TCWT: "If you could co-write a book with one author–living or not–who would it be and what would the book be about?"
ZH: Hm, that's a hard one... I think I'd say Maggie Stiefvater and something about mermaids.
Tired of reading stories with weak female main characters who lack purpose and are constantly fawning over her love interest? Look no further!
Cait is the quintessential fictional representation of a strong, yet realistic strong-willed and independent woman. She stands her own against the powerful, supernatural men in the room—no matter how many outnumber her.
The author has not only created a worthy female role model, the guys in Fire of Stars and Dragons are equally admirable for their morals (and good looks)!
About the Book
When sixteen-year-old Tiffany Winters strolls past Willowtree Care Home for the Elderly, she notices that something isn't right. There is just a certain 'feel' to the place. After she quizzes her Mum, she discovers that her great-grandfather lived and died there, and she wants to know more about him and the Home-- but things are never that simple. Willowtree has been taken over by a new management team that nobody ever knows anything about, there are no records or memories of her late grandfather, and-- as if that wasn't enough-- there is a mysterious boy on the loose. Together, Tiffany and her new best friend, Betty, must piece together what they know to 'build the full puzzle', and only then will they be able to solve the mystery behind the Care Home and her great-grandfather. But the only way to do so? Wander into a secret warehouse that leads into another world full of ghosts, secrets, and rows upon rows of suitcases...
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Guest Post: How to Stay Motivated
Hello, everybody! First of all, thank you very much to the wonderful and talented Zara for hosting me on her blog as part of the THEIR TIME TO GO Blog Tour. Released January 25th, this is the second stop on the tour, and it’s a lovely place to host it.For those of you who haven’t heard of my new book, or you have but aren’t quite sure exactly what the book is about, it’s a Young Adult paranormal book that is the first in a series of five books, making up the Tiffany Winters series (see above).
However, today I’m here to discuss motivation, and how to stay motivated. Whether you write books or not, or even if you just write a single book at some point in your life, you will know or discover that it is a long process— and not just the writing of it, either. You’ve got the idea, the plotting, the planning, the outlining, the writing of the first draft, the second draft, editing, revising, and so on… and then *takes a deep breath* you’ve got all the steps of publishing— agent, editor, publisher, or— if you’re going indie— editing even more so, cover design, promotion… the list seems endless.
So, during all of that, the question that is often raised is this: how do you stay motivated during it all?
Sure, loving to write and loving to share your stories your stories with the world is a good reason, but what about on the bad days? The days when writer’s block happens? The days when you realize that you have to re-write three chapters but that contradicts what you said in scene X?
The answer, I’m afraid, is different for everybody, but after writing six books for publication— THEIR TIME TO GO is my fourth, I have a contemporary crime fiction novel in April, and an unannounced Summer 2014 YA book— I’ve managed to come up with five tips that I find have helped me, and others, too.
1. Plan ahead. This is something that, I admit, I used to struggle with, and I know that many other writers do, too. Sometimes, when you first get that spark of a new idea in your mind, the urge to put pen to paper straight away can be a pretty strong one, but sometimes it’s best to wait and let it stew. Sure, jot the idea down somewhere so that you don’t forget about it, or bring in a few pictures of inspiration or pieces of dialog or so on, but that’s it. Over time, your mind will build on this idea, and then you can start plotting. Plotting does actually come in really useful— if you wish to change something as your plotting, you’ve got less material to have to go back on and change than if you were two-thirds of the way into your manuscript, after all! Not only that, by having a strong outline, no matter how long it takes you to plot it all out and put it all together,can often helping with writing a quicker draft, because you know where you’re going and the end result. However, I understand that not every writer wishes to do this— in the past I have myself written books with no outline made, although I’m not sure I would want to do that with a series! Still,you have to do what works best for you, and nobody else.
2. Manageable goals. The idea of writing a book that’s 60,000-80,000 words, sometimes even longer, can be a pretty daunting task, no matter much you love writing. If you don’t think you will do your story justice, or you think you’ll lose the drive to continue on with your novel in progress, breaking it down into smaller chunks can really help. Set yourself a monthly goal, or a weekly goal, or even a daily goal. After all, just writing 250 words a day— about one paperback page of a book on average— will result in a full manuscript at least after just one year. After doing this and making it part of your routine, then you can consider building this up to 500 words a day, or 1,000 words a day, and so on.
