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


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.

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.


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.

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.


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.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Interview with Michael Beaulieu and review of The Book Of Shadows: Casting

I am delighted to welcome Michael Beaulieu to the blog today for both an interview and a review of his book - The Book Of Shadows: Casting. Here's a little bit about Michael.

Veteran entertainment journalist and Love is Pop owner Michael Beaulieu’s first novel Reckoning Daze was #1 on Amazon’s best-selling satire chart. Like the book’s protagonist, it was written when Michael was an anorexic living in Los Angeles himself. More recently, Michael published the first volume of his young adult, urban fantasy series Book of Shadows. It’s the story of three 16-year-old girls who form a coven after finding the lead character’s late great grandmother’s spell book, also known as a book of shadows. Michael again drew from personal experience in writing Book of Shadows, being that he’s a Wiccan residing in the book’s Massachusetts setting like his characters. Unlike most fantasy books, the spells in Book of Shadows are all inspired by modern day witchcraft, making the book that much more believable. Currently, Michael is polishing Book of Shadows: Volume Two. If you’d like to be among the first to hear about it, or Michael’s other projects, head over to his website and subscribe to his newsletter.

And onto the interview!
Q: What made you want to be a writer?
A: I started writing stories when I was very young.  I'd read my children's books and wonder what if would be like if characters from two different books met each other and things like that.  So, you could say I started off writing fan fiction when I was maybe 7 years old.  I had more fun with that than playing outside with the other kids.  I remember writing a mystery novel called 3: The Kill when I was ten. (I don't remember anything else about it though.)  It's just always been what I wanted to do ever since.  To tell stories to entertain myself, first and foremost, and then hopefully other people will enjoy them, too.

Q: What kind of writer are you: plan or not?
A: I usually have an idea of what the end is going to be when I start off, but I am definitely not a planner who sits down and writes detailed outlines before I start writing.  I toss around ideas as I write in my journal and then some of them get used and others don't.  The thing with me is, if I know too much about the story already then it isn't as interesting or fun for me to write it.  Plus, I like to let the characters take the story where they want it to go.  It makes it fun.

Q: How does your average writing time go?
A:  I usually get up around eight.  I take a shower, get dressed, make an iced latte.  Then I sit down at my desk and I stay there until 4PM.  Most of the time is spent writing my books, but I also own the pop culture website Love is Pop ( and often have interview questions to write for that.  But if I'm being entirely honest, the first couple of hours I'm sitting at my computer every day are usually spent sifting through e-mails and dealing with the business side of self-publishing.

Q: If you had the chance to write anywhere, where would you choose?
A:  Of all the places I've been, Paris, France is my favorite and I dream of living there someday.  I would love to sit in little indie cafes in Paris writing all day.

Q: Do you prefer to type or hand write?
A: When I'm writing actual pages of a book, I'm typing it on my computer.  I can type fast and I love the act of typing.  But when I'm writing down ideas and trying to figure things out I do that in my notebooks.  I do occasionally write scenes in the notebooks though, but they're typed up as soon as they're written.  I don't write entire chapters by hand, mostly just notes.

Q: What attracted you to your chosen genre?
A:  Currently, I'm writing an urban fantasy, young adult series called Book of Shadows, which is about a trio of teenage witches and their friends.  I wanted to write urban fantasy because I'm a witch myself and usually the witchcraft in fantasy is 100 percent fantasy/supernatural.  With my books, the spells are based on real witchcraft spells.  Also, my great grandmother was said to be a witch and had prayers to heal burns and things, which I believe were spells, so maybe it runs in the family.

Q: Would you ever like to branch out to a different genre?
A: Definitely.  My first book, Reckoning Daze, which I published a couple of months before the first Book of Shadows, is a dark satire about an actress and it's more of what they call a new adult book than young adult.  That one is definitely for people over 18.  I also have a memoir written about when I lived in Los Angeles called Fear & Self-Loathing in Los Angeles.  I plan to write another memoir – about my adventures in Paris – at some point, too.  And once I'm done writing Book of Shadows 3 I'll probably write something brand new that will be more like what they call literary fiction.

What would you do if you found your late grandmother’s book of shadows – a witch’s spell book and journal – and learned that you’re a natural born witch? You’d try one of the spells, of course! And that’s exactly what 16-year-old Emma McGlinchey does. To her amazement, the candle lighting spell she picks actually works.

Naturally, Emma has to recruit best friends Lia and Shar into starting a coven.

Soon the girls cast a spell to make everyone like them at the religious high school they’re being forced to attend for the first time. Unfortunately, it fails to make an impression on a group of zealots who set about bullying Lia and Shar for being an openly lesbian couple.

Meanwhile, a love spell they cast for Emma gets the boy of her dreams to ask her out, but the school guidance counselor comes onto her, too. The girls attempt to deal with these problems using other spells, but will they be able to set things right before something catastrophic ensues? 

My review: 5 stars
I loved this book! From the first page I could tell that I was going to like the protagonist. Emma discovers her grandmother was not only a witch, but has passed the power onto her. Having had premonitions a lot in her life, things are suddenly starting to make a lot of sense! With her new found knowledge, Emma turns to Lia and Shar and asks to form a coven with them. And then the girls get busy with their new power! The book had so many twists and turns that it was almost impossible to see what came next and dealt with the highs and lows of first love, and teenagehood. It was very well done and I did not see the end coming. Will be checking out the next in the series when it comes out! Recommended!

You can follow Michael on Twitter and  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, 27 July 2017

Writer's Block [CC]


Tuesday, 25 July 2017

From Joey's Instagram

#teasertuesday Tally has a perfect life until it's not can she remember who tried to kill her before they try again? Buy here: #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #mysterybooks #thriller #beingawriter #bookboost #bookstagram #readersofinstagram #reading #amreading

Monday, 24 July 2017

From Joey's Instagram

It's Monday and since tomorrow is a day off I want to get one more chapter written! Planning on another four before the end of the month! #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #amwriting #jowrimogo #bonuschapters #writersofinstagram #writesofig #authosofig #ilovewriting #booksinprogress

Tales From My Sick Bed: So When Will I Get Better?


Last week I did a blog post about the upcoming event - Darker Side Of Fiction 2017 - but this week I'm back to my short posts and tales from my sick bed. While I am doing somewhat better - my fever finally broke - it's gonna be a little while longer until I'm back on my feet and up to my usual antics. Of course as I said in the first of these, my writing doesn't stop and nor does my job which means a lot of juggling to keep up with everything while also obeying my doctor's orders and not overdoing it. That's harder than you think.

As I spoke about in my first post, when you want to do something, even if you are sick, you will generally find a way to do it. So long as it's within reason. I don't mean if you want to run a marathon while being a full-time wheelchair user, though I'm sure somebody somewhere will tell me about a friend of theirs who managed it. I was talking about smaller things, such as wanting to keep to my #JoWriMoGo schedule and manage to write more pages this month than there are days. I'm happy to tell you that I've beaten that already but I don't think this is going to be a record month. And neither will August.

In the past few days I have been spending my spoons wisely. I have videos to pre-record, which then need editing, uploading and captioning and while I would normally do this all in one day, in the past few weeks I've been doing it spread out to make sure that I don't make myself sicker. One thing my doctor was clear on, that while writing in bed is an option, it shouldn't be at the expense of my health. So I've taken to doing my daily reading in bed instead. I have a healthy TBR and am slowly working my way through the last in the alphabet series having started at the beginning a few weeks back.

This means that I can get more reviews done for the blog, so technically it counts as work - though not all the books I read I review on my blog of course. I've also been splitting my sat down writing time up to a bit every few hours. I find that the temptation to keep going when doing it all at once is way too strong and then I end up paying for it the next day. On top of that I have these blog posts to write as well. It's a lot of juggling, but it's worth it to make sure that I do keep going on the road to recovery.

So that's it for this week. Hopefully next week I might be back to my regular programming and all of that. Here's hoping!

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.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

From Joey's Instagram

Something to be said to seeing all your books published in paperback on your bookshelf! 11 books down who knows how many to go! #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #amwriting #bookstagram #bookboost #authosofig #ilovewriting #booksinprogress #writersofinstagram #writesofig

Friday, 21 July 2017

Interview with Mackenzie Flohr and review of The Rite of Wands

I am delighted to be welcoming Mackenzie Fohlr to the blog today for both an interview and review of her book - The Rite of Wands. Here's a little about Mackenzie.

