Monday, 19 March 2018

From Joey's Instagram

I has a #MissPenne on her box keeping me company in my office today! Back to writing with melting snow outside! 😻😻✒✒✒ #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #kitty #snuggles #catsofinstagram #pastacats

Work Environment - The Creative Process


I don't think I've talked about this any time recently, but while reading a post on tumblr, I thought about approaching the subject here. I have two places where I write - my desk in my office, or my bed-desk in my bedroom. The photo at the top of this post is the former. I've had this set up since we moved into this place back in 2009. My desk was a birthday present from my mum in 2010 and I have to say it's freaking awesome! I have space and while it was initially used for my uni work, now that I'm a full-time writer, it's just perfect for me.

That I have an office at all is pure luck that anything. We used to live in a one-bedroom flat for a very long time until we were housed in this awesome place. Because I have a lift that goes from the ground floor up to my bedroom, it left a room that wasn't really going to be used for anything else, and hence became my office. When we moved, I never really thought about writing in it too much. I'd just started my degree and I was more focused on that than getting writing done. It was only as I got closer to finishing my degree, and started to get published again that I realised I needed an office. I have my filing cabinets and I have space for my chair and all my notes. It worked out the best way for me because now I have two spaces where I can write to my hearts content.

That said, I do know that a lot of writers go out and about for their work hours and that's completely fine too. I've written in hospital, in coffee shops, on trains and in the car. You gotta do whatever you can to make it work. But this piece isn't just me showing off my awesome space and desk, but also to give you some advice about what you should and shouldn't have in your writing space. It's gonna be another list people, brace yourselves!

If, unlike me, you have to rely on office furniture to sit while you write, then it needs to be something that is comfortable. There's nothing more irritating than being sat down and it hurting your butt while you're in the middle of an awesome scene. That just leads to not getting the work done.

I say it like this because I'm someone who can't write with music on, I try and I just can't. But I also know that a lot of writers are the opposite, they can't write in complete silence. So basically, depending on which one you are, make sure you have the right volume of background noise because it's hard to concentrate when you're distracted.

I know the majority of people will ask why I didn't just put coffee, but here's a fun fact about me: I'm allergic to coffee. Makes me wheeze! So I'm a tea writer. It's gotten to the point where I can't write if I don't have a drink on hand. So wherever you are, make sure you have something to quench your thirst.

This should be obvious, but it does depend on whether you're like me and a hybrid or a plotter or pantser. You gotta have the notes and tools to do your work with. If that means just characters notes or what not, that's cool. For me, it's my chapter plan, my writing log and characters notes. Without those, nothing is getting done.

Now, again, for some people this isn't an issue. I'm one of them. I can pretty much multi-task with no issues. But for some people, having access to the internet and people to talk to is the recipe for not getting any work done. I have that from time-to-time when Miss D has a friend over or people are in and out of my office, tends to lead to me not actually writing because I hate the feeling of people seeing my work over my shoulder. Plus it's rude to lose yourself in your book when someone is trying to have a conversation with you.

So there we go, my five tips for your work environment. While it makes sense to be sure you have everything you need, other things I've not mentioned are more my personal choices, like access to wifi and disabled access, also plugs because there's nothing worse than trying to finish your book when the battery is at 5%! But what are your top five things for your work environment? Let me know in the comments!

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.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Review of Awoken by Trish Beninato

Prophecy, destiny and a war that entangles two ancient gods…

Eighteen-year-old Jewel, reliving her memories finds herself suddenly thrust into the past living in the world of mortals. Only this life and this version of herself is different. Yet, one thing stays the same, she finds herself in the path of Anubis an Egyptian god. She needs him even though it could cost her everything. But Anubis just sees her as an annoying complication to his quiet life he just can’t have- at least that’s what he tells himself. Even as he is drawn to the beautiful, dangerous goddess.
With Jewel's impending activation and Zeus trying to find them, Jewel and Anubis find themselves needing each other more than they care to admit. Only someone is about to betray the other.

Can Jewel save all of humanity from her own family in time?

My review: 5 stars
I loved the first book, and I wasn't disappointed with the second. Throwing you into the story from where the first book left off, you're taken right back to the past with Jewel and led through the story of her finally meeting Anubis and the relationship that developed from there. It was beautifully told and great to see the back story of the characters we'd met in the first book. I enjoyed it immensely, and am now anxiously awaiting the third in the trilogy! Highly recommended!

