It’s Friday again! Time to welcome another author to my blog! I am excited to introduce you to Kadee Carder who has some words for us, has agreed to answer some questions, and then we’ll learn more about her new release, Insurrection! So, without further ado, here’s the post:
Life requires moxie. Yes? Spunk? Life takes a little fight, doesn’t it? A little fight to laugh at the chaos, a little fight not to yell, a little fight to get out of bed at 3:00 AM when the baby wakes, and a little fight every night to put away the latest novel and go to bed and start all over.
Life takes a lot of love, too. Love instigates a lot of the fight within me, as a mom. I began working on the Insurrection trilogy while earning my Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing, pregnant, working full-time as an office manager of a church. At that point in my life I began to understand the depths of what it takes to chase after dreams and shake up the stars. In the years since beginning this journey with Saylor, I’ve sat for hours hunkered over my laptop, chatted with hundreds of people, and even flown across the country to meet with publishers in order to make this adventure more than just a fun story I shared with my own girlfriends as we played in our backyards twenty years ago. When Saylor first appeared as a character to me, she was a boy, because when I played in my backyard, only boys had adventures. It’s time to change that, friends, because girls can rock a baseball bat, obstacle course, and beachside kiss just as good as the best of them.
We humans have to be stronger than we ever imagine, love ourselves in the process, and dig in when the ground seems to sink. We not only relish adventures, we create them.
And that’s the basis of Saylor’s story in my young adult science fiction trilogy, Insurrection.
Let’s get to know Kadee a little better…
Saylor had been told she was a stain on the cloth of mankind. When she and her sister orphans Micah, Denise, and Patricia are apprehended upon the high seas, they find themselves imprisoned on a Caribbean island filled with strange noises, dazzling beaches, and a secret military base. Wavering between terror and ecstasy, Saylor develops her inner warrior while facing an enemy exposing her indispensable abilities. In order to rescue her sisters, impress the hunky Australian, and protect innocent lives on a global scale, she must master techniques of fighting an army created to destroy with a single, scorching touch – or die trying.
They wanted a warrior. They got one.
Whoa. What a story! Sounds intriguing. What was the inspiration for Insurrection?
My parents encouraged me to try a myriad assortment of activities when I was younger. Softball stuck. I played the sport for over ten years, loving almost every minute. One last season where we didn’t win a game, that was harsh, but hey, I learned I loved the sport no matter what. In order to help me improve, my dad drilled a hole in a softball and strung it up on this horizontal branch on a large tree in our backyard. I’d spend hours slamming that softball up and around the branch, perfecting my swing. Being the overly-creative child I was, I’d invent all sorts of scenarios in which I’d have to hit something over and over and over….and just think, if a softball could fly on its own, and was ON FIRE, what would YOU do?! And the basic premise for Insurrection wiggled its way into my imagination. I presented the idea to my three friends, who’d play imaginary games with me at recess, and suddenly the four of us became fearless fighters, saving the world from flying fireballs. With my husband’s help, I’ve updated the idea to call them Oxinals, and they are autonomous, artificially-intelligent sentinels, which can kill any living creature with one single touch. We’d need some brave warriors to save us, yes?
Indeed. I love hearing all of the many places where authors get their inspiration. It truly comes from anywhere! I am always working to hone my craft. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer?
“That’s the way things come clear. All of a sudden.
And then you realize how obvious they’ve been all along.”
– Madeleine L’Engle
Mrs. L’Engle is my favorite author. She has a way of turning phrases, igniting pages, and inspiring my deepest breaths. Her writing packs a punch, if you will. What writing do you remember? Why do you remember it?
One way to make writing interesting is to move up a level from the basic sentence. Re-think ideas and make them personal to you. Avoid cliché and instead utilize your own word pictures. I teach composition classes on the university level. Sometimes my students ask how to make their writing more memorable, and I wanted to share with you how to question your writing.
Each sentence offers possibility or boredom.
Here is an example of a way to make your writing interesting:
Example 1: Having my sister come for a visit was heaven on earth.
Example 2: I like when my sister visits.
