Saturday, 15 March 2014

Writing tips for aspiring authors

10 things I wish every aspiring author knew

Here are some things I wish I'd known before I started out as an author. I used to think there was this single magic formula for writing, but I don't think there is. It's a combination of grit, hard work and inspiration. Here are my thoughts on what you need to know ...

1. You can’t wait for inspiration to strike. If you want to be an author, you need to have the discipline to sit down and write, even if you ‘don’t feel like it’.

2. Sales don’t come instantly (unless you’re very lucky … or you sold your soul to the devil). You have to work for them.

3. Once you’ve finished writing your first book, that’s when the hard work starts. I’m not really selling it to you am I? Let me try and be a bit more positive in point number 4.

4. There’s nothing quite like the feeling when you’re writing a scene and the characters’ emotions spill over into your own. You can end up laughing or crying with your own creations – that’s a pretty amazing feeling!

5. There is no ‘one way’ to write a book. Everyone has different methods. You can plot methodically, or go with the flow. My way of writing lies somewhere in between the two.

6. When writing a book, there always comes a point (usually around a third of the way in) when it becomes the hardest slog on earth, and you’ll wonder why you started writing it, and the whole thing feels like this giant waste of time. At this point, it’s advisable to have a good cry/punch a wall/ eat a whole jumbo size bar of chocolate/get drunk. Now you’ve got that out of your system, you must push on through the pain barrier and kiss and make up with your masterpiece-of-a-manuscript. After a chapter or two of hard slog, you’ll be back in love with it again.

7. Beta readers are invaluable. I have input from betas during and after the writing process. People who can look at your manuscript with fresh eyes, spot gaping plot holes, tell you your pacing is off, point out that your characters aren’t believable enough etc etc. And no, your mum is not a good choice for a beta reader.

8. Good coffee.

9. Get a thick skin. Once you finish your book, you’ll have all manner of people telling you, you suck. From editors with red pens. To gatekeepers with heart-piercing stock phrases: ‘Thank you for your submission. While we do consider it to have merit, unfortunately we ….’ But possibly the worst and most disheartening moment is your first 1 star review. Or even worse – the pompous 3 star reviewer who tells you that he/she is a writer and would’ve written it like xyz, not like your crazy-ass xyf. Learn and move on. It’s not personal.

10. Don’t always be analysing the sales and marketing and craft aspects of writing a book. Allow yourself to wallow in your scenes and step into your characters’ skins. Have fun with the plots and delight in wicked twists. Yes, writing a book is really hard work, but it’s also a wonderful experience. And there’s nothing quite like that incredible feeling of achievement when you type:

Feel free to leave a comment with your own writing tips/experiences . . .

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Shattered Worlds is On Tour!!

If you love dystopian and apocalyptic fiction, then join us over the next 
few days to get your fix. You'll find exclusive excerpts from the novels, 
guest posts from the authors, and there’s also an opportunity to enter the Shattered Worlds giveaway to win 12 novels and a $60 Amazon gift card.

Check out the tour dates below!
26th February
Playing Jokers
Mythical Books
Read More, Sleep Less
Jess Time To Read
Donnie Darko Girl
Vanilla Moon Blog
Old Victorian Quill
Happy Indulgence Books
Sarit Yahalomi
Trina’s Tantalising Titbits
Mom with a Kindle
Primorose Musings
Becca Anne’s Book Reviews
Aria Kane
Booky Thoughts and Me
Share My Destiny
Day Dream Books
Simplistic Reviews
A Touch of Book Madness
A Dream Within a Dream
To Dream with Eyes Open
Wonderful Monster Book
Reviewing in Chaos
We Do Write
Girls with Book
Rude Mom
Living in a Book World
Marked by Books
Gin’s Book Notes

27th February
Two Ends of the Open
Purple Shadow Hunter
Books Direct
I Love Books
Sassy Book Lovers
The Book Bag
The Bookish Confections
Fantastical World of Wonders

28th February
Why I can’t Stop Reading
Shayna Varadeaux
Books by Kay
Contagious Reads
Creating Serenity
Bawakas Book Fair
Crazy Beautiful Reviews
Literary Me
Wanted Readers
Pieces of Whimsy
Naughty Book Eden

