Blog Tour: The Eden Paradox by Barry Kirwan {Guest Post}

Today I have a Guest Post for you from the author of The Eden Paradox, Barry Kirwan.

Blurb…

A murder… a new planet mankind desperately needs… a thousand-year old conspiracy… What really awaits us on Eden? In a world beset by political turmoil, environmental collapse, and a predatory new religion, a recently discovered planet, Eden, is our last hope. But two missions have failed to return. Blake Alexander and his crew lead the final attempt to bring back good news. Meanwhile back on Earth, Micah Sanderson evades assassins, and tries to work out who he can trust as he struggles in a race against time to unravel the Eden Paradox.

Extract…

Why I wrote the Eden Paradox

I’ve always loved Science Fiction. When I moved to Paris, I joined a writers group as a way to meet people and make friends. I got caught up in a short story which featured a four-person crew landing on Eden, the first habitable planet we could get to, and managing to upset an indigenous alien species they didn’t even know was there, and promptly getting killed in the process. I took it to a workshop in Paris, run by Michael C Curtis (fiction editor of Atlantic Fiction). Most of the twelve participants hated the story with a vengeance, e.g. this is the worst first line ever written. Michael noted that although they hated the story, they talked about the characters as if they were real people they knew. Keep the characters, he said, and change the story. So that’s what I did.

I read up on Fermi’s paradox – why, if there are logically many habitable planets in the galaxy, haven’t we encountered serious evidence of extra-terrestrial visitors? There are several obvious answers – the galaxy is really vast, so nobody’s found us yet; they found us but we’re not interesting; the galaxy is very old, and civilisations may have come and gone and we might be in a ‘dead patch’; etc. So, to me, there were four questions framing my story:

1. Why haven’t we met alien life yet?
2. When we do, will aliens be friendly or hostile?
3. Will they be smarter than us?
4. Will we survive the experience?

I figured, what if there is civilisation, but it is very far away. What are the chances they are friendly? And if they’re not friendly, could we puny humans do them any damage? Well, yes, I thought, because the laws of physics suggest that nuclear weapons and possibly nanotech invasion would be nasty for most (corporeal) organisms, no matter how far advanced. So, how would they avoid these defences if they wanted to invade? Inside help, I thought, and there I had the makings of a story which has ended up a trilogy in four parts (okay, so it is a tetralogy, or quadrology if you prefer).

As I worked on it, and particularly as I got into the second book, I got more and more interested in alien intelligence, how different and more advanced it could be – not easy to conceptualise, obviously, but worth some effort. Why would it be more advanced? Well, if you think about galactic timescales and travelling distances, and times for any alien society to rise, mature, stagnate and fall, chances are good that there will be species some millions of years ahead of us on the evolutionary scale. So, Star Trek, where humans are pretty much top dog, is a nice idea, but, statistically speaking, unlikely.

The Eden Saga isn’t just about aliens and space ships; far from it. It’s about humanity, and what could happen if we suddenly found ourselves in the midst of a far superior civilisation – would we cope? Could we adapt fast enough? To me these are important questions, because the answers reveal things about ourselves, and because one day, as we see further into the galaxy, we’ll find something, or more likely something will find us. Then it won’t be fiction anymore. I believe we should think ahead…

So, the answers to the four questions, according to the series, are:

1. We already have, a long time ago, and they’re due back
2. Mainly hostile or at best utilitarian; altruism is not that common an alien value
3. Mostly, some by a long way
4. Well, for this one, you have to read the series…

In the first book, the Eden Paradox, we find out that aliens visited us a thousand years ago, and are coming back, and that they left one or two behind to mind the store. The fate of humanity rests in the hands of two men, Micah on Earth, and Blake on Eden, the nearest habitable world, but they only have a short time to figure it all out before the aliens arrive.

People have said The Eden Paradox is not like normal science fiction, that it is more like a thriller set in the near future. Personally, I hope it remains fiction for a very long time, and that we can hide under the galactic radar for another few centuries before advanced aliens come a-knocking.

Book links…

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13054426-the-eden-paradox?ac=1&from_search=true
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0982369840/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_uk-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738

Author links:

Website: http://www.barrykirwan.com
Blog: blog.barrykirwan.com
Twitter: @Eden_paradox
Facebook: https://facebook.com/EdenParadox

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

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Author Guest Post: Liz Taylorson

Today I have a Guest Post from Author of The Little Church by the Sea, Liz Taylorson. Liz talks to us about Inspiration. 

