Monday, November 30, 2020

Glorious Victory, I Have Conquered NaNo!


November was a super stressful month for me, and I'm sure I'm not the only one to say that (the whole year has been but I don't want to get into all that). RLtG was my escape from that stress, whenever life started to seem like it was getting too much for me, I would turn on my Spotify playlist for this book and listen to that while figuring out what comes next for my characters (in other words I listened to this playlist 24/7 basically).

I focused my mental energy on brainstorming about the world of RLtG rather than stressing about everything that was going on in this world.

Took me who knows how long to figure out that focusing on something productive rather than dwelling on my negative emotions is actually a pretty good idea. Because eventually I get immersed, and then the emotions fade. But that thing that I created? That lasts.

And that's how I feel about RLtG and winning NaNo this month. It started out as an escape from stress, something else to focus my time and energy on, but as the month cycles to a close I have 50k words that I wrote in a month and I am ridiculously proud of that fact. I am making remarkable progress on my novel, it's currently sitting at 89k. And feel inspired enough to pick up two other projects that I need to work on.

Now that NaNo has been officially beaten and I even got my 30 day badge which I never accomplished before, I'm slowing down my progress on RLtG just for now, while I work to figure out what comes next. I can't wait to get to book 2, I really can't but there is still a ton of stuff that has to happen in RLtG yet and I don't know half of it.

In the meantime, I'm picking back up Of Gold and Iron's sequel Of Stars and Shadows which is basically entirely brainstormed and just waiting to be written up. I'm also finally finally going to start working on edits for A Season of Subterfuge, Courtiers, and War Councils because like... it's about time.

I have Conquered NaNoWriMo and now I am looking toward Slaying the December Dragon

(images via Pinterest)

Soldier, Savior, or Sacrifice?

(images via Pinterest)

There were rules for a reason...

(images via Pinterest)

Who has time to save the world today?

Augh, my WIPs all look so freaking cool together. I've considered making a collage of these three books together just because I like how their aesthetics compliment each other while also show how different they are, but I don't know if that would be weird? XD

(also totally not RLtG's official tagline, but I had a good chuckle at it)

How did November treat you all? What are your December reading/writing plans? Should I make that super awesome three way collage? Comment Below!

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Cue your panicking because it's the final week of NaNo

(images via Pinterest)


As I'm typing this post up I'm wearing my NaNoWriMo shirt that says I won. Even though I have not yet won. I'm a little rebel I know, I know.

But I'm going to win, at least things are looking pretty good for right now. As I write this post I'm sitting on about 42, 530 words this month. That puts me at 81,737 words in RLtG as a whole, which is a lot and wow it doesn't feel like I'm that far into this book, but apparently I am. O_O

this is where I'm at in each individual POV:

Eirik: 31,343 words, blasted boy got a haircut and is prancing around in a hood working to save a small village from poverty by robbing from their wealthy landlord

Thyre: 19,293 words, somehow managed to get herself conscripted into an assassin family and turned into a werewolf within like 48 hours of each other, this girl has some serious skillz

Dagmy: 17,477 words, V A M P I R E S

Meruna: 13,624 words, finally made it to the Academy of Magickers

Azern: still haven't started her POV but she was just introduced in Meruna's POV so pretty soon now she will start up her own story

I'm probably only about halfway through this book? But I haven't brainstormed or plotted out this next part of the book very much, so I will probably proceed through it at a slower pace once NaNo is through. To be honest I hadn't thought I would make it this far XD But whatever happens all I know is that RLtG is going to be a looooooooong book. I was trying to find some way to shorten it because I had been planning on trying to get RLtG trad published, and publishers/agents seem to be pretty persnickety about books being "too long".

But then I took a good long time to consider why I wanted to publish RLtG traditionally and I realized I had no good reasons. I thought it would be cool to have someone want to pick up my book, the buzz that surrounds that, the excitement. Until I realized how much I was dreading signing any contract. I really like having control of my books. I like coming up with the titles, and designing the covers (I hate writing blurbs but then who doesn't?). Most of all I like being able to decide how long my books can be.

