving them nameless! ;) With Frozen Hearts, both Rose and Chase are named for very specific reasons – which you will, of course, find out once you read the book! – and Rose’s little brother’s name was changed a few times before I settled on Benjamin.

Actually, I think it runs in the family. True story: me, my parents, and my little sister were still trying to decide on what to name our new puppy in the first five minutes after he got home and was contentedly snoring away, unaware of our turmoil. :P It was ridiculous, especially considering that we’d known he was coming for the past three weeks! (We eventually decided on Hachii, by the way… although sometimes we wonder if it should have been Beethoven, considering how much he loves to sit by the piano and listen to me play!)

So what about you guys? How picky are you in choosing your characters’ names – both in your writing and in books? What’s your dream name – character or otherwise? ;) I’d love to hear what you think!

love,
Topaz

8

M is for Magic

Hi lovelies!

Today I’d like to talk about something that’s elusive, easily missed, and even – as some might think – nonexistent altogether: magic. Personally, I’ve always believed in magic – ever since I was five years old and wishing on every single star I could see out of my bedroom window. Magic has always been a very real part of my life, but the forms it has come in has changed quite a bit over the years.

The thing is, for me magic is so much more than fairies and wizards and sparkly wands – although, I must admit, I’ve always loved the fantastical part of it! ;) But magic can be found in the tiniest nooks and crannies of the universe, the ones that we so often overlook in our rush to get where we need to be, to be the first in every line. Ever heard that old saying “take time to stop and smell the roses”? It’s cliche, sure, but I think it’s the same theory for magic – just slow down and open your eyes, and bam, there it is: hidden in plain sight, all around you.

Magic is so many things that are so easy to overlook. It’s getting a smile from a random stranger on the bus. It’s waking up ten minutes before the alarm clock rings and getting to sleep just that extra few minutes. It’s mix CDs and the people who make them for you. It’s hearing your favourite song playing on the radio. It’s rainy Sunday mornings when there’s nothing to do but laze around and watch really old Disney films. It’s people dropping offhand little compliments about things you were hoping they’d notice. It’s opening up a favourite book, looking up a minute later, and realising that three hours have passed. It’s making a wish at 11:11, right on the dot. It’s watching your puppy chasing his tail until he’s too tired to do anything but flop down in a heap and snore. It’s surprise birthday parties. It’s the people who ask if you’re okay and the people who know when you’re not, even if you say yes.

And you know what the most amazing thing is? That’s only my definition of magic. You might have so many different, wonderful things in your life that you didn’t even know held magic, that you had no idea had that little hidden spark that’s capable of turning your terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-day into a beautiful one.

So here’s my challenge for all of you: today, stop and appreciate one piece of magic around you. It doesn’t necessarily have to be mindblowing and miraculous – I believe little magic is just as magical as big magic. And maybe, if you’re feeling like passing it on, why don’t you do something magical for somebody else? Again, it doesn’t have to be a huge thing – it just has to be something that will make their day a little bit brighter.

And then tell me the magic you saw – or the magic you created – in the comments section. I want to hear your stories!

love,
Topaz

13

L is for Long Haul

Hi all!

The fated day arrived at last: yesterday, April 13th, was the deadline for beta reader comments! It’s been a very, very long haul – I sent out the Frozen Hearts manuscript in the beginning of February, and it’s now mid-April (that is, a month and a half after I had hoped to receive feedback). Nevertheless, I’m pretty relieved that this stage of the process is over. It’s been downright nerve-racking sharing this book with people – and while the overall feedback has been quite positive, I kind of prefer working on it by myself rather than with others!

I have to say I’m kind of disappointed with the feedback. :/ The advice that I received was very helpful (and most of it has been implemented already), but out of the seven beta readers, just three finished the entire manuscript. Two finished only partway, and two didn’t even start. So I’m not sure if that’s my fault for choosing the wrong betas, or if this is a normal occurrence, or what… :P Ah, well – it’s all trial-and-error, so next time I’ll probably choose beta readers who can commit to finishing the entire thing on time! ;)

So what’s next? Well, now, I believe, is the final editing process (we’re getting so close to the end I can almost taste it!). I’m going to try and finish implementing beta comments by May 1st - so that includes not only their specific feedback, but also the questions that I found myself asking based on their ideas. Plus I have like eight pamphlets/books/magazine articles/podcasts/other writing-related resources that I’ve downloaded or bought, but never really got around to using – those, I’m going to take a look at and see what I can apply to the book. And finally, I’ll be going through my notebook and finding any and all FH-related notes I’ve made, just to see if they can make it better in any way.

We have a long weekend for Easter – Friday off school! Yay! – so I’ll probably be doing a full-on writing weekend – no studying, no music, just editing and writing. I haven’t done of those in awhile, so it should be lovely (and very productive!).

Hope you all had an amazing weekend. xx

love,
Topaz

4

K is for “Know That We’ve Tried” (or, Paper Wings: Chapter 9)

Hey guys!

Chapter 9 of Paper Wings is up – I actually managed to post it on time for once! Yay! :D In this chapter Tobias is kind of a jerk to his mom, but it all turns out okay in the end, don’t worry ;) And I quite like the way both Tobias’s and Elle’s characters are progressing – as I’m sure you guys remember, I was having some trouble with character development in FH, so it’s lovely to have this as a practise! This chapter is dedicated to my mom, because I LOVE Tobias’s conversation with his mother and it kinda reminds me of mine. ;)

So click here to check it out: chapter 9 of Paper Wings, entitled Know That We’ve Tried!

love,
Topaz

2

J is for Justice

Hey, lovelies!

Ah, it’s Friday at last! While I’m always extremely happy to see Fridays come around (and who isn’t?), I’m especially relieved this particular week – it’s been pretty stressful, and it’ll be nice to have a weekend more or less to myself. :) Plus, another very exciting thing: FH beta reader comments are due IN TWO DAYS!!! I’m in dire need of new opinions on the book, considering I’ve pretty much memorised most of it by now, so I really can’t wait to see what everybody thought of it. The feedback from those who have already given me their thoughts has been quite favourable, and I’m slightly-surprised-while-at-the-same-time-insanely-happy about that! ;)

I kind of drew a blank on what to write on for this week’s Friday Poetry – so I decided to phone a friend for a prompt. :D The only guideline I gave him was that it had to begin with J, so after much deliberation, he advised me to write a prompt based around the theme of “justice”.

This is what I came up with – it’s called Symphony, and although it perhaps isn’t based upon a very conventional idea of justice, I kind of like how it turned out. What do you guys think? Don’t forget to let me know in the comments section, and I hope you all had a wonderful Friday! xx

love,
Topaz

Symphony

you deserve to have your voice heard.

– you deserve to have your symphony of sound
gushing from deep within the unassuming silence
that has surrounded you for so long,
through the layers of secrets and shyness that
you cannot bring yourself to break through
and the walls built around yourself that
you have always assumed to be soundproof –

you deserve your song
to echo through the earth and the heavens
and even far, far beyond that

and this much I know: that if the world might listen
to the screaming beaming scheming dreamer
hidden underneath the shell
that binds you to everlasting muteness
it might become just a little bit brighter
through the ray of light you bring to it,

and if all the people rushing obliviously
into empty smiles and crooked promises
might stop for just a single moment and
think to listen to those hiding in the shadows
oh, the things they might hear from the people
whose minds they had always imagined
to be the stillest of all

but you sit, ever hushed, ever watching
and the truths and the lies catch in your throat
just short of careening out of your mind
and tumbling into existence, shattering
the shrieking shouting ignorance that
perpetually surrounds you

and still you say nothing, even as
your symphony sings out its desperate longing
to have some audience beyond the armour
that shields your heart so carefully

and you silence it

and instead
look around at the oblivious world
and, unnoticed, bring out
a battered notebook and a cheap black pen
and bend your head over the flowing blank pages
close your eyes, hear the music
cascading through your soul

and you let the poetry sing for you.

22

I is for Insomnia

Hey guys!

