Friday, 20 September 2019

Interview with KB Benson

I am delighted to welcome KB Benson to the blog for an interview! Here's a little bit about her:

KB is the author of the 2019 release Call of the Sirens trilogy. Absolutely in love with her family, KB can never say no to a chocolate brownie (or any dessert for that matter) and enjoys taking afternoon naps. She's a huge advocate for following your dreams and making them come true. 

A convicted sleepwalker, highlighter collector, and compulsive list-maker, KB writes Clean YA Fantasy. Before an author, KB is a busy stay-at-home mom who loves spending time with her husband, daughter, and Golden Retriever. When she’s not writing, she’s usually trying to keep up with her baby girl. 

And onto the interview!

In your own writing, which character of yours do you relate to most?
Ironically, I relate most to my main character, Iris, who happens to be a siren. Over the past seven years writing the Call of the Sirens trilogy, I’ve often had friends and family say, “Wow, you just seem so nice and happy. How did you write something so dark?” I can’t help but laugh 😊 In all honesty, as I got deeper into the siren world, I found myself going through a lot of the same trials Iris went through especially in book three (minus the blood and murder and fighting, of course).
Call of the Sirens is a trilogy of boy meets monster and falls in love, but it’s also a lot more than that. It’s about learning to understand who you truly are and loving yourself for that person because the simple fact that you are you makes you pretty amazing and worth something. That’s a lesson I learned a lot about as I wrote the trilogy.

Do you read your own genre? Is it a favourite?

Yes! YA Fantasy is my favorite! Add in some romance and I’ll be hooked.

If you had to describe your style in three words, what would they be?
Poetic. Descriptive. Dance-like.

What was the first story you ever told?

Aside from the little two-page stories I wrote in grade school, my first story/novel was about time travel to a place of kingdoms and princes, secrets and spies. It’s still unpublished, but I hope to get back to it one day and make it a worthy read!

Was writing always your dream choice of career?

It was one of them! My three dream jobs were to be a stay-at-home mom (check!), an elementary teacher (I changed my mind after starting the program almost a decade ago) and being a writer. Honestly, I thought the writing career was probably the least likely to happen!

Do you have a writing space? Pictures or descriptions!

Oh, I wish I had a writing nook but my favorite place to write... is my bed! Haha. It’s so comfy and is big enough to give me almost unending space to spread all my notes out around me while I’m working. If my daughter wakes up and I need to take a break, it’s also high enough to keep all my notes safely out of her reach so I can leave my mess and come back to it later.

Playlists? Yes or no? And why?

Absolutely! Music helps me so much during the brainstorming process of outlining my books. Whenever I hear a new song or one that speaks to me, I write it down so that I can add it to my playlist for a particular series and listen to those songs on a loop while I write the outline. They help me set the mood I’m going for within a book, and I always discover new music and artists!

Which social media do you see as a must for writers?

Instagram is huge! I’ve also seen a lot of authors use Twitter, though I’m not on Twitter :/

Where do you hang out most online?
I spend most of my time on Instagram and Facebook. I love getting to see everyone’s creative photos on Instagram (Have you heard of Bookstagram? It’s pretty much the most amazing thing ever)!

Do you have a favourite app for writing?
I guess I’m old-school and like to just use Microsoft Word. I’ve tried apps like Scrivener and a few others, but I like the simplicity with Word.

Organised or not?
Very organized. When I wrote The Harvest (Call of the Sirens Book One), it took me six years because I “pantsed” the crap out of that story. I had no idea where I was going; and each time I hit a roadblock, it’d take me weeks to overcome. The Hunt (Book 2) and The Harrowing (Book 3) took me a total of just over a year to take from little ideas to publication because I spent the time to create very detailed outlines. If I ever hit writer’s block, it would take me max a day or two to solve. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to just “pantsing” a story.

What's your favourite book you've read?

This year I read Mary Weber’s new release To Best the Boys, and it was amazing! I’ve also always loved Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series.

Morning or evening writer?
Morning. By the time evening comes, I’m usually too tired to be much of anything, let alone creative.

If you had a hashtag for your books, what would it be?
I’m glad you asked because I do have a hashtag for my book, though it isn’t widely used yet. #CalloftheSirensTrilogy

You can follow KB Benson on Instagram 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

Tuesday, 17 September 2019


It's all going wrong so fast, and Tara doesn't know how she'll cope without Mike, the threat of losing him is almost too much...

[ID: A graphic with a background of a waterfall with the header Dying Thoughts - Eighth Ending and the release date just below as October 9th 2019. The excerpt reads:

“Zara, call a code!” she shouted and I saw the nurse scurry into action. “You guys need to go back to the waiting room, now, we need room to work!”
I wanted to stay, I wanted to hold Mike’s hand and tell him he’d be okay, but Dad pulled on my arm. I didn’t get emotional, and I didn’t panic. I just felt numb. I turned my head as Dad led me out of the ICU and caught sight of a number of nurses and possibly a doctor or two rushed towards Mike’s room.  


Monday, 16 September 2019

Revisiting Social Media - The Creative Process


I made a post about this ages back, (found here) and thought that it was time to revisit the subject and give you all my thoughts and ideas about social media and how it can help you as a writer, an author, and as a person looking to grow your platform and reach. Because it's not just about making connections, but meeting the people who are going to become friends and help you along the way.

I talked about hashtags in a recent piece (found here) and they make up a lot of the advice when it comes to social media. But it's not just about growing numbers, because a lot of the time, that's where the focus is, but also gaining people in your corner. Not just as fans of your work, but as cheerleaders of you as a person and a writer. It's something that I've talked about before, that engagement is key, but it's taken me a long time to take my own advice and now I've gotten to the point where I actually feel like I'm doing it right.

So what advice do I give you, either as a newbie writer, or long-time author or anything in between? Glad you asked, strap in and let's go for a ride!


Now I say this knowing that you're not going to get responses to every post and tweet, but sometimes it can be tempting to vent that frustration into the void and figure no one is going to answer you anyway. Don't do that either. But when it comes to making those first forays into the social media world, make sure there's things for people to respond to. A tweet that talks just about what's going on, with no question to answer, or advice to give, will, most likely, fall flat. People will read it, but they don't have anything to say to you telling them about your day. With Instagram, the usual thing is to include a question with your post so that people have a reason to comment. It doesn't always mean everyone will, but it's a start.


Now as with most things, there are different rules for different sites. On Instagram it's usual to have a lot of hashtags either in the post or in the comments. That's the way the algorithm works. Facebook and Twitter are usually better when you use them sparingly, as in you don't fill your whole tweet or post with them. And the same can be said for other sites as well. You also want to be using the right hashtags. What works on Instagram might not on Twitter and so on and so forth. A little research, and you can find the ones that are the best fit for both your post and the site itself. Know them, use them, and answer other people using the same ones, this is a great way to make friends.

While it can be somewhat tempting to do a follow for a follow, unless you're someone writing in the same genre, or you actually talk to the person, then it's probably better avoided. All that does is clog up your timeline with things that either don't interest you, or you actively don't want there. It's much better to make sure that you're following the people who you actually want to talk to. When I first started out on Twitter, I followed everyone who followed me. I have people who would just have their facebook/tumblr feed on their page and nothing else. It was a nightmare because when I added people who I actually did want to read, my feed just went so fast that it was next to impossible to keep up. So I did a purge and since then I only add people I've actually got a connection with, or who I want to hear from.

I've talked about this before, in writing pieces and on my Authortube channel, but don't be that person who spams everyone hourly, daily, with a blast of what's on sale and why you should buy it. Not only does it annoy people, but because the posts are usually exactly the same, it just feels false and misleading. Now, you get a good review, yes share it, interview, something new, then of course share it, but be careful with how much promo you do. This applies to both yourself, and anyone else who you might want to share with your followers. It's all dependant on who's online and such, but I find that posts that are spammy just get you muted or unfollowed, or people scroll past without even reading.

For the longest time, I would have things automatically cross-post. I do have some of that still, like my Instagram pictures go up as actual picture on Twitter through a site called, and that's a great way to do it, because they're not the same thing over and over. But when it comes to retweeting, or reblogging something of your own, don't be afraid to repeat yourself. On top of that, when you want to cross-post, sometimes the interaction will be key to the fact that it's you actually doing the cross-posting and not a site doing it for you. It allows you to tailor the post to suit the site and also gives people a good idea that you're both present and active on your sites.

So there we have it, my top five tips for social media. A lot of my experience right now is with Twitter, Instagram and Youtube, simply because that's where I'm active a lot of the time. I do post on Tumblr, and I feel like that's a forgotten site from time to time which has a thriving writing community and also some really big name authors. It's one of those that you kinda find your corner and go from there. I've found a bit of my corner but not completely.

Lemme know any tips you have 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

Friday, 13 September 2019

Lights Out Won An Award!

Lights Out won an award!!

Lights Out was chosen as an Official Selection in YA Scifi/Horror  in the 2019 New Apple Literary Summer eBook Awards!

 You can buy it here:


Review of Starbound by S E Anderson

Home is where the heart is. Or maybe the pizza.

There’s no better feeling than being back home after a long week exploring the galaxy, though being abandoned by one’s friends and left to fend off a glitching evil robot spoils it. All that’s left is to settle back into life, preparing Marcy’s wedding and job hunting. If only mysterious midnight SWAT teams and crop-circle crafting-sessions weren't constantly getting in Sally’s way.

When an old foe returns, and Sally is the only person on the planet to recognize it, it’s up to her, her sullen ex, and an overly-excitable FBI agent to save the planet. But first they have to get the president safely out of his favorite sushi bar without starting the war of the worlds.

It’s hard maintaining a long-distance relationship when your crush is light years away and thinks you died of old age, but that hasn’t stopped anyone yet. Sally must save the planet, the universe, and herself - though maybe she’ll take a nap first.

My Review: 5 stars
I have loved this series from the start so when I saw the next book up for pre-order, I had to have it. Picking up almost immediately after the end of the last book, Sally is thrown back into somewhat normal life, but along the way she finds out that what passes for normal isn't actually all that normal. The writing was engaging from the first page, I was hooked and reading along with Sally and Zander's story and couldn't help but get lost in the pages. Sally looking to undo some of the things she's done in the past and save Earth but all without Zander by her side. As the pieces of threads started to be pulled together, you can't believe what's happening! It was an amazing ride and I adore Anderson's way of sitting you down and keeping you in the story. Overall, an amazing book and one that I highly recommend!

You can follow S E Anderson on Twitter, Facebook 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.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019


Tara isn't show how much of a witness she'll be. It all happened so fast...



[ID: A graphic with a waterfall background and the heading of Dying Thoughts - Eighth Ending with the release date just below as October 9th 2019. The excerpt reads:

“I don’t know how much help I’ll be, I can only remember parts of it and I don’t recall the man’s face.”
“But it was a man?” she asked.
“I assume so because of the build and height, he used something to disguise his voice so I can’t be one hundred percent sure.”
“It’s fine, we don’t have much physical evidence, though obviously when the DCI wakes up, we’ll be questioning him as well,” she said with a smile. “Just tell us what you remember.”
“Okay,” I said, my voice shaking a little. 


Monday, 9 September 2019

Writing Life & Hashtags - The Creative Process


Last week's piece was a tad heavy and so I decided that this week, I would go for something a little loose and carefree, and that's writing life and all the hashtags of twitter, Instagram and the rest of social media. If you're part of any of those, you'll know that hashtags are a great way to direct the right people to your posts and start a conversation.

One of these that I find myself using a lot on Twitter is #WritingLife. It's basically one that I follow, since I use Tweetdeck which allows me to track hashtags in a different window and still keep up with my feed, along with the funny #WriterProblems and #WritingCommunity, as well as a couple of others that I won't mention. But one thing that always makes me smile is that the community there is so welcoming and so happy to help that it felt like something I should write about.

