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: http://amzn.to/2mOMy1O #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


GUEST BLOGS, INTERVIEWS AND 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.

#1 - KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
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.

#2 - BE CONSISTENT WITH POSTING
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.

#3 - VARY YOUR POSTS

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.

#4 - GENRES MATTER
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: http://amzn.to/2qVQqDG #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?

PRE-ORDER FOR 99p AMAZON UK | AMAZON US

RELEASE DATE: JULY 15TH 2017

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


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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: http://amzn.to/2mOMy1O 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

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

From Joey's Instagram


75% catpacity. A Miss Penne, then a Mr Dash and finally a Miss Violet on the windowsill. Just missing a Miss Hetti. #catsofinstagram #kitty #missviolet #snuggles #misspenne #pastacats #MrDash

From Joey's Instagram


Got my first actual Telegram today to congratulate me on ten books published! Happy Release Day to me! #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #mysterybooks #paranormalbooks #readersofinstagram #reading #DyingThoughts #dyingthoughts5 #writersofinstagram #writesofig #authosofig #ilovewriting

Monday, 15 May 2017

From Joey's Instagram


And it's live!! Dying Thoughts - Fifth Secret is out in paperback:http://amzn.to/2qhLmsW and Kindle: http://amzn.to/2mOMy1O It's 99p on Kindle until May 22nd! Grab your copy now! #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #mysterybooks #paranormalbooks #readersofinstagram #reading #DyingThoughts #dyingthoughts5 #writersofinstagram #writesofig #authosofig #bookstagram #bookboost #releaseday

"Oh You Should Never Do That..." - The Creative Process


"OH YOU SHOULD NEVER DO THAT..."

Last week I talked about how I was a hybrid in regards to how I planned and outlined my books. That led to a ton of questions about whether I was just *not* a planner and was more of a pantsa. I thought I was clear, but I figured that while I was going to continue on this subject, I'd clear up a bit of what I meant in my last advice piece.

When I said I was a hybrid I meant that I do both. I plan and outline some books to the point of not really having many surprises, but for other books, I have the bare minimum of a chapter plan and off I go. Both of which combined together make me someone who straddles both ideas - hence the term hybrid.

Since then I've come across a couple of things that made me think I should do another advice piece on how not following other people's rules of writing is okay. Without naming names, there's an author I follow who gets a ton of advice questions, and we disagree on a few things, but as far as her advice goes, it's spot on. Except the other day she was asked whether or not you should change POV in a book. To be clearer, let me explain. The anon wanted to know if it was okay to switch between 1st Person POV in one chapter to then use 3rd person POV in another. The author's reply was something along the lines of "you should never do that." And...that brings me to my post.

It's something I heard a lot in my first years of writing. It's something a lot of people who write or create have a whole ton of opinions on. And I'm not exempt from that, by any means. But I'm also aware that, as I said in my last post, there are no real hard and fast rules when it comes to writing. And in the case of switching POV's in books, it's been done and done well before. A few that come to mind are: Christine by Steven King, Bleak House by Charles Dickens as well as a number of the later books in the Alphabet series by Sue Grafton.

This isn't meant as a criticism to that author, everyone has their own style and way of writing, but something I do hear a lot is: Don't ever do this. And then the this they mention is actually something you can do. I was talking to a friend about it, and she was quick to point out that even some classics have been done where punctuation isn't even included in the novel. While I don't recommend you do that for your first book, my point is that the rules of writing are, and always have been, flexible.

I've been writing for so many years, been published for nearly twelve and have had many ups and downs as I've found what works best for me. One thing I have always been clear on is that as far as writing goes, pretty much anything goes. There are rules, but those rules are flexible. So long as you're properly editing and formatting your novel before publication then you can pretty much do anything.

I can hear you all cringe at the idea that people shouldn't follow rules to write. But writing is a creative pursuit. It is something people with skill do. I'm not suggesting people word vomit onto the page and publish. I am suggesting that with every creative outlet, there is wiggle room as far as hard and fast rules go. I am by no means an expert on writing. I've never claimed to be and I'm certainly not claiming that now, but I am a writer.

I've had an unconventional way of doing things, I always have, and I'm okay with that. Authors opinions will differ on so many subjects. We get told to show and never tell, when actually they both have merit. We get told to avoid passive voice, a good rule of thumb. We also get told to only write this way or plan that way, and to do this trick to avoid writer's block, and that tip to make sure we're writing what readers want to read. And so on and so on.

As I've said, not an expert, but I think a lot of the time, new writers are told to do x, y and z to guarantee success when actually they should be focusing on just telling their story. That's what writer's do at the end of the day, we tell stories. So when I'm told, or I hear someone being told "Oh never do that" it makes me wonder: why not?

I do what works best for me, and in doing that have written my stories. I do wholeheartedly agree that you should learn the rules of writing because then you can learn how to bend them. As always though, your mileage may vary, and that's 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.

Release Day - Dying Thoughts - Fifth Secret

It's Release Day!!

Join Tara in the fifth Dying Thoughts book

Tara has an admirer, someone who thinks the world revolves around her. The problem is, they won’t reveal their identity and the notes they’re sending her are getting weirder and creepier.

Then there’s the fact that she thinks she’s being watched. And the notes seem to be coming from someone she knows. Now she’s getting scared.

Can she find out who they are before their behaviour escalates and Tara pays the price?


EBOOK PRICE 99P UNTIL 22ND MAY 

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Life Of Joey - May 2017 [CC]

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Saturday, 13 May 2017

From Joey's Instagram


Another day, another chapter to write! Today is a #CrampingChronicles day. And it's flowing nicely which is always good. I'm going for 24 chapters at a minimum, maybe even 28! Which would be a new record! #beingawriter #joeywrites #joeyisanauthor #jowrimogo #writerslife #writersofinstagram #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #writersofig #authorsofig #amwriting #worksinprogress #ilovewriting #youngadultbooks #awesome #bonuschapters #writinggoals

Cover Reveal - First Christmas - Heather Karn

 

First Christmas

Vixen is an ice dragon shifter whose obsession with Christmas increases each day. Her clan’s village is located at the North Pole: the home of the one and only Santa Claus and his elves. She lives a life of carefree celebration until an attack from a vengeful dragon lands Vixen at the feet of her mate, a man who has never celebrated Christmas.

Lunar is from none other than the South Pole, the farthest place on Earth from Vixen’s beloved home. And as for her favorite holiday, he’s never joined in any of the human rituals surrounding it. If anything, he’s purposefully avoided them. Vixen must now take the reins and teach her mate all about the joyous time of year she celebrates year round. 

Just when their relationship starts to blossom, Vixen is kidnapped and held for ransom. Lunar will stop at nothing to save her as his first Christmas draws near. After all, there is no place like home for the holidays.

PRE-ORDER FOR 99p AMAZON UK | AMAZON US

RELEASE DATE: JULY 8TH 2017 

Friday, 12 May 2017

From Joey's Instagram


It's #myalgicencephalomyeilitis and #fibromyalgia awareness day. I've been up all night and my lungs are extra bratty. I guess you could say I am very aware! But still I'm writing in bed. #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #amwriting #jowrimogo #chronicillness #spoonie #oxygenuser #brittleasthma #flare

Interview with A. P. Bateman and Review of Shadows Of Good Friday


I am delighted to be welcoming fellow #DarkerSideOfFiction2017 author, A.P. Bateman to my blog today for both an interview and a review of his latest novel Shadows Of Good Friday. Here's a bit about the man behind the stories.

A P Bateman is an Amazon #1 best selling author. Three of his novels have reached the # 1 slots in Amazon's paid top 100 categories.

A P Bateman has previously worked as a private investigator and trained and worked in close protection with ex-military, police and special forces. Having trained on US SWAT ranges in the past with serving police officers gives him a unique insight into weapons and tactics which adds realism to his writing.

He has recently released his sixth book, Shadows of Good Friday, and is currently working on another thriller.


And now onto the interview!

What kind of writer are you: plan or not?
I have planned some books, others have taken a more casual route. The Contract Man and Lies and Retribution were planned meticulously, as they take place in various time zones, have multiple characters and sub-plots within. The Town was a writing prompt from my daughter. "Start with a man drinking a cup of tea and someone being nasty to someone," she said. I changed it to coffee and eight weeks later it was finished. I didn't make a single note.

What attracted you to your chosen genre?
I trained and worked as a bodyguard and private investigator. I also trained on SWAT ranges in the US. I met people and went to places that inspired me to write. The espionage/military route was what interested me the most. I am working on a new series with a less than moral detective. It's fun, because he crosses the line to get justice, he has more than a few personal issues and I think that makes him interesting and more human. I plan to set the series in Cornwall, where I live, and it's interesting to write from the perspective of an outsider who wouldn't have ended up down here but for fate.

How have other writers influenced your own writing?
Hemingway, Fleming and Chandler all had a minimal approach. There really is no need to use ten words when two will do. Three of my novels were adapted from manuscripts I wrote fifteen to twenty years ago, and I laughed at some of the descriptions. I took thirty-thousand words out of The Contract Man - an entire sub-story. There's nothing worse for a reader than an author trying to be too clever.

Do you prefer to type or hand write?
The first two manuscripts I wrote were hand written. I only ever type now. Sometimes for the sake of pace, I'll cut and paste entire chapters.

Do you have a writing playlist? Or do you prefer silence?
Too much shooting has left me with tinnatus! I like some kind of background noise, as total silence is like listening to a clam shell! I made the mistake of listening to narrator interviews for The Town while writing recently and it messed up my plot! Sky news in the background is ok, because occasionally I'll pick up on a report and get an idea for another story.
 
Do you have any hobbies?
Swimming, shooting, cars - most of my other activities are with my children like bike riding, archery, walks and shouting a lot.


In the last days before signing the peace agreement, an IRA splinter cell mounts an operation on the British mainland using English criminals. This unprecedented move intrigues MI6 and they assume command of MI5’s surveillance operation.
A career criminal is released from prison and aims to win back the wife and child his sentence has cost him, but before he can, he is forced back into his old world. The stakes have changed and his family have become leverage for the most ruthless people imaginable.
A woman imprisoned in an abusive relationship, desperate to escape with her son and rekindle her past becomes the pawn in a deadly world of deception, violence and retribution.
A clandestine wing of the secret intelligence service tests its newest recruit. Alex King has trained and operated in the shadowy world of intelligence and now he must kill for his country, but before he can, he needs to discover more about the men he has been sent to kill.

My review:  5 stars
I grabbed this one because I do love me a good thriller and this was very much a good thriller. I haven't read the others in the series, but it was clear from the blurb that it could be read as a standalone. I enjoyed it very much. The story opens with a man on the run after some kind of job he's done that has obviously gone wrong. It pulls you in from the first page and then you're hooked from there on out. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and will be picking up the other Alex King stories. Highly recommended!

You can follow A. P. Bateman here 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, 11 May 2017

From Joey's Instagram


So it's not actually a writing day, supposed to be editing, but I finished all the edits and I thought I would see about doing some writing, and bam, here I am in the middle of an awesome scene! I love it when that happens! #beingawriter #joeywrites #joeyisanauthor #indieauthor #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #ilovewriting #jowrimogo #youngadultbooks #worksinprogress #authorsofig #writersofig #awesome

From Joey's Instagram


We had our hair did! Mine is short and purple again and B's had hers cut and the ends done blue. Feeling good about the hair! #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #amwriting #jowrimogo #hairdid #bestfriends #selfie

Monday, 8 May 2017

From Joey's Instagram


So another day and another chapter to write. Hoping to get a bunch done today but we shall see how it goes! #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #amwriting #jowrimogo #writing #ilovewriting #authosofig #writesofig #writersofinstagram

Being a Hybrid - The Creative Process


BEING A HYBRID

One thing I have learned through the years that I've been a writer is that there are always going to be some things that work for you, for me, but don't work for other writers. I get messages on Tumblr, and other sites about how much planning I do before I write a book. And one of the big things I see other writers being asked is: do they outline and plot? Or do they fly by the seat of their pants and make it up as they go along? Something that always rang true for me was that I couldn't completely go by the seat of my pants, but yet I never seemed to do the detailed outlines and planning that I see other writers doing and/or talking about. So what was I? Basically I'm a hybrid.

