Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Back to the Beginning by M. Gerrick

I have something very special for you today.  However, before we can get down to the awesome sauce in this post I need to post my Battle of the Bands results.  On the 15th I posted the song It Had To Be You with Tony Bennett and Harry Connick, Jr. battling it out.  Eleven of you lovely people voted and came back with 6 for Tony and 5 for Harry.  However, I still have to cast my vote, either giving the win definitively to Tony or creating a tie.  ::drumroll with people holding their breath::  And my vote goes to... Harry Connick, Jr. Yep, all I did was create a tie!  See ya back here on the 1st of the month for the next bout in Battle of The Bands!!!

Many of you know that I have set aside either Monday or Tuesday for All Things Writing.  Today, I am pleased to tell you that my first guest writer is here.  She is going to share with us the story of her journey to publishing her first novel.  Achieving a life goal is something I know that all of you can relate to, whether you are a writer or not.  So, please put your hands together for M. Gerrick, newly published author!!!

Thanks for letting me visit today, Robin!

Robin asked me to write something deep and personal about my experience writing The Vanished Knight, so I thought I’d go back to the beginning of me writing anything. To before I actually could write.

In a way, it all started with my grandmother. When I was still small, my grandmother was the one who told me, my brother and my cousin that fairies lived in our garden. Maybe she thought, it’d keep us busy for the afternoon while we looked for them.

Or maybe she suspected that we’d build this tiny world in the garden, where fairies did dance on flowers, and this big, interestingly shaped rock would be the queen’s palace. We stared in wonder at the magic we saw, and when the fairies went North for the winter (i.e. we lost interest in the game), we wanted some new source of wonder.

Thing is, we’d been creators once before, so hopscotch etc. wouldn’t be it. I can’t remember which story came next, but we often took t.v. shows we liked and changed them to suit us, and lived those stories every afternoon for days. Highlights included Robin Hood, Sinbad, Hercules and the three musketeers. We were never boys though. That was my brother’s job when he was there.

Oddly, one of my favorites, King Arthur, never made it into our afternoons that I can remember. Odd in that it shares prime place with Robin Hood as my favorite story.

Anyway, my grandmother watched us play and urged us to let her write the stories we created down. But they were too long and complicated, and we were much more interested in playing than in writing. She did pen down plenty of rhymes and poems that I rattled off on some bored afternoons, though.

I liked poetry. Enjoyed reciting my rhymes to my grandmother, but later on, when I’d learned how to read and write, she told me to note my rhymes down myself. I think this was in first grade or so. And I loved it! It was probably also where I started writing stuff for stories down, but as I said, playing them was a lot more fun.

As I grew, my grandmother showed me the secrets to writing working short stories. Which was great for two reasons. I aced creative writing in both my first languages and seeing people read and enjoy what I wrote inspired me to write more.

As a natural progression, the word counts dictated by school became too short, so I started expanding the stories in my free time, in my mind at least, often playing them out. At thirteen, I had an idea for a book, and my grandmother told me I could write it. And the day I started, I became a novelist.

Since the death of her parents, Callan Blair has been shunted from one foster family to another, her dangerous secret forcing the move each time. Her latest foster family quickly ships her off to an exclusive boarding school in the Cumbrian countryside. While her foster-brother James makes it his mission to get Callan expelled, a nearby ancient castle holds the secret doorway to another land...

When Callan is forced through the doorway, she finds herself in the magical continent of Tardith, where she’s shocked to learn her schoolmates Gawain and Darrion are respected soldiers in service to the king of Nordaine, one of Tardith's realms. More than that, the two are potential heirs to the Black Knight—Nordaine's crown prince.

But when the Black Knight fails to return from a mysterious trip, the realm teeters on the brink of war. Darrion and Gawain set out to find him, while Callan discovers there is more to her family history than she thought. The elves are claiming she is their princess.

Now with Darrion growing ever more antagonistic and her friendship with Gawain blossoming, Callan must decide whether to stay in Nordaine—where her secret grows ever more threatening—or go to the elves and uncover the truth about her family before war sets the realms afire.

