Meet Ari Meghlen, Writer

Ari Meghlan, Writer | Author Interview | RachelPoli.com

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Thanks for having me on your blog!

I’m Ari and I write mostly Traditional Fantasy and Preternatural Urban Fantasy.  Though I have turned my hand to sci-fi and crime.  When I’m not writing I am blogging about writing and supporting other writers.  So yeah…it kinda infected my who life.

How long have you been writing for?

I have been writing since I was 8 years old.  Despite struggling to read through most of my young years, I always held a strong love for writing.  I think I just had too much crazy inside my head and it started to leak so I found putting it down into notebooks helped.

What motivates you to write? How did you begin writing?

I began writing after a teacher created a project where we had to create a monster under the bed and from this little spark of creative writing, my love for writing bloomed and has continued to grow.

I don’t really consider there a motivation to write.  It is more like, I can’t NOT write.  It is my purpose.

Do you have a writing routine? If so, what’s a typical day like for you?

I try and have a writing routine but other things manage to mess it up.  On days when I actually get a nice long stint of writing done, it usually starts early (I work better first thing in the day).  I get a glass of water (which I usually don’t drink), a cup of tea (one of many) then lock myself away in my room.

I play no music when I’m actually writing, as I find it a distraction.  If I am struggling to write, I will read through something else I’ve written to spark the flame.  I then write until someone knocks on the door to tell me how late it’s gotten.

On writer block days, then my routine is to stare blankly at the screen in front while sobbing.  Thankfully I don’t have many of those days any more 😀

Have you thought about self-publishing or traditional publishing? Are you leaning towards one over the other? If so, why?

I am not yet at the stage for publishing but I have already been contemplating the options.  They both have their pros and cons.  I am a bit of a control freak and with self publishing you have a lot more creative control.

Also, with traditional publishing you are expected to do a lot more of the marketing than it was years ago.

I think if you write a good book, polish the crap out of it then pay a professional editor and book cover designer you can do really well in self-publishing while keeping a lot of the creative control.

Not to mention, moving from self published to traditionally published is apparently a lot easier than moving from traditionally published to self published.

Are you currently working on anything new?

My current WIP is a preternatural urban fantasy called Dark Hart featuring exactly what you’d expect from any preternatural – vampires, shifters, gargoyles, goblins, psions… It is currently gone through its first edits and is with my Alpha Reader.

While I’m waiting to get it back from all his red penning, I have been working on a completely new fantasy story.  I had ideas about it last year and decided to flesh it out during the 85K 90 Day Writing Challenge.  It is still in a very tentative phase as the plot is a little fluid right now.

If you weren’t a writer, what would your career be?

Definitely something creative.  I do run my own online shop where I make items, so I am always drawn to creative endeavours.

Failing that I would probably have become a vet or a paleontologist, I’m not sure all I know is I’m really not cut out for more “normal” work.

What’s one thing you learned through writing that you wish you knew before you started?

I wish I had learnt to outline sooner than I did and also to not get caught up editing while writing.  For a long time that is how I wrote.  A constant back and forth of writing then editing what I’d written then editing it again… without actually finishing the work.

I am a lot better now, thankfully.

What is your favorite book, genre, or author?

My favourite author is a tie between James Clemens and Anne Bishop.  These two fantasy writers created the bar for me when I got seriously into writing.  I wanted to get my work to their level.

Their books are the ones I can read over and over.  They create worlds I want to just continually visit.  And I would love to have readers who feel that way about my work.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

First, don’t call yourself aspiring.  If you write, you’re a writer.  Own it.

Second, keep writing.  Ignore all the nay-sayers and people who will try and tear you down.  If you do anything creative in this world people want to crap all over it and that can sometimes include friends and family.  Find people who will support you and lift you up.

Third, work hard.  Writing gets better with practice.  With the surge of self publications, everyone now thinks they can write and publish their work.  The problem is we are seeing so much rough work.

Your manuscript should be edited, re-edited, professionally edited and polished.  The more you write the better you get, you learn and grow and develop your skill.  There is no rush to be published and it is better to take time and do a good job than rush and put out something lacking.

