Sunday, December 22, 2013

Character Interview: Alexa Bryant

Hey ya'll, it's only a few days before Christmas! I can't believe our celebration of Christ's birth is so near once again. It seems as if last Christmas was yesterday, but I guess that's what happens when you live a very busy life. Thankfully Christmas is a time for celebration and family so I'll be getting to see my grandparents and maybe even some of my cousins. I'm really excited about that, but I'm absolutely thrilled about something else. Drum roll please.

*insert suspenseful music*

Defenders of the Word will be finished by the end of the year! I can't believe that final chapter is so near. This has been the never ending novel and it's been a crazy but blessed six weeks of writing. The story has grown so much and it continues to grow. I'm curious to see what happens with book two over the next couple of months.

Since I'm packing up to go visit my grandparent I'll end with an interview. Meet Alexa Bryant, the main protagonist of the Rebelution Trilogy. I'm hoping to do a series of interviews with her as she grows with the books, so hopefully you'll get to see them all one day.


Alexa Bryant

So, Alexa tell me a bit about yourself. What is your life like, who do you live with, are you happy with where you're at? 
I'm the eldest daughter of Joshua Bryant the secretly famous Christian leader within United NOW. My life used to be very privileged. Since my dad was Councilman Daniel's senior officer, I went to the best schools and was engaged to a rising political star, but now everything has changed. Now I live in the Bunker with four other Christian rebels, which is much better than being dead.

What's your personality like? 
I'm not really sure anymore. Loosing my parents to United NOW and knowing Allie is probably being beaten in one of the Wards has changed me. I'm more determined now, and often I find myself taking the lead. John-Luke and I don't always agree about the rebellion and I find myself pulling away. I just don't know who I am anymore.

Can you describe your personal appearance for us? 
Let's see. I'm short and slender, with long and wavy brown hair. My eyes are blue with a little bit of gray. I'm not really strong, or fast, but I'm good at hiding and slipping into small corners. Sometimes I worry John-Luke because I'm so pale, but I've always been that way.

What is your favorite color? 
Pink, but a pale pink like sunset, not this silly 'hot' pink that was a current fad this year. I hated that color, but my dorm mate insisted on decorating with it. Not that I have to worry about it anymore...

Describe your family.
Dead and about to die. Wait, did I just say that? Apparently I've spent too much time in the same room as Julia. Let's see, Daddy was always strong. He was a secret leader in the first rebellion, and had spent the last eighteen years working to move Christians to save havens around the world. He never thought of the danger he put himself in and rose in United NOW ranks...he was the bravest person I ever knew. Mom stayed at home most of the time, she loved music and taught lessons. When we were home alone she would sing her favorite songs from before United NOW deemed them illegal. Some of them I can't remember, but the tunes still stuck with me. Allie, my baby sister was the one who held our family together. When there was an argument she was always the one who helped make peace. She never thought of herself, only of others. Now I'm not even sure if she's still alive.

Who is your best friend? Why? 
Stephen. He's like a little brother to me, but he knows what it feels like to worry about a sibling. He knows what it's like to feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. I would say the same for John-Luke, but he's still mad at me about the stunt I pulled at the Capitol. I think I lost my best friend status with him.

Which do you prefer, coffee or tea? 
Coffee, just like Daddy. We both hated it, but it's one of the only things that gets me through John-Luke's strategy meetings.

If you could have three wishes what would you wish for? 
Sadly three wishes don't exist so I'd rather not think about them.

What is your very first childhood memory? 
It would have to be the clearing where the crosses are, where so many of our parents are buried. I remember that it was a beautiful summer day and I kept getting distracted by the butterflies that fluttered in the flowers. They were the same flowers I placed on the graves of John-Luke's parents a few years later. Daddy said it was Pastor Blake's fiance's funeral, but I don't ever remember meeting her.

What is your favorite song?
"What Child is This?" would be my favorite. Mom always sang it, even if it wasn't Christmas. She said that it reminded her of Christ's sacrifice.

What was the most beautiful thing you've ever seen? 
Allie. She's pretty on the outside, but on the inside she's the most beautiful person you would ever meet. She's everything that I'm not. Her personality and heart is the very thing that United NOW hates. She's passionate, funny, smart, insecure, bold, and full of concern and love for others. I think she's one of Jesus's brightest lighthouses and that's what scared me about her being in the Wards. I'm worried that they'll make that light dim, and by doing so they'll take a little more light out of the world. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Breaking Shadows: BOLD {Release Party Tour}

Hey ya'll today I'm doing something a little different. Yesterday a "Go Teen Writers" friend, Hannah Stewart just released her first book BOLD, which is the first book within the Breaking Shadows Project. The book is a fantastic speculative Christian, dystopian novel and you can find it here. I totally recommend it, the book is completely revolutionary!

Breaking Shadows: Bold

"Rains will flood the earth,
Fires burn the hearth,
Blood be spilled like wine.
I'll loose what once was mine,
But flowers still will grow,
Light burst through shadow,
So child, sleep tonight,
My child, sleep tonight.

Raven Falls is a dark place, a harsh place filled with destruction. But from the shadows, a revolution is rising. In a torn country lead by a corrupted, militaristic government, fear pervades every nook, every crack. It fills every broken heart, and chases the hopes and dreams from the people. But in the midst of it all, Jesse and her brother have taken a stand. Just two kids, they’ll have to rebuild their parents’ army if they ever hope to justify their deaths. A battle is coming, whether they’re ready or not. Their only hope is to be BOLD." ~~~
Alrightly, well Hannah asked me if I would talk a little bit about the symbolism in BOLD. I'm a soon to be English major and I love symbolism and the way it allows you to read deeper into a story. BOLD was just the kind of  book for this kind of reading. I could go on and on about the symbolism and the different topics they cover, but since the main theme of the book is hope I'll focus on some symbolism that portray hope and a future.  Even if you're not into symbolism and finding the underlying meaning of a story you can't miss the fact that BOLD is a story of hope. It's such a beautiful concept, but when you dig deeper you see hope portrayed in so many different lights. 

Raven Falls is a very dark and depressing place. It seems to always be raining, leaving the town covered in muck and mud. Nothing seems too hopeful about gray mist, or at least when you're looking at things in the wrong light, but what if it never rained? After all rain will make the flowers grow. There might only be mud at the moment, but one day with the help of rain beautiful things will take root and grow. It's the same thing with someone's life. Your past might look dreary, your present circumstances might be surrounded by muck, but your future can always be bright, it can always be better, because one day the sun will come out and shine.  

Jesse, the main character of BOLD seems to always let the words of some song slip past her lips. At times it is when she's happy, but more often than not it is when all hope seems lost. The songs seem to wrap around the rebels and knit them together. That's the magic of music, it slips deep inside and stirs the emotions. A song can be comforting, it can move a nation to rebellion, it can heal a broken heart. Words. The written word -poetry, fiction, the Bible- will never end, even under the oppression of government and tyrants. Words voiced or scrawled on paper can carry a message more powerful than anything. They carry the truth when you're being fed lies, they give strength when you're weak, and they speak then you have no voice.   

