Book Talk,  Tags & BookTube,  Writing Blog

New Channel, Who ‘Dis?

It’s launch day for my AuthorTube / BookTube channel on YouTube! For two years now I’ve put everything on my art channel, Jenna Gets Creative, and just did fan art any time I wanted to discuss something booky. Well, no more! (Okay, that’ll still happen. Especially with my The Savior’s Sister street team stuff, since I got onto the team with that platform. But you know what I mean!)

Introducing The Westveil Archives, YouTube channel edition!

If you’re into watching YouTube videos and listening to people talk, please do subscribe there and watch the video! If you’d rather read, I’ll adapt the transcript below. Keep reading!

The Westveil Archives will have new videos every Saturday, with bonus content some weeks, usually on Mondays. I picked those days so that they don’t conflict with my “Tuesday & Thursday and some Fridays” schedule on Jenna Gets Creative, but the schedule is flexible. If I collab or do a review on a deadline, that bonus can be any time!

What’s “Westveil,” Anyway?

I’ve been using the name “Westveil” (often “Westveil Stables” or “Westveil Estate”) in role playing and simulation games online for many years. It started out as a show stable in a horse game called Blackvale Estate, named after the setting in Kristen Britain’s Green Rider novels, but I quickly decided it should be more unique and personalized. West because I was born and raised in western Canada, and veil rather than vale because it’s visually more interesting and “fancy.” So my channel name for all things booky is The Westveil Archives.

All right, time for the AuthorTube Newbie Tag, which I got off Meg Latorre’s (iWriterly’s) blog.

1. How did you find out about AuthorTube?

Jenna Moreci! She was the first AuthorTube channel I discovered and subscribed to, back when Eve: The Awakening was a new release.

2. What genres do you write in?

Adult level Science Fiction & Fantasy, and children’s literature with Canadian / Newfoundland themes.

3. What is your preferred writing tense, point of view, and category?

Tense: Past tense. I blend past perfect and past imperfect constantly, though. (Are those even the correct terms in English? I’m using my knowledge of French language mechanics to come up with those terms.)

Point of View: First person or third person limited omniscient.

Category: Adult and children’s. I don’t intend for my adult books to be YA or NA, I mean for them to be truly adult, but I don’t like to write truly rated-R scenes and I’m not sure what my final edited reading level will be. NA (New Adult) is a possibility.

4. Are you a plotter, pantser, or plantser?

I had to look it up, but “plantser” is a mix of the two, and that’s definitely where I fall. Otherwise I would have just said “both.” I absolutely need a basic outline or I’ll never finish, but I also love the gardener method of writing. Put the characters in a situation, start a dialogue, etc. and see what happens. I love it!

A writing teacher once told my class that in order to understand our characters, we should have conversations with them. While my characters aren’t literally separate entities in my headspace, I can and do start dialogues with them / start conversations between them and see where it goes. Particularly in the shower, or while I’m trying to fall asleep.

5. Are you self-published, traditionally published, or yet to be published?

Yet to be published, mostly. I did have some poetry publish in high school in a provincial student anthology. Here’s the one I read in the video:

The Meeting Place

Wild and free like the honey bee
Jumping and playing in the sunlit meadow
Now into the forest upon hills they flee
Into the safety of the shadow

Flying high and running free
Diving deep and swimming
Retreating to the misty sea
Hear the spirits come running

Now dance and play by the willow tree
And watch the bright sun set
Fun, fair, and fancy-free
Where the spirits and I first met.

6. What publishing company, literary agent, and/or printing company are you represented by or use? If you’re not published yet, what is your dream publishing house and/or agent?

For my adult novels, I intend to self-publish, but if I were to traditionally publish… My hands-down #1 top choice of publishing houses if I were to traditionally publish in Science Fiction would be Tor, and failing that, ACE. If I were to traditionally publish in Fantasy, my wish list would be Del Rey or DAW.

I’m most likely going to try to go the traditional route for publishing my children’s stories, since they’ll do best being sold in person in tourist traps, so a regional Newfoundland imprint would make the most sense. In that case, my first choice is Flanker Press.

All of that said, I plan to self-publish my novels using a combination of Amazon KPD and Ingram Spark for digital and print, and I’m undecided on the audiobook service right now.

7. What AuthorTube videos can we expect to find on your channel?

Lots of stuff! As I write and work towards self-publishing, I’ll be sharing my progress, struggles, and newly discovered tips and tricks. When I enter the self-publishing and promotion stage, I’ll be sure to tell all! Once I have published books, look out for giveaways, readings, etc.

I’m also looking forward to collaborating with other AuthorTube and BookTube channels, reviewing upcoming books (I’ll be open to taking ARCs), and doing a good mix of BookTube topics as well.

8. When did you start writing?

Pretty much as soon as I started learning to write and spell, though I couldn’t spell very well at all. It’s a skill that suddenly clicked when I was 14 or so. My Mom saved some of my early writing, and my sister particularly loves razzing me about a little book I wrote when I was 5 or 6. It’s called “The Apple Chee” (tree.) It’s 6ish illustrated pages with no coherent plot, and it ends on a cliffhanger that’s entirely unrelated to where the story starts. I also wrote some primary grade level chapter books about a lost pegasus.

9. What was the first story you ever wrote?

Technically already answered that, but let’s talk about my first attempts at novels.

In grade 5 I started writing a science fiction series and a fantasy series. The fantasy series was quite original. A friend and I had created a whole set of our own mythical creatures, and I wrote dramas about their lives. The main characters were always tiacorns, a species that looks like a mash-up of a gryffin and a unicorn, except no feathers except on the wings, and the cat part is a tiger. The villains were dragocats, which were feline-like komodo dragon type creatures with scorpion tails. Yes, my tiacorn main character did get poisoned. He also fell in love with his sister once they found out she was adopted. Very soap opera worthy material! And of course the main dragocat bad guy was named Draco, but that wasn’t a Harry Potter rip off because this was before the Harry Potter craze hit my area. I hadn’t read them yet.

The science fiction series was a blatant Star Wars ripoff. Not the films, but the Jedi Apprentice chapter book series from the late 1990s / early 2000s. It centered around a master-apprentice relationship of two laser sword wielding magical “knights” in space, out of a school for such people on Venus. The main character was a Guilluan from the planet Guillua, and the school was on Venus, but other than that it was a really bad fan fic of the Qui-Gon & Obi-Wan team as Obi-Wan grows up story line.

A little later on, grade 7 or 8, I started writing dramas. The cast I always returned to was Tobias, Søren, and Ciara, and they’re all self-inserts. They’re different facets of my psyche, and I think I was basically just using them to understand myself in my teenage years. I still love setting up dialogues and seeing where it goes when I’m bored, but I’ll never publish those stories. It’s three self-inserts, and the plots are so personal.

10. What authors have inspired your writing?

For science fiction, the real stand out in my mind is Robert J. Sawyer. He’s a Canadian author with Nebula and Aurora awards under his belt, and he’s a recipient of the Order of Canada. I’ve met him in person, seen all his TV spots, read all his writing articles, own everything he’s ever published. Huge fan!

For fantasy… Ursula K. Le Guin, Robin Hobb, Kevin Hearne, Tolkein, Patrick Rothfuss, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett …the list goes on and on!

11. Do you schedule your writing sessions or do you simply get to writing whenever you find the time?

At the moment, whenever I find the time (and motivation), which is NOT a good plan for me. I’m hoping that by putting myself out there with a blog and channel devoted to writing and reading, I’ll actually do it weekly, just like having an art channel has made me actually sit down and produce art weekly.

12. Do you type on a computer, a typewriter, write everything by hand, or use a blend of those, and where do you write in general?

These days, almost exclusively typing on a computer (laptop, usually stationed on the couch), though I do still like to outline by hand. I used to write by hand all the time because it’s what I did on the bus. Back in 8th grade I took one of the rune tables from the appendices at the back of my massive Lord of the Rings complete trilogy book, and I made my own version of Cirth. I use the same runes Tolkein used, mostly with the same phonemes, but I also made some new characters to represent other phonemes, and I’ve probably swapped similar ones in my mind over the years. I did this because I could write in phonetic English using these other characters, and no one looking over my shoulder could read it. Perfect for looky-loos on the bus!

13. What are you most looking forward to now that you’re part of the AuthorTube community?

Well, I’ve already mentioned that this is going to be my incentive to actually get my butt in gear and do my writing, publishing, and reading. Beyond that, I’m excited to collaborate with other AuthorTube and BookTube creators, with other writing blogs, do book reviews, and discover new writing and booky resources.

Please join me for weekly writing and reading content on YouTube at The Westveil Archives. New videos every Saturday and some Mondays.

Jenna is the artist/illustrator and author behind Westveil Publishing and its sub-banner platforms Jenna Gets Creative and The Westveil Archives. She live in Newfoundland, Canada with her husband, daughter, and feline overlords.

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