hello everyone! i’m SO PUMPED to be sharing this guest post by the one and only Julie Dao!! *throws glitter* she’s the
author of the newly released Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, which is an East Asian-inspired fantasy retelling of the Evil Queen from Snow White. (OMG YESSSSSS.)
Julie Dao’s Writing Starter Pack AKA Items That Got Her Through Writing FOTL
The acknowledgments in the back of FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS fill up quite a few pages, but do you want to know who I forgot to thank?! All of the things that got me through writing and revising the many drafts it took to get to the final copy! So here is a belated shout-out to five things that helped me along the way:
1) Post-It Notes
My revising process kills many sticky notes. I always reread the manuscript, type up and print out a rough chapter outline, scribble ideas and corrections and changes on different colored Post-Its, and then stick them on the outline wherever I want them to go. You can see photos of this if you search through my blog and Instagram. I call it “The Sticky Note Graveyard”!
One drawer of my writing desk is devoted to munchies, some of which is always chocolate. Lately I’ve been into the Ghirardelli Sea Salt Soiree bar. It never lasts long! I also have Jelly Bellies (buttered popcorn is my favorite), Sour Patch Kids, pina colada flavored Tic-Tacs, and Swedish Fish. I am an equal opportunity candy hoarder!
3) Pilot G2 07 Black Pens
These are my “Holy Grail” writing pens. I will NEVER go back to ballpoint! I have a notebook for every manuscript where I jot down research notes, ideas, and condensed handwritten versions of my editorial letters (that’s how I process my editor’s changes best). These pens make the task smooth and easy!
4) Goody Stretch Headbands
I’ve noticed that I never write with my hair down. It has to be in a French braid or a topknot with one of these comfy, thick, neon-colored (of course) headbands. Basically my hair has to be off my face in order to think and write at my best… explain that, science!
iTunes. This isn’t technically an item, but I never write without music! It has to be instrumental because if there are lyrics, I will probably end up typing them into my story. For FOTL, I listened to Tan Dun’s gorgeous score for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” Hans Zimmer’s darkly beautiful music for “Batman Begins,” Rachel Portman’s amazing soundtrack for “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan,” and the Lord of the Rings trilogy soundtracks by musical wizard Howard Shore.
I can’t wait for you all to read FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS in October and I truly hope you’ll enjoy it!
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao
Published by Penguin on October 10th 2017
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Adaptations, Romance, General
Amazon // The Book Depository
Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her.
Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng's majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high? Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins--sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.
Set in an East Asian-inspired fantasy world filled with both breathtaking pain and beauty, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns possesses all the hallmarks of masterful fantasy: dazzling magic, heartbreaking romance, and a world that hangs in the balance. Fans of Heartless, Stealing Snow, and Red Queen will devour this stunning debut.
Enter for a chance to be one (1) of three (3) winners to receive a hardcover copy of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie Dao. (ARV: $18.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on October 2, 2017 and 12:00 AM on October 27, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about October 30, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.