Friday, December 30, 2011

Follow Friday

Q: The New Year is here — and everyone wants to know your New Years Blogging Resolution! What are you going to try to revise, revamp and redo for 2012 on your blog?

A: I am going to be doing a lot more author interviews, author requested reviews and ARCs this year. I just started doing the latter two of these towards late this year and love it! I want to do more giveaways too! I might revise the formatting of my reviews, but as of now I am not so sure how.

Happy New Years Everyone!

Now I have a question for YOU! I am fast approaching 300 followers *Squee* and I want to know if you guys would like a giveaway with one "actual" book, or if you would like there to be 10 winners, but they would be winners of ebooks?!?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Author Interview: Michelle Muto

Today I would like to welcome Michelle Muto to my blog! I recently read her books Don't Fear the Reaper, and The Book of Lost Souls, and am interviewing her on both of these great reads!

Q. What was your inspiration for:

A. Don't Fear The Reaper
An agent loved The Book of Lost Souls, but wanted something darker, more dystopian. I couldn’t think of anything darker than a young girl taking her own life, so I channeled all the loss I’ve experienced in my life and came up with Don't Fear the Reaper.

B. The Book Of Lost Souls
Harry Potter. I loved the fun, the humor, and the lighter feel of the earlier books. Lighter YA books seemed harder to come by, so I decided to write a story about a small town teen witch.

Q. Who is your favorite author? Why?
I don’t really have just one. But, the three I can say probably influenced me the most are: Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, and Shirley Jackson. Each have had a solid influence in the type of books I love to read and write. Stephen King is a master at fright factor and description. Rowling definitely knows how to build characters and worlds like no other. Shirley Jackson knows how to turn a phrase, she’s descriptive in subtle ways, and she knows how to up the fear factor subtly, too.

Q. What is the best part about being an author?
The entire creative process. I love coming up with new worlds, new characters.

Q. What is the hardest part about being an author?
Getting the word out. I’m not the best at sales. I spend as much time working on promotion as I do writing. I need to refine that.

Q. What influenced your decisions as to how your books were published?
A top agency had The Book of Lost Souls for a long time. They sent me a revision letter and I went right to work. It was the third time I’d been asked to do revisions for The Book of Lost Souls by three different agencies all wanting entirely different changes. I spent a couple of months on a rewrite, then waited four months for an answer - that a more established client had decided to write a similar book, they couldn’t offer representation due to a conflict of interest. I’d spent so much time doing revisions for both Reaper and Souls for multiple agents that I could have written another book. About this time, I started to read more and more about indie publishing and decided to take that route.

Q. Could you talk a little about how many books we can expect in your series and upcoming publication dates?

A. Don't Fear the Reaper
There are two more in the series, possibly three. But right now, I’m leaning towards two. The second book should be released late next year.

B. The Book of Lost Souls
I’m working on the sequel now, and hope to have it released in mid-late spring. There are probably three more books in the Ivy MacTavish novels.

Q. What advice would you give to budding authors?
Read and write and much as you can. Find yourself good beta readers and crit partners. And most importantly, always strive to improve your craft.

Buy the Books:

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble

Contact Michelle Muto:

FB Author Page

Monday, December 26, 2011

Review: The Book of Lost Souls

Title: The Book of Lost Souls (An Ivy MacTavish novel, book 1)
Author: Michelle Muto
Rating: 4 TURTLES: A great read, I definitely recommend.
Author’s Blog
*Book provided by author in exchange for an honest review


When teen witch Ivy MacTavish changes a lizard into her date for a Halloween dance, everything turns to chaos. And when no one is powerful enough to transform him back except Ivy, it sparks the rumor: Like father, like daughter. Ivy has heard it all before - that her father, who left when she was seven - was involved with the darkest of magic.

Making the rumors worse, someone uses an evil spell book to bring back two of history's most nefarious killers. Ivy's got a simple plan to set things right: find the real dark spell caster, steal the book, and reverse the spell. No problem! But she'll have to deal with something more dangerous than murderous spirits that want her and her friends dead: the school's resident bad boy and hotter-than-brimstone demon, Nick Marcelli. Nick's offering Ivy more than his help with recovering the missing book - he's offering her a way to ditch her scaly reputation as a lizard-lover. Demons are about as hard to handle as black magic, and as Ivy soon discovers, it's going to take more than a lot of luck and a little charm if she wants to survive long enough to clear her status as a dark witch, get a warm-blooded boyfriend, and have her former date back to eating meal worms before the week's end.


