Sunday, December 8, 2013

Author Interview - Faith Blum

   A friend of mine from Holy Worlds has recently published a novel! As a way to tell the world about her novel, Faith Blum, author of A Mighty Fortress, has set up a blog tour! From December 3rd through 12th she has excerpts, guest posts, and interviews. Follow the link here (blog tour) or above to find the other posts!
   For my contribution to the tour, here's an interview with the lovely Faith Blum herself!

Jesse Rice: Hello Faith. It's a pleasure to interview you today. Can you tell me a little about yourself?

Faith Blum: I am a 23 year old home school graduate and I love to write, read, play piano, and play card games with my family.  I love history and want other people to enjoy history as well. 

What first caused you to become a writer?

From the time I can remember, I have always enjoyed writing and Mom (a.k.a. my teacher) tailored my schooling to fit into that love of writing.

What genres do you like to write?

Historical Fiction and Contemporary Fiction are my favorite genres to write.  Historical Fiction is my passion right now, though.  I just published the first book in a series.  I’m not exactly sure how many books there will be in the series, but so far I have four planned.  I do have a Contemporary Fiction trilogy that is started, but that needs a lot of work and will take many years to finalize.

You've come out with a book recently. What's it called and can you tell me a little about it?

My book is called A Mighty Fortress.  Joshua and Ruth Brookings are traveling by stagecoach to finally join their parents in Montana. Attacked by murderous outlaws, the teens barely escape with their lives and must survive in the barren Wyoming and Montana territories and escape the man who's hunting them.

Seven years ago, Jed Stuart ran away from home and joined Tom's gang. Jed is tired of the lawlessness and wants out. The only problem? He is the boss's right-hand man and will never be able to leave. And what's one more stagecoach robbery, anyway?

Can Joshua lean on God's strength to keep himself and his sister alive until they find a town?   Will Jed be able to face his anger or will it consume him completely? All three are running--the hunter and hunted. What will happen when they meet?

What inspired you to write a story like this?

A Christian company had a short story contest based on the picture on the front of their catalog.  I decided to write a story even though I was too old to enter the contest.  It turned out to be novella length rather than a short story, but it still had good potential.  I let it sit for over a year, not sure what to do with it.

Then, last October, a friend told me about a writing contest.  The deadline to enter the finished manuscript was January 31st.  The next two months were spent rewriting and quick-editing my manuscript.  Although, I didn’t win the contest, I did get a very good draft of my book finished.

Long story short, a picture inspired the initial idea and my love of Westerns supplied the rest.

What authors inspire you?

Aubrey Hansen, J. Grace Pennington, Louis L’Amour, Louisa May Alcott, and Karen Witemeyer.

What are some of your favorite books?

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Ride the River by Louis L’Amour, Blink by Ted Dekker, Peter’s Angel by Aubrey Hansen, Never by J. Grace Pennington, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Tailor Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer and many more. 

What encouragement or advice would you give to someone who has just started writing?

Just keep writing.  No matter how hard it gets or how bad you think you are doing.  You can always rewrite and edit it to make it better. 

Do you have any books that are coming out in the near future?

That depends on what you mean by near future.  I hope to have book two of the Hymns of the West series out sometime next year, but I do not know for sure how long it will take me.  I am still working on the rough draft of Be Thou My Vision.  I will have progress updates on my blog occasionally, so you can definitely keep up with my progress there.

Thank you so much for being here, Faith. It's been fun.

Thank you for having me here, Jesse.  It was fun answering your questions.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I Am Not a Pacifistic Author

   I'm not a pacifist author. I don't know why it is. For some reason I get a twisted enjoyment out of hurting and, inevitably, killing characters. I don't know if I'm psychologically corrupted. Or maybe I'm just morbid. Either way, characters in my books are going to die. They might not be main characters, but you can be sure that someone somewhere is going to kick the bucket.
   Now, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes death, while tragic, is necessary in a story. Though, to my mind, the death of the character is not the most important part. The way it effects the other characters is the most important part.
   First, why would it be necessary for a character to die? There's several reasons. A character could die to keep the story real. A character could die to make another character grow. A character could die to (strangely enough) provide comedy (it's happened! I don't know why it would be funny, but it's happened). The final reason (that I can think of) for a character to die is this: to show how high the stakes are or how evil the villain is.
   Okay, now that we've seen why a character needs to die, how can characters react to it? There can be multiple ways. Characters can be sad, characters can be angry, characters can be depressed... there's many different ways people react to death. These are the things I've been processing. How would a certain character react if another certain character died? Would he/she be sad?
   And after the death, what about the funeral? How do the characters react at the funeral? Is there a funeral? For example, in writing Kitten Mysteries Book 2: Trapped, a character (how much can I say without giving too much away...) dies. This character is close to one of the main characters of the series. I had to figure out how that character should react to the death. And then I had to figure out how cats would perform a funeral. It was an interesting thought process and it challenged me to deepen my writing (and all this isn't just going to happen in Book 2!).
   What about you? Have you written a character death which you felt was necessary? Or have you read/seen a story in which a character death was handled particularly well? Feel free to comment below and tell me your thoughts!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Supervillain Awareness Day

   November 21 is the day we remember the first time Supervillains attacked, in Middle-of-Nowhere, Kansas. Today is the day when evil must be destroyed. When a caped crusader must step up to the forefront to destroy the villainy of the... well, Supervillains. Who is this masked creature?
   It's a bird! It's a plane!
   It's Over-Cat!


   Or not. Actually, I have no plans to write a book about a cat that fights evil (or superpowered evil, at least). I'm still working on the Kitten Mysteries. Though, if you have a hunger for superpowered awesomeness, go check out the Supervillain of the Day series. Today and Tomorrow, all six books in the first 'season' are free on Kindle (even though this link is only to the first book, all the books are free on Kindle)! So go check it out!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Writing Characters

   If one is to write a story, what are the most important parts of the story? There are two that come to my mind: Character's and plot. How does one make good characters? Here's my theory:
   Goof off.
   That's right. Write goofy stuff about your characters. Write about your characters doing stupid, silly, goofy stuff. Write this before you have even attempt the big story. Get to know your character's and get to know your plot. Most of all, have fun. So, without further to do, here's a story of my characters goofing off:

