Friday, March 21, 2014

Guest Post: INSPIRED Blog Tour by Danielle Shipley

Hello all!

Today I have a wonderful guest post from the wonderful Danielle Shipley as part of her INSPIRED Blog Tour. which topic refers to her latest novel, Inspired!

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC and if you missed it you can find my review here!

Check out the great giveaway and excerpt after this equally awesome guest post!

“The place looked as messy as a mind.”

Although I specifically penned that line to convey Luc the muse’s first impression of his new author Annabelle’s bedroom, the description could just as well apply to INSPIRED as a whole. The book is seriously not even pretending to be a normal novel.

It contains snippets of original novels and whole short stories within a story, along with the in- story author’s disorganized pre-writing notes. The characters jump in between layers of fiction, many of them carrying on two or more lives at the same time. There’s even the occasional interlude known as the “Totally In-Depth Author-to-Character Q&A”, where everybody drops everything to answer questions about, like, how tall they are and stuff. (The deep questions, folks.) It’s like the book was asked what it wished to be when it grew up, and responded with, “A space cowboy veterinarian ballerina rock star.” The novel wanted to go wild and do it all. So I let it.

Why? Well, why in the world not? It wasn’t a deliberate tactic to make the book stand out (although I do value individuality pretty highly, so no complaints if I managed it!). It certainly wasn’t with the intention to make my poor editorial team’s job more complicated (you are brave and beautiful people to leave my deranged baby so much intact, JTP!). It’s just the way this particular story seemed to demand to be told. 

Because some stories are weird. Some stories are a dozen personalities trying to get along with each other. Some stories are like their author and their messy minds. And sometimes, if I do say so myself, those stories end up being pretty dang amazing. If you’re feeling inspired, why not so see for yourself whether you agree? (:

Release Date: March 17, 2014
Target Reader: Adult
Keywords: Fiction

For a muse like Lucianíel, one story’s end is another’s beginning.

In the wake of his author’s sudden death, Luc takes ownership of her surviving creations—four fantastical characters with tales yet to be told—saving them from unwritten lives crumbling around them and giving them a second chance at a literary future.

Luc finds that chance in the unsuspecting mind of Annabelle Iole Gray, a quirky teen with her head in the clouds, nose in a book, and imagination ripe for a brilliant muse’s inspiration.

Or so he hopes.

Neither Luc nor Annabelle, however, realize all they’ve undertaken. Even with a to-write list including accounts of a shape-shifting cat creature, gentle knight-in-training, vigilante skater girl, and a mystery boy smothering in unspoken fear, the most remarkable saga created between author and muse just may turn out to be one stranger than fiction.

Their own.


One: Beginnings and Endings

There are people, Luc found, who are very good at having ideas—needing only to live and to be—not even to think, as active thought might only get in the way. Ideas will fall into their laps, as if from nowhere.

Of course, nothing truly comes from nowhere. Everything must have its start, including—and especially—ideas.

The source of an idea, however, is not always as easily found as the idea itself. Some people remain content never to explore where their ideas began, being merely glad of the results, whereas others become so enamored of beginnings, they have difficulty casting their gaze much further ahead than the starting point.


Jean St. John was the second sort of person—one full of ideas, brimming with beginnings. As she drove through the gray-covered morning toward her workplace, an ending was the farthest thing from her mind.

Manicured fingers rapped paradiddles on the steering wheel. Vermillion lips murmured nothing in particular, and pulled into a smile. “I dreamed a dream, this night gone by.”

“A dream of me?” Luc asked, glad of the conversation—anything to distract him from the gloom of the sky.

She chuckled. “What else? They’re always of you. You, but not you. His hair fell too short, and I remember something about violins, which has nothing to do with you. Or can you play?”

“No,” he said, dismissively. “My voice is music enough.”

She did not need to utter a word on the matter for him to know she’d always thought so. “And he didn’t glow golden, but almost silver,” she said instead. “Ethereal silver, like bright moonlight on water. Was he water? A water spirit? Mmm, no, far more to do with air. Even fire.”

“A mystery elemental,” he mused. “Sure to be quite the character, my dear. But what is the story?”

She shrugged. “I suppose there’s a romance. He strikes me as the romantic type. And I may have caught a glimpse of her, an inkling of dark passion … Who is she? Another elemental. Water to his fire, or earth to his air … or a human. Which would be worse?” she asked.

He laughed. “Nothing worse than a human.”

She shot him a wry look. “Luc …”

“Jean …” he said in kind. Gaze snapping past her, he barked without music, “Jean!”

The word’s echo grew into a thunderous crash as a midsized monster too much in a hurry to heed a red light hit her silver sedan. With nothing to restrain him, as he never wore seatbelts, Luc shot through the shattered windshield and out onto the pavement slick with the remains of scattered showers.

In no pain, but greatly shaken, he rose. The eyes of the driver at fault appeared glazed with confusion. Oh, has ignoring the traffic laws led to disaster? Inconceivable! Luc spared the fool no more attention, turning it all to one who mattered more.

He leaned over the misshapen hood of the stranger’s car to the crumpled door of hers, calling her name. She did not move, and gave no answer, all her ideas leaking away into a crimson pool.

Luc stepped away, his face a perfect, pallid blank, staring at the end of his world.

About the Author:


Danielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. …Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: Packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them. She’s also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing young adult novels, she’s probably blogging about it.

Twitter: @DEShipley

No comments: