It’s kinda awkward when you have a crush on one of your own characters.

It is not, however, infrequent among writers, I’ve surmised.  And this is certainly not the first time it has happened to me.

Des (Despard) Morrisay is my most recent “crush”, though that sounds mind-blowingly vain and conceited and arrogant, since I did think him up, after all.  But….he’s kind of adorable.  Trust me, whether or not it works out on the page, he’s basically perfect in my mind.  In an entirely different way than Tam is perfect.  Because…*River Song voice*…”Spoilers!” sadly, most of this book is about Isla learning to be strong without Tam, so there isn’t as much character development as I’d like for him.

Oh! Before I forget, Finding You is on Pinterest! Check out the board I’ve created here (I’ll be adding to it fairly often)!

But anyway.  I mentioned when I first announced Finding You in this post that I had a cast of supporting characters that I was excited about, and now you’ve met some of them- so here they are.

Des, my personal favorite, is imagined quite a bit after Dominic Cooper in appearance, with a bit of Peter Pan’s personality thrown in (my impression of Peter Pan from reading it as an 11-year-old, when I fell in love with him).  I haven’t honestly seen Dominic Cooper in many movies (for Sense and Sensibility I prefer Greg Wise as Wickham) but there’s something about him in Mamma Mia! that I really love.  My impression of his personality showing through in the role definitely impacted the character in my mind who later became Des.  Here are a couple of images to give you an idea.


Quite the charmer, huh?  I think so.

I’ve also been introducing y’all to the other girls in the cell, one-by-one.  Here are two of them, who play larger parts than the others:


The first is how I imagine Valentina looking- I don’t know who the picture is off, but the second I saw it I knew who Valentina was. She’s a bit more upfront of a character than some of the cast- at least, I think she’s a little more open.  You can tell who she is right off by what she does in a crisis situation, how she tries to be strong/put others first, etc.  At least I hope that’s obvious.  Even still she surprises me at times.  I hadn’t planned the bit about her brother getting shot until I was writing it and thought, “Of course she had a little brother.”

The second image is Abbie Cornish, in Sucker Punch.  That movie….oh man, it rocked my world.  I watch it whenever I can get my hands on it, and blast the soundtrack like nobody’s business.  It’s…oh man. I don’t even know. It’s epic.  One of my favorite movies ever, and the opening scene is by far the greatest opening scene in the history of film.  Anyway.  The character of Sweetpea, played by Abbie Cornish, is strong-willed and kinda kick-*ahem*-butt, but aside from appearance, that’s where the similarities end.  Sweetpea is protective and, when it comes to her sister, selfless.  She’s also not one to take risks that have little-to-no chance of paying out.  My Phoebe is very different, as I hope I’ll be able to portray.  Escape, and not the people around her, is what she cares about.  She also dresses a little differently. 😉

I’m nearly ready to introduce y’all to Oliver, who I am super excited about, and Josiah Boyne, who is also….um, exciting.  He’s a character at least.  Though I’ve already let you briefly meet Zachariah Curram, I’m holding off from giving you my thoughts on him, and any pictures for the time being because I want his character to speak for itself.  There’s a scene with him coming up that I am really excited about writing.  I’ll post a second wave of character introductions a little later. 🙂

Thanks for reading!  Comment and let me know what you think of the way I’ve imagined the characters, and let me know how your imagination differs!




Featured Writer: Reagan Dyer

Reagan has been a writing buddy of mine since- actually a while ago; I don’t remember when we “met” on Figment and started chatting. It seems like every time we talk, we discover more things that we have in common, from our love for ALL THINGS Broadway to growing up reading the Mary Poppins books. She’s one of the cool kids. Plus she’s writing a novel about SteamPunk Aeronautics. Yup.

In describing herself, she says this:
“I’m just an old school, seventeen-year-old, born-again Christian writer who loves dancing in the rain, counting shooting stars, obsessing over musical theatre, wearing converse sneakers, and laughing with my best friend.” -The Newsie

Her name is Reagan Dyer, but she also has a pseudonym, Jackie Falcon, which she uses on Figment.

