Oct 26, 2011

{Author Guest Post + Giveaway} The Bird with the Broken Wing by D.L. Richardson

I'm happy to welcome author D.L. Richardson of The Bird with the Broken Wing.  She's here to discuss her novel and how she got started. Also she has 1 ebook (Kindle only) of her book! 

I’m writing my second novel, which is a story about three teenage kids who feel isolated by their problems. But is it realistic these days to think that teenage kids are really alone?

Novels, typically, deal with as few characters as possible who are each experiencing the feeling of isolation. This is how readers are drawn into a story. However, the products of today’s society such as Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, cell phones, YouTube, gaming consoles, instant messaging, text messaging, Skype and over protective parents, means it’s reasonable to suggest that the sensation of isolation in today’s teenagers could be considered unrealistic. So how does a writer overcome the problem of telling a story without these external distractions interfering with the character’s credibility?

One way a writer can overcome this problem is by using Setting. We can set a story in the past or future, where technology either doesn’t exist or isn’t so rampant. We can set the story in a remote place like the frozen Arctic, a prison or asylum, or an apocalyptic wasteland. And we can also set a story in a fictional place where technology is forbidden. I got rid of the external influences in my novel, The Bird With The Broken Wing by placing my characters in a location where outside communication was banned.

Another way writers can create the sense of isolation is by using Point of View. Sometimes the real story is happening elsewhere, and it’s the writer’s job to go looking for it. An example of what I mean is a situation a fourteen year old girl I know – I’ll call her Piper - went through. Two years ago, Piper went for a blood test for celiac disease and came out diagnosed with Leukemia. This could have had the makings of a story, except that Piper had Facebook. Which meant she posted photos of herself undergoing chemotherapy, she posted photos of herself wearing various wigs, she convinced her parents to let her get a tattoo because “it might be the last chance I ever get”, she then posted her tattoo photos on Facebook, plus she made loads of friends whilst in the hospital. So instead of treating her disease as something debilitating to her life and retreating into the world of doom and gloom, she became more popular than ever. In this case, the real story lies elsewhere.

A writer looking elsewhere for the story could start with taking a peek inside Piper’s family circle. About a year before Piper got diagnosed with Leukemia, her older sister, Sam was in a car accident. Sam needed a hip replacement, only she came out of hospital in worse condition than when she went in. A year after Piper’s recovery from Leukemia, her dad had a heart attack. The only family member who hadn’t been in hospital during this three year run of bad luck was Gina, the mother. The real story could be Gina’s, the mother whose isolation comes from having to keep it all together while her family falls apart around her. Except that I write Young Adult Fiction so for me the story would never get off the ground. (Unless there is a third child experiencing the feeling of isolation. Cue spooky music.)
Sometimes it’s Conflict that places a character in isolation. Writers can give their characters huge secrets that to divulge would place everyone in grave danger. We can give them infectious diseases to explain the avoidance of human contact. We can give our characters special or magical powers they are forbidden to use lest they be exiled into another realm or locked in a closet. And let’s not forget the matter of simply wiping out the rest of humanity as a means of plunging our characters into an isolated world.
Basically, there’s a lot to think about when creating a believable story, and sometimes it’s got nothing to do with the truth.

About the Author:
D L Richardson is the author of Young Adult paranormal novel The Bird With The Broken Wing. She once ran a secondhand clothing store and played bass guitar and sang in a band she helped form when she was sixteen. She has worked in corporate jobs and in the entertainment industry and hopes to one day write a novel based on the music industry. She is currently working on her second Young Adult novel.
You can check out more about D L Richardson at her website www.dlrichardson.com

About the Book:
You can read an extract of D L Richardson’s debut novel The Bird With The Broken Wing at Kobo Books
Buy the Book:
You can purchase The Bird With The Broken Wing at these great online retailers: Amazon.com | OmniLit | Kobo Books | Barnes & Noble

1 Kindle eBook of The Bird with the Broken Wing
Must answer authors question below
Since D.L. is a fan of Madonna, she wants to know whats your favorite Madonna Song and why?
Fill out the form below


  1. These are great things to think about. Thank you for sharing this great writing tips.

  2. madanno - wow, my fav song would have to be papa don't preach, reminds me of when I was younger and rebellious.

  3. Like A Prayer, I love how it visually challenges religion and the little black dress.

    Thanks for the giveaway

  4. Like a Virgin of course- It was just so dang fun to dance to and sing at the top of your lungs:)
    The book sounds darling. Thanks for the chance:)

    bchild5 at aol dot com

  5. It would have to be Lucky Star because my best friend and I actually talked our captain of the football team to dress as a star and dance on stage as we sung it to him during a school assembly way back when.

  6. My favorite is Vogue. No matter where I am when I here this song I just get happy, sing along, and vogue. I recently got caught by the checkout girls at my grocery store, but when called on it, I just said, "It's Vogue!" and they did it with me! :)

  7. My favorite Madonna song is express yourself. I like the message that the song conveys. I also wanted to pick something everyone else won't pick!