Jude, the physically scarred, but very important rebel is the very living emblem of hope. It might be a twisted hope, but hope isn't always beautiful and neither is the future. One might be marred with scars, a country can be riddled with flaws, but those are the very things that drive you forward, You hope one day that things will be better, that a nation will rise up against its foes, and you believe that it will because you've already seen so much. Having been broken allows your hope to be stronger, since it becomes the one thing that holds you together. It becomes your way of life and a belief system, but when that happens sometimes hope becomes dangerous.

Well, I could go on and on, but I'm really trying to stay away from spoilers and keep things pretty open. It was so hard choosing just three things that struck me as "hope" in disguise and there was so much more than these. I loved them all so much, but you'll have to buy and read the book to find out what they are!


Character Interview

Hannah was also wonderful enough to let us have an interview with Luke, one of her rebel characters!

So, Luke tell me a bit about yourself. What is your life like, who do you live with, are you happy with where you're at? 

There’s not all that much to say, really. I live in the Tunnel with a couple other rebels. It’s the safest place for a man like me – safer than the streets anyways. I’ve been with Ben and Jesse for five years now, acting as one of their advisors, leading a team of rebels. No one’s really happy here, not in Raven Falls. We’re working to change that, but our kind of work takes its toll, and I’ve been at it longer than most.

What's your personality like? 

Well, most of the rebels would tell you I’m dry and stoic, and I guess they’d be right. I was once considered the life of the party… but that was a very long time ago. Truthfully, I’m not even sure I have much of a personality anymore. They wiped me of it, took myself away from me. They tried to break me, and for a long time they were successful. I’m not a free man and I never will be, even if that’s what I’m fighting for. 
I guess the closest thing to a personality I have left is my determination. I’ve nothing left except the hope that somehow my efforts here might make a difference, and that’s what keeps me going. 
Some call me a patriot, but I’m just a patriotic shell. 

Can you describe your personal appearance for us? 

Again, I’m nothing special, especially not to look at. I’m of average height, but built like a square, so I tend to look shorter. I’ve got dark hair and a short beard, both of which have been graying since I was a young man and shown the dark side of this world. My eyes are light blue, but in Raven Falls they seem to have turned a murky gray as well – I guess the town has that effect on everyone. 

What is your favorite color? 

Color? Colors aren’t of much importance to me. Besides, all I really see anymore are shades of red and gray. I suppose it would be nice to see a fresh sprig of green sometime, though. 

Describe your family.

I don’t have one. Not anymore. Not for a long time. The rebels are my family now – the closest I’ll ever come to one, anyways. 

Who is your best friend? Why? 

Friends are weaknesses. Sometimes they’re worth it, but I know I’m not, and I won’t let anyone else take that risk for the likes of me. Ben and Jon understand me more than the rest, so I guess you could call them my “best friends,” but I refuse to be their kryptonite. 

Which do you prefer, coffee or tea?

Coffee, black and hot. 

What is the last thing you think about at night? 

Preferably, nothing. 

If you could have three wishes what would you wish for? 

What’s the use of wishing? Nothing can change what I’ve done, and I’ve given up trying. My only “wish” is that this rebellion makes some kind of difference, and keeps anyone else from ending up like me. 

What is your very first childhood memory? 

Remembering my childhood is not a habit of mine, and for good reason. It was all yelling, cursing, pain and loneliness. Why should I pass that burden on to you?

What is your favorite song? 

I would say music is as useless to me as color, but that would be a lie. Music has always been important to us rebels… it unites us. I guess my favorite song would be “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” – a strange one, maybe, but I’ve loved it for as long as I can remember. 

What was the most beautiful thing you've ever seen? 

Once upon a time, I would have said my family laughing together, but now… I don’t really know. There isn’t much of beauty in this world for me. It’s just war.


And there you have it folks, Luke from Breaking Shadows: BOLD. Thanks for joining us and if you want to learn more about the Breaking Shadows Project and its first book "BOLD" then check out the other release tour dates!

Hannah has also put together some awesome contests to give everyone a chance to get excited about the book release! Check them out and make sure you spread the word. 

Holy Apple Crisps! Giveaway 
Two winners will receive a copy of Breaking Shadows: Bold for 70% off.
In order to enter all you have to do is post about the Bold release on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #HolyAppleCrisps (which is Jesse's humorous catch phrase that follows her throughout the entire book) There's no limit to the number of entries per person, so get out there a spread the news! All entries must be in by midnight, December 29th and the winner will be dawn at random on the 30th on The Breaking Shadows Project.

You and Your BOLD self Contest 
One special winner will receive a signed copy of Breaking Shadows: Bold for free. First read the following scene (which by the way is hilarious) from Chapter 2 of Bold, and come up with your own artistic interpretation. Drawings, videos, audio recordings, written responses...any for of art will qualify you! Entries need to be sent to by midnight, December 29th. Just like the giveaway there is no limit to number of entries per person, so working on those creative pieces!
The top ten entries will be posted at the Breaking Shadows site on December 10th for voting. The entry with the most votes will be announced on January 6th.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Lessons Learned from NaNo

Since last year I've thought of myself as a veteran NaNoer. I've been doing it since freshman year of highschool and this is the middle of my senior year. That's four NaNoWriMo's and seven or eight Camp NaNo's, most of which I've won. 

However, with each new year NaNo never fails to teach me something new about my writing, my stories, and most importantly myself. I think this is the reason I love it so much. Win or lose there is so much to be gained from the experience. With that, I give you four lessons I learned this year during NaNo. 

Lessons Learned from NaNoWriMo 

No amount of plotting will prepare you for the story within the story. 

          This was my first year plotting and planning my NaNo novel. I had the works: outlines for the story, chapters,  and scenes. I had plot models, character sketches, and backgrounds. I'd even spent two weeks creating a detailed 20 year timeline for my futuristic global government. There were pages upon pages of government proceedings, military branches, everything you could think of. I even mapped out the voting process of how government officials came into power. 
I bought into the lie that plotting make things "easy" because about two weeks into NaNo I hit a brick wall that lasted until the end of NaNo. All the character interviews and chats in the world couldn't prepare me for the twists they constantly threw at me every single day. 

The truth is writing- good writing- is never easy. All the plotting in the world can't prepare you for the unexpected and wonderful surprises that crop up when you're pouring your heart into your plot and characters. As every story develops on the page there is a story within the story, and that is something you can never put in a chart or outline. It is the thrill of writing; it is what makes your story special. 

You can't compare your first draft to someone's second draft.

This year I had the opportunity to write with many wonderfully accomplished writers that I greatly admire and respect. Still, I couldn't help but compare my horribly tangled story to their stunningly woven tales. About halfway through NaNo I was editing a chapter of my story (a big no-no for NaNo) and all I could think was "this looks like baby babble compared to what they write." It wasn't just discouraging, but it also made me wonder if I was really cut out to be a writer. My story didn't feel 'together' or 'magnificent'. 

Then I realized that they had been working on their stories for months, if not years. The stories I had been reading were second drafts, third drafts, sometimes even the finished product. I was comparing something that had been in the works for two weeks to something that had been picked over, re-worked, and polished. 

The think is, every first draft needs work. Sure, for some senior writers the first draft might not be as cringe worthy as mine, but there will always be flaws and mistakes. The good thing is that those can be re-worked. You can pick and choose your favorite bits, strengthen the plot, and dig deeper inside the character's head. 

The first draft is about getting those ideas and thoughts on paper. Everything else can come later; and one day after lots of hard work you will be able to look at your finished piece and see how far it has come. 