Those sentences are okay and ho hum and whatnot. Sure, they convey a basic idea. How can they be more interesting, detailed, intrinsic, and thought-provoking?
Revised Example: My sister appeared on my doorstep, greeting me with a box of chocolate cupcakes and her cinnamon scent. Her hug crammed the room full of sunlight.
See how that helps you experience the sister?
Now, you would write this idea completely different from me. How would you get to your version of this revised sentence?
Start by re-thinking what is your ‘heaven on earth’? What makes you happy?
If you are inclined to write, “I liked doing that,” instead explore the why and what behind what you were doing. What does ‘heaven on earth’ feel like? Your ‘like’ is different than mine, and isn’t language the beautiful tool to explore how those compare?
If you can’t say (the boring noun), how can you show it?
If you can’t say, “happy,” how can you show it?
If you can’t say, “ran,” how can you show it?
If you can’t say, “boot,” how can you show it?
This is where imagery meets metaphor. This place is fun. This is one reason I love writing.
Example 2: Have a good day!
Revised Example 2: May your day be encouraging, brimming with chocolate, and lined with laughter!
Example 3: The baby cried, looking so sad. There were no words to capture his wail.
Revised Example 3: Shadows shimmied away from the wailing toddler, his bald head wrinkled, red with frustration and hunger. Tears dripped in large droplets down his scrunched up cheeks, pooling with sighs and hopelessness in the gnarled blankets by his feet. Paci had disappeared.
Give life to inanimate objects. If one object seems too difficult to explain, then illustrate objects or people’s reactions.
I hope you can pack these ideas up, put them in your wallet, and take out as often as you need. They could possibly be better than your debit card, in useful terms.
Warning: Be careful, as this, if taken to heart, will change your communications forever. People will suddenly pay attention because you wrote or said something interesting. Be memorable. Use those gifts to communicate your light and passion to others!
Thanks for such great information! I am currently working on Deep Point of View. A lot of this fits right in with that. I know as writers, we are always working on our craft, but also always looking to the next book. Do you have any current projects your working on? Care to share?
Volume 2 is in editing with Clean Reads and I’m putting the final touches on personally editing Volume 3. During November I’ll be participating in NaNoWriMo and hope to finish a Christmas novella I’ve started!
That is quite a bit on your desk! Well, thanks again for being a featured guest. Let’s take a closer look at your new release!
Enjoy an excerpt from Insurrection:
“Don’t tell me what you don’t want to do. The Commander wouldn’t have put you in this company if he thought you couldn’t do it. This is the ECB. We don’t waste people. We win. We defeat.” Logan spat out the words. “I’d prefer you to have several more weeks of training, but we have to deal with what we got.” He let a devious smile filter across his lips. “Use that moxie, kid.”
Water dripped down his face, his blue eyes sparkling. Tense jaw, muscles rigid from neck to toe, I could almost see his skin rippling with adrenaline. A shiver fluttered down my spine.
A loud, thunderous boom—not thunder, but the same crashing, familiar boom of destruction—cracked nearby. We sought out the source of the sound, deep in the beast’s lair, disguised in ivy and wooded terrain.
“Be powerful,” he yelled over the ruckus, stepping closer and turning his face toward me. He scanned the area around us for unwanted observers, and then just inches from my face, he added, “Be strong. Be fearless. You are all those things. You’ve proven it before—now’s your time to shine.”
Fight for family. Believe in yourself. Fulfill your purpose. Join Saylor on this exciting, harrowing adventure. See more at kadeecarder.com!
More about Kadee:
Deep in the heart of Central Texas, Kadee Carder resides with her husband and two daughters. Carder earned a BA in Public Relations at Howard Payne University and an MFA in Creative Writing from National University. She teaches English courses on the university level and plans her schedule around coffee availability.
Writing and language have been her life-long pleasure, wordsmithery offering the ability to twist emotion in to sense and cosmos. When she’s not dancing around the living room with her daughters, she helps at church activities, creates encouraging blogs, and orders pizza like a boss.
Connect with Kadee:
Encouraging blogs and more available at http://www.kadeecarder.com/