Oh my goodness, I’m so tired. I just got back home from school (9 PM… yay.) because I had a meeting for National History Day - for those of you who haven’t heard, Tanvi and I won first place in our category in the regionals round and we’re going to the nationals round in Washington, D.C. on June 18th! So while that is very exciting and all that jazz, it’s also seriously time-consuming (not to mention stressful). Ah well, just a couple more months and that’ll be done! ;)

A slight problem, though: I’ve been having issues with insomnia lately. :/ I try to get to bed by 11 on school nights (midnight if I have a lot of work to do), but for the past week or so – although I am getting to bed more or less on time – I’m having real trouble actually falling asleep. So that’s another reason why I’m so tired today, even though it’s pretty early. :P

This does happen to me from time to time (I honestly have no idea what brings it on) – for two weeks or so, I randomly lose the ability to fall asleep, and it SUCKS. Especially when exams are just around the corner, and I kind of need to be prepared for that. Plus beta comments for Frozen Hearts are due in three days as well, and it would be nice if I was fully functioning to go through all of those!

Sorry for dumping this on you guys – I’m hoping it’ll pass very very soon, but for now I’m kind of stuck with being up until two in the morning tossing and turning! :P Oh well, maybe I’ll be able to get some writing done – or, at the very least, read a great big stack of books before it’s over. ;)

love,
Topaz

8

H is for Hunger

Hey everybody!

I’ll admit it: I’m absolutely horrible when it comes to eating. If people (namely: my family… thanks, guys!) didn’t remind me to eat everyday, I probably wouldn’t do it at all. Which isn’t to say that I don’t like eating – because I do! I love it, honestly, especially when it involves cheesecake! – but more that I simply forget to most of the time. It probably isn’t very healthy, actually, that I tend to wait until the very last minute when my stomach is seriously considering digesting itself if I don’t get something into it. But, you know, what can I do, right? ;)

Actually, the reason I don’t eat much is really because I have a different sort of hunger (one that makes me forget about eating most of the time!). It’s what drove me to start Frozen Hearts in the first place, what started off my love for reading, and what fuels my passion for music and songwriting – and that’s the hunger for stories.

One of my favourite quotes in the entire world is this: “The world is not made up of atoms, but of stories.” I think that’s so poignant and so true, especially for someone like me. The entire basis of my writing and songwriting is stories: writing them, reading them, creating them, dreaming them into the world.  In my mind, a story is never finished: it’s always being shaped and reshaped, and it’s this hunger for stories that gives me the magic wand to mould them into whatever form I want them to take.

I believe fellow authors and songwriters will agree with me on this one: it’s not exactly that I choose to write, but it’s more that I have to do it. It’s never really been a conscious decision for me; I’ve never sat down and said: “okay, now I’m going start making up stories. Go!” It’s more that the stories have always been hidden, and it’s my job to bring them into the world. I don’t want to do it, I have to.

So I guess that’s what drives me – this insatiable hunger for stories, and the magic that comes with being a part of them.

love,
Topaz

10

G is for Ghost Stories

Hey all!

Today’s A to Z challenge post is centred around a newly arisen love of mine: ghost stories, or really anything to do with thrillers, mysteries, and horror! As a kid I was never really into these kinds of scary stories – I got seriously freaked out because I used to read them under the covers in the middle of the night (or, you know, what counts as “the middle of the night” when you’re six - that is, around 9:30 PM). ;) So unfortunately, after that I pretty much stopped reading ghost stories altogether. :P

However, the good news is I’ve kind of rekindled my love for the creepy, spine-tingling feeling one gets when reading stories like these (mostly because of the television show Supernatural – I started watching it a few months ago and some of the episodes are ridiculously terrifying…). Horror is a subject I never really imagined I’d be that interested in, but I have to eat my words now – I’m getting back into it, and it’s quite refreshing to be reading books from a new genre. I don’t know, maybe I’ll even start writing some ghost stories and sharing them with you guys! ;)

So to all you horror fanatics, what are your favourite ghost stories? Any good books I should check out? What got you into horror in the first place? (Or are you like me, and you were been absolutely petrified of it as a kid?) Let me know in the comments!

Oh, and to those of you who are slightly leery of this genre, I’d strongly advise you to check these stories out. They’re very short, extremely horrifying, and absolutely amazing - the fourth one is my favourite.

(Also, I’m truly sorry if you can’t get to sleep tonight. ;) )

love,
Topaz

10

F is for Four Hundred (Plus, Blog Awards!)

Hey guys!