Everyone has a voice, don't be afraid of yours. 

One of my biggest struggles is accepting that I have my own special voice. Every writer does. Sure, some might be similar, but everyone has something that sets them apart in the world of words. That's one of the special things about being a writer. 

Only I find myself looking at these successful writers and I start thinking, "I wish I sounded like them. They're so talented, their stories are so good, why can't I write like them?" 

Toward the end of NaNo a friend commented on my voice, telling me she hadn't heard anything like it before. My first reaction was "this is horrible, I don't sound like them." I was of course referring to the popular story tellers of my favorite genres. But a moment later it was added that my voice was special; that I had a way of brining across simple scenes that dealt with complex issues. 

I had been so focused on other author's voices that I hadn't stopped to consider the merits of my own voice. Think about it, wouldn't the world of books be boring if everyone wrote the same? What if the writers world was full of only Charles Dickens write-alikes? There would be a lot of people not reading. (Actually I really love Dickens...but that's beside the point.) 

The point is that everyone was gifted with their own special voice. Don't be afraid to embrace it because that voice is what makes you unique. It is what makes you stand out in a sea of other authors. It is what defines your ideas and your stories. It deserves to be loved.  

Sharing your work won't kill you.

Eyes? Human eyes reading over my work? Excuse me while I cower in the corner with my manuscript. Really though, to some this might seem like a silly fear, but it is perfectly logical. You've poured your heart and soul into that story. You've lost sleep, rode the emotional roller-coaster, labored over the perfect sentence, and cried with the effort of finding that one elusive word that will (hopefully) complete the chapter. 

It's hard work, but most of all it's your work. Why on earth would you hand it over to the critical eye of others? Even worse, why would you allow another writer to even take a quick peak at the front cover? Just thinking about it makes me want to grab my binders and run. 

This NaNo that is exactly what I did, but as I ran I also tossed out sentences, scenes, and even complete chapters to be picked up by those chasing me from behind. Funny thing is, once I stopped running and let my racing heart slow nothing came to kill me. I shared some of my work and I didn't die. Best of all those who had read my words weren't trying to gouge out their eyes or erase their memories. Alright, that might be a bit over dramatic, but still completely reasonable. 

Actually, it turns out that my critics wanted more. I went from barely being able to let go of mere sentences to passing around series of chapters. I still cringe inwardly as I hit 'send', but the end results are worth it. Critiques aren't always the horrid monsters your mind makes them out to be. On the other hand they're typically very encouraging and constructive. And trust me there's no better feeling than having someone beg to read more. 

Well there you have it: the top four lessons learned from NaNoWriMo 2013. I learned other things too. For instance my writing makes NO sense when I'm going off of two hours of sleep. You can also drink more than eight cups of tea in one day...although that does become an expensive habit. Also parents typically aren't amused when they find you've been up till four in the morning working on a scene. They're also not amused after sitting outside the library for several hours waiting for you to finish your write-in...apparently writers cannot tell time. They still love me anyways. 

What are some special lessons you learned this year from NaNo?  

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Character Interview: Julia Ross

Today I'm giving you an interview from one of the favorite characters in the Rebelution Trilogy. First off let me tell you she's far from my favorite. In fact during the early stages of planning "Defenders of the Word" she was a rather hated character. That was until I started sending out clips to friends. I was expecting fanfare over Alexa and John-Luke, my main characters, and their pretty epic stories. Instead I was faced with many long winded messages about my sassy, slightly sadistic, very damaged, and secretive shadow of a character. On that note I give you Julia Ross.

So, Julia tell me a bit about yourself. What is your life like, who do you live with, are you happy with where you're at? 

My life...why is it people always what to know about my life? But if I have to answer you could say its a lot better than what my life was like when I lived in the Wards. The Bunker isn't too bad, but it used to be nicer before I had to share my room. John-Luke and the twins aren't too bad and they're a million times better than the RSS guards I used to deal with. Alexa isn't exactly a ray of sunshine, but neither am I so I guess we're even. And happy? That's cute. I don't know what happy is, but if it means I'm safe then yes I'm happy enough.

What's your personality like? 
I've never really been laid back, even when I was younger things made me tense, but I was always able to keep my head. After I went into the Wards things changed. The Wards always change you, and I'm not going to lie and say they make you better. I'm sort of a loner now...people rub me the wrong way...which brings out my sarcastic side. A lot of people think I'm mean and unfeeling, but most of the time I'm just scared that United NOW will send the RSS after me. Sometimes I get confused in the head and that makes people think I'm crazy. I don't know, maybe I am. But I'm also a rebel and I'm strong. I don't like seeing United NOW hurt people I love, so I'm willing to risk anything to keep them safe.

Can you describe your personal appearance for us? 
Sure. I'm a little taller than most girls at 5'9. My eyes are a brownish green, they're not really unique or stunning, but I've never really seen anyone with the same shade before. I have strait blond hair that hits above my shoulders, it won't curl for anything either. John-Luke still says I'm too skinny, but I blame that on the Wards.

What is your favorite color? 
Green. It reminds me of the woods and the woods mean freedom.

Describe your family.
In one word? Dead. No, really? Lets see, Dad was quiet and he never really said much, but when he spoke everyone stopped to listen. Mom was funny. I remember she used to laugh all the time, she was even laughing before she died. They were both really brave and they loved the Lord. That was why they died. I don't really think about them hurts too much.

Who is your best friend? Why? 
John-Luke is my best friend. I don't know why he puts up with me, but I can always count on him to be there. Sometimes at night he even comes and checks on me just to make sure the nightmares aren't keeping me up. He's a really sweet guy.

Which do you prefer, coffee or tea? 
Coffee, but only if Pastor Blake or Alexa make it. John-Luke can't make good coffee to save his life.

If you could have three wishes what would you wish for? 
First, that United NOW hadn't come into power or that Christians weren't persecuted.
Second, that my parents were still alive.
Third, that I had never been taken to the Wards.

What is your very first childhood memory? 
It was when I was about three or parents where always shocked I even remembered it. But it was in the middle of winter and the RSS came and searched our apartment building. At the time my parents were smuggling Bibles into the country and then shipping them out to churches. We had just gotten in a new shipment and I remember playing in some of the boxes. Dad had hid the Bibles in a secret panel in the wall. We stayed up all night praying silently that the RSS wouldn't come to our door. They never least not that time.

What is your favorite song? It's illegal of course, but all we listen to at the Bunker is Christian music. My favorite would have to be "God's Not Dead" by the Newsboys. Its old, back from when my mom was a kid, but we don't exactly have any new music out there at the moment.

What was the most beautiful thing you've ever seen? 
Once in the Wards there was this girl who was a few years younger than me. We were out running the fence line and it started snowing, but our guard wouldn't let us stop. The girl had a hard time breathing...and the cold was just too much for her. We had reached the far corner and she collapsed. When I picked her up she was so cold, didn't even have a jacket, but she kept smiling and laughing even though she could hardly breath. I still remember her last words, "I want to die here, away from the Wards, I want to die in freedom" I don't know, I just thought that what she said was kind of beautiful..."I want to die in freedom".


Well there you have it, an interview with Julia Ross, rebel, revolutionary, and character of "The Rebelution Trilogy". Next week I hope you drop by to hear from Alexa Bryant, the main character of "Defenders of the Word".

