Thursday 30 November 2017

Final Tally for November 2017

I managed 24 chapters, 113 pages and 64,274 words in November!

From Joey's Instagram

And that's #DTSC off to the editor! I hope to have them back in January. At which point I'll be starting my edits for the next release. 2018 is gonna be off to a busy start! #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #writersofinstagram #editing #amediting #DyingThoughts6 #booksinprogress #youngadultbooks #paranormalbooks #mysterybooks

From Joey's Instagram

Vlog is up! Today I'm talking about managing multiple projects! Check it out here: #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #authortuber #writingvlog #vlogger #writingtips

Managing Multiple Projects [CC]


Tuesday 28 November 2017

From Joey's Instagram

With a hot water bottle and a snuggle blanket, Miss Penne is home from the vets and were just awaiting the results now. Hoping it's nothing serious but should know tomorrow. #kitty #snuggles #misspenne #cuddles #pastacats #catsofinstagram

From Joey's Instagram

#TEASERTUESDAY Tara starts a summer job. Only visions are happening and no one else thinks it's strange. Can she find a killer? Buy here: #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #writersofinstagram #writerslife #amreading #readersofinstagram #bookstagram #bookboost #youngadultbooks #mysterybooks #paranormalbooks

Monday 27 November 2017

#NaNoWriMo2017: Making It Work


Now, if you've been following me for a while, you'll know that two years ago I was in a completely different place writing wise than I am now. For several reasons outside of my control, my productivity was down the tubes and I was barely getting two chapters of each book done in a month period. It wasn't for lack of wanting to, but basically I wasn't organised, I wasn't motivated and I didn't really make the time to write. It all came to a head in October 2015 when I realised I'd written one chapter for the whole month. I was annoyed at myself, but also worried and upset that it would have a long term effect on both my career and my creativity.

Of course, I know that it's not a competition, that everyone writes at their own pace and that it takes as long as it takes. I know all of that, but I gotta say, it was soul destroying to be at a point where I was doing so little. I'd finished my degree, so that wasn't eating into my time. I was having good days and bad with my health, so while that played a part, it wasn't the reason. I just couldn't get myself to write. I know that some people will say it's just a matter of sitting at the keyboard and writing, and yes, I'll agree with them there, but I couldn't find it in myself to do it.

So, with the build up to NaNo 2015, I did something I had never done before, and that was plan to take part. I knew that 50K was never going to happen. It would just be setting myself up to fail and would make me feel worse. So I made a deal with myself. I would write one page for every day of November. And you know what? It worked. It wasn't just the plan of knowing what I expected of myself, it was the buzz around social media of NaNo as a whole. I managed over 30 pages, and I knew I didn't want to let that vibe go, so I created Joey's Writing Monthly Goal - #JoWriMoGo - which I have done every month since.

But then this year, having managed to exceed 50K in the past few months, every month, I realised I could finally do it. I was finally at a point where I could make NaNo work for me. I've not joined the site, so I won't get a shiny button or certificate, but I was able to take part in the hashtag, boost other writers and authors who were doing the same. It was so nice to be able to actually be aiming for the same thing. I, of course, still did it my way. I used my sticky notes and planned each day, I had editing to do alongside writing so I made sure to make time for that. I also knew it wouldn't be the beginning of one novel, but the tail-end of two. I wasn't going to start a whole new project, nor was I going to dedicate that time (and words) to just one of my WIPs. So I did still keep my own spin on it, and it's been great.

Along the way I've found authors who both love NaNo and authors who hate it. I'm happy for the way it helped me get back into the saddle, but I have to say I see both sides. There's something to be said about the level of community that comes from everyone in the hashtag knowing that they have several million other writers cheering them on. That's a powerful tool. On the other side, there is more to writing a book than well...writing it. There's the editing and the cover design and all of that. But I like to believe that most people realise what the achieve in NaNo is just the start. That you don't then upload on December 1st with no one else ever having read your work.

So how do I make NaNo work for me? I keep it simple. I know what I'm capable of. I know, through my tracking of words and chapters and all of that, what I can manage comfortably in a month. I know what I have planned for that month and I know what other responsibilities I have to do. Like for example, I knew getting the second dose of Mepo would be a complete wash of a writing day, so I planned to have it off. I also knew that editing had to be done, so I made sure I made time for it. I knew that I write better doing half days rather than full ones, so I made sure that I had the morning to relax and the afternoon/evening to write. It all worked for me because I am already in the habit of writing every day.