I started to come to this realization when I published OGaI myself, but I didn't want to admit it to myself then.

Indie publishing is actually the best route for my books

Not by default, but because I enjoy indie publishing and having the final say on my books.

Now I'm not saying I'll never query again, but as things stand the chances aren't that great. Indie is just such a growing market, the opportunities are endless. And am I the only one or does every Trad book that is coming out these days look like a carbon copy of the other?

What's ahead for me? Well, my job is closing down. Again. So in the next month(s?) till we manage to reopen I am hoping to finally edit up Season of Subterfuge, write Of Gold and Iron's sequel, and of course keep working on RLtG.

Happy Thanksgiving all, here's to a productive holiday season filled with cheer, family, and good health.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Rage Like the Gods and Romance

So NaNo is somewhere close to being almost over. Unfortunately I already lost my sanity. Maybe I sold my soul somewhere in there too but it's possible that was just a coffee induced hallucination.

Currently my NaNoWriMo word count is 35k words which is more or less on track for this time of the year. The word count of RLtG as a whole is a whopping 75k words and I know I said that very deadpan but believe me when I say I am quite excited about that fact.

I promised a post about the love interests in Rage Like the Gods and now I am here to deliver. I intended to write this sooner but then I got sick and when I get sick my brain packs its bags and moves out which definitely messed up a NaNo plan or two. Fortunately I was ahead of schedule at the time of my illness so I didn't suffer tooo much when I only wrote 104 words on Sunday. *coughs but like for real because I have some lingering symptoms*

But anyway, I have waited long enough to introduce you to the love interests of Rage Like the Gods! So without further ado here are the lady and gentlemen who are solely responsible for keeping my disaster characters alive. (and can I just say how much shorter this whole series would be if my MCs just like, listened to these characters? smh, guys)


(image via Pinterest all credit to its original creator)

needs to be protected/ from like everything/ is to soft to be here/ could tear you apart with bear hands but doesn't want to

Vrom is Thyre's true love, a werewolf and member of the pack Thyre becomes a part of after she is bitten. Vrom is sweet and quiet spoken. He isn't very good with words (I feel yah buddy), and because of this, some members of his family consider him the less intelligent brother.

Vrom isn't a fan of the violent and nomadic way of werewolf life, but his loyalty to his family and loved ones outshines any of his own personal qualms. Vrom hates confrontation, and easily grows frustrated when anything he says is taken the wrong way, so he tends to very rarely speak up. Still, if you pay close enough attention to him rather than what his family all thinks of him, you will see a beautiful soul.


(image via Pinterest all credit to its original creator)

Sassa means Queen of Sass/ but seriously Eirik has no idea what he is in for/ pretends to be a noble knight/ has the moral compass of a knave/ will kiss you to get you to shut up

Sassa is the adopted daughter of a powerful man from the house of notability who Eirik meets in his journeys. She was adopted after both her parents died in the service of defending this lord, but in her heart Sassa is a warrior just like her mother before her.

Sassa isn't shy at all and extremely outspoken. She says what is on her mind and expects everyone else to do the same. She abhors deception, and is against banditry and thieves. Still, Sassa is good humored and quite reasonable. However, if her mind is already made up on a matter... good luck convincing her otherwise.


(image via Pinterest all credit to its original creator)
ugh who gave the winter permission to be so cold/ did I ever tell you about the time that I.../ have I mentioned yet how I.../ you know my opinion on.../ gross the vampire hunters who hired me actually expect me to go up against a vampire/ disgusting/ disheartening/ would not recommend my experience

Hakon is a... well he is an interesting individual. He is a mercenary who Dagmy hires to help her in her quest to regain her honor. A master in magic who dropped out of the academy of Magickers because it was too boring, Hakon isn't like most mercenaries. He is less in it for the money and more for the sheer thrill and adventure of it all. His favorite hobbies include talking about every inane thing under the sun, boasting about his magical prowess, and complaining about any inconvenience no matter how minor. He especially hates the cold which is unfortunate to say the least, given where he lives.