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Victory Lap

Ah, it's December 1st. Usually this is the day when everyone informs me that it's twenty-five days till Christmas. However, this year has broken that habit. I officially dub this the 'Ask Sierra about NaNo Day'. Even people who I hadn't even talked to this month took it upon themselves to ask me about the month of literary abandonment. I figured I would go ahead and answer those questions on my blog as well.

Yes, NaNoWriMo ended yesterday. Excuse me while I cry. Now I'll have to wait a whole entire year until I get to see all my wrimo friends, attend unproductive write-ins, and spend hours wasting time on the NaNo forums. Then again I get to look forward to Camp NaNoWriMo and all the fun I can have with my cabin buddies.

Yes, I did reach 50,000 words. I even finished a day ahead, which really wasn't my best, but about half-way through NaNo I hit a brick wall and for a little while though I wouldn't even finish.

No, "Defenders of the Word" isn't finished. It isn't even close. My guess it that the first draft will probably break 80,000 words, which will also make it my longest book yet. The goal is to finish the manuscript by Christmas, so you'll probably see quite a bit about the book in December. After that I'll take six-eight weeks to write the first draft of  "Defenders of the Cross and then another six-ten weeks to write "Defenders of the Weak". *cringes* then come the long months of going back to edit and re-write each book who knows how many times. Which brings us to the last answer: I have no idea when the "Rebelution Trilogy" will be finished.

And now it's time to thank everyone for their wonderful support this month. I often think people don't realize that writing a book isn't a one person job. Yes, there's the person who puts the words to paper, but there are also the people who help collaborate, critique, offer advice and encouragement, and even step up to tell you when enough is enough. It might be a simple "hey, how's the novel going?" or a fangirly message about  your favorite characters, but trust me they help. Even the simplest gesture of bringing in a hot cup of tea can be just the thing to get the writer in your life over a hard spot. Thank you.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Halfway There

Tonight I hit 25,000 words in 'Defenders of the Word' meaning that really I'm about a day ahead of schedule for NaNoWriMo, which is always a good thing. Considering the fact that I've been battling a cold, working to get school finished, and struggling with a slow part in my book this is a huge milestone. I felt like 25k was forever going to be out of reach. So in order to celebrate I'm going to share character quotes and snippets from the books. Clearly I procrastinated quite a bit today by making these. I do believe writers are professional procrastinators.







Okie-Dokie, now I'm off again to write some more words and maybe even get some sleep. Sleep would be very nice indeed. How is everyone else coming along on their NaNo adventure?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Defenders of the Word {NaNo Novel 2013}

Day five of NaNoWriMo has come to an end and its time to celebrate because I just reached 10,000 words! Now there's only 40,000 words left. Eh, its really not THAT bad. Clearly I'm going to celebrate like any good writer by writing more words, although sadly these words don't count for NaNo.

Anyhow, to celebrate writing those first 10,000 words I'm going to ramble some about my story. Usually I jump into NaNo blind. I work on planned stories all year long, so NaNo's my time to just write whatever comes to me and let the story run wild. Obviously that's produced some less than wonderful novels *cringes* most of which are tucked away in a drawer somewhere until I work up the courage to edit them. But this summer I was struck with an idea for a trilogy. I planned and plotted the three books and then decided to write book one for NaNoWriMo. Its been so weird actually going into NaNo knowing what I wanted to write. But I'm also really in love with Defenders of the Word.

First I LOVE the characters. A few of them still need work. Okay well most of them need a lot of work, but its still early in the story and they're growing with it. But the cast is amazing and the main characters have already struck up some very interesting relationships.

For instance, Julia was supposed to be a quiet supporting character. Well, she's not. In truth she's quite the opposite. She's actually started to become a rival to John-Luke as to who's leading the rebellion.  And she's so verbal. Not to mention the fact that's she's managed to wrestle her way into being made a main character in book two. I guess this is what happens when I give characters in depth back-stories that turn into subplots.  

Then there are the twins, Stephen and James. They're both  quite a comedy act. I was planning on some serious sixteen-year-old's who had been forced to grow up too fast. That's still the case, but it affected them in a way I hadn't planned on. Oh, and the sibling rivalry...they're hilarious.

But my favorite surprise so far has been William. Let me tell you, the guy completely changed the first three chapters of the book. I was shocked and at first I didn't like it, but his personality and the way he handles situations added so much dept to the plot later on. I can't wait to get started on books two and three.

Then of course there's the amazing writing music. I'm pretty sure the playlist for Defenders of the Word has reached over 100 songs, but I've narrowed it down to just a few personal favorites and ones that really speak for the novel.

Revolution Cry is the song that pushed me to turn the Rebelution Trilogy into an actual project. It is 100% the theme song of the entire trilogy. A few weeks ago I came across When the Children Cry sang by Seventh Day Slumber and it was as if the song had been written for the characters of my novel. It's so perfect.

And since it is NaNo there has been some writing. Honestly at first I wasn't very happy with what I was putting down on paper. I've been torn between writing in first person verses third. I've chosen third since the story is told with multiple points of views, but I was finishing up RUN before NaNo and its in first. My brain was having a hard time switching over. But now I'm nearing the middle of chapter eight and things have gotten better. Here's a few snippets, all unedited of course, because my inner editor has been locked away since November first. Actually she broke out of jail for a little while today during a word war. I ended up spending ten minuets reconstructing a sentence went I should have been pounding out more words.


Freedom was the only thing she still had, but even that had never fully been hers in the first place. Alexa had been born in a time when freedoms were being restricted and revoked. She’d never really tasted true freedom, and yet that was exactly what she craved at this very moment. It was the very thing United NOW denied. 

"It’s alright to cry.” A girl stood across from him now, fidgeting with the collar on her dress. Her long dark hair had been twisted into perfect ringlets and pinned back to keep them from escaping. “Mommy cries every night. I hear her after she’s tucked me in bed. I don’t think she knows I listen to her, but she sounds so sad. It makes me so sad that sometimes I cry too.” Her large green eyes filled with silent curiosity, “Did your mommy ever cry?”
John-Luke nodded looked down at the ground and tried to hold back a sob, but it slipped out anyways. “She used to cry over my big brother.”
“Did he go to heaven too?”
His dark curls bounced as he nodded his head.
“I would cry too if my sister was taken away from me.”


John-Luke grinned, “Alexa, meet the twins.” He nodded to the first, “James.” Then turned and motioned to the second, “and the better half, Stephen.”
“I protest! We all know I’m the better half of this deal.”
Stephen coughed and shook his head, “You’re delusional.”
John-Luke ruffled Stephen’s hair before pushing Alexa further into the room, “Welcome to the family, Alexa. Fair warning, we’re all delusional here.”


“John-Luke, how many times do I have to tell you that revolution of any kind isn’t a good idea. We can’t give the Council any reason to persecute us.”
“I’m pretty sure the Council considers our breathing a good enough excuse to persecute us. If I’m going to die I want to die doing something for Christ, not just sitting back enjoying a comfortable life.”   


“I wanted to tell you. I wanted to more than you know, but if I had told you would it really have made a difference? William, you’re one of them! You. Your beloved government kills my people. You rip families apart and murder innocent people who have only ever wanted to help others. Over what? A disagreement about what we can and cannot believe? Would you really have accepted the truth if I had told you?” 

