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Guest Blog By Hanna Martine - The Dreams You Keep

Please welcome Hanna Martine to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. Hanna's debut, Liquid Lies (The Elementals 1), will be published on July 3, 2012 by Berkley. Tomorrow! Read an interview with Hanna here.



THE DREAMS YOU KEEP

Writing professionally has been a dream of mine since I was very young. However, it was a dream, not my only dream.

If I could have been the first dancer/novelist, my life would have been complete. I felt as much love for performing in front of an audience as I did for sitting in my bedroom alone clacking away at my mom's typewriter.

When you're that young--we're talking grade school--dreams never seem impossible. Unless something profound and real is holding you back, when you're eight, you can be anything. Life seems borderless and grand, and growing up is so far away. Like Peter Pan, you feel ageless.

I always thought I'd be able to keep dancing. I don't think I ever fooled myself into believing I was good enough to be professional, but I couldn't picture a day when it wouldn't be part of my life. The dream flickered, small but ever-present, in the back of my mind.

My two loves, dance and writing, went hand in hand for a long time. In college, I adopted a grueling dance (and social) schedule. I barely wrote. Soon after, life took me away from both my loves. Dance isn't something you can pick up after years off and expect to be at the same level you once were. But writing ... the more mature I became, the more I read and analyzed and typed away--surprise, surprise--the better I got at it.

As the dream of dance faded, the obsession to become a writer took over. I knew that's where my true talent lay, the one that could fulfill me professionally and spiritually.

Still, dance was a powerful dream, and now it's gone. It hurts to this day. Go with me to a dance performance and I will cry. It's a given. The tears are as much for the talent I don't have anymore as for the beauty of what I see on stage. But clinging to regret for not pursuing dance earlier on and in a more aggressive manner is useless. Regret holds you back. And I've only ever wanted to fly.

Dancing had come and gone, but I still had my words. The thing about writing? It never leaves you. You could be blind and still write. You could lose a hand and still write. It's entirely made of what's inside you.

I remember the exact day the dream of writing manifested into a serious, tangible goal of becoming a novelist. I hadn't written a word in at least five years. I was at the library, running my fingers over the spines of the science fiction and fantasy books. The desire to share my stories with an audience, in much the same way as I'd shared my performances, slammed into me with such powerful force I went immediately to the store, bought a notebook (I didn't even own a computer then) and started scribbling down ideas.

Dreams are funny things. Some you are forced to leave behind. Some are ripped away against your will. Some you hold on to. Some you merely set aside for when the time is right for them to be fulfilled.

My debut novel, LIQUID LIES--a different kind of paranormal romance--is the culmination of many, many years of dreaming and even more years of seriously hard work.

I'd love to hear from you. Please visit me at www.hannamartine.com.

[By the way, as I was writing this, I could not get this song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bate_tvVUpk) out of my head. And now it's in yours!]


About The Elementals

Liquid Lies
The Elementals 1
Berkley, July 3, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Guest Blog By Hanna Martine -  The Dreams You Keep
Magic is corporate America's best-kept secret, and Gwen Carroway is the best at selling it...

With her ability to pick up any language in an instant, Gwen Carroway is taking her family business global. As dutiful future leader of water elementals, she'll do anything to protect her people's secrets and bloodlines--including enter an arranged marriage. Inside, however, she yearns for the forbidden.

Reed is a mercenary addicted to the money and adrenaline rush of his work. After he inadvertently saves Gwen's life, he ignites her taboo desire for men without magic--and with bodies of gods. Just as things heat up, Reed discovers that Gwen is exactly who he's been hired to kidnap. He resolves to put work before lust, yet her luscious beauty and fiery spirit unravel him...

But there is a terrible truth behind Gwen's family business--and now, caught between the kinsmen she no longer trusts and an enemy bent on vengeance, the only ally she has is her abductor...



About Hanna

Guest Blog By Hanna Martine -  The Dreams You Keep
Hanna Martine's only goal growing up was to become a writer, specifically a fantasy writer. That dream stuck until she realized that most speculative fiction novels faded to black during the best parts or skipped over love stories altogether. When she discovered paranormal romance and urban fantasy, she found the genre of her heart. After the arrival of her daughter, she couldn't think of a better lesson to teach the little one than: Have a dream. Go after it. Be fulfilled. So she set aside all thoughts of returning to the business world and focused on writing and learning about the industry. She finished two novels before coming up with the idea for the world of The Elementals. She joined the Romance Writers of America (RWA), placed in numerous contests, and found an agent and editor who believed in her unique stories. She loves writing about secret worlds, magic, and the intense emotional and physical relationships that exist within them.