And that's a very good habit to have as a writer. If you've told yourself that you will write something every single day, then it becomes a routine, and in becoming a routine, it feels weird to not be writing every day. I tell you, by the end of the month when I've finished my chapters and only have admin work to tie up, I feel weird. I hate it sometimes that I have no chapters to write and am instead doing blog posts, or videos and all of that. It feels wrong! And because I started with NaNo and continued with my own hashtag, I've made my writing a routine. I've made it a part of my every day life. And that's a great tool to take away from this frenzied month of writing.

Because at the end of the month, you might have a first draft, you might not, you might have more writing to do or you might jump into editing. Whatever it is, you have achieved something, even if it's not 50K words. I had someone ask before just before November started, what to do if you fail at NaNo, and my answer was simple. You didn't fail, you just didn't hit the goal set. That's not failing, you still managed to write something, and you keep going. You don't let it stop you, and even if you're never in a position to do 50K in 30 days, that's okay. Everyone writes at their own pace. Some people are faster, and that's okay, and others take their time, and that's also okay. The end result is the same, you made a book. And that's something to be very proud of.

So with that, I'm off to finish off my last few chapters. I hope NaNoWriMo2017 has been good to you, no matter what you achieved, it's still something, and that matters.

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 25 November 2017

From Joey's Instagram

And yesterday I hit 50k on my #NaNoWriMo17 projects. I still have five chapters to write this month and then another eight in total in December before both books are done! Excited about my next projects! #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #writersofinstagram #writerslife #amwriting #NaNoWinner2017 #booksinprogress

Friday 24 November 2017

Review of Butterfly Chaos by Melinda R. Cordell

Three months after her cousin Toni died, Cassie is still reeling. Toni’s best friend now ignores her in the halls. Cassie’s cousin is dating the girl who torments her in gym. And Cassie has maybe a teeny-tiny crush on the boy who pulled Toni’s body out of the river.

Then Toni’s ghost visits Cassie and reveals that in two nights, a powerful EF3 tornado will rip into a dance hall, killing those three kids.

Cassie sets out to keep everyone from going to the dance. As she argues and cajoles (and stockpiles minor munitions to clear the building, just in case) she uncovers stories about her friends’ connections with Toni – and all the reasons they refuse to skip this awesome dance. Why does everyone have to be so bullheaded! Despite everything Cassie does to change their destiny, they find themselves directly in the killer tornado’s path....

My Review: 5 stars
I'd read a book by Cordell before and so when I was browsing for something to read and spotted this one I was more than intrigued and happy to pick it up. The story starts with what is turning out to be a normalish day for Cassie. Alone, bullied, grieving and then suddenly there is Toni sitting in the toilet! The book is engaging, the unknown of whether Cassie will manage her task, dealing with her own grief and her own upset by what happened and finally moving on to what happens if she doesn't manage it. I loved it, it was enthralling from the first page and completely told as a teenager would. Cordell has the ability to project a young voice through her writing and that is something very special indeed. Highly recommended.

You can follow Melinda 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 23 November 2017

From Joey's Instagram

Vlog is up! Today I'm talking about how many words, chapters and pages over the past year! Find it here: #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #writersofinstagram #writerslife #authortuber #amwriting

Year Of Writing Count [CC]


Tuesday 21 November 2017

From Joey's Instagram

#TEASERTUESDAY Can Tara be the eyes seeing what no one else can? Buy here: #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #writerslife #writersofinstagram #DyingThoughts2 #bookstagram #bookboost #readersofinstagram #amreading #youngadultbooks #paranormalbooks #mysterybooks

Monday 20 November 2017

Pre-orders & Promotion - The After Process


It's coming around to that time of year for me, when I start pulling my soon to be release, editing it to pieces and slowly putting it back together. I'm still doing two book releases in one year, after the success I had this year with both Dying Thoughts - Fifth Secret and It's Not Always Rainbows being released. I thought though that I would do a piece about the build up to release and all that went with it. That means setting up pre-orders, and dealing with the promotional aspect of getting ready for the big day. I thought I could split this into two categories, and first I'll start with my tips about pre-orders.


Why? You might be asking if it's worth it to do pre-orders. There are several reasons why I personally think it is. In my experience, it's better to do pre-orders than to not. I can outline those reasons, and while it may seem like a lot of hassle, it can be used as a good tool to get the word out about your book, leading into promotion.

So the number one reason is, it helps to built hype. If, like me, you're doing cover reveals and ARC, then you realise that having a link for people to pre-order makes a lot of sense. Otherwise you're utilising a very powerful tool with the cover reveal, but not giving any follow through. This means that readers might look at your awesome cover and want to buy the book, but if it's not up for pre-order, then they're more likely to forget by the time release date rolls around. It makes so much sense to combine the two. Have your cover reveal be the day you release the pre-order link. That way when all the blogs taking part in the cover reveal post, they're also doing a heck of promotion for you.

Another reason is, if the book is part of a series, it can draw people to the earlier books. For example, with the Dying Thoughts series, I pushed the first four books on a promotion once the fifth one went live on pre-order. It made people suddenly more interested in both my newest release, but also the books that came before it. It's a great tool to use, and if done well, can help you jump up in the rankings when it comes to release day.

That's another big reason: release day. You've got all this hype to build, and if no one can do anything in advance, like when they see a teaser, or a cover reveal, to click and buy the book, then you're working against yourself when it comes to the actual release. Yes, promotion around that time matters, and I'll get to that in a moment, but so does the weeks and months leading up to that day. If you've got a handy pre-order link, people will get invested, and readers will be waiting to get their hands on your masterpiece. It all works for you, and that's why pre-orders should be something you do.

I know that with KDP it's possible to do pre-orders on ebooks, and the same applies to Smashwords if you choose to go wide from the start. Paperbacks are harder, and I personally, don't have a way to set up a pre-order for them. That said, I find the majority of my sales are in ebook format, so for me, it works to release the paperback as close to the live date as possible to give Createspace a chance to distribute it to Amazon and such in time for the big day.

So, I've mentioned the other part of this piece a few times. Promotion is just as important during the after process as pre-orders. Both help build up hype for your book, and build an audience for your book. On top of that, it's a way to engage with your readers. If you're talking about the latest release and you're engaging with your audience, then they will be just as excited about it as you are. There are so many different ways to promote and I won't be able to cover them all in this piece. The obvious one, such as ads, seems like a no brainer. It's one I've used and will use again and again.

However, there are other ways to promote your book and previous works at the same time. A few of these you'll have seen around the social media sites, like taking part in Teaser Tuesday, sharing snippets on Instagram, quotes on Goodreads and all of that. You can do release day blitzes where you have a number of bloggers all plan to post something about your release on all their sites. It's all about getting the word out, but it doesn't start the day of release or even just before the cover reveal. It starts long before that.

I've got eleven books out, so I'm constantly promoting my previous works, while also promoting the works that will be released in 2018. On top of that, I'm sharing snippets on #1linewed from my current works in progress. Screenshots on Instagram and all of that will build the interest that you want, it also leads to engagement from your audience. It's not just blasting cyberspace with a link and a quick "buy my book" every day, it's about crafting an interest and spamming people with buy links doesn't do that.

A lot of people will say that you need to be reminding people that you've got something on offer, but the majority of people following you already know that. That's probably one of the reasons they follow you. So while it may take time, and it may seem liked a wasted tweet to start slowly and months in advance, it's the best path to take. The audience I have is small, but they also are very aware of what I'm writing at the moment, and what's coming out in 2018. So when it comes to promotion, yes, ads are a good thing, but also engaging, chatting, and make connections (and friends!) are also powerful tools.

What are you thoughts of pre-orders? Do you have that one author you one-click no matter what they write? Let me know 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.

Saturday 18 November 2017

From Joey's Instagram

Writer at work! I got my tea and my notes and banging out a chapter before I head off to bed. What's your writing space look like? #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #NaNoWriMo17 #writingspace #writing #beingawriter #beinganauthor #booksinprogress #bonuschapters

Friday 17 November 2017

Guest Blog - Azalea Dabill

Why would any reader use a study guide journal companion book for a fiction adventure story?

