The A-Zs of Worldbuilding – An Interview with Rebekah!

Rebekah LoperToday at the Ferret blog, we have the distinct pleasure of interviewing one of our own! Rebekah has just published her first book: The A-Zs of Worldbuilding, based on a blog series that she did back in 2014.

You can already get the ebook (currently on sale for 99 cents!), but the fancy paperback copy will be coming out on September 30!

What is The A-Zs of Worldbuilding, you ask? From Rebekah herself:

Worldbuilding is the ultimate act of creation for speculative fiction writers, but how exactly do you worldbuild? You ask ‘what if’ and use each answer as a springboard to more questions and answers about your fictional world.

In The A-Zs of Worldbuilding, that ‘what if’ process is broken down into 26 themed chapters, covering topics ranging from architecture to zoology. Each chapter includes a corresponding set of guided exercises to help you find the ‘what if’ questions relevant to your story’s world.

Fair warning, though: worldbuilding is addictive. Once you get started, you might never put your pen down again.

So, for such an amazing and wonderfully auspicious occasion, Ferrets Michelle, Serena, and Eris sat down to put together a few questions to pester ask Rebekah, and she very graciously allowed us to do so.

Without further ado, here’s the interview!

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Michelle’s Tale – The Sacred One – Flashfiction Challenge

Flash Fiction Title: The Sacred One
Word Count: 600
Cover Challenge: The Song of the Saurials

Song of the Saurials
(Note: we have not read this book, we were just really snagged by the cover’s craziness.)

 

The Council of Five stood before the three who had been chosen. They had sought dozens for this most hallowed duty, and after months of deliberation, these three were all that remained.

Malachi, the leader, addressed the young huntress first. “Tell me, Leda, daughter of Amelia, why should you be chosen to host the Sacred One?”

Leda lifted her head defiantly. “I am the most skilled hunter of my generation. My knowledge of fields and forests exceeds that of everyone in my family. I have tamed dozens of beasts and slain hundreds. I can protect the Sacred One.”

Malachi nodded and turned his attention to the elder mage. “Tell me, Harcourt, son of Ema, why should you be chosen to host the Sacred One?”

“For decades, I have studied both music and the arcane,” said Harcourt. “Only the High Mage of Dunforth himself knows more than I. My intellect and magical knowledge will be vital for the Sacred One to have.”

Malachi acknowledged the answer before he turned to the final candidate, the Saurial priest. “And you, Vikla, offspring of Ekmar, why should you be chosen?”

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Required Reading – The Rants: Dracula by Bram Stoker

Required Reading- The Rants - Dracula

Y’all, I was into vampires in high school and college. Well, into a lot of fantasy and paranormal stuff, really, but I really enjoyed vampires in particular. I ended up taking a class called Vampires and Voodoo when I was a freshman in college, which no one believes, but it actually ended up being a lot of fun.

Despite all that, I hadn’t ever read the granddaddy of vampire literature: Dracula by Bram Stoker. I’d seen the 1992 movie, which I rather like, but I’d never made the time to read the book.

Now that I have, I can honestly say I almost wish I hadn’t.

A Classic I Loathe:
Dracula by Bram Stoker

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Required Reading, Part Two: The Rants

required reading, rants, classic books we didn't enjoy, rabid rainbow ferret society

We’ve talked about the classic novels that we loved, the ones that made the “required reading” portion of our school careers not quite so bad (or the ones that we sought out before they had to be required).

Now it’s time for part two: the rants. These are the books we hated, the ones that it was torture to try and finish reading, the ones that made us all feel Dorothy Parker’s famous quote on a deep and spiritual level: “This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.”

We’ll also touch on the so-called classics that we haven’t read, but based on evidence and feedback from friends, we never, ever want to.

We’ll be flinging around some seriously uncontrolled rage for the next few weeks. And feel free to share with us some of the classics that you absolutely hated being forced into reading.

The Ferret Libraries – Michelle’s Collection

This particular Ferret series came at a fairly opportune time for me. I live with two other avid readers, and to say that we like to collect books is like saying the ocean’s a little wet on a good day.

This is what they used to look like:

The first one is our shared bookshelf in the living room, which was packed full of…well, just about everything. Most of the shelves were two stacks deep of books or DVDs, and really, the two in my room weren’t much better, as you can see. I had a method to the madness at one point, but between my grandmother giving me 13 bags (!!) of books, a visit to RT in 2015, and numerous book gifts, this was what I ended up with.

