My Blog Turns Two & Giveaway!

I can't believe it's already Quill Pen Writer's second birthday! It's been quite a journey, and trying to comprehend all that has happened both on the blog, and off the blog, is crazy! I started this blog living in Thailand, and I'm now living in Australia. I was writing a story, with the end-goal of publication, during my first blog posts, and that story has now been shelved. 

I would like to think, and hope, I have grown as a person since I started blogging. One thing I can say for certain, is that it's been such a blessing to know all of you! You are all fantastic, encouraging, and wonderful souls!

Last week I asked you all for some questions for my Q & A, and you replied with some great ones, so let's get to them! (Psst, the giveaway is at the end!)



Ivie asks...
How did you come up with the name for your blog?

A few years ago, two dear friends gave me a quill pen as a birthday present. It was my favourite pen for a loonnnggg time, and it made me look like a writer from the past, which was fun! Sadly, during my international move, I had to leave it behind, but it will always be my blog's mascot (the quill pens on my home page's header image are drawings of that pen)!

What is your favorite book? >yes, I am that evil to ask that< XD

You cruel woman.

Honestly, it changes every few years. There are so many books I love! Each of them holds a special place in my heart. But right now I would have to say "The Cruel Prince" by Holly Black, simply because the writing style is gorgeous, I have never read a book so fast, and as I read the last few pages...

Let's just say the last page made me hold my breath like no other book has before. It's a masterpiece.



How long have you known you wanted to be a writer?

Almost around six years now. That was the first time I said to myself, and others, "I want to be a writer". I'd written stories, and drawn dozens of maps before that, but six years ago is when I started to take it seriously.

Favorite NF song(s)?

Probably:
- Oh Lord
- Can You Hold Me
- If You Want Love
- Intro III
- Mansion

Skye asks...
Favorite book this year? 

Same as above, "The Cruel Prince", since I read it this year! (Though "The Language of Thorns" by Leigh Bardugo is a close second.)

Favorite movie?

Oooh tricky one. But I think it would have to be "Prince of Egypt"!

Favorite time of day to write?

I like writing either very early in the morning, or in the late evening/night. For some reason my writing brain focuses best at those times.

Catherine Hawthorn asks...
What was your first story? 

*Ahem* This is my kindergarten 'genius':
Once upon a time, there was a magic rose.
The rose became a bus.
The End

What made you decide to write? 

I don't think I can put it down to one reason, or two. It's more of a collection of always loving different worlds, and books. I used to make clay models of fantasy worlds, and spend hours developing their governments, culture, and the people in it. I fell in love with world-building first, and then I combined that with my love of reading, by writing. 

And most of all, I decided to write because I had my own stories and worlds I wanted to share!



Lila asks...
Do you have any creative outlets besides writing (such as drawing, needlework, playing an instrument, etc.)?

I draw, actually! I'm not very good at it, but I like to sketch maps, doodle, or create artwork for my books. Please don't ask me to draw people, hands, or fire though -- it will be a mess. (I also used to play the trumpet at school, but half the time I sounded like a dying cow, so.)

Photography is also a good creative outlet for me. (All photos used so far, are ones that I took.) I love playing with colour!

What is your favorite classic book?

Pride and Prejudice! I have the most gorgeous copy I hope to pass down one day...

Are you more of a morning person or a night owl?

I'm an afternoon kookaburra. So, neither. xD

What is one of your absolute favorite verses or passages in the Bible?

It's a bit of a little-known one, but:


"Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines...
Yet, I will rejoice in the Lord."
Habakkuk 3: 17-19

Gray Marie asks...
Ranger Cookies or Raspberry Poundcake?

...I actually have no idea what either of those are, sorry! (*Aussie alert*)

Victoria asks...
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I would love to travel to either Petra, or Riga, the capital of Latvia, since I have Latvian heritage!


(Photo not mine)
Anonymous asks...
Is it true that Australia has abnormally large insects? If so have you encountered any?

We have a lot of insects, but really, what country doesn't? And I wouldn't call them abnormally large at all. Ants are small here too, everyone! xD

What are some Christian YA books that you'd recommend?

Most of the time I don't read exclusively Christian YA books, so I'm probably not the best person to ask. But! I did really enjoy A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes, so I would highly recommend that series!

How do you write your book? (Is there a process you use?)

Honestly, it changes every time I write a book. I like to experiment with different ways to approach my stories. But to break it down into a couple steps I always complete when writing my books...

#1 -- Idea Stage: I jot down the original idea (premise, character, etc.)
#2 -- Brainstorming: I'll sit down for around three to four hours, and just write everything down that comes into my head; possible POVs, if it should be a standalone or series, plot points, scenes I can imagine, etc. I'll also start some initial research here.
#3 -- First Drafting: I write in chronological order, so I write every scene from my beginning to end. This will usually take me around three to four months. During this time I'll add to my Brainstorming document any ideas for future scenes (I plot as I go) and generally ramble in there.
#4 -- Read-Through: I'll read through the entire first draft, jotting down any thoughts/problems/changes to make as I go.
#5 -- Revise, Edit, Revise: Here I edit and revise my book for as long I need to. Most likely I'll send the story to my critique partner or beta-readers after each draft, and see what changes need to be made. Then I edit again, and again, and again!

Which food would you prefer if you had to eat one of these every day for a year?: Mexican, Chinese, Thai, or Italian

Since I lived in Thailand for most of my life, I would gladly eat Thai food every day of the year!

Hannah White asks...
What's the strangest position you've ever written in? Strangest place? 

Strangest position: lying down on my back
Strangest place: on a balcony overlooking a lily pond

They're not very strange, but they're the first ones I can remember being in odd/unusual places!

What's an odd habit you have that you blame on being a writer? (e.g. stalking, analyzing books/movies, predicting plot twists, binge eating chocolate, etc.)

Definitely analysing books and movies! I tend to accidentally spoil movies I watch with other people, by making predictions on who is actually the villain, who dies, plot twists, etc. and often, I'm too accurate. I love to be surprised though!


Thanks so much for all of you who submitted questions and to all of you, for coming along to my tiny corner of the internet, and chatting with me. I deeply appreciate everyone of you! As a small token of my thankfulness for you all, I'm hosting a giveaway! (Please note it's in Australian dollars, but so far as I'm aware, it shouldn't affect you using the gift card!)


a Rafflecopter giveaway


What is your favourite classic book? What's the strangest place you've written in? Would someone like to explain Ranger Cookies/Raspberry Poundcake to me?
Once again, thanks for all your support! Have a wonderful day! <3

Comments

  1. Amazing answers. BTW, your photography skills are AMAZING! All your pictures are EPIC! I love Can You Hold Me, too. NF is just so awesome!

    I actually don't like classic books, but if I picked one, it would be Common Sense by Thomas Paine. It never felt like a classic book, it felt like burn book, which was fun. XD Strangest place I've written in? I don't usually write anywhere besides my desk. XD I have no clue what a ranger cookie is. I'm thinking a raspberry poundcake is poundcake that tastes like raspberry, but I've never heard of that, either. XD

    Congrats on two years of blogging!! <3

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    1. Awww thanks so much Ivie! I'm glad you like the photos; I had lots of fun taking them! :) Isn't he? I love all his music!

      I'm not the biggest fan of classic books either (there's too much description for my taste) but I do love Pride and Prejudice. I'm all in for subtle sass and wit. xD Ah okay that's cool, I'll have to check that one out! Haha I'm glad I'm not the only one who's a little confused. xD

      Thanks so much, and thanks for commenting! <3

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  2. are you kidding me? even the mozzies are double the size of an Asian one

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    1. Haha you think so? They seem the same size as Thai mozzies to me. xD

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  3. OH MY GOSH! PETRA WOULD BE ONE OF MY FIRST CHOICES TOO! :D I read about it in my archeology book for geology and I was instantly smitten. XD Did you know that there's a Google Maps street view of the whole thing with various facts about it and stuff? I totally freaked out when I found it!
    Congratulations on a second year of blogging!

