Live Q&A Post And A Short Writing Update

Hullo, friends! Since July is halfway over (whaaat????) and we only have about two weeks left for the fan art contest (and we have a few new submissions, too!). I have a cover reveal scheduled for tomorrow, but for this week, I thought it would be fun to do a live Q&A with you guys! A while back, I made some post idea suggestions, and many of you liked the idea of a live Q&A post, where you guys post questions in the comments, and I answer them! You can ask me about anything from writing to reading and books, or my own books or anything (within reason, of course). I’ll be answering those questions throughout this week, so ask away!

And while you’re coming up with questions for me, I have one for you! What writing-related topics would you like to see me post about? Comment below with your questions for me and what writing posts you’d like to see me do!

And a short writing update: I may have mentioned once or twice that I’m working on a superhero retelling of Snow White for the Rooglewood Press Contest, and I’m super excited about it! I just hit 10,000 words, which means I’m at least halfway done. It’s a lot of fun, and I’m excited to see where it goes (and let you guys read it, too!).

Now, enough about my writing! Unless you want to ask questions about it, that is. 🙂 Post your questions below, and I’ll be sure to answer them as soon as I can! And don’t forget to suggest some writing-related posts, too! Thanks, friends!

Advertisements

Interviews From The Writer’s Desk: Blaze

Hullo, everyone! I present a fun interview with our favorite Twinepathy teleporter, Blaze! This is a thank you for all of your support, and for reaching 100 people adding it on Goodreads!!! Hooray! Enjoy, my friends!

“I don’t want to be here, Bri.”

When those are the first words I hear out of someone’s mouth when they walk into my office, I know it’s going to be a loooong interview. The boy sits down in the chair across from my desk, crossing his arms and giving me a challenging look.

Yup. A looooooooong interview.

I clear my throat and look down at my laptop, hiding a smile. “Blaze, I assume. I’m guessing you want to get this over with.”

He sighs. “Yes, please.” He runs his fingers through his brown hair and smirks at me. “You must be spying on me if you know me so well.”

“You have no idea,” I grumble under my breath. “First question: What is your real name?”

Blaze tilts his head to the side. “Do you honestly think I would tell you?”

I shrug. “It was worth a try. Do you have any siblings?”

He shakes his head. “Again, confidential.”

“Right, right.” I roll my eyes, then pause as I look at my list. “Um… I have to warn you that a lot of these questions were submitted by, uh, fans.”

Blaze grins. “I have fans? Nice.” He looks more enthusiastic now.

“Mm-hm, not exactly yours…” I return to my list. “Moving on. Do you have a girlfriend?”

“Nope, no time,” Blaze says.

“Good to know…” I murmur. “Who is your best friend, or friends?”

Blaze pauses. “I’m assuming you want an honest answer…” I nod, and he sighs. “To be honest, I don’t have any really close friends. Ever since I joined IDIA, I’ve made a point of staying on the superficial level in relationships. I guess I’m closest to Jen.”

That’s pretty sad. I give him a second and move on to the next question. “What’s your favorite part about being a superhero?”

Blaze smirks. “Being able to freak people out and spy on them. And helping people,” he adds as an afterthought.

Of course. “Do you like bacon, chocolate, and/or cookies?” I hide a smile at the confused expression on his face.

“Yeah, all of those,” he finally says. “Where’d you get that question?”

“Do you like them all together?” I ask. “As in, a chocolate bacon cookie?”

Blaze gives me the oddest look. “Um, I don’t know. That sounds like something Albany would try to make.”

This time it’s all I can do to mask my laughter with a cough. “Ahem. Have you ever tried to prank Jen?”

He turns his head to the side with a thoughtful expression. “No, come to think of it. I should try that sometime…”

“Don’t blame me,” I say immediately. “Final question. If a strange girl ran up to you and hugged you without warning, exclaiming over how you’re one of her favorite characters in a certain book, how would you react?” Fan-submitted question, you can be sure.

Blaze gawks at me. “Um… what?” I open my mouth to repeat the question, but he waves a hand in the air, stopping me. He rubs his hand across his forehead. “It would depend on my state at the time. If I was on edge, I would teleport us to Antarctica and hope they would let go. If I wasn’t on edge, I’d probably either freak out or enjoy the attention.” He frowns. “Who came up with that question?”

I stand up. “Thanks so much for you time today, Mr. Blaze. I hope you’ve enjoyed this…”

Blaze nods and walks to the door, giving me suspicious glances over his shoulder. The instant the door closes, I have to burst out laughing.

Best question ever.

Thanks so much to Alyssa, Sarah, Shine, and Merenwen for submitting questions! I’m sure Blaze enjoyed them. 😉 What do you think of our favorite teleporter? Comment below!

Twinepathy (Part 1): The Beginning

Hullo, everyone! Here’s that surprise I mentioned yesterday. It’s been over a month since the end of Avengers’ Isle, which was a ton of fun, and it seemed like all of you enjoyed it, too. Rather than start a sequel (which I was tempted to do after watching Age of Ultron), I decided to take a story I was planning and turn it into a serial story for your enjoyment. I present to you part one of Twinepathy. Enjoy, my dear friends! If you like it, share!

Hello, my name is Albany, and I have a telepathic connection with my twin sister, along with the ability to read minds.

Well, that may not be the best start, but I’m pretty proud of it. It makes this sound like it’s going to be an awesome story. Which it is. But the beginning… well… I promise it’ll get more exciting than this.

“Go fish.”

Denver, my older brother, moaned and drew a card from the small stack. “How can you guys beat me at everything?”

Brooklyn, twin sister extraordinaire and social butterfly, gives him a mischievous grin. “You’re just too obvious.”

Denver gives me a helpless look, and I shrug. “I’m losing, too.”

“And if I win…” Brooklyn studies her hand. “You have to treat me to dinner, Denver.”

He makes a moaning sound. “Okay, fine. But not tonight. You know I’ve got a date.”

Brooklyn makes a face. If there’s one thing she dislikes, it’s Denver dating. She would definitely prefer to only have to share him with me and Mom and Dad. It doesn’t matter to her that Ezra’s a sweet, slightly awkward girl that Denver’s gone head over heels for. It also doesn’t matter to her that she hardly does anything with him, anyway… but I digress.

“Two,” Brooklyn says to me. I mutter something under my breath and hand a card to her. She sniffs the air. “Your cookies are burning.”

I fly into the kitchen. I’m no cook, but I had to try the bacon cookie recipe I found. I mean, hello, bacon and cookies! My two favorite foods just have to be amazing together. I should’ve known I’d burn them. I can’t cook anything.

I pull out the extra crispy cookies just as the doorbell rings. “You should get that while you’re up,” Denver calls. I roll my eyes. I’ll be he and Brooklyn are laughing. I hate checking the door. Technically, since Mom and Dad aren’t here – they’re on a date – Denver should answer the door, since he’s the oldest. But of course they’ll make me do it. I check the cookies. Yep, they’re burnt enough that no one will want to eat them, not even me. I’ll have to beg Mom to try the recipe for me. What a waste of bacon and cookie. I sigh and wipe my hands on a towel before heading to the door.

I peer out the peephole and don’t see anything until I look down. There, on our doorstep, is a little girl in a ratty red dress, hair tangled and face smudged. She looks around eight years old, maybe a little less. I send a mental image of her to Brooklyn before opening the door.

“Hello,” I say, gazing at her. I notices she’s not wearing shoes, and her dress looks fairly new, just dirty and torn. “Who are you?”

She looks up at me with haunting blue eyes – hollow, scared, lost. Her mouth opens, as if she’s going to speak, but an odd expression crosses her face. She wobbles, then crumples to the ground, out cold.

Well, what do you think so far? Thoughts, comments? Comment below! Your comment could be the difference between the continuation of this series… and the end. No pressure…

Next Post –>

Thank You All So Much!

Thanks so much, everyone! All of you are absolutely amazing!

ParalyzedDreamsVirtualBookTour4

I just want to give everyone a hug!!! *virtual group hug* But since that’s the best I can do, here’s a shoutout for everyone who participated!

Erinkenobi2893 posted a character interview with Pam!

Two excerpts from Paralyzed Dreams were posted, one on Lights and Shadows and the other on aspiringwriter22!

So many amazing book reviews! Thank you all! Check them out on A Glimpse of Starlight, Sarah Plain & Average, Kathy’s Cottage Books, and Writefury.

Ness Kingsley at of words and books hosted me for an author interview!

And, finally, on my sister’s amazing blog, Mandie’s World, I revealed who I based Jeremy off of, along with showing off some of his encouraging quotes from the book!

You all were so awesome! I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by all of your encouragement and support! Go check out their posts, both for the book tour and their other ones, and follow them! I’m pretty sure you’ll find something you like.

If you wrote a review, or if you’ve read it and you’re planning on reviewing, make sure to let me know so I can read and comment! And if you’d like, please post your reviews on Amazon, too! Every little bit counts. And *cough* once I get ten reviews on Amazon I’ll be posting an extra Avengers Isle post…

And I leave you with a quote…

paralyzeddreamsendquote

3… 2… 1… Launch!

*static* Houston, we are ready for launch!

*stomach growls*

(Comment if you get that…) We are now launching the Paralyzed Dreams Virtual Book Tour!

ParalyzedDreamsVirtualBookTour4

As posts go up throughout the day, I’ll be posting the links here. We’ve got a lot of awesome bloggers participating, putting up really cool posts and book reviews. I’m so excited to get started, and I can’t wait! I know you’re going to enjoy it, too! Keep checking back!

