Friday, 26 May 2017

Interview with Emily Kazmierski and review of Malignant

I'm pleased to welcome Emily to the blog today with an interview and review of her YA book, Malignant. Here's a little bit about Emily

Emily lives in gorgeous southern California with her handy husband, two beautiful daughters, two curious dachshunds, and seven fluffy chickens. She loves to read, write, eat, and make homemade ice cream (but you'll never catch her putting coconut in it -- yuck!).

And onto the interview!

1 - What made you want to be a writer? I have always been a writer.
The first story I remember ever writing was about a little girl who dies and is reincarnated as a blue whale. I must have been eight or nine. When I finally finished my first novel, Malignant, and hit the publish button on Amazon, I did it mostly for fun. I wanted to see if anyone would read it and if it was any good. I'm enjoying the process of writing my second novel. I'm hoping to do it much more quickly this time.

2 - What kind of books do you read for pleasure? Up until last year I read mostly classics, but in the last couple of years

I've read a lot of more contemporary literature -- everything from plays to children's novels to historical fiction. I'm rather enjoying dipping my toes into new genres. My absolute favorite books are The Hobbit, Brave New World, and Watership Down.

3 - What kind of writer are you: plan or not?
I'm what many writers call a pantser, which means I write by the seat of my pants. I have a very rough outline, by which I mean I have a list of scene ideas, but that's about it. I write in my head and then I type it out. It takes me a while because I really mull over a scene before I pound it out.

4 - How does your average writing time go?
I write late at night when everyone else in my family is asleep so I have fewer interruptions. :) Sometimes I've thought a scene through and I know exactly what I want to say. In that case it goes pretty quickly. I try not to correct myself too much when I'm typing because that just slows me down. If I'm not sure where the scene is going it takes quite a bit longer. I have to sit and think about word choice, character qualities and motivation, and that sort of thing.

5 - What book/character of yours is your favourite?
I really like Mrs. Matthews, who is a relatively minor character in Malignant. She's kind of a Molly Weasley type -- motherly and caring but also strong and smart. She was fun to write because she was sassy and a bit nosy.

6 - If you had the chance to write anywhere, where would you choose?
I'd check into a little bed and breakfast in Monterey, CA and write while overlooking the ocean. Hopefully I'd see an otter or two.

7 - What attracted you to your chosen genre?
I mostly like to read and write about real people who live in our world. I like to wrestle with real problems that people face today. I want people to read my books and be able to use them to better understand their friend or next door neighbor.

8 - How have other writers influenced your own writing?
Every book I've read has influenced my writing in some way. I'm always learning new words and phrases. I love books that require me to look up words as I read. Reading is the best way for a writer to keep growing in his or her craft and to stay fresh.

9 - Do you prefer to type or hand write?
I type everything. I wouldn't get anything done if I had to do it by hand.

10 - Do you have a writing playlist? Or do you prefer silence?
I prefer silence. Music is distracting. A former boss of mine caught me directing music in my cubicle once. Boy was that embarrassing!

11 - Do you have any hobbies?
I love the arts and entertainment. I enjoy watching movies and television and going to plays and musicals. I also really enjoy cooking and baking and trying new recipes.

12 - Would you ever like to branch out to a different genre?
My first novel is a young adult novel, and I've also written several short stories. One is a fairytale retelling for middle grade readers, and one is about a little girl but is aimed more at adults due to the subject matter. Finally, the novel I'm working on now is adult literary fiction. So, I do play around with genre a bit, but not a lot. I have considered trying to write Christian romance because I've read quite a lot of it, but you probably won't ever catch me writing fantasy, paranormal, or that sort of thing. I would have no idea how to go about doing something like that.

When high school sophomore Reese's beloved mom is diagnosed with terminal cancer, she chooses to remain at home with her family rather than undergoing futile, body-ravaging treatments. Reese must grapple with the reality of losing her mother far sooner than she ever had dreamed, and far before she has learned everything that her mother has to teach her.

Reese's father pulls away from the family in grief and leaves Reese to care for much of the household. As the weeks pass, Reese realizes that the devastating cancer that is killing her mother might also cause her to lose her father.

Malignant is an raw young adult novel about a family whose members must learn to persevere through a heartbreaking crisis.

