Archive for December, 2012

Insider Extra: Benjamin Resnik

Posted: December 28, 2012 by Hannah Stewart in Uncategorized

It is with the utmost pleasure that I introduce to you Benjamin Resnik, leader of the Resnik Rebels!

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Benjamin Resnik

Benjamin Resnik is a silent, strong young man around the age of 19. His skill at hand-to-hand combat is unmatched by anyone that has gone up against him. Jesse has come closest to defeating him, but never succeeded. But, for all of that skill, his greatest area of expertise is strategy. He is an excellent leader with a clear head and firm roots. The men trust him in everything, and rightly so. He became leader of the Resnik Rebels at a very young age, when his parents’ army was ambushed. He, Jesse, and a handful of others made it out alive, and have since restored the group to its previous glory.

Many call him fearless, as he will rush into any battle and do whatever it takes to succeed. There have been many occasions where he has risked his life to protect his men, as well as innocent citizens caught in the crossfire. But inside, he’s nothing but fear. He’s been hurt in a way no one ever should, a story that not even Jesse knows. It haunts him, keeps him up at night and prevents him from being able to reach out to others. He loves his men, but refuses to grow close to them – or, let them believe they have. He’s afraid of letting anyone in, but more than this, he’s afraid of losing Jesse.

He is very close to his little sister, and constantly worries about her. While she’s the best rebel – besides, perhaps, he himself – he hates the life she’s been forced to live. His only dream is to see America free again, so that Jesse can be free to fall in love without the fear of betrayal, and he hopes to one day play with her children in the streets of their town.

He is a strong, tall man, highly skilled, a wonderful leader, and the best big brother anyone could ask for… but he’s also a scared child, praying for the night to end. He loves from the other side of the window, too afraid to open it and reach out. But he cares deeply for his men, and is passionate about the cause.

Breaking Out

Posted: December 27, 2012 by Hannah Stewart in Uncategorized

Lately, I’ve had a lot of people ask me how I “broke into” the writing world. Last night, I put together a video of my story in answer to that question. At the end, you will hear me perform the poem that got me here. If I sound a bit strange, it’s because I was up until about 2 am this morning filming this and I was tired. I tend to lose my voice when it’s later at night. Enjoy!

Christmas Teaser

Posted: December 25, 2012 by Hannah Stewart in Uncategorized

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Because it’s the season of giving, I have put up three new perks on the Breaking Shadows Campaign. You can check them out here. The Christmas Special is only available through tomorrow night! In addition, everyone that donates to The Breaking Shadows Project by midnight on the 28th will receive a Breaking Shadows Project t-shirt in addition to any other perk they request. To accept this gift, simply leave a comment after donating.

As a gift from me to you, I am releasing the first excerpt from Breaking Shadows: Bold. Enjoy!

When I can’t see them anymore, I stop fighting. I turn and run with Jude, trying to find another way out of this never ending maze of poor, unfortunate souls, trapped inside the evil, unforgiving bars to await some undecided end.
What’s done is done. No one can stop fate, or change it once its course is set. I feel as though every ounce of strength my body possessed has been zapped from me, and I struggle to keep moving forward. How Jude does it, I’ll never know. He somehow manages to get us out of that death trap unnoticed by the guards.
By the time we reach the hill, I can hardly see straight. I slouch against the tree, pulling my knees to my chest and staring numbly down the hill, to where the prison is outlined by light from the lamps on the street.
I feel nothing.
It’s just… Dark. Cold. Lifeless. I can’t explain it. Like I’m shriveled inside. Just an empty shell, unable to feel, unable to move, I’m just… here.
Jude slumps down beside me, breathing hard. I can feel a thousand unvoiced questions in the silence hanging between us, and I know it’s time. I can’t put them off any longer than I already have.
I don’t want to talk, but he’s been so patient already. I can’t make him wait any longer.

Meet the Clan

Posted: December 16, 2012 by Hannah Stewart in Uncategorized

I will still be posting weekly in-depth Character Profiles, but for the time being please allow me to introduce the clan in an all new Breaking Shadows: Bold teaser!

Don’t forget to share, and help us out over at http://indiegogo.com/breaking-shadows-bold/!

Getting to Know You Part 2

Posted: December 16, 2012 by Hannah Stewart in Uncategorized

It’s time for answers! I promised I would respond to your questions tonight, and so I shall. But first, a word. By now, I’m sure you’ve all heard of the terrible, horrendous events in Connecticut and China that took place yesterday. These horrific tragedies have shaken our nation, and myself no less than the next person. It’s events like this that make us feel helpless, hopeless, and renew the yearning of our hearts, the aching of our bones for our eternity. We long for life as it was meant to be… perfect. The reminders of our fallen, sick, broken, chaotic world are never pleasant in the slightest, and such senseless actions as these are the most painful of all. In this time of mourning and disaster, we must come together over the families affected, show them our love and support in every way we can. We must stay strong in our faith, knowing that God is good and His plan is perfect, but this world is a fallen, sinful, wretched place. We must pray that He would grant those families His strength and peace that surpasses understanding.

There isn’t much anyone can do, which is perhaps the worst part of this tragedy. But I, like everyone else, wish to do all I can for those families. I am working on a special project for those affected, and will post more information in the days to come. Let us pause a moment in respect for those lost, before continuing on into the answers.

“How did you come up with the idea for Breaking Shadows?”