Her novel-in-progress Flyboy has recently enthralled me and I’m anxious to see where it goes. Check it out HERE!

Earlier this week she “interviewed” me on her blog, sparking the (not-so-original) idea in me to do the same! So here she is; we “sat down” over facebook and here are her answers to my questions:

What inspired you to write “Flyboy”?

Well, I have always loved flying. I am in love with vintage aircraft and someday I want to own a vintage, bright red biplane named the Skylark. So, naturally, I decided it was high time to write a story about flying–a girl who loves to fly and will do so despite all cost. I had been struggling to find which genre it would fit in, and then steampunk just kind of clicked into place.

Would you describe the book a little?

Like I said, it is a steampunk novel about a girl, Jacey Drake, who gets into the Conservatory of Aeronotics with nothing but guts and a dream to fly. Flying is a man’s area of expertise, and she is always reminded of that fact. Two provinces are coming into conflict: the Uplands [the islands in the sky that the Government controls with strict regulation after the War] and the Lowlands [a vast array of low islands that are lost in the mist and clouds of the sky–a place where criminals are exiled]. And now the Lowlanders are building their own Sky Force to rival that of the Uplands’ Ether Squad. And Jacey is caught right in the middle, torn between two worlds. She also meets a mysterious boy, Kit Morgan, who, even though he might be a pilot worth his salt, has a few deep secrets.

What is your favorite thing you ever wrote / are writing?

That’s a pretty hard one to answer, I’ll have to admit. I’m working on the idea of a novel that has taken root in my mind and is totally different from anything I’ve attempted before, and that should be fun. I have also written a short story called The House of the Wind that I really love. But I think the one I’ve stuck most with is Den of Thieves, and it has sure been a ride. So that is my favorite for right now. If I ever get around to finishing Starkeeper’s Gate and actually making it as awesome as I’ve planned, then that will be my favorite thing I’ve written. But for right now, it’s Den of Thieves.

What book(s) are you reading now?

I just finished reading The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater for the second time. One of my favorite books! I’m starting Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott [a long overdue book] and True Valor by Dee Henderson, a story about a woman pilot.

Do you ever base characters on people you actually know?

Doesn’t every writer? I had great fun one time writing a story for my bestie based all on characters we knew in real life. I find myself watching people all the time, taking note of their habits and how they look, and thinking that they would fit very well in a novel.

Personal taste: mountains, beach or desert?

the author in question

Okay, originally coming from SoCal [I’m a converted Texan now] I love my beaches. However, I simply love the smell of spicy pines, woodsmoke, and fresh air just off the mountains. So, between mountains, beach, or desert, I’m choosing mountains. Because, I mean, sitting there in a warm sweater and jeans and breathing in the chilly breeze, you could write just about anything. But, I have to say, moors beat all three of those. I first got a taste of the Yorkshire moors while falling in love with The Secret Garden, and have loved them ever since. Moors are so beautiful and wild and windy…

Are you anything like Jacey (or another heroine of yours)? If so, how?

I like to think I am. I like to think I’d have the guts to do what she did. And in some ways, I am like her. I’m from a small town that nobody’s heard of and I absolutely love to fly. I also have what some of my friends like to call an Irish temper, and Jacey tends to flare up as well. I have yet to meet a Kit Morgan in real life, though [a misfortune I’m seriously lamenting]. Out of all my characters, though, I think I’m most like Jordie Cruize [Russell] from The Starkeeper’s Gate. She, just like me sometimes, is content to sit in the background and watch everybody else–but she also has a fiery spark. But other than that, I tend to make my characters different than myself. I don’t know why–I guess just for the thrill of being able to create anyone you’d like.

What’s the first story/poem you remember writing?