Uh, so apparently the follower counter on the front page of my blog is glitchy or something, because although it’s still at 398, I just checked my Stats… and I’m actually at 404 followers (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) This is such a huge accomplishment – thank you so much for following, everyone! Your comments, likes, and follows seriously make my day (like, every day!), and I’m incredibly happy that people actually like the stuff I ramble on about. ;) Seriously, y’all are the best – thank you so much for everything!

And on a similar note, I was recently given the honour of being nominated for not one, but two more blog awards (yikes! There’ve been a billion lately!). :D I’m so incredibly happy and honoured, and I’d like to thank the amazing Karen and T for the nominations for the Beautiful Blogger Award and the Howler Awards! As I’m sure you guys know, Karen’s one of my best friends and she’s insanely creative, talented, and supportive – seriously, I don’t know where I’d be without her. <3 And T is a new friend of mine; we’ve followed each other’s blogs for awhile, but I didn’t really get a chance to talk to him until a few weeks ago. He’s a fellow young author (and, coincidentally, a romance fanatic just like myself!) – only 20 years old and he’s just published his very first book, Hero’s Romance. He’s such an inspiration and I’d definitely recommend his blog for everyone to take a look at. :)

First nomination, from T, is for the Beautiful Blogger Award…

The Beautiful Blogger Award is an honour bestowed by fellow bloggers to show how much they love reading your blog and appreciate the beauty in your words. The title is so nice and I’m flattered to have been nominated! :) The rules are as follows…

1. Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo.
2. Thank the person who nominated you and create a link back.
3. Nominate 7 (yes only seven) other bloggers and say a little something about them.

Now, I’d like to nominate these 7 people for this prestigious award:

Karen @ My Train of Thoughts On… Karen’s been such a wonderful friend through this whole process, and she supports me (and Frozen Hearts!) through the this-is-actually-the-best-book-the-world-has-ever-seen days, the ugh-why-did-I-even-start-this-stupid-book days, and everything in between. She blogs about books, quotes, authors, inspiration, and other writing-related stuff, and I always enjoy reading her opinions. :)

Edwina @ Edwina, The Writer I originally met Edwina on Twitter, and since then we’ve grown pretty close. She’s another writer working on her first novel, and I thoroughly enjoy exchanging ideas, advice, and inspiration with her. I’m waiting with bated breath for the day I (and the world!) get to read her book The Story of Magic, as well!

Ankanksha @ My Safe Haven Ankanksha approached me on Wattpad a couple of weeks ago and asked me for tips on running a blog right before she opened her own – and really, she hasn’t disappointed. My Safe Haven is so inspiring; I really look forward to reading all of Ankanksha’s posts, and they just make one incredibly grateful to be alive. :D

Annie @ Actually? Annie Annie and I have been through a lot together, and she’s one of the most talented, creative, and just downright amazing people I’ve ever had the pleasure of calling my friend. :) She hasn’t really been blogging much lately because of some not-so-great things that are going on in life, but I know she’ll push through it, and I can’t wait to see her posting again.

Melissa @ The Ultimate Voyage I haven’t really talked to Melissa much lately, but I absolutely love reading her blog – it alternates between hilarious, relatable, and motivating. Plus, SHE WATCHES SHERLOCK. AND LIKES JOHN GREEN. (‘Nuff said.)

Rachel @ Spilled Ink Idek why Rachel has such flawless skill with words. It kinda-sorta-may-or-may-not blow me away. ;) I love, love, love reading her short stories every Sunday, and I wish her all the best with her writing endeavours - I can definitely relate to struggling to balance everything along with her writing, but knowing her, she’s probably way better at it than I am!