Finally, learn about the business side.  Yes writing is awesome and creative, but there’s a business side too such as networking and marketing.  The more you learn, the more you plan the better situated you will be when you are finally ready to release your novel.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I like octopi.

Too weird?

I’d like to say a big thanks to you Rachel, for inviting me onto your awesome blog for this interview.  😊

And to all the readers, if you were born to be a writer?  Then let nothing stop you.  Writing is one of the hardest, awesome, exhausting, exhilarating things you can do.  So go do it!

ABOUT ARI

When not immersed in her worlds full of screaming trees, living gargoyles, vengeful demons or trapped souls… Ari is pretty much day dreaming about said worlds.

She writes fantasy, lots of it and also blogs about writing to help other writers, because apparently working on over 5 different novel series’ is just not enough “writing.”

Most days she is surrounded by cats and books though she also enjoys watching really bad movies with her boyfriend.  Like REALLY bad movies.

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Short Story Sunday 199: Done

Short Story: "Done" | Flash Fiction | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

            When Reagan walked through the front door of her house, she stomped her snow boots on the welcome mat. It wasn’t because she wanted to get the snow off of her boots; it was because she was frustrated. She slammed the front door closed behind her and kicked off her boots letting them land in two random spots in the living room.

“Hello?” a voice called from the kitchen.

“Hi,” Reagan replied loudly. It wasn’t a friendly greeting, but she also didn’t want to take her frustrations out on her brother, either.

She walked through the living room and entered the kitchen. Dave was sitting at the table with his laptop in front of him. He looked focused, but he also looked like he would burst into laughter at any moment. Reagan snorted to herself. Who could laugh at a time like that?

She opened the refrigerator and peered inside. All she wanted was an ice cold soda, but of course there was none left in the fridge. She groaned as she grabbed a water bottle and shut the fridge door.

Reagan looked over at Dave, who was still giving all his attention to his computer screen. She groaned again, this time louder hoping that Dave would respond. Maybe he would ask her what was wrong, even though she didn’t want to talk about. Maybe he would offer her a hug, even though she didn’t want any sympathy from him. Still, a little acknowledgement would have been nice.

She twisted the thin plastic cap off from her water bottle and took a big gulp drinking nearly half of the water in one sip. She let out a huge sigh relieved to get some air, but she was so thirsty. It had been a long unexpected drive home.

Dave was still typing away on his computer. Reagan leaned her back against the countertop beside the fridge watching him. Didn’t he even realize that she had come home early? What was his problem? Why didn’t he bother to care that his older sister had returned home? He was the one who didn’t want her to leave in the first place.

She cleared her throat and then grunted again. Louder this time.

“Is everything okay?” Dave asked. He never once took his eyes off his computer screen and his fingers were still typing away. Reagan shook her head. She never did understand how Dave was able to have a real life conversation and type something at the same time. His brain worked in mysterious ways.

“No, everything is not fine.” Reagan said stubbornly. She wasn’t about to explain it though. Dave was only asking because she was probably being a nuisance as he was trying to get some work done. If he really cared, he would have stopped doing whatever it was he was doing and at least look her in the eyes.

“Obviously…” Dave deadpanned, still typing. “What’s wrong?”

Reagan rolled her eyes. She thought about shrugged the question off and telling him it was nothing, it was no big deal. She also thought about just walking out of the kitchen all together. Maybe Dave would follow her, maybe he wouldn’t. Then again, as much as she didn’t want to talk about it, she did tell Dave everything. She did want to explain to him what was going on. She had to have someone to talk to.

Finally, she let out a sigh of defeat. She hung her head looking down at the tiled floor. They really needed to mop the floor.

“I’m just…” Reagan began and then sighed again. “I’m just done.”

“I’m done!”

Reagan snapped her head to look up. How did he know what she was going to say? He didn’t even know what was going on.

Dave was still sitting in his seat with a wide grin and his arms fist-pumped into the air. Calmly, he lowered his arms and turned to face her. “I’m done. I am officially done with school. I just finished and turned in my final thesis.”

Reagan couldn’t help but smile. She put her water bottle down on the counter and walked over to her with her arms stretched wide. “Congratulations! I’m so proud of you for sticking with that!” she hugged him.

“You have no idea how much weight has been lifted off my shoulders in just a matter of seconds pushing that send button to my professor…” Dave said almost with tears in his eyes.

“Well, this calls for a celebration!” Reagan announced. She pulled away from the hug and clapped her hands together.

Dave chuckled rubbing the back of his neck. “No, not really, Reagan. I mean, I have to do really well on this thesis in order to graduate, so I’m not out of woods yet.”

“You’re not going to fail. And, even if you do, you’ve still accomplished a huge goal. Let’s go,” Reagan took him by the hand and led him out of the kitchen. “I’m taking you to your favorite restaurant.”

“But I just ate lunch!” Dave protested, but allowed himself to be dragged along by his sister.

“Then we’ll get dessert!” Reagan laughed.

They got their coats and boots on once again and before Reagan knew it, she had forgotten all about her problems.

Words: 879

I hope you enjoyed the story! Let me know what you thought in the comments below.

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The Mystery Of The Hidden Cabin By M.E. Hembroff [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

The Mystery of the Hidden Cabin by M.E. Hembroff | Book Review | RachelPoli.com

I received a free digital copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

After Bess Silver had settled into her new home in Pineview she thought her biggest problem would be settling into a new school. She was surprised to learn that it was a one room school house which was different from what she was used to.

That all changed when Megan Skye, her best friend and cousin, dashed into their kitchen late one afternoon with exciting news. Megan’s Father discovered an old cabin, hidden behind a wall, when he started doing kitchen renovations. Megan asked him to take the suitcases, ledgers and trunk they found over to Bess instead of throwing them out. Clues turn up in the suitcases and in a secret compartment in the cabin which leave Bess puzzled.
When she first looked around the cabin she sees a ghostly figure that disappears in an instant but was as real as Megan. Dreams about the cabin and occupants haunt Bess. These feel so real that Bess can’t shake the feeling that she was actually near them.

Who is the figure that Bess saw in the cabin? What is she trying to tell her? Why is she having dreams about the old cabin? Will Bess be able to figure out who the mysterious figure is? Or would these secrets remain secrets forever?

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I think the book cover is appropriate for the target age of the book. I enjoy hand-drawn covers anyway but I feel like the colored lines feel complete with the middle-grade genre.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I read and reviewed Bess’s Magical Garden and Gramma Mouse Tells A Story by this author. I enjoyed both so was more than happy to read and review this book when she approached me.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

I thought the plot had an interesting premise. I’m always down for a good ghost story. However, I’ll admit the summary makes it sound more interesting than it really is.

Bess is on the hunt to figure out who was living in the mysterious cabin as she read diary entries, talked to people, and explored the cabin and other places. Though not too much happens in between.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed the characters. I think Bess makes a great protagonist for a middle-grade audience. Her best friend, Megan, is a fun character as well.

I found all the kids in this book to be fun since Bess’s new school is a one-room schoolhouse. That was an interesting addition.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

While the story flowed well, not much happened. For a mystery, there’s no tension at all. Bess is a curious girl and enjoys searching for clues and solving mysteries, but I didn’t know why I was supposed to care about the cabin and the mystery behind it. Even when the mystery was solved, there was no real triumph.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was a great premise with age-appropriate characters, though I would have loved to see more stakes raised and more tension. It’s a nice quick read.

The Mystery of the Hidden Cabin by M.E. Hembroff gets…
Book Review Rating System | 3 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com 3 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“I gazed out the window at the blanket of snow covering the garden, where plants stuck out like skeletons.” –M.E. Hembroff, The Mystery of the Hidden Cabin

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | EBooks

About M.E. Hembroff:

M.E. Hembroff, Author | Middle Grade | Book Review | RachelPoli.comI grew up in rural Manitoba the fourth in a family of five. My parents were older almost old enough to be grandparents. When I was growing up we didn’t have a TV. I loved music and constantly listened to the radio. My dad often said I wore out the radio because he was constantly taking it into to town to replace the worn out tubes.  I was an avid reader and devoured every available book. One of my favorites was the Anne of Green Gables series. LM Montgomery was and still is my hero. I was creative and used my imagination to entertain myself. I would always dream up stories but never wrote them down because they looked pretty dismal on paper. I have always loved animals and every time I went for a walk our dog, Lady, a border collie and a string of cats followed me. I still have an dog, Odie and two cats Patches and Delihah.

