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note to self: i’ll be there for you, always

written june 6, 2021. Photo by Kristine Cinate on Unsplash I have always looked for myself in other people. I think the idea was that they would somehow hold the pieces of me that I felt were missing. That maybe, if I wrapped my identity up in theirs enough, we would somehow make a whole person. It's not healthy to live like this, but I did it anyway — burning through relationships and searching for something I couldn't quite name. It was never enough, not to be myself, but it was never enough to latch my identity to other people, either. I got close, several times — I thought I had reached the pinnacle of self discovery. I thought I had completed myself. But in the end, relying on other people to help build yourself is never a viable way to do things. It's only recently that I've started to become comfortable with the idea of being enough, as I am, on my own. Several years ago, in this same position, I would have searched for another person to attach my identity onto,

Beautiful Books: Carry Your Throne

Today I'm linking up with Beautiful Books to highlight my novel for NaNoWriMo 2016!

1. What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

Carry Your Throne came to be the moment I said to my friend Caroline, "I want to write a cliche fantasy novel, no matter how cliche it will be." She told me to do it. And thus, CYT was born.

The title and ideas came later, especially thanks to the song "Carry Your Throne" by Jon Bellion.

2. Describe what your novel is about!

Barrie Whitman and Felix Meier are best friends--at least, until they tumble head-first into an entirely different world where they discover they're both heirs to rivaling kingdoms. Their whole lives turn upside down, as does their relationship with each other. As tensions mount, Barrie and Felix are forced to examine where their allegiances lie, as well as what--and who--matters most.

(I hate writing blurbs, but I did it. Hooray.)

3. What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!

Dark forests, ravens, pale blue skies.

Also: Medieval castles, red and gold, and a general feel that I can only describe as "Gryffindor" or "King Arthur." (I'm going to embrace the cliche okay?)

4. Introduce us to each of your characters!

Barrie Whitman

Barrie, named after J.M. Barrie and Walt Whitman. One of my protagonists. Cynical, quiet, reserved. Not too happy about being away from "the real world." Secretly-not-so-secretly inspired by the black hair/pale skin/red lips of Snow White. It's hard for me to put her into words, but I love her.

Felix Meier

Felix: pure cinnamon roll. Too precious for this world (so I guess he found a different one). Approximately 99.9% of the pictures I have of him involve him covering his eyes. He's quiet and tenderhearted. Like just let me love you. I'm probably crying about him right now as we speak.


Lucy Steele is a character I've had for approximately 99 years (this is an exaggeration). She is recycled from an old story of mine, and she'll be guiding Felix and Barrie through their new, unknown, (very cliche) fantasy world.

Unnamed Character #1

I found this character via Pinterest and Luke Cage. What is his name? Who is he? Why is he in the bath? We just do not know.

Unnamed Character #2

Hey, Matthew Dadarrio, wanna be in my story as a rebellious prince? Okay, cool. Welcome.

Side note: name suggestions welcome.

5. How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)

It involves a lot of screaming, I can tell you that much.

In reality, I try to think about my story as much as possible and plot it out in my head. Last year, when I jumped headfirst into NaNo with no plot, I realized I really need to plot out stuff before NaNo, so I'm trying to at least get a little idea of what this story is about. I'm also just trying to get to know the characters too, which is one of the most important parts of novel plotting for me. (Considering I have 3/5 characters named and little-to-no defined personalities, it's going GREAT!)

6. What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

Writing fantasy again! It's been way too long. The last time I wrote fantasy was in 2012. I've grown a lot as a writer, and despite the fact that the motto of this novel is BE CLICHE AND HAVE FUN, I do have a couple twists in mind to make it super exciting.

7. List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

I mean, just imagine the setting/feel of these three things: Robin Hood (BBC), Merlin (BBC), and Harry Potter (still British). That sums up what I'm aiming for with this novel. (Apparently I'm actually writing a BBC show, guys.)

8. What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?

I think it kind of changes throughout the book. For both Felix and Barrie, first their goal is to get home. Then their goal is to understand what is happening to them. Then their goal is to help their kingdoms succeed. As for what stands in their way? I'm hoping to have a couple different villains/obstacles, but one of the biggest villains they face is going to be each other.

9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

Oh man, I have no idea since I have a feeling a lot of the story will come to me as I write it (no matter how much I try to plot; thanks, brain). But considering they go from reluctant heroes to willing participants in their fates, I think it's going to be a pretty significant change.

10. What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

My hope is to convey the ambiguity of life and how not everything is clearcut and black and white. Instead, life is more like shades of gray. (No, not that kind of shades of gray.) I hope to try my hand at not being heavy-handed in who is "good" and who is "bad" and instead try to make everyone fully-rounded and human.

When the story is over, I hope that the readers have fully felt something. Whether they are crying, laughing, or throwing the book at the wall, I just hope they feel it.

Are you doing NaNo? How do you want readers to feel when your story is over?


