Tuesday, 15 October 2019

#TeaserTuesday


Lock knows there's something going on, but she doesn't know what...



[ID: A graphic with a fading lightbulb and the title Lights Out with just below it: Out now in paperback & ebook. The excerpt reads:

I knew that he wouldn’t be able to just tell me to me to let it go. If it wasn’t down at the wire, we might have been able to leave it for the day, but with the notices due to go out in four hours, we couldn’t risk someone not getting their due process.
“Are you sure it wasn’t a mistake?” he asked, checking each file as he went down the list.
“You tell me, you said fifteen, which is why you wanted Lana to double up with me,” I said. “I could’ve sworn there were fifteen names yesterday when I left for work and now after the server crash…”

END ID]

Monday, 14 October 2019

The Trials Of A Crime Writer: Research Matters




THE TRIALS OF A CRIME WRITER: RESEARCH MATTERS

I've talked about research before as a crime writer (piece found here) but I wanted to touch on it again because it's something that I think bears repeating, and it's been a while since I wrote that piece and the way I approach things has changed slightly. So settle in and let me tell you a few things I've learned about research and why it matters to the crime writer.

#1 - FACTS ARE FACTS
I've read a lot of crime books over the years and one thing that has rung true about all of them, is that they needed facts that might not have been available from just Googling the info. I personally have a couple of people I know in the UK police force that I can go to, just to make sure that what I'm writing has a hint of realism to it. That's not just for my crime books, but for any book that involves an air of mystery. For example, in the Cramping Chronicles series, I needed to know more up to date stuff and different things than I did for the Dying Thoughts series. One heavily used the police force, the other doesn't really have much contact with them. But in both cases, I talked to my contacts and made sure that the facts I was using, were correct, and would stand up to the plot.

#2 - KNOW THE RULES, SO THEM YOU CAN TWIST THEM
This can be applied to a lot of things, writing rules included, but for the purpose of this piece, I'm talking about the actual rules that apply to things like collecting evidence, or moving a body, or what order the officers arrive in, or how cases are divided up. You get the picture. If you need a certain thing to happen in a certain order, then you need to be doing the research to know if there's a reason that can or can't happen. And if it can't, you might be able to work out a way it can, but just be careful with how far off procedure you go because readers will notice that.

#3 - HAVE A BACKUP PLAN

This isn't just about research, but it's also a good idea to have a backup plan just in case you find out that your original idea doesn't hold water, or doesn't execute the way you expected it to. This can be having an alternative way for the evidence to lead them to the killer, or it can be a different motive for the crime, whatever you can think of that keeps your story intact but also allows for some wriggle room. I know that when I was writing Dying Thoughts - Eighth Ending, I didn't have a backup plan for the way things went down, and as it turned out in edits, that was a huge mistake as things had to be rewritten and rechecked through my contacts to make sure it would end up working.

#4 - USE ALL THE TOOLS YOU HAVE
When it comes to research, you want to be making sure you're making the most of what you have at your disposal. Whether that's Google, or books, talking to people in the field, or making connections with other crime writers, or Facebook groups that deal with checking facts. I have used all of these as tools to make sure that I have what I need, and I can help other people when it comes to checking their own facts. You need to be sure that you have good contacts and that the utilise all the tools you have, otherwise you might find your story falling short and no one wants that.

And finally, #5 - REMEMBER TO DOUBLE CHECK
I can't tell you the amount of times that I've gone to write something, that I know from past experience is right, to only look or ask and find out that I'm wrong, or the information I was given is only part of the story. So even if you've got a really good contact and you're really sure that everything is correct, always just double check it. It's better to spend a little time doing that, than to find yourself with only part of the truth, or worse, out of date information especially for the time period of your story. It's saved me a number of times, and I know it could save you.

So there you have it, my five tips on why research matters and how to make sure that the research you do is up to date, is correct, and allows you for a little artistic license. Research is a vital part of the crime writing process, but it's also awesome in other types of fiction. Overall, the best thing to do is be diligent and make sure that you have what you need.

Lemme know in the comments your tips on research and the best places you've found for research!