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required reading the raves, required reading, fictional ferrets, rabid rainbow ferret society, classic books, book recommendation, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, Michelle Pierce

Required Reading – The Raves: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I read Pride and Prejudice for the first time because of the 2005 movie. It was one of the classics I’d missed during high school, and I’d never bothered to pick it up because I figured it would be similar to Wuthering Heights (which, by all accounts, sounded like something that would drive me crazy to try and read) or Rebecca (which was good, but depressing).

However, I watched the movie because it had been nominated for an Oscar and I was trying to watch all the Oscar-nominated movies before the awards were given out. And I was stunned by how much I loved it. The next time I was at the used bookstore, I found a copy of Pride and Prejudice, and I immediately picked it up.

And I’m glad I did, because it made Jane Austen one of my favorite writers.

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Required Reading, Part One: The Raves

Required reading.

These two words struck fear in the hearts of students everywhere, even those who actually enjoyed reading. The surest way to make someone hate a book, of course, was to force them to read it. I imagine there are people who would hold a grudge against the Discworld series if it had been shoved down their throats like Shakespeare.

But not all the classics were bad. Some of us sought them out on our own out of curiosity, while others were surprised when the required reading was actually interesting and enjoyable. And for some of us, those literary classics became personal favorites as well.

In this series, we Ferrets will be talking about the classic books that we sought out, that surprised us, that made us fall in love with them. And we’ll also be talking about the ones we haven’t yet read, but really, really want to.

So come and join us for the next few weeks while we happily rave about some classic books that we absolutely adore, and share with us some of your own!

The Writer’s Pursuit of Health – Writing and Working Out

The Writer's Pursuit of Health, Writing and Working Out, Michelle Pierce, Rabid Rainbow Ferret Society, health, writing, exercise

About four years ago, I came to the conclusion that I really, really needed to start exercising. I’m a web developer, so I sit in front of a computer all day. And then I like to write, so I sit in front of my computer all night. I knew it wasn’t healthy for me to be stationary all day, I knew I wasn’t eating as well as I should’ve, and so finally I hit the moment that was “I have to do something about this.”

It wasn’t like something big or horrible happened. It was just the slow realization that if I continued as I was, in a few years, I wouldn’t be very happy with how I looked or how I felt, and my risks for a number of diseases that run in my family would skyrocket. And the longer it took me to get started on a healthier lifestyle, the harder it would be for me to stick with it when I finally got there.

For years I’d had a goal like “lose 10 pounds” or whatever as one of my New Year’s resolutions, and for years, I’d never hit it. That year, I switched it up to “work out at LEAST 3 days a week.” I figured I would see if I could stick to a 3-day-a-week plan, and if so, I’d bump it up to 5 days for the next year. Even if I didn’t lose any weight, at least I would be building the habit of being active on a regular basis, and that could only be good, right?

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Are You Going to Camp? (Camp NaNo, That Is!)

Have you wanted to try National Novel Writing Month, but honestly the idea of trying to write a novel in November just seems too overwhelming with all the holidays?

Or you’d like to try it, but the 50,000 word mark seems impossible to hit for someone who writes primarily short things?

Or do you just miss the word count goals, tracking, and overall productivity and encouragement from NaNo?

Then it might be time to give Camp NaNoWriMo a try.

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off-balancing act, creative balance, healthy boundaries, fictional ferrets, rabid rainbow ferret society, writing, writers, advice for writers

The Off-Balancing Act: All or Nothing

I think it’s somewhat appropriate that I’m writing this blog post from the backseat of my roommates’ car as we head out for a weeklong work trip. I could have written it this past weekend. I should have. Instead, I spent this weekend furiously finishing up a novel I’ve been working on since November 2014. I couldn’t do anything else until I typed “the end,” which I finally did Sunday afternoon.

This isn’t the first time other things have gotten pushed by the wayside when I work on writing. It probably isn’t even the hundredth.

When I’m writing, I’m writing, and I’m fairly terrible about doing anything else beyond what I absolutely have to. I tend to stay in rather than go out. I go longer between answering texts, I make even fewer calls than I normally do, and my email response time rapidly decreases. Basically, I become a writing hermit.

And then there are the times when I’m not writing, when I’m taking a break between projects or letting a draft cool off before I hop back into editing mode. This is when I take the time to bake bread and cookies, to read books, to write reviews, to critique stories for friends, to actually interact with people like a normal human being.

There isn’t any balance. There aren’t even baby steps. There’s just all or nothing.

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