Mackenzie is the author of The Rite of Wands, a young adult fantasy series. Her debut novel was released on March 10, 2017, and has already gathered hype and received some incredible reviews. Mackenzie Flohr grew up in Ohio, chasing leprechauns and rainbows and dreaming of angels. Her parents nurtured a love of fantasy and make-believe by introducing her at a very young age to the artistic and cultural opportunities that the state of Ohio had to offer. She wanted to write a fantasy of her own, one that could inspire imagination in others and lead them into a magical world of their own making. Wherever we live and wherever we come from is our individual heartland. Anything is possible and everything can happen. Pure imagination is in all of us—we only need to discover it, and sometimes story telling helps.

And onto the interview!

What made you want to be a writer?
I have had interest in writing ever since I was young, but honestly never thought of it as a career. Growing up, my best friend and I would create our own stories and critique each other’s work. In my teen years, I attended the Beck Center for the Cultural Arts in Lakewood, Ohio. There, I studied about the entire process behind a production including the writing, casting, building, lighting, directing, etc. It was then when I started to realize I was meant to be a writer.

What kind of writer are you: plan or not?
I’m a little bit of both. I originally did have an outline written out for The Rite of Wands, but I had to make many adjustments due to my MC being a discovery character. There were many times in the story where he went his own way and I had to compensate for that!

If you had the chance to write anywhere, where would you choose?
Preferably, outside, where it’s warm near some palm trees, and there’s the sound of the ocean nearby. Where I live there’s none of that.

Do you prefer to type or hand write?
I type everything I write. I’ve tried handwriting before, but it just seems like my mind gets all jumbled when I do that and I end up crossing out majority of what I’ve written

Do you have a writing playlist? Or do you prefer silence?
I do! I actually created a playlist for The Rite of Wands, which can be found on my blog, and can be listened to on Spotify :-)

Do you have any hobbies?
I collect comic books (specifically The Walking Dead, Back To The Future, Doctor Who, Outcast), and when I do have time to myself, which is very rare these days, I like to play video games

What does your writing space look like?
I think it would be better for me to show you all a picture than try to describe it!

One boy…one Rite… And a world of deadly secrets that could change the course of history—forever

And so begins the tale of Mierta McKinnon. When a horrible fate reveals itself during his Rite of Wands ceremony, he must find a way to change not only his destiny but also the land of Iverna’s.

Forbidden from revealing the future he foresees to anyone, he is granted a wand and his magical powers, but still must master the realm of magic in order to save himself and those he loves.

But Mierta is not the only one with secrets…especially when it’s impossible to know who to trust

My review: 5 stars
I had been wanting to read this book since I first heard about it, and was so glad when it came across my path. The story starts with the rite of wands, a ceremony that Mierta, and every witch or warlock, has to go through to be given their wand and allowed to practice magic. During the ceremony, there is a scene of what could be Mierta's destiny, and he is desperate to change it. The story is engaging from the first page and beautifully told. An amazing debut novel. I loved the book and the description that went into the scenery. I also loved Orlynd and the way his story unfolded. Overall an excellent start to what looks to be an engaging and exciting series. Highly recommended!

You can follow Mackenzie on Facebook, Goodreads 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.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Book Release: It's Not Always Rainbows [CC]


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

From Joey's Instagram

Lookie what arrived! My very own copy of #INAR! Now my shelf is complete! #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #amreading #bookstagram #bookboost #newrelease #readersofinstagram #reading #writesofig #authosofig #ilovewriting

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

From Joey's Instagram

TFW you're back in a schedule but day after you finish antibiotics your fever spikes again. Awaiting a call back to see what needs to be done. Gonna try and finish this chapter first. #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #amwriting #jowrimogo #bonuschapters #writersofinstagram #writesofig #authosofig #ilovewriting #booksinprogress #chronicillnessproblems #chronicillness #spoonie #oxygenuser #brittleasthma #fibromyalgia #chronicpain #flare

Monday, 17 July 2017

Challenge Accepted: 30 questions about me for #Darker2017

Fellow Darker signing author, Paula Acton, challenged all of the DarkerSideOfFction2017 authors to answer these thirty questions. You can find her responses here. And grab tickets for Darker here. And you can join the Facebook group here.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I always wanted, from a very young age, to be a doctor. It's what helped me choose my options at secondary school and then onto my one term at college. I never did A-levels and only recently got my degree finally. But I was going to be a paediatrician, it never happened because I got sick and that dream had to die.