Still, Hakon isn't big on backstabbing or going back on his word, and once his loyalty is bought it cannot be sold again. He loves animals especially his giant pup Garth. And also he is actually really good with magic so maybe he deserves to boast just a tad.


(image via Pinterest all credit to its original creator)
not to brag but/ okay I will brag/ I have memorized six tomes on magical shielding/ now if a magical shield would actually work on me/ not to be too stubborn to admit needing help but I have everything perfectly under control

Fell is Meruna's fellow student. Fell and Eirik actually have quite a bit in common. Both are from mixed families (Eirik's mum was an elf and dad was a Lowlander, Fell's mom was a Lowlander and his father a Highlander) both come from backgrounds in farming, and both are determined to make their way through life and rise above their positions. But that's where the similarities end. Eirik believes that his place in the world is through his musical skills and good humor with some petty thievery thrown in to overcome the most difficult obstacles. Fell wants to be a Magicker.

Being half Highlander, magic doesn't come easily for Fell. He does have a higher resistance to most spells, but not a lot of natural magic at his disposal. Still Fell is stubborn and wickedly intelligent and once he sets his mind on any goal he will not stop until either he accomplishes it or dies trying. Fell is level headed and thinks well under pressure, he is hard working and never gives up despite the odds. Which could actually be counted as a less stellar quality when he won't give up on a goal that is very probably impossible. Fell will never forget a grudge, but is generally very slow to anger.


(image via Pinterest all credit to its original creator)
ugh shut up please you are giving me a headache/ wait are you shivering?/ good thing I brought enough blankets to keep a small army warm/ here's some hot chocolate too/ idiot

Magnar is a magicker and a werewolf and honestly do I need to say more??? Okay I shall. Magnar did not choose to become a werewolf, in fact if he had been given a choice he would have politely turned down the offer. Fresh out of the Academy, young Magnar was mauled by a werewolf and left for dead, only to be taken in by Vrom who soon becomes his best friend. Grumpy and aloof to most, if you get to know Magnar you will find that he only pretends not to care and if you dig a little deeper past his layers of sarcasm and intellectual snobbery you will discover that actually he is a huge mom friend.

Magnar isn't a committed member of the pack, he only stays for Vrom, and still hasn't given up on finding a cure. Still, since the werewolf blessing is primarily distributed to Highlanders, his magic is a unique skillset that makes him a valuable member of his pack. And Azern's fiercest opponent as she tries to earn a way into the pack and the blessing of lycanthropy.

And there you have the love interests from RLtG... well most of them. Book two introduces the one that I would personally like to marry XD Does anyone from this list stand out to you specifically? How is NaNo going for you guys? Comment below and don't forget to ask any questions about RLtG that you will want me to answer in my next post!

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Rage Like the Gods Q&A, Part One: Get to Know My Novel

So NaNo has begun, and Rage Like the Gods has basically consumed my life. When I'm not writing, I'm brainstorming (to keep up with the fact that I am actually pansting this novel and need to come up with scenes on the go), when I'm not doing either of those I am drawing my characters. My calculator is getting quite a bit of use trying to figure out word counts, and I think I may drive my close friends and family mad with how much I talk about where I am at or where I am stuck in my writing. With that said, I thought I would share a little more about this book that is essentially my life right now.

To pick the topics I would discuss in this post (I was planning on doing a few posts like this, but this ended up being so long that I think I'm only going to do two. One at the beginning of November and one at the end) I had my two besties R.F. Gammon and Lila Kims, cook up some questions for me to answer about my story's plot, world, and characters.

 -Tell us about each of the main characters but a realistic way not a summary way

This is a mean question, because I like to talk about my characters in summary ways. But I suppose if you want the summaries you will just have to go here where I first introduced them. Anyway so I have 5 POVs in RLtG (one previously not listed in the other blog post because that POV is slightly different from my other four), so I'm going to focus on the POV characters (of book one, there may or may not be another POV added in book 2 but you didn't hear it from me XD) since well, they are my main characters

(this image and the ones below are my [finally finished] Inktober project in which I was drawing my characters from RLtG but in modern clothes cause why not)

Thyre: Thyre is a Highlander, fiercly proud of her heritage, loyal to a fault, and not a fan of magic or really anything Lowlander (she is Highlander through and through). Her father was the keeper of a burial mound and as such she lived a somewhat isolated life what with people being superstitious and afraid of the dead (they aren't exactly wrong to be, necromancy is a thing in this world). However, when a bandit clan killed her family Thyre went on the war path. She did a cartload of questionable things to achieve her revenge, becoming quite a skilled warrior in the process. However now that she has avenged her family (and gotten on the bad side of a law or two) she doesn't know what her purpose is in life. She is a lone wolf (and becomes one quite literally *cough* lycanthropy *cough*) but she doesn't like that, she wants a family, or a pack (or both). Show her a little kindness and she will love you forever. She's just like a big ol' extremely violent teddy bear with antisocial tendencies and trouble building the relationships she desperately craves.

Dagmy: Dagmy is a foreigner, hailing from the deserts of the south, perhaps the only place harsher and harder to survive in than Ruskhazar. Formerly a member of a clan of warrior's Dagmy has since been exiled, never to return on pain of death. Labeled a coward and a traitor, the worst insults you could label someone who places honor as equaling personal worth,  Dagmy is desperate to find some way to reclaim her good name and she doesn't care what she has to do in order to do it. Killing is her profession, so to survive in this new land, she makes a living selling her sword. Dagmy is taciturn, the kind to kill first and ask questions later. Honor is all that matters to her, everything else is just a distraction.

Eirik: Eirik is the only guy chosen one, but he doesn't mind. Far more at home with women who he can charm with ease, than his fellow males who have a tendency to beat him up, Eirik either inspires loyalty and hatred from whoever he meets. Eirik is actually half elf, raised by a mother who cared more about alchemy than most individuals and a hard working farmer of a father, Eirik decided that his role model should be his always drunk uncle (we never said Eirik was smart, just that he was charming). He has decided that being a bard is his passion, and considers himself the handsomest, most talented bard to ever walk the earth and that it will be a simple matter to claim worldwide fame  (never said he was humble either). Unfortunately life has proven to be more difficult and more dangerous than he anticipated... and lonelier. Still with his brains and silver tongue, there's nothing he can't accomplish, at least that's what he thinks.

Meruna: Meruna is a Lowlander from a very important family, she is expected to marry well to further her father's political views, but her true passion is learning and magic. She will not accept a future where she doesn't attend the Academy of Magickers, so finally her parents relented and now she is off on her own for the first time in her life. As clutzy as she is stubborn, Meruna is a bit of disaster waiting to happen. She wears her hair unfashionably short after a fire spell gone wrong. She's a bit stuck up, and takes great pride in her knowledge of the magical arts, but Meruna is a strict pacifist and would rather die than raise her hand against a soul.

Azern: the final POV character, Azern is a bit different than everyone else. She was not chosen by one of the gods, instead selected as a chosen one by one of the only non evil demigods there is. As a demigod follower, Azern is actually a sorceress, deriving magical powers from this demigod rather than the goddess Meruna. Sorcery is mildly illegal, but Azern isn't big on following rules. A rebel at heart, she has been known to make an enemy or two with her unpopular political views. Still she has her heart in the right place and makes close friends easily, who she would be willing to die for. She is the only one of my main characters actually dedicated to saving the world. She is a Higher Elf, one of the remnants of a long destroyed culture and as such she wants to prevent other clans from going through what her people did.

-What's the world like?

So the world's name is Ruskhazar, and since this is a somewhat broad question I decided to divide the answer into four sections (in which you will discover that I have just a bit too much fun creating my worlds)

Geographically: Ruskhazar is on a peninsula, connecting it to the rest of the land mass (not much is mentioned about this land mass except that to the south there is a vast desert that is Dagmy's homeland) islands dot the sea surrounding Ruskhazar, including the closest set of islands, the Spice Isles, a previously uninhabited cluster of islands that has since been settled by Ruskhazar due to the ripe conditions for growing spices, however these plantations are greedy and unsanitary and generally the only workers are criminals exiled from the homeland. Ruskhazar itself is almost entirely locked in by mountains that wrap around the peninsula. These mountains form a natural barrier to defend their land from invaders, but also make it difficult to have large cities, and makes travel dangerous. In the center of the circle of the mountains is a fertile valley known as the Lowlands, this is where the largest cities are, and also where most farming takes place. There is also a thin coastline on the other side of the mountains, that nestles between the mountains and the sea, this area is home to fishermen, summer houses for the nobles, and the prisons where criminals wait for a ship to send them off to the Spice Isles.

Ruskhazar is far to the north and as such, can be quite chilly year round, this can make living in Ruskhazar quite difficult. But if you can look past the snow and the harsh environment it is a beautiful land with mountains on every horizon and lights that illuminate the sky at night.

Historically: Ruskhazar was originally the home of the elves. No one remembers where they first came from, but it has been the home of the two species of elves for thousands of years. The Higher Elves took up residence in the mountains, carving cities out of cliffs. The Lower Elves lived in the valley where they thrived in the slightly less harsh climate. However, the species of elves never truly got along, each believing they were the true race and the other was simply a mistake.

Then the humans came. The Khazars, a nomadic band of barbarians traveled up through the peninsula deciding to settle in the fertile valley in the circle of the mountains. Due to their much quicker reproduction rate, the humans easily outnumbered the elves in only a matter of years. These Khazars also possessed an inherent magic. Not wishing to be wiped out by these magical humans, the Lower elves allied themselves to them. Welcomed them into their culture and opened their cities to them.

Around the same time the Rus, a clan of Vikings from a small island to the north of even Ruskhazar sailed south and found this land. They set up residency in the mountains where they would descend on Lowlander villages and raid them. This continued for some time until the Lowlanders began fighting back against these Highlanders. After a long and bitter conflict, involving both the elves, the Lowlanders finally defeated these Highlanders. But after the bitter conflict the only way for both cultures to survive the harsh environment was to unite their people into their culture and so Ruskhazar was formed.

The final and most bloody conflict to take place in Ruskhazar's history was when the Lower Elves convinced their human allies to turn on the Higher Elves. Many Highlanders opted to stay out of the fight with their neighbors, and who had been their allies in the war they lost. But between the Lower Elves and the Lowlanders, the Higher Elves were decimated, their culture and history destroyed. Only a remnant was left to join the united land.

Religion: The people in Ruskhazar believe in a pantheon of five deities. These deities are...

Thyre who is the god of time, burial rights, and the guardian of Skyhold, the land of the dead.

Thyre is wed to Neltruna who is the goddess of monsters, darkness, and all things unknown

Meruna is the goddess of magic and the virtues

Her husband Eirik is the god of humanity, including all human things such as birth and death

Dagmy is the goddess of beauty, lies, and carnal beasts

There were two other gods. Twin brothers, one who created the Lower Elves and one who created the Higher. However, these brothers hated each other so deeply that they ended up destroying each other, and this is why the races of elves will never truly live in peace till the end of days.

(as you will notice, these names are probably familiar. That's because my characters are named after the gods, giving rise to the title Rage Like the Gods)

These gods had 8 children between them, the demigods. Neltruna and Thyre had six children, and Meruna and Eirik had a son a great and mighty dragon, but these demigods were considered so evil they their parents were forced to destroy them in order to save the world (there was one demigod who was not evil, but she fancied herself a guardian against doomsday and so gladly sacrificed herself to stop her siblings and the dragon— this is the demigod that Azern serves)

Since then Meruna, heartbroken over the loss of their son, had another child in secret. When the other gods learned of this they exiled, her second son, the giant, from the realm of the gods to forever be the guardian of earth to atone for his existence.

Modern Political Culture: Ruskhazar is ruled by two kings. The High King, a Lower Elf who has been in charge for hundreds of years. This High King is really more of a figurehead now, considered to be the one with more power, but lives in seclusion and rarely makes decrees these days. The Lesser King, a Lowlander, is in charge of many of the affairs of state. It is also his duty to regularly visit the High King in his seclusion and see that any of the High King's orders are followed.

Under this unified front the Lowlanders and their far outnumbered Lower Elf neighbors live under the illusion of peace. However there are many in the Lower Elf ranks who remember a time from before man and with their bitter enemies the Higher Elves practically decimated they would rule supreme. However elves do not reproduce quickly and are far outnumbered by the races of man.

It is because of this that there are some among the Lower Elves who would love to see a civil war between the Highlanders and Lowlanders, which isn't actually all that far off. The Lower King has a Highlander as one of his chief advisors, but many Highlanders consider this a paltry peace offering and this advisor a traitor to them anyway. They live in constant fear of the Lowlanders deciding that they desire to wipe out their culture as the Higher Elves culture was wiped out. Many desire to break away and become their own country again, but such sentiments are treasonous to suggest (if you could imagine). To further divide the Lowlanders and Highlanders is the fact that Lowlanders have an ancient bloodline of magic (what they consider a blessing from Meruna) and the Highlanders have no magic to speak of but are actually immune to most magic even used against them, which brokers quite a bit of suspicion on both sides.

Meanwhile the remnants of the Higher Elves, with no cities of their own, and no longer any culture, are understandably bitter for what had happened to them in the past. They are treated as second hand citizens, even by the Highlanders that are sympathetic to their cause (only because the HIghlanders consider everyone who isn't Highlander basically a second hand citizen, which makes it so difficult for them to serve kings which are not Highlanders. It is not a crime that only the HIghlanders are guilty of, the Lowlanders and Lower Elves also have great pride of considering themselves better than the other races)

So basically the social political structure is no good and despite all the clans of elves and men being currently united, they all hate it and war is looking pretty inevitable.

Whew, that was a lot and I'm sure that some or you guys are reading this with glassy eyes (I told you I put too much thought into all of this), so anyway it can all be summed up in this line from Dagmy providing and outsider's view on this social political system:

“Perhaps my home is a land of bloodshed and turmoil, where even the simplest herder must be trained to defend himself if a rival clan should attack. But in the very least you know who the enemy is. There you have your brothers and sisters in your own clan to watch your back. And enemies were not forced to live together under false harmony. This land is like a poorly stitched tear in a fine fabric. Sooner or later it will rend leaving a larger hole than there had been before.”

-What kind of beverages do they have

So in this harsh environment, with it's political differences, and a lot of bad blood, obviously a lot of people are gonna want a lot of strong alcoholic drinks. (my bard starts off this story hungover) we have ale and mead as the more easily bought beverage for the Highlanders, and Lowlander peasants who want to get drunk and drunk fast. The Lowlander lords will probably have vast stores of wine that they drink and provide to their guests.

We also have milk, gotta have those healthy bones. Yaks and long haired cows are a common creature in this environment.

Also unlike the dark ages, there's always the option of plain water. There are a lot of freshwater springs and rivers made from melting snow in the mountains for them to have clean water. Plus I just don't want any of my characters to get dehydrated.