First let me ask a couple questions. Do you love historical or YA fantasy similar to Outlander and Lisa Bergrin’s River of Time series? Warning: If you do, you may be about to embark on another adventure.

The Falcon Chronicle Adventure Guide Journal was a challenge to write. But you’re not here to hear about that. You want to know what the guide is and what it’s for, right? 

The guide journal is a companion book to Falcon Heart, a historical medieval fantasy which Joey Paul kindly reviewed here.

This adventure guide journal goes with Falcon Heart and I may create guides for the rest of the Falcon Chronicle series. If you haven’t got Falcon Heart yet, you can get it for free on Barnes and Noble. (I’m sorry, Amazon hasn’t cottoned on that it’s perma-free and price-matched it yet.) You can also sign up for my blog letter on my website and in one of my emails I give away the Falcon Chronicle Adventure Journal Guide free. 

But why is the guide important, you ask? I reply: Isn’t it vital to overcome your life’s challenges? To grow in heart, body, and spirit? To learn through fun? And to become the fearless, strong person you are meant to be? Courage and fearlessness is not only a feeling, in fact, it’s not much about feelings at all. Stories show us how to live bravely and how to overcome our challenges with grace—or sometimes stumble through them. LOL

I studied Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander companion book, and Gene Veith’s guide to The Soul of the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as well as several other study guides and companion books to create the Falcon Chronicle Adventure Guide Journal. I made it for my readers, and then I decided I had better take up my own challenge. 

So I journaled my own adventure and ways to overcome my challenges through the questions in its pages. 

Questions like: 

A) What kind of animal, bird, or creature has inspired or helped you in your life? I’m not talking about false animal spirit guides. I mean what creature has given you joy, strength, or comfort because of how God made them, glorious and beautiful and strong? 

B) What do you love about that creature? What does it mean to you? What is its name?

C) What does Kyrin feel about falcons in general? 

If you’re curious about my thoughts as I follow Kyrin chapter by chapter, from her enslavement to victory over fear and her master’s vengeance, you’ll see my journey soon after as you sign up to get my blog letter.

I know Falcon Heart is my own book, (you’d think I’d have everything down pat), but I learned things through the guide that I hadn’t even thought of while I was creating the novel Falcon Heart. Besides, I had a lot of constructive fun answering the questions that grew out of Kyrin’s struggles. They led me to adventures of the heart with Kyrin, our heroine, a stronghold first daughter in dire straits from rivals in love, from raiders, her master, and a hidden prince of the sands.

Often our inner journey is more important than the outer. Whenever I read books this is the case. The inner landscape of my imagination and the stories played out there are what matters. They impact the rest of my life more than you might think. They set mood, and thought, and actions in motion. Isn’t it so for you?

I know people often ask the author of a book what they meant their story, scene, or theme to mean, but when we’re talking about you reading a story, none of that is nearly as important as what you got out of the book. So in this adventure guide I’m going to help you to unearth the meaning you have found in Kyrin’s adventures. And point you toward what you might do with your new knowledge of yourself and the world. And in the thirteen journal entries you have free rein to write whatever you have found of value and beauty. 

So read Falcon Heart and the Adventure Guide Journal, interact with other hearts through words, and become the strong, compassionate person you are meant to be. Live your journey to the full. Become a first daughter or first son in your own stronghold, wherever you live. Enjoy the adventure of life as you follow Kyrin’s battle to rise above slavery and fear to freedom and the brave heart of the falcon.

Fierce cry
in the sky
wild and high

Your keen amber eye on the first and the last
feathers sun-kissed and vast
you kept to your cast
despite enemies amassed . . .
– Falcon’s Ode excerpt

Thank you, and enjoy the journey
Azalea Dabill
Editor and Author
PS. (For bottom readers.) If you’re interested in The Falcon Chronicle Adventure Guide Journal, sign up at my website here. You’ll get a couple of stories and things, and in one of my emails I’ll send the free guide. And if you haven’t gotten the first adventure of the Falcon Chronicle series, you can get Falcon Heart free on Barnes and Noble, or for $0.99 cents on Amazon.
Crossover: Find the Eternal, the Adventure