As you all know, I'm a spoonie, I try and keep myself going when I have bad days and I try to make sure that I follow the goals I set myself on my Authortube channel. Well, this past couple of months, one of the goals has been to post to Instagram and Twitter at least once a day. Part of this was because I have a bigger following on Twitter (and have just recently crossed over to 1K and above!) and part of it is that I feel like a lot more writers, young and old, and readers interact with Twitter because it doesn't have the same algorithm problem that Instragram and Facebook have where it's all about how popular your posts are before they get seen. On Twitter, you see it if you follow the person.

It's been a whole new learning experience and I'll admit to having picked up a lot of tips from Authortube, and from other Instagram big names. Such as making sure you're using the right hashtags, where you put them (in the post or in the comments) and all of that. It's always nice to learn new things, and how they'll help your reach. But one reason I didn't click with Twitter so much was because a lot of the people I was following were just tweeting out buy links and never really interacting. I'll admit that I made the same mistake in the beginning, and then kinda let it sit idle while my Facebook page and Instagram and Tumblr cross-posted and it's really only been in the last three years or so that I've started actively using it as a way to meet people.

And I have met so many nice people, from my CP, to other Authortube friends, to fellow indie authors, to people looking to connect with certain writers. It's a brilliant place to be and I really do feel that a lot of that is tied into the hashtags. And it blows my mind how simple, but yet ingenuous it is. From using one simple hashtag I have found people I now consider close friends. I have made connections with other authors and with other writers who are still on the beginning stages of their process. And it's just an amazing place to be. The idea that we all share one simple thing and yet we all know what it feels like to wake up with an idea, only to forget it in the morning. Or to not have enough time to write something down, make a note of it, and then come back to find that it doesn't work. I could go on and on, but my point is that it's a wide open space out there, and it's so welcoming and it's so friendly, and it's just a nice place to be.

So that's my piece for today, when it comes to meeting other writers, or sharing ideas, hashtags are an amazing thing for that. Come join us on Twitter or Instagram and make friends, you never know you might end up having a whole load of fun and really loving every moment. I know I do!

Lemme know your favourite social media and your favourite hashtag 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

Friday, 6 September 2019

Interview with MC Frank

I am delighted to be finally welcoming the amazing MC Frank to the blog for an interview! Here's a little bit about her, and be sure to check the blog for all her amazing books!

M.C. Frank (writer, reader, designer, physicist and teacher, to name a few) has been living in a world of stories ever since she can remember (that's before she knew how to write). She started writing them down when she could no longer stand the characters in her head screaming at her to give them life, and while those first scribblings weren't exactly good (nor were they books, although she insisted on calling them that), they were enough for her to discover her passion in life.

She got her university degree in physics a few years ago (yes, she's like Sheldon, only a bit crazier!) and is now free to pursue her love of reading and writing, as well her free-lance job as editor-in-chief. She lives with her 'dude' in a home filled with candles, laptops and notebooks, where she rearranges her overflowing bookshelves every time she feels stressed.

Which is often, since (as you might have noticed) she doesn't pick the easiest subjects for her novels. 

And onto the interview!

In your own writing, which character of yours do you relate to most?
My characters live through horrible things: Evil Sheriffs chasing them through the forest, frozen lands without Christmas and life-threatening diseases if they have the
bad fortune to live in one of my contemporary novels. I'm not going to lie, living through horrible thins is very relatable for me :) but being brave and trained in archery...
can't relate. I do relate to Ellie from Salt for Air a lot, because she's also lost her dad and loves to read and write fanfiction, like me. I also relate to Robin from Everything I Do,
because he feels that he's never enough (and I constantly feel that), and also he, like me, lives in a country that has been destroyed by evil rulers and ruthless tax-collectors. Out of all my characters,
these are the ones I most relate to.

Do you read your own genre? Is it a favourite?

I write in several genres: scifi, fantasy, New Adult and historical fiction. I read all of these genres extensively. Maybe I've been reading
more historical fiction lately, because I'm a Regency novels addict-that's possibly my favourite genre.
It comes in handy, as I'm currently writing the sequel to my Robin Hood novel, and a Regency romance!

If you had to describe your style in three words, what would they be?
Angst, depth, humour.

What was the first story you ever told?
It was a story about a little angel on Christmas day, sending gifts to a poor boy? I think it was something like that. I was eight at the time, and had been reading
a ton of Dickens. I gave it to my dad to read, as he was an author and my main inspiration to become one. He read it very carefully, and then said: "Keep working on it."

Was writing always your dream choice of career?
No. I studied physics in university and have been working as a private tutor and teacher for years. But as soon as I discovered self-publishing, I was like, this is IT. Search for
dream career was over that day.

Do you have a writing space? Pictures or descriptions!
I do! It's by my bed, and I've got a ton of notebooks full of ideas stacked on either side of me. I also have a candle, a typewriter, a puzzle picturing books as the four seasons,
and a board where I pin post-its with my goals and inspirational quotes. My bear also usually keeps me company.I post tons of photos of it on my instagram (@mcfrank_author).

Playlists? Yes or no? And why?

YES! It's mainly music and songs that inspire all of my stories and scenes, to be honest. I would have nothing without it.

Which social media do you see as a must for writers?
I don't know. None? I'm sure you can make it without social media if you want, but you must research how to do that extensively.
I personally would be lost as an author without instagram.

Where do you hang out most online?

Instagram. It's open pretty much all day on my phone, and I chat with my friends and browse gorgeous photos. Perfection.

Do you have a favourite app for writing?
I just write in Word. I use notes on my phone for ideas... And that's pretty much it.

Organised or not?

Very organised (although I'm sure not as organised as you, Joey! You are organization goals.) I have to have very detailed outlines and marketing/publication plans.

What's your favourite book you've read?

Oh, that's an unanswerable question haha. Among my favorites are Persuasion (Jane Austen), The Illustrated Man (Ray Bradbury), Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Laini Taylor),
Hamlet (William Shakespeare)... Should I go on? We'll be here all day.

Morning or evening writer?

I'm a vampire writer. I write all through the night, and I sleep during the day.

If you had a hashtag for your books, what would it be?

I do have hashtags for my books! It's just their titles, #saltforair #everythingido #ruinedmcfrank and so that I can find out lovely photos or posts about
them and do shoutouts on social media. If a reader isn't sure of what to use, just #mcfrankauthor or #mcfrankbook is fine!

You can follow MC Frank on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, her website, and The Book Robin Hoods.

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, 5 September 2019

Author Tag: Welcome To Authortube Tag [CC]

Doing a Tag today - Welcome to #Authortube Tag!

Authortube Welcome Tag:
1. Who are you?
2. What do you write?
3. Where are you on your writing journey?
4. Do you have any special training?
5. How do you find new Authortube channels?
6. Name a video you've watched with a different point of view (you don't have to agree with it, or prescribe to it)
7. Name one reason you started your channel.
8. Name one reason you think somone else should make a channel.
9. Name a new channel you're watching (new to you, or new in general)
10. Name a channel you think new authortubers should watch.
11. What advice would you give to new writers?
12. What advice would you give to new AuthorTubers?
13. Tag others. Try to tag at least one other channel that has less than 300 subs.





Tuesday, 3 September 2019


When the unthinkable happens, Tara is the only witness....



[ID: A graphic with the background of a waterfall, with the heading of Dying Thoughts - Eighth Ending and the release date as October 9th 2019. The excerpt reads:

My hand went to his stomach, trying to find where he was hurt, if he was. I could see smears of blood on the knife so I knew it had hit the mark somewhere.
“Mike? Mike, hang on, help’s coming!” I said, trying to keep myself from openly crying. I reached for my bag and got my phone, ignoring the blood spots falling on the screen as I called for an ambulance.
“Tara…,” he said, softly, struggling to get the words out.
“I’m here, Mike and help’s coming.” 


Monday, 2 September 2019

Choosing Your Publication Path - The After Process

I've talked before about choosing whether to go indie or traditional (piece found here), but I felt like it was time for a more in-depth piece about that. I made the choice I did because of a number of factors that I'll go into briefly, but how do you know if that's he right path for you? I can really only talk more about the self-published/indie route because while I was almost traditionally published, it didn't last long and I never went through the whole process so I know more about being an indie author.