   There are two things I've always wanted to do:
1. Win the lottery.
   I'm not actually sure what the lottery is. However, from what I've learned, it seems that you make up a series of 20 or so numbers and then you win a barrel of bacon. Yummy.
2. Get into the bird's nest on top of the human's front porch.
   Number 2 was what I was going to conquer today (since Trumpet and I could only come up with eleven numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and Sausage). That was my explanation to Spot when I said I needed forty feet of balertwine.
   "Really?" Spot asked. "You need forty feet?"
   "Yep," I replied. "How else am I going to get on top of the porch?"
   Spot rolled her eyes, but measured out the rope. See, Spot is the one that nests in a large roll of twine, so she is the one to go to whenever you need rope.
   Trumpet and I gladly took the balertwine from Spot and prepared to use it to climb on top of the porch roof. Perhaps a little description would be helpful:
   The Porch juts out from the side of the house, with a set of five steps leading up to the cement porch floor. The house is on west side of the porch, with a small flowerbed on the east side. Beside the sidewalk, which leads to the porch steps, about four feet from the northeast corner of the porch, is a large pine tree. About the same distance from the southeast corner of the porch is another pine tree. If, say, a piece of twine was thrown from one tree to the other (a distance of thirty feet) the twine would stretch over the flower bed. This would provide a tightrope which would provide easy access to the rain gutter at the edge of the porch roof.
   Stretching the twine was easier said than done, but it eventually was done. That left the actual crossing of it and the jumping from the twine to the porch.
   I glanced at Trumpet.
   He shook his head. "Hey. This was your idea. I'll let you do the honors."
   I scowled, then turned back to the tree. It was simple getting to the branch where the twine had been tied. It was more difficult getting across the twine to a spot where I could jump onto the roof. Eventually, however, I was in position and, with a deep breath, flung myself toward the roof.
   I landed with precision (which is, to say, I landed flat on my face, but Trumpet doesn't need to know that) and darted off for the bird's nest. In it I found exactly what I was looking for.
   As I turned back to face the twine, I gazed out over the yard. To my right was the pastures, and Caesar who was snuffling something, but directly in front of me was a large dog treat that neither was calling my name.
   Well, it was calling someone's name. Trumpet and I hadn't decided who should get it and, rather than do the obvious thing and share, we had decided to flip for it. After doing the best out of 500, the coin had flown up in the air and landed in the bird's nest. Now, however, I had it again in my hands.
   Leaping down (and landing on my feet, of course), I rushed over to where Trumpet sat in front of the northeasterly pine tree.
   "Call it," I said.
   "Heads," Trumpet replied.
   I flipped the coin, tried to catch it, and missed awfully. It landed on the ground, portraying an eagle. "Tails!"
   "Nu-uh!" Trumpet shouted. "That's an eagle's head!"
   I wasted no time arguing, I was headed for the treat. I flew across the lawn and arrived beside the treat just in time...
   ... to see Caesar gulp it down contentedly.
   I turned around to look at Trumpet in horror.
   He shrugged and made his way over. "Now what?"
   I turned to look over at the barn. "Maybe Spot can help us think up more numbers! 'Cause I'm pretty sure Sausage doesn't count."
The End.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Day I was Kidnapped - Rambo's Rambling

   It was a dark day when the man/person/thing kidnapped me to talk to me and ask me silly questions. Or, it could have been a sunny day. I can't remember. Come to think of it, I believe I was asleep when I was kidcatnapped.
   It was dark when I woke (woke? waked? worked? work? work.) It was dark when I work in the small room, lying on a table with a headache.
   Suddenly a light flicked on and a face, a human face, was inches from my own.
   I did what any self-respecting cat would do: I screamed like a little kitten.
   "AAAAH! Get away from me!" I darted across the table and leaped beneath it to hide.
   The face reappeared. "You are Rambo, yes?"
   I looked over at it. "Yes. What do you want?" I tried hard to keep my voice from trembling, but there was still a tiny tremor in it.
   "I need information."
   "What kind?" I tried to slowly move backward, but the human grabbed me and placed me back on the table. The light shone in my eyes, making me unable to look at in the direction of the face for more than a few seconds at a time.
   "Hey, take it easy." Another face appeared, this one looked somewhat nicer. "Let's just stay calm and be nice."
   "We need this information! There's no way around it. I have to know who Sasha is."
   I froze. No longer was I trembling in fear, now I was quaking in confusion. "I beg your pardon?"
   "Who is Sasha? Why is she after ivory kittens?" The mean human grabbed my neck and held tight. "Answer me!"
   The nice human stopped his partner. "Stop it! We won't get any information that way. We have to play this cool and get on his good side."
   "Look, guys or girls or whatever, I don't know. I've had a recent adventure which kind of explains some stuff, but it's not been proofread yet. And I'm not gonna force anyone to hurry. I want the best story possible to come out, which is why I'm not hurrying the best author there is."
   "Jesse is the best author there is?" The mean one asked skeptically.
   "Eh, he's in my price range," I shrugged. "Look, the book has been sent out to some of the proofreaders and I'm working with Jesse to get it sent out to the others. The book will be out by next year. Can you wait until then?"
   The mean human looked at the nice one. The nice one shrugged.
   The mean one turned back to me. "What choice do we have? But just to show how displeased we are, we aren't going to buy it the day it comes out! We're gonna wait until it is free on Kindle! So there."
   The nice one bit his lip. "Or maybe just the day after it comes out."
   The mean one agreed. "Yeah." He released my neck. "See you around, man... er, cat." He walked out with his partner.
   I shook my head. "Crazy fans."

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Hobbit-like Birthday has begun!

   Just a friendly reminder that The Missing Kitten is now free on Kindle! Click here to find it. I hope you enjoy and, if you're really nice, give me a review! Thanks a lot and have fun reading!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Hobbit-like Birthday

   I've been sick recently, so that is my excuse for getting little to no (read: none whatsoever) writing done. Though, I did tweet once! (@jesseorice This is a shameful plug).
   So, yeah. Trapped is coming along slowly. I'm working on handing it out to my plot-proofreaders, though I've final edits to do first. Hopefully I'll be feeling good enough to get them done soon.
   To the main topic: What Hobbit's birthday is it? And am I even allowed to used the word Hobbit? Hmm. Anyway, the birthday that is coming up is my own. Hurrah! I'm turning an age somewhere between forty and negative sixteen. Yes. I'm being very ambiguous. What about my birthday is hobbit-like? Well, I'm giving away presents instead of receiving them! (Not that I'd expect you to give me anything.) That's right! The Missing Kitten will be free on Kindle from October 11-13! Pick up a FREE! copy and leave me a review on Amazon or Goodreads.
   I hope you enjoy the book, and I hope you leave a review! Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Big Picture

   I've been thinking about stories recently. I'm an author, so I like to think about stories. I've been especially thinking about series': books or movies that are not standalone.
   Why am I thinking about those? Well, I was reading Divergent by Veronica Roth, and I was conflicted over the story. The characters were making decisions which I disliked and and I was considering whether or not to keep reading. I decided to continue, mostly because I really hate to put a book down halfway through, and I'm glad I did. I found out, while reading the acknowledgments, that she is a Christian. This made me start looking at the book in a different light. Why? Because I was no longer looking at the book from a singular perspective. This book is a part of a bigger story (a series) but it is also a part of the author's story. She is teaching through parable which portrays good and bad. I recognized some things I disliked, yet I saw good elements for growth in the characters.
   Another series I've been thinking about (and I've talked about) is Supervillain of the Day by Katie Lynn Daniels. Jeffry Floyd is the main character and he does some... unlikable things. It is strange because he is such a likeable character at one moment, then he does something horrific the next. This sets up a real sense of contrast because you really want to like Floyd, but you don't necessarily like what he's doing.
   Now, I knew Katie Lynn Daniels was a Christian when I started the novel. Which gave me a kind of shock after I read some of this stuff because my stereotype of a Christian novel is the squeaky clean, anybody can read type book. This Series is by no means bad, it's truly really good, but it's not for everyone. But does that make it worse or better?
   See, I've been doing research on marketing and who I want to write my books for. I've read that the epitome of a Christian Novel should not be a squeaky clean novel, but a God Glorifying novel. Perhaps I need to take my own advice: look for light in the midst of the darkness.
   And, sometimes, light shines through best in dark situations.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

An Excerpt!

