Saturday, 19 August 2017

From Joey's Instagram


And its late but I'm still not done writing! Almost finished chapter 16 of the month so onwards! #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #amwriting #jowrimogo #bonuschapters #writersofinstagram #writesofig #authosofig #ilovewriting #booksinprogress

Friday, 18 August 2017

Interview With Melle Amade and review of Sanctuary


I am delighted to be welcoming Melle Amade to the blog today for both an interview and a review of her book - Sanctuary. Here's a little bit about Melle:

I'm a Marketing Director who dictates novels on my 2-hour commute to work and manages 2 small children and a husband when I'm home. I have 2 novels and a novella published, with 3 more coming out this summer. 

And now onto the interview!

What made you want to be a writer?
I think I was a born storyteller, which doesn't necessarily mean I'm good just means it has always been the way I expressed myself. I began writing, producing and directing plays when I was eight and then over the years produced my work at the Sydney Opera House before I received my MFA in Film. Now I'm focused on telling stories in novel format.

What kind of writer are you: plan or not?
I go both ways. Sometimes I just have a story in my head and start telling it. Usually, those are the stories I have to go back and heavily edit. The smoothest experience is when I come up with a character and a situation, let that play out in my head for a month or so, then write it down in outline format before I write the full manuscript.

If you had the chance to write anywhere, where would you choose?
I write all over the world. From beaches in Greece to private jets to huts in Indonesia to my couch at home to suites overlooking Big Ben in London. For me, writing isn't a matter of location it's a matter of having time and space in my schedule.

What attracted you to your chosen genre?
I like kick ass heroes and the world not being what we think we are seeing but something more. There is excitement in discovering unexpected experiences and magic.

Do you prefer to type or hand write?
I actually dictate the first draft of everything. I have so little time in my day to write, dictating during my drive-time is the fastest way for me to get a story onto the page. Then I edit on the computer.

Do you have any hobbies?
I'm a marketing director by day and have a family with two small kids, so it's hard to squeeze hobbies in there with my publishing career. But travelling fits in with all of it really nicely and I also like run, meditate and do yoga. =)

What's your favourite kind of scene to write?
Emotional angst, I'd have to say. Usually when someone is deep in their feelings or hashing out their feelings on someone else. It's probably core to the reason that I became an author.


It’s survival of the fittest, but first you have to fit in.

Shae is sure the icy rage that claws at her is driving away her friends and pulling her closer to the wrong boy. After all, it’s Aiden she has always secretly wanted, not Callum, who has barely spoken to her in the last year.

But, as her protected life unravels, she discovers the violent supernatural world that lurks in her quiet hometown and the ancient feuds that threaten to destroy both her friends and her family.


To save those she loves, Shae must succumb to her own fury and take on the Ravensgaard, the renegade warriors of the Order, but as the battle approaches her deepest fears are coming true, she’s becoming just like them. Shae's not sure she can afford the price she'll have to pay—her own humanity.


Sanctuary is a teen paranormal romance for fans of shifters and Gothic romance. Fans of Flightless Bird and White Raven will be enchanted by this strong female seeking truth in a world of secrets and mystery.
Amazon

My Review: 5 stars
This book was delightful! I was drawn in from the first page and was desperate to learn more about where her friends had been, why they were pulling away and what the story was with her mom and her temper. Desperate to find answers about her own feelings, she tries very hard to stay close to her friends. The book is exciting with so many twists and turns that I was hooked from the first page until the end. I read it in one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommended!


You can follow Melle on Facebook 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, 17 August 2017

Questions From Readers - August 2017 [CC]


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Wednesday, 16 August 2017

From Joey's Instagram


After a day of work time to cuddle with Miss Penne and a good book! #beingawriter #joeyreads #indieauthor #readersofinstagram #reading #pastacats #snuggles #catsofinstagram #kitty #cuddles #misspenne

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

From Joey's Instagram


#TEASERTUESDAY Will Harriet be able to save Dot and her family? Find out here: http://amzn.to/1TxqXo1 #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #mysterybooks #paranormalbooks #readersofinstagram #reading #writesofig #authosofig #bookstagram #bookboost #readersofig

Monday, 14 August 2017

From Joey's Instagram


It's a great day for writing with Dobby to cheer me on! #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #amwriting #jowrimogo #bonuschapters #writersofinstagram #writesofig #authosofig #ilovewriting #booksinprogress #harrypotter

12 Years Published - The Creative Process


12 YEARS PUBLISHED

Thursday was my 12th Authorversary and I thought that I would take the time today to do a little piece about everything that has changed since then. Looking back on 2005 and the route I took into publishing and where I am now is a massive task. I was 23, and desperate to have one book, if nothing else, on other people's bookshelves. Now at 35, I have 11 books published and another six finished and sitting on my "cooking shelf" ready to be edited and released in the coming years. I'm also working on two more and steaming through them both. But let's turn back the clock to the 10th August 2005 and that day when I could officially call myself a published author. I have learned so much since then and I'm gonna share that with you.