The Book of Lost Souls is a humorous exciting Urban Fantasy novel about a young witch who has to reverse a powerful curse that brought two infamous killers back from the grave. There wasn’t a dull moment in the book, and I loved the diverse cast of characters that I met throughout the novel. (Spike the lizard-turned-human and Ivy’s dog, Devlin, in particular).

This book really shows the range of Michelle Muto’s writing. The first book I read of hers, Don’t Fear the Reaper, was a heart-wrenching story about a girl’s journey through the afterlife. Going from that to this cute, funny novel was a complete contrast, and I was very impressed that both of these books were so well written, even though they were so different.
I really liked how this book put new spins onto myths, and that there wasn’t just witches, but in this world there was a whole community of “Kindred” with everything from demons to werewolves. The only thing that took away from this story at all was that at certain points the plot was a bit predictable, but overall I didn’t find it all that distracting.

The Book of Lost Souls is an extremely fun and humorous read. I would recommend it to lovers of fantasy and young adult fiction. This was a great read and I will definitely be continuing on with the series. I can’t wait to see what Michelle Muto will come up with next!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Follow Friday

Q: If you had to spend eternity inside the pages of a book which book would you choose and why?
A. Gosh, that's a really hard one! I guess if we're saying eternity here, I would have to go with the Lord of the Rings. Middle Earth would be such an amazing place to be, though I'd try to keep my run-ins with orcs to a minimum. My second choice would to be in the world of Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments. I would totally want to be friends with the Shadowhunting gang, Magnus especially!

What book world would you want to spend an eternity in?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

ARC Review: Mortal Defiance

Title: Mortal Defiance (Dark Betrayal Book #2)
Author: Nichole Chase
Publisher: Self-published
Author Blog
My Rating: 5 TURTLES: AMAZING read! I loved this book, and it's going on my favorites shelf forever! You must get a copy of this book!!!
*ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review


One short week turned Ree McKenna’s life upside down. Not only does she have the weight of the world on her shoulders, but she still has to juggle homework, a job, and a curfew. While Ree tries to find her footing amidst the chaos, the Dark Ones and their champion are busy hunting down any humans that have a touch of the gods running through their veins. Allies have turned into foes, and enemies have become stronger.

The world is growing darker, but the passion between Ree and two irresistible guys blazes hotter. Romantic ties from a past life will threaten to break Ree away from the love of her life and will cloud her judgment. In order to follow her heart, Ree will break rules put in place by the gods, risking her life and the lives of her friends in an act of Mortal Defiance.


Mortal Defiance picks up right where Mortal Obligation left off, with Ree and the gang continuing their course towards the Final Battle, which will decide Earth’s fate. All those months of waiting definitely paid off, Mortal Defiance is super fast-paced, with the whole book taking place in the span of about one week, there is always something happening!

I will say though, if you haven’t read Mortal Obligation, you really should. First of all because it is amazing, and second of all because there is so much going on in Nichole Chase’s world that you would be completely lost without reading the books in sequence.

I am always intrigued by anything to do involving ancient myths, and Nichole Chase includes a plethora of gods from multiple cultures. The way she has woven them into the story is truly original and well written. The characters are also something that I really love about this series, they are all strong and have a distinct personality of their own. There isn’t a Mary Sue in sight. Also, while I’m on the characters, for those of you who enjoyed the tension between Roland and Paden in book one, there is a whole lot more in Mortal Defiance, so never fear.

Mortal Defiance is an extremely exciting and quick read, and will appeal to readers on Young Adult, especially YA Urban Fantasy. If you like Mortal Obligation, you will definitely enjoy the sequel. It is an excellent edition to a great trilogy, and I am anxiously awaiting the conclusion.

You can check out my review of Mortal Obligation HERE.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Follow Friday

Question of the Week: When you've read a book, what do you do with it? (Keep it, give it away, donate it, sell it, swap it..?)

Answer: I almost always keep it, though I do sometimes give it away if I know I won't read it again.

Howling Turtle got a Facebook page this week and I'd love it if you guys checked it out!

Facebook Page


I am going to be setting up Goodreads and Facebook Buttons shortly!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Get Hollowland for FREE

This is too good not to share.

Hollowland is currently being offered for free for Amazon! The link is HERE.


Hollowland - the first book in the young adult dystopian series The Hollows..

"This is the way the world ends - not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door."

