Friday, August 16, 2013

In which I have written a novel and pour my soul out

Hi everyone!

Today officially became one of the most important days in my life, because today, I have officially written a novel!
This is the first draft only, yes, but it's an accomplishment so big it hasn't really hit me yet.

I've been writing since I can remember - first for school, where I'd always get an A for a story I'd written, and then in my spare time. The first thing I tried to write was a mystery novel when I was twelve (it didn't quite work out lol), but that only spiked my interest in writing. Although it wasn't until the beginning of 2009, when I first saw Twilight. Yes, it was one of those obssessions - I went and picked up the book a day after I'd seen the movie, and I devoured it. And that is when I really realized, when I really knew, that I wanted to do this for the rest of my life.

It has taken me a little over four years, but it has finally happened! I started writing The Bucket List on March 15th this year, but it wasn't 'for real'. I had only scribbled some scenes here and there - the school year was still nowhere close to ending, and I had to put all my focus into it. (Not that it has stopped me from writing, I must admit).
But then, on the second day of July, I was finally finished with school, and had two months to put all my time into writing this book and not doing much besides. And I did it.
I sat down every day, whether it was in front of my laptop or my notebook where I wrote by hand. I wrote. And each day brought something more into the story, each day I thoughts of a new twist, new character, new scene.

I won't lie to you. It wasn't easy.
Especially in the last ten days, as I began approaching the end - I was struck by this huge writer's block, and thought that every word I had written was crap. And you know what? Yeah, maybe some of it isn't the best thing ever written, surely it is not, but I pushed and pushed myself, until today, when I finally put two simple words, so poweful and important, on the blank page.
The End.

You can't really imagine what has gone through my mind these past month and a half - I'm sixteen, at the age where I should be partying and having fun and dating and trying to be as popular as I can. But I chose differently: I chose to be a book lover, I chose to be a passionate reader and writer. I chose to give in to my imagination, because there is nothing more powerful in this world than written word. Yes, I have suffered because of it - I will be honest, books have taken over my life; ever since I enrolled high-school two years ago, my grades have dropped horribly, I'm pretty sure a lot of people think I'm weird, and I have never kissed a boy, haven't even gotten close to it. Most of the things that are in my novel are purely based on my imagination. And, sure, it makes me sad sometimes, it makes me wonder why aren't the stars aligning already?
But you know what?

If there is anything books have thought me, it's that there's always something to believe in. Something to fight for. Something to hope for.
And I do. I believe that one day soon, love will track me down and overwhelm me, I know that one day I will be happy and in love and that everything will work out fine, because it has so far.
Also, I learned that imagination is stronger than despair, stronger than saddness.

There's something else good that came out of this all: the people.
There is so, so many good people I've met because of books. I'm in a book club with a bunch of awesome girls, who are always there for me and always supportive; I have connected with so many readers and authors who have always been quick to help me and cheer me on. And I don't think I will ever be able to thank someone somewhere enough, never be able to express my gratitude.

The truth is, books connect you. Books fulfill you. Books make you leave your world for a few hours, a few pages, and indulge in this other life, where you can literally do anything you want.

So, what I'm trying to say is, whether you're ten or thirty or seventy, if you want to write, write. If you want to read, read. Don't let anyone tell you vampires or fairies or magic aren't real, because they are. Only if you choose to believe it.
Because after writing a novel, I feel strong. I feel fulfilled. On top of the world.
Yes, there is a long journey ahead of me - there are edits, stress, rejections, hopes to get published, and there will be days that I will feel like it's all become too much and will want to just let it all go, but I know I will get through it.
Because to me, nothing can compare to the feeling of knowing that you are good and successful at what you do.

So read. Write. And never stop believing.


Friday, April 19, 2013

On Inspiration, Soundtracks and The Bucket List

Hey everyone!

How are things going?

I've decided to start off the posts with writing about the basics of the very act, e.g. why, when, where etc. Also, I'll post the sypnosis for The Bucket List, so you can tell me whether it sounds good or not.

Okay, so. The thing about Inspiration is that you can never see it coming. It just hits, in the most random of moments, and demands for words to be written down.
To me, it's triggered by anything and everything - I can just look outside for a while and a scene pops up in my head; I can be listening to a song and it comes at me; it can be really anything.

I personally love observing: people, nature, how everything works.. it all amazes me. So what I do is look at all of the listed, and then I pour it all on paper, and eventually it all makes sense (unlike me right now, ha.).

So what I'm saying is, if you're a writer, and you feel like Inspiration just won't ever come to you, just relax. Go outside, take a walk, lie under a tree or go to the shore at sunset and watch as the waves slap over your toes, illuminated by the red sun. And it will come, I tell you. Just close your eyes and imagine.
Build a new world in your mind, and let it take over; let the characters tell you their stories, let them live their lives.

The other thing I wanted to write about is Music. You see, my two greatest passions are books and music. And one without the other just doesn't work anymore. So when I'm writing, I need to listen music.
I don't do specific playlists, I just either turn up the radio and listen to whatever's on, or put my music player on shuffle. But this time, for The Bucket List, I've made a list of songs that are quite new and represent either the characters, or the story, and are, frankly, awesome.