Blackout was published in 2005 and the way it worked, I got my own copies of the paperback in the post on August 10th. I can't possibly describe the feeling that came with holding my work in a proper published book. I made so many mistakes, but that wasn't one of the things I did wrong. My first mistake was going with a vanity press. I won't name them, but it wasn't the best option for me. To give you an idea of why I went the direction I did, I was, still am, very sick. My chronic conditions were hitting me left and right and centre and there was a possibility that given the state I was in, things would go downhill and I wouldn't be around for much longer. Things changed since then in some ways, in others they are still the same, but that was my frame of mind. One thing I knew I wanted to do was be published and so when I was approached by a vanity press I was more than happy to go that route.

Back in those days ebooks weren't really a thing and sites like KDP, Smashwords and Draft2Digital weren't around. I saw them as my only chance to be published. I had approached numerous agents and while I always got a personal reply saying they saw great promise in my work, they were also always rejections. I wanted to hold my book and knowing that there was no way I could afford to do this more than once, I went with Blackout which was, at the time, my best work in my eyes. At that point I hadn't finished Lynne & Hope so only had four books written. I would go on to write more later, but at that moment I did what I thought was best for me and my dreams.

Those mistakes I mentioned? Oh there were plenty, one being the whole decision to go with a vanity publisher. I tried my best to build a platform, to get the word out, but I didn't have the first clue what I was doing, and nor did they. Without more money changing hands they weren't going to sink into promotion and I didn't have anything to do it with. Although that dream was accomplished that day, I didn't ever think I would publish anything more. When the 12 month contract was up, I didn't renew. Yet to this day I still get calls from them promising me movie deals and ebooks of a book I have since published again, and have since sold more copies than I ever did with them. They promise me the world for a chunk of cash. So that was a big mistake. But at the same time, not one that I can really say I regret. It got me started and it gave me a very real view of what the publishing world was like.

Fast forward about ten months and I was approached by a publishing house, an actual legit publisher. It wasn't one of the big five, and again, I'm not naming names, but they were interested in signing me as an author. I was, again, very sick, and in and out of hospital pretty much like clockwork once every six weeks. I could barely keep my day-to-day life in schedule, let alone doing more than that. I was in college and planning to go to uni. It became clear very quickly that any additional stress was only going to make me sicker. I worked hard and I wrote when I could, and I now had four completed books that hadn't been published, but given the deadlines and the additional work that would have been on me, that deal didn't work out. I don't see that as a mistake either. It was the right decision for me, for my health and ultimately it was the best decision I could've made at that point in my life.

Fast forward to 2011 and KDP made it possible for me to not only re-publish Blackout, but to add the first Dying Thoughts book to my efforts. Since then I've published another nine books and as I said above, written eighteen in total. I am very happy as an indie author. I'm my own boss and while I am not the big fish, and probably will never be the big fish, it works for me. I write full time. I finished my degree in 2014 and have no plans to go back to uni for a Masters or anything. On top of that, I am building my platform, something that is taking a long time because it takes time. And that's okay. I have learned a few things in that time which I'll share with you.

#1. - EVERYONE STARTS SOMEWHERE
Even if it's the very bottom of the food chain, everyone has to start somewhere. There's no shame in being new and there's no shame in taking your time.

#2. - NEVER FORGO AN EDITOR OR A COVER DESIGNER
I skipped this step once or twice and I'm still paying for that now. Don't be me, do it right the first time and remember that you'll thank yourself for it later down the road.

#3. - THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS TOO MUCH PROMO
I was always worried about spamming people and in that regard yes, that is too much, but planning things and cross-posting and allowing all platforms to have the details is not a bad thing. Make sure people know where to pre-order/buy your book, when it's out and what it's about. You will create so many tweets and instagram and tumblr posts that you'll have the synopsis nailed to a few sentences.