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 16 November 2017

From Joey's Instagram

And today's vlog us up! Taking questions from you guys! Find it here: #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #writersofinstagram #writerslife #authortuber #writingvlog

Questions From Readers - November 2017 [CC]


Tuesday 14 November 2017

From Joey's Instagram

#TEASERTUESDAY Tara's story is just beginning. Can she make a friend and save her at the same time? Buy here: #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #writersofinstagram #writerslife #amreading #bookboost #bookstagram #dyingthoughts1 #readersofinstagram

Monday 13 November 2017

From Joey's Instagram

Off to get my flu jab and then I can write for the day! #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #NaNoWriMo17

My Pet Peeves In Fiction - The Creative Process


This is something I've had on my list to write for a while. Every time I get close to doing it, something else pops up that grabs my attention. But I've been getting more organised and in doing that have a whole bunch of blog posts to write. I decided to start with this one. Of course I want to make it clear that I am both an avid reader and an author myself, so I know that my peeves are not going to be everyone else's. I also won't name books because the last thing I want to do is start flinging mud. This is all my opinion and my peeves, and shouldn't be treated as gospel truth. So let's get down to it.


I've been reading crime fiction since I was a teen. I've talked before about my first adult book being Hot Money by Dick Francis and it was that book that made me want to write my own crime stories. Having done that, I have to say that one thing that really rubs me the wrong way is when a book series has, within a short space of time, serial killer after serial killer. It's so rare in reality and I just feel like it's something that needs to be used once in a series, and even then to some degree. I'll read and enjoy these books, but it does get to the point where you start to roll your eyes and think: really? Another serial killer?


Do I really need to explain this? I know it's a thing in the reading community and I know it's also become a bit of the norm as far as romance goes, but I do not approve of love interests who are either actually abusive or borderline. I'm talking bad boys who are possessive, borderline violent, trying to teach the girl that she really does love him, even when she herself has said no. I'm talking about woman falling for men who are, to be blunt, fuckheads, because they think their love will change them. As a young adult author, this worries me for the readers who think this is love, when actually it's not. It's not romantic, it's not love and it's not cool.

I love a good plot twist, but when it starts to get unrealistic, I start to lose my interest. I don't mean complicated. I love a complicated story line that makes you think and join the dots. I love it not being spelled out to you and leaving the reader wondering. That I am one hundred percent down for. I'm talking about story lines that just are complicated for no reason. Like when the answer is completely simple, and obvious, and instead the characters go through this long drawn out process when they should, easily, had spotted a better way.


Okay, I get it, there's something about having two guys (or girls) fight over you, but they have been done to death. And even when they were first big, I didn't like them. I've never liked that kind of thing in books, or on TV and in movies. It just doesn't appeal to me at all. I know that sometimes it happens, and I get that it's reflecting real life in a way, but the guys always hate each other to the point where you kinda thing they're both assholes. I just think there has to be a better way of doing things.

And my final pet peeve is this one. I have had a long term friendship with so many guys that didn't turn into love. My best friend of twenty plus years and I live together, and even though we're both women, the assumption is ALWAYS that we must be a couple! Now there's nothing wrong with that, and it's great that people are open to it. But I would love to see some close friendships were getting together wasn't the end game. On top of that, it's the long drawn out friendship and then one day waking up and realising you love them. I mean yeah, it can happen, but I'd love to just have some good solid friendships.

So there you have it, my pet peeves in fiction. I know the majority of them are linked to romance, but the crime and storylines happen across genres. I love to read. Seriously, I do. I am always going to bed with my Kindle and a new book and enjoy my reading time. I am also someone who will pretty much read anything. My tastes are wide and varied and on top of that I usually enjoy what I read. So, none of these have turned me off books completely!

What are your pet peeves when it comes to reading and/or writing?

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 10 November 2017

Interview with Jessica Bayliss & Review of Broken Chords

I am delighted to be joined on the blog today by author, Jessica Bayliss. I've interviewed her and also done a review of her latest book, Broken Chords. Here's a little about Jessica:

Jessica Bayliss is a clinical psychologist by day and a writer all the time. She has been a lover ghost tales and horror since her days scanning VHS rental shelves—admittedly with eyes half-averted from the gory covers. She also loves to eat, cook, and exercise—in that order—and is a firm believer that coffee makes the world a better place.