The list is in the notebook where I'm writing the novel, and I don't really know it by heart, so I'll write you a couple of the songs to see the general feel of it:

Nelly Furtado - Bucket List
Hurts - Miracle
Fall Out Boy - The Phoenix
Placebo - For What Its Worth
Three Days Grace - Break

and so on, and so on..  Anyway, I'm running a bit out of time so I need to cut this post a bit short. I'll post the sypnosis of The Bucket List now. I've written it myself, and I'm pretty certain it sums up the story nicely, but also opens the door of possibilities. So, I hope you like!

  • For Lena Collins, time is running out.
    Her cancer has returned, and she decides to stop fighting it. Instead, she wants to travel the world, dance in the rain, and learn to appreciate life before it abruptly stops.
    What she doesn't expect is finding new friendships, realizing what she's doing to her family, and Thomas - the boy who seems to be the love of her life, but with a secret of his own.
  • Will she change her mind and decide to live, or will it be too late?
    For Jason Collins, things were going perfect until one phone call.
    His girlfriend, Suzanne, is the most brilliant person he's ever met, he'll be starting a top-of-the-class college soon, and he has a perfect family.
    Until his sister's cancer returns, and it all falls apart.
    Now, not only he's losing his sister, but the rest of his family, his good relationship with Suzanne, and above all, himself.
  • Can he put the pieces of his life back together before they're broken permanently?

    Until next post,

Saturday, April 13, 2013

An introduction

Hello there!

My name is Tamara Bašić, I am 16 years old (almost 16 and a half - yes, it matters), I live in Croatia, Europe, and I am a writer.
And believe it or not, I have something published, which actually makes me a "real" author, but more on that later.

First, I'll tell you why I decided to create this blog. The thing is, I often find myself thinking about the writing process, about books in general, or anything that's related to both, and I'm always the only one who gets to hear those thoughts, so I wanted to share them with you.
Also, I am hoping to introduce you to not just my works, but works of so, so many other wonderful and magnificent authors out there.
Also also, I will post little snippets or even full chapters of the stories and  novels I'm currently working on.

I must ask of you one thing - patience. I will try to update this blog as often as I can, but realize, please, that most of my time goes to school and writing so I'm often not online long enough to post new posts and work on the blog. I will try, though, I promise.

So, to get started, I shall tell you something about what I'm writing and what you can expect and where to buy my work. (If you do, you have a hug from me.)

    (<--this is me, btw. I don't like taking pictures, but oh well.)

Soo. One of my stories, titled WICKED GAMES, was published in an anthology called DARK HEART by Little Bird Publishing House, along with six other incredible stories by seven awesome authors, one of them Katie M. John (Forest of Adventures, anyone? I loved it!).

This is the DARK HEART anotholgy
Wicked Games is a story about a girl named Ellie Price, who, along with her mom and brother, is a Fae hunter. In Ellie's world, there are good fairies and bad ones. She hunts the latter, making sure that They do not disturb the human world and do it harm. One evening, her mom and brother go on a hunt, and don't come back. Not suspecting anything at first, she goes into her room, only to discover a Fae named Will, exactly the one who she should be hunting, in there.
But Will is different. And has a very special, and even more dangerous, task for Ellie.
Can she find an ally in the enemy, and a very infuriating one, to make her biggest kill yet, or will siding with the enemy cost not only her heart, but her life?

You'll have to read it to find out.
And just to tell you, I gave it to my English teacher to read, and she loved it, so now the entire class has to read my story for English class. I don't know whether to be horrified or to giggle.

So, now you ask, oh my, where could I possibly buy the anthology? Well, I might just help you.

Amazon has both e-version: here!, which is only $0,99!, and
paperback version: here!

I have to tell you, ALL PROFITS GO TO CHARITY, so not only would you buy a book, meet new authors, possibly discover something you'll love tremendously, but you would also help an organization called Young Minds, in the UK.

So what are you waiting for?

Also, you can add the book on Goodreads: Dark Heart
You can visit the Dark Heart blog, where all the info is, along with posts about each author and their story: blog
You can follow me on twitter: @tamsbookramble (I will most likely follow you back, unless you are spam. I don't like spam.)
You can also check out my other blog, which is about me being a reader and reviewer: Tamara's Book Ramblings

Aaaanyway, there is most likely something else I wanted to say, but forgot (it happens, what can I do?), so now I shall leave you with a little passage from a novel I'm working on, titled The Bucket List.

When I get out of the bookstore, the sun is shining again.
I walk on the pavement, stepping right through the puddles of rain, humming a Placebo song that I'd heart recently. I pass people on the street, and they look at me funnily. I wonder if they can see inside me, if the cancer is crawling under my skin.
Everyone's still asleep when I return home, so I crumple the note in my hand and go to my room. I place the novel among the others on the shelf, and take out the notebook. Inside the cover I write my initials, L. M. C., and on the first page, My Bucket List.
I've heard the term a couple of times, and discovered it stands for a list of things one wants to accomplish before one's dying day.
Taking a deep breath, I think of at least a dozen things that I need to put on that list. But I know that there is something much more important and needs to be done as soon as possible, no matter how much I dread it.
I shut the notebook, then think about it and flip it open on the last page. Across all the lines I write two words, the first challenge:

(Just so you know, L.M.C. stands for Lena Marie Collins, who is the protagonist of the novel. There is one more POV in it, and it's her brother Jason's.)

I'm off to edit the blog (background and everything)..
I hope you'll like the blog, perhaps give it a follow, and enjoy what I write about.

Talk to you soon!