The Writer, the Writing Community and Dean Winchester

Hello gentle reader,


this week again I’m taking part in the Thursday’s Children meme hosted by Rhiann Wynn-Nolet and Kristina Perez. It is “a weekly blog hop where writers come together to talk about whatever inspires them.”

Today’s post is a bit personal. I very seldom indulge in sharing my personal feelings on this blog, but my hope is that other writers will recognize themselves in what I describe below, and maybe find their motivation renewed by the knowledge they’re not alone in this.

So I haven’t had the best week. Lots of rejections and disappointments.

–          One of my short stories I was hoping to publish in an anthology was rejected

–          A query for my YA Epic Fantasy (which I have stopped querying since December) was rejected this week by an agent

–          I’ve started to get feedback on my WIP Lily In The Shadows and some beta readers are, well, less enthusiastic than others.

–          And no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to be able to write a catchy query for Lily In The Shadows

So yeah.

Now, I always try to stay positive. I know this publishing thing doesn’t happen overnight. I’m aware the key here is to keep reading, keep writing, keep submitting, and never give up. I don’t rant on Twitter or Facebook at the first disappointment.

But still. What a week. So I wrote an email to my CP Jessy Montgomery, who is amazing and who always knows what to say.

I was like this:

She was like this:

Supernatural - CastielAnd then like this:

Supernatural - Hug

Then I got on Twitter and this happened:

EM Castellan-Tweet1EM Castellan-Tweet2

And then I realised something. I’ve had a lot of rejections and disappointments this week. But I’ve also helped Jessy with her query. I’ve helped Allie with her WIP. I’ve helped Rachel with her street team building. I’ve helped Kate with her Twitter issues. I’ve had awesome online conversations with Lauren, Juliana, Laura, Joanna, Em, Lena, Rebekah, Emmie and Serena.

I’m part of the writing community. And I believe in paying it forward.

This week wasn’t about me and my writing. It was about everybody else’s writing and success.

Next time it might be my turn. Next time it might be yours.

But for now I have all of you and I’m so incredibly grateful for that.

Thank you.

Have a great writing week!

Waiting On Wednesday – 26

Hello gentle reader,

this week I’m waiting on Shadowlark (Skylark #2) by Meagan Spooner (expected publication: October 1st 2013 by Carolrhoda Lab).


Shadowlark will be the second book in the Skylark trilogy. I posted about Skylark in May 2012 (Waiting On Wednesday – 10) and interviewed Meagan Spooner in October 2012 (read the interview here). Now I’m really looking forward to Shadowlark, because Skylark was definitely the most original YA book I read in 2012 and because I really want to know how the story can go on after Book One’s surprising ending.

Below is the blurb for Skylark. If you want to read the blurb for Shadowlark, it’s here, but beware of spoilers if you haven’t read Book One.


Vis in magia, in vita vi. In magic there is power, and in power, life. 

For fifteen years, Lark Ainsley waited for the day when her Resource would be harvested and she would finally be an adult. After the harvest she expected a small role in the regular, orderly operation of the City within the Wall. She expected to do her part to maintain the refuge for the last survivors of the Wars. She expected to be a tiny cog in the larger clockwork of the city. 

Lark did not expect to become the City’s power supply. 

For fifteen years, Lark Ainsley believed in a lie. Now she must escape the only world she’s ever known…or face a fate more unimaginable than death.

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by book blogger Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

What are you waiting on this week? Is Shadowlark on your TBR list? Feel free to leave me a comment below!

Versatile Blogger Award!

Hello gentle reader,

in the past couple of weeks, I have been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award no less than four times. Thus I felt compelled to post about it.


The rules for The Versatile Blogger Award are as follows:

1.Thank and link to the person who gave you the award.
2.Tell seven facts about yourself.
3.Pass it on to seven other bloggers.
4.Link to specific posts on their blogs so they’ll be notified by pingback.

So thank you to the lovely people who have passed this award on to me: Rhiann Wynn-Nolet, ReGi McClain, Patrick O’Scheen and Elaine Jeremiah.

Seven things about me… at this stage, there’s not much I can say about myself you don’t already know, and the rest… is a secret.

As a result, I’m directly passing this award on to awesome people you should know about and follow:

Raewyn Hewitt : fellow Fantasy writer, interesting blogger and wonderful person.

Jessica Montgomery : my lovely CP, currently in the query trenches.

Jani Grey, Serena LawlessBridget Shepherd : they’ve all accepted to be my first beta-readers for Lily In The Shadows. They’re awesome.

Lauren Garafalo : leader of ROW80 Twitter sprints and best Cheerleader For Writers in the world. I wouldn’t have written Lily In The Shadows in 5 months if it weren’t for her.

Rachel O’Laughlin : her Epic Fantasy Coldness of Marek is coming out in August! Are you excited? I am!

That’s it for the Versatile Blogger Award. I hope you’re having a good Holiday Monday if you’re in the US or the UK. If you’re reading this from another country, I hope you’re having a great day too!

My Week In Review – ROW80 Check-In 8

Hello gentle reader,

It is time for another weekly check-in! This week I’m happy to be back to my normal routine, and I can offer you a proper Week In Review post…

Quote and Film of the Week


“I was within and without. Simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.”

