Tuesday, 30 January 2018

From Joey's Instagram


The first Teaser for #DYINGTHOUGHTS6! With everything changing can Tara find a balance? Coming soon! #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #TEASERTUESDAY #DTSC #amreading #readersofinstagram #bookstagram #bookboost #bookworm #igwriters #igauthors

Monday, 29 January 2018

From Joey's Instagram


I am so pleased with my new #authortube header. It's so pretty! You can follow me there for a new video every Thursday! http://www.youtube.com/JoeyPaulOnline #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #writersofinstagram #writerslife #amwriting #authortuber #writingvlog #vlogger #writingtips #lovemyjob #ilovewriting #igwriters #igauthors

The Trials Of An Indie Author: Working Your Budget


WORKING YOUR BUDGET

You've all heard this before, a creative pursuit does not always make a lot of money. Oh I know there are authors out there making huge amounts, and more power to them. I also know there are indie authors who make lots of money, but this piece isn't really for them, but for authors like me who have a tight budget and need to make it stretch further and further all the time. One part of being indie is that a lot of the promotion, editing and such come out of your own pocket. It's something you actively choose when you come down this path, but it can still be a bit of a shock when you realise just how much money is needed. Today I thought I would go over a few tips I have used to help keep my budget out of the red, while still promoting my works and making sales.

#1. - TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE FREE PROMO
I don't mean spam your twitter followers (or Facebook etc) with buy my book messages all day and every day. I mean using the free promo when it matters. Like for release day, or a cover reveal, and all of that. Be warned that sometimes free promo doesn't have as big a reach as the paid kind. Simply because they're also operating on a budget and their reach is somewhat limited. You can use sites like thunderclap to have a message spread over multiple platforms by a wide array of people. This usually works to some extent, but on top of that you need to be aware of the fact that sometimes there's not all that much follow through.

#2. - USE YOUR AUDIENCE
Since you'll have been building an audience for your book since before they were even close to published, you can always reach out to them and ask for them to share a post or other such things. Just be aware that not everyone will want to do that, and always, always, thank those that do. Thanking them sounds like something I shouldn't have to say, but yeah I do.

#3. - BLOGS ARE AWESOME
If you have a relationship with some big blogs, great, but anyone who can help spread the word is a good thing. Reach out to blog for reviews, make sure you check their guidelines and follow them. Also be aware that you'll have to provide them with a copy - either e-format or paperback - for them to review. On top of that they get hundreds of requests a day, so don't feel too disheartened if they don't respond either quickly or at all.

#4. - LOW-COST PROMO IS OUT THERE
There are some good promo sites around that will help you get the word out. Sometimes it might mean going for one expensive and shoring it up with several low-cost promo sites to help yourself get maximum exposure. Those sites depend on your genre, but there are some great ones for YA, such as Ripley's Booklist and other such sites.

AND FINALLY #5. - DON'T SKIMP WHERE IT MATTERS
A lot of my points refer to promotion, but they can apply to other things too. Having said that, there will be some things that you can not, under any circumstances, skip or skimp on the cost. And that is editing and the cover design process. Yes, these things cost money and yes, they are on the range from too cheap to very expensive, but they need to be done to allow your book to sell. Depending on what you're looking for in a cover depends on how much you'll spend. Editing wise depends on which type of editor you use, their payment scale and all of that. My point is to be prepared for these costs because they can't be skimped on.

So there we go, my five tips for working within your budget. I have been very lucky to have a great cover artist, editing team and all of which allow me to pay for their services on a payment plan. This isn't unusual, at least in my experience, but you should be sure to discuss it with your chosen team. So go forth and work within your budget!

Do you have any tips of low-cost promo? Or tricks that have worked for you? Share 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.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

From Joey's Instagram


And another writing day but I have #Hermine to help me along the way! Back to it! ✒✒✒⌨⌨⌨ #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #harrypotter #herminegranger #igwriters #igauthors #lovemyjob #ilovewriting #booksinprogress

Friday, 26 January 2018

From Joey's Instagram


And I had my hair did so need a new #selfie. Getting on with some #writing today! Got a chapter of #Invisible to write and enjoying myself! ✒✒✒⌨⌨⌨ #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #hairdid #purplehair #pixiecut #igwriters #igauthors #booksinprogress #wheelchairuser #oxygenuser

Review of Untamed by Madeline Dyer

In a world where addiction is encouraged, one girl must fight to stay clean...