#4. - IT IS POSSIBLE TO DO ARC BUT PLAN AHEAD
I didn't do ARCs for the first few books, I wasn't sure how I'd manage it and I wasn't all that together once I did get the idea to do it. But I did it this year and while I didn't have a huge number of reviews, I did have some and because of that I also now have an ARC team for future releases. It's worth it to have reviews there on release day or the coming days afterwards.

#5. - MAKE AUTHOR FRIENDS BOTH IN YOUR GENRE AND OUTSIDE OF IT
Author friends are a life saver when it comes to both promo and cross-promoting and also just when you wanna talk about writing stuff. I have a huge circle of people I can call on who write both in my genre and outside of it. I have other YA friends as well as Adult and NA friends. It's good to be in that circle because so many indie authors know each other and it helps you build connections that can really help you.

#6. - DON'T PUT YOURSELF IN COMPETITION WITH OTHER AUTHORS
One thing I never did do, but have seen in the author community, both indie, traditional and hybrid, is that some people feel like they're competing with other authors in their genre and that's just...not true. Think about it, a reader doesn't buy one book by one author and that's it! Readers, by definition, read! There are more than enough for everyone to share. And allowing yourself to celebrate other people's successes makes for a less toxic community for everyone and it'll be a good thing for you too.

#7. - DO SOCIAL MEDIA, IT'S WORTH IT.
I did a piece a couple of weeks ago (found here) about social media and how it works for you as an author. It's is a life line and a great way to connect with both authors and readers. I know it can seem like a lot of work, and it is a lot of work, but it is so worth it! I'm talking twitter and Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Youtube and all of the rest. Find a way to connect with your readers because that helps build your visibility.

#8. - WORK TO YOUR OWN DEADLINES AND WITHIN YOUR OWN LIMITS.
I know this feels like it's more for people who, like me, are also chronically ill and/or disabled, but it's a good one to take away for many other writers as well. If you're indie or traditional or a hybrid of the two, find your own limits and work within them. Don't spread yourself too thin and don't set yourself up to fail. You find something that works for you and everybody is their own boss in that respect. But don't forget to take breaks, pushing your body to breaking point just hurts you and nobody wants that.

#9. - IT MAY TAKE A WHILE, NOTHING HAPPENS OVERNIGHT.
As I said above, success doesn't just instantly happen and while at twelve years published I'm still a small fish, I am further along than I was this time last year or the year before that. It takes time, more for some, less for others, but along with not competing against other authors, don't compare. Your journey is not theirs and it will take you as long as it takes.

#10. - DON'T BE SCARED TO ASK QUESTIONS
Everyone starts somewhere and part of starting somewhere means that sometimes things will happen and you'll not know what the normal thing to do is. You learn by asking and there is no shame in being able to ask for help.

#11. - SET GOALS.

This is something I wish someone had told me. Setting a monthly list of goals has been one of the major reasons that my writing is regularly happening and that I get things done. It doesn't have to be monthly, some people do two-weekly, some do two-monthly, some do quarterly goals, but whatever works for you. I find the sticky notes and the monthly post work for me and it makes me so much more productive!

#12. - DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT BEING PERFECT THE FIRST TIME

Or the second time. Part of writing a novel is just getting the words on the page and then you can start to chop it up and rewrite bits before it goes to an editor. There's a reason people say the first draft of anything is shit. It's not you, it's just how it works!

And finally, #13. - ENJOY YOURSELF.
There's nothing, for me at least, that compares to release day. To holding my stories in paperback and seeing them on my shelves and on stranger's shelves too. I love the community I have built and I love every pitfall and every success. Not everyone can say they've been published or even finished a book, that's a hell of an achievement, so celebrate that and enjoy yourself along the way. Yes, you will have bad days and yes it is bloody hard, but it's your passion and you earned it.


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, 11 August 2017

From Joey's Instagram


And my day off is over! Another four days of work starting today with a #LightsOff chapter. And Professor McGonagall is keeping watch on me while I work! #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #amwriting #jowrimogo #bonuschapters #writersofinstagram #writesofig #authosofig #ilovewriting #booksinprogress #harrypotter

Interview with May Freighter and review of Russian Roulette


I am pleased to welcome May Freighter to the blog today for an interview and review of her book - Russian Roulette. Here's a little about May.