Oh. That. Well. The first “novel” I ever attempted, when I was around eight or nine, was inspired by C.S. Lewis. It was about four children [two boys and two girls, of course] living in England, who go to visit their grandmother during the summer. And they find a door into another world and have a bunch of adventures, because I’m just creative like that––although I didn’t get that far… I remember one of the boys’ names was Edward, so his nickname was Ed. And I have been writing stories ever since.

How many pen-names have you used (I know I’ve tried out a good half-dozen at least)?

Well, currently I write under the pen name Jackie Falcon. I also sign my blog posts and other bits of writing “-The Newsie”. I have used Stormie Skye and Stormie Jackson as well. I love pen names, so I’m not sure how many more times I’ll change mine till I find a permanent one.

Do you cry watching movies / reading books?

I am very emotional when reading books and watching movies. [Just ask my friends.] I cry whenever dogs or horses die in books, I bawled when Dumbledore died [even though I already knew what was going to happen], and I cried when Fred, Tonks, Remus, and Colin Creevey died in the last Harry Potter book. I was literally sobbing on my friend’s shoulder while I watched The Notebook, and dreamt about sinking ships and drowning people after Titanic. And don’t get me started on Braveheart. I think I have cried more watching that for the first time than I have for any other movie.

Pick a book to spend a day inside of:

Oh. That is hard. Very hard. I could say Lord of the Rings and just lose myself in Tolkien’s sheer brilliance. Or I could say Scorpio Races and have a fast Capall Uisce beneath me, sand in my eyes, wind in my hair, running the deadliest horse race of all time. Or maybe Airborn so I could pilot an airship with Matt Cruse. Living in Harry Potter would be pretty awesome. Or I could just choose Name of the Wind and follow Kvothe around asking him “How do you pull those seven words? And which do you think is worse, stealing a meat pie or killing someone?” In short, I don’t know. How about many days, and several books?

When do you write (morning, afternoon, dusk, midnight, 3am)?

Whenever it strikes my fancy. I write whenever I feel the inspiration start to strike. [Unfortunately, inspiration usually comes in the form of an idea for a new story.] But, I have to admit, I do tend to get most of my writing done at night.

And finally, have you ever had a crush on a fictional character? If so, who was it?

Oh, that is a good question. I still have a crush on Matt Cruse from Airborn. I mean, who wouldn’t? He’s a cabin boy aboard the airship Aurora. And I definitely have a crush on Sean Kendrick from Scorpio Races because he is tall, dark, handsome, and knows horses like he’s breathing [Puck is one lucky girl.] And if I had to pick one more, I would choose either Will Treaty [yes, he is awesome] from Ranger’s Apprentice or the Weasley Twins [sniff, Fred, sniff].

Check out her always excellent and entertaining blog, Old School Ink and follow her on Figment!




I’ve been interviewed! A fellow author-in-progress, Reagan, who I had the pleasure of meeting on Figment and discovering many similarities with, featured an “interview” with me about “Finding You” on her blog! Check it out- and her blog / figment page! It’s great!

Read the interview HERE.

And check her out on Figment here– her progressing steampunk novel “Flyboys” is my favorite thing of hers so far *hint, hint*.

And as always, I’d love comments / criticism (/ praise?) on either Esmeralda or Finding You!



I’m horribly lacking in self control when it comes to writing.  In the past month I’ve started so many new novels, it’s not even funny.

These include:

My SteamPunk-ish story Finding You, which some of you have read.

A post-Civil War retelling of Beauty & the Beast where the “beast” is a well-to-do black-guy in a super racist southern town and “belle” is a girl who is forced to get work taking care of his manor to save her family from destitution.

A fantastical tale of adventure about a slightly deformed young man who, fearful of people, decides to see the world and makes it his goal to go everywhere man has not (he ends up in a desert land modeled after the middle east (especially what I saw in Hidalgo and Lawrence of Arabia) where a fabled crazy land no one is allowed to cross is walled off…he decides to enter anyway, with the help of a young guide who is a girl who has to dress as a boy to get past the guards and all sorts of randomity).



A SteamPunk retelling of “Snow White” that involves gypsies and the circus and a knife-thrower who’s called the “prince” of his art.  (See what I did there?  He’s the “prince” in the story but not really a- oh, you got it? Okay.)

A tragedy about a girl with a bucket list that includes falling in love, and a young man whose “business” is selling dreams and making them come true.  The fellow, Cal, is based on Bobby Hicks down to the tattoos, gages and beanie.  So you know he’s fantastic. 😉  And there’s an extremely important scene at a carousel- hence the image.

A second draft of my original “baby”, “Betrayal”/”Treachery”.

And a romantic fantasy about a girl who can draw “memories” out of objects, like music out of the walls of a ballroom, etc.

My imagination (even though half of those aren’t even great) has been going madder than usual.  If that’s possible.  So I beg your forgiveness if my posting has been decreased or distracted or overwhelming in some ways and less than satisfactory in others.  I’ll shape up, I promise.

Also, as you can see, I even went about making “fake” covers for some of them. I just love making covers. It’s sad, a little.



I know I’ve done this “announcement” thing in the wrong order, but I’m here to tell y’all about my latest might-be-masterpiece-after-a-dozen-drafts, “Finding You”.  I had this idea for the first scene (though instead of a rooftop it originally took place in a field) and started writing, with no thought to the fact that I had no storyline whatsoever.  I didn’t even have names for the characters.  But I saw something in my head and had to write it down.  “The Flash” (as Emily Starr would have me call it) of inspiration comes to me like this A LOT, but 9 1/2 times out of 10 it results in crumpled papers that sit for years in my file box and never see the light of day after the first moment I’ve written them.

This time, however…it worked.

I decided I wanted my world to be a SteamPunk one (I’ve never read or written any SteamPunk before; my experience comes completely  from video games and internet image searches, so bear with me) and I wanted it to be about separation, and then searching.  I didn’t know that a mixed up plot about war and trafficking and white-hot brands and outlaws and a brothel and other crazy random happenstance would evolve, though.

But…it has!

I’ve written about twenty pages (the chapters are less than a page each) and I’m anxious to post more, after I make sure that what I’ve got lines up with my vision for the story.

For once I’m super excited about my supporting cast: that’s not to get your hopes up, because they could be absolute rubbish, despite my best efforts, but I’m looking forward to their stories as much as I am to my protagonists’.

If you’ve read any of “Finding You” on Figment, you’ve met Tam and Isla, my hero and heroine.  They’re opposites: he’s bold and thrill-seeking, she’s quiet and meek, friends all their lives, and basically, they love each other.  This love is newly realized when circumstances cause Tam to join the army, and misfortune finds Isla kidnapped and on her way to be trafficked with a score of other girls to be sold to underground brothels and clients.  It’s not fun.

But amidst her horrific circumstances, Isla (unable to get word to / from Tam, obviously) learns who she is, and becomes one of a cast of other “unfortunates” that I cannot wait to write about.  Including, but by no means limited to two of my guys:

Des – modeled in looks after Dominic Cooper, in personality kinda (wait for it…) after Peter Pan.  Let me just say that I’ve had a “back-of-my-mind” crush on Peter Pan since I read the book as an 11-year old and thought he was the greatest thing to hit planet earth…sort of.

Oliver – a slave since he was a kid, when he got his tongue cut out (he can’t talk now…in case you didn’t derive that) but happens to be quick with anything that involves his hands: machinery, sleight of hand, lock picking, etc and is rather adorable and is kinda like a kid even though he’s like 17.

And then I’ve got some fairly sinister villains planned, with names like Zachariah Curram and Ambrose Hoctor.  So I’m feeling happy about this story.

Oh, and these are Tam and Isla:

(Alex Pettyfer)


(same as cover…random image)