I've been blogging for a year. How is that even possible? I'm so confused yet so excited at the same time! I wasn't sure i...

      I've been blogging for a year. How is that even possible? I'm so confused yet so excited at the same time! I wasn't sure if I would make it this far, to be honest. I've gotten into quite a few mental ruts and times of no inspiration, so I'm super proud of myself for pushing through and making it to this day. 

     I'm also incredibly thankful for all of you! Without you guys, I don't know if I would have stuck with Quill Pen Writer. So thank you for following officially or unofficially, thank you for gorgeous comments that have beyond encouraged me, thank you for sharing my posts and so much love. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love you all, truly. <3

    To give something back to you all I wanted to do something special, which is why a few days ago I posted a form where you could submit questions. Many of you asked several questions, and for organisation's sake I'll be answering each separately.

    Thank you to Grace West, Rachel, Hannah White, Jeneca, Shanti, Andrea, and Cait @ Paper Fury for submitting questions!

Do you know when you will try to go into publishing?

    Traditional publishing has always been my aim, though I suspect it's a while off. The first book I'll probably be submitting to agents is Golden Revenge, as it's a stand-alone and is in the best shape at this stage. I still need to do second draft edits and send it out to beta-readers, however, so perhaps my querying process will start next year? A little unknown at this time.

What are your favourite books, movies, and TV shows?

Books -- This is sooo hard, which is why I appreciate the plural form. Presently my favourite books are Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas, Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman, and Left Behind - the Kids series by Jerry B Jenkins and Tim LaHaye.

Movies -- It's a dead tie between Prince of Egypt, the Huntsman: Winter's War, and the new Beauty and the Beast.

TV Shows -- Major Crimes, Dance Academy, and the Australian Masterchef take top place, though I am becoming slightly obsessed with Lost. (No spoilers, please!)

I love love love the soundtrack and film
What was your first completed novel about? (completed first draft, that is) How old were you when you started and finished it?

    My first completed first draft was called Royal Academy, based on an imaginary world I created with my long-term school friends. The world was split into different realms, primarily the Shadow and Sun Realms, who were at odds. In the story, girls are kidnapped from their Earthen homes and brought to the Royal Academy, where they enter a life or death competition to become one of two queens that rules each realm. 

    I was 13 when I started writing it, and finished it four months later at a total word count of 74,735 words. When I went back to look at the word count I was actually really surprised, as I thought it was half of that. I really do love the story, even if it had cringe-worthy romance and a main character too much like me.

    Shadows rule! (If you understood that reference, I love you)

What was the first story you ever wrote?

    Well, in kindergarten I wrote the following story: "Once upon a time there was a magic rose. The rose turned into a bus. The end." The first 'proper' story I ever wrote outside of school was, if I remember correctly, Sharissa's Story, about the best girl thief ever. The best.

What is your favourite food? Favourite drink?

    I have so many favourite foods (like chocolate) including, near the top of my list, hibachi chicken and ravioli. As for favourite drink, water is my fave (I know, I'm weird) but if that doesn't count, ma naow bun is second. It's a Thai sour and salty lemon drink with crushed ice. Yum!

Have you ever been to the US before?

    Despite my accent and having several American friends, no. Maybe someday. :)

Cats or dogs?

    Dogs. Cats can be cute, but most aren't as affectionate in my experience.

What do you say when people ask you where you come from?

    Oh my, this is always a tricky situation. Most of the time people ask if I'm American, due to my accent, but I have to correct them. To be honest I don't consider myself from anywhere other than the world. I answer by saying: "I'm an Australian citizen who's lived in Thailand for fourteen years." I have a Thai heart, international blood, and Aussie heritage.

What's the best thing about attending high school?

    I will temporarily reserve my whining about assignments to say, high school is pretty cool. The best thing is being able to connect with people while still learning. I am grateful to have an education, unlike many others who are unable right now. But I'll still complain about homework, cause, that's what I do. XD

How do you find time to read?

    Sadly I don't read as much as I should right now. I usually try and read before I have my shower or before bed in short little bursts. They eventually add up so I can finish a book.

What inspires you or motivates you to continue blogging?

    Blogging, particularly thinking of post ideas or finding time to write them, has always challenged me. Most of the time I take inspiration from my current writing experiences or problems, as it makes it feel like I'm writing something real and not something put out there for the sake of it. Reading other blogs can also help spark different ideas too.

What is one of your favourite blog posts you wrote on this blog?

    This is so hard! There are so many I love, and ones that got amazing responses from you all. But I really think writing Therapy Session helped me explore a new and interesting part of my blogging style. I'm hoping to put out more posts like it in the future.

Are you first a reader or writer?

