With this post, I’m introducing a new feature: Guest Posts! I think this will be a great way to broaden the scope of my blog, introduce bloggers and authors, and discuss things I’m not well versed on or do not usually mention on here.
The first person to be featured is Miri Castor, author of the young-adult fantasy series Opal Charm, who will share what it took to write the first novel in the series, The Path to Dawn.
Hello cool people!
Miri Castor here and I’m super excited to be on this blog! I’m the sci-fi fantasy writer of the Opal Charm series, starting with my debut novel The Path to Dawn. It’s a story I created as a sixth grader and never wanted to let go. It started out as a simple story about a girl who gains powers and uses it to save her friend and family, but is now something deeper than that.
The Path to Dawn tells the story of a young girl who lives with her doubts and insecurities as she enters junior high school. After meeting the mysterious new student Hope Adaire, Opal gets caught up in her strange life along with Opal’s best friend Aaron Reyes. In the midst of this, Opal stumbles upon a new world called Athre, where she learns she has a power that can save this new world and her own from an impeding threat.
There were a few inspirations for this story. First was my own issues with family and myself, which manifested into many insecurities. I found my escape in video games, such as Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts. But neither of those games had any characters who represented me, an introverted black girl. I really wanted to create a kind of fantasy setting that existed in Kingdom Hearts, and all the fantasy books I read as an avid bookworm, and then add my own experiences and diversity to them. This amalgam of my culture, environment, and video games birthed Opal Charm: The Path to Dawn.
Writing The Path to Dawn felt so long ago, but I do remember what it took for me to continue working on it:
Writing whenever I could
Contrary to events like NanoWriMo and those other author quotes that say “just write every day,” I don’t think you have to. You can’t force creativity; when it comes, it comes. If you wanna go 3 years not writing, you can and you shouldn’t feel bad about it.
Cure writer’s blocks
The easiest way for me to pull out of writer’s blocks was to do anything other than writing. Watching movies, reading books, and playing video games helped get the creativity flowing.
Talking to other authors
I met one sci-fi author at Afropunk Fest, Nova Sparks, and she’d told me her publishing story. I was (and still am) a genuine introvert, so reaching out to her was a major step for me. When she talked to me about what she’d done and what I had to do, that gave me the push to rewrite and finish my novel.
Jumping into revisions
I sincerely enjoyed revising my story. I get to analyze and critique my own writing style, see myself as a reader, and relive the story again (after a 2-year break). Don’t fear the revision process! I see it as a time to be a reader and reviewer, except I can actually make the changes.
I hope my tips are helpful to you guys and feel free to shoot me a message! I’m more than happy to meet aspiring writers, bloggers, and interested readers.
Miri Castor can be found on the following platforms: