Bird Face Wendy

Things relevant to reading, writing, publishing or marketing teen fiction.

The Writing Process: A Blog Tour

TouringPaddleBoat  This image of a family touring in India was too cute not to use.

But in case you’re unfamiliar with what a blog tour is (also known as a blog hop), let me explain. Bloggers who have a common interest can tag other bloggers––with their permission–-for a future date, in order to continue a discussion and provide exposure for one another. Visitors to our sites see links to those other blog sites and can choose whether to keep touring.

If bloggers keep the system going, it will never have to end, so think about starting one for a topic of your choice!

This one is about the WRITING PROCESS, so––you guessed it––each of us participating is an author of fiction, nonfiction, and/or other types of writing, and we’re sharing how and why we write what we do.

Charlotte Ostermann kindly tagged me last week. She is the author of Souls at Rest, Souls at Work, and Souls at Play. She blogs at Chatty Catholic Doll.

Here are my answers to the 4 questions answered by each of us on the Writing Process Tour:

What am I working on?

I’m currently working on two novels. One, which is in the formative stage, is a sequel to my recently published contemporary teen novel, Bird Face. The other is a completed manuscript titled The Other Side of Freedom that has a boy protagonist who’s involved in a crime against his will. It’s historical fiction for teens, and its setting is a rural farming community in 1925.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Teens’ lives are complex, and I wrote the story of Bird Face with that in mind, incorporating several major plot lines that intersect and weave, instead of one main plot line. I hope to accomplish the same thing in the sequel.

The Other Side of Freedom is different from a lot of new historical fiction for teens because it takes place in the 20th Century instead of during ancient or European medieval times, and the main characters are Italian immigrants.

Why do I write what I do?

I love talking to tweens and teens. They are full of love and hope, and writing for them just comes naturally to me. And I prefer reading fiction for that age group because it is imaginative and entertaining in content and style,  so I’m inspired by some really good fiction there.

How does your writing process work?

Something has to grab me emotionally for me to write a story surrounding it. I’m not the type to study popular trends and search for an idea for a book that way. Bird Face came about because of the things I saw kids experiencing, and I was moved to write about them to try to help other kids. A story I write may be inspired by a current event or by history, but it will be a lesser known aspect of that event or period, an aspect that finds a soft spot in my heart.

Once I have an idea of the conflict I want my main character to experience and how I want him or her to grow because of it, I decide how I want to write the point of view (POV). I’ve always used a single POV so everything is seen and experienced through one person’s eyes instead of switching between two or more characters, and I write in past tense, either first or third person.

I envision a beginning, a middle, and an end for the story. I get those down in rough form, knowing they’ll change a little or a lot. Then I start filling in the steps in between, and often the opportunity for additional plot lines arise as I’m trying to make the original plot idea flow. I rely on scraps from my life’s experiences to provide details that are the right tone for a scene. At some point I write chapter summaries, and I study them to determine if scenes or chapters need to be rearranged for better effect. And all along the way, I revisit my favorite books on the writing craft for help with plot structure, setting, dialogue, and characterization.

Well, that’s how I work! Check out the writing process of these two bloggers I’m tagging for next week, July 7:

Amy Cattapan is an author and teacher who shares her love of books for teens and tweens at AJ Cattapan. Her upcoming novel is titled Angelhood.

Vanessa Morton is an author and archaeologist who writes for young adults. She reviews books at VanessaMorton. Her debut novel is titled Moonfall: Tales from the Levant.




A Variety of Cool Summer Reads

booksalereduced I love the variety found in novels for teens, don’t you? Whether fantasy or science fiction, romance, mystery, or history (yes, I rhymed), it’s all there — sometimes in wild and wonderful combinations of those and others.

Today I offer an interesting selection from the teen fiction buffet, released or releasing this summer: one historical containing intrigue and a touch of the supernatural, one fantasy tale of persecution and a female warrior, and one contemporary story of a boy who restores a vintage Mustang at a Bible camp! Now that’s variety.

I’ve had the opportunity to read only one of these so far, in spite of reading a few teen novels per week. (I’ll never catch up with all the great ones available!) But I wanted you have a look at some you may not have heard of yet.


519e-kyucvl-_sy344_bo1204203200_  Moonfall by Vanessa Morton:

When 16-year-old Rachav drinks the Moon Temple’s forbidden wine, she hardly expects it to result in the death of a priestess. But when King Nur orders Rachav to serve the Queen of the Night—the kingdom’s powerful goddess—as restitution, Rachav’s identical twin, Zaron, has her own reasons for joining the priesthood and offers to take her twin’s place.