3. The sticker chart. This is something that I first saw Victoria Schwab— author of The Near Witch, The Archived, Vicious, The Unbound, and Everyday Angel 1,2, and 3— doing, and after she began tweeting about it and made a video about the method of which she uploaded on to YouTube, soon caught on! Basically, if you’re a visual person, get yourself a calendar and some stickers, and make each sticker represent something— for example, for every 1,000 words I write, I get a sticker: that way I can see how productive I’ve been during a day, a week, and a month. If you don’t wish to purchase a calendar and stickers, though, you can always download an app; Jackson Pearce— author of As You Wish, Sisters Red, Sweetly, Fathomless, Cold Spell, Purity, Tsarina, The Doublecross 1 and 2— is another example of an author who had done this via an app!
4. Doing something other than writing. Being motivated to write a book is a good thing, but don’t allow yourself to get burnt out. Even if you’re a published author and writing books is your job, it’s still important to doing something other than just writing. Being an author can be a quiet job when you’ve just got the voices in your head— I swear, it’s expected in this profession!— to talk to throughout the day, and spending hours upon hours everyday at the computer screen can really start to wear on your motivational levels. So, go out and write at a cafe if you really want to continue on writing, or try going longhand, but if you’re beginning to feel this way and losing motivation, simply going out to see friends, catch a move, or go for a fun, can be a nice way to take time out and then bounce back even more productive than you were before!
5. Reading. It’s important to read just as much as write. If you’re beginning to lose motivation, step back from your book and your words, and begin to read the words of somebody else. You’ll often find that reading a good book that really pulls you into the story is the perfect way to make you want you to write, as you’ll want to write a book just as good as the book you’re reading now!
So, that’s all. Thank you once again to the amazing Zara for having me on her blog, and if you do decide to take a chance on my book, THEIR TIME TO GO, then please, please, please know that I will be eternally grateful.
All the best,
*Zara's Addition: BookBaby just posted this awesome infographic about motivated writers, so I thought I'd share the link*
About the Author
Joshua J. Johnson is an author who lives on the East Coast of England. He began writing books after he learned that they don't just randomly appear on the shelf, but rather people actually sit down and write them. When he isn't writing his next novel, he enjoys reading, watching How To Train Your Dragon, and drinking milkshakes. He is also the author of Bones on the Surface, Soulless, and The Sweet Life, as well as Their Time to Go and the upcoming The Diamond Hotel.
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Yesterday, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and Wattpad teamed up do make this FREE webinar about Developing a Writing Community (see below, please watch it before following the call to action farther down in this post). It provides a summary of what NaNo is, what Wattpad is, and some great tips on maximizing the benefits of the latter. It also talks about starting critique groups.
And it got me thinking, while I'm writing the sequel to The Belgrave Daughter, Tears of an Angel, the more I want reader feedback.
So it's decided: I'm going to use crowd sourcing during the editing process of the second book.
Now here's the fun part! you can start helping me now. Here's how
What do you think? I'm pretty excited by this plan! It's crowdsourcing for writing (and editing)!
About the Book
Nicole "Nikki" Johnson has never gotten along with her mother, so when she meets a great new guy, it's no surprise that Matt's age is all her mom sees. Just because he's twenty-four and she's sixteen doesn't mean he's a creeper! Thankfully, Nikki's dad allows Nikki and Matt to be together and see how things work out. Their relationship is fantastic and Nikki is on cloud nine...
Until the Fourth of July picnic, when things go too far. Now a very changed Nikki has to make choices that will affect her every relationship - with Matt, her parents, her best friend, and most importantly, God.
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Guest Post: Why I Chose Self-Publishing
Hello, lovely readers of Zara! Some of you may recognize me if you came to see Zara hosted on my blog during the holiday party. Now it’s my turn to come visiting!
My reason for appearing before you all today? That would be my book. Namely, Sixteen, my debut novella. This is the first of sixteen stops on my Blog Tour! I’m excited to get things started.