    I developed my love of writing from reading, and I adore books, but if I only have an hour to do something in a day, I will write. So I suppose I'm firstly a writer.

Is there a less popular fairy-tale or folklore or myth you'd love to retell as a novel?

    Writing a re-telling of several Lithuanian and Latvian folk tales interests me, like Twelve Brothers, Twelve Black Ravens, where their sister is the hero, and maybe elements of the Swan Queen. What's really interesting is both of these folk tales end with the narrator suddenly revealing himself in first person, and talking about how he was there. Exploring this narrator character would be fun!

    Again, thank you for the questions and for joining me on my writing journey here on Quill Pen Writer! Now to throw a few questions at you!

What was the first novel you ever wrote about? Favourite food and favourite movies? What's your favourite blog post you've written? (link me in the comments!) Any other questions for me?
Have a fantastic day! <3

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  1. Great post! I believe the first novel I wrote was "A Week in Latelyne," a story about two siblings and their friend that, of course, go to another dimension and have to save the entire world. Love the story to death, but I don't think it'll be going anywhere . . .
    Favorite food? Is there really such a thing?! I don't think I could choose! (of course, chocolate is delicious, and if I HAD to, I'd probably choose that or ice cream). I, too, like the new Beauty and the Beast, and I also like anything that has to do with Peter Pan!
    Thanks for the great post! <3

    1. Thanks Grace! I'm glad you enjoyed it! :D Sibling stories are the best. I feel the same way about a lot of my earlier stories; love them but at the same time wince while reading them. XD Haha it's hard to decide, isn't it? Ice cream is amazing. Yesss I loved the new Beauty and the Beast! Thanks so much for commenting!

  2. Happy blogversary Melissa 😊🎉🎉

  3. omg heyy! I'm Amelia Jafari, I also went to CMIS (from kindergarten to grade 8) but moved to Bangkok 2 years ago, I think a was a grade above you! I also blog about books (well I guess vlog cuz I do it on youtube). The first novel I've written is actually one I'm writing right now, I only wrote 14,000 words so far ugh. I'm still thinking about the name, either Dark Dimensions or like Heart of Ice. And then the sequel can be Heart of Stone and then Heart of Fire hehe. Its set in a fantasy world where every year, 10 teenagers will be chosen at random (well you find out later on that its not random at all) and they have to participate in a game called the "Dark Dimensions." Basically each teen will enter their own "Dimension" which includes their worst fear and they have to fight it. The first teen to "overcome" their fear will be let out and return to the normal world, while the unlucky 9 will be stuck there forever yay! Protagonists in YA books usually win at this type of stuff but for my book she is one of the unlucky 9 and get stuck yay! But when you are stuck, the nine unlucky teens are brought into one shared dimension where they can fight their fears together. And im thinking the second book could be about them trying to get out IDK yet. Anyways im writing too much, good luck on getting Golden Revenge published and hopefully i'll get to read it if it does!

    1. Ohmygoodness, hey! I thought I recognized your name! XD Yeah, I think you were in the grade above me. We've both moved now, which is sad. :( You should send me your Youtube channel link; I'd love to check it out! Congrats on writing so much in your novel! I love the names and it sounds like a really cool premise, particularly how your protagonist isn't the 'special one.' Good luck with your writing! Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting! :)

    2. hey! sorry for the late reply!
      heres my channel link hehe i just started so I'm not that well off yet xD
      love ur blog!

    3. Thank you! No worries; I'll check it out when I can. :)

  4. Lovely post! Ahh I'm so excited for you to get published! :D I, also, have a private goal of starting query letters next year. *screeches* We can die togetherrrr!!! XP Also, I love your first novel. *grins* It sounds so much fun. :)

    1. Thanks Hannah! :D *happy scream* We can travel the publishing journey together! Yes, dying with someone else is better than dying alone, right? XD It was a lot of fun to write. :) Thanks so much for commenting! <3

  5. HAPPY BLOGVERSARY!!! *throws confetti everywhere* *gives you all the cake* And also I love your answer to the last question. ;D :D And yum to ravioli! I haven't had that in years but it is all the deliciousness.

    I hope this is just the beginning of many glorious years of blogging!!

    1. THANK YOU! *basks in confetti and gobbles down cake* Glad you liked the answer to that mysterious last question. ;) You neeeed to have ravioli. It's amazing. XD I hope so to! Thanks so much for commenting Cait! <3

  6. Happy blogoversary! It's great getting to know a little more about you. ^ ^ I also love Throne of Glass! :D I can believe it's been a whole year since I've started reading your blog. Here's to many more!


    1. Thanks Victoria! I'm glad you enjoyed learning little bits about me; it's always so fun to share random facts! Throne of Glass is amazing. :D Thanks a lot for commenting! XD