Erinkenobi2893: Interview With Pam

Lights and Shadows: Excerpt #1

A Glimpse of Starlight: Book Review

Sarah, Plain & Average: Book Review [Spoilers!]

Writefury: Book Review

(Kathy’s Cottage Books reblogged this post. Thanks! 😀 )

Kathy’s Cottage Books: Book Review (I was so surprised to see this come up in my reader! I had no idea she was doing a book review… Thank you so much!)

Mandie’s World: Quotes and A Revelation (Wanna find out who Jeremy was based off of??? O.o)

aspiringwriter22: Excerpt #2

of words and books: Author Interview

I’ll be “patrolling” all posts and replying to comments, so keep an eye out for me! 😀

Writing About Writing: Cover Design – Part One

Hi, everyone!

So after my big news post on Monday, I’ve had several people mention that they’d like to hear more about the self-publishing process. I’ve noticed that there’s a scarcity of blog posts out there about self-publishing… the details, at least. One of the things I’ve recently been looking for – and haven’t found – are posts on creating professional-looking covers. And since that’s my favorite part, that’s where I’ve decided to start. 😉 This first post will focus on general tips, and the next one will provide a sort of process to help you design a professional cover.

First, decide whether you should design your cover yourself or hire a professional cover designer. There are actually some fairly inexpensive cover designers out there, and there are also places where you can buy a pre-made book cover. If you don’t have a lot of time and patience, this might be a better idea. Also, if you don’t have access to a photo manipulation program (Photoshop is what I use), getting a cover designer might be the better choice. (I believe there are also online programs you can use, but I can’t be sure). There are tutorials out there for creating covers in Word, but all the ones I’ve tried… *cough* I’m sticking with Photoshop. Just keep in mind that there are alternatives to making your own cover.

Your cover is the first thing readers will see, whether it’s in print format or ebook. Your cover needs to pique readers’ interest, while still being important to your story. If you’re writing a historical romance, your cover shouldn’t look like it’s for a zombie book or a murder mystery. That’s why the pictures you choose are so important, along with the fonts.

Before I go any further, I need to point out some things about copyrights. *sigh* If you use pictures from Google images, then there’s a high chance that you’ll be infringing on someone’s copyright. You have to make sure that you have the rights to both images and fonts. You have several choices. You can either buy your own images (and fonts) from websites that sell royalty free images (like iStock and Shutterstock). Make sure that you’re buying a commercial license for the picture, not just a non-commercial license. You can also use the stock fonts on your computer and pictures you take yourself. The fonts that come on your computer are usually unprofessional and easily recognizable… don’t use Papyrus, please. Honestly, the most over used font. 😀 If you’re a good photographer, or if you know a good photographer, doing your own photo shoot is the best idea. Finally, there’s a huge selection of free for commercial use fonts and images. You may not be able to find exactly what you’re looking for, but there are plenty of options. Always, always, always check the license on fonts and images before using them. If the creator/photographer does not specifically say that you can use it for commercial use, ask them. It’s always best to be safe. And let people know when you use their fonts/images. If they’re offering them for free, the least you can do is let them see what you’re using their creations for. Best advice? Unless stated otherwise, always assume that content is copyrighted.

If you made it through that paragraph, you deserve a reward. 😉 So here are some of the sites I use for photo and font finding. Pixabay is great. When you click on an image, the profile tells you whether it can be used for commercial use and if you need to give credit to the photographer. There’s also Unsplash. If you subscribe, they’ll send you ten pictures every ten days that are free for commercial use. They also have a new search feature, too.

For fonts, I use dafont.com and Font Squirrel. Both sites have fonts that are for non-commercial use only and commercial-use. Font Squirrel has a page for each font where you can see the license. On dafont.com, things are a little less clear cut. Just make sure to check with the creator, and read all read-me documents included with the font.

Now that we’ve got all of that stuff out of the way, here’s the best way to figure out what picture to put on your cover. First, make a list of all items and people that are important in your story… as in “cover worthy” important. Don’t choose something or someone that is important for a plot twist. You want your reader to be drawn in by the cover, but you really don’t want to give too much away. That’s why the cover is one of the most important aspects of self-publishing. Of any book, for that matter.

One last bit of advice before I end this post. Study other covers in your genre. You want yours to stand out, but you don’t want it to be too drastically different. Ashlee Willis has an awesome cover for her book The Word Changers.

And those are my tips for helping you design your covers. Hope you don’t mind how long this post was! 😀 Got a cover you’ve made that you would like opinions on? Post the link in the comments below! I can guarantee that at least one person will check it out. *cough*me*cough* I’d love to see them!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this, and that it’ll help you with designing your cover. Questions? Comments? Anything you want to see in future posts about self-publishing? Comment below!

Thanks to all of you, Paralyzed Dreams has gotten up to #37 in its category! Read it? I’d love to hear what you think! Haven’t? Go ahead! 😀 Stay tuned for updates on the upcoming Paralyzed Dreams virtual book tour!