Monday, March 9, 2015

Blog Tour (Guest Post): The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

Summary: (Goodreads)
Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.
Jodi's bio

Jodi Meadows lives and writes in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, with her husband, a Kippy*, and an alarming number of ferrets. She is a confessed book addict, and has wanted to be a writer ever since she decided against becoming an astronaut. She is the author of the INCARNATE Trilogy and the forthcoming ORPHAN QUEEN Duology (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen). Visit her at www.jodimeadows.com

Purchase links: Chapters Indigo| AmazonCA

Guest Post: Calligraphy 

I started learning calligraphy because of THE ORPHAN QUEEN.

Pretty quickly in the planning stages, I knew that Wilhelmina was into forgery ­­ it's part of her skill at borrowing others' identities ­­ so I had to figure out how to make this real and convincing for the reader. Well. Any excuse to buy office/art supplies. First, I figured out what kind of writing instrument Wil would use. My initial thought was fountain pens, because the level of technology is more advanced than a lot of fantasy. But after some research, I realized that didn't work with the world I'd set up.

So then I looked into dip pens. It turns out there are several different kinds. The wide, broad­edged ones used for Gothic and Roman lettering, and the pointy ones meant for Copperplate and Spencerian writing. I got some of both and tried the broad­edged ones first, but I kept finding myself drawn to the long, elegant lines of Copperplate.

Well, back up. Because I made a lot of mistakes in there. I bought paper that didn't hold ink nicely, or was pretty rough for pointed pens (so the tines would catch on the upstrokes). I bought inks I didn't like that much. I got more paper. And eventually, after I felt I'd made lots of mistakes, I put it aside for a while and worked on my book, confident I could write what it felt like to move the pen on paper, and where to have young Wilhelmina make mistakes.

Fast forward to the middle of freaking out about the sequel. I picked up calligraphy again, researched more, and vowed to practice according to the book I'd bought, starting with using the proper pen holder for Copperplate, drawing straight lines, moving on to curves and other parts of letters ­­ before I even drew the first letter. Not surprisingly, this went a lot better and I learned quickly.

I'm still nowhere as good at it as Wilhelmina, but practice has helped, and I guess the hobby is sticking.

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