Tuesday, June 27, 2017

JM Sullivan

I am so excited about today's guest on the blog, author JM Sullivan answers exciting questions about her writing, her debut novel, and some sound advice for inspiring authors out there. Her novel, Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles was released on May 16, 2017. Let me tell you, I cannot wait to read this novel. Check out JM Sullivan's interview questions plus an excerpt of Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles.

Tell me a little about yourself:
Hi! My name is JM Sullivan and I am a teacher, a mommy, and now, an author! When I’m not working or writing, you can find me watching movies  with my kids and husband, attempting to become a better runner/yogi, or playing servant to my two cats, Ember and Moki.

What inspired you to be an author?
I have always loved reading and writing. Growing up, Language Arts/English were always my favorite classes. I loved learning more about books and literature and all of the different elements of storytelling, and thought that I would love to be able to create something of my own. It took a while, but I finally got the courage to believe in myself enough to actually do it!
I read on Twitter that you are a Science Teacher? What grade do you teach? What drove you to teaching?
Yes! I teach sixth grade science! I actually grew up in a family of teachers, my mother taught Elementary School and my father was a PE teacher until he moved to his role as a guidance counselor. So I guess you could say it’s in my blood!

How many stories have you written? 
Including Alice, my three biggest projects are The Wanderland Chronicles and currently, it’s sequel. But I have also written a Sci-Fi retelling of Peter Pan that I am currently working on getting published. I tend to stay away from short stories, although I did have a short (Daylight) recently published in Pen Name Publishing’s Anthology From Words to Water.  Aside from those I have a few other stories that I have shelved to come back to later—if I ever have time! ;)

Now a days, authors have the choice of choosing a traditional form of publishing, or choosing the self-publishing route. Can you tell us a little bit about why you chose a boutique publisher, and a little more detail about what a boutique publisher is?
I went with a small press because even though I didn’t have agent representation, I knew I wanted to go the traditional publishing route. Some people do very well with the complete autonomy of self-publishing, but since I had (and still have) so much to learn about the publishing world, I wanted to have a team of people to work with me to help fulfill my vision. For people like me a boutique publisher is the best of both worlds. The company is there to help guide you through the process and take care of finer, more technical details, but they are small enough that you still get a lot of say in the creative process, such as cover design and self-promotion. While they may not have as big a reach as the ‘Big 5,’ if you’re willing to put in the work and time to your book, they are a great option.

What is your writing process? 
Does forcing myself to write count? LOL. I don’t know my writing is organized to be classified with a process. Normally, I start off with a basic outline for where I want the story to go, but from there I let the story take over. I don’t like being too detailed in my outlines because more often than not I’ll end up changing and veering off on different tangents so providing a starting and ending point with a few key events in the middle to keep me anchored is about as structured as I get.

 Where do your ideas come from?
My ideas come from all over the place! Mostly I pull from my favorite stories and movies, but if I see something or read an article that I think would play in well to my work, I don’t hesitate to include it!

 What advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Be nice to yourself! Writers (and most creatives I find), are hard on ourselves far too often. An inner critic can help keep you on your ‘A-game’, but only if you don't give it so much free reign that it derails your work. Remember, someone needs your words. No one can tell your stories. To get them out there you have to write them!

 What authors inspire you?
I think all my favorite authors have inspired me in some way, but specifically, my favorite retelling authors have become writer goals for me. Marissa Meyer and Jackson Pearce are two incredibly talented writers who inspire me constantly. Seeing how they brought new life into some of my favorite stories to create breathtaking new worlds made me want to see what I could do with my own reimaginings.

Where did your inspiration for Alice:The Wanderland Chronicles come from?
This may sound strange, inspiration didn’t come so much from the story itself rather than the ‘fit’ of the retelling. I’m a huge horror movie fan so I watch them all: werewolves, vampires, demons, ghosts, zombies, you name it. And one night, the idea hit me—the only way you can get rid of a zombie is by chopping off its head, and isn’t that what the Red Queen is all about? It was just too perfect a coincidence to let slide, and I outlined the whole story that night,

 I love your cover of Alice, did you get to choose the cover? What was the process like for your cover of Alice?
Thanks! I got to have a lot of input with the cover (another benefit of a small press).
When I started the publishing process, my Editor had me fill out a form answering some questions about Alice and what I visualized and what covers I liked on other books to get a feel for what I was looking for. From there she designed 5 mock covers and I got to choose which one I liked best. After we had the base design done, we played around with fonts and color schemes. It was definitely one of my favorite parts of publication!

Tell us about Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles. Can you give us a short excerpt?
THE WANDERLAND CHRONICLES is a YA Dark Fantasy retelling of Lewis Carroll’s classic with an undead twist. It follows the story of sixteen-year-old Alice Carroll as she leaves the safety of the Sector to find an antidote to save her sister from becoming one of the momerath. Along the way, she enlists the help of the charming but flighty Chess, his friend Bug, and even the Red Queen. But Wanderland is a long way from home, and as Alice is quickly learning, momerath may not be her biggest threat. Will she overcome and save her sister? You’ll have to read to find out!

 “Don’t come out ’til morning,” he growled, piercing her with his golden gaze. Another animalistic screech sounded through the streets. The momerath were close. The boy glanced over his shoulder anxiously and grabbed the door handle. He tensed his arm to swing it shut.

“Wait!” Alice cried, realizing her voice sounded more than a little frantic. A million thoughts ran through her mind—Whose car is this? Why did you bring me here? Where are you going? Why are you leaving me here? These questions and more clashed into each other, demanding an answer. The winning query spilled out before she could stop it. “Who are you?”

The boy flashed her a sly grin and tightened his grip on the door. “I'm Chess,” he said. “Welcome to Wanderland.”

 And before you go, is there anything else you'd like to say to our readers?
Sure! If you have a Twitter, make sure you check out #AuthorConfession! It’s a monthly game where writers answer questions about their work, their process, or just themselves. It’s a ton of fun and we’d love to have you! Or, if you’d rather, you can find Author Confession on YouTube! Either way you’ll get to connect with great writers and learn all about their work! I hope to see you there!

About the Author:
J.M. Sullivan is a Science Teacher by day, and an author by night. Although known to dabble in adulting, J.M. is a big kid at heart who still believes in true love, magic, and most of all, the power of coffee. If you would like to connect for a healthy dose of sparkle and positivity, you can find her on Twitter or Instagram @_JM_Sullivan.

 Author Links:

Interested in JM Sullivan's debut novel?

Book Synopsis:
Ever since the outbreak of the Plague, life hasn’t been easy, and for seventeen-year-old Alice Carroll, it just got worse. Her sister, Dinah, has contracted the ‘un-deadly’ Momerath Virus and without a cure, will soon be worse than dead. She’ll be momerath.
Alice must leave the safety of the Sector and venture into Momerath Territory to find the antidote - if it exists. Chasing a rumor about a mysterious doctor with the cure, Alice falls down the rabbit hole into Wanderland, where ravenous momerath aren’t the only danger lurking.
Purchase Links:
Here's a fun question for  ya'll, what zombie world would you most want to be trapped in and why? Leave your answer in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Keeley Webb

Hey everyone, thanks for stopping by my site for my first official interview with author Keeley Webb! Keeley's debut novel, Death Made Me, was published on May 25, 2017. Learn more about Keeley, and check out her great advice for aspiring authors out there!
Interview Questions:
Where are you from?
I'm from Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire UK
How long have you been writing for?
I've always loved writing ever since my school days. I loved having to do essays and I'd often write poetry. I began properly writing just over a year ago though.
What inspired you to be a writer?
One of my best friends J D Hughes wrote a book and told me to just go for it!
How many books have you written?
Published one. Unpublished I have 2 part written and 2 more burning away in my mind.
Do you have any places you go to write?
I like to get myself comfy on the settee with my laptop and type away.
What do you do when you have writer's block?
I have never suffered from this. I often have too many ideas that I actually struggle not to blurt them all out onto the page at once.

Where did you get the idea to write Death Made Me?

The main character came to me in a dream whilst on holiday. I actually started writing it on my phone.
Can you give us a little more details about Death Made Me? Perhaps a quote or small excerpt you would like to share.
Death made me ... where to start it's a story with everything in it! There's a ghost, well actually several, a psychic, romance, family values, great friends, humour, tear-jerky moments and even a serial killer. It's very hard to define it but the feedback I'm getting so far is that it works.
Here's the blurb...Some people live each day as if it were their last, embracing every possibility. What if today was your last day? Have you lived enough?
Barry never took chances. Today he tried. Katherine was out of his league: beautiful, kind, well-travelled. What would she ever see in him?
Successful in his line of work, but sadly lacking in every other aspect of life. On his last day, he got his wish to be with Katherine. Only, fate bestowed a bittersweet irony upon him, forcing him to watch as she was mistreated by the one person he hated the most.
Unbeknown to them both, Barry would leave a mark on Katherine’s life that would impact generations of her family yet to come.
A tale of death, love, life and hope. And a different perspective on all the ‘what ifs’ lies within…
What are some writing tips you have to share with inspiring authors?
Trust in yourself. I massively suffered from self-doubt and it took me ages to get this book out there. Oh and check and re-check before you submit those drafts ... typo's are a curse that just keep creeping out when you least expect it.
Are you working on anything new? If so, can you share a little about your current project.

Yes I'm working on the sequel to Death Made Me. I'm just under halfway through writing it with plans for a trilogy.
Before you go, is there anything left you would like to share with our readers?
Yes, I'd just like to say good luck to anyone just having a go. There really is nothing to lose. We're all so different that something you write will always appeal to someone. The hardest part is getting the word out there so on that note if any of you lovely people would like to download my book I'd be most grateful ?
About the Author:

I'm a Mum to two beautiful children that keep me very busy. When I'm not knee deep in laundry and housework I love to either read or write.
My favourite genre is crime fiction, specifically anything with serial killers or something clever with a twist.
I've just published my first book Death Made Me which is quite a mix of genres it's a paranormal/romance/suspense thriller! I intend to keep on writing and just hope that people will enjoy my books.
Author Links:
Interested in Keeley's debut novel?
Book Synopsis:

Some people live each day as if it were their last, embracing every possibility. What if today was your last day? Have you lived enough? Barry never took chances. Today he tried. Katherine was out of his league: beautiful, kind, well-travelled. What would she ever see in him? Successful in his line of work, but sadly lacking in every other aspect of life. On his last day, he got his wish to be with Katherine. Only, fate bestowed a bittersweet irony upon him, forcing him to watch as she was mistreated by the one person he hated the most. Unbeknown to them both, Barry would leave a mark on Katherine's life that would impact generations of her family yet to come.
Purchase Links:
If you have any questions or comments for Keeley be sure to put them in the comments below!
Thanks for stopping by!

Blogger Recognition Award

Awe, this was so thoughtful and kind! Thank you so much Ashe from Subliminal Wish. Thank you so much for nominating me and recognizing my blog! To check out Ashe's blog, visit it here: https://subliminalwish.blogspot.com/
I took this next part from Ashe's site, she explained this nomination beautifully:
"If you're not already familiar with the concept, the Blogger Recognition award is just an "award" given to a blogger by another blogger to appreciate and recognize all the hard word that we all put into publishing new content and keeping our websites fresh and updated. Blogging takes quite a bit of work and this is just a small way of showing our fellow bloggers that we all see the effort they put into their little corners of the internet."

How did I get the award?

I was nominated by Subliminal Wish by Ashe. I would like to thank her for taking the time to view my blog and nominating it for this recognition. Ashe's site is pretty cool. She blogs about her life and real life problems and what she has learned by them.

How did my blog start?

I started this site as my author site. I figured it was time to have one since I've been trying to get one of my novels published. It has since then turned into helping inspire other authors with tips of my own, and now I'm interviewing authors and asking for their advice for aspiring writers as well. It's been a fun adventure!

Advice for new bloggers:

Be brave! Blogging is so much fun! Find what you love, whether it be books, movies, or television, find your passion and write about it. It's your voice that people will be drawn to and want to hear from your words. It's the passion you have in what you're blogging about that people want to see. Don't stress about the small stuff. Write what you love.
If you are struggling to find more followers, look to social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook. I personally don't want my email loaded with a bunch of newsletters every morning, so I rarely subscribe to any blogs. Because of this, I focus mostly on gathering followers with Twitter and Facebook. It's easy to do too, just start following other blogs and they typically will follow you back. :) People are pretty cool that way!
Good Luck! :)
Since this is all about passing the award on, here are my nominations (They are all book blogs):
  1. Hall Ways by Krstine Hall. Kristine blogs about books! Kristine is also an organizer for book blog tours through Lonestar Literary Book Tours. She's amazing! Check her site out.
  2. Texan Girl Reads by Holy Flora. Holy blogs about books! Check out her reviews, they're great! She's a real book lover and it shows! She's very dedicated to this blog and is always trying to help promote authors and their books.
  3. The Librarian Talks by Tabatha Pope. Tabatha also blogs about books. I love all the hard work that Tabatha puts into her blog. Amazing!
  4. Story Book Reviews by Leslie Storey. She blogs about books. It's obvious how much Leslie loves books! I love this site!
  5. My Book Fix by Kelli Quinto. You should check out all the great books Kelli blogs about!
  6. Ruthie Jones by Ruth Jones. Another great book blogger! She's dedicated and hard working and it shows how much she puts into her blogs.
  7. Books and Broomsticks by Belle Willington. Her site is amazing! Definite book lover! I could spend hours at this site!
  8. The Page Unbound by Haley Ringer. She and I co-blog this site, but she puts so much amazing work into it that I have to nominate it.
  9. Chapter Break by Lynne Pope. She has some great books she blogs about on her site. I also love reading her book reviews. Very insightful!
  10. Texas Book Lover by Michelle Newby. Michelle is a huge Texas author and book promoting. I love how patriotic her site is and how much she helps these amazing and talented authors.
All these lovely blogs have put so much effort into writing about what matters to them, and they deserve the recognition! Congratulations!
Here's what you need to do now:
  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select 10 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated and provide the link to the post you created.
Thanks again to Ashe for nominating me!