Her YA horror novella, BROKEN CHORDS, comes out next week (October 9th, Leap Books Press)! Look for her upcoming release, TEN AFTER CLOSING (Sky Pony Press, spring 2018). For more information about Jessica and about PsychWRITE, her series of courses and workshops for writers, visit:

And now the interview:

What made you want to be a writer?
I love this question because I have no idea. I just know I want to. It’s not logical—I have an entirely different career—but it is exactly what I need to be doing. For a while, that bothered me. How would I explain to friends, family, colleagues why I’m choosing to spend my time this way. But, I don’t worry about it anymore. There’s something wonderful about being at a point of your life where you can say: Because I WANT to.

What kind of writer are you: plan or not?
All right (rubs hands together in glee); now we’re getting into the tough questions. Okay, maybe I enjoy the banter between plotters and pantsers a little too much. I’m an unapologetic plotter. I didn’t start out that way. My first two books were totally pantsed. Then, while I was still revising those two pantsed books (they took a huge amount of time because…well…I pantsed them), I had an idea for my third book. I actually outlined that one so the idea wouldn’t fall through one of the holes in my sieve of a brain. Then, NaNoWriMo came, and I decided to try to ‘win’ with my outlined book #3. Not only did I win, I wrote an 80K word MS in a month. Mind blown. Game changer. Now, I’ll never go back.

How does your average writing time go?
I work full time as a clinical psychologist, so I have to guard my writing time with my very life. If I could set up booby traps around my writing time, I would. But I won’t because I have no idea how I’d even do that. Basically, I write before work as many days as I can manage to drag my butt out of bed. I also write as much of Saturday and Sunday as I can, though I am sure to leave time for family and friends. If I didn’t, I’m pretty confident I’d be the recipient of many bitter emails and a myriad of saucy insults. But Mondays—ah, sweet, sweet Mondays—are my Writing Work Day. I work Saturdays at my first career, so I’m off on Mondays, and I work hard to have as little to do as possible on my WWD so I can get as much writing in as possible. Lucky for me, I’m good at getting my butt in the chair and focusing once I do.

What book/character of yours is your favourite?
Oh boy, that’s a hard question.
I am a weird author in that I don’t find the writing process to be torture in any way, shape, or form. (For a while I thought that meant I was doing it wrong.) I love everything I’ve ever written. Sigh. But, I’m sure I can think of some favorites… Well, my favorite short story is called CARE OF THE UNDEAD DOG, and it appears in an anthology called ZOMBIE CHUNKS. Yeah, you read that right. The book is called ZOMBIE CHUNKS, and it has a truly fabulous cover. I love the story so much because it’s a silly horror. Totally gross, cheeky, and ridiculous all rolled into one undead package. (Can you say ‘zombie pug?’)
As for favorite character, I’m torn between the female MCs of my two upcoming books: Winny from TEN AFTER CLOSING and Lenny from BROKEN CHORDS. (And I’m realizing I like to end female names with the letter y… hmm, I wonder if that’s a pattern.) Both are strong and resourceful, though Winny has a bit of a journey before she realizes that about herself. Both face their fears, though Lenny requires a literal demon to threaten her very existence to finally take those first steps. As for the books, TEN AFTER is a contemporary hostage thriller and BROKEN CHORDS is a horror, so they’re very different, but I’m in love with them both for the same reason: they’re packed with tons of delicious tension, plenty of swoony romance, and kick-ass (can I say ass? I hope so.) female leads.

Do you prefer to type or hand write?
I definitely prefer to type eight days out of seven and twice on Sundays. My handwriting is terrible. Also, I’m a much faster typer, and time is definitely not on my side.

Would you ever like to branch out to a different genre?
I actually have. I spent the first several years of my writing life basically working on whatever the heck I felt like. I had no pressures and I really didn’t know what I’d like, so it was my own personal experiment. As a result, I’ve written: 2 middle grades (one horror and one a portal fantasy); 3 adult books (a contemporary romance, a paranormal/UF, and one is a mashup—a paranormal romantic detective thriller); and 6 YA (three thrillers, two horror, and one detective thriller with magical realism).

What does your writing space look like?
I attached a pic of it (which features my dog, Rollie, as well).

They rip, they tear, they FEED, and you never come back again.