-Magic animals?

well we have the gods' Meruna and Eirik's children. Their eldest who is a dragon, he is currently dead, but in a land with necromancy anything can happen. Their other son is a giant and while he isn't technically an animal, but the giant has a pet dog that he breeds to send the pups to his mother to cheer her up. One of these pups is Garth, who Hakon convinces Dagmy to adopt, is an immortal giant telepathic dog. He had a bunch of siblings, but despite being the size of a horse he was the runt and too small for the giant to send and join the goddess's pack.

There are werewolves in Ruskhazar, considered blessed by Neltruna.

Also there are vampires, considered cursed by the Night Maiden (one of the demigods who was killed). I have a whole host of other Russian inspired monsters. Not sure if those count under magic animals. Not sure if these last couple of ones did either.

The story starts off with an attack from an undead kraken.

And undead sabre tooth wolves (idk sounded cool) exist

In this draft, I have also mention frost ogres. I don't know where those came from or if they will even stay. But currently we have frost ogres.

-Who is YOUR favorite POV to write (Trick question mwahaha)

I legitimately don't have one. These POVs and characters are all so different and their stories so diverse. I love different aspects in each POV equally XD

-What's been your general approach to writing romance in this series

Time for another long and rambley answer.

So. Admission—romance is actually a huge part of this book. When I talk about Rage Like the Gods I am usually discussing chosen ones, or undead armies, or spending a hugely undue amount of time talking about how I combined Russian and Viking culture in this novel's world, that I don't talk about the romantic aspect of this book. But romance is a huge part of this book's plot. And with so many main characters, I have multiple main romances going on. Honestly now I am calling myself out for never discussing the love interests in this book, so maybe I will do a blog post featuring them in a week or two.

What you should know though is that there is no romance between the chosen ones. Each of my main characters has a love story but not with each other. I honestly see them as siblings. Besides in book one they see each other a grand total of one time. And it isn't at the end of the book. It's at the beginning. Also they're all girls except Eirik and he has one of the more romantic plots in book one (how all my chosen ones except Eirik ended up being girls, even Azern the faux one, is an excellent question, one I don't have a specific answer to, my characters came to me like this and I have since learned to not question them XD)

So I have a separate romance for each POV, that's five romances (with the addition of a sixth in book two), and as I said they are a large part of my book. Now, not all of them kick off in Rage Like the Gods specifically, but all the pieces are put into place in book one with characters meeting and Tension(TM) and Attraction(TM) in the first book (this is with the exception of that sixth POV that isn't introduced until book 2).

With so many main characters and so many main romances, my focus has been on having them all be vastly different. I have probably put as much focus on the love interests as I have the main characters (hence the need to do a blog post introducing them XD). These developing romances move at different speeds, and so look vastly different as the series progresses. Technically this book is not YA. I don't know what ages my characters are actually, never sat down to figure that out. They are definitely older than teens, somewhere in their twenties. Which technically makes this book NA? With this difference in ages, there is a lot less of the will they won't they for several of my romances. Which is why I feel like it isn't much of a spoiler to share who the love interest is in each POV. Now out of my six romances I do have two slow burns, and one love triangle-ish thing. But um... my characters actually get married in this seriesTwo of my main characters are married by the end of book one.

Hey in Ruskhazar you never know if you are going to die so if you find love, best to not wait *shrugs*

This story is still definitely going to be clean, it just will have an older theme.

So after that long ramble the short answer to my approach to writing romance in RLtG is,

Keep the romances unique, the love true, the tension amped up, the competition dead (jk jk), and the love interests feisty, sweet, determined, sassy, and aggravating.... respectively. Oh yeah and scream, like a lot.

-What about each of the POVs distinguishes the voices of the characters?

I could list alllllllllllll the differences I have chalked up between my characters from the way they approach violence to their differing flirting techniques but I already spent a gazillion years on the world building so I shall refrain. I will focus on just the voices of the characters.

Eirik is a lighter happier tone, he hasn't led an overly dark life, and still believes in big dreams and happy endings. He is flirtatious but actually quite innocent. He claims to be a bard, but under all of that he is still just a farmer and alchemist's son seeing the world for the first time. Eirik makes decisions based on whims and is adaptable if they don't end up working out.

Thyre in comparison is dark, her thoughts are violent and she is always trying to see what is the bare minimum she can survive with because she is used to losing everything. However she is also governed by emotions and her feelings and wants a happy ending.

Which is the main difference between her and Dagmy. Neither talk much, both are violent minded, but Dagmy is calculated and rarely dwells on her feelings. The other difference I have with Dagmy from all my other characters is that her world view is shaped by a different culture. Everything she sees is seen through the lenses of the deserts where she grew up.

Meruna thinks too much, as a scholar and student of the magical arts she is always asking questions and exploring solutions. This can lead to her losing track on events going on around her because she is daydreaming... um I mean brainstorming instead. As a pacifist Meruna is not violent at all and seeks to avoid violent encounters under all circumstances.

I haven't written any of Azern's POV yet but basically she is ruled by her desire to break the rules and rebel and hating restrictions while also knowing that her actions have consequences and she really ought to play nice.

-Has anything from your life inspired certain aspects of the world or characters?

Well obviously I don't have magic or lycanthropy or been cursed with vampirism *shifts eyes nervously* but...

Meruna is similar to me in many physical aspects. She is short, with curves and not a muscle to speak of. The most workout she gets is hauling books around which is *cough* *hack* *chokes on lung* not too far off from her esteemed author. Also she totally got her maladaptive daydreaming features from me.

Eirik is like me in his being a bard. He's always trying to compose that one song that will launch him into worldwide fame and fortune *coughs again* which is more or less similar to me with my books. He has talents and he wants to be noticed, he wants to share his talents and be appreciated for them. That's something I can empathize with for sure. Also he is terrible at similes which is a trait I also have, and isn't exactly a good one to have in either of our lines of work. Whoops. Still we make do.

Thyre and I share a condition which is known as: getting attached too early on, and also not actually being good judge of characters so why the heck are you getting attached stop it stop that now.

Dagmy and I don't have a whole lot in common actually, her partner in crime Hakon however is basically me only with magical abilities (because we're sticking to the narrative that I don't have magical powers) and a guy.

And as for the world, well my (*cough*) unhealthy obsession with diseases has influenced the vampirism in that it is basically a believed to be incurable chronic illness rather than a straight up monster as many vampire stories will have (although I could go into some of the origins of vampirism that were believed to have come about to explain contagious diseases but I shan't)

And basically the entirety of this series is inspired after something or the other, but I don't have time to get into all that and also spoilers so I shall leave my answer at this because wow this blog post is getting long (I don't know who to blame, my besties for asking such darn hard questions, or my tendency to ramble)

-Which character do you expect will be the fan favorite?

That would probably be a toss-up between Eirik and Meruna. Meruna will definitely be relatable, especially with college students since her life revolves around studying. She is a huge bookworm, I find her struggles to carry a large number of books quite relatable myself. However, Eirik is a charming, well-meaning, and smooth talking bard. He is funny and always striving to be liked and come ahead in the world. So either Eirik or Meruna. Plus they are the least stabby of these characters (Dagmy and Thyre can be kind of dark some all the time)

OKAY and we have reached the end. Congratulations on surviving that word dump. That was a lot of coughing maybe I'm coming down with something. Hopefully now you have a somewhat better grasp on this story. I'm going to try to get a post up about our lucky fellas (and Sassa) who are the love interests in RLtG next week. And as for part two at the end of this month I figured I would let you guys ask the questions this time. So comment below, with any questions you may have about RLtG and my writing of it!