This is probably the most common question I get from readers. Most people assume that a book like this must have been planned carefully from beginning to end, and then filled with words cautiously chosen. But books aren’t often written that way. Breaking Shadows began with a random stroke of inspiration. I was listening to the music of Les Miserables on a rainy day at work while trimming and prepping some ribs to be smoked. Coincidentally, this is when many of my best ideas hit me. It must have something to do with the fact that my mind would rather be anywhere else, even if it has to invent a new place. At first, it was just a single scene idea, one that might have turned into a short story if I wished it. I ran to the office, scribbled the bare bones of the thought down in my bunny pad, and went back to work. That night, I sat down to write. But it wasn’t the scene I had imagined that landed on the page… it was something for more intriguing. Something that had to be continued. Something that wasn’t complete until six months and 198 pages later. Breaking Shadows has always had a mind of its own, even as I went through to improve it, and continues to surprise me as I continue writing the other books.

To what would you attribute your passion for writing? Your diligence and preserverance?

Not exactly, though those qualities are certainly important. My passion for writing is something that I believe is a God given gift. I’ve always enjoyed writing, and when I was younger I would often start little projects or poems that I thought were great ideas, though I never had the skill to finish them. I wasn’t really serious or passionate about it until about 4 years ago. The last four years of my life have been – for lack of a better word – very dark ones, with few highlights. I spent more nights than I care to count sleeplessly staring at the ceiling, praying and trying to deal with the emotions swirling within me. One night, for some reason, I felt the urge to pick up a pen and paper and start writing. I hadn’t done it for years, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe it would help. Hours later, I realized I had started a novel. I thought it wouldn’t last, that it would remain unfinished like everything I’d written before. But as times grew worse for me and my family, the urge kept coming back to me. Eventually, it became a need. I’d never been an emotional person, and never truly had a way of dealing with emotions. but suddenly, I could write, and they would leave my soul for the page. Nowadays, my friends always say that I don’t cry tears from my eyes, I cry ink from my pen. That couldn’t be more true. I never thought I would find such emotional release in writing, nor did I believe my scribblings would be anything to anyone. But God has continued to drive me forward in this area, in which I’ve been striving to improve. Just writing isn’t enough anymore… quality counts. Not just quality, but quantity as well. I refuse to be a mediocre one genre junky. And I feel that writing is one of the many ways I can work hard to please my God and Savior here on this earth.

Can I come back?

This question was sent in by the lovely Elizabeth Dresdow, a good friend of mine and amazing writer. I nearly fell out of my seat laughing when she wrote it. As many of you know, I am currently writing the second book of the Breaking Shadows series. A month or so ago, we were talking about it, and she asked me (jokingly) if I would put her in the book. Little did she know, at the time I was struggling to move my plot forward, and was searching for just the right push. Her question got me to thinking down a new path, and solved the problem I was having. So, of course, I wrote the character that would give my main character the shove he needed off of Elizabeth, and even let her keep the name. It’s actually a bit tragic, but I had far too much fun writing it. In answer to the question, I’m not entirely sure Elizabeth… however, I have this sneaking suspicion that you just might.

That’s all I’ve got for tonight, folks. Don’t forget to check out the neat perks available and share my campaign with your friends! The Breaking Shadows Project can’t go any further without your help! http://indiegogo.com/breaking-shadows-bold/

Getting to Know You

Posted: December 14, 2012 by Hannah Stewart in Uncategorized

As author of Breaking Shadows: Bold, I’m often asked questions about writing, publishing, my book, etcetera. So, for the next 24 hours, I am opening the lines. Ask anything you like, book related or not. You can post your questions here in the comments, on my Facebook page, or tag me in them on Twitter. I will post the answers to all of them tomorrow. Sound good? Yeah? Alright!

Ready? Go!

Insider Extra: Jesse Resnik

Posted: December 13, 2012 by Hannah Stewart in Uncategorized

On Tuesday, I announced that I would be posting character profiles soon. Shortly after, I asked you over on Facebook who you would like to meet first. The overwhelming, unanimous response was Jesse. So, without further ado, allow me to introduce Jesse Resnik, the main character of Breaking Shadows: Bold!

 

Jessica "Jesse" Resnik

Jessica “Jesse” Resnik

Jessica “Jesse” Resnik

Jessica Resnik is a strong young lady, around 14 years old and mature for her age. She’s a crack shot with any firearm, but her favorite has always been her brother Ben’s old rifle. She is Ben’s right hand man, second in command of the Resnik Rebel army. While mature for her age, she is also very short. She prefers action to words, and is always the first to jump into a fight. But, at the same time, she hates the thought of taking a life. She will do whatever it takes to make her parents’ dream of setting America free again happen, refusing to let their deaths be in vain.
Ben has been like a parent to her, having raised her since their parents were killed in an ambush when she was four. Soon after, she began disguising herself as a boy for her own protection, and now goes by the name of Jesse.
Together, Ben and Jesse have rebuilt their parents’ army, and continue to use their father’s methods of training. Ben takes care of maps, strategy, and inspiring the troops, while Jesse takes a quieter, more active approach. She uses herself as an example for the rest of the troops, and is never happier than when she’s shocking the mocking new recruits into submission.
She is a playful, wiry, and prideful young lady, highly respected by every man within their army. She sees her men as family, and would gladly lay her life down for any one of them. Following Jesse’s lead, the Resnik army works not just as a team, but a closely-knit family, each respecting the other, and all willing to sacrifice everything for each other.
Breaking Shadows: Bold is told from her perspective, providing insight into her innermost thoughts and dreams.