Gathering Your Intel.

book one battle for terra

Credit to the Photographers and Image owners. All pictures gathered from Pinterest.
For the record, there is no movie. This is just who who I pictured when I wrote the book. Except Kensi and Jason’s eyes are green in my story 😀

I want to apologise for falling behind, again. I have been in a world of chaos at present, trying to juggle new schedules and deal with a tumblr glitch. We won’t go discussing that as there is not enough coffee in my house to make it come out nicely. :S

I thought today we might have a chat about researching your story. Every book will need some kind of research, even if it’s knowledge that you have previously gained elsewhere, through study, work or other books. For some, like me, I find it easier when I can visualise my character or certain aspects of my story. This can be anything from an image I find online that suits my character or a song. For those who read my other post, Busy, Busy, Busy, you will have noticed that for my new manuscript, I have somehow managed to relate a medieval fantasy story to Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars.

For my Battle for Terra series, when I had issues I often thought about the characters and people who inspired my own. Or went into my Pinterest board.

Addie car

Photo credit to the owner. Another Pinterest find.
Addie’s car from Binary. Except in blue.

Pinterest is my all time most favouritist, bestest, most wonderfullest place for research. And yes, all that counts as good English. I may have a mild obsession with the site, and it is a procrastinator’s dream. Not so much for my hubby who hears, you will never guess what I saw on Pinterst today. That’s usually a sign for him to leave before I give him another job to do.

Each of my books has its own Pinterest board (including each book in a series), all made secret as some of my pins will give away the plots. I even have a board for images or quotes, even writing prompts that have popped up and have given me ideas for a new story.

Each of my boards contains, pictures of what my main characters would look like. The clothing, weapons, landscape pictures, cars (if there is some) that kind of thing.

I also have the app on my phone, so I can look things up wherever I am. You can find anything and everything on there. It’s incredibly rare you can’t. And almost all sites have a Pin this button. If they don’t you can copy the weblink and add it to your Pinterest board for safe keeping. It is similar to a cloud drive.

kensi clothes

Credit to the owner.
The image that inspired Kensi’s fighting outfit in Battle for Terra.

 

My next favourite site it YouTube. A fabulous place for tutorials, such as combat. One of my books uses eskrima (kali stick) fighting. I used it to learn some of the techniques. I also now know how to knock a man unconscious, pressure points and all about R.I.P bullets. It is a great learning resource. But does come with the don’t try this at home warning for kids.

Wikipedia…I love the site. It’s informative, gives you a base run down on what things are. HOWEVER, the site can be updated by anyone! The information can be falsified and what you read can be a pile of rubbish. So be careful. I use it as a starting point on things I am after. Eg Stonehenge, I read the basics then use the references to go find more information. But if you are just after a basic run down, jump on it. It’s great.

I do use your standard online dictionary and I have a google translator on speed dial (I needed Latin for part of my Battle for Terra novels.)

And how can I forget Google Maps. I love Google Maps. Not only can I view the map form, I can view satellite images and find out how far it would be to drive, walk, catch a bus. It’s a great way to add that bit more realism to your work.

And last but not least, generators. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of these sites. If you want a name type name generator into your search engine and it will bring up some options. These places random select names and bring them up. It’s great if you are struggling to think of one. My favourite so far is a medieval insult generator. But there si a generator for almost anything. So have a look.

These are my basic go to guides for research, at least to start with. They can provide a wealth of information, some amazing plot ideas, fabulous starting points and inspiration to get it done. But they can take time away from your writing so be careful.

What are your favourite sites?

Bec

xx

 

Mesilithia- K.D. Delgado

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Mesilithia Council final Signed (1).jpg

Illustration by Nicholas Lonprez, supplied by K.D. Delgado

Synopsis added curtesy of the author J (credit to K.D. Delgado)

Mesilithia is the first of a fantasy book series that will draw you in and take you to another world.

