July 11, 2013 · 10:48 pm
Why Should I Include A Map in my Book? Well-drawn map illustrations add so much to publications, portraying the setting and its style in a unique way, giving readers a sense of era and location before they even turn the first page. It allows them to visually enjoy the story or text you’ve crafted so carefully from words.
I don’t know if all readers are like me, but when I read a gripping, well-written story, I’m transported in my mind to a place where I can see the plot unfolding like I’m watching a movie. This draws me in and keeps me reading—because I’m dying to know what happens next! And when I can flip back to a map and “see” the setting in my mind and know what’s where with respect to everything else, I enjoy the characters’ experiences in an even more personal way because I feel like I know where they live and like I’m involved in their lives. I know how far the hero traveled on his tired old horse, or how treacherous the mountains appear that lie between the good guys and safety. How swampy is the swampland? How big is the lake? With a good map, I can visualize in my mind what the author’s trying to convey. When I read Tolkien, I have a feel for both the world he so masterfully created and the culture with which he wants to acquaint me because he drew elegant maps with delightful elements such as rune-style writing, early European type compass roses, and even personal touches like a little spider web in the corner. These are the types of things that tell me an author greatly wants to share his world with his reader.
Maps are especially important in books that flesh out historical events, allowing both the casual reader and the informed history buff to accurately place the action and become familiar with the terrain as it appeared during the era in which your account takes place. This is a key element to engaging a reader’s interest, stirring them to want more. A well-drawn historical map will often prompt a reader to look up other maps from the setting in question and want to learn more about the book’s era—which in turn will make them want to read your next one!
Here’s the map I drew for my novel Amberly:
Dora here. Have you considered including a map in your novel? If you have included an illustration, would you care to share your experience? What type of feedback did you receive?
Snatched by coldblooded enemies as a declaration of war, Eleanor Williamston finds herself caught in a deadly snare—miles from home and lost in the wilderness. Her heart is drawn to the handsome guardsman who rescues her, but is torn when he challenges her political ideals. Then she finds out he’s been keeping something from her—and her entire world turns over. Marsten longs for a God-fearing wife, but cannot marry the lady he desires. The sassy young schoolteacher he rescues catches his eye, but he fears she’ll turn out to be like the beautiful women who’ve broken his trust in the past. Journey with them through the spectacular but treacherous Aspian Mountains while they evade enemy pursuit and wrestle through the challenges of wilderness and budding love, only to run headlong into Ellie’s family—and a whole new onslaught of foes.
Mary Elizabeth Hall home educates her three daughters at home in sunny South Carolina. They laugh about how they can’t roast marshmallows without experimenting to see how various snack foods burn on a stick. With degrees from Cornell and Syracuse, Mary has a professional background in business management, but she’s found her true passion is for writing, editing, and illustrating. Website and Blog: https://maryelizabethhall.com/ Twitter: @mryliz Facebook: www.facebook.com/Maryelizabethhall Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/book/show/16037113-amberly If you’d like to inquire about having a map drawn for your novel, come visit my Illustrations page at: https://maryelizabethhall.com/illustrations/
Filed under Blog Tour, Illustration, Map
Tagged as Amberly, Christian fiction, Illustration, illustrations, inspirational fiction, Map, mapmaking, maps, Mary Elizabeth Hall, romance, thriller
April 26, 2013 · 2:47 pm
Filed under Amberly Updates
Tagged as amazon, Amberly, author, book, Books, Christian, christian romance, Christian romance novel, history, novel, novels, rank, reader, romance, stories, story, writing
January 19, 2013 · 11:28 pm
I’ve been linked in a blog hop and asked about new releases! Here’s my interview:
What is the working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I’ve had the story behind Amberly and the rest of the Crestmere Series in my mind for more than 35 years. I realized two years ago I was forgetting parts of it, so I began writing it down! Friends loved chapters I sent them and begged me for more, and the writing / learning / revising process began. The idea came from my dreams of exploring the ideas of romance and relationships in other times and places.
What genre does your book fall under?