The Great Gatsby by Francis Scott Fitzgerald. Film by Baz Luhrmann.

To me, The Great Gatsby is a masterpiece because of its writing, not because of its story. Thus turning the book into a film is incredibly hard. I enjoyed Baz Luhrmann’s interpretation because that’s what it is: a vision of the book.

TV Show of the Week

World Without End

World Without End (Channel 4)

I missed this show when it aired in September. I played catch-up this week because I love The Pillars of the Earth and this is the sequel. However I was a bit disappointed: the plot is exactly the same and therefore very predictable.

Good News of the Week

I bought my first Kindle! I resisted peer pressure for a long time, because I love reading paper books. But I travel all the time and my bookshelf space isn’t unlimited, so I finally gave in and got the Kindle Fire. Any tips welcome!

ROW80 Check-In

ROW80 Logo

My goal for this round is to write every day. This week again I managed to write

2 days out of 7.

With my WIP in the hands of beta-readers, I basically took the week off writing…

Links of the Week

I was interviewed by the ever awesome Serena Lawless about my Work In Progress. You can read it here.

On my blog I posted my reasons for writing Lily In The Shadows.

On There And Draft Again this week, it’s giveaway time! Our group blog has reached 100 followers and we’re giving away Fantasy books to celebrate. Make sure to enter here.

The Like a Virgin Contest has been announced! It will be held in July 2013. It is co-organized by Rhiann Wynn-Nolet and Kristina Perez, the ladies behind the weekly Thursday’s Children blog hop. It will be open only to manuscripts that have yet to go through the online contest trenches. They want your fresh, sparkly and new manuscripts. How exciting is that?!

Next week

Next week on my blog I will be sharing my latest readings…

How was your week? Make sure to share your writing progress and what inspired you this week in the comment section below!

I’ve been interviewed! Future Shelves with Serena Lawless

Hello gentle reader,

the ever awesome Serena Lawless has interviewed me on her blog as part of her Future Shelves feature. I couldn’t be more proud to find myself among so many talented writers. In this interview, I talk about LILY IN THE SHADOWS and what inspired me to write this story. You can read the interview here.

New Project Reveal – Part 6: Why did I write this book?

Hello gentle reader,

this week again I’m taking part in the Thursday’s Children meme hosted by Rhiann Wynn-Nolet and Kristina Perez. It is “a weekly blog hop where writers come together to talk about whatever inspires them.”


In these posts, I share a little bit more about what I’ve been working on, a YA Historical Fantasy entitled LILY IN THE SHADOWS.

LILY is currently in the hands of its first beta readers, and this week I’ve asked myself “why did I write this book?” “What was the writing motivation behind it?”

Then I came across the answer in an anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy short stories I have been reading…

Queen Victoria's Book of Spells

“The enthusiasm for Steampunk has produced some marvellous, incisive writing, and some gorgeous pieces of art. But it has also glamorized the Victorian era and too often ignored the exploitation and immiseration of the working class of England as well as the inhabitants of the lands England sought to rule. The fiery, corseted heroines, the eccentric but brilliant inventors, the rakish and charming younger sons — the wealth and comfort of these few depended on the suffering of many, many people. Even the wealthy of the 19th Century suffered, of course, in an era prior to antibiotics and most of the vaccinations we take for granted today. (…) It’s easy to forget how the people who indulged in afternoon tea rituals, admired clockwork-powered inventions, and wore shapely and beautiful corsets and bustles profited from the death and suffering of others every time they lit a candle. (…) And it’s easy to wonder how those people, who considered themselves so civilized, could have accepted the price others paid for their comfort and wealth.”

Veronica Schanoes, “Phosphorus” in Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells, An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

This is EXACTLY why I wrote Lily In The Shadows. I wanted to write the story of an obscure flower girl, with no special power or talent, who tries to save the city of London from chaos and destruction. Lily lives in East London, she is partly deaf and she has no hope of ever marrying a king and becoming a princess in a fairy tale. But to me, it doesn’t mean her story shouldn’t be told. Every girl has a story to tell, even in the shadows.

So what made you want to write your Work In Progress? What inspired you this week? Feel free to leave me a comment below, and to visit the other Thursday’s Children posts here.

My Week In Review – ROW80 Check-In 7

Hello gentle reader,

It is time for another weekly check-in! I hope you had a great and productive week. Mine was very buzy and I apologise for my lack of posts and this short check-in. I’ll be back full-time next week, I promise!

ROW80 Check-In

ROW80 Logo

My goal for this round is to write or edit every day. This week again I managed

5 days out of 7.

Word Count of the Week

This week I revised my Work In Progress and added 1000 words to this draft.

TV Show of the Week


Dracula (NBC)

This TV show is coming this fall and I’m so excited for it! You can watch the trailer here.

Good News of the Week

Lily In The Shadows is now in the hands of its first beta readers and I’m waiting on their feedback…

Next week

Next week on my blog I shall finally accept the Versatile Blogger Award and return to a regular blogging schedule!

How was your week? Make sure to share your writing progress and what inspired you this week in the comment section below!