Molly Ringle Shares Her Writing Guilty Pleasures

Guest Post

Meet Molly Ringle.


Molly Ringle was one of the quiet, weird kids in school, and is now one of the quiet, weird writers of the world. She likes thinking up innovative romantic obstacles and mixing them with topics like Greek mythology, ghost stories, fairy tales, or regular-world scandalous gossip. With her intense devotion to humor, she was proud to win the grand prize in the 2010 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest with one (intentionally) terrible sentence. She’s into mild rainy climates, gardens, ’80s new wave music, chocolate, tea, and perfume (or really anything that smells good). She has lived in the Pacific Northwest most of her life, aside from grad school in California and one work-abroad season in Edinburgh in the 1990s. (She’s also really into the U.K., though has a love/stress relationship with travel.) She currently lives in Seattle with her husband, kids, guinea pigs, and a lot of moss.

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What are Molly Ringle’s writing guilty pleasures?

What distinguishes a regular pleasure from a guilty pleasure? I suppose a guilty pleasure is usually something we feel we “shouldn’t” be enjoying, perhaps shouldn’t be doing at all—because it’s bad for us, it’s tacky, it’s frivolous; any number of reasons. As such, guilty pleasures are more fun to talk about than ordinary ones.

When asked what my guilty pleasures when writing or editing are, I can think of many, all of them serving as a form of procrastination, even if I could give the excuse that they have SOMETHING to do with writing.

There’s looking up images, for example. If I want to describe a character’s outfit or house or facial features, my imagination only takes me so far. I start feeling the need to get on Google or Pinterest and examine lots of photos and artwork—and sometimes save them to my own Pinterest boards—so I can study the details and think up similar ones for my story. Though, let’s be honest, I spend far more time on that “research” than the details really call for, because those pretty pictures sure are distracting. (If you’re curious, I have a Pinterest board for The Goblins of Bellwater, several boards for the Persephone series, and one for What Scotland Taught Me.)

There’s music, too: I rarely write a novel without having a soundtrack of sorts for it, composed of music that gets me thinking about the story or the characters. I love to stick my earbuds in, start up that playlist, and daydream. However, I seem unable to daydream and WRITE at the same time, so this pleasure works better when I’m doing housework or taking a walk, and merely thinking about the story. But hey, thinking about the story counts as working on it, kind of, right? (If you want to have a listen, I even made a Spotify playlist for the songs that inspired my Persephone trilogy, Persephone’s Orchard and its sequels.)

I also can spend a lot of contented time sorting through other people’s books. I get a mood boost from browsing books, even just virtually via their online descriptions. It’s work-related, sure, as writers have to be readers too, and while I’m browsing I also take the time to notice what I like and don’t like about titles, cover art, and back-cover blurbs. But truly, at such times I’m mostly just being a happy bookworm, rolling around in stories like a dog in a pile of wet leaves.

And of course there’s snacking, but I doubt there’s anything unusual about a novelist consuming handfuls of chocolate chips and multiple mugs of tea every day. From what I hear, that’s standard.

What are your guilty pleasures on or off the job? Maybe you’ll give me new temptation ideas!


What are your writing guilty pleasures?

Leave a comment below!


Thank you Molly Ringle for stopping by A New Look On Books!

The Google Search History of An Author; Guest Post by Helen Scheuerer

Guest Post

Meet Helen Scheuerer.

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Helen Scheuerer is a YA fantasy author from Sydney, Australia. ‘Heart of Mist’ is the first book in her high fantasy trilogy, ‘The Oremere Chronicles’. It explores themes of identity, belonging, loyalty, addiction, loss, and responsibility.

After writing literary fiction for a number of years, novels like ‘Throne of Glass’, ‘Elantris’, ‘The Queen’s Poisoner’ and ‘The Queen of the Tearling’ inspired Helen to return to her childhood love of fantasy.

Helen is also the Founding Editor of Writer’s Edit (, an online literary magazine and learning platform for emerging writers. In its first year, Writer’s Edit reached thousands of new authors, and soon became its own small press. It’s now one of the largest writers’ platforms in the world.

Helen’s love of writing and books led her to pursue a Bachelor of Creative Arts, majoring in Creative Writing at the University of Wollongong, as well as a Masters of Publishing at the University of Sydney.

Helen works as a freelance writer and editor, while she works on the second book in ‘The Oremere Chronicles’.

Author Links:
Goodreads Book Page:
Goodreads Author Page:


Guest Post – The Google Search History Of An Author

Pretty much every writer out there has stopped and considered their Google search history at one point or another… More often than we’d care to admit, we’re sitting here stumped, wondering if whether or not a search can send us to prison, or an offshore asylum.

After chatting with lovely Rae of A New Look On Books, we decided it would be fun to delve into some of the weird and whacky Google searches that have found their way into my browser history.

1. How hard is it to pull an arrow from a stomach?

That’s right, there’s no messing around here, folks. If it wasn’t obvious enough, I wanted to know how much resistance a person would feel when they tried to pull an arrow from another person’s stomach.

The puller was someone who wasn’t particularly physically strong, and so I wanted to be sure that it was believable.

2. Alcoholism withdrawal symptoms

If you’re familiar with my debut novel, Heart of Mist, you might be aware that my MC has an alcohol addiction. In order to make this realistic, I needed to make sure I was well-informed about the effects and consequences of addiction, which is how this search found its way into my history.

3. Poisons to paralyse

Am I sounding unstable yet? There’s a brief scene in Heart of Mist where a character ingests a poison that causes her to be temporarily paralysed. It’s a brief scene, but I did want to make sure I got the details right. However, in the end, I chose to invent a poison (it’s a fantasy world after all!).

4. Anatomy of medieval armour (and weaponry!)

With commanders, captains and knights throughout my book, this search was a must. And as someone who’s always had an appreciation for period-drama costuming, it was one of the more fun (and less morbid) searches.

My characters are generally decked out in medieval-style clothing: leathers, corsets, cloaks, riding boots and the like… Plus, there’s also a range of weapons in use – katars, battle axes, swords, and daggers. It’s really fun to get creative with these and get educated on the ways in which they’re used.

5. Best fight scenes in literature

As someone who’s never been in a physical fight myself (touch wood), I made it my business to read and watch epic fight scenes to pick up on the best moves. I made word pools for things like fencing, so I knew what terminology to use at the right moment.

There are a number of fight scenes throughout Heart of Mist, and this search was definitely done more than once throughout the writing process. I may have even taken to acting out certain scenes in my office, so I knew if particular maneuvers were possible or not!



And these are just the recent searches! Who knows what I would have found in the older depths of my search history…

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve searched for? Why not share it with Rae and myself in the comments below!


Do you have Heart of the Mist yet?

Check out the details below!


heart of mist cover.pngBook details:

Heart of Mist released August 31st, 2017.