May Freighter is an internationally bestselling author from Dublin, Ireland. She writes Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Sci-Fi mysteries that will keep you entertained, mystified, and hopefully craving more. Her only pets are cacti. They're the sole things that survived. It may be too dangerous to entrust her with an animal while she's engrossed in writing. ​ On sunny, rainy, and overcast days, she spends her time with her fictional friends, putting them through dangerous adventures while wishing them the best of luck. Her hobbies are photography, drawing, and plotting different ways of a characters' demise.

And onto the interview!

What made you want to be a writer?
I had a lot of stories brewing in my head when I was on a bus or bored in class. I never paid much attention to them until one day I started writing one down. Over time, a page became ten, a chapter turned into more. After a couple of months, I was looking at a book of 120,000 words. I guess from that point on, I started to consider writing as a possible career path. It was something I enjoyed and the feedback I got from my beta readers urged me to continue on.

What kind of books do you read for pleasure?
For pleasure, I tend to read Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, and Mystery.

What kind of writer are you: plan or not?
I used to plan all the time. Being a bit of a control freak, it was hard for me to start a book without knowing exactly what will happen in it. But, as the years went by, I noticed that I began trusting my characters more. If they are developed enough, they take the reins and guide the plot to its conclusion.
  
How does your average writing time go?
I try to start writing after sorting through my emails and messages. So, I could end up writing from 10 a.m. until 3-5 p.m. If I can do more after such a long session, I tend to continue on until late into the evening. Remembering to take breaks is important. It’s easy to get lost in the story you’re writing and forget that there are dishes that need washing or laundry that needs doing.
   
What book/character of yours is your favourite?
If I had to pick one, I would say Lucious Ellwood—a vampire from Helena Hawthorn Series. He is complex on many levels, and it was hard getting into his shoes in the beginning. Initially, he was not a character who easily shared what was in his heart. He distrusted people and other supernatural beings easily as that was how life had shaped him. But, even though he has done a lot of terrible things in his past, he tries to redeem himself by doing his best to change for Helena. I believe his willingness to change and adapt for love makes him my favourite character.
   
If you had the chance to write anywhere, where would you choose?
Somewhere with a great view like in the countryside or at a mountain lodge. Busy cities are distracting and noisy. I like to work in peace. It helps me think.
 
What attracted you to your chosen genre?
Mystery, whether in paranormal or in sci-fi series that I write, is a genre that I love and always will. I think a story must have a good mystery embedded in the plot. So, I try to entertain my readers by putting my characters into situations where many people tell lies, change facts, use others—much like in real life.
   
How have other writers influenced your own writing?
There are many authors I am thankful to for their guidance, support, friendship, or simply for being the reason why I write in the genres that I do. I’ve spent my childhood and teenage years enjoying paranormal stories, murder mysteries, horror, and they had all influenced my style. To name a few who have influenced my writing or helped me with advice: Darren Shan, L. J. Smith, Christopher Pike, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, C. J. Laurence, R. K. Close, Anna Santos, and Juliet Lyons.
   
Do you prefer to type or hand write?
I prefer to type. When I first started writing, I wrote in the notebook and it took forever to transfer everything onto the computer. I still remember long evenings after college where I sat on the bed and looked back and forth between my scribbles and the laptop screen. It took twice as long, so I stuck with putting everything straight into the computer unless it’s the plot outline, maps, backstories, or character descriptions. Those I prefer to write out in the notebooks.
   
Do you have a writing playlist? Or do you prefer silence?
Silence works best for me. I only prefer listening to music when I am designing a book cover for someone or drawing.
   
Do you have any hobbies?
My hobbies are binge-watching TV series, drawing, walking in the park, and photography. I would love to add travelling to that one day.
   
What's your favourite kind of scene to write?
I would have to pick action sequences. They tend to go by so fast that I don’t notice the time flying by.
   
Would you ever like to branch out to a different genre?
Of course. I love playing with different genres. As an experiment and to push my own boundaries, I try out new genres now and again to see if I am comfortable with them and if they are something I would like to improve and work on more.
   
What does your writing space look like?
It consists of a laptop, a mouse because I prefer it to the touchpad and it’s easier to edit things, a cup of tea, and that’s about it. I do prefer working behind a desk, but if it’s taken then I often end up typing on the sofa.



Who could guess that one brush of a fingertip over a shimmering soul-string could flip your world upside down and inside out?