Find Hanna:  Website, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Goodreads




The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of Liquid Lies (The Elementals 1) from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

What were some of your childhood dreams?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Monday, July 9, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Winners x 4 - June 18, 2012

And the winners are...


Liquid Lies (The Elementals 1) by Hanna Martine - Ended June 13, 2012 - Read the Guest Blog here. Please note that the novel is not out until July 3, 2012.

Winners x 4 - June 18, 2012

Question:  If you were an Elemental, what would your element be?

Sullivan McPigJ who said...

Earth!
We pigs are very good with earth related things: like truffles!


Winners x 4 - June 18, 2012


Alexander Outland: Space Pirate by G.J. Koch - Ended June 14, 2012 - Read the interview here. Print copy (US) or eBook (International)

Winners x 4 - June 18, 2012

Question:  What is your favorite novel, TV show, movie, or comic set in outer space?

NoraA who said...

Ok, you asked the wrong question because there are so many movies I loved.

This Island Earth
Between the Planets
Destination Moon
Earth vs the Flying Saucers
Forbidden Planet
Ice Pirates
Hell Comes to Frogtown
Plan 9 From Outer Space
Space Balls
Starcrash
Starship Troopers
The Day the Earth Stood Still- the original
The Day the Earth Stood Still
There are so many, and I own these and many more on DVD. LOL

Told you ya asked the wrong question!


Winners x 4 - June 18, 2012


One commenter will win digital copy (eBook) of Her Forbidden Hero and one commenter will win a digital copy (eBook) of Seduced by the Vampire King by Laura Kaye - Ended June 15, 2012 - Read the Guest Blog here.

Winners x 4 - June 18, 2012

Question:  What do YOU think most creates sexual tension in a book? And just how much can you take before you explode?!?

Her Forbidden Hero

Susan W. who said...

The Dance. Yep, that's was does it for me. It's all the little glances, touches. The way they notice the little details about the other person like a few freckles across her shoulders, the gold in flecks in his eyes. The way they can't stop noticing each other.
Thanks for the giveaway!

AND

Seduced by the Vampire King

bn100 who said...

Very nice post. I think it's the near misses and interruptions.


Winners x 4 - June 18, 2012


The winners have been notified and have until 11:59 PM US Eastern Time on Monday, June 25, 2012 to respond or The Qwillery will very randomly choose a new winner or winners.

Interview with Hanna Martine and Giveaway - June 6, 2012

Please welcome Hanna Martine to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Hanna's debut, Liquid Lies (The Elementals 1), will be published on July 3, 2012 by Berkley.


TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Hanna:  Quirk? Everything I do is perfectly normal! In all seriousness, I'm not sure. Most of my quirks I've accepted and adopted as part of my creative process. I draft best on my laptop in really noisy places with lots of activity, like restaurants or coffee shops. I love white noise and can't write to music with words. I only edit on paper, and I can only input those paper edits on my desktop computer, which is located in a windowless basement office I have named The Cave.

TQ: Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Hanna:  I view J.R. Ward and Suzanne Brockmann's novels as a master class on deep point of view. Harper Fox's atmospheric prose is to die for. Ann Aguirre's sense of story pacing is incomparable. I like to think each of these talented women has influenced my writing, but really all I'm doing is praying to be like them one day.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Hanna:  I'm a pretty serious plotter, but I leave lots of wiggle room for pantsing as I go along. Stuff continually changes. I never marry anything--that was such an important and difficult rule to learn in my process. When I clung to certain characters or plot points or turns of phrase, I realized I was trying to fit square pegs into round holes. When I learned to let the story direct itself, rather than me shoving it into places it didn't want to go, my plotting and pantsing became amiable bedfellows.

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Hanna:  The phase after I bang out my complete zero draft is when I take a critical eye to the flow of the story, the character arcs and the general plot issues. The zero draft is a sloppy mess of backstory, random scenes, clunky dialogue, telling instead of showing, etc. There are incomplete paragraphs, scenes, even sentences. Revising the zero draft is always a major overhaul to the book, and after the high of completing a full manuscript, it is always daunting and makes me feel like the world is meaningless and full of pain. It's a huge struggle to rewrite at this stage, but once I get over the hump, it becomes a major triumph.

TQ:  Describe Liquid Lies in 140 characters or less.

Hanna:  Hot, ex-military mercenary with shaved head has got it bad for the smart, driven water-magic sorceress he's been hired to kidnap.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Liquid Lies?