Kim @ Kim Graff I will forever be in awe of Kim’s skill – she’s an uncommonly talented writer and graphic designer, plus she does both manuscript and query critiques. (Also, I like her taste in books. ;) ) I originally met her through Story Cartel and now we’re both part of a bi-weekly critique group – I’m so lucky to have her as a friend and I’m constantly blown away by her writing. Plus, the cover she created for FH is flawless. :D

The second award, nominated by Karen, is the Howler award! I’ll admit that I’d never heard of this one before, but I really like the premise of it and it’s so lovely to be nominated. :) Here are the rules for this one:

1. Display the award on your blog. This can be in your sidebar or on a special award page
2. Thank the person who gave you the award and link to their blog
3. Give 3 examples of things you would like to see changed in the world
4. Nominate (in your own time) at least 5 bloggers that deserve the award
5. Donate the equivalent of $10 to a charity of your choice (optional because I can not check it, however it would be HIGHLY appreciated)

I think I’m going to cheat a little with this one and nominate two more people because I don’t really want to leave anybody out – so, I’d like to nominate these people for the Howler award: TEdwinaAnkankshaAnnieMelissaRachel, and Kim. (The same as for the Beautiful Blogger award, except replacing Karen with T because Karen was the one who nominated me for this one in the first place! ;) )

The three things I’d most like to see changed in the world:

1. Less prejudice against young and/or inexperienced creators – be that of words, art, music, science, or anything else. Too often I see people getting discouraged just because others who have the slightest bit more experience shoot them down. We’re all learning – why do we have to make it so clear who is “better” and who is “worse”?

2. More hours in a day. *sigh* I wish. ;) If only there were two extra hours – one for playing music, one for writing – I would be the happiest person in the world!

3. More connections with strangers. I was just discussing with Karen the other day how a smile from a stranger can make us so happy. I think it would be lovely if we could all just take a moment every day to do something nice for someone we’ve never met – the earth would be a much better place if everyone did that.

Again, I’d like to thank T and Karen for nominating me for these two blog awards, and all of you for getting me to 400 followers! I’m so grateful to have such wonderful friends and supporters – thank you so much, for everything. xx

love,
Topaz

 

10

E is for “Endless”

Hey, guys.

I almost forgot to post today (since it’s a Saturday and I generally only post on weekdays!), but here I am. Today’s been kind of crappy, but on a plus note I won another blog award – will be posting about that soon – and am almost at 400 followers, so that’s definitely made me quite happy.

I thought I’d do another poem for today; this one was written this morning about a situation I’m currently in with one of my extremely close friends. She and I have never really been in a major fight before, but right now there are some things going on between us that I’m not sure if we can fix. I don’t know what’s going to happen, and it’s kind of scaring me. :/

So, yes. It’s a pretty personal one, and I wasn’t actually going to share it with you guys, but I thought you might like it. The title is “Endless”, and the words in brackets spell out a different – much shorter – poem.

love,
Topaz

Endless

here I stand,
lost in a world where the north star
points only towards you.

we are balanced on the knife’s edge
between breaking and broken
teetering on a tightrope of cobwebbed secrets
and throwing each other messages in bottles
that some(how) always seem to
get lost in translation

so when did a smile turn into such a
(long) distance phone call?
a deft game we pretend we are not playing
for a victory that we (can)not hope to win
without each other?

there was a time, once, when we had
a link that transcended words
and one glance from you
could speak straight to my heart
but (this) language that has flowed
so effortlessly between us
seems to have withered and died away

and so we push and (tug)
and pretend that we do not need air to breathe
and that the screams lying underneath the surface
are not ones (of) desperate want for something
that we have never before needed to name

even though both of us know
that the apologies, silent and screaming
mean nothing at all
in a world where the (war)
is waged with our greatest allies
until the last person stands
still fighting an endless battle
within the cage of their own skin

and the people whisper stories
of the wizards who found a magic in each other

that was
never
meant
to
(last)

6

D is for Dreams

Hey guys!

Well, it’s finally Friday! This week has been so long for me and I’m just really, really glad that I can finally take a deep breath and relaxxxx for two days. ;) I’ve been working on Frozen Hearts quite a bit; deadline for beta reader comments are looming ever closer, so I think I’m going to be happy to get that part of this process finished at last. :)

This week’s Friday Poetry is something I wrote today (a couple of minutes ago, actually!), based on the one-word prompt: dreams. I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted this to turn out to be, but now that I’m looking at it I believe it’s about falling in love with someone who isn’t exactly who you thought they were, and about finding the courage to fix a broken heart. It’s quite a bit shorter than some of my more recent poems, but I hope you all enjoy it! The title is Gossamer & Glass.

love,
Topaz

Gossamer & Glass

such an easy thing it is,
to wrap one’s heart in wings
woven from gossamer dreams
so beautiful they might be mistaken
for fragile glass truths
to throw it to the shimmering stars
and leave it in the hands of destiny

and such a difficult thing it is,
to watch one’s heart come plummeting
when the hands of destiny seem to be busy
and the stars have no answer to desperate pleas
such a difficult thing it is,
to realise that gossamer wings
will only carry a heart so far,
and that when a glass truth shatters
it is a very difficult thing indeed
to fit all the pieces back together
and find it in oneself
to take a deep breath
and throw it back to the stars once again.