Nineteen-year-old Remy King is on a mission to get across the wasteland left of America, and nothing will stand in her way - not violent marauders, a spoiled rock star, or an army of flesh-eating zombies.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Follow Friday

Question: Keeping with the Spirit of Giving this season, what book do you think EVERYONE should read and if you could, you would buy it for all of your family and friends?

Answer: There are a lot of books that I thought were amazing this year and that everyone I know should read, but for brevity's sake I'll do an awesome fun read, and an intense powerful read:

I loved this book, it was super fun and I am currently waiting for the next installment!

This book was so powerful and moving! It is a stand alone historical fiction novel which I absolutely loved! (And historical fiction is not my favorite genre). Definitely hard and a tear-jerker.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Review: Don't Fear the Reaper

Title: Don’t Fear the Reaper: Book 1 of the Netherworld Series
Author: Michelle Muto
Rating: 4.5 TURTLES: A really great read, I highly recommend!
Author’s Blog
*Book provided by author in exchange for an honest review


Grief-stricken by the murder of her twin, Keely Morrison is convinced suicide is her ticket to eternal peace and a chance to reunite with her sister. When Keely succeeds in taking her own life, she discovers death isn’t at all what she expected. Instead, she’s trapped in a netherworld on Earth and her only hope for reconnecting with her sister and navigating the afterlife is a bounty-hunting reaper and a sardonic, possibly unscrupulous, demon. But when the demon offers Keely her greatest temptation—revenge on her sister's murderer—she must uncover his motives and determine whom she can trust. Because, as Keely soon learns, both reaper and demon are keeping secrets and she fears the worst is true—that her every decision will change how, and with whom, she spends eternity.


From the moment I picked up this book I was instantly drawn into the story. Don’t Fear the Reaper opens with the protagonist, Keely, taking her own life, and reflecting on the things that lead to that moment. The pain she felt throughout the book felt very real to me even though in most of the book she is “living” through very different situations than one generally faces.

Michelle Muto’s writing is absolutely beautiful, and all the characters have depth and are well developed. I really don’t have anything negative to say about this book. It brought me close to tears on more than one occasion, and I can count with the fingers on one hand the books that have made me cry. I could also relate to this book on a more personal level because I am a twin myself, and felt I understood Keely’s connection with her sister very well.

One thing that set this book apart for me and made me love it was that it was in no way a cookie-cutter YA novel. It was original and raw, and the author did not put anything in that took your attention away from the plot to add interest when it didn’t need it. Once you read YA for a while, you really start to appreciate it when an author relies purely on their own originality and ideas and doesn’t go to any “plot formulas” to lead their story on.

In short, this is a beautifully written, emotion-evoking book, and I highly recommend it.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Follow Friday

Question: What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to books? Maybe you don't like love triangles or thin plots? Tell us about it!

Hm. Well, one of my big pet peeves about the books themselves are the typos, if I am reading a book that has a lot of typos or grammatical errors it really distracts me form the story. Whiny characters also REALLY bug me, especially if they are the main character. I am sorry that the love of your life turned out to be a demon, but could you stop digging in your heels and moping and go forth on your magical quest to save the universe now please? (That was me talking to a whiny character)

What are your literary pet peeves?

Author Interview: Treyci Kay

Today I have the honor of welcoming author Treyci Kay to my blog for an interview. Mr. Kay is the author of Marcus 98012 and the Great Awakening, book one of the Aretian Chronicles.
Q. What was your inspiration for Marcus 98012 and the Great Awakening?
As strange as it sounds the main inspiration I had was a series of very vivid dreams. I pieced them together and they became the bulk of the scenes that include the character on the cover, Celeste.

Q. Who is your favorite author? Why?
I have so many! Non fiction: Malcolm Gladwell. Fiction: Stephen King (I study “On Writing,” daily)

Q. How many books can we expect to be in this series?
So far I have 3 possible books outlined and a prequel.

Q. What is your favorite part about being a writer?
Bringing the reader into a world you can see in your mind and sharing that.

Q. What is the hardest part about being a writer?
Writing alone. Hour after hour.

Q. What other projects are you working on?
A dramatic fiction piece with several story lines along the lines of the Paul Haggis film, Crash. Although I may just make it a screenplay.

Q. Do you spend a lot of time plotting, or do you just sit down and write?
The only time I “just write” is when I’m doing poetic verse. I plot thoroughly and plan the character motives. Once I have that, I allow for a lot of straying because sometimes the characters demand it. But at the end of the day the main planned plot points (climax, introductory scenes), stay the same.