Which Friends character do you relate to most? Why?
Either Monica or Phoebe. I loved Friends, but I also found it hard to be just one character. I relate to Monica for her strict organisation rules and feelings of being insecure. I relate to Phoebe for her mostly - give no fucks - attitude which I've been known to have.

Do you like your name? Why?

Now, see Joey is actually my legal name, but I prefer it to my proper name. I don't hate Joanne, but I feel like Joey is better for me. It's been what people call me for so very long that it's weird at hospital and such to be called Joanne!

Are you messy or neat?
I'm mostly neat, everything has it's place and all, but I do occasionally let things just live where they fall. I usually then get frustrated and go tidy it all up!

How tall are you?
5ft 4/5 I think. It's been a while since I was measured. I spend a lot of my life in my wheelchair so it's hard to garner height from that.

How tall were you when you were ten?
I think about 4ft 10, I was so desperate to be 5ft something though because I felt like I was too short.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Reading bad fanfic for the fandoms I'm a member of. I know it's bad, but it just makes me laugh.

What are you saving money for now?

Darker of course, but also a few other things like paying off a vet bill and lowering the debt on my credit cards. Money always too little of it!

How many Pringles can you eat at once?

Now, if it's just my Pringles, a whole can, but if I'm supposed to share less than that! I can fit about three in my mouth at once though!

Tea or coffee?
Tea, always tea. I'm actually allergic to coffee so it's always gonna be tea for me!

Are you an introvert or extrovert?

A bit of both. I know the word is Ambivert but I don't really meet that either. I don't mind talking on the phone or with people I know, but when it comes to meeting new people and/or being in a crowd, I tend to shrink back until I get more confident with them.

What will be your Hallowe’en costume this year?
I haven't thought that far in advance to be honest! I don't really do much with Hallowe'en. B (my carer and best friend and cover artist) will usually dress up with her daughter who'll be 13 this time round, but I generally stay home and hand out the sweets.

Sweet or salty?
Sweet, but sometimes I do crave some salty goodness.

Favourite social media?
I think it's a tie between Tumblr and Instagram. I love both, though I'm generally more active on Tumblr or Facebook.

Who is the last person you kissed?
I...actually can't remember, it's been that long! LOL

What is your favourite breakfast?

I was gonna say full English, but I am very happy with American pancakes, bacon and maple syrup. And I get it so very rarely!

When is your birthday?
January 6th, so twelve days after Christmas and all over at one end of the year.

When did you start your blog?
Oh back in January 2011 I think.

What is your opinion on the Kardashians?
I don't really have one, they matter that little to me.

How would you describe your style?
I don't really have one to be honest. I wear a lot of comfy clothes and do my hair so it looks less messy, but overall I don't have a style.

What colour is your hair?

Purple right now with a few brown roots, planning to get it done again just before the convention in my purple pixie cut!

What colour socks are you wearing?
I don't have any, nor do I normally wear them.

What is your dream job?
I'm doing it right now. Being a published author is living the dream for me!

Dogs or cats?
Both. I grew up with a Nan with the cats and a Nan with the dogs, and my family had both. However, as an adult I've only had cats. We have four right now. Mr. Dash and Miss Violet who are B's cats and Miss Penne and Miss Spaghetti who are mine. And yes they are named after pasta.

What makes you weird?
Lots of things! I have webbed toes on both feet, is just one example.

Celebrity crush?
Hmm...I was talking about this to a friend the other day, and I don't really have one, or at least one that is well known. So gonna go with Matt Willis from Busted.

Opinion on cigarettes?
I'm gonna admit here that I did smoke for a number of years. Yes, even with my health conditions. I quit in 2014 but I don't really have a big problem with them, apart from when I'm on oxygen and that's more a safety thing.

Do you want/have any children?
I don't have bio children, but I am the guardian, along with her mother, B, to a twelve year old. I've been there since the day she was born, and I'm her Aunty Joey. B and I have been best friends since we were thirteen and live together as friends.

Three favourite boy’s names.
Zack, Jack & Gray

Three favourite girl’s names.
Jessie, Rowena, Jasmine

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, 16 July 2017

From Joey's Instagram

#Repost @hourglassevents (@get_repost) ・・・ 🖤Summer Mayhem Competition 🖤 Do you want to win an Amazon Gift Card?! This is our last offer before the Darker Side of Fiction Event on the 7th October!! So we KNOW you love reading crime, horror, fantasy, thriller, sci-fi , paranormal and dystopian books which means you'll want to win the £15 Amazon voucher we are giving away!!! All you need to do is buy your Darker ticket before midnight on Tuesday 29th August and be entered into this fabulous prize draw. You know there's always room for a few more signed books 😈 Just click the Ticket Link #darker2017 #booksigning #eventplanning #TeamHourglass #authorsofinstagram #bookblogger #readersofinstagram #peterborough

Friday, 14 July 2017

Interview with Laura Frances and review of Slave

I am delighted to be welcoming Laura Frances to the blog today for an interview and a review of her book - Slave. Let's find out a little about Laura.

I grew up a shy thing, my head too full of daydreams. Now I'm a thirty-year-old wife and mother of two, living in Japan and teaching the English language. Slave (Book One) is my debut novel.

And onto the interview!

 What made you want to be a writer?
I have always had a big problem with daydreaming. I see something happening in real life, and my mind goes wild, shaping it into something over the top and ridiculous. (There's a reason The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is one of my favorite movies!) And in highschool, I loved creative writing assignments. When others were groaning, I was already crafting the whole thing in my head. So I guess creating stories is a built in part of me. I also find writing to be an outlet. I can express myself clearly and freely, in a way that I'm not always comfortable doing when talking. 

What kind of books do you read for pleasure?
All kinds! I love Tolkien, Austen, and C.S. Lewis, but I also love to read YA Dystopian (my current genre of choice), fantasy, historical fiction, clean romance... really anything that captures me. I'm really into characters. Obviously a solid, interesting plotline is important. But my favorite stories are the ones that make me feel like the characters are real and make me experience all of their emotions.

What kind of writer are you: plan or not?
I want to be a plotter, but I can never seem to do it. I write very much by the seat of my pants. I do have several notebooks that have random notes, diagrams, lists, timelines, ect from moments when I was working something specific out, but as for plotting out the whole book in advance...never happens.

How does your average writing time go?
A lot of listening to music and staring at the wall. I try to write in a cinematic way, so music helps me visualize the scenes as they might play out in a movie. Music also helps me feel the characters' emotions, so I always begin with my headphones on. Once the story starts coming out, I prefer dim lighting, a quiet corner, and a tall glass of water or matcha to sip.

What book/character of yours is your favourtie?
Hannah, my main protagonist, is easily my favorite. I suppose that's in part because I spent so much time shaping her. I tried to create a character who is brave, but also flawed and damaged. She's been fear-conditioned through the process of her childhood, so I aimed to make that feel realistic. In the end, I find she is someone I want to be like; she sees the courage in others and does the hard things, because if she doesn't she knows someone else will have to.

If you had the chance to write anywhere, where would you choose?
A cottage on the coast of Maine in the dead of winter. Weirdly specific, I know. But it's nostalgic for me. I only lived in those exact conditions for a short time, but I loved ever minute as a child.

What attracted you to your chosen genre?
I love the process of watching a person/character scramble out of the dark, dim life they've always known and into freedom, whether that be physical, emotional, whatever. It's the process that I'm obsessed with. And also that great moment of realization when everything suddenly makes sense, their eyes are clear, and their entire world shifts. I love the build up to that moment and tend to get emotional when they reach it.

How have other writers influenced your own writing?
The first YA Dystopian books I ever read were Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games series, followed by Veronica Roth's Divergent series. Their first person narratives, especially Roth's, really impacted the way I tell stories. I was completely absorbed, reading them from the protagonists' minds.
Another writer I love is Julianne Donaldson, who writes in a completely different genre from me. But she creates such vivid characters. I can see them clearly and get a real sense of their personalities, and that makes for a vibrant reading experience.

Do you have a writing playlist?
Or do you prefer silence? I do have a playlist. Lots of Sia. Some Amber Run. A couple songs by Fleurie... But it changes often depending on the scene I'm working on.

Do you have any hobbies?
I live in Japan, so my biggest hobby right now is learning to speak Japanese. It's hard!