Nineteen-year-old Helena’s life changes when her spirit enters the Angel Realm in search of her father. But, things don’t go as planned. Against her guardian angel’s warnings, she binds her soul to a vampire—a creature she thought only existed in horror movies.

Lucious has spent his immortality looking for the monsters who killed his sire. The last thing he needs is to be vulnerable because of a bond with a reckless girl. Yet, he sees how he can turn this to his advantage. Believing that Helena possesses great power, he plans to use her against the Council as a bargaining chip.

When Helena meets the gorgeous and also terrifying vampire with whom she’s now stuck sharing an emotional bond, she realises that her life will never be the same. Despite fighting against Lucious’s manipulative ways, she can’t deny their attraction.

As their desire for each other intensifies, she needs to know if she can trust him. After all, her life and soul are on the line.

My review: 4 stars
I loved the synopsis of this book and so picked it up hoping for a good read, and it was very much a good read. Helena's life changes when she ends up joining her soul to a vampire. From there she finds her life changing rapidly from that of a normal teenager at college to someone mixed up in the supernatural world of vampires, and demons. The story is engaging and well written. I loved the way it was told and my only criticism is sometimes Helena came off as more annoying than likeable. Having said that she was going through hell so that's understandable. The story moves rapidly from point to point and ends on a note that will leave you desperate for the next in the series. I'm not a vampire book lover, but I know i'll be reading book two. Recommended.

You can follow May on Twitter, Facebook 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, 10 August 2017

From Joey's Instagram


Happy 12th Authorversary Joey! Twelve years ago today Blackout was first published! How far I have come since! #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #amwriting #jowrimogo #authosofig #writesofig #writersofinstagram #ilovewriting #authorversay #12years #11books

From Joey's Instagram


And hair is did! #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #hairdid

From Joey's Instagram


Having my hair did! The dye is in and next comes the cut. Going back to my pixie cut which I adore! #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #hairdid

Life Of Joey - August [CC]


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Tuesday, 8 August 2017

From Joey's Instagram


#teasertuesday Distance makes the heart grow fonder...Buy here: http://amzn.to/1UbIuV2 #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #romancebooks #readersofinstagram #reading #writesofig #authosofig #bookstagram #bookboost #beingawriter #booksofig #booksofinstagram

Monday, 7 August 2017

The Trials Of An Indie Author: Signings & Conventions


THE TRIALS OF AN INDIE AUTHOR: SIGNINGS & CONVENTIONS

It's been all over my pages, and social media, I'm going to The Darker Side Of Fiction 2017 event in October. It's my first signing event, and I am beyond excited but also nervous as all hell. I've been a writer for over sixteen years and a published author for almost twelve. My authorversary is actually on Thursday! Yet back when I first started there wasn't as much social media presence and there certainly weren't as many opportunities for indie authors to take part in big signing events. How far the world has come. So as I wrote last week about the social media (found here) that comes with being an author, today I thought I would do a piece about signings and conventions. What to expect, and how to get yourself on their lists, as well as maybe arrange your own local signings on top.

One of the first things you need to do is work on making connections, something I've talked about in a previous piece, (found here) and it's these connections that will help you broaden your scope and allow you to reach out to the people who run the conventions and signings. Be warned that a lot of the time the signings are being prepared very far in advance, so it might not be for a few years. On top of that, there are loads of other authors who'll be looking for a spot same as you. It might be that you don't get picked that first time, but you should keep trying. Sometimes it's the back collection of books you have, sometimes it's your visibility in the book world (both indie and traditional) and sometimes it's just that you're not a right fit for the convention itself. Some of those will change with time - you'll release more books, and you'll get more visibility and you might also find a different convention that is perfect for you and your books. My point is that don't lose heart if you don't get chosen at the first try. Keep a lookout for sign up forms and keep trying.

When I saw the form for Darker, I was pretty much a newbie to the whole convention thing, and I still am. I had no idea the amount of work that would be involved before I even got to the event. I'm not just under nine weeks from the big day and it's been a year long task to get all my books ready, my SWAG ready, banner, and hotel and all of that that goes with it. It's gonna take time, and while in some ways you can prepare in advanced - i.e getting the copies of your books and designing and ordering SWAG and a banner - some of it can't be done too far in advance so be ready for that. I started preparing myself way back in July of last year once I'd been announced and was sure that I was going. That was a full eighteen months before the convention itself and it's only now that I'm pretty much sure I have everything and am ready to go.