Q. what advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Get “On Writing” and “Elements of style” by E.B. White and Strunk. Also practice first person and third person, understanding the benefits to both. Certain books with internal confusion actually work better in first (i.e. Hunger Games and Twilight). Others definitely require an omnipresent viewpoint. (Harry Potter).

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Review: Marcus 98012 and the Great Awakening

Title: Marcus 98012 and the Great Awakening
Author: Treyci Kay
Author Website: Treyci Kay
My Rating: 4 TURTLES: A great read, I definitely recommend.
*Book provided by author in exchange for an honest review.


In the distant future, society makes a commitment to a more peaceful existence. Conformity is the rule, and any sign of obvious uniqueness is eliminated. A teenager named Marcus 98012, begins to have recurrent dreams about the covered up history of the human race. His dreams bring him clear memories of fanciful creatures and things he has been told exist only in fairy tales. Still, the thoughts of imaginary concepts such as animals, technology and family seem as real as the school he has lived in his whole life.

Marcus’s younger and loyal friend Andrew 98087, lives in the school with him. Although he pokes fun at Marcus for his strange dreams, he can’t help but think there is more to the institution than they’ve been told. There are unexplainable things all around them: the mysterious elders, the disappearances of students and the oddly different Leila 98001.

The peaceful world that Marcus lives in quickly reveals itself to be far from perfection. With new dangers and surprises waiting for him around every corner, he soon discovers that nothing is what it seems. During Marcus’s search for the truth, he becomes a threat to the elders that run this orderly world and he must decide between trying to destroy the system or escaping it with his life.

I always love reading a great Science Fiction book. Treyci Kay does a great job drawing in the reader, the more I read the more I wanted to uncover the mystery of the school and civilization Marcus and his friends live in!

One thing about this book that I loved was that it was a blend of Science Fiction and Fantasy. This was done in a very creative way, and after finishing this book there are still many questions left unanswered. The characters were all very likeable, I was especially drawn towards the mysterious Celeste and her kin. The setting as well was very fun to read about, I wished I could have gone to the places with the characters to see some of the sights they did!

The quick paced plot made for a very exciting read, and the twists the story took were very unexpected and enthralling. It was a very well written book and I am surprised that it is not more well known.

I would recommend this book especially to fans of The Martian Chronicles, and The Hunger Games. Overall, Marcus 98012 and the Great Awakening is an extremely fresh and original novel and I will be anxiously waiting for the next installment!

Buy This Book:


Sunday, November 27, 2011

An inspirational quote to start your week!

What this turtle's thinking: Why howl at the moon if I can fly there?

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Follow Friday

Question: It's Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. so we want to know what you are Thankful for - blogging related of course! Who has helped you out along the way? What books are you thankful for reading?

A. I am thankful for the whole book blogosphere in general! Especially all the bloggers who have helped me learn all the different events and tricks that go on in the book blogging world. I'm also thankful for the wonderful authors who I have been in contact with, because of them I have found out about so many new and awesome books!

I have a giveaway going on that closes tomorrow at midnight the link for it is HERE.

Friday, November 18, 2011

GIVEAWAY!: Ties to the Blood Moon

I am excited to announce that I am hosting a giveaway of Ties to the Blood Moon!

HOW TO ENTER: Leave a comment with your email and name/alias and a winner will be selected in 1 week (November 25th) and contacted. For extra points, either follow this blog or Robin Waldrop's Blog, if you already are a follower-that counts! In the comment also tell me which blog(s) you follow and you will get 1 extra point per follow.


Genevieve is a teenage girl who moves in with her aunt in Alaska after the death of her mother. Soon after her arrival she learns the things she was raised to believe only existed in fairytales are in fact a big part of her history. When it gets to be too much she seeks refuge in the arms of her new boyfriend, William, only to find out he's not who she thought he was either.

This is a Young Adult paranormal urban fantasy romance with mild language and mild sexual situations recommended for readers in grade 9 and up

This Giveaway is now closed

Author Interview: Robin Waldrop

I am very excited to introduce Robin Waldrop, author of Ties to the Blood Moon, who graciously agreed to do an interview with me!