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Inspired by …

Many authors draw inspiration from the view outside their study window. The rolling hills of the Cotswolds, perhaps, the Lakeland fells or a windswept Scottish beach … Ah, smell that sea air, how could anyone fail to be inspired?

The view from my desk is rather more suburban. I can see a wide patch of tarmac intended for turning vehicles but mostly used as a handy little car park by the neighbours, and a road beyond it. It’s not an exciting road, it’s a small hill that goes up towards the railway station. The most exciting things about it are the blossom trees in the spring and watching cars slide down it in the snow.

However I still spend an inordinate amount of time looking out of my window when I should be working … So other than gazing out of the window, where do I get my inspiration?

When it came to writing my first novel, the first thing I did was make a list. I love lists and pretty notebooks to write them in and I knew I wanted my story to have a wintery setting – I wanted the bleakness of the seaside in winter and I wanted the prettiness of Christmas, frost and snow. So I listed all the things that inspired me about winter – the contrast of dark nights and pretty lights, frost on the windows and flames in the hearth, holly and ivy hanging against a wood panelled wall and silver candlesticks. I listed half remembered childhood customs, songs and stories. And then I tried to imagine the kind of place I could set a story that included all these elements.

Then I came across a door. A picture of a door, in fact, an old wooden door belonging to a tiny cottage in Robin Hood’s Bay, a fishing village not far from Whitby on the North Yorkshire coast. It had a beautiful old door-knocker and a Christmas wreath hanging on it. It would be just the kind of place for wood panelled walls, silver candlesticks, mulled wine and mistletoe, but what kind of things might happen in a cottage like that?

Now I had a setting of the seaside in winter, I knew that with it would come an element of danger – high tides, storms, cold and a community that could easily be isolated by the wrong kind of weather, plenty of drama there! It gave a lovely contrast to the warmth and tradition of Christmas.

Finally I had to think about who was going to be at the heart of the story. I knew that I wanted to write about a lonely woman who had never had a full relationship with a man, so I asked myself who might find themelves in this position? The answer came quite quickly – someone with a strong belief that sex before marriage was wrong. Someone religious … a vicar perhaps? A female vicar. But why on earth would a single female vicar be living in a pretty cottage in the middle of a seaside village and not a in vicarage?

Because something had happened to the vicarage and she couldn’t live there. Something dramatic and unusual that would make a good starting point for her story, her quest to find a home and the right man to share it with … And this is where another kind of inspiration came in. I sometimes work with an author of local history books, helping him prepare his manuscripts for publication – and he had written a book about the North Yorkshire coast, which documented several cliff falls including the demise of the Holbeck Hall Hotel in Scarborough in 1993. So, what if her vicarage had fallen over the cliff?

And there you have it. The things that have inspired me – books, pictures, pretty notebooks to make lists in and looking out of the window!

Liz’s novel The Little Church by the Sea is published by Manatee Books and can be purchased from Amazon at: goo.gl/Wwr5uG  

Liz is on Facebook at @TaylorsonLiz and Twitter @taylorson_liz. She has a blog at liztaylorson.wordpress.com 

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Thank you so much to Liz who happens to live local to me, your time writing this is much appreciated. 

Emma-Louise x

Author & Editor Guest Post: S.D Mayes

Today I have another amazing Guest Post for you. Author S.D Mayes not only discusses her writing but offers some fantastic tips to others who want to write.

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S.D. Mayes – Journalist, Author and Editor

I always liken editing to cleaning the skirting boards. I don’t really want to do it, but afterwards I feel so much better. However, after doing many rewrites and edits – and that was around eighteen drafts of Letters to the Pianist, my historical suspense novel, I was ready to throw the blimmin’ laptop out of the window. Yep, this novel was probably one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done in my life. Timewise, I spent a year writing and nearly two years editing and rewriting, so getting it finally published at the end of September this year was a huge relief.

I’ve worked as a journalist for over twenty years and had already written a best-selling self-help book, Be Your Own Psychic, published by Hodder & Stoughton – one of the big five, so I thought writing a novel would be easy. How wrong I was. I had chosen a complex multi-layered plot with a parallel father and daughter story, simply because the story popped into my mind years back and I loved the premise of it – a Jewish man who loses his memory and marries into a family of Nazi sympathisers. I thought it was going to be hard work, but it just kept popping into my head, and one rainy Sunday afternoon I got started. I had two protagonists: teenage Ruth Goldberg, and her father Joseph Goldberg who was renamed Edward Chopard by his new aristocratic wife Connie.

A protagonist is the character your story revolves around. And I chose to write Ruth in the first person so her story was right up front and in your face. I then chose to write her father, Joseph and all the other characters in third person – both of which was clearly delineated by change of chapter. Many of the reviews I’ve received have said that they like getting the many third person point of views of different characters, but this book was a steep learning curve in many ways – and as I also beta read and edit other authors manuscripts as part of my other work, I’ve seen the many mistakes we can all make as new writers.

Show not Tell

I’m sure you have heard this phrase. It is essential for good writing, and most new writers don’t fully understand what this means. With ‘telling’ many paragraphs can end up being summarised instead of really engaging readers in the powerful elements of a story, so there is a huge lack of description throughout a book where the writer generalises far too much and expects the reader to join the dots as to what’s happening. As writers we need to be painting a story with pictures. A good parallel about the difference between show and tell is that with ‘telling’ the reader becomes an observer of your story. When you ‘show’ however, the reader really experiences your story, often becoming one of the characters in their minds. So that’s a huge difference in the experience of reading.

Here’s some examples with the authors consent on manuscripts I’ve edited.

Telling

‘My father died when I was young and my mother raised me. She was very pious, prayed constantly and took me to church every Sunday. The bitch didn’t allow me to read any book other than the Bible and she didn’t allow me to listen to music either. She was very strict. Every minor infraction would lead to a severe beating with a belt, rod, or cane.’

This paragraph gives a quick summary ‘telling’ us. There needs to be description and detail about how the relationship developed between mother and son. There is barely any description of Jack as a boy and no description of his mother’s character.

Showing

‘One afternoon I walked into our house after school. I was only seven, a small, thin waif of a boy because I didn’t get fed much, only rice and beans if I was lucky. My mother was scrubbing the kitchen floor on her hands and knees, pushing the bristles back and forth. It was a strange sight to behold as she barely did a scrap of housework. As usual, she stank of rum and her shirt was partly undone showing her huge breasts wobbling about.  I stood in the doorway staring.  ‘Mom’, I muttered, feeling ignored yet again. ‘Mom’, I’m starved. Can I have some bread?’  Finally, she looked up at me with bloodshot eyes, peering at me strangely. ‘Hungry, huh, well there’s no food for you, boy. Get upstairs and read that bible,’ she shouted. You have a darkness in you, I can see it oozing it out of every pore – the spirit of Beelzebub is in you, and you need to read that bible over and over to get it out. Do you hear me?’

With ‘showing’ the reader gets an immediate understanding of the dynamics of this boy’s childhood and relationship with his mother.

Another example of ‘telling’ from a sentence is this.

‘The food was retrieved from a counter where a team of cooks worked furiously to get enough food out for the encroaching students.  They ate well, the food was good. Few words passed as the food went down.’

So what’s wrong with this paragraph?

Firstly, the word ‘food’ was used four times in one paragraph. It’s important for a writer to vary their language. Repetition of the same words too close together reveal boring lazy language – and you want to keep your reader on their toes. But it’s also important to be descriptive to state what this food is. The author needs to make sure it sounds delicious. For example, a description of ‘showing’ with food would be this. ‘There before us, was a long table set out in front of the bay window with the most mouth-watering display of food: platters of buttery smoked haddock and crispy potato cakes, bagels oozing with cream cheese, a dish of boiled eggs, a sponge cake trickled with honey, and my favourite, big round sugary doughnuts all set out on lace doilies. I was drooling, picturing the sweet jam exploding into my mouth.

You get my drift? This kind of detail is what brings stories alive so the reader can see and taste the food.

POV

POV relates to the point of view of a character and many writers resort to head hopping which can confuse the reader. And this is very common. When you write from first person it’s obvious you are in your protagonists head, and that can be up front and powerful as the character tells their story. The problem with first person is that it is limited to that one perspective. So events can only unfold from that characters perception as they tell their story.  Many novelists such as Paula Hawkins author of ‘Girl on the Train’, and Gillian Flynn author of ‘Gone Girl’ use this first person POV for all their characters by putting the name at the top of the chapter, so they get another characters perspective. And in my view ‘first person’ is the easiest way to write.

Third person is far more complex when you go from one character to another, and this is something many authors struggle with where they resort to ‘head hopping’. There is a golden rule with POV. The rules in writing are that you cannot head hop from one character to another without first changing scene or chapter. For example, in this para the characters headhop from Jenny’s thoughts to David’s in two consecutive paras.

Get up, you two! Quickly!” Jenny yelled. The emphasis in her voice appeared to be sharp and impatient. Knowing that assisting the slumbering twins could get her in trouble, she quickly removed her head from underneath the ivy-covered entrance.

David was shocked that Jenny still had such pent up energy despite being up all night. Although he overslept, he felt like an extra hour would have helped him feel less groggy.

So this has gone from Jenny’s point of view to David’s in the same scene. Dialogue can of course go back and forth between characters, but you need to choose whose head you are going to be for that scene or chapter and stick to it, or create a new scene if you are changing POV to another character.

Adverbs: I often find new writers over complicate a sentence by using too many adverbs. I know I did initially. Strong, direct language is best. Adverbs are fine in moderation, but many manuscripts I’ve seen use very similar phrases within a few paragraphs, so there’s a lot of glaring eyes, saddened eyes, brooding eyes and bulging eyes. Writing is about being creative in how you write, not saying the same thing with a few different words.  Find different ways of physically showing how your characters express themselves. For example, instead of saying saddened eyes which is technically ‘telling’ – say ‘she hunched over, clenched her hands together, her eyes wet with tears.’  Leaving in adverbs can look amateurish and lazy as if you can’t be bothered, so describe things properly instead of generalising and be confident with leaner sentences that read in a cleaner, crisper way.

Cliché’s

It’s considered a big no no to mention too many clichés. Expressions of speech, are different if they allude to a certain way of speaking, but it’s important as a writer to find ways of saying the same thing in different ways and finding unique metaphors. Who can forget ‘Hills like White Elephants’, a short story by Ernest Hemingway. What a great description, and one that immediately evokes a visual picture.

What I did in Letters to the Pianist was if a cliché came to mind, I would try and put my unique spin on it, so instead of saying ‘trapped in a gilded cage’ which is a well known cliché, I used, my own – ‘Everything else came under his list of possessions and she was merely another, ‘trapped in a mink-lined dungeon.’

None of this came easy to me at first, and it takes consistent work to keep going through a manuscript and cleaning it up. And I don’t profess to be an expert on any of this, but I have learnt a lot through the years, and as tough as it might be, it definitely gets your creative mind ticking over, and that to me is what writing is all about.

Letters to the Pianist is out now in hardback, paperback and eBook

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Thank you for taking the time to speak to us Sherron. You can follow Sherron on Goodreads or via her Facebook Page.

Emma-Louise x

Author Guest Post: Carol Warham

Today I have the lovely author Carol Warham on writing her book Resolutions.

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Many thanks to Emma Louise for inviting me along to her lovely new look blog. I opted to do a guest post as I’ve had something very much on my mind recently. That is my debut novel Resolutions, which was released on August 9th this year.

I thought writing a book was hard work. I thought editing it was extremely hard work. Little did I know that the real hard work was only just starting- marketing and promoting your work. This has turned out to be very difficult. 

There is a lot of advice ‘out there’. As ever, most writers generously give their advice and support. As you’ll appreciate a lot of marketing and promotion is done over social media and it’s a worry that you are boring the same people with your posts. I’m very grateful for the help, advice, ‘likes’ and ‘shares’, which friends and other writers gave. It’s also quite a trial to force yourself to promote yourself, when it doesn’t come naturally!

As Resolutions is an e-book, I couldn’t hawk it round some local, independent bookshops. Neither could I organise myself a talk with ‘signings’ (should anyone actually want to come along!). So, what do you do?

I’m lucky enough to have had the support of my local library and community. I was offered our small village library as a venue for my ‘launch’. My daughter helped me put together a power point presentation on the locations I’d use, all which would be familiar to my audience. I was delighted with the turnout. The local Women’s Institute helped with the refreshments but the star of the night was the cake baked by a friend with the book cover iced onto it.                                                          

My husband designed and made some bookmarks for me to give away that evening. They proved so popular I’ve since had them professionally printed. A number of people have even asked me to sign them, which has been most unexpected! I’ve also taken to sneakily leaving a few around in hotels, the gym changing room, anywhere I can. Well, you never know who might pick one up!                           

Two local newspapers gave me a little coverage. I think this was particularly because I’d based the story around localities people would recognise. I was also invited onto a podcast that the library runs for the visually impaired. That was great fun going down into the bowels of Huddersfield Town Hall to record it. Although it was nerve wracking, I hate the sound of my own voice.

Of course, there are websites and books which will tell you what you should be doing. However finding the time to read, write and market is proving difficult. If you discover a way of juggling all three, please do let me know!

I’m so thankful for the bloggers and reviewers that have invited me onto their sites, either for guest posts or interviews. These wonderful people are the life blood of the author. I’m about to hold my first blog tour, organised by the amazing Lucy Felthouse. In the last few days I’ve also taken part in an online ‘party’ covering the UK, the US and Australia. That was hard work but great fun. Both the winners of a PDF of Resolutions and a Yorkshire calendar live in America. Hopefully this will lead to some new readers. Yes, I did put some signed book marks in with the calendar!

I’ve learned how to tweet – at least just about! To be honest I’m always looking for new ways in which to promote the book.  I’ve been advised that the work put into promoting this novel goes a long way in helping to promote the next, and the next and so on. 

Whatever your way of trying to market your book, I wish you good luck with it. 

Meanwhile, I’d again like to thank Emma-Louise for giving me this opportunity to be on her blog. Without bloggers like her I’d struggle to know what to do and be well and truly stuck.

Many thanks to all of you who have come along to read my thoughts. It’s been good to meet you here.

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Thank you Carol for your amazing Guest Post. If you want to check out Carol’s books you can do so via the publisher link here.

Carol’s FacebookTwitter and blog can be found on these links.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Author Guest Post: Julie Ryan

Hey! Today I have a Guest Post for you from author Julie Ryan. Today Julie discusses with us 10 things that she wished she had known before she started writing.

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Things I wish I’d known before I started – Julie Ryan

1. If I’d read more about planning and plotting a novel, I might not have had to write my first book twelve times!  Even though I can’t change the way I write, I do now spend more time plotting and less on rewriting.  I’ll always be a bit of a pantser though as I love the surprises.

2. When the writing process starts, everything else will be put on hold. Don’t expect to have clean clothes, cooked meals or be able to find anything. This is a necessary process to facilitate creativity and will last until approximately two weeks after you finish writing. See point 3 below.

3. You never finish writing! I wish I’d known that when you write ‘The End’ it’s just the beginning and the real work of editing and polishing begins. In my case this can take longer than the actual writing of the book.

4. Writing is addictive. Nobody warned me that once you start you can’t stop. My initial goal was to write a short story. The next goal was to turn it into a novel. After that the goal was to self-publish on Amazon. Then one book became a series. Once you go down that path then I think you are compelled to write even if nobody else ever reads a word of it.

5. You will eat your own bodyweight in chocolate.

6. You will become the Queen of procrastination. Jobs that you used to hate such as filling in the tax return suddenly become quite attractive when faced with a major plot hole or writer’s block.

7. You can receive US royalties from Amazon tax- free if you are UK resident/national but you have to fill in a special form. I discovered this after a year of being self-published. 

8. If you are self-pubbed you will need to become a marketing expert as nobody else is going to do it for you unless you can afford a PR assistant. I would never have thought that I would be running several blog sites, be an avid reviewer, network with the mega famous (who I always thought were so out of my league) and have developed a range of skills to be proud of.

9. Prioritise your time. Until I started blogging and building up a network of followers I had no idea how time-consuming it would all be. Admittedly hours on Facebook looking at kittens doesn’t count. Seriously though you need to ‘Work smart, not hard.”

10. I wish I’d known how much I love this passion for writing and wish I’d discovered it years ago. However, I’m enjoying every minute and making up for lost time.

Biography

Julie Ryan’s roots are in a small mining village in South Yorkshire. After a degree in French Language and Literature, wanderlust kicked in and she lived and worked in France, Poland, Thailand and Greece. Her spirit enriched, her imagination fired, Julie started a series of mystery romances, thrillers set in the Greek Isles. 

Jenna’s Journey is the first novel in Julie Ryan’s Greek Islands Series, a series she did not set out to create but which took on its own life and grew, rich and fascinating. This is the first of three published so far and promises to delight readers looking for the hidden dark sides of dream vacations in the Greek Isles.


In a new venture, Julie’s latest book is a short rom-com called Callie’s Christmas Countdown.

A prolific and well-known book review blogger, Julie does her writing and reviewing from rural Gloucestershire, where she lives with her husband, son and dippy cat with half a tail.

You can find Julie on her websites:

Website/blog for book reviews

http://www.allthingsbookie.com/

Blog

http://julieryanbooks.blogspot.co.uk  

on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/julie.ryan.3114

and on Twitter @julieryan18

Buy links

JENNA’S JOURNEY

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jennas-Journey-Island-Mystery-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B01GGOCKLK

SOPHIA’S SECRET

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sophias-Secret-Greek-Island-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00LFJGCWA

PANDORA’S PROPHECY

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pandoras-Prophecy-Greek-Island-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00V6CWVBW

CALLIE’S CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Callies-Christmas-Countdown-Julie-Ryan-ebook/dp/B0188T7H2I

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Thank you so much Julie for your post. I can relate to  number 5 100% 🙂 

Emma-Louise x

Blog Tour: A Winter’s Wish Come True by Lynsey James {Guest Post}

Today I have a Guest Post from Lynsey James author of A Winter’s Wish Come True. 

Blurb…

Being pregnant with her ex-boyfriend’s baby is the last thing on Cleo Jones’s Christmas wish list. Scott might have been the man of her dreams once upon a time, but things change and now Cleo faces a future as a single mum… Or does she?

Scott won’t let Cleo go through this alone; whatever their differences he’s vowed to be there, from antenatal classes to night feeds and nappy changing. The two agree to bring up their baby as friends – but as Cleo’s bump grows, so do their feelings for each other.

Cleo can’t be sure if it’s her heart of her hormones urging her to give Scott a second chance – but getting back together could be the best Christmas present of all!

Guest Post – Sequel Survival Guide

There’s no two ways about it: writing a sequel is hard. You wonder if people will like it as much as your characters’ first story, if the characters are well-liked enough to warrant another part to their journey or if your readers might think it’s overkill.

A Winter’s Wish Come True is a sequel to A Season of Hopes and Dreams and I’ve thought all of the above at least fifty times over. I hope readers are happy to see Cleo and Scott again and that their new adventure is as well-received as the first one was. I learnt a lot doing a direct sequel and decided to put this survival guide together to help other authors who might be in the same boat.

1. Don’t second-guess yourself

This is easier said than done, but if you manage to stop second-guessing yourself, writing your sequel is a lot easier! If you feel that your characters have another part to their story, go ahead and write it. After I finished A Season of Hopes and Dreams, Cleo and Scott just wouldn’t leave me alone and I felt like I had to tell the second part of their journey as a couple. It’s only natural to wonder if people want to have your characters back for another story, but if you really feel passionate about the sequel’s subject, that’ll come over in the writing and transfer to the reader.

2. Have the original story open on your laptop

I learned this the hard way. Keeping a file of the original story open on your laptop is absolutely crucial, even if it’s just for little details! I couldn’t remember the surname I gave a character in A Season of Hopes and Dreams and it drove me crazy until I remembered I had the story on my laptop for reference. From then on, I kept it open and used it to check parts of the first story that I was bringing into this one.

3. Have fun

This is a really important one, and one that can be really easy to forget about. For as hard as sequels can be to do, just have fun with it. You’ve already got a great set of characters that readers love and you get to spend even more time with them! As I said above, it’s really natural to worry about doing the first story justice, but I’m here to tell you you’ve got this. These are your characters and you’re going to tell a great second story with them. So go for it and don’t hold back!

About Lynsey…

 Lynsey James was born in Fife in 1991 and has been telling people how to spell her name ever since. She’s an incurable bookworm who loves nothing more than getting lost in a good story with memorable characters. She started writing when she was really young and credits her lovely Grandad- and possibly a bump on the head from a Mr Frosty machine- with her love of telling stories. She used to write her own episodes of Friends and act them out in front of her family (in fact she’s sure she put Ross and Rachel together first!)

A careers adviser at school once told Lynsey writing wasn’t a “good option” and for a few years, she believed her. She tried a little bit of everything, including make-up artistry, teaching and doing admin for a chocolate fountain company. The free chocolate was brilliant. When Lynsey left my job a couple of years ago, she started writing full-time while she looked for another one. As soon as she started working on her story, Lynsey fell in love and decided to finally pursue her dream. She haven’t looked back since.

When Lynsey’s not writing, eating cake or drinking tea, she’s daydreaming about the day Dylan O’Brien FINALLY realises they’re meant to be together. It’ll happen one day…

You can purchase a copy of A Winter’sWish Come True here

Thanks for reading

Emma-Louise x

Book Tour: Oh! What A Pavlova by Isabella May {Q&A}

Oh! What a pavlova Tour Banner

Today I have an guest post from Isabella May, author of Oh! What a Pavlova.

Blurb…

Kate Clothier is leading a double life: a successful jet-setting businesswoman to the outside world, but behind closed doors, life with Daniel and his volcanic temper is anything but rosy.

Some days – heck, make that EVERY day – cake is her only salvation.

Slowly but surely, the cities she visits – and the men she meets – help her to realise there IS a better future.

And the ley lines of Glastonbury are certainly doing their best to impart their mystical wisdom…

But will she escape before it’s too late?

Q&A…

What process do you follow for your writing? Are you a planner or do you just let it flow? Straight to PC or pen and paper?

I’m a mix of notebooks and PC when I am starting out on a new book. Notebooks are great to transport to cafes (I’m a dance mum so spend a lot of time waiting around with a coffee and cake!). Even in a noisy setting, you will overhear something in a conversation which sparks off an idea. And I often find that my characters start ‘talking to me’ and will let me record several paragraphs of an argument or confrontation … or even a sex scene for a future chapter!

Do you attend writing/author focused conferences? Which is your favourite?

Alas, living in Spain means it’s tricky to get to author conferences. I hope to attend some in the future though. On the other hand, I am near the Gibraltar Literary Festival and have been a few times. It’s had some really inspired line-ups over the past few years, and this October’s is no exception.

How many manuscripts do you have that you never submitted? Will you consider approaching your publisher with them now?

At the time of writing this, my second manuscript (a story packed full of cocktails and my usual jump-off-the-page characters, humour, travel and magic), is with my publisher, Crooked Cat Books for perusal. I’m keeping my paws crossed for a good response! And that’s it. So far, I have only written two books. But book three is already swirling around nicely in my head … that might just have to be based here, on the lively Costa del Sol.

What one piece of advice do you wish you received before you started writing? What one piece of intended good advice, wasn’t what it seemed?

I wish I’d been told to believe in my writing sooner. For years I doubted I had any true ability because I had no writing training or credentials. But eventually my confidence grew with practice, and, to be honest, by attending local writing groups here in Spain and biting the bullet to read my drafts aloud. The best thing I have ever been told when it comes to writing is that the infamous rules are there to be broken. In other words: learn them and then decide which to discard of. Obviously, this will change from novel to novel, but I think that as writers we uphold way too many rules, and actually, it is only through their wild abandon that we will find our true voice.

What is your favourite thing about the whole writing process?

My favourite thing about the whole writing process is that exciting flurry of words which comes out of absolutely nowhere … and then you can’t find pen and paper for toffee/fire up the laptop quickly enough! Those words are almost divine. Record them however you can though because you can bet your bottom dollar that when you do get around to jotting them down later, they won’t be there.

Was there a particular book that made you sit up and think ‘that’s it, I’m going to be an author too’?

Rebecca Campbell’s Light is the New Black is definitely the book that gave me the extra kick up the backside.

Who do you envisage as playing your characters if your book was ever turned into a movie?

Daniel Mays would make the perfect Daniel. As for Kate, I’d love to see either Emma Watson or Emily Blunt take on that role. I think both would portray naivety and self-doubt brilliantly, slipping into self-confidence in the business world with ease. Time to create a secret Pinterest board and start visualising!

What do you consider is your greatest accomplishment?

I hope it doesn’t sound like trumpet-blowing but there are many things I am proud of having achieved: One being *undoubtedly* this book. Then again, it did take a whopping seven years.
But I am also thrilled at the number of countries I have visited. Being one with Itchy Feet who doesn’t get to travel as much as she’d like now life has brought her family to Andalucia (the airfares here are shocking … the rail networks few and far between … the car journeys vast!), I would have to say all the travel I did prior to hitting thirty! I think I have totted up forty countries at last count. And I am also proud of myself for sticking out my degree. It was four years long and some of the ‘pathways’ that went with my Modern Languages degree, were far from fun, or my areas of expertise: Politics, Economics etc etc … Yawn!

I suppose I should also say that I am proud of myself, and my husband, for bringing up two bi-lingual children, giving them opportunities that will really open doors when it comes to their future careers. They both attend the local Spanish state school.

I could go on … but I must retain an element of mystique!

Buying Links

Amazon UK

Amazon.com

Thank you for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Blog Tour Blitz: A Justifiable Madness by AB Morgan {Guest Post}

Today I have a Guest Post from AB Morgan for the Blog Blitz Tour for the novel A Justifiable Madness hosted by Bloodhound Books.

Guest Post

Writing Style:

 It’s not accurate to say that I write like I speak, because I swear far more in real life than any of the characters in A Justifiable Madness. However, I do believe that my sense of humour and fascination with the way people interact and demonstrate their personal traits does define my writing. ‘Unpretentious’ would probably describe my style. I try to produce a story that is easy to digest and one that readers would be driven to turn each page to find out what happens to all the characters, not just the main players.

As I write I inhabit the characters, I see and hear the story in my mind as a real-life performance, as if it were on screen. My intention is for readers to have the same experience by using dialogue to its best advantage, and I try not to overload with too much added detailed description.

The best advice I’ve been given is to read out loud what I have produced on the page. This is invaluable. I can hear the mistakes. My latest approach to editing involves making a voice recording, so that the story comes alive when I play it back. If it sounds flat then it is flat and needs attention, and the process also helps with those moments when the right words fail to appear, or have arrived in the wrong order.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Guest Post Shout Out

Hey Everyone! 
Lately I have taken part in a couple of Guest posts for other blogs (which I will link to when published) and it’s given me the idea to host a few guest posts also.

If anyone would be interested in writing a post for The Stationery Geekette then please get in touch.

There are a wide variety of topics available so there will be something to suit everyone.

What I will be asking is that you write a post on an agreed topic and include links where is necessary. 

What I will do is check over the post and links and then upload it to my site along with your blog and social media details.

Should this be something you are interested in please drop me a comment below or send me an email at thestationerygeekette@yahoo.com. 

Thanks for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x

Guest Post: Charlotte of Wonderfully Bookish

A little while ago I got talking to the lovely Charlotte of Wonderfully Bookish and I was asked to do a post for her blog. I asked it she would mind doing one for mine as well and so she kindly did.

Here we have the post from Charlotte ;

What do you love about reading?

What’s not to love about reading?! I love that it’s one of the easiest, most accessible hobbies for anyone. You can pick up books for so cheap (or even for free) and you can read them anywhere. Just for a while you can escape into someone else’s world and get to know so many great characters!

What was your last 5-star review?

The Shadow Hour by Kate Riordan. You can read my review here. It was full of suspense, mystery and intriguing family webs. I adored some of the characters and the settings. I’ll probably read it again soon even though I’ve only just read it!

 What are you currently reading?

I’ve somehow got myself into a mess of reading about 4 books at once. I started reading Before I Go to Sleep by S J Watson, and then remembered I had a blog tour coming up for Deadline by Jackie Kabler so started reading that. There’s another blog tour soon for Snowflakes and Christmas Cakes by Lindsey Paley, and I’m also about to start Carrie by Stephen King for The Little Contemporary Corner’s read-along. It’s a bit manic!

 What are your favourite books?

I can’t decide that!! The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, The Shadow Hour by Kate Riordan, The Glittering Art of Falling Apart by Ilana Fox and On the Edge: My Story by Richard Hammond are just a few.

 What is your book bucket list?

1.       Harry Potter: Study at Hogwarts and travel the Wizarding World, visiting the other schools like Beauxbatons and Durmstrang

2.       Fangirl: Write fan fiction with Cath and Wren

3.       The Snow Child: Explore the Alaskan wilderness and meet Faina, the mysterious snow child

4.       The BFG: Experiment with dream-catching with Sophie and the BFG

5.       The Rabbit Back Literature Society: Take a tour and get lost in the amazing Rabbit Back Library. I could read for hours in there!

6.       Howl’s Moving Castle: Have breakfast and travel to magical kingdoms with Sophie, Howl, Markl and Heen the dog

7.       Matilda: Go for a picnic in the park and have tea with Matilda and Miss Honey

 If you could meet and have dinner with any character who would it be?

See above. Matilda and Miss Honey! It would be so much fun and we could just discuss books all day.

 Thanks for reading! If you fancy having a look at my blog, I’d love you to come and visit!

Charlotte / Wonderfully Bookish x

If you would like to take part in a guest post for The Stationery Geekette then either pop a comment below or email me at thestationerygeekette@yahoo.com. 

Thanks for reading. 

The Stationery Geekette x