EEEKK, I’M FINALLY DOING CHRISTINE SMITH’S KNOW THE NOVEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!😃😃😃 (If you want to know more about Know the Novel or read other bloggers posts in the linkup click the pink words above. ꜛ ) And, of course, consider following Christine Smith’s blog while you’re at it! 😉 She has a fun blog and enjoyable posts to read!!! You’ll love it over there!!! Now, as you can see from the title, I will be answering the questions for Part 1 AND 2 of the linkup. I hope you all enjoy reading and learning more about my current WIP.
1. What first sparked the idea for this novel?
Ooh, we’re digging into my past now. XD Okay, well, this idea started with a side character in one of my REALLY OLD novels. That character was The Black Cat. But back then, The Black Cat was a girl, and the other characters simply called her Cat. Then, one boring school day, I started to get an idea for a spy novel. I thought to myself, what if this story is about The Black Cat’s father? What if he was the original Black Cat? And then from there, I continued to work on this story and create characters and all that good stuff. *grins*
2. Share a blurb (or just an overall summary)!
Here’s my working blurb for right now:
A round object.
Can anyone be trusted?
After four weeks of high school, Delano is approached by a girl named Chelsie who claims she needs his help to find the owner of a strange, round object. An object that was supposedly stolen years ago. The object seems to have no value, however, and Delano isn’t in the mood for helping Chelsie with petty stuff. But Chelsie knows things—secrets about Delano that no one should know. And worst of all, she threatens to tell his secrets if he doesn’t do as she asks. Now Delano is forced to help Chelsie, and the object is proving to be more important than any of them thought.
The Black Cat has acquired some information regarding a secret mission. It seems that someone is searching for a certain secret agent by the name of Gregory Corbett and is trying to send him death threats. The Black Cat knows that Mr. Corbett’s life is in potential danger, but he needs to uncover more details before he can take this revelation to the agency.
If Delano and The Black Cat don’t acquire special information before it falls in the wrong hands and discover who is after this information, loved ones will die. They soon realize that you can’t hide every secret.
3. Where does the story take place? What are some of your favorite aspects about the setting?
This story takes place in a modern setting, probably somewhere in the south of America. I don’t give a specific place setting, just a general location. One of the things I love about it is that it’s a modern setting. Most of my stories are set in a fictional place. So I like that I’m doing this one in a setting that I’m very familiar with.
4. Tell us about your protagonist(s).
This is probably where you guys want to hear about The Black Cat.
But we’re going to talk about Delano instead. (Hehehehe.) After all, the majority of the book is from his perspective. Anyways, Delano, also known as DC, is a teen boy who is training to be . . . wait for it . . . a . . . SPY. (Yep, that’s the secret word that DC deleted from the snippet in this post! *winks*) I’m sure some of you know by now that DC is often mysterious and secretive. He can also be mischievous sometimes. His favorite color is black, he’s interested in photography, has OCD, and is very intelligent.
5. Who (or what) is the antagonist?
Okay, so I don’t have a name for my antagonist yet, but I do know who he is. He’s a criminal/murderer and is after the very object that Chelsie and Delano are looking for.
6. What excites you the most about this novel?
THE CHARACTERS!!!!!! Characters are my favorite things in stories, and I love these characters so much!!!!!!
7. Is this going to be a series? standalone? something else?
Eeek, yes, it’s a series. When I do realistic stories, I have the tendency to want to keep showing the character growing up through the years (kinda like the Harry Potter books). Originally, The Black Cat was going to show up later in the series, and the first few books focus on Delano and Chelsie. But then I thought, “Where’s the fun in that?” So, I decided that The Black Cat needed to be present and have an important role in the first book. And of course, we’ll continue on with his and Delano’s stories and new mysteries.
8. Are you plotting? pantsing? Plansting?
Plotting definitely! And so far, it’s required more plotting than anything else I’ve ever done.
9. Name a few unique elements about this story.
*thinks for a moment* Um, well, I do have a spy who’s supposed to be dead. Also, my “technology” is probably going to be unique. I don’t know if there’s anything else.
10. Share some fun “extras” of the story (a song or full playlist, some aesthetics, a collage, a Pinterest board, a map you’ve made, a special theme you’re going to incorporate, ANYTHING you want to share!).
For one thing, the theme was going to be wisdom and unity. But then when Delano heavily changed the plot (thanks a lot, Delano), the theme became honesty. I think this is really cool because with spies there’s often lying and secrecy. So, it’s really neat that the theme for this book is honesty. The songs “Truth Be Told” by Matthew West and “If We’re Honest” by Francesca Battistelli fit the book really well. In “If We’re Honest,” the line “Don’t pretend to be something that you’re not//Living life afraid of getting caught” perfectly describes both Delano and Jasen (side character).
And of course, I have to show you guys the graphic that reveals DC’s full name (which means you’ll now know what the “C” stands for! Shhh, don’t tell DC. 😉 ) This graphic was made for me by Joy C. Woodbury:
(OooOoo, a second graphic!)
(Again, if you want to know more about Know the Novel or read other bloggers posts in Part 2 of the linkup click these pink words.)
1. How’s the writing going overall?
*crickets chirping* Uhh . . . I think I’ll skip this question. *rushes off*
2. What’s been the most fun aspect about writing this novel so far?
3. What do you think of your characters at this point? Who’s your favorite to write about?
Hm, probably the same. Except for one thing . . . . This is me right now → (Delano, MAKE UP YOUR MIND ABOUT THE PLOT! I’M GETTING TIRED OVER HERE!) Ahem, moving on. Y’all, I don’t pick favorites. It’s like saying who’s your favorite child. Don’t you know the detrimental effect that having favorites can do to the person who’s not picked (fictional characters included)?
4. Has your novel surprised you in any way?
At the moment, I don’t think so. Well, except that The Black Cat has a bit of humorous side that I didn’t really know about.
5. Have you come across any problem areas?
YES, BIG TIME! My entire mystery has been a big problem area. Half the time I’m like “how does this connect with the mystery?”
6. What’s been your biggest victory with writing this novel at this point?
Writing! I’m just happy I’m getting words on the page. This is the furthest I’ve ever written in a novel.
7. If you were transported into your novel and became any one of the characters, which one do you think you’d be? Would you take any different actions than they have?
Well, seeing as how I’m a girl, I guess I would be Chelsie. If I was her, I would definitely be more trusting of Delano. However, I could be one of those people who help The Black Cat and pretend to be him so he can be in two places at once! Oh yeah! That’d be awesome!
8. Give us the first sentence or paragraph then 2 (or 3!) more favorite snippets!
I love this question!!! Here is the first paragraph which is in The Black Cat’s perspective:
My ears turned toward a noise. The squeaking sound of the door to the hidden shack suddenly filled the room. For a split second, my heart picked up pace. I glanced over my shoulder to confirm the intruder was who I had suspected. After my suspicion was confirmed, I returned my attention to the papers in front of me, sprawled out on a low shelf that I had converted to a table.
Bonus snippet #1 in Delano’s perspective:
Chelsie opened her purse and pulled out a round object. I wanted to get a closer look, so I reached for it, but Chelsie jerked her hand back.
“Are you not going to show it to me?” I asked, raising my eyebrows.
“Of course I’m going to show it to you,” she said like she had to defend herself. “I’m just not gonna let you hold it.”
I frowned and glared at her. What did she have against me?
Bonus snippet #2 in The Black Cat’s perspective:
He nodded toward the man standing behind me who had brought me here. “Take off his mask.”
“Wait!” I shouted. I couldn’t let that mask come off. Time for the next tactic. “What if I make a deal with you?”
He leaned back in his seat. “Go on.”
“What if . . . I give you valuable information, and you let me keep the mask on and my real identity to myself?”
He rubbed his chin. “Hm, what kind of information?”
“Information regarding one of your secret agents.” I tilted my head, awaiting his response.
He frowned and furrowed his eyebrows. “How would you know about our secret agents?”
“Let’s just say it’s accidental. You see, important information has a way of falling into my lap. It’s valuable to you. And if I’m going to keep getting information for you, I need to keep my identity a secret. Otherwise obtaining information wouldn’t be easy. I’m sure you know that.”
He turned his attention to the two men standing behind me. “Take him outside the room while we discuss our final decision.”
Bonus snippet #3 in The Black Cat’s perspective:
I closed my eyes and listened. Nothing. I strained my ears so that I could catch something—anything—being said in that room.
Someone jerked me forward.
“What are you trying to do?” the man on my left asked. He stared hard at me.
I stared back and replied, “Is it a crime to close your eyes?”
And an EXTRA bonus snippet in The Black Cat’s perspective:
I read over the words again, my heart beating harder with every passing second.
You will see Melia very soon, the note read in hasty handwriting.
Whoever wrote this note knew that Melia Corbett was long dead. And now, they sought to see her husband, Gregory Corbett, dead as well.
9. Share an interesting tidbit about the writing process so far! (For example: Have you made any hilarious typos? Derailed from your outline? Killed off a character? Changed projects entirely? Anything you want to share!)
For this novel, I’m writing the scenes out of order. This is the first time I’ve done that. Normally, I start from the beginning and keep going. But with this novel, I did start at the beginning, but then jumped around and am writing whatever scenes come to mind first. So that means I’ve already written one of the spoiler scenes and a bunch of other scenes all out of order. It’s funny really because I am a very organized person so you’d think this book would be more organized than it is.
10. Take us on a tour of what a normal writing day for this novel looks like. Where do you write? What time of day? Alone or with others? Is a lot of coffee (or some other drink) consumed? Do you light candles? Play music? Get distracted by social media (*cough, cough*)? Tell all!
First, I complete my schoolwork for the day, so I’m usually writing later at night. Then, I pray over it, asking God to give me inspiration, ideas, and words to write. After that, I read the last paragraph where I left off from the last time I wrote to get me into the story, and then I go from there. I’m pretty good about not procrastinating when writing. But I do write slower because ideas don’t always flow as quickly, and sometimes I’m like “what do I do next?” And I’ll often sit there trying to figure out what needs to happen next.
Phew! We made it! *gives you cookies if you read the whole post* Alright, what do you think? Are you interested in Delano or The Black Cat? Which snippet did you like the best? If you skimmed the post, did you notice the reveal of the secret word and what the “C” in “DC” stands for? Anything else you’d like to say? Let me know in the comments below!
P.S. I recently guest posted on the blog, Glory for God Alone. If you’d like to read my post titled “Disney’s ‘Speechless’ in comparison to Christianity” click here.