Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Follow Fest!

This week I'm participating in Melissa Maygrove's Follow Fest! It's a big meet-and-greet that more or less uses blogs as business cards. :) If you want to join in the fun, click here.

Name: Charlie N. Holmberg

Fiction or nonfiction?: Fiction!

What genres to you write?: Anything fantasy :)

Are you published?: I have two books coming out from 47North next year: The Paper Magician and its sequel, The Glass Magician.

Do you do anything in addition to writing?: I'm also a freelance editor and mom-in-progress.

Where can people connect with you?:
Twitter: @CNHolmberg
Facebook: Charlie Nicholes Holmberg
Goodreads: Charlie Holmberg (Just my reader page, not my writer page!)

Monday, September 23, 2013

REVEAL and GIVEAWAY: The Baby Is a .... ?

We're back from the ultrasound!

The verdict is in!

Is the baby a boy or a girl?






I myself am surprised. I thought it would be a boy!

I threw those who guessed right into a drawing. I picked TWO winners for this, because the first is my sister and it's lame to have family win a giveaway, am I right?

One pound of  PINK gummy bears will go to Danny Chipman and Meredith M. I already know Danny's address (since we're related and stuff), so Meredith, please email me at with your mailing address so I can send you your prize!

Now comes picking a name... oh dear...

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Shameless Publicity and Interview of Author Michelle C. Eging: The Threads of Sole

I have the privilege, and this is a real privilege, of presenting to all of you author Michelle C. Eging, one of my good friends and an amazing author. She just released her novel, The Threads of Sole: Unraveled, in ebook and paperback, and I am ecstatic.

Those of you who know me know I'm not huge on indie publishing, and I am extremely hesitant to purchase anything indie-published unless I know it's golden. But let me tell you: I absolutely adore this book. It's dark fantasy at its finest. The creativity, the characters, and the story just blow me away. I love it to pieces, and I hope you'll go check it out for yourself!

In the aftermath of the War of Awakening, the King and his Council condoned the Purge, methodically executing members of the magically gifted Blessed so no person’s power will threaten Sole again. After years of political negotiation, the Purge has ended, requiring the Blessed to brand their faces and creating a rift that has Sole on the brink of civil war. Enwyck, the daamon half-blood Prince of Sole, Joslynn, a woman whose mask hides her deformed and poisonous spider-silk skin, Windle, a former Godmother now hiding as an old man, and Kasimir, a blind cripple no longer able to transform into a raven, find themselves struggling to preserve the kingdom while confronting the trauma of their pasts and the broken pieces of their present. One false move and everything they fought for will unravel, if it hasn’t already.

First, tell everyone a little about yourself.

I answered the rest of the interview before returning to this question because I would rather discuss writing then talk about myself! Maybe an anecdote will be best:

Last Friday, I went to a fancy Italian restaurant. After work, I changed into a Not Work, time to hit the
town, outfit. The front bumper to my car is held on by duct tape, which was not sticking to the car anymore, so after changing, I gave the tape and my car a pep talk that it could make it to the restaurant and back without incident. For the most part, it listened. I drove to the restaurant and parked my gimpy, ghetto car next to a yacht, or some sort of fancy boat. As I walked across the parking lot, it occurred to me that money wasn't the issue holding me back from replacing my bumper, since I was about to drop some on what can only be described as exquisite cuisine. Clearly, I would rather eat good food than have a pretty car.

Now blow everyone’s minds with how long it took you to complete this novel, and how many revisions you did.

I've been working on this novel since I was sixteen, so it's been nine years in the making. And books two and three are in draft stages, so it will probably be 11-12 years before I'm finished. As for number of revisions? Oh, I've tossed out at least ten drafts before getting close to the final product. The draft previous to this one was over 500 pages long before I tried all over again.

Where did you get the idea for The Threads of Sole, and how did that idea evolve over your revisions?

Oh boy, do you want the long version or the short version?

In high school, I studied German. One day our teacher was going over the formula for fairy-tales, a genre I've been obsessed with since before I could read (movies count, right?). When she started talking about the heroine and how she was always beautiful, and sweet, and innocent, I started thinking of how I could take the genre and turn it on its head. The first version of the story was a lot like Cinderella, except the girl was disfigured from her stepmother pouring hot oil on her face upon discovering Cinder's engagement to the Prince. And then the Prince ended the engagement, even though he still loved her, because the Kingdom demanded the bride be beautiful. Of course, there needed to be more of a plot then that, so the two of them had to save the Kingdom from his mother. While I wrote the first draft, I bought a copy of the Grimm's Fairy Tales and read it straight through, jotting down fairy tale elements or plot lines that I think would work in the story, elements that have still survived although the story is nothing like that original idea that hit me between the eyes in school.

