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  • Writer's pictureKristina Elyse Butke

#Fantasy Indies April

A background of plants and daisies and baby's breath in colors of white, gold, and green. #Fantasy Indies April
Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

Today's post is the monthly #FantasyIndies meme on Twitter! This meme was created by @ChesneyInfalt and @LydiaVRussell  and is meant to be done once a day on Twitter, but as we know, I like to make things into one big blog post. We'll be learning more about my WIP, The Name and the Key.


1. Introduce yourself and your WIP.

Hi, I'm Kristina and I'm writing The Name and the Key, a completely new version of my graduate thesis from 2013. It's a long time to work on a book, but it needed some major changes, and it's been hard for me to write as I deal with mental health issues. But I'm still plugging away at it and I hope to show it all to you someday. It's about Lily Bellamy, who, as a girl, finds her mother's body in the marshes. Ever since that day, she is haunted by her mother in every reflective surface, and the spirit always begs her to "open the door. Let me out." Lily's friend Andresh may hold the key to breaking this curse, but he has many secrets of his own that might put them both in danger.

2. Hobbies in WIP

Lily, the main character, makes artisan soaps, and her sister, Lainey, does watercolor painting.

3. What books have inspired your writing?

I didn't have any books in mind when I first wrote The Name and the Key from 2010-2013 at school, but now that I'm rewriting it, Sorcery of Thorns has been a bit of an inspiration. Not with cool magical libraries or anything like that, but with the magic and demons.

4. Who can your MC trust?

She trusts Andresh, but he has some secrets! She can definitely trust her family, though.

5. Free Friday

I'm pretty disappointed with how my work ethic for writing has tanked over the past several months. I briefly joined a small writing group in the hopes that would help, but stuff kept coming up (illness, chores, etc.) where I couldn't meet with them, and then all my writing motivation just disappeared. Every time I look at my WIP I feel like crying, I'm so ashamed of how I've let this book go.

6. Saturday Snippet: DEMAND

The demons in The Name and the Key have their own demands that must be met. The thing in the mirror that haunts Lily simply wants to be let out; the demon that works with Andresh just wants to be fed. At least, that's all it seems she wants...

7. What has been challenging about your WIP?

Sometimes I've had to write about boring things like shipping and stocking items and sales, and my brain shuts off during those times. It's a challenge because your reader will know that you're bored because writing often can reflect how you feel. And my emotions while writing have been all over the place for the past several months, when I've even bothered to write.

8. Do your characters have tattoos?

No, but if someone were to get one, it would probably be Andresh.

9. Is your MC more book smart or street smart?

I think Lily is a healthy dose of the two, but book smart probably edges out street smarts by a teensy margin.

10. What does your MC miss?

Lily misses the countryside. Luckily the bustling city of Mariner has some woods outside the main hub.

11. Seasons in WIP

Most of the scenes in Mariner take place at the end of winter/early spring.

12. Free Friday

The main reason why I chose the Regency era as inspiration for the time period of this novel was the clothing! But in terms of Regency customs and traditions (like women being chaperoned and how it was inappropriate for them to be alone with men) I kind of ignore as it would make scenes in the book impossible to happen, especially between Lily and Andresh.

13. Saturday Snippet: FRIENDSHIP

Lily and Andresh have been friends ever since they were little. Andresh also considers Lainey a friend, though he has a closer relationship with her sister, Lily. Lily and Andresh are a friends-to-lovers couple, although there is some difficulty with them getting there.

14. What do your characters do on a hot day?

Lily and Lainey would try to eat cold food and lounge around the house in their undergarments all day in their rooms. I would say they'd eat ice cream or chew on ice, but despite their upper middle class life, that's too much of a luxury for them.

15. Does your MC like nature?

Lily does enjoy nature. She likes fields and the woods, although she has terrible memories of finding her mother in the marshes in the forest. She tries to stay away from bodies of water.

16. Creatures in WIP

I have demons in my book! One is called Aineiron and the other one is referred to as Isabelle. Then there's a nameless demon I refer to as The's been a lot of fun writing these characters and making plans for them.

17. MC's favorite season

Lily likes spring because of all of the flowers that come out, and the beginning of warm weather.

18. What books do you like to reread?

Fantasy, both YA and adult. I also enjoy reading horror, although there have been a lot of misses for me in that genre lately.

19. Free Friday

If you read The Name and the Key, I really want you to fall for my character Andresh. Write fanfiction about him. Make art of him. Make playlists and mood boards. He's the most charming character I've ever written and he's so much fun to write.

20. Saturday Snippet: SECRETS

Andresh has a lot of secrets in this book. He keeps them from Lily and her family, although he does reveal a little bit at a time whenever the need arises. But for the most part, he is mysterious.

21. Myths in WIP

I don't really have any mythology in the book aside from the stories behind the demons and some of the magic.

22. Where would your characters love to travel?

Lily would love to take a trip with Andresh to Capua Cora someday.

23. Last 5-star read

Cover My Scars with Your Kiss, Vol. 2. This is a BL about a heartwarming, sweet couple and it made me emotional!

24. Favorite character in WIP

Ok. As much as I like Lily in my book, Andresh is the character I really love.

25. What is the most difficult thing your characters have gone through?

Lily and Andresh have both had to deal with unexpected deaths of their loved ones.

26. Free Friday

There's a lot of death in my book. In this draft, I killed off a character who was alive the entire time when it was my graduate thesis. I really wanted to motivate my character into doing whatever it takes to find a way to end death. I wanted him to be I killed someone close to him.

27. Saturday Snippet: ACTION

There's not really any action scenes in The Name and the Key until the very ending of the novel.

28. Teasing in WIP

For some reason, when this was my graduate thesis, I had playful teasing in this book...but as I rewrite it now, I haven't really had the chance to put some of that in there. I wonder why?

29. What writing advice would you give your beginner self?

Please, please, PLEASE stop comparing yourself to other people and their success. You'll go crazy. Your time will come, promise.

30. Monthly Wrap-up

Well, I think this post was kind of all over the place emotionally. There are things that still get me excited about The Name and the Key, but then there's all this trouble I've had writing it and staying motivated. Wish me luck on getting back into the swing of things--I need as much of it as I can get!


Here's the original meme graphic if you'd like to do this on your own! Enjoy!


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