Tuesday 29 September 2020



 Jessie is only trying to help here, and for that she gets figuratively slapped in the face...

[ID: A graphic with a red background and the header of Cramping Chronicles: The First Twinge and underneath the words: Coming October 13th 2020. The excerpt reads:
She turned back to look at me. “Yes, and you're Jessie,” she said.
It didn't sound friendly or welcoming. She actually gave the impression of being quite cold and distant.
“I mean no offence, Jessie, but I'm actually trying to look for a book here. I have an essay due and unlike some people, I can't wait for someone to do it for me.”
“What's that supposed to mean?!” I said, losing my temper a little.
At the bottom is Joey Paul, her website of www.joeypaulonline.com and the logo of a green and purple bug in the far right corner.


Monday 28 September 2020

Letting Your Book Sit - The After Process



Last week I talked about the editing process as a whole (piece found here), and I mentioned that there's a period where it's better to let your book sit after writing that first draft. I don't think it's anything I've really discussed on the blog, but I have mentioned it along the way. Today I thought I would go more into detail as to why it's a really good idea to let your book sit rather than rushing through into revisions.

A caveat, I am a full time author, and have a large backlog of books that are in various stages of revision. Therefore, I generally always have the time to let a book sit for a longer period than most because I have that backlog. I publish two books a year, and I draft about four new ones in that time. My process works for me, but it might not for you, and that's okay.

So, with that out of the way, let's talk about what the idea is behind letting your first draft have some breathing room before you jump into revising it. The premise is simple enough, you're the author of that work and ergo, you know what's going to happen when, and you're not able to look at it with fresh eyes because you've just spent however long writing the story. You have the plan, if you're a planner, and if not, you still have a lot of knowledge about what happens from chapter to chapter. If you jump right back in, you maybe won't see glaring plot holes, or the like. You might just see your story as a whole because right after writing you are too close to be able to revise it.

Like I said above, a lot of people don't have the time to let their book sit before revising, and if that works for them, that's great. Personally, I'd advise at least a couple of weeks, or a month or two, if you're able. This is simply so that you have some distance and you're able to refill your well and maybe forget some parts of the story. That when when you go back to it with somewhat fresh eyes, you're able to see the story as a reader might.

The longer you're able to put between you finishing that draft and then picking it back up again the better. Like I said above, I do a good year between finishing and starting revisions, and sometimes it's longer than that. I'm aware that I'm in a very unique position and that's why it works for me. But I do have some tips if you're unable to put too much distance between the end of writing and the start of revisions.

Personally, I always like to have my books read to me at some stage in the revisions process. If I can have the document up and hear it read in a robotic voice, then it gives me a new perspective on the story as a whole. This can also be the case if you were to read it as an ebook, or print it out and read it on paper. Putting the story in a new format can let you get a different scope on it, and allow you to see things that you might have missed otherwise.

Similar to a new format, changing the font from what you usually use to something completely different is a great way to start looking at your project with fresh eyes. It's amazing how easy it is to spot mistakes when you're eyes are adjusting to a different style than you're used to. I've used this during revisions and it really does do wonders.

And finally #3 MAKE A NEW OUTLINE
This might sound like a lot of work for those who've already outlined during drafting, but this one is for the pantsers out there. I didn't use to do this, and then a couple of years ago I discovered that after I read the draft a few times, I started to connect the dots better if I made notes, and then made a detailed outline. I've done this for a good number of books now and it really does work. I know what's supposed to be happening in each chapter and I'm more able to see where there are plot holes I might have missed otherwise. It's better, for me, than simply reading it over and over again and trying to remember where things need to be added in. I keep doing this until I'm happy with the draft and then I move onto betas.