Romantic suspense, in a setting similar to eighteenth century England.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Oh, that’s such a great question! I know exactly what (or who) each character looks like, but don’t know whether certain actors would be the best ones to play these roles. Marsten’s face (but not his hair) looks exactly like a Perry Ellis model named Tommy Dunn. I spotted Tommy on a wall over the men’s suits at Dillards two years ago. His face is just like the one I’ve envisioned in my mind for thirty five years (which is rather funny because I doubt that Mr. Dunn’s even thirty five years old). Eleanor looks like a particular photo I saw once of Catherine Zeta Jones, but she acts more like my feisty Irish ancestors. Mayor Williamston in my mind looks like Theoden actor Bernard Hill. Margaret Williamston’s a bit trickier. I have an image in my mind of what she looks like, but don’t know who might portray her best. And as for Hrunfaldr the Norlander chieftain, I picture Thor actor Chris Hemsworth – but he’d have to be about thirty years older!
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Snatched by coldblooded enemies as a declaration of war, Eleanor Williamston finds herself caught in a deadly snare—miles from home and lost in the wilderness, where her heart is drawn to the handsome guardsman who rescues her, but then is torn when he challenges her political ideals—and then reveals something that will make her choices even more difficult.
Where can your book be purchased?
Amberly is available on Amazon and all the usual places.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I pounded out the first draft of what became the first two books over four months during late summer and early fall, 2010. I’ve spent the two years since then revising both manuscripts, while learning from writers’ conferences and working with critique groups.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Amberly has similarities to novels by Jane Austen, Liz Curtis Higgs, MaryLu Tyndall, and even has touches that would appeal to lovers of Tolkien, epic classical literature, and poetry.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
While I was growing up, I became fascinated with the notion of twin heirs to royalty, born in the forest so no one knew which was the firstborn, coming to trust only in one another and determined to someday reign together. I enjoyed mulling over the unique joys and challenges this might present, and soon their adventures together began in my mind. Other characters joined them, and their stories matured while I did. When I became a believer in Christ, their lives and struggles blossomed like mine with desire to please God while struggling against forces from without and within that seek to oppose Him. Now I see these stories as a means to share with others in an enjoyable way some of the crucial things I’ve learned about life and love, providing a legacy of Biblical truth for generations to come. It’s my hope and prayer that readers will come away loving God more deeply and desiring to serve Him better.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
To me, the setting of a story is as much a character as the hero or heroine of any story. Since I’ve always viewed these stories like a movie playing in my mind, I’ve sought to convey the richness and beauty of the surroundings so the reader is swept away into the world of the characters, and can see and feel what they do. Readers and reviewers have commented enthusiastically on this, so it appears other people enjoy immersing themselves in the world of the stories they read as much as I do!
Check out some other great author blogs too:
Rebecca Davis for gripping missionary biographies
Fay Lamb for romance and family
Selena Fulton – It’s All About the Journey
Susan Tuttle’s Encouraging Small Steps that Lead to Giant Leaps in Christ
and Kathryn J. Bain for clean fiction with an edge!
December 22, 2012 · 6:08 pm
This is a modernized (i.e., made with a blender 🙂 ) version of the Green Slurry from Amberly, Chapter 36. Very healthy. Enjoy!
Fill a blender pitcher in this order:
– 2 to 3 handfuls of greens – kale, spinach, romaine, etc..
– 1 handful of fruit – fresh or frozen
– 1/2 banana
– 1/2 cup orange juice
– 1/2 cup apple juice
– Stevia or sweetener
– Water to fill to 4/5 full
Blend up and serve! Add a Tbsp of almond butter for a meal replacement. Make several pitchers worth and store in a Mason jar for 24 hrs!
Filed under Recipes, Royal Recipe Collection, Uncategorized
Tagged as Amberly, Beverages, Delicious, green, Green Slurry, health, healthy, Salad, slushie, slushy, smoothie
December 3, 2012 · 10:00 pm
See my interview with Lynn Squire at FaithJourneybooks! Grand Prize Giveaway! Leave a comment either on this website, or my Facebook Author Page, or one of my Articles, or one or more of my Blog Tour Posts by December 15 for a chance to win an autographed copy of Amberly!
April 12, 2012 · 3:49 pm
My first novel, Amberly, will be released this summer!! As we close in on the date, I’ll be having promotions and events to celebrate on various blogs with giveaway prizes. Please go to Facebook and “Like” my Author Page to get up-to-date information.