M. Gerrick (AKA Misha Gericke) has basically created stories since before she could write. Many of those stories grew up with her and can be seen in her current projects.
She lives close to Cape Town, with a view over False Bay and Table Mountain.

If you’d like to contact her, feel free to mail her at warofsixcrowns(AT)gmail(DOT)com, Circle her on Google Plus or follow her on Twitter. If you'd like to see her writer-side (beware, it's pretty insane), please feel free to check out her blogYou can also add The Vanished Knight on Goodreads.



  1. Hi Robin and hi Misha,

    And thus, Robin, you created a tie. I shall have a word with Mr. Bennett about you :)

    Delighted to see Misha here and discuss the journey that got her to her ultimate goal. And the inspiration of your grandmother has put you in good stead. Your self-belief and the supportive belief of your grandmother is a most encouraging story.

    All the best, Misha. Thank you, Robin. And yes, you will note, in my usual background work, I shall take the liberty of sharing this posting. Even on 'Farcebook'.

    Kind regards and happy writing,


  2. Gary I agree with you. Belief can be incredibly inspiring. :-)

  3. Robin: If I had voted, I would have favored Harry, so the win is a good one. This All Things Writing is a wonderful segment!

  4. All from faeries dancing in the garden. I think more people could be writers if they just made the same transition.

    1. I agree Alex. I find it to be a great pity that people seem to go out of their way to kill children's imaginations.

  5. Lovely visit from Misha. *waves*

    Robin, I left a comment on the BOTB that disappeared but I said I couldn't vote for either version. Tony's was way too slow and Harry's was, well, just not true to the song. So a tie seems like the perfect outcome to me.

  6. Gary ~ We shall someday have a lovely chat about Tony and other things;)

    JJ ~ Well, that makes me feel better! I hope that All Things Writing turns out to be something that writers and non-writers can enjoy and relate to in the scheme of this Life Thing.

    Alex ~ This is really Misha's comment, but I agree...

    LD ~ I did get your comment, LD. It is posted on the blog bit. You abstained. You probably didn't think it posted because Comment Moderation was on...

  7. Misha, my grandmother was my inspiration too. She wrote poetry! Lovely post, and a great book- wishing you all the best with it!

    1. Thanks so much Yolanda!

      My grandmother also writes plenty of poetry. :-)

  8. What a great inspirational story. That's why I love writer's so much. They refuse to grow up and keep that imagination alive.

    1. Jay that's true, hey. Life would have stolen my soul if I "grew up". :-)

  9. I think many writers get their inspiration at a young age.

    I agree with LD. A tie seems rather fitting.

    Tossing It Out

    1. I agree Lee. They're just the ones who didn't give up on their imaginations and day dreams. :-)

  10. Love Misha's grandmother! What a treasure!

  11. A tie?!?!?!


    What a chicken-crap way to end that!!! ;oD

    Of course, I am kidding...

    Writers do create their own magic... don't they?


    1. Yes, a tie. You get another opportunity to vote at the end of the month. Different song, of course. Maybe this one will have a clear winner!

  12. THis sounds like my kind of story. Better look into this. :)

  13. Misha was saving the King Arthur tales for her book!

  14. Great for Harry!

    It's nice to learn more about Misha. Her book is awesome.

  15. Yay, Misha. It's very special that your grandmother inspired such creativity.
    Thank you, Robin and Misha.


  16. I cannot believe I missed a battle with Harry Connick, Jr. I have both versions on my iPod, but I'd have been an unfair vote anyway because I'd pick HC, Jr. over anyone, anytime, anywhere. :)

  17. How great that Misha's grandmother was encouraging and instilled the love of creativity and writing to Misha as a child. Having the support of family really helps if you're pursuing a creative field. Many parents don't do that. I enjoyed Misha's interview. Thanks a lot, and I hope you both have a lovely weekend! :-)


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