A Writer's Journey

March 8, 2017

Celebrating Women Authors

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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I am a woman.

I’m sure you’ve probably figured that out by now and that I’ve probably flat out said before. But I thought I’d state it again.

Today is International Women’s Day. Some women may have walked out of work today, protesting pay inequity between the genders in the workplace. Some may not. Still, today is our day.

So I thought I would celebrate by highlighting three of my favorite female authors.

Jane Austen: I absolutely love her writing. Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book and I’ve loved the other books I’ve read (especially Mansfield Park). Many mistake her works for light romance but they are more than that. They are social commentaries disguised as light fare. Really read one. You’ll see.

Ann Rinaldi: She is my favorite author. Ever. I used to run into the library or the book store to find the next book of hers to read. Through her, I learned that historical fiction was a genre and it was one I enjoyed reading. I learned so much from her, including how to write historical fiction. I will forever be indebted to her.

Sara Donati: I think it’s been a while since I’ve talked about her. Mostly because I’ve been delaying reading “Endless Forest” because I don’t want the adventures of the Bonners to end. She brought the New York wilderness, 19th century New Orleans and Scotland to life with her vivid descriptions and  decorated the landscapes with colorful and intriguing characters. She is heavily influenced by Diana Gabaldon and poor Hannah Bonner gets put through the Jamie Fraser wringer, but if you want a straight historical romance without fantasy elements, check her out.

These are just 3 of my favorite women authors. Who are some of yours?


March 30, 2015

William Shakespeare or Jane Austen?

Filed under: off topic,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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That was a question my sister sent my via Facebook message a couple weekends ago. I was at fundraiser with a friend at the time. She’s an avid reader like me, so I knew she’d appreciate how hard a decision that was for me to make.

For those wondering, my sister was ordering my birthday present.

william shakespeare jane austen


June 9, 2014

Book Analysis: “Mansfield Park” by Jane Austen

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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Time for another book analysis! Once again, this is an analysis not a review. Spoilers will abound. Even for a book that’s two centuries old this year! Congrats, Mansfield Park!

mansfield park

SPOILERS from here on down.


June 18, 2012


Filed under: journey,The Wedding Game,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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They are the backbone of a story, aren’t they? They are the ones people remember after reading. Think about it—Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. Hercule Poirot. Atticus Finch and Boo Radley. Pick a Harry Potter character. Bella Swan and Edward Cullen (shudder).

It may sound strange to hear authors talk about their characters as if they were real. But the truth is, that for us, they are. I started writing “The Wedding Game” last July. And I’ve watched my characters grow. They started out as figments in my head and are now fully realized on page, with interests and histories. They even have birthdays! My main female character’s is June 24th, the Midsummer. (Keep an eye out, there will be a blurb up to celebrate).


March 25, 2011

Influences on a Writer

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 2:12 am
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Everyone has someone who influenced them in their career or hobbies.

And I am no different.

My favorite book is “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen. I’ve also read “Emma” and “Northanger Abbey.” I love her novels. She creates memorable characters that endure throughout the years. I am one of generations of women who have fallen for Mr. Darcy. And Elizabeth Bennett is still my favorite character of all time.

My favorite author, though, is not Jane Austen. When I was younger, my aunt picked up a book she thought I’d like as it dealt with American history. It was “The Fifth of March” by Ann Rinaldi. Told from the viewpoint of a young woman working for the Adams family, the novel recounts the Boston Massacre and the ensuing trial. After I finished that book, I would search the library and book store for more of her books. My personal favorite is “A Break with Charity” about the Salem Witch Trials, followed by “Finishing Becca” about Benedict Arnold’s betrayal. Rinaldi had a great way of creating these characters and inserting them realistically into the lives of the real people who populated her stories. She also recreates the historical settings and emotions in a realistic and vivid manner.

It’s hard not to be influenced by whatever you are reading currently. And I am currently reading Sara Donati’s “Into the Wilderness” series. I’ve finished both “Into the Wilderness” and “Dawn on a Distant Shore.” I am reading “Lake in the Clouds” on my Kindle. Donati’s world in the wilderness of New York right after the revolution is populated with a great cast of characters. Donati has created a fictional town that could have been settled back then. She has created a world around this town that includes the vast wilderness and the Mohawks who call it home. I myself am creating my own little world in my story. In this case, I have created my own little country. Reading how Donati created her town really helps me.

So, these are the writing influences on me.

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