The Reckless Hero

In literature, the Reckless Hero is someone who jumps into the fray with abandon (and often without a clear plan of action). The reckless hero doesn’t mind picking things up as they go along, but as a result, they may find themselves having to loop around or in a spot of trouble because they’re not always the best at listening to the warnings or advice of others.

One of my favorite Reckless Heroes is Rachel from C.J. Redwine’s Defiance Trilogy. She’s smart, she’s capable, she’s deadly, but her impulsive nature constantly lands her (and others around her) in hot water. Other favorite Reckless Heroes include Tanwen from Lindsay Franklin’s The Weaver Trilogy and Carswell Thorne from Melissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles. One of the things I admire most about the reckless hero is that they are fully committed to their cause—even if they’re working from questionable motives.

Continue reading

Author Interview with Isabel Strychacz

SP: Hey Isabel! So excited to have you on the Spinning Pen! Before we get started, we want to hear about YOU and your writing journey! What made you want to write and what’s a fun fact you don’t mind sharing? 

Hello! I am so excited to chat with you. So I have always been a huge reader and loved telling stories, and I started writing down my tales as soon as I learned to write!  I truly feel that writing is just a part of me—I constantly have stories and characters and dialogue in my head— and it was my dream from a very early age to be an author. Fun fact— both my parents are authors, too! My mom is a mystery author and my dad writes academic books, so I grew up understanding that being an “author” was an actual job I could work towards. 

Continue reading

The Reluctant Hero

In fiction, the Reluctant Hero is a protagonist who has to be jolted or dragged out of their comfort zone (even if it’s an unhealthy/unsafe one) at the beginning of their story. And even then, it takes them a while to fully commit to the journey. It doesn’t matter that they weren’t fully satisfied with where they were in life when we first meet them. True, they might not be happy being stuck where they are, but ordinary, predictable days are far safer than venturing out into the unknown where there is the risk of failure or even worse…success.

When I think about favorite characters who fall into this category, Bilbo and Frodo Baggins from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, El from Sara Ella’s Unblemished trilogy, Nym from Mary Weber’s Storm Siren trilogy, and Fawkes from Nadine Brandes’ Fawkes immediately come to mind. Each of them start out reluctantly, but through the course of their story learn to face their fears, recognize their strengths, and overcome the seemingly insurmountable odds stacked against them.

Continue reading

SIMULATED Cover reveal!

We have exciting new! It’s a cover reveal!

From Young-Adult author Nova McBee comes the second book in the action-filled Calculated series, SIMULATED. Look for it May 13th! 

CONGRATS Nova! Spinning Pen founder, fierce supporter of new writers, Pitch Wars 2020 mentor, and an expert champion and bridge builder between existing authors, it is now Nova’s turn to be supported and loved on by our community!

Short blurb:

Set in Tunisia and Seattle, Simulated follows teen genius Jo Rivers as she teams up with a new band of prodigies to retrieve a dangerous file stolen by a mysterious hacker who knows far too much about her past.

Continue reading

Using the Hero Archetypes to Help Chart Your Path as a Writer

I’ve been writing and telling stories in some form or other for most of my life. Like most, it began with my make-believes as a child. And then it slowly grew from there. But it wasn’t until I was midway through my junior year of college I began to realize that we don’t all have to grow up to become doctors and astronauts and future presidents. We could also grow up to write (and publish) stories of our own.

That realization came to me 19-years ago. Since then I’ve published a few short stories and several articles, and I’ve gone on to build a small freelance editing career working with both fiction and nonfiction writers that I love. But my own writing journey hasn’t been the smooth path I’d first envisioned it might be. It’s been filled with twists, turns, dead-ends, and obstacles that have often left me feeling lost and ready to give up

Continue reading

Author Interview with Lani Forbes

Pen Friends ~ Please welcome YA Author Lani Forbes talking about her beautiful novel, THE JADE BONES, publishing journey, writing dreams, and so much more! I’m so excited to introduce you to Lani, her words are gold you guys!

SP: Hi Lani! Thanks for joining us! Before we get into book stuff, we’d LOVE to know a bit about you and your writing journey.

Absolutely! Thank you so much for having me! I am the daughter of a librarian and an ex-drug smuggling surfer (which explains my passionate love of the ocean and books). A former teacher turned trauma counselor, my passion is showing readers the transformative and encouraging power of story on the human experience. A California native whose parents live in Mexico, I now reside in the Pacific Northwest where I stubbornly wear flip flops no matter how cold it gets. I am a proud nerd, Gryffindor, and member of Romance Writers of America and the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Continue reading

Author Interview with Victoria McCombs

Pen Friends ~ Please welcome YA Author Victoria McCombs talking about her new novel, WOODS OF SILVER AND LIGHT, publishing journey, writing dreams, and so much more! I’m thrilled to have Victoria here with us today.

SP: Hi Victoria! Thanks for joining us! Before we get into book stuff, we’d LOVE to know a bit about you and your writing journey!

My writing journey has been an adventure! My dad is an author, so he would read over my stories growing up and always told me they were good. Looking back, I’m grateful he didn’t point out all their flaws. But somehow along the way I grew in my craft until my debut released last year! Now I have two books published and three more going through edits with publishers to prepare for the world!

SP: WOODS OF SILVER AND LIGHT just released this February 2021 by Parliament House Press, it’s the second book in the Storyteller’s Series. Please add on Goodreads and check out her other books! Here’s the blurb:

Ronin’s son is dead, and Maid Marion is gone.

But a sorceress banished to the Woods can bring his son back if he and his Silver Raiders are willing to do something for her first.

Continue reading

Author Interview with Haylie Hanson

Pen Friends ~ Please welcome YA Author Haylie Hanson talking about her upcoming novel, WORLD DIVER, writing dreams, nerdom and so much more! I’m so excited to have Haylie here with us today. She’s a GEM! Haylie welcomes readers not only into adventure but a fun, free space to be themselves.

SP: Hi Haylie! Thanks for joining us. Before we get into book stuff, we’d LOVE to know a bit about you and your writing journey!

Hi, Pen Friends! I’m so stoked to be here! I have been writing and creating since I was a teenager, mostly speculative fiction novels and some poetry/songwriting. Writing and reading have always been a passion of mine–I love getting to know all kinds of unique and fascinating characters and worlds, and making new literary friends (and book crushes, let’s be real). I started writing for publication in 2018, and after a few (okay, MANY) bumps in the road, I landed my first book deal for the Luminaut Trilogy! Aside from writing, I am a California girl, mom to two littles, a major foodie, geek-culture aficionado, and a former special education teacher. I’ve also had the opportunity to live and travel all kinds of different places because of my husband’s line of work. My favorite destinations are Kyoto, Bali, Seoul, and Tokyo!

Continue reading

Author Interview with C.F.E. Black

Pen Friends ~ Please welcome YA Author C.F.E. Black talking about her novel, THE VERITAS PROJECT, publishing journey, and so much more! I’m excited to have C.F.E here with us today. Her story is an inspiring one!

SP: Hi C.F.E! Thanks for joining us! Before we get into book stuff, we’d LOVE to know a bit about you and your writing journey?

My writing journey has been sort of like hiking down into the Grand Canyon. I sort of went down and am now climbing my way back out. All of it has been fun, though, and all of it has taught me invaluable things. After starting out with a small press, I’m grateful to be taking full control of my publishing journey now as I enter the indie author world! For anyone just starting out in writing or publishing, just know that every path is different, and every path is okay. There’s not one that’s right and there’s not one that will work. You decide what works for you and enjoy the journey!

Continue reading