My review: 4 stars
I'm always a sucker for a good young adult book, and this one was no exception. The story starts with Reese going about her life with her mom, dad and best friend, Brandon. Except her mom starts to feel ill and a myriad of tests are run before it's discovered she has cancer. Opting to spend her last days at home with her family, the story follows Reese as she struggles to come to terms with her mother dying. It was beautifully told and heart-wrenching in places. Watching Reese's dad pull away as his way of dealing with his own grief was heartbreaking. The book is amazing and very much one I enjoyed. My only complaint was that it felt a little short in places, but other than that, a wonderful story and an author to keep an eye on. Recommended.

You can follow Emily on Facebook.

Join Joey here on the blog on Fridays for interviews, reviews and guest bloggers. If you'd be interested in doing any of those, you can contact Joey here.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

From Joey's Instagram

Lookie what arrived!! My paperbacks of Dying Thoughts - Fifth Secret! Buy it here: #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #amwriting #beingawriter #joeywrites #paranormalbooks #readersofinstagram #reading #DyingThoughts #dyingthoughts5 #writersofinstagram #writesofig #authosofig #bookstagram #bookboost

Monday, 22 May 2017

From Joey's Instagram

It's Monday, a brand new week and more writing to be done. This was a few days back, but since it's a #LightsOut day I thought I would share! Now onward with more writing! #beingawriter #writerslife #worksinprogress #writersofinstagram #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #joeyisanauthor #amwriting #indieauthor #bonuschapters #jowrimogo #authorsofig #writersofig #ilovewriting #youngadultbooks #dystopianfiction

The Trials Of An Indie Author: Guest Blogs, Interviews & Everything Else


So one thing I have learned over my years as an indie author is that it never stops. There is always something more to do, and today I'm going to be talking about guest blogs and interviews and everything else that will help get you exposure, make connections and all that jazz. One thing I learned early on when I started my blog was that people want content, and sometimes that content shouldn't be from you. They like the variety of hearing from similar authors, and discovering new books and blogs. And although it took me a while to get a proper flow started, I think I'm there now.

So, how do you get that content? I mean it has to work both ways right? Other people are going to be wanting your content for their blog and you're going to be wanting theirs for yours. The problem is it's not easy to get started with that. When you've just set up a blog, whether you have books already published or not, you're now an unknown. If you do have connections or friends who are also authors in either the same genre or style of writing as you, then yay! You can get started. But for the rest of us, we have to make those connections and find a way to both bring traffic to your blog, and find people whose content is suitable. There are a few tips I can share with you and hopefully they'll be helpful for you.

This is the most important thing I could say. If you don't know who you're reaching out to, then how do you start to get the right kind of content? Once you know who is reading your blog, whether they be readers of your genre or fellow authors looking for advice, you need to be sure that your posts are right for that. It will take a while for you to get a good idea on who your readers are, and it may be that you have to try a few different things before you find that sweet spot. But when you know, start looking for other authors, readers, bloggers, and reach out to them for both guest blogs and interviews. That way when your post their pieces, it's not going out to people who have no wish to read about it.

Now I fell into this trap for a long time. I started my blog in 2012 and for the first year, as a newbie I only posted about my books. Big mistake. My second mistake was that when I did start posting advice pieces and the like, I wasn't consistent about when they'd be on my blog. If you need to set a schedule, then do so. But stick to it. Unless there's an emergency that prevents you from posting, or you go on holiday, then make sure that if you say you will post new content every Monday and Friday, that you actually do post it then. I found that choosing Mondays for advice pieces and Friday for guest blogs, reviews and interviews, worked really well with my own schedule, but you need to find one that works for you.


Again, I fell into this trap too. I didn't post anything for the first year except about sales and new sites having my work. While you should make sure you have information about your books and where to buy them, you should also have other posts too. If you're gonna talk about your books, leave it to sales and release days, along with cover reveals if you choose to do that. You also want to be sure that the people you choose to guest blog are going to be talking about different kinds of things. It's no good having one guest blogger do a post about writer's block if the next week someone else does a similar post. That's only going to annoy and/or bore your readers and you don't want that.

If you're, like me, a young adult author, then it's gonna make a lot more sense for you to be having guest bloggers who are also young adult authors. If you're a crime writer, the same applies. So long as there is some cross over - like I have YA fantasy interviews coming up and I don't write fantasy, but I do write young adult - then it should be okay. You want someone who is going to appeal to your audience and is also going to bring readers to your blog who might also enjoy your work. It's all about making sure that both your readers and theirs are gonna be happy with the content.

And finally, #5 - RECIPROCATE OFTEN
I can't stress this enough. If you're asking people to host you on their blog, then it should go both ways. Even if it's later down the road, you should be planning for them to have a spot on yours. Now this doesn't always work. Sometimes while the genres do cross over, it's just not a good idea. I've hosted crime and mystery adult authors, and while their readers might like those elements in my work, they will probably not enjoy the fact that they're young adult books. However, that's not always the case and it is possible that the majority of the time, it should go both ways.

So those are my tips on guest blogs and interviews and everything in-between. It's something that you'll find you come across often in both the indie world and in general. I am always getting emails asking me to help with promotion from both indie and traditionally published authors. It's all about the exposure and if you work well with others, then you'll find that they are just as happy to help you, as you are to help them. Good luck and keep going!

Follow Joey here on her blog, or on Facebook or Tumblr to be kept up to date with the latest news regarding Joey and her books. You can also sign up to her newsletter here.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

From Joey's Instagram

Coming July 15th 2017. Cat and her friends want to catch a killer but can they do it before the killer catches them? Pre-order for 99p on Amazon here: #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #mysterybooks #readersofinstagram #reading #INAR #bookstagram #bookboost

Cover reveal - It's Not Always Rainbows - Joey Paul

It's Not Always Rainbows

The LGBTQ rainbow covers people from all walks of life. Catherine and her friends all have to struggle for acceptance in their own lives. Parents, friends, teachers, pretty much everyone seems to have their opinion on how they should live.

The only people who don’t tell them what they should do are each other and the people inside the LGBTQ community.

So when people from that community start getting attacked and then murdered, Catherine feels she has to do something to stop it.

Dealing with her own issues with her religious parents is tough enough, but what do you do when who you are is the reason someone wants you dead?




Cover Reveal: It's Not Always Rainbows [CC]


Saturday, 20 May 2017

From Joey's Instagram

A snapshot of my work place right now. Getting a chapter done in bed with a kitty snuggled at the end. #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #amwriting #jowrimogo #bonuschapters #writersofinstagram #writesofig #authosofig #ilovewriting #kitty #cuddles #catsofinstagram #MrDash #snuggles

Friday, 19 May 2017

Review of Hushed by Joanne MacGregor

Would you sacrifice your voice for love?

18-year-old Romy Morgan desperately longs to escape the boring future her parents have planned for her, and explore the world.

When she saves her celebrity crush, superstar Logan Rush, from drowning, Romy is offered a job as his personal assistant. She strikes a deal to reinvent herself in exchange for entering the exciting world of the movies, and love sparks between her and this prince of Hollywood. But Romy soon discovers that she has traded her voice and identity for an illusion of freedom.

When she discovers a dreadful secret with the power to destroy Logan, Romy must choose between love, revenge and finding her own, true element.

If you like contemporary young adult romance with all the feels - and a twist of humor - then you’ll love this refreshingly modern and realistic spin on the classic tale of The Little Mermaid from award-winning YA author, Joanne Macgregor.

My review: 5 stars
Wow, I loved this book! Starting with the introduction of Romy and her seeming obsession with the famous Logan Rush, the story soon takes a turn. You follow Romy as she is being forced to choose either her father's profession or her mother's and actually she wants to go her own way. A break before university starts and the one thing she wants to do, seems to be out of reach. Until saving Logan gives her an in to the world of movies, celebs and divas. Finally she's able to get to know the real Logan, and the more she knows the more she loves. As to whether this work out, I'll let you find that out for yourself. The book is heart-wrenching and funny, and kept me glued to the spot flipping through the pages and desperate to get to the end. When I thought all hope was lost, I really hoped I was wrong. It's an excellent book and one I thoroughly enjoyed! Highly recommended!

You can follow Joanne on Facebook, Twitter, or her website.

Join Joey here on the blog on Fridays for interviews, reviews and guest bloggers. If you'd be interested in doing any of those, you can contact Joey here.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

From Joey's Instagram

A review for Dying Thoughts - Fifth Secret! Buy it here for 99p until May 22nd: Thanks for the awesome review Amanda! #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #mysterybooks #paranormalbooks #readersofinstagram #reading #DyingThoughts #dyingthoughts5 #writersofinstagram #writesofig #authosofig #bookstagram #bookboost #bookreview