   As I promised: an excerpt from Trapped, Kitten Mysteries|Book 2.

   “The Eagle crested over the mountaintop, gazing over the valley below. Swooping into a dive, it followed the forest to the base of the mountain, wing tips only inches above the treetops. 
   “The forest ended and the Eagle flapped its wings, rising up over the fields of cut corn. On its westward journey, the Eagle crossed a road traveling south. Its shadow followed the small farm lane splitting off from the road, leading between two pastures. The shadow crossed over a bridge composed of red iron ringlets. 
   “Dropping, the eagle perched on the peak of a barn across the lane from the farmhouse. Little did it know that its life would soon be in danger of attack from a vicious, clever, albino kitten-” 
   “Wait a minute.” 
   This voice of complaint came from my brother, Musketeer. He shook his head in confusion. “You really think you would have even a chance against an eagle?” 
   I sighed. “It’s fiction, Musketeer. Accept it that not everything is realistic.”
For more excerpts, check out my twitter page (@jesseorice) or the Kitten Mysteries Facebook page (excerpts released once a week!).

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Case of the Missing Girl - Part 5

Click for Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4.
The Case of the Missing Girl
By Jesse Rice
Chapter Five
Case Closed?
   I hurried into the milking parlor just as the last of the cows were being released out to pasture.
   "She's so lucky," Jesse mumbled. I stopped to listen closer. "She gets off chores. I guess it's fair, since it's her birthday."
   I grinned. The case was closed! Detective Rambo had finished the case: the youngest girl was missing because it was her birthday and she had stayed inside.
   My victory was short-lived, however, for I immediately heard Caesar growling behind me. I turned around slowly.
   "This is really bad," I whispered.
   Caesar dashed at me and grabbed at my fur. I hissed and tried to escape from his jaws. He threw me against the wall and chased me into the corner. I cowered, hissing at him. He jumped at me, and I scratched his nose. He suddenly leaped away and I was doused with water. I ran away from where Jesse was spraying the hose, which had sent Caesar running. I shook myself and ran to Jesse, purring as I went.
   "Rambo, get out of here," Jesse said. "Don't let Caesar get you again."
   I purred and ran into the hay barn next door.
   "What's going on?" asked a sleepy Seabert. "Have you solved any cases recently?"
   "Yes, actually," I replied. "Let me tell you about it."
The End

There! That's the first story I wrote about the cats. Out of those characters, I developed the Kitten Mysteries series. 
I hope you enjoyed this story. Come back next week (hopefully Monday) where I'll release an excerpt from Trapped, Book Two of the Kitten Mysteries.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Light in the Darkness

   I've been reading books recently (reading books! It's quite delightful). Some of them are good books, some of them are bad books. Still, to be honest, I don't believe I've ever rated a fiction book very low. Perhaps I'm too nice, or perhaps it's because I can find things I like in lots of different books.
   What do I mean by that? Well, if you look at a book (especially a controversial book) what are you looking for? Are you looking for a good story? A good moral? A Christian moral? What guides you into choosing a book and, once you've finished it, proclaiming it good?
   Let's talk about books, for instance. Harry Potter is a controversial series, which I happen to like. It's not my favorite, and I wouldn't advise it to everyone. Still, there are several brilliant lines and wonderful actions by the characters that make the book a perfect place to start a conversation.
   How about movies, on the other hand? Neil Gaiman's Beowulf is a movie which I thought nearly perfect, but I would not advise it to children at all. To one with a discerning mind (and the ability to watch such things) it can be a valuable tool for teaching and, amazingly, entertainment.
   But what is the point of watching a movie or reading a book? Is it to entertain? Is it to teach? Is it a mixture of the two? For me, a story with no point can be as disheartening as a story with terrible content.
   What is my goal with my books? I strive to tell what some might call parables. Greg Boyd said a parable is something which tells of heavenly values combined with a setting of the real world (paraphrased, of course). So, what is my point? Here you go: When we fail to see the light shining through the darkness, we miss out on much that this world has to offer.

What are your thoughts? Comment below!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Writing Update: Trapped

   I'm a day late again. I've been too busy with schoolwork to take care of my little blog. Or too busy with writing. And editing. And proofreading. (Yes, I'm proofreading a book for a friend. What friend, you ask? Here's a link to his website. Yeah, his website is cooler than mine...)
   What am I writing about today? Well, I thought I'd give a little update about Kitten Mysteries|Book 2: Trapped. Do you know the main plot? No? Well, here's a quick synopsis:
When Seabert runs away from home, he finds himself trapped underground with a crazy skunk, an ugly frog, and a familiar face from his last adventure.
   That's the working 'synopsis' so far. I should probably tweak it to make it sound better.
   Anyway, how is it coming? I'm glad to say Trapped is finished! Well, the third draft anyway. And I've started on the fourth draft, which will be the final draft (I hope). After several plot changes, and another which has yet to be fully fleshed out, I think I'm happy with the way this story is turning out.
   If that's all I have to say, then why am I talking about it? Well, I'm here to release a potential publishing date for you all. My goal is to release Trapped by March 1st, 2014. There, I said it. Now you have the ability to hold me to that goal.
   How can you contact me? You can find me on Twitter (@jesseorice), you can like the Kitten Mysteries page on Facebook (Kitten Mysteries) and post on the wall, or you can find me on Google+ (Jesse Rice). Have a wonderful day and I hope you come back to The Kitten Den again!
   Oh! And if you've read the book, don't hesitate to write a review on Goodreads or Amazon. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Case of the Missing Girl - Part 4

Click for Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3.
The Case of the Missing Girl
By Jesse Rice
Chapter Four
   I flew toward the rooster and slid in the mud. I jumped over the rooster's claw and grabbed the hair bow in my mouth. Then, without a backward glance, I dashed out of the chicken pen with the rooster on my tail. I turned around and saw the rooster leaping over the fence.
   "Prepare to be pecked!" the rooster screeched.
   I gasped and nearly dropped the hair bow. I hurried to the porch and jumped onto the swing. Panting and hiding, I inspected the bow. Suddenly, a wild tapping came from the window beside the swing. I glanced over, but saw no one. Whoever had tapped had fled. However, hanging in the window, was a large, pink, birthday balloon.
   "Someone had a birthday," I murmured. "Can this be connected to the Case of the Missing Girl?" An idea formed in my brain, and I dashed away from the porch, leaving the bow behind.
   As I crossed the farm, deep in thought, I was oblivious to the fact that an angry Caesar was following.
   "Beware, cat," Caesar growled, and moved in for the kill.
Return next Monday for the last part of The Case of the Missing Girl.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Rambo's Rambling - Cat Care

   Class! Today Professor Rambo will be teaching you all on the proper way to feed cats. This information is straight from a cat, so you can know it is right.
   1. Cats need four full meals a day. I prefer round meals over square meals, because my stomach is round. And when I say full meal, I mean a meal that makes my stomach full. So give your cats lots of food.
   2. Must you pet cats so much? I mean, we get bombarded by people as soon as we're spotted! The madness, the germs, the tickling! It's horrible. Basically, all I want is for you guys, and girls especially girls, to leave us alone. Maybe a stroke or two a day, but that's it. Give us food and leave us alone.
   3. The kittens are not superior to us. Perhaps this kind of contradicts the last point, but if you're going to snuggle the kittens, snuggle us too. We adult cats don't want to feel inferior to the little 'uns. So treat us all equal (and hopefully nicely).
   4. Let us sleep! When we are sleeping, don't wake us up. Unless its lunch time. Then please wake me up, but leave everyone else to sleep.
There you go. A four point list to taking care of me. I hope you learned a lot, there will be a test. Though, if you give me a free meal, I'll go easy on you. Hehe.
Note: this report was not sanctioned or approved by the CCA (Cat Caretakers of America).