So there we go, why letting your book sit is a good idea, how I do it, and why you should try to do it too, and some tips if you can't get that same amount of space as you'd have liked to. If you have any tips, lemme 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

Sunday 27 September 2020

Author Tag: Authortube Character Tag [CC]


And it's time for another tag with a twist! #Authortube


1. A crazy-ass hacker got into your computer and deleted your entire writing playlist with the exception of one song. Which song is it?
2. Your protagonist and your antagonist are paired together to go out to lunch. Where to they go?
3. You're crossing a bridge, and a troll stops you and demands you give him a chapter of your book to read. Which chapter do you choose?
4. Your friends have invited you to a party, and surprise! All your characters are there. Who would you hang with the most?
5. You somehow manage to lock your keys into your apartment. Which character would help you pick a lock to get back in?
6. It's the zombie Apocalypse. Everyone is heading to Mars, and you can only take one character with you. who do you take?
7. You've been given the ability to travel anywhere in your book. Where would you go?
8. You meet your main character, and you want to introduce yourself / get a conversation going, but you can only do it in 6 words or less. What do you say?
9. Crazy acid rain is falling. Which character would you use as an umbrella?
10. You are out to dinner with your main character, and it is time to order dessert. What dessert would you order for them?

TAGGED BY SELF-WRITEOUSNESS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enWl78XWWf4

CAT BOWSER: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxTMg_dotzA3u4Ml_JI2tcg
WRITER MARKUS REGIUS: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC90kBNW9fx121LAoG1nyfng
TEH BUGGY: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClU_xJcHJthmgP29fNhy63Q


Friday 25 September 2020

Cramping Chronicles: The First Twinge Book Trailer [CC]


 The Trailer for Cramping Chronicles: The First Twinge #Authortube #BookTrailer

PRE-ORDER SWAG FOR TWINGE: https://forms.gle/mhSyY4ErpFrJmub99
SIGN UP FOR AN ARC OF TWINGE: https://forms.gle/1nABUNgxbZEBBeiQ6

MUSIC BY KIM: http://apollostowel.tumblr.com

Review of Wicked Betrayal by Marty Mayberry

Nothing beats being locked up in supernatural juvie. If only murdering the guy I'm falling for wasn't my only way out.

Framed by the head of the Seeker's Guild and sent to Darkwater to serve a life sentence, I'm doomed. The prison is located in the fae world, on an island in the middle of a forbidding sea. Wizards sent there never return.

The moment I arrive, I'm forced to take a series of initiation tests with a snarky, too-hot fellow inmate. If the creatures trying to kill us don't do him in, I just might. Yet my birth father's at Darkwater, and while he could be the warden, a guard, or a fellow inmate, I'm determined to track him down. He stole something from me when I was a baby, and I want it back.

Once I get what I came for, there are two ways out. Survive the Challenge--another series of trials that take place in the ever-changing, magical catacombs beneath the prison, and they'll send me to pre-release at Darkwater Reformatory. Or I can fulfill the secret blood bond I made with the Master Seeker. Eliminate a fellow inmate and the Master Seeker will transport me home.

...Except the inmate I must kill is the wizard I'm falling for.

My Review: 5 STARS
I picked this up because of the cover and blurb and dived right in, getting lost in the world and the characters. Tria is sentenced to life in prison, but she’s there for a reason, one she’s sold on and another she’s been forced into. I read through this book in one sitting and couldn’t help but be amazed at the world building, and the thought that went into all of it. Overall, a quick read for me, but leaves me wanting more, that ending made me wish there was more to the book, and I’ll have to keep an eye out for book two! Recommended for all those who love the fantasy and paranormal!

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 22 September 2020




 Just when Jessie thought things couldn't get worse, she's got her first new trigger...

[ID: A graphic with a red background and the header of Cramping Chronicles: The First Twinge and underneath the words: Coming October 13th 2020. The excerpt reads:
“Are you okay, Jessie?” he asked.
I looked around to see if there was anyone close by. There was. The girl I’d seen in the canteen, the beautiful girl who had drawn my gaze was in the library stacks, not three steps from our table.
Oh great, she was activating the ever-present twitch. My luck sucked balls.
At the bottom is Joey Paul, her website of www.joeypaulonline.com and the logo of a green and purple bug in the far right corner.



Monday 21 September 2020

The Editing Process - The After Process



I've not talked about the whole editing process as a whole in a long while. I have discussed my editing process, which you can find here, and other bits and pieces about it, but I thought today I would dive into the editing process full stop. If you're a newbie writer and have just started or finished your first book, this is the piece for you because I'm gonna be going through all the steps you need to take when it comes to editing.

Just to get a few things out of the way, I see editing and revising as different things. Revising is when you're the only one making changes, or looking at the document. It's usually part of that after writing process, but usually happens after a bit of a break from the manuscript (piece coming next week!) For me editing is when you start to involve other people, like betas, critique partners, developmental editors and so on. This is what I'm going to be talking about today simply because everyone's revision journey has a different look and I don't think I have anything to add to the conversation there. But if you'd like me to, then lemme know in the comments!

This is usually something you'll do after having gone through revisions yourself over a few drafts. The exact number doesn't exist because it depends on the book, on you, and so on. If you don't know, betas are readers from your target audience who read the book and give you feedback on what works, what doesn't, what they enjoyed, what they didn't, and characters, pacing and the like. This is generally a free service, though you can pay for betas, though I never have.

Critique partners are fellow writers with whom you swap chapters/books and such and give critique on them. This is usually someone who writes to your skill level, and writes the same kind of books, but it doesn't have to be. It's all down to how you click, and how you work out that partnership. Because it is a partnership, you are giving them critique, they are giving you the same.

This step is usually the first because you want to make sure that before you move onto step two, you have as clean as manuscript as possible. You will have to input those changes, as you see fit, but once you've done that and have gone through rounds of betas to know that you have as good a story as you're going to get, then you can move on.

This is the editor that you want to go to first because they're going to be looking at big changes, on the story as a whole. They will be looking at the character arcs, the plot, seeing if there are any holes, offering suggestions if they have any, that kind of thing. They generally won't bother with grammar simply because it's possible that huge chunks are going to be rewritten or changed.

For me this is the step that takes the longest amount of time, and I get the impression that it can be for a lot of other writers. I work with my developmental editor over three months and we go through chapter by chapter. I know that other editors will do what's called an edit letter where they read the book, and make notes and give you a report at the end, and then you're free to make what changes you see fit. I prefer my way of working through it, as have the editors I've worked with. But nothing wrong with either.

Once all those changes are done to your satisfaction, then you can move onto the next step.


I've grouped these two together because it depends on who you go to, and what kind of editing experience they have as to which one they do. I've heard from other editors that line and copy can be done at the same time. But first let me explain the different. Line is going line by line, making sure the words flow, that the pacing is right, that there aren't any awkward phrasings etc. Copy editors will be checking grammar, and making sure everything is ready to go to print.

Now I use a line editor who does both, so I get the best of both worlds. This is usually done through track changes and then letting you choose which ones to change and such. I do this in Google docs and we go through and change things as needed.

And finally, STEP #4 PROOF READER
This is the last step before your book is ready for publishing. A proof reader goes through, checks for any errors, everything in the formatting and such that should be there, and then corrects it if there's a problem. The idea being that once this step is complete, no more changes are made so that no errors sneak through.

And then you're done and the book is ready to be published! This whole process takes about five months for me, but it's worth it to know that my book is the best version it can be!

Any questions on the editing process? Lemme 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

Sunday 20 September 2020

Author Tag: Authortube Olide Tag [CC]


Doing a tag today! The #Authortube Oldie Tag!!


1. How long have you been doing authortube?
2. What is your favourite video you’ve made so far?
3. What’s the biggest difference in authortube from when you started?
4. Who or what inspired you to join authortube?
5. What is your most underrated video? (One that you’re super proud of, but it didn’t get as popular as others)
6. What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned so far?
7. How many books/collections, etc. have you published since starting authortube?
8. What do you think about your oldest videos? Are you nostalgic or cringe about them?
9. How has your process changed since you started?
10. What hopes do you have for the future of your channel and/or the authortube community?

TAGGED BY ERIN KINSELLA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a24IVWKX1F8


WRITER MARKUS REGIUS: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC90kBNW9fx121LAoG1nyfng
STORY DTECHTIVE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVGhBcS68CijUU85poaCeAw


Friday 18 September 2020

Review of Curse Of Blood And Shadow by J.M. Kearl

Cursed with visions of death. Cursed to die. Cursed to be a bloodthirsty monster. One thing is clear at the Allied Kingdoms Academy, curses abound and no one is safe.

I was born a cursed princess. With but a touch I can foresee death.

At seventeen I’m sent to train in weapons and magic at the new academy where dangerous, deadly, and ferocious could describe any of the students, myself included. It isn't long before I foresee a boy die and realize I’m not the only one cursed. Something lurks in the shadows.
Something dark.
I must find out what it is.

The pompous, arrogant— gorgeous prince from another kingdom suspects I know something is wrong, and tries to convince me he can help. It doesn’t matter that we hate each other. It doesn’t matter that our kingdom’s rivalry is ages old, students could die. Prince Zyacus is one of the strongest and fiercest of us all but his hard heart might have one weakness— me, and I might be a target of the creatures out for blood.

My Review:  5 STARS
I picked this up because the blurb spoke to me. I’m not really a big fantasy reader, but I will say that this book pulled me in and had me stuck in the story turning the pages rapidly to try and find out what was going on, what it all meant, and how it would all end. It was an enthralling ride and will be looking forward to the second book in the series. I adored the characters, the love story and everything in between. I will have to add this author as one to watch and will be glad to jump into other stories by them. Overall, a great read!

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 15 September 2020



 Going up against adults who think they know best when they're actually being ableist is hard to adjust to...

[ID: A graphic with a red background and the header of Cramping Chronicles: The First Twinge and underneath the words: Coming October 13th 2020. The excerpt reads:
“"I am going to have to insist that from now on, the table stays where I put it. Am I clear?" She spoke in a tone that was patronising and obviously not open for any input from me.
I didn't say anything. I just stared at her. I wasn't really sure exactly what I should say to that. I hated to admit it, but I think Craig and Roe were right. My parents needed to know and to deal with this.
"Am I clear, Ms. Oliver?" she asked again, her tone more forceful.
"Y-yes," I stammered.
She raised an eyebrow. "Yes, what?"
"Yes, Ms. Gibson," I said.
At the bottom is Joey Paul, her website of www.joeypaulonline.com and the logo of a green and purple bug in the far right corner.



Monday 14 September 2020

Spoonie Writer: Managing Your Health



This is something I've talked about a lot before (pieces found here and here) but I'm coming at it from a different angle this time. I don't know whether I've mentioned before on the blog that I have a benign tumour in my left ring finger, and have done for a long while. It took a lot of time before I switched GP surgeries and they finally were willing to fight for me to get the tumour identified and taken out. That was over a year ago now, been scanned and all the rest, and we know it's a giant cell tumour and it's been causing a lot of nerve pain in both my left hand, and from what the surgeons tell me, also my right.

Anyway, with the back story done, I thought I would explain how managing your health as a spoonie writer can put up a lot of roadblocks that you're not used to. The pain from my tumour is quite debilitating and the tumour itself is growing and making it hard for me to use my left hand. I'd been told it wouldn't be too long a wait in January and then in March, surprise plague hit and no one knew when they'd get to it. Thanks to aforementioned awesome GP, I am now finally going through the pre-op process and will hopefully be getting the surgery this month, though you never know with the NHS, and the plague.

I can cope with a lot of things with my health, and have done so, but one thing I couldn't cope with was suddenly having to learn to type using less of my left hand than before. I had to cope with needing pain meds and maxing out on them and still being in a lot of pain. I had to cope with the lack of sleep, and mixed up schedule because the pain drains me and my sleep was never usual before. And all of that has come together with this whole new way of managing my health, of managing how I stay ahead of deadlines while also not pushing myself to breaking point.

And to be honest, I've been pretty close to breaking point this last year or so. I've had to find ways to do my work and then be ready to crash out the rest of the day because of strong pain meds. I've had to be told that there's nothing more they can do, other than remove the tumour, because of my already fragile health. And it's soul destroying and difficult, and it's just a finger, y'know? At this point, the fact that I may lose sensation in that finger doesn't both me, I just don't wanna be in this much pain all the time.

So how have I stayed on top of things, like editing, revising, drafting, and release deadlines? A lot of it has been down to how I've managed my time. I do the majority of my work first thing in the morning. I don't know if the need to not be sat up is down to the tumour or just because my other conditions wanna have some part to play in this mess, but since I know that I won't be able to sit up for long, and I know that once in bed, I will need meds at some point, my focus has been getting the chunk of work done in the early, early morning.

This might not work for you, you might not find yourself able to do that, and that's okay. My point is that there will be curve balls thrown at you and all you can do is adapt, adjust and keep going forward. It sounds so easy and yet I know it's not. I know that I didn't expect the lump in my finger to turn into this nightmare, because for a long time I was told it wasn't an issue, until I changed GP and then well, it was something that needed serious attention.

So while the surgeons have said that they'd like to fit me in during September, I don't know for sure that's going to happen. My hope is that when I sit down to post this blog (since I'm writing it at the end of August) I have a surgery date or at least some idea of when it'll happen. I'm going through the pre-op process now which means that I just need bloods, and a review from the anaesthetist and then I should be cleared for surgery. We can only hope.

What do you do when life throws you a curve ball? Lemme 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


Friday 11 September 2020

Review of From The Earth by AR Colbert


Claren didn't ask to join her society's Leadership. She was forced into it. And under the watchful eyes of her superiors, she's left with no choice but to carry out a mission that will destroy everything she believes in, including the man who has her heart.

The government wants her to kill the rebels. The rebels want her to play the part and infiltrate the city's Leadership. Can she find a way to maintain the trust of both sides, or will she die trying? 

And who exactly can Claren trust?

My Review: 5 STARS
I read the first book in this series and was hooked, so of course I had to pick up book two and see where the story continued. I adore Claren, and the world Colbert has built around their characters. The story carries off almost immediately after the end of the first book, and with the heartbreak, danger and intrigue, you’re pulled along the story rooting for people along the way. Colbert has a way with words that makes you feel like you are in the story along with the characters and it’s a series I very much want to finish. Will be looking forward to book three! Highly recommended!

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 8 September 2020




Jessie wants to help Meera, but it's hard to know what to do...

[ID: A graphic with a red background and the header of Cramping Chronicles: The First Twinge and underneath the words: Coming October 13th 2020. The excerpt reads:
“I’m sorry, the last thing I wanted to do was make things harder for you,” I said, sheepishly. “Is there any chance they’ll let you stick to the study group?”
Meera glared at me. “For now, they’re buying it, but they are demanding that I stop messaging anything that’s not school related, and since we know they have access to my phone, I can’t just reach out any more,” she leaned back against the wall, sighing angrily. “You can’t just be texting me, I can’t risk this happening again! Not unless it’s actually school related.”
At the bottom is Joey Paul, her website of www.joeypaulonline.com and the logo of a green and purple bug in the far right corner.



Monday 7 September 2020

The Trials of an Indie Author: Burnout


I did a piece last week about running out of ideas (found here) and in that I hinted that I'd be covering burnout, as while it's something I've talked about before (found here) it makes sense to cover it again and again because as you grow as a writer, you find that your way of dealing with these things changes, and the way you come to view them changes as well.

For reference details, I have been writing for almost twenty years, have been published for fifteen, and have drafted over thirty books in that time. I am disabled with several chronic conditions that put limits on my time, so when I'm talking about things that work for me, bear in mind that there's all of that backstory to go with it.

So what is burnout? It's basically when you've reached that point, usually, after pushing yourself too far and doing too much in a short amount of time, that you can no longer be creative in the same way as you usually are. Things like NaNoWriMo are great examples of ways you can burn yourself out. It's why a lot of people talking about refilling the creative well (piece here) and why down time and breaks from writing and creating are so very important. I know that a lot of the advice out there is to write every single day, which is one of the reasons that so many newbie writers (and more experienced ones too) end up burning out so very fast.

How do I deal with burnout? Personally I take a chunk of time away from any kind of writing. If I'm in the midst of editing, that goes on the back burner, and I have to seriously allow myself to relax and refill before I got back to it. For some people that can be weeks, others it can be months. And while every writer and creative is different, personally I find that it really does depend on where in the process you are, and how far into the burnout you got before you saw the warning signs and pulled back.

How do I avoid burnout? This is where it pays to be in tune with your body, your limits, and your symptoms. Burnout can present itself differently for different people. Personally I end up with a headache whenever I write for more than a few minutes, I feel lethargic and blah that isn't all my conditions, and sometimes my pain gets worse because my body is trying to wave this little white flag and demand that I rest my brain and eyes and all of me.

To avoid it, you have to know what it presents like in you. I know when I'm starting to get burned out when I've written chapters more than four or five days in a row. I plan my time so that I know what I'm supposed to be doing when, and also how long it is until I have my next rest day. During NaNoWriMo 2019, I said screw it to my goal, and pushed myself way too hard. I wrote 32 chapters, over 80K and then I paid for it in spades. I was so tired, so drained, and so ready to just curl up in a ball and never write again, but it doesn't happen the same to everyone.

My mistake had been doing double chapter days and writing on my days off. If I'd stuck to my plan, I probably would've managed to avoid burnout completely, and that's something I've learned about myself. It's been almost a year since then, and while I used to do 24 chapters in a month, I've managed that exactly once since that November. I now do 20 chapters as standard and then occasionally, I will try and squeeze in others, and I plan to do that when I finish these books and start two new ones for NaNoWriMo 2020. But I won't be going nuts, just getting my 50K and making sure I have all the rest days in the middle.

Burnout can knock you for six, and my advice is to simply know the signs and be gentle with yourself. You need breaks, you need time off, you need to be doing what's right for you, and that means taking care of yourself as well.

If you have any tips about burnout, lemme 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

Friday 4 September 2020

Review of The World That Was by Heather Carson

Life is meant for the living...

After Fawn and Brayson rush to escape the terror at The Nocere, they stumble upon a village at the base of the Ruby Mountains. Despite the back breaking struggle of the locals, Fawn soon discovers what it means to be truly alive.

But some secrets aren't meant to stay buried...

Whispered words and the chains from the past threaten to chase Fawn no matter how far she runs. The world that once was may be only a dream as reality drags her closer to her own fate.


My Review: 5 STARS
I read the first book in the series and adored it, and when the second popped up on my Kindle, I devoured it the day it was released in one sitting. Fawn’s world intrigues me and I adore her as a character, with the way everything was done, I was fully along for the ride. I loved the twists and turns, loved the bits I didn’t see coming, and adored the ending. It’s a series that I will be wanting to read more of, and can’t wait for the third book to come out. Overall an enjoyable read and one I highly recommend.

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 1 September 2020



Her friends wanna know everything about her empath abilities...

[ID: A graphic with a red background and the header of Cramping Chronicles: The First Twinge and underneath the words: Coming October 13th 2020. The excerpt reads:
How did you find out? R x.
Gray, take it away! J x.
Jessie was seeing things in my life when I was going through some stuff. The first time it was my grandfather dying. She knew about it but she also saw scenes that I didn't know about. When it happened the second time, well I didn't tell her I just waited to see if she'd know. And she did. That's when we worked out it was people she cared about. G x.
So before now it's just been Gray? R x.
Yeah, and my parents. My mum gets migraines and those always lay me out. J x.
Then why Meera? R x.
At the bottom is Joey Paul, her website of www.joeypaulonline.com and the logo of a green and purple bug in the far right corner.