As one of the last Untamed humans left in the world, Seven's life has always been controlled by tight rules. Stay away from the Enhanced. Don't question your leader. And, most importantly, never switch sides--because once you're Enhanced there's no going back. Even if you have become the perfect human being.

But after a disastrous raid on an Enhanced city, Seven soon finds herself in her enemy's power. Realizing it's only a matter of time before she too develops a taste for the chemical augmenters responsible for the erosion of humanity, Seven knows she must act quickly if she's to escape and save her family from the same fate.

Yet, as one of the most powerful Seers that the Untamed and Enhanced have ever known, Seven quickly discovers that she alone holds the key to the survival of only one race. But things aren't clear-cut anymore, and with Seven now questioning the very beliefs she was raised on, she knows she has an important choice to make. One that has two very different outcomes.

Seven must choose wisely whose side she joins, for the War of Humanity is underway, and Death never takes kindly to traitors.
My review: 5 stars
I loved this book! It started in the thick of the action, and pulled you along for the ride. I loved Seven, loved the world-building and all that came with it. Seven and her group have to battle to survive, and even then there's a choice to be made. Will she stay Untamed or fall prey to the idea of an easy life? I loved how the sub-plots all linked together. I had my suspicions about some of the reveals, but it didn't take away any of my enjoyment. A great book and start to what looks to be an amazing series! Recommended.

You can follow Madeline on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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 January 2018

From Joey's Instagram


And the vlog is up! This week I'm talking about writing disabled characters! You can find it here: http://www.youtube.com/JoeyPaulOnline #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #writersofinstagram #writerslife #amwriting #authortuber #writingvlog #vlogger #writingtips #authortube #lovemyjob #ilovewriting #igwriters #igauthors

Writing Disabled Characters [CC]


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From Joey's Instagram


#Repost @sammys_shelf (@get_repost) ・・・ Two posts today! The first is a little bit relating to The Book Robin Hoods. Set up by the amazing @mcfrank_author 🌲🏹 Check out her page for more information! ✒πŸ‚ This was my first read from this group, and the author @authorjoeypaul was kind enough to send me a physical copy with loads of swag! πŸ“šπŸ’° This book is about a girl with an unusual ability; she can see people's last moments before they die when she touches an item of theirs. She usually keeps to herself at school, but soon meets a girl with secrets of her own; the two are pulled into a perplexing set of events and together must get to the bottom of the mystery - but will two school girls be able to pull it off??πŸ€”πŸ” ♤♡◇♧ You can read the review NOW on my blog - link available in my linktree in my bio. Recommended for MG readers; a fast paced mystery with a touch of fantasy. Relatable teenage protagonist, and a genuinely enjoyable read πŸ˜ŠπŸ“š ☆☆☆☆☆ #bookstagram #books #bookish #fairyloot #flowers #flowerstagram #flatlay #photooftheday #bookphotography #bookmarks #candles #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #reading #fantasy #bookstagrammer #bookrobinhoods #booklove #booklover #bookhaul #MiddleGrade #dyingthoughts

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

From Joey's Instagram


TFW you have a greatly productive day and get loads done! One more day of writing then edits and more writing! #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #booksinprogress #oxygenuser #bookworm #lovemyjob #ilovewriting

Monday, 22 January 2018

The Trials Of A Crime Writer: Killing Your Darlings


KILLING YOUR DARLINGS

We all get attached to our characters. We all know way more about them than is written in the books themselves. It's part of being a writer, when creating new worlds, you create with it, new people and breathe life into them. Of course, if you're writing a crime book, or in some cases, any other book that brings danger and risk to their lives, you might actually have to one day...kill them.