They say that truth will set you free, but what they fail to mention is that the truth will also bind you.  


And I think that's enough rambling for tonight. Now I'm off to join some new word wars. The goal is to reach 11,000 before midnight...though at the moment I'm not quiet sure if it will happen or not. Until next 
time, happy NaNoing.

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Return and A Trilogy

Well my last post was a welcome to October and now this could very well be a goodbye. I really don't know where time went this month. There were so many things I wanted to write about and share with ya'll, but obviously that didn't happen. However, it hasn't been a huge waste of the past few weeks.

I was interviewed over at Noveltea by another Go Teen Writer, which you can read here:

I've also had a lot of fun writing a "Praying for your Future Husband" series:
{Part One}
{Part Two}

Yesterday I also got my scores back from my second round of SAT's. The Lord blessed all those hours I spent studying with a score high enough to get me a 1/3 tuition scholarship to the university I plan to attend next fall. The Lord definitely provides.

But mostly my time has been spent working on my NaNoWriMo project, which has turned into much more than just another one of my NaNo projects. The idea for this story has been floating around in my mind for years now. Actually, I think it was a combination of reading the Hunger Games and the Left Behind Series that triggered the idea. See, I love the dystopian genre, but I also love christian fiction. Sadly, you don't often see the two combined. Anyhow, there's always been this idea of a christian dystopian novel driving me crazy, but for the longest time I wasn't ready to write it. That was until a few months ago. First I felt God leading me to voice my beliefs instead of trying to tone them down. Then I got a chance to attend some eye opening Christian events. But it wasn't until a friend showed me a revolutionary song that everything came into play. That's all it took- me stepping out in faith, a few hours spent around others on fire for the Lord, and a song- for a trilogy to form. Let me introduce you to that trilogy.

~ ~ ~

The Rebelution Trilogy 

Twenty years ago, due to the threat of nuclear war, the world entered into a governmental and military union called 'United Nations of the World'. A Council of Seven was formed -one man for each continent- to lead the wold. Instantly Christianity was restricted, then deemed as a threat to world 'peace', and made an illegal act punishable by death. Many groups of Christians protested, rioted, and created secret ministries to fight against the government. Their rebellion was strong until the persecution overpowered them, leaving thousands of Christians imprisoned, starving in 'traitors camps' on the freezing Arctic terrain, or dead. Those that escape the 'attempts to eradicate radicals' consist of orphaned children, grieving parents, and lonely friends. But one day their wounds will heal, and with healing comes strength.
The Council has considered the battle won, but behind closed doors underground churches begin to thrive, silently biding their time, rescuing 'discovered' Christian's from the government, and raising a new generation of believers. Little does the Council know these children born in a time of change are taking up where their parents left off, calling for a Rebelution: A rebellion against society, A revolution that will change the world.    
  Book One: Defenders of the Word 

In the wake of her parents recent execution for Christian activity, twenty-year-old Alexa Bryant finds herself questioning the God she has placed so much trust in. Her fiance, a rich politician has just saved her life despite knowing that she herself is a traitor to the very system he supports. Allie, her little sister is being held in a 'Children's Ward', where orphans of Christian families are taken to be 'reformed'. And without knowing it Alexa has walked into a group of revolutionaries intent on gaining back the rights of Christians. Before her are two roads: life on the run or life in defiance. Rebellion looks to be her best bet, but why should she pledge her life to a cause that killed her parents, and why should she serve a god that has turned a blind eye to their suffering?  

Ten years ago John-Luke DelMonico swore he would carry out his parents plan to make a public stand for the Truth. Now at twenty-one he struggles with the scriptures, his calling, and his motive. He has found himself becoming a leader of other orphaned Christians, ones who's parents died standing for the Truth. Each of them would follow him in a campaign against United NOW.  A fight against the government means an inevitable death, but death isn't what he fears, at least not as a believer. No, there are far worse things than death. Fear of failure hold John-Luke back from the path he knows they must all take. But can he place his full trust in the Lord and allow Him to guide their steps?

Neither Alexa nor John-Luke can escape the plans the Lord has set before them. Live or die, they must make a choice. Conform with the rest of the world, or let the call to a Rebelution change their lives and their hearts.

~ ~ ~

Alrighty, well clearly its still needs a lot of work, but that's the general idea of the trilogy and book one. For me the theme is very hard to sum up, because a lot of symbolism makes its way into the book. The tag line 'Rebelution: a rebellion against society, a revolution that will change the world.' Is the simplest way to describe it. Not only is it a story about people standing up for their beliefs, but also a call for Christians to stop conforming to things of this world and radically embrace the message of Jesus Christ, as well as a  warning to those who have conformed. This isn't 'high fantasy' or 'futuristic'. This book is set in 2028, which is a year that most people of my generation will live to see unless the Lord returns. If we keep standing down and keeping the gospel to ourselves then this is what our future could look like. Yes, its exaggerated in many cases, but look at current events and the world around you. We're not too far from it.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Another October

 Autumn- a time full of warm sweaters, mugs of hot chocolate, and colorful leaves. The cool weather makes it the perfect time for long walks in the woods. Not to mention the rainy days that leave you with endless hours for reading. Something in the crisp air brings life back from the dull lazy summer days. Its a time to laugh with friends and gather round the table with family.  

Like Anne (with an 'e' of course!) said...

Although all the wonderful reasons above are well...wonderful, I'm glad this world has Octobers for a very different reason. At this point in the year most of my friends are saying, "not again!" While I simply grin, pull out my pens and papers, and say, "oh, yes."

Yes, here we are again, a month away from the start of NaNoWriMo. Each time the clock ticks we get a little closer. We wait with tense excitement as the weather changes, knowing that with the change comes another battle with 50,000 words. With each new layer- a sweater, a scarf, a jacket- another character sketch, scene timeline, and story outline follows, ready to keep that novel warm. This is why I love October.

So, while the rest of the world is soaking up the autumn scene, I'm submerging myself into an equally colorful world. How are you going to enjoy your October?  

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Celebrate Musicals Week: A Tale of Two Cities {Charles Darnay}

Okay by now I'm sure you've noticed that I'm a Charles Darnay fan. Which is why you're about to get a good dose of fangirling. It's such an unpopular opinion, which is why this will also be a post in defense of Charles. Although it's mostly fangirling you will have to put up with.

When I hear the name Charles Darnay the first word that comes to mind is gentleman. This is the best word to describe Charles; he's a proper European gentleman. His manners are impeccable as he thanks Lucie for her testimony at his hearing, only showing concern for how the events have affected her. Falling in love much?
Next we find Charles defending Lucie's name and honor. He's already loyal to her despite the fact that there's still no relationship between the two of them. Think about it! This attribute is so rare to find in boys/men these days. I hardly ever come across a guy willing to stand-up against a crude joke or stand-up against someone who's being out of line. Usually I find them all in a group, laughing and acting like over all animals. Charles manages to do all this without even loosing his temper.