Today I'm going to talk about my writing process from the very beginning to where I am now. I've been writing for over fifteen years, been published for almost twelve and still writing pretty much every day. I know that a lot of my readers are other writers at various points on their journey as well as readers of my works and others. So I'm gonna make one thing really clear. What works for me may not work for you. This is not a solid guide to how *you* should write, but more about how I write. If it turns out that it helps and works for you. Great! If not, then that's fine too.

My writing process is different to a lot of other writers. I have always been someone to have some idea of what comes next in the story. In the years I was writing the Dying Thoughts series, I found it easier to ease back on the planning and let the juices flow on their own. In a way that's what made me make the switch from detailed planner to kinda making it up as I go along. As a hybrid, I walk the line between someone who plans to the tiniest detail and someone who doesn't plan at all. I have my system and it's always been something that had some level of adjustment to it. Looking back at the way I planned my first few books and the way I plan now, I don't really remember completely when I made the switch. Of course, if I'm really honest, I don't think there *was* a switch.

Going back to writing Blackout, did I plan in detail? Outline and work out every plot point? No, I didn't. I had a notebook and wrote out ten chapter headings and then went from there. Same with the characters, they were in that same notebook. When I moved onto note cards, I did more planning character wise, but I have always kind of stuck to a chapter plan that contains minimal information. It's only been when I've done planning for the books while writing another one, that I've done any kind of outline. Even then, it's just thoughts and scenes rather than plotting out the whole book. It's a method that works for me, has done my entire career and it's a method that allows me to keep motivated and on target with the story. So, I embrace my hybrid status and know that while it's not for everyone, it is for me.

But, I hear you wonder, don't I get writer's block? Yeah, I do, but not much. I usually get it when I'm telling myself that it has to be perfect to mean anything. Other things it'll be because I'm struggling with other aspects of my life. And rarely, and I mean very rarely, I get blocked because I don't know where to go next. In those cases, planning would help me. And if you're finding that you need to plan otherwise you stay blocked, then I completely agree that you should. The creative process is different for everyone and you should be using whatever works to keep those words flowing.

On the other side of it, I know a lot of advice given to new writers is that they should outline and plot and plan and have everything ready from start to finish in intricate detail otherwise they can't start writing. There are of course the other writers who don't plan and tell you to just pick up pen and start from there. I'm basically saying that there is a middle ground. You can be both, and it is okay. As a writer I have found that sometimes I've done a chapter plan and my story chunks and then the plot swerves and the story changes. Planners would tell me that would mean my outline needed tweaking, and maybe they're right, but in my eyes, the way I write works for me. I enjoyed going in with the bare minimum but I also enjoy having the option of doing more.

I like to think that bar a few grammar rules, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to writing. So many times you'll be told to do this and not do that, to never do that. But the things is, there are always loopholes. Part of being a writer is learning which ones to follow and which ones to bend. Part of writing is looking for those loopholes and making them work for you. Though, as always, your mileage may vary.

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Dealing with Self-Criticism [CC]


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(Apologies for being a day late! I wasn't well yesterday!)


Sunday, 7 May 2017

From Joey's Instagram


Another day, another set of chapters to write. Today is a #LightsOut day, and so am working my way through a chapter despite feeling pretty crap health wise. But almost done! #beingawriter #indieauthor #authorslife #amwriting #authorsofinstagram #authorsofig #writerslife #writersofinstagram #writersofig #ilovewriting #youngadultbooks #jowrimogo

Friday, 5 May 2017

Review of Birdy & Fishy, Destination: Freedom by Lily Amis


I am delighted to have the chance to share with you the new release by Lily Amis. She's the mind behind the Read My Mind blogger magazine that launched in April. Here's a little bit about Lily.


Nominated Multi-Genre Author, Blogger and Artist Lily Amis is the Author of “Destination: Freedom” and eleven more books. With her honest memoir she has enjoyed strong media exposure and public interest during the refugee crises in summer 2015. Placements included two features with British newspaper the Daily Mirror as well as interviews with popular UK’s lifestyle websites Female First and Frost Magazine.

Lily Amis had to fight against injustice, prejudice, discrimination and social isolation for almost three decades to become who she is today. An Independent Author living in Switzerland with the goal to entertain and educate readers about important and eye-opening topics in our society with her books and blogger magazine “Read My Mind”.