When I first wrote Sixteen, several things were different from now. First, I was focused on sharing a message, not telling a story. That’s never a good idea for fiction. Second, the title was this weird thing my freshman-brain concocted: Babies and Blessings. *shudder* Let’s not talk about that. Third, the story was way shorter. It’s still too short for a novel and a bit shorter than most novellas, but at that time, it was basically a short story. Fourth, I dreamed of traditional publication.
I’m sure most readers familiar with this blog (or mine) know what I’m talking about. An agent representing your book. A team of professionals working with you to create a glorious cover and absolutely singing prose. A shiny publisher’s logo on the spine by your name, matching some of the others on your bookshelf. Maybe even one of the Big Five publishers! After that, it’s a book or two a year, followed by a movie deal and household name status.
Okay, for one, that last bit’s almost never how it works. And second, all the shine and glamour of traditional publishing is really just pyrite and mirrors.
I studied up the matter of agents and sent out half a dozen queries. One or two never responded; the others were all form rejections. I didn’t weep, or tear paper, or shut myself up in my room with chocolate and Netflix. Actually, I wrote a blog post about how my first rejection makes me an official author, and went on my merry way.
But now I had a problem. If no agents wanted my book, and no publishers I liked would take my unagented and unrequested submission, how was my book going to reach readers?
I don’t remember first learning about self-publishing. I think I discovered the concept as a book reviewer. I found a site called LibraryThing with lots of book giveaways. One of the giveaways I won took me to a site called Smashwords with a coupon code to get the eBook for free. Poking around the site proved it to be an independent self-pub website. As far as I remember, that was my first introduction to the idea.
To those here who don’t know, traditional publishing at its core:
Self-publishing: (aka “indie,” or “independent”)
Indie publishing is more work. Traditional publishing carries more respect and prestige, generally. Indie authors have a smaller readership in most cases. You’re on your own as an indie - yes, you have a team, and if you’re smart, you band together with other indies. But you don’t have the big name or the professional business backing you. Just you, on your laptop, with whatever money, resources, and aid you’ve managed to collect yourself. Not to mention the ease and lack of “gatekeepers” in self-pub has garnered a bad rep and a lot of terrible so-called books.
So why in the world would anyone choose indie publishing?
It all boils down to one thing. Sure, you can point to certain pieces of the puzzle - you hire your own team, so you know you’ll like them. You appreciate and are close to your whole crew. You call all the shots. You have the final say on the interior font during formatting or which model’s photo will grace the cover. You set all dates, all deadlines. You hand-pick your reviewers, your blog tour hosts, your influencers. You hold the purse, so you pull the strings in every manner possible. With a traditional publisher, you can hate the cover or have zero chemistry with your editor, and there’s often little to be done about this. Like I said, my love -- actually, nearly all indies’ love -- for the self-publishing route all boils down to one word.
About the Author
Born in Panama, Emily Rachelle has traveled throughout the country and the world with her Air Force family. Currently, she lives with her parents and three brothers in middle Georgia. While Emily enjoyed reading as far back as she remembers, writing didn't come to her until she learned the forms of poetry and the basics of story-telling in fourth grade. Since then, she's written scripts for homeschool dramas, poems for birthday presents, and stories for friends and family to enjoy. Sixteen is her debut into the professional world of words. You can find Emily at her blog, Emily Rachelle Writes.
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I took 1 midterm (American Literature), and I feel confident I did well. Next Tuesday, I have my PreCalc exam, Wednesday (Physics), and Thursday (History), and Friday off.
Not the relaxing week I was hoping to have leading right up to my first official SAT test (and hopefully last). But at least I have Friday to myself to meditate, write, etc.
This week has been a whirlwind for my OneWord, but almost as soon as I'm done with my SAT on Saturday (the irony is not lost on me), on Monday, I will be starting Spring Semester of Junior Year which means multiple things
Anyway, to all my readers: Enjoy your weekend.
Being a high school junior means it's time to start thinking about the future: college and internships/jobs. No big deal (yeah right). The good news? I've already had two internships and already went through a school application process to get into Dalton, so I'm not as new as some of my friends are. The bad news? It's going to involve a lot of waiting around (I don't mind the paperwork, and I already have my resume set).
Now, I don't have a lit for colleges yet, but I do have one for places I'd like to work. While I was at my foot doctor today (I've been relapsing and have been ordered to go back on crutches for 2 weeks), I saw that my #1 place was asking for reading interns on twitter. So obviously, I applied. Wish me luck! I also inquired at 3 other places if they have high school student internship openings, and I have yet to hear back from them. Long story short, I started this process, and can't wait to see what happens.
