Over…Overused? (Editing Tips)


Editing out the word over isn’t hard to do. Test the sentence to see if it can work without it. Most instances, it can.

Don’t: I shoved the tray over closer to her.

Do: I shoved the tray closer to her.

Don’t: She slid over beside me.

Do: She slid beside me.

Don’t: I sauntered over to the center of the room.

Do: I sauntered to the center of the room.

In these cases, it’s a filler word and can be struck out. A lot of times we feel it shows direction, but the sentence is clear without it.

 

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Ever Bound (Cursed 1.5) Release


  • Apart from having some of the most controversial reviews I’ve ever received, Ever Bound has been one of my funnest releases. I loved sharing the origins if the curse, giving insight to some of Grace’s twisted background, and hopefully generating some more sympathy for Cole and Allie, who have to fight a curse through a century to be together.
  • I touched on a lot of upsetting subjects Cole and Allie had to overcome to make it to present day in a very short book. I would have loved to give the 1879 era a full-length novel so that the events wouldn’t have seemed so rushed, but the novella Ever Bound was originally Cole’s journal written in entry form. Every entry was brash, rushed, upsetting to Cole and would also be for a reader. I am so very proud of this work. It gave insight to who Cole was before centuries of suffering overcame him and whittled him down to the tortured soul he’d become in Ever After (Cursed 1).
  • This brings me to the overcoming joy I feel in announcing next month’s release of Ever Tempted Book 2 of the Cursed Series. This book picks up where Ever After left off. Allie waits for Cole to come home, and when he does, he’s changed and his love comes with a terrible price…

Ever After Author Odessa Gillespie Black Interview by Shelby Witzel


The first installment in the Cursed Series
The first installment in the Cursed Series

I’m here to introduce acclaimed author Odessa Gillespie Black. I’d like to congratulate her on her recent release of Ever After (Cursed Series Book 1). It’s been a long time in the making, and as a teen reader, I’m glad to finally see something fresh and new hit the press. Without further adieu…

Me: Hi, Odessa. I know you’re busy, but I wanted to get in a few quick questions.

Odessa: No problem. I’m always glad to meet new people and discuss the loves of my life. (smiles)

Me: I’m going to jump right in if that’s okay. How did you come up with the idea for Ever After?

Odessa: Honestly, I feel like this is a tired answer, but I woke from a dream with the weirdest notion that I’d had a wonderful book idea. It took all day to remember what I’d actually dreamed and when it hit me, I wondered what I’d had for dinner the night before. They say if you eat pepperoni, you have some weird dreams. I hadn’t had pepperoni, but boy was the dream that I’d had a doozy. Normally, my dreams are real with people I know involved in situations that could really happen. This time it was different. I was a girl in a car driving with a few friends up to a creepy yet beautiful house. Once we were inside we were greeted by all these nice people, but at times they whispered to each other and gave us crazy looks. A really hot guy tries to get us to leave the house, but we are so fascinated with the house’s size we decide to stay the night. Over the length of the evening, we learn through listening to the butler and the maids that they want us gone. We try to figure out why and after a long night of searching dark hall ways, and encountering more and more house servants, we come upon a few of whom are see through. Ghosts. The dream sort of fades from there. I’m sure I probably dreamed an outcome, but I don’t remember it.

dream-girl1

Me: Is this at all like Ever After?

Odessa: In ways, but it was an idea that after being carefully molded, switched up and added to, became something different entirely. It was a weird, unconscious brainstorming session that just happened to be a hit, at least with the local teens.

Me: So you have a bit of a local following?

Odessa: Somewhat. A lot of girls who graduated around the time the first copy of Ever After went to Kensington and was accepted fell in love with the Grace, Cole, and Allie love triangle from hell.

love_triangle_____or_not_by_123taroki123-d63aca2

Me: So it’s got a love triangle base?

Odessa: It’s not your run-of-the-mill love triangle. That’s for sure. There’s a lot of love and a lot of hate working together to make a wonderfully romantic and scary story. At least in my opinion. I wrote something I’d never seen before. It’s sort of a mix of all things I love put together. Horror, romance, comedy, drama and action. There’s a little something in there for every reader.

Me: How do you feel about your characters? I guess writers get attached.

Odessa: I think writers are the only people of whom can be given the diagnosis of split personality disorder. It’s like the voices of the characters just scream to get out of your head and aren’t satisfied until you’ve written their views down on paper, or in my case the screen.

Me: What is your favorite line from the novel?

Odessa: Ooh. There are so many. I guess if I had to choose, it’d be a paragraph as Ava reads her will aloud on video camera to her family and friends. Her final words were, “I’ve oftentimes wondered if everything I’ve ever done in my life was a mistake, but in this final moment, as I leave this world and enter into the next life, I can rest knowing I’ve done at least one thing with precision. I leave all of my worldly possessions other than the aforementioned property to Allison Ainsley Knowles… Live life to the fullest, love like you’ve never loved before, and when you find something worth fighting for, don’t let anything come in your way.”

Me: That was one of my favorites, too. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this interview. I can’t wait for book two. Do you know if there are any plans for it?

Odessa: A prequel to the novel called Ever Bound is due out early 2016, and Ever Tempted (Cursed Series Book 2) will release later in the year. Stay up to date on my Facebook Author Page. I’d love as many visitors as possible.

Writing the Perfect Novel


There are many things you could write about, but one thing I’ve learned is that there are areas in which I am not good at writing. I like to write about what I know and what would be fairly easy to research. Not to say that I recommend taking the easy road out, but when you write about what you know and have to do minor research, you take less chance of writing something an expert will pick through and find flaws. And there are experts everywhere.

Cover Art

When I take on writing a novel, I try to keep within my comfort zones, most times. Sometimes I venture out, but I make sure I research a few different accredited sites so that I don’t sound like a moron. Science fiction is where one could easily take a nose dive.

Modern technology advances like light speed, so make sure the site you research when taking on this genre of writing is up-to-date. If it was published in 1997, then, for the most part, the information you’ll find there is obsolete.

Historical romance has been the most interesting and easy to research that I’ve found yet. There are so many articles that will tell you what one would find in a barn, or inside a house, or outhouse that you can easily find what you need and base a really neat story around it.

I once read a romance novel set inside the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC, Maid to Match by Deanne Gist. Deeanne Gist’s knowledge of the house was such that I thought she either had lived there for years or had to have visited the Biltmore at least 30 times. Her execution and description was flawless. I read the book in a day and never felt so close to a character as I did her heroine. This was the result of awesome researching.

So if you decide to write outside of your knowledge base, be sure you’ve done the homework. There’s nothing like a poorly-researched novel to make a reader put the book down and never touch it again.

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