You can follow Trish on Facebook or Twitter.

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, 15 March 2018

From Joey's Instagram

And the cover reveal is here!! Check it out on the vlog at: 🎉🎉🎉📚📚📚 #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #authortuber #writingvlog #vlogger #writingtips #authortube #lovemyjob #ilovewriting #igwriters #igauthors #coverreveal #DTSC

Cover Reveal: Dying Thoughts - Sixth Change [CC]

My thanks to Joel, Madalena, Gillon, Elena M., Philomena, Laura, Aailyah & Ladies Living In Bookland for help with the cover reveal. Their blogs are listed below:


AND thanks to for the awesome cover reveal graphic!


Tuesday, 13 March 2018

From Joey's Instagram

#TEASERTUESDAY Tara's first boyfriend maybe? And the cover reveal is Thursday!! 📚📚🎉🎉 #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #dyingthoughts #bookaddict #readersofinstagram #amreading #books #youngadultbooks #paranormalbooks #mysterybooks

Monday, 12 March 2018

From Joey's Instagram

It's really hard to write when you are a pillow for #MissViolet but now she's moved so onwards! 😻😻✒✒✒ #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #kitty #snuggles #catsofinstagram

Writing Speeds & You - The Creative Process


I was inspired to write this piece by the lovely Bella Rose Pope, who's another author youtuber that I follow. She did a video on writing speeds (found here). One thing a ton of people said was, and Bella herself discussed in the video, that so many writers are told that they write too slowly. I wanted to do a piece on it because it's something I was bombarded with as a newbie writer all those years ago, and it's just not right.

Firstly, I will admit that I write fast. That said, I didn't always, and I don't write fast and sell my technique as anything other than something that works for me. I do not, and never will, tell any writer, newbie or otherwise that they need to have my output to be valid. That's not gonna happen in any time or place. My writing process is just that, mine, it's not yours, it's not gonna work for you because, surprise, you're not me. Every writer has their own process and anyone telling you that you should be writing a book in a short space of time is feeding you junk.

But I see them, I see the "how to write a novel in x time" - it's usually a week or thirty days. And I can't help but feel that that's just setting yourself up to fail. I can't write a novel in thirty days! No way! I'd have to skip sleep, food and all that other not optional stuff. On the other side of it, a novel written in thirty days is gonna be rushed to hell. You certainly can't write, edit and publish a novel in that time. It was something I was fed as a newbie writer and something I wanted to address. There are so many different ways to get your book written, but all of that takes time. And as I've said, it takes as long as it takes, and that's okay!

So many people seem to think that if you do something fast that makes it better, and it doesn't by a long shot. Writing takes time. Editing takes time. Formatting and covers take time. Plus we've not even broached the subject of promotional stuff, which, you guessed it, takes time! And rushing through the process helps no one. All it does is leave you stressed and worried about whether or not everything is going to come together. Writing should be fun. It's your passion, it's something you enjoy. You want your readers to look at your books and feel that enjoyment, and rushing through the process itself leaves room for a lot of mistakes.

I don't really know what started the whole writing in thirty days. I've read how-to books where the author has boasted about how they managed to churn out book after book after book. And it's impressive on some level, but also not sustainable. Eventually you're going to need to take a break, you're going to need time to breath and catch up with self-care. I know people think that you gotta keep releasing book after book to be successful, but that's just not true. Taking away from the traditional route, say you're going indie, even then I can name hundreds of successful authors who release once every couple of years. There's no time limit on creation, you gotta go at the speed that works for you. If you push yourself to breaking point, it's gonna mean time off and time away and possibly even burning you out of the job completely.

I know people think that you can hit publish, sit back, and wait for the money to just come rolling in. They think that to keep the cash flowing, you gotta keep writing, and while that's true to a point, it's not how publishing works. You have to produce quality work and that, you guessed it, takes time. It hurts my heart to think of people new to the writing world being sold lies and promises that just don't pan out. The bottom line is that writing a book is not some easy quick-rich scheme. It takes time and hard work. It takes input from not just yourself, but beta readers, editors, proofreaders, formatters and so on. All of that will take months, if not years to complete. And if you want to actually be successful, then you can not by any means skip a step.