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Case of the Missing Girl - Part 3

   Click for Part 1 and Part 2.
The Case of the Missing Girl
By Jesse Rice
Chapter Three
   I immediately stepped into action as Detective Rambo, Private Eyes. I jumped off the feed bags and glanced around. I stepped up to Jesse, the nearest human.
   "Where is the youngest girl?" I asked.
   Jesse leaned down. "How are you, Rambo? You doing okay?" He picked me up and put me on his shoulder. I could talk to him much easier up here.
   "Where is the girl?" I asked again.
   "Hush," Jesse hissed. "That's loud." He pulled me off his shoulder, much to my dislike, and put me on the ground.
   "Stay out of the way," Jesse ordered. I hissed at him. Jesse bopped me on the nose.
   "Stop hissing." He walked away.
   I was no closer to solving this case than I had been five minutes ago. Time to start sleuthing. I dashed as fast as I could to the house, partly because I wanted to solve this case and partly because Caesar was after me. I crawled into the cement blocks serving as a porch step and waited until Caesar left.
   "Come out, you little nuisance," Caesar roared.
   I wrinkled my nose. "You have bad breath."
   "What are you doing?" Caesar asked. "Spying on the humans?"
   "The littlest girl has disappeared," I replied. "I have decided to find her."
   Caesar barked with laughter and I ran away. I hurried over to the chicken coop and immediately saw a clue. It was the girl's pink hair bow. Detective Rambo turned to Agent 525 Rambo, spy extraordinaire.
   I crawled through the fence and looked at the chicken pecking at the hair bow.
   "Scram, chicken," I growled.
   The chicken looked at me and I knew I was dead meat: the chicken was Fry the Rooster.
Come back next time for Part 4: Chicken!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

'May the Odds Be Every in Your Favor'

   The Hunger Games. Probably one of the most controversial book series ever (other than Harry Potter). Some people think it's brilliant. Some people think its disgusting. I've decided to throw my pin into the ring of opinions.
   Heart-wrenching, gut-twisting, stomach-churning, disgusting, crazy Hunger Games. I've read the series twice. Both times I was shocked, disturbed, and drawn into this world of tributes, murder, and revolution. Why does it resonate with me? What could I possibly relate to in a world where everyone tries to kill one another?
   For one, there's Peeta. Good old Peeta, the only character that actually tries to think about others (to start). He's the character that wants to do right because it might be the right thing to do, not just because it'll save his own life. Yes, he's flawed (as is everyone), but
that's part of the beauty of it.
   Now, do I enjoy the series? Yes, and I dislike it. It is horrible, it makes me angry: and that's the point! The Hunger Games is much like The Grapes of Wrath or The Jungle. It's a series about social injustice (even if that society doesn't exist). It's a book that present tough questions and gives answer to them, not proclaiming that those answers are right. It's a series that tugs at your heartstrings as you follow after characters who live, die, fight, and bleed for those they love. Is that always right? No. But there definitely are qualities we can take from these characters that are biblically based and should be applied to our own lives.
   One more thing. When Katniss first goes into the games, she takes the place of someone else (no spoilers, don't worry). She puts her life in the place of another's, most likely going to lose it in the process. She's willing to lay down her life for her friend... Sound familiar?

Note: I don't own the rights to the picture.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Why I wrote The Missing Kitten

  Some of you may have wondered 'Why did you write The Missing Kitten?' This is a pretty simple question to answer.
   Writing books about cats all started on my little sister's 8th birthday. Now, my siblings are pretty talented with crafts. For birthdays they generally make crafts as presents. I wanted to do something of the sort, but I'm not patient enough or talented enough to make something worthy of gifting. Instead, I looked to what I was good at: writing.
   That's where I came up with the idea to write a story about my sister's cats. She loves cats and has many of them, so I came up with The Case of the Missing Girl.
   She liked the story. Then, being the crazy 12-year-old I was at the time, I decided I could do this for all my siblings. And not with short stories either, but with full length books! I could write a book for two siblings every Christmas. But, the best part, would be that I would write a series, so each year (if it was her year to get a book) my sister would get the next story in the kitten series.
   The Missing Kitten is the first book in the Kitten Mysteries series. I wrote it for my sister, because she loves cats. And that is why it is dedicated to her.
(Note about the schedule: School has started again, so I'm probably going to have to alter it a bit. Check out the new schedule here.)

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Case of the Missing Girl - Part 2

   Here's part two of The Case of the Missing Girl, the story which brought about the Kitten Mysteries series. The first part can be found here.
The Case of the Missing Girl
By Jesse Rice
Chapter Two
The Calf Monsters
   I crawled down, straight down, from the hay bales surrounding the calf pen. I wriggled under the gate and into the pen. I looked around. All the calves were looking at Butch, high up on the hay bales.
   "Hey, everybody!" Butch shouted. "Come 'n' get me!"
   I walked slowly up behind the biggest calf. Hopping Harry stared up at Butch. I glanced over at Seabert who was ready to pounce on Kratos, another big calf. I smiled smugly and leapt. Harry bawled as loud as he could as I yanked on his tail. He spun around and I flew into the hay bales. I fell into a small cave that the calves had eaten into the hay bales, then jumped out of it and dashed for the gate.
   A calf shoved his head in my way, but I jumped onto his head and leapt over the gate. I landed on the feed bags, and Butch jumped down beside me.
   "Was it totally awesome?" he asked.
   I nodded, breathless. Seabert crawled out of the milk feeder and grinned.
   "I'm wet," he complained, soaked with milk, "but I taste good!" He jumped onto the feed bags and rubbed his head against my side.
   "Thank you very much for your help, Deputy," I said, returning to my western voice.
   "Don't mention it, Partner," Seabert meowed, walking back toward the hay barn where his mother was waiting. I sighed and noticed that all the humans had come out to feed calves. All of them except the little girl. Where was she? I decided it was up to Sheriff Rambo to find out.
Come back next Monday for Part Three: Gone!