Her free online magazine is an entertain & educate project by Lily’s Publishing company nasSima design. With passionate and talented Authors and bloggers from all over the world she is inspiring aspiring Authors and readers as well as Indie Artists from all kind of genres such as music, movie and art. The first issue was published on April 4th 2017 and the RMM team is working on the summer issue now.



The symbolic meaning behind “Birdy & Fishy”

This deeply meaningful short, age- and timeless story inspired by the two memoirs Destination: Freedom and Definition of Freedom is a reflection of Lily’s Life in a foreign country.



Fishy’s desperate desire for freedom, a circle of loving friends and a caring family, the feeling of belonging somewhere and of being accepted and integrated, is what many refugees/immigrants feel and struggle with. Some struggle, just for a while, but others for their entire lives. But, as they say, there is always light at the end of the tunnel and this story, with a happy ending, is a good lesson, to never give up on hope, faith, dreams, goals, wishes, and desires, despite the challenging obstacles, of destiny and our selfish, elbow-society! 

My Review:  5 stars
A short, but sweet story about Fishy's desire for freedom, and the way in which Birdy helps her to achieve that. Enjoyable and a nice quick read. I liked it very much, along with the message it sends to the reader in that you don't know how lucky you are until faced with your own privilege, and that there is always hope, you just have to find it.

You can find out more about Lily here on Facebook, Twitter, her blog and 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.

 

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

From Joey's Instagram


Coming May 15th and for only 99p go pre-order Tara's fifth adventure. Someone is watching her and they don't seem willing to take no for an answer. Can she find them before it's too late? Buy here: http://amzn.to/2mOMy1O #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #mysterybooks #paranormalbooks #readersofinstagram #reading #DyingThoughts #dyingthoughts5 #writersofinstagram #writesofig #authosofig #bookstagram #ilovewriting #bookboost

From Joey's Instagram


I love Grant Snider's work! #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #amwriting #jowrimogo #whyiwrite #wordnerd #readersofinstagram #writersofig #authosofig #ilovewriting

From Joey's Instagram


LOL This is my idea of a friend with benefits! #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #amwriting #jowrimogo #authosofig #writesofig #writersofinstagram #ilovewriting #readersofinstagram #reading

From Joey's Instagram


And it's a #CrampingChronicles day so here we go with the third chapter of the month! #beingawriter #indieauthor #joeyisanauthor #joeywrites #amwriting #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #authorsofig #writerslife #writersofinstagram #writersofig #ilovewriting #jowrimogo #youngadultbooks

From Joey's Instagram


Such a true statement! #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #amwriting #jowrimogo #whyiwrite #wordnerd #readersofinstagram #writersofig #authosofig #ilovewriting

Monday, 1 May 2017

Spoonie Writer: Sick Olympics (And What That Means For You)


SPOONIE WRITER: SICK OLYMPICS (AND WHAT THAT MEANS FOR YOU)

I've been a spoone for ooo...so many years that I don't have enough finger to count with. Longer than I've been a writer, so over fifteen years. The majority of the time, the posts I write in this series are about both, and this one is no different except it leans more to the spoonie side than the writer side, but all of it can be applied to both. The reasons it applies more to the spoonie side is because of the topic, but trust me, it does also apply to anyone who, like me, is both a writer and a spoonie. So on with the post.

One thing you learn very quickly when you're a spoonie is that the community itself is very welcoming. They will go above and beyond and will do whatever they can to help you. I have been active in the community for a while, but it's really only been recent years - since I was published - that I started to get more involved. Along the way I've learned a few things, and one is that there will always be those outliers. People who are both spoonie and welcoming, but feeling like they need be the sickest in the room. Now the majority of you reading will probably think: Why? Who wants to be the sickest in the room? Who wants to win that competition? The simple answer for me is: I don't have the first clue as to why or who or what and the rest of it.

In my many years as both a spoonie and a writer, I have come across so many spoonies who are just awesome. They have supported me through tough times, been there through the good ones and celebrated with me at every achievement. I am still friends with so many of them and it warms my heart to think of all that we, as people, have achieved alongside being spoonies. The community is awesome as said above and I can not emphasise that enough. A friend of mine recently went through a cancer. She's okay and doing brilliantly, but when she needed advice on medical procedures that I hadn't gone through, it was one of my spoonie friends who, while being quite sick herself, stepped up to the plate to help me talk her through it all. This is a great example of how the community can and does work together.