Over time, the story grew in complexity as I grew from a teenager to a grown-up. I ditched all the German words I'd layered in, which is why so many words are capitalized in the final draft, to maintain some of the flavor without alienating the reader. The book went from being only in Joslynn's POV to having four characters' POV. Since I was no longer a love-sick teenager, the plot and focus expanded from romance to include politics, struggles with personal spirituality, coping with trauma, the effects of tyranny and war on a nation's and an individual's psyche, etc, etc. And the characters became richer, too. For instance, in earlier drafts, Joslynn was a hermit living in some secluded cave given to her by the sea king and she finds the prince washed ashore. Now, Joslynn uses wealth she was given by the sea king to build a city for refugees and serves those people as their political representative before the Kingdom's Council.

Oh, and did I mention I never planned on this being a trilogy? It just sort of happened that way.

I've had a lot of eyes on this book for the past ten years, and all of that feedback helped me move further and further away from rehashing the familiar elements I had encountered in the fantasy genre into territory that was new and fresh for me. Hopefully it will be that way for my readers as well.

What has been your inspiration for writing this?

The Brothers Grimm fairy tales, like I mentioned. And this really dark fantasy trilogy, which I loved in all my angsty teenagerness called the Black Jewels Trilogy (I wouldn't love it now, but I did then). And my own personal experiences. Which might be kind of weird since this is a fantasy novel... I didn't mean for it to happen, but it did somehow. In weird, unexpected, subtle ways, it did.

When can we expect a sequel?

Hopefully next summer!


You can find Michelle on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and at her blog, and you can buy The Threads of Sole: Unraveled on Amazon or on CreateSpace.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Guess the Sex and Eat Some Gummy Bears--Giveaway

You know something's good if it has both "sex" and "gummy bears" in the title, right?


Unless the baby-in-making is shy, I will find out its sex September 23rd. (It feels SO far away, ah!)

But I thought, hey, let's make a wager, shall we?

What do you think? Boy or Girl? (Yes, this is me using stereotypical colors to denote gender. Deal with it.)

The contest will be open until September 23rd, when the verdict is in! All you have to do is leave a comment (and contact info if it's not easy to find on your blog or whatnot*) with your guess to enter. Those who guess correctly will then enter a drawing for the goods--a one-pound bag of gummy bears in the mail in either blue or pink, depending on what the little tyke decides to be.

Image via Flikr Creative Commons, courtesy of Sunshinee14

And if the baby crosses his/her legs... guess I'll send out some green gummy bears instead. BUT HE/SHE BETTER NOT DO THAT OR MOMMY WILL BE ANGRY.

Cheers. :)

*If I know you in real life, you may skip the contact information. :P Unless I don't know you very well. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Cover Reveal for Threads of Sole: Unraveled

I'm excited to debut Michelle C. Eging's cover for Threads of Sole: Unraveled. It's a wonderful, traditional-style cover that I adore.

The book will be released soon, and I'll have another post next week for the release, as well as an interview with the author. I love this story, so please stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

14 Things I Wish I Had Internalized About Roommates When I Shipped Off to College

This stems from a conversation with Husband a few nights ago.

For my sister.

1. Leaving notes is NEVER a good idea, unless it’s a “Have a nice day!” post-it stuck in someone’s lunch box. Handling problems with notes just makes the note-readers more angry. Always better to flush it out in-person. 
  • This means that, if someone leaves YOU a note, you reply to it in-person.
  • This is also great because, if the note-leaver is non-confrontational, you'll probably win the "argument" anyway.
  • I-statements!
  • Make sure the problem is worth the conflict. Sometimes you just have to accept annoying things about roommates and move on.

2. Share your dishes.

3. Wash your dishes.
  • And for the love of all that's holy, leaving a roommate's dishes in their bed is NEVER a good idea, despite what others may tell you.

4. Be willing to share meals with roommates, even if they don't share theirs with you.

5. You can hit the snooze button once. After that, if you're sharing a room, it's rude.

6. Fake patience. If you can't, leave the room. Always better to fume alone than to start problems that will haunt you for the rest of the school year.

7. Be careful who you roommate-vent to.

8. If you have a roommate who is seriously out to get you, don't be afraid to stand up to them. Sometimes those people need to be called out (firmly, not rudely). I wish I had done this more often.

9. Don't play your angry music super loud to make a point. I know from experience that this form of expression does not promote bunk-mate happiness.

10. Clean up after yourself.

11. Always thank the roommate who is cleaning a community area. Gratitude makes for happy living.

12. Giving roommates rides to places always earns roommate points. On the flip side, don't ask the same person for a ride too often.

13. Don't leave your hair stuck to the walls of the shower.

14. Fake it 'til you make it. Then move out.

(Also, happy birthday to Sister #1!)