Thursday, February 14, 2013

Guest post with Evelyn Ink author of Ill-Fated and FREE book

On “Where did I hide my creativity again?”

I grew up in a home that wasn’t exactly stocked with books, but completely devoid of television, so reading was a big part of my childhood. My father was a teacher, so we didn’t have a lot of money, but that’s not why we didn’t have a TV. He wasn’t just a teacher, he was one of those teachers who believed television was killing the youth of America: killing their attention spans and creativity that is. Unbelievable huh? Growing up with no TV. We were freaks. I’m sure I was the only child in the nineties still listening to radio programs. Radio programs, are you hearing this? Yeah, I would listen to “Riders in the Sky” on NPR, Sunday nights.

Luckily, we lived in the country so there was plenty to keep my brother and I occupied as long as it wasn’t too dark or too cold out, plus this was Wyoming so it was completely acceptable to allow small children to play unsupervised with fireworks and firearms at all times of the year. C’mon it was fine, we were always under the watchful eye of at least one neighborhood dog (I’m not sure, but I think using dogs as nannies is still completely legal in many midwestern states).

My dad did make sure to take us to the library at least once a week (libraries, much like the outdoors, are free). I would generally leave the library with six to eight books, carefully stacked and balanced under my chin, and I would have all of them read by the time we returned the following week. I can distinctly remember sliding the books carefully onto a counter taller than I was, then standing on tiptoe to hand the librarian my card (the nineties in Wyoming were like the fifties to the rest of the world; no one supervised their children or used seat belts).

My father remained unrepentant about his no television policy, often boasting to other parents about my high reading scores; by the time I was in fourth grade I was reading at a twelfth grade level (of course on the playground, my lack of a proper pop culture education was quite apparent, as I could neither quote the Simpsons nor knew what had happened on Alf the night before, both of which negatively affected my social standing).

It’s impossible to say how well, or how much, I would have read if we had had a TV, but I will say this: the combination of having a whole lot of unspecified play time (being the outdoors, not soccer practice) combined with nothing mindless to fill this void (being no video games or TV), rather than causing boredom, spurred my creativity early on (granted some creative outlets were more desirable than others, but don’t freak out parents, it was Wyoming, all the kids were setting things on fire). Looking back at my childhood as well as watching children today, I can see how imaginative play is almost exactly like storytelling; it’s a combination of acting and playing, and there must always be a plot; stuffed bunnies and bears can become monsters or friends, toys become weapons or magical devices, and always, always, you are the hero of the day.

More and more, in a world cluttered with social media devices, I have to look back on that place I was as a child, and see that as an adult I still need those same things to be creative; large chunks of time and a space free of distractions (so that means turning my Mac’s air port off, leaving my phone in the other room, and turning off the... oh wait, I still don’t have a TV), only then, do I find that same kind of creativity I grasped onto so easily as a kid; a kind of mental play that now fuels my desire to write and tell stories (I don’t set things on fire anymore).

About Ill-fated:

“The stars have aligned to make my life grim and loathsome...” fourteen year old Leila Edgewick stands on the brink of disaster, balancing the fate of Bainland and her father’s legacy against a vague, ill-fated prophecy. A meaningless number, a luckless red moon, and worst of all– a star that falls south– send Leila on a quest she does not expect to survive.

Simultaneously, an unknown boy wakes up in the sunken hull of a decrepit cargo ship. Captured and mind-locked, the boy– dubbed “Sam” by the ship’s crew– must escape the infamous Bonesplitter and the dark schemes of one Captain Erastacus Oren.
All the while, Leila journeys out of Bainland. Crossing the wall for the first, she finds a world where magic meets machine. Aeroskiffs, daguerreotypes, and automatons merge with the earth-dolven magic of the South, leaving her to question, “What is sorcery and what is science?”

When Leila and Sam's paths cross, fate ties them together, sending them deep into the Ramble in search of the Wasteland Witches. Plagued by Sam's erratic memory and Leila's dubious rationale, they must outwit the Southland drudge hunters, and take on the dangers of the Ramble: sandwolves, bloodswamps, and the Kartivause – terrifying night creatures from the Shadowland.

Their friendship develops quickly, but as Leila’s quest unravels, Sam’s past is pieced together– and when Sam’s identity is finally revealed, Leila must face up to a bloody family history that could rip their friendship apart...

If this pricked your curiosity, you can skulk about on my blog:

Or check my books out on amazon here.  The exciting news is that if you click on the cover of her book above you can get your own copy of Ill-Fated FREE for the next 5 days!!

Author Bio:

The plaque on Mrs. Ink’s lawn reads the Edgington Mansion, it was once thought to be lovely, though now rather decrepit and certainly full of secrets. She lives here with her husband. He is a philosopher, and said to be quite mad. According to Mrs. Ink their house is full of books, “Stacked, piled, and always advancing out and away from the shelves that ought to keep them in.” She paints and draws, writes and reads, and occasionally goes down into the dark, dismal, cobweb-creepy dungeon, to do laundry.

Evelyn Ink is the author of the YA fantasy novel Ill-fated and the children’s trilogy Sticks, Stones, and Dragon Bones. She was formally trained to be a parachutist, but found it did not fit her longstanding desire to avoid heights and thus decided to study the much less vertically horrifying subject of English Literature.

If interested, you may choose to follow Mrs. Ink on her blog or check in with her on facebook. However, due to her absolute terror of electronics and a crippling phobia of the social media (technical term: Socmephobia), her blog posts tend to be infrequent and erratic. Also, due to several post exile investigations she is generally prevented from giving any specific information regarding her whereabouts...

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