This is where a lot of people start pointing out that "yes, he's a great guy, but Sydney loves Lucie more." Of course Sydney loves Lucie (more on that in another post), but Charles and Lucie share a love that Sydney could never be a part of, Sydney himself admits it! Charles was willing to admit he was a French aristocrat to Doctor Manette because of his love for Lucie. During the French Revolution this was basically declaring your own death wish, even if he was living in England. Anything could have happened to take him back to France, as seen later on in the plot.
Now we've come to one of my favorite parts: his asking Lucie's father for permission to marry  and the proposal itself.
First off he goes to the father. Obviously that was a must for that day and time, but it still gets to me. Asking the fathers permission is becoming 'old fashioned'. To top it all off Charles is so respectful, honest, and soft spoken. Secondly, he's gone to Lucie's father before making any advances what-so-ever! He hasn't even spoken of his feelings with her. Yes, they both are deeply in love, but he's respected her so much so to the point he's willing to admit his feelings to her father first. Just look at his face as he waits for Doctor Manette's reply. It's as if he is in pain not knowing.
Then the proposal: *swoon*

They're so sweet together. I could never see Lucie actually marrying Sydney Carton, but Charles on the other hand....also note to my future husband...the above mentioned going to the father is a must, minus the singing of course. Daddy would probably say no if you on the other hand...well if the proposal was sang then I would most definitely say yes "before Miss Pross comes back"

ACK. Once again I must fangirl over this kiss. THIS KISS. It's got to be one of the best kisses ever to take center stage of musical theater. I'm sorry, but Cosette and Marius don't even compare to this. Not ever. The run-across-the-room-take-her-in-his-arms-lovingly-gaze-into-her-eyes kiss is just *swoons again* Okay, but back to why I love Darnay (I mean the kiss is great but...). When Miss Pross interrupts the kiss Charles instantly steps aside, asking for Miss Pross's forgiveness.
The wedding. Oh my goodness. You can just see how devoted Darnay would be as a husband. (would it be overly dramatic for me to swoon again....yes?....okay well I'll try and refrain from swooning.) There's no doubt about this love being fully consuming. This was clearly a match made in heaven. Of course its sad that Sydney is so pained, but these two are so happy. 

I swear I'm not trying to make Darnay out as perfect. He's obviously not, since he is after all human. But just look at this. He is in complete aw of this child they've brought into the world. Lucie and Little Lucie are clearly the center of his universe. Someone please find me a Charles please? He's a romantic, he's honorable, he's a family man, he's even brought Sydney into the family as a close friend. 

Look at how he's gazing on his daughter and how his wife gazes at him. Okay, so confession time...I'm a hopeless romantic. No, really I am. This scene brings me to tears. So much love between Lucie and Charles, and even more love between them and their child, then there's Sydney with little Lucie, and then Lucie and Sydney and ACK.

Charles arrested for coming to help a friend. He KNEW the risks of going to France with the title bestowed upon him. Still, he went because it was the honorable and right thing to do. On the other hand he was torn between  staying with his wife and child, but could he really stand by and do nothing while a fellow countryman was in need? 

At the trial he bravely accepts his fate in front of the Republic and his wife....but really his heart is being torn apart as he suffers the consequences of his honest actions. His taught's are not on his own life or death, but how they will change the lives of his wife and daughter...the two women that haunt his dreams.

Okay another confession. Men who cry break me, or at least they break my heart. That tear slowly rolling down Charles face as he sings of Little Lucie...just hand me a tissue please....

But then most of all Charles is willing to give his wife a happy life, one where she is loved. He basically tells Sydney that he knows Sydney loves his wife and that Sydney needs to take care of her. He's basically telling Sydney to love his wife, even though it breaks Charles heart. Yet, Sydney has other plans and proves his undying love for Lucie in a better way, giving Charles back the love of his life.

Well here we are at the bottom of the page (finally!). Sorry, I just really love Charles Darnay...actually come to think of it I'm not sorry. Anyhow, who do you prefer better Charles (I can't be the only one to like him...can I?) or Sydney? 


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Celebrate Musicals Week: A Tale of Two Cities {Review}

So here we go, a  review (aka my ramblings about how awesome it is) of A Tale of Two Cities: Live in Concert (as seen on PBS), since I was unfortunate enough to miss actually seeing it life. Anyhow, let me first say this is one of the best musicals that's ever been on stage. It was much too short lived.
The story begins, being narrated my Michel York, and the timeless words of Dickens "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...." First off let me say that I loved the narration, it helped keep the plot strait, and I just love how Michel was actually reading bits from the book. Secondly, the 'concert' is very much like the 10th and 25th anniversary concerts of Les Miserables. However, there is more acting in AToTC, which is a major deal breaker for me.

The concert's plot picks up in Paris, France with some of the most epic notes in the entire history of musicals. In those few measures you feel this spark lighting in your soul. This very spark is the very revolutionary ideas that the Defarges are kindling. Doctor Mannette has been rescued after 17 years in the Bastille, and Lucie Manette has just arrived to take her father home. Their reunion is one of the sweetest things I've ever listened to. The plot picks up rather quickly, moving through underhanded dealings, a trial, and of course the ever preset love 'triangle' that seems to be a must in good musicals like these. Let me just say the loves songs in AToTC are some of my most favorite love songs in the world.

"And while you're trying to forget her, she'll steal inside your head, and she'll be holding you so close
there'll be no place for you to hide"

"I can't recall, a night so clear, the heavens seem an inch away, not cold and empty like before a night as sweet as this...I can't recall"

"Lucie haunts my heart haunts my thoughts, my prayers, my dreams, my nights, nights, she is everywhere that I turn"    
"How she haunts my heart can she see the way I look at her I wonder if it shows can she read my thoughts I wonder if she we go again every time I think this endless dance is done he turns away...round and round and round we go, but no one every on earth can he not know...can she not know I love I love him.." 
"I can't believe you're really here, I can't believe you're really mine, and all I ever want is you, my dreams came true today....if dreams came true I might have been a better man, if dreams came true you might have set me free, but God is kind, for you he had a better plan and saved you from the pain of loving me." 

Okay, end of love song lyrics. There was a point to them, really there was, but now I can't remember. Oh, yes. It was the point that I wanted to make. AToTC is one of the greatest love stories to be told. The love of two men for the same woman and in turn the love of a woman for two different men. Charles loves Lucie with a pure heart, with an untainted soul and in turn Lucie loves Charles with every fiber of her being. On the other hand Sydney's dark and twisted heart is drawn to the light of Lucie. She is also drawn to him, but with a different love she feels for Charles. It is the love of friendship, and that love stays despite her marriage to Charles. Then the binding love of a parent and the innocent love of a child make their way to the stage. Towards the end of the musical you see all these different types of love coming together to create the greatest sacrifice of all, laying down one's life for a friend. Sydney knows he and Lucie will never hare the love she a Charles have. He knows if Charles is to die Little Lucie will loose the love her father showers down upon her. His selfless love drives him to give up his life for the very man who stole the love of his life. This is the greatest love of all. A Tale of Two Cities is story completely driven by love.

The cast is amazing. Which brings us to Charles Darnay. I know I've been saying how much I like him all week, but you have to realize how much I LOVE the guy. However, I will save the major fangirling for tomorrows post. For now I will just say that Simon Tomas was really amazing. He perfectly captured the idea of a gentleman in love. Not to mention that he and Brandi Burkhardt (Lucie Manette) fit together beautifully. James Barbour who plays Sydney Carton is probably one of the best fits for this character. The humor he brings out makes everyone laugh, but at the same time he is so consumed with this desire to be loved that your heart aches for him. One of my favorite moments with Sydney is when Lucie gives him this very short scarf and he's not sure of what it is. One of the best funny moments sprinkled throughout the musical of heartbreak to be sure. The Defarges played by Kevin Earley and Natalie Toro were also great choices. Their voices are so moving and powerful, something that's a must if you're leading the parts of Revolutionist! Out of all the rolls in the cast however, I think we can all agree that Catherine Missal, playing Little Lucie, was the sweetest and most darling thing ever.    

Okay, well that's it for today...sorry it wasn't much of a review. I tend to ramble on and on when it comes to my favorite musicals I forget about the 'reviewing' part. Anyhow, I highly recommend the PBS version of AToTC. You can watch it on Youtube by clicking the link. Just be prepared to fall in love.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Celebration of Musicals Week: {Song Highlights}

Well here's is a post with highlights of the top twelve songs in AToTC. I considered doing the entire musical, but then I realized that it would be quite a long post. Also today is a pretty busy day for me, and I didn't get in on the blog part early enough to have posts written and scheduled. Anyhow here we are with my 'favorite' songs. Apologizes for all the Les Miserables references. They make their way into everything.  
  • Prologue: The Shadows of the Night – Dr. Alexandre Manette and Lucie Manette 
        Okay although there might not be too much singing in this song the instrumentals are phenomenal! We're talking about an amazing orcastra. It definitly helps build the tension that runs through the entire show. 
  • The Way It Ought to Be – Madame Therese Defarge, Ernest Defarge and Ensemble/Sydney Carton (Reprise) 
    This reminds me a lot about 'Look Down' the beggars version of Les Miserables. This is probably one of the most epic songs of AToTC. It starts off with Madame Defarge talking about the pictures she knits, which of course is a huge plot twist in the book. Ernest Defarge's "You've always known this world is black and cold and human life is cheap. You've always known most men are out for blood...." Are just about the most epic lryics of the song. The reprise to this song is also your epic introduction to Sydney Carton. He's just amazing. If this were Les Miserables then this would be Grantaire's theme song.   
  • Reflection — Sydney Carton
    Mr Carton's reflection of his actions. *cries* You can see into his soul and how torn of a man he is. A part of him is attracted to Lucie Mannette, but he tries pushing her aside. At first you almost want to dislike him, just because he's a bit rude. Then he starts talking about his dreams and *cries*. He wants so much, he wants to be a better person, and those very dreams are what torment him. 
  • I Can't Recall — Sydney Carton
    Lucie has just gave Sydney a goodbye kiss on the cheek, only as a friend of course. However, this kiss turns Sydney's world upside down. The words to the song talk about how he can't recall the days of his past. Lucie's kiss has made them all disapear. It gives him a hope that the dreams tormenting him might actually come true. This song has some of my favorite lyrics..."I can't recall a night so clear, the heavens seem an inch away, not cold and empty like before, a night as sweets as this tonight I can't recall." Its so pure and one of my absolute favorite songs. 
  • Now at Last — Charles Darnay and Lucie Manette
    A Heart Full of Love used to be my favorite love song. This song however has completely taken its place. I'm working on learning it on the piano. This is just one of those songs you pour your entire heart and soul into. To top it all off the kiss that happens in this song....*swoon*...I know most people prefer Sydney over Charles, but Charles is so in love with Lucie and yet still to kind to Sydney that it actually makes me prefer him more.  
  • If Dreams Came True — Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton
    Ack, my heart. The emotions are too much in this song. Charles is so in love with Lucie. In a few lines you can tell he loves her with all his heart and soul. Sydney's "But God is kind for you he had a better plan and saved you from the pain of loving me." brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it. It just show's just how much he loves Lucie. He was willing to give up the fight so Lucie could be with the better man.  
  • Out of Sight, Out of Mind — Madame Therese Defarge
    Another Ack moment. The instrumentals to this song is spectacular. I could just listen to the orcastra for hours. It's such a pain and anger driven song, but the undertones of the lyrics are so full of this bitter love. If a you could write a history book using songs then this song would fully portray the suffering of the people prior to the French Revolution. When the tempo of the song speads up you feel this surging hatred for the Marquis. 
  • Little One — Gaspard, Little Lucie, Sydney Carton, Ernest Defarge and Men
    Little Lucie is just about the dearest little girl in all of the musical productions. Her concern for Sydney's soul is so touching. Her innocents protects her from the worries of the current Revolution. When Ernest Defarge and the Men join in on "little one" I typically burst into tears. The "little one" killed in the street by the Marquis carriage lays limp in the arms of his father, the worries and pains of the world killed him, finally to give him release. *sobs* 
  • Until Tomorrow — Ernest Defarge, Madame Therese Defarge, Sydney Carton and Ensemble
    THIS SONG. It screams Enjolras and the barricade boys. It's such an epic song that I'm just going to post a link so you can just listen to the epicness. This is the BEST song from AToTC. This is another one of those 'needs to be in a history book' song. The message of the song is a mirror to One Day More. Litterally. It's almost the same exact song. Which is probably why I love this song so much.  
  • If Dreams Came True (Reprise) — Sydney Carton and Charles Darnay
    Sydney has just taken Lucie away and has tried to comfort her. Charles is lamenting his coming to France because of the price Lucie and his daughter will have to pay...his death. He sings of how Lucie haunts his dreams while in prison. 
  • Never Say Goodbye Lucie Manette 
    The movement from If Dreams Came True to this song is absolutely flawless. I wish I could write music like this. What makes this song so emotional is that it mirrors Charles thought's of Lucie. Her lines start with "How you haunt my dreams..." as the musical swells to accompany "Never say goodbye!" is completly sung from the heart. It's very much like Eponine's "I love him, but only on my own." Only Lucie's speaking   
  • Finale: I Can't Recall — Seamstress, Sydney Carton and EnsembleThe finale is so bittersweet. Sydney meets a seamstress that is being executed for working with a Marquis. The young woman is terrified and draws on Sydney's fearlessness. Something between the two of them clicks and you almost get this faint impression that his previous dreams have come true through this woman. Then it is this sudden slap in the face when Sydney speaks "It is a far,far better thing I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known." The Guillotine falls with the curtain.   

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Celebrating Musicals Week: {Dream Cast}

So I've heard normal people play fantasy football (or whatever it is they do) where they get to choose their favorite players to be on a dream team. Obviously I'm not a football fan, but I am a huge fan of theater performers. All day yesterday I thought about who my favorite voices are, who played in my favorite productions, and who should play who in my own dream cast of A Tale of Two Cities. Here is my cast:

Aaron Tveit as: Charles Darnay 

Unlike a lot of people, Charles Darnay is my favorite. Most people tend to prefer Sydney, very much like most people prefer Eponine over Cosette. Anyhow, after Aaron's roll as Enjolras in Les Miserables I have been a loyal fan. His voice *swoon* is so passionate and he has the ability to completely consume the roll of his character. He captivates his audience and adds depth to the story. That's why I think his passion and emotion would make a perfect Charles.

Samantha Dorsey as: Lucie Mannet 

Samantha's voice is so beautiful, but I was torn between she and Samantha Barks. That's more or less because I ship Enjolras and Eponine, which led to shipping Aaron and Sam Barks, and this would be such a great way to keep that ship alive. However, I did manage to put away my ships and choose Samantha Dorsey.  She's done a wonderful job in all the parts she's played in theater, so I'd love to see her in ATOTC.

