Monday Blog: The Boys of Our Lady

 

 

 

We’ve arrived at the final blog post for the month of June. To close out one of this month’s themes, this one is all about the male characters in the Our Lady of Righteous Rage series. I won’t lie: this is my favorite W.E. series, and I’ve sort of been looking forward to this post.

Our Lady follows Amy Edwards and friends as they start a business, a band, and try to keep up with both, while jumping over hurdle after hurdle. What sets this series apart from the others I’ve published so far, are the characters: they are anthropomorphic cats. However, when you’re reading the books in this series, you may find yourself completely ignoring that, and just enjoying the story. Another difference: stream of consciousness. Each chapter is narrated by a different character (think William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying). On the surface, that may sound confusing, but I can assure you it’s not. The chapters are short, and there aren’t that many characters to keep up with. So, let’s get to the boys, shall we? (SPOILER ALERT AHEAD!)

David Sarconi: He and Amy start out as friends, then they become boyfriend and girlfriend, then they get married. And then, it all changes. David tries to be passionate about music, but he just doesn’t seem to be his thing. On top of that, he doesn’t think it should be Amy’s thing, either. He’s also Nick’s cousin, and while the two start out just fine, David changes and begins to distance himself from his cousin.

Nicolas “Nick” Lianetti: Born in Sicily and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Nick is the lead singer and primary song writer for Our Lady of Righteous Rage. Music has been his passion since he was young. His father wasn’t around very much while he was growing up, but it helped shape him into a mature and responsible young man (or cat). He’s very even-tempered; he remains calm in situations that would send any other person into a rage (such as a cheating girlfriend…).

Aidan Sirci: Okay, I’ll just say it: Aidan is my favorite male character in the series. Life knocked him down more times than not, but he just keeps getting up. He’s generally cheerful and in a good mood, cracking jokes and making sarcastic remarks. He’s Nick’s best friend, and Amy’s non-biological big brother. Tall, blond, and green-eyed, most of the band’s female fans tend to gravitate to him, even though he’s deeply in love with his wife, Dee.

Rob Zickye: He’s half Scottish and half German, and the tallest member of the band (six foot five, btw). He’s been in love with Amy since they met in high school, but the two don’t get together until later on. Rob is a self-taught drummer, and can play nearly any song by ear. He’s also my second favorite, and another character who’s father wasn’t in the picture (a common theme in this series). He’s protective of his family, especially his older brother, who happens to be bipolar.

Mike Murnsen: Mike knows his way around audio and recording equipment. He’s been helping his father at his store since he was young, and when Our Lady opens a studio, he helps them produce their first album. Later, he becomes their manager.  He’s married to one of  the founding members of  the Urban Collective, Vanessa. The two of them constantly bounce ideas off one another. Mike is quiet, but he has no problem standing up for himself, or the band.

Jon Sarconi: Amy’s adopted son. He’s actually David’s younger cousin, and the two of them adopted him shortly after they got married. After their divorce, Amy had to fight to get custody of Jon. He idolizes his mother, and wants to be a rock star, just like her. The older he gets, the more assertive he becomes.

Next week is the first week of July, so it will be time for a new theme. I’m considering running 2 again. One of them will be New Fiction: I’m working on three new books, and my mother is working on one, too! If you’re an indie author and you’d like to share what you’re working on, please contact me. I’d love to post some info about you and your work! Until next week…

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Monday Blog: Drawing Inspiration from Nostalgia

 

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope all of you had a good weekend. In keeping with this month’s theme, I wanted to talk about drawing inspiration from nostalgia. I’ve been having a lot of nostalgic dreams lately, and thinking about things from my childhood. One such memory, is related to my desire to want to learn to play the guitar.

I thought this desire began when I fell in love with punk rock, but I recently realized, it started waaayyyyyy before that.  When I was about seven years old, I had a large plastic boat, which was a replica of Noah’s Ark. It came with pairs of animals and everything. I used to dump the animals out of the ark, and stretch rubber bands across the top of the ark, to make a guitar.  Then I moved up to using shoeboxes and rubber bands.

Of course, years later, I did acquire a real guitar, and then I began learning to play. This, combined with my love of punk rock, led to the creation of Our Lady of Righteous Rage.

I watched a lot of anime throughout my childhood, and started reading manga (or graphic novels, if you prefer). Shows such as Sailor Moon and Revolutionary Girl Utena, and Neon Genesis Evangelion, inspired me to write Fortune’s Wing and Valentine. I’ve mentioned this before, but if either of those series ever become films or TV series, I want them to be animated.