I still like to read and read a wide range of books. I work in my garden and do art work in pencil, pen and ink, colored pencil and acrylic.

I have gone full circle. I grew up on the farm and then lived in the city for over thirty years. I now live in a scenic small town. It took me a long tine to learn to get out of my own way. Once I learned to relax the words started flowing and my characters were finally able to get out of my head.

Artists Statement

Writing is as natural as breathing and makes me a complete person. I was taught to keep my feelings hidden and often hid them from myself. Writing gets me in touch with my creative self, spirit and my inner child who finally can express herself. Writing makes me a rounder and fulfilled person. Writing is a must do not a want to. I have an inner compulsion to write that has to be listened to.

Art work has always been the same. I draw and paint because I have to. Drawing and painting releases pent up emotions and keeps me in touch with my creative side which grows stronger all the time.

There have been different artists and writers who influenced my style at first and I have gone on to develop my own unique style. Reading about other writer’s lives and meeting other artists has given me a great deal of encouragement during periods when I didn’t feel like continuing with my work.

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Have you read this book? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to chat!

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Time To Write: Set The Scene 7 [Creative Writing Prompt]

Last week’s writing prompt was a sentence starter. Check out some great pieces by fellow writers:

Now check out this week’s prompt:

Creative Writing Prompt | Fictional Settings | RachelPoli.com

Write a story based in the setting suggested above.

If you use this prompt, please leave a link to your post in the comments below and I’ll share it next week. Please be sure to link back to my blog so your readers know where you got the prompt!

Happy Writing!

Blog Signature | RachelPoli.comThe Scribe by Rachel Poli | Read on Wattpad | Wattpad | Fantasy | RachelPoli.com
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3 Types Of Worlds [World Building]

It’s one thing to create a new world when you’re world building for a story, but did you know there are a few ways to go about it?

Sure, you can find a checklist online and create everything one by one – races, religion, towns and cities, weather, etc. But do you know what kind of world you’re creating?

3 Types of Worlds | World Building | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

Alternate Reality

Alternate reality is re-imagining the world we already live in. You can take your hometown and twist it around so it would fit your story’s needs. For example, if you’re writing science fiction you can turn your world into a futuristic one.

You can change history that actually happened, alter it, or pretend it never happened at all. Maybe the world is dirtier than it already is, or cleaner? Maybe humans never inhabited the earth in the first place and they’re going to now. So who lives here now?

Imaginative Worlds

Imaginary worlds are worlds that you completely make up yourself. They’re brand new from your mind and are totally fictional. This is typically used for fantasy. Entire maps are created with brand new, made up places. There may be new races of people along with religion, food, currency, and more.

I feel like this is the most difficult world to create because you’re starting everything completely from scratch. I also believe it’s the most fun, though.

Real Locations

Just what it sounds like, real locations are based off real-life locations. There’s no alternate reality from the first point above, everything is just as it is. This is typically used in basic fiction with no fantastical elements.

This requires a lot of research on the place you’re characters are living. If it’s not where you grew up, it helps to travel there and explore. Why not get a vacation out of it, huh? Or you can buy tour guys, Google is a great resource, the possibilities are endless.

What’s your favorite kind of world to create? Do you mix and match the types? Is there a type I missed? Let me know in the comments below!

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Why World Building Is Important [World Building]

One of my favorite aspects of fiction is having the ability to be as imaginative as possible. Cars are important to get around in, yes, but what if they could do more? Maybe they can hover or drive themselves (yes, I know we’re on our way to that anyway, but play along) or maybe they can float in water (now I want to watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang).