Now some writers will love it, and others won't, and where you fall doesn't really matter. The point of this piece is to let you know that it's okay to 'kill your darlings'. In fact, not killing them can actually ruin your story. Think about it, you're reading a dystopian and no one on the good side dies. They all live to see the end of the war and that's it basically. While it may seem like a happy ending, it leaves the taste of unbelievable luck on the part of your protagonist and their side. In the middle of a war, or battle or whatnot, people are bound to die, and some of those people will be characters that you have nurtured and loved from page one. It's just how it works.

Of course, on the other side of things, you don't have to kill absolutely everyone for dramatic effect. You need to choose your deaths carefully because after a while, the death loses impact. In the books I've written, they're mostly crime, and yes, characters on both sides end up dead. The hell I've put Tara through should be case in point considering how many deaths she's witnessed. On top of that, there have been times when I've had to kill a main character. I won't tell you which books, because that ruins the fun for those who've not read them.

Early on in my writing career, I would agonise over who was going to die and who was going to survive. Especially when it came to the Dying Thoughts series. As time has gone on, I've found it slightly easier, but there are still some deaths that haunt me as it were. While a part of fiction will be choosing these deaths so that they have a big impact, other parts will be deciding who simply slips away off page. When writing my first dystopian trilogy, I spent a lot of time trying to work out who was going to make it from chapter to chapter. There were a lot of battles and a lot of pieces that would have an impact on the ending I had chosen. There was a lot of back and forth about who would die and who would survive to the end.

That said, there were a couple of people who have survived in the first draft that may not in the final draft. The point is that some of their deaths have to mean something, and some of them need to die on the page for that to happen. The author who coined the phrase 'killing your darlings', William Faulkner, was very much right. Not every character will make it to the end of the story. In some genres that's less of a risk than in others, but in the crime genre, it's a big risk. When going out and fighting crime, tracking suspects and putting yourself in the firing line, there are bound to be some close calls, and there are bound to be some more than close calls. It's something of a necessity that eventually someone who's used all nine of their lives ends up paying the ultimate price. This can be tricking if you write in first person like I do, but I found ways around it.

My top tips are basically this: Is the death necessary? Will it further the plot? Will it not happening degrade the story? If you've answered any of these with a yes, then you need to seriously think about killing that character. I've talked about killing characters before (found here) and in that time have explored a whole new genre that has given me a different perspective on the matter. In writing the Lights Off trilogy, I learnt more and more about what a necessary death was to keep the story moving and the story believable.

So those are the three questions I now ask myself. If I can say no to any of them, I'll look again at what can be done. But sometimes the time comes for you to let the chop happen and allow your character to die a peaceful (or not) death.

What are your thoughts on killing characters? Have you ever done it? Do you have tips for people? Leave 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, 19 January 2018

Review of No Time for Rules - Fleur Lind & Lloyd Hopkins

Since the day a poster with time-travelling powers was spotted on a window by residents and staff at Carrisbrook Estate Rest Home, life has never been the same. With the PTM (Personal Time Machine) their travels are only limited by their imagination. Sophia is the zesty, new South American-born CEO/manager with a passion for Salsa dancing and all things spicy. Add to the mix Kwasi, a troubled but brutally handsome young West African from Liberia and some restless, blood-thirsty rebels from his past. To top things off, add the unexpected arrival of the feline kind who unearths a mystery long forgotten.

Intrigue, laugh-out-loud humour, drama, steamy sex and gentle romance...it's all just another day at the office for the rule breaking, rebellious 'locals' at Carrisbrook Estate Rest Home.

My Review:  5 stars
Having read the first in the series, I wanted to pick up this one to see where life went for the Carrisbrook residents and what new adventures were in store. I enjoyed this book so much more than the first. It was engaging and fun, there were plot twists and sub-plots that made it a fun read. I enjoyed revisiting the residents from the first book and felt the book overall was better and more fun! Will be picking up the third when it's released!

You can follow Fleur 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

Thursday, 18 January 2018

From Joey's Instagram


And the vlog is up! This week I'm talking about my questions from you guys! You can find it here: http://www.youtube.com/JoeyPaulOnline #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #authortuber #writingvlog #vlogger #writingtips #authortube #lovemyjob #ilovewriting #igauthors #igwriters

Questions From Readers - January 2018 [CC]


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Monday, 15 January 2018

Spoonie Writer: How Much Is Too Much?


SPOONIE WRITER: HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?

In my last Spoonie Writer piece (found here) I greeted everyone with the new year and listed my goals writing wise for 2018. Since then I've realised that I've never really talked about pacing yourself when it comes to both goals and the work load. Oh I've talked about saying no (found here) and I'm talked in other pieces about juggling the workload itself (here, here, and here). But if you're, like me, a spoonie who's also a writer, then you have to be thinking: when do I say enough is enough and realise I can't do that much? It's one thing to be realistic, but completely another to know when it's time to pull back and rethink matters.

As I've talked about before many many times, I'm a very organised person, and in being that organised I'm able to get things on track. I'm also someone who couldn't work a normal 9 to 5 job because there are days, like the remainder of 2017 after Christmas, when I'm just not well enough to get much or anything done. I've been chronically ill for over a decade now, coming up to almost two and one thing I have learned is that I have completely different limits than someone who's not chronically ill. I've also learned that I expect a lot from myself and that sometimes I go too far Sometimes I set the bar a little too high and then struggle to achieve my goals.

I'm not talking about not managing it, I'm talking about not being able to manage it. As in, even with all the time in the world, it's just not going to happen. It's taken me a long time to be okay with the limits my physical and mental health place on me, my writing career and the time I spend doing other things. I know it's a grieving process and I know that it effects everyone differently. For me, it was about both letting go of my childhood dreams, and making new ones, and also adjusting to being on a downward spiral health wise. Oh I don't mean that I don't have good days and bad, I very much do, but in the grand scheme of things, I'm not likely to ever get completely better. Not with any of my conditions, they are lifelong and chronic. That's just how it works.

So where do you draw the line? Where do you, as someone who wants to write and wants to be published and wants to proudly bear the title: author. How do you know when you're pushing yourself to unreachable limits? I'm a big believer in not setting yourself up to fail, but I'm also someone who likes to push the boundaries just a little. Either to check they're still there and solid, and also to see if I can find a way around them. I've been doing that my whole life and I don't plan to stop now. So the answer, for me at least, is not to lower my expectations completely, but to manage them along with my conditions. A good friend once told me that it takes a long as it takes. I wrote about it once, (found here) and it's something that has stuck with me throughout my writing path.

I'm not going to advocate for you to push yourself to breaking point and then spend days, if not weeks, sick and flaring. That's not what I'm saying. But I am going to say that as you adjust to life as a spoonie, as someone who's chronically ill, if there is an adjustment period that is, you need to learn what you can and can't do. There's a lot of talk of pacing in my circle of doctors and such, and there is merit with that. If you know what your body can handle, then you can adjust and work with it rather than against it. That said, if you're like me, you're going to want to push those boundaries every so often just to check. There's nothing wrong with that, you just need to be prepared for them to smack you in the face and send you to flare central.

You are the only one who knows your body the best. You'll hear from doctors and friends, relatives and other medical personnel. You'll get advice from them and sometimes from strangers, well-meaning or otherwise. But at the end of it all, you are the only one who knows how you're feeling and therefore you're the best judge of what you can and can't manage. When setting goals, when deciding to write or not, just remember to listen to your body and listen to those warning signs and work with them. It's so much easier for me to be as productive as I am now that I listen to what my body is saying, and I plot out the time I can spend writing. Generally I work half days. My doctor is happy with that and feels that it's better for me to do that small half day than push through a full day and then spend four of them recovering.

So to answer the question: How much is too much? Only you know the answer. I know for myself, but I'm me and you're you. Work with your limits and if you wanna check the boundary every so often, there's nothing wrong with that.

Let me know in the comments below how you can tell when you've pushed too far and how you cope with it? I'd love to hear from you all!