Then of course, there’s The Witch of Fulton Lane. You’re probably wondering what inspired me to write that story. I’ve always been interested in the paranormal, and The Craft is one of my favorite movies. I’ve been reading tarot cards for the past few years, and when I came up with the concept behind Fulton Lane, I was able to take all of my interests and knowledge, and work them into the story.

If you look carefully at what you’re creating now, you may find little bits and pieces of your own childhood weaved into your creation(s). This can be intentional or unintentional.  Nostalgia can be very inspirational.

Until next week…

A little something from “Righteous”

I’m still working on Our Lady of Righteous Rage #4: Righteous. Here’s a little sample from Chapter 62. Enjoy!

           “Think about it,” Nick said. “If it wasn’t for Our Lady, would any of us visit Kansas City or Chicago? Albuquerque or Scottsdale? Would any of us even venture out this far? We were just kids in New York, learning to play guitars and writing songs here and there. Now look at us! We’re playing gigs across the country. We’re just a little indie punk band, and people in Arizona and California and Illinois actually want to pay to hear us play! How’d that happen?”

            We were silent. It made me think about where I was, just a few years ago. Graduating from high school. Moving around with Mom. Homeless and living in a hotel room. Then, working in a bookstore. Working at Urban Collective. Making friends with rock stars. How did that happen?

            “It happened because it was meant to,” Mike said, standing up from his chair. “I don’t want to get too religious and freak anyone out, but I believe there’s a plan for everyone. Call it God, or the Divine, or the universe, or whatever, but there’s a higher power out there, that creates a purpose for all of us. I didn’t really know what my purpose was, until you asked me to be your manager. I didn’t think I could do it. But you had faith in me, so I just put my best foot forward, and did what I thought was the right thing. We’re here, because we’re supposed to be here. You feel me?”

 

Monday Blog: Things to Come: Righteous

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Welcome back, everyone. I hope you had a great weekend. For those of you who found yourselves snowed in, I hope you found plenty to keep yourself occupied. This is the final Monday Blog for the month of March, and I wanted to share some of the things I’m working on for Righteous.

 

The band hits the road…

The hardest part about writing this particular book, is writing about the individual shows. I’ve never played a live show, so I can’t draw from my own personal experience. What I can do, is think back to every live show I’ve been to, and use the performances I’ve seen as a basis for my writing. So far, it’s really helping.

 

More than just shows…

Righteous is about more than Our Lady hitting the road and playing gigs in new cities. I want the story to focus on some of the other characters the band meets along the way (for example, Carla Caliece. You’re going to love her!).  As I have done in the past, I will include a real event or two within the story, in keeping with the time frame (2013).

 

Things get a little more personal…

One of my favorite things about the Our Lady series, is the fact that each character has some degree of personal baggage. David’s issue is his divorce from Amy. Amy’s issue is, trying to live up to the expectations placed on her as a musician and a female role model. Nick’s issue is trying to write better music, and so on. Two bands who don’t get along are touring at the same time, playing the same cities. You know there’s going to be a fight or two…

I have to write new music…

Yep, this is a story about a band, so there have to be some song lyrics here and there, right? Right. Our Lady’s music, is my music. This book, and the idea of my fictional band going on tour, means it’s time for me to break out the old notepad and pen some new songs! But it’s cool, because I enjoy it.

 

Room for one more?

Will this be the grand finale of the series? No! I’ve already started making plans to write the next book! Yeas, I’m crazy like that. Not to give too much away, but the next book may revolve around some of the music Nick is going to write while he’s on the road…

I haven’t come up with a theme for April yet, but I’m always open to suggestions! Until next week…

 

Monday Blog: My Inspiration for Our Lady of Righteous Rage

Happy Monday, everyone! This week, I’m thinking about all of the things that inspire me to write. I like to keep my mind active while I’m working on a book, and one way I do this is by reading material that relates to what I’m working on. I also engage in activities that relate to what I’m working on (if I can). I’m currently writing the first draft for Righteous, book four in the Our Lady of Righteous Rage series, so I’m doing a few things to keep me inspired.

 

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Music: I’m a huge fan of Punk Rock, and that’s the basis of this series. I also listen to Indie Rock, a little Goth, and a few other genres.  I always listen to music while I’m on the bus or the train, but lately I’ve been making more of an effort to listen to it while I’m writing. The bands I’m listening to at the moment are:

Green Day (of course)

Blink 182

The Killers (“The Man” is my new work-out song)

Led Zeppelin

Jack White

Fall Out Boy

Portugal. The Man

IAMX (I heard “Look Outside” on How To Get Away With Murder, and now I’m in love with it!)

Fleetwood Mac (“The Chain”; thank you Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2)

Bauhaus (“Bella Lugosi’s Dead”)

That’s just the short version of the list. I can’t even begin to tell you how much music is on my phone, or how many CD’s I own (yes, I still listen to CD’s).

 

 

Guitars: I still have two of my electrics, Billie Joe and Jack. I recently donated Dillinger, my Maestro by Gibson. I’ve been spending more time with them. My goal is to get better at playing power chords. In the meantime, playing is relaxing. I used to be lazy and sit down every time I played. One day I stood up without realizing it, so that’s an improvement. I recently taught myself to play “Smile Like You Mean It”, by The Killers.

 

Reading: I’ve said it before, and I’m going to say it again: READ THE GENRE YOU’RE WRITING FOR!!!! When I’m working on anything Our Lady related, I read a ton of material about Punk Rock, music, and thumb through issues of Alternative Press and Guitar Player. I recently finished New York Rock by Steven Blush. Being a New Yorker who loves rock, I really enjoyed reading this book. It contains a lot of history about New York bands, like Velvet Underground and New York Dolls. I’ve read books like Please Kill Me and Everybody Loves Our Town, but this book was focused on New York, which made it extra special.

I believe finding things to inspire your writing is essential. Listening to music, playing my guitars and reading books and magazines that are music-related, helps me keep my brain focused on my writing, and I manage to get more writing done. If you ever find yourself facing a case of Writer’s Block, you may want to give this a try.  

Monday Blog: The Author’s Corner; Our Lady Gets Righteous

Greetings, salutations, and all that jazz! Welcome to the first Monday Blog for the month of March! Before I begin, I want to give a shout-out to my mother and fellow author, June Parris. Her birthday was on Friday. Plus, her second book, A Rose Left Behind, is currently available on Amazon!

This week, I have two topics for you, so let’s get started…

 

The Author’s Corner

I came up with a wonderful idea last week. I created a new page on the Woolaston Entertainment website, called “The Author’s Corner”. I’m going to post info about other authors here, for a small donation (seriously, you can donate as little as $1). I will post a picture of the author, the cover of their book, a bio, info about the book itself, along with links to the author’s website and social media pages. All donations will go towards keeping the website up, and covering the costs of shipping donations to libraries and other organizations. The info posted on this page will remain posted, until the author asks me to remove it. I hope this goes well. I have already received a donation from an author who didn’t want me to post anything, but wanted to donate anyway (thank you!). This isn’t just for authors: bloggers, writers, etc, can participate. 

 

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OLORR album cover

 

Our Lady Gets Righteous

I began working on the fourth installment of the Our Lady of Righteous Rage series last year. Then, I put it aside, to work on other projects. I resumed working on it last month, and I am determined to finish the first draft by the end of April. So, most of March will be devoted to Our Lady. Since my eBook giveaways were successful in February, I may have another giveaway this month. We’ll see how it goes.

 

 

Monday Blog: Recommended Reading; NaNoWriMo 2017

 

Here we are: the final Monday Blog post for the month of October. I decided to end “Emo Month” with a few recommendations for books, and a reminder that NaNoWriMo 2017 is coming! Here we go…

Recommended Reading

These are books I have read, or am currently reading. To me, they are either emo-related, or goth-related, or punk (let’s throw grunge into that category, while we’re at it).

Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers and Emo by Andy Greenwald. This one is loaded with interesting information, interviews, and song and band references.

Please Kill Me: The Uncenseored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain . TONS of interviews from Richard Hell, Tom Verlaine, the Ramones, etc.

The Goth Bible: A Compenduim for the Darkly Inclined by Nancy Kilpatrick. Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about being a Goth.

Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge by Mark Yarm . Plenty of interviews with the musicians who started the grunge movement, including Chris Cornell.

Everybody Hurts: An Essential Guide to Emo Culture by Leslie Simon. Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about being Emo.

 

If you have any recommendations you’d like to share, hit me up on Twitter: @NicoleWoolent

NaNoWriMo 2017

Next month is NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, for those who don’t know. This is the time of year when writers kick everything into high gear, and do their best to finish that novel they started back in January (or February, or whenever…). My novel to complete, is The Witch of Fulton Lane. Some writers obsess over the number of words they write. I’m planning to keep track of the number of words for my current book, but if I don’t meet my goal, I’m good with that. The important thing, is FINISHING the book. That’s my goal.  If you would like to join the NaNo community, here is a link to their website: https://nanowrimo.org/

See you next month!!