Hanna:  A single scene just came to me one day: A human mercenary who'd been hired to kidnap a woman with magic was being ripped away from her, calling into question everything he'd believed about his life. That scene doesn't exactly appear in the final book, but it was the bullseye from which I built the story outward.

When I was devising my heroine's system of magic, I was thinking about characters who were the complete opposite of myself. I had also just come from working a decade in an office, so that culture was pretty ingrained in my mind. I made my heroine a driven corporate climber and a water elemental. I did not enjoy the business world and I'm absolutely terrified of water. It seemed like a fun and challenging thing to explore, and lo, my heroine and her magical world were born.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Liquid Lies?

Hanna:  I had to look up the depths of the U.S.'s deepest lakes. (Crater Lake is #1, Lake Tahoe #2, in case you're wondering.) I did a lot with maps, trying to figure out distances between states and cities, and planning routes. The rest came from my head.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Hanna:  Gwen, my heroine, was the easiest to write. Probably because my early drafts of this book were entirely in her first-person point of view. I had her pretty well figured out, and when I know a character that in depth, he/she comes out on the page fairly easily. Xavier was the most difficult, because his story was just so sad and painful to get out. Taking him from where he is when the story opens to where he is when it ends--with a limited number of POV chapters--was a challenge. But a good one.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Liquid Lies?

Hanna:  I love Gwen and Reed's first kiss. The emotion fueling it isn't what you'd expect, and I love how they come at it with completely different mindsets. Originally the scene was written in Gwen's POV, but ultimately I felt it was stronger in Reed's, so I switched it.

The very last chapter is also a favorite of mine. I'm a chronic reviser/rewriter and my drafts are drastically different from one to the next, but the final chapter of LIQUID LIES (and it's a romance, so you can get some idea of how it ends) barely changed from first draft to final. It just felt right to me, from the moment it came from my fingers. I'm proud of the emotion, the dialogue, the situation, and the character connection.

TQ:  What's next?

Hanna:  The follow-up to LIQUID LIES, the second book in The Elementals series titled TASTE OF ICE, will release January 2013. I also have a novella, taking place in the Elementals world, that will appear in a paranormal romance anthology, tentatively titled UNBOUND, coming from Berkley Sensation (release date TBD). I love to write erotic romance, and I'll have a short story called "In the Dog House" in the anthology ONLY YOU, coming from Cleis Press (release date TBD).

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Hanna:  Thank you so much for having me!



About The Elementals

Liquid Lies
The Elementals 1
Berkley, July 3, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Interview with Hanna Martine and Giveaway - June 6, 2012
Magic is corporate America's best-kept secret, and Gwen Carroway is the best at selling it...

With her ability to pick up any language in an instant, Gwen Carroway is taking her family business global. As dutiful future leader of water elementals, she'll do anything to protect her people's secrets and bloodlines--including enter an arranged marriage. Inside, however, she yearns for the forbidden.

Reed is a mercenary addicted to the money and adrenaline rush of his work. After he inadvertently saves Gwen's life, he ignites her taboo desire for men without magic--and with bodies of gods. Just as things heat up, Reed discovers that Gwen is exactly who he's been hired to kidnap. He resolves to put work before lust, yet her luscious beauty and fiery spirit unravel him...

But there is a terrible truth behind Gwen's family business--and now, caught between the kinsmen she no longer trusts and an enemy bent on vengeance, the only ally she has is her abductor...



About Hanna

Interview with Hanna Martine and Giveaway - June 6, 2012
Hanna Martine's only goal growing up was to become a writer, specifically a fantasy writer. That dream stuck until she realized that most speculative fiction novels faded to black during the best parts or skipped over love stories altogether. When she discovered paranormal romance and urban fantasy, she found the genre of her heart. After the arrival of her daughter, she couldn't think of a better lesson to teach the little one than: Have a dream. Go after it. Be fulfilled. So she set aside all thoughts of returning to the business world and focused on writing and learning about the industry. She finished two novels before coming up with the idea for the world of The Elementals. She joined the Romance Writers of America (RWA), placed in numerous contests, and found an agent and editor who believed in her unique stories. She loves writing about secret worlds, magic, and the intense emotional and physical relationships that exist within them.

Find Hanna:  Website, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Goodreads




The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of Liquid Lies (The Elementals 1) from The Qwillery. Please note that the novel is not out until July 3, 2012.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

If you were an Elemental, what would your element be?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, June 13, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*
Guest Blog By Hanna Martine -  The Dreams You KeepWinners x 4 - June 18, 2012Interview with Hanna Martine and Giveaway - June 6, 2012

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