In modern day Texas, David and Katie’s lives are turned upside down by a stranger who attacks them and kidnaps Katie. David follows them, hoping to save his wife, only to find that the wife he once knew no longer exists…

Come along for the adventure of a lifetime, with Katie, David and Lord Wicket, as they battle the evil Snites to reclaim the land and try to find a way home. Will David be able to win back his wife’s heart, now that it belongs to Lord Wicket? Will they ever return home to their children? Or will they stay in Mesilithia forever?

Mesilithia

The first book in The Mesilithia series, by K.D. Delgado.

So, I was asked to do a review of Mesilithia, a young adult fantasy book written by K.D. Delgato, published by Meizius Publishing. It is the first in it’s series and is available for purchase through Amazon.

I will state now that I was given a copy of the book to read in exchange for a review. No other form of compensation was given and I will give an honest review.

The plot itself is fantastic. It has a huge amount of potential to become an amazing series, fitting right in there with the likes of The Chronicle of Narnia and Akarnae. Travelling to other worlds through portals, with a twist of the whole angels vs demons war without the religious aspect. K.D. Delgato has a vivid imagination that has included folk lore with new twists and it will capture the imagination of young teens and kids. It’s something that I could enjoy and find myself needing to know what happens next.

But personally I feel that the style of writing is off slightly. While I love that it is simple to read, she’s not used a lot of words that will cause my kids to come in search of definitions (Names that she had made up, excluded). The lack of flourish with some of it fails the text. But that said, if the book was being aimed at older teens (I’m thinking 15 and up and adults). Yes, my oldest two are only 12 and 11, but they read well beyond their age group. They probably won’t read this and enjoy it as much as they do other books in the fantasy genre.

My 8 year old, however, will love this book. He will be able to grasp the language in it well, it’s simplified enough that he won’t lose his concentration and it will allow him to enhance the areas needed with his own imagination.

I am not saying that it’s suited for children. I’m more thinking the younger end of the young adult range. My 8 year old, like my other two, reads above his age group.

Mesilithia is a book that I would happily buy for him to read. It’s novella length will give him a sense of accomplishment as he moves through it quickly. The simplicity, as I mentioned before, will have him raving on about it like his older siblings do with Firstlife, The Hunger Games etc.

I personally hate judging people on writing styles. I believe everyone has their own voice, I hate having people tell writers how they should be writing. I think each writer will have their own fan base, as what suits one reader won’t suit another.

So in doing this review, while the style of writing didn’t appeal to me as much as I had hoped. I know others out there who will love it.

This book however, would be fantastic for those want a story that is short, sharp and shiny. There’s no messing around, no distractions. It gets to the point. And moves on with it. Almost every scene is necessary, there is not a lot of “fillers” as I call it. Random bits to lighten the mood or add to the word count.

I won’t make a comment on the cover as it’s currently being redesigned.

The grammar and punctuation was a let down. I know almost all books have something here or there that the reader picks up on. A missing comma or full stop, misspelt word. The Mortal Instruments had quite a few. And no author or editor is perfect. But there was more than I would like to see in a published book, including incorrect punctuation for dialogue. That said, I only figured out how it was meant to be set out last year. So I can’t complain too much. I don’t look at this as an issue with the author, more one for their editing and publishing team.

I did find the book confusing at times and a few sections I did have to re-read. There’s a scene where two of the characters meet up after being separated. And that’s great. But the following chapter then goes on to show one of them finding out that the other is in Mesilithia, taking place chronologically before the chapter prior to it. Then the chapter after carries on after the meeting takes place. It was confusing and would read so much better if it was cut and placed further up. Or something like, earlier that day… was added to the top of the chapter.

There was also some confusion with the gestures being made, people shook their heads in agreement. Personally, I thought they were saying no; until I realised otherwise.

Overall, the book has a lot of potential and those in the younger range of the young adult group will enjoy it. Especially if a few parts are clarified a bit better. There is definitely potential for the series to go places with a bit of tweaking. And it is one that I will keep my eyes out for as the series progresses. I give it three quills.

You can check out more on K.D. Delgato on her Facebook page and Twitter. Mesilithia can be found on Facebook and  Amazon and the book trailer can be found on Youtube.

Bec
This review is my own thoughts; I am by no means endorsed  for it. The book was supplied  by the author, in exchange for the review.