Author Bio:

Robin hails from Miami, but lives in Alabama with best friend, business partner, and husband John. She is a mother of five, grandmother of six and 7/8, and owner of a variety of different animals.
When she’s not working at her business with her husband she’s found chained to her computer where she likes to play with all her imaginary friends.
She is an award winning author who enjoys writing edgy YA/Urban Fantasy, and FBI suspense/thriller novels and has won two editors choice awards . Always a voracious reader with an unapologetic television addiction, Robin still searches for the perfect cup of coffee.

Q. What was your inspiration for Ties To The Blood Moon?
A. It started out as one of those dreams that stick with you for days after you have it and it just kind of grew from there.

Q. Who is your favorite author? Why?
A. Stephen King. I love his twisted imagination and his writing style. He dares to write whatever he wants, not caring if the reader likes it or not, and I think it’s partially because of that he has been such a huge success.

Q. Are you a Plotter or a Pantster?
A. I am definitely a panster. I tried to plot, but ended up with a big blank page. If I just sit down and start writing the words automatically start to flow.

Q. Which character in this book did you enjoy writing the most?
A. That’s a hard one to answer because I love them all, but if I had to pick just one, of course it would be Genevieve. She’s funny, emotional, and tough all rolled into one.

Q. How many books can we expect to be in this series?
A. At least three, but you never know. Like I said, I LOVE these characters so much, it’s really going to be hard to say good-bye.

Q. What is your favorite part about being a writer?
A. Having the opportunity to create different characters and then sitting back and watching as they take form, growing into these wonderful people that I fall in love with.

Q. What is the hardest part about being a writer?
A. Knowing that eventually I’ll have to say good-bye to some of my more favorite characters. Like Genevieve and William, I’ve grown so close to them and yet I know that after just a few more books it will be time to let them go. Sort of like letting your teens go after high school. Honestly, that’s how I already feel about them.

Q. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
A. The same advice that an author friend once gave to me. IF YOU BELIEVE IN WHAT YOU’RE DOING, NEVER STOP. Regardless of how many doors get slammed in your face, you can never stop doing what you love. Whether it be writing, singing, dancing, or whatever. As long as you keep trying, one day you will succeed.

Author blog site
Facebook fan page
Send Robin a tweet


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Review: Ties to the Blood Moon

Title: Ties to the Blood Moon
Author: Robin Waldrop
My Rating: 3.5 TURTLES: A very enjoyable read, I recommend you check it out.
Author’s Blog

*Provided by author in exchange for an honest review


Genevieve is a teenage girl who moves in with her aunt in Alaska after the death of her mother. Soon after her arrival she learns the things she was raised to believe only existed in fairytales are in fact a big part of her history. When it gets to be too much she seeks refuge in the arms of her new boyfriend, William, only to find out he's not who she thought he was either.

This is a Young Adult paranormal urban fantasy romance with mild language and mild sexual situations recommended for readers in grade 9 and up


I really liked reading Ties to the Blood Moon. I greatly enjoyed Robin Waldrop’s spin on the werewolf/vampire myths, all the creatures had a detailed history, and I love backstory in books. The settings are beautiful and very well written, I love Alaska and New Mexico, but I haven’t read many books in those locations, so that was a treat. I loved the interactions with Luna and her brothers, and the multiple minor characters that all have distinct personalities. Also, this book had one of those Oh-My-God-that’s-so-awesome! Moments for me. In the book there is mention of a small Alaskan town called Tok, which I have actually been to and remember very well for their amazing BBQ ribs, so that was cool!

What I didn’t enjoy so much from this book was that there was so much information going on at once that it was a bit confusing to keep track of it at times. Also, the main character, Genevieve, though coping with many traumas, it felt as if she cried every other chapter which got a little annoying after a while.

That being said it was a fun exciting read, with a killer plot twist at the end that I totally didn’t see coming. I will definitely be continuing on with the series to find out what happens next. I would recommend this book especially to lovers of urban fantasy and of the werewolf/vampire myths.

Follow Friday

Question: Letter to Santa: Tell Santa what books you want for Christmas!

Answer: Wow. what an impossible question. Here's my Goodreads montage of my To-Read shelf to give you an idea

Larissa's to-read book montage


If I Tell

Illicit Magic


The Princess Bride

The Iron Witch

So Shelly

Children of the Lost Moon

The Diary of a Young Girl


The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Fins Are Forever

Academy 7




Pink Snowbunnies in Hell: A Flash-Fiction Anthology


Shut Out


Larissa's favorite books »


Any of these would be nice!