You’re able to play around with real life things and turn them into something else. Make them your own and have it fit into your story allowing your characters to treat it as a normal everyday thing for them.

World building is one of those things, as broad as it is.

Why World Building is Important | World Building | Creative Writing | Fiction Writing | RachelPoli.com

What is world building?

World building is exactly how it sounds. You’re building a fictional world, a brand new setting that’s all your own. It’s an imaginative setting for your fictional novel (or whatever you’re creating) that includes various places and terrains, a thorough backstory, people and their history, and so much more.

Is world building just for fantasy?

While world building is the most common in fantasy as people create their own maps and races, I don’t think it has to be limited to fantasy only. As long as you’re writing fiction, I think you can throw in some world building.

You don’t even have to create something brand new either. You can make a city based off of your hometown but alter it to cater more to your characters and story. That doesn’t necessarily have to be fantasy.

Why is world building so important?

1. Imagination

In order for your readers to get the full effect of your story, you need to paint a realistic picture for them. How much time passes between your characters’ going from their house to their work? Or to the park? What kind of people do they meet along the way? What landmarks do they pass by?

2. Time

Speaking of time, establishing the setting is important for the time period. Time period shows how people dress, how they speak, where they work, etc. It also, as stated before, shows how much time has passed between one point in the story to another.

3. Make It Real

I know I made the first point to be “imagination,” but, at the same time, you want it to be as real as you can make it. You want to make your readers want to live there themselves. Or maybe you want your reader to not want to live there. I don’t know about you, but I’d love to live in the Harry Potter world but the Hunger Games? No, thank you.

Why is world building important to you? What are your thoughts on it in general? Let me know in the comments below!

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Another New Writing Schedule

I think the hardest part of writing for me is finding a schedule and sticking to it. And the thing is, it’s not me who has a hard time sticking to the routine, it’s other life things that get in the way.

Now that I’m home during the day while everyone else is at work, this would normally mean I have the entire morning and afternoon to myself to get my writing and blogging done.

Instead, it means, “Rachel’s home, so if something needs to be done, she can do it.” This varies from babysitting to driving my cousins to and from school, running random errands, etc.

I don’t mind any of this, of course. I’m able to do it so I won’t complain (even though it still sounds like I’m complaining). Still, I feel like I don’t get as much stuff done during the day than I normally would… or that I thought I would.

I actually have more stuff to do during the week now that doesn’t involve writing or blogging. So, I’ve decided to come up with a brand new schedule for myself. This is going to only be for the month of February and I’ll modify it if needed when March comes along.

New Writing Schedule | Creative Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Sunday

  • Blog, Double Jump – Write posts, create graphics, set up Buffer, etc.
  • Church, Sunday school lesson plans

Monday

  • Admin – Answer emails, read and comment on other blogs
  • Write – A minimum of two hours. Ideally, it’ll be longer, but if I can fit two hours in I’ll be happy.

Tuesday

  • Admin
  • Write

Wednesday

  • Admin
  • Write

Thursday

  • Admin
  • Write
  • Etsy – I was hoping to have a good amount of products done to open the shop in January, but it stuff happened. So I’d like to spend a couple hours on it every Thursday.
  • Freelance – Like Etsy, this is a work in progress. I’m currently trying to set up my own freelance services. I’m planning on having that good to go by the end of the month so there will be more on that later.

Friday

  • Admin
  • Write
  • Clean – Because the house needs attention, too…

Saturday

  • Blog, Rachel Poli – Write posts, create graphics, set up Buffer, plan and write newsletters, etc. I’ve gotten behind, so for this month, I’m going to try to get two weeks done at a time so I can get a good head start for March and upcoming months.
  • Barnes & Noble – Go to the bookstore every morning and either write/edit or work on the blog.

There’s a lot more to it. I have a calendar set up with everything on it but didn’t include it all here. You guys don’t need to know every detail of my life.

Long story short, I’ll be writing Monday through Friday as well as answering emails and such for the blogs. Weekends will be reserved for blogging mostly. And then some. We’ll see how it goes!

What does your writing schedule look like? Do you have a tough time trying to keep up with it? Let me know in the comments below!

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