I've been writing for over fifteen years, been published for coming up thirteen. It's a long path to go down, and to do it you gotta know your limits. When I talk of being organised and being motivated, I don't mean that someone should be following my process to the letter. I'm in a completely different situation to a lot of people, and what works for me may not work for you, and nor should it. You need to be working out what your process is. All the advice pieces in the world, all the tips and tricks that others use are all well and good, but you are the one who has to write the book. And whether that takes you six months to finish the first draft or if takes you six years, no one can tell you that's wrong. It takes as long as it takes, and that is more than okay.

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.

Friday, 9 March 2018

From Joey's Instagram

And Mepo dose 6 done. Just waiting for port flush and then going home via McDonald's as their milkshakes help with the nausea. 😷😷🤢🤢 #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #selfie #oxygenuser #brittleasthma #chronicillness #spoonie #wheelchairuser #spoonielife

Interview with Setafni Deoul

I'm delighted to be joined by the lovely Stefani Deoul on the blog today for an interview! Here's a little about Stefani:

Stefani Deoul is the author of newly released YA Mystery ON A LARP the first book in the Sid Rubin Silicon Alley Adventures. Book Two is currently in the works. Stefani has written for numerous publications, including, Curve magazine, Outdoor Delaware and Letters from CAMP Rehoboth, penned both short stories and film and television treatments. As a television producer her resume includes TV series such as Haven for the SyFy Network, The Dead Zone and Brave New Girl, Dresden Files and Missing. Along with producing five seasons of Haven, based on the Stephen King story The Colorado Kid, Stefani finally succumbed to the allure of acting, “starring” as the off camera, and uncredited, radio dispatcher, Laverne.

And onto the interview!

How long have I been writing.
More or less, forever. I would say certainly since I could read. I remember making up stories in my head; honing in on my favorite (or favourite since this is appearing on the “other side of the pond”) characters to join some new adventure I was dreaming up. 

Do I write in the genre I love to read.
This is a yes and a no. I love to read, so I read everything that captures my attention, which includes a lot of non-fiction. But having said that, right now, I think YA is experiencing a vibrant, compelling heyday in genres all across the board. The Sid Rubin Silicon Alley Adventures, of which ON A LARP is the first book, is inspired by the joy I had growing up reading Nancy Drew (and watching Scooby Doo :)) and all those mystery series with groups of friends, and to now have the opportunity to not only contemporize, but diversify, into this expanding young adult market is exhilarating.

What is my idea of a perfect writing day.
One where the “people are chatting” and the words come so fast, my fingers can’t keep up, and I wind up scribbling side notes so I can get back to those later.

Do I like editing or is it something I loathe.
I actually kind of love editing. I think the lovely part of writing is only I have an opinion, which is great fun. But I think it’s also the achilles heel. And regardless of how brilliant I think something is, when other people flag it, it requires me to see it anew, and think through my reasoning or logic to determine where the merit of the note lies. It makes me better. And also, after the bubble of writing, it’s great fun to talk about the book in that one on one way, with someone whose sole job is to make my creation better. If you think about it - how great is that!

Do I do character profiles?
No. At least not formal ones. As I create characters, I have a definite sense of who they are on a certain level, but not beyond that. Part of the process for me is meeting them, and learning about them often in the way you would a friend, wow, I didn’t know you knew that… It’s a careful walk because people can’t willy nilly have a skill such as  speaking a foreign language because it’s suddenly helpful for plot, but it is fun to discover nuances of who they are as I move along. (And yes, I have gone back to the beginning to weave something in because I didn’t know they would know that until nine chapters in :))

What’s my favorite social media and why?
That’s tough. They all have aspects I like. But if I’m picking just one, I think I am going with Twitter. Because I can pick who I follow, it can keep me up to date with those people/topics and it forces me to condense my thinking, and not write a novel, when I want to respond :) And I am better able to get on and off quickly. FB for example is much more challenging for me once I’m on it. It’s the “black hole of my personal time management.” But without FB, there’s so many people I never would have gotten to know - you being one of them :) And Instagram let’s me just sit back, smile and enjoy. Argh!!! So mostly, ultimately, I think I am just grateful for their differences.

Ebooks or Paperbacks
Paperbacks. Although I have an e-reader and I use it … a lot. But there’s something about being able to “pet the cover” of a book, smell the pages, take it to the beach that I love. But having an e-reader also means I am always with a book, and that’s a different kind of really sweet too!

You can follow Stefani on her website, Twitter or Facebook. And you can find her on Amazon here.

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