Posts of Note this Week:

Book Review/Interview with Larissa Hinton
Guest Post by Richard Due

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Giveaway Notice

There is a giveaway of Inheritance going on at Read Breathe Relax right now!

Here is the link:

Guest Post: Richard Due

Gibbering Gnome Press Presents a Tale of Epic Fantasy

For Lily and Jasper Winter, the Moon Realm began with a single secret bedtime tale. As the children grew older, Uncle Ebb enthralled them with thrilling tales of the Dragondain riding horse-sized, catlike Rinn; mysterious tales of peerin-wielding lunamancers manipulating the magic that lies just beneath the surface of reality; exciting tales of flying dragons, swimming merfolk, stomping giants, and troublesome faeries. But as the magic of their childhood faded, so too did the tales. Eventually, they were just . . . good stories.

Or were they?

Now, nine years after it all began, Uncle Ebb is missing.

Lily and Jasper search for clues, but their uncle's mansion is full of distractions. A Tesla generator thrums in the basement. Prismatic electrimals flit around walls resembling underwater reefs. Then a most unexpected friend comes to their aid, leading them to a hidden room where they find a mysterious coin—the moon coin. Before the night is out, Lily is transported to the real Moon Realm. But the moons are in trouble. The Rinn of Barreth are under siege, and the lunamancers of Dain are beset by the very dragons they once loved. Most horrifying of all, the moon Darwyth has fallen to a villain named Wrengfoul, whose creeping evil now threatens to overshadow all the Realm.

Are Lily and Jasper too late to save the Moon Realm, or will they have enough time to write an ending of their own?

Featuring twenty-two stunning full-color illustrations by Carolyn Arcabascio. Volume One of the young adult fantasy adventure series The Moon Realm.

From Sketch to Chapter Art, an Illustrator at Work

For me, getting to work with Carolyn Arcabascio was a dream come true. On The Moon Coin, we worked from a master list of scene options, with Carolyn picking out scenes she liked and making sketches. For the prologue, Carolyn drafted three options. All three were great, but two in particular were spectacular. I first went with option 3 (one of my scene suggestions). I think we spent more time on this sketch and subsequent color drawing than on any other piece. But it never seemed right. At the eleventh hour, I asked Carolyn how hard she’d hit me if I suggested scrapping the thing and instead going with the pinky promise scene you see below (one of her scene suggestions). Carolyn responded: "There would be no hitting involved!" and told me it wouldn't be a problem. You sure can't ask for better than that.

From the Prologue: Bedtime Tales.

Richard: Did you make all these sketches in the same location, Carolyn?

Carolyn: Yes, I do all of my work at a drafting table that's situated in a little nook of my apartment in Acton, Massachusetts. There's a bookshelf to my right and a wall of "inspiration" to my left, where I hang prints of other artists' and illustrators' work. On either side of my drafting table are drawers of supplies, and stacks of sketchbooks and old paintings. The drafting table faces a window overlooking a quiet street and the woods beyond it.

From Chapter Two: A Coin of the Realm.

Richard: Do you use models when you're sketching?

Carolyn: I use a combination of models and photo references. If I need to work out the nuances of a character's posture and really understand the perspective of it, I'll ask whatever friend or family member is handy to pose for a sketch. Often, I'll get into the position myself or mimic the facial expression I want to portray in order to get the feel of it. And sometimes, if there's a character being portrayed multiple times across scenes, I'll make a rough model of their head out of clay so I'll have it to refer to.

From Chapter Four: To Barreth.

Richard: When drawing fantastical creatures, do you use bits and pieces of real animals for inspiration, or have you actually seen a wirtle and you're just not telling us? ;)

Carolyn: No wirtles native to Massachusetts, fortunately! When figuring out the look of fantastical creatures, I use photo references of different animals to understand the way the anatomy might work, and then combine features as I see fit and as the story calls for. To understand the wirtle's legs and paws, for example, I referred to a series of photographs of show dogs leaping over hurdles. The severely arched, scruffy back was influenced by photos of hyenas on the prowl. The bone-structure of the face ended up being something of a cross between a cow and a warthog, and I wanted the snout to be bare—kind of gross and raw-looking. Add it all up and, voila! We have a wirtle.

The Moon Coin, by Richard Due, is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the iBookstore for $2.99.

Click the pictures to enlarge them!

Thank you so much to Richard Due for putting together this guest post! You guys should keep your eyes open for a review of his book and an interview with Richard Due soon!