If, like me, you're working on a budget, having the time to do things in small doses makes life easier all round. I've been getting my books in batches and setting it out so I order every other month and stuff like that. My SWAG initally, was all ready, but then as I learned more about what kind of things other authors were doing, I realised I needed to up my SWAG game. On top of that, I've only recently found out about blogger packs. And if you've never done a signing or a convention, you may not know these things. I'm lucky in that the Hourglass hosts are amazing and have set up an Author only group so I was able to ask questions, and I think it's pretty much standard. Don't be afraid to ask if you're not sure. Even if the other authors have all done this before, everyone does things differently and someone will have an idea of what you need.

So let me break down what I have learned for you so that if you're doing a signing for the first time, you know somewhat what you can do. Blogger packs are basically for the bloggers who are attending the event, there's usually a list somewhere. What you want to include is information about your books, a business card and some SWAG that's pretty much unique to them that may allow them to keep or to do their own giveaway after the event. I've included badges, postcards, bookmarks, a business card and a pen, all of which are linked to me and my books. I've also got a small number of VIP packs which contain the same, and the only way to get the badges is to buy a VIP pack, though I do have pens on their own and magnets that are completely separate to the packs. I will also be offering bookmarks and postcards to all who want them and have a special fingerprint card that I'll be doing for whoever wants them.

Next thing you want to remember is that there's a limit to how many books you can have with you. I went with twenty of each book and I don't expect to sell all of them. That said, pre-order forms are an amazing way to have some idea of who wants what and gives the attendee a chance to pay with paypal. That way all they have to do is turn up, me sign the book and they're on their way. I also have a cash float and plan to allow people to pay over the paypal app if that's easier for them. The majority of this can be done in advance and the organisers will probably host your pre-order form on the event website.

You will also want a banner and some items to make you stand out, to add to your display. My banner was a bit of a nightmare for me to get it done, but now that it is finally here, it looks amazing. I did it in advance so that if there were any problems, I wouldn't be caught short. My display will have things that I've picked up from here and there, like police tape and hand cuffs and a little ghost pop vinyl. You have to remember that you'll have limited space and that you want to be able to appeal to people walking by, but also have room to sign and chat with the readers.

So that's the basics of the actual event itself, and the build up to it. But what about finding how to sign up in the first place? I mentioned connections, but what do they bring you? Well, Facebook groups are a huge resource for an author. I found the sign up to Darker through one such group, I've also since signed up and am on the standby list for another event. I've filled in a few forms for future events as well. And because I'm in those groups, I'm able to work out in advance what kind of events I'm looking to do. Being that I'm in the UK, a lot of my events will be in the UK. I don't travel long distance that well and while I would love to do a signing in the US or somewhere in Europe, I don't yet have the visibility or funds to do so. That may be in the plans for later in my career.

How about local signings? I've reached out to my local library a couple of times about doing a signing with them. A lot of my books are set either in the town I live in and is therefore mentioned by name, or the towns are based on my home town without actually naming it. I know of other authors who do signings all over the country and in their local area so I know it's possible to do. I've not yet managed to arrange one, but reading out to the library or a school or something like that, is a good tool to try. As I write YA, it makes sense for me to reach my target audience, which includes schools, but further on from that, you can arrange to do talks with students about just being an author and the level of work that goes into that. My advice is basically to keep trying and moving forward. Sometimes you'll get told no, but other times you might find a door that opens and you're suddenly in the thick of plans and dates and conventions a plenty!

Good luck and I hope to see some of you at Darker2017!

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, 4 August 2017

From Joey's Instagram


You know it's a writing day when Sherlock and Watson turn up to help you along! #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #amwriting #jowrimogo #sherlock #booksinprogress #writer #writersofig #authosofig #writersofig #ilovewriting

Interview with Frost Kay and review of Rebel's Blade



I am very happy to be welcoming Frost Kay to the blog today for an interview and a review of her book - Rebel's Blade. Here's a little about Frost.

My name is Frost Kay. I am the YA/NA Fantasy author of Rebel's Bade, the first book in The Aermian Feuds series. I love all books, and my TRB is so huge that I will die before I finish it. ​ I tend to mutter and squint at absolutely nothing. If you come across me doing these things, it usually means I am imagining fantastical worlds with characters you will fall in love with, and plots that will leave you breathless. 