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, 11 October 2019

Interview With Krysten Lindsay Hager


I am delighted to be welcoming Krysten Lindsay Hager on the blog for an interview! She's been here before, but since the questions have changed I wanted to interview her again. Here's a bio about here:

Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends...Forever?, Next Door to a Star,  Landry in Like, Competing with the Star, Dating the It Guy,  Can Dreams Come True, and In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety. True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book and the Dayton Book Expo Bestseller Award for children/teens. Best Friends…Forever won the Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal. Competing with the Star is a Readers' Favorite Book Award Finalist. Landry in Like is a Literary Classics Gold Medal recipient.

Krysten's work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times, Springfield News-Sun, Grand Blanc View, Dayton Daily News and on Living Dayton.


And onto the interview!

In your own writing, which character of yours do you relate to most?
Cecily is a lot like me in terms of our sense of humor and how we look at the world. She’s a lot more organized and worried about schoolwork than I ever was though! Landry was a lot like me in middle school and Emme is a lot like me in high school.

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

I love reading YA. I tend to reread YA books a lot, too. I also love mysteries and biographies.

If you had to describe your style in three words, what would they be?
My books always contain humor, hope, and make you feel like the storyline could really happen even if it involves a dating a rock star! I got a review once that called my writing, “funny, lively, and very real,” and that’s become my tagline.

What was the first story you ever told?

When I was a kid, I used to watch soap opera dramas and I would get frustrated with the cliffhangers, so I would go and get my Barbie dolls and act out how I wanted the storyline to go. That’s how I got started writing stories in the first place.

Was writing always your dream choice of career?

I always loved making up stories as a kid. I also thought about being a screenwriter. I did work as a journalist for a while, but writing was always my first love.

Do you have a writing space? Pictures or descriptions!
I have an office and the back wall has my bookcases. That’s big for me because we moved around a lot and in the last house, I just had a desk in the great room and my books had no permanent home. I love having bookcases so much! I organize my books by genre. I think it’s cute when people do it by color, but that wouldn’t work for me as I like to know where everything is in case I need it fast. I have a desk in the middle of the room and a big table under the windows that I have been using to work through my plots. There are notebooks everywhere.

Playlists? Yes or no? And why?

Love playlists because they’re soundtracks to the books. I make one for each book I write because there’s always a song inspiring me and my writing. The fact the Cecily Taylor Series deals with her dating a musician really brings music into the story as she fell for Andrew as a singer/songwriter way before she ever met him. She feels like he understands her through his lyrics and that’s how I felt about certain songwriters growing up.

Organised or not?

To give you an idea, there’s a pile of notebooks and papers stacked so high on my desk that I had to move them to see the screen. I recently got a new table in my office because my desk isn’t big enough and now my piles of paper have grown—haha!

What's your favourite book you've read?

I loved The Great Gatsby, but not until I read it as an adult. We were assigned it in 7th grade and again in 9th and I couldn’t relate to it then. I read The Bell Jar for the first time in high school and liked it a lot. I like Edith Wharton a lot, too. My favorite YA book is Good-bye Glamour Girl by Erika Tamar.

You can follow Krysten on her website, Facebook, Instagram, 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.

Monday, 7 October 2019

2 Days To Go Until Dying Thoughts - Eighth Ending!


Today's fact!

Of course, caring for her dad is hard, but she's doing the best she can.



The Trials Of An Indie Author: Why I Chose Indie


THE TRIALS OF AN INDIE AUTHOR: WHY I CHOSE INDIE

I've talked before about choosing your own publishing path (found here) and I think I've also talked about why, for me, choosing the indie path was the right choice, but with things changing and evolving and with my own choices staying the same, I thought I was do an updated pieces as to why I have stayed on this path and why I don't see that changing any time soon.

I've talked about this on my Authotube channel as well, and it is a very personal choice. A lot of people get to a cross-roads where they have to make that decision as to joining the query trenches or trying to make it on their own. I won't pretend that either path is easier, nor will I say that either one is better than the other. It is very personal and my reasons for choosing indie will be completely different to someone else's and that's valid, just as the choice to go traditional is as well. I'm not someone who's going to tell you that either one carries more weight than the other. It did use to be that traditional was the one to get you more notice, but as time has moved on, indie has come along strong and equal to traditional.

So what made me make that decision all those years ago? Well, back then there wasn't really an indie option. I tried to query, and got a lot of rejections, but kept trying, got some personal feedback and I won't go into the rest, because you've all heard this story a few hundred times, but I ended up making a bad choice and going with a vanity press. This was for two reasons. One, I was very very sick and wasn't sure I would survive to see all my books published, and it mattered to me that I had at least one book out there. And two, I felt like it was my only option, and they courted me nicely.