Hadley Fraser as: Sydney Carton

Hadley. *sigh* I just absolutely love the guy. His performance as Gantaire in the 25th Anniversary LM concert is when I first heard his voice. Then in the Phantom of the Opera he was the best Raoul in the world. Meaning mix the drunken and dark man with the love struck and slightly driven mad boy and you have the BEST Sydney Carton ever.

Ramin Karimaloo as: Mr. Manette

  Okay, Ramin made me fall in love will all the 'gown up' musicals. He was my transition from Disney to musical theater. To top it all off he is flawless and has made his way into every one of my dream casts. I chose him as Lucie's father because I'd love to hear the contrast between his and Aaron's voice in 'The Promise'.

Catherine Missal as Little Lucie: 

Catherine played Little Lucie in the PBS Concert. I couldn't think of anyone else to play the roll. She's so darling and adds depth to such a small roll. The first time she laughs you fall in love with the little girl.

Michael Maguire as: Ernest Defarge

I've just got this thing for guys who have played Enjolras. Michael's voice however is so strong with this insane depth of emotion. He adds this whole driving force to a revolutionary, which is exactly why I chose him a Defarge.

Samantha Barks as: Madame Therese Defarge

Sam is probably my favorite actor within musical theater. I've loyally followed all her rolls and was never disappointed. After he performance at the 25th Anniversary Concert she's made her way into everyone of my dream rolls. Earlier I admitted to first casting her as Lucie, but we have to carry on Sam's tradition of dying on stage. Even Sam said dying on stage seemed to be her "thing" for the moment. Her voice is also one of the few voices strong enough to fully carry across the message of Out of Sight Out of Mind.

George Bladen as: the Marquis St. Evrmonde

This is what I imagine every time I think of the Marquis. Of course George would need to be older with some graying hair, but he just pulls of being nonchalant so well. You would have to be able to do this if you run over a small child in a street then mock the beggars moments afterward. Don't get me wrong. I love George, but he would be so good at this.

Daniel Huttlestone and Fra Fee as: the French father and son
I know the boy who dies in the Paris street and the father who kills the Marquis don't have names and are barely seen but for a few moments. However I've still placed them with my people to cast.
*sobs* I just can't get over this scene from the Les Miserables movie. It was so heart-wrenching, so I think having these two play the roll of father and son would add so much more meaning to the story. *cries some more*

Well there it is, my A Tale of Two Cities 'dream cast'. I know there are still some parts that weren't mentioned above, but that's because I was 100% indecisive on the rolls which actor could play. I still had to fit Micheal Ball, Killian Donnelly, and so many others into the show. Basically I just really love musical actors. Who do you think should be added to the dream cast?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Celebrate Musicals Week: {Kick-off Tag}

Okay, so confession time...I love musicals. Actually, the best word to describe my relationship with musicals would be 'obsession' and it is a major one at that. So when I heard that Amy over at her blog was going to be hosting a Celebrate Musicals Blog Party, I just couldn't resist. For the rest of the week I've scheduled several posts focused on my musical of choice, but for today I'm just going to stick to the Kick-Off Tag.

1.  What musical did you pick to "spotlight" this week and why?  
My "spotlight" musical for this week is.... A Tale of Two Cities. *gasps* Sierra isn't writing about Les Miserables? Nope, I even shocked myself. Yes, I'm going to write about A Tale of Two Cities-the Musical. *gasps again* There is A Tale of Two Cities musical? Yes, yes there is and it is one of the most underrated musicals of all time. Although I might point out that I haven't strayed too far from Les Miserables, I just can't leave the French alone.  

2.  How did you discover the musical you picked (hereinafter referred to as "your musical")?

It was in 2011 that I first found my musical. I had just finished reading A Tale of Two Cities for the second time, and was doing a bit of research about the book on the internet, which was when I came across some song lyrics. That led me strait to you-tube where I found songs from the musical. However, it wasn't until last year that I got to watch the whole musical in one video.

3.  If you had to pick three favorite songs from your musical, which ones would they be?
Ugh, I hate having to choose 'top' songs. It's like having to choose a favorite book...never going to happen. But after narrowing down the list, Now at Last, If Dreams Came True, and Until Tomorrow would have to be my top three.

4.  What's your least favorite song from your musical?
It would probably be 'Round and Round'.

5.  Who are your favorite characters (choose up to three)?
Charles Darnay, Sydney Carton, and Mem Therese Defarge.

6.  Which versions of your musical have you seen/listened to, and which is your favorite?
I've listened to the Broadway and watched the PBS Concert. The Concert would be my favorite, just since I can watch it. It's very much like the Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert, but not blocked quite so much. The acting and vocals are superb.

7.   Is this your favorite musical of all time?  If not, what is?
Oh no, no, no. Les Miserables will forever and always be my favorite. A Tale of Two Cities is a close second.

8.   Which cast album/musical soundtrack in your collection do you listen to the most?

For A Tale of Two Cities? The PBS recording. For musicals in general? The 10th Anniversary Les Miserables Concert is played at least once every day.

9.   What is your favorite costume from your musical?My favorite costume is Lucie Manette's gown in the PBS Concert. The color is stunning on her. The close fit makes it feminine without it being over the top frilly. 

         This Kiss! *swoons*


10.  If you could change anything about your musical, what would you change? The only thing I would change about this musical would be make it more popular. It didn't run near as long as it should have. Other than that this musical is flawless.

11.  Which role(s) would you most like to play in 
any musical, if you had the opportunity to do so on stage?
Eponine from Les Miserables is my dream roll. If I couldn't have Eponine I could totally do Enjolras. Yes, yes it is a guys roll, but he's just EPIC. I've also always dreamed of playing Liesl from The Sound of Music. 

12.  If you could choose one performer to play any part in your musical, who would you choose and which part would you have them play?
I think Aaron Tivet would make a gorgeous Charles Darnay! His voice is so strong, and his ability to put so much emotion into his rolls would make for a phenomenal performance.

13.  Do you consider yourself a musical theatre fan in general or do you just like a few musicals?
Change 'fan' to 'obsessed fan' and that is me. Actually, musicals have always been a huge part of who I am. Disney's Robin Hood is to blame. From the time I was two-years-old I have been in love with that musical. My mom actually took the video and hid it because I would play it over and over again. She said that 'Little John and Robin Hood running through the forest..." would play over and over in her head at night. Then came the Princess Musicals and then musical theater. I could name countless theater performers, but ask me to name Hollywood actors and I could maybe name eight. I don't follow the big block-buster movies, but the newest performance on Broadway or West End. 

14.  Are you tired of the word "musical" yet?Never!

15.  Turn your music playing device on shuffle (or utilize Pandora if you don't have one) and tell us the names of the first three show tunes that come up-- no cheating!  How do these rank on your favorites/most-listened-to list?
-Empty Chairs at Empty Tables. *cries* Yes, this song is actually in my top five favorites. Especially if it is being sang by Michel Ball. 
-One Day More. Favorite. Song. EVER. I swear I didn't rig my music player. This song gets listened to at least three times everyday. I have some of the lyrics painted out on my wall, actually.  
-Sixteen Going on Seventeen. Okay, not one of my top five, but it lands in my top ten. Last year when I turned sixteen this was my favorite song in the world. Then turning seventeen sort of ruined the novelty of it.