And onto the interview!

What kind of books do you read for pleasure?
I am a giant fantasy and sci-fi nerd. There's a soft spot in my heart for mermaid books and fairy-tale retellings.

What kind of writer are you: plan or not?
Erm...both? I start writing with a loose plan in mind, and free write from there. I tried plotting a detailed outline, but what I've found is that my characters do what they want. I tried to be firm with them, but then they got all sassy and rebellious when they didn't get their way. They bugged me until I gave in and wrote what they wanted.

How does your average writing time go?
Write. Sip tea. Write. Snack. Write. Gaze out window. Sip tea. Write.

What book/character of yours is your favourte?
This is a hard one! Hmmmm...I have to say it is Samuel the spymaster from Rebel's Blade. He has so many masks and I still can't quite figure him out. And oh my gosh, his humor! He kills me! My family looks at me like I am loosing my mind when I am typing and cackling like a crazy person.

If you had the chance to write anywhere, where would you choose?
On a beach in Greece. Seriously...the BEACH <3

What attracted you to your chosen genre?
The utter creativity. There are no rules in fantasy. I love how the unique worlds give me the ultimate escape. You can just let your imagination wild. 10 people could read the same book and imagine something completely different. That intrigues and fascinates me.

Do you prefer to type or hand write?
Hand writing...what's that? Lol. I LOVE my laptop.

Do you have a writing playlist? Or do you prefer silence?
Depends on what I am writing. If I am free writing, I prefer silence. But sometimes I will hear a song and a scene will just pop into my head, so that's when I listen music.

Do you have any hobbies?
Too many! I ride dirt bikes with my family (Honda 230 CFR). As I mentioned before, I have an obsession with mermaids...so I may own a mono-fin and go mermaiding (it's totally a thing). Finally, I love to sew. I design all sorts of dresses.


 War. Secrets. Betrayal.
Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Victoria Aveyard.

NOTHING IS BLACK AND WHITE

Secretly trained, swordsmith Sage Blackwell steps up to run her family’s forge when her father falls ill. Sage desires to help the neglected Aermians but is bound by duty to provide for her own… Until, that is, she's offered a chance to make a difference.

THE REBELLION

Sage knows the risks; imprisonment or death, and yet, she's still willing to take them to protect her family. But when plans unravel, Sage finds herself facing the devils themselves, her sworn enemies, the princes of Aermia.

THE CROWN

Tehl Ramses is drowning; crops are being burned, villages pillaged, and citizens are disappearing, leading to a rising rebellion. As crown prince, and acting ruler, Tehl must find a way to crush the rebellion before civil war sweeps through his beloved kingdom. He'll do whatever is necessary to save his people. Yet, his prisoner is not at all what he expected.

ONE STORY. TWO SIDES. ONE GOAL: SAVE AERMIA.

My review: 5 stars
I'm not a big fantasy reader, but this one came across my desk and I thought I would give it a go. It was amazing from start to finish! I loved it! The switching POV's gave you a fuller read and allowed you to step inside the mind of different characters and their wants and needs for Aermia. From the crown prince to his brother, to Sage, a rebel wanting to fight for the same things as the brothers, the safety and success of Aermia. It was beautifully written and told an amazing story from start to finish. Ending on a cliffhanger will leave you desperate to find out what happens next in this amazing story. Love it and I highly recommend it to even people who are not big fantasy fans!

You can follow Frost on her website or 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, 3 August 2017

Plotter/Pantser [CC]


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Wednesday, 2 August 2017

From Joey's Instagram


And my August newsletter is out! If you're not subscribed to it here it is: http://bit.ly/2uk4tkk #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #amwriting #newsletter #amreading #readersofinstagram #reading

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

From Joey's Instagram


#teasertuesday Will Hope save her sister in time? Buy here: http://amzn.to/1TBNdiR #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #mysterybooks #bookstagram #bookboost #amreading #readersofinstagram #reading

Monday, 31 July 2017

#JoWriMoGo July Tally.


I managed to do 24 chapters, 96 pages and 51,942 words in July.

Hoping August will be as productive!

Social Media As A Writer


SOCIAL MEDIA AS A WRITER

One thing that you learn very quickly as a writer and an author is that social media is a big part of building your audience. As a small fish in a very big pond, it's something that I have come to learn a little later than I should've. Also because when I started writing, a lot of the things like Twitter and Facebook and such weren't actually around, so I've had to learn as I go. I thought about doing these as a small series based on each social media platform, but I realised that even sixteen years as a writer, and almost twelve as a published author, I don't really have much advice. So I'll break this post down into sections and give you my tips for the social media presence needed on each one.