1st March
Bibliophile Mystery
Vanya Drum
Yearning Mermaid
My Book Addiction
Reviews by Jasmine
Magic Inside Pages
Book Liaison
Cada Libro Un Mundo
Ebook Escapes
Literary Winner
Rockin’ and Reviewing
Sun Mountain Reviews
Mismatched Bookends
Books to Breathe

2nd March
Once Upon a YA book
Buried Under Books
Michael Scifan
Book Lover’s Life
Live a Thousand Lives
All Things in the Cloud Sweet
The Cover Contessa
Scandalous Bookblog

3rd March
Thoughts at One in the Morning
Addicted Readers
A Book Addict’s Bookshelves
So Many Books, So Little Time
Deal Sharing Aunt
NaYa Books and More

Thanks a bazillion to all the amazing bloggers who signed up for the Shattered Worlds tour. We're blown away by how many of you have offered to host it.

If you'd like to get your hands on a copy of all six featured novels, Shattered Worlds is on sale for just 99c / 77p !!
Barnes and Noble

Monday, 3 February 2014

Win 6 Bestselling Dystopian Novels plus an Amazon Giftcard

See below to win all these incredible ebooks, 
plus an Amazon gift card!

Bestselling tales of survival against the odds,
dark worlds, dystopian regimes and heroic rebels.

Shattered Worlds features six full-length novels from bestselling authors. 
Immerse yourself in post-apocalyptic civilizations and bleak near-futures
where hope still lives.
1. Apocalypsis Book 1: Kahayatle from 
 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Elle Casey 

2. Outside (Outside series, Book 1) by Shalini Boland

3. The Torturer's Daughter by Zoe Cannon 

4. Night of the Purple Moon by Scott Cramer 

5. The Blemished by Sarah Dalton

6. The Breeders by Katie French

   For your chance to win all six novels, plus the sequels and a $60 Amazon Gift Card, enter the Rafflecopter below:

Monday, 6 January 2014

How to get free ebooks for kindle, nook, kobo, ipad etc

These past few months, I've been busy setting up 
a new free service for readers called eBookSoda
a way to get free and cheap ebooks in genres you love.

With millions of books out there, it’s hard to find the stuff you like. eBookSoda emails you with great deals on highly rated ebooks in your favourite genres. 

If you like thrillers and cookery, that's what you'll get. If you like contemporary romance and bestsellers, then you'll only receive those types of deals.

The deals are available for all reading devices, including kindle, nook, ipad, kobo, sony, laptop and more.

Getting Started: 
1. Enter your email address. 
2. Select the types of books you’re interested in. 
3 . Receive a daily email with fantastic free and bargain ebooks. 
    Join up for free here: 

Authors and publishers are now welcome to submit their books to eBookSoda for free inclusion in their listings. The site is a fantastic platform for authors to showcase their books, and for readers to get their hands on various genres of books at low prices and for free.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Cover Reveal - True Fate by Shayna Varadeaux

This week I'm thrilled to reveal the stunning cover of Shayna Varadeaux's debut novel, True Fate . . .

Cover Design by KILA Designs

Strange things have always happened to Nia, and until now she’s written them off as flukes. At nineteen she has seen her fair share of odd occurrences and just feels lucky. 

When Nia unknowingly spoke a prophecy on her eighteenth birthday she freaked out her best friend, Rhea. Nia realizes she needs to find some answers. Rhea makes her promise to go and see her Great Aunt Amarie, but she isn’t sure if her crazy aunt could really help.

Nia finds herself unexpectedly drawn to a stranger and begins dreaming of people who seem to know everything about her.

They offer little in the way of information as to how and why. It all feels too real but Nia is unsure, at least until she wakes up with a trinket from the encounter.

When dreams and reality collide Nia will have to face dangers she never knew existed. Ready or not she will have to discover her True Fate.

Author Bio:
Shayna is a happily married mom of three teenagers and a native Texan. She is a highly addicted reader and an avid reviewer with a love for generating buzz for other authors.

“Life is chaos and reading is my relaxation. Writing comes second only to my family and my music. I love playing the bass and singing backup vocals for my husband. A tattoo artist turned author, following my dream and loving it!"

"I am currently writing True Fate, my first YA Paranormal Fiction! I hope to publish by the end of the year or the beginning of next year. Luckily I have my best friend who is also my supportive husband to cheer me on. I'm definitely looking forward to the painful journey of becoming a self-published author!”

Author Links: