Saturday, August 13, 2011

Character Profiles Complete

Good news everyone: I finally completed the digital, full-color cartoon renderings of the Twelve Gems and they are now ready for viewing. You can find them all on my website ( under the character profiles, or by following this link:

I also made the navigation on the profiles a little easier, so please be sure to visit my site.

Another thing is that I've added the Twelve Gems to the Galleries tab on the Xena Quill website. You can view all the characters there too. Enjoy!

Please note that I am still working on my website, so not everything will be available. Thank you for your loyalty and patience.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Book Bites: Ballroom Dances and Car Chases

My first "Book Bite"...a series of posts in which you recieve behind-the-scene insights on the building of the story.

So, I just finished writing two very important scenes in Legend of the Twelve Gems: Zannophia. One is a ballroom scene (which I think many girls will be interested in reading), and the other is an epic car chase which is guaranteed to be unique from all others in existence.

From writing these two scenes, I have been oh-so appreciative of the value of research. If there's one thing I love other than art or writing, it's research. If I ever find myself wondering about something, or if I have a question that no one has the answer to, I will run on down to the library or pull up the Internet search engines and buckle down on some serious research.

For the ballroom scene, I had to research dances from the Regency Era (the times in which Jane Austen lived). I watched the dances from the Pride and Prejudice movies, and even picked up a little from the choreographed dancing sequences in Taylor Swift's music video for "Love Story." I then did online research on the style of the Regency dances, some of the basic steps, the stances and mannerisms of the dancers, etc. When the research was done, I was able to confidently (and as accurately as possible) write the scene, listening to Classical Baroque music for additional audiotory inspiration. I think it came out well.

Then came the car chase! I personally love cars and wanted to include them in my book. I visited to the library and borrowed many movies that included car chases. These included the three Bourne films, The Fast and the Furious, The French Connection, The Italian Job (the 1969 Michael Caine film), and Bullitt. I even went through my personal movie collection and watched the car chasing scenes from Transformers (2007) and Vantage Point, and watched Pixar's Cars 2 in theaters. I did not have time to watch all of these movies (excluding Cars 2), and not all of them were necessarily the most appropriate kinds of films to watch (e.g. Fast and the Furious), so I skipped straight to the car chases and repeated them a few times, studying them very carefully, sometimes even frame by frame, and taking notes on the driving stunts and styles.

Following the film watching, I borrowed a few books about cars from the library, studying about the vehicles' innards and their functions. I even discussed at length with my father and brother about the physics of driving and car crashes. To them, I am most grateful for their help in the design of the chase. I then sketched out (with a little assistance from my brother) a rough map of the chase that was to take place in the book. When it was finished, I transferred that data into the story, listening to intense music from the Tron: Legacy Soundtrack, Transformers Score and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Score for additional inspiration, and BINGO! I had written, designed, and choreographed my own car chase.

I am really excited about the completion of these two big chapters in LTG: Zannophia. I am becoming more and more anxious to have this book finished and published. Keep your eyes peeled for more Book Bites.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Welcome to the official Xena Quill Blog!

Hello everyone. Thanks for visiting my blog!
I am so excited to be writing and publishing books and sharing updates with you. Feel free to leave your comments!