Announcing the release of Of Fur and Ice, a Werestory by Andrea Brokaw!
At North Sky Academy, growing claws upon occasion isn’t considered odd. Lucky for Michaela since that’s what got her kicked out of her old school and shipped off to Alaska in the first place. Now she’s surrounded by a family of werefoxes, snobby girls for whom “that time of the month” has a whole new meaning, and gorgeous boys who happen to turn into leopards, wolves, and polar bears.
It’s going to take Mike a while to find her paws. Due to her unfamiliar scent, no one has any idea what she’s going to turn into come the next full moon. Mike better figure it out fast though, or her new life is going to be a short one.
In other news, you may recall a while back when I posted about how raising funds really isn’t much fun. Well, I actually found something that doesn’t make me miserable! Will it actually help pay for anything? I have no idea. But I know that I’ve enjoyed making the pieces of book-related jewelry I’m going to try to sell.
Book related jewelry? Yep. If you read the above pitch, you know my latest book features were-critters, which means it lends itself easily to jewelry inspiration. I’ve made an assortment of pieces focusing on foxes, wolves, leopards/cats, and polar bears. Furthermore, even if none of them sell, I had fun doing it!
My style of necklace creation is remarkably similar to how I write, although it takes a lot less time to make a necklace than a book. I start with a focal. Most frequently, that’s going to be a single pendant, but in the example I’m using it’s actually three charms dangling side-by-side. (I call this one Cat+Snow=Snow Leopard.)
Then I figure out what sort of beaded necklace this is: string, memory wire, or beaded link. In this case, I chose beaded link with the thought that it would be a long, flapperish sort of thing.
Now that I have the main concept of my piece, I look at what sort of beads I need to support my central element. Usually, I want a variety of textures, colors, and sizes. In this case, I went with shiny white glass, crackled glass, translucent glass, and frosted glass. All of this glass is meant to suggest snow and ice, which are the main themes of the work. Then, to tie in with the silver tones of the charms, I tossed in a few metallic beads.
Once I know which materials I’m using, I start beading with a general idea of what I’m doing. The details, I don’t decide until I’m actually ready to complete them. So while I knew this piece would be constructed of beaded links, knew which beads I’d be using, and had an idea of how long I wanted it, I did not know exactly how it would pan out until I had finished it.
My writing is similar. I start with a main character. In the case of Of Fur and Ice, this was Michaela, a teenager from Washington state who is turned into some sort of were-creature. Then I select a genre and a target length: romance and full novel.
Next, I’ll pick the elements that are going into my story. For Of Fur and Ice, that included Mike’s new friends, her romantic interest, and North Sky Academy. Then I tossed in some details about her family to compliment her profile.
I generally don’t write without knowing where things are going, so now I create a loose outline. “Mike moves to Alaska.” “Full moon hits; Mike changes.” That sort of thing.
Then I will start to tell the story. It’s only once I do this that I start to really see the details, get a sense of voice, and truly understand what it is I’m trying to say.
Of course, with a novel this is only the first stage. Unlike with a necklace, my work will not be over when I reach the end of the piece. There will be months (or, in this case, years) of revising, rewriting, and editing. Then, since I’m indie, I get to work on the details of font selection, formatting, and cover design. But, eventually, I will have a book. And it will be both what I expected and not at all what I expected.