As I said two weeks ago, I have vowed to strive to be BRAVE for the year of 2014. If you missed that post, you can check it out here. Starting this Friday I'll be taking my midterms, and let me just say that I'm not exactly looking forward to them. And with my first official SAT only 10 days away, I need to muster all my courage to tackle and ACE these tests. Wish me luck! After they're over, I'll be celebrating by WRITING the second book in The Belgrave Legacy, Tears of an Angel. Until then, I'll be studying!
About the Book
The only person poetry-loving Cali Monroe hates more than herself is Logan Waters, the geeky kid who lives in the dorm building next to hers.
Ever since Cali's parents told her she would amount to nothing, she has felt entirely inadequate. Friendless and alone, she takes on the mean girl role in hopes it will make her feel better--and Logan serves as the perfect target. He infuriates her with his obnoxiously long lashes, his all too perfect dimpled smile, and his complete lack of personality outside of his intelligence. It doesn't hurt that he's part of the reason her brother is dead, either. So Cali hates him, and he returns the favor. Thus, their prank-filled, insult-driven rivalry is born, and torturing Logan quickly becomes the highlight of her life.
But when Cali's parents set them up on a blind date, she begins to realize Logan might not be as boring as she always thought. He shares her love of poetry, takes a sadistic pleasure in making fun of crepes, and he makes her blush when he calls her smile pretty.
And hey, maybe those long lashes of his aren't that obnoxious after all…
Two Roads is New Adult Romance about finding love, standing out, and learning to embrace who you are. It contains some language and mild sexual content.
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About the Author
L.M. Augustine is a YA romance author who is obsessed with writing about dorky teenagers, love, and happy endings. He currently lives in New England, where he spends far too much time reading books and screaming at his computer, and he believes that the solution to the world’s problems can be found in chocolate cake.
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The truth is, when Logan and I are going at it like this, we’re in our own little world. A world full of fire and passion and hate and dying puppies, sure, but our own world all the same. It’s just us, just me and him, just our insults and our pranks and our twisted, refreshing, perfect and so screwed-up hate for each other. In a really really really strange way, it’s kind of nice. Actually, “nice” does not even begin to describe it. My hatred for Logan is terrible and refreshing, wonderful and horrible all at once. “Asshole,” I say, letting the hatred seep into my voice, taking a sip out of his hot chocolate. “Bitch,” he replies, and he gulps down more of my precious coffee. Heat pulses between us, and the laughter and gossip and all the other sounds in The Dungeon disappear. The world seems to go silent, and when I glare at Logan, he is all I see. He—in all of his innocence and wit and completely frustrating geekiness. He—with his deep blue eyes and glasses and perfect dimples. He—the guy who ruined my life.
The Fault in Our Stars (TFIOS) by John Green has developed a cult following of “nerdfighters.” thanks to the wildly popular YouTube channel “VlogBrothers,” hosted by John and Hank Green. I was late coming onto the bandwagon. I couldn’t understand why people were crying and posting a bunch of pictures with two clouds, one black and one white, with the words “Okay.” After reading the book, I completely understand.
Inspired by John Green’s friend Esther Earl (who wrote her real-life story in This Star Won’t Go Out), TFIOS is a story about love, life, and hope. John Green skillfully captures (and breaks) the hearts of his readers within the span of a short 318 pages. He successfully adopts a female teenage voice to narrate this amazing story. Hazel’s no-nonsense, witty and sarcastic attitude made this book a joy to read (even when I was crying). Having recently experienced my grandmother’s fight with cancer, the scenes were as authentic as they were poignant. I read TFIOS relatively soon after I lost my grandmother. Some of the scenes with Hazel struck very close to home and intensified my reading experience. This is not to say you need to have/know someone who has cancer. It just adds another layer of appreciation.
I'm a self-published author— because being a college student wasn't hard enough! I write YA multi-genre fiction for young adults or the young at heart. I love This Is Us, NCIS, BBC's Sherlock,
All opinions featured on this blog are mine unless otherwise marked as a sponsored or guest post. All book links are affiliate links.