  1. I NEED THIS STORY. I love the cliche goal! That sounds fun. Also the cast. I love the cast. BARRIE WHITMAN IS PERFECT. I'M SO EXCITED. Name suggestions for Luke Cage: Luke, uh, wait... umm... Matt. No... Danny? WAIT. STOP. I got nothing. Unnamed character #2 reminds me of one of my characters so I want to suggest his name, but he's my character. That wouldn't work. Maybe Frank. Nah. That's lame. Something princely. (Also I can already tell rebellious prince will be my favorite.)

    I love the graphics and the aesthetics.

    ALSO BBC SHOW STORY. YES. I love it. I laughed so much reading that. 10/10 would watch, even if it rips my heart out.

    Good? Good. If I think of any prince-worthy names or any names NOT associated with Marvel's Netflix shows, I'll let you know. This sounds exciting, adventurous, and wonderful. I'm looking forward to how it all turns out.

  2. Gosh your covers are always beautiful but THIS one. You've outdone yourself!

    Your novel sounds really intriguing! Looking forward to seeing more of your NaNo updates. :)

  3. Ohmygod, this sounds amazing!! Writing cliches can be so fun, I'm going to have cliched fantasy kingdom in my NaNo book too! And just, I love the sound of everything about this already! I love books that kind of bend the who's "good" and who's "bad" of things and I'm sure you'll do an amazing job tackling that!

    "Hey, Matthew Dadarrio, wanna be in my story as a rebellious prince? Okay, cool. Welcome." Had I not been sold on your story before reading this, this would've sealed the deal. Lol. I mean, who doesn't want some version of Matthew Dadarrio in their story??? Names for him include: Tristan. Quentin. Lorin. Lucian. And Mathew. (I may have just used a random name generator, but I'm trying to be helpful! And find it hilarious that the last name it gave me was Mathew. =D )

    Also, you're prep process is sooo relatable, the screaming part, obviously. XD

    But seriously, this sounds so amazing and like it will be so much fun to write! Good luck with NaNo!

  4. AAAHHH, SKY. IS WRITING A FANTASY BOOK FOR NANO. Okay, okay. Just let me calm my fantasy-loving heart. But SKY. Cliche fantasy is my faaaavorite. I don't care how cliche it is, I ALWAYS LOVE IT. I mean, obviously. Since that's the majority of what I write, and IS all I've ever written for NaNo.

    And this story. o.o It sounds amazing. I am absolutely and utterly in love with the idea of the two MCs having different KINGDOMS and end up clashing. All the drama and character-arcs and fun thiiings. THIS IS GONNA BE AMAZING. Your characters seem awesome as well. "Too precious for this world (so I guess he found a different one)." PERFECT. XDD

    The aesthetics are so eerily beautiful. And Merlin is my favorite show on this planet and I adore Robin Hood as well, so basically I AM ALREADY IN LOVE WITH THIS STORY.

    Will there be dragons??? Because because because DRAGONS. *grins*

  5. First up: That cover is gorgeous and I love the dark color scheme.

    This novel sounds like it will be so much fun to write! Just from reading this, I'm really drawn to Felix (also—your character names are great). The cliche-fantasy goal is awesome. Good luck with NaNo!


  7. I've been enjoying your struggles with names on Twitter...I feel your pain, man. I had the perfect last name for one of my characters last night, and now it's completely gone. you'd think I'd have the intelligence to write these important things down, but no.....

    THIS SOUNDS SO GOOD. Cliche fantasy were my favourite thing as a young teenager, and I still have a huge soft spot for them. Also, love the name Barrie for a girl! I think it really gives an indication of what kind of character she's going to be. or at least, I have an extremely strong mental of her and her personality just from the little that you've said about her! Can't wait to read more about this fantastic idea!!!! :D

  8. YOUR BOOK COVER IS AMAZING. and ohhhh this sounds so fabulous! lucy sounds incredible.

    evelyn clickman @ if these stars shall fall

  9. "Who is he? Why is he in the bath?" <-- I don't know why but that made me laugh so hard. Ahh, I love it. xD

    okay but THE AESTHETICS IN THIS POST. I feel like whenever I come to your blog (which I should remember to way more often because it's lovely) I end up screaming about the aesthetics. Your design and the way you set up your posts and that cover and the collages and aaah. *muffled screaming* so beautiful and this story sounds lovely. <3

    // katie grace
    a writer's faith

  10. I just stumbled across your blog and oh my god, this sounds SO good! It is a really clever idea and I'd love to be able to read this someday! :)

  11. You're writing a BBC show, I love it!

  12. OMG I LOVE ROBIN HOOD AND MERLIN and kinda like Harry Potter. and THIS BOOK SOUNDS AWESOME! I also have a Beautiful Books post. Also young adult. But more along the lines of Pirates of the Caribbean. I can't write fantasy...idk I try but I tend to be all 'it has to be real ish... I've wondered about changing my YA action adventure into a fantasy. My first thought was adding some kind of time travel element. But I'm not sure.


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