But choices have consequences.

Now Rachav’s family is in danger. As she uncovers the shocking reason why, she finds an ally in Salma, a brooding nomad who wields an ancient force powerful enough to destroy the entire kingdom. While the epic showdown rages above the city, Rachav plays a dangerous game of her own. Can she rescue her sister and right the wrongs of that fateful choice? Or will the king succeed and trap her in the doomed city?

web-ready-color-vanessa-15  Vanessa Morton, a two time semi-finalist in the prestigious Genesis Writing contest, earned her BA in History/Politics from the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio and studied writing at UCLA.

Vanessa lives at the family vineyard in East Texas with her husband and two daughters. Exploring and volunteering at archaeological sites on three continents inspired her to write epic YA fantasy based on historical events. 

Learn more about Vanessa at and Connect with her on Twitter @VMorton.


Of the Persecuted (ebook cover) copy  Of the Persecuted by Angie Brashier:

Laila Pennedy awaits death by hanging. For the Rendow Clan rules the Woodlands Region, aiming to slaughter the Faithful. And she deserves to die. But Lars Landre, the man destined to lead the Faithful out of persecution, has other plans hidden behind his rare and mysterious blue eyes. Rescue.

Following the daring escape, Laila seeks the path of a warrior and vows revenge against the Rendow Clan. She embarks on a dangerous journey with Lars, one in which they endeavor to reach the promised safety of a magical village, to train for battle, and to ultimately assure freedom for those with faith in the Maker.

Clashes of weapons and souls. Brutal loss of lives. Unrequited love. How in all the Woodlands will Laila survive?

Angie Brashear - Headshot (2)  When Angie Brashear isn’t working or taking care of her family, she writes. Usually at night after her kids fall asleep. She’s a fan of speculative fiction and an avid runner, both of which perplex her nonfiction-reading, football-loving husband. Saved in her early twenties, Angie is grateful for the Lord’s presence in all aspects of her life. She is originally from Rockland, Maine and currently resides in Cameron, Texas with her husband and three children. Follow her at,, and


SpeakNoEvilFront  Speak No Evil (Book 2 in the Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series) by Mary L. Hamilton:

At 15, Taylor dreams of getting his driver’s license and one day driving race cars. But Dad refuses to let him get his license, because his younger sister’s adventurous spirit keeps landing Taylor in trouble. Dad thinks he’s heading for the same jail cell as his once-favored older brother.

Taylor returns to Rustic Knoll Bible Camp, expecting softball, swimming and sermons, but no cars. Then he discovers a classic Mustang in the camp’s machine shed and accepts an invitation from the owner to help restore it. But when his younger sister falls for his snobbish cabin mate, the ensuing pranks escalate until Taylor’s efforts to keep her out of trouble nearly destroy the car and his dreams for the future.

Will Taylor fulfill Dad’s prediction and end up in jail? Or will he understand the message illustrated by the old Mustang’s engine?

(Releasing in August.)

Mary Hamilton  Mary L. Hamilton is the author of the Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series for tweens. She grew up at a camp much like the setting for Hear No Evil, Book 1, and Speak No Evil, Book 2. When not writing, Mary enjoys knitting, reading and being outdoors. She and her husband live in TX within range of their three grown children.

Links to connect with Mary:

 What are you reading this summer that’s a little different from your usual fare? Have you enjoyed a teen novel that was an unexpected mix?

Leave a comment »

Another Excerpt from Bird Face (Wendy is half Cajun, in case you didn’t know)

BIRD.FACE.FC.reduced  What could I say about Bellingrath Junior High? Not much, except it was named after my secret hero, Bernard Bellingrath. But Barney wasn’t the kind of hero who rescued a kid from a burning building or found a cure for a disease.

Barney dropped a big load of money on our school to build the gym, stadium, and later the library annex. As his reward, a faded portrait hung on the wall of the visitors’ area inside the main entrance. But that wasn’t the reason he was my hero.

According to legend, Barney had been born with a tail. A tail. Grand-mere Robichaud, who’d once seen such a tail on a baby’s pink bottom, said he could’ve been mistaken for the main course at a cochon de lait—a Cajun pig roast. But Barney’s parents were very religious, so they refused to have the tail removed.

In spite of that decision, Barney grew up to be the richest and most powerful man in town. But that still wasn’t the reason he was my hero. The fact that he decided to keep the tail anyway—that was the reason.

Now, all these years later, you’d think physical imperfections would be tolerated at a school practically founded by someone with a tail. But no.

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: