Friday, 30 March 2018

Interview with Michael Evans & Review of Control Freakz


I am delighted to be welcoming Michael Evans to the blog for both an interview and my review of his book - Control Freakz. Here's a little about Michael.

Michael Evans is the author of the novel Control Freakz, a Young Adult Post-Apocalyptic Thriller, and the forthcoming novel entitled Delusional. He is currently attending high school in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, but he is originally from Long Island, New York. Some of his hobbies include hiking, running, camping, going to the beach, watching and taking artsy pictures of sunsets (it’s honestly a very enlightening activity to partake in), and walking his ginormous, fluffy golden doodle underneath the stars. He is also fascinated with the environment and neuroscience, and his true passion is learning about how the wonders of the human mind and the environment we live in will change with time. The future, specifically his goal of helping to impact the future of humanity positively is what drives him to tell stories. Writing is something that is instinctive to him, and he seeks to express his thoughts on his own life and the world to inspire others to use the power in the voice they have to advocate for positive changes in their own lives and the world we all live in.

Onto the interview!

 How long have you been writing?
Since I could read! It was almost instinctual for me to write as soon as I was able to understand words, and I imagine before that I was stringing stories together in my head. However, I didn’t begin writing seriously until I was 13, when I wrote my first novel. I have since re-written and published it, and am currently working on getting my second book entitled Delusional published, and finishing up writing the first draft of my third book entitled Triggered.

Do you write in the genre you love to read?
Yes! I love speculative fiction, and

Do you have any favourite authors to read?
John Green is certainly my favorite writer for his unbelievably, descriptive talents. However, I love the world-building and plot in the novels of both Veronica Roth and Alexandra Bracken, and Stephen King is certainly my favorite author to read when looking for something that will make my head spin.

Are you an organised writer or not?
That depends on who you are talking to! I would say I’m pretty organised, in the sense that the ideas in my head are always communicated well on paper, however, at points, especially when I’m developing the plot of my novel, all the thoughts in my brain can get jumbled up and I usually have to stop and write them all down.

What's your idea of a perfect writing day?
I would be at the beach (preferably some place tropical), and instead of having a computer I would have a pen and rustic journal in hand. I would spend the entire day writing next to the soft waves of the ocean, while of course taking a break to go in it, and I would be able to see the gorgeous, ineffable sunset as the words flowed out of my mind like the crisp, breeze in the air.

Do you like editing or is it something you loathe?
I hate editing! It’s my least favorite part about writing. I know that it’s necessary, however by the time I’m done writing one novel my mind is already wrapped up in the next!

What's your favourite social media? And why?
I like Instagram because it's the best platform to showcase my pictures of sunset, which I’m very fond of.

How would you describe your writing process?
First I think of a theme I want to convey, then an overarching concept that can portray it in an effective and entertaining way. After this, thoughts about the plot and characters begin to pop into my head and I will write them all down for a couple weeks. After I have written a rough outline of the personalities of the characters and have a beginning plotpoint for my novel I begin to write and see where the story takes me! Usually it takes me anywhere between 4-6 months to write the first draft of a novel! After this, I do a round of editing and revision and take a break (usually to write the first draft of another novel). Then, after a couple months have passed I usually revisit the manuscript of the novel and edit and revise it again before sending it off to an editor.

How often do you write? Do you have a schedule?
I try to write for an hour everyday, however sometimes that gets messed up. I try to write every single day in the library after school, and then I try to find some time on the weekends but with life it certainly gets tough.

Alone. Abandoned. Threatened. Natalie has lost all hope for a better future. Everything she’s known and everyone she’s ever loved is gone, and it’s up to her to get her old life back. In Michael Evans’s first novel, Control Freakz, Natalie’s journey toward a better life begins.

When Protocol 00 is enacted, Natalie’s family is taken by the government, along with the families of her two best friends, Ethan and Hunter. With nothing to lose, and the threat of government hitmen kidnapping them at any moment, the three must battle to survive in a horrid, post-apocalyptic world run by President Ash and his invasive government. They want answers. And they’re willing to jeopardize everything in desperate pursuit.

Risking ruthless leaders, attempted mind control, and her very existence on the planet, Natalie, along with Hunter and Ethan, will stop at nothing in their quest to regain everything they’ve ever known. Her spirits crushed and her will to live destroyed, Natalie knows everything is dead and gone, and soon she will be, too.

Memories connect us to the past, and can often cause us to long for a better future, but they can drive our minds into a state of hell if a better future is unattainable. Nevertheless, Natalie’s hope for a better a future remains.

My Review: 3.5 stars
I started this book excited about the prospect of the story. The synopsis grabbed me and knowing it'd been written by a teen also made me excited about the story. As I read it, I enjoyed the basis of the story, the drama and the action, but I felt there were a number of things missing. In some places the plot was on point, heavy and pulling you into the story, like the beginning of the story and their journey to safety. At other points it felt like there should be more to it, like when the book skipped three years with no notice and no indication of why or what had happened. Overall, it was an enjoyable book, and you can definitely see the promise that the author has. You can also not help, but grow attached to the characters as they go on their journey. However, it was not a favourite read and there were times when I felt certain points were repeated too much. But, I will be reading the sequel and I did enjoy the book!

You can follow Michael on Instagram, Facebook, Goodreads 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, 29 March 2018

From Joey's Instagram


And the vlog is live! This week I'm talking about the grammar police and all that goes with it! Find it here: http://www.youtube.com/JoeyPaulOnline #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #authortuber #writingvlog #vlogger #writingtips #authortube #lovemyjob #ilovewriting #igwriters #igauthors

Grammar Police [CC]


PRE-ORDER DYING THOUGHTS - SIXTH CHANGE: www.books2read.com/DTSC
ARC FOR DTSC: https://goo.gl/forms/TnV86uJePs05rCjy2
THE BOOK ROBIN HOODS: https://therobinhoods.wixsite.com/thebookrobinhoods
TICKETS FOR #SHENANIGANS2018: http://bit.ly/2yc8CN9
TICKETS FOR #BLISS2018: http://bit.ly/2yGorwr
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GOODREADS: http://bit.ly/1UcS61E



Tuesday, 27 March 2018

From Joey's Instagram


#TEASERTUESDAY With the sixth book out May 16th why not catch up with Tara's story. Will Tara gain a friend or an enemy! You can buy it here: www.books2read.com/DTSS πŸ“šπŸ“š #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #readersofinstagram #amreading #books #youngadultbooks #paranormalbooks #mysterybooks #bookworm #bookboost

Monday, 26 March 2018

Making A Plan - The Creative Process

MAKING A PLAN
This has been a piece that I've thought about writing for a very long time. As you will all know, I'm a hybrid, which I talk about here. That said, I do some planning, and I've been asked numerous times if I could share what I put into my plans. So I thought I would break it down for you here, while also letting you know that I have a vlog planned that will go over my personal writing process in the coming weeks.

Firstly, I wanna say that I don't use a particular method. I know there are several out there that a lot of planners use and it works for them, great. I just do what I've always done, with a few added tweaks along the way that I've picked up from basically writing. I've been writing for over seventeen years now and have been published for almost thirteen years. In that time I have tried various different ways to plan my books, some of them worked, others not so much. But I will say that what I do works for me, and that's basically all it's supposed to do. If you find that you can borrow from my own ideas, that's cool, but if it doesn't work for you, that doesn't mean you're doing it wrong. Every process is different.

#1 - THOUGHT-DUMP
To begin with, when I have an idea, I'll open up a notepad on the computer and just let it all pour out onto the screen. I don't put it in any kind of order, I just type and type until I have nothing more to say. When I save it, I'll usually spend the next few weeks adding bits and pieces to it to allow the idea to peculate a little and grow from that first spark into something I can write.

#2 - CHAPTER PLAN
This is where the planning of my hybrid routes comes in. And it is minimal. I basically open a word doc and write one sentence, or one word for what happens in each chapter. Alongside that I'll say what day of the week it is, checking off once a full seven days has passed and so on. I don't always go into detail and will sometimes use short hand rather than a lengthy explanation. With that done, I'll print it and the thought-dump file out and staple them together. This is going to be the document that I go back to whenever I write.