Friday, August 16, 2013


   Some of you may be wondering why I haven't been posting as much lately. Well, the answer to that is this: I got a schedule! I decided instead of a post a day (which is too much writing for me, and too much reading for you readers) I decided to go three posts (maybe four) a week.
   Now, why haven't I kept to the schedule? Well... I could claim I've been writing so much in Trapped that I haven't had time to blog, but that wouldn't be quite the truth. The truth is I was working on other stuff (more on that a bit later) and I have schoolwork now. That's right, it's that time of year again. The time of year kids shriek and adults 'Amen!'. And the time of year I have to start calculus. Blech.
   Anyway, the other reason I haven't kept to the schedule is this: I was working on getting The Missing Kitten to kindle format. And now it is! So those of you who have been hesitating, now you can get The Missing Kitten for only $2.99! Hurrah!
   That's all for today (and probably this week). Come back on Monday where I'll hopefully be back on schedule! Have a good day!

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Case of the Missing Girl - Part 1

   How did the Kitten Mysteries come to be? That's a very good question, and one which I'll answer more in depth on Wednesday (that is the day for Kitten Mysteries related stuff. This is just the day for fiction!)
   Here's the original story that gave birth to the Kitten Mysteries series, The Missing Kitten in particular.

     The Case of the Missing Girl
By Jesse Rice
Chapter One
The Lion and the Panther
   I, the black panther, crept up on the giant lion. It was attacking a poor, helpless female tiger. I crept up behind the monster and leapt at him. I got him! I pulled him away from the tiger and swatted him in the face.
   "Ow!" Butch, the lion, yelped. "Rambo! Stop hitting me!" I stared at my brother. He was no longer a giant lion, now he was only a yellow kitten.
   "Oh, sorry," I replied. "I thought you were attacking a female tiger. No offense, Spot." Spot purred and licked her paw. Butch glared at me.
   "Stop letting your imagination run wild!" Butch growled, "Or I will be a giant lion and attack the puny, little panther!" He growled and scampered away. I sighed and turned back to Spot. She was still licking her front-right paw.
   I rolled my eyes and whispered: "Vanity." I walked away from the front of the cheese plant and walked into the parlor. I looked up at the bars where the cows were milked and saw Caesar growling at Barkley. I decided to put myself into action as Sheriff Rambo, Protector of ----- Farm. I ran up the hill and hissed at Caesar.
   Now look here, good sirs," I said in a western voice, "why don't you just come over here and talk about your argument for a moment."
   "Get out!" Caesar barked.
   "Careful, kid," Barkley growled at me, "This character's shady." Immediately I knew what to do. I jumped up into the feed trough and leapt down on Caesar.
   "Yee-haw, cowboy!" I meowed. "Yee-haw!" Caesar leapt into the air and I twisted away from his biting jaws.
   "Missed me, missed me!" I taunted.
   "I said get out!" Caesar roared and I flew off his back. I ran out the door and into the hay barn.
   "Hi, Rambo," Seabert squeaked. I looked at him, playfully stern.
   "That's 'Sheriff Rambo' to you," I giggled. Seabert grew serious.
   "Can I be depty?" he asked.
   "You mean 'deputy'?" I asked. He nodded.
   "Can I?" he asked again.
   "You may," I replied. "Let's go check out the calves!" Seabert and I ran up to the hay bales and climbed onto them. We looked down at the gigantic calves.
   "This is agent 525 Rambo," I whispered.
   "This is agent 697 Seabert," Seabert whispered.
   "This is agent 220 Butch," Butch whispered, appearing from nowhere. "I love playing spy." We crept up on the evil-calf monsters.
Come back next Monday to read the second of the five part series The Case of the Missing Girl.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Interview with Jessica Verve

Today I have the pleasure of giving you an interview with Jessica Verve, a brilliant writer from what I've read of her work.

Jesse (J): Hello Jessica Verve, welcome to The Writing Pen. It's a pleasure to have you here.

Jessica Verve (V): Hey Jesse! It's awesome to be a part of your blog.

J: Thank you! Now, first question: why did you start writing?

V: It's hard to say exactly. At first I wanted to fill the shelves of the bookstore with all of the stories that I loved to read but couldn't find. Shortly after that I began to write as a way to explore people and situations in life.

J: Are your stories more character-based, then?

V: Yes. In fact, some times I'll write 1/2 of the story and realize I spent so much time exploring the character that I have to go back and write in a stronger plot arc. My writing friends are constantly telling me to just write the plot arc first and fill in details later, however the first ideas that usually come to me are the characters and their surroundings. Recently I've been finding a nice balance between the two, thankfully.

J: Yes, balance is important. What is your favorite genre to write? Since you're a more character driven author, does that mean it is easier for you to write in different genres?

V: My favorite stories to write are mysteries. Over the years I've tested out a lot of the genres, mainly Lit Fic, Young Adult, and Sci Fi. I'd love to try Thrillers and Ruritanian once I finish my current Sci Fi novel.
What makes an interesting story to me are the characters. Genre is sort of like a setting or circumstance. It's sort of fun to think "Okay, this sort of person would usually be depicted in this sort of genre, but what if I mixed things up and put them some place no one would expect them to be?" Perhaps that's just my way of avoiding cliches, but I think it's a fun way to go at a story.

J: Yep it is. I like stories with a good twist. Speaking of stories, what are some of your favorite stories (whether TV, novels, or movies)?

V: I have the weirdest taste in books. Many of my favorites I've gotten from library book sales and are pretty unknown. Looking at my favorites shelf right now, I have Anne of Green Gables, Red Rain by Aubrey Hansen, a ton of Newbery winning authors, and The Wednesday Wars/Okay for Now by Gary D Schmidt (The Wednesday Wars is a total riot and one of the best YA novels I've read). As for visual media, pretty much the only fiction TV show I watch is Doctor Who. Movie titles are eluding me at the moment.
Oh! And I love the Supervillain of the Day series by Katie Daniels. I'm reading my way though those right now.
J: Doctor Who and Supervillain of the Day, I knew I liked you for some reason.
V: *laughs*
J: What authors do you look up to?
V: Gary Schmidt and Patricia Reilly Giff. Ms. Giff writes really fun historical fiction, and she just sort of... knows the characters. Mr. Schmidt I met at an author lecture/book signing earlier this year. I appreciate how much work and thought he puts into each novel. He's not afraid of asking the really tough questions, and he does it through the eyes of a kid.
J: One last question, then we can both get back to our busy lives. Are you published? If so, can you give the title and a brief description of the story? If not, can you give the title and a brief description of your work in progress?
V: Unfortunately, I have not been published. The W.I.P. I'm currently making headway on is a Biothriller (and here I said I haven't tried the genre yet =p) with a working title of The Cloud. It’s about a young man who grew up on a space station and gets trapped on a distant-future Earth. He must find his sense of humanity while battling nomadic groups and mutant animals to reach a safe city before his superiors from space catch him. It's rather rough around the edges at the moment. Now that I have a small break from school I plan on refining the plot and finishing it up.
J: Sounds intriguing. I look forward to the day when one of your books is on my shelf. Jessica, thank you for being on the blog, I hope you have a great day.
V: Thank you so much for interviewing me! It was a pleasure.
Jessica Verve is a writer of many talents, writing in various genres. You can find her on twitter @Jessverve.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Developing Plot

   Plot is the most important part of a story. The story can have good morals, good characters, good special effects, but all that is wasted if there isn't a good plot. Plot is what pulls people into a story (sure, the other stuff helps too, but plot is the main basis of a story and, therefore, the driving point). Without a good plot, the story falls flat.
   The Missing Kitten had a satisfactory plot. I came up with an original idea and molded a story out of it. Unfortunately, it was such a good idea that, it seems, I used it again for the first draft of Trapped. Thankfully, my readers (thanks siblings!) told me so. Back to the drawing board I went.
   The second draft of Trapped had a more original plot. Thankfully, it is finished. However, because of its altered plot, my second draft was very rough. I have characters appearing and disappearing without for seemingly no reason. That is why I'm going to write a third draft, which will (hopefully) be my final draft.
   The good part is that Trapped will hopefully be much better than it was originally or is now. The bad part is that it's going to take some time for me to write that third draft. Which means a longer wait until it can be released.
   Hopefully you can stand the wait. In the meantime, look forward to the Kindle edition of The Missing Kitten coming out as soon as I can get it done. Which means hopefully by the end of August.
   Until then, I hope you are having a great time and keep returning to this blog, or check me out on Twitter, Facebook, or Goodreads.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My Siblings

Hi! It's Rambo again. I stole Jesse's laptop. He was playing on his new one, leaving me access to the old one! Did I mention he bought a new computer? Imagine spending money on technology when he should be spending it on buying me treats! He muttered some excuse about his old one freezing up a lot (which is true, it took me six hours just to type this and that's not because I'm a slow typist) and that a new computer would allow him to write books more easily. I offered him to use a stick and the dirt, or a stone tablet and chisel, but he claims he can't upload those files to the internet (he's so picky).
   Anyway, I'm here to tell you about my siblings: Spot and Butch. They're not really my siblings (I feel as if I've said this before...), we were just raised together.
Butch is a nice cat. He's golden with short hair and he's cool. He's close friends with Spot while I'm kind of a loner. Butch spends most of his time with Spot, actually, which can lead him into trouble. Here's why:
Spot is headstrong. She's brindle colored with a golden spot on her forehead, hence her name. She likes to boss people around, which means tell them what to do. Sometimes she gets carried away and ends up in trouble (like when she accidentally sent a kitten to its death, but that's another story). Most of the time she's nice, and if she does mess up she always tries to make up her mistakes.
Me? I'm just crazy. I like to imagine stuff, I like to make up stuff, but I'm loyal and willing to give my life for my friends. Last spring I had trouble with that, (I nearly died!). This fall was worse, but that's another story. In fact, Jesse's in the process of typing it up (since his handwriting is terrible, another reason he needs a computer...). I'll tell him he needs to type faster, because some people are complaining.
Oh! He wants me to mention that the reason he hasn't made many blog posts is because of such typing. I guess that's supposed to make things better, eh?
Well, that's all! Over 'n out!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

"Why I write Series" or "Kitten Mysteries Information"

   Have you ever read a series that made you shiver at how good it was? Not just a single book (though those can be hard to find), but a series as a whole that made you want to tell everyone about it? A series made up of books which themselves told a story, but also told one, long, continuous story?
   I love books like that. I like a book that feels finished, but there is something else coming along. A book that, while it is satisfying, makes me beg for more. Those are the kind of books, TV shows, and movies that I love. And those are the kind of stories that I want to write.
   See, The Missing Kitten isn't a standalone story. No. It could be, I suppose, and it could be consumed as such. But it was never meant to be a single. It is a part of a whole (which is why it says Kitten Mysteries|Book 1). Though, of course, that might cause you to ask some questions: "What are the other books about? What are the other books called? How many are there?" Those are all very good questions and I hope to have some very good answers.
   (Note: All answers are subject to change, but these are my plans for now.)

   Kitten Mysteries|Book 1:
   The Missing Kitten
   Synopsis: Missing In Action! When imaginative Rambo discovers his kitten friend Seabert has vanished, he isn't immediately worried. However, once he starts looking, he finds himself drawn into a plot involving a catnapping and a scheme to destroy the farm. Can Rambo rescue his friend from the forest, or will Seabert be lost forever?

   Kitten Mysteries|Book 2:
   Brief synopsis: When a kitten runs away from the farm, the rest of the cats must band together to save him from a cave-in and the danger that lie beyond.

   Kitten Mysteries|Book 3:
   The Kyge in the Mist
   Brief synopsis: When a kitten falls sick, Musketeer and Seabert band together to find the only cure. Their only problem: the only animal who knew about it is now dead.

   Kitten Mysteries|Book 4:
   The Found Kitten
   Brief Synopsis: After (spoiler) vanishes, Rambo sets out to find her, save her, and learns a dark secret about what happened years before.

   Interested yet? I hope so! Now that I have you angry or curious (or both), all that remains is for me to write the stories! And, to keep those who are angry happy, I've almost completed the second draft of Trapped. No excerpt yet, I'm afraid, but be prepared. Some stuff is going to happen, some stuff is not, but one thing is for sure: the kittens are going to get into a lot of trouble!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Interview with Theodora Ashcraft

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Theodora Ashcraft, author of Of Whispers and Wanderings and Sangre: The Phantom's Lair.

Jesse (J): Hello Theodora! Welcome to The Writing Pen, it's a pleasure to have you here today.

Theodora Ashcraft (T): Thanks, it's a pleasure to be here.

J: When did you first start writing?

T: Around when I was five. Obviously what I wrote wasn't very good back then. I didn't really decide I wanted to be a writer for a living until I was about eleven or twelve.

J: Do you still write the same genre as back then?

T: Oh, definitely not. Back then were random knock-offs of stories I had read and Dragon Tales knock-offs. I tend to stick to fantasy nowadays.

J: So you enjoyed Fan-Fiction? Do you still like it?

T: Yes, to both. I don't write it very often anymore, but I still enjoy a good, well-written Fan-Fiction story now and then.

J: As do I. I hear you recently published a collection of short stories. What inspired you to do that instead of publishing a novel?

T: Well, my mom and several friends had been asking when I was going to self-publish something again. I was just starting college classes, and was going through some other things that sapped me of my energy. I decided that putting a bunch of short stories and poems together would take less energy and be easier than writing a novel to self-publish. A silly reason, I know, but it got me to finish another project at least.

J: What is that collection called?

T: Of Whispers and Wanderings

J: Obviously, as a writer, you aren't content with just finishing one project. Are you working on another story you care to talk about?

T: I'm dabbling with several projects at the moment, but the one that has most of my interest and what little energy I have invested into it is a novel called Tomorrow's Bones.

J: Care to give a short description of it?

T: It might be a secret, or I might just not have it all planned out yet. *smiles* I can tell you, however, that it is a science-fiction mystery, where a group of men and women band together to discover secrets surrounding the death of a millionaire starship owner.

J: Sounds cool! Now, when you write, do you prefer writing with a pen and paper? Or would you rather have a keyboard in front of you?

T: I definitely prefer the keyboard. My hands get tired much too easily when I write by hand. Plus, all of my information and inspirational pictures are saved on my laptop.

J: Sounds a lot like me. Though, I generally type because my handwriting is illegible. *grins* Time for some standard interview questions: Favorite book(s)?