#1 - FACEBOOK
This is a huge one because pretty much everybody and their family has a facebook page. The idea being that you like pages of people you want to follow, and while some authors go the route of having a personal facebook account and a second account with "author" in the name for anyone else, that isn't the route I've gone. Facebook algorithms are making it harder and harder for pages to get noticed. My way has simply to have a Facebook page and interact with it as I would any other social media, as often as possible but also making sure that I respond to comments and questions. That seems to help spread the post reach without the need to pay for adverts. I will say though that it has been a long time since I did a Facebook advert and things have, apparently, changed as a lot of people have positive experiences whereas mine have been mostly negative. As side step of Facebook itself is to utilise the groups. Find your genre, find groups that are other authors in your chosen niche and work with them. It took me a while to do that and now that I have, I've found so many resources open to me. There are so many groups that you are bound to find one that works for you. Fore me it's groups that deal with YA and the various genres I write it as well as just general indie author groups that help to co-promote and all of that. Helping others can help you gain visibility.

#2 - TWITTER

For a long time I struggled to be active on Twitter for a number of reasons. One, my computer hated the Twitter homepage and it would slow my computer down a hell of a lot. And Two, I wasn't sure what people were wanting to read. I had followed a bunch of people and my feed was moving way too fast for me to have a proper conversation with anyone. That's when I did two things. I installed Tweetdeck and I moved a lot of those followers onto a list that I could view separately. Tweetdeck is one of several things you can use, I prefer it because it works well with my computer and allows me to have everything open at once. It also allows me to schedule tweets for free, which a lot of sites have a limit on and tweetdeck doesn't. It's also free to use. My big advice on Twitter is that you need to interact, talk to people, re-tweet promo and have discussions with readers. Make it so that your Facebok page and other sites feed onto your tweets. Hash-tags are a big thing on Twitter, but word of warning, you only want up to three in a tweets, more than that and people get annoyed. Viability isn't restricted like with Facebook and you can also use Twitter ads, but having never done that I don't have any experience with that. Things to remember are various days have various hash-tags like: #TeaserTuesday - sharing a teaser from a book or work in progress and #1lineweds - Sharing one line from a work in progress on a Wednesday. There are others, but those are two I find work really well. Other hash-tags to note in regards to writing are: #amwriting #writerslife #indieauthor #authorslife and so on.

#3 - INSTAGRAM
Instagram is a treasure trove as far as social media goes. It's a great resource for writers, for readers and for people love both. The hash-tags on here are different in that you're encouraged to use as many as apply to the photo. I generally use a chunk that both apply to wider users and also just to my posts. It's photo based and followers, I've found, are quick to go between the two. It's only been recently that it's been changed to a random time-line. It used to be done by most recent and now seems to go between the two. What to share there? Anything that can be presented as a graphic and/or photo. It should always be relevant of course, but I've done photos of myself, adverts for my books, and random photos as well. It's a great way to connect with readers and it engages people because it's mostly visually based. I've managed to find a ton of followers just from using the right hash-tags.

AND FINALLY #4 - TUMBLR/YOUTUBE/OTHER

I included these together because as a writer it really does depend where you want to place yourself. Some writer's love Tumblr - I'm one of them. Some love Youtube - again I'm one of them. But both of these, and any other social media site are what a lot of people would say, optional. Not every author needs to have a Tumblr or a Youtube channel. I have both and I find them to be a good resource for me, as they grow my platform and help expose me to new readers. On top of that, neither one of them work on an algorithm that will limit who sees my posts/videos. If you're subscribed and following me, then you'll get a notification or see when I post something. As a YA author, I find that it's easier for me to reach the demographic that I'm appealing to with both a youtube and tumblr. Youtube kinda speaks for itself with content wise, but Tumblr is a whole different kettle of fish. You may find it takes a while to build up your audience, but when you do it should be easy enough to keep them following you. Tags are a thing on Tumblr, but a lot of its users are fandom based, and there's a lot of aspiring writers and artists you can find simply by following those tags. I make sure that my blog cross-posts there, same as my Facebook and Instagram.

So those are my tips on social media. If you have any, be sure to add them in the comments below!

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.