What's your favourite kind of scene to write?
Any scene that deals with intense emotions. Scenes of overwhelming joy, devastation, fear, anticipation... Those tend to come the easiest and are kind of cathartic for me, because as an introvert/socially anxious type individual I tend to internalize a lot of my own (much less intense) emotions.
There is no sun. There is no moon. There is only gray—the smog belched from coal-fueled factories. The Workers silently shuffle to their assigned posts. The Outcasts watch from the alley walls. On every corner, a Watcher stands stone-faced, a rifle in hand. This is the only life that exists. Beyond the mountains is a dream. But dreams are foolish in a place like this.

Hannah has spent nineteen years dodging Watchers and doing as she is told.

Do not look Watchers in the eye. Don't give them a reason to notice you.

But when she wakes to the valley exploding in revolution, Hannah is forced onto a dangerous path, where nothing is what she believed. Suddenly freedom is in her grasp, and the way there requires working with the men she fears most

My review: 5 stars
I love me a good dystopian fiction and this is definitely one of the good ones. As a début novel it is brilliant. I loved the way the story was introduced and told from the first page. It was engaging and intriguing for how it worked. It didn't fall into tropes and it was original and told in a way that made it exciting and new. I loved Hannah and her story. Living in a world where a worker never questions or even makes eye contact with the watchers, it was an excellent story with many twists and turns that kept you turning the pages and going along for the ride. Highly recommended!

You can follow Laura on Facebook or Twitter.

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

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Life Of Joey - July 2017 [CC]


Wednesday, 12 July 2017

From Joey's Instagram

And I'm up and about having started antibiotics. Hoping this fever finally breaks and I can get some writing done! #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #amwriting #jowrimogo #bonuschapters #writersofinstagram #writesofig #authosofig #ilovewriting #booksinprogress #chronicillnessproblems #chronicillness #spoonie #oxygenuser #brittleasthma #flare

Monday, 10 July 2017

Tales From My Sick Bed: Writing Must Go On


So, as I'm sure you'll be aware, I've not been around the past week other than to post my vlogs and other blog stuff. I've been sick, and it's had a big impact on my social media presence and my writing life. To give you a little background, I have several chronic conditions, the biggest one being a lung condition. Last Tuesday I woke up feeling pretty bad so headed to the local hospital where after a long day I was diagnosed with pleurisy and told to take it easy. I have been working pretty hard at both writing and editing and releases and all of that, and my doctor feels that I need to take some time off.

Of course, when you're an indie author, there's only so much time you can take off without having it make a big impact on your life. To begin with, he was adamant that I not write or do anything strenuous, having spend the last two months working really hard with few days off, my body has finally said: Nope. So we came to an agreement, I would work a few hours every day and spend the rest of my time resting and doing everything that went with it. It's been hard because I've gotten to that point where not writing feels just plain weird. But I don't want to get sicker, so I've following his rules.

For the next six weeks, I will be spending the majority of my time in bed, and yet I didn't want to leave my blog blank on the Monday's advice pieces but at the same time, I'm just not well enough to be doing a whole heap of work. So I came up with the idea of doing a few pieces about what it's like to write and be chronically ill. I've touched on some of these topics in the Spoonie Writer series, but I've never really had the chance to discuss it in detail beyond that. So today I decided to branch out and see what I could come up with.

One thing I have learnt from the early days of being sick was that I was limited in just how much work I could do from bed. These were back in the days before tablets and wifi and so everything that was written was either done by hand or typed into a laptop/computer. Since then technology has moved forward and I have the ultimate set up. I have a lovely purple husband pillow (we affectionately call him Jack), as well as a bed desk. I have a nice tablet, with a nice bluetooth keyboard. I have an oxygen machine upstairs because I spend so much time I'm spending in bed. So I'm set. I have my chapter plan and my character notes, and I can write.

Another thing I've learned from being sick is that if you can find a way to do something, you'll do it. So even though I feel pretty crap right now, I am still writing. It's the natural way for me to spend my time and losing that time can actually make me feel worse. Don't get me wrong, I am obeying my doctor - I don't want to get sicker or risk admission right now - but I'm still managing to get some work down during my up hours, and again during my down hours. It's nowhere near the level it was before, but for now I'll take it.

