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?


September 29, 2014

So You Like Outlander?

Filed under: off topic,writing — mackenziew @ 2:05 am
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Take a deep breath, Outlander fans. I know we have to wait for April 4th for the rest of season 1. But we’ll survive. For my part, I’m finally going to read Voyager. I kinda shoved it down on the list because I wasn’t too thrilled with Dragonfly in Amber. But I think I’m ready to start again.

Anyway, what if you’ve read all of the books in the Outlander series? I’m sure you want to read something similar. Well, I’m here to suggest a new series for you!


July 23, 2012

Book Analysis: “Fire Along the Sky” by Sara Donati

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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Note: This is not a review. This is an analysis where I see what I, as a writer, felt worked and didn’t work in the story.

“Fire Along the Sky” is the fourth book in Sara Donati’s “Into the Wilderness” series, following the exploits of the Bonner family on the edge of the New York wilderness in the early years of the United States. This entry takes place ten years or so after “Lake in the Clouds.” Hannah returns, a shadow of herself and carrying secrets that weigh her down. She needs to find healing to start living again. Her twin siblings, Lily and Daniel, are adults and yearning to fly free of Paradise much to Elizabeth’s dismay. The War of 1812 answers Daniel’s prayers while dashing Lily’s dreams. He and Blue Jay go off to fight while she can no longer go overseas to study art. Luke, her half-brother, takes her to Montreal while leaving his beloved, their distant cousin Jennet, at Paradise. Life continues on in the small village while in Canada, Lily finds herself drawn to Luke’s business partner, Simon Ballentyne. It is an interesting year for the Bonner family.

From here on out, there will be SPOILERS!


May 7, 2012

Let’s Talk About Sex

Filed under: journey,The Wedding Game,writing — mackenziew @ 12:17 am
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If you’ve ever been to my other blog, you’ll notice I tend to make lame punny titles. Sorry. (Also, shameless plug #1?)

But, in all seriousness, I knew sex was going to be a topic I had to tackle once I started writing “The Wedding Game.” Sex and romance novels go hand in hand it seems. In fact, I can’t think of a single commercial venture that doesn’t have “sex sells” lingering in the background. And there were two questions that haunted me. The first was: Does a romance need to have a sex scene?


March 26, 2012

Book Analysis: “Lake in the Clouds” by Sara Donati

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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“Lake in the Clouds” is the third book in Donati’s “Into the Wilderness” series. It’s the most recent one I’ve read, so I’ll be discussing it first.

Once again, this is more an analysis than a review. This is a warning for spoilers.


November 25, 2011

Series—Pros and Cons

Harry Potter.


Babysitter’s Club.

Nancy Drew.


Into the Wilderness.


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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