So huge mistake, avoid vanity presses like the plague, but I've always believed in being honest with you guys and that's one of my bigger mistakes. But it did open me up to the marketing side of things, and it did allow me to get a taste of what it'd be like to have a book on the shelves. When things like KDP and such came into play, I had a little advantage there, though I made a huge amount of mistakes along the way there too. But we all do and while I'm still trying to make up for some of them, I know that I'm on the right path.

I talked a few weeks back about the many hats of an indie author (found here) and that's so very true. I chose indie because it gave me two things I needed more than anything when it came to my writing life. It gave me control over everything deadline related. And it gave me control over the covers, the content, and a nice chunk of change from royalties.

I knew what I wanted to write, and I knew who I wanted to do my covers. Even if B hadn't been able to, or suddenly became unable to do them, I know I could work with people who would allow my input and final say. I can choose which editors I work with. I can control how my book is presented to the public. Yes, it's a lot of work, but I get to retain that element of control that keeps my stress levels down and allows me to focus on my writing more.

On top of that, deadlines became a soft target for me to hit. Yes, there are, and always will be, some hard ones that I can't get away from. Those I have to work with, but when it comes to the drafting process, I don't have deadlines, and that helps my stress levels even more! I don't have to write to a set schedule and I don't have to worry if I end up in hospital and then spend two months on slow work because of it. I can focus on my stories, on my promotion and I can do all of that because, essentially, I work for myself and I am indie and able to tweak things to suit my schedule.

And the royalty percentage is higher for indie authors. That helps a whole lot, especially when you're someone who worries about money a lot. I'm not rolling in it, but it allows me to have a little breathing room.

So yes, it's a personal choice as to which path you go down. Neither one is right or wrong overall. You just have to make that choice, weigh up your pros and cons and do what's best for you. And no one should judge you for that.


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, 4 October 2019

Review of The Mirror Souls by Julia Scott


"The Earth was not ours to keep..."
Like the rest of the Gaian race, Alana’s life is ruled by the Avalon, the superior race who once created Earth and returned to reclaim it after we nearly destroyed it. Now that the Avalon move the Gaians from Region to Region, over and over, Alana has no place to call home.

Fearing that she may be resigned to this life of control forever, the opportunity to explore the world outside of her Region is literally dropped into Alana’s pocket in the form of a small silver device.
Taking a leap of faith and teleporting to the unknown, Alana must discover who is pulling the strings in her life and why. But in her quest for answers and freedom, she’s thrown headfirst into a hidden battle for humanity alongside a boy whose life was destined to be entwined with hers.

With the secrets of who she really is starting to unravel and abilities she didn’t know she had rising to the surface, she becomes a commodity to whatever faction can keep her in one place.

But others around her are carrying secrets, too, and Alana must decide who to trust before she can change the fate of all the races.

My Review: 5 stars
I picked this up because I loved the idea of the blurb. Faced with a life under the control of the Avalon and approaching Shift Day, Alana is hopeful that she'll stay in the place that has been her home for a little while. But then a bunch of stuff starts to happen, and suddenly she's thrown into a life she didn't expect. The story pulls you in from the first page, and keeps you reading throughout the whole book. I adored Alana and the way the characters were written. The intrigue of the plot kept me guessing and by the end of the book, I was desperate to know more. I can't wait for the sequel! Highly recommended!

You can follow Julia on Instagram, her website & 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

5 Days To Go Until Dying Thoughts - Eighth Ending!



Today's fact!

She's almost ready to sit her AS exams. One year of college finished.



Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Dying Thoughts - First Touch Trailer [CC]



#TeaserTuesday


Tara has a choice to make is she wants to continue working with Mike, only it doesn't feel like she can say no...




[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:

 “Do I have a choice?” I asked, softly.
“Of course you do,” he said.
“But?”
“But it could mean that they, my bosses I mean, decide that the trauma is too much to expose a minor to.”
“So I don’t really have a choice, then do I? I mean, Clare doesn’t know half of it, she doesn’t know about my gift and as far as she’s aware, I just volunteer here with my time. How do you plan to ask her for a mental health report, if you can’t even tell her why?”


END ID]