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    1. I AM IN LOVE WITH PETRA IT'S SO COOL! *gasps* There is??? Oh that's incredible, thanks so much for telling me about that! *goes to check it out*
      Thank you! :)

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    2. You're absolutely welcome! :)

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    3. Thanks again! I hope you're able to make it to Petra someday. :)

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  4. Happy blogiversary! Also, I LOVE the photographs you have on your blog! They're so aesthetically pleasing. I don't tend to read a lot of classic books myself, but I did really enjoy Pride & Prejudice as well. Could The Outsiders be considered a classic? It's definitely newer than P&P, but maybe it's old enough to be considered a classic? Who makes the rules anyway?

    Well anyway, congrats on having your blog for two years! Keep up the awesome writing!

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    1. Thanks so much for your support Maggie! :) I'm glad you like them! Yay for a fellow Pride and Prejudice fan! I really enjoyed the book's interesting structure, with the climax essentially in the middle. :D Haha I think it could!

      Thank you! <3

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  5. You definitely ARE a world-building queen! I love it!

    Heehee, your little kindergarden story is so cute!

    Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite classic books too!!

    Congrats on your 2 year blogoversary, Melissa!

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com

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    1. Awwww thanks Catherine! <3 Glad you enjoyed it. xD

      Yay, I love P&P so much!!!

      Thank you!!

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  6. I love The Cruel Prince too, it was such an interesting read, and all the characters are so complex <3 Also, gotta admit I loved your kindergarten genius! Me, I wrote about an underground pyramid, complete with illustrations, and I just don't know where I got that from or what the point was because there really wasn't much to the story, /o\
    That picture is goooorrgeous.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it too! Yes, they were so complex and interesting, weren't they? :) Aw thanks Reese! Hey, that's pretty cool, and much better than my first story haha. xD
      Thanks so much! <3

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  7. HAPPY BLOGOVERSERY!!!! I remember when you started and I was so excited cause I recognized your name from GTW. I’ve enjoyed following your blog the past two years. And I’m so glad you have a blog, cause we likely would not have really “met” if you didn’t!!! <3

    Also don’t feel bad about the cookies. I’ve never heard of either of them either (though I know what pound cake is so I’m assuming the raspberry pound cake is pound cake with raspberry flavor?? NOT SURE.) And I love love love the verse you picked! My favorite is actually kind of similar! It’s from Jeremiah 17:7-8: “Blessed is he who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by the water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

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    1. THANK YOU!! Aw yeah, and I was so excited to see your blog, as I remembered your name from GTW too. So glad we "met"! <3 <3

      Haha okay I'm glad I'm not alone in being unsure about what they are! Oh that's a beautiful verse, I love that one too! It paints a wonderful picture in my heart.

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  8. I need to read The Cruel Prince!!! It's so cool that you lived in Thailand, I've always enjoyed Thai food.
    Your photos are awesome!

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    1. Yes, you must, and tell me what you think!! :) Thai food is amazing (and even more so when you eat the real thing in Thailand! xD). Thanks Skye! <3

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  9. Grats to you, greetings from Canada. I like your blog, nice and simple.

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  10. Congrats! Your blog is so amazing and helpful, here's to many years to come. <33

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  11. Afternoon kookaburra. ;) I'M DYING. That's hilarious.

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  12. Congrats on two years! Haha afternoon kookaburra. XD That made me smirk. That's really cool that you have Latvian heritage! I actually have an interview with someone from Latvia coming up in the summer on my blog. ^ ^

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Victoria! <3 Haha I'm glad. I made it up since I am neither a morning person or a nightowl. xD Thank you, I'm very proud of it, and desperately want to visit. Oooh really? I'll keep an eye out for that post!

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  13. Ahhhh happy blogiversary!! Two years is crazy!

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  14. Congratulations on the blog birthday. All the best for the future...

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  15. Happy Blogoversary! That is not an easy accomplishment at all and your dedication to the blog really shows!

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    1. Aw thank you April; that means a lot! :D

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