2

C is for “Crimson Dress”

Hey all!

Today was… trying. There are some things going on that are seriously stressing me out, plus I’ve been going to bed way too late, and I could really use a weekend right now to just relax and chill out. :P Good news is tomorrow’s Friday, so I just have one more day of school – thank goodness!

I was wondering how I was going to incorporate Paper Wings and song snippets into the A to Z challenge, and I’ve discovered how! As you can tell, the song snippet for this week is entitled Crimson Dress, which, incidentally, starts with C… get it? ;) I wrote it last night at around midnight after re-reading Romeo and Juliet - a classic, and one of my favourite Shakespeare plays. :) For some random reason, I’ve always pictured Juliet in a red dress – I actually have no idea why, but I think red would really suit her.

So this is verse 2 and the chorus a song I wrote based on the masquerade ball in which Romeo and Juliet meet, right after Romeo’s heart was broken by Rosalind. Enjoy!

love,
Topaz

Crimson Dress

Verse 2

Oh, the moment’s still fragile
And you’re not quite sure what hit you
But her quicksilver smile
Is killing everything you thought you knew
So let the words fade away
When a silence can speak louder
Let the ashes of yesterday
Drown in the colour of her eyes, now

Chorus

The space between heartbeats is all it takes
For the stars to align in one breath
With a touch, with a spark
And a free falling heart
For a girl in a crimson dress

10

B is for Bookish Love

Hey guys!

For the second day of the A to Z Challenge, we have a post dedicated to what is possibly one of my favourite things in the entire world: BOOKS. As I’m sure you guys know, I blog about them over at YA Asylum and Readerly Ramblings - because in my opinion, you can never talk too much about reading. ;)

Actually, books are really what got me into writing in the first place. I remember, at the age of five, curling up with my mother and reading to her – stumbling over Harry Potter, though I was barely old enough to be able to understand the story. I was always an avid reader (I really have my parents to thank for that; they’ve encouraged my love for reading from the start, though I think at this point they may be regretting it, since I tend to read at all times – when I’m not writing / making music, that is!).

Of course, as a hopeless romantic, romance will always have a special place in my heart. But other than that, I love, love, love anything to do with fantasydragons! Wizards! Mermaids! Magic! What is there not to love? ;) I’m also developing a bit of a craving for horror – which, I know, doesn’t sound like me at all, but I just love the spine-tingling feeling of not knowing what’s hiding around the corner, or whether or not that house is actually haunted, or guessing at who’s going to die and at what time. (Yeah, I’m brutal. Deal with it. ;) )

Although I absolutely love any and all books, there are three series that will always, always have a special place in my heart: Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle, Lord of the Rings (and the companion book, The Hobbit), by J.R.R. Tolkien, and Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer. I know the last one might be a bit of a shock for the bookish community on here, considering Twilight is sort of taboo in YA fiction, but I’m going to be very honest here (hopefully without going on an angry rant) – while I do understand the problems that can be viewed in the book, I think there’s still something to be said for it. It’s actually the book that got me into writing the romance genre in the first place, so I’m pretty grateful for that. :)

Sherlock Holmes is, of course, a classic. Arthur Conan Doyle is a FREAKING GENIUS – I love a good detective story, and Holmes is pretty much the epitome of that. Plus, the BBC television show Sherlock is one of my favourites as well. And Lord of the Rings is a good ol’ fashioned hardcore fantasy; though I know it might drag on a little at times, I’m eternally in awe of Tolkien’s world-building skills, plus his marvelous ability to craft characters. :D

So what about you? What are your thoughts on reading? When did you start? Favourite books and genres? Let me know in the comments, everyone! :)

love,
Topaz