T: Oh, so hard to chose. My top three favorites at the moment are Firmament: Radialloy by J. Grace Pennington, Angel Fall by Coleman Luck, and the Elsewhere Chronicles by Jacqueline West.

J: Favorite author(s)?

T: Now that's an unfair question! I'd have to say my top current three are Aubrey Hansen, J. Grace Pennington, and Wayne Thomas Batson.

J: It's my job to ask unfair questions. If only I could get paid for it...

T: *laughs* True!

J: Favorite genre to write?

T: Fantasy, hands-down. Though I'm trying to branch out into other genres.

J: Similar question: favorite genre to read?

T: Hmm... I like reading all genres, really. I don't like much nonfiction though.

J: One more question, then both of us can get back to our busy lives.

T: All right.

J: What as encouraged you as a writer? What kept you going when you felt like giving up?

T: Two things have. The first and most prominent one is reading good stories, especially those written by friends of mine. For some reason, reading their works inspires me to go back to my own writing. The second thing is when I get good feedback on something I write. Yes, honest feedback - even if it's not 'warm and fuzzy - is good, but there's nothing quite like hearing from someone that they genuinely liked something you wrote.

J: Thank you, Theodora, for being here.

Once again, you can find Theodora Ashcraft at her website: Whispers of Wind and Song. I hope you enjoyed your time on this blog and I hope you come back soon!

Note: I don't own the picture to Of Whispers and Wanderings, nor do I agree with all the posts on the links. Click at your own risk. I'm just providing you with information if you wish to learn more about Miss Ashcraft's favorite authors.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Book Review: Red Rain by Aubrey Hansen

Official description from Aubrey Hansen's website: 
Government regulations said they had no choice. 17-year-old Philadelphia must stay on Earth in the care of complete strangers while her father is sent against his will to Mars. When a benevolent official gives her the opportunity to accompany her father, Philadelphia knows she must keep her head down or be sent back to Earth. But when a search for her deceased brother’s Bible leads her into a hallway that isn’t supposed to exist, Philadelphia is faced with a question she doesn’t want to answer – the choice between returning to Earth or destroying it.
   Red Rain is an well written book. I read it twice (as I like to do with all books: once for the excitement, the second time to catch everything I missed). This book almost made me cry, in fact (the first time, not the second).
   The characters are well developed, and Hansen was able to pull at my heart every time a character had to make a hard choice. This book was good sci-fi, but it is mainly (in my mind) a drama. It merely uses Mars as a backdrop for a display of family, sacrifice, and hard choices. The only thing I would change is not to have the ending quite so rushed, but that's just a personal opinion.
   I recommend this book to anyone who likes science-fiction and even to people who don't. If you want a story with strong characters and ethical dilemmas, check out Red Rain by Aubrey Hansen.

Annoying Pacifist Alert!: I had a one grievance with the ending of this book. I won't give any spoilers, but there was a spot at the end when the villain is being taken away in chains. Philadelphia watches him leave, then thinks about all the people whom she should be praying for. At that moment, the author could have stuck in a small line about her praying for the villain. It's a small qualm, but had that happened I would have found the book a small bit better.

There's the end of my second book review! Maybe there'll be more to come in the future. Who knows? (Well, I suppose I do...)
Note: I don't own the rights to the cover picture or to the description taken from Aubrey Hansen's website.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ya Hear Me?

What do you hear right now? Is it the hum of traffic? The murmur of your computer? The chatter coming from people in the other room? The tweeting of birds?

How often do I listen? This is a question that struck me the other day. I work on a farm and a lot of that work is alone or done with loud machinery running. Therefore I like to use an MP3 (yes, those still exist) to listen to things while I work. A lot of the time it feels like I have earphones in my ears over half the day. And yes, audio books and music are important and can be entertaining (more on that a bit later), but for me they seem to take over my life. It's like reading a good book: I just can't wait to get back to it. With an audio book, all I have to do is plug in my earphones and I'm off! It doesn't matter who is around me or what I'm doing, I can listen to that audio book while blocking the rest of the world out.

Sure, it hurts relationships if I listen too much. Sure things get confused because I'm not paying attention to what people say, but at least I'll figure out what happens next!

I've come to this conclusion before. "I'm not listening to others enough! I'm not praying enough!" So out come the earphones and away goes the MP3. I've 'fasted' from my MP3 for weeks before. At first it works: I feel more observant, more worshipful, more 'happy'. Then things start to get ugly. My thoughts start taking over. That's when I turn to my MP3 just to get away from my awful thoughts. And the cycle begins again.

Is that right? Am I just using my MP3 at that point as a block to ignore dealing with evil thoughts? Maybe. But that's not the point. The point is that sometimes listening to others (or even just unplugging) can help. Sure, there's nothing inherently wrong with audio books or music. Audio books are just like books: they can build you up or burn you down. The point is not to stop listening, but to stop listening too much to the wrong things.

There, those are my thoughts. Quite a roundabout way of saying it, but I like long-cuts. Hope you understood what I was trying to say.
And a quick side-note: I got interviewed! Here's a link.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Every good book has a villain. Sasha is the villain of The Missing Kitten. Who is she? Here's an abridged excerpt of a conversation between Rambo and Old Corny to explain more:

“Who is she?” I asked. “All I know is her name is Sasha.”
Corny froze. “Sasha, did you say?”
“You know her?” I stepped forward in anticipation.
“She travels around these parts. They told tales about her even when I was young. She’s a murderer, a plotter. She makes plans for animals to destroy others then leaves them to do the dirty work. She’s a criminal consultant, you might say. Though, ‘monster’ is closer to the mark.”
“What would she be doing here?”
“Just passing through, maybe. Though, if she’s here to stay, you can be sure dark days are coming.”
“Like what? What should I be expecting?”
Corny looked straight into my eyes. “Has anything weird been going on lately? Disappearances of items, animals, anything like that which you haven’t been able to explain?”
I thought for a moment. “Seabert hasn’t turned up recently… I’m sure he’s just off on a romp.”
Corny paled. “That’s not good.”
I agreed, turning serious. “What do I do?”
“Find Seabert. Keep close tabs on everyone else. Search the farm for him, get everyone on the job. He must be found. If he’s not around, you can be sure Sasha has something to do with it.”
“If I can’t find him, what should my plan of action be?”
Corny paused. “Let’s hope you don’t have to worry about that.”
I looked him in the eye. “If I can’t find him, if he is wrapped up in Sasha’s plan, what do I do to stop her?”
“If he’s a part of Sasha’s plan and he’s been captured, or kidnapped, or whatever; then, I’m sorry, but I don’t know if anything else can be done. Your best hope is to find him before she does. If you can’t, then reconcile yourself to the fact that he could be lost forever.”

Sound creepy? Sound villainous? That's the hope.
Will Sasha be back in later books? Who knows? Maybe if I'm begged enough.
Again, you can find The Missing Kitten on Amazon. If you've already read it, don't for get to review it on Amazon, on Goodreads, or just tell a friend!
Once again, thanks for coming to my blog and listening to me talk about all sorts of stuff. I hope you have a great day!

Saturday, July 27, 2013


It was my pleasure to meet with Samantha and interview her about her writing habits and styles.