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Sunday, 9 July 2017

From Joey's Instagram

Out now and presale price extended to July 14th! Grab it on Kindle for 99p/99c! Here: #beingawriter #joeywrites #indieauthor #writerlife #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #joeyisanauthor #awesome #youngadultbooks #mysterybooks #LGBTQBOOKS #bookstagram #bookboost #newrelease #readersofinstagram #reading #INAR #amreading

Friday, 7 July 2017

Interview with G. K Derosa and review of Magic Bound

I am delighted to be joined today by author G. K Derosa for both an interview and a review of her book - Magic Bound. Here's a little bio about Derosa.

USA Today Bestselling Author, G.K. De Rosa has always had a passion for all things fantasy and romance. Growing up, she loved to read, devouring books in a single sitting. She attended Catholic school where reading and writing were an intense part of the curriculum, and she credits her amazing teachers for instilling in her a love of storytelling. As an adult, her favorite books were always young adult novels and she remains a self-proclaimed fifteen year-old at heart. When she’s not reading, writing or watching way too many TV shows, she’s traveling and eating around the world with her family. G.K. DeRosa currently lives in South Florida with her real life Prince Charming, their baby son and their fur baby, Nico, the German shepherd.

And onto the interview:

 What kind of books do you read for pleasure?
Basically the same ones that I write. I love young adult novels especially urban fantasy/paranormal romance but also dystopian and even contemporary. The Hunger Games is probably my favorite series of all time. And I’m not afraid to admit it – I loved Twilight too!

What kind of writer are you: plan or not?
I’m definitely not a planner. I’m a total pantser – I like to fly by the seat of my pants, or should I say my characters’. I like to let my characters lead the way and see where they take me. I do a very brief outline but tend to deviate almost always. It’s more fun that way!

What book/character of yours is your favourtie?
There are so many that I love that it’s really hard to say. Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games is one of my favorites. I’ve read that series about three times. I also love Rose from Vampire Academy. Can you tell what kind of books I like?

If you had the chance to write anywhere, where would you choose?
On the beach in Bora Bora! I went there for my honeymoon before I started writing and I think it would be the most idyllic setting. I love being outside and by the beach so that would be my dream.

Do you prefer to type or hand write?
Definitely type. I don’t know what I would do without backspace and delete!

Do you have a writing playlist? Or do you prefer silence? Silence, though I don't mind a few birds chirping in the trees outside.
I tend to do better in silence. If I had music playing I’d be singing along to all the songs. Birds chirping or any sort of sounds of nature would be okay, but they have to be the real ones, not a pre-recorded version.

Do you have any hobbies?
Travel and food are my other passions in life. We spend all of our money traveling the world. If I had an unlimited source of income I would travel and write all around the world and eat… I love to cook and I enjoy trying international cuisines.

Dying isn’t the worst thing that could happen at seventeen, right?
Growing up on the streets of New York City, I imagined my death probably about a thousand times. Getting hit by a stray bullet, ticking off an angry drunk, or even stepping off the sidewalk too quickly and getting run over by a yellow cab. But this… this was something I would never have imagined, not in a million years.
I’m Aria Negrescu, and my name is pretty much the only thing in my life that turned out to be true. I was the poor little orphan girl who grew up bouncing around from foster home to foster home, each worse than the one before. 
But all of that changed one night when I met him. 
Now an unstoppable hunter wants to kill me, and if I’m going to survive I have to discover who I really am. And that means trusting a mysterious stranger I know nothing about. A whole supernatural world exists right under my nose, and I’m about to become a part of it. Whether I like it or not. 
If you loved the magic of Beautiful Creatures and the epic romance of The Vampire Diaries then you’ll get hooked on Magic Bound, the spellbinding first book in The Hybrid Trilogy. 
Buy Magic Bound today and stay up way past your bedtime tonight! 

My review: 5 stars
I loved this book! From the first page I was wanting to know more about Aria. Her voice leapt from the page and pulled me into her story. Starting with her sudden surprise of a college acceptance to a fully paid for ride, and an apartment to go with it, what could be the catch? Because of course there is one and now Aria is thrown into the world of supernatural beings and having to accept a whole new backstory about her entire life. It was amazingly written and Aria was completely down to earth. I loved everything about it and it's going to be one of those trilogies that you have to see through to the end. Derosa is a new author for me, but one I will be following closely. Highly recommended for those who love fantasy, supernatural and a down to earth approach.

You can follow G. K Derosa on Facebook and Twitter.

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