#3 - CHARACTERS
I used to list my characters in the chapter plan bundle, but after a few incidents with tea and liquids making the ink run I swapped to character note cards. This made my life SO much easier, though it got to the point with the Dying Thoughts series that I had to have a small box to keep them all in. I don't usually separate in any order other than the main characters being near the front and the things like school timetables or teachers, being right at the back so that I can quickly find them when I need to. If there are dual POVs then I'll make sure I separate by whoever is linked to which POV. Other than that, it's basically every character ever gets a note-card with a physical description, a job if they have one, and their role in the story. I start with a small cast and that grows as I tell the story itself.

#4 - WRITE THE DAMN BOOK
And that's it basically. Once I have my thought-dump done, my chapter plan finalised and my characters created I'm ready to start writing. So that's what I do!

People have asked if I ever get writer's block and I do, but not to the point where I feel like I need to outline more. I know that there are plenty of people who just get an idea and boom, they're off, but I find doing it my way works for me. It allows me to spend some time creating before I get into the meaty chunks of story writing. I also don't have issues when it comes to the editing with the story going off on tangents. It works for me and that's great!

So what does your planning stage look like? Are you a plotter? A pantser? Or are you, like me, a hybrid? 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.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Review of Divided by Madeline Dyer

EXPLOITATION. MANIPULATION. DESPERATION.

Having been tricked into binding herself to the Enhanced Ones in the War of Humanity, Untamed human Seven Sarr has never felt more exploited or used. When Raleigh forces her to develop her Seer powers and use them on a most innocent target, Seven knows it's only a matter of time before the Enhanced Ones use her to wipe out the rest of her people.

Certain that the only way to save the Untamed would be to get back full control of her soul, Seven must get the Gods and Goddesses to trust her again. Only they can destroy her Enhanced Promise Marks and prevent her enemy from controlling her.

But these are the same Gods and Goddesses who have already branded Seven a traitor and exiled her from the Dream Land, fearing she will cause their deaths. With no way to contact the Gods and Goddesses herself, Seven needs help. And she needs it quickly, before the war is over and she loses Corin, and the rest of the Untamed, for good.

Yet, in a world as dangerous as this, only one thing's for sure: no one trusts a traitor twice.
My review: 5 stars
I was so glad to be able to dig into this one straight away and not have to wait for a release. The end of book two was amazing and this one started just as brilliantly. It was a wonderful story, with excellent craft. Seven tricked into binding her soul to Raleigh and it all looks bleak. I found it so hard to put down every night to sleep, and rushed through to the end. I felt like I have been on the same journey with Seven and this book did not disappoint. It was enthralling and just plain good! Loved it and will be happily looking for the next in the series when it comes out. Highly 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, 22 March 2018

From Joey's Instagram


I am at 75% catpacity on my office windowsill. Still got some work to do! 😺😺😺✒✒✒ #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #kitty #snuggles #catsofinstagram #pastacats #MissPenne #MissViolet #MrDash

From Joey's Instagram


And it's Tara day! Check out the vlog for 44 facts about Tara! You can find it here: http://www.youtube.com/JoeyPaulOnline #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #authortuber #writingvlog #vlogger #writingtips #authortube #lovemyjob #ilovewriting #igwriters #igauthors #igreaders

44 Facts About Tara [CC]


PRE-ORDER DYING THOUGHTS - SIXTH CHANGE: www.books2read.com/DTSC
ARC FOR DTSC: https://goo.gl/forms/TnV86uJePs05rCjy2
THE BOOK ROBIN HOODS: https://therobinhoods.wixsite.com/thebookrobinhoods
 TICKETS FOR #SHENANIGANS2018: http://bit.ly/2yc8CN9
TICKETS FOR #BLISS2018: http://bit.ly/2yGorwr

BUY MY BOOKS ON AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1VhLHog
SIGN UP TO MY MAILING LIST: http://bit.ly/2B0Z3hM
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GOODREADS: http://bit.ly/1UcS61E

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

From Joey's Instagram


#TEASERTUESDAY Can Tara help save her friends before he strikes again? 😨😨😨 Pre-order here: www.books2read.com/DTSC #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #bookaddict #bookworm #amreading #readersofinstagram #dyingthoughts #youngadultbooks #paranormalbooks #mysterybooks

Monday, 19 March 2018

From Joey's Instagram


I has a #MissPenne on her box keeping me company in my office today! Back to writing with melting snow outside! 😻😻✒✒✒ #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #kitty #snuggles #catsofinstagram #pastacats

Work Environment - The Creative Process


WORK ENVIRONMENTS

I don't think I've talked about this any time recently, but while reading a post on tumblr, I thought about approaching the subject here. I have two places where I write - my desk in my office, or my bed-desk in my bedroom. The photo at the top of this post is the former. I've had this set up since we moved into this place back in 2009. My desk was a birthday present from my mum in 2010 and I have to say it's freaking awesome! I have space and while it was initially used for my uni work, now that I'm a full-time writer, it's just perfect for me.

That I have an office at all is pure luck that anything. We used to live in a one-bedroom flat for a very long time until we were housed in this awesome place. Because I have a lift that goes from the ground floor up to my bedroom, it left a room that wasn't really going to be used for anything else, and hence became my office. When we moved, I never really thought about writing in it too much. I'd just started my degree and I was more focused on that than getting writing done. It was only as I got closer to finishing my degree, and started to get published again that I realised I needed an office. I have my filing cabinets and I have space for my chair and all my notes. It worked out the best way for me because now I have two spaces where I can write to my hearts content.

That said, I do know that a lot of writers go out and about for their work hours and that's completely fine too. I've written in hospital, in coffee shops, on trains and in the car. You gotta do whatever you can to make it work. But this piece isn't just me showing off my awesome space and desk, but also to give you some advice about what you should and shouldn't have in your writing space. It's gonna be another list people, brace yourselves!

#1 - COMFORTABLE SEATING
If, unlike me, you have to rely on office furniture to sit while you write, then it needs to be something that is comfortable. There's nothing more irritating than being sat down and it hurting your butt while you're in the middle of an awesome scene. That just leads to not getting the work done.

#2 - VOLUME CONTROL
I say it like this because I'm someone who can't write with music on, I try and I just can't. But I also know that a lot of writers are the opposite, they can't write in complete silence. So basically, depending on which one you are, make sure you have the right volume of background noise because it's hard to concentrate when you're distracted.

#3 - BEVERAGE OF CHOICE
I know the majority of people will ask why I didn't just put coffee, but here's a fun fact about me: I'm allergic to coffee. Makes me wheeze! So I'm a tea writer. It's gotten to the point where I can't write if I don't have a drink on hand. So wherever you are, make sure you have something to quench your thirst.

#4 - OUTLINE/NOTES/WHATEVER
This should be obvious, but it does depend on whether you're like me and a hybrid or a plotter or pantser. You gotta have the notes and tools to do your work with. If that means just characters notes or what not, that's cool. For me, it's my chapter plan, my writing log and characters notes. Without those, nothing is getting done.

#5 - LACK OF DISTRACTIONS
Now, again, for some people this isn't an issue. I'm one of them. I can pretty much multi-task with no issues. But for some people, having access to the internet and people to talk to is the recipe for not getting any work done. I have that from time-to-time when Miss D has a friend over or people are in and out of my office, tends to lead to me not actually writing because I hate the feeling of people seeing my work over my shoulder. Plus it's rude to lose yourself in your book when someone is trying to have a conversation with you.

So there we go, my five tips for your work environment. While it makes sense to be sure you have everything you need, other things I've not mentioned are more my personal choices, like access to wifi and disabled access, also plugs because there's nothing worse than trying to finish your book when the battery is at 5%! But what are your top five things for your work environment? Let me know in the comments!

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, 16 March 2018

Review of Awoken by Trish Beninato

Prophecy, destiny and a war that entangles two ancient gods…

Eighteen-year-old Jewel, reliving her memories finds herself suddenly thrust into the past living in the world of mortals. Only this life and this version of herself is different. Yet, one thing stays the same, she finds herself in the path of Anubis an Egyptian god. She needs him even though it could cost her everything. But Anubis just sees her as an annoying complication to his quiet life he just can’t have- at least that’s what he tells himself. Even as he is drawn to the beautiful, dangerous goddess.
With Jewel's impending activation and Zeus trying to find them, Jewel and Anubis find themselves needing each other more than they care to admit. Only someone is about to betray the other.

Can Jewel save all of humanity from her own family in time?

My review: 5 stars
I loved the first book, and I wasn't disappointed with the second. Throwing you into the story from where the first book left off, you're taken right back to the past with Jewel and led through the story of her finally meeting Anubis and the relationship that developed from there. It was beautifully told and great to see the back story of the characters we'd met in the first book. I enjoyed it immensely, and am now anxiously awaiting the third in the trilogy! Highly recommended!


You can follow Trish 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, 15 March 2018

From Joey's Instagram


And the cover reveal is here!! Check it out on the vlog at: http://www.youtube.com/JoeyPaulOnline πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“š #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #authortuber #writingvlog #vlogger #writingtips #authortube #lovemyjob #ilovewriting #igwriters #igauthors #coverreveal #DTSC

Cover Reveal: Dying Thoughts - Sixth Change [CC]


My thanks to Joel, Madalena, Gillon, Elena M., Philomena, Laura, Aailyah & Ladies Living In Bookland for help with the cover reveal. Their blogs are listed below:

JOEL: www.descendantofposeidonreads.wordpress.com
MADALENA: http://presa-nas-palavras.blogspot.pt/
GILLON: www.gillionreads.wordpress.com
ELENA M.: https://www.instagram.com/justmedaydreamer/
PHILOMENA: Https://www.facebook.com/cheekypeepimpsyourbooks/
AAILYAH: https://the-true-shadowmaster.tumblr.com/
LAURA: http://www.yabookdivas.com
LADIES LIVING IN BOOKLAND: https://www.facebook.com/staceyandsusanbookreviews/

AND thanks to Gifgrrl.com for the awesome cover reveal graphic!

PRE-ORDER DYING THOUGHTS - SIXTH CHANGE: www.books2read.com/DTSC
ARC FOR DTSC: https://goo.gl/forms/TnV86uJePs05rCjy2
THE BOOK ROBIN HOODS: https://therobinhoods.wixsite.com/thebookrobinhoods
TICKETS FOR #SHENANIGANS2018: http://bit.ly/2yc8CN9
TICKETS FOR #BLISS2018: http://bit.ly/2yGorwr
BUY MY BOOKS ON AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1VhLHog
SIGN UP TO MY MAILING LIST: http://bit.ly/2B0Z3hM
BLOG: http://www.joeypaulonline.com/
TUMBLR: http://authorjoeypaul.tumblr.com
FACEBOOK: http://facebook.com/JoeyPaulOnline
TWITTER: http://twitter.com/MsJoeyBug
INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/authorjoeypaul
GOODREADS: http://bit.ly/1UcS61E

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

From Joey's Instagram


#TEASERTUESDAY Tara's first boyfriend maybe? And the cover reveal is Thursday!! πŸ“šπŸ“šπŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰ #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #dyingthoughts #bookaddict #readersofinstagram #amreading #books #youngadultbooks #paranormalbooks #mysterybooks

Monday, 12 March 2018

From Joey's Instagram


It's really hard to write when you are a pillow for #MissViolet but now she's moved so onwards! 😻😻✒✒✒ #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #kitty #snuggles #catsofinstagram

Writing Speeds & You - The Creative Process


WRITING SPEEDS & YOU

I was inspired to write this piece by the lovely Bella Rose Pope, who's another author youtuber that I follow. She did a video on writing speeds (found here). One thing a ton of people said was, and Bella herself discussed in the video, that so many writers are told that they write too slowly. I wanted to do a piece on it because it's something I was bombarded with as a newbie writer all those years ago, and it's just not right.

Firstly, I will admit that I write fast. That said, I didn't always, and I don't write fast and sell my technique as anything other than something that works for me. I do not, and never will, tell any writer, newbie or otherwise that they need to have my output to be valid. That's not gonna happen in any time or place. My writing process is just that, mine, it's not yours, it's not gonna work for you because, surprise, you're not me. Every writer has their own process and anyone telling you that you should be writing a book in a short space of time is feeding you junk.

But I see them, I see the "how to write a novel in x time" - it's usually a week or thirty days. And I can't help but feel that that's just setting yourself up to fail. I can't write a novel in thirty days! No way! I'd have to skip sleep, food and all that other not optional stuff. On the other side of it, a novel written in thirty days is gonna be rushed to hell. You certainly can't write, edit and publish a novel in that time. It was something I was fed as a newbie writer and something I wanted to address. There are so many different ways to get your book written, but all of that takes time. And as I've said, it takes as long as it takes, and that's okay!

So many people seem to think that if you do something fast that makes it better, and it doesn't by a long shot. Writing takes time. Editing takes time. Formatting and covers take time. Plus we've not even broached the subject of promotional stuff, which, you guessed it, takes time! And rushing through the process helps no one. All it does is leave you stressed and worried about whether or not everything is going to come together. Writing should be fun. It's your passion, it's something you enjoy. You want your readers to look at your books and feel that enjoyment, and rushing through the process itself leaves room for a lot of mistakes.

I don't really know what started the whole writing in thirty days. I've read how-to books where the author has boasted about how they managed to churn out book after book after book. And it's impressive on some level, but also not sustainable. Eventually you're going to need to take a break, you're going to need time to breath and catch up with self-care. I know people think that you gotta keep releasing book after book to be successful, but that's just not true. Taking away from the traditional route, say you're going indie, even then I can name hundreds of successful authors who release once every couple of years. There's no time limit on creation, you gotta go at the speed that works for you. If you push yourself to breaking point, it's gonna mean time off and time away and possibly even burning you out of the job completely.

I know people think that you can hit publish, sit back, and wait for the money to just come rolling in. They think that to keep the cash flowing, you gotta keep writing, and while that's true to a point, it's not how publishing works. You have to produce quality work and that, you guessed it, takes time. It hurts my heart to think of people new to the writing world being sold lies and promises that just don't pan out. The bottom line is that writing a book is not some easy quick-rich scheme. It takes time and hard work. It takes input from not just yourself, but beta readers, editors, proofreaders, formatters and so on. All of that will take months, if not years to complete. And if you want to actually be successful, then you can not by any means skip a step.

I've been writing for over fifteen years, been published for coming up thirteen. It's a long path to go down, and to do it you gotta know your limits. When I talk of being organised and being motivated, I don't mean that someone should be following my process to the letter. I'm in a completely different situation to a lot of people, and what works for me may not work for you, and nor should it. You need to be working out what your process is. All the advice pieces in the world, all the tips and tricks that others use are all well and good, but you are the one who has to write the book. And whether that takes you six months to finish the first draft or if takes you six years, no one can tell you that's wrong. It takes as long as it takes, and that is more than okay.

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

Friday, 9 March 2018

From Joey's Instagram


And Mepo dose 6 done. Just waiting for port flush and then going home via McDonald's as their milkshakes help with the nausea. 😷😷🀒🀒 #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #selfie #oxygenuser #brittleasthma #chronicillness #spoonie #wheelchairuser #spoonielife

Interview with Setafni Deoul


I'm delighted to be joined by the lovely Stefani Deoul on the blog today for an interview! Here's a little about Stefani:

Stefani Deoul is the author of newly released YA Mystery ON A LARP the first book in the Sid Rubin Silicon Alley Adventures. Book Two is currently in the works. Stefani has written for numerous publications, including, Curve magazine, Outdoor Delaware and Letters from CAMP Rehoboth, penned both short stories and film and television treatments. As a television producer her resume includes TV series such as Haven for the SyFy Network, The Dead Zone and Brave New Girl, Dresden Files and Missing. Along with producing five seasons of Haven, based on the Stephen King story The Colorado Kid, Stefani finally succumbed to the allure of acting, “starring” as the off camera, and uncredited, radio dispatcher, Laverne.

And onto the interview!


How long have I been writing.
More or less, forever. I would say certainly since I could read. I remember making up stories in my head; honing in on my favorite (or favourite since this is appearing on the “other side of the pond”) characters to join some new adventure I was dreaming up. 

Do I write in the genre I love to read.
This is a yes and a no. I love to read, so I read everything that captures my attention, which includes a lot of non-fiction. But having said that, right now, I think YA is experiencing a vibrant, compelling heyday in genres all across the board. The Sid Rubin Silicon Alley Adventures, of which ON A LARP is the first book, is inspired by the joy I had growing up reading Nancy Drew (and watching Scooby Doo :)) and all those mystery series with groups of friends, and to now have the opportunity to not only contemporize, but diversify, into this expanding young adult market is exhilarating.

What is my idea of a perfect writing day.
One where the “people are chatting” and the words come so fast, my fingers can’t keep up, and I wind up scribbling side notes so I can get back to those later.

Do I like editing or is it something I loathe.
I actually kind of love editing. I think the lovely part of writing is only I have an opinion, which is great fun. But I think it’s also the achilles heel. And regardless of how brilliant I think something is, when other people flag it, it requires me to see it anew, and think through my reasoning or logic to determine where the merit of the note lies. It makes me better. And also, after the bubble of writing, it’s great fun to talk about the book in that one on one way, with someone whose sole job is to make my creation better. If you think about it - how great is that!

Do I do character profiles?
No. At least not formal ones. As I create characters, I have a definite sense of who they are on a certain level, but not beyond that. Part of the process for me is meeting them, and learning about them often in the way you would a friend, wow, I didn’t know you knew that… It’s a careful walk because people can’t willy nilly have a skill such as  speaking a foreign language because it’s suddenly helpful for plot, but it is fun to discover nuances of who they are as I move along. (And yes, I have gone back to the beginning to weave something in because I didn’t know they would know that until nine chapters in :))

What’s my favorite social media and why?
That’s tough. They all have aspects I like. But if I’m picking just one, I think I am going with Twitter. Because I can pick who I follow, it can keep me up to date with those people/topics and it forces me to condense my thinking, and not write a novel, when I want to respond :) And I am better able to get on and off quickly. FB for example is much more challenging for me once I’m on it. It’s the “black hole of my personal time management.” But without FB, there’s so many people I never would have gotten to know - you being one of them :) And Instagram let’s me just sit back, smile and enjoy. Argh!!! So mostly, ultimately, I think I am just grateful for their differences.

Ebooks or Paperbacks
Paperbacks. Although I have an e-reader and I use it … a lot. But there’s something about being able to “pet the cover” of a book, smell the pages, take it to the beach that I love. But having an e-reader also means I am always with a book, and that’s a different kind of really sweet too!

You can follow Stefani on her website, Twitter or Facebook. And you can find her on Amazon here.

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, 8 March 2018

From Joey's Instagram


This is why I've not finished my chapter. I am a bed for #MissViolet and that's final! #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #kitty #snuggles #catsofinstagram #wheelchairuser

From Joey's Instagram


And the vlog is live! We're talking about how busy I've been this past month! Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/JoeyPaulOnline #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #authortube #lovemyjob #ilovewriting #vlogger #writingtips #authortuber #writingvlog #igwriters #igauthors

Life Of Joey - March 2018 [CC]


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Wednesday, 7 March 2018

From Joey's Instagram


And with a new wheelchair last week now I have some decent wheeling gloves! They are super comfy and nice grip too! Gonna test them out properly on Friday which is Mepo dose 6! #wheelchairuser #wheelchairlife #spoonie #chronicillness #brittleasthma #chronicpain #fibromyalgia

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

From Joey's Instagram


And it's #TEASERTUESDAY again. Tara's story begins in First Touch. Check it out here: books2read.com/DTFT #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #dyingthoughts #DTFT #readersofinstagram #amreading #books #bookboost #bookworm #youngadultbooks #mysterybooks #paranormalbooks #igwriters #igauthors #igreaders

Monday, 5 March 2018

The Trials Of A Crime Writer: Serial Killers, Oh My!


SERIAL KILLERS, OH MY!

A few months back I did a piece on my pet peeves in fiction (found here) and one of the things I touched on was serial killers in crime fiction. I talked in that piece about how it felt so cliched because serial killers in real life are so very rare. However, I am a crime author, and I am someone who has used serial killers in my works. I got a lot of questions after I posted that piece with why I didn't realise that so much of crime fiction is based on lingering suspense and generally one body isn't enough. Which lead me to this piece because I think there are other ways to draw out the suspense than just killing a bunch of people.

Now, this is going to be based on my own work, because I don't wanna be that person who goes through and nitpicks other people's work when I don't know the books that well, or just didn't enjoy them myself. So I decided the best way to do things was to pick apart my own work. That way the only person to blame for the mistakes is me and no one is gonna write me angry emails!

In the Dying Thoughts series, Tara has a gift, which if you've read the books, allows her to see the last moments of someone's life when she touches something they used to own. In the full eight books, three of which won't be discussed in detail because spoilers, there are very few instances of someone going around killing lots of people. I won't go into detail too much because there are people who've not read the books and won't want to know the ending. But I did manage to draw out the suspense in numerous different ways without bringing a serial killer into every single book.

You may be thinking that's different because Tara, as a teen, and this being young adult, isn't really the basis of the investigations because she's not actually in the police force. That if I were writing adult fiction that was a police procedural then I'd have to do the serial killer route. And in some ways you'd be right. However, my lack of delight over serial killers themselves is that they feel like a trope and a cop out. It feels like there are so many different ways you can draw out the book without having bodies dropping left and right. Especially when you're writing a series, because while it's fiction, it's just not even within the realms of believability.

In Blackout, which is a psychological thriller, I was able to draw out the suspense. No serial killers needed, and yes again, it's young adult, but have you not yet clicked that's what I write? My biggest problem with the trope isn't just that it's overdone, but that it seems to be the basis of so many books that when reading crime fiction (which I do a lot of) your first thought is usually: oh it's a serial killer. In fact some books I've ready have even commented on fiction's overuse of them.

But, I hear you say, what does that matter? Fiction is fiction and shouldn't it just be about a good story? And yes, you're right, it should be about a good story. I'm not saying that I don't read, and enjoy, books where there is a serial killer in them. My point is that I'm starting to wonder if there isn't just a better way to go about it I feel like it's one of the options we, as crime writers, have, and it should be the one you keep in your pocket for emergencies. If you want to write it in a series, then you should be aware that it can really only be done once, depending on the length of your series. The Dying Thoughts series is eight books. I could not, and would not, have that be the plot more than once in that many books. It would be silly and overused.

And yes, tropes exist for a reason and for everyone who agrees with me, there will be a ton of people who don't. And that's okay. I've now written over twenty books, and in that time I have used a serial killer *stops to count* three times. I think in 20 books, with 18 of them have crime aspects to them, that's pretty good. It's just what? A quarter of my books? Looking at a long series such as the Alphabet series which is over 25 books long, I can't recall how many times Sue Grafton used a serial killer, and all the time the basis was on the crime, from Kinsey's (the PI) point of view. I know it wasn't more than a quarter, if that at all.

My point is basically that one of the things you learn in writing, is that tropes exist. Sometimes they're good ones to use, and other times they become so common place that people expect them. Like the dreaded love triangle, or the chosen one in dystopia fiction. As writers of any genre, we should be aware of them and working to write our stories as they happen. There's no way to write something and it have zero tropes, but the point is that you should try!

So what's your thoughts on serial killers? Like them? Hate them? Think people should write whatever they please? Let me know in the comments below!

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