Yet, of course, there are some bad apples, and it's those bad apples that I wanted to talk about today. You will always have people who don't believe you're as sick as you are, and some of those are, unfortunately, also spoonies. But those ones are easier to ignore than the ones who seem to take every update as a reason to "one-up" you in the sick Olympics. And that is exhausting. I've found it happens when I'm talking about the writing work I do. The level of my workload seems to be a sign for people to sit there and tell me how much sicker they are than me. I don't know why. I don't know what they hope to achieve by being crowned the sickest of them all. It's an ugly part of life and of the spoonie world and something that I don't think really gets talked about except in small circles.

So what does that mean for you? I mean if I'm telling you that it's not something that can be avoided completely, how do you as a spoonie and/or a writer, avoid falling into this trap? I have a few tips for you to avoid the pitfalls of the sick Olympics. As always your mileage may vary.

1. BE PROUD OF WHAT YOU ACHIEVE
Everyone has limits and everyone in the spoonie community and/or chronically ill community (because not everyone ID's as a spoonie) should be aware of their own limits. It's not easy. When you get diagnosed, you're not exactly handed a pamphlet called Managing Your Expectations And You. Learning to pace yourself is a must, but so is remembering to be proud of what you manage to achieve. You and should be proud. However there will always be people who want to then use those achievements as a way to play the sick Olympics. You're able to achieve x therefore they are sicker than you. It's not just annoying to hear, but it feels like what they're doing is invalidating your struggle and the work you've put in. It's times like this when you want to quote Hamilton and ask: "Why do you assume you're the sickest in the room?" There's nothing to gain by being the winner of the gold in the sick Olympics, and all it does do is take time and energy away from what you're hoping to achieve. My advice is to acknowledge and be proud of what you've achieved. It's their problem and not yours.

2. ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU DON'T HAVE TO LIST DIAGNOSIS
A lot of places where the spoonie community is big, like Tumblr and groups on Facebook, always assume that everyone there will be sharing the same level of information about their conditions. You don't have to share anything you don't want to. What feels okay for me, might not feel okay for you, and that doesn't invalidate your status as a spoonie or as someone with chronic illness. You don't *have* to share anything. You will always come across people who will assume that because you don't share everything that you must be low down on the rung of the sickest person ever. Sometimes it's a battle worth fighting, but depending on how comfortable you are with sharing that stuff, sometimes it's not. Personally, I do share diagnosis in certain places. I don't hide it, but I also don't advertise. I've had people tell me that because I do happily call myself a disabled (and sick) author I'm therefore obligated to give everyone who asks my medical history. I get asks on Tumblr about oxygen usage, get asks about my wheelchair. I'm not ashamed of either one of them, but I am, just as you are, entitled to my privacy. No one is owed that.

3. ACCEPT THAT THERE WILL ALWAYS BE PEOPLE WHO DON'T GET IT
It's something a lot of people say, that as you grow up, you care less about what other people think. I don't know who these people are, but I'm not one of them. I've tried various ways to just not care, but I feel like it's so engrained in me that it's just not easy to let go of those worries. Having said that, part of being sick is realising that it doesn't matter what people think of you. There will always be people who want to play the sick Olympics, or who think you're faking, or who think you could do more or less of this or that. And those people don't matter. They don't. Their opinions of you, your work, and your writing journey are not important. You don't need to act a certain way or do a certain thing for people to treat you and your work with the respect you deserve. Best advice is, don't engage with people who want you to justify how you can do writing, but not a "real" job. Or people who want to play that I'm the sickest ever card. That thinking is on them and not on you. You're doing awesome, keep going.

So there we have it, my three tips on how to avoid the sick Olympics. It's something you're gonna come across and it's something that sadly doesn't seem to be going anywhere. But, as I said, the majority of the spoonie and chronic illness community is welcoming, open arms and happy to be of any help to you. We all know what it's like to either be born sick, or to have become sick later in life. We all have different experiences and we all have different needs, but we should be working together to help each other. And in the whole, the community does. As already stated, your mileage may, of course, vary.

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