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, 13 January 2018

From Joey's Instagram


It's Saturday and I still got that chapter to write. It's also the day after Mepo and I feel horrible but I'm getting work done! I am on a Jonah chapter of #Invisible and loving where this story is going! ✒✒✒⌨πŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ’œ #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #writersofinstagram #writerslife #amwriting #booksinprogress #igwriters #igauthors

Friday, 12 January 2018

Interview with Tracie Podger


I am delighted to be welcoming Tracie Podger back to my blog for an interview. I met Tracie at #Darker2017 as she was also one of the attending authors and loved getting to know her. Here's a little about her.

Tracie Podger currently lives in Kent, UK with her husband and a rather obnoxious cat called George. She’s a Padi Scuba Diving Instructor with a passion for writing. Tracie has been fortunate to have dived some of the wonderful oceans of the world where she can indulge in another hobby, underwater photography. She likes getting up close and personal with sharks.

And onto the interview!

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for about eight or nine years now. I’ve been published since 2012.

Do you write in the genre you love to read?
I do, I think it’s important to read the genre you write in. It’s a way to follow trends, see what works and what you feel doesn’t. I’m fortunate that I read many genres and, consequently, write many genres!

Do you have any favourite authors to read?
My tastes change from month to month, and since I don’t get as much time to read as I’d like, I tend to favour indie authors over traditional at the moment. I can’t say that I have a favourite author although I very much admire Colleen Hoover simply for her fun, crazy mind and her ability to stay humble.

Are you an organised writer or not?
Very. I don’t plot my romances; I do with my thrillers because they can be a little more complicated. However, I’m disciplined and structured. I set myself time limits or word counts to meet with each writing session.

What's your idea of a perfect writing day?
No interruptions and Earl Grey Tea on tap!

Do you like editing or is it something you loathe?
I love editing. I’m fortunate to have a wonderful team supporting me and we work very much together to perfect each book. I read my work in as many different formats as possible, printed on paper, ebook, on the laptop, and I think just that keeps the story fresh.

What's your favourite social media? And why?
Oh, I’m on Facebook way more than I should be but I really do like Instagram.

Do you do character profiles? If so, why/why not?
Not necessarily. If I have multiple characters, I might do a family tree to see how they are connected/related. I see each character in my head and I write what I see. That image will stay consistent throughout my writing process. There are times when I wish I did, though. If there has been a little time between books that are in a series or connected, it would save me a lot of time when I need to remember hair colour!

How would you describe your writing process?
As I said, I see my stories in my mind, they play out like a movie. I start to write and then I really just let the story go where the story wants to go. Free styling, I call it! It’s not that I’m a ‘pantsa’ because I know the end way before I’ve got there, but I like the story to organically develop instead of following a structure.

Do you prefer ebooks or paperbacks? Why?
I prefer the convenience of ebooks and as I’ve got a little older, I prefer the fact I have multiple books on a single device that is easier to hold. But nothing can beat a shelf full of paperbacks.

How do you plan a book launch?
I start to plan months in advance. I line up the team in the first instance so we all know what deadlines we have to meet. We start with a release date after I’ve written the first draft, and work backwards from that. I’ll plan a cover reveal, organise a tour, prep the review team. Promotion will start pretty much as soon as we have teasers made and a pre-order link.

Do you have a favourite writing food? Drink?
Anything chocolate! I drink way too much tea and I like to celebrate a release with a large bag of Maltesers!

What's your favourite idea of a cozy afternoon?
Either writing or reading, no TV or noise, just curled up on the sofa.

How often do you write? Do you have a schedule?
It used to be every day but I probably spend three to four days a week writing, the rest is admin. 

You can follow Tracie on Facebook, Twitter and check out 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, 11 January 2018

From Joey's Instagram


Vlog is up! It's that time of the month where I tell you what I've been up to in the past month! Check it out at: http://www.youtube.com/JoeyPaulOnline #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #writersofinstagram #writerslife #amwriting #authortuber #writingvlog #vlogger #writingtips #authortube

Life Of Joey - January 2018 [CC]



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Wednesday, 10 January 2018

From Joey's Instagram


#Repost @obsessedbybooksblog (@get_repost) ・・・ *´¨✫) ¸.•´¸.•*´¨)✯ ¸.•*¨) ✮ (¸.•´✶ (¸.•` ✏️ ✏️✏️New Release: Book Quotes Colouring Book ✏️✏️✏️ *´¨✫) ¸.•´¸.•*´¨)✯ ¸.•*¨)✮ (¸.•´✶ (¸.•` #BookQuotesColouringBook #ObsessedByBooksDesigns #ReleaseBlitz @obsessiveppromo @OBBDesigns Goodreads: http://ift.tt/2EfSMRa Blurb 52 pages of adult colouring. Hours of entertainment, colour in the pages of various book quotes from some of the most fantastic books. Intricate patterns to test your ability to colour inside the lines. £2 from every sale will go to The MacMillian Nurses Created by Maria Lazarou @Obsessed by Books Designs List Of Authors T.L Wainwright,/JF Holland/Em Taylor/Renea Porter/KL Humphreys/Joey paul/Emily Cyr/Jennah Thornhill/Claire Colley/Katarena Parish/Brittney Coon/Liv Honeywell/Gabbie S. Duran/Laura Morgan/Ashleigh Giannoccaro /Jessa Ely/S. Ann Cole/Beth Mikell/S. Ann Cole/Joz Maxel/Bri Stone/Mya O’Malley/Bea Paige/Rebecca Hunter/KD Robichaux/Lily Luchesi Jack Ladd/Maggie Adams/Crystal Miller/M.E.Giguere/C. M. Johnson/Elle Ward /Martin Tracey/M.J. Schiller/Isobelle Cate/Sienna Grant/M.L. Kacy Purchase Link: Universal Link: http://ift.tt/2F73LNZ Trailer: https://youtu.be/dUA7-6ZBnaE

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

From Joey's Instagram


Miss Penne is snuggling under the Toby tree and lights off because I'm done for the day! #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #writersofinstagram #writerslife #amwriting #catsofinstagram #kitty #snuggles #pastacats #MissPenne

Monday, 8 January 2018

Reading And Writing - The Creative Process


READING AND WRITING

With the new year starting, and having read over 170 books last year, I thought it would be a good idea to talk not just about writing in this piece, but about how the process of being a reader can actually help you as a writer. I have a vlog planned on this topic in February, but I wanted to start the new year right and give you some tips about reading that won't be covered in the vlog.

First I thought I would give you a little background on me as a reader. I have always been someone who loved losing themselves in books. That all kinda changed when I got sick, started uni and fell into a bit of a reading slump. Oh I'd still read, just not to the levels I did before and do now. When I got my Kindle in 2010, that's when things really changed for me because suddenly I had access to books. All these books that had been out of my reach and I could read and read and read. As I finished my degree and starting writing more often, I fell into a pattern of reading even more. Now I generally read between 150-170 books a year and I couldn't be happier with my reading life.

For my birthday, my mum got me a brand new Kindle as my old one was a bit heavier and starting to become a little obsolete. I couldn't have been happier for this gift and I started the new year with a bunch of books already at my fingertips. So how does being a writer and a reader intertwine? You'd think it was something most writers do, reading helps fire up the synapses and also gives you a glimpse into other worlds. As a writer, it's something I feel is a big part of being able to write as well as I do.

But what happens when it comes to deciding how to spend your time? I mean some people don't have time to read and read. They've got a day job, or kids, or the only spare time they have is spent writing, and can I really blame them for that? Being an indie author is a full time job, hell being an author of any branch is a full time job. On top of your own works and commitments, you need to find time to delve into other works of fiction. It's a really important part, for me, and for other writers and authors I know, of the writing and creative process.

So here's five ways you can read and still juggle the other time constraints in your life.

#1 - AUDIOBOOKS COUNT
A lot of people don't seem to realise that audio books do count as reading. Yes, you're listening but you're still reading. These can be done in the car, or on your phone and all the rest. You can spend some of your busy time listening to books. I know Amazon has a good platform with Audible and I know that there aren't as many audiobooks out there as I'd like, but they can be a great way to get some reading done while doing other things.

#2- TAKE A CHAPTER BEFORE BED.
I do a lot of my reading at night before bed, or when I'm having an off day. The Kindle has made that so amazing for me because I don't have to worry about having the strength to hold the book. It doesn't matter if all you do is read one chapter or two, it's still reading and you'd be amazed at how good it feels to lose yourself for a bit in a book.

#3 - ANYWHERE YOU HAVE TO WAIT: READ
I don't know how much this applies to other people, but for me, I take my Kindle everywhere. Hospital appointment? Read while I wait. When I used to do the school run? Read while I wait for pick up. The list goes on and on. It doesn't have to be much, but you'd be amazed at how that time stacks up and before you know it, you've finished the book and are onto the next one.

#4 - DON'T BE PUT OFF BY LARGE NUMBERS
This one is simply that there are some people who read way more than me, some who read way less. I'm not saying that you should read 150 books in a year. I don't live your life, so the amount for you is whatever you want it to be. I see some of my friends on Goodreads set it as ten in a year, and that still counts. Any number counts. So don't be put off by everyone else talking about how many they've read. You don't live their lives and they don't live yours.

And finally, #5 - READ WHAT'S FUN
I know that a lot of people sometimes feel like that have to read certain books, even if they don't appeal to them. That's just not true. I don't read any book that I don't think I'll enjoy, and if I get into it and hate it? I don't finish it. Life is too short to be forcing yourself to read books you hate. Find what books you wanna read and read those. It doesn't matter what genre, fiction or not, just find something that you know you'll enjoy and read to your hearts content!

So those are my five tips for reading with a busy life. I plan to aim for another 150 in 2018. I hope you'll join me in the Goodreads challenge and remember point four! Now, I need to go and lose myself in a book! Let me know if you have any tips in the comments!

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Sunday, 7 January 2018

From Joey's Instagram


And a pretty picture of #MissViolet with the Toby tree! Back to work! #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #writersofinstagram #writerslife #amwriting #kitty #snuggles #catsofinstagram

Saturday, 6 January 2018

From Joey's Instagram


Happy birthday to me! I got a lovely kindle fire from my mum. Exploding kittens card game from @apollostowel a Sherlock comic from @sushigal007 and a baymax you from miss D. My dad got me an awesome wheelchair backpack! #birthdaygirl #birthday #joeyturns36 #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #writersofinstagram #writerslife #authorslife #presents!

Friday, 5 January 2018

Interview with Madeline Dyer & Review of A Dangerous Game


I am delighted to be joined by Madeline Dyer today on the blog for an interview and my review of her book - Untamed. Here's a little about Madeline.

MADELINE DYER lives on a farm in the southwest of England, where she hangs out with her Shetland ponies and writes young adult books—sometimes, at the same time. She holds a BA Honors degree in English from the University of Exeter, and several presses have published her fiction. Madeline has a strong love for anything dystopian, ghostly, or paranormal, and she can frequently be found exploring wild places. At least one notebook is known to follow her wherever she goes. Her debut novel, Untamed (first published by Prizm Books in 2015), examines a world in which anyone who has negative emotions is hunted down, and a culture where addiction is encouraged. Her second novel, Fragmented, released in September 2016 was followed by Divided in July 2017. She is represented by Nikki Terpilowski at Holloway Literary.

And onto the interview!

How long have you been writing?
It sounds a little clichΓ©d, but I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I remember one day at school, when I was about eight or nine, we had to write a ‘book’. We were given one hour to write it and one hour to type it up in, and I was so excited. But, when I began typing mine up, I started changing bits and adding new pages as I thought of new things that would make it more exciting than the version I’d written in the previous hour. My teacher wasn’t too impressed as it meant I never finished typing my story up in the allotted hour, but I was happier with the result! 

I’ve been writing professionally for the last six years.

Do you write in the genre you love to read?
Absolutely!

Do you have any favourite authors to read?
Yes! Paula Hawkins, Holly Bourne, Jean M. Auel, Richelle Mead, and J.V. Jones are all favourites!

Are you an organised writer or not?
Ha, it depends! With some manuscripts, I’m really organised and do loads of research and neatly colour-code it all in folders. Other manuscripts? Not so much! It really depends on the type of story I’m writing.

In general though, I do try to be really organised as it certainly helps me later (and I have lost/misplaced several chapters before due to not being organised!).

Do you like editing or is it something you loathe?
I really love editing! For me, the first draft is just about getting the words down on the page and beginning to know who the characters are and what the story is. But the subsequent drafts and all the editorial stages are really where I understand my characters and the shape of my story.

It’s very rewarding to take a messy first draft and edit it into something that’s cohesive and makes sense.

How would you describe your writing process?
In general, I write my first drafts very quickly! This tends to be because when I’m drafting I really immerse myself in the book’s world and almost everything revolves around it… So, I typically write a 100,000 word first draft of a manuscript in 1-2 months.

After that, I let it rest for 2-4 months (in which I’m either editing a previous first draft or writing something new). When I go back to the manuscript, the first thing I do is read through the whole thing and note down the things that do and don’t work, and any ideas I have for huge revisions. And then it’s time to tackle the editing.

I start with the bigger stuff first—things like changing a character’s motivation or their goal, cutting out whole chunks of the plot and writing new chapters, checking that the ‘shape’ of the plot works, examining other characters’ motives and how they impact on the main character. That sort of thing. (As well as doing thorough characterization work.) This typically takes me around 3-4 months.

Once I’m happy with the shape of the manuscript, I then look more closely at the pacing and tension levels of different scenes and work on those areas, doing a really detailed edit. After this, I do a quick edit for imagery and the quality of the writing, before sending the manuscript off to my critique partners and beta-readers. Such a valuable step! Once they’ve had a chance to read the manuscript and have provided me with feedback, I do another big revision based on their thoughts and any areas they identify as problematic.

Sometimes I’ll use two or more rounds of beta-readers, but usually by this stage I’m pretty happy with the manuscript as a whole, and then I do a grammar edit myself. (But this won’t be the published version, as I’ll still work with in-house editors and my agent if it’s one of my manuscripts for the traditional publication route, or if it’s one of my indie releases then I’ll hire an editor for developmental, line, and copy edits). 

Do you prefer ebooks or paperbacks? Why?
Definitely paperbacks! There’s just something about holding a book in your hands…

How do you plan a book launch?
What a great question!

So, for my most recent book, A Dangerous Game, I drew up a launch plan schedule (starting two months before the release), detailing the dates I’d be sending ARCs out to reviewers, revealing the cover, the back cover copy, and an excerpt. I then set about scheduling interviews, newsletter mentions, and blog posts for the week around the release and talked to my ARC team about any ideas they had for drumming up book buzz.

Giveaways are a big one for creating buzz about a release, so I also scheduled a Goodreads giveaway and ordered a few pieces of promotional swag pieces to giveaway during the release.

How often do you write? Do you have a schedule?
I write/edit/plan every day! I’ve found I do my best writing early in the morning, so I typically start writing as soon as I get up and continue for as long as I can. Afternoons tend to be for doing the admin (such as planning releases, marketing efforts, answering interviews) and interacting with readers.

LOVE WAS NEVER SUPPOSED TO BE EASY.

All her life, Keelie Lin-Sykes has known what she wants: to protect her brother and sisters by killing as many of the soulless Enhanced Ones as she can. Oh, and to have fun while she's doing it. After all, hiding in a secret Untamed community, while the group's Seer warns them of danger, shouldn't mean that life can only be serious, right?

But, when a face from her past suddenly--and secretly--shows up, Keelie's catapulted back into the very world she's been trying to escape from for the last ten years: a world full of guilt, lies, and...love. And the deeper Keelie gets into this world, the bigger the risks become.

Now, Keelie must deceive those she values most in order to protect them, even though her actions will destroy everything she knows and haunt her family forever. But she can't ignore her feelings--not again. And Keelie will do anything to be with the man she loves.

My review: 5 stars
I have read all the others in this series, and was excited to pick this one up. Set before the first book, it was an interesting point of view, and I instantly fell in love with the characters. I was caught up in the intrigue and mystery of what was going on. I loved Keelie, and I loved watching her fight for what she thought was right, even when everyone else around her was saying different. The blows kept coming and she kept getting up and moving on. Amazing book, and really really enjoyed it!

You can follow Madeline on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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