Jesse (J): Thank you for meeting with me, Samantha. We're here to ask you a few questions. (glances at Rambo) Rambo, why are you in a bouncy castle?

Rambo (R): (while bouncing) It makes things more medieval.

J: (shakes his head) This is going to be a long interview.

Samantha (S): Never give this guy sugar...

J: What is your favorite type of story to write?

S: To be honest, I absolutely love Fantasy. Fantasy as a main, with a sprinkling of... Everything else. Ahaha. I also enjoy a good fanfic when I'm up to it.J: Who are your favorite authors?

S: This. Is. So. Hard. Well, let me see here. I absolutely love Louisa May Alcott, Mary Norton, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Franklin Dixon/Carolyn Keen.J: What are your favorite books?

S: Well, I love Little Women, Little Men, The Borrowers, The Little House series, the Anne Series, Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys, Pilgrim's Progress, Babysitters Club, Passages, etc. So many books, so little time. (sighs)

J: What are some of your favorite books in the genre of literature you like to write most?

S: Well, Passages, definitely. And Borrowers. As far as others, I've not really gotten to read that many fantasy-based books. I do read a lot of fantasy-based fanfic short stories, though. (smiles)

J: Describe your personality.

S: Hmm. I'm never good at these things. Despite what I may appear online, offline I'm very, very shy, and very, very sensitive. I'm pretty quiet, and I mostly like it that way. However, it does get pretty annoying when I want to speak up. (chuckles) I'm introverted. That about sums it up.

J: Are you a panster or a planner?

S: Hmm. I'm actually neutral between those two. It depends on the story, and the inspiration, if that makes sense...

J: What is your favorite pass time (besides writing, of course)?

S: Apart from writing, I absolutely adore music. And art. I'm basically into the arts, which I consider writing, reading, acting, music, crafting, and the like to be under. I also enjoy thinking and debating through writing. I'm not brave enough to do it in person, heh. I also enjoy listening to Adventures in Odyssey, and studying theology.

R: Perhaps we should have a debate blog post!

J: How about... no. Samantha, what is your favorite inspirational device?

S: Hmm. I'm not sure, but I'd probably have to say music. Music helps inspire so much in me. If not music, then it would be current issues, or the Bible.

J: Do you prefer silence when writing, or do you like to listen to music, watch movies, etc.?

S: Again, it depends on what I'm writing. I prefer silence most of the time, but I'll listen to music a lot when writing too.

J: Do you find a recurring theme in any of your writing?

S: Best friends, a sense of magic, perhaps a little romance. That sort of thing. *Nods*

J: Are you published/planning on getting published in the near future? If published, what have you written? If planning on it, what is your current work in progress?

S: I plan on becoming published, but I'm not sure exactly what piece I'm going to do it with. I have a few fantasy pieces I'm working on, but they are nothing special. Actually, they're far from it. More like... Embarrassing. Heh.

J: Well, thank you Samantha for spending time with us today. It was a great pleasure to meet you and I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.

R: Jesse, my tail is stuck in the drawbridge.

Samantha14 is an up and coming writer. You can read some of her work on her blog. She also moderates an Adventures in Odyssey forum. Check out her stuff, and thank you for joining me here today!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Difficulties of Blogging

Well, I think it's safe to say I'm running out of content. There's only so much I can say about my book(s), random thoughts that pop into my head, or absurd rants by cats (I apologize for letting that happen. I suppose I should have made a cleverer password than 'Rambos#1'. Don't worry, it's changed now.). When I like to post at least once a day, that puts a lot of stress of me to come up with clever stuff to say. Unfortunately, I'm not that clever all the time (I have moments, but only moments).
So I'm going to try something different. I'll still try to post once a day, but I might be making a schedule! Restrictions are difficult, but they can sometimes be helpful. I still need to work on the schedule, though. It's not made up yet, so no need to fear. You'll still have the chaotic blog posts for a short while longer.
What I'm thinking is posting stuff about my books one day a week, maybe short stories or excerpts another day, and maybe (if I beg enough people) guest posts on anything the guest likes. This is still all in flux, so don't hold me to anything.
What else can I talk about...
Well, I've been writing a bit. I've written about 70 some pages of Trapped! Book two in Kitten Mysteries. I hope everyone's going to enjoy it.
Again, I apologize for letting Rambo sneak on here. It won't happen again (unless the audience demands it, or I run out of content.)
I think that's all I have to talk about. 10^4 and all that.

One more thing! I have my first review! If you've read my book, go ahead and give it a review. I won't cry (too much), just give an honest review. Whether on Amazon or Goodreads, or just to a friend, go ahead and review my book if you have the time. Thanks!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Back to Basics

Hello! This is Rambo, hacking Jesse's blog! He's talking too much about smart stuff, like philosophy, theology, and ethics. It's time for me to take over and get you all thinking about what this blog was created for: me.
Now, you'd like some back story on me? Well, I'm a teenager cat (what you humans would call teenager, anyways) and I'm in a story that Jesse 'wrote' called The Missing Kitten (which you can buy on Amazon or Createspace). It's part of a series called Kitten Mysteries (it really should be called Rambo: The Amazing Detective, or something like that). I was born a while back and was raised by Old Corny, the cat who lives in the cornfield next to our farm. Spot and Butch are my siblings, but we're not related. (If you read the books, you would know all this stuff.)
There's a lot more I could tell you, but some stuff has to get revealed in the stories! And some stuff I'm a little fuzzy on myself... Jesse claims to have done some research on this stuff, but I'm not too sure.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my hacking Jesse's blog and maybe I'll be back later.
Be sure to buy Jesse's book! I get 4% of the profits and a cat treat per book! I can't wait! :) (Smily faces, who knew?)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Face to Face

This is the first post of things I learned on my missions trip. I learned this while away from the internet for a week, so it might be slightly hallucinatory and make little sense.
What did I learn? There's nothing better than a face to face conversation.
Sure, the internet is nice for keeping up with people and for learning things. However, it is basically useless when it comes to real conversations. Why?
A. It takes too long to respond.
This is obvious, especially with emails. Sure, you can have conversations this way, but it just doesn't feel as connecting as a real conversation. You miss body language, verbal cues, and it takes too long for the other person to respond. There's no one over there to answer your question or comment on your statements until you've already left. This is fixed with chat rooms, but then you still run into another problem.
B. It's hard to explain yourself over written word.
This is especially true when debating someone over the internet. You post a huge novel of a response, then wait for them to respond, and find they've asked a question about the beginning of your speech. You answer that, get sidetracked on that discussion, and never get around to working through the big stuff. This can happen in real life too, but at least then it would save you the time of going through the unused words. And, with written word, you miss body language from the other person. And, over the internet, you sometimes can't tell if a person is asking a genuine question, being sarcastic, or just trying to aggravate you while ignoring what you say.
Now, most of the time, you can't be with your friends all the time. That is what makes the internet great. It keeps people together, and your 'conversations' can go a lot quicker than when we had to wait for letters to come in the mail. Still, a lot of the time I'd rather jump to the internet and do a quick email or Facebook message than actually talk to a person face to face. This keeps up the relationship, but it doesn't really help it grow.
Growing your relationships is something best done face to face.