So, you've finished your project, you've gone through the revision process and you're now trying to decide whether you should go down the traditional route or whether you should start getting the money together to hire an editor, cover designer and all the rest. Each path has its own pros and cons, and people have gone over them to death, so I'm not going to go into that here. I am, however, gonna say that a lot of the time, it's a personal choice, and one only you can make for yourself.

If you go traditional, you will have a long path ahead of you. You'll be in the query trenches, then hopefully find an agent, then go on submission and then start the editing process and all of that before publication. If you go indie then you'll be on a similar path, only it might not take as long. I personally like the level of control, the higher royalty rate and the ability to completely decide how many books, and which ones, I'd be releasing at a time.

But how do you make that choice? How do you know whether you'll succeed at one over the other? The simple answer is: you don't. A lot of indie authors are rolling the dice and hoping they score high, but that can be, somewhat, still true for traditionally published authors. You don't know that your book is going to meet the market and launch a massive following. It's part of being creative, you are making something that is subjective in whether someone likes it or not.

Think about it, there are some paintings that most people will agree are gorgeous and ahead of their time - like Van Gogh's Starry Night. There are books like that too. But there are also pieces of art that split people, and there are books like that too. And there are some pieces of music, art, all of it, that the majority of people hate, and yes, books are like that too!

You are not guaranteed success in whichever path you choose. You will have to work hard, and you might manage to put in enough hard work that you have a lot of success, but that doesn't mean that some of that spark that decides whether your work is good, is going to be luck. I don't say that to piss on those who do work hard and do have a ton of success because of it. I'm not saying it because I'm bitter and trying to rain on their parade. I''m saying that no matter how hard you work, a part of success is luck. It's whether you hit the right market at the right time.

With something as subjective as fiction, you're going to have a hard road ahead of you no matter which route you choose. My advice is to think long and hard, do your research and make sure that you know what will be expected of you, but also remember that you might not have the millions in royalties and movie deals and the rest, because that only happens to a tiny, tiny percentage of authors. I don't say this to depress you, but to make you aware that it's hard being an author. You don't write a book and become a star. You work hard, you work the hours you can, and the majority of authors, both indie and traditional have another source of income, whether that's through a day job or through a spouse working. It's rare for an author to only have books to write.

You write a book because you're passionate about the idea, and that's amazing. You put in the hard work, and it is hard no matter what anyone tells you, and you finish it. And then the rest of the work starts. But what it comes down to, what I'm trying to say is, no one can choose your path for you. It has to be a choice you make with your facts and circumstances. And whichever path you choose, good luck, and remember to keep 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

Friday, 30 August 2019

Review of The First Time I Fell by Jo MacGregor

Living on the edge can be murder.

Garnet McGee returns to her small Vermont hometown, all set to finish her master’s thesis in psychology, and convinced that the paranormal experiences of recent months are now behind her.

Then she stumbles across a body in the strangest of places, and starts getting unsettling visions of the woman’s life and death. Local police assume it was suicide, but Garnet is sure it was murder.

Egged on by her eccentric mother, Garnet starts investigating. Police Chief Ryan Jackson is intrigued by the “readings” she gets about the case, but others are determined to stop her amateur sleuthing. Meanwhile some inexplicably strange things are happening at home.

Garnet is determined to find out who killed the beautiful woman loved by so many, but that will mean taking the leap into trusting not only others, but also her own growing psychic abilities. Yet every vision puts her in greater danger. As she gets close to discovering the truth, Garnet realizes that the killer will do whatever it takes to keep the truth hidden.

Even if that means killing again.
My Review:5 stars
I read the first in the series and adored it, so when this one came out, I had to have it. Garnet is back in her small hometown, and she's determined to finish her thesis and not get involved in anything spooky, despite what her mother says! The book was highly engaging, beautifully written and I adored the dynamic between the characters. Garnet's way of thinking was refreshing but also interesting to see how she coped with the changes but also bring her analytical and logical mind around it it. I very much adored the book and will keep reading this series. Highly recommended!

You can follow Jo on Facebook, Twitter, or her website.

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