Here’s how last year’s Gypsy Cob Music Festival should have gone. Lenora “Lenny” Ragno was supposed to rock her duet with her long-time crush, Jeb, during the open-mic competition. Then, swept up in the glow of success, he’d finally kiss her. Instead, Lenny choked on stage and spent the whole year dodging him online. And avoiding playing her fiddle in public. She thought her worst nightmare was behind her, but she was way wrong.

Now, she’s back at Gypsy Cob where avoiding a public performance is about as impossible as hiding from Jeb. She thinks facing him will be the scariest part of the festival, but when one of their friends talks everyone into trying astral projection, Lenny catches the eye of a demonic entity that marks her as its own.

Now, whenever it wants, the demon can pluck Lenny from her reality and transport her to a hellish between-world, haunted by its countless, gruesome victims. If she doesn’t want to become one of them, she must discover the nature of the demon’s hold on her and remove it. But how can she defeat a literal demon when she can’t even get over her personal ones?

My review: 5 Stars
A quick, short, read, but a great book. When faced with the prospect of seeing her friends again, and reconnecting with the boy she insulted the year before, Lenny is more than happy to join in and avoid Jeb. After an idea from a friend about trying astral projection, Lenny is faced with fears she didn't even know she had. The book is both terrifying and thrilling as you follow along the journey with Lenny and Jeb. I loved it, and was so glad I picked it up at this time of year. A quick read for me, but altogether an amazing book. Loved it!

You can follow Jessica on her blog, website, 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.

Thursday 9 November 2017

From Joey's Instagram

Vlog is up! Its time to look back at my life over the past month. Watch it here. Http:// #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #authortuber #writingvlog

Life Of Joey - November 2017 [CC]


Wednesday 8 November 2017

From Joey's Instagram

And a great 5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟review of #DyingThoughts4 So glad they loved it! #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #writersofinstagram #writerslife #bookstagram #bookboost #bookreviews #readersofinstagram #amreading

Tuesday 7 November 2017

From Joey's Instagram

#TEASERTUESDAY When people close to Cat get hurt can she find the people responsible? Buy here: #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #writersofinstagram #writerslife #bookstagram #bookboost #LGBTQ #youngadultbooks #amreading #readersofinstagram

Monday 6 November 2017

From Joey's Instagram

And a lovely way to finish off the working day. A 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟review of #DyingThoughts5! Always good to get those! Thanks Mary Ann Yarde! #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #indieauthor #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #bookstagram #bookboost #readersofinstagram #amreading #bookreviews

From Joey's Instagram

Day 6 and i have a dancing Groot to cheer me on. Its a #LightsOff day today! Gotta get going to my 2k. #NaNoWriMo17 #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #authorslife #bookstagram #booksinprogress

Series & Standalone: Three Ways It's A Series & Three Ways It's Not.


Last week I did a piece about three ways a story is a standalone and three ways it's not. It therefore made sense to me to do one about how to tell a story is a series with the same kind of set up. It may seem like an obvious thing, that when planning you should be able to tell but as someone who's written almost twenty books, and has completed both a series, several standalones and has almost finished a trilogy, I have to say some times the lines get blurred. When starting my trilogy, I had outlined and planned a completely different ending to the one that came about while writing the book. It was only as I got to the fifty percent mark that I realised, this was not a standalone, but instead was a trilogy.

If as you plan, or approach the end of writing you realise that there's more story to tell, then it's possible what you have is not a standalone, but a series. Usually this should be something that you work out in planning, but having been in the situation where it happens mid-book I know that it's not always possible to foresee. Especially if, like me, you're a hybrid or more of a pantser. If you're a planner than it really should be something you'll have spotted before putting pen to paper and such.


On the other side, if as you plan and/or write, you realise that this story can be told properly in one book, then it's likely you have a standalone. Depending on your genre and what is considered the norm as far as word count and novel length goes, you may find that you're able to get it all done by just pushing out those boundaries a little more than you would usually. There's nothing worse than sticking to a "normal" length and then finding the second book in the series is actually better as a novella. It's better to increase the length of the book to encompass it all.

As I spoke about in the piece last week, if you've gotten to the end and you realise that actually there are plot points and parts of the arc that haven't yet been realised, it might be that you have a series. While you may be one of those writers who doesn't tie up everything in a big bow, and that's okay, if there are questions the readers will have that should've been answered by the last page, then it's maybe time to consider writing a sequel.

Again, if you get to the end and there are no questions of any kind because everything you plan to tell the reader is written out and you've written the end and all of that, then it's more likely that it's a standalone. I felt this way while writing a few of my standalones, because while I had fallen in love with my characters, they had no more story to tell. Everything that needed to be said had been and to have pushed further would've been pointless and made the second book redundant.

This is actually a pretty big one. Looking back at the Dying Thoughts series, I always knew that Tara's story would not be just one book. When I got to the planning stages for my next project, I was so sure of that, that I jumped right into book two without even thinking on it further. While planning, if you can see that there's more than one story with these characters there in your mind, then it's probably a series and it would be doing the idea and story an injustice to limit it to the one.


However, if the only way you can think up a sequel is to force the issue, then it's just as possible that you have one book, and there's nothing wrong with that. While it is hard to have to say goodbye to characters at the end of writing, there's nothing worse than stringing out stories when you know they're not needed, or it's obvious to the reader that they're not. Sometimes a character's story is just one book, and that's okay.

So there we have it, my three ways to tell if it's a series and three ways to tell if it's not. As always, you mileage may vary, but if you can think of any points to expand on or that I may have missed, feel free to comment and have a discussion, or you can contact me and we'll chat about it. Happy writing!

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 4 November 2017

From Joey's Instagram

#NaNoWriMo17 day four and still going strong. Gonna get this chapter done see where the word count is and take tomorrow off for editing. Hoping to hit 10k today! #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #indieauthor #authorsofinstagram #authorslife #booksinprogress

Friday 3 November 2017

Interview with Daphne James Huff

I am delighted to be joined by Daphne James Huff today for an interview! Here's a little bio about Daphne before we move onto the interview.

I have been writing my whole life, and recently decided to take the leap and self-publish my first book on Amazon in April 2017, a YA dystopian with a paranormal twist. This led to a spinoff series of shorts that are more paranormal historical fiction. ​ I have a full-time job, as well as a young son, husband, cat, friends, a yoga addiction... so I don't have tons of time to write/market my work, but I am trying! I am big into researching/analysis/data, so there's a lot of that on the blog. I try to balance it with a bit of inspiration and introspection, too. I have found great resources in the indie community and started my own podcast to be able to share and interact in a new way with other writers. I lived in France for 8 years after college and just moved back in 2016, so readjusting to life in the states has given me a lot of interesting ideas for writing!  

And now the interview!

What kind of books do you read for pleasure?
I really like historical fiction. I studied art history in college in part because of the feeling of immersing myself in the time period through the art. Good historical fiction does the same thing.

What kind of writer are you: plan or not?
I go back and forth. If I have the time, I like to just write and explore the ideas and characters before figuring out plot and scenes and where everything needs to go. But I write much faster when I have a scene fully plotted out, with beats and everything. I can get up to 2500 words an hour that way, and only about half that when just writing to explore.

Do you prefer to type or hand write?
I type the words, but plotting and ideas are often hand written. I need the space on a page to cross things out, add arrows, that kind of thing.

Do you have a writing playlist? Or do you prefer silence?
Quiet is best, though I've started listening to music before I write, to get me into the right mood.

Do you have any hobbies?
I do yoga and I run, but not as much as I used to before I started writing. I have a full-time job and young son, so I have very limited free time! I try to alternate months - one month writing so less yoga/running, then the next month is marketing and planning so I have more time to exercise.

Would you ever like to branch out to a different genre?
I already have! Or at least, in part. I started with YA dystopia, with a paranormal twist, and now I've started writing historical fiction shorts that use some of the same paranormal characters. I wrote a contemporary romance novella as well that I submitted to an anthology. So right now I am still kind of discovering what genre I even want to focus on!

What does your writing space look like?
I usually write in bed. It's very comfortable and I have my notebooks on the night table next to me. Sometimes I'll write on the couch, but because I need the quiet to write, my husband is in the living room watching TV so I can't do it there or in the kitchen.

You can follow Daphne on Facebook, her website, on Amazon, or even on her podcast!

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.